Monday, May 31, 2010

Next Song

Betty and I are trying to get our daughter, Anne, to "use her words." We'd prefer her to tell us what she wants instead of throwing tantrums, throwing toys, and throwing herself on the ground and wailing.

Betty says if we're successful with Anne then she's going to try it next on me. Apparently I get cranky easily.

Anyway, one of the opportunities for Anne to use her words is when she wants us to play a new song in the car. She has several CDs, but her taste in music changes constantly, and a song that she loves today may be a song that she hates tomorrow. Previously when she heard a song that she didn't like, she'd scream and yell and throw stuff. But now Betty and I have asked her to politely say, "Next song."

In a sure sign that my daughter is a genius, Anne has memorized all of her CDs. She knows what songs are going to play in what order, and she'll "next song" a song right when it starts - and sometimes right before it starts - until she gets to the song she wants.

The problem is that, for a CD with 24 tracks, she'll "next song" through 22 of them.

Another problem is that she thinks she can "next song" the radio. If we're listening to the radio and she "next songs" us, we just change the channel.

But the real issue is that she's now "next song"-ing me when I sing to her. I break out into song on a regular basis - it's like a Broadway play at my house, 24/7 - but in the middle of the first verse of my brilliant rendition of the Imagination Movers theme song, I'll hear a little voice calmly say, "Next song."

And it stops me in my tracks.

I'll try out the Choo-Choo Soul theme song, only to hear, "Next song."

Handy Manny? "Next song."

Death Cab for Cutie? "Next song."

Special Agent Oso? "Next song."

I guess I should be happy, because instead of saying "next song" Anne could just be screaming and howling.

Let's just hope she doesn't learn the phrase, "Next blog!"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mais, Oui!

I've created a new shirt just in time for anyone who wants to propose but doesn't know how. It simply says, "Will you mais oui me?"

Will you mais oui me? shirt

Hopefully she'll say, "Mais, oui!" If not, you can always use the soft cotton fibers of this shirt to wipe the tears off your face.

I made this shirt at, and you can use coupon code TSHIRTS10OFF to get 10% off your order. Just don't tell them you know me, or they'll charge you an extra 15%.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The First Life Lesson on Raising a Son

I have some advice to any new parents with a newborn son. Listen (or read) closely, because this is the best advice that you're going to get from anybody, ever:

Cover his wiener when you're changing his diaper.

Sure, sure, it seems like common sense. But believe me, it only takes getting peed on once to make sure you cover it up next time.

So how do you reduce or eliminate the chances of a golden shower while changing your son's diaper? Here are a few ideas:

1. Cover the wee-wee with a washcloth.
2. Use a dixie cup (or if your son is like my son, a 44 oz. cup) as a shield.
3. Get a Pee Pee Tee Pee.
4. Make your wife change the diapers.

And just in case my wife is reading this at the moment, that last one was a joke. Seriously. Please don't beat me.


5. Paint your walls with something that, when peed on, will change colors and make a pretty picture. Then give up all hope that you will one day be able to stem the flow of your son's whiz. As you go to change your son's diaper, the cold air will hit your son's junk, at which point he'll grunt once and then unleash a stream of pee on the wall which under normal circumstances would drive you crazy. But now, as the special paint that you've used unveils a drawing of elephants hugging giraffes with their trunks (or whatever you've chosen), just enjoy the serene beauty of your new wall painting until it (and your son) dries off.

Rinse and repeat.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Awww, sha!

Look what we saw while driving home from the hospital today!

[Picture: Aw, sha!]

That's a sha little license plate, sha!

The Swagger Wagon

Our good friend Nicolvin sent this video to us because she knows how we think we're so cool in our Honda Odyssey (especially after getting our A/C fixed three times).

Here's the link to the video, in case you can't see it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Birth of the Little Dude

Our little dude is finally here, but how he got here is a story in itself. It all started with a few abdominal pains late Friday night....

Now I'll admit, I'm useless under normal conditions. But when Betty went into labor with our second child, my uselessness hit an all time high - or low, depending on how you rank these things.

