Friday, December 31, 2004

Auld Lang Syne...

And so another year comes to a close. 2004 was a good year for me because I created this page,made many new friends and found some old ones after so many years.

Tonight, Mrs. Pratt and I will go to dinner at a favorite restaurant and then home afterwards for champagne and assorted alcoholic beverages. We bought a new digital camera today so despite my protests of too many photos , I shall have better clearer pictures of the rabbits in 2005.


Philadelphia celebrates New Year's in an unusual way with the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day. It's a unique Philadelphia institution.

I hope every one has a safe and Happy New Year's Eve and a good 2005.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Truth in Advertising...

I had today off so spent the day sleeping in. I was also cleaning the house, doing laundry and making a trip to the grocery store to stock up on greens for the bunnies. Now after I loaded up the cart with lettuce, I go down the seasonal aisle and all the Christmas candy and decorations are long gone.

Everything is now for Valentine's Day. I refrained from buying the package of message candy hearts but before I turned the corner I found this little creature:



Yeah, I know. It's pretty lame. It's a little stuffed rabbit that when you squeeze its paw, a funkadelic Motown version of Billy Griffin and the Miracles "Love Machine" plays for like two minutes.And the rabbit's cheeks light up. And it dances.

I'll admit it's an impulse buy but I decided to lighten Mrs. Pratt's long day with this. She had to work today and at her holiday job until 10pm tonight. I hoped it would make her laugh.

I go to the check out line and get my groceries bagged. The girl bagging and the one at the register chirped how cute the toy was.It was the last thing they put in my cart. I get my receipt and as I'm about to leave the line, the bag girl squeezes the paw of the stuffed rabbit.

As I walk past all the shoppers and out of the store, EVERYONE is looking at me while my shopping cart blares...

"IIIII"M JUST A LOOOOOOOOVE MACHINE>>>>AND I WON"T WORK FOR NOOOOBODY BUT YOOOOOOOOU >>>>IIIIIIIII'M JUST A LOOOOOOOVE MACHINE>>>>na na na na na na na na wooooooooo!

My chin held high... trying to hold on to what's left of my dignity.... I depart the supermarket and avoided the old lady trying to throw her phone number at me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Resolutions for 2005...

It's that time of year when we look ourselves in the mirror and resolve that with a New Year they will be changes afoot in our lives.

Now the most common is "I shall lose weight!" Followed by "I shall exercise more!" Followed by "I shall never drink alcohol again!" This last one is used especially if you attended a blow-out kick-ass New Year's party and got friendly with a gallon of Tequila.

I've tried the weight and exercise resolutions and I'm pretty good for about the first few weeks... but then Valentine Chocolates show up in the house. The basement is too cold to use the treadmill....And my shirts hang so nicely from it. Jose Cuervo wants to be friends again.

So I'll try a few different resolutions for 2005...

BE IT RESOLVED( say this in a loud booming voice):

I shall not use the names Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, or Britney Spears when describing dumb vacuous people in the Blog.

I shall not use the phrase "Gah!" or "asshat" in the blog since they are becoming the blog equivalent of 'talk to the hand' and 'don't go there girlfriend'.

I shall limit the photos and concentrate on the writing more.

*but what if the bunnies do something really really really cute?*

NO...LIMIT IT TO MONDAY BUNDAY....
*but what if...
NO....I SAID NO!

I shall stop having my inner monologues fight with each other.

HE STARTED IT.
* shut up. did not.

Hey I'll stop the blog here and make you both WALK home!

(cricket..cricket..cricket)


gah..I'm such an asshat. I feel as dumb as Paris.

Now then...tell me YOUR resolutions....

Tsunami

I think everyone is shocked at the rising death toll after the Dec. 26th tsunami hit nations in Asia. I thought of an old college friend who was from Sri Lanka. I found out today he is ok..he wasn't in Sri Lanka at the time and his family that is still there is all right.

Here's a link to the Red Cross if you would like to help.

The local news coverage of course tries to find any angle on the story. Mrs. Pratt and I were watching the late local news last night and the reporter is talking about the number of deaths. He then moves into bad taste territory by comparing how many seats are in our local stadiums to the number of victims. It really ticked us off.

"Citizens Bank Park- Home of the Phillies has over 42,000 seats so the death toll is more than that..blah blah blah."

You think they would stop at that statistic but noooooooo..

"A sell out crowd at the Eagles' stadium Lincoln Financial Field has 63,000 seats..."

Tacky. So tacky. I was half expecting to hear next "If it was a double header and sell-out Sixers game...." grrrr.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Gate Expectations...

Martin Short does a character I always found funny called Ed Grimley and the put-upon Ed would always say in a predicament "I'm as doomed as doomed can be."

Last night, Mrs. Pratt started making rumblings about what to do about her birthday which is in two months.

She's clicking around on her lap top and was so excited to tell me the news.

"We can go see the Christo project called "The Gates" in Central Park!"

Uh -oh. I'm as doomed as doomed can be. Not Christo.

Me: "Christo was the guy that puts thousands of umbrellas on a hill and wraps buildings in plastic and calls it Art?"

Mrs.Pratt: "Yes. He is building gates in Central Park and draping fabric over them for twenty miles."

She says this with a straight face. She shows me the website. She emphatically wants to go see it.

I'm drying some of the dishes. I take the dish towel and walk over to the kitchen table.I throw the towel over the chair.

Me:"Ta -da! Chriiiiiiisto!"

She is not amused. Look of Death. "And while we're at it,we can also go to the MoMa."

Arrrgh! A "while we're at it" moment.

Mrs. Pratt: "Well? For my birthday?"

Now I thought tickets to see Duran Duran TWICE in April was her Birthday present but I guess she is ignoring that fact.

Ok...I like art. I have an appreciation for it.I'm not against going to museums. But Christo??? Crap-o is more like it.I'm really not a fan of modern art . Honestly, it bores me.

If I want to see Performance Art I'll just witness a typical monthly meltdown from her crazy-ass sister.

I try to get my head around the idea again.

Me: "So he builds these gates in the park?"

Mrs. Pratt: "Yes. Over twenty miles of them at certain intervals."

