{April 15, 2014}   Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 40

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you TWO ways to play: (A) Set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever enters your head OR (B) Link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way. For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method.

Easter is just around the corner. As in this week. As in six days. As in who knows how many hours? I’m losing time just trying to calculate it right now.

And, speaking of time, where the heck has it all gone?!!? How did my kids get to be 14 and 11? I can still remember the Easter Bunny bringing Big Boy and Big Girl underwear back in the day. I’m pretty sure they were Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer. My kids would DIE if they knew I just wrote that. But they’re my babies. They’ll always be my babies. And I’ve already warned them both that I’ll still be calling them that when they’re fifty… and sixty … and even seventy.

“No, you won’t, Mom,” corrected my son.

“Oh, yes, I will, Dean,” I promised.

“No, you won’t,” he smiled. “Because when I’m seventy, you’ll be dead.”

My sentimental boy.

Maybe he’ll get it when he’s a dad. He’s going to be a great one. Sweet, kindhearted, calm. I don’t know where he gets that “calm” from. And my daughter is a natural. She’s clearly got a special place in her heart for tiny people. A special way even. And they seem to love her even more in return. She’s like the Pied Piper.

I love those kids more than anything in the world. Happy Easter, guys. Have I not embarrassed you enough yet? Then how about I include two of my favorite pictures from Easters past?

Yeah. That should do it.


* * * * * * * * * *

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Lady Goo Goo Gaga

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Click here to read how this foolishness all began.


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WE give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

All YOU need to do is link something up.

And, for the love of Henry, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Why post of a picture of the Gorton’s Fisherman? Well, I have been eating a lot of fish lately. It being Lent and all. And, seriously, what’s goes better with fish sticks than Ketchup? Am I right?

Oh, and please excuse my butt cut. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to manage a decent hairstyle when dressed as a Ketchup bottle.

Wait. Why are you still reading this? Shouldn’t you be writing … or finding the perfect post to link up? And, gosh, look at me just blathering on when you have work to do. Go. Go now and do your thing!

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About these ads

I’m posting an old fragment of a children’s story that I wrote but but never published a few years ago. I have another children’s story that I might (one undetermined day in the future) publish. It’s the one of which I’m proud. It’s the one by which I’d like to be remembered. And it’s the one based on subject matter that isn’t, well, disgusting.

But I have a friend in the biz who once told me, “Kids love gross. Seriously, that’s their frame of reference for humor. Farts, burps, oozy, dripping monsters … the yuckier, the better.” Which is why one day, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I wrote this little story on my phone. The protagonist is a big blob of …. you know what? Just read it.

Oh, and sorry. Blame MamaKat. She issued a writing prompt requesting for “a blog post you didn’t publish.” You asked for it, MK.


Carl the Booger

There I was … clinging desperately to the wall … when I saw the fluffy fabric coming to cover the hole. It was my only window to the outside world. Then, everything went black. I readied myself for what I knew was coming. The force was amazing. It was like a giant vacuum sucking everything to the surface.

But not me.

“Maybe next time, suckers!” I screamed defiantly. But when I looked around me, I realized I was alone. I was the only man to survive. “I must head north … and go deeper, “ I thought. “To the sinuses!”


Well, I never claimed it would be Shakespeare.


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Last week, I was helping my daughter with a school Social Studies project on two different U.S. Presidents, the first of which was William Henry Harrison. It should have been quick. It should have been painless. And it should have only covered the subject of history. But it wasn’t. And it didn’t.


William Henry Harrison, 9th Philanderer-in-Chief of these United States

* * * * * * * * * *

We worked side by side in the room. I was on my laptop and she was on the desktop, both researching, while she created her Power Point presentation. Following is our back and forth exchange as we learned about William Henry Harrison, who held the shortest presidency in American history, only 31 days, before dying in office. That’s a bummer, WiHeHa.

