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Date archive for: May 2010

New radio bit on Sunday mornings: “Write There With Ya”

Check out my new radio bit on KIST AM 1490’s “A Round of Applause” between 9 and 10 a.m. Sundays. I interview authors and discuss the writers’ life in my weekly segment: “Write There With Ya.”First guest: author and journalist Marcia Meier, whose fab new book “Navigating the Rough Waters of Today’s Publishing World” taught me lots of things I should have already known … Tune in and learn some stuff yourself!

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Little League Lunatics

There are certain things you expect to see at a kids’ soccer game. Gatorade bottles and orange slices. Coaches’ clipboards and cans of spray sunscreen. Here’s what you don’t expect to see: A 9mm handgun.

Michigan dad James Sherrill was arrested recently after pulling a pistol on another player’s dad at a high-tension soccer match between — get this — 6- and 7-year-olds.

We’d like to gasp in horror. We’d like to grimace in shock. But anyone who’s ever schlepped a folding chair to a field knows adult tempers percolate vigorously at kids’ sporting events. All too often they boil over.

“Coaching seven years of Little League has left me believing that parents at all games should be muzzled,” says a dad I know. “I had a guy threaten to not only kick my ass but have his son kick my son’s ass. Over playing time! It was a sad sight to behold.”

He once saw a father spit on an umpire. “Parent ejected, kid embarrassed,” he says.

Another friend once saw a shoving-turned-punching match between two dads at a soccer game. “One of the wives joined in and took a swing,” he says. “The kids came running off the field, then the guys’ kids went to blows. A lovely lesson to teach your 10 year-old.”

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Cycle-wary

An old biker adage says there are two kinds of motorcycle riders: those who have been down, and those who are going down.

Bikers court danger; it’s part of the thrill of riding. And the axiom is their way of acknowledging the inevitable.

Spend enough time in the World of Two Wheels, though, and you become forcibly acquainted with a third category: Riders who have been down and down and down again. Knocked down and plowed down. Dragged behind trucks. Pinched between fenders. Raked across loose gravel.

My dad falls into this category — tumbles into it regularly, in fact. Dad loves biking for its “illusion of flying” but too often experiences the “actuality of flying” while hurtling through an intersection face-first. The details of his many hospital-requiring collisions congeal in my memory; sutures blend into slings blend into surgeries. But I can recall with startling accuracy the sickening feeling of hearing him say, each time, “I’m really lucky. I should have been dead.”

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Tweens ‘Dating’ Tweens

I always thought kids hated to practice. It’s an easy assumption to make if you’ve ever plunked down payments for piano lessons, then had to beg, badger, and bribe your kids to crack the “Teaching Little Fingers” songbook just once a damn week.

I’ve recently realized, though, there are some things kids love to practice. In fact, they spend much of their childhoods willingly rehearsing for life as a grown-up. They practice parenting by caring for baby dolls. They practice working by donning plastic stethoscopes and lugging toy briefcases around the house.

And when they hit sixth grade, it turns out, they practice dating. My son has informed me that suddenly, and on an almost daily basis, girls are “asking him out.”

I try not to snicker, but the semantics alone amuse. Out … where? It’s a funny proposition for a child whose notion of “going out” still means hopping on his bike and cruising the cul-de-sac to spy on neighborhood cats.

“Where, um, do they want you to go?” I inquired the first time he told me.

“I don’t know,” he replied dubiously. “So I said, ‘No, thanks.'”

He has since informed me that “going out” simply means you like someone. “Not regular ‘like,’ but sixth-grade ‘like,'” he explained. “It means, ‘I’m attracted to you.'”

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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