Me: "And he has cloth draped over them?"

Mrs. Pratt: "Yes."

Me: "And that's it? Big Gates exactly alike- spaced out with cloth over them?"

Mrs. Pratt: "Yes. It will look amazing."

I'm as doomed as doomed can be. I need leverage. I need parity.

Me: "If I agree to do this, you'll have to go to some event I want."

Mrs. Pratt: "Like what?"

Me: "I will find some gigantic geek fest science fiction/comic book convention and make you go everyday with me."

She mulls this over a bit. Will she call my bluff? Nothing drives her batty more than sci-fi comic book stuff.This may give her second thoughts. heh heh heh. It's the Cuban Missile Crisis in my kitchen. Who will blink first?

I finished the dishes and watch tv.The subject is dropped for now. But if you read reports of an exasperated man weeping and being dragged through Central Park in February you'll know it was me. As doomed as doomed can be.

It's a Wrap...


Sorry Kids..Christmas is over.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Monday Bunday...

Today's Monday Bunday is a spotlight on Her Royal Majesty Princess Jewel. She tolerates the paparazzi occasionally...


Princess exploring the kingdom...


Tea time for Princess..one bale or two?


Princess is waiting for a carrot and more greens.


A big yawn from Greyton. "Big hairy deal." he says...He wants more pin-ups of Baxter.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

All the Whos Still a Snooze...

Happy Boxing Day. Now, the plan for me was to leap out of bed this morning and hit the mall early , witnessing the shopping frenzy that is your After Christmas sales and reporting on any bizarre behavior I know I'm bound to see.

But I woke up today...at noon. And my head feels like I have 5 pounds of cotton inside of it. Even after a hot shower and some coffee I can't seem to clear my head..It's a rotten head cold. I still have Monday off. Maybe I'll get there tomorrow. But everyone is snoozy today, the kind of day to take a long nap.

So Christmas Day came and went quietly here. Santa was good to me with several DVDs and CDs. Mrs. Pratt did rather well. The Bunnies got lots of tasty treats- Baxter got her own cardboard castle. We put Greyton and Twizzle in charge of leaving carrots out for the reindeer. Sure enough, Christmas morning they were gone!!!

To anyone travelling, thank goodness you didn't darken the door of Philadelphia International Airport where the ineptitude of US Airways (Which has always been notoriously bad there)has stranded people and luggage at the airport for three days.

I hope all my friends and family are having a good holiday weekend.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas with the Pratt bunnies...


They had just settled down for along winter's nap...


Princess Jewel is mortified that this hat is not haute couture. "Where is my figgy pudding ,peasant?"


Our simple Christmas Tree...Twizzle waits by the fireplace for Santa Hare.


It's Santa Hare! All whiskery and stout.


Baxter preparing her alibi for Santa.


On Comet! On Cupid! On Twizzle and Blitzen!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Pratt Poem...

A few years ago I wrote and drew a rabbit version of Twas the Night Before Christmas

Night on the Town...

Mrs. Pratt and I decided to venture back to those houses with the tacky over the top decorations. First a little dinner at a restaurant we wanted to try. Then some Christmas shopping at Ikea. Which, by the way, was practically empty. Not many people ask for a blorfknorp for Xmas I guess. Then we got back to our town. Digital camera ready.
Approaching Chez Brightlight. Quick put the special sunglasses on!

The tackiest house is on a very busy road so we had a small window to drive by and take photos or risk getting rear-ended in the car. We had to circle the block a few times.

Mrs. Pratt(driving):"Do you see what I do just for your blog?"

Me (hanging out window with camera): "Damn ! I can't get SpongeBob and Baby Jesus in the same frame!"

So here's a lovely hand crafted nativity scene...




And inches away, the Three Wise Men are Sully Mr. Incredible and SpongeBob.




Now fortunately we were able to stop the car and get a clear shot of one of the other electric nightmare.


As my friend Dawn so aptly put it..."The House Christmas Threw Up On".


My favorite part of this house is in the center of the photo a snowman head is stuck on their light pole.

"Bring me the Head of Frosty!!!!!!" I bellowed out the window. We hightailed it home before the homeowners saw us.

Sad Day at Happy Times...

I am so upset upon hearing the news that one of my favorite tv shows is cancelled Dead Like Me has been axed by Showtime after two seasons.

If Desperate Housewives and The L Word get canned I'll go find a window ledge.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Greatest Gift....

Many websites now offer wish lists for you to use to attain something material. Yet, I think in our own daily lives we may keep a wish list in our hearts about somehing we hope to find someday.A sense of inner peace has always been on mine.

Now I'm sure you are saying to yourself, 'What's this? Inner peace? Where's the goofy antics? The madcap Pratt comedy that usually clutters the daily posts here?'
"It came without packages...boxes ..or bags...!"( ok that was a Grinch shout-out)I have something serious to say but may throw in a dash of humor.

Time to turn back the clock. ok, now turn it back some more...ok now a little more..no! Too much- you forgot a leap year and a Daylight's Savings Time..and oh nevermind let me do it...It's 1986.


I had met a girl.Yeah, me ...imagine that."Once there was a day..we were together all the way.."as Heaven 17 once sang. For about two years on and off we were a couple. It ended badly. Very badly. Because of me. Immature behavior. General stupidity.

One of the big regrets I had kicking around my soul was not setting things right with her.We never had closure. The last meeting was a random meeting on the streets of New York City in 1988. Eight million people and I run into her outside of Penn Station. It was a horrible farewell.As she walked away I didn't think I would ever see her again.

Ok so some of you are saying,"Oh, pipe down Dr.Phil." but seriously. Bad feelings were out there. Great hurt and loss.On both sides. I have had great regret over this.

Time passes. A lot of time passes.The 80's, the 90's, the Millenium..I think I saw Marty McFly pass me in a flying car.Welcome to 2004.

She found me. She found this blog and knew right away it was silly old me. She bravely said hello.Wow, that took a lot of stones. I am shocked she did after sixteen years.

I said hello back and gave a big apology for the actions of when I was a stupid little boy who didn't know anything about relationships or feelings or about much of anything.I was quite a different person in the 80's than I am now.

