And then I got into a political argument with Boston Red Sox pitching legend Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling is a baseball god to me. What he did with my beloved Red Sox in 2004 — the bloody sock, Game 6 of the ALCS, the team’s first World Series victory in 86 years (a victory for which Curt was largely responsible) — earned a revered and hallowed place in my heart for Curt Schilling The Pitcher.

Curt Schilling The Political Commentator? Not so much.

Which brings us to the following tête-à-tête (tweet-a-tweet?).

I thought I should let Curt know that he was missing the point.

Also: Really? Curt Schilling is going to make public proclamations about waiting in line to vote? Curt Schilling, who lives in Medfield, Massachusetts, a town whose population of roughly 12,000 is 96.78% white and whose median household income is $126,000? Yeah, I’m sure the line at his polling place snaked around the block. Let’s find out.

Curt responded with one of those knee-jerk, right-wing mantras:

I’m still not clear what that had to do with the topic we were debating, but, OK, let’s frame it in Curt’s terms: I’m sure Curt wouldn’t piss and moan about waiting seven hours to cast his ballot, right? And certainly he’d be interested to know that high-ranking Florida GOP officials have said that their own party should be held accountable for deliberately causing those long waits instead of making phony excuses about why they occurred. Let’s share that revelation with him.

Confronted with facts, Curt did what his buddy George W. Bush used to do under similar circumstances: He refused to accept reality.

Umm…

Unsurprisingly, that’s where Curt and I parted ways … but, thankfully, sports writer Howard Bryant took over and helped guide Curt to the light.

Great idea, Curt! Sounds like the sort of thing the government should look into! Oh, wait: They already are! Or, at least, I think they are … according to the article you posted. I’m skeptical, though. It is, after all, printed in the media.

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Posted in Politics, Red Sox | 8 Responses

If you like this, you should probably put a ring on it … and then you should get your head checked by a mental-health professional.

What, you thought I was kidding?

Beyonce Scratches

Smiling in spite of a painful wedgie … because I’m a professional.

Awesome — and real — Beyonce images HERE.

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Posted in Life, PhotoChops | 7 Responses

Burger King spiked my co-worker’s fries with a mind-altering substance

I can't believe I ate this

That is the only logical explanation for what I am about to tell you.

It all started with a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

We ran out of sliced turkey … and being the financially sensible (read: broke) person that I am, I decided that, rather than eat out, I would bring to work a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

Lunchtime arrived. I was weak. Faint. Famished. I ate the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. It was, shall we say, less than satisfying.

I was fucking starving. To death, even. Death was imminent.

My co-worker, meanwhile, opted for Burger King … a place from which I had not eaten a single morsel in more than 10 years.

It was 2002 when last I visited the kingdom of burgers. During a pit stop at a rest area in New Jersey, delirious from hunger, I somehow succumbed to the vile call of a bacon double cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake. Halfway through that psychotic episode, my hunger-suppressed ability to feel revulsion finally kicked in and I tossed the remainder of my “meal” in the trash while simultaneously using the Jedi mind trick on my wife.

“You shall tell no one what you just saw.”

I shall tell no one what I just saw.

“This is not the meal I was looking for.”

This is not the meal you were looking for.

And so, aside from that one regrettable episode, I have been fast-food-burger-joint-free for roughly two decades.

Which is why I’m convinced that what happened the other day had to involve my unwitting consumption of a hallucinogenic drug.

It must have been on the fries. They smelled so good … and amplified to an unimaginable degree the inadequacy of the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich that was taking up an infinitesimally small part of my still-growling stomach.

Then it happened. My friend offered me a fry. I ate it … and lost my fucking mind.

The rest is a blur. Someone — surely not me — took my car through the Burger King drive-through. I saw a hand reaching out to pay the headset-wearing merchant of death. It looked like my hand. But it couldn’t be … because that same hand was then holding a bag containing Burger King “food.” What madness is this??

Before I knew it, the contents of that bag had found their way into my stomach, and I spent the rest of the day burping and hiccuping and half hoping that the whole fucking mess would come gushing back out of my mouth like a disgusting geyser of fat and grease and “beef” and space-age preservatives that could keep an uneaten Burger King burger in mint condition until long after the sun burns out.

