The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Cornhole

A Full Circle Cornhole Moment

My 6-year-old son Bucket Head wants to be a Tiger Cub.

It’s all he’s been talking about for two weeks: “MOM! THEY GET TO SHOOT BOWS AND ARROWS! AND GO CAMPING! AND RACE PINEWOOD DERBY CARS!!!”

Is it just me, or does this statue look like a giant turd?

Is it just me, or does this bronze statue look like a giant turd?

Bucket Head was made to be a Cub Scout. The kid can’t walk without finding and picking up sharp sticks wherever he goes.

So we went to the Cub Scout Roundup last night; sat and listened and whooped and hollered at all the appropriate cues; and then when the Cubmaster asked for volunteer Den Leaders, it was so quiet you could hear a flea fart.

Honest to Pete, the only sound in the joint was the cafeteria clock going tick-tick-tick as all the parents put their heads down and avoided eye contact with each other.

Cubmasters must be used to this response because they played it pretty cool.

…for the first five minutes.

And then the begging began in earnest.

One of the other leaders approached my husband who has worked with my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop for years and said, “Jim? How about you? Ready to be a Den Leader?”

“Sorry, Bob. Can’t do it this year.”

“Oh, come on. It’s only an hour a week and the first four meetings are totally planned out for you.”

“No can do, man. I’m already spread way too thin.”

tick-tick-tick

“Anyone? Folks, we can’t have a Tiger Den without two Den Leaders,” the Cubmaster pleaded.

tick-tick-tick

“Do it for the kids! We’ll help you. There is training!”

You could see the panic sprawled across all those sweet little 6-year-old faces.

“What’s happening, Mom?” one of the boys whispered.

Nobody was stepping up.

A bead of sweat slowly trickled down the face of the dad across the table from me as he busied himself on his iPhone.

Uh-oh. This is bad, I thought to myself.

tick-tick-tick

And just when it looked like poor little Bucket Head wasn’t going to get to be a Cub Scout after all, a small voice piped up from the back:

“I’ll do it.”

A universal, audible sigh of relief reached everyone’s ears at once. 

Wait, who said that?

Who is that crazy woman in the back raising her hand?

Hey! I know her! Hi!

Oh no.

Hold on, folks.

She might not be the best choice.

Isn’t she a… a… a humorist?

I mean, she overshares on the Internet. And she has a book on Amazon about lady bits and stuff!

Oh well. Too late now.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your newest Cub Scout Den Leader!

(It’s me. Say hello to me. Thanks. I get tired of talking to myself, y’know?) 

Yeah. I’m just as shocked as you are.

(But I’m pretty excited about the uniform!)

So we’ll have to see how it goes. I’m bracing myself for the very real possibility that I will be deemed “unacceptable” as a Cub Scout Den Leader based on my, well… me-ness. But like I tell my kids all the time, beggars can’t be choosers. You don’t want someone like me* heading up your Tiger Cub Den? Then step up.

But in the meantime, I already know one of the crafts we’ll be doing! The boys are going to LOVE IT!

To help you fully appreciate what an enormous full circle moment this is for me and my family, I’ve spruced up one of my very first blog posts for you about the time I played Cornhole and perfected the art of the Dutch Oven at Cub Scout Family Camp five years ago. It’s probably new to you, and it is one of my all time favorites. Enjoy!

© 2013 The Bearded Iris

Don’t try this at home.

This week’s Listography over at Kate Takes 5 is all about Bad Combinations. Here are a few perfect examples taken from Kate’s sister’s Facebook page:

Wind \ Hair \ Lipgloss

Old people \ The Internet

Bikini Waxes \ Dignity

To which Kate added her own list of five. Very funny – and true. Especially if you have young kids and/or know what Sudocream is.