ME: (scrolling through facts on my laptop) Okay. I see here that he had ten children. Nine that lived into adulthood and one that died in infancy.

VIVIEN: Wait, what? I only thought that he had one kid. You found TEN?

ME: (nervously checking Wikipedia and my other shoddy sources) Um … yes, let me make sure this information is about him and not his father. (searching the screen then reading directly from it) Um … yes! Yes, William Henry Harrison had ten children. Here are their names.

VIVIEN: (interrupting … politely, of course) That’s okay. I found them all right here. (counting them on the screen) Wait. But now I see eleven. Why do I see eleven?

ME: Eleven???

VIVIEN: Yes, there are eleven names here.

ME: (frustrated sigh) Okay. Let me read off my list of names and you tell me which one is extra on yours, okay?


ME: Elizabeth Bassett . (reading off the names one by one) …. John Cleves Symmes … (each being immediately followed with a “Got it!” from Vivien until I reached all ten).

VIVIEN: Yep, that’s all the ones I have here. Plus I have one more.

ME: (confused) What? … How? … Well, what is it?

VIVIEN: Dilsia.

ME: Dilsia???

VIVIEN: Yes, Dilsia.

ME: Well, I don’t have anything about a “Dilsia” here. Let me try looking it up. (checking my laptop)

VIVIEN: Okay. I will, too. (checking the desktop)

ME: (starting to read and panicking because I’m not really sure how in the HELL I’m going to explain what I’m finding)

VIVIEN: (already way ahead of me) Ohhhhh. Dilsia was from a different wife. (reading more and putting it together innocently) Or wait! I think Dilsia WAS the wife. And it says they had six children. (pausing to take it all in) Oh, my gosh. SO HE HAD SIXTEEN CHILDREN?!!?

ME: (panicking a little more and annoyed with myself that I’m not faster on my feet. Because I’ve just discovered that Dilsia was actually William Henry Harrison’s SLAVE. With whom he had six illegitimate children.) Um …

VIVIEN: So, should we put that in here, too? That he had two wives? (innocently curious) I wonder why they don’t list any of the kids’ names from that marriage.

ME: (pretending to have a coughing fit so I could think a minute) Um … well … I guess it’s just because she wasn’t … the first lady! (continuing on with my stupid idea) Since she wasn’t the first lady, they didn’t keep good records about all of her kids.

VIVIEN: (eyeing me somewhat suspiciously) Yeah, I guess so.

ME: (exhaling … and realizing I might have pulled something during my “coughing fit”)

VIVIEN: He sure was a weird man. With a VERY weird lifestyle.

ME: (still speechless and totally pissed at oily, adulterous presidents who make my life difficult) Yes, he was, Vivien. Yes … he … was.

* * * * * * * * * *

Next up? James Buchanan, who I understand was the only bachelor president in U.S. history. My information also says that he had no children.  

(Yeah, right.)

None that he KNOWS of.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute today to say goodbye to a friend. An entity really. If you’ve been reading ODNT for a while, you might remember the Trifecta writing challenges I used to participate in pretty regularly. Long story short, Trifecta is an obsessed-with-all-things-in-threes website run by a handful of literary aficionados in the hopes of inspiring ambitious, fledgling writers.

And inspire it did.

I’ve never seen a writing link-up with a larger, more constant and fiercely loyal following. There, I was introduced to scores of great people including (yep, you guessed it) my friend and frequent writing partner, Mel at AccordingToMags.com. Additionally, Trifecta also prompted me to write several slices of flash fiction of which I’m especially proud. Among them …

* * * * * * * * * *

Oh, and if you’re looking for a new link-up…

Check out KetchupWithUs!


Hosted by fellow Trifectan Mel and myself on the 1st and 15th of every month, KetchupWithUs is always flexible and always fun. Stop by when you can. One of our link-ups might just be live right now.

