Archive for the ‘The Holidays’ Category


December 21, 2009

I just spent 1.5 hours trying to escape the mall parking lot.  I’ve seen the worst humanity has to offer.  Christmas spirit- Bullshit!  If Christmas spirit really existed one of the six-zillion motorist who refused my attempts to merge into the exit lane would have exploded in front of my Dodge Ram creating a huge gaping hole to the freeway.  But no such luck- instead they thumbed their noses at me and my extremely impatient children as they inched closer and closer to their “Red Lobster” dinners and “Pier 1” 50% off sales.

Mark my words- I shall never Christmas shop in person again.  From this day forward if I can’t find it on Amazon, Zappos or Overstock it ain’t happening- some Christmas wishes will just have to go unrealized.

Oh by the way, if you’re the old lady who wrestled the Victoria’s Secret Yoga pants from my clutches this afternoon- well done.  I know it wasn’t easy, especially when I body slammed you into the Super Miracle Bra and seamless thong display but kudos to you for holding on and making the purchase.  My only regret is I won’t have a chance to redeem myself.

Gift Ideas

December 17, 2009

I’ve been drinking Carlo Rossi and doing some on-line shopping, friggin dangerous combo.  Funny how your mind works when slightly lubricated with cheap red table wine. 

I’ve got most of the family figured out but trying to find a gift for my father has become increasingly difficult over the years.  So to remedy the problem I went to– this is my fail safe web site for holiday gift ideas.  I never walk away empty handed- so many discounted, yet soundly constructed items, you’re sure to find something for everyone.

In about five minutes I came up with four quality items that I am positive my father would be happy to call his own.

Item #1-

Simply Better Meat Mallet from Jaccard® is FOUR tenderizers in one!

Simply Better Meat Mallet from Jaccard® is FOUR tenderizers in one!

When I saw this nifty little “Meat Mallet” I had to ask myself “what man dosen’t enjoy beating meat?” I mean come on, every guy I know spends an inordinate amount of time whacking on his meat trying to return it to a soft and pliable state- especially if his meat has been stored for a while.  This mighty mallet, complete with ergonomically designed rubberized “grippage”, guarantees to soften up even the toughest of customers- friggin awesome!  If I get this little number for my Pops he’ll be a meat beating fool- which is good because when I spoke to him on the way home this evening he had just got done purchasing $400.00 worth of butcher grade cow- I’m not talented enough to make this shit up.

The only thing that puzzles me about the whole thing is the manufacturer claims that their product is capable of beating meat four different ways? I’m almost 40 and I know of only one way to beat my meat- you slap the daylights out of it until it’s tender- end of story.  If anyone out there knows of three additional ways to tenderize meat please let me know- I’d be interested in trying them all.  Hell, I could have a meat beating marathon.

Item #2

A thick, lush head of hair. Is this a dream? No... it's the Flair Hair Camo Visor.

A thick, lush head of hair. Is this a dream? No... it's the Flair Hair Camo Visor.

Believe it or not, “Billy-Ray-Joe-Bob” is as bald as an egg plant- but you would never know because he’s sporting the revolutionary “Flair Hair Camo Visor”.  I would bet money that the redneck who tore himself away from the NASCAR channel long enough to design this trainwreck had a huge crush on all four of the “Back Street Boys”.  I’ve come to this conclusion because the joker pictured above looks like a middle aged Justin Timberlake- only better because he’s got a kicking, well manicured beard to compliment his straight from “Spring Break 2010” Faux-doo.  If I purchase this for my father I’m going to include some super righteous fake tribal tattoos to go with it; he deserves the total package- from Grandad to “Super Pimpin Frat Boy Gone Wild”- whoot, whoot!

Item 3-

Ho, Ho, Holy shit!- no way am I buying this for my Dad because I love that guy with all my heart.  I just thought I would post this picture in case anyone out there is considering purchasing this number for me.  Be forewarned if you buy me this for Christmas I’ll wear it just long enough to douse myself in gasoline, light myself on fire and run into your home incinerating all of your worldly possessions as I scream obscenities at the top of my smoke filled lungs.  Just wanted you to know before things got out of hand.

