Monthly Archives: July 2012

The End of an Era and the Tooth Fairy

I’m concerned that we’re running out of cool things that we can lie to our kids about.  There used to be all kinds of things we could lie to our kids about.

For example:

“The stork delivered you… in a sheet… that he carries in his mouth.”

“Daddy and Mommy were just wrestling… on the bed… naked.”  Just kidding, I’ve thankfully never had to pull that from the repertoire.

And of course the MOTHER OF ALL LIES…

“Santa Claus brought you all that stuff… in a giant sack… that he carries in a sleigh… with flying reindeer.”

This all came crashing down the other night when my son lost a tooth. Now, granted we had already put on the “life schedule” that this would be the year that we tell the 11 year old son that there really aren’t any fat people in red suits or giant rabbits or leprechauns or fairies or anything of the sort that break into your house and leave you stuff in the middle of the night. In fact, we wanted to be perfectly clear that any people coming into the house in the middle of the night, whether that be through a chimney or a broken window or a busted down door, were likely sordid characters that were much more apt to be taking stuff from the house rather than leaving anything of value.

So our son loses a tooth on Friday evening… and Kim and I are lying in bed and she is doing the usual routine of cutting out a tooth shape from a sheet of paper, signing it in the tooth fairy handwriting (which I have to say looks very similar to the Santa Claus handwriting) and putting it and a couple bucks into a plastic baggie.

ME: And why are we still doing this?

HER: I’ll talk to him this weekend.

I have to say, Mom’s rule the roost when it comes to stuff like this, at least in my family, although I suspect it’s that way in most families. Sometimes I wonder, if I had been a single Dad would my kids have had all the experiences with holidays and birthdays and special events that they’ve had with Mom around doing the vast majority of the work. Or would I have said “look son, I know you’re only three years old, but this whole Santa Claus thing… it’s a ruse, how about you go out and get a job to help pay for all this stuff.”  I guess I probably would have stepped up but it likely wouldn’t have been quite as magical!

Saturday morning arrives and son is a couple bucks richer. Mom pulls him aside… it went something like this.

MOM: Can I talk to you about something?

SON: (probably thinking he’s in trouble): Sure?

MOM: Do you know who the tooth fairy is?

SON: You?

MOM: Yes, do you know who else I am?

SON: Santa Claus… and the Easter Bunny… and the Leprechauns… and…

And that was it. No shock and awe. No tears. No traumatic lifelong psychiatric issues. How long had he really known? When our daughter was told a few years ago at about the same age, there was lots of crying involved… even though, you know what? At a certain age, they know. In the backs of their incredibly intelligent little minds, they know… or at least they suspect. They’re just not ready to doubt anything their parents say… and in the long run, that’s a good trait to have.

As emotional as it can be for parents to move beyond those precious years of childhood innocence, I have to say, we’re ready to take the next step. Actually we’ve already taken the next step… we’re there. Sometimes it feels like taking a step off a cliff, but that’s what a family is all about, finding our way through life’s challenges as a team. I love where my kids are right now, they’re so talented and interesting and independent and funny as they dive deep into adolescence and teenager-hood.  Our daughter will be starting High School in the Fall, our son will be starting Middle School. It’s a big transition year and I am completely confident in their continued ability to stand out and shine.

So, now we’re running out of cool things to lie to our kids about.

My daughter will be learning to drive sometime during the next year or so…

… perhaps I can lie to her about that.

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Hobo’s Lullaby

Just doin’ a little croonin’…

These days I don’t seem to pick up the guitar as much as I used to.

I used to like this song a lot, hadn’t heard it in years and tripped over it today on youtube. It was written by a guy names Goebel Reeves, but the most well known version is probably the very somber Arlo  Guthrie rendition off of his album of the same name.  I like the dark, graininess of the video too… fits the song well. Its a simple three chord song and when you have my limited skills, those are the best kind!

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What books are you reading?

Men across the globe are praising the Fifty Shades of Grey series of books for the increase in their sex lives the books have provided as these sensual stories have been devoured by female readers.  If you are not familiar with the Fifty Shades of Grey books, well, apparently the two main characters have sex… ALL. THE. TIME! In any case, nothing like a little literary fantasy to get people revved up.