We caught up with our lives today. Talk of spouses and children...well, the bunnies for me.. What we've accomplished in life and how different things have turned out for us. We have put the old business aside and are now friends.

John Lennon was right. "War is over... if you want it..."

And so Happy Christmas...I think the greatest gift I got this year so far was a little bit of inner peace. A little bit of my soul.A little bit of redemption.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Monday Bunday...


Today is Twizzle's Birthday! He came to our home one year ago today. Carrot Cake will be served tonight.


Twizzle gets his stocking ready for Santa Hare.


Twizzle visits with Charlie in the box and spotted elephant.But he's no misfit!



Greyton Meets the Bumble! Which is which???


Have a holly jolly twizzle fershizzle Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hello Creepy...

Doing some final Christmas shopping for Mrs. Pratt this afternoon and I went into the Hello Kitty store for stocking stuffers.Mrs. Pratt despite her age loves Hello Kitty becuase it was first big when she was young. So I guess it's retro cool along with Care Bears for her.

I'm fishing around the display with the gum and Kitty pens i usually throw in her stocking every year. I hear a voice, it's the Perky Sales Clerk.

PSC:"Hello. How are you? And how old is the girl you are shopping for?"

Me: "Um...Twenty-seven*" *Editorial note- I am legally bound to insist that Mrs. Pratt is twenty seven and not a day older. She stopped celebrating birthdays in 1997...which means..oh damn! I gave it away! You do the math! Anyway she is twenty seven and will say no other number, which is fine for now since she is still a hottie but I know the day will come when she will be around the age of Bea Arthur and still insisting she is twenty seven..Oh well it should be a fun Blog of Pratt entry for the year 2044.Also I remind her that if she is twenty seven and we've been married for eleven years this makes me look more studly for marrying a sweet young thang or else it's a common occurance for um ...the South.

The Perky Sales Clerk faced dropped a little as she gave me the look that I was creepy and that I should be in Tiffany's buying something that comes in a blue box and not Hello Kitty pens.

Maybe I should have said my niece, I told my friend Mary Ann

"How old is she?" she said..

"Um...Twenty-two?" It still sounded weird.


I got the pens and a few other stocking stuffers and headed out in search of something sparkly.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Watt's the Matter ...

Mrs. Pratt and I were going to grab a bite to eat at our nearby diner but before we did she said, let's take the long way. She had to show me the town's tackiest Christmas decorations.


I'll have to start with the the second and third prize. Because after we drove by the electric mayhem of kringle on crack, we had gone into another neighborhood in order to turn around.

We stumbled upon Kitsch Gold. I don't know if it's a neighborhood competition or simply a revenge fantasy from one household against another. I try to imagine the scenarios for what would make you do this to your house.Maybe becuase old man peterson down the street would mow his lawn at 8am therefore the Smith household will get even by creating a kilowatt kick in the nuts for the old coot.


We were dumbfounded as we passed by several other houses who have seem to received their lighting instructions from Clark W. Griswald.

Ok, so this is the third place winner.




The residents have filled their entire yard with every animated wire reindeer, and the other overexposed holiday decoration- the inflateable figure.They had the Grinch,Santa,elves penguins, polar bears,snowmen,Paris Hilton.

As we slowed down to take the picture children waved to us from the front walk while adults gave us the stinkeye from the warmth of the indoors. I hope they didn't force the kids to wave at every passing car.It was a chilly night..The imagination begins again...

"Mom..I wanna come in I'm cold."
"Tough Johnny..Fill the quota of 50 cars and get back in the holiday spirit you little punk."

The second place finish was by a house three doors down.




Every inch was well lit even the skylight on the roof.I have a skylight on my house, but the time and energy to coordinate a lighting scheme around it is not worth the potential for me with my Jerry Lewis like coordination to fall off the roof and eat through a tube the rest of my natural life.

Then the grand finale. The winner of the most overly decorated house. It's so bad in a good way I plan on returning Monday night to get better documentation. This photo doesn't do the place justice.




It's mainly the trees in front of the property.They are completely cluttered with lights, angels, candy canes,cut-outs of doves.There were so many spotlights on the trees that I saw a squirrel wearing dark glasses flipping off an Alvin and the Chipmunks figurine in the yard.

Yes..the figurines. Besides the nativity there is SpongeBob and The guy from the Incredibles.Nothing says the birth of the big J.C. than an appearance by Squidward and Patrick.This will be included in a future update. I only had my camera phone with me and no flash on it.

The house is more lit up than Courtney Love on a daily basis.Or Whitney Houston. Or Both.I would say instead of Electric Whoville It's Electric WHAT WERE YOU THINKINGVILLE?

This shall be continued...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Up on the Housetop...

Pulling into the drive way last night..to what did my wonderin' eyes did appear...

Roofing materials.

About two months ago when we got more rain than say Noah was used to, we noticed that some water leaked through the attic and caused a small stain in a back bedroom. The house is 15 years old and we are trying to stay on top of all the upkeep.

Certain roofers have been used for our development, they know the right shingle etc. so they showed up this morning. Mrs. Pratt was still in bed covers over her head.

Me:"Get up."

Mrs. PRatt:"No...snoozy...(assorted morning growls)"

I look out the window. "Well you better get up now because the roof guys are here."

They were speedy and diligent.I didn't even get the chance to say hello to them. Before we knew it we heard clomping and stomping all over the roof and looking out a window protective sheets being thrown down. Wasting no time since I think the weather will be clear only for the next two days they started ripping up the old beat shingles. It was extremely noisy.

The rabbits freaked out. Greyton kept thumping his foot which is rabbit language for "Warning! Danger Will Robinson!" Twizzle was beside himself and ran in zig zags around the living room. Princess , I could have sworn put on a little air raid civil defense helmet and scooted under the bed. Baxter huddled in the corner of her cage and got real low to the ground.

I have no idea what the place will look like - or even if they will be finished today. I hope the neighbors don't mind some Saturday Morning racket.

Tin Roof....Rusted...

