Monday, July 16, 2007

What would you do if I sang in tune?

“Feel my foot,” my wife Kara said to me recently, sticking her bare foot in my face. I felt the same hesitation I used to have when directed by a college buddy to “smell this.”

“Right there,” she said, pointing to a spot on the ball of her foot.

Remembering my few short years of marital training, I gave the appropriate response: “Whatever you tell me, Drill Sergeant,” and dutifully felt her foot.

“Oh, it just feels like a little callus,” I said.

“I know! I need a pedicure,” she replied. You may not know this, but some people think of pedicures as a necessity.

“Wait, you want to get rid of it? Calluses are good things. They’re like nature’s shoes,” I said.

I’ve always wanted more calluses on my feet. People who can walk barefoot across gravel driveways without even looking down deserve a special level of respect. Whenever I attempt to do something like that, I look like I’m performing an interpretive dance.

“I don’t want nature’s shoes,” Kara said. “I want pretty feet.”

We’ve both been putting our feet through quite a workout lately. Last weekend, we moved into a different house, an event that should make those who do not personally know me even happier than usual, as they weren’t called upon for the ultimate sacrifice. I felt terrible watching our friends suffering in the July heat, staggering across the front yard with oak dressers precariously swaying between them, zig-zagging so much that it was difficult to get out of their way without nearly spilling my lemonade.

Before a big move, your brain stops functioning normally. You look around at everything and think, “I don’t have that much stuff. This is going to be a snap.” But once you start lugging that stuff out the door, you realize that your possessions have been independently procreating. The only things snapping on moving days are nerves, and possibly ligaments.

The good thing about moving is that you discover some cool things you didn’t even know you had. After digging around in one of our closets, I turned to Kara and said, “Hey, since when do we have a surfboard? Did you used to surf? It even has a little stand so you can put it on display.’

“Baby, that’s an ironing board,” she said.

“Oh. That’s way less cool,” I said, tossing it back into the closet.

It’s completely unfair that our friends had to give up a weekend day to lug our stuff from one house to another, but the world is not a fair place, as evidenced by the availability of DVDs for TV shows like “Full House” and “Martin,” when “The Wonder Years,” one of the best TV shows ever created, has no DVD set and is only occasionally available on cable channels that spend the rest of their programming time running hour-long commercials for hair-loss treatments.

“Wonder Years” is one of the few entertainment experiences from childhood that withstands the test of time. The shows are still as good now as they were when I was thirteen. Time has not been so kind to the Karate Kid. As an adult, you realize that perhaps the crane kick move only really works when the bad kid runs directly into your foot with his face.

One weekend night in college, I made three of my friends watch “The Dark Crystal,” as I remembered it being the greatest movie from my childhood.

“It has these awesome live-action rabbit things that the little puppets ride around on,” I told them. Two hours later, I was the only conscious person in the room, kept awake only by my burning sense of shame. It was like an episode of Sesame Street where you didn’t learn anything other than how to forever lose your vote at Blockbuster.

You can use Mike Todd for lumbar support at


  1. That happened to me when I made my kids watch "Drop Dead Fred"... so I feel your pain, little brother.

    Also? Pedicures ARE a necessity. Tell Kara that. Pretty feet are HAPPY feet.

    I think Confucious said that. Or maybe it was the Vietnamese dude who did my pedicure...

  2. OMGGGGGGGGGgg I so love the Dark Crystal movie!!!!

    I am forcing my son to get Fraggle Rock from netflix, seeing as my hubby and I loved it growing up. He's probably gonna hate it and look at us weird for years to come.

    Ahhhhh the joys of parent hood. heheheh

  3. Two words: Winnie Cooper.

    That was a great show. I'm surprised it's not on DVD.(I checked and you were right as usual too.)

    Brings back memories of enjoying my kid's shows more than they did.

    I was a big fan of The New Adventures of Beans Baxter (very short run), Pete and Pete, Eerie Indiana, and Clarissa Explains It All.

    And of course, my "Wonder Years" was "Leave it to Beaver."

    So long ago... Jerry never aged that well did he? For that matter, neither did Melissa Joan Hart. Too much too soon? Ha.

  4. I'm back on the internets! I know, I know. I should have made sure your Depends were properly deployed before dropping a bombshell like that.

    melodyann -- Ha! Good one. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    Burf -- He'll probably be looking at you weird anyway, so you might as well get some Fraggle Rock out of the deal. Frock on. Did they ever say that? They should have.

    Buster -- Finally, we're getting some fact checking around here. I'm looking forward to kids so I'll have an excuse to play with Legos and Transformers again. That's good you can enjoy their shows. My college roommate used to get drunk by himself and watch 1-2-3 Contact. You ever try that?

  5. Kids? Fiendish move.

  6. Wonder years is on a channel called ION.. at least in LA. But I have the tivo set to record it each day, and it is on everyday around midnight. The tivo unit saves up to 5 at a time and then pushes them out. So I always have at least 5 wonderful wonder years to watch in the case i stay home sick from work, or can not fall asleep. I thought this was a great plan. But later realized that the tivo unit changes to this "ion" channel and stays on. So every day when the TV is turned on usually when Natalie and get home from work there is this crazy preacher woman who wears like a detective coat and has long curly hair, i think she is a doctor of some sort. Well she's always on the TV comanding and writing on the dry erase board and walking around like a tall bird preaching the lord. So that is the downfall. Kevin Arnold turns into Bird detective doc preacher lady. O and the other thing is sometimes they cut to the audience and it looks like they are in a cave from the dark crystal. I like the "kid" wonder years WAY better than the post middle school ones. Kevin is sort of gross and too big in the newer ones. Do you remember that one scene... this is very obscure and rare so probably not. But Winnie is putting on her cleats for field hockey and Kevin's narator voice comes in and he's looking at her legs... the voice sort of grunts and makes some sexual noises like he wants to bite or eat her legs... i think he even says I wanna bite your leg. If you remember that one... well that is one of the reasons the show was so good. Can a comment be this long.. ?