Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Scotland anymore.

I have done some stupid things in my life.

Still reigning as undefeated champion of stupid is when I thought my grandmother’s enema bag was a Scottish bagpipe.

I don’t want to talk about it.

I was only eight.

I still have flashbacks of that story being told every Thanksgiving.

I still can’t watch Braveheart because of it.

The most current stupid thing I have done is wrench my back.

That happens when you get older.

You wrench things.

I wrenched my back pouring melted butter into a cup.

Apparently this is very strenuous.

Being a man I attempted to “shake” it off.

Because that’s what men do.


Don’t do that.

Don’t shake anything when you’ve wrenched your back.

You not only look stupid but you end up on the floor making weird groaning sounds.


I of course, being a man, refused to go to the doctor.

At first.

When a man voluntarily goes to the doctor you know he’s injured.

If we’re just hurt we plant our butts on the couch and whine.

A lot.

I called the doctors office and described, in detail, to the highly trained medical office receptionist my current health situation.

“I injured my back.”

“Was this a sports related injury?”

“Kind of.”

“What exactly were you doing Mr. Calabrese?”

“I was pouring melted butter into a cup at an all you can eat crab feast.”

“Excuse me?”

“I wasn’t eating the crab; I was just pouring the butter.”

“Uh huh… Are you currently taking any medication for your injury Mr. Calabrese?”

“Is tequila considered medication? Never mind. Currently? No…. Not currently.”

I hate going to the doctor.

When you get to a certain age all they want to do is stick their finger in your butt.

Apparently they can tell when it’s going to rain by doing that because all my doctor does when he’s up there is talk about the weather.

“Hmmm…. Looks like there’s a storm brewing.”

“Yeah well any higher and your gonna hear thunder.”

I’ve tried to joke with him about this exam but he just doesn’t get it.

“It’s okay doc you don’t have to check up there anymore. I set up a living trust so I can avoid prostate.”

Have you ever looked around the examination room?

I don’t think they should let someone like me sit in there for forty-five minutes by myself.

I play with everything.

When the doctor finally came in I was wearing rubber gloves.

“So doc… Sunny day huh?”

“I was just reading this Time magazine here. Really something how Bush beat Gore last week.”

“Does hitting someone on the knee with this tomahawk thingy really test your reflexes or is this some kind of joke you doctors are all in on?”

So I pulled a muscle and pinched my sciatic nerve.

Pouring butter into a cup.

For this you get Motrin and Flexeril.

Flexeril is a Latin word that means….

“Say goodnight Tony.”

So for the last few days I’ve been kind of out of it.

I keep hearing bagpipes.

"Nana? Is that you?"

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"I can feel it coming in the air tonight........."

“What’s so funny little buddy?”

“I farted.”

“Well thanks for sharing.”



“I like to fart.”

“Me too pal, it’s a guy thing.”

“It makes me laugh.”

“It makes me laugh too.”



“Sometimes I think I’m going to fart but then I don’t.”

“Well you can’t fart all the time, then it wouldn’t be special.”

“I poop.”

“Uh…. You didn’t poop right now did you? Gramma! We may need you!”

“Does gramma like to fart?”

(Why? Why do I already know that I’m going to say something that is going to get me into trouble? Why? I swear I can’t help myself.)

“No, gramma doesn’t know how.”


“A good fart is kind of like a secret handshake. Not everyone knows how to do it.”

“I don’t think my mom knows how to fart either.”

(Ahhh… My little grasshopper is learning already.)

“Most women don’t.”

“My dad farts a lot.”

“Your dad is a professional.”

“Sometimes when he farts he says the wild geese come.”

“Yes, well, nature loves a good fart.”

“I’ve never seen them.”

“They’re probably pretty high up there.”

“My mom gets mad.”

“Well that happens to women. They hold in their farts and it makes them meaner.”



“Where do farts come from?”

“Uh… Heaven.”

“Do angels fart?”

“Sure, that’s where thunder comes from.”

“How do you know?”

“I saw it on the Discovery Channel.”

“Jeffrey’s dog farts but you can’t hear it, it sneaks up on you. It’s gross.”

“Dog farts killed off the dinosaurs.”

