Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweaty Happiness at your Friendly Neighborhood Red Robin

As of yesterday I’ve been a daddy for a decade.  The oldest little HTFer turned 10.  We have a psuedo-birthday tradition where we go to Red Robin for dinner about this time every July.  This may or may not be related to the free meal b-day coupons we get for 3 of us having b-days in the last week of July.  This year I was particularly excited to go out for one single reason:

they have air conditioning in restaurants.

You see yesterday Seattle hit it’s ALL TIME HIGH TEMPERATURE and we don’t have a/c.  Even the office is super hot.  So we planned to spend many pleasant hours at the neighborhood Red Robin.

Apparently so did everyone else.

As we pulled up to the building we realized that this wasn’t going to be exactly what we hoped.  The line was out the door.  And the ajar-door was letting out all of that precious mechanically-chilled air.  I made my way through the agitated, SWEATY, crowd and put my name on the 30-40 min waiting list, at 5 PM!!  The hostess girls were as pleasant as could be expected and we were extremely impressed at one girl’s yelling skills as she called out the names of the lucky soon-to-be-eaters.  Her voice was effortlessly loud and crystal clear.  (Sucks to be her kids someday)

We were finally seated and soon realized that the throngs of people and the open door pretty much negated the a/c.  But there was a ridiculously slow ceiling fan above us, so it wasn’t too bad.  We were quickly greeter by our server, Andrea.  For us to remember her name tells you something – best waitress we’ve ever had.  Despite the nasty conditions she was crazy-nice, and patient, AND she brought out a free plate of fries while we were deciding what to order.  She actually refilled the man ‘n cheese bowls for our kids who looked at her as if she was their fairy god-mother.  She brought us birthday sundaes, and even free ice cream for the non-birthday peeps.  Girl should teach “How to get huge tips” to the other servers.

Now a few minutes after sitting down I noticed the Mrs. HTF staring at some guy.  (that didn’t come out quite right, but it’s accurate)  She leaned over and said that she thought she went to high school with the dude, in ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, but didn’t know his name.  As the guy’s family was about to get up to leave, Traci jumped up and went over.  They talked for quite a while and ended the conversation by committing to add each other as friends on Facebook (I’m not making that up)

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the kids were perfectly behaved.  This was helped by the mounds of man ‘n cheese and our-new-favorite-server bringing them lemonade refills every few minutes.

So in spite of it being a little warmer than we would’ve liked.  The Pope clan had an awesome night at the Red Robin AND we got to sit by a US flag made entirely of painted baseballs!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Went To The Airport and Accidentally Changed My Residency

On Friday I had the unique opportunity to spend 4 entire days in the Atlanta-Hartsfield airport . . . or so it felt.  My flight back to Seattle was delayed as if it were a presidential election in Cuba.  The explanations were vague at best and we all figured out that it must’ve been mechanical since they swapped out planes 3 freakin’ times over a period of 7 hours!  Yep, 7 hours of “delay” – which in human time (not airport time) feels like I sat there through the entire Clinton Administration.  At some point you have to quit calling it a “delay” and declare an entire new flight.  Didn’t really leave ya with a big warm fuzzy when boarding finally started. 

The funny part was that the “new” plane was a totally different configuration so some poor lady with a clipboard had to reassign seats to the not-so-pleasant customers who felt better knowing that they’d waited so long only to be told they had NO shot at sitting near their family.  Also, the plane was overbooked so they were begging for people to fly the next day.  (someday I need someone to explain how overbooking makes sense – we should try that in dentist offices or golf courses….)  Since it almost was the next day already I volunteered  That night was spent in a questionable nearby hotel and I made it home the next morning roughly 24 hours after I initially arrived at the Hartsfield airport..  But strangely the northwest didn’t feel quite like home anymore since I am now an official resident of Georgia, having spent so much time there, and we Georgians are a patient bunch who love our Jimmy Carters, bruised peaches, and KFCs. 

Go Bulldogs!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And They Even Look Like Thieves!!

So have you ever been walking down the street in a town you don’t know only to be pulled into a gymnasium by a mob of circus clowns and forced to work in the dunk tank for 26 minutes and afterwards they offered you homemade 7-Up and hot dogs with no buns?

Me neither . . . just thought I’d ask.

