Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Farting Ninja

"Daddy. You're bald."

The girls have made a habit of dwelling on my follicle misfortune after I tuck them into bed at night. They'll actually hold the "a" in bald and let it drag on to really hammer the point home. The minute they sniffed out that needling me over being bald bothered me, they proceeded to sink the hooks in deeper and rip my heart out with the joy and zeal of a 1-year-old working through an endless pile of paper mache. There's very likely more than a few rounds of sensitivity training in their future.

But if there has been any one good thing to come of being bald, it's the Farting Ninja story.

One day I was shaving my head in the shower and I nicked myself with the razor. It happens. So I got out of the shower, got dressed, put a small piece of toilet paper on my head to keep from bleeding all over myself, and went downstairs.

My oldest daughter saw the toilet paper and blood on my head and asked what happened. So I did what any good father of two young daughters would do on a Saturday afternoon: I made up a tall tale that involved an Uber, pirates, a whale -- and a farting ninja. And, I drew it out on a white board to get myself out of playing dolls for 15 minutes.

So with that, I give you The Farting Ninja.

Daughter: What happened to your head, dad? Why are you bleeding?

Me: Well, after I put you guys to bed last night, I went downstairs and said, "Mommy, I'm going on an adventure!" To which your mother said, "Good riddance." So I put on my pirate outfit, took an Uber to the ocean, met up with my pirate friends, and then we got on our pirate ship. We spent the entire night having grand adventures while looking for buried treasure.

As the sun started to rise I told my fellow pirates, "Fellow pirates, it's been fun, but I've got two beautiful young ladies who are gonna be waking up shortly, and I need to be there to get them their Danimals and chocolate sticks."

So we said our goodbyes, and then I rode the nearest whale back to the shore and caught an Uber back to the house. Just as I walked through the door you ladies were waking up, so I went upstairs to greet you, and then we all went downstairs to have breakfast.

After a long morning of playing outside and running around I realized I was doubly filthy, so I went upstairs to take a shower. While I was in the shower I heard a loud noise that sounded like glass crashing. Then, all of a sudden I heard the longest, loudest fart I have ever heard in my entire life. Even worse than me in my sleep.

Children: No way!

Me: Yes. And based on the sound of the fart, I knew exactly where whatever had come through the window was in the bathroom. So I flung open the shower door, threw on one towel, grabbed a nearby hand towel, and looked up to see an intense, stinky, black-clad ninja with a red headband holding two sais and standing in the attack position.

He came at me and I fended him off as best I could with nothing more than my trusty hand towel. After a few minutes of intense battling (and some slick moves from your father) he caught me on the head with one of his sais and gave me this cut. At that moment I realized that if I don't get this crazy, farting ninja out of my bathroom, he was going to kill me. So I grabbed the Farting Ninja by the scruff of his neck, picked him up by the back of the pants, threw him out the window that he came in through and yelled, "Be gone, Farting Ninja!" And then I got dressed, fixed the window the Farting Ninja broke, called the police and confirmed that they caught the Farting Ninja, and came downstairs.

Daughter: Wow! That's cool!

Me: It was definitely a stinky situation.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

SMSG 06: Sh*t We Build for Our Kids

Travis reads the Some Assembly Required blog post, and then Travis and Greg discuss the pains of building swingsets, bikes, and other terrible things for their children.

Have you got a story to share about something you've built for your kids? We want to hear it in the comments section!

Don't forget to visit the Facebook page for the band Poor Dirty Astronauts. If you're in the St. Louis metro area, make your way over to the Stagger Inn and hear PDA perform live.

All sound effects were sourced from and have a Creative Commons 0 license.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Day the Hamster Died

"You need to come down her and look at this," I told my wife. "The cat caught a mouse."

"Well, take it away from him and throw it out."

"I don't think it's a mouse," I said. "I think it's Hamster."

One year prior we made the mistake of telling our girls that if they displayed some modicum of responsibility we said we'd consider getting them a small pet -- like a hamster. Of course, in toddler speak, that means you're getting them a hamster. Not in a few months, not in a few weeks and not in a few days. To them, that means you are loading up the van, making the mecca to PetSmart, and rescuing some poor, unsuspecting creature from a glorious life behind bullet-proof glass, with an endless supply of food and friends to run around with, and dropping him straight into hamster Hell -- a house with two cats and two toddlers. Because one of the many things I've learned about being a parent is that you can only stand firm for so long against your children before you give up and allow yourself to get willingly steamrolled.

Looking back, it's a miracle his run even lasted two years. The day we brought him home we set up his cage and then went out to eat. We came back home to his cage door unhinged and flung open, and one of the cats sitting with half of her body in the hamster cage and the other half out, and the other cat standing guard one foot away. I yanked the cat out, trying to remember if we had any shoe boxes we could bury this thing in and mentally mapping out the eulogy in my head. I was also thinking about whether or not this was the right time for one of those no-bullshit children's books like The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, and wondered if there was something along the lines of Tough Shit. Your Hamster Died and Your Cats are Assholes. But as I was rustling through the cedar chips, I heard a squeak and saw two very-alive tiny, beady black eyes looking back at me. Against all odds, the little bastard was alive.

