Archive for the 'Teletubbies are gay' Category

My quiet neighborhood

January 30, 2011

Andrew Hicks

As I mentioned many, many blog posts ago, Tiffany and I rent a four-bedroom house with a decent-sized backyard and an old driveway whose tectonic plates are constantly shifting. When we first moved here in 2007, when it was just me, my wife and 14-year-old Josh, we lived in the double duplex next door. It’s two garages, four units and two garages. Us moving next door two years ago has been the complex’s only change in residence since we moved here.

In our old unit are a single mom and adolescent daughter. Next door, my friend and smoke break buddy I’ve written about here and there with the four small kids. In the third unit, a long-bearded old man living solo with no apparent friends or family. Even door-to-door salesmen have the sixth sense to avoid knocking on that door. The guy in the third unit is usually only spotted way after dark, when he occasionally wanders out to his front patio and takes a leak all over the concrete. The fourth unit is also occupied by a single old man, but this guy has kids and grandkids that stop by once a season or so. I did notice his Christmas tree stayed up well into January, but otherwise I’ve got nothing bad to say about the dude.

The house next door to us on the opposite side is vacant. It’s tiny and dilapidated, and it looks like it hasn’t been lived in for at least a decade. Still, during the nice-weather months, whoever owns it shows up promptly every Saturday morning to cut the grass and edge the yard. He cuts it with a diagonal crisscross pattern and everything, and it always irks me that the abandoned crack house next door continually has a nicer lawn than mine. Although, I will add, it doesn’t irk me enough to do any extra work on my yard.

Across the street is a two-story U-shape of rentals. During the nice-weather months, these neighbors can be spotted in lawn chairs, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes from shortly after dawn until the middle of the night. They quit their jobs so they could party more, which — from the standpoint of this former hardcore partier — is a truly ballsy move that speaks major dedication to the craft of alcoholism.

Next to this U-shape of apartments is a small-town bank whose employees offer the most consistently rude customer service I’ve ever experienced. Not to mention, when we opened an account, I got a box of 500 checks that said my name was Andrew S. Hicks. My middle name is Justin. Fail.

A couple houses down from the old four-unit lives a 90-year-old woman whose daughter and son-in-law come to walk the dog and take care of basic maintenance. This couple were regulars of mine at the last serving/bartending gig I had. They’d make a three-hour occasion out of dinner, each generally downing a handful of Old Fashioneds before ordering entrees.*

Down the block in the other direction is the day care where Tiffany worked when we first moved here. Her coworkers at the day care were a bunch of women and a single guy named Mr. Dick who had been working there for decades. Stepson Josh and I used to get big, immature laughs out of the idea of generations’ worth of parents leaving their small children in the care of Mr. Dick.

The junior high and high school are close enough that I can hear their intercom announcements from my bed. I’m way more attuned to school-announcement gossip than I rightfully should be. For instance, I know little Tommy Johnson got called to the principal’s office three times in the same week earlier this month. And, seriously, it was the week of MLK Day* AND there was a snow day. Tommy Johnson needs to clean up his act.

Just beyond our backyard is an assisted-living complex that houses mostly elderly people. The most visible resident, though, is a middle-aged fella who looks like a larger, longer-haired version of Vincent D’Onofrio in Men in Black. He walks his dog past our house probably six times a day when the weather’s nice, and whenever the dog stops to sniff or pee on something, Fat Vince looks around with his crazy eyes. I don’t like to draw the blinds, but sometimes I can’t help it.

I picture Fat Vince as living alone and probably speaking most of his words to that dog. He’s probably on the Internet a lot, too. He might read blogs. He might like comedy. He might recognize that I’m writing about him now. He might have thought this was a great blog until about a paragraph and a half ago. I might be in trouble the next time he takes Fido for a walk.

*Before I quit drinking, I used to fantasize that I’d be walking Sarah by their elderly mom’s house in the stroller, and they’d be there, having some kind of afternoon whiskey party. In this fantasy, I get toasted in the daytime and entertain a bunch of older folk. I can’t possibly be considered a deadbeat dad either, because in the fantasy, the actual Teletubbies are there to keep Sarah occupied while dad drifts away.

**Whether it’s whole, 2%, chocolate or soy, there’s no wrong way to celebrate MLK Day.

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Public apology to Barney

November 21, 2010

Andrew Hicks

At various points in this blog, starting with the very first post, I’ve made reference to “Barney’s bitch ass.” All along, my wife Tiffany has insisted that Barney does not have a bitch ass and is, in fact, a positive influence on small children.