(Don’t think too hard about that first paragraph and it’s relation to the rest of the post…I sure didn’t)

However, last week I was camping with the family near the beach in Oregon.  The first night I was trying quite hard to sleep, but from the tent next to ours someone, who may or may not be my father, was emitting snores so loud that the pine needles and stunned squirrels were falling off the trees and the nearby ocean tide refused to come in out of pure fear of the unknown sonic anomaly.  I read nearly an entire book that night (shockingly it was one without cartoon pictures and even had chapters).  As I finally closed the book to give sleep another shot the silent woods next to my tent erupted into a sound that literally sounded like two mountain lions had stumbled across the last piece of meat on the planet and were duking it out Michael Vick style.  In that instant I realized that a few moments earlier I’d heard my mom emerge from the “rhythmic-noise-tent.”

She was out there…

So I nearly bounced the Mrs HTF off of the air mattress while getting up and put on some clothes.  I found my mom standing near our food shining a flashlight around a bit wildly.  She said, “I saw them...”  We (by which I mean the food containers we’d forgotten to hermetically seal) had been infiltrated by ravenous raccoons, and these were the kind that didn’t like to play nice and share apparently.  Two of ‘em had put on a nasty-throw-down underneath our picnic table over a couple raw eggs and the Momma HTF had seen it all go down.  Do not doubt the bravery of my mom!  The next nights we learned our lesson and put the food inside a vehicle . . .

My only fear was that the raccoons would come into camp with crow bars and 9-mm handguns.  A couple nights later I did actually see them lurking at the edge of the woods holding up handmade signs urging us to go to sleep and to leave the ketchup out.  But we were able to avoid another attack.  However, I suspect the folks camping a few sites down probably got cleaned out by the “Thieving Varmints”  (amazing name for a rock band) instead.

Sleepy Fisherdudes

Fish have about as much reason to fear me as hair gel does.  I enjoy fishing, but have never had much success at it.  Apparently I suddenly have fishing mojo.  Last week I merely threatened to go tuna fishing in Oregon and the whole group of ‘em literally swam, out of fear of course, a couple hundred miles south to get away from me.  (the part about the fish leaving the area is factual, their motive for leaving may be a bit more questionable)  So we (my dad, brother, and brother in law) decided on an ocean salmon adventure instead – because, well, that’s what there were.  We were determined to pay a lot of money to feel like serious fisherdudes (good name for a rock band). 

So we got up at 3:45AM and got our game faces on.  By which I mean we all popped our Dramamine so that we could be insanely sleepy while we were catching the fishes, but not throw up on each other or the expensive boat.  (We took similar drugs before a fishing trip in South Carolina a few years ago and I quickly began talking about bizarre things that made no sense to people who were, well, awake.  This was the source of much chortling from my family.) 

We had the chartered boat to ourselves, except for the two people who actually knew what they were doing – the captain and super-cool-teenage-deckhand.  The fishing was marvelous and we had our limit of “keepable” fish quite quickly.  The ride back into the dock took 2.5 hours and I remember none of it.  My brother and I had a marvelous Dramamine-induced nap while sitting up vertically.  This was of course a clear sign that we had given it our all and were so comfortable as ocean voyagers that we didn’t even need to be conscious to traverse the high seas.  (or possibly the hum of the engine, the early wake-up call and the drugs had something to do with it)  Despite me never actually touching a fish, there are now salmon fillets in the freezer, but I probably shouldn’t have my own show on the Outdoor Channel.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Leave For a Few Days and Look What Happens…

You know how sometimes when you leave for a while and come back, things have, um, changed.  Well apparently that’s the case with the blog this week.  I leave for a few days and suddenly I’m a huge fan of Justin Timberlake, I’m a skilled hip hop dancer, and my life is centered around my bling.  (not to be confused with Bing)  None of these things around actually true, but they did make the people who know me laugh pretty hard.  Of course, these are the risks you take when you turn things over to the Spunky AGM.  (SPAGM)  She did an awesome job and brought a whole new flava to the blog.  In fact, I may even do the guest blogger thing again sometime.  Maybe one of you would play along…

If you like what you saw this week on the blog you can get much, much more over on Permanent Signage!

Muchas Gracias, AGM.

