Wednesday, January 27, 2010


“Daddy, I want a different glass of milk, this one taste funny, I think it’s fresh.” I roll my eyes; knowing all too well that further questioning would be futile, for once Lucy deemed something “fresh,” it was otherwise undrinkable. With her arms folded squarely across her chest and her nose pointed up at the poorly hung chandelier illuminating our dining room table, she pleads for a new glass, an “ice-cold” glass.

I’m not exactly sure how or why this started, but for some reason Lucy has classified all beverages into two categories. They are either considered “fresh,” which could mean any one of the following: Warm, smells funny, tastes funny, looks funny, thick or orange. Everything else is considered “ice-cold.” To make matters even more confusing ice cubes do not turn “fresh” drinks into “ice-cold” drinks, but sometimes switching cups can. It is also interesting to point out that if you were to… let’s say take a drink out of Lucy’s cup that was filled with “ice-cold” chocolate milk, it would instantly become “fresh,” unless you give her a straw. A straw has the uncanny ability to turn “fresh” into “ice-cold,” but this trick only works on milk, shakes and smoothies… that is, until today.

“Its not helping dad, it’s still fresh.”
“But I gave you a straw.”
“I know, but it’s not working. The milk taste strange… or wetter. I don’t like it.” The truth is, I know exactly what she’s talking about and I couldn’t have put it better myself, the “wetter” part anyway. Let me explain….

We spend, on average $87.69 a month on milk. Milk? Yes, milk. That is more than our electricity, cable, water and phone services. That’s right my friends, our average monthly “milk bill” is second only to rent. Seems crazy right? Why so much? Are we drinking the milk of new born unicorns? Have we stumbled upon a magical creature whose lactatious secretions can cure 12 kinds of cancer, make your breath smell like purple sunbeams, turn flatulence into Burt Bacharach melodies and last but not least, allows us to speak telepathically to the late great Bea Arthur during the first full moon of each month? Thank you, thank you for being a friend. The answer is yes…kinda.

You see in this household we drink… cow milk. I know, big deal, so what, we all drink “cow” milk. Oh, no-no-no, wait-wait-wait, this milk doesn’t come from one of those stupid lazy cows you see in pictures or movies who just stand by a fence deciding which stomach their gonna ploop their current mouthful of grassy wet cud into. No sir, we get our milk from “organic” farmed cows… they come from heaven. And at $5.99 a gallon that’s what I have to convince myself every time I buy some.

I’ll admit I do spend a suspicious amount of time at the grocery store checking out the $2.99 stuff I drank when I was a kid, I’m not gonna lie, we had some good times. But I’m always snapped back to reality the moment someone grabs a jug and puts it into their cart, I wanna yell, “Hey, you with the mortal’s milk. Do you even know who milked the lazy cow responsible for producing that creamy white mess you allow your children to pour over their Fruit Loops? Do yuh? No?! Well, it was a person, or a machine or something. You don’t know, you don’t know nothin’.” This outburst would no doubt alert the manager to the crazy man berating innocent bystanders in the dairy aisle, and within seconds I’ll be schlepped out the doors by my collar screaming “Free Attica!” Then I’d laugh all the way home knowing that the organic milk my daughters will be enjoying for dinner was righteously squeezed by the tiny yet aggressive hands of Zeus himself. Now that’s quality you can’t put a price on. Cool, yummy, rich, delicious organic milk, “The bovine nectar of Gods.”

So for three and a half years, I was fine letting my daughters drink this outrageously expensive elixir that my wife has claimed, “Prevents the early onslaught of an un-natural puberty (I’m paraphrasing).” Apparently, a few years ago she heard that somewhere in Europe, a 5-year-old girl started to “mature” at a rate that is usually reserved for the teen years. Anyway, after hundreds of tests (at least that is what I’m assuming), Someone decided this problem was caused by the extra hormones that are placed into non-organic milk and not the nuclear power plant she lived next door to (Okay, I made that last part about the nuclear power plant up. But really, Milk? I can’t imagine all the possibilities that were eliminated before someone said, “Well it’s not the ozone or high electromagnetic fields, let’s try milk. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll try Skittles.” I’m just sayin’… it seems like a stretch). Thus, our organic milk experiment began, although not without trepidation. Sooner or later I think we both knew (I’m frugal), the numbers were gonna get to me…

$5.99 per gl. x 3 per wk = $17.97 x 4(weeks a month) = $71.88 x 12(months a year) = $862.56 annually, for milk! (Tax not included)… which brings us to today and Lucy’s glass of “fresh--wetter” milk.