Yesterday, I heard "Love Shack" by the B-52's on the radio.One of my favorite songs from the 1980's. I was rocking out at my desk , despite the odd looks by my co-workers. Now this morning I check out the news and read that the inspiration for "Love Shack" burned down in a fire. The tin roof survived.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Son of Salmonella...

After work tonight I had to get to the grocery store and pick up some fresh produce for the rabbits.

I loaded up on Romaine, Green leaf, red Leaf lettuce, escarole, parsley and carrots.

Mrs. Pratt was working her holiday job until 11 so I had to forage for my own dinner. I stopped by the food court and where they made sandwhiches.I look at the menu. Hmmm.Maybe a cheesesteak? Or a meatball sub?

The sleepy eyed disheveled guy behind the counter asked what I would like and I said the meatball sub. He goes to the grill where the meatballs were in a container.

He hesitantly begins moving them around with a spoon. Kind of jabbing them. A look of concern crosses his face.

It reminded me of those movies where the cave people would poke at the dead sabretooth tiger with a stick to make sure it wasn't moving.

"Those things are just nasty." Chef Boyardullard says to me. "Anything else?"

I walked briskly from the counter. Canned soup will be good.

Mission Giftpossible...

Every year the University I work for rewards it's employees with a gift. No, it's not cold hard cash or a fat bonus check.I mean, come on...I work in academia. It's a small token of appreciation for all the hard work done all year...with their logo slapped on it.

Now really, it's a nice gesture. There is always a variety to choose from: Red wine glasses. Regular wine glasses. Tall glasses. Highball glasses. A glass platter. A picture frame. A small gift certificate to the bookstore.The girt certificate wasn't that great becuase they would limit what you could use it on. So no cool clothes but maybe this pack of gum? The gift certificate was discontinued. Glass coffee mugs replaced it.

For years and years -they were always the same gifts offered. Now after working there for twelve years..well I've pretty much gone through everything.


1992: The Glass Platter. "Maybe future Mrs. Pratt will bake cookies!" Foolish mortal.

For several years I was on the wine glass kick.

"Mrs. Pratt is the wine industry's best friend! She could always use wine glasses!", my Pratt logic would say.

She was quite thrilled the first year I brought them home. I think it was 1993. A nice box of four. "We'll add these to the ones we got for our wedding."

1994 was "Oh, more wine glasses!" Nervous laugh.

1995: "More wine glasses??? Why didn't you get the highball glasses?"Annoyed stare.

1996: "Not the wine glasses! Pick something else... I'm running out of space!" Very annoyed stare.

1997:I bring home the bigger red wine glasses "I hate red wine and I'm out of space." If laser beams could shoot from eyes...

1998: "I swear if that's a box of wine glasses you will eat glass." Hulk smash.

1999: "We don't know enough people to have this many wine glasses." Disgust and annoyance.

2000: I break the streak..I bring home tall glasses.
"We have enough tall glasses ." she says. I weep openly.

2001:HA! PICTURE FRAME! And a co-worker who was leaving at the end of the year gave me her present ...wine glasses.

2002: Glass coffee mugs. Mrs. Pratt not impressed.

2003: More glass coffee mugs! And uh oh ...I think we regifted them to the Nice Neighbors!! um..yeah hi Deb..*hides under rock*

Which brings us to this year. We were offered not one but two new choices. A nice clock or an umbrella. You would not believe how excited people were when they approached the gift table. People actually in excited voices..."LOOK! A CLOCK! AND UMBRELLAS! THEY HAVE A CLOCKS AND UMBRELLAS THIS YEAR!!!" My co-workers told me to relax, settle down and stop jumping on the furniture.

As gift euphoria drained my energy , I decided to play it safe..I naturally called Mrs. Pratt on my cellphone.

Me:"Hey there...it's your favorite day of the year."

Mrs. Pratt:"I get to go to Hawaii again?"

Me: "No, It's University gift day!"

Mrs. Pratt:"You bring home wine glasses and you are a dead man."

I begin excitedly telling her about the clock and umbrella. Hands waving, jumping up and down, giddy with enthusiasm.

Mrs. Pratt: "Ok calm down. Action News won't be showing up for this event in history. Get the clock. You could put it on the mantle."

But you know, those wine glasses sure do look nice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Harestyrectomy...


Baxter got spayed today. the Paris Hilton of bunnies should calm down now..and peace will come to the household since Greyton and Twizzle's hormones won't be going crazy next to her. She is just resting quietly in her cage.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

And Then...

Mrs. Pratt needed a good cup of coffee. We were in the wilds of Western New York and without her caffeine she was one cranky...what? she's reading this? heh heh heh...I mean she just wanted a nice cup of coffee to make her smile and have a sunshiny day.

Mrs. Pratt:"Where's the Dunkin' Donuts? I need Dunkin' Donuts coffee."

Me:"They don't have any of them around here. It's mostly Tim Horton's."

Mrs. Pratt:"Who's Tim Horton?"

My local lore served me well.

Me:"He was a famous hockey player for Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres. These stores started in Canada and they are everywhere across the border here.It's like Krispy Kreme."

Mrs. Pratt:"Wow, he must be a millionaire. He must make more money from this then hockey."

Me:' Yeah well, the sad thing is - it's just his name. The real Tim Horton died in a bad car crash going 100 miles an hour in 1974."

Mrs. Pratt:"Well, that's a cheerful selling point."

We go into the local store and once again the customer service industry helped me in writing my blog. The person who waited on us was also wearing the drive through head set. Even though there were two other people around the counter. She was taking our order and the drive through window at the same time.

Now here is the freaky part. You know how when you are at a restaurant drive through window and the voice always sound like they have marbles in their mouth?You figure it's just a bad loudspeaker or intercom system...

Head Set Girl sounded like that live and in person! I checked quick to see any hearing aids or anything that would give away a hearing impairment for her speech. No, none of that. Plus she was on the headset too. She was speaking to us in ventriloquist voice. Usually ventriloquist voice is reserved by mothers in department stores scolding young children by speaking harshly without moving their lips.You know"Stop...it...this ..instant..." I saw a glint of metal in her mouth. I think it was a brand new tongue piercing.

So Head Set Girl was repeating our order

Head Set Girl: "Cfffffeee,dnnnut,annntthhrr cfffeee...frrr...hrrr...r...ttt...g?"

