The Ides Of March

Today is March 15 – the Ides of March. Julius Caesar was warned to “beware the Ides of March”. Clearly Caesar didn’t heed this warning…he was killed on the Ides of March.

How do I know so much about the Ides of March? Well, I read William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in high school.

Hmm, I wonder if kids today still read Julius Caesar in high school. Surely today’s youth must know about Julius Caesar and the Ides of March, right?

I decided to go hang out at the local high school to find out.

Me: Excuse me? Can I talk to you?

Random high school girl (looking down at her phone): Huh? You want to Facebook me?

Me: No. I’d like to talk to you.

Random high school girl: Text me?

Me: No. Talk.

Random high school girl (looks up from her phone): Talk? I don’t understand.

Me: I want to talk to you. I’d like to have a conversation. You know, we’ll take turns speaking to each other. I’ll ask you a question and then you’ll give me an answer.

Random high school girl: Ohhhh, a conversation. Yeah, I had one of those once. OK, I’ll talk. 

Me: Good. I just wanted to tell you to beware the Ides of March.

Random high school girl: The i’s of March? There are no i’s in March. M-A-R-C-H. See, no i’s.

Me: No, not i’s of March. The Ides of March.

Random high school girl: Eyes of March?

Me: No. Ides of March. Beware the Ides of March.

Random high school girl: Beware of Thea DeMarch? Why? Is she a bully? Is she going to beat me up and steal my iPhone?

Me: No, no…

Random high school girl: I better update my Facebook status and warn my friends about her!

Me: Haven’t you heard of Julius Caesar?

Random high school girl: I’ve heard of Caesar salad.

Me: Of course you have. No, I’m talking about Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

Random high school girl: William Shake Spears? Is that Britney Spears cousin? OMG, you know Britney’s cousin! Can he get me Britney’s autograph?

Me: No, he can’t.

Random high school girl: Darn!

Me: Hey, remember when Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future”?

Random high school girl: No.

Me: Of course you don’t. Whitney must have been totally strung out on crack when she sang that. I weep for the future.

Random high school girl: Oh. Do you need a tissue?

Me: No. Nice talking to you.

Random high school girl: Hey, maybe this talking thing will catch on.

Me: Yeah, maybe.

Random high school girl: OK, text ya later! Don’t forget to Friend me!


Beware the Ides of March.

And beware of Thea DeMarch…I hear she’s coming to steal your iPhone.


Charlie Sheen Visits Dr. Lori

Physician-patient confidentiality prevents me from identifying the patients I write about. But the patient I’m writing about today is no ordinary patient. Rules don’t apply to him. He’s a bitchin’ rock star from Mars. He’s…


Even though Charlie’s been super busy doing drugs television interviews, radio interviews and hanging out with his goddesses at his Sober Valley Lodge, he still found time to visit me at my office.

Dr. Lori (knocks, enters exam room): Good morning Charlie.

Charlie Sheen: Morning Doc!

Dr. Lori: Charlie, why are you sitting on the exam table completely naked?

CS: I’m ready for my hernia exam.  

Dr. Lori: Ah yes, the hernia heard around the world. But Charlie, you have a hiatal hernia

CS: Yes, I know. What’s the problem?

Dr. Lori: Your balls are the problem. PUT YOUR PANTS ON!  

CS: (puts his pants on): Whatever you say, Doc.

Dr. Lori: So, how are you doing Charlie?

CS: Slap my ass and call me Tony the Tiger because I’m GRRRRREAT! I have tiger’s blood and I’m not talking about Tiger Woods. I am tiger, hear me roar! RRROOOAAARRR!!

Dr. Lori: Would you like me to refer you to a veterinarian?

CS: No, no. I’m an F-18. A G6. A 34DD. A B1, I18, N32, G54, O75. B-I-N-G-O. And Bingo was his name- O!

Dr. Lori: What the hell was that? Be honest with me, what drugs are you on right now?

CS: I’m on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. 

Dr. Lori: Sorry Charlie, that drug has been recalled by the FDA because it leads to projectile vomiting and anal leakage.

CS: Huh. So that explains the anal leakage.

Dr. Lori: Hey, what happened to the bottle of Purell I had on my desk? (sniffs Charlie’s breath) Good lord, did you drink the Purell?

CS: Well, duh! Who wouldn’t drink the stuff? It says it cures 99.99% of germs.

Dr. Lori: Soooo, it had absolutely nothing to do with the 62% alcohol content?

CS: Alcohol and drugs are no longer a problem. I have cured myself of my addictions. I cured myself with my mind.

Dr. Lori: Your mind? No AA. No rehab. You cured yourself with your mind. That’s hard to believe.

