My wife thinks that I'm a bad influence on our kids. Am I really not being a good parent?
I had Monday off work, since I am currently out of work, pending the settlement of my slip-and-fall suit against Walmart, and the kids and I decided to hold the first-ever chariot race in our trailer park. Our prize Saint Bernard, Butterfly, would lead our chariot in a race against the Beauregard Family's team of four Cocker Spaniels. We set to work making our chariot.
While the Beauregards hitched up their toy wagon to their Cocker Spaniels, the kids and I spruced up the fine shopping cart I stole from that poor homeless man that lost his way and mistakenly tried to take my beer can pile for recycling. I hope the swelling in his face has gone down by now. Anyway, Butterfly was all hitched up to the cart, and the race was ready to begin. Nearly the whole trailer park, except, of course, for those still incarcerated, showed up for the race.
Tyler Beauregard, that wussie little ten year-old of theirs, manned the Beauregard chariot, but I wasn't pulling any punches. My nine year-old daughter Mindy was piloting our chariot. Mindy is a natural, the kind of girl who doesn't have any time for nonsense like sissy girly stuff, or crying because her daddy sold her Barbie doll to get a pack of Marlboros. Nope, she's what you'd call a sensible girl, the kind of girl you can take to the NASCAR races, and who will help you roll the passed-out drunks in the parking lot. Yeah, she'll probably grow up to be a female gym teacher, but that doesn't matter to me. She's like the son I always wanted. My two sons don't like it when I say that, by the way.
So, dressed in a sheet made into a toga, playing the part of a Roman senator, I called the contestants to the starting line. The first to circle around the park and snatch the trophy can of PBR from old Mrs. Grinshaw's good arm, would win the race. Speaking in pig latin, as befitted this auspicious occasion, I reminded the drivers that they raced for the glory of the empire, for the Pax Trailerana, and to conduct themselves with dignity and honor. After reminding the crowd that while flash photography was permitted, the discharging of weapons was discouraged, at least until after the celebratory wreath of cured tobacco was awarded, the countdown began.
Betsy Lynn Holcomb counted down, "Eight, four, seven, thirteen....two, nine...uh, okay, just go", and the chariots took off! Bursting forward with speed, both chariots leaped forward, wheels rattling, drivers hanging on for dear life. Butterfly was performing like a champ, and Mindy, swearing like a sailor, urged her on to even greater speed! Tyler urged on the Spaniels, inching closer, but Mindy, determination on her sweating face, was not going to let him get ahead. The crowd was running after the racers, anxious not to miss a minute of the action!
All of a sudden, disaster struck! Butterfly spotted a tipped over beer can that was leaking some sweet Budweiser, and she stopped and started lapping it up. Tyler sailed past her, waving and grinning like an idiot. Mindy, horror-struck, was torn between the race, and trying to see if she could get any of the stuff before the dog got it all. Running up, sweaty, out of breath, I called out to her, "Mindy! Remember the family honor! Think of how proud your grandpa will be when you tell him how you won, when we go see him at Chino Prison this weekend!" That did it. Mindy knew what she had to do.
Gritting her teeth, she leaped on Butterfly's back and gave her a kick in the ribs. Butterfly knew that she meant business and took off! Tyler, hearing the approaching stream of voluble profanities, knew that she was catching up. Up ahead was the turn, the crucial part of the race. Tyler urged the Spaniels forward, but all of a sudden, here came Mindy and Butterfly, tearing ahead like demons! Rounding the bend, Tyler was ahead, but he cut the corner too sharp! The Spaniels, getting tangled in one-another's legs, stumbled, and Tyler and the cart rolled over by the wayside.
Butterfly and Mindy raced by, and Tyler scrambled back up, untangled the Spaniels, and got charging again. He came up close behind, but it was no contest. Urging Butterfly on to one last great exertion, Mindy nosed ahead to the accompaniment of a volley of ear-shattering farts, and with a display of strength, ripped the can of PBR from Mrs. Grinshaw's hand! The race was won, the family honor preserved.
My wife seems to