Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I'm Under Suspicion.

This morning on the train, I was dozing lightly when I received a tap on my shoulder. I removed an ear bud and opened my eyes to see a big moon face inches from my own. "Could you turn that down?" the Moon Face asked. Of course I would and as I shook off the cobwebs of my sorta sleep and reached for the iPod, she started to say something else, indicating that it wasn't actually my music that was bothering her (which began to make sense since she'd been sitting across the aisle from me for a good 45 minutes and I'd been rocking out the entire time). So she asked the guy seated behind me to turn his down, but immediately turned back to me. She was trying to figure out which of us was annoying her and the only way she could do that was to say, "Which one of you is playing Duran Duran?"

Busted. It was on shuffle, okay? "The Reflex" for those of you scoring at home. And yes, I'm aware I've been Under Suspicion well before now.

Which reminded me that the 80s are back in a huge way, illustrated by a trip I took to the local fashion mall on Saturday. Leggings, short skirts, ankle boots, wide belts. Pat Benatar rules! I made a joke to my shopping companion that next up will be long, shaker-knit sweaters that hide the ass so you ladies can stop going to the gym. It wasn't 5 minutes later that we saw exactly that. Where can I buy stock in leg warmers and off the shoulder sweatshirts?

After a couple months of soft cajoling to cut his hair, AJ, quite out of the blue, demanded a shearing. Well what sort of cut would you like son? A mohawk. Hells no. Now, I don't now where my son got the idea of a mohawk. Perhaps he's been playing my Clash CDs on the sly. But he was adamant, until we reached the fauxhawk compromise. The cut didn't exactly come out that way, but it's funny to watch him try to push his hairs together to form that fin. It was even funnier to watch his soccer coach do a triple take before she figured out who he was seeing as she'd never really seen his face before.

The new 'do led to a special moment this morning as I readied him for school. I lovingly wetted his hair and began to expertly weave in some product (some Dads teach their boys how to throw a curveball). I got some semblance of the Faux, but the cut is a bit too short and his hair is opinionated, just like mine, so neither of us were satisfied with the results. He was, in fact, quite fussy and there may have been some foot stomping as Daddy did not get it quite right. Finally I did and could only look on pridefully as he examined himself in the mirror from every angle.

Then, of course, I drop him off at school and this darling little kindergartener in a powder blue dress makes a 20-yard beeline as soon as she sees him, screaming his name and attempting to envelop him in a hug. He sorta gave her the back of his shoulder and didn't return the greeting, physically or audibly. She followed close behind him as he stashed his backpack and lunch box.

Time out for tangent. Actually, there are no lunch boxes any longer, no metal Super Friends or Fonzie containers. They're all made of soft material so it's more like a Lunch Cozy or a Meal Cushion. How is one supposed to defend themselves in the Playground Jungle without being able to wield a metallic box?

ANYWAY, my boy ignored this poor girl the entire time I was there. I didn't know whether to be proud that he's so quickly mastered the art of playing hard to get or to wonder if he was just deathly afraid of girls. Could go either way.

Just to make a slight correction from the comments yesterday: LOSING parlays are for pussies. Winning ones, such as the one which caused Calvin Ayre to personally deposit several hundred dollars into my account last evening, are hawesome. Couple more weeks like that and I'm thinkin' I'll be invited down to the Costa Rica compound, thereby completing the Mansion-Bodog double in a single year.

I'm willing to admit the following might be irrational. Doesn't matter. Every time I see these women on the train in their business suits paired with tennis shoes and bootie socks, I wanna punch something. This bothers me well past the point of a peeve. I understand the reasoning, blisters and comfort and all that. But when did it become permissible to "feel good" rather than "look good?" Fashion is painful, people. Just because you put on your heels at your desk does not mean you get a pass from me. First of all, it's not like you're walking FAST, picking 'em up and laying 'em down. I get trapped behind these thick-legged folks constantly coming down the tunnel. Secondly, these shoes are invariably white, pristine white, with nary a scuff or mark, while the skirts and jackets run to the winter colors. It's offensive. It's maybe 20 yards from the parking lot to the train. Fifty yards from the train to the subway. And no more than two blocks from the subway to a random office building. You can't make the sacrifice in the name of good taste? You don't see people at the gym with sweatsuits and heels, do you? So what makes the opposite okay? I don't have a solution, except to ask that you please stay out of my way and sight line.