PS: Upcoming posts will include recent adventures on the high seas and run-ins with ravenous raccoons.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can you believe that there is something even better than a proton pack filled with Baconnaise iced cakes?!!

Hey hey hey, The AGM is back!! The HTF is still busy furiously practicing his hip hop dance moves for his upcoming tryout as a backup dancer for the Justin Timberlake tou– wait . . . yeah, I really meant that the HTF will soon return from his camping trip in Oregon . . . yeah, that’s it –he’s NOT practicing his dance moves for a Justin Timberlake tour, he is in Oregon. Oh excuse me for just one minute please. [Mental note: Ratz! I am having the hardest time keeping this straight. Must remember to tell everyone the correct cover story: Oregonoregonoregonoregoncampingsmorescampingbaconcampingtunaboattunatuna, NOT dancing, NOT Justin Timberlake. Okay, let me practice that one more time before I try that again: Oregonoregonoregon . . . ]

Okay, I’m back! Sorry about that. Well, the bad news is that you are still stuck with me. The good news is that I discovered yet another awesome feature of being a guest blogger on the HTF blog. I know you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, yesterday you told me that HTF may or may not have a proton pack. What in the world could be cooler than that?”

Well, I’m telling you, it’s Even Cooler than HTF’s imaginary proton pack, if you can believe that. Any guesses? None? Okay, well, wait for it . . . I can ask AND answer my own Dear HTF questions. Yay!!! Isn’t that The Coolest??! Yeah, you’re right – I am easily impressed, BUT I have always wanted to answer my own questions. To myself. By myself. Hold on, I’m starting to get totally confused. Well, just take my word for it - it’s actually a lot cooler than it sounds.

I have been practicing asking and answering my own HTF questions for three days now, and in that time, HTF has allowed me to have ice cream for dinner, get a grill for my front teeth, paint a mural of bacon on the front of my house, start planning my climb of Mt. Everest, throw away my retainer, become an official member of the 2010 US Olympic Curling Team, get a tattoo of a piece of bacon surrounded by dollar bill signs on my arm, quit my job and join the crew of a whale watching boat in Hawaii, upgrade to digital cable, turn my living room into a small disco, form an exploratory committee for my possible Presidential bid, AND buy a small plane. It’s pretty awesome. Check out this example:

Dear HTF,

As you know, I have random people always coming up to me saying the most random things. I thought that one way to deter this from happening so often would be to start looking a little tougher. So I have been working on my Billy Idol sneer/fist pump combo for weeks now, and it is really coming along well. Do you think it would be appropriate for me to try it out at work, the gym, and/or the grocery store before I use it on the general public?



Dear AGM,

Yes, I think it is entirely appropriate for you to bust out your totally rad Billy Idol sneer/fist pump combo at work, the gym, AND the grocery store—I know that your Billy Idol imitation is just so strong that you could really try it out anywhere you choose. Plus, I have seen a picture of you waving a bat - you have the potential of being really tough and intimidating, especially when you are wearing shoes that remind me of the game of Simon. I say go for it!!



P.S. Thanks again for teaching me those awesome Justin Timberlake dance moves you saw in concert--I am totally prepared and confident for my try out to be one of his back up dancers this week!!!

Oh no, I need to be excused again for just one second. [Mental note: I can’t believe I just did that again. Remember: Oregon! Tuna! Fishing! Boat! Bacon! Campfires! Smores! Okay, I think I've got right it now.]

Well Nation, that’s the end of my stint here as a guest blogger this week. It has been a blast!! I think I totally accomplished my mission – to make the HTF Nation hungry for the return of its fearless leader –I’m sure you all are starving by now!! The Famous HTF will soon return. I’m bagging it up & will see you all in the frog burpz comments section!!

Big thanks to the HTF for allowing me to commandeer your blog and drive your average number of daily hits to the bottom of the sea along with all that tuna you may or may not have caught guest blog!! Hope that all the frogs are having a wonderful vacation– I’m sure I can speak for everyone & say that we all miss your posts!!

Going going gone!

Me out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The A-Mast is in effect- yeah, & it's ABOUT TIME!!!!