* * * * * * * * * *

So thanks for the inspiration and the great company, Trifecta. I wish you guys good luck in whatever your future endeavors may be. And now, while you ride off into the sunset, I’m going to play you out with one of the biggest closing themes of all time. In the (36, so close to your beloved 33) words of Carol Burnett …

I’m so glad we had this time together
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say “So long”

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{April 1, 2014}   Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 39

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you two ways to play. You can either (A) set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever pops into your head OR (B) link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way.

For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method. Here goes nothing …

I read a book! I read a book! I READ A BOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!!!!!!

Okay. How pathetic is it that THAT’S news? I used to read all the time. Seriously, I read thick, lengthy books, classics, mysteries, adventure, anthologies. Now I can barely get through a magazine. Or someone else’s blog posts. And yet I expect you to read mine. Selfish? Well, yes. Maybe. But who has the time?!!?

Fine. I promise I’ll try to do better. And do you know why? Because there has never been a time that I’ve actually bothered to read a book and then thought,

“Crap! What a HUGE waste of time! I can’t BELIEVE I ruined myself by reading that drivel!!”

Well, except for when I read 50 Shades of Words-That-People-Only-Read-Because-They’re-Smut-And-I-Should-Have-Spent-My-Time-Writing-A-Book-Or-Even-Just-Staring-At-The-Damned-Wall.

What’s the matter? Do you not agree? You don’t have to agree. It’s my opinion. And, if you want to oppose me in the comments, bring it. I HATED it. But read it because everyone else said I just had to. (My apologies for the prepositional ending.)

So what did I read?


A murder mystery published in 1939. And, holy crap, did it hold my attention! (I think they should use my quote on the back of the book jacket.

“One of the most ingenious thrillers in many a day.” – Time

“The whole thing is utterly impossible and utterly fascinating. It is the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written.” – New York Times

“There is no cheating; the reader is just bamboozled in a straightforward way from first to last….The most colossal achievement of a colossal career. The book must rank with Mrs. Christie’s previous best—on the top notch of detection.” – New Statesman, UK

“Holy crap, did it hold my attention! The book was so good that I read it in under 24 hours, shirking all of my other responsibilities, like showering and basic bladder maintenance. Seriously, I nearly peed my pants at the end.” – Michele, olddognewtits.com

I think it’s fits among the others nicely, don’t you think?

Anyway, my son read ATTWN (my modern day abbreviation for the classic novel) last school year and has been begging me to read it ever since. Why it took me a year to get to it can only be explained in two ways: Laziness and Horrendous Role Modeling.

Next time, I will take his recommendations much more seriously. And more immediately. After all, he is, like me, not a frequent reader. And thus, when he enjoys a book, it must, in fact, be stupendous. I will not again take his suggestions lightly.

Until then, I encourage YOU to read the pick. And, to entice you, I will leave you with the nursery rhyme that inspired the plot line. (P.S. I’m giving nothing away as Ms. Christie herself includes it in the book before chapter one even begins.)

Enjoy. (sound of my wicked laughter trailing off)

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;

One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;

One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;

One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;

One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;

A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law,

One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea;

A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;

A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun;

On got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone;

He went and hanged himself and then there were none.

* * * * * * * * * *

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Got Meghan

* * * * * * * * * *


Click here to read how this foolishness all began.


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We give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs.

All you need to do is link something up … and tell your friends.

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First of all, in the event that, for some crazy reason, you aren’t familiar with the fabulous Mr. Gaffigan and his work, please allow me to introduce you.

I’ll wait while you catch your breath before I move on.




No. seriously. Could you get yourself together? I’ve got stuff to do.




Fine. You know what? Just laugh quietly while I talk.




Today was a pretty blah day around here. My daily agenda included laundry, loads of freelance work, extensive bill paying and a funeral. Oh, and did I mention that the weather was positively beastly? So much so that I kept getting these scary ass texts.


Maybe the weather was summoned to coincide with the big movie premier for Noah.

Well played, Paramount Pictures.

