In Celebration of Strange Children… And Some Other Odds And Ends

damnedThese updates are supposed to be about one subject, but today I’m going to bend the rule a bit. I was AWOL again last week, and would like to bring you guys up to date on a few things, if you don’t mind.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting old, or what. But the massive hours I’m working are kicking my ass. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. Even right now, after two days off, I’m tired and struggling. I worked about 60 hours last week, in addition to driving the 40 mile distance to and from my job ten times. So, that’s a big part of it.

Also, I don’t have time to do anything. I crawl out of bed at 9:30 am, and have to leave at 11:00. That’s not much of an accomplishment window. Ya know? And that bugs the crap out of me. It really does.

So, it’s been a challenge. But it’s not forever. In fact, this week I’m only working Monday and Friday. By taking two vacation days, I’m only working two days out of nine. That should be enough time to decompress and rejoin the human race.

Tomorrow I’m driving to Shippensburg to pick up the older boy, so he can be home for Thanksgiving break. But the rest of the time… nothing planned. Ahhh, it’s gonna be fantastic. Hopefully.

I bought a new battery for my laptop, and am having trouble with it. It won’t charge. It says “plugged in, not charging.” I originally thought I’d received a bad battery, but have learned that’s not the case; the battery health is “excellent.” Yesterday I went down an internet rabbit hole, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This problem is apparently not unusual, according to the dozens and dozens of forum posts I found, and read.

At one point I thought I needed to buy a new charger, which costs something like $25. What the?? For an electric cord? In any case, I wasted way too much time yesterday trying to fix the problem, and failing. I watched several YouTube videos on the subject, and read post after post on mysterious forums. And nothing worked.

And today? It’s charging like a champ. WTS? I don’t understand. Maybe it has something to do with sunspot activity? But it’s currently at 81%, up from zero. We’ll see how it goes. It’s the kind of thing that can make me go insane. I get OBSESSED.

And last night, after I threw in the towel on my laptop battery, I launched into a frenzy about the DVDs in our family room. They were all messed up, and out of order. A few discs were outside their cases, and it was just full-on video anarchy down there. Who can live this way??

We have a wooden cabinet where we keep our DVDs, and I emptied that bastard out. Had everything spread out on the floor, and put it all back, logically. I found homes for the loose discs (grrr..), and returned order to the universe.

I can’t stand that kind of shit. It takes literally two extra seconds to put the disc back where it goes. Two seconds! Is that too much of a hardship?! I’ll be having a conversation with the boys about this, during the coming week. Oh, there will be a conversation.

I’ve always been particular about that sort of thing. It drives me INSANE when I get in somebody’s car, and there are loose CDs on the floor, or you open a CD case and there’s ANOTHER disc in there. WTF?? I used to go to peoples’ houses, and there would be vinyl LPs lying on the floor of their bedroom, not in their jackets or anything. It almost sent me over the edge. Also: people who fold the cover of a paperback book all the way around, and crack the spine. Shit! I’m about to break out into hives just thinking about it.

Everybody needs to get their shit together. That’s basically what I’m saying. Goddamn.

Before I get into the highly-abbreviated main topic, I’d like to remind you folks to please use our Amazon links while doing your holiday shopping. Simply pass through one of them – any of them – and shop as normal. It costs you nothing extra, but I’ll receive a small percentage of whatever you spend. It’s an easy and painless way to support my questionable endeavors here. Thank you in advance!

And now… for the main topic. Toney spoke with Nancy yesterday, and the older translucent is reportedly rebelling a bit. He’s angry they made him so “weird” (heh), and gave him a “girl name.” He wants to fit in, he says, but doesn’t know anything about TV or movies, or sports, and has nothing in common with 99% of the kids in his school. And he blames his parents for this.

I can see his point, but am kind of surprised he’s approaching it from this angle. Most people don’t think they’re weird, do they? That’s some impressive self-awareness, right there. Maybe he should start by cutting off that ludicrous Robin Zander hair, get some non-highwater pants, and stop walking around snapping his fingers and tweaking his wiener all the time?

And the middle translucent wants to be a male model. Apparently he dresses up in “outfits” and strikes a pose in the living room, etc. Nancy said he was wearing a vest with no shirt a few days ago, and a cowboy gun holster. Hooooly shit! They’re going to pay hundreds of dollars to get some professional photographs taken, and start submitting them to modeling agencies. He’s 13! How many 13 year old boys have you known who dreamt of being a model?

