Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"This bowling ball isn't human, it doesn't feel pain, it can't be reasoned with!" - Butt-Head, Beavis and Butt-Head

First picture from Texas. This is the Texas Pain Institute. The Mrs. and I threatened to take The Boy here (or maybe to the Pinching Barn, or the Spanking Factory) if he was not good. I would much prefer the sign say Texas Pain Relief Institute, since Texas Pain Institute makes me think they’re just in it for them, rather than the customer. It’s like flu shots – I’d much rather have a flu prevention shot.

Major note and plug for Wilder Global Domination, Inc.:

The Mrs.’ book is still online and available at Amazon.com at this link. Buy a copy, or, better yet, buy a dozen. Whoever bought a copy of "The Road" by Cormac Mccarthy, well, I bought a copy of that one, too after reading the description. Hope you like The First Seal - I think you will.

A word of warning: The Book isn’t Life in Alaska. It’s more like Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code. I liked it, even after reading it (and editing it) a bazillion times. This is a big day in the Wilder house, and The Mrs. was giddy. If you hate Amazon, you can also get it at Target.

It’s past Christmas here in Alaska Houston. It’s been interesting. The palm trees are still green, as is my lawn. I had expected for traffic to be down during the holiday season, but it actually increased – I regained my senses and decided to stay off the roads, since there is one thing there are two things many things that irritate me, and standing in line is one of them. Traffic is just one long line. Traffic makes me wish that, well, everyone would just get out of my way. And not romp on the accelerator to get from one red light to the next. Go with the flow.™

If an alien were to come down to Houston, he would be convinced that the dominant form of life in this area is the Lexus Grandus. I have seen more big, shiny Lexuses (Lexi?) in Houston than in the entire universe. I think the Lexi come here to spawn, driven and fed by their symbiotic women who have own symbiote, the Cellus Phonus Motorollus Tinius attached firmly to their ear.

Cars here in Houston are just that: new and shiny. In Fairbanks, the average car is 17 years old, been registered in six or seven states, and stays their until it dies. After it dies, it still stays there. And rusts. In Fairbanks, you could expect a car given as a Christmas present to be missing valuable components (say, a working radio). In Houston, I regularly drive by a Mercedes dealership which puts big bows on cars worth more than a house, complete with in-dash machines that manufacture steaming hot lattés out of gold powder and un-baptized children.

But it’s just past Christmas, here, and although I did not get a Porsche that trims my toenails and shaves my back while I drive, I did get the best gift of all. See, The Mrs. sold her hair to buy me a watch chain, but I sold the watch to get her hair combs. This is patently unfair, since her hair will grow back, but my watch chain won’t grow a new watch. Stupid Magi.

Leading up to Christmas, The Boy was nearly insane with “little boy glee and anticipation.” Since The Boy is six, well, all his dreams can be met, and rather easily. He requested a Hot Wheels play set. The Mrs. and I, after quaffing a beer or two, got on our respective computers and began shopping on Amazon (where, by the way, you can get her book) and other points ethereal. I found a play set on Amazon, a big, hulking, four story parking garage complete with its own interstate highway passing by. It looked like it was made of concrete. It wasn’t Hot Wheels, but rather no brand was specified. That worked. The cost of the beast was $19.47, but shipping was $11.07. Nevermind. I didn’t have to fight the crowds at the malls. (There was no free shipping because this was one of Amazon’s affiliates, not Amazon). To make the utter Scrooge-ness of the holiday complete, I paid with Amazon gift certificates that I get from my credit card.

When finally it came time to open the presents, The Boy enjoyed them all, especially those from his Grandparents (hey, it’s good to be six). When he opened the Hot Wheels play set off brand toy car set, he was thrilled. After playing with a multitude of toys, it was time to erect this hulking monstrosity of a toy.

First, it had about 73,421 pieces (some assembly required). All of them were plastic. The instructions had no words, and were drawn in a cryptic fashion. Some pieces of road connected to the next piece with a doohickey. Some had a thingamabob. I decided to do what all good dads do at this juncture: Throw the instructions away and push on.

