Category Archives: Parenting

Do You Want to Dance?

New to the sixth grade and new to the school, my son was pleased to receive an invitation to a dance. “Dance,” as it turns out, has more than one meaning of which shy children asking one another to do the twist is not the relevant one. At this country club, 11-year-olds were exhorted to…Read the full article


After a buddy of mine had the poor judgment to choose to be born on the island of Hispaniola, he compounded his ineptitude 30 years later by contracting malaria. Sensitive to my wife’s unyielding policy of “no dead guys in the living room,” I drove Sebastian to the county hospital where we learned that 1)…Read the full article

Mastodons, Math, Running in the Rain, and Addiction

Consider Mr. Atrobus versus a mastodon. Atrobus is hungry. But the mastodon does not fancy appearing on anyone’s luncheon menu. One on one, the smart money is on Proboscidea. Because soaking wet, Atrobus tips the scales at something south of 200 pounds, about 10,000 pounds short of your recalcitrant mastodon. Ten millennia later when scales…Read the full article

What Do You Want?

Warning: some content may not be appropriate for younger readers. At two o’clock in the morning at a fraternity party, a senior tells a first year student that he has been attracted to her for the entire semester but has never spoken to her until now. He alternates encouraging her to sip vodka with insisting…Read the full article

The Greatest Teacher of All

Recently a number of my gentle readers including some number of my own children have made the wildly unsettling allegation that this author’s advice to parents trying to raise healthy children in our toxic world can be summed up by the phrase “take the kids camping.” Surely, there is more to adequate parenting in these tough…Read the full article

Go Outside and Play

Surely a case could be made for Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, or Michael Jordan as the greatest male athlete of the 20th century. But no vociferous barfly could overlook Jim Thorpe without being asked to step outside and settle the issue. Olympic gold medalist in the pentathlon and decathlon, professional football, basketball, AND baseball player, the…Read the full article

Pay Up

Another of my middle aged, balding, paunchy buddies was getting along fine with his girlfriend, getting serious after two years of dating. They were chatting amicably about which caterer to use, making lists of which old friends to invite to the ceremony. Since they were both divorced with grown kids, there was no terrible hurry…Read the full article