Domestication and Care of the Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

"If I ever go to the hospital again I think you and Tessa should just stay home."


"What?! Why?!"

"Because you guys are obnoxious."

"But... But... We were there to love and support you! As a family!"

"Tessa tried to lick the chair in the emergency room so she could 'catch MRSA and stay home from school.'"


(Tessa also demanded coffee from the lobby vending machine, because "hospitals always have the best coffee," loudly and repeatedly suggested The Boss be seen by 'House,' tried to take the brake off the hospital bed so The Boss would go careening down the hallway in a comical slapstick fashion, complained about how boring it was being separated from her iPod, laughed and reminisced about one of her best friends being sent to the emergency room and having to wear "the ass-gown," and waxed romantic over the possibility of somehow contracting a spiral fracture of the femur, again so she could stay home from school, I suppose as a back-up in case someone came along with a way to cure her beloved Tongue MRSA.)

"Your family loves you and wanted to be with you and make sure you were OK!"

"I was OK! I didn't even need to go in the first place. And I know I got sick from all those people in the waiting room, all those — excuse my language — white trash. They were all hacking and coughing... And sweating... I tried to wait for the doctor outside, but I had to drink that juice, that stuff, and I just know some germs got in me."

"I'm sorry you got a cold, but I'm glad you're OK, and not, like, going to die or anything. Well, you know, any time soon. I was worried! I care about you!"

"I know. It was stressing me out."

"I went out and got you Boston Market!"

"Boston Market does have the best mac 'n' cheese."


Domestication Indignity #4,652

""He's a man-man! He's my little man! Yes he is! Yes! He! Is! HEY! HEY BABY!"


"He's a little man-man."

"I know! He IS a little man-man!"

"He's a good boy! He is SUCH a good boy!"

"He IS a good boy."

"You! Are! Such! A! Good! Boy! Youaresuchagoodboy! ... HEY! HEY BABY! HEY!"


"He is such a good boy!"

"I know!"

"He's a good boy! He's a little lap dog! He's a little man! He's a little man-man! He loves The Papa! He's on The Papa's lap! He's my little snuggie boy! HEY BABY! HEY! HE'S MY LITTLE SNUGGIE BOY!"

"Yes, I can see that."

"He's my little snuggie boy! He's my little adventure boy! He went for a walk on San Felasco!"



"Yes dear."

"Do you love The Papa? Do you love The Papa? Did you walk a mile on San Felasco? Yes you did! You walked a mile on San Felasco! Mister Handsome! Mister Pee Pee! Mister Adventure!"

"What's that red mark on his stomach?"

"Aw, let him alone. You don't need to inspect him every time I..."

"What is that? Is that a tick?"

"Leave him be! Mister Pee Pee Boy and The Papa are enjoying a little lap time! Dogs get red marks and scratches and shit on them all the time. Well, manly dogs. Good dogs! Good little dogs that love adventure! Do you love adventure, Mister Pee Pee Boy? Oh, he does! He loves adventure! He loves The Papa! Oh, little Mister Adventure!"

"Oh god, I think he's got a tick. Here, hold him up in the light where I can see..."

"C'mon, Mister Pee Pee. Let's go in the light where The Mama can inspect you."

"Uh, it is a tick! It's disgusting!"

"So get it off him."

"It's his first tick! I don't know what to do! I don't want to leave the head in him! Should we light it on fire?"

"Jesus, I don't know. Maybe put nail polish on it?"

"I'm going to put some cream on it..."

"Aw, that cream won't do shit. Let me go see what it says on the Internet."


"OK, it says to get some tweezers, grab the tick close to the skin, and pull gently until it lets go and comes out. It said if we light it on fire or put nail polish on the tick it could barf germs into the wound."

"I have tweezers in the bathroom. Hold on while I go get them."




"Here, I found the tweezers..."

"Well tweeze that shit out of him. I'm getting tired."

"Hold on, Mister Man. Let me get that tick... Oh, this is disgusting. I can't believe he got a tick."

"Baby, sometimes that's what happens when you love adventure and are a little Mister Natural Man-Man who loves to go walk a mile on San Felasco. Now hurry it up."

"I can't get a hold... OK, there... Damn it, the tick's not letting go!"

"I think you've got some hairs pinched up in your tweezer there... Grab the tick here..."

"Oh god, I think I just crushed it...

"Baby, hurry it up. The Internet said the tick will barf germs."

"Ugh, this is disgusting... Wait, here we go... Oh! Shit! I think I left the head in!"

"Baby, my arms hurt. He's a stout little guy."

"Let me put some alcohol on him..."

"Just get the damn tick head out already! It's probably barfing germs and my arms hurt!"

"OK, OK! Alright... Alright, here we go... That's a little man-man... That's a good dog..."

"He is a good dog. He's a stoic little man! He's also very heavy."

