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Terms of Germs

Posted on Sep 25, 2011 07:40:27 PM


Sponsored by: Unplanned Flavorings – These are the spices that are not part of any recipe that are added to foods when the foods are dropped, coughed on, sneezed on, or touched with dirty hands. They are something to worry about when mothers want to teach lessons in cleanliness, but they just become added flavors when mothers do not feel like preparing new meals or getting up again to wash utensils, toys or pacifiers for the 100th time.


The Terms of Germs

“Oh, my God, look at his hands!” Lanie said, glaring with disgust at her brother Henry as he grabbed his hamburger. I looked at Henry, who was sitting next to me, and noticed that his hands were covered in dirt.

“Henry, those hands are disgusting. Put that hamburger down right now. You can’t eat with those hands,” I said.

Henry dropped his hamburger on his plate and looked at his hands. He shrugged his shoulders, looked at me quizzically, and said “Why? What’s wrong with them?”

“Duh, Henry!” Lanie interjected. “Are you having an eye problem? Can you not see the mud all over your hands? I can’t believe you touched your food. Boys are so gross.”

“Thank you, Lanie, that’s enough, I don’t need help with Henry right now,” I said to Lanie. “Henry you need to go wash those hands. You can’t eat dinner like that.”

“Why? It’s just dirt, Mom. You tell me all the time that dirt can’t make me sick, just germs do.”

“Ah, yeah. You do say that all the time, Mom, Henry’s right,” Tucker added, defending his brother.

“Yes, but that just applies to you playing and getting dirty. It is not an excuse to come to the dinner table with hands that look like they have been in a mud fight.”

“Well. It wasn’t a mud fight, it was just football. Tucker and I were playing catch.”

“Tucker, are your hands clean?” I asked.

“Mom, I can take care of myself,” Tucker said.

“Well, Henry, you need to go and wash those hands.”

“Why?” Henry asked, looking down and inspecting the dirt on his hands with what seemed to be a fondness and admiration. “This is sport’s dirt, Mom. It’s fine.”

“Just go wash your hands please, Henry.” I said simply and quietly. I was glad that Henry wasn’t so uptight about dirt because Tucker seemed to be a bit of a germ-a-phobe, and he wouldn’t touch anything that hadn’t been sterilized.

Henry got down from the table and went into the bathroom. I had just started passing the ketchup, and making small talk at the table when Henry popped right back up in his seat. He had been gone for about thirty seconds.

“Henry,” I stated strongly, “you couldn’t possibly have washed your hands in that short amount of time.”

“It’s okay, Mom. I hand sanitized,” he replied confidently, and he showed me his hands.

“Henry, the dirt is still there. It’s just all smeared around, and now it’s on the front and backs of your hands. Hand sanitizer is just for killing germs. It doesn’t actually clean your hands. Don’t you know that?” I questioned, wondering if my continued comments about the dirt would start to make Henry paranoid.

“Mom, the dirt is fine, and now I’ve killed all the germs so it doesn’t matter. Can you pass the ketchup?” he said reaching for his hamburger again.

“Don’t touch that with those hands, mister. They are disgusting. You need to go back to that bathroom and really wash them. No hand sanitizer and make sure that you use soap,” I ordered.

“Fine, FINE! What’s the big deal,” he said with irritation. “It’s just dirt. You said germs just come from people coughing and picking their nose and stuff. This is clean dirt, Mom. No one even spit in it.”

“Mom, will you get him to stop. I can’t eat with him being so disgusting. I’m totally losing my appetite,” Lanie added.

“You’re disgusting, Lanie!” Henry shouted at her because now he was starting to feel embarrassed by all the attention.

“Just go wash your hands, Henry.”

“FINE!” and he stormed back to the bathroom. This time I could hear the water running, and I heard the bar of soap clunk back into the dish when Henry had finished using it. He returned to the table, and I almost wondered if he had washed his mouth with the soap too because his face looked awfully sour. I thought praising him might help, and then we could just move on.

“Great job Henry. They look nice and clean now. Thank you for washing your hands,” I said cheerfully with as much enthusiasm for hand washing that I could muster. Henry was still being stubborn about the whole thing.

“I don’t see the point of washing my hands, Mom. They’re just going to get all dirty with ketchup anyway. Can you help me with this?” he asked as he passed me his hamburger so that he could open the ketchup. I wasn’t ready for the pass, and his hamburger fell from his hands and onto the floor.

