Phil Dunphy

"I’m the cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face." - Phil Dunphy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Read If You Dare

I have a fairly long one.
However, I do not feel animosity
From others for retaining one of such length.
Madonna wishes she had one.
The governor of California, the famous
Actor, has an extremely long one.
Asians tend to have short ones.
It’s intriguing to of think how diverse they
Come, varying in sizes. Am I the only one out there
Fascinated with the assortment of last names?

I thought long and hard about what I should venture into this week in order to cause extreme discomfort for the readers of my blog. After hearing a Brian Regan stand-up comedian act in my father’s car this weekend, I knew what words to throw on paper in order to make my audience squirm. Regan brought to my attention the frequency at which people pronounce names incorrectly. He used the name “Caroline” as an example, not knowing when to stress the “I.” Regan continued to tell of the unspoken truth about how individuals become extremely offended when a person pronounces their name incorrectly. For this reason, I think the awkward diction of “last names” truly distinguishes the above poem as possessing an uncomfortable tone. I bring to my audience’s attention the assertion that people tend to accept everyday patterns of life without thought, the concept of last names acting as one of these patterns. The abstraction of such a notion astounds me: the variety, length and differences in pronunciation deem endless. I also choose to format my poem in such a way that radiates awkwardness. Instead of following a symmetrical approach by centering the poem on the paper, in response creating a light-hearted tone, I attempt to vary the length of each line within the poem. This unbalance, along with the strange use of enjambment in certain places, exemplifies the instability the poem possesses, disrupting the flow of the reading. From the use of these structural and literature elements, I strive to make my audience wriggle with displeasure from the uncomfortable feeling emitted by the poem.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Derek,

            Hello there my eleven year old self. Possessing the ability to view all events from your present time to your senior year, I have some advice I would like to give to you. Let us begin with the topic of girls. Firstly, do not talk to girls from now until the time you reach 11th grade. The definition of “talk” in this case, means to never make eye contact with people of the opposite gender unless over the age of thirty…seven. In all honesty, girls do not want to talk to you. I had the misfortune of not realizing this until too late. In fact, women to this day have no interest in interacting with me. With that in mind, you can probably skip Mrs. Rathbone’s second semester class (the reproductive unit) because you most definitely will not need that information for a long, long, long time. Now that we have that touchy topic covered, let us move on to advice about school, or more specifically, English class. To begin with, go out of your way to help out Mrs. Wallenhorst in any way possible; she is a saint. The following year, however, you will receive She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for your English teacher. Have fun re-enacting “The Diary of Anne Frank Play” for three and a half months. Yet try and persevere, because your English teacher your freshman year remains one of the coolest cats ever to walk the halls of Chagrin: Mrs. Ashkettle. Ask her strange questions about her daughter Frankie, and all that weird jazz you somehow tend to have a knack for. Finally, you will remarkably make it to junior year and meet the legendary Ms. Serensky. Fun fact for you: the seemingly hard to read, blunt and harsh Shakespeare professor actually spends her time angelically dancing to Zumba in her spare time. Remember this when a big fat 1 appears on the grade of one of your in-class essays. Another thing I should make known to you: some students actually obtain essay scores of 8’s and 9’s, you just suck too much to get such a score. In all honesty, I do not know why I have shared this tidbit of information with you since such information only further lowers your writing confidence. O well, humility is a virtue. Allow me to shift our conversation to the topic of style. When you feel like wearing something, wear it. Dress for comfort, if you would like. If a teacher one day calls you a name like, o I don’t know, a lumberjack for instance, because you decide to dress normally in a plaid shirt and jeans, let the comment bounce off your shoulder. Remember that only insecure people make fun of other people’s apparel. Good luck in the future and I hope this advice helps you out in your endeavors.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Two is Better than One

            I had told her I would arrive at her doorstep at six. Here I stand, 29 minutes after five, waiting in the rain, holding a blue umbrella in my left hand. I use my second hand to ring the doorbell. Her father answers the door. I glance at his gun collection over his shoulder. Uh oh. The second hand reaches itself out to firmly shake his hand. His daughter appears at the door. The second hand guides her down the slippery stairs to where my car remains idling. I scoot ahead to open the passenger door with my second hand, and then follow her into the car.

            We drive through town. One hand remains on the wheel while the second hand strokes and caresses her fingers. “Even though it’s raining, you’ve got your shine on.” Stupid. I mentally smack my head against the window. She smiles. We reach the roller rink. I jog ahead of her to open the doors. Surprisingly, my outstanding strength cannot open the doors with one hand. The second hand comes to the rescue. Close call.

            I slide my arm around her waist.  Using my second hand, I pay for our tickets, flaunting my wallet. She seems unimpressed. Note to self.

            I tie my skates tightly and quickly. The second hand reaches down to hold her laces while she knots them together. Brownie points. We skate out to the rink. I clumsily fall onto my face within the first few seconds. My first hand begins to break the fall. The second hand finishes the job. She must hold onto the railing from laughing so hard. This is too easy.

            Everyone starts circling together. We stick our first hand out and shake it all around. Next we thrust our second hand into the air and shake it all about. I love hokey pokey.

            The night comes to a close. I walk her to her door. She grasps onto my arm while my second hand protects us from the night’s shadows caused by the moon.

            I sit in my car. And thank God for giving me two hands.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Cowardly Lion

            The dull hum abruptly stops. Sweat beads my forehead. I gaze across the black nothingness to see my fellow accomplice shivering. He tends to do this in the face of danger. Nervousness seizes his body. We remain there in the darkness, contemplating our next move. So far, my partner and I have run into little interference in reaching and executing our quest. Everything went according to plan, just as the boss said it would. But here we sit, waiting to complete the last stage of the plan, unrewarded if we cannot reach our objective. The boss warned us of the vulnerability we would encounter in this next stage due to a “blind spot” in the operation. Now comes the time when the men separate themselves from the boys, when the soldiers separate themselves from the citizens, and when the courageous separate themselves from the…uncourageous. My companion and I look to each other, “1…2…3” we recite in sync. I thrust my weapon deep into my pocket as we step out into the tundra air. Time seems to slow as my instincts take over. I distinguish the outline of every snow flake whipping around my head while the wind howls with rage. My partner slithers around the left flank, as we practiced a million times back at the base. All seems well, until I venture a step from my concealed location. Immediately, lights shine upon me, igniting my body with a bright glow, resembling my grandpa’s birthday cake in a dark room. Unfortunately, I am slightly allergic to dying, so I dive behind a large, gray obstruction protruding from the ground. I hold my supplies near to my chest, cowering in the dark, praying that my leap to safety proved quick enough. My eyes pop open as I hear voices beginning to make their ways towards my location. Shadows materialize near my feet, and the sound of boots crunching on snow cause me to shove my head into my arms, hiding in fear. Yet the voices fade away as soon as they appeared. Did they not catch a glimpse of me? Am I still alive? I know the answer to the latter question because I can hear my breath rattling now in the quick confines of safety. Finally, after reciting Mel Gibson’s speech from Braveheart, I inhale deeply and then jump to my feet, flying across the icy ground. Bright lights shine upon my figure but I continue to push forward, no longer caring for the safety of my well-being. I trip over a low bush, losing my balance and hitting the concrete hard, yet land on my shoulder, enabling me to roll right back up and continue my sprint. Finally, in a breathless haste, I crash into the glass doors, fumbling momentarily with the handle before I am able to take a step into the cozy foyer of Chagrin Falls High School. I journeyed through Chagrin Falls, crossing the deadly senior lot, and have once again arrived to school on time.