CS: Yes, an unevolved mind cannot process it. I can cure addictions, illness and injuries with my mind. But we must keep it a secret from the government. If they find out, they’ll capture me and run all kinds of scientific studies on me. Like they did to E.T.

Dr. Lori: OK. My lips are sealed.

CS: You see, if I had a hammer, I could use it to repeatedly smash my hand and then I would cure the broken flesh and bones with my mind.  (gets up and starts dancing) If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning. I’d hammer in the evening. All over this land…

Dr. Lori: I have a hammer. I can’t wait to see this. (hands hammer to Charlie)

CS:  (takes hammer) Je vous remercie. Je suis une douche bag géant. Holy crap, I can speak French! Who knew? OK, 1-2-3 (smashes hand with hammer) YEOWWWW!!!! PAIN! PAIN! MOTHERFUCKING PAIN!

Dr. Lori: Pain? Can’t you cure the pain with your mind?

CS: Sometimes, ow, it takes, ow, a little longer, ow, for my mind, ow, to completely, ow, cure, ow, the, ow, pain, ow.

Dr. Lori: Shall I send you to x-ray now?

CS: No, no. I’ll be fine because I’m special and I will never be like one of you. I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m special. Barney told me so.

Dr. Lori: Barney?

CS: Yeah, Barney the big purple dinosaur. That dino is deep, man.  Hey, maybe I could get Barney to come live with me and the goddesses at Sober Valley Lodge. That would be bitchin’ awesome!

Dr. Lori: Charlie, I’m going give you a prescription for a life-preserver.

CS: Why do I need a life-preserver?

Dr. Lori: BECAUSE YOU’VE GONE OFF THE DEEP END! You’ve lost it. You’re loco. Cuckoo. Whackadoodle.

CS: I’m not whackadoodle.  I’m WHACKADOODLE-DANDY!

Dr. Lori: Seriously Charlie, you need help. You have some serious psychiatric and addiction issues. You may be bipolar.

CS: I’m not bipolar. I’m bi-winning!

Dr. Lori: That makes absolutely no sense. You need help. I’m going to refer you to addiction specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky.

CS: Dr. Drew? DR. DREW? I like to call him, Dr. Poo. It’s funny because Drew and poo rhyme.

Dr. Lori: I’m sorry, my normal brain can’t process that. If you refuse to see Dr. Drew, you leave me no choice. (picks up phone) Nurse, please send him in.

(Door opens. Tom Cruise walks in)

CS: Tom Cruise? What are you doing here?

Tom Cruise: Hi Charlie. I’m here to help you. Several years ago, people thought I was crazy. But I’m not gay

CS: You mean, you’re not crazy.

TC:  That’s what I said. I’m not crazy. And definitely not gay. It was Scientology that helped me through those troubled times and it can help you too. I’d like to sing you a song I wrote just for you:

(to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

I’m drunk. I’m addicted to drugs. I’m nuts. 

I’ve lost it. Please help me.  

Don’t take medications (they’re bad).

Try Scientology!

CS: No thanks, Tom. Scientology isn’t for me. You see, I’m special.

TC: Yes Charlie, you are special. I’m special. You’re special. All Scientologists are special. (puts arm around Charlie and leads him out of the exam room). Come with me and join our cult…I mean church.

CS: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I’ll go to rehab, a inpatient psych unit…anything! NOT SCIENTOLOGY!!!!

TC: Stop resisting Charlie. You are one of us now.


Dr. Lori: Good luck Charlie!

Blizzards Should Be Made Of Ice Cream, Not Snow

Got snow?

I do.

You may have heard about the little blizzard that struck the Midwest last week. How could you not hear about it? Meteorologists couldn’t stop talking about it. They used their fancy schmancy weather maps and radar images to tell us that a blizzard was headed our way. But not just any blizzard. Oh no, we were in store for Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, SnOMG, Snowtorious B.I.G. Weather reporters had turned into Chicken Little: The sky is falling! The sky is falling! 

Meteorologists in Chicago had predicted snowstorms in the past and had been completely wrong with their predictions. So, I wasn’t convinced that we were actually going to get  20 inches of snow. Especially when the schools declared a snow day before the first few inches of snow even hit the ground. I figured that was a sure sign that the blizzard forecast would be way off.

Before the blizzard


After the blizzard


Huh. The meteorologists were right this time. The sky was falling. Well, the snow was falling. And it kept falling and falling and falling.

Snow as high as the backyard fence


What do you do on a snow day? Build a 5 ft rocket!

