How The Monkey Bars Explain Parenting

Today, I realized that Delaney, my darling youngest, at the tender age of 3, has now reached that magical age where she can cross the monkey bars with my assistance. Her young growing legs, dangling and swinging wildly, are just long enough that with each brave outstretched attempt, her momentum brings her feet squarely back, right there. Each time. Where the sun don’t shine.

I’m not sure if there’s a better example that sums up being a parent. It’s magic. And it’s a kick in the pills.

3 oz. worth of marriage advice

Marriage is about taking risks. It’s about going outside of your own comfort zone to meet your partner’s unique personality and needs. On occasion, this might lead you into strange, bewildering territory, which is why a measured, prudent approach is necessary. Let’s see if we can conjure up an imaginary, theoretical example.

Say your partner likes parmesan cheese on pasta. But you don’t. And let’s say, in this random, speculative example, that you do the grocery shopping and, walking down the aisle one day (the aisle— see what I did there!) you see the parmesan cheese and remember the time(s) your partner mentioned, a little forlornly you couldn’t help but notice, that parmesan cheese would go great with this spaghetti.

Now, do you buy the big green can of parmesan cheese? No. That would be reckless, in this arbitrary, hypothetical example. What if parmesan is not really an all-the-time-on-spaghetti thing? Maybe it depends on something obscure, say from childhood, like noodle diameter? Then you have this big green can of luscious parmesan cheese cluttering up a shelf in the fridge for God nows how long? A symbol of excess, misunderstanding, signals crossed. An illuminated reminder every time you open the fridge. So you buy the 3 oz. parmesan cheese. Take it slow.

Will your partner have parmesan the next time you eat spaghetti? Yes. Will your partner be grateful and return the favor in kind? Let’s hope so. That is what marriage is all about. Now you might be wondering, in this far-fetched, fabulous example, will your partner have parmesan cheese for the leftover spaghetti? No. Will your partner, eating the leftover spaghetti without parmesan, notice the diminutive, 3 oz. parmesan cheese can sitting on the counter in a pile of recyclable materials and take out their angst in a blog post thinly veiled as marriage advice?

Obviously this example is not based on reality, and in an attempt at thoroughness, I went way out, off the deep end of The Actual. The point is, the next time your partner needs you for something, anything, remember to take it easy. Don’t go crazy. Think of the long game. Three ounces at a time.

Don’t go crazy buying the big can.

A Body Gets Tired

The human body is amazing. You can push it beyond extreme limits, like triathlons, living in outer space, or raising three kids during a pandemic.

But your body, at some point, gets tired.

Day after day, you power through, push past, grind, rise above, find a way, drink more caffeine.

But your body gets tired.

And then the day comes. Late afternoon. Bone tired. Mind a wreck. The sunlight just starting to fade. You’ve finished your work. The kids are fine, watching something or other, popcorn everywhere. You sneak away. No one even knows you’re gone. You tiptoe into your bedroom.

You lie down.

It’s glorious.

Instantly, the fatigue begins to lift. You think of your phone. A podcast? Music? Scroll Twitter?

No. Just rest. It’s amazing.

And then it happens. You fall asleep. No one knows. In an instant, you enter that child-like, warm, womb-like state just on the edge of consciousness. One long sigh and then you’re really gone, floating off with cherubs in a soft cloud. This might very well be a personal high point of the pandemic. The cloud, the cherubs, floating away to Dream Land…


You hear.

The cherubs are playing music.

But it’s not a sonata on the french horn. It’s…

Hot cross buns.

On the recorder. With xylophone backing. And someone yelling.

And that’s the moment you fall back to earth. You hear your 3rd grader practice. With the 3-year-old playing xylophone, which belongs to the 6-year-old, which explains the yelling.

You reach for that feeling of renewal, of restoration…but it’s gone. You’re more tired than ever.

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

One a penny

Two a penny

Hot cross buns

Password Issue Resolved

Some of you regular readers of my humor blog may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in the past week or so. You may also be aware that I took over the Faucet Blog from a very nice plumber named Joe a few years back when a leak he couldn’t fix caused him to start hearing a drip inside his head, that also wouldn’t go away. Poor guy. He could hardly hold a wrench without smashing things. So of course he couldn’t keep his plumbing blog going.

