Aug 282016
 

I played Cards Against Humanity (“a party game for horrible people”) for the first time last night at my friend Beth’s birthday party. I knew in passing that it was pretty depraved, but not much else. Basically you’re asked a question, or occasionally to fill in a blank or two, and you answer with the best card(s) in your hand.

Sometimes the depravity is on the cards already, and you just have to find the best place to plug it in. (There’s not much innocuous to be done with “necrophilia” or “micropenis.”) Other times the depravity is left for you to construct. (I noticed that the pairings including a little invention consistently did well. God bless creativity, even in degenerate cesspools.)

Now I’ve realized for quite some time that I’m a lot of folks’ “tacky friend.” I’m almost always loud. I’m frequently a little too direct. Sometimes I’m a little too quick to tiptoe into the gutter, just to see if you’ll come with me. If you do, then we’ll walk farther—and faster! Ha! Bottom line is that I’m quite certain the word “obnoxious” has been hung on me, both to my face and behind my back, for decades.

And I’m OK with that.

Something that occurs to me about this game, though, is that it’s not necessarily everyone’s “tacky friend” playing this game. We’re just walkin’ around folks playing it together, for the most part. We’re friends from school, or work, or church, or more than one of the above. We’re not bad people.

But, demonstrably, we can draw on one hellaciously deep reserve of vulgarity and otherwise wanton inappropriateness for laughs.

So here’s the big question I’m chewing on. How can we, societally, make something like Cards Against Humanity the gigantic success it is during our nights, while actively cultivating hair-trigger sensitivity to anything and everything that might possibly offend someone somewhere during our days?

 Posted by at 5:04 pm
Aug 192016
 

I happened upon a shorter version of this story in a comment this morning. I needed to read it today, and I also want to retell it.

Three years ago, Aaron and I were riding the elevator down from the beach condo at which we’d just had a vacation. It was the last elevator ride of the trip. It was time to drive home.

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Do you think I could have one more hug before you turn back into your cranky self?”

He wasn’t being cheeky with me. (Wow, I’d have certainly felt better if he was.) He was asking me a sincere question from his perspective.

Ask me how long I hugged him.

I don’t often outright lose my temper with the boys. I never say hateful things to them, or make unreasonable demands of them. But I once inadvertently trained my nine-year-old son to expect and accept my “cranky self” as part of the way life is. Oh, and guess what? He doesn’t like hugging my cranky self as much.

It’s hard to avoid being cranky once in a while. But I’m quite certain I don’t want a cranky self.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm
Aug 152016
 

I was browsing the products available at Amazon Launchpad, and happened across a fantastically executed smartphone. It’s especially good for the married man with a girlfriend. Meet the NoPhone. The NoPhone is compatible with all carriers, and features unprecedented battery life. Best of all, it arrives ready to use. Talk to your wife on the […]

 Posted by at 12:10 pm
Aug 122016
 

Our sons are old enough now that I have to consider carefully how to blog about them. (Well, even more carefully.) Some things are still easy. If they say funny things, they’re generally happy for me to share those, though most of those become Facebook statuses and not blog posts. But regular goings-on are more […]

 Posted by at 7:58 pm
Aug 052016
 

Huntsville Restaurant Week 2016 is only a week away! It runs August 12-21, and you can get a full list of participants (and their hot-linked specials!) here. It was my great pleasure to join several other bloggers for the Food Blogger Tour last weekend. Some usual Huntsville-area suspects got to hang out with Jennifer of […]

 Posted by at 12:49 pm

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