Me: "Huh? What?"

Mrs. Pratt became Anne Bancroft from 'The Miracle Worker':"She said for here or to go."

Head Set Girl:"Crrr N sssgrrr nnn tttt cfffe?"

Me:"HUH? WHAT?"
Mrs. Pratt(exasperated):"Cream and sugar dumbass."

She hands us our coffee, which Mrs. Pratt did enjoy by the way, and as we were paying we heard her speaking to someone in drive-thru.

"Wlllcmm ttt tmmmhrrtns Myyytkkkyyyrrrrdrrr?"

So next time you hit the take out window and can't understand them now you may know a reason why.

As we drove back to the hotel I talked like Head Set Girl and sang like her to songs on the radio until Mrs. Pratt threatened to throw me out of the moving car.

Diversions...

Now the entire time we were in Western New York, the main concern was my father in the hospital. He was in the cardiac care unit for several days and they had extremely limited visiting hours of 11-12,4-5,and 7-8 . So other diversions had to fill some of our time.

Slot machines are legal at area racetrack so we headed over to play some slots Sunday for a few hours. I hit on nickel slots for $50 which we immediately cashed out since we were about to go to a nearby mall to eat dinner anyway.

Now honestly, I'm glad Mrs. Pratt was with me. She will swear that all these events happened. I'm not making this up. We went to my local mall to a pub style restaurant connected to the stores.But it had a definite entrance hallway to the seating area.We were seated in a booth. Suddenly we hear a rumbling squeaky noise.

Being pushed into the restaurant was a LARGE Sears shooping cart. The really big ones. In it was a child, and some baby stuff. But not in shopping bags or anything. The adults I guess apparantly decided that a stroller wasn't a good purchase and used the behemoth shopping carts to tote their tyke. Seriously, next time you are near a Sears check out the size of these things.(Ok..some of you can pull a hat over your eyes in case you are recognized shopping there)

Shopping cart Dad is barreling this thing in the restaurant past other diners and tables. He's knocking over chairs. Silverware is on the floor.This wasn't an open food court restaurant but he plowed the shopping cart through a crowded restaurant. The teenage wait-staff looked at the scene glassy eyed. It took a while for them to upright the furniture. Either this must be a common occurance or they didn't care.I've been to some local spots where they tell parents to fold up the strollers so they don't block aisles.

Mrs. Pratt was cracking up at the whole scene.Shwe was then trying to be Jennifer Garner in "Alias" by snapping a photo of the giganto cart in the middle of the restaurant. She got up to go to the bathroom then "pretended " to make a phone call next to their table. Alas, the restaurant was too dark for the photo from Spy Girl to come out.

We walked around the mall and bought Christmas presents for my parents. On our way back out we saw the family again.

There was an all -purpose mall directory map and we feigned interest in it. I got a photo of the shopping cart - a bit blurry but it's true!




And so the adventures in Western New York continued...

Room at the Inn...

I come from a very large family. As many of my brothers and sisters descending on Western New York to visit my parents over the weekend, well there just isn't space for everybody, so Mrs. Pratt and I decided to get a room at the nearby Holiday Inn. We got there Saturday afternoon. After a long day of driving from Philly to Buffalo, catching up with family and hospital visits we were exhausted.

I had absolutely no problems with the hotel itself. The room was good. The bed was good. Mrs. Pratt could not belive the arctic temperatures that Buffalo could produce. We decided that after the long day we needed to relax, and since the frosty temps and snow falling prevented us from going out to any other bars - we ventured into the cocktail lounge.(Ominous music will play here)

Now the motel calls their lounge "Conversations". It should have been called "Drunken Slur". We had noticed several buses lined around the building. Every light was on in the motel. I wondered what would fill up the place. Of course, The Buffalo Bills had a home game the next day against the Cleveland Browns. The motel was filled with a mammoth contingency of Browns fans.

As we approached the entrance of the lounge was a guy wearing a red "Ohio State Buckeyes" shirt with a mop of curly black hair -he was overly tan and was calling everyone chief or pally or buddy...but all we heard from him was

"Harglebargle bargle hargle..browns fans in there.." Only one word in ten was intelligable. I was wondering whether he was speaking Esperanto, Mrs. Pratt said it was a dialect of Jose Cuervo.

And yes, The lounge was filled with assorted Browns fans. We sat at one end of the bar and watched with bemusement. Unfortunately, I left my camera phone back in the room I wish I could have photographed the crew for you.

The jukebox was blasting Garth Brooks songs. You know what's worse than one person singing a country-western song? Ten people singing a country -western song. After a rousing chorus of friends in low or high places the Browns fans would randomly shout "BROWNS!!!!WOOOO!" At the opposite end of the vbar two guys got into a debate about Top Gun. They turned to a woman in a scary perm next to them..

"Who's Goose- and Who's the Iceman?" they were pointing at themselves. She looked puzzled. the several shots she was doing didn't resolve the question.But the guys argued back and forth

Drunk Guy#1:"I'm Iceman and you are Goose, man!"
Drunk Guy#2:"No fuckin' way...You're Goose and I'm Iceman!"

Drunk Girl#1:Don't either of you want to be "Maverick"?

Take my breath away indeed.

At one table were about six people who get the bright idea to bring all the beer and booze from their rooms and drink it there in the bar.

The hotel manager and a police officer showed up to tell them that isn't a good idea. Another drunk girl asked then if the cop 'could be a sweetie and put the beer backin her room for her.' "And don't worry officer I'm not driving tonight."she said trying to maintain her balance. The cop later came back and was flirting with her. "Hey, let's be careful out there." I was thinking.

Mrs. Pratt and I were enjoy this ringside seat to the Ohio community production of "The Lost Weekend". In an adjacent ballroom several people in very bad evening attire were spilling into the room,Mrs. Pratt noted that it looked the remnants of a bad office holiday party.

Suddenly the guy in the Buckeyes t-shirt was weaving his way near us when he was recognized by a few in the crowd.They whooped and shouted at him and was giving him high-fives. We deciphered through the accents of Labbats Blue that he was the guy who organized these bus trips from Cleveland and Pittsburgh to Buffalo. He was trying to explain that becuase of this people called him the Bikeman.

