Appetite Suppressor: The Healthy Food Made Unhealthy Challenge 

Originally published on Zug.com (now Media Shower) on March 8, 2013

Despite sharing a hairstyle with Rihanna, I am in fact a 30-year-old adult male, knocking on the doors of year 31.

Get rid of the lipstick and boobs, and we're pretty much twins.

Get rid of the lipstick and boobs, and we’re pretty much twins.

As such, I need to start eating better. The days of taking an extra-large dump and losing five pounds are fast slipping away, and I could easily wake up tomorrow and require assistance just to sit up.

Luckily for me, there are tons of healthy food choices. Unluckily for me, they’re all fairly atrocious and fear-inducing. I enjoy potatoes and carrots as much as the next rabbit, but some of these goofy things look like primitive tools. And my svelte, girlish figure depends on eating them?

Well, if this was to be my future, I decided to see if I couldn’t make it a wee bit more fun. I remember Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend put out a book awhile back where she taught us how to slip junk food into healthy stuff so kids would eat them. My advance apologies to all friends and family members whose birthdays I had to forgot so my brain could retain this information.

Her idea was decent, but didn’t go far enough, so I decided to take over. I picked out six of those weird, exotic vegetables that grocery stores technically sell but you regularly skip past on your way to the Cheez-Its aisle. Paired up with a favorite junk food of mine, could I make these abominations taste like real food? Or would it all end up in a real toilet, real fast?

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Punish The Stomach: The Eating-Nothing-But-Kiddie-Food Challenge

Originally published on Zug.com (now Media Shower) way back in the good ‘ol days. And by that, I mean January 8, 2013.

OK, I may never win Parent of the Year, but I care about my kid. I care so much in fact that I’ve listened to hours of his hideous music and watched a blinding amount of Air Buddies movies, all in the name of parental guidance.

But nothing is more important than watching what your child puts into his or her body. So to make sure my little guy is eating right, I’m dining like a five-year-old for a week. Three bland squares, a tiny snack every now and then, and an assload of regrets.

Normally, I’m a good cook. Not a restaurant pro mind you, because that requires patience and people skills. In my own kitchen though, I’m pretty damn handy. But for the next week, I have to forget about all that.

Can my adult brain, warped by years of awesome food, large portions, and the ability to find a recipe and just make the damn thing, handle having my appetite reduced to that of a kindergartner’s? No, probably not. I will likely be grumpy and ornery throughout. But that’s what you came for, right? Of course it was.

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Bad Dog: The Air Buddies Movie Marathon 

Originally posted on Zug.com, now Media Shower, on 12/11/2012.

Being the good Dad I am, I have to make damn sure that what my child is watching isn’t harmful, destructive or, worst of all, horrible programming. Now my boy, like most children, loves puppies. And the idea of a puppy that can talk is even better. Right?

Turns out, no. A talking puppy is actually quite horrific, if the popular children’s series Air Buddies is to believed. I got my hands on five of these damned flicks, and sat through every last minute. Turns out the only thing worse than five talking puppies, is five talking puppies who have absolutely nothing to say.

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Parental Advisory: The Never-Ending Kidz Bop Listening Party 

This was originally published 11/15/12 on Zug.com, now known as Media Shower. Zug’s whole thing was pranking, either on others or on yourself. I chose to make myself suffer, such as in this piece, where I subjected myself to hours and hours of Kidz Bop music. Contrary to everything you’ve heard from absolutely nobody, these songs suck.

As a parent, one of my primary responsibilities is making sure my son isn’t exposed to excessive violence, sexuality, coarse language and, most importantly of all, horrific music. So in the name of science, I decided to sit down and listen to a six-hour marathon of tracks from the Kidz Bop series of albums, to test what such a thing could do to an unprotected human brain.

I decided to start with the most recent album, Kidz Bop 22. Why yes, there ARE 22 of them, not including the six or seven “special” albums devoted to butchering hair metal ballads, or country songs, or anything by The Beatles. So I press play and, just ten seconds into the opening track, Stronger, I’m already pissed. “You know that life feels better, sitting here alone.” Excuse me? That’s not the line at all!

1/10000th of one-half of 1% of the way through. I'm in trouble.

1/10000th of one-half of 1% of the way through. I’m in trouble.

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