Apparently Joe, now on disability and three years into hearing an interminable drip drip drip, in his frazzled state, still had access to the blog and got on recently and well, changed the darn password. My repeated efforts at reaching Joe were unsuccessful. I thought I might just have to close down the site after three short years and dozens of satisfied readers all around the world, including several countries that actually speak English. But then it just came to me. Joe’s new password. You can probably guess.

So now that little issue is resolved, I can get back to the adapted mission of the Faucet Blog, to inject a little humor and lightheartedness into people’s lives. I’m also not afraid to take on serious issues now and again. Like why some people call the bathroom the John? Is there an original bathroom somewhere, I don’t know, maybe an outhouse from the American frontier, that someone named after an individual named John? Why would you do that? Why would you call a bathroom the same name as an individual? It just doesn’t make sense. I wouldn’t want someone to use my name every time they had to go. “I gotta hit the Tim.” I wouldn’t like that all. I can imagine some John, a nice guy that never did nothing to no one, maybe his head is shaped like a toilet seat or something…watching powerlessly as suddenly his whole neighborhood starts to also call it a John. Then it spreads to the next town…

Fortunately, with the password issue resolved. I can look into the matter.

Vacuum Breaker Backflow Prevention

Yes, the Faucet Blog is a humor blog, but since I took this site over from Joe the Plumber, I am contractually obligated to share the following information from time to time about Vacuum Breaker Backflow Prevention. A very serious issue, I’m told. Joe, by the way, is doing fine though still hearing the drip, drip, drip in his mind that does cause the occasional fit of seething rage. Tuesdays for some reason are real bad.

O.K., here’s the thing about Vacuum Break Backflow Prevention. Again, pretty important stuff, as far as I can tell, so be sure to read carefully.

NOTE: “Several U.S. state and local municipal plumbing codes require the use of a backflow prevention device when installing a hand shower. This device is termed a vacuum breaker. If your hand shower includes a vacuum breaker it will be located in the hose, and the hose end with the vacuum breaker will include a sticker that reads ‘ATTACH TO SHOWER BRACKET.’ If the hose is not attached in this manner, water will not flow. If this is case please contact us and request the following part number:”

Now I do regret that I have somehow misplaced both the contact number and the part number. I have it somewhere. I’m confident it will turn up. You just don’t lose a contact number and part number when you’re dealing with Vacuum Breaker Backflow Prevention. So in the meantime, whatever Vacuum Breaker Backflow is, good luck preventing it.

There Comes a Time: Quick Advice for Men Newly Married to Women

For all you newly wed grooms out there— if there are in fact any weddings still happening during the pandemic— here’s a quick piece of advice.

In the 60’s the Byrds sang that there was a time for all things. It’s not in the song, but this includes a time to lie to your wife.

For there will come a time when you and your wife will have not had a date in a while, or even much alone time, and so finally the date or alone timeish thing you do is go shopping for a new dresser. There comes a time, in every marriage.

And so will come a time, on this shopping trip, when your wife will ask you what you think of a box of wood with drawers. She will look at you with the same lovely eyes that you peered deep into and said, “I do,” and she will say, “What do you think of this dresser?”

She will be thinking about color schemes, contrast, wall size, overall room decor, drawer surface area, and many other interior decoraterish things. You might be like me, and be thinking why someone in your fantasy baseball league up and quit in the middle of January.

So what do you do? You could be honest and say you don’t give a rip and that at the moment you really need to find a 12th person for your fantasy baseball draft in three months. Or, you could look up from your phone at the steep price tag and flatly say, “No.” Or, you could heed my advice. Comes a time, a time to lie.

You could look at the dresser carefully. You could approach the dresser and scrutinize the craftsmanship, the gliding of the drawers, the stain finish. You could scratch your chin carefully and say something like, “it’s a perfect height.” Then, after casually glancing at the price and realizing it’s waaaaaaaay too expensive, you could say, “But the color just doesn’t match the end tables.” Then you find something on sale and say, “I think this could really work.”

Comes a time.

Also, here’s just another little bonus tip: pocket lint in your belly button is not sexy.