And there I was, hunkering down in my house, trying to ignore the constant buzzing of my phone to tell me the end of the world was near when I saw an email from my friend, Jim Gaffigan. (He’s not really my friend. … I’m being sarcastic. … But I would be his friend if he asked. Gosh, I hope I didn’t just hurt his feelings if he’s reading right now. I would totally be your friend, Jim.)

Anyway, the email explained that Jim was nominated for best Concert Comic by the American Comedy Awards. But he needs votes. And he emailed ME to ask for help, you guys!

I’m a hard person to make laugh. Because I’m jaded. And judgy. And could beat the pants off anyone in a game of “Make Me Laugh.” But this man slays me. So I immediately voted. Via Twitter. And I was tickled to see how quickly he acknowledged and even favorited my tweet.


I’m so glad you appreciate my vote, Jim. And now I’m going to take it one step further. Because you liked my tweet. AND because you make me laugh. I’m going to try to get other people to vote for you, too. That’s pretty damned nice of me since we’re not actually friends, don’t you think? (Again, just say the word, Jim, and I’ll stop this whole were-not-really-friends malarkey.)


A vote for Gaffigan is a vote to laugh again!!!

(Oh, my God. That was awful. Why did I think that would be funny? Poetry, Michele? Poetry is never funny. Well, crap. Now he’s NEVER going to be my friend. … Maybe I should just get to the point.)

Vote for Jim Gaffigan!

Just write a tweet with the hashtag #AmericanComedyAwards and @JimGaffigan in your message by Tuesday, April 1 at 1PM PST.

(Okay. I already showed everybody his bacon bit. OMG, BACON BIT! That’s hiLARious. Remember to send that joke to Jim. But wait! I should also remind everyone about one of his most popular and longest running jokes. Good thing we eat like shit around here.)


My daughter said the fact that I’m using TURKEY bacon is just lame.

“I don’t think that’s what he meant, Mom.”

“Whatever, Vivien. Just take the picture.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Yeah, sure. It’s a weird blog post. I wasn’t paid to write any of it. I just think this dude’s funny and would love to see him win. So go vote.

Show Jim your tweets!

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Darling Dame

Floods. (shiver) Here in New Orleans, we’re a little shell-shocked about them because we’re located about a dozen feet below sea level. In my lifetime, I’ve seen it happen several times, most famously in 2005 thanks to Hurricane Katrina. My home was among the many casualties, although you’d never know it to look around here now. Seriously, I think someone sneaks useless trash and clutter into my house while we’re asleep.

But let’s get back to floods. I want to talk about the biggest flood of all times. Because its story is being told on the big screen in a movie that opens this Friday, March 28. It’s called simply … Noah. Have you seen the trailer yet?

I’ll be seeing this movie very soon, most likely with my mother. And I’ll be positively hyperventilating during all the destruction scenes. Water-related disasters (Titanic, The Perfect Storm, Jaws) get me in the gut every time. Maybe I need to rethink those cheese sticks and go for something more “stomach-friendly” for this one.

(We all know I’m still getting the cheese sticks, right?)

Oh, and before I forget, my friends at Grace Hill Media asked Mel and me to help promote the movie release with a little giveaway. Actually, we have TWO giveaways because everything related to this movie should be done in PAIRS. (I’ll just assume you get that joke.) Wanna see what you could win? Remember, ODNT has a very limited marketing budget so we can’t afford to hire any fancy models for the photo shoot.


Each prize package contains three items: A hoodie shirt, a raincoat (duh!) and  a baseball cap.

Be flattered. Because I absolutely despise how I look in baseball caps. And I never put them on. For anyone. Here’s why.


Don’t even TRY to tell me you don’t see the resemblance. 

* * * * * * * * * *

So, I’ll be keeping the shirt and the raincoat but passing the cap on to my Godchild. Named NOAH, of course. His birthday is this week. (Happy birthday, buddy!!!) Want a set of Noah merchandise of your very own? Mel and I can totally make that happen. Right now.


