A Christmas Story Dare

As we lurched through the mall parking purgatory on December 23, we agonized as we crawled to the finish line of our final shopping destination after a full day at the mall safari. What would normally take less than five minutes was slowly amounting to 25.
Then a shot of randomness pierced the mundane parking lot stop and go. The exit line we were in snaked slowly past Dick’s Sporting Goods, where we had currently come to a stop. As we waited, bored and tired, a man in his 50s emerged from the store carrying none other than a Daisy BB gun, very similar to the Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle from A Christmas Story.
Without thinking, I said “Hey Yarei… I dare you to say to that guy ‘Hey kid!! You’ll shoot ya eye out!!” I laughed at my witty dare. “I bet you won’t do it. I’ll bet you….”

Hmmmmmmmmm…the electric window in the back seat was going down.

“YAREI! What are you doing!” I turned back and yelled. But it was too late.

“Hey KID!!!” She yelled out the window of our non-moving car, “YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!!” She smiled at the dare she just nailed. The man seemed to not hear her very obvious yell. I ducked as if working on my car radio.

“Blast… he didn’t hear me.” She mumbled, yet still determined. Taking a deep breath, she stuck her head out the window and bellowed, “HEY KID!! YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!!”

The man briefly stopped, looked over his shoulder and squinted in our direction. We were both hoping he would have pumped the gun and released a victory shot in the air, or something. But, all he did was give us a confused smirk and walked on to his car.

After acknowledging her domination of the dare, we exchanged hearty laughs and I was left wondering what else I could dare her to do in our current state of immobile boredom.

But, break time was over, and it was time to move forward another 2 feet

Of Marriage and Ping Pong

Yarei and I have a somewhat competitive spirit.  Actually… on a scale of 1 to Ridiculous, Yarei’s competitiveness would rank on the ridiculous side (although as a wife she ranks in the upper levels of amazing).  I tend to hide my competitive nature with a nonchalant mask of indifference while raging inside like a Pamplona bull at the idea of losing.  Yarei just uses denial: she does not lose…not matter what the score shows.

This past Thanksgiving we enjoyed some healthy marital competition in the ping-pong arena.  This was our second encounter, the first of which I dealt her a severe beating.  However, in her mind, it was as if that had never happened and she actually had the upper hand, simply because she was: Yarei.

When hunting, it’s always more challenging to know the prey is somewhat of a challenge, even if they are a bit disoriented, so I enjoyed this air of confidence she had about her.  And so the game began.


The first match was a swift win by me.  Neither of us are masters, so it would have been a rather boring game to watch, with missed hits, bad serves and trash talk that amounted to nothing… but to the gladiators in the arena, much was at stake.

“Best outta 3” Yarei said, bouncing from left to right foot, ignoring the quick ending to our 21 point match.

“ok… but you realize I probably broke the ping-pong record of some small Eastern European country with the speed of that last beating, right?”

Silence… her face like a stone statue.


Although she fought valiantly, round 2 went to me again.

“This is garbage.” she said, matter of factly.  She then proceeded to turn her back to me and began some type of breathing exercise.  She waved her hands up and down with each breath like an attack swan.  I could only assume she was centering what ping-pong pride she had left into a new challenge.

After selecting a new paddle, she finally turned around and calmly, through gritted teeth, stated, “best outta five.”


“Are you sure about this? Aren’t you just extending the inevitable?”


“Silence, croan.  Volley for serve.” she seethed, cracking her neck left then right.  If she could have, she probably would’ve spit on the ground to add to the non-verbal threats.


The next battle took a different turn.  Yarei was ahead by 4 points, which she announced with a viking-like yell at the end of each point.  Her short-lived upswing was quickly ended  by swift backhands and blistering corner serves, compliments of me.  Now down by 4 points, Yarei turned to more unscrupulous methods.  Each time she made a lame serve into the net or missed an easy lob shot I sent her way, she would yell, “That’s GARBAGE! DO OVER!” bobbing left and right.  I was unaware “do over!” extended beyond 3rd grade playground games, but I complied with the challenge.


This new, arbitrary “DO OVER!” rule gave Yarei some extra time to try to catch up, but in the end, it was all for nothing. I had beaten her 3 games in a row and the battle was over.


“So how does it feel to be a loser?” I asked, smugly.


“I’m not a loser, Louie” she dismissed me, examining her paddle as sniper examines his gun after a kill shot.


“Oh really? What do you call the 3 beatings I just gave you?”


“I’m not a loser.  I’m a winner who just happened to lose three times.” she answered with a mocking tone.


“No, that’s called losing.  It’s what happened to you.”


“You’re just lucky I didn’t have my lucky pink head band.  That would’ve changed everything.”

Jump Around

As we are concluding our weekly Costco “shopping and free samples” bonanza, Yarei and I are maneuvering the packing of groceries and bebes. This usually involves trying not to put the watermelon in the baby seat and the bebe in the trunk. Since we were in a hurry, I passed bebe off to Yarei while I parked the cart in the docking bay. As I wheeled it off, I yelled to Yarei, who had completed food duty and was moving on to bebe, “PACK HIM UP, PACK HIM IN!”
Much to my surprise, she finished the lyric with a confident, “LET ME BEGIN!”
I wanted to milk this situation, so I said, “Good job! What song is that from?”
You know, that one that says “let me begin” she responded while staring out the window, impressed at her coolness.
“Yes… that’s the lyric you got right. But what song is that from?”

“The one that goes oooooeeeeeeeeee!!!!” she continued the strange noise with a variety of other syllables.

“What was that?” I asked.

“That’s the song. Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin oooooeeeeeeeeee!” she sounded it out, with extra umph on the eeee.

“Please stop”

“Oooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeee” she sounded, defiantly.

“That’s not the name of any song.”


“game over. you lose.”