Mrs. Pratt:"I thought they came by bus."
Me:"Shhhh. He's trying to tell us something..."

Bikeman:"Hargle bargle hargle bargle bargle hargle ..Bikeman."

He asked where we were from so for the rest of the night I was "Hargle bargle bargle hargle..Philly."

More country tunes were played. Either Goose or Iceman or jesus christ, Ferris Bueller was making out with bad perm girl at the other end of the bar. In the center of the bar was a woman telling Bikeman how she loves her kids and dogs but not as much as going to football games. She then sat in front of the jukebox and stared for a long time at the flashing lights.

Bikeman was trying to lead cheers as we left after a few drinks.


"Hargle bargle Browns!"he was mumbling.

All the Browns fans were boasting of a great victory on Sunday.

The Bills destroyed them.They were only allowed 17 yards of offense the whole game.

Sunday night the hotel was quiet. I thought I heard in the lobby a soft weeping.

"Hargle...bargle..sniffle..maybe next year."

Back in the Saddle Again...

I've returned from Buffalo. My father is doing much better. Friday and Saturday things were very shaky, but by this morning his health had improved greatly. Thank you to all my friends and readers who called me checking how things were going and those that left good thoughts on the comments. I truly appreciate it.

Now then...Of course any journey I take strange things do occur to me...and any trip back to Western New York is always an adventure. Tales to tell shall now follow...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Going Home..

My father had a setback. I'm going home for a few days.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Jerry Scoggins dies...




Well Now it's time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin-

The guy who sang the theme song -he won't sing agin'

He helped himself to Vittles and some hospitality


Jerry Scoggins singer - he is dead at ninety-three...

(Hillbillies that is! Tv show..from the 60's!)

Y'all come back now ya hear?


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Chest Nuts Nipping at Your Nose...

I started the morning off by a leisurely drive to the post office to drop off another batch of Blog of Pratt Holiday CDs. I wish I had been able to swing a cup of coffee because I was still a little sleepy when suddenly up in the distance I saw the sign for RED LOBSTER. It said - BIKINI CONTEST - 7pm.

For new readers- Red Lobster is code for Hooters- the restaurants are right next door to each other but in case of emergency like an elderly librarian or a priest asks where I ate lunch - I reply Red Lobster thus saving myself from embarrasment and them having as Emily Dickinson would put it "A Hissy Fit."

Yes, I will admit that I go to that restuarant reknowned for it's chicken wings...and what else?? Hmmmm..it's on the tip of my tongue..well if it WAS on the tip of my tongue I would surely have stopped typing by now.

Once Mrs. Pratt and I both got home from work she wondered, "What should we do for dinner? "Glad you asked!" I said.

I presented my case with the skill of a courtroom attorney.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury...you enjoy chicken wings and mentioned you really wanted some the other day. Also, one of their calendars would make an excellent Christmas gift for me. And in conclusion, perhaps we will see things good enough to blog about.I rest my case."

She reminded me that one of the local radio stations was doing their big food drive to help the poor. She wanted to go up to the nearby supermarket the radio guys were collected donated food. We did it last year and it was fun. But this year I was in a frenzy.

"SCREW THE POOR! Let's see BIKINIS!"

That's an actual quote from me. I expect it to be on t-shirts and Christmas ornaments available in the lobby during intermission.


You'll be glad to know Mrs. Pratt chastised me for my less than warm feeling towards my fellow man, and my more warm than she would like feeling for my fellow women.

A compromised was reached. Another Philadelphia radio station is also doing a fund raiser for the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank this week and we shall make a nice donation to them.


So it was off to Hoo..Red Lobster. We had dinner and although the contest promised a start time of 7pm it didn't begin until 7:45. Mrs. Pratt had her plate of wings and was happy. Now the six contestants in the event were selling raffle tickets. The 5 winning tickets would be the lucky ones who got to sit up front and judge the competition. All proceeds for the night went to Children's Hospital.

For a charity event though, the girls selling the tickets weren't trying very hard. The restaurant was packed but they kind of just stayed in a group talking until one of them said "Ohmigawd..you guys..we have to sell these ourselves." You could see the small crackle of electricity go on in their heads and soon the peroxide pack wandered about.

One jaw droppingly amazing looking woman approached a table of three- one guy had on a cowboy hat, one looked like the bassist for REM , Mike Mills, the other guy was in a suit and blabbed away at his cellphone. Mrs. Pratt noticed when the Bikini Girl approached them, cellphone guy didn't even look up at her. "How can you not notice that!" she said.
Mrs. Pratt bought me a chance at the raffle.
"It's for your journal in case you win." she told me.

The contest started.Sadly, I was not picked for a judge. Guys who had literally dozens of tickets were picked.

The contestants were introduced by the emcee. A really large guy- at least 300 pounds. His stage prescence blocked the view from our side of the restaurant. It was a Bouncer Eclipse. Brief flashes of a girl in a bikini were seen, but M.C. Planetoid blocked the view. Some of the audience asked him nicely to move upstage. Well, as nicely as "MOVE FAT ASS!" could come from a crowd.Oh the crowd had many women as spectators as well. Just incase you thought Mrs. Pratt was alone in the sea of silicone.

The girls came out on stage three times and Mrs. Pratt and I agreed that had this been a Florida bikini contest, most of these participants would be asked to either go park cars or chase them.

But it was entertaining. They had to answer questions like 'What's your favorite candy?' One lady said "Gushers". I was puzzled nobody mentioned blowpops.Mrs. Pratt gave me the Look of Death. I then assured her she would beat any of the competition up on the stage(Before she began beating me.)Mrs. Pratt was appeased.

We compared notes. I thought the very buxom overly tan blonde girl in the hot pink bikini would win. Mrs. Pratt opted for the plainer brunette in the all white bikini. "She looks real" she said. We were both wrong.

The woman who won had a bikini made of tinsel. The crowd hooted (of course) and hollered and I think several of the judges were thinking of attaching mistletoe to their belt loops.

