Tag Archives: humor

MBTA Adventures: Boarding the Crazy Train

For those of you who don’t know, I have a new job as of a month ago. I’m very excited and I love it, but it’s in downtown Boston. That means the biggest change for me is my commute, which necessitates me taking the MBTA train into the city every day.

The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) is commonly referred to as the “T,” but that’s mainly for the subway. I take the commuter rail, which connects the suburbs to the Hub of the Universe that is Boston. I’ve been doing it for a month now and let me tell you — it is a whole different universe than what I’m used to.

I’m learning train etiquette such as don’t sit next to someone while there are still empty seats to be had. And don’t EVER sit in the middle of the 3-person seats when there’s still an empty spot in the 2-seat row. With 45 minutes to kill on my way into the city, there are a variety of options for people. Some work on laptops and the train’s spotty WiFi. Others listen to music or podcasts, the purists read books, and somehow a certain percentage of the population manages to sleep in public.

I’ve had strange conversations with strangers, I’ve sat next to a snoring giant, I’ve had people refuse to take their bags off empty seats, and I sat behind one guy who inexplicably smelled like a Caesar salad (no one was eating a Caesar salad on board the train). But in my short month-long stint, I’ve never run into someone quite like the woman sitting behind me last night.

I’m not sure what she was on and, much to everyone’s chagrin, I can’t tell you what she looked like. She was a couple of seats behind me and I didn’t look back because I felt it would’ve spoiled the magic, but she gave me the most entertaining 45 minutes of my commuting life. My wife asked me if I made it all up, but quite honestly, I’m not this imaginative.

I captured it in Facebook updates and while I fully admit I was struggling to hear everything, the following is a running tally of the snippets I could make out. Enjoy. And stay tuned, because “People on the Train” might become a recurring series.

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Thank you, people of the MBTA commuter rail. It’s hard coming up with content as a writer, but I imagine I’ll never be in short supply now.

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11 Ridiculous Tips to Induce Labor


Carrying a baby for 40 weeks (and being the partner of someone carrying said baby) is a tough job. But when the due date comes and goes yet baby has decided to stay put, things get a little frustrating. Now throw in two impatient parents and inferno-like summer temperatures, and you have a recipe for disaster.

We’re currently in this boat, and my wife wants this baby evicted posthaste. So we did what everyone does these days when they have a health question — we resorted to asking the Internet for help.

Have you ever looked — and I mean REALLY looked — at some of the things people do to induce labor? Well I did. And then I asked people on my Facebook page for their expert tips, theories, and old wives tale regarding how to bring about contractions. And boy, they did not disappoint. So sit back and enjoy this list of totally serious, 100% Internet approved ways to kick-start labor.

The show Fear Factor proved people will eat anything, but at least they had a chance to win some money. From castor oil to ghost peppers to mac and cheese with A1 sauce, there is no shortage of weird shit pregnant women will eat in order not to be pregnant anymore. But I draw the line at the person who suggested eating “hot bologna.” No. Just…no.

The good news is it appears walking, hiking, squats, stair-climbing, and bouncing on a yoga ball are all tried and true ways of going into labor. The bad news is partners who tell their pregnant significant others to exercise have a tendency not to be heard from ever again.

While technically a form of exercise, I gave this its own category for how many people actually suggested a pregnant woman get on a bouncy surface and jump up and down repeatedly. My uncoordinated and not-exactly-graceful wife has a hard enough time jumping on a trampoline when she isn’t top heavy thanks to pregnancy, and she nixed this idea out of the box because she had visions of becoming a YouTube sensation if something happened. Can’t say I blame her.

It’s said acupressure focuses on the body’s natural pressure points where most energy is stored to induce labor. However, this method does not account for women who hate their feet being touched. I sneaked up on my wife and tried to find the pressure points in her feet to send her into labor, but her foot ended up finding my balls. Good thing this is our last kid.


My wife is a beautiful, gorgeous pregnant woman. But her dancing? Let’s just say we took dance lessons before our wedding, and the instructor had to totally adjust his strategy when he realized MJ couldn’t find the beat in the music. So while I understand dancing is exerting physical energy which prompts the baby to come out, if the baby senses the kind of Elaine from Seinfeld “dancing” going on, he/she might be too terrified to actually emerge.

