February 26, 2023

ADVENTURES IN THE BUDGET BIN: Unleashing the Inner 12-Year-Old


My youngest daughter, Lucy, is about to turn 19. It seems like just yesterday that I narrowly avoided sitting on her head when she was snoozing on the sofa as an infant. I've since proudly watched her learn to drive, get her first job, go to prom, graduate and begin college, which makes me feel pretty damned old. On the other hand, she still revels in the juvenile humor of a 12-year-old boy. Whenever we’re in the car and pass by the local Dick’s Sporting Goods, she always snickers, “Dicks…huh-huh…”

In fact, Lucy has a natural gift for turning a lot of words, phrases and images into filthy jokes, the kind that would make a sailor blush. As my own personal Beavis & Butthead rolled into one deceptively-meek young woman, she makes it fun to unleash my inner 12-year-old. I may be well-into middle age, but whenever I’m around her, turning normally innocuous language into something dirty never gets old.

For example, during a recent trip to the grocery store, we came across the section where specialty sodas are stocked, the kind bottled by smaller companies and generally sold individually. It was Lucy who had the brilliant idea to arrange three of them like this…

More recently, Lucy accompanied Mama Kitty and I to WinCo Foods, a store I like visiting because they carry budget priced Blu-rays and DVDs. While Mama Kitty headed down the breakfast aisle, I stopped to check it out. Most of what they had this time I either already owned or didn’t appeal to me, but I did find Hitchcock (Blu-ray $4.99), the biographical film about the making of Psycho, featuring Anthony Hopkins as the legendary director. I’ve always enjoyed movies about the movie business.

While dramatically slight, Hitchcock is nevertheless an entertaining - albeit brief - look at Hitch and his efforts to get the film made, despite plenty of opposition from studio heads and the Production Code review board. And, of course, Sir Anthony is always worth watching, as is Helen Mirren, who plays his often-beleaguered wife, Alma.

Standing next to me, Lucy pointed at the title and chortled, “Huh-huh…cock.”

“Huh-huh,” I added.

WinCo also has a bin filled with Hot Wheels. Even at my advanced age, I occasionally buy one, sometimes for myself - like a Batmobile replica from The Batman - sometimes for my kids if I find one that's unusual or cute (both of my daughters love cute things…even stuff not specifically aimed at their demographic). And the coolest thing about Hot Wheels? They’re still only a buck, the same price I used to pay decades ago. So naturally, after spotting this baby - and its ill-advised decal placement - buying it for Lucy was a small-but-heartfelt gesture she'd appreciate…

“Huh-huh…Ho,” she snorted when I gave it to her.

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