Makes Me Laugh

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What started as a funny, throw-away line in “When Harry Met Sally” has become our family’s “call-to-action” when it comes to dancing. It’s called, “The White Man’s Overbite.” It’s a silly, seductive dance I used to perform for GWE to make her laugh or let her know that I was really appreciating the Yacht Rock radio we were listening to. But, once Justin and Garrett took notice, the dance has taken on a whole new (even sillier) life of its own.

Here’s how you do the dance: put your two front teeth over your bottom lip (show your teeth and curl your upper lip,) both thumbs in the Fonzi “HEYYYYY” position, and then gyrate your hips. The instructions are simple, but each person’s dance is completely unique…and a guaranteed way to be single for the rest of your life.

I now present to you, two different versions of “The White Man’s Overbite!”

My son, Garrett has a special bond with Garrett Morris. It’s gone far beyond, “that’s who you’re named after.” At this point, my Garrett demands to speak with Adult Garrett whenever he calls me on the cell.

While at a restaurant one Sunday evening, Garrett called for an update on a project. After quickly discussing the status of the film, my Garrett request my phone so he could speak with Adult Garrett. Immediately, I watched my son take on my business mannerisms and phone etiquette. And then, Garrett began to pitch Garrett:

Ok, Garrett! I have an idea for a movie. It’s a car chase movie with a Tesla. I want you to write it. When will you be done? (Turns to me) Dad – we’re making a movie. (Back to the phone.) Ok, Garrett. Next time I see you we’re gonna make this movie. Don’t forget about the Tesla car chase. Bye!”

I sat across the table from Garrett in bewilderment. He got on the phone with a Hollywood legend, told him what he was going to do, and ended the call…like a BOSS!

I probably should call Garrett and let him know that my son isn’t kidding. He wants that script and he wants it by yesterday!

From time to time, I’ve found myself on my kids’ school campus after classes have begun. There doesn’t seem to be any way to escape to my car without walking past Garrett’s kindergarten classroom. And, like an air traffic controller hyper-alert on espresso, Garrett has an amazing ability to know when I am walking by his building and reroute me into his orbit.

A few mornings ago, he begged me to stay for a few minutes to witness “Calendar Time,” the morning weather report, a little show-and-tell, and the rest of his class’s morning routine. Each child is assigning a specific spot on the rug. In order to not break the rule, Garrett ordered me to sit in his spot…and then he plopped down in my lap.

As the morning announcements began, I would periodically feel a vibration from his butt. I felt it once or twice, but wasn’t sure what it was. Then it dawned on me. He was farting on me! The first time I realized what was happening, I asked him to stop. He didn’t respond. The second time he did it, I told him to stop again. He didn’t respond. Finally, he farted on me a third time!

Angrily, I looked at Garrett and whispered, “Garrett!! Stop farting on me!” He turned to me and angrily responded. “I’m not farting on you!! It’s your phone!!”

He was right. I had my phone on vibrate and someone was desperately trying to reach me. When it comes to fart or phone, I prefer phone!

Much like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Echo, my children are always listening to my conversations and only responding half the time when their names are called. One afternoon I made the mistake of passively mentioned that I really, really, really hated something. Clearly, the boys heard me. From that day forward, Justin and Garrett have chosen to torture me with that knowledge.

I hate the song “Bohemian Rhapsody.” HATE IT!! The moment I hear the opening notes, I have a Pavlovian response that immediately pisses me off and has me reaching for whatever device it’s on so that I can turn it off (or smash it.) I hate that song. Why?

In 1992, during the height of “Wayne’s World”, I was working at a camp radio station. That song was requested EVERY SINGLE HOUR. Imagine listening to any song, 12 times a day, 7 days a week, for three straight months. Now imagine listening to that song (all 6 minutes and 7 seconds of it) over and over and over and over and over again. I would have gladly accepted water-boarding over listening to that song one more time. And for 25 years, I have not had to listen to that song…until Justin and Garret discovered my true hatred for it.

