Monthly Archives: April 2014

Draw on my face, no trust me, draw on my face

Remember the contest to draw on my forehead? Yeah me either, or at least I’ve been trying to forget it.

Well, this is one of those good news/bad news situations.

The good news is that people read and participate in this blog. Hooray for us!

The bad news is that most of us can’t follow simple instructions, don’t own any sort of photo-altering software more complicated than MS paint and we collectively are obsessed with …

wait for it …

not dicks.

I fully expected a lot of dicks being drawn on my face. Maybe that’s all 2010 and magic-marker-on-a-passed-out-person’s-face nostalgia, but that’s what I expected.

It is not what I got.

I got a lot of “bitch” comments. As in, simple drawings on my forehead saying I’m a “bitch, “UR a bitch” and something I couldn’t read that ended in “itch.”

And scratchy maybe?

And scratchy maybe?

I like to pretend it said, “Well ain’t this a bitch,” which would have won because that’s a favorite phrase at the moment, but it didn’t.

Beyond the actual photos sent back, there were also comments left on the blog or others that were emailed to me.  One comment offered the following, “Todd, this is a great photo. You actually look young. This looks exactly like you. I don’t know why it makes me laugh so!”

But my forehead wasn’t big enough to handle all that text. I asked the guy at “Oh God my Wife is German” how much it would cost to expand my forehead in Photoshop and he guessed the time it would take could quickly reach four figures.

So, I was left to pick the winners from my email and Facebook instant messages.

There were – I think – four or five entries, Whittling it down to one wasn’t that hard thankfully. Posting a photo with the words “U SUK!” on my forehead, while mildly funny, isn’t very funny.

This entry by Nova did tickle my funny bone, however.


So, its as simple as that, Nova wins.

And the winner has elected to receive a beer stein because look at this photo …


Blumen zum selbstpflücken continues to baffle

There are lots of things that make living in Europe, and specifically Germany,  awesome. Bier gardens, students dressed as pirates floating up to your bier garden drunker than you are at three in the afternoon, the autobahn, mixed-gender nude saunas and did I mention mixed-gender nude saunas? These are all awesome.

I was hoping it would be a sauna photo too.

I was hoping it would be a sauna photo too.

But honestly, living in Germany is pretty much just like living in the U.S. If you make a stupid move while driving, you’re likely to get flipped off. Recycling is a mandated, but necessary, giant pain in the ass. The mail comes every day. Not every German frau is a blonde-haired, blued-eyed, buxom Bavarian farm girl asking you to “churn” her butter, and I’m constantly disappointed at how few times I can call someone a “kartoffelfopf.”

Which is sad really.

But, there is still one aspect of living in Germany (or hell other parts of Europe for all I know) that still, these many years later, continues to baffle me.

Now, I’ve talked about this before, and if you’re a fan from way back when this blog started you may remember — but one thing unique to Deutschland are the German flower fields. These are fields where you pick your flowers and then, with no one there to keep you honest, y0u slip the money for the flowers you just picked into a locked box.

Seriously, that’s it. You can pay by spitting into the coin slot, you can pay by waving your dick at the coin slot, you can pay for your flowers by yelling angrily, “No, Germany I won’t obey your rules!” Or you can pay by calculating the price using a guide posted next to the garden and then inserting that amount into the lock box.

I always insert the money, though I was tempted once while drunk to pay by shaking my dick at the box.

Point is, I am always shocked that this system works. True, you really — lacking a welding torch — can’t steal the money, and there’s probably a lot to be said about the honesty of a population that says, “Wow look a bunch of flowers raised by a person who trusts me to pay for what I harvest.”  What’s the theft rate? I’ll bet it’s close to none. I know I pay more than is required each time I stop and pick flowers for my wife because I’m just too aware of what’s expected.  I always pay a bit more out of some nervous feeling that I might just be on some German hidden camera show where the German version of John Quinones ambushes me as I try to slide into my car asking me why I underpaid for the blumen.

Yeah, I do stop at these fields to pick flowers for the wife from time to time. There are exactly zero husbands laughing at me right now because all of you have brought home flowers for your wife at one time or another. You’ve done it, fuck you, yes you have. If you haven’t you’re a filthy lair or a disgusting wretch.

And I don’t just mean flowers for Valentine’s Day, or a birthday or because you’re hoping for a blowjob that night, I mean flowers because you know unannounced flowers for no particular reason are automatic plus symbols in the ledger of life. They also sometimes lead to blowjobs.

Flowers to a wife are the universal sign that we, the man, think about you, the woman, even when you’re not around. In this world of LGBT enlightenment I’d further guess bringing home flowers for no particular reason is just a way of saying to any significant other, hey I was thinking of you.

