Pirate Trouble

You guys are in for a treat. For this entry, I’m handing off the blog to a very special guest author who happens to be my 10-year-old son, Simon. His writing is exemplary. It’s…real. It’s natural. It’s conversational. Did I mention he’s ten? Yeah, I know I’m a beaming, proud father, but don’t take my word for it: Simon received an A+ for this story. AN A+!! I limped across the finish line with a “C” in my collegiate creative writing class, so maybe it’s a bigger deal to me than it should be. No matter. That’s my kid. He’s got talent.

Without further ado, please enjoy “Pirate Trouble” by Simon Watson

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Original cover art by Simon Watson (marker on construction paper)

Boom! Splash! A cannonball shot at the ship I was being held captive on. Thankfully, it missed. This is that story.

I wake up sweating in my bed. I hear footsteps.I look at my clock. It is one in the morning. I look at the top bunk.

Kara, my sister, is there in a deep, deep slumber. I walk out to see what made the steps. I step into the living room only to see two bodies laying there. I look closer to see who they are.

Mom and dad. Both with deep cuts on their foreheads.

I ran back to my room and shook Kara so hard she almost fell out of her bed. She woke up both yawning and stretching.

“Hey!” She yelled. I answered with “Shhhh! Mom and dad are…”

“Mom and dad are what?”

“Dead.”

She looked at me with a “I think you’re lying” look.

“Come with me,” I said.

We stepped into the living room, and she gasped. She burst out crying. Tears running down her cheeks like rivers. She put her face into my chest and started sobbing even more.

All of a sudden, a voice came from the front door.

“I’ve got you now! The name’s Blackbeard and you kiddies are comin’ with me!”

Fear was frozen on Kara’s face. Suddenly he grabbed both of us by the arm.

“Ow!” I said. Blackbeard had a strong grip. “Let go!” I said, then kicked him right in the stomach. He stumbled back. And just when I thought things were going good, he tightened his grip on me, let Kara go, swung his fist, and knocked me out.

He must have done the same thing to Kara (I woke up to her yelling and screaming for help.)I had a burlap sack over my head. My hands tied behind my back with rope. Through the tiny holes in the sack I could see Kara. She was tied up the same way I was.Burlap sack on the head, hands tied behind the back with rope.

I looked out the holes again. The sun was out. Had I really been out for that long? Then someone came over an ripped the sack off my head. The sun burned my eyes. I closed them and put them into my legs. Then the same person untied my hands. I put my hands over my eyes. I could finally squint. After about a minute I could open my eyes fully.

I looked up and saw Kara. She was already standing up.

She walked over to me and gave me a big big BIG BIG hug.

“Lets. Jump.” She said under her breath.

“What?!” I said in a medium voice. “Okay, fine.”

“Ready? On three. One. Two. Three. GO!”

We ran and ran but then…we were lifted into the air.

“What the..?” We looked back.

Of course it was Blackbeard, holding us up by the backs of our shirts.

All of a sudden, someone yelled “NAVAL SHIP! RAM THEM!”

The ship jerked to the right. I fell to the ground. The naval ship must have seen us, because they started firing.

Boom! Splash! A cannonball shot at the ship I was held captive on. Thankfully, it missed. A couple of inches lower and my head would have been ripped off.

The next two missed, and the next one hit. And that’s when I said “JUMP!”

We ran and jumped off the side. We decided to get out of the way of the cross-fire so we didn’t get hit. We swam to the front of the naval ship and they dropped down a ladder. We climbed up and the ship sailed away from the pirates.

They dropped us off at an orphanage. A month alter we were surprised when someone came and got us. We now had parents They had a dog and a cat. It’s going out well.

Here Simon’s teacher makes the following note: “I’d end the story here”. Like he’s some sort of stinkin’ editor. THIS IS MY BOY’S ART! HOW DARE YOU! HOW…sorry. Maybe the teacher is right. Nevertheless, here’s the epilogue…

And then I joined the army. My arm was blown off by a grenade. Luckily, I knew someone. A surgical doctor. Dr. Kara. She fixed me up, and later I got married and had two children. One boy and one girl. Josh and Lilly. From there on I had a good life.

