Monday, July 17, 2006

Things We're Not Going To Do In The New Place


In an effort to make our recent move more than just a change of address, but an entirely fresh start, I'd like to suggest five simple groundrules that I think will allow us to enjoy our new home for some time to come.

1. No cattle.
Do I wish we still had the ranch? Of course I do. In retrospect it was foolish to take the deed with me to that poker game just to show off its nifty font, but what's done is done (it was a swell font though, really), and we all need to move on, and that means no more livestock. Sally, you may have fooled me into thinking you just had a terribly unattractive young friend who always wanted to stay the night at the last house, but I've got my eyes out this time. If you think I'm going to be buying any more bales of hay for your 'slumber parties' you're in for a rude awakening. I know it's hard, but I think we're going to see a marked improvement in overall household odor and a marked decline in stampedes as a result of this rule.

2. No firearms in the dining room or the family room.
Now I know this sounds extreme, but hear me out. Seeing that news report on the so called 'shootout' that took place in our last home after our debate about the proper audience for a certain breakfast cereal (I still maintain there's nothing inherently 'for kids' about Trix) made me realize that our brand of conflict resolution was simply not going to be understood or accepted in 'the burbs'. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, and believe me, I enjoyed yelling 'draw' and reaching for a piece as much as the rest of you, but I just think it's time to adapt. So from now on, each of you will be outfitted with a sword and scabbard. All disputes will be settled with the time honored clash of metal on metal. This should not only satisfy the uptight neighbors, but hopefully result in less damage to things like the walls and the television, which you all know took the brunt of our 'shootouts'. And remember, this only applies to the dining room and the family room. In your own rooms you can fire at will.

3. No more math books.
If there was one thing that ignited more furor than breakfast cereals it was debates about Nascar drivers. But since we're not even going to discuss banning Nascar races, I suggest we leave another instigator of trouble in our lockers from now on. Your mom and I have long since forgotten our algebra and so forth and we simply cannot help you. It doesn't do any of us any good to beat our heads against the wall trying to make sense of this stuff only to eventually end up frustrated and firing wildly into the ceiling (I know enough to count to 2300, and that's what we spent on roof repairs trying to get Billy through that semester of trig). Do your homework where it's supposed to be done, at school. If you have problems, let their roof suffer.

4. No more cowboys and indians.
It was okay when you all played with each other, but roping (literally) unsuspecting citizens into these games just seems to lead to trouble. When I was a kid a good game of cowboys and indians often meant someone went missing for weeks, but people are just a lot more edgy around here. They get worried if family members don't come home EVERY NIGHT. Is that crazy? Maybe, but it's not our place to say. So no more lassos, no more hold ups, no more bandana gagged strangers mumbling in the corner when we're trying to watch a race. Let's see if we can stay on the neighbors' Christmas card lists for a while this time.

5. No more moonshine.
This one will take some adjusting, no doubt, but I think it has to be done. The fumes, explosions, fires, not to mention the uptick in both armed conflict and stampedes when a batch was enjoyed are all clear signs to me that this lovely elixir can simply no longer be a part of our lives. What will we give the baby when she won't sleep? I'm not sure. What will Johnny suck on when we're tending to those gunshot wounds (hopefully just sword wounds now)? Don't ask me. What will we put in our vehicles to make them go? Maybe, just maybe, it's time to start buying gas.

Will any of this be easy? Of course not. But the world is changing all around us. If we want to survive, we're going to have to evolve. Not in some cockamamie ape into man way, but in a bathtubs are for bathing not distilling kind of way. If we work together I think we can make a real go of it here and make some beautiful memories. Will there be anything worth remembering without the guns, cows, bullets, indians, and gin? I honestly don't know. That's something we're just going to have to find out. Together.


Louisiana said...

and you posted, you posted!!!! good to read another amazingly witty post...good job.

just in case, you did move: hope it all went well...happy new place.

Unknown said...

Indeed we did move, hence the lengthy absence. Many thanks for the well wishes.

Jerry Bowley said...

That's quite a bit of change for a family to go through all at once... Are you enforcing these "rules" immediately, or do you have some sort of "roll-out" timetable?

Unknown said...

I'm sure we'll try to be steadfast, but there might be some wiggle room for a while. Well, not on the math books. You can't take a chance with those.

Heather said...

Welcome back! And with a vengeance!