So I’m looking forward to never eating there again.

P.S.: This is why monarchies are bad, people.

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Posted in Cubicle, Life | 11 Responses

The Scratches Take Manhattan, Part 3

The Empire State Building

[Click here for Part 1  |  Click here for Part 2]

You know what’s cooler than standing on top of the Empire State Building? Standing on top of another building that affords you a great view of the Empire State Building. Thus, we opted for …

Step Seven (continued):the Top of the Rock. Not only is the view spectacular (as shown above), but, in keeping with the guiding principles of

The Official Daddy Scratches Guide to Family Fun in New York City … for Broke-Ass People!™,

tickets to the Top of the Rock for a family of four total anywhere from $6 to $176 less than those for the Empire State Building (depending on which of the four Empire State Building ticketing options you choose) … which means we’re well on our way to making up for those $10 bowls of ice cream!

Zan on Top of the Rock!

If he can make it here, he can make it anywhere.

Us on Top of the Rock

NYC Travel Tip: Did you bring an umbrella or extra layer that you no longer feel like lugging around? No problem! Just stow those unwanted items in the enormous bags underneath my eyes!

“But Jon, what if my kids get bored while standing on the roof of an enormous skyscraper with a spectacular view of the greatest city in the world?” Hey, listen: Today’s kids need constant stimulation … which is why the Top of the Rock observatory also features a room whose walls and ceiling are comprised of motion-sensitive banks of multi-colored lights! And you know what that means, right? NYC Dance Party! Hell yeah, y’all!

♪♫ Oppan Gangnam Style ♬♪

Gangnam Style Dance Party in NYC
NYC Dance Party 1
NYC Dance Party 2
NYC Dance Party 3
NYC Dance Party 4
NYC Dance Party 5
NYC Dance Party 6
NYC Dance Party 7

OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of our system, it’s time for …

Step Eight: Remember that Christmas tree I mentioned? It’s at the foot of Rockefeller Center, the building that houses the Top of the Rock. If you time things right (which we did), you can watch darkness fall on the city, see the buildings light up, and then check out the tree when you come back down to street level.

Behold!

The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza
Kids' first visit to NYC, 12.02.2012

The bad news:
Ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza does not fit into the Daddy Scratches’ Official Guide to Family Fun in New York City … for Broke-Ass People™ budget plan.
The good news:
The wait would have been insufferably long.
Plus, also: Ice skating? Meh.

Kids' first visit to NYC, 12.02.2012

Look! Bonus trees! Free of charge!

What the pictures above fail to capture is the unbelievable crowd crush in which one finds oneself when one visits Rockefeller Plaza on the first Sunday in December … which also is the first Sunday of the year to follow the annual Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony. The last time I was in a group this large and this tightly packed was during Woodstock ’94. (We will not pause here long enough to do any math that might make us realize how long ago that was and, therefore, how terrifyingly old we have grown.)

And because I promised to wrap things up in this entry, let us move swiftly through the remaining steps of our adventure, shall we?

Step Nine: Get the hell out of Rockefeller Plaza.

Step Ten: Grab a couple slices of pizza at some nasty-looking pizza joint because your exhausted-and-on-the-verge-of-a-meltdown youngest child has refused to eat at the several other places you’ve suggested, and this is not a battle you deem worthy of either your time or energy. (Translation: Let’s not screw up an otherwise delightful day, OK?)

Step Eleven: Decide to pretend you’re one of those people who can afford to take a cab.

Step Twelve: Abandon all hope, ye who attempt to hail a cab in Times Square during a prime theater-going hour on the first Sunday in December.

Step Thirteen: Stare death in the face a second time as you return to lower Manhattan via the subway. (Bonus points if, instead of taking an express train, you take the local, thereby increasing both the duration of your ride and the likelihood that disaster will strike.)

Step Fourteen: Board the ferry and head back to the mainland.

Horrible picture of the Statue of Liberty

Though the fog has lifted, my complete inability to take an in-focus, long-distance, nighttime shot through a plate-glass window on a swift-moving ferry remains.

My little lady with her little Lady Liberty

Consolation prize: A clear shot of my little lady with her
little Lady Liberty.