Mr. Watson

So I’ve noticed something, and don’t know whether it should concern me or if I’m just being an old stick-in-the-mud.  Help me out here, people.  I’ve seen this little meme or photo macro or whatever you want to call it floating around lately, and the basic gist is “I fear for a world run by kids that received trophies just for participating and have never been spanked.”  True enough.  Good point, nameless internet person. Wisdom.  But then I also think that our parents said essentially the same thing about us, and for God’s sake, how many of our moms and dads got kicked out of the house during the 60’s and 70’s for smoking pot, listening to “that rock-n-roll trash” or smoking (GASP!) weed?!?  No, I think the future will be just fine.  It’s evolution.  It’s the job of the younger generation to question the older, and also hold it responsible for its actions, its wars, its recessions, etc.  Ain’t always gonna see eye-to-eye.  It’s natural.  It’s good.  It’s right.

“No, dad. I said FUCK SOCKS!! Go ahead and kick me out. YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT, MAN!”

However…

Something that I’ve picked up on recently makes me wonder if there isn’t a seismic shift underway in our society.  I’m not saying it’s good or bad: I’m just saying the world is going to be very different in a generation, and it has nothing to do with technological advances or the divorce rate or gay marriage. No, it’s the overall familiarity that has permeated everything.  EVERYTHING.  It’s a casual society now.  When the President of the United States of America shows up in a suit with NO TIE and possibly smoking a cigarette, you know something’s up.  Sports bars are on every corner, and yet the martini bar is an endangered species.  (True, shows like Mad Men have brought them back from the brink a little bit, but it’s a losing game.)  And while familiarity is all well and good, it seems like there’s a wholesale lack of respect getting ready to run away and make things…messy.  As an example, I have never once been called “Mister Watson” by any of my kids’ friends.  Not once.  I have been called “Mister Turner” by some, and I guess that’s better than nothing.  And I’ve seen this in other kids, not just the ones my boys run with.  The ONLY people that get the old-school treatment are schoolteachers, and even that is fading.  My kids have referred to their pre-school teachers in the past as “Miss Kay, Miss Jill” et. al.  I seriously don’t remember some of the kids’ teachers last names because, well…I never heard them.

Pictured: Miss Kim gets tired of dicking around and does this shit herself.

When I was a kid, it was always “Mrs. Gillenwater” or “Mr. Crabtree.”  I never even knew Mr. Crabtree’s first name.  He was this older, towering, greying person who called my friend Chris in for dinner.  I didn’t NEED to be on a first-name basis with him, and frankly preferred it that way.  It would never have occurred to me to show up at the Crabtree home, knock on the door, and when the father answered say “Hey, Doug!  Is Chris home?”  That’s some Eddie Haskell shit, and it just…we just didn’t do that.

Yo, Ward! You gonna pass that dutch?

Maybe I’m just too old-fashioned, but it seems like putting the kids on a  first-name basis with the adults makes them feel a bit, um…entitled.  And don’t get me started on how kids today wouldn’t even think about using “Yes, sir” or “No, ma’am.”  It’s just language that’s fading from our culture.  What does it mean for the future?  I don’t know.  It’s happening in the workplace right now.  We refer to our General Manager at work as “Jim.”  Heck, the old C.O.O. was simply “Tony.”  In the old days the most powerful man in the company would’ve been “Mr. Richards.”  Is this better or worse?  Seriously, I don’t know.  I tend to be very old-fashioned in most respects (many of you have seen how I dress from time-to-time) but maybe this is the way the Little Guy feels like he’s on the same level with the Big Guy, even if he isn’t.  Is that so bad?  I’m a Little Guy, so I can’t really say.

I guess time will tell.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Comment below, sir or ma’am!

“I Pranked Him to Death!”

Hey, kids!  Lots of news on the ol’ T-Dub front these days.  I’ll blog about it all later this week.  In the meantime, just a couple of fun tricks to try to further the cause of chaos.  Boy, do I love chaos.  Heck, I even love iheartchaos.com!  Anyway, the first of these occurred to me whilst wading through the human refuse that is Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Enjoy responsibly…

 

Please, good sir...throw us a crust...a chicken wing...ANYTHING!! It's been...it's been WEEKS!!

 

Okay, so there’s this ride at the Rat Haus wherein the kid sits in a little car with a fiberglass replica of Chuck.  The car goes forward and back for a few minutes then PRESTO!  A blurry black and white picture of your confused toddler and Chuck pops out, making it look the two are off to get Marcellus’s briefcase back.  (Shoulda brought shotguns.) Well, more often than not, the li’l tyke runs off to jam some more tokens into another game or ride, leaving the picture to sit there in the hopper.  Not like you don’t already have thirty of ’em on your fridge, right?  Shit, kid…mommy and daddy know what you look like already!  What to do with all those discarded images?  Simple!  Scoop ’em up.  Take ’em home.  Enlarge them, print them out, and hang ’em up all over town as “CHILD MISSING” posters.  Boy, mom & dad are gonna be in for a surprise when the local news comes a-callin’!

