Oh, I Don’t Know


“Did you know?” asked the trivia board. It wondered if I knew that the King of Hearts was the only king to have a mustache. I did not know that. I don’t know that I can even believe it. I can accept if they’ve decided not to count the Kings of Lower Mustachia, since that principality (really an arch-ducky, since things were going so swell at the time) was absorbed into the North German Federation and from there, Germany, long ago and nobody’s checked in on the Kings since the war Austro-Prussian War. Fine enough. But surely they’re forgetting the Hipster King at a minimum, aren’t they?

In other news I am still not up to facing the idea that socks are no longer simple garments. You may proceed.

(Yes, yes, I know what you’re all thinking. But I do not remember whether the King of the Nuditarians had a mustache. I guess maybe if he were Ron Mael, but I don’t know that he was.)

Statistics Saturday: What Father’s Day Cards Talk About Versus What I Need Them To Say


What Father's Day cards talk about: sports, beer, 'You Kids Drive Me Krazy!', outdoor grills, tools, flatulence. What I need: 'I had an emotion, but it's all right, I think it'll pass'.
I guess there’s also cars and money.

Not researched: cards for your siblings who’re now fathers; cards for pet owners who present themselves as parents. Also not depicted: how comically inept Father’s Day Cards fathers are, as opposed to any real-world fathers I’ve known.

Admittedly, I tend to run a little bit stoic.

The Cards


I like my father-in-law. I don’t think that’s a weird quirk of my personality. So I want to send him a decent Father’s Day card. He does a lot for us as a couple, much of it related to worrying about our light fixtures, and he deserves some note for that.

So I’d like to know why greeting card companies don’t have Father’s Day cards for father-in-laws. There’s some for couples sending a joint card. But greeting card companies, the people who put in every supermarket card rack cards for a 90th birthday, for someone returning to work after being away somewhere, and cards from the cat to its “dad” don’t figure an individual might have his own relationship with his father-in-law.

I’m exaggerating. Of course I am. Just this week I got back from the Hallmark store that seems to be closing or renovating or something, we guess, because they haven’t got so much stuff in there anymore and what is there is 40 percent off except the cards. They had three Father-in-Law Father’s Day cards. Well, two of them were the same design, except that one was smaller than the other. I suppose that’s for people who want to express how they feel the same way they did about their father-in-law last year, only not so biggishly.

All I need is a good-quality photo of a cute dog or a squirrel doing something amusing that isn’t tied to a bad double-entendre. Is that too much for greeting card companies to make? Yes, by far.

Simply Having


If the Christmas season this year taught me one thing, it’s that the Christmas music channels on those oddball extremely high-numbered channels on the cable box have way more covers of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” than I thought. I bet if you piled them up there’s easily five versions of that song out there. I wouldn’t have imagined there were more than three, tops.

If the season taught me two things, it’s that “Wonderful Christmastime” cover thing and that I was wise to buy physically smaller cards to send out to people this year. I had much less space to write to everybody on my list and so I was able to finish much more quickly, and without ever running into a sentence that made it clear I’ve forgotten how to make a capital “G” in cursive. Next year I’m going to have to see if they have even smaller cards yet, maybe something the size of a Tic Tac wrapper, with a fox or a squirrel on the front because foxes and squirrels are on the front of every Christmas card suddenly, and I’ll be able to write heartfelt messages like, “Dea M, Hpe this yr, Lv, J” and I can be done with all the card-writing before I remember to dread it.

If the season taught me three things, it’s that count of “Wonderful Christmastime” covers thing, the smaller-card thing, and that while I can eat my body weight in cookies and artichoke dip in a mere thirty-two hours, that’s not something I should be bragging about so please don’t tell anyone you heard I could do it. But I totally can.

I don’t even want to think about what four things might have been.

Everything I Understand About Cribbage


Everything I Understand About Cribbage After Having A Friend Explaining It Relentlessly And Playing A Couple Games Over This Interactive Text-Based Link:

  1. It’s a card game.
  2. Also there’s pegs.
  3. There’s a running total that doesn’t get above 31, only if it gets to 31 or 30 or 15 it goes back to 0.
  4. You put down cards.
  5. Your opponent puts down cards.
  6. Sometimes you’re finished with the cards and you move pegs.
  7. I don’t understand anything about cribbage.
  8. If you play it right the game eventually ends. (If it doesn’t, go back and start again because you missed something.)
  9. You want cards to make like pairs or flushes or something and I think maybe it counts if you make a straight with some of your opponents’ cards or maybe I don’t understand that?
  10. I’m pretty shaky on backgammon too.
  11. Every hand starts with you giving away two of your cards to the crib, and I guess you’re supposed to someday ever see them again, or maybe not, and maybe they’re just a reminder of the inevitability of loss in this universe and a way to practice being at peace with the eventual decay of all things and the end of all life.
  12. I will never have any idea what bridge is about.

What Father’s Day Card-Shopping Taught Me


Fathers are flatulent, beer-swilling, lazy, somewhat hen-pecked, horny creatures with some delusions towards being able to handle tools, playing sports with competence, or being able to interact with their kids except by hollering. Also, fathers-in-law don’t exist. And they’re satisfied with cards that aren’t all that funny. But the card market exists, however much I don’t really find it funny; maybe I’m just the one out of step. I’m also none too fond of funny birthday cards, which exist in the forms, “Ha ha, you’re old”, “What, you’re not dead yet?”, and “Wait, we’re both old yet not dead”, and yet the market seems to support that too.

But is it just my own peculiar tastes, or are funny cards just not, on average, funny?

Continue reading “What Father’s Day Card-Shopping Taught Me”