Friday, June 15, 2007

JUNE 15, 2007

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 11 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans. Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local drug store, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper and read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior.Enjoy it -- it'll be the last time in your life that you will have all of the answers.

3. To discover how the nights feel, walk around the living room from 5 PM to 10 PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10 PM put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1 AM. Put the alarm on for 3 AM. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2 AM and make a drink. Go to bed at 2:45 AM. Get up again at 3 AM when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4 AM. Put the alarm on for 5 AM. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish finger behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this -- all morning.

6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet tube. Using only Scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas tree. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations, you have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy a minivan. And don't think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There! Perfect!

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as you can stand, until the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back in the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child -- a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

11. Learn the names of every character from The Wiggles, Sesame Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing kids songs at work, now you finally qualify as a parent.

Now, get ready for the most rewarding experience of your life. For all the hard times, it’s worth it when your kids look at you and say, “I love you”.

A Scranton, Pennsylvania man who caught his wife chatting with men online decided to log her off for good early Tuesday -- by gunning down her computer. Jason Griffith, 23, was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, simple assault, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment. Police allege Griffith fired one 40-caliber bullet into his wife's computer tower after a 2 a-m argument inside a bedroom on the second floor of the couple's residence. According to an affidavit, after returning home early Tuesday, Griffith became angry that his wife was chatting with men on the social networking Web site MySpace. He first assaulted her in the kitchen and then tried to drag her upstairs. Once upstairs, he shot the computer and fired a bullet into the floor. No one was injured.

Wearing sagging pants in the town limits of Delcambre, Louisiana soon will become an act of indecent exposure if an ordinance is approved by the mayor. On Monday evening, the Delcambre Town Council passed section 8-32 unanimously, essentially making it a crime to wear sagging pants that expose parts of the body. Anyone caught wearing sagging pants where body parts or undergarments are visible can be fined up to 500 dollars or imprisoned for six months, or both, as part of the indecent exposure ordinance. The ordinance will take effect immediately after Mayor Carol Broussard approves the ordinance, which he said he will.

Microwave popcorn, that ubiquitous workplace snack, could go the way of the typewriter at Seattle City Hall -- gone. It seems burned popcorn has caused several evacuations at City Hall and other city buildings, prompting the city's Fleets and Facilities Department to consider a ban. In a memo to employees in three downtown buildings where the evacuations have occurred, the agency said, "We continue to see a high number of instances of employees burning microwave popcorn and triggering the building smoke alarms. This is a serious issue which requires Fire Department emergency response, building evacuation and resetting of building systems." There have been popcorn-related evacuations at City Hall and the Seattle Municipal Tower. Last month, the 11-story Justice Center was evacuated due to burned popcorn, the eighth time in less than three years that 400 people have been ushered out of the building.

We had some creative ideas for you this morning. Click here to find out more about any of them.

We've had blackouts the last two days in Northwest Bakersfield. Here's a simple way you can do your part.

That red light that's on when your DVD player is off. . . the clock on your VCR. . . your cell phone charger. . . those are all using electricity. Turns out, 40% of the energy that we use in the U.S. to power electronics is used while the things are turned OFF.

Added up, over the course of a year, all that power equals the output of SEVENTEEN power plants. So unplug what you can.