I’ve been watering it down, hard, and I make no apologies. Folks, we are living in turbulent times, you don’t need me to tell you that. The economy is in the tank and I’m unemployed. I’m doing something good, something commendable; I’m stretching the almighty dollar. So what? So, maybe Lucy has to drink a few glasses of “Organic Lite” for a couple of years. Just imagine all the money we’ll be saving. If I can eliminate just one gallon a week that’s an annual savings of $287.52! With that amount of money, I could buy this household something it really needs, Scotch. A nice hand crafted, single malt bottle of “ice-cold” Scotch.

*I did absolutely no research whatsoever on the benefits or hazards of drinking “organic” milk. I have however done some personal research on the benefits of a good Scotch and I think it could be worth the investment. I’m also gonna catch hell from my wife.

As always, you can also find me at

Thursday, January 21, 2010

UPDATE: 2010

Hey Everyone-

We're sick! We're not dead (stupid wikipedia). Between dodging speeding phlegm-bits and uncrusting snot covered nostrils, I've been working hard to get LBN crusin' into the new year, unfortunately a run of sleepless nights and the emergence of a new tooth have definitely slowed the creative process a tad. However, I'm hopeful that LBN will have a new post before Monday, if not sooner.

Anyway, I really wanted to thank all of you for continuing to follow and spread the LBN word for the last 6 months. The more fans/readers LBN has, the better our odds are at getting noticed by someone who wants to turn this into a book, column, reality TV show, made for TV movie, comic, calendar, animated Pixar film, video game or snack cake. So please continue to do whatever it is you're doing that has us closing in on 10,000 hits, 400 fans and a ton of positive feedback. I'm optimistic that one of the many literary agents who have been bombarded by my poorly written submission letters will eventually write back and say that my dream of turning this into any sort of income, book or other are completely absurd and it will never-ever happen. At least that way, I'll know that they read it. Thanks and see you soon.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Too Many

It’s hard for me to pin-point exactly where it all went wrong. But if I were to take an educated guess, my money would be on the moment Cathy said her company Christmas party was an “open bar.” Fourteen hours later I find myself cradling the toilet and looking up at a very curious three-year-old.

“Daddy, you don’t look so good.” Her shrill voice pierces my brain and sends my eyeballs into my socks. I do all I can to create some semblance of a smile, but I’m afraid that if I open my mouth to far, a bourbon laced demon will fly out and cover the floor. A second later Lu is joined by her little sister, whose loaded diaper nearly renders me unconscious, but I held it together. Even though the pungent odor was enough to burn the wings off baby angels and melt the tires of a speeding eighteen-wheeler, I refuse to throw-up. A sequence of deep controlled breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) and the calming thoughts of soft purple pandas feeding rainbows to Chuck Norris easily settles my stomach.

As I lay there drifting in and out of worlds James Cameron would be proud of, I find a bit of solace knowing its Saturday, or maybe it’s Friday? To be quite honest I’m not sure what day it is, but whatever the case, Cathy is home and she gently swoops in and shoos the girls away…

“Come on girls, let’s leave daddy alone, he’s not feeling well.”
“Why?” Lu curiously exclaims. As a parent I’m hoping the visual of my shaky, sweaty and unusually flammable skin turns this into a public service announcement of sorts. That’s right Lu, take it all in. Let the image of the pathetic man at the base of the toilet be a symbol of bad judgment for years to come.
“Well…,” an explanation was forthcoming and deservedly so, but how do you tell an impressionable little girl that your father drank like an immature sailor and acted like a woman who has just had her first dribble of alcohol since she stopped regularly breast feeding her newborn child?
“Daddy had one too many last night, and that’s why he doesn’t feel good.” Perfect. It says it all, without really saying anything.

