Friday, May 25, 2012

Confessions: Staying Out Of Trouble

I hold a title within my family that my siblings are not eager to relieve me of and considering that we are all grown, I'd say it's safe to say that I will always be the reigning Donner Family "Spank King".

As controversial a topic as spanking is, it's important that as you read on, you remember that
           1) I was not abused as a child
                      A) Spanking is not the same as abuse
            2) I don't care about controversy
                      B) Or your opinions
Now that we are passed that, I will continue with my story.

I wasn't a problem child nor did I try to get into trouble. It's just that everything I did backfired, got someone hurt, was loud, made a mess, started a fight, broke the house, or was just annoying. I was always warned especially when it came to the annoyances. Anytime I did anything at all, someone would say, "Don't jump on the couch!", "Don't step on it, pick it up!", "Don't sing the "F word"!", or "Ouch! Don't leave "Legos" on the floor!" but I never listened and so I ended up over a knee with a hand cracking against my crack! This was common place in my young like. My own dear mother apologized in advance to my Kindergarten teacher for anything I would do at school.

I have a brother who is seven years younger than me. By the time he was born I had been dubbed "Spank King" for a couple of years already. He was a strange child. He watched "Marty Stoffer's Wild America" and "The Lion King" all day, every day. He wouldn't watch anything else. Also I feel it fitting to mention that he didn't talk. He growled, roared, and went about on all fours. Early in his life, I saw in him an excellent scapegoat  for anything I might do and decided my best option moving forward in life and keeping myself out of trouble would be to simply say, "Jeremiah did it".

I planned and practiced when and just how I'd say it to make sure it was believable. Then the day came. I don't remember what I'd done or how long it took to be noticed but when the question, "who did this?" arose, I said simply, "Jeremiah did it" just as I had planned. Then I watched as Jeremiah took the licking that should have been mine.

"Holy Crap!" I thought, "That actually worked!" I can remember multiple occasions that I was yelled at for saying Holy Crap! I thought I made it up AND that it was hilarious, so I didn't stop saying it.

Jeremiah took the punishment perfectly, silently and like a man... cub. I, surprisingly, didn't feel the least bit bad about it either. "Why should I?", I thought. He was too young to remember it and I wasn't in any trouble!

He never did take the title of "Spank King" but he did considerably decrease the rate at which I was spanked or otherwise punished.

It wasn't until recently that I felt bad for my behavior and came clean. I sent Jeremiah a text message that said, "I used to blame stuff on you so I wouldn't get in trouble."

His reply came swiftly. "I know. Douche."

He said that he remembered getting in trouble and not remembering doing what he was punished for, but knowing that adults are smarter than kids, he decided he must have done it.

To my parents: Regarding the slices in the brand new tent incident: I DID NOT DO THAT ONE!  You were right to punish Jeremiah as you saw fit. That was one thing he really did, also it was the moment I realized that I should blame things on him!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Me, Weather, Gas, and 9/11

Sean Donner (Me)

It has come to my attention that I’ve got some newer readers who are not familiar with who I am. My name is Sean Donner of the Waseca, MN Donners. I’m also claimed by any Donners in New Ulm, MN as well as some other places in Southern Minnesota. I like Punk Rock, snakes, most other animals too, also most other music. I’m a fan of intelligence and love making fun of people. I like to fix things, make people laugh, and imagine things, which is part of why I write.

I have a brother who moved to Phoenix, AZ (which stands for Arizona). Phoenix is a great city and I love it, but moving from Minnesota to Arizona has got to be such a shock to your system. They are just two complete opposite places. Minnesota! Land of 10,000 Lakes! Green… so green. Everything grows there. Dandelions just shoot up in the middle of roads. That’s actually what the yellow lines are made of, evenly spaced dandelions! Corn cobs are giant! Two feet long with a six inch diameter. And each soy bean, not pod of beans, each individual bean grows big enough to make an entire soy burger.

Winters are consistently -90 degrees. We got cold days at school. Not snow days… COLD days! The government steps in and says, “Guys, it’s ju… it’s just too cold.” Don’t get me wrong, there’s still snow. You know how a lot of places get snow and then by noon it’s gone and you can just go around in a light jacket and you’re good? In Minnesota, once it snows, you have snow and it’s there. Hopefully it melts before next winter. Winter sucks and so it feels like the longest season. Really, it’s about three months just like the others but, you know what they say, time slows when you’re slowly dying.

Just when you think winter will never end will never end and you will actually die, summer shows up and it’s instantly 90 degrees with 100% humidity. There is literally one day between -90 and 90 and that day is magical! That’s Minnesota for you though -90 and 90 with mosquitoes that will take one pound of flesh. In the winter they say, “Don’t go outside, you freeze to death” and in the summer they say, “Don’t go outside, you’ll be incinerated!”

So my brother moved from Minnesota to Arizona which is like moving from Austria to the Sahara Desert. One minute “the hills are alive with the sound of music” and the next everything’s dead, you’re thirsty and everywhere you look there’s water only you can’t get to it.