Meet the Toilet Monster

Meet the Toilet Monster

Item #4-

The only reason I would buy this for my father is to see the look on his face when it springs up from the bowl to greet him during his 2am potty break.  That shit would be Hil-lar-ious!

But then I asked myself how sanitary could this thing possibly be?  Truth is, once it gets released into the crapper it’s there for the long haul- because I for one am surely not retrieving it.  Not to mention the trauma this thing could cause if someone sat on him in a rush to have their morning BM- friggin sobering thought isn’t it?

Funny, you would think that with all of the advances in engineering the ass-clown who designed the “Shitter Gremlin” would have had just a little more insight into it’s potential for multiple class action law suits?

Well that’s what I came up with so far- feel free to offer an opinion or better yet an alternative gift idea.



This post is going to get me in trouble-mark my words:)

The making of…

January 3, 2009

Just so you don’t think it’s all fun and games at the Groah house, I included some outtakes from our Christmas card photo shoot.

Check out the evil glare on my youngest- he looks like a lead singer for a death metal band.  If Connie would have shown me this picture before I gave Cayden authentic ornaments (to include hooks) to adorn me with, I probably would have put him in charge of decorations which were a little more benign- like marshmallows, cotton balls or dryer lint.

This photo was taken a few seconds after.  As you can see from my facial expression I was caught a bit off guard by the placement of Cayden’s first ornament (note the one hanging from my testicles). If I remember correctly, Cayden told me to “Suck it up Dad, you’re being a Nut-Nut-N-Dut Head”.

In the meanwhile, I patiently wait (30 minutes) for Connie to run through her litany of parenting skills (aka bribery) in an attempt to get the shoot back on track.  Mack was as temperamental as a Pop Diva- the slightest insult to his creative genius would set him off.  You can catch a glimpse of him to the left, I believe he was about to throw his Santa hat to the ground and stomp out of the room.


If you’re wondering why I no longer appear to be in pain, it’s because the tinsel was wrapped so tightly around my waist that it not only stemmed the blood flow resulting from the multiple hook puncture wounds, but it also caused my lower extremities to go numb. Awesome.

Connie was hoping to capture at least one tender, serious moment for our holiday card- I did my best to oblige.

She snapped about 45 images trying to get one of me not acting like an idiot.  This shot was actually the runner-up.  That being said, you can’t even imagine what the rest of them looked like- friggin’ hilarious (at least I think so).

To note- Connie didn’t think I had the “stones” to post such an unflattering photo, but I let her know that in 2009, “goofy” is the new “sexy”- I’m cutting edge in all that I do.

I thought I would wrap up the holiday season by posting this year’s Groah Family Christmas card.  Every year we work extremely hard to come up with an original way to spread Christmas cheer, and this year was no different.

Inside Left-

Connie and I decided to go with a national emergency theme this year- how’s that for Holly Jolly?  We thought that reminding everyone that the economy is in the crapper would be a completely appropriate way of saying Merry Christmas.  We mailed them at the last minute too- we didn’t want to hinder holiday spending and thwart that whole economic stimulus thingy.  In fact, most of the cards arrived Christmas eve- just in time to remind people that they probably went beyond their means on power rangers and transformers- “Ho, Ho, Ho- You’re broke, Merry Christmas and a Happy high interest rate credit card payment!”  I’ve gotten several pieces of hate mail since. Where is your sense of humor, folks?

