I Don't Belong Here.

a humor blog from the trenches of suburbia.

Murder Most Foul

Melinda tried to kill me at dinner again last night. She made chicken and broccoli and baked a roll of Pilsbury biscuits. I thought the biscuits smelled a little funny when she took them out of the oven, but when I took a bite, I knew they were moldy.  It was the same taste I …

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I Spy

“Do you notice anything different about me?” Melinda asked me tonight while getting ready for bed. I don’t think there’s a sentence that’s more capable of striking pure terror into a husband’s soul. I looked her up and down, scanning for some change I may have been too preoccupied, drunk, or stupid to notice. Usually, …

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Costume Party Pooper

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere in my twisted past, I decided that I hated Halloween. Every year since the 8th grade, when I roamed my friends’ subdivision dressed as Ringo Starr, I’ve felt too old to celebrate. Something about collecting candy from strangers when I had enough money to just buy …

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For The Birds

It’s a great time to be a Philadelphia sports fan. The Phillies are competing for the National League pennant and the Birds are 6-0. The last time either of those things happened, I wore a size small. This past weekend was electric, and Philadelphians soaked up the glory. A fan interviewed on the local news …

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The Invisible Baby

Daycare has been a godsend. After the last two years of pulling double duty—working from home while also ensuring my tiny human doesn’t crush his skull with a crockpot—I couldn’t believe how much more productive I became once I had six full hours of silence. If I’m being honest, I don’t know how people go …

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Grocery Store Matchmaker

I’m a huge fan of the self-checkout option at grocery stores. True, it minimizes the chance I’m going to interact with someone and get a story out of it—which is basically what I live for in public—but the time I get back by using the self-checkout is often worth the trade-off. The truth is, I’m …

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I’m Emo Now

My daughter Josephine turned 10 this July, though based on her recent transformation, she might as well be 16. Without warning, the markers of her identity—the colorful bows in her hair, the sparkly pink t-shirts—ended up in the Goodwill bin. For years, Josephine was obsessed with JoJo Siwa, a ponytailed cherub who rose to fame …

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Jesus is Coming Back

The brutal Virginia heat gave us a respite last week. Instead of the crushing upper 90s we’ve had the majority of the summer, the thermometer tickled the low-80s, and we celebrated by opening the windows and venturing outside. The families in our neighborhood had the same idea, so we found ourselves standing in the cul …

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Shop ‘Til You Drop

We went back to school shopping today, and honestly, I can think of fewer things I dislike more. It’s not the shopping—I can absolutely get on board with that. I love me an excuse to buy clothes I don’t need—in fact, I revel in the idea that we’ve been conditioned to buy new clothes for …

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Nobody Wants to Work Anymore

I got an interesting email this morning from the Alexandria City government, thanking me for applying to their Office of Communications. Unfortunately, the email read, they had decided to go in a different direction and selected another candidate. A very considerate email to send—except for the fact that I’d applied for that position over a …

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F— Boy Patrol

When you’re on vacation, the temptation is to eat every meal out. You’ve slaved in the kitchen for the last 50 weeks, and dammit, you want someone else to cook your chicken nuggets for you. But as my wife Melinda and I have discovered, feeding a family of five a dozen times at a restaurant …

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Grammar Police

My old friend Vinny got married last weekend, and though I didn’t go to the wedding, I had the pleasure of experiencing it vicariously through my friends’ Instagram feeds. A lot of the pictures were of those photo booth strips that have the name and date at the bottom. The Petrocelli’s – June 25, 2022, …

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Nap Crap

Last month, we went up to Melinda’s hometown and saw her cousin Leslie. Leslie and her husband David used to live near us in Virginia, but they had a daughter and a set of twin boys in quick succession and decided it would be much easier to weather the child-rearing storm if they were closer …

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Genius Bar

This past weekend, Melinda and Robert and I took a mini vacation to Philly. We visited some of my friends from high school, saw my parents, and took Robert to the aquarium in Camden. We got a hotel right in Center City and spent several hours walking around like tourists, taking pictures at the Reading …

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Lockout

Melinda and I have lived in our new house for a year now, but we’re still at the point where we’re making weekly discoveries about it. There are three or four random light switches, as well as a series of motion-sensor exterior lights that don’t seem to have switches at all.  For awhile the biggest …

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Under the Golden Arches

Man, I am REALLY enjoying working from McDonald’s. I think it’s something about physically leaving the house that helps shift my brain into work mode. Because there’s no temptation for me to get out of my chair and procrastinate with a load of laundry or a Netflix show, I’m staying way more focused and productive. …

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Turtle Head

On the way home from dropping the kids at school, I had this Honda Civic tailgate me for like three miles. I’m talking close enough that he could’ve been drafting at Talladega. I don’t think anyone enjoys being tailgated, but this Civic was particularly annoying to me because I was driving at what felt like …

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I’m Lovin’ It

The past few weeks, I’ve been working from the McDonald’s down the street to get a change of scenery. Aside from some assorted homeless people and a couple of old men drinking black coffee and arguing about politics, I seem to be the only one who patronizes the restaurant portion. The McDonald’s employees were really …

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CHEVY RULES

Yesterday I pulled up next to a black F150 that was probably a really nice looking truck 10 years ago. Now, scratched into the passenger side door, was the word CHEVY RULES. Look, I understand there’s a rivalry between Ford and Chevy that’s spanned decades, but imagine being SO WRAPPED UP in it that you’d …

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The Great Slim Jim Heist

When a clerk undercharges you for something, does that count as stealing?  Tonight I bought five Slim Jims at 7-Eleven, and the clerk only scanned one. The total on the screen came to $2.25, and I held out a $20 bill. The clerk stared at me for a second, I assume because he was thinking …

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No Underwear

I folded some laundry and took care of Robert while Melinda was at work. When she got home, she picked up a pair of underwear off the living room floor. “Why is my underwear on the floor?” she asked. “I was folding laundry, and Robert was helping, so I’m sure it fell off of the …

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Personal Portable Pickles

Today for a snack, Melinda opened a plastic pouch of pickles called Munchies. “It says here on the package that they’re the portable pickle for people on the go,” she said. “I can’t believe there is such a thing,” I said. “Are people really in need of portable pickles?” “People on the go are definitely …

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Into Thin Hair

My friend Travis came to the bar Saturday night while I was working. We used to teach together, and for the last few years, he’s been my barber, dropping by the house to cut my hair every couple of weeks. My hair’s never been a point of pride for me. It’s fine and lifeless and …

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Fear of Cans

At work the other night, a guy came in with a growler and asked me to fill it with lager, and I offered him a six-pack because they’re $10 cheaper. “That’s okay,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I have a phobia of cans.” “That sounds awful,” I said. “Going to the grocery store …

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Bye, Felicia

Melinda sent me on a Costco run this morning. Normally I avoid that place like the plague, but on a Tuesday morning it’s not nearly as crowded as it is on the weekends. I can’t even get through the door on a Saturday afternoon there without getting chest pains. The list Melinda gave me didn’t …

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