Betty had already packed everything that we'd need while in the hospital. My only job was to put all the stuff in the van. So about a week or so ago I had packed up the van, but after I did that we needed the camera for my daughter's Anne of the Day website, so I unpacked the camera case.

So when Betty started having contractions five minutes apart, I started gathering up everything that I had previously taken out of the van. I grabbed the camera case, the backup battery, the video camera, an extra memory chip, cables for the computer, cables for the TV, my Baby Daddy shirt... but on the way to the hospital, when Betty asked if I had the camera, my mind drew a blank.

I had forgotten the camera!

Thank God for contractions, because if Betty hadn't been having one right then, the entire right side of my face would have been ripped off. Thankfully, Betty's parents were at our house and saw the camera sitting on the table, and her dad rushed to the hospital to make sure we had it. He almost beat us to the hospital, too, since I hit every red light on the way there.

It's like those things are waiting for me or something.

When we made it to the hospital, I pulled up into the Admissions area. I jumped out the van and encountered the nighttime security guard. When I frantically told him that my wife was in labor and that the hospital was already expecting us, he told me to "hold my horses." I figured that if I drop-kicked him right on the spot then I would either pull a muscle or get arrested, so instead I just asked him to get a wheelchair for Betty.

They admitted Betty into a room and started to check her. Betty was three centimeters dilated when we left the doctor's office on Thursday, but when the nurses first checked her she was seven centimeters. Within twenty minutes she was nine centimeters, and the nurses still didn't have everything they needed to give her the epidural. Betty was in a lot of pain.

The nurses started hurling questions at us from all sides. In all the commotion, my mind was completely at a loss, but Betty was answering questions mid-contraction.

"Who is your pediatrician?" a nurse asked. "Um..." I said out loud and thought at the same time. "I think it's someone from Magnolia Pediatrics...."

"Dr. West! Dr. West! It's Dr. West!" Betty yelped, then went back to breathing through another bad contraction.

Another question from a different nurse: "If it's a boy, are you going to have him circumcised?"

My mind drifted off to articles I had recently read about how the extra skin on a wang is used like a plunger, and how there are all kinds of extra nerves there, and before I could snap back to reality Betty was screaming in affirmation of the circumcision and in response to another contraction.

After that the nurses asked a thousand other questions, but they just ignored me, as they should have. I was useless. Soon after Betty got the epidural and I could once again joke about how soon after the birth we were going to start working on a third child.

After the doctor arrived, Betty pushed four times and my son, Peter, was born. The nurses were all very impressed with his manhood. I was so proud! I got to cut the cord, and we donated his cord blood so that his stem cells can be used to help other kids that are sick.

Betty and Pete are both doing great.

[The little dude!]

My daughter, Anne, is still coming to grips with the fact that she is no longer the center of attention at the house. It's probably only a matter of time before she asks for Pete to be put back to wherever he came from. But she's been very good with baby Peter, and she always wants to see what he's doing.

You can check out a couple of pictures of my son Peter at

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Peter Tanory: Heir to Tanory Land

Peter Thomas Tanory was born Saturday at 1:29! The little dude was 6 lbs 6 ounces and is 19.25 inches long. Most of that weight and length is wang.

Both Mommy and Baby are doing great. Pictures and more info to follow soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Betty is having Braxton Hicks contractions.

For those of you who don't know what these are, they're pains that a pregnant woman has when hearing either Toni Braxton or Taylor Hicks on the radio.

Okay, okay... that's not completely true. They can also occur when either one of those singers is on TV, CD, DVD or in concert.

Actually, Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that a pregnant woman can get throughout most of the pregnancy, although most women don't feel them until close to the end of the pregnancy. And they're called "Braxton Hicks" contractions because they're named after Dr. John Braxton Hicks.

Why are they named after Dr. John Braxton Hicks? Because he "named" them after himself, that's why.