"Let me just see if he has any more ticks... What's that? Is that another tick?!"

"It's his nipple! Relax!"

"I hate them! I hate ticks! Oh, they're disgusting!"

"Baby, they're part of the natural order of things... All part of God's plan... His plan to fill the world with weird disgusting shit to bum you out, heh heh..."

"Alright, let me put some alcohol on him... And some of this cream...."

"Give him a biscuit, too. He's a stoic little guy."

"Yesssss, he's a good boy... Dear, you've got something on your pants..."

"Yeah, I know... It's just dog hair and — JESUS!"


"Baby, I don't think that's dog hair."

"Holy fucking balls! Cuckoo, what did you do to The Papa?! Oh, for fuck's sake!"

"Baby, you need to change your pants before you go back to work."

"Son of a dirty fucking whore! He didn't just stamp a little poop stamp on me this time! That's a full-blown skidmark! Little fucker! Little Poo Man!"

"Baby, that's disgusting. Go change your pants!"

"Awwwww, look, there's, like, an actual doo doo ball on me! A bona fide doo doo ball! Mother fuck! Fucking cock!"

"Go! Change! Your! Pants!"

"Here, baby, touch it. Touch the doo doo ball."

"Get away from me!"

"Touch my crotch! Touch my doo doo crotch!"


"Holy Jesus in Heaven above, what a disgusting mess. Cuckoo! Cuckoo dog! Come here! Why? Why you want to put the doo doo on The Papa?"


"Just be glad I noticed it before you got back to work."


Domesticatedadiation Update Update

So yesterday The Boss sends me an e-mail saying, "You used an awful lot of big, big words in that there blog, boy," which is strange, because I don't remember her having a southern sheriff accent a la Smokey and the Bandit. Deftly employing my typical charming approach to interpersonal discourse, I reply, "Did you have to look any of them up? I don’t want to give my little darling a headache!" and spend the rest of the afternoon deleting messages featuring increasingly large and colorful typeface options telling me I'm an "A-HOLE."

I figured I was in for plenty rounds of whack-a-balls when I got home, but everyone was disarmingly civil. We had a delish supper courtesy the efforts of The Boss, who effortlessly cranks out kitchen-based nom-nom like Morimoto converting the latest Iron Chef jobber of the week into sashimi, and talked about the day and our experiences and insights and hopes and thoughts and dreams and feelings and shit using reasonable decibel levels approved for pleasant human interaction by the FCC and all local code enforcement agencies. I dropped my guard and unstuffed the wads of cotton balls and paper towel in my pants, originally placed there with the hope they would protect my bruised and beleaguered nuts.

After an hour or two of quiet contemplation in my study (or, as some call it, "reading comic books and listening to death metal in the man-cave"), I drifted into the family room, which really ought to probably be rechristened the NCIS room, because holy shit I never realized A. fucking NCIS is always playing on some channel or another and B. The Boss has an infinite capacity to absorb the foibles, mysteries and adventures of lovable quirky television crime procedural gangs with snappy three- or four-letter acronyms in their titles, and anyway Lil' T and the Boss were sitting there being frostile at each other (that's frosty + hostile) (I just made it up!)

"What the fuck is the matter with you two bitches?" I said. "I mean, now?"

"Tessa doesn't want us to go to France," The Boss said.

See, we tried to bribe Tessa into cleaning her room and being pleasant and normal by offering her a trip to France on some kind of exchange student dealie next year. Of course it didn't work, as nobody knows how to enforce any sort of rules or responsibility on that terrifying monster girl, because she's inhumanly strong, fast as a shark, and can squirt rattlesnake venom out of her tearducts when angered, so somehow the dealie is now "Tessa gets to go to cavort around Europe unattended while carpeting her floor in moldy wet towels and mashed up old juice box containers." The Boss wouldn't even let me do like a secret thing where they pretend it's a cultural experience but send the kids to a French work camp and make them carry hay bales and stir mud and be unhappy, likely because The Boss pooped Tessa out of her ovaries and has some sort of mammalian protective instincts for her that override fun.

A co-worker of The Boss, no doubt trying to bribe her into being productive and pleasant and normal, offered us the use of an old country manor or picturesque chateau or quaint rustic vineyard or something over in France, and mentioning this had sent Tessa into one of those venom-squirting teenage huffs.

I tried to thaw the frostile atmosphere. "Don't worry there, lil' P-Nut, it's not like we'll all be over there at the same time. And if we are, and we end up running into each other, we'll pretend like we don't know you, and when we get back home we'll never ever speak of it, unless it's many years later and we're having a laugh on our deathbed."

A cloud of venom and huff surrounded me. "That's not the point!"

"She doesn't want you and I to go at all," The Boss said. A particularly frostile shard of emotion thunked me right in the balls.

"A trip to France was supposed to be my thing!"

