Friday, January 7, 2011

The Plot against Beta Dad

So Kristine, of Wait in the Van fame, kindly asked me to guest post on her awesome and very popular blog, along with a slew of other smartasses, for a little thing she did called The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Of course I jumped at the chance.  

My post appears today, as the grand finale of her great experiment.  I'm honored to have been asked to participate--doubly so to have been given the final slot.  It's exactly like being the headlining act at Lollapalooza*

[cue dream sequence music] 

The white hot spotlight sears into my pallid flesh as the feedback from the mountain of Marshall speaker cabinets evolves into the grinding opening chords of my signature jam.  The crowd roars with recognition and adulation.  The crotch of my sweaty leather pants strains as I hoist my alligator boot up onto the monitor and grab the scarf-festooned mic stand...  


I’m delighted to be here on Wait in the Van, helping to celebrate the Twelve (or so) Days of Christmas!  And as we all reflect on what the holidays have meant to us this year, I, as many of my co-guest posters have, would like to address one of the perennial themes of the season. 

The subject that’s especially close to my heart as I start taking down the neighbors’ ornaments and putting them in my garage until next year is both deep and powerful:  The Conniving Mother-In-Law.

I realize that you may think you’ve heard all there is to be said about this subject.  Or perhaps you even feel that your own mother-in-law is the most aggravating possible embodiment of this archetype. 

But I ask you: Is your mother-in-law actually trying to murder you? 

If you answered “yes,” then you’ll be able to relate to what follows.  If you answered “no,” then my tale may serve as a reminder of how easy you really have it, mother-in-lawwise.


*Not really.  I only ended up in the last spot because I was the last slacker to submit my post.  Still, that's pretty rock 'n' roll, right?


  1. I KNEW there was something about that sweet-voiced woman I didn't trust.

    (Already jumped over to read the full post. Now I'm all hungry.)

  2. "to have been given the final slot"

    There's a Lindsey Lohan joke in there somewhere...

  3. Being married to a Filipina, I can relate. I gain 10 pounds a week when I'm either in country or the MIL is visiting.

    Losing it is so hard when there is an outstanding Vietnamese restaurant just two blocks from the house and we are often too lazy to cook.

  4. I've never had Vietnamese food but now I think I want to try it. Unfortunately I'm about 90% sure I can't get it anywhere within a 300 mile radius of my hometown. Sad.

  5. Since I am half Thai, I will give you a little advise: Beware the fish sauce, it will enter your caucasion bloodstream and if you survive, you will find you are far more pliable to your MIL's wishes.

  6. I now am on a quest to have Vietnamese food. I already have a love affair with home-cooked Indian that I left behind at the home of my Indian bestie in Georgia. I'm not sure I can handle another ethno-foodie addiction, but I'm up to the challenge.

  7. "The crotch of my sweaty leather pants strains as I hoist my alligator boot up onto the monitor and grab the scarf-festooned mic stand"

    That is the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

  8. @DiPi--Your instincts are always right on the money!

    @Elly Lou--Let me know when you figure out the rest of the joke. It has potential. I think.

    @Ed--I feel you dawg.

    @Toni--Simple solution. Move.

    @Nari--*gasp* I hadn't even thought about the toxicity of the fish sauce. The more I have, the more affection I feel toward MIL.

    @Nicole--One of the great things about Vietnamese food is that it's dirt cheap. Don't go to any place that looks clean or has table cloths. Look for a place full of middle-aged 'Namese guys who smoke a lot. If they have anything to sit on other than plastic chairs, they're spending way to much on overhead and not enough on the food.

    @Kev D--Thanks. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever written. Or felt.

  9. There's also a Pho King in San Francisco (I ate there last week), Oakland, and San Jose. But I don't think it's a chain, or at least the one where you live is much worse than the one here.

    Anyway, I can't believe anyone could make it past their teens without trying Vietnamese food (or Thai for that matter)---it's just too good---though the one around the corner from my old place had a smell that I had to work really hard to accept. And they always ran out of baguettes because apparently no one thought $3.50 sandwiches would be any good (wrong), so the owner got tired of throwing out stale bread (frustrating).

    Even Charlottesville's Vietnamese place is surprisingly good. Still not as good as the run-down places in Arlington strip malls, which definitely know their pho.


Don't hold back.


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