 

Then again, promotional opportunities GALORE!

 

Perhaps you’re skipping Chuck’s for today.  Good call.  Head on down to the Super China Buffet III.  But make sure you take some pre-printed fortune cookie fortunes.  I like to use phrases like “HaHa!  Stupid round-eye!  That no crab Rangoon!” Or perhaps a venomous “REMEMBER LAOS!!  Die, Yankee!”  Or my personal fave, best as a hand-written note: “I peed in your rice!”  Then simply walk briskly and angrily to the front desk and present these “fortunes” to the confused manager.  Your meal is free!

 

Unless this guy is the kitchen manager. Then run. Run your ASS off.

 

This final one is a little tricky, but also simpler. It’s tough o carry out nowadays because big giant stores like Wal Mart tend to have their PA systems under closer scrutiny thanks to idiots like myself.  But if you DO happen to find an unattended store paging phone (some budget stores just have a keyable CB handset) grab it and tip off a quick all-store page for “Cleanup, STAT!  Feminine hygiene! Bring a mop, some absorbent towels, and a bucket of sawdust!”  Watch ’em scurry.

 

Subtlety? Look elsewhere.

 

I’ll talk to you later this week.  It’ll be a good ‘un.  Until then…

Random Pancake Tampons!!

Okay, full disclosure: there are no pancakes OR tampons in this week’s missive.  Sorry for misleading you.  I just thought of the word “random” and then the first two words into my head were pancakes and tampons, so there you go.  Speaks volumes about the state of my mental well-being, eh what?  Forgive me, it’s been a strange week.  I flew a plane, for God’s sake.  Seriously.  They let me have the controls of an actual goddam airplane, and I lived to tell the tale.  See, the lesson was only one dollar…but the landing cost me a hundred-forty-nine bucks!  ZING! (That’s a pilot’s-license-instructor joke.  It absolutely has ’em in stitches at the airport.)  And you know what I learned about flying an airplane (other than it’s fuggin’ AWESOME?) It is EXACTLY like every video game you’ve ever played.  Only, you know, more terrifying when you stall.  Fact.

Oh! Okay, yeah...up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, THEN B-A-Start. Got it.

Anyway, there’s no point to the blog this week.  I just wanted to point out that this place is now conveniently called turnerwatson.com!  How ’bout that!  SOOOO much easier to ignore! Notice that I’ve changed the look a bit, too.  Yeah, that’s me.  Keepin’ it fresh and real like a goddam Wendy’s!  YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S REAL, BITCH!!

One of the other things I did this week was pay one more visit to the Ft. Wayne’s Children’s Zoo.  For the uninitiated, that’s an actual zoo full of animals, NOT a collection of ragamuffins and street urchins.  If that were the case, no one would go to the Africa exhibit because it would be sad and depressing and full of flies.  And the England exhibit would have loveable scamps playing footy and picking pockets while shouting “‘Ello, guv’nah!”  The fish & chips would be bomb-diggity though, yo.

D'awwwww!

Anyway, one of the rides there at the Ft. Wayne’s Children’s Zoo and Orphanage is the Australian Outback River Ride.  Basically, the zoo got a deal on some old Cedar Point log flume ride parts and threw together a meandering little teenage make-out session on water.  It’s kinda cool, and you get to see Black Swans and they always remind me of cheap-but-tasty Australian wine. As the family (the wife, two kids, and myself) wrapped up the ride and got ready to disembark, I had a brilliant idea that would be sure to liven the day of the poor minimum-wage kids running the damn log ride day after day.  I tell you this now at the end of the season so that maybe they’ll forget about it by springtime (as if anyone read this blog anyway, amirite?)

I’m going to need an accomplice, but here’s the plan.  I’m going to get into one of the old Abandoned Saw Mill Mining Town Log Ride Boats (formerly the Australian Outback River Ride) and about halfway through, once out of sight, I’m going to bail out.  Yep.  Leave the goddam path, so to speak and find out if Nedry turned off power in the ‘Raptor paddock.  This is where the accomplice comes in.  He/she will have been in the boat one or two spaces behind me, and I’ll hop in THIS person’s boat.  “That’s it?” you’re asking yourself.  “Big friggin’ deal!  Gosh, I thought there was more to this.”

