Sunday, January 30, 2011


• “The first book in this series was so good, I can hardly wait to read the next five!”

• “I’m going to turn off my iPod and my cell phone for the weekend so I can concentrate on doing extra credit work in Algebra.”

• “I finished all of my chores, Dad. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

• “I’m going to go brush my teeth and get ready for bed.”

• “I’m going to take the dog for a walk. Be back in an hour.”

• “I don’t need my allowance this week, Dad. You’ve spent plenty on me already.”

• “Pass the broccoli, please.”

• “I’m going to stay after school for tutoring this week so I can raise my grades.”

• “I don’t want to see that movie, Dad. It’s rated R. Why don’t you and Mom go see it, and I’ll stay home?”

• “Good night, Dad. I love you.”

Monday, January 17, 2011


In honor of Martin Luther King on his birthday, I thought I’d share this little anecdote that led me to ask the above question. Read it, and then you can decide for yourself.

My son has played basketball for the city junior league for several years. Before the season begins, each kid tries out so that the coaches can score them and create balanced teams.

At least that’s the pretense. The reality is that most coaches already know the kids and the parents and create the strongest teams they can. If you are not part of this clique, your kid ends up on the shitty team. Guess who’s not part of this clique?

So, we begin each season on a positive note, hoping that our team will win at least a couple of games. About half way through the season, however, I end up driving a dejected kid to the game while he sighs, “We’re just gonna lose anyway.”

At the first practice session, we get to size up each team member, and hope springs eternal that there will be at least a couple of standout players.

Last year, for the first time, there was an African-American kid on my son’s team. My immediate thought was, “All right! Maybe we’ll have a chance now!”

Well, it turned out that this kid was by far the worst player on the team. How bad was he? I barely know anything about basketball, and it was even obvious to me that this kid was terrible.

I was confused. Just because this kid was black, I expected him to be a great basketball player, and then when it turned out he wasn’t, I just couldn’t comprehend it. What a rip-off!

On top of that, the best player on the team was actually a skinny, short Asian kid. I was dumbfounded. “Wait a minute—The black kid is the worst player and the little Asian kid is the best player? What the hell is going on here?”

Then I began asking myself, why would I automatically assume that a black kid would be good at basketball?

What if I was black and had no interest in basketball? Would people always want to talk basketball with me, and then be disappointed when they found out I had no interest in the game at all?

Or what if I was an Asian kid and really loved basketball? Would everyone just ridicule me because there aren’t many Asian basketball players and I should really be focusing on math?

Or what if I was Jewish? Would gentiles always ask me about Mideast politics, or the meaning of certain Jewish holidays, figuring that I’m expected to know everything about them just because they’re Jewish topics?

Wait a minute…I am Jewish and gentiles do ask me that stuff!

Do their questions make them racist? Do my assumptions about the basketball players make me a racist? You be the judge.

Sayonara and Shalom.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Not to start off the New Year on a negative note or anything (why, I would never do that!), but today I am here to tell you something that nobody else will: The Truth About Having Kids.

And here it is: Enjoy your children while they’re young, because by the time they hit 12, it’s over baby.

What’s over, exactly? Let’s see…

Their wide-eyed innocence. Kissing you good night, or just kissing or hugging you for no reason at all. Talking to you excitedly about their friends and what happened that day. Looking to you for protection and guidance.

And what can you expect when your child enters the “tween” stage?

To them, everything is lame and sucks, especially YOU. You are now an embarrassment who says and does everything wrong. If you’re lucky, your children will treat your every action and utterance with either massive eye-rolling or the silent treatment, or both.

When they were little, you only had to worry about your children simply being healthy and safe, and you could pretty much control that.

Now, you have to be concerned about some serious stuff: safe sex; who your children pick as friends and as girlfriends/boyfriends; grades (which really count now); the cost of college; driving; car insurance; too much TV; too much Internet; too much texting; too much video gaming.

And speaking of media, you will no longer have any use for Yo Gabba Gabba, or Barney, or The Wiggles, or Bob the Builder. That stuff probably drives you up the wall now, but one day you’ll find yourself longing for the days when your kids watched it over and over again. It was pure and sweet and harmless.

Once they become tweens, they will become attracted to R-rated movies, videos and music. And even if you don’t let inappropriate media in the house, your children will find it or get exposed to it one way or another.

Remember how you would sometimes catch your little ones doing something wrong? When you caught them, they looked so guilty and their tears would come flowing.

Well, when they get older, you hear about their misdeeds second-hand—from their friends, from other parents, or maybe even from school officials.

Any semblance of control you thought you once had is now gone. If you don’t believe me, take a good look at those groups of 12- to 17-year-old boys and girls the next time you’re at the mall or a fast-food joint. That is what your little baby will become, and there is nothing you can do about it! If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you, you’re still getting high on the fumes of Baby Wipes.

Then the day finally comes when you hear that your precious little angel is saying (or texting) the F-word. And that’s when you know it’s really over. Your bundle of joy has turned into just another a-hole…just like you were at that age.

So, enjoy your little ones while you can, but now you know the truth about having kids.

Come to think of it, no one ever tells you The Truth About Being Married, either, but that’s a topic for another day. Here’s a hint, though: look at the title of this blog posting.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Between Jerry K Jr. and me, as I was walking out the door:
Me: I’ll be back in 15 minutes. I need to get some gas.
Jerry K Jr.: Why?

This one occurred when Jerry K Jr. was getting ready to go to bed. Please understand that the only ones in the room were our dog, him and myself.
Me: Did you brush your teeth?
Jerry K Jr.: Who, me?

During a school field trip last year, a male student returned from the restroom with his zipper down.
Female teacher: Andrew, your fly is down.
Andrew: Why do you have to look down there, Miss?

Mrs. Jerry K to Jerry K Jr., while he was being particularly annoying at 6:00 am:
“Why do you have to do everything I hate?”

I saw a dad with his small son at Costco. The boy was dangling his leg out of the shopping cart. Exasperated, the dad smacked the boy’s leg, and said:
“I’m going to have to spank you, because I don’t want you to get hurt.”


• No more high-fiving of any kind. I actually saw two women high-five each other because they both got their periods on the same day. Kind of takes away the whole meaning of the high-five, don’t you think?

• Eat more Nutella.

• Determine once and for all if Ricky Martin and Elton John are gay.

• Perfect Aunt Flossie’s kasha recipe.

• Stop going to Best Buy, rearranging the DVDs, and then complaining to the manager that they are disorganized.

• Try to understand why receptionists at spas and massage parlors are always so tense.

• Avoid using the phrase, “There you go.”

• Transition from having fun only with chicken parts to having fun with the entire chicken.

• More licking.