Blizzard 2011 in a nutshell:

20 inches of snow
50+ mph wind gusts
2 snow days
And no Dairy Queen blizzards because Dairy Queen was closed due to the blizzard

When Tiger Mom Met Helicopter Mom

So far, 2011 has been the year of the Tiger Mom. If you don’t know what a Tiger Mom is, you should read Amy Chua’s Wall Street Journal article, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” .  Amy Chua created quite a stir with this article and with her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”. While some praised her strict parenting style, many criticized her harsh methods. The debate continued with TIME magazine’s cover story, “The Truth About Tiger Moms”

Tiger Moms are strict and push their children to succeed no matter what. This is in direct contrast to the parenting style of the Helicopter Mom.  These mothers are called Helicopter Moms because they are overprotective and hover over their children. Helicopter Moms jump in to fix their child’s problems and go to great lengths to keep their child away from dangerous situations.

Tiger Mom and Helicopter Mom – the ultimate odd couple. It’s a reality show just waiting to happen. Picture this: Tiger Mom Amy Chua and her daughter Lulu are forced to live with iCarly‘s Helicopter Mom Mrs. Benson and her son Freddie. (Yes, I know they’re fictional, but I can’t out any real Helicopter Moms. Just go with it.)

This is the story of what happens when two mothers are forced to live in a house and stop being polite…and start getting real. The Real World: Tiger Mom & Helicopter Mom

[Freddie and Lulu arrive home from school]

Freddie: Hi Mom. We’re home from school.

Mrs. Benson: Oh Freddie, I’m so glad you’re home. I missed you. [gives Freddie a giant bear hug]

Freddie: I missed you too, Mom.

Mrs. Benson: I love you.

Freddie: I love you too, Mom.

Lulu: Hi Mom.

Amy Chua: Don’t “hi” me. Let’s get down to business. You had a math test today. What was your grade?

Freddie: She got an A.

Mrs. Benson: Lulu, that’s great! An A!

Amy Chua: A? A, schmay. What percentage was your A?

Lulu: 92% [hands her mother the test]

Amy Chua: [shakes test violently] 92? This is not an A. This is an A minus. This is test is garbage and you are a worthless garbage collector! I might as well use this 92% test to wipe my butt after I take a crap!

Mrs Benson: Oh no, that piece of paper is much too harsh to wipe your butt with. You should use Charmin. My Freddie has a very sensitive tushy, so I always buy Charmin for him.

Freddie: MOM!

Amy Chua: [mutters] Stupid American mother! [raises her voice] Lulu, I’m very disappointed in you. You have brought great shame to our family. I want you to spend an extra 2 hours studying math tonight. But that’s after you spend 2 hours practicing your violin.

Mrs. Benson: Freddie, how did you do on your math test?

Freddie: I got a B.

Mrs. Benson: Oh, that’s wonderful! You did a super duper job! [gives Freddie another giant bear hug]  I’m so proud of you! I’m sure the only reason you didn’t get an A is because that teacher is unfair! I think I’ll call her up and tell her to stop putting such hard math problems on your test.

Freddie: Don’t do that mom.

Mrs. Benson: But I have to tell her to stop being mean to my baby boy. And luckily I have her phone number on speed dial!

Lulu: Great job on your math test Freddie! Your math grades are really improving.

Freddie: Thanks Lulu.

Amy Chua: LULU! Don’t talk to that stupid American boy. Stay away from him! He may poison your superior Chinese brain.

Mrs. Benson: Don’t talk that way about my little Freddie! I would argue with you, but I can’t because right now I’m on hold with Freddie’s teacher.

Freddie: I’m going to have a snack.

Mrs. Benson: Freddie, I made you some cookies and hot cocoa. But be careful drinking the cocoa. It’s very hot and I don’t want you to spill it on your lap and burn your testicles.

Freddie: MOM!

Mrs. Benson: I’ll just blow on your cocoa so it’s not too hot for you. And I better break your cookies into little bite size pieces so you won’t choke.

Amy Chua: [mutters] Stupid inferior American mother!

Lulu: Mom, can I have a snack?

Amy Chua: No, no snack for you! It’s time for you to practice your violin. You know the rules, if your violin concerto is perfect, then you can eat. Now, go practice!

[Lulu begins practicing her violin in another room]

Freddie: I’m going to go do my homework.

Mrs. Benson: OK. Here’s a pencil for you. Oh wait, this pencil tip is too sharp. [breaks pencil tip] That sharp pencil was an accident waiting to happen.

Freddie: I don’t need a pencil, Mom. All I need is my laptop.

Mrs. Benson: Oh! Well, don’t put the laptop on your lap. I don’t want you to burn your testicles.