“Oh, great!” he said throwing his hands to the air. “See, Mom. My hamburger has dirt on it anyway.”

“Yeah,” Charlie added in his usual attempt to tease and undermine my lectures, “now his hamburger is all dirty, Mom. How is he supposed to eat it now? Henry, you’re going to have to go back to the bathroom and wash the dirt off your hamburger,” he laughed. Henry gave him a mean and confused look because I think he thought that he might really have to go and wash off the hamburger.

“Do I really have to wash that too,” he questioned, and his voice cracked as if he might cry. “Forget it, then. I’m not eating a soggy hamburger.”

“Five second rule!” I yelled absentmindedly. “It’s fine,” I said, trying to brush off the dirt and cat hair. I started blowing on the top of the bun in an attempt remove some of the dirt without mashing it into the soft texture of the bread. It looked fine, and I passed it back to Henry. “Here you go, honey. It’s fine,” I said as I smiled with complete satisfaction at how coolly I had handled this situation. Henry looked at me with complete horror and disgust.

“I am NOT eating that,” he stated, raising his eyebrows and shaking his head.

“Oh, Henry, stop complaining. It’s fine. Look,” I said showing him the cleanish-looking burger. “I got all of the dirt off, see?”

“Yeah, I wasn’t worried about the dirt, Mom! You just spit your germs all over my burger.”

“What?” I said, surprised and somewhat confused by his reaction. “You mean you will eat a burger with hands that look like you’ve been digging sewer trenches, but you won’t eat anything if I’ve put my mouth near it?”

“That’s where germs come from, Mom. I’m not touching that now,” he said. Charlie, Tucker, Lanie, and Tom all started giggling. Henry flashed them all a look of powerful anger, but I could see that he was about to cry, so I did what all mother’s do in moments like this. I made a sacrifice.

“I’m sorry, Henry. I shouldn’t have blown all over your food. I was just trying to help get the dirt off. Here,” I said passing him my own plate and taking his, “you can have my burger. I put ketchup on it already, but I haven’t touched it.” He sniffled and wiped his nose and eyes with his hands, of course, so that no one would know that he was crying.

“Eeeeiiieeewww, Mom, that’s gross. Are you really going to eat that?’ Lanie asked, convinced that this was some kind of trick, and I wasn’t actually going to consume Henry’s floor-spiced burger.

“Of, course she’s going to eat it. Five second rule, right, Mom?” Charlie taunted.

“Ellie, just give that to the dog. I made extra burgers,” Tom said, trying to be supportive, but I felt like he was undermining my point with his suggestion that I shouldn’t eat it.

“There is nothing wrong with this burger,” I stated again, removing the top bun and squeezing ketchup on it.

“Well, I’m not eating it,” Henry said as he quickly grabbed what had previously been my hamburger and took a great big bite. “Thungks, Mumph,” he said talking with his mouth full, as ketchup squirted out the sides of his mouth.

“You’re welcome, Henry, “ I said, as I picked up the other burger. Everyone watched and giggled as I took a big bite. It was a little crunchy, but I just smiled as if it was the best meal ever. I couldn’t always count on my ability to execute a lesson to my children, but I was very confident about my ability as an actress and a martyr. No one would ever suspect that I was becoming more nauseous with each bite.

“Wow! You’re brave, Mom, ’cause I sneezed on that before you came to the table. I’m glad you’re not worried about my germs.”

“It’s fine, Henry. Don’t worry about it.”

“Okay. I probably didn’t have any germs in my sneeze today anyway.”

“Just eat, Henry.” I said, a little exasperated. I had really lost my appetite, but I finished my hamburger and continued to smile.

Elsie had finished her finger food, and she was starting to fuss and squirm a little. We weren’t quite done with dinner, and I liked Elsie to stay at the table with all of us when we were eating. I got up and quickly grabbed her pacifier, hoping to distract her with it long enough for us to finish. She promptly took it from me and threw it. Peeve, who was use to Elsie throwing food, quickly retrieved the pacifier, and then spit it out, realizing it was not the tasty treat he was hoping for. I picked up the pacifier and gave it back to Elsie.

“Aren’t you going to rinse that off, Ellie? That’s kind of gross,” Tom said.

