The Randomness Of It All

I’m going to start off with a disclaimer here. Maybe it’s a “heads up”. But whatever it is, be aware that I’m going to use an expression that, while not completely “dirty,” definitely leaves no question regarding what it is you are talking about.

So, with that in mind…I am assuming you have heard the phrase, “Everybody’s got a random.”

If you have, you know what I am talking about. However, while I am talking something that is “random” I am not going to be talking about that kind of random.

No, the random I have in mind in a special kind of random. It’s the kind of random that comes up in the most unexpected of unexpected places and includes the most-unexpected of unexpected things. It’s the kind of random that makes you scratch your head and really question if there is a plan or pattern at all at work in the universe. It’s the kind of random that results in you coming home from work and having things like this greet you in your bathroom:


Here we have some of the standard stuff you find in a bathroom used by small kids. A hand towel. Toothbrushes. Hair bands. A hair brush. And, of course…a Roman centurion’s helmet! No bathroom would be complete without one!

Where did that thing come from? I can’t begin to start to consider even thinking about where my daughters, who are 6 and almost 8, might have picked up that helmet. Was it from a birthday party? Sure, why not? Did one of them walk off with it from their classroom one day? Hey, works for me! Was it left over from some re-enactment of Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon? Might as well have been.

What I’m getting at is that when you have kids, and especially when you have young kids, you are always coming across some kind of random, well, thing that your kids have picked up somewhere, and definitely deposited someplace else where it definitely doesn’t belong. If you go to work before your kids head off to school, you certainly have found at least one of these non-sensical, out-of-place things in some out-of-place place when you get home. It’s just the way kids work.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, though, when it comes to the stuff that my daughters randomly leave around the house. In a way, it’s a game I play every day: What Am I Going To Find Today? And each day, I am both not surprised in the slightest, yet utterly baffled by what my kids leave behind. Some of this stuff just looks like there is no context at all as to why it is where it is. It’s all just randomly there.

What other random things from kids have I come across of late? Well…
img_4158How about a snail shell. And it’s just about as perfect a shell as you can get. I was actually with my six-year-old daughter when she discovered this out in the garden one day. And then, I didn’t see or hear a mention of it for several days. One morning, I came upstairs and there, on the kitchen counter, atop of yellow legal pad, was the shell. It looks like it had just come from the garden. I don’t know how it had survived however many days in the possession of my daughter, who has the ability to destroy furniture just by looking at it. And not long after seeing it that morning, it disappeared. I have no idea where it is, now.
Next up, we have this…


And what is that, you may ask? Well, it’s just what it looks like. A stuffed, opossum finger puppet next to a Fuji apple that has been taped to a Dixie cup and left like an an offering to the god of Random Crap and Stuff! What? You’ve never had your dinner table turned into such a temple? I guess it could have been worse. At least the opossum is just a toy and not one of the mice that our cats occasionally catch and leave at the front door as a sign of how much they love us. At least that’s why my wife says they do such things.img_4132

Halloween’s coming, kids. Nothing gets you in the mood for costumes and candy like waking up and finding a skeleton cat on the floor, now does it? Because my kids are involved with this, I immediately looked around to make sure that both of our real cats were still in one piece. Being that they are cats, they were just busy getting some of their 16 hours of sleep a day on the comforter of our guest room bed.

Like many parents with small kids, we are always collecting stuff and looking for new places to stick all of it and not end up looking like we belong on an episode of “Hoarders”. In the last year, my wife collected a desk that she intended to paint and put down in our kids’ bedroom. Neither of those intentions have come to fruition. So, instead, the desk remains near our kitchen, and is often used a repository for various toys and educational items.


Here, we have a globe, some other odds and ends, and a reappearance of the opossum, who looks like he’s dead. But what pulls it all together is the jar of store-brand Vaporub. Why it is there, I have no idea. I just hoped that neither kid ended up using it in an art project. Or, as eye makeup.

If you have kids, you have shoesimg_4143. And boots, too. We live in Oakland, Calif. It snows a
minimum of zero days a year here. When on the odd-occasion the temperature dips below 40 degrees (approximately three days a year), we throw these boots on our daughter’s fewer and you would think we were experiencing something like the 1978 Nor’easter that knocked out most of New England for a week. And where do boots belong? Why on top of the coffee table, of course!



Same coffee table, different day. Being that we have girls, we, of course, have a variety of princess wands. Apparently, our princesses also like to leave empty apple juice boxes, paper towels, “jewelry” they made in their after-school class and, what I think is either pink Play-Doh or a gigantic wad of bubble gum. Either way, I ended up cleaning up all of it.


Remember Nerf balls? Back in the day, I think Nerf made only those squishy footballs and, well, other balls that your dog love to chew apart?img_4214

Well, Nerf has long-since branched out into some heavy personal firearms. We have a Nerf pistol, an eight-round
pump-action shotgun, which is awesome, and this, the Rebelle bow and “arrow”, which holds four Nerf darts that can be shot one at a time. Where do you think even a toy archery system would go? Well, if you are our daughters, you would think it belongs on the desk where Mommy does a lot of her paperwork and paying of bills! I mean, DUH!



Oh, hey. What do we have here? A bottle of Tacoma, Washington’s Pacific Brewing and
Malting Co’s. Dirty Skoog IPA [8.1% ABV]. And it looks like some of it has been poured into my Washington State mug to enjoy as I was watching the Cougars play Oregon. [Wazzu ended up winning 51-33 for the Cougs first Pac-12 Conference football win of the season.] Um, believe me…After dealing with all the stuff my kids left around the house, there was nothing random at all about my choice of beverage that Saturday night.





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