36 (it’s a play on the title of the TV show called 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland which I never watched but hear was a very good show, although don’t expect that kind of writing quality in this blog post, the title of which numerically implies it should be 50% better than the TV show, but it is definitely not)

Here was what was going to be the plan as I understood it for the past 36 hours. My youngest daughter was having some school friends over to the house for a birthday sleepover as she celebrates turning ten years old. The plan was for my wife and the girls to watch a movie in a tent outside and then fall sleep there. I envisioned myself sitting inside, sipping an ice cold adult beverage, watching whatever movie I wanted to watch (a rare treat) and maybe creating a special Father’s Day Mite Be Funny cartoon that would keep me amused and chortling to myself all evening as I fall asleep with a wry smile on my face.

These last 36 hours have not gone according to plan.

Friday 6AM – I started working from home early Friday morning at 6AM which means I checked Facebook, the news feeds, weather, etc. for a couple hours. I was able to book not one, but two orders from a customer in Mauritius. Ten points will be awarded if you can point where that tiny island nation is located on this map.


Give up? OK, here’s the answer …

world-map-clickable arrow

That’s right, Mauritius is a small island nation located in Lake Michigan inside Canada according to the Trump Guide to Geography for Public Schools published in 2018 by DeVos Press.

Anyway, it is seriously hard to get even one order from Mauritius, let alone two. I mean, they use the skulls of tourists as currency there, which may explain why my travel agent has never suggested it as a travel destination.

Well, my work day was all downhill after the Mauritian orders, so I slowly transitioned to birthday party-related tasks as the day wore down and so did I.

Friday 3PM – In oppressive heat, I pitched a massive tent, literally, not euphemistically, in our backyard. Wisely, I chose to use a kayak oar to position a rain flap over the top of the tent, thereby raising the temperature inside by about 20 degrees F. Hey, I wasn’t sleeping in there. Why should I care? But it turned out to be a good decision.

Friday 4:30 PM – I really need to find a different bank as I rushed my sweaty body to our bank to cash a check before it closes at 5PM. 5 freakin’ PM. Seriously? Most people are still at work at 5PM.

Friday 5:30 PM – I am no longer a Costco virgin as I was sent there to pick up pizzas for the birthday party. I had no clue what to do to navigate around Costco, so I gripped the magic Costco card with which I would gain entry to this magical place and boldly stepped towards the entrance flashing the card to whoever would look in my direction. First thing I saw (besides lots of people trying to avoid being hit by my hand holding the Costco card) was a TV priced at $4500. I thought Costco was a discount warehouse. Who buys $4,500 TVs? Is America’s collective vision so bad that enormous ultra-HD TVs are needed to watch the evening news? MASA! Make America See Again.

Friday 7PM – After the party girls arrived and were fed the pizza I had picked-up, we were off to the mall for a scavenger hunt. It was actually sort of fun. I took one team and my wife took another. I had stressed before the hunt that it was not a competition, just a participatory event. After my team won, I was singing a different tune. I did spot these electric sunglasses as we bopped from store to store.

sunglasses electric

I wonder what they do when you power them up?

Friday 7:30 PM – The girls shopped, and shopped and shopped. One of the girls ate a raw coffee bean which she thought was some sort of raw coffee bean sample that a store set out for patrons to eat and gag on. We left only because the mall closed at 9PM.

Friday 10PM – After cake and ice cream at home, the girls decided it was time to swim and hot tub … for two hours! Do seven girls crammed into a small hot tub constitute a fire hazard?

Saturday 12AM – Movie time in the tent! TV set up? Check. DVD player working? Check. Cool movie ready? Black Panther, so BIG check. Finally, I get some alone time. Oops, not so fast. Some of the girls don’t like the movie and some of the girls see lightning and are scared. Various girls check in with us every 10 minutes. My wife decides dejectedly to enter the tent and watch with the girls.

Saturday 1AM – That didn’t work, so we solve the problem with a new movie and by telling the girls it is heat lightning they see, whatever the hell that is. There were zero storms forecast, so go watch your freakin’ movie and let me watch my recorded Rachel Maddow show.

Saturday 2:30 AM – After Rachel, I’ve found myself dozing next to the dog on the couch. As the movie ended, a seemingly endless stream of girls wanting to pee entered the house. It seemed like they would come in the house, head to the bathroom, somehow magically exit the bathroom to the outdoors, and enter the house again to head to the bathroom, etc. I headed upstairs with the dog for more shuteye.

Saturday 3AM – Remember that lightning? Strong storms arrived, girls evacuated the tent, and my wife and I rescued the electronics and personal belongings. Only one party-goer was lost to the ravages of the storm, so we kept our losses under 15%. Not bad.

Saturday 3:30 AM – I head edback upstairs to try that sleep thing again, leaving my wife and seven girls camping in our family room, with my wife wondering if she should introduce the girls to shots to see if that will get them to sleep.

Saturday 6AM – Girls got up. My wife headed off for donuts and fruit after seemingly zero sleep.

Saturday 7AM – Girls were back in the pool and hot tub. I asked my wife when they will be picked-up. She tells me 10AM. A small piece of me died when I hear 10AM instead of 8 or 9AM.

Saturday 11AM – All girls gone and I headed out into more oppressive heat and humidity to cut the lawn.

Saturday 12PM – Nap time.

Saturday 3PM – I was up and about, feeling better and took the tent down (again, sadly, not a euphemism), with heat still oppressive. I assessed the hot tub and decided that before the Health Department arrives and condemns it, I best drain it.

hot tub gross

NOTE: Not our hot tub. Ours was grosser.

Saturday 6PM – I post this blog. I hit the pool. I feel partially human once again. Just add water.