For a Question, I’d like to know about the strangest kids from your schools. I’m not talking about special needs, or anything like that. I mean regular kids, in the general population, who were bizarre and odd. Tell us about ‘em, won’t you?

And I need to go now. It’s time to hit the Devil’s Parkway again.

Have a great day, my friends.

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  1. Swami Bologna says

    I think this is the first time Jeff has ever mentioned the “girl name” of the older translucent. Oh, how I would LOVE to know what the name is….

    • You and me both! I’m going with Susan.

      • I’m guessing Ashley. Or Robin.

        • Pat. Probably didn’t even get a full ‘Patrick’ on his birth certificate. Or maybe Lesley. But if he is this self aware, he’d be smart enough to figure out going by Les.

          • I’ve got money on Loretta.

          • I just remembered something you mentioned in a previous update, that is going to make guessing the name near impossible. But he’s either stuck with an effiminate name that can’t easily be passed off as a guys name. Portia, or maybe Mary of all things. Or the other end of that spectrum Portland or Miami…

            • Carol or Marion. Jeff said middle translucent and I’ve always thought there were just 2. 13 yr old being a model is one thing but shirtless vest and cowboy holster? Anybody else singing YMCA !??!!

        • Uncle_Wedgie says

          Lighten up Francis. Also Francis for the translucent’s name

  2. Mrs. Limey is very good about putting CDs back in the cases. Not necessarily the correct case for the disc, but a case nonetheless. Back on the shelves among a few thousand other CDs, where’s the problem? (yes, I still listen to CDs). Only CDRs go in the cars, the originals stay indoors.

    I crack paperback spines. Paperbacks are disposable and it makes them easier to read.

  3. Here Comes Sonny Bob-Bob

    I never let people touch my music or dvd collection.

  4. Mike the ripper says

    How exactly does one “tweak” his weiner? Mine may need tweaking….. The context suggests it is wrong to do in public, therefore I may be game!

  5. We had a girl in grammar school – big EYE-talian gal -who brought the oddest lunches. It was like whatever was leftover, her mother scraped together onto bread. Spinach, spaghetti, peas – all kinds of odd things dangling between 2 slices of thick Italian bread. This was when most kids brought in PB&J or bologna. Most of her lunches made everyone else gag. And this was back in the day when you brought in a paper sack or metal lunchbox – no refrigeration of any kind.

    I’m guessing Translucent’s name is Sarah. Am I close?

  6. Guess the Translucent’s name?
    I’ll try Aubrey.

  7. Steve in WV says

    I had to Google Robin Zander.

  8. I will put 3 guesses on the name; Lesley or Marion or Ashley. I am surprised it took him this long…

  9. Swami Bologna says

    I’ll wager Lindsey/Lindsay.

  10. Ashleigh?

  11. I actually feel bad for the oldest Translucent, I really do. Maybe because at that age I knew I was a weirdo too and had no real idea how to act. Oh, I had friends, but most of the time I felt like I was observing myself doing stuff and was CONSTANTLY second-guessing myself. What crap way to feel.

    Leslie? Carroll? Bambi? Whatever his name is, that wiener-tweaking has GOT to stop. Nobody was to hang with a tweaker.

    • I know grown men who still tweak the ol’ wein while standing in front of you having a conversation. Nervous? Itchy? A habit like jingling pocket change? Adjusting? Panties in a bunch?

  12. I rode the bus to elementary school with a guy named Larry bison. He ate black Crayolas…only black. His teeth were great looking with that black wax coated all over them.

    Jeff, did you ever ship out our t-shirts we paid for many, many months ago? If so, I never received mine.

  13. Surly Shawn says

    I didn’t know any weird kids growing up.

    Uh oh… Oh crap! I was the weird kid!
    *runs away, sobbing*

  14. Surly Shawn says

    And I would like to throw my hat into the name guessing game.

    Sue. 😉

    Will you tell us if we guess it, but not necessarily exactly what it is?

  15. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I have no doubt in my mind I was the strangest kid in my middle school. I was really not all that strange, but everyone else was trying really hard to be ‘normal’ and fit in the narrow confines of what was was considered ‘cool’ at that time in our little backwater town. In high school I discovered punk rock, and owe my salvation to Joey Ramone: He made it cool to be a freak. I never got to meet him to thank him in person, but have visited his grave in Lyndhurst, NJ.