We finally got the structure together, but I had to dig the instructions out for the important work of decal placement. The cultural differences between wherever made this (Taiwan, in this case) and the US was apparent, since, as this was a mall, the only things available at this particular mall were “Toys, Seafood, and Gifts”. Me, my mouth just waters as I think of going to the mall for mall seafood and unspecified (presumably generic) gifts. As I was putting the parking garage structure together, I noted that there was only one way to get from one level to the next. The instructions clearly indicated that this ramp had a “down arrow only” decal on it. I kept my observation to myself.

Soon enough The Boy piped in: “Hey, if all the arrows point down, how do cars get up?” I smiled a deep, nerdy-dad smile deep inside my nerdy-dad soul. The Boy has The Knack. As he began to play with it, the lack of up arrows was quickly forgotten. Cars don’t drive to the top, they are carried in the hand of a six year old, where they are accelerated by gravity to the speed of sound and shoot out onto the plastic interstate.

Okay, if you're a guy, wouldn't you have killed and gutted Santa to get one of these when you were six?

I have to admit, the mall is cool - it works like a charm. Plus, this mall has a helipad so you can pick up your squid and random gift and then fly off. I bet the helicopter has a doohicky that trims your ear and nose hair.


Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

I thought you would have learned something about using directions after your John Deere snowblower attachment project. Less beer, more reading.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Princess in Galoshes said...

This is funny! I'm glad I stumbled across your blog.

And. As an insider from the publishing industry, a couple tips to help your wife's book along:

1) Have people you know who've read the book post "customer reviews" on Amazon. That really does help.

2) Go for the guerrilla marketing. When you're in a bookstore, find her book and turn it face-out on the shelf, if it was spined, or even better, casually drop it on the "new fiction" table as you walk by. It does work.

Good luck!

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! This was hilarious...
I will be returning!

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a guy and I would have loved that toy!

BTW, the book is on its way. I will post my opinion after I read it, for sure!

5:20 PM  
Blogger SusanE said...

How many books to I have to buy in order for you to move back to Alaska?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Jeffro said...

Perhaps the assembly instructions were in metric?

I gotta have a backhair shaver and toenail clipper installed pronto.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Tierre Williams said...

Good evening, Mr. Wilder. I have visited your blog this afternoon and I loved it. I loved the pictures. I have linked your site to mine a few minutes ago. Can't wait for the next post!

Tierre (TY-ree) from VA

7:19 PM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

I'm still putting together Christmas presents. Problem is that I was trying to use the instructions...Italian side.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Clara....in TN said...

Oh the joys of father-hood. (and mother-hood) I have been up past midnight many times on Christmas Eve assembling "things".

5:12 AM  
Blogger John said...

Oh, no. It gets worse. Trust me. (see above)

Thank you! The books up, and the comments are coming!

My pleasure! (really, that's why I write this, oh, and the community service thingy)

Yay! Yay!

Ummm, by my last count, 100,000 would do it (truth be told, 10,000 would do it, too). But start with just the one.

D'oh! Metric!

Thanks! Like your stuff, too. I'll get a link up when I start the whole blog fixing (this weekend??) done.

duck hunter,
Listen carefully - put the instructions down. They'll just taunt you, what with their pretty pictures of nicely-assembled stuff.

:) It's the best. Even better when The Boy and I worked it together.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Well I am slow, but I have ordered two books. I am going to give one to my Dad.
When I went on Amazon it said there were two new and one used available.
So, perhaps I got the last two new ones!
Is that good? Does that mean they sold them all, and are now recycling?
Woo I am soo excited!

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Jeeny said...

It's a great article about bowling ball. Thank you

5:23 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Many of us don't consider clipping toenails to be an especially difficult task. In fact, it's simply a part of habitual grooming. We don't think twice about cutting our nails once they get too long for comfort or vanity purposes. However, for people who have thick and yellow toenails, it's necessary to find a pair of toenail clippers ...

2:32 AM  

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