Sunflower Seeds & Other Stuff

I bought a bag of sunflower seeds from the grocery store the other day. Back when I played baseball all the time for the highschool, Connie Mack, and DAA teams, I used to eat hundreds of seeds every week. Some kids on the highschool team experimented with chewing tobacco and I was even forced to try it once. I pinched a little bit of it and followed the instructions of a 17 year old derelict who demonstrated by pulling out his bottom lip and inserted a clump of it between his gums and lip, as I did the same and felt the immediate sensation of many little cuts and mint flavor, I spit it out and said the whole thing was retarded. Why the heck was it cutting the me? The 17 year old said there’s fiberglass in it to make tiny cuts in your lips and gums, so that the nicotine can get into your blood stream. I remember thinking, “Do you know how crazy you sound? You bought something to cut up the inside of your month, it can ultimately give you cancer, if you accidentally swallow it, you’ll throw up, and best of all, it has absolutely no effect on you at all.” I could understand people drinking beer or wine if it resulted in cancer because some people really enjoy the relaxation that accompanies intoxication, there’s a tangible sensation that results from consuming alcohol. If you’re addicted to nicotine, I understand that you need to have it, but for someone just starting out, there’s really no benefit in trying it, but the potential downside of smelling bad and getting cancer. I hope my kids can avoid nicotine.

So I was driving home from work, which is now a pretty long drive and I’m eating sunflower seeds. I toss a handful into my mouth, taste the salty coating of the shells transition into my saliva, I use my back teeth to crack the shell, fish out the seed with my tongue, crush the seed and swallow it, spit the shell out the window. This process was going along fine, but as my car approached 75 MPH on the Turnpike, the disposal of the shells became more challenging and I feared that the car behind me would end up with shells on its windshield or I would cause an accident, I guess that’s why baseball players eat the seeds and you don’t see them prominently featured at NASCAR races.

It got me thinking about what materials are appropriate for disposal out of car windows, here’s my guidance on the issue:

Sunflower seeds – Allowed, except when traveling greater than 45 MPH

Apple core, banana peel, and orange peel – Allowed, but should only be thrown out the window in wooded areas, should not be thrown in someone’s front yard

Gum – Now Allowed. It can get stuck on someone’s shoe and I do not think it disintegrates rapidly

Cigarette Butts – Not Allowed. Not sure what they are made of, but they don’t seem to disintegrate, plus I’ve seen my curious kids pick them up and ask what they are, yuck

Paper Products – Not Allowed, unless it is money or a newspaper. Someone please ban the practice of Yellow Book deliveries too, I just pick up the phone book from the end of my driveway and throw it in the garbage, what a waste

Meat or dead animal – I can’t think of a reason why this would be a problem, try to throw it near an existing carcass if possible

Winston + Popcorn Seed = Trip To Hospital

Jaclyn finally got some reprieve from the kids and me, on Saturday night she was going to a bachelorette party with some girlfriends. I was in charge of watching the kids which I usually interpret as feeding them with mindless distractions to keep them occupied and minimize how much “watching” I need to do. A couple guys from the gang came over to hang out and have some beers and watch one of my all-time favorite movies, Step Brothers. I set the kids up with some popcorn in the upstairs office and put on the movie Horton Hears A Who.

After about 15 minutes and one Coors Light, I went upstairs to make sure the kids were good and ready for bed. As I walked up the stairs, Winston intercepted me in the hallway with a brief but complex question, “How do you get a popcorn seed out of your ear?”

My mind immediately established that it had no good answer to the question. I asked, “Do you have a popcorn seed in your ear?” Winston looked at me with the reality of the situation kind of sinking in and responded, “Yes…but how do I get it out?”

I did what any good father would do, I Googled “remove popcorn seed from ear”. Google offered that this was a problem that a parent should not try to solve as worsening the issue is the most common result. Google also said to take the child to the doctor quickly as swelling can begin and complicate the extraction. I told the gang that there’s a seed in my son’s ear and I need to leave for the hospital, I am sure my friends immediately questioned my parenting prowess. The Edman took a photo of the popcorn seed with his iPhone.

Here’s a side story. Awhile back, when I was a self-employed consultant, Dalia was born at the Doylestown Hospital. My health insurance was super expensive and super crappy, Dalia’s delivery at the hospital ended up costing us thousands of dollars which I paid promptly, but we had neighbors who said they just told the hospital they were broke and got out of paying tons of money when they had to go to the emergency room. I remember being disgruntled by my neighbor’s lack of willingness to contribute to the system that they benefited from, I wondered if I was an idiot for paying super expensive health insurance (COBRA), getting super high deductibles/copayments, and then paying it all promptly while my neighbors were just not paying anything. I am happy that the Affordable Care Act was passed so everyone will be required to contribute to the system, as deadbeats annoy me.

Anyways, we got to the Doylestown Hospital around 9PM and the staff was pleasant and got us into an exam room quickly. A nurse had some special tools which seemed to be designed for this precise occasion and extracted the seed within minutes. I was so impressed by the cleanliness of the hospital, the staff, the upbeat attitude, and overall quality of care, it made me proud that I paid the insurance + hospital bills for Dalia’s birth, because that is a great hospital.

The Edman is getting married soon and I went to pick him out a gift on his registry. I have concluded that registries are crap, 99% of the stuff listed on them are totally for the girl. Here’s what you see on every registry: plates, silverware, glasses, bed stuff, vacuum, more bed stuff, and more kitchen stuff. Here’s what I would put on my registry if I was getting married: kegarator, Phillies tickets, Yogi Berra signed baseball with the saying “It Aint Over Till Its Over” written on it, Call of Duty for the XBOX 360, large Rebel Popper fishing lure, Greg Luzinski rookie card, keg for the kegarator, a nice bottle of tequila, two Miller Light pint glasses, a shot glass shaped like a boot, and one of those lampshade shaped hats that Asian farmers wear.

I waited to tell Jaclyn about the popcorn seed incident until she returned home, she asked why Winston put the seed in his ear, again my mind immediately established that it had no good answer to the question, other than he’s my son.