Monday, December 17, 2007


POBRECITO (POE-BRAY-CEE-TOE) is the Spanish word for; poor little boy. Its literal meaning is obvious but figuratively it can also be used to either forthrightly or sarcastically to describe a male of any age who is down on his luck.

Ever since Friday December 14th, I have forthrightly been calling my son Andrew pobrecito because he had braces put on his teeth.
Personally, I didn't think his already perfect smile needed to be further enhanced but alas, even I must occasionally answer, and concede to higher levels of wisdom and authority.

In addition to the constant discomfort and/or pain of foreign objects in your mouth, the new "wearer" of braces is inundated with new do's and don'ts of orthodontic care. Therefore in a combination of earnest doctorly advice and propaganda, the impatient patient is told to brush not three times a day, not four times but FIVE times.

Here we are on day-four and my pobrecito is still experiencing the challenge of eating. Another obstacle for him is flossing. It's a difficult technique to master because the braces are in the way.

Additionally, to diminish the effects of uncomfortable edges, the braces wearer is supplied with a waxy substance...which in this case might actually be wax...which can be balled-up and applied directly to a rough spot to reduce the discomfort. Unfortunately, he has had an extremely hard time administering it. Although his mother and I are willing to go in there and do it for him--the logistics of the situation mandates that Andrew does this for himself.

The braces are expected to be "in" from six to nine months. The silver lining to Andrew's gray cloud is that its estimated that most patients get used to the reformation of their mouth and the new maintenance routine in two weeks.

Hopefully, Andrew's adjustment period will be short and that all my updates will be positive.


Of course what good would pobrecito be if it was only used forthrightly. I think it's infinitely more fun when used sarcastically and I know the best target, moi, (That's French for "me," you silly goose).

In order to call myself pobrecito, I'll start with a joke...These two casino supervisors are walking down the street when one says, "Look, a dead bird." And the other one looks up into the sky and says," Where?"

Why do we make fun casino supervisors and other higher life forms? Psychological experts claim that making fun of other people reveals a us. By fulfilling a need to put someone or some group down, we feel artificially better about ourselves.

If this is true, and I'm not proud of it, I must be extremely insecure. As many of you know, I have had feud with my hillbilly next door neighbor for ten years...

But today, I am not here to vent over THAT next door neighbor...because as most of us know, next door neighbors usually travel in pairs. Today, I am after my other next door neighbor and the group I am about to insult are...renters. If any of my readers who are renters are getting squeamish and appreciate political correctness, you are excused from reading the rest of this column.

First, if I was renting a house on a street like mine, I honestly don't know how much (if any) effort I would put in to routine front yard maintenance. So that is NOT the issue here. The issue is, his landlord brings a service in to mow the lawn four times each summer...if that's an exaggeration, I'll up the total to five times but NO higher!

Then twice, maybe three other times during the rest of the year, this same service comes by and cleans up the property...more specifically rakes up the leaves.

This has been an odd year because we had a prolonged Indian summer. In most Autumns, the falling leaves would be gradual and proportionally cleaned up, this year they remained on the trees longer and we are now all drowning in them.

Each year here in Galloway, the city works department advertises monthly leave pick-up dates. Residents pile up their leaves on the street and a truck with a gigantic vacuum, comes by and sucks them up. While waiting for the big day, extraordinary amounts of leaves pile up everywhere.  Many of us, just to see the street tidier, count-down the days as if the vacuum truck's appearance was a holiday.

Well, last month the day before the big event, my renter "friend" has a behemoth pile of leaves just like the rest of us. And for no other reason than mere sport, this numb-nuts plows through his pile in his Mercedes SUV sending a gazillion leaves flying everywhere.

I call myself pobrecito because there's no way I'm going to approach this moron over the difference between his minutia and my eternal search for humanity and common sense. But the next day, our hero really out did himself by parking on top of his still massive leaf pile so that the vacuum truck had no choice but to pass it by...thus leaving the leaves for another month. 

I will now close with a caustic "renter" joke:

So this renter was swimming the English Channel from France to England. And half way across he got tired and swam back to France.

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