Monday, June 05, 2006

Philling me in

About a month ago, an observant reader (we’ll call him Phil, because that’s his name) wrote: “Does Kara, that being your wife, Kara, receive a royalty every time you mention her name, Kara?”

I was shocked by Phil’s question because, up until that point, I was pretty sure that only my Mom read this column. But Phil raised an interesting point, to which I responded: “Phil, my wife's name is not Kara. I don't know what you're talking about. Oh, oh, wait, yeah, Kara, you're right. I remember now. Sorry. Yes, her name is Kara. And I just made another buck by saying Kara four more times.”

Then I went on about my business, wondering about things like how old people can remember during which year events occurred. “I saw the most beautiful sunset back in the summer of 1951. I’ll never forget it.” I have no idea what year things happened in. I was born in 1977 and graduated high school in 1996; college is a little fuzzier because I’m pretty sure it took me a really long time to graduate. So if something didn’t happen in either of 1977 or 1996, I have to bust out some serious math to figure out when it happened.

For an ice-breaker at work recently, we had to pick a coin out of our pockets and say something that happened in our lives during the year that the coin was minted. The dime in my pocket said 1992. After five minutes of working out the subtraction on a napkin, I figured that I’d been in eighth grade that year. The big milestone during my eighth grade year was the time after gym class that Kirk Mulligan almost stuck my head in the toilet. That sure was a proud moment for me. I say he “almost” stuck my head in the toilet because, just as he was pushing the back of my head towards the welcoming meniscus below, ‘ol Kirk took a ride on the Mike’s Knuckles Express. Just kidding. I think he started wailing on some other kid or something.

But that event precipitated me and my Dad enrolling in the Dragon Gym, where we took karate classes for three years and earned our black belts together, so I suppose I owe Kirk some measure of gratitude. Not every kid gets the chance to kick his dad in that most private of places: the basement, where we used to practice. I hadn’t thought about those karate classes in so long, it was nice of that dime to remind me. I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of people could still beat me up, but if I ever get attacked by a 12” x 12” pine board, I’m totally taking that thing out.

So I hadn’t put any more thought into mentioning Kara’s name in my column until yesterday, when I received this letter from a concerned reader (okay, it was Phil again): “Just noticed that the ‘Kara Kount’ in your last column is ZERO. Hope things are OK with you two.”

I appreciate Phil’s concern, but things are actually great with me and Kara right now, mainly because in her eyes, I have become cooler than Tom Cruise. This is not because of anything I have done, but Tom has been pretty busy for the past couple of years lowering the bar for the rest of us.

A preview for Mission: Impossible 3 came on TV the other night, and Kara said, “What happened to him? He’s not even cool anymore.”

I thought back to the old Top Gun poster that used to hang in her dorm room, of Tom Cruise as Maverick, sitting half-out of the cockpit, giving the thumbs up. Man, he used to be so cool.

“Requesting permission for flyby,” I’d say to Kara.

“That’s a negative, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full,” she’d reply, pushing me away.

Also, Phil, I mentioned your name eight times this week. I accept cash and home-cooked meals.

You can send Mike Todd an email or lose him forever at


  1. Gosh, you're so lucky. I never got to kick my dad anywhere....

    Boy, am I glad I found this blog. I can start my day with a laugh, instead of my usual, "What's the point of my existence? Why are most people CrapHeads? And most of all, why did I wear these pants?"

  2. ha ha ha - you crack me up to no end! I haven't heard the phrase 'knuckle sandwish' in eons. Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. Love that one too.

  3. Just when I thought I had my FILL of blogs for the week you came thru with a good one.

    You can be the "Jester".(Michael Ironside)

  4. There are a few points that I want to make:
    1. I am not your mom, and I read your stooopid blogs.
    2. Even a little mouse is cooler than Tom Cruise. (Oh, a brain cell just kicked in... Mickey is really your name, right?)
    3. Tom Cruise is stoopid.

    5. Keep up the good work, man! One day I may see you book in the dollar store~

  5. i hate tom cruise... matt has to compete with ryan renolds....

  6. Son, your blog's writing checks your body can't cash.

    Ben O.

  7. You'll be hearing from my lawyers. All of you. You can't hide from me, anonymous. I got connections. And that column sucked.

  8. on the topic of years in which stuff happened: I cannot wait til 30 years from now I can talk like an old 49er. You says things like: "Back in aught 6 we used to have to type comments on the internets you whippersnapper, now get off my astro-turf lawn.

  9. I am a 78' - 96'er. Ifin it wasn't in those two years, it ain't worth remembering...

    wait, no, cuz my first kiss was in 92'...

    okey ifin it ain't in 78', 92' or 96' it ain't worth remembering.

  10. Dudes, thanks for being so F'ing cool. And to those who went the extra mile to come up with a Top Gun quote, I like that in a pilot.

  11. Ooh! Say my name, say my name...

  12. As the Iceman says "The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies room"

  13. Anna, I think that's from Destiny's Child, not Top Gun :-)

    Sheri, you can be my wingman any time.