Remember to fill out the rafflecopter completely. Just clicking the ‘tweet the giveaway’ option can earn you TEN extra entries each day. The promotion ends on Monday, March 31, 2014.

* * * * * * * * * *

Good luck!

For more information about the movie, visit noahmovie.com.


Darling Dame

It all started innocently enough. I was scrolling through my daily writing gigs when I came across one by Henkel, a worldwide business leader in the areas of home and beauty care based in Düsseldorf, Germany. (I should point out for clarity that the overeating, chocolate aficionado from the original Willy Wonka movie, Augustus Gloop, hails from the fictitious town of Düsselheim. I’d hate for you to lose the same kind of precious time that I did when researching that detail this week.)

Anyway … Henkel posted a job opportunity asking writers to create a 200 word post promoting their Flush to Paradise project and video below.

Unfortunately, I didn’t meet their “minimum qualifications.” Which, of course, prompted me to write a letter. I’m not sure I’ll ever hear back from them. But I hope they’re reading now because, meine deutschen freunde, I want you to know this. *I* can promote a toilet project as well or better than any fancy-pants 50 sverve.com scorer. Any. Day. Of. The. Week.

Why don’t you try me and see for yourself? Or at least reply to the email I just sent to half of your upper management.

Hi, new friends at Henkel.

I’m writing about a new opportunity your company just listed on sverve.com, a website designed to match up companies and online writers/bloggers for paid promotional jobs. (Hopefully) your listing can be viewed here … http://www.sverve.com/user/campaign/1394553189683/

Here’s my problem. Your minimum requirements for participation call for a sverve applicant score of 50 or higher. I’m still new to sverve … and growing … so my score presently stands at 33. But I’m not new to blogging. I’ve been hosting my website for more than two years now and have attended the last two international BlogHer conventions (NYC & Chicago) featuring thousands and thousands of bloggers from all over the world. I was even named a Top 25 Funny Mom by  CircleOfMoms.com, a website boasting more than 6 million readers worldwide.

My point … and I DO have one (totally stole that from Ellen DeGeneres, but it’s okay because we’re both from New Orleans) is that I don’t think I should be excluded from your campaign. To date, I’ve written plenty of promotional posts and product reviews. And I always like put an interesting, personal spin on them so people will actually read and be engaged in what I write. That’s better for you AND for me.

Here are just a few samples. (I’ve got more if you’re interested. Or even still reading. Please still be reading.)

1. Ryobi Generator … http://olddognewtits.com/2013/10/08/talking-bout-my-generator/

2. Kiss Hairdryer … http://olddognewtits.com/2013/10/18/kiss-bad-hair-days-goodbye/

3. FoodSaver … http://olddognewtits.com/2013/10/11/save-anything-not-to-be-confused-with-the-80s-john-cusack-movie/

4. Soda Stream … http://olddognewtits.com/2013/09/24/bubble-bubble-no-toil-no-trouble/

5. Monster Headphones … http://olddognewtits.com/2013/08/17/what-do-i-have-to-do-to-get-you-in-a-pair-of-monsterinspiration-headphones-today/

But the most important reason you should include me is because of my dedication and years of experience both in toilet usage AND maintenance. I’ve been potty trained for literally decades now and consider myself somewhat of an expert in this area. Plus I’ve potty trained two kids. And cleaned my toilets I’d estimate an average of 847,624 times in my lifetime. Oh, and I’ve actually written two (TWO, HENKEL!) posts completely revolving around my toilet. One was even published in the New Orleans Picayune newspaper. (How many people can make that claim?)

They can be viewed here.