“Nope!” I replied, as Elsie took the pacifier and chewed on the end. I still had high hopes for her.

An Uss in the Gruss

Posted on Sep 18, 2011 02:05:14 PM

COMEDY OF THE WEEK – September 18, 2011

Sponsored by: ASS – Otherwise known as, The Association to Stop Swearing


An Uss in the Gruss

“Shut up, Henry!” Charlie yelled.

“ROARRR!” Henry exploded, ignoring Charlie and smashing his dinosaur into his block building. It smashed and crashed loudly to the floor. The noise startled poor Elsie who was playing nearby, and she started to cry.

“Charlie, don’t talk like that, and stop yelling at Henry,” I said as I picked up a teary Elsie in an attempt to comfort her. “Henry, really,” I said. “Do you have to do that?” I questioned, gesturing to the fallen tower of blocks. I don’t know why I asked such a ridiculous question. I knew from experience that of course Henry had to make noise, and asking him if it was really necessary was as laughable as asking Peeve if he needed to sniff other dogs’ poop.

“Yeah, Mom,” Henry answered matter-of factly without any acknowledgement to Charlie’s irritation or Elsie’s distress. “The dinosaurs have to DESTROY the buildings…ROARRRR!” he screamed again as he smashed his dinosaur into another pile of blocks, making a noise that was a little less startling but still pretty loud. Elsie whimpered as if she might start crying again, but she stopped as she became engrossed in watching Henry play.

“STOP!” Charlie yelled again. “You’re such a pain Henry!”

“Charlie, enough!” I scolded. “Henry’s just playing.”

“I don’t care,” Charlie said, shrugging his shoulders. “I have a test to study for. Henry, go somewhere else.”

“ROARRRR!” Henry yelled again as he looked right at Charlie. Charlie held his tongue briefly, giving Henry a look of controlled fury, but when Henry crashed his dinosaur into the block piles and began loudly chanting, “STEGASAURUS! STEGASAURUS!” Charlie lost it.

“Look, if you don’t get out of here I’m going to turn that STEGA-SORE-ASS into a MEGA-SORE-ASS…”

“CHARLIE!” I yelled, quickly interrupting him. “You can’t threaten your brother, and that language is beyond inappropriate. You can’t talk like that in front of him.”

“Like what?” Henry said, looking up as if he hadn’t been paying any attention anyway. He was use to Charlie getting a little irritated with him. I was momentarily relieved, thinking that the language had bypassed him, but then he added, “What? What, Mom?”

“Nothing, Henry,” I said, trying to change the subject.

“Oh, do you mean the ‘A’-‘S’-‘S’ word?” I looked at him with complete shock, and then I turned my astonished eyes on Charlie, thinking that he had something to do with this. Then Henry added, “It’s okay, Mom, I already know that word, but don’t worry, I won’t say it. We used that word at school the other day, but Kayla told me that it’s a swear.

“What do you mean you used it at school the other day?” I questioned.

“Well, Ms. Lutton was spelling the word ‘grass’ on the board, and Oliver said that if you take away the ‘G’ –‘R’ you get another word, and then Kayla said that it’s not another word, it’s a swear. She said that her older sister said that word, and her mom sent her sister to her room for, like, two weeks. She wasn’t even allowed to use the bathroom.”

“I’m not sure that is true Henry,” I said nervously laughing.

“Oh, yeah, it is,” he insisted. “Kayla says that her sister is really bad, and she gets punished all the time.”

“Okay, well, what did Ms. Lutton say about the word?”

“She said that in some of the chapter books she reads, the word ‘ass’ is an old –fashioned way to say ‘donkey,’ but she said that if you are not reading a book about a donkey, you shouldn’t say that word.”

“I think that is probably good advice. You really shouldn’t use that word at all, Henry.”

“Yeah,” Charlie piped in again, obviously listening and not concentrating so much on his studying, “your teacher is ASS-tonishingly smart, Henry.”

“Charlie, stop, that’s enough of that,” I said, as Charlie laughed and cracked himself up.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” Henry said, trying to assure me that he understood. “I don’t even use the letters ‘A’ – ‘S’ – ‘S’.”

“What do you mean you don’t use those letters? How can you not use those letters, Henry, they’re in lots of words?” I asked with confusion.

“Kayla showed me how to spell ‘GRASS’ with a ‘U’ instead.”