(That’s one theory…)

“Did you call me? What are you two doing?”

“Hi gramma, did you see the angels farting on the dinosaurs on TV?”


“Don’t get mad babe I’m teaching him about methane gas and global warming. Children need to learn about this. Did you know it wiped out the dinosaurs?”

“Poppa did dinosaurs fart?”

“Uh… only the males.”

“Oh my god what are you teaching this boy? Are you out of your mind? What if he goes back to preschool and talks like this? I swear I can’t leave you with him for five minutes. You’re a forty eight year old child. Do you practice setting a bad example or is it just a gift? If you were in preschool you’d be on a constant time out.”

“Gramma needs to fart.”

“Sure seems that way.”

“Its okay gramma, just fart, you won’t be mad then.”

(There it is… She wants to laugh…I’m off the hook.)

“YOU…YOU… HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Give Gramma a hug.”

“What about me?”

“I’ll deal with you later numbnuts.”

(Later that evening…….)

“Dad, hey, it’s AJ.”

“What’s this secret handshake Alex says you taught him?”

Friday, January 20, 2006

Science versus the word of Wife.

“What the hell is this?”



“Um… It looks like my sound activated talking Rodney Dangerfield collectible.”

“Why is this in my new living room?”



“Feng Shui?”

“Feng Shui my ass. You are not putting a Rodney Dangerfield doll in my living room.”

“It’s a collectible.”

“I don’t care what it is it isn’t going in the living room.”

“Wait, just listen.”

“I tell you I don’t get no respect.”

“I am not amused.”

“I have a dog he drives me nuts, his favorite bone is in my arm.”

“What about now? Are you amused now?”

“Get rid of it.”

“My father didn't like the looks of me, he kept the picture of the kid who came with the wallet.”

“Listen numb nuts the doll goes period, end of story.”

(They should make a talking wife doll.)

“How come you get stuff in the living room and I don’t? Huh? Look at this place. How many candles can you have in one room? You don’t even light the damn things. You have candles sitting in plates with rocks, R O C K S. What the hell is that?”

“They’re decorative.”

“Well Rodney is kind of decorative.”

“Okay buster, give me one good reason to keep Rodney in the living room, just one good reason.”

“He’s part of my theory.”

“What theory?”

“My theory of “Interior Design”.

“Don’t even start to “Chewbacca” me mister.”

“I’m not, I believe that the living room didn’t just evolve into a room filled with candles and glass crap because some of this stuff in here cannot be rationally explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that most of this crap exhibits features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to lack of intelligence.”


“Yes dear.”

See… There is a higher power.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sew!!! A needle pulling thread......

“Dad, Kim has an incompetent cervix.”

“What are you talking about she’s got a bachelors degree in English.”

“No dad, her CERVIX. The doctors say it’s incompetent.”

“Son I don’t think you’ve got that right. I’m sure they meant something else. I mean come on, and incompetent cervix? What are they going to do? It’s not like you can outsource her cervix to India?”

“No joke dad, they want to sew it up. I think the baby could fall out or something.”

Okay, I have a bad habit of finding the humor in… well… everything. But I could sense that my son was scared to death and this was not the time to screw around.

This needed to be handled in a calm cool intelligent manner.

All the skills I had learned as a dad were coming into play right now.

This was my time.

This was my moment.

“I’ll get mom.”

Well? What did you expect me to do? While I, like most men, would like to think I’m a cervix expert, the reality is I have never been properly trained. Asking me about an incompetent cervix and expecting a credible answer is like taking a Lamaze class at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

There’s going to be an accident.

And I know it’s wrong but I kept having this thought run through my head…

“How do I get a “customer cervix” joke out of this?”

I can’t help myself.

But don’t tell me a woman, particularly a mom, couldn’t be president of the United States.

My wife’s a pro.

It is truly amazing to watch a mother work. They have this calming affect when they are in crisis management mode that is completely alien to men.

I now understand why Black Widow Spiders kill their mates. We’re useless.

We panic.

Oh yes we do.

We don’t call it panic; we just start doing stupid useless stuff like weed whacking or invading countries for no apparent reason.

