Justin’s Jelly Bean Prank Backfires

barf2Honestly, I’m a little behind with this blog. It’s not that I don’t have enough to write about. It’s that there’s too much to write about and the stories are getting backed up. So – let’s re-start slowly…

Last week, GWE took Justin to Six Flags on an afternoon when there was an early dismissal from school. While I worked, they had fun riding roller-coasters, eating junk food, and then sending me selfies of themselves riding roller-coasters and eating junk food. (Did I mention that I was working??) When I got home that evening, I expected to find Justin passed out in bed. To my surprise, he was awake…and oddly excited about something.

“Daddy!! I bought you some jelly beans! I know how much you love jelly beans,” Justin exclaimed. I could see that he was trying to contain his laughter, so I assumed he was up to something.

“No thanks. I’ll pass,” I replied – knowing that it would drive him a little nuts.

“Daddy! These are the best jelly beans! I bought them just for you!!!!!!!!” The giddiness was causing him to vibrate.

With cautious optimism, I took one jelly bean from his hand and popped it into my mouth. I did not chew. I just waited for him to respond. After a few seconds, I gave up and decided to eat the jelly bean. At first, it tasted like popcorn. And then…….this disgusting flavor and odor of dead fish invaded my mouth and nose. It was awful! Justin rolled on the floor laughing about how he got me as I scrambled to get the taste out of my mouth! While I gulped half a container of milk, Justin explained that I had eaten something called “Bean Boozled.” They are purposely awful jelly beans.


Justin thought I was over-reacting to how bad the beans were, so he decided to show me that he could eat any of them and it wouldn’t affect him at all. I told him that I would chose the bean and he would have to eat which ever I chose.

I chose “Barf.”

Justin took the bean and ate it with the same bravado you see from a drunk college student who is dared to drink an entire bottle of hot sauce. He smiled as he took the first two bites. All of a sudden, his expression changed. He coughed twice…..and then threw up all over the kitchen sink. The bravado on his face vanished and was replaced with confusion, fear, and tears. He was not expecting that as an outcome. After a few more dry-heaves and a glass of water, I tucked him into bed.

While tucking Garrett into bed, I heard Justin run down the hallway…then some banging….and then the sound of him running back to his room. When I went back into his room I asked him what happened. He responded, “Daddy. I threw out the jelly beans. I don’t want you to trick me with those beans ever again!”

Oh how the trickster becomes the tricked!

The Dentist and The Kid (and The Other Kid)

garrett-dentisSometimes, it’s not what happens to us that compels us to make a change, but it’s the things that we witness happening to other people that make us reassess our own choices in life. Case in point: Garrett recently experienced something, but it had a bigger impact on Justin.

While on a routine dental visit, the dentist discovered that Garrett had a small cavity. Even though the cavity was tiny, we knew that the task of getting it fixed was going to be monumental. Garrett is not a good patient. He does not like having dental equipment in his mouth, does not like the sounds that the equipment makes, and he has zero patience for sitting in a dental chair. GWE and I knew that he certainly wasn’t going to tolerate getting a shot of Novocain AND having his tooth drilled. I spoke with the dentist and he agreed that Garrett was a “hostile patient.” We decided that the only course of action would be to use nitrous oxide to keep him calm.

As the day of his cavity removal approached, GWE and I kept telling him (excitedly) about the “Firefighter’s Mask” the dentist was going to put on him on his next visit. Garrett was intrigued by the prospect of wearing a mask meant for firefighters in a dental office. As soon as he arrived at the dentist’s office, he asked to see the mask. He looked at it quizzically. It wasn’t like the ones he had seen at the fire station Skeptically, he got into the chair and put the mask on. Slowly, the dentist began to administer the gas. After a few minutes, Garrett was supposed to begin feeling the effects, so the dentist administered a shot of Novocain. Garrett felt it, realized what was going on, and began to fight back. Clearly, the gas had no effect on him.

In the meantime, GWE and Justin were in the waiting area and they could clearly hear what was going on. Garrett was screaming, shoving the dentist and hygienist away, and trying to escape while the we tried to keep him calm. I looked over to the lobby and saw GWE cringing. Justin appeared calm, yet slightly panicked as the blood drained from his face. After 30 minutes, I told the dentist that this wasn’t working and that we’d have to try again at a later date.

Knowing that his defiance had been successful, Garrett angrily hopped out of the chair and was at the front door in less than a minute. When we got in the car, Garrett was back to normal. What we didn’t know was that Justin was the one who was affected the most!

Later that afternoon, we had a normal lunch. Afterwards, Justin excused himself from the table and went to brush his teeth.


