The Dick Summer Connection – March 2, 2008

Had another birthday. Those suckers sneak up on you like a windshield sneaks up on a bug. Got an amazing happy birthday note from our daughter, Kris. She’s now a successful muralist…and the all- grown-up mother of 3 kids of her own. It is an inescapable fact that my kids are now older than I think I am. But it is also inescapable that…I did have another birthday this week. And they’re piling up. So now I have grandchildren. You have a choice about becoming a parent, but you don’t have any choice about becoming a grandparent.

I’ve come up with a new prayer for grandparents. It goes like this… “Dear Lord, please keep your arm around my kid’s shoulder and your hand over my mouth.” For some reason, I found it to be a great temptation to give my grandchildren the kind of advice I didn’t dare give our kids. Like, “Everything you do in life that’s wonderful you will catch hell for…but it’s worth it…so go for it.”

It was hard for me to come to grips with the idea of having a son-in- law. My girls got married way too young. I think 35 is a good age for a daughter to get married. Our daughters disagreed. Now, think about this from my perspective…My daughter brings this boy friend home…and I know what’s on his mind…because it’s what was always on my mind…and dammit…it’s STILL on my mind.

I must admit that I got a little harsh on occasion. I reminded one of those sweaty palmed, shifty eyed, junior stud muffin wanna be’s that I am a clinical hypnotist by profession. And I asked him how he’d like a lifetime of impotence if he messed with my daughter. Never saw him again. Oh, well.

At least my girls have avoided a commitment with one of those pimple people with a flourescent Mohawk haircut, giant Goth tatoos, and enough metal in his body piercings to build a multi engine transport airplane. I did the best I could to explain guys to our girls. I said watch out for his hands…and anything else that seems to be sticking out. And watch out if, on your first date, he brings his mom…or he smells bad…or he smells a little too good. And he doesn’t have to be a fashion plate, but watch out for guys who dress like Mick Jagger, the joint Chiefs of Staff, Ronald McDonald, the Pope, the Dali Lama or the Ayatollah.

I never liked the term commitment. It’s a nasty word. People get committed to an institution for the criminally insane. I don’t like the word relationship, either, when you’re talking about a man and woman kind of love. Businesses have relationships. Lovers should have romances. Businesses develop relationships. Romances should explode for lovers.

Of course, even romantic lovers have to work things out for the long run. For example…you’ve got to decide between you what is the minimum number of ice cubes each of you may leave in an ice cube tray without re-filling it with water…and under what conditions it is permissible to spritz whipped cream directly into your mouth…and who gets to drive when you’re in the car together.

Driving in a car together can cause some problems…even beyond the famous things like, I won’t stop and ask for directions, and she tends to shriek when the view out the window gets a little blurry because I’m driving a little too fast. You need ground rules. For example, if she’s driving, never blow in her ear while she’s looking for toll money…resist the impulse to give her helpful hints when she’s trying to parallel park…and for god’s sake…ladies…please…never remove undergarments while your partner is trying to change lanes on a super highway. This is for real…a lady did that while a buddy of mine, whose name you would know because he’s a famous radio personality…was driving…and he actually got so distracted that he had a really bad accident. So, ladies, have mercy. We’re only guys.

Dick’s Details Quiz – All answers are available in the current PodCast at 

1- What potentially very embarrassing connection is there between the US Attorney and a manufacturer of intra-uterine devices?

2- What marital exploration is illegal under Maryland law?

3- “I have no idea” is the correct answer to what question?


3 – right – Grandparent

2 – right – Parent

1 – right – Kid

0 – right – Zygote

And here’s something new: The Summer stumper…that’s a question that I’m going to keep asking till somebody Emails me the correct answer at  : “What is it without which an airplane cannot fly, but is of no value to the airplane?” It’s not a trick question…and it’s not a technical question. You can figure it out. Be the first one on your block to send the correct answer to

My oldest son Dave had an interesting comment about last week’s “Don’t do what you don’t wanna do day, do wah doo waah.” As you may remember, I said, “If somebody suggests that you should mow the lawn on your don’t do what you don’t wanna do day…just say do wah doo waah”…Dave said, “Nobody has told me to cut the lawn since you did when I was a little kid, dad. My wife’s style is to wait till I say I’m going to do it; then she says, that’s probably a good idea.” His wife’s a keeper.

Proud PodCast participant Nancy sent an email that said: I do like the idea of a Don’t Do What You Don’t Want To Do Day, but I have a suggestion. I have noticed that as we become busier and busier, friends tend to become invisible to us. We don’t have time to chat with them or email them. We mean to, but we are just too busy. And those friends are hurt by that, and it’s a problem that can be fixed so easily. So, make yourself a few minutes every day (or at least on your DDWYDWTD day) and send an email or make a phone call or send a note to an old friend you haven’t seen for a while. Nice idea, Nancy, unless you really don’t want to do it.

Oh yeah…I almost forgot to tell you what my daughter Kris said to me in that birthday card…Any of you guys who have daughters will understand how hard this hit me. She said…”Dad, you were the first guy I ever fell in love with.”

Life’s good.

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