I’d like to add a few of my own, based upon personal experience. The rules of Listography limit me to just five, which is unfortunate because I feel like creating bad combos might just be my forté. Come to think of it, pretty much every Listography I’ve ever participated in deals with the inappropriate pairing of things… like gum chewing and Communion wafers, Catholic Picture Bibles and Satan reach arounds, nine year old suburban white girls and Barry White albums, emotionally retarded adult children of divorce and weddings. Hmmm… have I just cracked some kind of top secret Irish code?

So, not wanting to take the easy way out, I thought I’d reflect on some additional bad combos I’ve experienced in life. Here is just a small sample, ribbed for your pleasure:

1.) snapping turtle \ impromptu roadside petting zoo

snapping turtles bite... duh.

Image credit: Phillip Higgins

Apparently, they’re called Snapping Turtles for a reason. Who knew?

2.) chopping jalapeno peppers \ removing contact lenses
I’m pretty sure every child in my neighborhood is now familiar with the howled version of the phrase: “HOLY FUCKING HELL! MY EYES! MY EYES! I’VE BLINDED MYSELF! AAAAAHHHHHHGGGG!!!”

3.) really nice Scouting dads \ me \ playing cornhole


4.) Christmas party \ winter white wool dress slacks \ explosive diarrhea
Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t just wear a diaper to my sister in law’s house every Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if it is her homemade eggnogg, or the raw oysters, or just a psychosomatic response at this point, but something horrific happens in my bowels every year shortly after our holiday dinner at her house. Every. Single. Frickin’. Year. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m not invited back next year, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Wow, imagine that, a poop story. Weird. So unlike me.

5.) parent-teacher conference \ speech impaired child \ dick jokes
True story. Last week The Gatekeeper and I went in for Bucket Head’s Speech IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Partway into the meeting, Bucket Head comes over to tell us “Look at my magic dick!” Of course, what he was holding was not his penis at all, but rather a magnetic wand, or STICK. However, since he can’t articulate beginning blends like “ST,” he substitutes the “D” sound. “Stick” becomes “dick.” Magical? Indeed. Oh yes, I did. And oh no, it wasn’t appreciated (or probably even noticed). Feeling the unbearable weight of the airborne potential joke, I even asked Bucket Head to repeat it: “What’s that thing called honey?” “My magic dick!” “Oh that’s awesome! Daddy has one of those too.” Nope. Nothing. Like casting pearls to swine, I tells ya. But thank God for you people! At least someone appreciates my humor.

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to prepare some skits for my church’s Vacation Bible School. What? Is that another bad combo? Oh, fine. Don’t worry, I won’t perform them sober.

yours truly,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Cornhole

(Please note: the following blog post was originally published in 2008, when I was clearly still on the sauce. Proceed with caution.) 

I love that my 9-year-old son is a Cub Scout… I do. He has a blast and it is always very wholesome, good clean fun, which I suspect is good for growing children. Soap carving, anyone?

But I have two problems with the whole Cub Scout camp-out thing.

1.) They have a very strict rule that no alcoholic beverages are allowed at camp.

2.) The other moms and dads are very nice. I mean VERY nice. Like the nicest people I have ever met.

In other words—I do not fit in there at all.

And being in the balmy, great outdoors around very nice, responsible parents and 30 loud little boys running amok with sharp sticks and pocket knives really makes me want to soothe myself with a cocktail or two.

But I muscled through the pain and managed to really enjoy myself, and there were a few high points that I’d like to share with you.

First, let’s talk about Cornhole.

Cornhole is a bean-bag tossing game that originated in Ohio. The board looks like this:

Seriously. I’m not making this up.

Apparently, people who play this game are very passionate about it. The dimensions of the board are strictly regulated, as are the bean-bags, the distance between the player and the board, the scoring, etc. However, I had never heard of this “game” until Cub Scout Family Camp when one of the dads asked me “if I wanted to play Cornhole” with him and I almost crapped my pants.

“Excuse me?” I stuttered.