“Henry, you can’t change the spelling of things. There is no such word as ‘GRUSS.’”

“Well, I don’t care. I’m not taking any chances,” Henry said. “I don’t want to have to go to my room for two weeks.”

“Henry, you can use the letters ‘A’ – ‘S’ – ‘S’ when it is appropriate. If you replace those letters with ‘U’- ‘S’ –‘S’ instead, your teacher will think that you don’t know how to spell.”

“Yeah, Henry,” Charlie added. “If you’re going to use a swear, you have to spell it right,” and he laughed again, continuing to crack himself up with his own little stand up routine. He then continued with, “If you don’t spell things correctly in cl-ASS, you won’t be able to p-ASS.”

“Charlie, that’s it!” I angrily commanded. “You’re not helping. Just get out of here, and go to your room.”

Charlie didn’t move. He ignored me and just kept laughing with his usual voice-cracking cackle.

“See, Mom,” Henry said, as he attempted to explain the situation by pointing and then throwing his hands in the air. “You’re sending Charlie to his room ‘cause he keeps saying that word.”

“That’s not why I’m sending Charlie to his room, Henry. Charlie is just being rude and obnoxious, that’s why he needs to leave. He’s purposely trying to confuse you, and I really don’t appreciate it, Charlie,” I said, re-directing my attention to Charlie who was grunting and squawking out laughter with every breath. He had amused himself to the point of barely being able to speak, but he managed to add a few more words.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Mom. Are you ASS-king me to leave?” he mocked and laughed, and then continued testing me. “I will ASS-ume that you want me to apologize for har-ASS-ing you. Sorry, but, do I really have to go to my room because I’d much rather go play b-ASS-ketball, you know, and practice my p-ASS-es.” Charlie then erupted into fits of squeaky, side-splitting hysterics.

I was really angry with Charlie, now. His clever wit often interfered with the serious conversations that I tried to have with my younger children, and it really pissed me off. I was just about to let him have it, when Henry distracted me.

“Is Charlie swearing, Mom?” Henry asked, kind of confused. Henry’s lack of clarity with regard to this matter made me feel incredibly irritated because Charlie had obviously succeeded in completely defeating my attempts to properly explain how to correctly navigate the word ‘ASS’ for Henry.

“Damnit, Charlie! Just get the hell out of here! I said, exploding with frustration and complete lack of thought to my own vocabulary.

“OOOOOOoooo, Mom swore two times,” Charlie teased, as he finally started up to his room, still laughing with the up and down pitch of teen who’s laugh had not caught up with his voice change.

I tried to collect myself, but Henry looked pretty horrified with me.

“Whoa, Mom,” he said with astonished eyes. “That was really bad.”

I didn’t really know how to handle this anymore so I decided to play along with Charlie’s immature antics. I took a deep breath.“Fine! You know what, Charlie. Don’t go to your room!” I yelled. “I want you to get outside and start mowing that ‘GRUSS!’ Your father wanted you to do that days ago, and I’m tired of you procr-USS-tinating! GO!” I said, gesturing towards the door.

Charlie was still laughing hideously, and after hearing my own adaptations to his swearing game, he added snorting to his already distinctive and disturbing vocalizations of amusement. Henry and I watched as he smirked, trying to suppress his hideous noises, then quickly mashed his feet into his shoes, and went towards the door. As he passed by with his big, obnoxious grin, I said, “And quit acting like such an ‘USS!’” He erupted into fits of laughter again, and I kind of smiled too as the tension was released. Charlie went outside and shut the door. Henry looked at me and kind of smiled.

“You mean ‘ASS,’ right, Mom,” he said, very directly. “You want Charlie to stop acting like an ‘ASS,’ I get it,” he chuckled.

“What do you mean ‘you get it?” I asked kind of nervously and with confusion because I didn’t get it at all.

“Well, Charlie sounds just like a donkey when he laughs so this is one of those times when you said it would be ‘appropriate’ to use ‘ASS’ right?” he concluded, very pleased, and nodding his head to emphasize that he really understood my earlier explanations.

I wasn’t about to disappoint Henry, so I concurred. “Yes, Henry. Absolutely! This would be a very appropriate time to call Charlie an ‘ASS.’” Henry nodded his head and went back to playing with his dinosaurs, as I heard the lawnmower start.



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