I like the history of the term Braxton Hicks contractions. For millennia, women have had these contractions and had probably talked about them several billion times. We all know how women like to talk, so it's not like these things were a secret. But it was this one a-hole, Dr. John, who put his own name on something that everyone already knew was occurring.

What a true pioneer in Obstetrics.

This is an interesting phenomenon: finding something that has been around for ages and then naming it after yourself, as if you just discovered it. And since I don't think this phenomenon has a name, so I'm going to call it the "Tanory Phenomenon."

You're welcome, world.

For the moment Betty's contractions are just Braxton Hicks contractions. But when baby Plaxico Megatron Tanory is ready to come out, we'll let you know.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sha-Fayette: The Shirt

I couldn't help myself. I had to make this shirt on Zazzle. Now you can tell the world that you are from Sha-fayette.

[Sha-fayette: The Shirt]

Be proud! Sha-fayette proud!

The Demas Dames

When Betty and I got engaged, my neighbors back home in Shafayette threw us an awesome party. That was close to six years ago, and Betty and I still talk about it. One thing in particular stands out in my mind: during a game that my neighbors had us play, I learned what a soup tureen is. I've never had to use that knowledge since then, but I'm ready for it to be a trivia question on Jeopardy.

My old street is named Demas, and on that street are a group of women that can whip up a party like nobody's business. We call them the Demas Dames. Once word gets out that someone on the street got engaged, the Demas Dames immediately spring into action. Lists are made, grocery stores are scouted for the best deals, and massive amounts of alcohol start stacking up at whoever's house is going to host the shower.

The Demas Dames' party planning abilities would put a regular Event Planner to shame. They always have the best food (all homemade, thank you very much), drinks and music, and they always go above and beyond. At the last wedding shower the Dames even had party cups, like from a Fraternity / Sorority exchange.

But just a warning to all the Demas Dudes: don't interfere with the Dames' party planning. Just go where you're told, do what you were asked to do (quietly), and then get to the next item on your To Do List.

This weekend the Demas Dames are throwing a shower for my sister. Betty and I aren't sure if we can make it because Betty is preggers and is about to pop, but we're seriously considering going. We're trying to weigh the pros and cons. On the one hand, if we get stuck in traffic on the Atchafalaya Basin on the way back then I might have to deliver my own child in the back seat of our Honda Odyssey. On the other hand, I hear the Demas Dames have something special cooked up for this weekend.

We can't decide what to do!

Chances are that we won't be able to go, so I'm counting on my family to take lots of pictures... and video. Preferably towards the end of the night once everyone is drunk and telling stories about each other.

Oh, and save us a plate of food!

Have a great time, Sis! And take note - you and Betty are the next generation of Demas Dames!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rock 'n Bowl

Betty and I helped throw a shower for my sister at the Rock 'N Bowl in New Orleans. And by "we" I mean "Betty". She did everything.

[Proof that we were at the Rock N Bowl]

Since the shower was at the Rock 'N Bowl, Betty decided to make a cake in the shape of a bowling pin, and then she made cupcakes that looked like bowling balls.

We wanted to write something witty on the side of the cake, but didn't know a lot of bowling terms. I did some research, and interestingly enough, a 7-10 split is also known as a "bedpost" (b/c you're screwed if you have one). Since the only witty lines I could think of involved bad puns about balls, pins and gutters, Betty decided to keep it simple.

[The cake]

Betty made the cupcakes, and Betty's mom rolled the fondant into perfectly shaped circles. The cupcakes had cookie dough baked into their middles, so it was like eating a cupcake / chocolate chip cookie. We would have had more for the party but I ate ten of them while Betty and her mom weren't looking.

[The cupcakes]

My sister's last name is Tanory - of course. And her fiance's last name is Robert. So the party was the Robert & Tanory party. The block of rooms for the hotel for their wedding is also under Robert / Tanory. And since my name is Robert Tanory, I now have 47 guests with rooms under my name. All I'm saying is that the hotel better bump my room up to the Penthouse.

