A Web Log or “Blog” Started in an Attempt for Me, Gary Kimball,
To Get Closer to My Fifteen-Year-Old Son, Marcus, Who’s Living with His Mom And Her New Husband, Rick

(Written with Ted Travelstead. Originally appeared on McSweeney’s, December 7 2006)

July 24: HEY, MARCUS!!! IT’S YOUR OL’ MAN HERE AND I’M DOING SOME “BLOGGING” at an Internet Café! PRETTY COOL HUH? This is like the future! Well, I’m starting this “blog” so that we can talk on a more regular basis. Ever since your Mom threw me out of the house for pursuing my dream of playing poker professionally, we don’t see each other as often as I would like. Can’t wait to “bond” electronically. My wish is that you’ll start a blog, too, in response to this one! Hey, my “wrap” is ready so I better “wrap” this up! HAHAHAHA! Bye —Your Dad

September 16: Hey Marcus . . . WHASSAAAAAAAP! Remember those Budweiser beer advertisements? Those were funny, we used to laugh at those together, remember? I’m Laughing Out Loud with all the memories we shared, except for the last few years, especially that afternoon at the beer garden in the German section of EPCOT Center. Don’t ever drink, son. Particularly within the confines of a heavily fortified amusement park…. HEY! I haven’t heard from you after my last “shout out,” so I was wondering if you had seen my “blog?” When I called the house the other day, your mother’s new husband Rick answered, so I pretended I was your friend Kenny. You do have a friend named Kenny, right? I’m sorry that we didn’t get to talk, son. I suppose I got kind of flustered because of that time Rick threatened me with physical violence for sneaking into the garage and taking a nap. How was I supposed to know he had moved in?!! And how the hell was I supposed to know he would be so incredibly sensitive about my belt-buckle scraping the roof of his brand-new Porsche Cayenne?!! Hope to hear from you real soon, hombre! COOL! Dad

October 13: Great news, Marcus! Looks like the internet café won’t press charges for me “trespassing” into their kitchen to wash my underwear in their sink. AND GUESS WHAT?! I met a real “hottie” in the Wal-Mart parking lot a few nights ago! Are girls a part of your world yet, pardner? Can I give you a piece of valuable, well-earned advice? Never surprise a female by emerging partially nude from out of a pup-tent in their parking spot. Women are a different breed, Marcus. They really, really are … AWESOME talk, son! By the way, DIG THIS: I heard a KICK-ASS song yesterday as I was selling flowers in the median strip of Route 28. Have you heard of a group called “The Woo Tang Clan” [sp?]. It was SUPERB! This is the type of music you like, right? Hang on a sec, Marcus! Looks like I have to give up my seat for a kid who’s writing a book report on Beverly Cleary. I always did hate libraries! By the way, is your e-mail really BlowItOutYourAs@yahoo.com? Only one ‘s’? KEEP IT REAL . . . I know I am! Your dumb ol’ Dad

January 11: Gotta make it real quick, “dude,” seeing as I’m at the Apple store and not paying to use this computer and they’re closing in ten minutes. LISTEN UP, YO! PLEASE BE EXTRA PATIENT WITH YOUR NEW “DAD” RICK! I imagine he can sometimes be a little show-offy, what with his extensive knowledge of math and science and history and pop culture and always wanting to help you for hours on end with your homework. Everybody knows he’s just playing a role, and that this role of “The Hip and Successful Heart Surgeon Who’s Also Fantastic with Step-Kids” grows old REAL quick. But would you just play along with him for your real Pop? Would you be “down with that”?! Hell Yeah! . . . SUPER NEWS! Any day now (god willing!) I will have finally saved up enough money to enter into another poker tournament! And you can BET this time I ain’t gonna be a first-round loser!! Laughing out Loud but then Sort of Cursing Myself for Bluffing in the Last Tournament with Two Threes. What else is happening in my life, you’re asking? Bought a pair of fresh underwear. Infection in the earlobe almost gone (no more cool earrings, my man). And yes, that was me riding the children’s bike on my paper route when you honked your horn and swerved in my direction on Clopper Road. Why didn’t you tell me you turned sixteen and finally got your driver’s license?! Congrats, bro! PLEASE WRITE BACK! Or have you? Can’t really keep track of this whole “e-mail thing.” Kind of miss the ol’ pen & paper! Hey I think the Apple store might be clos

February 20: ‘Sup, hotshot! Sorry it’s been so long!! Remember a few years ago when I was arrested for drinking too much Lite beer and then digging a tunnel behind your elementary school to search for “gold”? And I had to go upstate for a little while? Well, if you can believe it, I’m back! (Word to the wise: Don’t ever break probation by taking a bath in a public fountain, kiddo. And if you must, please don’t do it in a Nordstrom’s during “peak hours.”) So, guess what?!!! Your old man is now teaching computers! Can Rick do that? I mean, on the older models? The computers with no “mouses” and with the monitors chained to their desks? WELL, I CAN! “Ain’t No Thang,” as Tara Reid might say . . . WHAT ELSE? Oh yes: I’m learning more and more about this music that you like so much! Each and every night, usually incredibly late, say at one, two, or even five o’clock in the morning, I’ll just sit back and listen to the music blasting so astonishingly loud and I’ll just “chill.” The violent imagery and the dirty words are simply TERRIFIC! Hang on a sec, my boy, looks like a few of the students are growing increasingly restless. “Dad the Music Lover” has to transform himself into “Dad the Professor” . . . . HEY! Marcus! I love you so very much! Laughing Out Loud But Also Sort of Crying Because I’m Not With You and Also Because I’m Now Being Choked by an Unbelievably Large Man with a Homemade Tattoo of a Good-Luck Shamrock on the Tip of His Nose. Just like in a musical video, right? Who’s still “KEEPIN’ IT REAL”?!!! I am! Don’t U Ever 4-Get About Me! ”“Dad

P.S.”“By the way, what’s the emoticon, or whatever it’s called, for “Kinda Need Help!”? No rush. Whnver you have a mnute. Thx! :)