A bunch of women told me they decided to clean the house to go into labor. I’m talking a total top-to-bottom, empty the cabinets, get-on-your-hands-and-knees level scrubbing. After that, they said they went into labor within 24 hours. So I told MJ she should clean the house “better than normal.” I see now where I went wrong. Let’s just say it’s a good thing pregnant women are slower than normal, which allowed me safe escape.

This was a really popular suggestion, as many women told me stimulating the nipples induces labor, as does hooking yourself up to the breast pump for as little as 15 minutes. However, I was still smarting from the cleaning and foot rub incidents, so asking my wife for permission to get anywhere close to her very sensitive nipples was a non-starter.

The women who suggested sex were very clear that an orgasm MUST be involved to be effective. But honestly, I don’t think this one is accurate. I had an orgasm yet she’s still not in labor.

I’m not really sure how this is different from the sex suggestion.


I’m not kidding. This is a real thing people do. Put a bunch of fresh coffee grinds in a bowl, put bowl in the toilet, pour six cups of steaming hot water in there, and then sit on the toilet with a towel draped over you so no steam gets out. Desperate, confused pregnant women actually sit on a coffee shitter for 30 minutes hoping to induce labor. I can only assume this started out as a practical joke and just went on too long until some people started taking it seriously. You know, like the idea of Donald Trump for President.

This is by far my favorite. Because the surest way to make sure you give birth in a hurry is to schedule an induction and get everything ready at the hospital, only to have that stubborn little bastard break your water two hours before you’re scheduled.

So, which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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11 Things Dads Should NEVER Say in the Delivery Room


The delivery room is a strange, scary, and spectacular place. There are mystical wonders to behold, a multitude of wires attached to your loved one getting ready to deliver, and a cacophony of beeping coming from unfamiliar machines that leave you unable to decipher good from bad. It is where miracles happen, memories are made, and life is brought forth into the world.

Unless she kills you right there in the birthing suite because you’re one of the brainless jackasses who says something irreversibly stupid at the worst possible moment.

Having talked to L&D nurses, read humorous (yet cringe-inducing) accounts of ridiculous things said inside the delivery room, and having written about a semi-related topic in the past, I thought it best to get specific. In my ongoing quest to help fathers (not just fathers but anyone who plans on being in the delivery room) improve, I think this list is important simply to keep people alive.

Everyone processes emotions differently in stressful situations, and many people (myself included) resort to attempts at humor as a defense mechanism. However, your latest pun might not be well accepted as the mother of your child is attempting to pass something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon.

I thought long and hard, consulted a few mothers in my life, and came up with this list. And I added animated GIFs so hopefully the women reading this will laugh instead of instantly try to murder their partners who undoubtedly said one or more things listed below.

Continue reading 11 Things Dads Should NEVER Say in the Delivery Room

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Parents at Playgrounds on Phones Are the Worst People Ever

I’ve been waiting for a chance to use this picture for three years!

There are some bad people out there.

The world is full of liars, cheaters, serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, and New York Jets fans. Unfortunately, the derelicts are living next to us, conversing with us, and subversively poisoning our way of life as they chip away at society’s common decency. They’re right under our noses, yet because there’s no readily identifiable mark of evil to witness, it’s impossible for us to tell the good guys from the dregs.

Until now.

If you’re not familiar with the worst people on Earth, I’m not surprised. No one has ever actually seen what they look like, because their faces are perpetually pointed down. Yup, that’s right — we’re talking about parents at playgrounds who use their smartphones!

I know. Savages, right? I mean, these are our children. Our babies. Our future. But sadly, you can’t throw a dead Angry Bird on the Internet these days without coming across another heartbreaking tale of innocent children being shamefully neglected by smartphone wielding monsters. Seriously, it’s an epidemic.

And you thought ISIS was bad news.