AJ has a reading program at school where the parents are tasked to have him read 20 minutes per night and to sign off on a form. We started last night with Dick and Jane. I don't remember reading Dick and Jane when I was a kid and I surely don't recall reading in kindergarten. I know I did in first grade, though, and my love of reading was cemented early. I think the first I ever read was Plato's Republic. No? Yeah, maybe not. I loved the Beverly Cleary books (Beezus and Ramona, Runaway Ralph) and, of course, Encyclopedia Brown, but my favorite was the Matt Christopher books. If you're not familiar with those, they were sports stories, all with lessons, usually the outsider or low achiever who triumphs in the end. Titles like Catcher With a Glass Arm and Sink It, Rusty are burned in my memory forever. I hope that even in this quick-cut world we live in, AJ will find as much enjoyment in those as I did. Plus, it will prepare him for a life of winning sports betting.


At 11:20 AM, Blogger ToddCommish said...

"Catcher with a Glass Arm"! Moonie's dad kicked ass the way he taught Jody to fire the ball down to second base. And it's a good thing Rabbit didn't touch the ground when the electrical wires fell on the car...

"Crackerjack Halfback" was another gem.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Gene said...

There were these books I loved, dammit, what was the name of the kid...Henry something. He would spend the summer at his aunts or grandparents or something and the whole book would be in the form of a journal, he'd write what he did every day.

One year they went out West, but mostly it was around where he relatives lived. He had this girl he hung out with, they were pals, and I always hoped that eventually he'd get around to...well, not nailing her, as they were both like ten and I was too, but SOMETHING. Hold her hand, for Chrissakes. I have to find out what the name was.

Leg warmers over blue jeans. They look totally stupid. So why did I find them so alluring in junior high? I mean, you usually don't look for girls who have calves larger than their thighs. I dunno. The heart wants what it wants, and other parts of the body want what it wants too.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger ToddCommish said...

You're probably thinking about Henry Huggins. His girl-pal was Beezus, whose little sister was Ramona. All those books were by Beverly Cleary.

OK, so I worked in bookstores and/or children's books for a few years...

The stuff I used to read besides Matt Christopher and Encyclopedia Brown was Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators and some Danny Dunn books. There was a wealth of good reading for boys back then.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Chilly said...

"shopping companion"

I don't think its a suspicion any longer.

I read the entire "Great Brain" series roughly 300 times as a kid.
Also for sports books I rec' "Goalkeepers are Different."

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Donkeypuncher said...

kid styling a fauxhawk brings tear to my eye...

At 2:03 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Jaxon just startede kindergarten and he gets the same reaction from "the ladies." He tends to let them do their thing and then he gets back to whatever he was doing.

He trips me out.

Let the kid have a mohawk, yo.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger slb159 said...

"The Reflex"? Wow, Drizz was better off posting those MetLoaf lyrics. :)
Nice that my prediction about AJ raking in the chicks is already reigning true.
Reading material at a young age? I personally enjoyed the "Highlights" mags with the Goofus and Gallant cartoons in them. Damn, those pictures where other things were hidden were all filled out though by some moron circling random nothingness. Those waits in the doctor's offices sure took long.

At 6:39 AM, Blogger slb159 said...

Oh, and the "Love is a Battlefield" video had some hot freaky chicks in it. So, yeah, Pat Benatar r00les a bit. I'll give you that.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger ToddCommish said...

Side note on the hairstyle: If you're against the mohawk, let the kid highlight his hair. It grows out faster without that dopey fuzz stage and you'll still be considered cool for allowing it.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Ugh. Liriano leaves with trainer in the top of the third.

Not happy :(

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

Proof of 80's ambivalence? Can't decide whether I am proud or ashamed that I had killer seats for the concert where Duran actually shot the video for The Reflex. Maple Leafs Gardens was about as insane as it got in the playoffs. But of course the fan base was much hotter at Duran.

Just last night, my bedtime story for my boy was an Enclycopedia Brown mystery that popped into my head from God knows where. The case's resolution hinged on his knowledge that June only has 30 days! If only the legal system worked as well these days. Alas, gone are the halcyon days of youth.

Oh yeah, London's Calling - let him get the Mohawk. I know I'm gonna.


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