We do it to hide the fact that we don’t know what the hell to do but we need to do something… and we need to do it LOUDLY AND RIGHT AWAY.

“What the hell are you doing?”


“What for?”


“Okay honey, you keep sweeping.”

Most women reading this understand the whole incompetent cervix thing.

I’m not sure how the whole thing works but I’m guessing it’s a lot like purse seining.

I must say it made me very proud to see my son caring so much for his wife and his unborn baby. There’s a lot of love there so I must have done something right.

I'm trying to convince my wife to run for city council. Hey, it's a start.

Kim had her cervix sewn up and she has to have complete bed rest until the baby is born but she looks like she’s doing fine.

When you get a little older, and your kids have grown up, you’re more of an innocent bystander than anything else. Occasionally you get hit with a stray bullet but for the most part you just sit back and watch.

And you know... I’m okay with that.

I did have my moment.

At the information desk in the hospital.

“Can I help you sir?”

“Yes, I need to speak to someone in “Customer Cervix.”

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Idiots are people too.......


“Yes Alex.”

“When is “my” Christmas coming again?”

“Next year Alex.”


“Yeah buddy.”

“Sometimes I get hungry for popcorn.”

“Well we all do pal.”


“Yes Alex.”

“My Spiderman has no nuts.”


“That’s because that’s a toy Alex.”



“Have you ever been socked in the nuts?”


“Yes Alex.”

“Hurts huh?”


“I’m not supposed to sock Jeffrey in the nuts.”

“Well that’s good. You should never sock anyone in the nuts unless it’s in self defense.”

“Jeffrey took my Spiderman.”

“Well that’s a pretty good reason… I mean no…. no….. you should talk to Jeffrey and explain to him that that’s your Spiderman but you’d be willing to share.”



“Gramma has no nuts.”


“No… Gramma has no nuts.” (Although ……)

“Has Gramma ever socked you in the nuts?”

“No it just feels like it sometimes.”

“Gramma has a vagina.”

(Oh crud…….)

“Well yes… yes she does.”

“How come you don’t have a vagina?”


“Because I’d never leave the house.”


“Um… men lose things… and you don’t want to lose a vagina. You don’t want a vagina on the loose. God gave women vaginas because they never lose anything.”

“Where did vaginas come from?”

“Uh… um… um… The first vagina was discovered by the Egyptians over 2000 years ago. The Pharaoh Elvis the First was playing Bocci Ball and was stuck by lightening right in the huevos and blammo he ended up with a vagina.”

“Oh…. Okay...Can I have some juice Poppa?”

“Yes… yes…. So how about I put Madagascar on for you watch?”

“Do penguins have nuts?”

“Uh… very small ones……”

“So are you two having fun?”

“Hi Gramma. You have a vagina.”




“Did you get hit by lightening?”


“No… Does Gramma’s hair look funny?”

(Hail Mary full of grace, Hail Mary full of grace, Hail Mary full of grace……)

“I like your hair Gramma. Poppa was telling me stories. He’s a funny guy.”

“You were telling him stories about……...?”

“NOOooooooo. He started it. I was just explaining to him in an adult manner, you told me not to talk to him like he was a baby, so I was logically explaining to him boy parts versus girl parts.”

“Uh huh…and the lightening?”

“No clue where he got that from. Probably heard that in preschool from that Jeffrey kid. I never did like that Jeffrey. Did you know he stole Spiderman from Alex?”

“I socked him in the nuts….. Elvis has a vagina.”

(Hail Mary full of grace, Hail Mary full of grace, Hail Mary full of grace……)

“Elvis….has….a…. vagina?”

“What? Why are you looking at me? Why do you assume that I told him that? You know maybe I had a responsible adult conversation with my grandson. Did you ever think of that? NO. You just jump to conclusions. That’s just sad…really… just sad…”

“Elvis was an Egyptian.”

(Time to die Iron Eagle.)

“What the hell are you telling your grandson?”

“I was teaching him history. Education is the key to success. Did you know that Buddha achieved total enlightenment by the time he was thirty five?”

“That’s because he didn’t have an idiot for a grandfather.”


“Yes sweetheart.”

“Want me to sock him in the nuts?”

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The apple doesn't fall far......



