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, April 23, 2008

"Standard Scrabble® rules apply: no kicking, biting or slapping. No projectiles of any kind." - Dilbert's Mom, Dilbert


Some people take Pinewood Derby too seriously. I mean, the car is made of pine, but who has to insure that their car has insurance against termites? (This car is named “The Splinter” – how cool is that?)

The Mrs., Pugsley, The Boy and I all loaded into the (newly repaired from my collision with that idiot who was stopped completely legally at the yield sign) Wildermobile and headed out to the Scout Fair. Thankfully, my car was not made of wood, or else I would still be waiting for the varnish to dry. The Scout Fair consisted of lots of polite kids, polite adults, and long (polite) lines at the Army booth where they were handing out custom dogtags.

We enjoyed all of it, and I think the marshmallow-throwing catapult was a favorite. No eyes were lost in production of the day.

Afterwards, we went to a book-signing. By “went to” I mean “drove at least thirty miles down a street looking for a bookstore before we found it because The Mrs. left the directions and address at home on the printer.”

You’d think at a book-signing, the books would be free. Surprisingly, this is not the case – they seem to want you to pay, regardless of if the book has your name in it or not. Philistines.

The Mrs., with the ink still drying on her book contract, had a friend who was doing a book signing at a local bookstore. EVEN THEN, they still wanted us to pay.

Anyhow, we got to the signing. The bookstore specialized in mystery/murder/suspense books. Since I graduated from “Encyclopedia Brown®” books, I have avoided mystery books entirely – I’m still mad about that whole Encyclopedia Brown: Solving The Mystery of Paris Hilton’s Fame book, and it’s soured my taste for that stuff.

The Mrs. was there to meet a friend she’d never met in person (the magic of the Internet), so Pugsley and The Boy were my responsibility. So, me holding the reigns on two rambunctious boys while The Mrs. wanted to meet (in a polite way) her Internet friend. A recipe for disaster.

Internet, I did poorly. While The Boy perused the section of kid books (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and a collection of other kid books, Pugsley went on a terror to make Genghis Khan proud.

If you don’t have kids, let me explain: if you have a two-year-old who needs a nap, and he hasn’t had one, you have on your hands the equivalent of a crazed Satanic group of PETA volunteers with Sharpie™ markers at a harp seal hunt in an antique store. It’s like sixteen poodles who haven’t eaten in a week fighting over half a Chicken McNugget™. I’m running out of metaphors here, but let’s just say Pugsley was like piranhas on a Pop-Tart©.

So The Mrs. waited politely while her friend, the other author, made small talk with a fan. Me? I’m subtle. I would have jumped right in. To explain: when I (this happened) suddenly have to pretend to be the Cub Scout Den Leader because ours is unexpectedly gone and hand out awards, I can do that, even when surrounded by a group of complete strangers.

The Mrs.? Not so much. Plus there’s this whole “girl etiquette” thing about not interrupting a group of people you’ve never met and introducing yourself like you own the place. With guys it’s much simpler. “You like beer and football? Me, too. Let’s have beer and watch football.”

With women, there’s this whole set of rules that other people have to stop talking before you start. You can’t talk with your mouth full, or pass gas indiscriminately. Apparently there are places you shouldn’t scratch. It’s just so confusing.

In the end, The Mrs. met her friend, and I ended up paying for a book with The Mrs.’ name written in it. I think if we had changed our minds we could have gotten a heck of a discount. I also got a first edition Philip K. Dick (who wrote the movie Total Recall was based on) book (The Mrs. read the back cover and said, “Hmm, looks like he wrote only one book, but just kept putting different titles on it.”).

Yeah, but he didn’t have a wooden car. But he probably thought he did. Or thought that the government wanted him to think he did since he was a slave on Mars.
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Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Let me clue you in to a Mommy Secret. Benadryl. Give half a dose to the overtired, raging Genghis Khan. In 15 minutes, you will have a mini-Dalai Lama peacfully transcendentalating. Now that you know this secret, you will either need to change genders or pinky swear never to reveal it outside the sisterhood.

9:47 AM  
Blogger John said...

Are you sure I should sneak The Mrs. Benadryl? :)

8:27 PM  

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