Inside Right-

Believe it or not, it was my idea to allow my boys to decorate me like a Christmas tree.  I got the idea from “Mooseltoe” by Margie Palatini– one of the guys’ favorite books.  In the book, a cartoon moose forgets to buy a Christmas tree and decides to take one for the team and decorate himself instead.  Bit of advice- just because a cartoon moose does something does not mean that an actual person should.  I stood in the corner for about two hours while Connie tried to coax the guys into participating.  When they finally did decide to join in, it was only because they wanted a free shot at the old man.  Case in point- Cayden worked like hell to hang an ornament from my nipple and Mack thought it would be funny to plug the tree topper into my buttocks, lucky I convinced him my butt’s a closed circuit and nothing was getting plugged into it.

Some other interesting tidbits- perspiration will short out a string of Christmas tree lights resulting in a quick little blast of electrical current followed by a puff of ozone.  I thought for sure I was going to burst into flames any minute which may explain the goofy look on my face- I call that my “making peace with my maker before I combust face”.  Another bit of advice- never tie your legs together with tinsel and plug yourself into a wall socket unless you have an enormous bladder. Like I said, I was standing in the corner for two hours just like you see me in the photo and about 45 minutes into it I had to relieve myself. Sadly, Mack had a meltdown right about the time I hit critical mass and Connie had run off to talk him off the proverbial ledge- that left me and Cayden.

D- “Hey Cay, can you unplug daddy so he can hop to the bathroom?”

C- “Hey Dad, what’s 347 minus 128?”

D- “Dude, Dad has got to go.  Will you unplug me or not?”

C- “Hey Dad, can I have some gum?”

I was getting nowhere with Cayden so I started hopping in the hope that I would break free of my extension cord leash and manage to not fall flat on my face.  I was back in place by the time Connie decompressed Mack and when they returned the above photo was snapped…thank God!

Although we were pleased with this picture, I still secretly think I look like the result of some unholy union between Frankenstein’s monster and TinkerBell- friggin’ creepy.


Back of card-

Isn’t this a sweet shot?  This is my lovely wife thanking me for being such a good sport- that made the electrical burns and the funky tinsel rash all worth it.  Oh BTW, if your interested in owning the tree topper hat, it makes a great conversation piece at the office. Who needs a Christmas-themed tie when you can be the tree?


I’ve been elfed!

December 11, 2008

Connie has been hard at work creating new and exciting methods for embarrassing her beloved husband.  And I am happy to report that with the help of a little elfin magic she has surpassed her wildest expectations.   Now granted, I know I could have protested. I could have said no, could have put my foot down, but what difference does it really make? I have already provided you with more than enough written evidence of my idiocy, so why not provide a corresponding piece of media?

As an added bonus, from now until Christmas, Connie has promised to produce and post a new “Groah Family Elf Dance Extravaganza” every couple of days.  They promise to be entertaining, rhythmic, cutting-edge and more than slightly embarrassing for yours truly- so you’re not going to want to miss a single one. It’s over there —-> on the right hand side of the page.

We take requests:
If you have a certain dance style that you would like us to perform- even if it’s only because you enjoy seeing me as a less than manly elf with a giant-sized Shane head, please drop a comment. We will do our best to accommodate because our motto here at the Groah household is “Making the world a happier place- one embarrassing moment at a time”

Honey, you shouldn’t have…

November 12, 2008

 Last night, Connie and I shared a laugh at our kids’ expense when we reviewed their Christmas wish list.  Truth be told, we shouldn’t be throwing rocks in the glass house that we built for our little nuclear family.  After 16 years of marriage, both of us have floated a couple of turds under the old Christmas tree. So really, who are we to laugh at a couple of little boys who seem to think that fake cigarettes would make an excellent gift?


For instance, many Christmas’s ago I thought the one gift that would earn my love’s undying gratitude was a pair of slippers cleverly crafted to resemble the face of an extremely angry/horny gorilla.  You’ve probably gathered from earlier posts that I have a rather unhealthy fascination with primates.  In fact, I was so enamored with gorillas and monkeys that I failed to realize that my adoration was not shared by all.  I guess I was looking at the world through a pair of  “Shane Goggles”. After all, I would kill for a pair of Gorilla slippers so I can’t imagine someone not feeling the exact same way.  It’s only after 15 additional years of marriage and many months of professional psychiatric help that I can look back and see just how warped my perceptions were.