You also wish there were more to this, don't you? Me, too.

Ah, but here it is!  The reason I need another boat is because I would have left the following items in my original ride:  One (1) mangled athletic shoe, four (4) children’s teeth (My oldest son is losing his baby teeth.  We don’t just throw those away once the tooth fairy comes, do we?) one (1) hunting knife, and five (5) clumps of animal hair (likely from my fat-ass cat, Keyser.) All of these items will be covered in copious amounts of fake blood, or deer blood if one of my huntin’ buddies bags and guts a deer.  I actually just realized that I’ll need a second accomplice to videotape the reactions of the zoo employees, as that’s the whole point: to scare the living shit out of some poor pimply-faced kid who sees a vacant log boat filed with blood, carnage, and signs of struggle wash up on his landing. God, that’d be priceless. “OMIGOD!!  A WALLABY MUST’VE GOT LOOSE AND TOTALLY NOMMED ONE OF THE VISITORS!!!”  Fuckin’ wallabies, man.  They’ll fuckin’ GET ya.

Swear to God, this already existed on the internet. It just happened to be perfect.

Of course, if someone executes this plan before I get a chance, well…as an agent of chaos, I’ll sit back and smile quietly.  Perhaps I’ll even clap, slowly.

And wonder why I never get any work done.

Ah, These Kids Today…Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

So, yeah.  I have a couple of boys.  Simon is six, Rhys is almost three.  Good kids.  Spoiled rotten, but hey, that’s the fault of me and the missus.  Do I want to beat ’em sometimes?  Sure.  People without kids always say “That’s HORRIBLE!!  How can you even JOKE about abusing your kids?  They’re all God’s little angels!”  People that have kids know better.  Oh, do we ever.

 

The face of evil.

 

My kids are what we in the parenting industry like to call “all boy.”  Dirt, guns, fights, hockey, farts, couch-cushion forts…the whole nine.  Initially, I wanted a boy AND a girl. My sperm refused me, and now I have two li’l Terminators.  I have friends with daughters that have mentioned to me that they love their little princesses but intend to suture up their lady parts until well after the girls’ twentieth birthday.  I then remind them that without access to the vagina, kids will find all sorts of interesting places to put penises.  This usually results in my friend taking a swing at me.  The truth hurts.  Usually me.

Sorry! I meant your OTHER daughter!

My kids will make it to teenagerhood, provided the “tooth fairy” doesn’t put too much Benadryl in their juice (go the fuck to SLEEP already!!) and cause them to lapse into a coma or worse. I do not look forward to those years.  I do not look forward to those years because I have worked at a public pool.  We’d work the pool in the summer and then open the public ice rink in the fall.  I got to witness the teenage population up close, and it ain’t pretty.  Ever see the Harmony Korine/Larry Clark film “Kids” from 1995?  Might as well have been a documentary.  Kids fucking, kids doing drugs, kids stealing, kids beating someone with a skateboard, kids giving each other AIDS.  I saw just about all of that shit take place whilst working for the man to put a little change in my pocket.  Used condoms in the parking lot, empty bottles of whiskey and porn mags in the restrooms….legit, yo.  I mean, hell…that was the early 90’s.  I can only imagine kids today are already into gang-bangs and making their own snuff films. “Um…Timmy ran away, mom.  Yeah.  By the way, does dad have any of the following items: lye, a hacksaw, gloves, and a section of garden hose?  I’m asking for a friend.”

Best. Science project. Ever.

And the jailbait.  Don’t get me fucking started on the jailbait (and please, lord…don’t let me get caught fucking the jailbait.)  Swear to God, the other day I was shopping for Halloween costumes for my children.  At the same time and location, a mother (I guess?!?) had her two thirteen-ish looking daughters checking out SLUTTY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES.  Slutty Pirate, Slutty Cop, Slutty Schoolgirl (which is ironic, since these two WERE Slutty Schoolgirls) and so on.  The mom (?) asked one of the workers if they had any of these costumes in a thirteen-year-old size.  The woman told her that yes, in fact, they were in stock, but warned her that these slutty costumes RAN A LITTLE SMALL.  Yes, these whoreish costumes (complete with thigh-highs and extra slut sauce, whatever that is.  Okay, I made that part up, but still…) were made to fit PRE-TEEN GIRLS!!  What the fuck sort of parent lets their daughter go out in such an outfit? “Oh, I like your costume, dear!  What are you supposed to be…Rape Bait?” Or better: “Mom, does this skirt show too much underaged gash when I cross my legs?” HOLY SHITBALLS!!!