Unofficial Transcript From “The Queen’s Gambit” Writing Room—Season Finale: “End Game”

Writer A: So I guess that does it. That’s the last revision. I think it’s as tight as it can be. All we need to do is print up the Final Draft, sign it, and send it off to Production. (Yawns.) It’s been a heck of long night, but I think we got it.

(The four writers in the room applaud.)

Writer B (Draining the last drop of his coffee cup): It’s hard to believe we’re done. I just want to say how proud I am to be part of this series.

Writer C (Stretching): Agreed. It’s been a real pleasure.

(The writers begin to shake hands.)

Writer D: You know…(nibbling lip)…what if….if…?

Writer A: What if what?

Writer D: Nothing. Forget it. It’s nothing.

Writers B and C exchange glances with expressions that say, “Oh no,” and “Here we go again.”

Writer A: Just tell us. It’s got to be something.

Writer D: No. It’s nothing. Let’s sign the Final Draft. It’s stupid.

Writer A: Remember our manifesto. We’re honest and open. No move goes unexamined. Go ahead. What are you thinking?

Writer D: (Blurts) What if Borgov lost in the semi’s?

Writer B: You mean the quintessential Russian chess villain we’ve spent five episodes building up? That Borgov?

Writer A: Hey, remember the manifesto. We hear each other out. Go ahead.

(Writer B noiselessly mouths, “Remember the manifesto.Writer C executes an elaborate eye roll.)

Writer A: You were saying.

(Writer B yawns and starts to doodle on his copy. Writer C crosses his arms and looks at the ceiling.)

Writer D: I was just thinking audiences love surprises. What if when Beth shows up to the final match, it’s not Borgov? I mean, talk about a stunner. It would be the biggest television shockwave since, um, what was that one show…you know, with the guy that gets shot?

Writer C: Oh, for Pete’s sake.

Writer A: Who would be in the final match, if not Borgov?

Writer D: Well, I hadn’t quite figured that out yet. I thought we could have an even bigger, badder, more imposing Russian chess villain— the guy that beat Borgov!

Writers B and C look at each other with glances that say, “Unbelievable” and, “I’m so sick of this shit.”

Writer D: (Eyes spreading wide as the empty paper plates with pizza crusts) I’ve got it! What about that kid she trounced in Episode 4, the Russian kid? Like now as a pimply teenager? No no no! Wait. Even better! She has a twin! Beth has an identical twin! Separated at birth. And the twin learned to play chess at a different orphanage, from a different janitor!

(Writer D looks pleadingly around the table. With each face, his smile and expression are dialed down a few notches, until he is slouched, head down in the chair.)

Writer D: See. I told you it was stupid. I quit. I’m just not a writer. I don’t have what it takes. No wonder I never get anything published.

Writer A: Don’t be ridiculous. You were a big part of this.

Writer D storms out of the room.

(Writer A signs the draft, slides it over, whispers, “Get it to production,” before following after Writer D.)

Writer B (to C): Remind me if I ever get married, and my significant other wants me to give her brother a job as a writer, and that brother hasn’t even written anything beyond a parking ticket in the mall where he works as a traffic cop, to say, politely, with love, HELL. NO.

A Guide to Blinking Garage Opener Lights

I recently discovered that the blinking of a dysfunctional garage door opener is not random flashing, but in fact expresses a range of meanings and emotions. After consulting various online sources, reference materials, databases of codes and nonverbal garage door communication, and one neighbor, I hereby feel confident in reproducing the following list.

Light blinking continuously: it’s possible someone (read: your kid) may have accidentally locked your garage door by pressing the lock button.

1 flash: broken or disconnected wire leading to safety sensor.

2 flashes: black/white wires reversed or safety sensor wire shorted.

3 flashes: the international distress call for messy garage in need of organizing.

4 flashes: safety sensors are misaligned.

5 flashes: commonly referred to as the number of humanity since humans have five fingers, five toes, five senses, and five appendages (counting the head). Your garage door is expressing its own mortality. It has about five more open-and-closes before the end.

6 flashes: There is significant debate about six flashes in the blinking garage light academic community. Many believe that six is the sign that there is some devilish malfunction in the wiring, i.e. don’t even think of trying to fix this yourself. Call your garage service right away. However, there is a smaller but very vocal contingency in the literature that argues six flashes signify the garage door unit’s desire to exist in harmony with other neighboring garage doors.