Profound True Statement- Slippers designed to resemble a horny Gorilla, though exceptionally creative and humorous, may not be the perfect gift for your new spouse on the first Christmas of your union.  Who would have known?


The look of pride on my face the night that Connie opened them was matched only by the look of utter disappointment (actually disgust) on hers.  I have to give her credit though, she didn’t cry or hit me- nor did she call me an insensitive boob.  Nope, she didn’t do any of those things. She simply grabbed our credit cards, marched directly to the nearest mall and proceeded to purchase those items which Santa/her husband failed to produce.  Strangely, none had a wildlife theme. To my dismay, I never saw the slippers again. Sometimes, late at night, I wonder how they’re doing. Did they find a loving home?  Are they warming the feet of some other lucky person?  Or did they simply escape back to the lowlands of Africa to join other unappreciated gorilla-themed holiday gifts?  I may never know, but I’ll always wonder.


I didn’t get redemption for the gorilla fiasco for 12 long years, but I am a patient man and I knew one day Connie would be the agent of her own undoing.  Along comes the Christmas season of 2005- a season I like to refer to as my delivery from “Inappropriate Gift Hell”. 


Two days before Christmas eve, Connie cornered me in the kitchen.  The kids were still awake- I’m sure they were somewhere in the house shaving off their eyebrows or creating giant mounds of Fruit Loop dust which I would later find in the recesses of the couch cushions.  It was during this relatively calm moment that Connie approached me with a Christmas gift. Judging by the glowing look of pride on her face, it was something tremendous.  The box itself was quite large, approximately 2ft x 3ft and about 8 inches thick.  The minute I looked at the box thoughts of power tools and extremely large handguns danced like magical sugar plums through my brain. What else could possibly make my wife so proud?  Obviously she had found the perfect gift for her Marine.


She explained she could no longer wait to present me with this amazing gift. She tried, but the anticipation was too much to bear and she wanted me to open it immediately.  Always willing to oblige, I tore through the wrapping paper positive it would be an item designed for destruction or construction, either way it would be manly enough to make John Wayne weep with joy.  It was neither.  Instead, what I held in my hands was a “Roomba”- in layman’s terms, a vacuum cleaner.  This is an excerpt from the conversation that followed.


Connie– “What do you think, isn’t it the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?”

Shane– “It’s a vacuum cleaner.”

Connie– “No, no honey, it’s a robot.”

Shane– “Funny, it says on the box that this “robot” cleans the floor using an amazing innovation called suction. It sounds like a vacuum.”

Connie– “Shane, it’s a robot that will vacuum the floor for you, that way you can do other manly things like the dishes for instance.”

Shane– “Can the Roomba do dishes?

Connie– “No.”

Shane– “Can the Roomba talk?”

Connie– “No.”

Shane– “What else does the Roomba do then?”

Connie– “Ummmm…nothing I guess.”

Shane– “Sounds like a vacuum to me.”

Mack– “Hey, Dad, what do you have?”

Shane– “Mom says it’s a killer droid straight from the Star War’s trilogy sent to annihilate dust bunnies without the slightest bit of remorse.”

Mack– “Looks like a little vacuum.”


I imagine that I gave Connie the same look she gave me so many years ago when she opened up her gorilla slippers.  I tried to be gracious- I did attempt to build rapport with the Roomba but we never really seemed to recover after I referred to it as a vacuum that first night.  I even named it- in fact, I named it “Little Shane” because I felt it was the only other creature in the house specifically designed to clean things.  Connie referred to it as Shane too, but I think her reasoning was that “Little Shane”, like its namesake, had a one-track mind.