Dude...she's like twelve.

I actually have a solution to the pedophilia problem.  Seriously, this thought has crossed my mind.  Let’s pass some sort of legislation or maybe even just suggest strongly that Victoria’s Secret can no longer sell yoga pants with words like “Pink” or “Love” or “Cram Your Sausage Here” on the ass to anyone UNDER the age of eighteen.  Maybe even take it further and make it mandatory for college-aged sluts to wear these pants so that they can be more easily identified.  The chlamydia rates would drop sharply. 

DUDE! TWELVE!!

Yes, I know there are male sluts, an that’s a discussion for another time,  one probably involving Ed Hardy and tight Hollister shirts.  I might even get into another double-standard:  guys who mention how much they like that saucy little Sam on iCarly are branded as creepy pedophiles.  Thirty-eight-year-old women that get all self-lubricated at the sight of a seventeen-year-old Taylor Lautner are seen as women “in their prime” looking to get one last statutory rape in before menopause. Uh-huh. Fair and balanced.  That’s me.

Sexy as FUCK.

 Seeya at the mall, kids…

Ah, These Kids Today…Part One.

This past Labor Day I had the good fortune (and bad foresight) to take my kids to possibly the worst amusement park ever.  And by “amusement park” I mean Glenbrook Square Mall.  I don’t mean to malign the mall itself; in fact, it’s just dandy.  You can get Auntie Whatchamacallit Cinnamon Pretzels and pick up the latest My Chemical Romance t-shirt from Hot Topic!  But when there’s nothing else to do on a holiday, you gotta take the kids somewhere.  The Mall was somewhere.

Of course, being Labor Day, the giant carousel was not open for business.  Crap. Strike one.  That meant we had to settle for the escalator.  Good God almighty, we rode the escalator up and down about thirty times.  Then we got started on the coin-operated rides.  For fuck’s sake, has there ever been a bigger rip-off?  You might as well save all your quarters, go to Vegas, and put it all on red.  Win or lose, you’ll have a batter time than trying to figure which one of these contraptions is actually running.  Example:  The Bob the Builder Super Back-And-Forth Vibrating Backhoe!  On a good day this thing probably moves less than your mom’s old vibrator.  As it happened, this particular day there was more life in Dr. Hawking’s pecker.  Hey, Bob…got an idea.  Maybe you could “build” a goddam kids’ ride that works.  Perhaps one that doesn’t include a quarter slot that is perpetually jammed with quarters, dimes, two gummi bears, and what looks like a big scab with hair in it. Couldja do that for us Bob-o?  Fan-tastic!  The only good thing about this was watching the Amish kids try to figure it out.  No shit.  I guess they figure that riding a real backhoe is a sin against God, but a dopey plastic version would be just the thing to show their parents that Amish or no, we’re REBELLIOUS TEENS!

Or they could just watch this.

Instead, my two boys rode the little English Ice Cream Truck.  I know that this “ride” is of English origin not because it asked for “Tuppence a ride, guv’na!” but because (almost as good) it features a little pretend sales stand that offers “Ice Lollys.”  I’ll be GottDammed…ice lollys.  Sen-fucking-sational!  As a father, however, I must admit to a swelling of pride as I realized that my 6-year-old was enlisting the help of my 2-year-old to literally deal out of the truck, Cheech and Chong style.  And I’m pretty sure the younger of the two referred to his brother as “Big Worm.” (Wipes away a tear…)

They grow up so fast...sniff...

Had the mall been closed altogether on Labor Day, I would have had to resort to Plan-B: The Car Wash.  What the fuck is it about the goddam car wash?  For some kids it’s the most magical journey they will ever take. It’s as if they’re losing their virginity to a dozen slightly stoned Salma Hayeks while some other (preferably Asian) kid does their homework while The Clone Wars plays on the big screen.  Bliss.  However, for some children the car wash is a house of horrors.  For them it is the boat ride from the original Willy Wonka, if that boat ride of Willy’s actually took place aboard the Event Horizon and the Oompa Loompas were actually the creature from John Carpenter’s The Thing.

"The snozberries taste like YOUR SOUL!!!"

Perhaps the Amish kids should hit the car wash.  Belay that:  perhaps the Amish kids should be forcibly abducted, force-fed peyote buttons and extacy, and made to listen to Lords of Acid whilst taking a leisurely trip through the car wash.

On a backhoe.