Dad in the Box

October 19, 2019

I hate robots. They talk funny and have no personality. If that makes me a human racist, then so be it. I talked to a robot on the phone the other day. it was sitting virtually within the deep, dark recesses of a computer connected to the working end of an 800 number. It tried to convince ...

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I have never been waterboarded, but I can’t imagine it can be much worse than going to the DMV. This is what I was thinking as I was standing in line on the sidewalk at 11:00 in the morning. There was a line outside the DMV because there was no room inside the DMV. The inside was filled with ...

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There are lots of places I would like to visit before I die. Mars is not one of them. For starters, it would take something like nine months just to get there. I don’t have that much vacation time. And even if the travel could be whittled away by technologies yet to be invented to ...

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I need to replace my wallet. More accurately, it is a billfold, a name which blandly describes what it does. After years of riding in a dark pocket compressed mercilessly by 200 plus pounds of backside and being opened and closed many times a day, the poor thing has gotten kind of shabby. It ...

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I have never ridden in the back seat of my car. It is not high on my list of things to do before I die. Yet here I am, somewhere outside Kearney, Nebraska, wedged tight behind the driver’s seat, duffle bags and backpacks piled high on the seat to my right, a garbage bag full of oily food ...

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I am an artist. It says so on my T-shirt. My colorful shirt, which significantly inflates my position in life, confers great status. For one, it announces that I am a musical performer at the Montclair Jazz Festival. This distinguishes me from the thousands of other festival goers who only get ...

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Did you hear about the three holes in the ground? Well, well, well. I was harshly accused by my kids of telling a dad joke. I don’t remember what the quip was, but I am sure it was stupid. Still, this accusation really stung because my kids are well past the age of feeling embarrassed by my ...

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I am one of those guys who is inspired to action watching dramatic sporting events. For example, every four years, after watching the summer Olympics, I sign up for a gym membership. Just a couple of months ago I played a round of miniature golf after being moved by Tiger Wood’s thrilling ...

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I love being invited to exclusive events. It makes me feel special. So you can imagine my excitement when I received an invitation to participate in a class action lawsuit. No one has ever asked me to a class action before. And I missed my last high school reunion. I wonder what I should ...

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I recently had to write an obituary. For my dad. He was 92, sharp, and living in his own home. But he was succumbing to age. His knees were bad and he had trouble breathing so he hobbled when he walked and had to stop every ten steps or so to catch his breath. He was a strong man whose strength ...

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I am not sure if I ever had measles. I know I had gerbils. And a hamster once. But I don’t recall ever having measles. Of course, measles aren’t small furry animals or some popular Hasbro toy that is in short supply around the holidays. The Measles are not a Korean Pop boy band or an annoying TV ...

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Recently a coordinated series of telescopes aimed at the heavens captured the first known image of a black hole. This is peculiar because a black hole by definition can’t be seen. A black hole is kind of like Las Vegas. What happens there stays there. The image shows a thick fiery ring which, ...

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A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. - John C. Maxwell This of course implies that a smaller, duller, and weaker man made the mistake in the first place. The good news is that I readily admit my mistake, I am ...

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Dear Mr. Dad in the Box, The Admissions Department has completed a thorough review of your application. We regret to inform you that you were not selected for admission to the Farvard University Class of 2023. Please understand this is not a reflection of you as a person or your extremely ...

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Recently I discovered, somewhat unexpectedly, that I am a robot. Ironically, I came to this discovery after contemplating the purchase of a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. The motorized Roomba disk roams by itself around the house methodically cleaning the floor. The Roomba also seems like it ...

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A while ago I received an urgent roadside call from my son. It was a cold and rainy night, and somewhat late. He was on his way home with my car and calling from somewhere along the side of a busy highway. I could hear cars and large trucks shuddering by him, occasionally drowning out his ...

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I am rarely inspired by television commercials. For example, as great as the ads are, I have never switched to Geico. But a spot on TV lately has made me want to shed my slovenly ways and reach the unreachable. In the advertisement it is 5 AM and I am a young, fit, attractive woman. A gentle ...

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There are lots of exotic places I would like to visit before I die. The far side of the moon is not one of them. But I understand that traveling to distant lands is a calling unique to the individual. It explains why there are people in the world who seek to explore the Mariana Trench or the ...

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I received a card from someone I don’t know. On the front is a perfect picture of a picture perfect family taken on a fine summer day. Maybe during a vacation, when the light is vibrant and the smiles and joy of togetherness are easy to come by. The family is seated together on a dune of sand ...

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As part of my continuing education series on things I know nothing about but will explain anyway, I think it is time to tackle dryer repair. As we all know, a dryer is a big heavy metal thing with buttons and knobs that dries clothes.  This is not to be confused with a washing machine which is ...

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Say what you will about Satan, he sports a well-groomed beard.   This month is No Shave November.  It is the time of year in which men suspend their daily shaving ritual and let their beards and moustaches grow wild and free in support of men’s health issues. Which means that on Thanksgiving ...

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I want a tattoo.  I am old enough to hang reading glasses around my neck and I want a tattoo.    The question I keep asking myself is, why?  After a lifetime ignoring my skin, why now would I want to turn some weatherworn patch of scratches and scars it into an album cover?  This is not an ...

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I am not sure which scares me more, the impending apocalypse or Halloween making a killing at the box office.   Recently the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a frightening report indicating the global temperature will rise 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial ...

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I was so excited to receive an important alert on my phone.  It made me feel, I don’t know, special.   Presidential Alert THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System.  No action is needed   Even though I am president of nothing, it was gratifying to know that ...

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On a recent trip to California I ordered a glass of lemonade with lunch.  My ice cold drink came without a straw.     I can’t drink lemonade without a straw.  Margaritas either.  For me, drinking from a glass without a straw is kind of like eating eating soup without a spoon.  Sooner or later ...

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Dropping your son or daughter off at college is a significant event in their lives. For many young adults, this is their first chance to spread their wings and live independently.  They quite naturally face this new chapter in life with a healthy mixture of trepidation and excitement.  ...

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Dear Mr. Vice President,   I heard your speech last week and was inspired.  I am writing to formally enlist in the United States Space Force.    Although eager to serve, I am a little surprised to learn that this next important branch of the armed services will be formed to protect our ...

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I am an artist.  It says so on my T-shirt. My colorful shirt, which significantly inflates my position in life, confers great status.  For one, it announces that I am a musical performer at the up and coming Montclair Jazz Festival.  This separates me from the thousands of other festival goers ...

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How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?   Enough already.     I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.   “Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I ...

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It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly. As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup ...

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