7 flashes: the sensors are feeling a deep sense of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual), directly tied to God’s creation of all things—including the tupperware bin, flow wall modular panel storage, and ceiling fleximount racks.

8 flashes: your garage door wiring has an infinite number of problems. Just replace the entire system.

9 flashes: the number nine is revered in garage doorism culture as it represents good fortune at the end of a cycle. The nine flashes originated in torches from the Indian subcontinent as early as 3000 B.C. Replace the battery and expect long garage door opening life.

10 flashes: The famous Greek mathematician Pythagoras called ten the perfect number because it comprehends all arithmetic and harmonic proportions. Many scholars note that while Pythagoras was very good at math, he was not good at fixing the Greek version of the garage door. Therefore ten flashes, despite being perfection due to arriving at the decad when you return to the monad, means you have a plethora of problems. We’re talking double digits here, and you might as well just replace the entire system.

Eleven or more flashes: likely just random blinking resulting from a wire malfunction. Unless it’s thirty-seven. Get out while you still can.

Any combination of short and long flashes: contact the FBI. Your garage door opening system has been compromised.

Brand Spankin’ New Email Address

That’s right folks, the Humor Faucet now has a new email address to give you, the readers and foreign spies, an opportunity to provide feedback about whether the faucet is living up to its mission: protect wild turkeys and their habitats.

Sorry, that’s a separate blog I’m part of. The Humor Faucet’s mission is of course to keep the humor flowing.

If a post makes you laugh—or doesn’t— let me know at Thanks for writing. Also, please let me know where you’re from on the email. (Especially if you’re a spy.)

In honor of the new address, I will now share my very first email. Paul from Buffalo writes:

Dear Tim,

It’s my job to plug in my kids’ screens at night so they can fry their brains every morning when they wake up before dawn so that my wife and I get a little extra sleep.

The problem is that my wife has this decorative prickly plant (see photo) that she insists stay in the corner right in front of the outlet. I’ve tried moving the plant but she always moves it back. She claims the plant looks better where it is, but again, the plant is quite prickly. What should I do?


Buffalo, NY

Prickly plant.

Thanks Paul for writing. This isn’t really an advice website, but since you ask, you could try charging the screens from another outlet. Considering the pandemic and all the horrible things happening in the world right now, that you have to contend with a prickly plant on a regular basis doesn’t seem all that bad. Unless, of course, there are other prickly plants blocking other openings that you wish to enter. If that’s the case, I think it’s time to take a stand against all obstructing prickly plants, decorative or otherwise. Best of luck.

The Sides From The Last Waltz

At the Band’s much celebrated farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day 1976, they served the audience of 5,000 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco a turkey dinner. The concert itself has been preserved and thoroughly discussed/scrutinized thanks to Martin Scorsese’s documentary.

However. Considering the social norm that it is rude to arrive at a holiday dinner, it’s fair to ask what, if anything, the special guests brought to the feast? Here is a possible list of that table full of side dishes lost forever to rock and roll history:

  1. From Neil Diamond: Sweeeeeeeet Caroline Po…ta…toes. Marshmallows never tasted so good. So good. So good.
  2. From Neil Young: Cinnamon Girl Baked Carrots
  3. From Eric Clapton: Slow Hand’s Slow Roasted Creamed Corn.
  4. From Van Morrison: Black Eyed Girl Peas with Bacon and Pork
  5. From Muddy Waters: Champagne and Reefer
  6. From Ronnie Wood: (to the chagrin of Neil Young) Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
  7. From Ringo Starr: Something (Hard to be sure the exact contents: a casserole-ish glob in aluminum foil with some kind of meat?)
  8. From Joni Mitchell: Coyote Corn (with extra dill pickles, to the chagrin of Neil Young)
  9. From Bob Dylan: Buckets of water. Many will say it was rain, but what if there was a custodian’s closet and drinking fountain right near the banquet hall entrance and that closet was missing a bucket? Just because he has the Nobel Prize doesn’t mean he always brings something to a dinner, does it?
  10. From the Band: “Put The Load On Me” Loaded Baked Potatoes.

I mean, they didn’t just eat turkey, right?