“Maybe? It depends. Do you want money?”

“Dad it’s me, Anthony.”

“Answer the question stranger.”

“Come on dad.”

“No speaky Engi.”

“No dad I don’t want money.”

“Hey son, how’s my first born and my beautiful pregnant daughter-in-law?”

“Dad I was sitting on one couch with Chewie, and Kim was on the little couch, and we were watching TV, and Kim asked me why I wasn’t sitting with her, and I said I was sitting with Chewie, and she looked at me and said, “You’d rather sit with a pit bull?”, and I said no but “you’re too big…I mean the couch is too small…I mean humans in general are too big to sit on that couch together.”

Dad the more I talked the worse it got and she just kept staring at me, this weird kind of eerie pregnant woman stare. I panicked and told her I was going out to get her get some Philippine mangos because she craves them and now I’m afraid to go back inside the apartment.”

“No speaky Engi.”

“Dad help, haven’t you ever said something to mom that gets you into trouble and the more you try and talk your way out of it the more in trouble you get?”

“Maybe once.”

“What do I do?”

“Hold on the other line is beeping.”


“Dad, it’s me, AJ. Dad mom screwed up. Those pants she gave to Melina are a size four they’re way too small. I think Melina thinks I told mom her size and now I think I’m in trouble. What was mom thinking?”

“And you’re telling me this because???????”

“Dad you need to tell mom.”

“I’m not telling mom, you tell mom.”

“She’s your wife.”

“She’s your mother.”

“Is there like a huge size difference? Maybe we could take them to the tailor and have him let out the seams.”

“Dad mom wears a three; Melina wears something like a seven that means her pants should be like twice the size of the pants mom got her.

“Hold on let me get rid of your brother.”

“Anthony? Take her to go see Brokeback Mountain.”

“WHAT??? NO WAY IN HELL AM I GOING TO THAT MOVIE!!!! Dad that’s the gay cowboy movie. HellOOOOOO GAY cowboy movie. They made a movie about SHEEPHERDERS and made them GAY and then named the movie “BROKEBACK”, dad come on, there’s not a straight guy on the planet that’s going to see that movie.”

“Oh contraire grasshopper, the theater will be filled with guys that have pissed off their women and will do anything to make it right so they can have sex again.”

“Dad I can’t do it.”

”Son only a man that was uncomfortable with his own sexuality would have a problem with this.”

“Are you going to go see it?”


“Hold on your mother just came in the room.”

“Hey babe, Anthony told Kim he wouldn’t sit with her because she’s huge but he meant that the couch was too small so he went out for mangos with Chewie. AJ is on the other line holding for you I think he has a question about where you got those pants.”

“What? Give me the phone.”

“Anthony, Kim knows you’re an idiot because she’s met your father; apologize to you’re her for being stupid, sit with her if she’ll let you, rub her back, tell he you love her and then offer to take her to dinner and a movie.”

“OH not you too mom, I am not going to see Brokeback Mountain.”

“Anthony, grow up. Take her to whatever movie she wants to see and above all…shut up. Don’t bitch, moan and groan or show any displeasure. This is something you men can fake for us.”

“Jeez mom I really don’t want to hear that.”

“Son listen to your mother, I love you, now go handle it.”

“I was gonna say that to him but you came in to soon. What?"


“Um… mom?”

“Why do you want to know where Melina’s pants came from?”

"Um… they’re… um…really nice and I thought maybe I could buy her a couple more pairs.”

“Uh huh… Son…. What’s wrong with the pants?”

“Mom they’re too small, Melina wears a seven and you got her a four. Now I think I'm in trouble for telling you the wrong size.”

“I got her a four? Sweetheart I know Melina wears a seven because I asked her what her size was. It’s just a mistake. I’ll return them. Tell her it’s not a problem.”

“That's it? Thanks mom.”

“Bye sweetheart.”

“I can’t believe I bought Melina a four.”

“Me neither, you have no ass; Melina’s got an ass….”

“Oh god........ Please let me have just said that in my head.”




“You wanna go see Brokeback Mountain?”

Sunday, January 01, 2006


“What am I going to wear for New Year’s Eve?”

