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Friday, June 11, 2004


Things I tell my children

The Way I See It
By Chris Millspaugh

When you have five children, as I do, you pride yourself with the guidance you have bestowed upon them over the years, knowing that without your strict attention, they all might have gone horribly awry. I have two fine boys and three fine girls of all ages, each with different careers and interests, and all with their own particular approach to life. I beam as I see them grow and mature into productive, talented useful human beings under my sagacious tutelage.

Like yesterday when I told my boys, "Boys, always finish what you have started." Without another word, they dutifully heeded my teachings and finished the Absolute Vodka bottle in the freezer, a half bottle of Captain Morgan, some red wine, a pizza and the rest of the Valium and Prozac in a matter of an hour and a half. Good boys, however.

Then, I thought, "Perhaps Iím setting the pole too high" and advised them to aim low, stay well rested and to always know they could always quit. Both nodded their approval and the lessons continued:

"Now, boys," I droned, "there will come a time in your life when youíre up against it and donít know what direction to take. What are you going to do?" "Run from the problem, Dad?" they queried in sync. "No!" said I impatiently. "You must face your demons head on!" "We donít have insurance," they intoned. "We canít do head-ons."

"Damn fine point." I admitted. "Why donít you go away, now."

As I watched them scurry away, laughing and frolicking, I said to myself, "Hey, Mr. Heavy, go easy. After all, theyíre only in their late thirties."

My girls came by the next day, each one as beautiful as the next. The fight started in earnest at the ten-minute mark and the police were called upon soon after by a bevy of concerned tourists who had misunderstood the girls brand of horseplay. I met with the cops outside my home and assured them I could handle the situation because after all, I WAS their father. "Come on, girls, weíre going out on the town and all have fun together as a family!"

Later that very night, as I was blotting my fresh tattoo, I thought it my duty to impart some more wisdom so as to save the night and dub it immortal. "Girls," I said, "What are your intentions? Tell me your dreams, your hopes, your goals, girls, for itís better to plan now than to wake up one day drowning in a sea of lost aspirations!"

"Someone get him a cocktail!" said the middle daughter.

"Never mind that, take the bong away!" said baby daughter.

"Heís starting!" said the eldest.

The next day, I thought it best if we all got together, had dinner and shared our thought with one another without the influence of any stimulants. "Table for six," I implored the swarmy maitre dí at the posh restaurant downtown. "It will be about twenty minutes, why donít you all have a cocktail at the bar," he suggested.

The police arrived just before our table was announced and I never did get to try that scampi. We were escorted by the firemen to the squad cars, booked and bailed out in an hour. It was the first thing we had all done together in our lives. A bond was struck that night. About a $50,000 bond to be exact, but so what? We were a family and we had finally jelled. We had a round of Jell-O shots, hugged each other and vowed weíd meet again next year.

Talk to your children. I do. Nice talking to you.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.