Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another classic from the Binder of Shame!

Full Frontal Fatherhood
Al Bruno III

It began simply enough. I had Monday off, so my one job was to drop my three year old daughter off at day care. After that I could write In The Pit scripts or watch old monster movies on DVD or play Freedom Force or hang out at Zombie Planet and annoy the good folks working there.

But then my daughter asked "Daddy can I be home wif you? Can we take a trip?"

I can rarely refuse my daughter's requests so I scrapped my amorphous plans and decided to take a day trip with my little one.

We'd already been to the museum, and the local podunk excuse for an amusement park, so for this week's adventure I decided to take her to Lake George Village.

I stopped at a local supermarket to get some road trip supplies and food for the cooler. My daughter gets it in her head that she wants some gum, actually she wants all the gum on all the shelves she can reach. Needless to say I found myself wrestling with a sugar fixated three year old. I am proud to say that I was winning the battle until my daughter discovered (through a strange combination of grabbing at me and falling over) an ancient martial arts technique called 'The Monkey Snatches the Peach.'

So she got her gum, at the cost of future siblings unfortunately.

Then I heard a voice behind me.

"Having a little trouble there Albert?"

I turned on my heel and who do I see but my grade school principal and folks he was older, he was frailer and he was shorter but damn if I didn't start calling him sir.

Naturally I introduced him to my daughter; she smiled a smile only a child whose face has been distended from trying to chew an the contents of an entire pack of gum at once can smile.

My grade school principal looked me over and I could tell he was just loving this because I was a bit of a pain in the ass in my formative years. He turned to go but first he said to me, "The nice thing about children Albert is that they eventually grow up to be people... in most cases."

I stood there in the checkout line trying to figure out if I'd just been given a complement or an insult. In that moment my daughter snuck away and got to work tipping over the lobster tank near the deli... a lifelong goal of hers.

Once we got on the road my daughter and I were friends again, we listened to the Beatles as we cruised along the Northway. My daughter had brought some of her toys along- a Dora the explorer doll, a plush Cthulhu, a Tickle Me Elmo and a Doctor Who action figure. She seemed to be performing some kind of existential kabuki puppet theater with them but I have to admit that elements of the plot were lost on me. Somewhere in the midst of all this she swallowed her gum.

We got to Lake George, we parked near the beach. It was nice and chaos free, Thank Heavens this was a Monday.

I noticed that I left my hat at the supermarket, no big worry- I've got dozens of them at home.

I also wondered why my wife hadn't called me on the cell phone yet. I check the Super Manly Toddler Supply Knapsack (Emblazoned on the side is IT'S NOT A DAMN PURSE!) to make sure I brought the phone.

Oh, I brought the phone all right. The house phone was sitting there at the bottom of the bag, I could only imagine my cell phone was now sitting on top of the answering machine back home.

At this moment my daughter shouted "Hore!!!!!!!!!" at the top of her lungs.

My eyes followed to what she was pointing at- a horse and buggy ride was going past.

I took a moment to explain to her that the proper pronunciation was 'HorSe' or 'HorSIE'.

Another buggy went by.


Thank God I had more gum.

We made our way to the Lake George public beach, found a nice spot and settled down. My daughter amused herself by wading in the water and lobbing handfuls of mud at the marauding seagulls.

I relaxed and tried not to think about the fact that without my hat I was going to get a sunburn on the top of my big bald head.

For the next few hours my child and I made sandcastles, splashed each other and had a generally good time. I just needed to make sure that my daughter was distracted when the horse drawn carriage came clop clop clopping by.

Then SHE and her entourage walked on to the beach.

They were a group of college age kids. SHE moved at the center of them like a primal force, controlling the group like a queen bee controls the hive.

I have often said that one of the thing I liked about being married was that it helped me get over my fear of women. Since I was off the market and in love I stopped caring what the other women in the world might think of me. The only woman I fear now is my three year old daughter-mainly because the kid nad punches at a fourth grade level.

That being said, the sight of SHE somehow had me feeling like a sweaty teenager all over again- as opposed to a sweaty mishapen 35 year old.

I tried not to stare I really did but when SHE slipped out of her towel the whole beach sort of froze. SHE was wearing this white strapless bikini that perfectly offset her dark skin.

The other girls were all complementing her but you could tell by their eyes they really hated her... and the guys well the guys were just fawning over her. She ran into the water and started swimming. Some followed her, others just watched.

I looked back to my daughter to see that she had managed to take down one of the seagulls in mid-flight with a well thrown mudball. Ted Nugent would have been proud.

The sight of SHE left me with an odd feeling inside. It was some kind of dirty old man lust or a seven year itch kind of thing. It was that SHE and their entourage were kids, they had it all ahead of them. I on the other hand was rapidly approaching middle age, I had a kid and I was so married that I doubt I could ever survive any other way again.

When I looked out at my future in that single bleak moment all I could see was more and more health problems, less and less opportunities and a child I loved that would one day break away from me.

At that moment I really had to question what it was I had left to look forward too.
My dark reverie was broken when SHE leaped up out of the water, her hair spilling around her face, the droplets of moisure on her skin glistened like diamonds- and her bikini top hung around her waist like an alien cummerbund.

"HORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" My daughter screamed as the horse and buggy clopped by.

Ah ... fatherhood.


  1. *snort* That's AWESOME! Wish I'd been there for that! :)

  2. That's a well told story but truly repugnant on a basic human decency level. SHE is sexy and young and has everything you can't have, haha, *what a whore.* Your problem was never fear of women. It was hatred of women, and it is still alive and well. I fear for your daughter.

  3. Well I am sorry it came off that way. Quite honestly if was more of a story of me getting embarrassed by the way my child mis-pronounces things. The best comparison I can come up with is when one my nephews at the age of 4 or so became fascinated with wolves and foxes. Thing is he didn't quite pronounce 'fox' correctly and he was dropping the F-bomb.

    Again. Sorry if I upset you... it was never my intent.

  4. I did not get out of this that you hated women. Maybe I'm missing something or maybe someone else read way more into it than was actually there.

    I think the fear you felt is quite understandable. We all have those glimpses of our own impending aging and mortality. Thank goodness you had your daughter's mispronunciation to snap you out of it! Lol.

    Kids are the best. And they say the damnedest things. Got a huge kick out of your story. Hope the sunburn wasn't too bad.


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