[The Robert / Tanory Shower]

A ton of people showed up to the shower, which is great because it means my sister racked up on some shower loot. Everyone was so generous with the gifts - my cousin Elizabeth even had her gift specially wrapped for the occasion.

[Bif's gift!]

Love ya, cuz!

Betty is preggers and has been saying that she feels like she has a bowling ball in her belly. And it's true - she really does have a bowling ball in there! Look at this side-by-side comparison of her belly to a bowling ball. The resemblance is uncanny!

[My baby the bowling ball!]

The Rock N Bowl looks great. It's in a new location, and has a bigger dance floor, more lanes, and a big bar. But some things remain the same, like how bowling shoes are always half a size too big. My mom got that backwards and thought they were half a size too small, so she got her shoes to be a half size too big. So when she put on her bowling shoes it looked like she had giant clown feet. I can only show you this picture because my wife is about to have a baby and therefore my mom wouldn't dare kill me - just yet.

[Look at the size of those feet!]

I got some great pictures of everybody, but no one was at photogenic as our friend Heather. In return for allowing me to dub her Ms. Photogenic Robert/Tanory Shower 2010, I have to make Heather a collage of the pics that I took.

[Heather wins as Ms. Photogenic.]

As for me, I barely saw my sister or my soon-to-be Broseph, John Bobby. I was too busy bowling. Here is an action shot of me about to bowl a strike. Notice the intensity with which I bowl.


And here was my score. It's the first time I've ever broken 160. For people who bowl regularly this is low, but for me it's the greatest sports event that I've participated in since the Olympic chair sitting contest that I medaled in at work a few months ago.

[Best score ever!]

Congratulations, Becca and John! I have a great analogy / euphemism about love and bowling - and yes, it involves a single bowling pin, two bowling balls and a 7-10 split (aka, "the bedpost") - but I'll save it for the rehearsal dinner.

[The happy couple]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Profile Picture Needed

I need a new profile picture for my blog, but I can't decide which picture to use. Please let me know which one you prefer.

1. The Butler

[Picture: Bob the Butler]

The caption could read: Another blog, sir?

2. The Sneak Attack

[Picture: Beware the blog!]

The caption could read: Just when you thought it was safe to read the Intarweb! (Or whatever.)

3. The Tourists

[Picture: Your blog is HERE]

Caption: How the hell did you get HERE?

4. The Kiss

[Picture: It's all because of my sexy yellow shirt]

Caption: Because chicks dig guys who blog... and wear sexy yellow shirts.

And finally...

5. Pimpzilla!

[Picture: It's tacky... it's overdone... it's Pimpzilla!]

Caption: A man, a blog, a pimp hat, and massive amounts of radiation... what's not to like?

Please leave a comment or email me with your choice if you have a preference.

World of Facecraft

I've created a new game. It's called World of Facecraft.

It's essentially World of Warcraft, but for Facebook. It's not like the Farmville or Mafia Wars applications... those are just games that you play inside Facebook. No, this will be a game that actually affects your ability to use Facebook.

You use World of Facebook, also known as "WoF", in the same way that you'd use World of Warcraft and/or Facebook. You can travel to different realms / friend's profiles, gain experience by killing different characters in a friend's photo album, and cast spells to make their gender, sexual preference and current employer changed to something to your liking.

You can form alliances with other users and go hunting for weaker friends/enemies (hereby known as Frienemies) with fewer friends / experience points.

So why play this game? Well, if you gain a lot of experience then you get to supe up your profile page with goodies that only the Immortals would dream of. But if you get "killed" in Word of Facebook, there's a hefty price to pay: you can't post, read your wall, look at anyone else's profile or use any other application until someone resurrects your profile. All of your apps, like Farmville, will stop working. And everyone will miss your up-to-the-minute status updates.


You can also join Clans and Religions, which you currently know as Groups. Clans can attach each other. Say you're in a Bon Jovi fan group and you really hate Winger... well, you can attack their group, take their group leader hostage (virtually, of course), and force posts on the opposing group's wall to say that Bon Jovi is the shiznit.

