My last couple months have been dominated by a brewing crisis. One of my best friends, certainly the one in whom I invested the most time and energy, seemed about to do something morally revolting. I tried to right her ship, but I failed. And thus did she wreck the marriage of her newborn godchild's parents. That scenario, if seen on Jerry Springer, would seem implausibly tacky.

"I'm not on board with the whole baby abandonment thing," I told her. And I kicked her out of my life.

The next few days were about how hurtful I was, how unreasonable. She even called me "holier than thou," which, when I realized that was the first time I'd been called that, sent me down a contemplative rathole. Is it a good thing never to have been called that, or had I simply never been moral before?

The headline is one of the texts I got.

and i'm back

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"Don't say that about poor, sweet Fredo!" countless women have scolded me after I've called him a moron. Idiocy and sweetness are not only not mutually exclusive; the former likely results in the latter. Nevertheless, many people have rushed to this simpleton's defense.

Past highlights:

  • He did not know his name until he was three.
  • He once took a dump on a park bench with his front paws on the ground.
  • As evidence of his impairment mounted, I decided to test its depths. I pantomimed opening the tailgate. His sister simply stared at me, wondering why I did that. Fredo impaled his face into the back of the car.

I shall now present his latest exhibit. I was able to get the photo only because he sniffed the statue's butt a second time.


i even creep myself out

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Inger brought her three kids over yesterday, and I somehow found myself tugged and pulled in five different directions. No activity, no toy, is worthwhile unless I'm watching. The oldest child had me paint her face like a clown's.

"Can you pull your hair back, sweetheart?" I found myself saying, instantly cringing at having uttered those words to a 10 year old..

Five minutes later, the middle child wanted to see who can drink more water. Naturally, she used my shot glasses. And there I sat, doing shots with a 7 year old.

Why does anyone introduce me to their kids?

snob hill

I live in one of the nicer neighborhoods in Cooterville, which is like saying I'm the smartest resident in my home. As if to demonstrate the simile, Fredo is presently next to me, licking his nonexistent testicles. He does so in our upper-middle class neighborhood, which is about as toney as Cootervile gets.

I've never seen an actual neighbor attend to their own landscaping. The streets are lined with pickup trucks with phone numbers emblazoned on their sides. I recently learned that my neighborhood nickname is "the guy who mows his own lawn." It could just as easily have been "the guy with the butchered lawn," so I suppose I'll take it.

bedside manner

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The last time I saw my shoulder's surgeon, I was a few days post-op. He saw me carrying my phone with my slinged arm, and he yelled at me. That was too much weight. He'd cautioned me previously that my surgery had a very high failure rate, as high as 60%, and he was most displeased. You can imagine our mutual pessimism when three weeks later, someone collided with my car head-on, totaling both cars. "I wonder what my odds are now?" I thought while still underneath my deployed airbag.

Progress in PT has been slow but steady, and I now have almost my full range of motion back. When I saw my surgeon last week and lifted my arm, the man could not hide his surprise. "Your progress's really superb," he said more than once. This was good to hear, but clearly, he'd already placed me in his loss column. Might want to work on that poker face, doc.

perfect storm

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Yesterday's Uber driver touched almost every quadrant of awfulness. He was old, drove slowly and dangerously, ignored my directions, asked me what I do for a living, messed with his phone while driving in traffic, and, God help me, listened to AM talk radio. If he'd been a foreigner wanting to practice his English on me, he would have been bloody perfect.

"What can he do better?" the app asked after my rating.


mr. excitement

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"So what did you do over the weekend?" asks my physical therapist every Tuesday as he's massaging my arm.

My mind is invariably blank. "I dunno. Probably worked a little."

"Got big plans for the weekend?" he'll ask on Friday, having learned absolutely nothing.

Is it rude to put on headphones during PT?