Over the past couple months, Barney has sent me cycling through the Five Stages of Grief, from denial (“There’s no way my beloved television is really issuing forth hour upon hour of a giant, lip-synching, borderline-retarded PBS puppet”) to bargaining (“Okay, Barney, I know my kid’s going to clamor for at least two more hours of you, but only if you put let me change to the Weather Channel for a second first, so I’ll know whether we’ll be able to go outside and escape you tomorrow”) to scabies (“Was that you who gave me scabies, Barney? If so, not cool, dude. Not cool”) to now, finally, acceptance.

I accept that Barney is a semi-permanent, lumpy member of this household. I’ve started buying groceries he likes. And, really, he keeps Sarah really happy. She sings, she dances, she has manners. She thinks kids in wheelchairs are cool. None of this would’ve been possible through traditional parenting and Teletubbies alone.

So, in this public forum, I address the following words directly to Barney: I retract my previous statement that you have a bitch ass. You are welcome in my home, and you can hang out with my daughter anytime. You are, however, a major lamewad, so don’t come around when Sarah’s asleep. You and I don’t hang out. Ever.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Thanks to my mom for capturing this beautiful shot of Sarah posing in a tree in her yard.

Tubby custard hobblicoition

October 6, 2010

Andrew Hicks

I learned something new today, from the DrGimpy corner of the Internet. The term “abasiophilia” describes the fetish of having sexual desire for someone in a cast or on crutches. My wife is not an abasiophiliac, and I’m pretty glad she isn’t. If Tiffany did have a cast fetish, I’d probably always be suspicious that she was trying to push me down the stairs or run me over with the car to achieve her own perverse ends. Because nothing turns a lady on like having to do all the housework and pay all the bills yourself while your husband is immobile. That’s white-hot, “Funky Cold Medina” stuff right there.

The DrGimpy contingent was unable to provide me with a term for wasting an entire paragraph of your readers’ time describing the practice of being physically aroused by orthopedic assistance devices. So I’ll make up a term: “hobblicoition.” That’s pronounced “hah-blih-coh-ish-un.” Next, I’ll make up a term for wasting a second paragraph of your readers’ time by making up a term to describe the subject matter of the first paragraph you wasted your readers’ time with. And so on. This blog’s going to write itself today.

Hurricane Sarah trashed the downstairs family room and headed off to bed a couple hours ago. 23-month-old Sarah’s favorite new toy is her baby brother’s giant canister of formula powder. She uses every square inch of the coffee table to roll and slide the canister, then she turns it upside down and drums on the metallic underside. I do my dadly best to be right next to her and make sure the plastic lid doesn’t get pried off. That kind of mass powder dispersing would be a catastrophic mess, almost as bad as that scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen sneezes into the L.A. hipster character’s voluminous cocaine stash. Baby formula is almost as expensive as coke, from what I understand.

I vaguely remember, during the pregnancy and Sarah’s first couple months, pledging I’d be a truly conscientious, revolutionary parent. My child would not eat McDonald’s. My child would not watch television. My child’s carbon footprint would not be any larger than her pinkie toe. That was an Andrew who was unaware of the reality of round-the-clock parenting. That Andrew had no idea that McDonald’s french fries make a hysterical toddler stop crying in the car. That Andrew also didn’t know the sheer amount of wet and poopy diapers he’d be tossing in the garbage over the next two years.

That guy especially didn’t know how much he’d come to rely on the TV. It’s really easy to brag to strangers that you’re not gonna let your kid be babysat by television, but it’s tougher to resist when you figure out babies really love television. This is a tough reality to resist at seven in the morning when baby is wide awake and you still have two very crucial hours of sleep to catch up on and “Sesame Street” is just starting on the channel your tax dollars fund. Well, not your tax dollars, necessarily, but the tax dollars of people who earn real money.

Sarah’s first TV love was “Teletubbies.” Pre-parental Andrew had always bought into the conventional wisdom of cynical twentysomething adults, that the Teletubs were for drool-mouthed nincompoops only. I was especially put off by the knowledge that the producers of the show would have the TTs do something inane like jump around for a minute, then have them yell, “Again! Again!” and just loop identical footage. At the time, I didn’t understand or consider the target audience for the Teletubbies – babies aged 91 to 445 days. The vast majority of whom do have drooly mouths.

The Hicks household invasion of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La La and Po reminded me of the media furor in 1999, when the late Rev. Jerry Falwell yanked Tinky Winky out of the closet. Watching the show now, yes, Tinky Winky is purple and dances impeccably and has an upside-down triangle instead of hair, but I believe Falwell’s remarks were narrow-minded and completely off-base. The truth is, all four Teletubbies are gay. They all carry around purses, they all try on dresses, and they all enjoy the taste of “tubby custard.” Whatever that is.

Jerry Falwell is in heaven. The Teletubbies live on at my house in sparkling VHS. Fal’s well that ends well.

BABY PICTURE OF THE DAY

 

Baby Silas is not quite ready to be a Bumbo sitter, but this is an excellent dome view of his male pattern baldness.