March 2006 Archives

Poppa on Petting

I was tooling around in the ol' Sneeze archives and came across something that made me laugh.

Sometime last year I had put up a post asking all about the curious sexual act of "petting", and requested readers to get the opinion of any old people in their lives on what it actually means.

Somewhere in the middle of all the comments was the 2-part response I had included from my Dad. It's great...

On the phone, my dad (64) first said (with much cute fumfering)...

"That was something we usually associated with frustration. It usually meant a lot of huffin' and puffin' and smoochin' and stuff like that. But that was it. A lot of smoke.

It was a nice way of saying it without using a lot of words we didn't want to use."

He then followed that up with this email:


That term was used, as far as I can remember, back in the forties. In the fifties we use to call it making out. Different degrees like heavy etc. mostly with clothing still on but perhaps not covering the same parts of the anatomy that you started out with.

Then of course, the next day you had the baseball talk, how far did you get? 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and the ever elusive homerun.


"The ever elusive homerun." He's the best.

You can find the original petting post and comments here.

jedi breakfast mind tricks

My 5/6-year-old was eating pancakes for breakfast. He looked at his little brother's plate and started in with, "HE'S GOT MORE SYRUP THAN ME!"

I didn't feel like giving him more, so I picked up his plate and tilted it around to spread the syrup out. "No he doesn't." I put it back down in front of him.

He stared at the plate for a moment and said, "That's brilliant. This way I *think* I have more syrup than I actually do."


I still don't know if he felt the solution was brilliant, or if he was impressed with my clever attempt to trick him.

But I do know he bought it. And that's what's important.

Culty Congrats

Congratulations to Amanda and Stefanie for winning the Cloud Cult CDs!

I received so many fun emails, but I was officially tickled most by Stefanie's mix CD story...

hi steve! i love you and your site. you've been cracking me up since you wrote about your son and that cabbage. i love your sons too. seriously the cutest kids in the world.

i made a mix cd for my mom a few months ago and somehow the clip of the bike horn on christmas morning wound up on there. it's sandwiched in between the cure and john denver. every time she listens to the cd she calls me laughing because she agrees that your boys are painfully adorable.

Thanks for sharing my Christmas pain, Stef!

To everyone else who didn't win, you can pick up your own copy of "Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus" finally available through iTunes, or at Amazon, or through Cloud Cult's official site.



Some friends and I are on Myspace now.

It seemed like something I was supposed to do, but the truth is I don't understand why we're on there.

Can someone explain why everyone is on it?

Or why I'm on it?

The comment board is NOW CLOSED.

From The Man Behind "The Poopacy"

You may remember my friend Tony who regaled us with that shocking and classic tale from his youth, "The Poopacy."

I'm happy to report he has decided to share another story from his tortured childhood, for us all to enjoy...

"Yes, Vagina . . ."
by Tony

My dad was a slight man who mowed the lawn in his dress shoes, and sometimes a tie. His favorite fast food was KFC, but he never had it because he insisted on using a knife and fork and was tired of the other patrons laughing at him. Once, he got so mad at me for not doing my homework, that he woke me up early the next day and stood with me at the curb as the garbage truck approached, informing me that I was to be collected that morning to go live with the garbage men.

He was a little uptight.

When I was in sixth grade, I was having dinner with my mother and he when I blurted out "What's a Maxi Pad?"

Silence. My mother and father both turned crimson and kept eating, eyes pointed down.

Maybe they hadn't heard me?

"What's a Maxi Pad?"

My mother was visibly in distress, looking sideways at my father, who was fast approaching purple.

Earlier that day, I had been at school when a classmate dropped her bag and something called a “Maxi Pad” fell out. Apparently, this item was very amusing, because my colleagues proceeded to laugh at and torment the young lady, as sixth graders are wont to do.

Torment and ridicule was usually reserved for me, so I was grateful for the reprieve, but I honestly did not get it. What was a Maxi Pad, and what was so funny about it?

“We don’t talk about that at dinner.” Said my father, finally.

“Why?” I asked innocently.


“No, why? Just tell me what a Maxi Pad is.”

I was completely bewildered as my father smashed his hand into the table. He took a deep breath.

“Come with me.”

I followed him out of the kitchen and noticed, as I left, that my mother could not bring herself to look at me.

We walked toward his bedroom, where, by now, I was fairly sure I was about to receive a beating. The only question was whether it would be a full-body belt whipping, or just a back-of-the-hand around the head and neck dealy.

Instead, my dad closed the door and told me to have a seat. True to birds and bees tradition, he began clearing his throat and pacing.

“Now, you know,” he said to nobody in particular, “that ladies grow babies in their tummies.”

“Of course!” How naïve did he think I was?

”Well, you see, if a lady doesn’t have a baby, she needs to get rid of the egg that makes the baby.”

“Get rid of...?”

“Right, yes,” he was accelerating now, seeing light at the end of the tunnel “a woman has to go through this every month. And that is what Maxi Pads are for.”

He moved toward the door.

“I don’t understand. How do they ‘get rid of’ it?”

He sighed.

“Well, actually, they, uh, bleed it out.”

“They bleed every month??”

“Yes.” Inching ever closer to the door.

“From where?”

“From, uh, from between their legs.” My father said through gritted teeth.

Thunderstruck, I sat there.

“You mean,” I said, incredulous and horrified “they bleed right through their skin??”

As may have guessed by now, I had never actually seen an unclothed female (it would be a few months before I found a discarded Hustler magazine in the bushes around the corner), and while I knew that women did not have penises, I logically deduced that this meant they were smooth like a doll down there.

My ignorance of this important detail was now dawning on my father, and an agonizingly long silence followed as he fell deep into thought, as if he were making some kind of important decision.

I was gazing at him intently, and he finally turned to me, resolved.

“Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I mean.”

Thanks for having such a crappy childhood, Tony!!!

Join the Cult

UPDATE: I'll post the winners soon. Don't email me to win anymore. Thanks!

Those crazy kids of Cloud Cult have announced concert dates all over the place. As you might imagine, this brings me joy.

In celebration, I'd like to buy their incredibly brilliant album Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus, for two of you. For KEEPS! It's just my way of spreading a little musical love.

If you'd like to get in on this, just send me an email with CLOUD CULT in the subject line.

I'll pick one winner at random, and another winner that simply tickles my fancy.

I don't talk about it much, but I do have a fancy. And it is moderatley ticklish. How you attempt to tickle it is your call. Or don't, and just hope you get picked randomly. I really can't tell you what to do. (Or can I...?)

I'll choose the winners tomorrow night.

All the tour dates are on the band's site. See them, love them, pat them gently on the head and say things like, "You really rocked, Cloud Cult!"

Cloud Cult official website.
My original "Happy Hippo" review.

("Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus" is not available on iTunes, but it's on Amazon or you can buy it directly from the band on their site.)

Here's "Living On The Outside of Your Skin"


I believe my wife may have cheated on me a few years ago.

I'm not sure who she did it with, but I've narrowed it down to the following list of suspects:

Augustus Gloop

President Taft

Grape Ape

Billy and/or Benny McCrary


Hot Dog Eating Champion
Takeru Kobayashi

My 2-year-old is an unstoppable eating machine. To put it bluntly, he's an animal. (Yes, I'm referring to the one who ate the ear medicine and vaseline.) The number of times a day I hear the phrase "I WANT SUMFIN TO EAT!" is staggering.

Maybe he's just growing. He isn't necessarily chubby and he's a little tall for his age. Personally I'm hoping he ends up 11 feet tall, because I have no doubt he's going to be 900 pounds.

Last week there was another moment where things in the house had gotten eerily quiet. I walked around looking for the hungry one, and found him sitting on the kitchen floor, hunched over with his back to me.

When I asked what he was doing, "I EATIN' PRINKLES!" was the reply.

He turned around to reveal a rainbow of color stuck to his face.

He had managed to get his hands on an entire tub of rainbow sprinkles and was devouring them by the fistful. I'm confident had I not walked in, they'd be long gone.

I took the tub and went to put it someplace out of the way. When I turned back, he was on all fours, eating them off the floor like a dog.

My wife believes he resorted to this tactic because he couldn't pick up the tiny sprinkles with his fingers. I believe he did it because he's an animal.

It's funny that his older brother keeps asking me for a dog. He doesn't seem to understand that I actually got us one that can talk.

Son of Secret Sweeteners

You may remember the secret Splenda in microwave kettle korn. (Despite the illustrations of sacks of sugar on the box.)

I recently noticed a new use of an artificial sweetener that really blew me away. NutraSweet (aspartame) is now in Doublemint gum and Big League Chew.

What the hell is going on?! I see it's the 25th Anniversary edition of Big League Chew. (I double-checked and the traditional 25th anniversary gift is silver. Not NutraSweet.)

These products are completely old school and clearly never had aspartame in them before. Why change it now? Sugar is still the main sweetener in these gums, but how about a heads up? I don't avoid NutraSweet at all costs, but I at least like to know when I am having it.

The packaging does contain the obligatory "PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE" warning, but if you've chewed Doublemint for your entire life, why would you even bother to check? (If you've ever wondered what that warning means, it's for people who have the metabolic disorder Phenylketonuria.)

So weird.

I don't know what to believe, but there's a lot of interesting NutraSweet conspiracy info here.

The 2nd 5th

Hi, remember me?

What a week. My wife had to unexpectedly and immediately fly out of town to be with her dad who is gravely ill. While she's been dealing with that nightmare, it's been a relentless week of me and a 2 1/2 year old, and a 6 year old who's 5.

What that means is, a couple of months ago my son decided that he did not want to turn six. He declared that five is the perfect age, and since then would nervously ask me, "IS TODAY MY BIRTHDAY?!" about once a week.

Sadly my wife had to leave the very night before his birthday. She was obviously quite bummed she couldn't be there with him for it, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And what I had to do was make him a kick-ass chocolate cake. (What's that? Was the frosting from scratch? Why yes, it was. For the record, I have no problem with frosting from a can. It's plenty good for your kid.)

We didn't have a big party or anything. It was just me, the two boys and Anthony. Knowing this whole turning six thing was something of a touchy subject, I asked my son how many candles he wanted on his cake.

"How about two?"

"Well, you usually put one candle for each year old you are."

"Oh. Then put six."

"Interesting," I thought to myself. I turned back to take care of the cake.

"Wait! If you put six, then I'll be six. Put five!"


"You said I could have a second fifth birthday, right?"

"It's your birthday, baby. You can have anything you want."

"I want five candles."

It was decided.

We all sang, and he and his brother blew out the five candles. As we whaled on the cake, Anthony asked my son, "So, how old are you now?"

"I'm five... but a little bit six."

I'm fine with that. In fact, it's perfect. My wife didn't really miss him turning six after all.

Well, just a little bit.


Hey, guys.

I've been under an avalanche of work the past few weeks, and have been really looking forward to posting here more frequently as soon as it let up.

Just as I was crawling out from under it today, I was caught off guard with a bit of a family emergency.

We're all okay here, but while I'm taking care of stuff, I just wanted to say thank you for all the nice emails and support you always provide the site. I sometimes fall behind in responding, but I do read and appreciate all of it.

Hopefully everything will return to normal very shortly, and I can get back to wasting your time and brains with the same silliness that you've sadly become accustomed to.

Now, as the those crazy kids on the internet type -- BRB.


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