"Wha... Wha... Your thing? But... We won't even see you... It doesn't affect... I..."


In an attempt to establish Tessa's selfishness, The Boss started in with a list detailing every dime spent on the kid since she was an embryo. Simultaneously, Tessa countered with her list of every parent-child embarrassment, slight, missed opportunity and unbought pony. I sat there silent aside from a few mumbles, basically totally confused, as the argument kept heating up, only leaving when frostile gave way to burnangery and stab-a-yell and they started taking turns pounding on my balls in order to give their points emphasis.

"You motherfuckers are crazy," I said. "I'm going to bed."

"What! It's only 9!" said The Boss.

"Shut the hell up," I said. Gathering up the dog and retreating to the man-cave, I prepared my nest, scooting comics out of the way, arranging my dirty blankets on the cold floor and sighing a lot. I had just hunkered down in my dusty, comforting floor-pile with a copy of Madame Blavatsky's Baboon and some relaxing Teitanblood on the stereo, small hilarious dog snuggled up against me and beginning to snore, when my door flew open and The Boss ran into the man-room ranting and waving her arms. I lay on the floor, looking up at her from my dirty little hobo-camp.

"It is so selfish of her to say that! Don't you agree that it's selfish?!"

"Yes but..."

"I do so much for her! I sacrifice so much!"

"Me too and..."

"Do you know what I could do with the money I'm saving to send her on her exchange program?! Do you know how much I'm giving up?!"

"Actually I..."

"She shows absolutely no appreciation for all I do, for all the money that gets spent on her, for..."

"You know, dear, I might actually know what that feels like. I think I have some insight into it. You know?"

The Boss, perhaps noticing my presence for the first time, fixed me with the kind of narrow-eyed, focused stare I usually only associate with the deadly hypnotic feeding-time gaze of the giant predatory fanged Gorilla Spider of New Guinea.

"You know what?" she said, suddenly very quiet. "Think about this — I've been doing it for 16 years." It was getting very frostile all of a sudden.

"So... Are we having a competition?" I said, trying to defuse the moment. Much like the time in New Guinea when I beaned that giant predatory fanged Gorilla Spider with a dirt clod, this was a mistake.

The volume rose. "You know what? I don't think it's a good idea to talk to you about these things. I'm not sure I'm going to talk to you about anything anymore! Because you're just not! very! sensitive!" She stomped on my balls a few times and stormed out. The dog got up, coughed, looked over at me, slowly shook its head a few times and walked out after her.

I upped the volume on the stereo a few notches, fluffed up the pile of dirt and leaves I use for a pillow, and shut off the lights. Off in the distance, a mother lectured, a teenager stomper her feet, and someone on NCIS was describing how the victim had been raped in his chopped-off head. Seriously, do you ever watch those shows? NCIS and CSI and all those? Someone's always getting raped in their chopped-off head on those shows. Frankly, I find it all to be a little much, especially for primetime broadcast programming.


Domesticeatedation Update

So my old nemesis William McKeen wrote up some nice shit about me on his internet today, helping pimp out a book published four years ago:


Nobody cares about it anymore, not that they ever really did, but now that McKeen has stuck me in a bucket with some yahoo named "Lance Carbuncle" I can only expect my fortunes to dramatically revise themselves. Yes, I loom forward to the coming day when I can return home and enjoy a tidy house, the respect of my gal and stepdaughter, and various orifices attached to the teenage Filipino gymnast I lured over to this country with money and lies. Right now he's duct-taped good 'n' tight and sitting in the bathtub, marinating in my own blend of balsamic vinegar, herbs, honey and... Hey! Did I just write "loom forward?" I think I meant "look forward." Shit. Well, I guess I am kind of looming forward most of the time anyway.

McKeen, by the way, wrote a few books himself, including a very well received biography of journalist Hunter Thompson. Little known fact about McKeen — he also ghosted sizable portions of the popular memoir Mein Kampf. (He later explained to the Jews how it was youthful indiscretion, and he needed the money for his dope habit, so don't get your dreidel in a knot over it or anything.)

What else? Well, I haven't written anything here since April, and it's not just because all that looming sucks up my free time. It's because I live with two women, and they're fucking mad at me, so fucking mad, all the time. And all I ever do is pick up after them and tell them they're pretty and buy them shit, like electricity and food and clothes and emeralds and rubies, and yeah I might ameliorate their furies for about five seconds with a nice big fat ol' ruby but then it's right back to cascading sheets of napalm menses and constant "accidental" shots to the nuts. It's difficult — pesky and inquisitive police officers look down on attacking women and teenage girls with a tree branch while crying and stripping down to your underwear, so my only source of defense is hampered, and I just don't want to tempt their wrath by making fun of them out here ye olde electronical town square.