I also like to bring home flowers because nothing says I’m sorry for that $400 Visa bill from “” like flowers do.

Germany makes bringing home the posies just too fucking easy with these fields. Would that sort of thing work in America? I wrote long ago that I thought the fields would have been destroyed by freeloaders stealing flowers and/or teenagers doing donuts in the fields because, I dunno, thrashing flowers with your car is fun and/or teenagers are idiots by and large?

It likely wouldn’t work in the U.S. I grew up in the 70s and 80s on the outskirts of Phoenix. A part of Phoenix sadly now known for its bigoted asshole sheriff, packs of feral Chihuahuas and not much else. One thing I do remember growing up there as a kid, though, is the flower girls, or orange girls or fruit girls wearing short shorts and a bikini top hawking their wares at various intersections.

Even though I was only a prepubescent little shithead, I remember thinking “Holy crap, look at the hot chick wearing a bikini top.”

I don’t ever recall my father stopping at one of them, but a few of my friend’s dads did. These girls, 18 years or older, sold fruit, veggies or flowers along lonely intersections on the outskirts of Phoenix.

It was the pre-internet-days version of a savvy marketing plan and that meant tits. Still though it’s the closest thing I can think of to the German version of roadside flower pick up, and it’s still not very close at all. Sure, the German one lacks a rack in a bikini top, but I still maintain that their system is just as good.

Of course my solution to most problems is boobs. World hunger? Boobs. Our nation’s debt? Boobs of course. Russian aggression against the Ukraine? Boobs. I get voted down a lot in staff meetings at the office for reasons that are unclear to me but damn it boobs!


The key to life, a happy wife … where’s my beer

As you know my wife is the organized one.

She keeps our life organized.

If Dagmar ruled the world.

If Dagmar ruled the world.

Bills are paid, obligations are met and we’re solvent because she’s organized.

I, on the other hand, consider it a good day if I remember to wear pants.

That said — into the lives of even the most organized among us a bit of chaos must occasionally fall.

My wife spent several hours Saturday in a semi-controlled panic because she misplaced her house key.

Due to the fact that I’m currently our household’s only driver, she hasn’t had to use her house key once since early November.

Literally, every time she’s entered our house since that day I’ve used my key to open the door.

Really, since Nov. 5 our house’s key hole hasn’t been penetrated by any other key but mine, which is about as dirty as I can make that sentence.

To add to this story’s build up, I need to mention that she also has some weird obsession with not keeping more than one key on a key chain. Really, it’s fucking weird. There’s the key ring with the house key on it. A separate key ring for her now unused car key and a third key ring for her (gasp) two work keys.

Her logic regarding her strict key segregation is that circa the 1920s or something her mother had a lot of keys on a key ring and this extra weight, pressure or, for all I know, “space alien black magic” caused her mom’s car’s ignition to function without a key. You could just turn the key receptacle and it would start.

The extra weight, pressure or whatever certainly could’ve have caused the problem with her mom’s car. I don’t pretend to know. (Todd, Dagmar isn’t crazy. You may have been stoned at the time, but that was the big myth going around in the 80s. A heavy key ring damages your ignition. I scoff at it and continue to lug around my 25-pound key ring with no adverse effects. But Dagmar’s mom’s-ignition-switch story seems like a good reason for her to be cautious. Case in point. So get off her jock. ~Fran)

Considering that Dagmar’s car starts not with a key, but with a plastic disc that she inserts and never twists like a metal key, I find her logic regarding key rings on par with someone refusing to use an umbrella because it scares horses when you open the umbrella.

I mean, it might be true, but it’s completely irrelevant.
It’s just one of those married things you just eventually ignore about your partner. Sure it’s a bit weird, but we’re all a bit weird, and if that system works for them who are we to argue?

My wife’s key habits are important because I’d be a few hundred words short of a blog post without them and because they factor into the lost key story.

On Friday, for the first time since Nov. 5, she had to let herself into the house. I had to go on a day-long business trip and wouldn’t be home until late that evening. A friend agreed to give her a ride home. I came home at 7:30 p.m., let myself in and found my wife in bed with a satisfied look on her face, two margaritas deep and a half pint of some chick-flavored Ben and Jerry’s ice cream utterly destroyed in the trashcan.

Interesting to know I can be so easily replaced actually.

Fast forward to the next morning and the ritual of grocery shopping.  In the driveway she discovers not only that she forgot something inside the house, but that her house key isn’t in her purse. She borrows mine while I impatiently wait in the car in the driveway — grocery stores are such a pain on a Saturday if you don’t go early.

I’ll spare you the details, but through the course of several hours, the key search escalated into one of those “holy crap where is that important thing I really need,” moments for my wife, and admittedly, not at all for me.

Elgato Smart Key: Trackable Key Fob & iPhone app. We're nothing here at HAFB if not informative.