(Oh god…. Please don’t ask me?)

“LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I can’t hear you.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m not getting in trouble.”

“Excuuuuuse ME?”

“If you are talking to yourself, asking yourself a hypothetical, “What am I going to wear?” then g’head ask yourself, but after 28 years of marriage I am Switzerland when it comes to answering that question. I’m a forty eight year old Italian male not a designer on “Project Run Away?”

“Project Run Away?”

“Whatever that show with the gay clothes people and the hot model is called.”

“Uh huh… Who dresses who around here?”

“What? I know how to pick my own clothes.”

“Sure you do. “Oh let’s see, what color tee shirt to go with my black sweats? Hmm…. I think my white A.D.D. shirt.”

“What’s wrong with my sweats? They’re comfortable, and I like wearing my A.D.D. shirt, people think it’s funny. I’m making a statement.”

“A statement? What? That you want to look homeless?”

“I wear a suit everyday. When I get home I like clothes I can lounge in. I can “lounge” in sweats. And my shirt pokes fun at A.D.D. because we didn’t have A.D.D. when I was a kid. The nuns beat it out of us, and look at me, I turned out normal.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“I may be an idiot but I know what I’m wearing tonight.”

“Only because Gary at the Men’s Wearhouse picked it out for you.”

“Gary is my personal wardrobe consultant. WHAT? WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?”

“Oh noooo reason my sexy Italian homophobe.”

“Gary is not gay. He’s not even close to gay. He’s got kids and stuff. We even talk about hot women when I’m shopping there. I’m talking hot women. We talk about them in manly ways. He picks them out and then we talk about them.”

“Oh really…. You talk about women? Like we’re pieces of meat to be rated? That’s what you do when you shop for clothes?”

“Um…. Wait… You’re confusing me again. You’re pulling that switcheroo that women do. You’re trying to trap me into saying something stupid that will get me into trouble.”

“Too late.”

Tick tick tick tick tick. (four hours later)

“Wow!!!! You look great babe. See…I knew that black dress was the one you should wear.”

A brief note about waiting for women to get ready.

I have been blessed by being married to a woman that is never late.

I learned that my wife is never late from my father-in-law. You see my father-in-law used to get ready for an event then go out to his car and start the engine while my mother-in-law was still getting ready.

Occasionally he would honk.

I tried that….. once.

My wife never came out.

So I have learned that we are never late.

Half the time she waits on me now.

Just once I’d like for her to go out, start the car and honk.

But I’m afraid she’d leave without me. Hell, I know she’d leave without me.

When we got to the New Year’s Eve party I had already made up my mind that I would stay sober and be the “designated dancer.”

There’s nothing more frightening than 300 drunken white people that think they can dance. I don’t remember what song they started doing the “train” to but next stop was Urgent Care.

I can’t dance, something happened to the dancing gene in my family. I only have two thoughts when I’m dancing, don’t get hurt and don’t get hurt.

So If I’m drunk and dancing someone could lose an eye…. and their dignity.

I learned a long time ago that when the band tries to take us to “Funky Town” the only way I’m getting there is on a little yellow bus.

I’m dangerous when I dance.

My wife is an amazing dancer but she drinks when we dance. The more she drinks the more I look like Fred Astaire, a shorter fatter Fred Astaire with no discernible rhythm and a size 13EEE shoe.

I think she learned her moves by trying to dodge my feet.

When you’re sober at a New Years Eve party you turn into Bambi. You become keenly aware of your surroundings. You sip your water and maybe you pause….you look up…you look down…you look side to side…start to drink…pause…look again….your senses are razor sharp.

They need to be.

Because midnight is coming and drunken old white people will try to kiss you and you have no idea what’s going to dart out of their mouths.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m keenly aware of my surroundings.”

“Last song before midnight, dance with me.”

“Can’t we all just get along?”

“Get up and dance with me.”

“Okay it’s your feet.”

(From the stage)



10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1……


“Don’t stop kissing me.”


“Old people will kiss me.”


“On the lips.”


“Are you going to be an idiot in 2006?”

“Old people don’t cheek kiss they lip kiss.”

“So I guess my question is answered.”

“You look great babe… nice dress.”