I’m sure you’ve run into their ilk at the local playgrounds. It’s always the same horrid scene. Kids happily cavorting and scampering around the playground, instantly making friends with other kids as only children can do. They climb the climbing walls, slide down slides, and cross the monkey bars while enjoying some exercise and the outdoors. On the surface, everything seems fine until you see the parent sitting on the bench tapping away on a phone.

Make no mistake, these people are what’s wrong with society.

Don’t approach them, as they probably won’t notice you anyway. Because hell, they’re already missing every single precious moment of their baby’s life and clearly prioritizing technology over their own flesh and blood. Instead, just make a mental note of everything they’re doing wrong, and shame this abomination on your blog as soon as you get home.

These people are so dangerous because they’re not thinking about the children. I mean sure they could be a stay-at-home parents who devote every waking second to the kids all day long up until this point and now they’re searching Pinterest for a dinner recipe while their kids get exercise, but that’s beside the point.

And yeah, I guess this could be a working parent returning a quick email because she negotiated a flexible schedule and the ability to work remotely so she can see her kids more often instead of coming home from the office after they’re asleep, but that’s neither here nor there.

And yes, there is an infinitesimal chance the dad on the phone needs just five minutes to himself to check Facebook or read the news while his kids play, because he hasn’t had an adult conversation in more than a week and he fears his brain is turning to mush. But that’s hardly relevant.

What is important is shaming these parents without knowing anything about their personal circumstances.

After all, if your head is buried in your phone how can you ensure your kid’s safety? Didn’t you watch the incredibly frightening video about child abduction??? Anyone with a furry creature and a warm smile can steal your kid at any second. I mean yeah, technically that video uses erroneous statistics and only 115 “stranger abductions” a year are reported in the US. And it’s true the world is actually statistically safer now than at any point in recent history. But the point is, PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KIDS!

Every mom and dad knows the only way to be truly great at parenting is to spend 100% of your time and energy on your kids and always put them first at all costs. That’s just science.

You need to follow them around the playground and be a shadow.

Is junior having trouble climbing the ladder? Help him immediately. Is your little girl in the middle of a nonviolent disagreement with another child? Step in as soon as possible and resolve it for her. Do your children have trouble playing independently and need you helicoptering around them at all times? Then congratulations, because you’re winning the parenting game.

In a world where the bad guys often look like good guys, it’s comforting in a way to have a common despised enemy. That’s why it’s not enough for you to parent your own kid and let other parents handle things in a more hands-off way. You have a responsibility to point out perceived shortcomings of others based on little to no actual information, and use it for blog fodder and just making yourself and others feel better about themselves in general.

In a world gone mad with terrible dangers like parents with smartphones and deflated footballs lurking around every corner, it’s up to you, super parent, to continue to fight the good fight.

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Why Our Favorite ’80s Movies Couldn’t Be Made in 2015


One of the best parts of becoming a parent is reliving our own childhoods with our kids. For some that means joining Little League, rediscovering old toys and playing with them again, and — especially for me — watching the movies I loved as a kid with my boys.

I know I’m probably biased, but I consider the 1980s (and early ’90s to an extent) to be best time period ever when it came to movies. They were kooky, crazy, adorable, hysterical, adventurous, gut-wrenching, and heroic.  And since I was a kid myself at the time, I especially gravitated toward the movies that also involved kids. Anything coming of age or including an awesome adventure was OK by me, and since my parents were pretty liberal with what my brother and I were allowed to watch, we took it all in.

Now that Will is 7 and getting old enough to appreciate more than Saturday morning cartoons, I’ve started slowly introducing him to some greatest hits from my youth. Except…well, I came to a startling realization.

Barely any of these movies could be made today.

It’s only been 25-30 years or so, but watching these movies and being reminded of how life was then is startling. What is called “free range” parenting today was simply called “parenting” in the ’80s. Kids did stuff all the time, often unsupervised, and no one batted an eyelash. Was it as safe then versus now? Probably not. But it sure seemed a whole lot more fun.

With that in mind, here are eight movies from back in the day, and why they just couldn’t be made in today’s climate.