Just as the girls begin to remove themselves from my presence, Cathy bends down and places a glass of water next to my head and whispers, “You just can’t hold your liquor like you used to. This is what happens when you get old.” Later that day when the carnage was over, Cathy informed me that not only had I drank my weight in wine, I somehow managed to smuggle a full glass of beer out of the bar, in the front pocket of my coat (Awesome). A feat she was both embarrassed and amazed at, when I suddenly revealed it and began to drink my frothy wonder in a cab, three miles from our house (Double Awesome). A full glass! In my coat pocket! She would then go on to give me a lecture that began and ended with, “I am much too old to be supplementing our ‘barware’ with stolen glasses from a place that claims to have the city’s oldest pickled egg” (Yeah, not so classy).

As the day continued to pass S-L-O-W-L-Y… by, I noticed two things. First, as bad as this hangover is, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like before the invention of porcelain toilets. Everything from their cool-to-the-touch neutral colored exteriors, to way it perfectly anchors a slumbering body over its oversized waste hole, they’re basically begging to be caressed by the inebriated. They’re really a feat of modern ingenuity. The second thing I noticed was a strange array of methodically placed items that began showing up between my “naps.”

At first I thought nothing of the tiny Lego castle that appeared on the top of the toilet, but soon other odd tidbits began to appear: a small blanket, a stuffed frog, a bowl of Cheerios and a tiara. Although I have yet to see an actual being anywhere near my throne, I had the feeling I was being watched. Perhaps it was my guardian angel, a tiny cherub of hope or the ghost of hangovers past, and then it happened, I died. Well at least I thought I did. I felt a glow and a warmth come over me. Honestly, I didn’t think I drank that much, but whatever. I could see the light! It was bright, unusually bright. In fact, it was way-way brighter than I ever thought it’d be. However, rather than running toward, or giving in to this “light” that so many people have found comfort in, I find myself cringing and my ultrasensitive eyelids burning. Maybe this was the wrong light, wait, where exactly am I going?

I slowly open my eyes to discover I haven’t exactly left this world, not even close. My assumption that I was riding my very own light-highway to Cloud City was nothing more than Lucy shining an impossibly bright Maglite directly into my peeps, and it was making me sick.

“Daddy,” she said with a whisper, “How are you feeling?”
“Where’s your Ma and Ruby?” I said holding up a hand to block the light.
“Changing the laundry, Rubers is sleeping. I’ll take care of you.” She was sweet, but behind those usually sympathetic eyes of hers, a storm was brewing. It was as if someone had given her (maybe as a joke, revenge or moral lesson, CATHY!) a very specific list of things to say that would ensure that this very hangover would end in a spectacularly gross and somewhat cataclysmic finale. She wasted no time and got right down to business.

“Daddy would you like to eat some scrambled eggs?” The thought of eggs made my stomach jump.
“No thank you….”
“How about some chili, that will make your belly feel better?” My stomach flops again. Why is she asking if I want to eat, I can barely pick my head up. And furthermore, when has chili ever been a cure for anything?
“You know sometimes when I have a belly ache I like a glass of creamy milk.” Ding-Ding-Ding, we have a winner! The thought of “creamy milk” was all it took, ‘cause I absolutely lost it. It was as if my stomach had a date with the floor, because it felt like it was trying to physically leave my body. I couldn’t control it. There were no brief pauses in which to catch my breath, just a disgusting non-stop flood of holiday cheer. I began to hear a babies crying, airplanes crashing and monks praying. Convoluted images like Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” video, Olli North and Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkoph baking tarts, and a Rubik’s Cube solving itself all manically flashed before my eyes. Then nothing… silence.

The moral of the story is this: There may be times when your better judgment or common sense slips. There may even be a time when you feel the need to slip a full glass of beer into your coat pocket. But I have learned that it is almost impossible to slip anything pass a three-year-old.

One week later….
“Lucy, you need to finish your peas.” Lucy pushes the bowl aside, puts her hands on her stomach and says, “No thank you. My belly is full, and if I eat any more then that will be “one bite too many,” and I remember what happens after that, and I don’t wanna sleep in the bathroom.”