No solicitation.

We have a problem in Suburbia.

Yesterday, my door bell rang three times. I did what I always do – I hid, peeked out the window, and let my two dogs bark at the door. It was two different solicitors selling two different products. One came back within 30 minutes which is totally weird, dude.

Adding a “No solicitation” sign has always been on my to-do list. It shot right up to the top of the list after I saw my neighbor’s version of “No solicitation.”

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Melissa is one hell of a woman. A woman after my own heart. Not only do I crave deep-dish pizza but I also love a good writing project to keep the solicitors in check.

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(wo)man cold.

Call me the Grinch. Call me Ebenezer Scrooge. Call me Tiny Tim, dying on the floor from rickets and tuberculosis. Yes, I looked it up.

Christmas lost its fun, its magic. Christmas became a survival rather than a celebration. Hand me the 2016 Christmas ornament and let’s get this over with.

I have news for you. The ones close to me know this little secret. It’s minor, really. You can forget I ever mentioned it. I am a man. Not a man with a penis but a man with a cold.

I have man-cold syndrome.

I’ve heard the jokes. A bunch of girlfriends get together to complain about their husbands. The topic falls on a man getting sick and BOOM – the insults fly and I avoid all eye contact. He’s so whiny, lazy, and pathetic when he’s sick. He’s a complete momma’s boy and he doesn’t even have a fever. He wants us to finish the will, he thinks he’s that bad. Crying. Weak. Oh, and that in sickness and in health bullshit. Men are the weaker sex – truly. A cold – he has THE COMMON COLD.

Scott is the woman and I am the man. I am your fetal-position, violently ill husband without a fever. I have a cold. I have a bad cold. I have a really, really bad cold and I’m dying. My death by cold with no fever has been dragging on for two weeksScott has put up with my moaning bullshit for 14 days. Not that kind of moaning.

The time spent in my deathbed got me thinking of a list. It’s not a naughty list or a nice list. In fact, the next Santa I see is getting a kick in the giant red nut sack.

I’m sorry. That was inappropriate.

I have nothing against Santa. And really, the jolly ‘ole elf would probably be quick to stuff his black boot up the ass of some crazy woman dying of rickets and tuberculosis charging at him.

I made a list. It’s more of a Clark Griswold meltdown sort of list.

What I want for Christmas:

I want Scott to teach me how to use his shotgun. My first thought was to ask Amazon to screw off. But Amazon allows me to not talk to people. One reason I don’t like to shop is because I don’t like people. It’s not Amazon’s fault. I live in Suburbia, Kansas – home of criminals that follow UPS, FedEX and the USPS trucks to steal packages from front doors. I want to use a shotgun on them. I want to be wheeled out to our front porch, sit, and wait while I spit giant chunks of green phlegm on the ground. Anyone running away with one of my neighbors’ packages gets a bullet to the leg or arm or big toe. I want saline power-sprayed into every crevice of my body. Water is flowing out of my eyes, my nose, and my mouth.  I probably peed the bed last night and I’m sitting in my own urine. Everything is soaked and I’m dying in my own fluids. I want all homework to come with a parent-guide. The hell if I know common core. The hell if I even remember “my way” of math. I tried to learn math as a kid. At best, I peaked as a B-student. Now, I’m just peaking, falling, and it’s giving me a headache because I’m 35 now. World peace. Let’s just throw it out there and see what happens. I want to go back in time and remove “Elf on the Shelf” on Emma’s Christmas list. It’s the same thing every night – climb into bed, inhale the Vick’s Vapor Rub, close my eyes and DAMNIT YOU POINTLESS ASS ELF. When Emma and Kate come home from college, Buddy the Elf will come back from the sorority house every night, drunk off his ass, and spooning Barbie. The Elf on the Shelf is really more of a toy for future-college-mom-me. I want Scott to stop rolling his eyes at me after I tell him my specific request for LUDEN’s wild cherry cough drops. No, I’m not a child. Menthol cough drops don’t work and they make me smell like sickness. To the font maker of the Target’s Archer Farms coffee beans – SCREW YOU, KIND SIR. I can feel caffeine in my soul. I tried to drink a fresh cup of coffee to soothe my sore throat and you know what I felt? I felt hot crap water. I felt decaf. Next time you’re at your computer designing coffee bean packaging, try displaying DECAF in extra large letters with a surgeon general warning symbol on the front. I want my kids and Scott (once he brings me Luden’s cough drops) to be happy for the rest of their lives. If this is what death feels like, just let me waste away with the Ghost of Christmas Past. He probably wears black boots with a giant red sack.

I am a man with a cold and no fever. Merry Christmas. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where’s the Tylenol.

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And this is why I don’t write every day.

“Here, I got a Bug Bytes for you.”

It was a small gathering around the fire pit in Suburbia.

Scott: So listen to this. We had to pick out the plumbing for our new house. So, uh, what – like a year, a year and a half ago? And we’re looking at toilets.

Me: Scott, stop it.

The crowd giggled.

Scott: So we’re looking at toilets. And I want a good toilet for my house. Like, a good one. I hate it when I’m sitting on a dink toilet that’s too small for me to just hang there.

Me: He went right for the huge toilets. Like boats.

Scott: I pick out two large toilets. One for the master bathroom and one for the bathroom off the kitchen. So we move in and get this.

