I don’t ask for much each Christmas. Just a few essentials, a couple luxuries … and a pony! (Still don’t have that last one.) The little kid in me just can’t help but make a list, so here’s a sampling of this year’s:
• Stank-O-Matic 3000 Gas Mask and Hazardous Materials Suit — As the father of a little girl who turns 1 on Dec. 26, I can honestly say the first year of dealing with diapers has not been as bad as expected. Sure, it’s never a pleasant experience, but I can’t recall a single Category 5 diaper — the kind with smells that will warp glass or make the threads of your clothes disintegrate. But that said, I know the Dark Lord of the Poops — who can burn nostrils and devastate the land in more ways than one — could pop up at any moment. I need to be prepared and sure could use a Stank-O-Matic, just in case.
• Hope — In the coming year I would like to finish at least one project around the house. But the truth is, I have no hope. So I just need a little of it to keep my spirits up. Everyone needs hope, and I need a little extra for my wife, too. (Also, please disregard the large club she has penciled in on her list.)
• Sense — I could use a big bag of it. Recently, thanks to my co-worker Mike Horn who had to go out and run a marathon, I’ve started thinking about doing another one. That’s despite the fact that it’s over 26 miles, not to mention I ALMOST DIED the last time I ran one! Literally, I almost died, or at least almost lost a leg or two. So, a little sense would get me thinking clearly and back on the couch drinking beer and eating pretzels.
• A phone solicitor taser — Ever since the do-not-call list went into effect, the number of solicitors calling has dropped to almost none … except for one toll free number that won’t get the message. (If we haven’t answered the first 46,000 times, chances are we’ll never answer.) But they keep calling and I now need a phone solicitor taser, That way I could send a shock through the line and zap that pain-in-the-neck on the other end.
• A monkey — I really need a monkey. I would just sit him on the floor under my child’s high chair. Whatever she throws on the floor, the monkey would pick up and hand back to her. She drops a spoon? Monkey would get it. Drops her cup? Monkey would get it. Drops everything on the table when she yanks out the tablecloth. Monkey would pick it all up, put it in the garbage and then go shopping for new china and glassware. I need a monkey.
• Space in a parallel dimension — When you have a kid, the perfect size house suddenly seems like a shoebox. There is stuff everywhere … and no place to put it! I don’t need a bigger house, and more closets won’t do the trick. What I want is a door into another dimension that I can open, throw some crap in, and then close again. Let it sit in there, and when I need it I’ll go in after it.
• A pressure washer for my keyboard — If your computer’s keyboard is like mine, it has never been cleaned and resembles a newly-tarred roof. What is all that gunk and grime on there that sticks to your fingers? What could I have possibly spilled? Could I get a disease? The gunk is getting so bad, I can’t even read the letters on the keys and my finger tips are always black. I need a pressure washer.
• All the time in the world to spend with my daughter.
And of course …
• A pony