In the past, other series of books haven’t worked out so well…

Prior to the Fifty shades of Grey series, the Hunger Games books were topping the charts. Now granted, I read the first one and I thought it was a very good book. But in all honesty, horrible, desolute poverty and kids killing each other just doesn’t put people in the mood. I mean, the average guy could spend hours out in the woods collecting and preparing stuff for a romantic dinner of stale bread, roots dug out of the ground, nuts and berries, mice and squirrel meat and porridge, his hands dirty and bloody from digging in the soil and tearing meat from bone… only to have his wife crush all his dreams when she walks in the door with a pizza and six cartons of Chinese food. It would be enough to want to fire an arrow through her heart. Not very romantic.

Before the Hunger Games, most women were, of course reading the Twilight series of books and men were thinking, “this is it, a sexy vampire story, I am so in, I just need to spend a lot of time down in my basement so I can get that pale white skin!” Plus, the average, grunt-speaking man had to learn to talk in short, breathy sentences while staring off into space and saying things like “you are utterly indecent — no one should look so tempting, it’s not fair” and “yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin.”  Of course, if a guy was able to master those things, he had to attempt to move through rooms at light speed while shirtless and wearing tight pants.  This of course came with the high risk of knocking himself out while tripping over the unused exercise machine and flying head first into her nightstand.

Then, who can forget the Harry Potter years, when women wrapped their vivid imaginations around wizards and magic. It seemed like those years went on forever, but most men thought, “what could be sexier than a guy in a wizard costume with a pointy hat?” Sales of those little circular glasses went through the roof and men interacted with their wives by saying things like “woulducus likto havicus sexicus” and “engorgio erecto, can you takus carathis” while simultaneously opening up the black cloak that they were wearing as a bathrobe.  Apparently women didn’t find any of this arousing in the least.

So, now that the Fifty Shades of Grey books will slowly fade from the best seller list, men around the globe are concerned about what books will become the next craze. As most men don’t follow the best seller list and/or know what’s popular maybe you female readers can help us figure out what we can look forward to next!

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A Cease and Desist Letter to McDonald’s from my Attorneys

July 11, 2012

Ronald McDonald
McDonald’s Corporation
2111 McDonald’s Dr
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Dear Mr. McDonald:

It has come to our attention (The Attention) that you have been marketing (The Marketing) your McDonald’s franchises (The Franchises) as a source of healthy food (The Food), via a television commercial, using a likeness (The Likeness) of a goat named Heath (The Goat) that is owned by our client, Mr. Steve Warner (The Client), who is the author (The Author) of a blog entitled The Brown Road Chronicles (The Blog).

Our client, “The Client”, owns the Copyright, Trademark, Registration, Licenses and Rights to any and all usages of “The Likeness” of “The Goat” in any forms of media, including television, radio, internet websites, cereal boxes, Twinkie advertisements, etc. As permission was neither asked for nor granted to use “The Likeness” of “The Goat” we declare that your using “The Likeness” of “The Goat” constitutes infringement of the rights of “The Client” and “The Goat”.

“The Client” finds this infringement a despicable violation of the key principles of Copyright, Trademark, Registration, Licenses and Rights and as evidence of the infringement of  the rights of “The Client” we are providing as part of this letter, the following photographic documentation:

Exhibit A: Showing clearly and unquestionably the resemblance between “The Goat” owned by “The Client” and “The Other Goat” used in the McDonald’s commercials.

In terms of the Copyright, Trademark, Registration, Licenses and Rights Statutes, “The Client” is entitled to an injunction against your continued infringement, as well as to recover damages from you for the loss “The Client” has suffered as a result of your infringing conduct.

In the circumstances, we demand that you immediately:

1. remove all infringing content from your TV commercials and notify us in writing that you have done so;
2. pay a licensing fee in the amount of $5,000. (Five Thousand Dollars);
3. immediately cease the use of “The Clients” copyrighted images;
4. undertake in writing to desist from using any of “The Client’s” copyrighted images in the future without prior written authority from “The Client”;
5. immediately begin supplying “The Client” with one year’s worth of free French Fries and Big Macs as well as supplying “The Goat” with one year’s worth of free Twinkies.

We trust that you will regard this letter with all due seriousness and respond accordingly. We await to hear from you by no later than the 1st of August Two Thousand and Twelve.

This is written without prejudice to our rights, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.

Yours faithfully,

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