After dinner, Justin excused himself from the table and went to brush his teeth.

After breakfast the following morning, Justin excused himself from the table and went to brush his teeth…again.

That night, after dinner, Justin excused himself from the table and went to brush his teeth…again.

The following morning, we ended up running 15 minutes late. Everyone was in the car, except for Justin….who was still brushing his teeth…again!

Thanks to Garrett’s “Cavity Calamity,” Justin has brushed his teeth more times over the past 6 weeks than he has in his entire life!

Fred The Undead…is Dead

TankThe tank is empty and the filter has been turned off. All that remains are Fred the Undead’s pirate ship, “Bob” spelunker, and Gary the Snail. There are a few goldfish flakes left in the canister, but not much else. Fred the Undead…has died.

Fred the Undead was our goldfish. He had been a member of our family for 11 years. I bought him before GWE and I were engaged and he existed long before there was ever a ‘Justin’ or a ‘Garrett.’ Fred lived with us in three different homes and he probably has the distinction of being the only goldfish in history to have been driven up the 405 to Northridge once and across the 101 to Woodland Hills another time. Over the years, Fred’s gold coloring turned to white, his fins fell off, his tail fell off, his right eye fell out, and near the end – a cancerous tumor grew where his eye used to be. Regardless of all of these setbacks, Fred was in the same spot every morning waiting for me to feed him. He was happy and he was ours. And now, he is gone.

Auntie Shayna and Uncle Jesse have written a eulogy that far surpasses anything I could have written:

Fred (the dead)

“I’m too sexy, right?” said Fred

Yes you are, previously undead Fred

With your bulging eyes

Your tumors, too

Your fins were practically held on with glue

But you were loved

Like no other

For you, dear friend, had two human brothers

Your mom and dad got you before they wed

You knew their love for you they often said

Your orange fins you often shed

And they loved you still Fred the now dead

Present were you at many parties

Family fun and events, even there for dads morning farties.

You almost made it to your bar fishtzvah day

But it’s a good thing you did not for we’d schvitzah ok?

You see, it was your time to swim with the fishes

And we know your life was a good one and fulfilled all your wishes

So Fred the dead, always loved you’ll be

And very much missed by your family. Justin,  Garrett, Mom and Dad, they’ll think of you often, because you were so rad.

You’re still sexy, yes you are

For you will live on, among the stars


Fred the Undead – you will be missed.

Don’t Eat The Shrimp Cocktail

ShrimpThanks to Alton Brown and my son (Justin,) I am not allowed to eat shrimp cocktails when I travel. Truth be told, I wasn’t eating shrimp cocktails BEFORE I was told not to eat them. However, I am defiant and rebellious by nature and feel compelled to do things I’m told not to do. (Don’t play in traffic? Why not! It’s just like Frogger – but the stakes are bigger!) So, on my last trip, I chose to defy a culinary television personality and my concerned son. I ate the shrimp cocktail.

A few months ago, GWE got tickets for me and Justin to see Alton Brown at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. We were both excited and had no idea what he was going to do. Was he going to cook for everyone? Was he going to mock someone else as they cooked? What was going to happen? We didn’t know. However, due to an unexpected event, I had to go out of town and I was not able to attend the show. Instead, MoGWE (Mother of Greatest Wife Ever) took my place. She and Justin had a great time.

During the show, Alton Brown told the audience a story about one time when he ate a ‘bad’ shrimp cocktail and then boarded a cross country flight. The story left an impression on Justin.

Now, whenever I travel, Justin is concerned about my consumption of crustaceans prior to boarding a plane. Like a TSA inspector at an airport, he asks, “Daddy, did you eat a shrimp cocktail?” with the same accusatory tone I get when asked, “Did you pack your own luggage?” And, once again, I normally don’t eat shrimp cocktails…especially in airports!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had to do an unusual amount of traveling. And, with my travel schedule came a renewed concern from Justin about my pre-flight shrimp digestion. I assured him that I would not be eating shrimp.

On the last leg of my journey, I happened to get to the airport an hour early and had some time to kill. I had a lot of restaurant options because I was flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. With plenty of time to spare, I found a pub with several TVs showing the golf tournament and I began to review the menu. There, on the top of the appetizer list, was ‘Shrimp Cocktail.’ Normally, I would have ignored it and made a different choice….but….SHRIMP COCKTAIL!

As I began to eat the last shrimp, my phone rang….and it was GWE. I asked to speak with Justin and the first thing I said to him was, “I’m eating the shrimp cocktail.”