At which point he tossed me a bag of dried corn, pointed to the game board on the ground, and taught me how to play. And you know what? It was really, really fun! But I was DYING, y’all. Because I couldn’t control myself and made a snide crack about how I had never heard the term “Cornhole” outside of the prison movies I so enjoy watching and HE TOTALLY DIDN’T GET IT. He cocked his head to the side and made a “Huh?” face and I quickly realized that I should probably not attempt to joke around with Cub Scout Dads about anything remotely related to S-E-X, prison style or otherwise. These dads are very nice. And very straight. And to some of them, Cornhole is no laughing matter.

But thank God for my husband. As soon as I finished my Cornholing session with Mr. Ohio, I ran as fast as my stumps could carry me to tell my man about the game and we giggled until our faces hurt. We don’t do that very often—my husband is actually one of those Nice Cub Scout Dads—but luckily for me, I must have rubbed off on him a bit (wink wink) because he does appreciate a good dirty joke from time to time. Not often enough, I say, but we’re working on it. I’ll keep rubbing.

So one more really funny thing to share, if you don’t mind.

The Scoutmaster organized an “Iron Chef” competition between the campers. The kids were divided up into three teams, given access to a pantry of processed foods, and taught various outdoor camp cooking methods, one of which is the Dutch Oven. Honestly, I should force my son to stay in Scouts just for the material.

After the cooking demonstration, the three teams were each assigned a secret ingredient to incorporate into their dishes. My team’s secret ingredient was popcorn. Now, I was just lurking on the edge of the group, having to follow my 19-month-old son, Bucket Head, around and make sure he didn’t wander off and get eaten by a bear, so I wasn’t really helping the kids choose the menu. But watching these other nice nice moms and dads strategize was fascinating.

The main rule of this contest was that the kids had to do all the cooking—the parents could only supervise and control the cooking fuel. But when I learned that my group was stumped about how to use the popcorn in their dish, I just had to butt-in. They had just settled on a simple trail mix of popcorn and nuts when I sidled up to one of the more assertive moms and asked her if we had access to marshmallows and butter. I then planted the seed in her head that if we made popcorn balls out of the popcorn, it would be a real crowd pleaser and something that the kids would have fun making. Wouldn’t you know it? That nice mom hopped on my idea faster than an Ohioan on a stiff ear of corn.

Now, I’m not used to being listened to by anyone other than my team of well-compensated, highly skilled psychiatrists, so suddenly being thrust into the mix of an Iron Chef competition with a team of eager scouts and parents reporting to me was quite the power trip. Suddenly, Bucket Head was fending for himself and I was melting butter and marshmallows in a Dutch Oven, fixin’ to lead my team to victory. You know that phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen”? Well, imagine the extra chaos of an outdoor camp style kitchen with propane fueled burners and a very enthusiastic team of very competitive nice nice parents and their 6-year-old sons. It was mayhem. But the popcorn balls were my idea and I was not going to let my team down, dammit!

Well we oiled up the hands of these seven little kids, and I gotta tell you, I don’t think their hands were all that clean. But rules are rules and we had an Iron Chef style ticking clock to beat, so we greased ’em up and let them dig into the pot and grab handfulls of gooey popcorn and mold them into balls. It was messy. It was sticky. It was germy. But it was really cool.

Thank GOD it worked.  Just look at my glistening balls. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Fast forward to the judging. My husband, who has a talent for garnishing, helped the boys plate up the other dishes and deliver them to the judges with those germy popcorn balls decorating each plate like something you’d see in a real restaurant—and I’m talkin’ about a classy joint like Cracker Barrel.

You should have heard the “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” from the judges and other campers. The popcorn balls were a HUGE hit. In fact, the lead judge exclaimed that he hadn’t eaten an old-fashioned popcorn ball since he was a child and the nostalgia of it really touched his heart. Yep, those germy sweet and salty balls o’ mine won our team first place! The nice nice scout leaders even recognized me by name in the award ceremony; it may be one of my proudest moments. (Note to self: never underestimate the power of balls, and also, I really need to get out more.)

© 2008 The Bearded Iris

© 2019 The Bearded Iris

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