Freddie: MOM!

[Freddie goes upstairs to do his homework]

[Lulu is still practicing her violin]

Amy Chua: NO, NO, NO! The tempo is all wrong! Lulu, your mistakes are unacceptable. You are a disgrace to this family. You are going to stay here and practice that song until it’s PERFECT! That means no food, no water and no bathroom privileges. Now, pick up that violin bow and get back to work!

Lulu: Yeah, I’ll pick up this violin bow…then I’d like to shove it up your rectum, ascending colon and transverse colon!

Amy Chua: LULU! I’m shocked…shocked at your appalling knowledge of colon anatomy! It’s rectum, DESCENDING COLON and transverse colon! Once again, you have brought shame to our family and the whole Chinese race. After you practice violin for 3 hours and practice math for 3 hours, I want you to spend 2 hours studying anatomy.

Lulu: Fine, but I’m going to practice violin in my room.

Any Chua: Fine. Now go!

[Lulu goes upstairs and practices her violin]

Mrs. Benson: You were kind of rough on Lulu, don’t you think?

Amy Chua: Not at all. I will not tolerate anything less than perfection from my children. No mistakes. I demand perfection and I will push until I receive it. My children will achieve great things in life, unlike your pussy son.  

Mrs. Benson: Oh yes, Freddie’s a little pussy cat, isn’t he?  

Amy Chua: [mutters] Stupid inferior American mother!

Mrs. Benson: I don’t hear any noise coming from upstairs. Oh no! What if Freddie fell, hit his head and is lying unconscious in his room?

Amy Chua: I don’t hear Lulu’s violin. She still has 3 hours of practice left!

[Amy Chua and Mrs. Benson run upstairs]

Amy Chua: Lulu is not in her room.

[Amy Chua and Mrs. Benson open Freddie’s bedroom door and find Lulu and Freddie half-naked in Freddie’s bed]

Amy Chua: AHHHHHH! [clutches heart and passes out]

Mrs. Benson: AHHHHHH! [clutches heart and passes out]

Freddie: Are they dead? Do you know CPR?

Lulu: Well, yesterday my mom told me to study CPR for 2 hours, but I didn’t. They’re not dead. But they’re going to die when we tell them I’m pregnant! [dials 911]

Freddie: Wanna fool around some more until the paramedics arrive?

Lulu: Oh yeah!

The Pessimist Club

Over the weekend I drove past a Christmas tree lot. Not so unusual – a Christmas tree lot in December is a fairly common sight. It wasn’t the lot itself that caught my attention, but the sign on display in front of the Christmas tree lot that caught my eye.

Optimist Club Christmas Tree Lot 

An optimist club?  How very…well, optimistic!

I kept driving and, lo and behold, there was another Christmas tree lot on the very next block!  The first lot I passed was full of thick, lush and strong trees. The second lot was filled with lots of empty space. And three sad, puny, Charlie Brown Christmas trees.

The sign on display in front of this Christmas tree lot?

Pessimist Club Christmas Tree Lot

OK, I lied. That second lot didn’t exist. Except in my head. Yeah, I made it up. But I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of a Pessimist Club Christmas tree lot right next to the Optimist Club lot. How funny would that be?  I also started imagining what the Pessimist Club would be like…

And now back to It’s The Pessimist Club, Charlie Brown! on CBS (sponsored by Dolly Madison)

Linus: Charlie Brown? Is that you?

Charlie Brown: Yes, Linus, it’s me.

L: Why are you at the library in this meeting room all by yourself? And why are you sitting in the dark?

CB: The lights went out. They must hate me.  

L: The lights don’t hate you Charlie Brown. They’re probably on a timer.  Why didn’t you turn them back on?

CB: *SIGH* Why bother?

L: (turns the lights back on) Charlie Brown, are you here for a meeting?

CB: Yes. I’ve organized the very first meeting of the Pessimist Club.

L: You formed a club? That’s great, Charlie Brown! What time is your meeting?

CB: 2 hours ago.

L: Oh, so no one is here because your meeting is over?

CB: No, the meeting was supposed to start 2 hours ago. No one showed up.

L: No one?

CB: No one. Oh, except for Peppermint Patty and Marcy. But they weren’t here for the meeting. They kept inviting me to some French place. Menage-a-something.

L: Menage a trois?

CB: Yeah, that was it.  Have you been there?

L: Good grief Charlie Brown! You’re such a blockhead!

CB: Tell me something I don’t know.

L: I can’t believe no one showed up to your meeting. I mean, look at this great sign you made…Pessimist Club meeting. Refreshments will be served. Where are the refreshments, Charlie Brown?

