Nerf and alcohol do not mix

Men are always on the prowl to sink to the lowest common denominator.
Take Sunday, for example.
My bestest friend and his wife were having a baby shower. She’s due in July. Husbands and children were invited as well.
“Wonder if it’ll be like a barbecue with hamburgers. Hotdogs and beer,” I said.
“There’s no liquor at baby showers,” my wife said. “I’ve never been to a baby shower that served alcohol.”
“You don’t know (my friend) or (my friend’s mom),” I said.
There was beer, wine and champagne.
I helped myself to the champagne (with a little Creme de Cassis and fresh raspberries). I poured some for the wife.
We had a few glasses. There was appetizers and talk (we let the women take over the outside patio).
Me and my buddy found ourselves secluded in the television room, while the women “oooohed” and “ahhhhed” over the gifts.
We drank more champagne.
The couple have a 6 year old boy. We bought him a Spiderman fishing rod and gave him a coupon for a guy’s day fishing trip (you have to be over 5 to participate) to compensate for all the baby attention (they’re expecting another boy).
“I bought him these this morning, thinking the same as you,” my buddy said.
It was the coolest pair of Nerf handguns I’d ever seen.
We started plinking away at a plastic champagne cup on the TV.
“Hey (my friend’s son), come here,” I said.
"yeah, come here for a minute," my buddy said.
He did as he was told, slid open the screen door, and entered the room.
We shot the boy in the chest.
His little friend was there, stripped down to his underwear and a personal floatation device, since they’d been in the pool. They squealed in glee as we gave them the weapons and let them tear-ass around the back yard.
We had another glass of bubbly.
The little ones handed their weapons back to the adults. We spied the little, little one. He’s 3 or 4, I can’t remember.
“Run and we’re going to shoot you,” my buddy said.
“Noooooooooo!?!?!” the boy said.
“Yes, you’re wearing that floaty thing, it won’t hurt,” I said.
“Noooooooo!” he said.
“Look,” my buddy said, grim and serious, “either run, or we’re going to shoot you right here.”
He looks up at us, lower lip extended over the upper, and out of his mouth comes a barely audible, “OK.”
And he takes off running.
We missed. Badly.
After that, he kept his distance.
We retired to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.

Chicken Little

So what do you say when the world doesn’t exactly end on the day you predicted it would?
You don’t say anything, of course (or just make an addendum to a long and tedious post that doesn’t say anything, either).
Earth was supposed to get smacked on Thursday by a chunk of comet. It was supposed to hit in the Atlantic Ocean and create these huge waves that were going to take out coastal cities.
It was all there for everyone to see at
The Earth is still rotating, with the same old problems it was rotating with on Thursday.
I’m shocked that the site is still up.

Porn O Plenty

Back in my day, it was Playboy, Penthouse and the occasional Hustler (for the real wide-open skank) to get us red-blooded American teens all hot-and-bothered.
And only when you could swipe one from your brother’s stash (my main means of boobies), or you had a friend who boosted his dad’s stash.
These days, kids can get porn 24/7, piped right in with the telephone or cable line.
I certainly wasn’t totally shocked today when my wife called to report that the boy’s laptop was chocked full o porn.
Do-it-your-self topless portraits girls had snapped of themselves and emailed him. Video clips. Professional porn shots from any number of sites with free samples.
Nothing over the top (you have to be thankful it was heavily tilted toward heterosexual blowjobs and not bestiality or deviant bondage), but still very upsetting to the wife.
She had brought the laptop in to her business, so an office worker could use it three days a week, while we get ready to purchase more electronic equipment for the office.
“Imagine having my entire office staff, and my computer guy, looking over my shoulder at what (the boy) had downloaded,” she said. “I was horrified.”
It’s going to cost us at least $400 to get all the porn and viruses cleaned off the computer. It was so infected, it’s like it had syphilis (my wife finally told the computer guy to wipe the hard drive and begin over; the boy lost at least $150 worth of iTunes material and we do not weep for him).
“The computer is now ours,” my wife said. “I know it was a Christmas present, but we warned him what was expected.
“Until he pays us what it takes to clean it off, he doesn’t get it back.”
It will be my job to have the heart-to-heart with him; it will be my job to explain why this behavior is inappropriate.
But will I come off sounding like a hypocrite? It is going to be a very fine line in the way I present it.
Because I, too, am male.
If there was a thing called the Internet when I was 15, would I have looked at porn?
I learned at a very early age that the penis makes a wonderful plaything. A friend that’s always close. It’s a natural part of growing up male (hence the Playboys, Penthouses, Hustlers and anything else we used to furiously pleasure ourselves).
However, this is another misstep in a long line of missteps for the 15-year-old. And I tire of everyone out there with a teen male saying this unending stream of boorish behavior, bad grades, bad judgement and general moodiness that is “part of being that age.”
“They are just like that at this age,” other confused parents have told us. “You just have to wait for the light to click on.”
I’ll have to call bullshit on that one.
Without getting into a raging debate on how to properly raise a well-adjusted male child, I think you have to be extremely firm and set boundaries.
And rely on generous use of corporal punishment.
But back to the porn.
These are different days from the time of my youth, when my mother first found girlie magazines under my mattress (and just laid them back on the bed and said nothing – my shame and self-loathing was punishment enough).
Nowadays, kids have access to so much technology that they’re trading pictures and streaming video of each-other.
And they think nothing of it.
And I think that desensitizes our youth about sex – and it inhibits their ability to form ideas of what is really right and wrong with their sexuality.
Hey, I used to get hot-and-bothered by the bra and panty ads in the Sears catalog; I never had girls delivering topless pictures of themselves into my email inbox.
Like I said it’s a different time.
And as parents, you absolutely need to stay on top of the times. Know where your kid is at – especially online – and keep telling your teenage boys that it is highly inappropriate to treat women as sex objects. That what they see nowadays is not how it is in the real world.
My wife and I like to think we are raising some woman’s husband.
I am not a prude. I am a firm, firm fan of a female form. Sex, hell yes.
But gratuitous Internet porn – and that includes all the stuff you find out in the open for anyone to view on – is doing our society a real disservice. By corrupting a generation of youth who are smarter, more informed and more pressured than we ever were to experiment.
Pretty soon, we’ll be raising generation after generation of sexual deviants.
And that idea scares the shit out of me.