8. The Breakfast Club
First of all, look at the reasons they’re in detention. Claire skipped class to go shopping, which parents these days would likely excuse and then scream at the principal for doling out a detention to their precious cherub. Andrew taped Larry Lester’s buns together, which would probably result in a lawsuit instead of detention. Bender pulled a fire alarm which is a much bigger no-no now than back then, and might get a kid expelled. And Brian was found with a gun in his locker! Even though it was a flare gun, if that happened today the school would (justifiably) be on lockdown with a SWAT team close behind. Also, I bet one of those kids had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch in the library, and no way is that allowed anymore due to allergies. I just hope they didn’t have Oreos, because then they’d all REALLY be screwed.

7. The Sandlot (yes, I know this is from the 90s)
First of all, there’s no way all of these kids would be let out to play alone all day. Second, some safety obsessed parent is going to take one look at that field and get the city health department down there in a heartbeat to condemn it because it’s not up to code. And PETA would not take kindly to the treatment of Hercules. But sadly, the biggest reason this movie wouldn’t be the same is the scene with Squints and Wendy Peffercorn. Faking drowning just to get a kiss from a gorgeous lifeguard would not be looked upon kindly today. Instead of considering it capricious hijinks, Michael “Squints” Palledorous would be labeled a dangerous sexual predator, and he’d never marry Wendy, have nine kids, and own the local drug store.

6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If it wasn’t the parental GPS tracker in his phone that told his parents where he really was, any modern day Ferris would no doubt give himself away on Periscope when people started taping him on the parade float. Also, holding hands with those kids in the art museum would’ve ended with charges filed. But the good news is you can still go to Wrigley Field and watch the Chicago Cubs lose.

5. Stand By Me
First of all, what parents do you know who would think nothing of their kids just disappearing for 2-3 days on end without a word? Second, they’d probably end up in trouble when they find the body on the tracks and take incriminating selfies next to it. But I’m sure in this version that would all be forgotten when Verne and Gordy go viral and become famous after Teddy captures the train dodge on video and puts it on YouTube.

4. Dirty Dancing
Why can’t Dirty Dancing be made today? Oh, I don’t know. How about BECAUSE JOHNNY IS 35 YEARS OLD AND BANGING A 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL?!?!?! Nobody puts Baby in the corner, but somebody is going to put Johnny in a jail cell. However, sadly enough, the options many women have concerning their reproductive rights are still as disgustingly limited today as they were then.

3. Lean On Me
Principal Joe Clark can handle the poverty, hopelessness, disrespect, and decay of the educational system in inner-city schools. But this movie can’t be remade because he would’ve quit after just one day of dealing with Common Core.

2. The Goonies
This remains the absolute, hands-down favorite movie of my youth. I watched it 742 times and I still can’t get enough of it. However, you can’t remake Goonies. First of all, I think the developmentally disabled community would have a much bigger problem with the portrayal of Sloth than it did 30 years ago. But mainly, some huffy parent in Astoria would call the police to report a roving gang of young children who shouldn’t be out alone. Then, when the police investigate, they’d find none of those kids were wearing a helmet while biking. That means the Goonies never get into the Fratelli’s basement, don’t get to go on the treasure hunt, never find One-Eyed Willie, and Mikey’s marble bag is heart-breakingly empty when the bulldozers come to turn their home into a new golf course. Which is a moot point anyway since Mikey and Brand’s parents would lose custody due to the lack of bike helmets, and Rosita would be stuck raising the boys in addition to her own family. Yeah, like I said, I watched this movie A LOT!

1. The Karate Kid
The 1980s version of this all-time great movie is filled with things that just wouldn’t fly today. In this version, Daniel-san would likely never get to complete his training. Why? Because suspicious neighbors alerted CPS that a minor was sneaking into an old Asian man’s house everyday, and was made to do manual labor in exchange for a free vintage automobile. But mainly, this movie would be ruined in 2015 because of the end. Imagine watching Daniel-san doing his crane kick, beating Johnny, besting the Cobra Kai, triumphing over evil, and then — no winner is declared because everything ends in a tie and everyone gets a trophy. No thanks.

Alright you ’80s movie nerds, tell me which ones I missed and why they wouldn’t work today!

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