CB: Well, I was going to buy cupcakes, but then I thought, what if I buy vanilla cupcakes and everyone likes chocolate? Then I thought, what if I buy chocolate and everyone likes vanilla? So I decided to buy cookies instead.

L: Where are the cookies?

CB: Well, I was going to buy 2 bags of cookies, but then I thought, what if 2 bags aren’t enough. Then I was going to buy 3 bags, but then I thought, what if 3 bags aren’t enough. Then I was going to buy 4 bags but…


CB: Oh. I didn’t buy any.

L: Good grief Charlie Brown!


L: Charlie Brown, I know I’m just an audience of one, but why don’t you call the first meeting of the Pessimist Club to order?

CB: You mean start the meeting?

L: Yes.

CB: Oh. Um. Well…I didn’t actually plan anything. I figured no one would show up so why bother.

L: Good…

CB: Yeah, yeah, yeah, good grief. I’m a blockhead. I know. I know. (looks at watch) Oh no! I’m late for my appointment with my psychiatrist Lucy.

L: Honestly, Charlie Brown, are you really going to take advice from a psychiatrist who runs her practice out of a glorified lemonade stand? Do you even know where she completed her psychiatric training?

CB: I think she trained in a foreign country. Hey, maybe she trained in that French place…menage-a-something.


Surely You Can’t Be Serious

Last weekend Leslie Nielsen died. 

Did you just ask yourself, who’s Leslie Nielsen?  If you did, I’m terribly sorry, but we can no longer be friends. You are dead to me now.

Leslie Nielsen was an actor who starred in Airplane! and The Naked Gun trilogy. In my humble opinion (and let’s face it, my opinion is the only one that really matters), Airplane! and The Naked Gun are the two greatest movies ever made. Brilliant films. Comedy classics. Airplane! has always been my favorite movie. It was my favorite movie when I was 10 years old, and it’s still my favorite movie at 38 (almost 39) years old. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, the men who created those movies, are comedy gods.  And their decision to cast Leslie Nielsen in these films was a stroke of genius.

Leslie Nielsen is dead, it’s true. Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with a seat missing, but it hurts. If you don’t recognize that quote from The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, then, once again, you are dead to me. Most comedies may have a funny line or two that are worth repeating. But Airplane! and The Naked Gun Series…too many gut-busting, pee in your pants, hysterical lines to count.  I’m guessing that every day, someone, somewhere utters the classic Airplane! line, Surely you can’t be serious. I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley.

In honor of Mr. Leslie Nielsen, I have created a movie called Airplane?! My Tribute to Leslie Nielsen. A few things about my movie:

  1. If you’re looking for a professionally produced and edited video, you won’t find it here…my 8 year old could produce a better movie than this one.
  2. It’s a little blurry. Sorry.
  3. You may have to screw around with the volume. Sorry.
  4. I didn’t have any female Lego figures so I had to improvise.

(If the video is not showing up here, this is the link:

Hello 911? I’ve Got An Emergency…Again!

It must have been a slow news day. This was one of the top “news” stories reported by the local media today:

Boy calls 911 over dad’s poor dinner choice

The story behind this headline is that a 10-year-old boy from Buffalo Grove, Illinois was served noodle soup for dinner. Apparently, the boy thought noodle soup for dinner was unacceptable. It’s unclear why he felt this way. Maybe he had noodle soup for lunch and he was sick of noodle soup. Maybe he was concerned about the sodium content in the soup and what it might do to his blood pressure. OK, maybe not. But for some reason, this 10-year-old boy did not want noodle soup for dinner.  An argument broke out between the boy and his father. The father wanted the boy to eat his noodle soup for dinner. The boy did not want to eat noodle soup for dinner. Then the father basically dared the boy to call the police. So what did the boy do? Yes, he dialed 911.

Father suggesting son call 911…stupid

Son actually calling 911…really really stupid

The boy called 911, but hung up when the 911 operator answered. Perhaps he realized that serving noodle soup is not a crime in the state of Illinois. Or perhaps he realized that 911 is for EMERGENCIES! But alas, these realizations came too late – he had already called 911 so the police showed up at his front door. And when the police entered the house, they found a very embarrassed 10-year-old boy eating his noodle soup.

When I heard this story today, it seems rather familiar, rather deja vu. Then I remembered why. Last year I blogged about another stupid 911 call.  That post was about a 15-year-old boy from Buffalo Grove who called 911 when his parents took away his Xbox.

2 boys from Buffalo Grove. 

2 stupid 911 calls.

I can’t help but wonder, what exactly are they teaching kids about 911 in Buffalo Grove?