What is up, Frog Nation????!! It’s the HTF and I’m back from vacation!! I caught tonz of tuna off the Oregon Coast . . . Hey, wait a minute, how did you already figure out it was me, AGM (AKA The A-Mast), again? Was it the exclamation marks? Tons spelled with a z? Oh, that's right, I put my name in the title. Oops. Anyway, I would like you all to know that I totally learned my lesson the last time and will no longer try to impersonate the one and only HTF. That 20 hour custodial interrogation by the Blogger Popo really taught me something. If you are wondering, I’m facing charges of “impersonating an amphibian.” (Don't tell anyone, but I think that may or may not be a real charge. I'll need to do some legal research to make sure though.) On the bright side, “Amphibian Impersonator” is going to be the kickin’ name of my new band!!

Anyway, I am really lovin’ this guest blogger deal. I’m hoping that I do a good enough job that the HTF will want to hire me on full time because, besides the free sodas and transportation to work, there are some other really great benefits to this gig:

First up, admit it - I totally tricked you guys with my last blog post into thinking HTF wasn’t really a married frog father of four, but some strange 35-year old waffle fry lovin’, Justin Timberlake fan, dancin’ machine (with unruly hair and a slight southern accent). Oh, how I totally love a sweet TWIST!!

Second - I got the power!! It’s awesome knowing that I’m powerful enough to change the HTF’s message about living the dream to something totally crazy along the lines of, “Sure I blog about my family, but my life really revolves around my collection of bling. I won’t even look at a cake unless it is frosted with Baconnaise. I have a proton pack. I fronted a hip hop/R&B group in the early 90's. I once caught a shark the size of South Carolina off the coast of South Carolina. Oh yeah, and I was the one who dropped the dirty bomb on the kitchen floor and totally blamed it on the kids. Yeah boyyyyyy!!!”

Third - I’m starting a really cool new catch-phrase, and I’m hoping that, because millions and millions of people read the HTF blog every single day, it’ll spread like a plague across the United States in a matter of days. Wanna know what my new catch-phrase is?? SWEET BACON SUITS!! How awesome is that??! You can totally use SWEET BACON SUITS as a term of excitement: SWEET BACON SUITS, I can't believe HTF has a proton pack; that is the coolest thing ever!! You can also use SWEET BACON SUITS to express disappointment: Sure I know that the HTF admitted to dropping a dirty bomb in the kitchen floor and blaming it on the kids, but SWEET BACON SUITS the dude actually just admitted to frosting his cakes with Baconnaise. Way, way worse.

Finally - I even have the power to change the very name of this blog!! I’m leaning towards “The Adventures of Henry the Frog in a SWEET BACON SUIT,” but I’m totally open to your recommendations. Remember if you are serious about coming up with a good name, dollar signs, the letter Z, the word bacon, and exclamation marks are looked favorably upon by the judge (ME). I am also thinking about changing the part where it says “comments” to “Turn it up! Bring the noise!” or “Frog Burpz.” Pretty cool, huh?

SWEET BACON SUITS, I can’t believe you made it to the end of another post without closing your browser in boredom, fear, or protest!! Thanks for that and for all the awesome comments yesterday!! And a big thanks to the HTF for letting me write!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Uh, just a regular ole blog post from the HTF. Nothin' unusual here.

Hiho folks, Henry the Frog here! Sorry I haven't updated my blog in a few days. I have been totally busy. I know you all think I went camping -it's true - I totally camped out . . . ALL NIGHT and got FRONT ROW TICKETS IN THE LOUNGE SECTION AT THE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Squeal!!!!!

What? Oh yeah, I totally LOVE Justin Timberlake. He's totally my favorite singer!!

Could you repeat that? You've never heard me squeal on the blog??? Oh yeah, I totally squeal ALL THE TIME. See: SQUEALLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So anyway, let me tell you about the camp out. It was So. Much. Fun. I met so many cool people and I totally blew them away with all the new stuff I learned at my hip hop dance class.

Oh yeah, I totally take a hip hop dance class. I can't believe you didn't know that! Some HTF follower you are!

So back to my story. I was bustin' out the washing machine, & one of the other JT fans offered to braid my long and unruly hair for me to get it out of my face so my dancing could continue unhindered, so I totally took her up on the offer.

I DO have long and unruly hair. What is up with all these crazy questions?! I'm tryin' to finish my story.