We used duct tape and yarn to shore up the weak points the cats had sniffed out, and the hamster would spend the bulk of the next couple of years getting eye-humped by the cats and kicked around the house in a plastic ball by the children. While they weren't ideal conditions, I'm sure there are hamsters out there who have it much worse, and I'm sure there are also some that end up on the losing end of the battle with the cat on their first day.

And so it was for nearly a year -- until we moved.

We'd set the hamster up in the downstairs living area, where he could still get love and where we were fairly certain the cats would leave him alone. And that was the case until I was sitting downstairs one night after everyone else had gone to bed, and I heard something squeaking and saw one of the cats going crazy. I thought a mouse had worked it's way in and the cat was doing his job. So I cheered on the cat until he whacked the mouse against a wall and the mouse stopped moving. Assuming the battle was over, I walked over to the mouse, which looked a lot like the hamster. And then it scurried away. The cat had lost interest, so I chased the creature for a bit, eventually going upstairs to get help from my wife.

She ran downstairs, took a look at the tiny lump of fur, and verified that it was, in fact, the hamster. By that time the cat had regained interest, so my wife was standing downstairs and yelling out a play-by-play of me and the cat attempting to wrangle what looked like an incredibly elusive brown cotton ball. For NFL fans, picture Tony Siragusa trying to tackle Barry Sanders in the open field. For non-NFL fans it was like a monkey trying to hump a coconut. It wasn't pretty, and again I found myself wondering if we had any shoe boxes and trying to remember the eulogy I'd mapped out a year ago. I finally caught the hamster, who had again survived against unlikely odds.

A few weeks later we had some work done in the basement that required an entire day of jack-hammering. So we relocated everything, including the hamster, upstairs. But even the upstairs rattled for the entire day and sounded like we were relentlessly under siege by heavy machine gun fire. After the work was finished, we kept the hamster upstairs as an experiment and went about our marry way.

After a few days of having the hamster upstairs we noticed a weird smell emanating from the vicinity where we'd relocated him. At first we thought something had just died in the walls, so we braced ourselves to ride it out -- until we went to feed and water hamster, and change his bedding. We noticed he hadn't eaten or drank anything, and he hadn't shit at all on his running wheel -- one of the few joys he probably got out of his largely fear-laden life. So I poked around, found him, and fished him out -- validating the source of the smell. The poor guy escaped certain death at the hands of the cats in the open twice only to get taken out by the constant pounding of a jackhammer one level beneath him.

We told the girls that hamster had moved on, like Barney in the book, and they were appropriately sad for five minutes -- before banding together to bang the drum for a dog.

Rest assured, they are not getting a dog -- at least until next weekend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SMSG 05: Bad Family Vacations

Travis reads the Disney Cruise Disaster blog post, and Travis and Greg share other stories about bad family vacations.

Have you got a story to share about your bad family vacation? We want to hear it in the comments section!

Don't forget to visit the Facebook page for the band Poor Dirty Astronauts. If you're in the St. Louis metro area, make your way over to the Stagger Inn and hear PDA perform live.

All sound effects were sourced from and have a Creative Commons 0 license.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Lies About Having Kids

lies about kids

Not long after my oldest daughter turned 4, I'll never forget when she got up in my wife's face, slapped her, and told her to stop talking. If she were Adrian Peterson's child, he would have burned through every branch in a Texas-sized tree. After things settled down, we explained why what she did was wrong, and I explained that as her lawyer, I'd strongly advise she put that on her Shit-to-Never-Do-Again List. Because what my daughter didn't realize was that the angry and argumentative part of her little personality was still rocking a proverbial tricycle and she had only recently started exploring her dark side. Her mother, on the other hand, has been fine-tuning the Boss Bitch engine on her car for almost 40 years, and once she fires that up there aren't a whole lot of people I've seen who didn't get absolutely crushed.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Brand Slogan Swap

Forbes recently released its yearly list of most powerful brands. The top 10 consisted of well-respected brands that most households just shovel money into on a weekly basis, such as Disney, LEGO, Nike and Johnson's. Reading that article made me think about all of the brands that didn't haven't done so hot recently, such as Hoverboard, Carnival Cruise Lines and Volkswagen, and even personal brands like Bill Cosby. I thought it would be funny to take successful slogans from successful companies and try to pair them with these struggling brands to more honestly communicate what they offer.

Enjoy :-)

bill cosby scandal

Slogan: Between love and madness lies obsession.
Old Brand: Calvin Klein
New Brand: Bill Cosby
Rationale: If Bill Cosby ever asks me to take this down I'm going to tell him I don't know what he's talking about. Deny, deny, deny.

ashley madison hack

Slogan: I am what I am.
Original Brand: Reebok
New Brand: Ashley Madison
Rationale: The recent hack showed that only 10,000 of the 5.5 million female accounts had ever responded to a message. Ever. If you're still using this site, then you are what you are: a stupid cheater.