Saturday Surprise

Posted on August 27, 2011


While here in Edinburgh, friends have asked if I miss my kids, and I answer, “Who?  Oh, right, I have kids.”  Actually I do sometimes miss them, like last week when I dropped a coin into a sewer drain and could have utilized their tiny hands and arms to retrieve it, but mostly I miss the funny things they say as a source of material for my blog.  Whenever I talk to my wife on the phone she knows I’m first and foremost interested in whether the kids said anything interesting, and once that’s out of the way she can tell me if the house burned down.

Do I feel guilty for only being interested in the children as a source of entertainment?  No, because the possibility of the kids saying funny things is the only reason I wanted to have children. 


I hope asking bizarre questions is a sign of intelligence because The Fonz would be a genius.  This he asked, “If you don’t wear socks, will you get blizzards?”  The answer is yes, but they must be clean socks.  Once he’s sufficiently trained to wear clean socks because of his fear of blizzards, I plan to tell him you can also get blizzards if you only wear your underwear all weekend long.

Arthur's Seat

Last week The Fonz asked, “What year do you think they’ll invent a time machine?”  I’m hoping he’s asking because he’s working on a time machine but figures successful completion is ten years off and he’s not going to do all the work if somebody is likely to invent one in the next five.


Our ten-year-old, Optimist Prime, was eating dessert and announced in his smooth used car salesman voice, “This isn’t dessert.  This is pre-dessert.  The real dessert is realizing you’ve just eaten a healthy dinner.”  We make a lot of obnoxious statements like this during dinner, and it makes me happy to know we’ve been successful in training him to be the type of odd person whose company we enjoy.


Edinburgh is full of signs containing the following confusing message:

I realize now that these “TO LET” signs are advertising rental properties, but could I be excused for thinking they were low quality advertisements for the use of a “TOILET”, especially when one views them from a distance late at night while in an agitated state befitting one who desperately needs a toilet? 

Could I be excused for being really intrigued by the possible use of any TOILET described as “Quite simply stunning”? 

Every street in Edinburgh seems to have one or two “TO LET” signs, and I take it as a great compliment of Scottish civic pride that not a single sign has a graffiti “I” in the center.


Only one day left to vote in the caption contest.


My wife and kids returned to Shanghai a couple weeks ago, and I was extremely disappointed my wife ignored my instructions and told our next door neighbor she was back.  I had hoped to leave the lights off at night and pretend we hadn’t returned home for as long as possible so the neighbor lady would continue feeding our cat, watering our plants, and gathering the mail.  Not only would we benefit from her continued free services, but I could use hiding from her as an excuse to keep the kids quiet.

Posted in: Columns