This is an offshoot of the original Liam & Janet blog. That blog has become overrun by Liam's inability to keep his mouth shut when something annoys him. The serious rants there seemed incongruous with the humor columns. The plan for the humor columns continues to be to post a new one every Friday, plus occasional extras when the mood strikes.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

One Of Those Days

I have four breasts, and it's a matter of some concern to me. Nevertheless, I'm actually not having the worst day I've heard about so far today.

This has not, on the whole, been a great day for anyone as far as I can tell. My morning began, as most workday mornings do, with my drive in to work. Quiet morning, generally nice weather, traffic wasn't too bad. Trees are starting to really green up, flowers are starting to bloom. I made my way into the business park in which my company offices are located, passing the same things I pass nearly every day. Turn this corner, there's the local co-operative grocery market. Turn that corner, down around that way, there's the Mexican restaurant, the hotel and the court house building. Make this side turn and there's my building, up on that hill over there, with the trees, the lawn, the retaining wall made of large boulders with a Subaru Outback leaning almost perpendicularly up against them.

Into the driveway, park the car, trudge into my office, and would you believe one of my co-workers had to point my attention to the Subaru before I noticed it? My office, as I mentioned, is on something of a hillside. My company has it's own building and rents space in two adjacent buildings. I'm in one of those, buildings which contain our space and several other places of business. One of those other places of business employs a gentleman who is most definitely not happy today, in as much I'm reasonably certain he didn't CHOOSE that particular parking space.

His morning, up until this point, was apparently much like mine but unbeknownst to him, after he trudged into his office, his car decided it was too nice a day not to go for a joy ride, and if he wasn't going to join it, well it was just going to strike out on its own to enjoy the countryside.

It got as far as the edge of the parking lot, threading the needle between two trees and over the fifteen foot rock retaining wall and onto the lawn below where it remained like one of those concoctions of scrap metal that some overpaid person with "vision" (which I assume is code for "drugs") calls modern art, but which the rest of us think of as something which should have been hauled away after the building demolition.

Needless to say, much of the morning was not particularly productive as people from virtually every business in the building had to make their way out to look over the situation, nod sagely to themselves and concoct their personal guess as to how this had happened. Personally, mine involved college students and an unpaid wager on Barry Bonds. Or, possibly, terrorists had hijacked that car and tried to fly it into our building, but missed.

But here's the most amazing part. When the tow truck pulled up to winch this car into a personal orientation with the earth generally considered more advantageous to the operation of an automobile, I heard smatterings of conversations among the various groups standing about hoping to see an "America's Funniest Home Videos" moment, and it seemed in each group, there was at least one story of how something very like this had happened to the teller. And in every case that I heard, the car at the heart of the story was a Subaru.

Now, I would never in a million years suggest some causal link, because I am a fairly successful computer programmer and would hate to have to hand over years of my hard earned pay because the Subaru corporation can afford better lawyers than I can, but I'm just saying that if you have a Subaru, and you live anywhere within 50 miles of any kind of hill, mountain, incline, stiff breeze, or have any distinct political slant you might want to move.

My favorite story was told by one of my own co-workers, who mentioned the day that someone in his department walked into his office and asked him why he'd parked on the volleyball court, and could he move his car so that they could play. He was quite sure that he hadn't, but as I'm sure you can guess right now, the volleyball court was at the bottom of a hill, and the parking lot was not, and his car (yes, a Subaru) had chosen to fully comply with all rules and regulations concerning gravity.

Today was clearly not a good day for owners of Subarus.

As the day progressed, I was listening to the local NPR station. They were discussing the situation in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, and I heard probably the most unfortunate name I have heard in a long time. The Arab spokesman whom they were interviewing was named several times, and while I have yet to figure out the correct spelling, they kept referring to this comment or that from "Mr. Farty-n-fart". Really. I started hoping someone would come up with a nickname for him, like perhaps "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (it's a gas gas gas).

Today was clearly not a good day for owners of Arabic names rarely uttered in English context.

And finally, back to the four breasts which are so concerning me. This weekend, on Saturday, my wife and I noticed that my oldest step daughter was starting to develop... curves. The last time we'd looked at her, she'd been built like a boy, a telephone pole, a Romanian gymnast, or basically anything that Sigmund Freud would have called a phallic symbol (more or less longer than it is wide and with a pretty consistent width). A "tall boy" beer can.

Now she was starting to resemble an old fashioned coke bottle, all ins and outs and curves, no linearity at all.

Dear Lord in heaven, we have our first adolescent girl in the house. And all of my friends and family members who have been through this particular phase with a daughter shake their heads sadly with a look of pity I'd previously only expected ever to see on my deathbed, as people tsk'd and shook their heads and sadly whispered how young I was and how tragic a case and how I should have known better than to french kiss Asian fowl.

Apparently we're in for one heck of a fun summer... and fall, and winter, and spring, repeat until my few remaining strands of hair are silvery white and the face staring back at me in the mirror sags and wrinkles worse than my laundry did before my wife taught me the benefits of drying and folding.

So now, as an exercise to the reader, what could I possibly do to double my pleasure, double my fun that doesn't involve Double Mint gum? What could it be, knowing that I have a daughter about a year older than my step daughter, and that I started this out complaining of four breasts? That's right, today my wife was talking with my ex-wife, trying to coordinate my son and daughter's trip out to live with us for the summer, and what news did we learn? Why, my darling little girl, my Katie, is apparently several weeks ahead of Dagny on the same perilous slide towards adulthood.

My son Andrew is nearing 13. I think he's probably still a year or two away, but he is two years older than Katie and three and a half older than Dagny, and once they get here for the summer, I fully expect that any morning he may come upstairs to breakfast sporting a full beard and a set of muscles that I once had but am unsure whether I still do given the heavy layer of protective fat I've conscientiously built up over the years to guard against the unfortunate possibility that any woman, anywhere in the world, might find me the least bit attractive.

Heck, at this rate I expect Liam (who you will recall was born last December) to be in full on puberty by the end of the summer.

So it's going to be a fun summer, as measured in moodiness and clouds of aerosolized teen hormones. If you happen to be driving through New Hampshire, and you see a pudgy, balding man sitting by the side of the road in a Toyota Prius whimpering, be kind. Comfort me. Say something nice.

Something like "At least you're not driving a Subaru!"

Copyright © May 31, 2006 by Liam Johnson.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I love the story. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:06:00 AM

Blogger Liam said...



Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:14:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems only Liam can manage to link Suburus and four breasts in a story and make it work.

You are bent, Liam, marvelously bent.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006 6:40:00 PM

Blogger Liam said...

Thanks, I think. :-)


Wednesday, May 31, 2006 7:21:00 PM


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