So I totally forgot where I was going with this. Oh okay, so after the hair braiding, I totally charmed the other folks campin' out with me with my slight southern accent--


Anyway, so I TOTALLY talked them in to running out and getting me waffle fries from the Chick Fi--

Okay, okay, okay. You got me. I'm not the Notorious HTF, but no need to call the Blogger Popo on behalf of the Scottie Popo on me (just yet). I am the Notorious AGM & I'm hijacking filling in for the HTF while he really is camping out waiting for his Justin Timberlake tickets. It's totally legit until the HTF actually reads what I wrote . The HTF will be back soon, but since I'll be filling in a few days, here is probably all you need to know about me:

1. I like exclamation marks!!!! A lot!!!

2. I'm a dancing MACHINE.

3. I have seen Justin Timberlake in concert, haters!!!

4. I also like to use $ for the S at the beginning of words that start with S. However, at the end of words that end with S, I like to thrown in a Z for some flava. Example: HTF will be eating lotz of $morez while waiting for his Justin Timberlake ticketz.

5. I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on TV. I also once was a telemarketer in college. My saving grace is that you would never guess that I was ever a lawyer because I look like I'm 12. You would also never guess that I was a telemarketer because I sound like I'm 12. You would also never guess that I just turned 35 because I act like I'm 12.

5. I sometimes forget to brush my hair, hence the fact that it is unruly & should be braided.

But enough about me; I don't want to scare any more readers off than I already have. I'll look forward to begging you not to delete your HTF bookmark entertaining you this week.

Play on, playas!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Seasoning That’s Sure to Change How (and What) You Eat

I couldn’t get away from the bacon theme on the last post.  Thanks to alert reader, Patty, we discovered a substance that will probably change everything about how you prepare “food.”  (pretty sure you could sprinkle this stuff on your sneakers and have a decent lunch)  So I now give you, Bacon Salt:


Zero Calorie, Zero Fat, Vegetarian, and Kosher!!  This is pretty much the exact opposite of real bacon, but will all the salty goodness, apparently.  Just be sure not to tote this stuff around in your back pocket if you’re around hungry animals and/or professional wrestlers.  So many great quotes on this site, you should totally poke around and let me know your favorites.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Stop All Exercising, Immediately!

Today I learned that a family member, who may or may not be my wife’s twin sister named Krista, had to go to the ER with breathing problems.  Sounds serious enough, right?  I just texted her to make sure that she was still breathing a little bit.  And she tells me that the doctor told her she has “Exercise Induced Asthma.”  She has to take it easy. 

How’s that for lucky?!  For the rest of us we’re told to exercise more – she gets to just watch us I guess.  I for one plan to thumb my nose at her while I’m struggling to breath myself at the gym.  Come on, don’t we ALL have trouble breathing while exercising?!  Isn’t that the point of exercising.  I think I’d like to go to a doctor and get a diagnosis like that:

Me: “Doctor, my stomach really hurts.”

Him: “You should definitely eat more bacon.”

Me: “Doctor, I have a headache that’s been going on for days.”

Him: “You should spend a lot more time on vacation, preferably on a beach . . . eating bacon.”

Me: “Doctor, I fell down the stairs and I’m pretty sure my arm is broken, since I can visually see my ulna and/or radius.”

Him: “You should definitely quit your job and move to an island paradise.  I’ll send you money to live on, along with a lot of bacon.”

(Note – I really don’t eat much bacon, but the joke kinda worked)

So the next time you’re at the gym or jogging up that hill by your house think of my sister in law and her challenging condition.  And if you want to avoid her emergency condition you should stop exercising immediately!

PS – Krista, seriously, I hope you’re doing ok.

Making Things Explode Because We Can

This is the first year I lived in a place during the 4th of July where fireworks are legal in a very long time.  The last time was in Venezuela where fireworks were actually used during Christmas and on the evening of elections.  (I guess nothing says “Silent Night” like an M80 going off in your front yard.  But I totally get trying to shoot bottle rockets at politicians.)  So on Saturday I took my oldest son and we visited one of those massive tent firework stands in front of a church.  I couldn’t help feeling like I was doing something wrong, but we got past that pretty quick when my boy found a full-size canon that could probably use a Volkswagon as its projectile.  So we bought a few things that seemed least likely to create craters, but still made Ethan happy, and were on our way. 