"Yeah ...I'm the greatest wife in the world." Mrs. Pratt said as we ambled out to the Prattmobile afterwards.

And visions of sugarplums danced in my head.....

Stroke of Midnight...


Who will replace Dick? I heard the news that Dick Clark, the "oldest perrenial teenager" had a stroke this week. This is awful! Who will host my favorite New Year's Rockin' Eve special? Who else to calmly guide the world into the next year. Dick says he hopes to be able to be available for Dec.31st but if not who could possibly replace him? I can picture it now.....

*Donald Trump :"2004....You're fired."

*Jessica Simpson: "10..9..8..uh...4....7? 8...Nick, did I say 8? Um...3...12...?"

*Michael Moore: " Sadly, the crystal factory that made the giant ball you are watching being dropped is out of business now. It was made in Flint, Michigan. The President padlocked the doors himself."

*The Bush Twins:"WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CHAMPAGNE!"

*Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly:"I'm the heir apparent" "No ..I Am" "My highlights are fading in this weather." "Anyone seen Tara Reid?"

Tara Reid:"WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CHAMPAGNE!"

Clay Aiken: "Woooooooooo....ginger ale.I hope I'm allowed to stay up until 12."

Snoop Dogg: "Twelvizzle..Midnizzle..Happy New Schnizzle!"

Get Well Soon Dick.

Holy Blogrolling...

I got an e-mail today from one of my friends Sassy. She was searching for my page and was typing the address in. However, she transposed the P and S in blogspot and instead of my page filled with my antic adventures and bunny pics she got a Bible devotion page.

It's a creepy Bible page too...one of those convinced that the End Times are upon us. Which for the record would only occur if the following happens:

*Motley Crue reunites.
*Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan begin recording careers.
*Clay Aiken is given his own Christmas special.
*Bush won re-election.
*"What's Happening" The Complete Second Season is out on DVD.
*Julia Roberts dubs children with jackass names.
*Pratt has a college degree and a Driver's License.

What? These things have happened? Zoinks.Time to crawl under the floor boards.

But a big thanks to Sassy for letting me know that some religious kooks have hopes that you will mistype my address and be exposed to some ol' time religion.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Remember Pearl Harbor...

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.I remember when Mrs. Pratt and I went there in 2003 to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. It was a moving emotional experience. Her father had been in the Navy in World War II , so it meant a lot to her to see it. And I, history geek, was also looking forward to it.

The Park Service asks the public to be respectful at the monument. No loud talking or cellphones.But of course there are always people who bring jackassery to a new level.

We were standing in the center of the monument looking down at the Arizona when
the solemnity of the moment was ruined by a woman who whipped out her cellphone and in a very loud stage whisper said "GUESS WHERE I AM?"

If you are ever in Hawaii,Please pay the Arizona Memorial a visit....but don't call me from it.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Monday Bunday...


Must we do this every Xmas? The return of Santa Hare.


Season's greetings from Princess Jewel.


Baxter looking for the boys...


Greyton and Twizzle discuss what to get the girls for Christmas.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Holiday Trivia...

Over the years, I've accumulated a vast storehouse of useless trivia. Here's a list of some things about the holiday season you may not have known...


1. One of the Three Kings was named Larry.

2. Swaddling Clothes originally had that little preppy alligator logo on them.

3. There WAS room at the Inn because the Sheperd Convention had to cancel at the last minute. Joseph and Mary were later comped and given tickets to see Blue Man Group.

4. December 25th was chosen as Christmas Day since it coincides with the Pagan festival Saturnalia and the Pauly Shore movie marathons on the Superstation.

5. The first draft of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" featured not only The Ghost of Christmas Past,Present, and Yet to Come but also monster trucks and a clown who lived in the sewers.

6. The character of Tiny Tim was at first called "Really Limpy Chad".

7.Santa Claus is called different things in different cultures. He is "Sinter Klaas" to the Dutch. "Pere Noel" in France. "Father Christmas" in the UK. "Mug the Old Fat White Dude" in urban America.

8. A Christmas Fruitcake consists of raisins,red and green candied cherries,brandy and the weight and mass to break a plate glass window.

9. The origin of the Christmas Tree started by Mr. O. Tannenbaum, a florist from Queens, NY.

10. Rudolph has "had some work done".

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Traffic Snarl...


Driving to the post office today..It took awhile..Wow traffic was a bitch.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Scenes from a Mall...

I took today off because I haven't been felling too great myself. I needed to decompress and have a day to just relax. I haven't been sleeping well and just felt burnt out.

This morning I dug into the daily newspapers. There was an interesting article about a new cafe that opened near the University of Pennsylvania. It's called Cereality. You can mix and match your favorites cereals. It's cereal all day every day. Perfect for the hectic schedules of college students. I wonder if they let you sit there and read the box.

I headed out to a local mall to start some Xmas shopping , and also keep my mind off of sad things. My father was having his angioplasty done today and I was worried. I needed to be out. I found a few things Mrs. Pratt has deftly hinted at for Santa to bring her. Too bad she reads this page or I'd let you in on it. Maybe I could devise a secret code.

"Okay Blog of Pratt fans! I got Mrs. Pratt a ZNXYTEKPH!" Don't tell her that they only come in red."

Ok , enough fantasy..the reality of my mall trip included the following scenes I witnessed:

* A determined Mom dragging a pouty little boy to see Santa Claus. Mom to kids:"You WILL see Santa and like it!!"She was saying this in Ventriloquist voice- when Moms talk through their teeth without moving their lips. The "elf" helper laughed nervously. I hope the kid asked Santa for a restraining order and emancipation from a parent.

*An old old old man window shopping...at Victoria's Secret. He lingered at the window a long time....ahem...No ,It wasn't me!

* In a video game store two women discussing what to get their kids.
Mom#1:"He's killed all the monsters in his games. He needs new ones."

Mom#2"Let's ruin his Christmas and buy an educational game."

Moms laugh. Oh education - how droll.

* In the book store a little girl is asked by her mother what books Santa should bring her.

Little Girl:"Forget Santa. I want stuff now." I checked... it was not Veruca Salt.