1. A Letter of Farewell to My Old Toilet … http://olddognewtits.com/2012/04/03/a-letter-of-farewell-to-my-old-toilet/

2. The Toilet Story (“inspired” by Hurricane Katrina) … http://olddognewtits.com/2012/08/28/the-toilet-story-inspired-by-hurricane-katrina/

So (beware, toilet puns approaching) all I ask is that you don’t flush away the opportunity for us to make a splash. I’ve got lots of ideas in the think tank. So let’s plunge in to this one together. We’re number 1! (Using number 2 here just seemed too gross, plus I was shooting for the top.)

Goodbye for now. I’ll be sitting by computer until you respond so please don’t take too long. My kids are bound to get hungry at some point.


Michele Robert Poche

Sometimes I fear I’m just helping the FBI build a thick case on me that will, one day, land me in a padded room. Although the privacy and in-room food delivery doesn’t sound half bad actually.


{March 15, 2014}   Ketchup With Us #BlogHop 38

It’s time for Ketchup With Us. Held on the 1st & 15th of every month, the link-up gives you two ways to play. You can either (A) set a timer for 10 minutes and write about whatever pops into your head OR (B) link up an old post. Mel and I are easy that way.

For this link-up, I’m choosing A, the brain drain method.

What can I write about? What … can … I … write … about? (dramatic pause) Oooh! I know. I’ll tell you about when the picture below was taken last summer. It involves my dad again. Didn’t I write about him last time? Well, he’s awesome, so there’s why.

Anyway, my family was on vacation last summer. My kids and I actually flew to New York City with my parents (Dave was working at the time) and spent a few days there.  Then, we took a train from there to Philadelphia. And when I say we almost missed that train, I mean I actually hopped over the entrance threshold as the wheels started turning. I really should have done it in slow motion. In black-and-white. I felt like an old-time movie character. But I’m losing focus here.

So, we arrived in Philadelphia, a city I hadn’t seen since I was a very young child, and took in all the usual sights. Even met up briefly with my friend, Mel, and her family who were traveling to visit other family members just north of Philly. Our nine-headed monster of a group did a lot together including the Liberty Bell, the home of Betsy Ross and so much more. When Mel and company had to move on, we finished up in Philadelphia on a bus tour that took us to several more must-see locations.

And remember, I am an idiot. So when *I* say “must-see,” I usually mean something like the diner in Seinfeld, the coffee shop in Friends or the Rocky steps. All of which I have, of course, seen. (Click here for video of that last one. Seriously, it’s like 15 seconds.) Thus, when the opportunity to see the bar behind the offbeat FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia presented itself, I totally hopped off that bus. But my kids certainly weren’t coming with me to a neighborhood bar so my mom stayed back with them and rode on to the next stop but my dad hopped off with me.

He’s actually the one who encouraged me to throw on the red suit and take a picture behind the bar (see below). I guess I DO get it from somewhere. (Love you, too, Mom.)  …. and beep! 10 minutes done.

* * * * * * * * * *

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer from last time is …

Coach Daddy

* * * * * * * * * *


Click here to read how this foolishness all began.




The embed code for this button is right there in my sidebar. Unfortunately, my site is a tool and won’t let me put it in this actual post. Please grab it from the sidebar. Thanks!



We give you a picture to inspire you to KetchupWithUs. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll share this one. It was taken last summer at Paddy’s Pub, the bar that serves as the inspiration for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

All you need to do is link something up … and tell your friends. Before Ketchup makes the endangered species list!



My son is taking quarterly exams all week. He’s in his first year of high school. Which, in these (backwards) parts, means he’s only in 8th grade. He attends school with boys his age as well as with up to 18 and 19-year-old MEN. When I went to pick him up today, he ran a little late so I passed the time by checking in with my friend, Virginia.

Step lively in the future, Dean. Because next time, I’m bringing bunny slippers and cold cream in the car with me. And possibly a megaphone.



I make myself laugh. Which is a good thing because I’m not sure if I actually do that for anyone else. Nonetheless, I shared the text screen captures with a few friends and family members who recommended I post them here. And my brother is holding me to it for next time. He’s daring me.


Game on, Uncle Jeff.


et cetera

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