He tried to open things up in the car and I cautioned him that this probably wasn’t the best idea.  To cement that thought I told him a true story of a friend who lit a bottle rocket while we were driving in my car.  He hit his hand on the window and it dropped between his legs and exploded right there.  No damage was done other than a little burn on the seat, but the story was enough to convince Ethan to put thing back in the bag.

Since it stays light here so late we decided to do our little show that evening in the sunlight.  This didn’t seem to damped anyone’s spirits.  We were with a couple other families with young kids, so there was a lot of “energy” as things exploded and burned.  For me the highlight was the kids all singing/humming some versions of patriotic songs while sparks spewed from our celebratory devices.  Later that night after we put the kids to bed we noted that we seemed to be living in Baghdad circa 2003 because it felt and sounded like all fireworks everywhere were fairly close to our house and were all being used to signal that as part of our freedom we can make things explode.  It went on for quite a while – so with no hopes of sleeping we just hung out and enjoyed the noise.

So at the end of the day I still have all my fingers and not a single burn mark AND I live in the greatest country in the history of the world, so we’ll call that a great day!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Lousy Lumberjack – Part II – Revenge of the Knots

A few posts ago I told you about my new adventures in lumberjacking.  (you can read it here if you missed it)  Well, last night another opportunity to swing an axe (with bad form) popped up.  I got a call asking if I wanted more wood (apparently we haven’t used the last of the trees in Washington yet) and if I could help chop some up for a single-lady in our church.  I, of course, jumped at this.  I peeled the boys away from their video game of choice and we grabbed our manly tools and hopped in the Civic.  I was anxious to show off my recently-learned lumberjacking prowess. 

When we arrived I quickly learned that my skills in splitting wood were about the same as my skills in building a working engine for the space shuttle out of tin foil and rubber cement.  The guys who were there were a few years older than me, but had clearly been splitting wood since infancy.  I was embarrassed as I tried to go all Paul Bunyon on them.  My new instructors (probably through suppressed laughter) took me under their wings and gave me some badly-needed pointers.  Here were a few of them:

  • Not all types of wood are the same, some split easily, others don’t.  Some have mangled knots designed by mother nature to turn my hands & arms into silly putty, other’s don’t.  I started by splitting some of the harder kind.
  • Real men don’t really use wedges to split the wood, they just swing an axe and the pieces explode apart.  (I used a wedge on every piece of the wood I previously split)
  • My “maul” (think of a cross between an axe & a sledge hammer) wasn’t heavy enough to split the wood well.  A little embarrassing for a guy to learn his carefully-selected tool is too wimpy for the job.

After toiling away on several big rounds of wood that were audibly laughing at me, my patient teacher  moved me over to the smaller rounds so I could “gain confidence.”  I’ll admit that this totally worked – it was a ball.  And being a guy around other guys, I really went at it.  Despite my ineptitude we (and I’m mostly referring to the other guys there) were able to fill two entire trucks of with split wood and we unloaded one of them at my house.  I now have enough wood to heat our home through the next ice age.  Today I’m feeling the happy pain all over – it hurts to sit in this chair in my office if you can believe that.

But I’m now a bit closer to earning my first flannel shirt!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dude, I’m Up To Bat, But, uh, I’ve Gotta . . .

Originally posted June 26, 2007- I’m having “blogger’s block” (technical term)

Braeden's (5 yr old) little league baseball experience has been a ball to watch, from a safe distance. I could write a bunch of stories of what I've seen out there as these mini-men try to play ball. One of the more entertaining, recurring, events that we see is that these little guys have to, ...well,... go. But they are very involved in the game, so we end up with full-on potty dances right there on the field. We parents are always looking for these poses so that we can laugh, I mean, take quick action. Recently one of our better players was walking to the batter's box for his turn to bat. It was very obvious that he should have been walking to the outhouse instead. But he was undeterred. As he stood there ready to take the first pitch the squirming and dancing got more pronounced. His solution was to get in his stance and raise the bat in his right hand and with his left hand he, . . . well . . . grabbed himself. He was determined to take his turn at bat even if it meant doing it with one-hand. His mom was mortified and coach quickly swooped in and called a "time-out" while the little boy took care of business in the outfield. As a group of supportive parents on the bleachers our response, of course, was hysterical laughter.

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