It began with Justin walking up behind me while singing, “Is this the real life?” I did my best “stop it” dead-eye-stare at him, but he just happily walked off. Garrett picked up on what was going on and he too would slowly creep up to me with a mischievous smile as he began to sing, “Is this the real life?” I learned to walk away. They requested it in the car (which I won’t play) and Justin tried to play it for me on iTunes. Angrily, I thwarted their attempts at making me listen.

GWE took a picture of the sheer joy on the faces of Justin and Garrett and they sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” to me in the middle of the LA Auto Show. The lady behind them thought it was funny. I did not.

 

So, now you know my weakness…my Kryptonite. I absolutely, unquestioningly, categorically, and conclusively HATE “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

To Queen, I say: “Let me go….let me go…..let me go ooh ooh ooh!!”

Justin and Garrett have become aware of the concept of revenge. “If you do this to me, then I will do this to you.” Nowhere has this become more clear than in my car.

When the boys were younger, we used the child safety locks on the back doors to make sure that they didn’t try to open a door and flop out of the car while it was in motion. Luckily, no one tried it. But, they also knew that they could not get out of the car without some help from the outside. They’re much more grown and (cough, cough) mature now. They can get in and out of the car on their own.

Recently, Justin thought it would be funny to switch Garrett’s child safety lock to “on” without telling him. Justin could easily get out of the car, but Garrett was stuck behind…and then he got frustrated at his brother and tried to yell at him from the inside of the car. Justin heard nothing. I became deaf.

Garrett got wise as to what was going on and when Justin wasn’t looking, he would walk over to Justin’s side of the car and then switch HIS child safety lock to “on.” Garrett had his revenge and he would laugh hysterically as he got out of the car because he left Justin trapped and frustrated.

For 2 weeks, this became the morning routine as I dropped them off at the school bus. They would try to race each other out of the car and onto the bus. But (inevitably) one of them would be left behind they were locked in.

And, they got smart/dumb about it! As they got into the car, they’d assume the other messed with their lock and (in an attempt to outwit the other) they’d accidentally set the lock to “on”…thereby locking themselves in.

This had gotten a little annoying, but I had a solution. One morning, I told them that I had had enough and to stop playing with the locks. What they didn’t know was that I set both locks to “on.” As we approached the bus, they both tried to race each other out of the car only to find that they were both locked in. I laughed as both tried to escape my car.

I think they learned their lesson: don’t aggravate the guy who controls ALL the locks in the car!

Garrett has always had an interest in cars. It began with police cars, ambulances, and firetrucks. After seeing “Ghostbusters,” he became obsessed with Ecto-1. Soon after, he saw “Back the Future” and he started collecting every DeLorean he could find. And now, he has moved on to a new obsession – Tesla.

There is a Tesla store in our local shopping mall which Garrett frequently visits. Well – ‘visit’ isn’t the right word. Garrett WORKS at the Tesla store. He has been known to greet customers as they walk in and introduce them to his fellow Tesla co-workers. Garrett guides customers to each car and extols the virtue of both the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X. He shows them how the doors open and shut, where the charging portal is, and how to work the internal dashboard.

Garrett is so infatuated with this automobile that he has been going to the Tesla store 3-4 times a week for the past few months. I’m certain that there are actual employees who are not there that often. He doesn’t get paid for his services with money. However, the manager of the store has recently begun paying him in Tesla t-shirts.

For months, I had been hearing about Garrett’s Tesla adventures. It wasn’t until Garrett begged me to take him to his Tesla store that I truly appreciated his love of the car and his natural salesmanship.

Originally, I was concerned that the Tesla employees were getting tired of seeing Garrett or that he was becoming too much of a distraction. I was wrong. As we strolled up to the store, Garrett saw the manager and sprinted towards her to give her a big hug. He proceeded to make his way around the store to give his fellow employees high-fives and ask how their day was. They were all thrilled to see him!

When he was ready to begin working, he hopped in the Tesla and proceeded to tell me on why I should get rid of my car and buy a Tesla Model X with the gull-wing doors instead.

So – if you want to buy a Tesla, tell them Garrett sent you! (Commission equals tuition!)