flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

December 29, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to visit the aviary...

You’ve asked for it, suckas…
The Rogers Chronicles 2011
Our Almost Annual Newsless Newsletter

Things didn’t change much in 2011.  But we’ll manage to drag this out for a page or five, anyhow.

Betsy got fired. Well, they told her that the school was “changing format”, but we know what that really means. Luckily for her (but unluckily for the poor children of Philadelphia) she’s a card-carrying union member, and as such, they couldn’t just fire her. They had to push her off on another school. Her philosophy? “More victims! Woo Hoo!!”

John managed to keep his employment this year, but is certain it will end. The apocalypse is coming, we tell you, and you’d better not trust the banks. Surprisingly, there are no militia groups in Southeastern Pennsylvania for John to join, but he’s been thinking hard about joining the NRA. Too bad they charge money.

The house continued to be a big proponent of entropy – things breaking left and right, and us fixing them only when necessary. We have become the “tare weight” of the neighborhood: that house that parents point out and say, “kids, you never want to live like that!”

They seem to have no problem, however, sending their cherubs to play in the “back yard” where Stinky and the Moth keep their “fort.” John and Betsy are thinking they ought to get waivers signed, however, as the “fort” is becoming a bit unkempt (cue deep harmonica music…)
Boys Parasailing

Sean’s fort is beginning to look Fred Sanford’s back yard. He and Tim collect other people’s garbage and stow it back there, big things like broken grills and old office furniture. When the neighbors complain, John has to figure out how to throw this stuff away.

John keeps threatening to destroy the fort with a chain saw and burn the remnants.  But the fort is made from treated wood, and the EPA has rules about that sort of thing: it should be cut up and thrown in a landfill so it will pollute the groundwater.

Other than the strange hoarding tendencies, the boys are absolutely angelic. Cherubim and Seraphim. Perfect in every way.

Sean really is an angel!

At the end of the last school year, Betsy fielded a call from the school counselor. The chicken-scratch hieroglyphics that Tim calls his “handwriting” nearly got him fitted for a cripple-brace that would force him to keep his fingers in the appropriate positions (and would naturally make him the most popular kid in the third grade). Therapists were called in to evaluate him at taxpayer expense (this is a pattern) and noted that this special boy was jittery and couldn’t sit still.

How did they notice?

Even when asked to wait quietly for a few seconds, the therapist noted (from behind a two way mirror) that he could not help but swing wildly between two chairs like a monkey.  District psychiatrists were alerted and straightjackets were ordered. To make matters worse, Tim stated he preferred running and playing outside to schoolwork.

He likes to move it move it.
Very strange.

The therapist recommended quiet video game playing several hours a day to soften him up. And for our part: only one soda for the boy at breakfast.  

Sean is keeping the school psychologists busy as well. His musical tastes leave something to be desired (he had to inherit that from Betsy), but that is common at this age. He treated us to one earworm that had the memorable line “I hate my life and I want to die…I ain’t got no iPhone.” Our genius son thought it would be fun to write this out on the cover of his school notebook. His friends thought this was cool.

“Well son,” replied Dad, “Your friends are wrong.”

“But Dad, they were right about Santa Claus!”

Of course, Sean’s teacher saw what Sean had written. Now if you are thinking that this is the kind of thing school psychologists live for, you’d be right. They train for this stuff. They swooped in to rescue him, and even called us at home. They pleaded: why didn’t we just get him a cell phone before he does something rash?

Sean’s not suicidal, not even with John and Betsy as parents. Adolescence is not here yet.

Thus the therapists and psychologists have joined the long line interventional social workers that look down their noses at the Rogers’ parenting regimen.
Which is not such a bad thing. If they were looking up their noses at us that would make us boogers. J

John and the boys toured western North Carolina, learning about Native American culture in a traditional casino in Cherokee country. Chief Vinny Testalone introduced the boys to "racket tearing," a traditional Indian method of basket weaving or cat skinning or something. Sean took notes but refuses divulge the details, Timmy’s notes are illegible. John was out, following “free drinks” signs around the casino.

John also fell for one of the biggest scams around: gem mining. These are about as common in western North Carolina as wedding chapels are in Vegas. What a scam. The boy sifted through $10 bags of sand to find colored pieces of glass (the "emerald" stones still had traces of beer bottle paint on them). Dad almost escaped at that point, but the boys were ushered in to see the "expert gemstone appraiser," who informed the boys that their finds were "extraordinary."


Again, Dad almost escaped with his wallet and some dignity, but the boys were alerted to the astonishing fact that the gemstone shakedown business was right next to a fly-by-night jewelry making "factory."

Result? John and his money were soon parted, paying $60 for a pair of mommy earrings that he could have gotten at Walgreens for $5. But they made a great Christmas gift! Oops… sorry Betsy.

Santa is Watching - Be Good!
Hope your Christmas was filled with booty (Betsy: “John, booty means something completely different these days.” John: “You and your new-fangled slang. Can’t even stop nagging me for the Christmas letter, can you?”) and that you have a new year.

The Rogers
John, Betsy, Sean, Tim, Titus, Loki, the vole under the garage, and various camel crickets.