Trackable Key Fob & iPhone app. We’re nothing here at HAFB if not informative. A

I misplace my wallet, keys, passwords, dignity and whatever all the time. I call that shit Tuesday. I do it so often I’ve become very good at hiding the fact that I’m looking for something from my wife.
She, on the other hand, never does this, so the shock of it tilted the axis of her world view.
It’s anarchy for her and not the good kind that Johnny Rotten sang about either.

Let’s review.
1. While she keeps all her keys separate, they are all on a key ring of some sort. This one has a little beer opener attached to it.

2. She hasn’t used the key for almost six months, but she did use it the day before when she was dropped off after work.

3. This doesn’t happen to her. She’s anal retentive to the point that she would literally keep the keys in her ass if that was physically possible, along with her wallet, her phone, our bank account holdings and you can see the logistical problems this sort of storage system would present.
And finally.

4. Her husband is of no help in this situation.

Let me explain four.  See I’m of no help because I know where I would leave something like my keys — in the beer fridge, on the ironing table in my closet, behind the foot powder in the medicine cabinet, in the backyard on the self where I keep the hatchet next to the woodpile — these are all real places I have left the important, yet mundane, items we all use to function from day to day.

What she would have done with them, I have no clue.

All I can offer her in way of assistance is, “Honey they’ll turn up, or they won’t.”
Not really helpful I know, but it is a realistic approach.

Also I was sitting in the backyard drinking beer and key searching just was bumming me out. I mean, really, this is the first nice Saturday we’ve had since last fall and you want to spend it searching for keys?

A few hours of her frantically searching for the keys and me enjoying some wonderful spring weather later she presents me with her missing key hypothesis.

This, friends, is where two minds that have been together for many years split radically apart. Each understands where the other is coming from, but each disagrees with the other about the idea.

Of course I was right.

Her theory? Someone stole the keys out of the lock after she inadvertently left them in the door when she came home Friday night. We live next to a family owned hotel and obviously mobsters had been stalking our place in hopes of this very thing happening. Fortunately we contacted Long Island Locksmith and the lock got open.

See, crime and wine go hand in hand as reenacted here in this episode of Law and Order.

See, crime and wine go hand in hand as beautifully reenacted here in this episode of Law and Order.

Between the time she arrived home at 5:30 p.m. and the time I arrived home at 7:30 the criminal masterminds struck. We would have to arm ourselves with weapons, buy a vicious attack dog and replace all the locks with retinal scanners because the criminals were coming, much like winter — or whatever the catch phrase from Game of Thrones is, I haven’t watched it yet.

My theory? The fucking keys are in the house. Chill out and have a glass of wine. They’ll show up or they won’t. Use the spare key in the unlikely event you need the key again anytime soon. If my theory isn’t good enough for your peace of mind fine, I’ll have the lock changed Monday. It’s a hundred Euros at best and if it puts your mind at rest all the better, but the fact remains that the key is in the house and we will someday find it.

My theory was mocked.

Living next to a hotel in wine country, we have groups gathering in the hotel parking lot on Saturdays to take wine-tasting trips on fancy wagons pulled by tractors.

This is an every-Saturday occurrence.

Dagmar pointed out the window to this Saturday’s group (parked closest to our house) and explained that they were the likely culprits.

“See, they’re changing their clothes,” she said.

I pointed out that if taking off jackets to enjoy a warm Saturday was an indication of criminal activity we were ourselves guilty at some point or another.

She was not convinced. They were sure to, at any moment on this wonderfully sunny Saturday afternoon, bust into our house in order to steal everything that wasn’t locked down, mock us for our poor key control and then they would violate the pussy …

… cat.

I again pointed out that a gang of criminals was unlikely to conjugate in broad daylight outside of their criminal target while drinking wine, carrying on loudly and boarding a fancy wagon towed by a tractor. If this was in fact an elaborate ruse, it was a stupid elaborate ruse and for fuck’s sake the keys are here, somewhere, in the house.

She was having none of it. It was part of their plan and she was serious.

Changing the locks Monday morning, as I had offered to do, gave her no solace.

Those criminal drunkards were to blame for her lack of keys.

I engaged her as much as I could for a laugh or two, she got a little mad every time I did because I wasn’t taking her innocent-wine-tasters-turned-home-invaders theory seriously and eventually she found the fucking keys.

They were in her purse the whole time.

They got stuck in a corner by some thread and she literally had to empty the purse, turn it upside down and shake it like a baby that wouldn’t shut up (was that too harsh) in order to free them, but for the rest of our days in this house I get to watch wine tasters boarding a trailer for a fun day of wine tasting and whisper to my wife, “be careful, they’re probably going to … ”

And that’s the kind of shit that makes life worth living.