Yesterday I picked up the boys from school and as we inched our way home through traffic a police car went screaming by in the other direction, lights flashing.

“AN AMBULANCE!” Dylan cried joyously, and Riley withered him with a glance.

“No, DYLAN, it’s a—”


After we got Dylan squared away on his grasp of siren-producing vehicles, we all proceeded to have a nice long conversation about police. The entire way way home, I answered question after question as Riley hammered me, 5-year-old-Geraldo-style.

“The police are for bad guys, right?”

“Well, they catch bad guys, yes. But they also help good guys.”

“What do they to do you if you’re bad?”

“Um, well, sometimes they take you to jail. Or sometimes they just pull you over, like if you’re going too fast.”

“What they do then?”

“They write you a ticket.”

“And then you have to give them all your money, right?”

“Well, not all your money. You have to pay a fine.”

“What’s the fine for?”

“Okay, you know how when you get in trouble sometimes Mommy or Daddy sends you to your room? And you don’t like that?”


“A fine is like being sent to your room. They do it so hopefully you think about what you did wrong and you don’t do it again.”

“So then you don’t drive fast any more?”

“Right. Well, in theory, anyway.”

We chatted about jail and bad guys and traffic fines the entire way home, and just as I had turned onto 16th street and was 30 seconds from my house I saw an odd sight in the road in front of me. A guy was stepping out into the road and . . . pointing something at me? And he had a helmet on? And—

It was a cop. With a radar gun.

So we got to wrap up our nice lesson about police and traffic safety with Mommy getting a goddamned cocksucking speeding ticket.

While I sat there on the side of the road mumbling and slapping my forehead and thinking about fines and insurance premiums, the kids were going bugshit in the backseat. “A COPPICEMAN!” Dylan howled with pure glee. “AN’ HE HAS A MOTORCYCLE!”

Riley leaned forward and said, “Now you’re going to have to give him all your money, Mom! Shouldn’t have been driving too fast, right? Riiiiiight? Are you thinking about what you did wrong?”

Later, the kids ran wild in the living room “arresting” each other with their brand-new police stickers, handed over by Mr. Fucking Radar Gun himself.

Lesson learned: next time, spend drive home discussing, with great detail, how the lottery works.


Thank you, thank you for all the suggestions and comments on the house-staging photos. Lots of stuff I hadn’t even noticed, like the deadly pirate flag in Riley’s room. (I retook that one.)

It’s hard not to get hung up on the idea of improving every single potential issue, but I’ve been reminding myself that 1) this stuff is subjective, and 2) our photos already look better than 90% of the crap on the MLS in our area. I’m not saying our house does, I’m saying people are posting some ugly-ass photos. Much of the actual listing info is poorly written, too, which kind of blows my mind. You’ve got, what, 500 characters to sell the shit out of your house? Lose the jargon and turn on spellcheck, at the very least. SPASHOUS MASTR STE W/BRT.NAT.LITE!! might save you some space but it reads like a brain-damaged Shetland pony stamped it out on a Speak & Spell with its hoof.

JB spent his entire evening painting trim last night and I got myself into some spiraling situation where I washed off a dirty spot on a wall only to discover I’d made a huge clean spot and now I had to wash the whole wall oh my fucking hell, while all the while the children ran around us like tiny savages, hooting and beating their chests and knocking over cleaning supplies.

I’ve had the exact same headache for 9 days now and I haven’t had any time to exercise and dudes, I’m ready for a break. I think the hard part is still to come, though. Here goes everything.

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