Not contented with just attacking frienemies as they read the live feed on their wall? Well, that's not a problem, because with WoF you can also attack them while they're playing an application.

Let's say your friend is planting and/or harvesting carrots in Farmville. You'd want to cast a spell of invisibility on your profile, then sneak up behind him and attack him with your "ambush" skill. If you get a clean shot at him and decapitate him, his head will be removed from his profile picture until he gets resurrected (or at the end of 24 hours, whichever comes first).

I hope you'll all enjoy playing World of Facecraft. As soon as I can get the licensing terms finalized with the guys at World of Warcraft and Facebook then look for a more exciting and/or violent virtual home in the near future.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For Sale: One Brother

With the addition of my new baby in June, there will be even less time for the rest of my family. Between work, the few hours of sleep that I plan on getting, and the extra 15 minutes that I will spend sitting on the toilet so that I can read my Newsweek in peace, there will be less time for my mother, father, brother and sister.

I don't want my family to be neglected, and I don't know when I'll have time for them again. Therefore, in an effort to give my family members the best chance of finding hope and love out amongst the rest of the world, I've decided to sell my immediate family on eBay.

Don't judge me. I need the money for my new baby's college fund.

I've thought long and hard about which family member I should auction off first. I'll need my mother's support after the baby arrives, and therefore I can't sell my mother online. My sister's getting married in July, and I want to go to her reception - and I doubt she'd let me go if I sold her on eBay (or any other online retailer). My dad will be paying for my sister's wedding, which leaves only my brother to be sold for a hefty profit on eBay.

So please let me introduce my first family product: Todd, my older brother! Do I hear a hundred? Anyone? Anyone?

With your purchase of my brother, Todd - who can soon be your brother, Todd - you will receive a handsome and professional Tanory with two, count them - TWO - distinct eyebrows. Remember, folks, we Tanorys generally only have a single eyebrow between us, so the fact that Todd has two eyebrows should speak volumes about his personal grooming habits.

I won't lie, my brother Todd demands more upkeep. You'll have to purchase hair gel, designer clothes, and enough Windex to clean the frame that houses his MBA diploma at least eight times a week. But it's worth it. Oh, and you'll need to buy at least three Ultimate Fighting Championship matches on Pay-Per-View per week or he'll go stir crazy and destroy the furniture in the living room.

Todd also comes with several built-in stories, such as but not limited to:

1. That time he scored a hat trick in a soccer game;
2. That time he got a red card in a soccer game;
3. That other time he got a red card in a soccer game.

Just in time for the World Cup!

I was going to add in fine print but realized that many of you who would be interested in my brother Todd are probably older and would like a person to call your own son. So instead of making the font smaller, I'll just shoot you straight: you're only purchasing my brother, Todd, and not his wife, either one of his children, his dog, or any of his possessions. You are not purchasing a family, but only a family member. A very dear and expensive family member (but I'm willing to make a deal).

Depending on how much attention my new baby and/or first-born need after our family expands will determine if I need to auction off one of my other family members. However, if my sister's wedding hasn't come and gone and we still need the money, then I may have to start auctioning off a brother-in-law. So stay tuned for some potentially great deals from the Mathes side of the family.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Baby Name Update

I've solicited help in naming my next child, and would like to share the suggestions. Please leave a comment if you like one of the following, or leave a comment with a new suggestion.

In order of date submitted, the names are:

Patricia Rose
Rose Patricia
William Robert
William Richard
William Peter

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far! Keep'm coming!

Happy Mother's Day

I'd like to wish a very Happy Mother's Day to four wonderful people:

1. My wife, Betty - thank you for being such a wonderful mother to Anne. Our next baby is so lucky to have you as a Mommy. I love you!

2. My mom, Lynn - thank you for all that you've done for me; for your love and your encouragement; and for loving me more than my brother and sister. (I know, I know, you love all of us equally... but it's my blog, I'll write it if I want to.) I love you!

