A Rose By Any Other Name Still Stinks!!!

My Mom

I remember way back when, I used to sit on Mama Ohh!’s lap. She would tell me tales of the old country. These were probably all lies considering she was born and raised in Pennsylvania. Although, she does make a mean golabki, which are Polish cabbage rolls, paprikash, which is Polish chicken in paprika gravy, and spetzel, which is Polish something-or-other. It’s kinda hard to describe, but still delicious. Consequently, my stomach forgave her for a great many things that went on during my childhood. Especially the way she named the animals in our house.

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My Cats

You see we had two cats when I was growing up. One had orange on his back, a white belly, and when he came to us one back foot that was somehow dyed green. My mother looked at that color scheme, decided he was Irish, and named him Walter O’Reilly. The other had an odd throaty cry. Mom thought he sounded like my Polish grandmother, and named him Stanley Kowalski. Sorry mom, but No!

Of course, us kids called them Stan and Wally. The thing is, my mom, the one who named the cats, would often mix up their names. You can’t just do this randomly. It became a more serious problem as the Mr. Ohh! brain began to flourish. You see I think names are important, and if cats can be named oddly, and switched around, what about other things. I mean, who would have taken the Indian independence seriously if the Muslim corners of the country would have been called Pakiswally instead of Pakistan? Again, would the Russians, or Americans have invaded Afganaswally? Nope, they would more likely just have sat at the borders and giggled. Then again, who would have bothered to learn Stanheli, the prominent African language? No one. Swallyheli is so much better. They say what’s in a name? Well, everything! If I grew a hybrid rose of the rarest beauty, and called it Turd Blossom, no one would come near it. According to Shakespeare, it might smell as sweet, but I’d go broke trying to sell the darn thing.

My Wife

Ideas like these, are one of the reasons parenting is so hard for me. When my children were little, my wife did a lot of the work. I apologize to the feminists out there, but I did what I could and when my wife saw the flaws in my abilities, she treated the house like a business, and delegated me to what I was capable of. I did an awful lot of sweeping floors, hauling trash, and distracting one child so she could concentrate on another. Was it the best system? Who Knows? It worked for us, and that’s really all that matters.  

As a business woman she color coded my progeny, for easy identification. My first son wore green, my second wore blue, and my daughter wore pink, purple, teal, muted orange, or yellow as suited my wife’s mood of the day. How my daughter got more than one color I will never understand. Each time I asked for clarification, her answer was quick and concise, “She’s a girl.” Frankly, I knew she was a girl so this wasn’t a satisfying answer, but I usually had vacuuming to do, so continuing to ask would have only caused trouble.

As a dad the color coding was great. I could look at the color of their clothes and yell something like, “Hey green, put that down”, or “Blue, go get me a cookie”, or “You the pink one, come sit with daddy”. All the pressure of memory was off. The only glitch in this system was when my wife was in a teal mood. With one child green, and one child blue, and one child somewhere in between, I couldn’t tell who was who. Luckily, this didn’t happen very often and I could fake my way through it.

My kids

Then the silly kids turned ten. My detail-orientated wife decided they had successfully completed half of their childhood, and it was time for a change. As we are partners, it was now time for her to pass the child-rearing responsibilities to me. She created certificates-of- accomplishment for the kids, handed me their schedules and the minivan keys, laughed maniacally, and sat down on the sofa with a bag of chocolates and the instructions for the vacuum cleaner. She was done!

At first, I thought, “No biggie. I’ve managed long term projects before, and heck they can do most of the basic stuff for themselves.” This is a lie. Not just a lie, but a big honking, demon spawn, sent straight from Hell to your brain, worthy of a campaigning politician, whopper of a falsehood. The truth is “The bigger the child, the bigger the problem.” And now my kids were approaching puberty and I had signed a contract to the effect that I would manage all issues from her on in. Oh boy, was I in for it.

The first thing was, without my wife’s guidance, they un-color-coded themselves. After ten years this really messed me up. I ask you, what was I supposed to do when they all showed up in purple and I wanted me older son to empty the garbage? Well, that’s what happened on the very first day I was in charge. I’ll tell you what I did. I said, “To heck with it all”, and emptied the trash myself.

Because, their names were suddenly important I had them tattooed on my forearm. My wife thought it was a beautiful tribute, and I let her think that. I actually did it to narrow down my children’s names to three, and stop calling my oldest son Robert, which isn’t even close to his name. This is true; One time he was breaking walnuts with a hammer on my nice table. I said, “Robert, stop that.” He didn’t listen. I got upset and got a bit loud, “Robert, Stop That! Now!” He ignored me. I got mad and screamed, “ROBERT, STOP THAT! NOW, OR ELSE!” My wife walked into the room, took the hammer away from him, and quietly uttered, “Honey, his name’s not Robert.” Hence the tattoo.

My Lost Sanity

Another thing is at this age they all look alike. At younger ages, the boys were different heights and my daughter had long hair. After the contract was signed my daughter cut her hair the boys grew theirs longer, and everybody added several inches. From the back there is now no telling who was who. Then when the crazy growth hormones kicked in, any one of them could add two inches overnight. How is a dad supposed to keep three kids straight when they all were the same color, same hair, and any one of them could be the tallest on any given day. It’s impossible!

A while back I noticed a trend for young people to tattoo their name in Gaelic on the back of their neck. At first, I was incredulous. Who would think to do this? Now I understand. It was an attempt for fathers to identify their children. Of course, that fad died quickly. The teens must have figured it out as well.

To heck with you dad!

Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer

Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On



13 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name Still Stinks!!!

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