My relationship with Little Shane was short-lived and a tad bit strained.  The damn thing was noisy, inefficient and prone to throw itself down the basement stairs.  The suicidal stair episodes were my own doing- I often left the door open to see if Little Shane was capable of developing artificial intelligence- he wasn’t.  When I say inefficient, I mean it.  Little Shane would take approximately 9 hours to vacuum a 4ft X 4ft patch of hardwood flooring, roughly the same amount of time it would have taken me to scrub an interstate with a toothbrush and a bar of soap.  I knew it was time to set him free when both of us started to act openly hostile toward each other when we occupied the same room.


So when we put up “Little Shane” for adoption, it wasn’t a sad day for me.  After all, everyone deserves to live in a healthy, love-filled environment where it’s possible to reach one’s full potential as a global citizen.  Shortly after placing “Little Shane” on craigslist, his new parent came to our door with his $80.00 adoption fee in hand and a smile on his face.  When I asked him if he was prepared for the responsibility of parenthood, he told me, “Oh no it’s not for me; I am buying it for my fiancé”.  I no longer feel bad about the gorilla slippers.




After the guys got home from school today, I asked each of them to write down the top ten things they wanted Santa to produce this Christmas. I passed out a stack of holiday wish books that mysteriously found their way into my mailbox for inspiration as well as one catalog of odd shit you never knew existed (no kidding that was the name of the catalog). This was pure genius as far as I was concerned. The list making activity kept them quiet, forced them to practice their writing skills (Santa can’t read hieroglyphics) and, on top of that, gave Connie and I something to chuckle about later in the evening.

So here is what Mack and Cayden would like for Christmas (keep in mind this is draft 1 of 1,000)

Cayden would like fake cigarettes. We asked him why he wanted fake cigarettes, but he couldn’t articulate a reasonable response. Maybe it is so he can get himself some fake emphysema?

Cayden would also like a collectible edition Al Pacino “Scarface” lamp. Great lamp, it actually has a realistic assault rifle as it’s base with functioning grenade launcher and when you pull the chain it lights up and says “Say allo to ma leetle friend” (best Cuban accent I can muster). How appropriate for a 6-year old, why don’t I get him a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket and an official Michigan State beer bong to go with.

Cayden would also like a “RIGIPROPEFDKECIGERRTEFFEST”. Any clue what this is? Granted I should have expected some misspelling from a 6-year old but what the hell? I googled it and apparently Cayden wants a small village in Botswana, I don’t think Santa is going to pull through on that request.

Mack would like an entire series of items endorsed by the CIA. He wants a covert pen-sized recorder, spy sunglasses and a set of high powered binoculars. I am either molding the next James Bond or the next “creepy neighborhood pervert”. Personally, I don’t think any of these items could possibly lead to an academic scholarship so instead Mack will get a world globe, a Texas Instruments calculator and a microscope. I’ll just tell him that’s as close as Santa could get.

Mack is also asking for a hand buzzer and a flashlight that shocks the shit out of you when you turn it on. It appears that he plans on being the only spy in the agency that has the same sense of humor as the Three Stooges. I’m sure he’ll be popular.

Final item, both boys would like an item called the “Fart Machine”. I’ll throw this request to my sister who is actually responsible for teaching my boys how to fart. Thanks Stacey for personally tutoring my children on every crude activity in your repertoire. Cayden’s first complete sentence was “I can fart my ABC’s” (yes, I said fart), which of course is a perfect example of my sister’s influence on my children.

As you can probably tell, my boys tossed the Toys R Us catalog aside in favor of the “Odd shit you can purchase but never knew existed” catalog. I really can’t blame them. I personally purchased a baseball hat with built in mullet and a t-shirt that read, “Conserve the rain forest- wipe your ass with an owl“.  Maybe it’s me that gave them their warped sense of humor, who knew?

To All:

I have received multiple requests for gift ideas for the boys and wanted to end the suspense by offering some insight into what our loving sons really want Santa to bring them this year.  I will try to keep the list reasonable, but excuse me if I occasionally get sidetracked; it’s been a long month. 

