Southern Man

Friday, July 21, 2006

Charlene and the Chocolate Factory

My seven-year-old daughter got to spend the night last night, which was a lot of fun. We worked puzzles and jumped on the trampoline (well, she jumped and I watched; it may be that Southern Man exceeds the maximum recommended weight for that particular trampoline) and watched Jurassic Park III. This is a fun film but has so many logical and continuity errors that even I can spot them. If that sort of thing amuses you, visit The next morning we slept in, had a nice breakfast, got in some more Quality Time on the trampoline, and went to a local children's theater production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was my excuse for having her with me overnight. Apparently there is a serious shortage of male actors this summer, as both Charlie and Grandpa Joe were played by females. However, it was a fun morning and a good play and I had to return her to her mother all too soon. The children's theater runs some neat summer camps, and I may try to work her into one in a few weeks.

My teenage son's current favorite musical group is Hawthorne Heights, an emo / screamo band out of Dayton, Ohio. They're playing in about ten days as part of the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, MO, which is about a six-hour drive for us. While I am not entirely thrilled about a twelve-hour road trip with a son who rarely deigns to speak to me at all (and when he does, his vocabulary consists mostly of monosyllabic grunts) to listen to a band that I'm not too crazy about, non-custodial fathers like me will go above and beyond the call of duty to get Quality Time with their kids - especially one with which I have a fairly rocky relationship anyway. On the other hand, about midway on the route is my soon-to-be-ex-father-in-law, so we could take a break with him if we wanted. I'm not sure I'm too thrilled about that, either; he hasn't spoken to me since his daughter declared her intention to divorce me some six weeks ago.

The divorce proceedings grind along. Her lawyer has filed the divorce petition and mine has filed the response. As we both have lawyers that bill in quarter-hour segments, it costs $85 every time one of them picks up a pencil or a phone on our behalf, so it is hoped that the next step is a quick meeting of the minds and a suitable settlement agreement. Therefore, here's a lawyer joke to take my mind off of this impending financial disaster:
A successful lawyer dies tragically at the tender young age of 33. He arrives at the Pearly Gates and is met there by St. Peter and a large group of saints who welcomed him to Heaven after his long life of service. The lawyer was surprised to hear this and, although glad to have made it to Heaven, expresses regret that he had to die while still in his youth. Now it's St. Peter's turn to look surprised and he double-checks his records. "Our mistake," he said. "We accidently mixed up your age with the number of hours you billed and thought you were 137!"
Hah, I feel better already.


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