And thus concludes our Big Apple adventure, my friends. I hope you enjoyed yourselves. I know I sure did. In fact, all my smart-ass remarks aside, I can honestly say that this was one of the most fun and special days my family has ever had. As someone who didn’t see New York City until I was 25, and who subsequently fell in love with the place, it was an incredible experience to take my children for their first visit at ages 7 and 9.

The best part? They fell in love with it too … which guarantees that our first family adventure in NYC most definitely won’t be our last.

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Posted in Family, Jayna, Life, Parenthood, Zan | 9 Responses

The Scratches Take Manhattan, Part 2

New York City, Times Square

[Click here for Part 1.]

Hello, and welcome back to …

The Official Daddy Scratches Guide to Family Fun in New York City … for Broke-Ass People!™

Now then … where were we? Oh, right: The tighty-whities guy makes more than me. But that’s OK! Because we’re in Times Square! And we’re being frugal! So frugal, in fact (and I don’t know how I forgot to mention this in Part 1, but let’s assume it has less to do with forgetfulness and more to do with the human mind suppressing an unimaginable horror) that we actually packed lunch and — brace yourselves —

ATE  ON  THE
SUBWAY!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

“No way!” says everyone.

“Yes way!” says me.

It’s true: My family and I consumed food and drink while riding aboard a New York City subway car … and in case you’ve ever wondered who planted the seeds of my germ phobia, that thud you just heard was my mother fainting. If whichever one of you is closest could please resuscitate her, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

(Also: When she comes to, please assure her that it was with wholly maniacal fastidiousness that I made sure both her grandchildren and I held our respective sandwiches using the plastic bags in which they were wrapped, and that at no time did any direct skin-to-sandwich contact occur.)

So let’s review: Free parking, free ferry ride, an affordable (and death-defying) subway picnic, and a mostly free sightseeing excursion in Times Square. Which brings us to:

Step Five: It’s high time we rewarded ourselves for being so responsible with our money … and what better way to do that than by acting completely irresponsible with our money, am I right? Of course I am.

Remember this place?

Sitting on the edge of our very own fiscal cliff.

Sitting on the edge of our very own fiscal cliff.

That’s us hanging out last January at a super-chic, super-expensive, sort-of-hidden gem that I found while we were celebrating my 42nd birthday. (I’m happy to report that we’ve almost paid off the remaining balance on those two margaritas that you see there on the table in front of us.)

You know where this is headed, right?

We decided to drop in again and class up the joint.

We decided to drop in again and class up the joint.

Living it up in New York City

After calling the bank to secure a second mortgage, we treated ourselves to some snacks.

Have you ever wondered what a $10, single-scoop bowl of ice cream tastes like? If so, I encourage you to ask my kids, because they both know.

Kids' first visit to NYC, 12.02.2012

You’re goddamn right they’re smiling.

But, hey, you’re not paying a premium for the food; you’re paying a premium for the location … and I was heartened by the fact that the kids were awestruck by the location (and very appreciative that we took them to such a special place).

With our batteries recharged and our bank accounts depleted, we’re ready for …

Step Six: Let’s get back on track with our budget, shall we? It’s time for a stroll through Midtown to do some more free people-watching and sightseeing. And, hey, while we’re at it, let’s shrink the kids!

Miniature Zan digs it.

Miniature Zan digs it.

Miniature Jayna is not impressed.

Miniature Jayna is not impressed.

Oh, did I forget to mention that it’s Christmastime? Yes, this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill maiden voyage to New York City. This is a holiday quest … a quest to …

See the Tree!

But wait! Before we see the tree, we have to cap off our walk with …

Step Seven: … a visit to the top of a skyscraper. Sure, it’s gonna cost a few bucks … but only a total douche would take someone on their first visit to New York City and not give them a bird’s eye view of the island. Are you a total douche? I didn’t think so.

Let’s continue.

You have two buildings to choose from: The Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, a.k.a. the Top of the Rock. Which one did we go with? You’ll have to wait and see.

(Yes, I’m actually stretching into three posts what I originally thought would be a single entry. Hang in there with me, OK?)

To be concluded in Part 3

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Posted in Family, Life, Parenthood | 6 Responses