3. My mother-in-law, Jane - thank you for loving me as if I were your own son. Most people are lucky if they have a single set of loving parents, so I am doubly lucky because I have two sets of loving parents. I love you!

4. My brother, Todd - you are one big mutha... Sorry, I couldn't resist. I love you, too, in a brotherly sort of way.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Baby Name Contest

Several months ago I posted a blog in which I solicited baby names. So far I've only had one suggestion, so that one is in the lead by default.

The leading nomination is "Plaxico."

Please help my baby not be named Plaxico, by leaving a comment with a suggestion. Or, if you like Plaxico, please leave a suggestion for a middle name.

And remember, if you name my child, you also earn the right to pay for him or her to go to an Ivy League school. So thank you in advance for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you are putting into my child's future. I'm sure Baby Plaxico will appreciate it!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Life Lessons

As most of you know, Betty is preggers and is about to pop. Only four weeks left to go!

As her due date quickly approaches, I've had time to reflect on what kind of dad I am going to be to my second child.

Will I show favoritism to one child or another, like how my parents obviously love me more than my brother and sister? Or will I love each child individually yet equally, which is what my parents claim to do?

We don't know the gender of the baby. If it's a boy I'll have to teach him all of the right life lessons, like how to whistle with your fingers, different poker strategies and when to use them, and how to switch hit. But first I'll have to learn all of those myself. I'll also have to teach him how to code a website, so I can make him do all of my work for me. Don't worry, I'll give him a cut of the profits.

Believe me, it's better than mowing lawns.

If it's a girl then I'm in deep trouble, because I'm going to be vastly outnumbered. I'll probably have to get a dog - or maybe two dogs. The dogs will be male and we will not neuter them, as then I'd have five females at my house instead of three. We'll name the dogs something manly, like Diesel and Trogdor the Burninator.

We've been thinking up names for our baby, but whatever we name it won't really matter, because we're going to give it a nickname. The nickname will be the star of whatever soccer team wins this year's World Cup. Baby Ronaldinho Tanory kind of has a nice ring to it, I think.

Anyway, I've got to get back to doing my pre-baby lounging. There's not much time left to lounge! Gotta get it all in right now!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Thousand Posts

Today we celebrate a milestone in blogging history: 1,000 Tanory Tantrums! That's a lot of tantrums!

This is actually my 1,004th blog post. To give you an idea of just how much time that is, I thought I'd break down the tasks that I do while writing and give them a time value. I can then multiply that by 1,004 to determine a rough estimate for the total amount of time that I've spent on my blog, then divide that by 60 to get the number of hours.

Should be interesting. Here we go:

1. Sit at computer, log into Blogger. (< 1 minute.)

2. Attempt to think up a blog topic. Get started on a rough draft but change topics every paragraph. (5 minutes.)

3. Look at the notes I took throughout the day that I thought would be good blog topics. Ask Betty about them. (2 minutes.)

4. Check my email. Notice how much my Spam folder builds up when I check my email over the iPhone for several days at a time. (5 minutes.)

5. Write a title for my blog and write out a first draft consisting of the first three paragraphs, then delete the entire thing. (5 minutes.)

6. Remember to go do something in the kitchen. This could be, but is not limited to, a) taking out the trash; b) turning on the dishwasher; or c) eating whatever Betty wouldn't let me eat during the day since by now she is probably asleep. (3 minutes.)

7. Go back to the computer and skim, and check my Netflix queue. (15 minutes.)

8. Write the exact three paragraphs as what I had just deleted, add two more paragraphs, then move the third paragraph to the top and the second paragraph to the bottom. (3 minutes.)

9. Go take a whiz, and read a page out of Newsweek. Don't leave bathroom until done with article. (3 minutes.)

10. Go back to the computer. Slap myself in the face a few times to get the blood flowing. Make up a new title for the blog. Delete the fourth paragraph. (2 minutes.)

11. Think of the final two lines of the blog post. (5 minutes.)

12. Find, resize and upload pictures for the blog, if applicable. (5 minutes.)

13. Read blog aloud to Betty, if she's still up. Fix spelling and grammar mistakes as I read. Look at words that are spelled correctly but just look funny for some reason. (3 minutes.)

