Pet Peeves


GoPro Alert

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

Last week was my birthday. My grandkids sent me presents. I have two sets of three grandkids each from my two daughters. The Wisconsin set sent me a GoPro. The Chicago set sent me a Life Alert bracelet. Now, I’m all set for that Laguna skateboard park. Build it and I will come to scream, “I fell down. And I can’t get up.” Then upload GoPro to YouTube. Emoji Sue city. Split jury award. Enjoy inheritance. Love Pop-Pop. Uber and out of here.”

How could two groups of grandkids see me so differently? It’s hard to figure. I believe I act the same when they come to visit. Because of space limits in our home, visits are coordinated separately. That’s a typical grandparent problem here in Laguna. The square footage doesn’t allow for large family gatherings, like Thanksgiving. I’ve heard that some creative families have rented out the middle of Laguna’s first roundabout and told grandkids to go play in the middle of traffic knowing that the continuing flow of cars and yield signs will herd the children safely. I prefer to put myself up at the Surf and Sand and turn the visit into a game of hide and seek. The kids enjoy looking for me; the hotel staff not so much. The kids run up and down the halls yelling, “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” Geez, where do kids get this stuff? Probably cracked the parental computer password, again. Shhh. Please kids don’t look in the minibar. It wasn’t easy for me to clear out.

My wife got me something, too. She got me a Fitbit wristband. This gizmo tracks steps taken, calories burned and monitors sleep time. Obviously, the present was mixed up and meant for someone else. That made me mad to think someone was wearing my Un-Fitbit present. I always wanted the Un-fitbit to track bags of snacks eaten, days of immobility, bottles of beer drank, and sleepless weeks without REM. I sorely needed the Un-Fitbit in order to participate in the “Couch Potato Life’s Short” fantasy league. Officials only accept Unfitbit verifications to declare winners for fast food, cigars, and cases of beer awards. Geez, to think my wife gave my present to another man was enough to give me a heart attack. Doesn’t she care about my health?

My dog who’s always underfoot and won’t be left out of anything got into the birthday action. He got himself a service jacket to aid the infirmed and elderly. Apparently, the dog thinks I need help getting around. Inside the jacket I found digital applications for an Unfitbit device. The apps included, “Begging to Get More,” “Owners are Dummies Manual,” and “Driving Miss Kitty Crazy.” I couldn’t believe it. My dog was the other man in my wife’s life. The dog had my Unfitbit present.

“Here boy. Here boy. Do you want a Fitbit paw band, instead?” I asked in my best soothing canine voice. The dog jumped in the car, wagged his tail and gave me a slobbery “Dog On the Couch Potato Life’s Short” fantasy award coupon redeemable for a five minute shopping spree at the Petsmart near us. GoPro alert.


Upon completion of this column, Mark was enrolled in an owner’s obedience class.   We’re happy to report he’s learned to stay off the furniture.    



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