  16. Marion

  17. My guesses for his name is Shannon, Ashley, Devin, Kelly?
    Jeff, will you let us know if we’re close?

  18. He’s not going to tell us the name. We’ll just have to use our imaginations. Tiffany or Brittney? No, it’s probably something that could go either way, like Leslie, Pat, or Ashley. Is this the Translucent who had the Special Occasion Skirt? Because that’s weird, too.

  19. Put me down for Adrian, Lesley or Robin. But really, what’s the difference?

  20. I’ve known guys named Tracy, Stacy, and Kelly. But those seem too mainstream.

    Based on what we know of Nancy, I’m thinking Joan (Baez), Gloria (Steinem), Bela (Abzug) or Betty (Friedan).

    Am I close?

  21. Wisey in TTown says

    Gotta be Robin

  22. My guess for translucent nephew name is Merrill.

    Regarding weird kids. Had a neighbor all through grade school and high school named Leonard. He reminds me of a translucent type, pasty skin, near-white hair. Too tall, too thin, slouchy shoulders and very un-coordinated. Found out that he moved to South Carolina and married a man several years ago. It never dawned on me that he was actually gay back then.

    Thirty or forty years ago, gay men all looked like Liberace or Elton John, not the neighborhood kid that was just weird.

  23. When I was in the 6th (I think 6th), we had to bring to class something to show what we wanted to be when we grew. I brought my Barbie doll because I was going to be a hairdresser (not). This kid named Mike brought in a sandwich bag full of toenail and finger nail clippings. He was going to be a doctor. If one of my kids kept their nail clippings I would get them help. Why do I remember this? I can’t find my phone that I just had a few minutes ago.

  24. Swami Bologna says

    I know a guy with the first name of Kim (and he’s not Korean). I understand Kim for a male name is not unheard of “down South”; but here in the Northeast it’s pretty much unheard of.

    • squawvalleyskip says

      I knew a Canadian named Kim. About 6’4″ and probably 240lbs. Lost a leg in a motorcycle accident and painted flames on his fake one. And another biker from Salinas named Kim. Both guys, by the way. And I have an idiot cousin named Kim. Who happens to be a girl.

  25. Fire up the voice record app on your phone and start up your podcast. You have the equipment. Call it notes from the road. Hate your own voice? Pay some guy on fiver to do it in their voice.

  26. Yo. I’m gonna be doing some shopping in the near future. Hook a northern brotha up!

  27. $$$ If you love Maturity is For Suckers and Jeff, bookmark the Amazon affiliate link he provided. $$$

    Okay Jeff- you have GOT to try this on your commute. Get an app that reads a website for you in the freaky default monotone female computer voice (I use Voice Aloud reader on Android and it’s free). Then play THIS post. It’s like listening to a disgruntled Siri reading Mr. Wilson lines from a script of Dennis the Menace IV. ABSOLUTELY brilliant.

  28. I can’t believe nobody has guessed Shannon yet. Maybe Dana?

  29. Did anyone guess Pat? I’ll go with Pat.

  30. I guess the name is Hillary.

    I had a handful of weird kids in my neighborhood. One kid use to try to suck in butane and then ‘breathe Fire’. One time right before he was to flick the spark on the lighter we made him laugh and he started choking and gagging. He looked so sick so quickly.

  31. johnthebasket says

    The Zanderhair and high water pants are fashion choices, although among English youf, high water seems to be back in fashion if Oliver Sim is to be believed, and he is. The finger snapping and wiener tweaking are symptoms of a disorder — anything from anxiety disorder to something along the autistic spectrum like Asperger’s. Also, very few high school kids think they “fit in”, and most are socially alienated to some degree, so he might not be as far from “normal” as he fears.

    The young man needs some treatment and counseling, and a change of surroundings. I think a year or so with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Toney would do wonders for the kid with the androgynous name. He could start over at the local school using his middle name if that’s not also fucked up, and some clothes that fit, and expert social coaching by Jeff. It’s possible that just switching his earbud input to the Ramones would begin the transition to normal, brooding pissed off young person.

    I’m just saying.


  32. How about…Brook? Would be a man’s man if he adds an ‘s’ to it…well except for the tweaking thing. Then again, ballplayers have a free pass on that kinda thing. (“ballplayers in now a pun?). Brook may grow out of tweaking his wiener and as he gets older he’ll realize a nudge or two will do just fine.