14. Click the "Publish Post" button, then immediately remember something incredibly funny that I wanted to write. Make a note of it for next time. (1 minute.)

That's it. That's my writing routine. Sometimes I can just sit down and write, and the blog is done in about two minutes and everyone loves it... other times it's several iterations and several hours of work for something that everyone is less enthusiastic about. So I guess time doesn't necessarily correspond to quality. Although my Netflix queue wouldn't be so full without all of that extra time spent writing the blog.

Anyway, that gives us a total of 58 minutes per blog, times 1,004 blogs which is 58232 minutes total. Divide that by 60 minutes and we get the equivalent of 970 hours... which is almost as much time as it's going to take to watch the remaining episodes of Lost on Netflix on Demand.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Escape from the Fair

Somehow we managed to find ourselves at the St. Thomas More church fair in Baton Rouge.

Fairs are usually a lot of fun for us. But our little munchkin's appetite for the fair was insatiable - she wanted to do everything, twice, and she wanted to do it NOW!

After several hours riding every ride, playing every game and eating every possible combination of food and drink, we decided to make a run for it.

The problem was we couldn't find the exit. We were trapped! To one side were the game booths, and to another side was a long line for the Sizzler - filled with angst-ridden tweens all wearing too-short shorts. We knew we couldn't fight our way through that line!

Fearing that we would become carnies if we didn't leave immediately, we set out to find an escape route.

Anne and I hopped on a giant bee and tried to make it fly over the fair. But my fear of heights and extreme motion sickness soon forced us to make the bee land on a giant plant. We slid down the plant's stem back to the fair grounds, and looked for an alternative exit.

[Picture: Bees! They're everywhere!]

Next we found a bunch of horses impaled upon a giant rotating slab of metal. We thought we could commandeer one and yank the pole out of the horse's back, then make it run a lap around the fair until we found our exit. Unfortunately, after saving the horse from the carousel, all it wanted to do was trot up to the nearest TV to watch the Kentucky Derby.

[Picture: Impaled horses? Let's ride them!]

We knew we needed a better vantage point to find an exit, so we went to the highest point allowed for a child under 36 inches tall: the super slide. We thought we spotted an exit, so we slid back down to Mommy, but then we got disoriented once we were back on the ground again.

[Picture: Slide!]

We found a game with a bunch of ducks floating in water, and we thought we could jump in the game's water source and swim our way to freedom. We captured one of the ducks to ask it how to get out, but it didn't speak our dialect of Duckish. So much for that.

[Picture: The ducks were no help in our escape from the fair.]

Remember in Star Wars (Episode IV, A New Hope) when Luke Skywalker blows up the Death Star by shooting a missile into a tiny chute that led all the way to the Death Star's main energy source (or whatever)? We thought we could do the same thing at the Muffin Ball game. Anne took six shots at destroying the fair, but all she got were 10 tickets which we used to buy a magic wand (to try to make an exit magically appear).

[Picture: Where's Hans Solo when you need him?]

We thought we could read the pattern of Muffin Balls in the same way an augur reads a flock of birds, and we interpreted the meaning of the pattern to walk directly to our right. So we did that.

[Picture: The pattern will show us a way out!]

And ended up at the...

Ice cream stand!

[Picture: Yum-o!]

After a nice meal of ice cream, brownies and cookies, we decided that being trapped at the fair forever and becoming carnies probably wasn't a bad thing after all. Good food, girls in short shorts, a super slide... we had everything we needed to survive! Plus, we could pay for everything with tickets. It was the perfect ecosystem for us.

Just then, as Anne (and Daddy) gave a big yawn, a few drops of rain fell from the sky and the crowd dispersed. With no crowd to block our vision, we found the exit. Off we went back home, to remember the great times we had on the Super Slide, Bee ride, Octopus thingy, carousel, and car track.

See you again next year, fair!