Me: SCOTT.

Scott: After a few weeks of living in this house, I come home and see a huge sticky dump in the toilet. I always have to flush it and it never really goes down all the way.

Me: Scott, give me your beer and shut up.

Scott: Come to find out, it’s Julie! Her butthole isn’t placed right on her or something.

I chugged my wine. The crowd went silent in quiet laughter. Tears squirted from the corner of their eyes.

Me: Scott, you paid extra for the largest toilets they had available.

Scott: And I can take a dump fine. Goes right down. I can sit and relax without my balls being smooshed up on a tiny toilet.

Neighbor: Your balls get smooshed up on toilets?

Scott: Yes, you know all up against you.

Neighbor: How big are your balls?

Scott: I don’t know? Normal.

Me: Stop. This happens to Kate too. Her poop never goes down either. So all these dumps you see sitting there could be Kate too. I have to push her poop down with the toilet wand. Somehow you and Emma never do this.

Scott: Kate obviously got your butthole.

And this is why I don’t write every day. And this is why Scott’s beer got poured down the drain.

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How to find the Holy Grail of Neighbors.

You may have read it.

10 Signs You Have Found the Holy Grail of Neighbors.

I didn’t write it but I agree with the writer, Lauren Lodder, on every point. Good neighbors are your in-case-of-emergency people, therapists, babysitters, and they make vacations possible because they’re willing to kick the ass out of the wet bandits and take selfies to prove it.

Well, at least my neighbors would be willing.

When you find the Holy Grail of Neighbors, you’ll know. The roots you dig will find a way down into the earth and intertwine with your neighbor’s roots. The roots will strangle you and hold you captive so you will never move again. That’s when you know you found your people.

The article didn’t explain how to find the Holy Grail of Neighbors. I got this, you guys. Follow me. Let’s fly!

 

I say Beetlejuice three times and he shows up on my blog. I don’t know. I live next to the guy.

Define your Holy Grail of Neighbors. Do you even want neighbors? Maybe your Holy Grail of Neighbors is a couple of birds. I know several people that don’t like living close to others. They like privacy and freedom to walk around naked. If this is you, take everything I say and do the opposite. There’s no privacy where I live but I like it like that way. My front door is a turnstile of kids and the eye in the sky is always watching neighborhood parties. If you want to walk around naked, this is not the place to do it because I’ll throw you out on my blog.

The real estate city search. To the beach! I would love nothing more than to live by the beach but I don’t. I live in Kansas. Suburbia, actually – a place where we need to get creative on the weekends to cure boredom.

Sure, white picket fences and kids chasing an ice cream truck paints the ideal place to call home. But here, in Suburbia, the Holy Grail of Neighbors are trying not to spill their margarita while chasing a street taco truck. Kansas can be a beautiful place. All it needs is a little tequila, salt, and lime.

We are not alcoholics. We just like margaritas and tacos at our front door step.

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Location, location, location.  Cul-de-sacs are prime real estate if you have kids. Cul-de-sacs allow kids to run freely. There’s no need to worry about a car hitting a child straight into the next news story. The Internet doesn’t need to scream at parents on the cul-de-sac for being neglectful. We’re not neglectful.

Calm down, it was a photo opp.

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Look for children on the neighborhood search. I have no clue where my kids are right now. Good. That’s called responsible cul-de-sac parenting. It takes a village. Just don’t hit our village with your car.

Don’t expect perfection in any neighborhood. Street taco truck and margaritas aside, perfect neighborhoods don’t exist. Perfect people don’t exist. I mean even Jesus left mouth germs on the Holy Grail. Probably. Our neighborhood pool got pegged as weak by teenagers. They destroy property. They are loud. They don’t listen to us when they’re asked to leave. I’m guessing there will be an increase of video submissions to MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. 

I’m also guessing one of those teenagers has a police chief dad that won’t listen to our complaints either. Time to get out my dad’s gorilla suit and call in the fake SWAT team because my kids swim in that conception water, dammit.

The Holy Grail of Neighbors will always show you signs they’re there. I’m talking about out-of-the-ordinary signs. Our sign was a sign from above, if you will. It was a beer sign hanging from someone’s back deck. A large, canvas, beer sign with the week’s bar specials. It was there for weeks. I later found out that was the football pot loser’s sign.

Other possible signs: A drone flying, golf carts for the sole purpose of neighborhood driving, college kids sitting on roofs, houses with indoor lights that change colors according to their mood, and hot air balloons landing on rooftops.

The fun people will always let you know where they are. It’s just their nature. They like a good show.

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I realize how this sounds. Before you write us off as rich snobs, we live in Kansas. Home of cheap real estate. Join us!

Stalk before you buy. You don’t buy a car without test driving it. You don’t marry a virgin. And you don’t buy a house without stalking first. I’m the expert, trust me. Slow-drive the street behind the street in question – search for fire pits. Slow-drive past their house during a nice day. The Holy Grail of Neighbors will always have adults on the front porch. Stop and say hello. Ask to use their bathroom. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the Holy Grail itself – the neighborhood’s Best Costume award.

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Next year, the trophy will be in my house. Come use my bathroom. Snoop around. My roots run deep, grounded into the earth.

Well, at least until the next drone ride.

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