Kiss your ass goodbye

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Supposedly, there’s a comet fragment headed our way.
And it’s supposed to hit in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday (or thereabouts).
It's as big as a truck.
And astronomers (those pesky real scientists) can't see it.
But the government doesn't want you to know anyway. They'd rather you die with the passivity of sheep.
Pucker up.
Bend over.
Kiss that ass goodbye.
Eric Julien, a former French military air traffic controller and senior airport manager, says a piece of comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann is headed our way. Julien says the impact is gonna cause 200 meter waves (that’s 656 feet to our metric-phobic friends).
That’s a lot of water.
Of course, Julien is French and remember our motto here at Surface Tension: “Fuck the French!”
And don’t pay any attention to the fact that Julien says “beings of higher intelligence” dropped hints in crop circles that this was coming.
Yes, crop circles.
In 1995, according to Julien, a crop circle appeared showing the inner solar system with the Earth missing from its orbit. He argues the "Missing Earth" crop circle was a message from higher intelligences warning humanity of the consequences of its destructive nuclear policies.
Uh, huh.
You can check it out for yourself at
We’ve got two days to live.
Party’s at my house on Saturday. BYOB.

Go fuck yourselves

People wonder why I’m so crabby.
It’s because for the past three weeks or so, I’ve gotten up – for the day – at 3 a.m.
Not 3:04 or 2:46 but 3:00 on the dot.
I’m getting between 21/2 and five hours a sleep a night.
Combine that with a bunch of just normal life stress, and you’ve got the recipe for crabby.
I lie awake and think. I try to fall back asleep. It does not happen.
I’m slowly descending into madness.
Watch me flounder.
It's like a car wreck, you can't help but to rubberneck.

One step at a time

Girls are mean.
It is their purpose, I suppose.
To grow into women and take all the crap men – who stay little boys forever – constantly dish out.
But that first time a girl is mean to you. Boy, does that stay with you.
It was eighth grade. I liked a girl named Jodie. Of course, I couldn’t tell her that. I sent en emissary instead.
“Would you go out with Thom?” my best friend asked.
“Oh, fuck no,” Jodie replied.
I was crushed.
The boy had a similar incident a few weeks back.
And surprisingly, we’re all better for it.
The boy has a girlfriend. They’re cute, if not awkward, around each-other. First love. Sweet.
During one of those nothing conversations, they decided to play What Do You Like About Me/What Don’t You Like About Me.
The girl told the boy that he had bad breath.
“Really bad,” she said.
And the boy was crushed.
He told his mother.
“Did you think we were just telling you your breath stunk just to be mean?” she asked. “We were telling you that to help you out.”
This is a kid who could go weeks without brushing. This is a kid who was too lazy to put toothpaste on his brush when he did decide to brush.
It’s all well-documented.
He has poor hygiene.
“It all started to make sense,” he told his mom. “She’s always trying to give me gum.”
The day she told him of his stinkiness, he must have brushed for a half-hour. There was toothpaste foam all over the sink. The faucets. The towel, for chrissakes.
“At least he’s brushing,” my wife said. “We’ll work on getting him to clean the sink later.”
He’s a work in progress.
"I look at it this way," he said. "There's an upside for everyone. I get kissed more, and you guys stay off my back."
Now if I could just get him to flush his turds when his bowel movements are completed.