“NNOOOOO,” he yelled (while laughing at the same time) “Don’t do it!”

“Too late!” I told him. “The shrimp (munch…munch…munch) is gone!”


Despite the warnings from Alton Brown and Justin – I ate the food I normally wouldn’t have eaten and it still did not kill me.

I Can’t Get My Kids to Take Drugs!

Is it still considered "Pier Pressure" when it's the parents forcing the drugs on the children???

Is it still considered “Peer Pressure” when it’s the parent forcing the drugs on their own child???

In my house, our kids have taken “Just say ‘no’ to drugs” way too far. While I do appreciate that my 1 1/2 year old son has said, “ARBAGOH-WEE” (translation: “No”) to crack, LSD, heroin, ‘shrooms, and Kitty Tranquilizers. GWE and I have had the hardest time getting Garrett to take his antibiotics!!

Garrett is free and clear of his conjunctivitis now, but getting one medicine into his mouth and another medicine into his eyes almost broke us physically and emotionally. I couldn’t help but feel like I was “Antibiotic Water-Boarding” my own kid.

My first mistake was trying to give him the medicine by myself. The first time I did it, I stood in the parking lot of the pharmacy and attempted to jam medicine into Garrett while he was strapped into his car seat. He knew what was coming and he clamped his mouth and eyes shut. He then screamed bloody murder, punched me a number of times, and cried ALOT. (I can only imagine what other people thought as they walked past us.) We ended up with more medicine on us than inside of him.

GWE pulled into the parking lot 15 minutes later and found us both dazed and bewildered. I was slumped over in the driver’s seat exhausted, sweating, and depressed that Garrett hated me for what I tried to do to him. Garrett continued to kick my seat all the while screaming at me – “DA-DA, DA-DA, DA-DA.”

Luckily, from that point on, GWE and I joined forces in order to get him to take his medicine. I held his hands back (like he was about to receive electroshock therapy) and GWE shoved the syringe into the back of his mouth and squirted. Garrett became the master of hiding his tongue in the back of his mouth and then pushing the medicine forward through his teeth and out his mouth just as GWE removed he syringe. We ended up with medicine everywhere. Thanks to Garrett’s regurgitation technique, these are the following things that won’t get conjunctivitis now: his highchair, my hands, GWE’s hands, the floor, one of my shirts, GWE’s hair, and my rear tire and hubcap (I blame GWE for that one.)

Needless to say, GWE and I are still traumatized.

Does anyone know if it’s illegal to chloroform a child under two in order to get medicine into their body without a fight?

The Big “Uno”

Today is Garrett Logan Priluck’s first birthday. Or, as I like to refer to it, the first anniversary of the second time I got a peek at my wife’s internal organs.

I have spent a whole year with this “stranger” in the house and I’ve learned a lot about him. These are just a few of the things that I now know about my son:

1)      He has a dance move called, “The Garrett” – he puts his arms straight out and ‘flaps’ them as fast as possible back and forth towards his body when he gets excited.

2)      He is a non-stop drool machine. Garrett is like a snail. Just follow the trail of slime and you will find him at the end of it.

3)      He will get your attention by slamming his legs down repeatedly.

4)      He is always happy, even when he is sick. I’ve never seen a happier child (with the exception of Justin.)

5)      When he crawls into my room and settles near my nightstand, he always pulls out the same book – “Tales from The Far Side.” (I guess he likes talking cows.)

6)      His guilty pleasure is to sneak into his big brother’s room while no one is watching. He likes to prop himself up on the stool or play with the fake sword cover.

7)      He will eat anything. Baby food, pizza, pasta, hummus, chili, etc. It’s just a waiting game to see what he can digest and what he can’t. We affectionately call this, “When did Garrett eat corn!?!?!?”

8)      He likes to do “Super Baby” (me lifting him in the air while laying on my back on the master bed.) After he ‘lands’, he immediately rolls over and tries to climb back on top of my chest for another ride. However, he usually gets tired and ends up sitting on my face.

9)     Garrett’s attempts at kissing include him using his teeth (and biting.)

10)   Garrett prefers to be naked. (Who doesn’t?)

11)   He desperately wants Justin’s green television remote control. In fact, he wants it so badly that he is willing to put himself in harm’s way to get it. (Justin has shown great restraint. He has not whupped his little brother’s ass over this issue….yet.)

12)   He has a fascination with my bathroom. He just likes being in there. I have no idea why.

It has been a fantastic year of getting to know Garrett. He is sweet, loud, gentle, funny, strong, cute, and produces the foulest poops you could ever imagine. Happy Birthday, Monkey!!