Something happened this weekend, though. I hit some sort of critical give-a-shit mass. It's been a year, and I reckon I've got enough scar tissue and flab now to buttress my vitals against the onslaught of menses. And, fuck, it's not like I'm using my nuts for anything important. I'm going to post this up and see what happens. What's the worst-case scenario? I'm already cowering and shivering on a dirty blanket in the "man room," the one place in the house I have about three square feet of autonomy. I guess they could smash my Conan the Barbarian soundtrack or cut my Filipino loose, but sooner or later Pablo's going to have to learn how to get by on his own. You know?


The Boss has been really busy, making cool stuff:



I'm a big help, because I'm constantly babbling inane bullshit, gibbering and capering around like a self-medicating chimp, and ignoring me for hours at a time has given The Boss amazing powers of concentration. She exhibits a truly admirable work ethic, even when I'm working on my latest project:



...which is admittedly terrible, just horrible noises and juvenile reference points collaged together in a big stupid murky sloppy pile. And while I'm quite the fan of what The Boss is doing — the hard work, the craftsmanship, the careful and muted palette, the melancholy streaks that add a real complexity, the time she spends searching out unusual and high-quality materials, the way she gives her characters subtle but tangible personality with an understated and concise aesthetic — she does not reciprocate and of course really really really hates hates hates my dumb crap and who could blame her.

"You'd like it if the Butthole Surfers did it," I say. "You love the Butthole Surfers."

"I do love the Butthole Surfers, but their noise eventually turns into a song," she says.

"Yeah, I guess... The ones that turn into songs are the ones that suck."

"Anyway, I listened to the Butthole Surfers when I was 15."

It's funny, my friends Todd and Scott were just having a conversation about the ol' "I grew out of that" snob thing longtime friends drop into conversations about music. They had two keen observations:

"When you ask them what they like now, the answer is Wilco. Always Wilco."

"When it's not Radiohead..."

"Those bands are fine, but do they have to replace the stuff you grew up on? I mean, I liked pizza when I was 13. Did they grow out of pizza too?"

So I like noise, and The Boss likes Wilco, and Radiohead, a lot, but we both still like pizza. Which is good. Because you have to base a relationship on something. Also, we both dig this, at least:

happy ending



Diary of a Desperate Need for Salves and Emollients

Check it out! The flowering eroticism of my bare upper-thigh areas is making things shimmer with sexual vibrations so strong you can practically smell 'em!
Well, OK, that's a lie. Actually I was just sittin' on the can a few minutes ago here at work and marveling at how the excess solar radiation pouring out of my legs was making the tag on my fancy new underwear glow. And, uh, I thought maybe I'd, um, share, so I snapped a pic with my phone and right now, right this second as I'm typing this, I'm thinking I probably should've done some more thinking after thinking it was a good idea to put this photo here on the Internet. Things have changed from the old Bad News Hughes days. The Boss gets mad at me for just about anything related to a public display of my crotch. Sheesh! She'd get along great with my square ol' buzzkill of a parole officer, huh?

Anyway, The Boss gets mad at me for all kinds of stuff. Saturday when I got this rad sunburn she got all mad at me because I walked too fast from the parking lot to the edge of the lake, despite me carrying 900 pounds of folding chairs and sun canopies and coolers and backpacks and sandwiches and shit and really having to go pee. After dropping that stuff off I turned around and The Boss was maybe 16 feet behind me, and I hustled over to help her with the light-ass blanket and eeny-weenie bag of yarn and crochet stuff but she yelled at me to get away and hollered for like six minutes that I had bad manners and shouldn't have left her behind and blah blah blah.

"It's not her talking, it's the menses," I whispered to myself. "The menses, the menses. Remember, the menses." I walked by some kid while doing this and he started to cry and ran off. Man, he thinks he's freaked out by the menses now — just wait.

Were were at this damn lake in the first place because Tessa was rowing in some regatta. Her rower gang (or "crew") is pretty cool — relatively speaking, because rowing is a preppy-ass rich-kid hobby from the get-go, Tessa's group is like the gang of plucky misfits from the wrong side of the tracks, going up against the moneyed snobs whose mean banker/university president father wants to foreclose on their ramshackle clubhouse and kick them out of school and so this is like the scrappy underdogs last chance to pull together and show all those poncey lads that nerds can be cool too. At least that's the way I like to think about it. Tessa's view may differ, I dunno. (I never listen when she talks.)

While I'm sitting there turning my legs into a cancer farm and refusing to put on lotion just to spite The Boss I always try to get Tessa and her rower gang to adopt plucky misfit strategies from '80s movies and scuttle enemy boats with crossbows or get a compromising photo of the rival team captain making out with a sheep for blackmail, but they all ignore me. I think next regatta, though, I'm going to strap a shark fin to my head and swim out there and see if I can't bum out some of the enemy rich kids or something, because parents need to be involved in kids' lives. You know?