*At the 'Make your own Christmas Stocking' kiosk. There was a fat guy with a ZZ Topp beard having a stocking made with "CHEECH" written on it ...in Glitter.


I got home from the mall and just in time for a phone call from one of my sisters. The angioplasty went through ok, and my father was in the recovery room. Everything is ok so far. I feel better that maybe he will be home from the hospital in a few days now after being there the last two weeks.

I'll sleep well..but ...I guess I may be up wondering just what the hell does Santa put in CHEECH's stocking?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Preoccupied...

I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing more for the blog.I think I've been too photo-heavy lately. I mean besides posting the oh -so popular Monday Bunday photos.

Speaking of which, Mrs. Pratt and I were in a grocery store yesterday and over the store's sound system "Monday Monday" by the Mamas and the Papas was playing. Mrs. Pratt was at the ATM and I was standing next to her like a big goof singing "Monnnnday Bunnnnday ba da ba da da da..." several people turned around and looked at me with a look of ..well..I thought Mrs. Pratt was the only one who looked at me like that.


I'm preoccupied with thoughts about my father. He's still in the hospital. Angioplasty may be done tomorrow. It's been a rough week of complications to even get to that. My sisters have been calling me with updates. Many of us are torn between rushing home yet.It may be a little much for him if the entire family showed up at his hospital bed. You see there are ten of us in our family. It's a Brady Bunch situation where two families joined together.

What happened was...this is how I explain it to people and I have it down so I can rattle it off in thirty seconds...
My mother died. This other family's father died. My father married their mother. We had three boys ,two girls. They had three girls ,two boys. Five boys - Five girls: ten kids. Plus parents- now twelve.

Into that little math equation add that most of us are married so add another nine people. Then insert all the grandchildren- thirteen at last count. So gather everyone together and we are at thirty four people. That's a Shriner's Convention!It's Eight(x4) is Enough!

Anyway, We get daily updates on my father and I was even able to talk to him at the hospital today. He sounded pretty good. I told him he was in my thoughts and we loved him.

So I'm preoccupied with his health. Worried about my Mom coping with the stress. Thinking about my brothers and sisters and how he, as the head of the family, means so much to all of us.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Fine-elf Jeopardy...


...
Note the creepy resemblence between former Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings and Hermie the Elf.
"I'll take Island of Misfit Toys for $500, Alex!"


"I want to be a Game Show Contestant!"

Wreck the Halls...

As I drove down my street last night coming home from work I saw from a distance a very nicely lit house. It was well-decorated and the holiday display was tasteful not tacky. I realized it was the house of our next door neighbors (The Nice Neighbors).

My house-well embarrasingly -it was looking dark and non-festive. Quite the contrast to the Nice Neighbors. At least the autumn scarecrow was taken down by us over the Thanksgiving weekend. But we have nothing in the way of holiday decorations up yet.

This weekend ,Mrs. Pratt has determined is the annual excavation of Christmas materials. We've seem to have accumulated so much of it over eleven years of marriage.

A few years ago we bought large plastic bins and keep the Xmas stuff in some kind of order there. Then they were placed under the basement steps. Every year we kick off the holiday ritual the same way...

I go under the basement steps to retrieve bins.

*THUMP* I bang my head on the steps.I curse like a Teamster.I've done this for three years now so it's become quite the ritual.

Every year I open the bins and I swear that before the christmas lights were packed away last year they were wrapped up in a neat orderly manner. I reach in and pull out a twisted conglomeration of electric mayhem that I will spend a good hour trying to unsnarl. I'll curse more and Mrs. Pratt will ply me with alcohol to get ME to unsnarl.

The tree: We have a big bay window in the front of the house so having the tree there always looks good from the outside as well..well at least whenever we remember to open our blinds. It's a tiny tree because a tree going to the floor would attract curious rabbit folk who would want to snack on strings of light and gnaw on the branches. So it's half a tree on a card table. It's an artificial tree so once again I have to try to figure out the color- coded system for sticking the branches in. I usually screw it up. More cursing.More alcohol.

Ornaments: We have some weird ornaments for our tree. A grasshopper? The Energizer Bunny?A carrot? A dancing bear with "have a Grateful Xmas"? Along with assorted lighthouses and rabbit shaped ones and corporate ones from some of Mrs. Pratt's former jobs which I remind her - they were rat bastards to her and why keep this chintzy thing- let's throw it in the fireplace. Yeah, by this time all the alcohol from the excavation and tree surgery has me loopy.

Nativity scene: We don't have one.Well we have a tiny wood carved Of course I would get the urge to add to it with the assorted toys I own much to Mrs. Pratt's annoyance.
Look there's the sheperds, the three kings, and The Justice Society? What's Krusty the Klown doing there? Bluntman and Chronic? Who parked the Batmobile by the manger?

We do have the deluxe Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer set. Which means no Mary, Joseph and Baby J. kicking around the manger but Yukon Corneilius and The Bumble!Which reminds me tonight is the 40th anniversary of Rudolph on tv. Mrs. Pratt and I never miss it.

She knows I will be walking around the house repeating lines from it. My favorite is when Rudolph's mother and Clarice want to go help look for the missing Rudolph and Donner replies..."NO, THIS IS MAN"S WORK." How 1964. So whenever I'm asked to take out the trash, or unload the dishwasher or do some laundry I'll throw out the "This is Man's work" line.Hilarity ensues until I get the stink eye from Mrs. Pratt over beating the joke to death.

Several years ago Mrs. Pratt brought home the creepiest holiday decoration there is.
Douglas Fir- the animated talking Christmas tree.


"REDRUM!REDRUM! Um..er I mean Merry Christmas.



We first saw it at a Guster Concert. They had one on stage and made it sing along with their sets. It's motion sensitive to noise so any music will set the thing off .It was a hoot the first year to see this borg spruce sing along with Neil Young or Duran Duran.

Now it spooks the hell out of me and the rabbits. In fact, I think I will have a contest here on the ol' Blog of Pratt. Write me a short essay why you would want Mr. Douglas Fir and who you would make him sing to. The winner shall receive the possessed devil arbor.Entries can be sent to Prattoons@yahoo.com

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go out and score some good tinsel.