For Mackinley:

1.      Cordless drill preferably a Black and Decker (not for performance, but because he thinks black and orange is way cool).  He does not want the 14 volt model; he prefers something that will ratchet his arms out of the socket when he attempts to disassemble all the other toys that you may be thinking of purchasing for him this season.









2.      Electric guitarhe is not concerned with the make and model, only that it will propel him to “Naked Brother Band” level stardom in less time than it takes him to unwrap it Christmas morning.  Oh, and he wants a thermos to plug it into. For some reason, he believes that amplifiers and thermoses have a shared functionality and one can stand in for the other.

3.      Wii, XBox, PS3, and a Nintendo DS Mack is not big into research so he is unsure which one is best suited for his needs.  He feels that if he is provided one of each, he can then decide which ones can be sacrificed to the cordless drill (option #1) that you purchased for him.

4.      Leather Jacket, Mack appears to be reinventing himself.  The new Mack has big hair, wears leather, and gambles with Pokemon cards.  I blame this on the “Grease” soundtrack that Connie provided to the boys in their formative years.

5.      Motor cycle, refer to #4.

6.      Pokemon Cards,  Mack wants Pokemon cards really bad, trouble is he wants a specific card,  a card which I believe does not exist in this dimension.  Failure to produce this card results in complete and utter devastation.  You would probably have a better chance of finding the real Pokemon inviting him/her/it (not sure what it is) over for eggnog than finding the card Mack wants, so negate my last suggestion it will only produce pain and misery.


7.      Hand gun, Cross bow, or medieval war hammer, Mack prefers the real deal, if you supply him with anything made out of plastic or wood he will simply disassemble with option #1.  He assures me that he will be careful and that all implements of war will be stockpiled in the upper reaches of my closet where all things sharp, dangerous, and deadly are stored.  He specifically directed this request to Mum-Mum as he feels she is the most likely vehicle of success when asking for weaponry.   


For Cayden:


1.      Surplus of  Unhealthy Snacks, He did not specifically request this as a Christmas gift this season but I hear it  at least ten times a day so I am going to go out on a limb and suggest it.  Terry, make it snow cheese curls Christmas Eve and Cayden will be yours for all eternity.  


 2.      Drums, I think Cayden plans on hooking his wagon to Mack’s star.  He didn’t request a thermos to go with it, but knowing how competitive my boys are if you could include some other kitchen utensil in the box with the drums you may save me and Con from breaking up an argument.




3.      Chuck-E-Cheese plastic zippered pencil pouch, Cayden really wants the pencil pouch located at Chuck-E-Cheese, it’s on the second shelf next to the rubber tarantula and behind the super spy magnifying glass.  Con and I would get it for him, but it cost 13,000 tickets which is the equivalent of 72-straight hours of skeet ball or $4,200.




4.      Suzanne Summers Bone Muscle Blaster-  Cayden wants to maintain his physique but does not want to have to work at it real hard, so if you could find him a rib cage enhancing fitness device he would really appreciate it.




5.      Legos or Gorilla– Cay loves legos, he also kind of likes the idea of having a live pet, preferably something that is large, powerful and has an opposable thumb.  You chose which one is in your price range; I see pros and cons to both.




6.      G.I. Joe’s,  Cayden enjoys playing with G.I. Joe, do me a favor if you purchase a G.I. Joe will you please buy the accessories that go with it.  I spend more time trying to get Joe to grasp weapons that don’t belong to the G.I. Joe genre than I care to comment on.


7.      Pirate Videos,  Cayden is a pirate-a-holic, can’t get enough of Jack Sparrow and his crew so this is always a safe bet.    That being said be careful what pirate video you purchase; Cayden keeps grabbing “the Pirate” at Block Buster every time we go, starring Carmen Elecktra, not exactly the type of film you want you’re 5-year old watching. If I could be of any further assistance let me know, I am here to support. shane