You don’t have to be a hero to be a dad

I spent this Father's Day in typical fashion. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I woke up beside my wife but I couldn't roll over and kiss her good morning because two little monkeys had snuck into our bed under the cover of darkness.
Nothing wakes you up quite like monkeys jumping in the bed.
I pulled the covers over my head and waited a while, snoozing, hoping that since it was Father's Day someone would be ultra nice and bring me breakfast in bed.

Upon further review

A Letter to the Editor in the Guardian on June 14 complained about the encroachment of a headstone marker at Hampton Cemetery. Conversations with the adjoining gravesite owner and other parties involved confirm that they are working to resolve the encroachment to satisfy all concerned. They assert that the encroachment was approximately 4 inches, and not intentional. Cemetery officials, who say they are not involved with the placement of markers, say they have been assured the monument is going to be moved and the matter will be resolved as soon as possible.

Don’t play ‘possum’ when it comes to love

If there's one occupation I've sworn I'd never dabble in, it would be that of wedding photographer. A wedding shooter has to have an artist's eye, while being tougher than a Green Beret.
I've seen the bridezilla shows. I've witnessed firsthand how crazy some of the female persuasion can get on their wedding day. We're talking straight jackets under the white dress, padded walls in the church, and brides foaming at the mouth.

Dumb dads don’t need smart phones

My new smart phone finally arrived in the mail the other day. I knew I was going to have problems operating the thing when I wasn't even smart enough to open the package it was shipped in and had to yell for the wife.
She came a'running, probably thinking it was a surprise package for her, just because I love her. Boy was she disappointed. But she was nice enough to help me program the thing and show me where the majorly important buttons were, like the button that made toast.

Don’ts for Husbands (other than me)

In keeping with my word, and in continuation of last week's column, "Don'ts for Wives a must read," I have decided to share a few more words of wisdom from "Don'ts for Husbands, Don'ts for Wives," a handy marital guide published by a British woman, Blanche Ebbutt, in 1913.
This work is not only enlightening, it will also make you go around the house talking with a queer accent like an early 19th century British woman, an endeavor my wife says is rubbish and I need to halt; but one which I find most entertaining, my dear gents.

'Don'ts for Wives' is a must read

"You've got to find a way to relieve stress," quothe the doctor. So I took up gardening, which is good. But I invited my wife along, which is not so good.
"Why are you planting those squash here?" quothe the wife. "Why don't you put the cucumbers there? Why did you plant everything over here to start with? Why don't you ever listen to me? Where are you going?"
I was going back in the house, to sit in between the air conditioner and the TV. Apparently gardening is much too stressful for me.

Troubled tales of the turkey looker

Tuesday marked the end of the 2012 turkey season, and it is with heavy heart that I watch another great hunting season go by.
It was also with much grief that I watched several trophy turkeys go by, without once firing a shot, but we will get to all that in a moment. First, the back story.

Wet behind the ears
To say that I am a rookie turkey hunter would be an understatement. "Ignorant," that's the word my trusty turkey guide and caller, Cousin Perry McAlhaney, used. This was my first turkey season. But rest assured, it won't be my last.

Chicken foot recipes ain’t no joke

I'd like to tell you all about a beautiful March afternoon on the farm. A perfect Lowcountry spring day. A day of family, fellowship, and fun. A day that brought back memories of my childhood.
A day where white folks and black folks came together to enjoy a rural, country tradition that we happen to share.
It was chicken butchering day.
But I can't tell you much about this day, about how we butchered 25 chickens and a couple of lazy roosters, because the bird-loving ladies on Facebook would take a hatchet to me.

A hen-pecked beginner’s guide to turkey hunting

Once you try turkey hunting, I promise that you will be hooked for life and you'll never want to do anything else.
I also promise you that months and months of financial hardship and marital domestic discord will follow, and at some point your wife is going to try and shove a turkey call up your hind parts and then lock you out of the house and burn all your camouflaged belongings, but we'll get to all in a moment.

Top 10 things that raise my blood pressure

"Mike, you've got high blood pressure!"
Not the words you want to hear from your doctor first thing on a typical Tuesday morning. Ironically, I was there in Dr. Welcker's office in the first place to seek help from his well-known weight management program. But you can't take diet pills if you have high blood pressure, I soon learned.
You know you are in bad shape when you are not healthy enough to participate in a program designed to help you get healthy.
"Mike, now what do you think could be causing this high blood pressure?"

A big fat thank you at the Emmy Awards

My wife finally told me, in her own sweet and subtle way, that I am getting fat and needed to lose weight.
"Man, you've gotten fat!" she said, not one to beat around the bulge or overlook the elephant in the room. She then made some rude comment about having a small baby around the house and me sitting on it and squishing it, which I thought was a bit much.
I blame her for this recent development, however. Not only is she a good cook (I taught her everything she knows), she spent the better part of 2011 being pregnant.

Father-son bonding for dummies

Last week we thoroughly discussed how newborn babies are notoriously clever robbers of sleep, sanity, and sex appeal. But having a new baby on board wrinkles the fabric of the family dynamic in other ways as well, especially if you already have a child. A child who, for the seven years right up until the moment your bun came out of the oven, thought he would forever enjoy the luxury of being an only child. Or, in layman's terms, a spoiled child.

A baby daddy's guide to the universe

Is the saying true that a baby changes everything? Not exactly.
Having a baby around is more like leaping into an entirely different universe, one where soiled diapers and almost-empty milk bottles are strewn about randomly like the aftermath of a preschool frat party and a good night's sleep is only a dream you expect to realize sometime in 2013.
A universe where it takes you two hours to watch a 30-minute sitcom because every five minutes Mr. Baby is getting loud and fussy.

Facebook friends we love to like, Vol. 2

Unlike some of my other serious columns which tackled the more troubling issues of our day, last week's piece analyzing the ever-present and ever-annoying types of Facebook Friends drew a rousing response from many of my online pals. Several of you wrote - or should I say inboxed - me with positive comments, and a few of you even pointed out that I forgot a few Facebook Friend-types.
So, at the risk of milking this cow to death, I offer you the Facebook Friends we almost forgot:

Forging the rules of Facebook Football

The Clemson-Carolina rivalry has become a very uncivil and brutal affair, and one of these days someone is bound to get hurt and perhaps even get their eye put out.
It's friend vs. friend, family member vs. family member, school vs. school. To the bitter end.
No, dear loyal college football fans, I am not referring to the rivalry that actually takes place on the turfs in Columbia and Clemson, I am referring to the bitter battles that break out on Facebook and Twitter well in advance of Rivalry Week in November, and continue long after that final whistle blows.


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