It needs a cowboy hat!
Arizona is cool though. They have the greatest little lizards that scurry about. Scurry is a great word, isn’t it? It’s one of those words that are reserved things based upon their size. You will never hear someone say, “Look at that Elephant, how it scurries about! How cute is that!?” Except that I just said it. My favorite thing about Arizona is the “Man Cactus..s… Cacti” that are everywhere! They’re only in Arizona though; they live nowhere else which is amazing. You cross the border and there they are. And they’re enormous! They are the cactus version of Red Wood trees! Or skyscapers?

One of my biggest pet peeves (which is a stupid… word?) is when you’re talking about a place where the weather is always great and the same, someone will, without exception, say, “I don’t know, I’d miss the seasons.” They’ll say that as serious as they have ever been! “I’d miss the seasons.” That’s ridiculous. It’s like saying, “I hate nice weather. I want to be miserable for parts of the year.” No one says that!

In most parts of the world planning an outside activity is scary. What if on that day it’s cold or raining or otherwise shitty? But in these “season-less” places I could say, “Hey guys, let’s play kickball.”
“Okay” the guys will say, “when?”
“December 21st two years from now” I’ll answer.
“Oh perfect,” the guys will reply, “It’ll be nice out then!”
In most places that conversation would go like this.
“Hey guys, let’s play kickball.”
“Okay, when?”
“In like two hours unless clouds gather together and say in a thunderous voice, ‘I hate outdoor activities! Go inside and watch “Chips” or “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” reruns!’”
That’s it! Those are your choices. You might ask, “Night Court”? “Cheers”? “Who’s The Boss”? No! Only “Who’s Line…” and “Chips”!

Spring is the best time in Minnesota. Those two days in May between -90 and 90 with the side of 100% humidity. Everyone is so happy. There’s actually no crime! Absolutely none! Just the sound of car stereos and the smell of grilling. The whole state smells like grilled food and music is in the air. People smile and say nice things to their otherwise despised neighbors while they wash their cars and sip cold drinks in their front yards.

People love talking about the weather. Weather is the only thing everyone has in common. You run into the guy down the street at the grocery store and someone will eventually say, “Well, if this rain would let up!” Another favorite is, “How about this weather!?” Also, “I don’t need anymore of this damn snow to deal with!”

People also love talking about gas prices. And everyone is totally knowledgeable about why it is the price it is. “Well, the price per barrel is down. It’s the lowest it’s been since 9/11.” Gasoline conversations always include the catch phrase 9/11. Has ‘9/11’ been trademarked yet? I should do that. I’d be a stickler about it, too. I’d eavesdrop on conversations and as soon as someone says, “9/11 this” or “9/11 that” I’d swoop in with my documentation and demand payment in full. I’m going to do that now!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fast Food: A Scholarly Essay

I did not take this picture.
I'm disgusting. I don't usually say that, but I'm just gross right now. I ate McDonald's. That's gross enough but I ate it in five minutes. Five minutes! Five Damn Minutes and I downed two cheeseburgers, a bunch of french fries and a Coke. The Coke wasn't even good. It was mixed wrong or something but I didn't care because I'm disgusting.

Sadly, two hours ago I decided that I was going to eat healthier and cut back on soda. My resolve to become healthy lasted until I thought of McDonald's. One thought and of fast food and I was there. Almost as though the thought itself transported me to their drive-thru. Then I started eating, not happily either. I was angrily, sadly, almost embarrassingly shoveling that food down my gullet. I literally picked up the full french fry container and poured them into my mouth.

The worst part of the whole thing was when I spilled ketchup from the cheeseburger on my shirt. Dead center. Plop! goes the ketchup. I looked at it and, without thought, scooped it up with the burger. Then when the burger was consumed, I licked my shirt, thus sealing my disgusting-ness forever.

It gets worse. Minutes after finishing this terrible meal, the fast food farts made their presence known with rotten smells and hilarious sounds. Fast Food farts smell different than normal farts. They're noticeably salty and greasy. If you put a box of greasy french fries, special sauce, hamburger patties, and a dozen month old eggs under a dumpster on the hottest day in Florida and left them there for a week, that's what fast food farts smell like. The smell takes away all of the humor the fart would otherwise have.

Sometime in our mid-twenties most of us reach a point where fast food generally becomes depressing.The problem is, like a hangover, it is forgotten until experienced again. On the outside, fast food conjures up memories of Kid's Meals with their toys and the excitement of going "out" to eat. Then, it just doesn't live up to our memories and instead takes away our self-esteem and makes us stink more than what is acceptable for even a zoo to stink. You go with the excitement of a child and end up fat, lethargic, stinky and hating yourself.

We all know it's true, but you and I also know that there's no way we'll ever stop eating fast food. It's addicting. It's our culture, and although everyone hates it, we will also always love it... 

...Kind of like WalMart.