More Russells, please.

The world needs more Russells.

More on Russell in a moment, but first some backstory.

I had picked up my son from school, and we were stopped at a light on our way home. The guy behind me began honking and waving out of his driver’s side window. I stuck my head out my window and looked back. The guy said, “Hey, man, you’re leaking something pretty bad under your car!” I gave him a thumbs up, and then said to myself, “Great. Just make it home…”
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Burn, baby, burn

The last really bad sunburn I got was about five years ago. Well, prior to last week.

The one five years ago was a doozy, and my entire family got scorched at the beach.

Now, you’d think, “Hey, Mike – isn’t sunscreen something that, you know, every single person on the planet knows you should take to the beach, especially if your family is comprised of fair skinned people who will turn the color of a fire hydrant if exposed to direct sunlight for about five minutes?”
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The great ball rescue

Every once in a while, Superman needs a ladder.

My son, ever since he has been old enough to throw a ball, has had an amazing propensity for getting them stuck in trees. Mainly, this is because, for some reason, he enjoys throwing or kicking balls directly into trees. One would think he might eventually determine the cause and effect relationship.
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Me Tarzan. Me stuck.

There I was, 35 feet above the ground, the grip on both hands weakening, and my arms quivering.

So this is how it ends, I thought.

No, not my life. I had a harness on and was securely latched to a cable a foot above my head. This is how my son’s social life at school ended, crashing and burning in a pile of ashes as he forever became known as The Kid Whose Dad Had To Be Rescued During The Ropes Course Field Trip.
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The possum king

Sometimes, you’re just where you’re supposed to be in life.

I was off to my local grocery store recently, as I was hunting and gathering for the night’s spaghetti and meatball dinner. I parked and headed into the store. As I approached the entrance on the right side of the store, I noticed there was a barricade of carts blocking off the entrance. Odd, I thought. Perhaps the door was broken. Perhaps a customer had dropped a jar of Newman’s Own spaghetti sauce, and the staff was cleaning it up, and it was the last jar of fire roasted tomato and garlic and thus I was not only going to be inconvenienced but spaghetti and meatball night would be just ruined.
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They see me rollerin’

I am a survivor.

Six hours in a car. Ten hours at an amusement park. Four teenage girls.

Survive.

OK, so it wasn’t that bad. It was my daughter’s 16 birthday, and she wanted to go and ride roller coasters with some friends. So I piled the four of them in a car and set off toward our destination, three hours away, which means I spent the next three hours hearing songs from “Hamilton” being sung, occasionally breaking for a quick trip to “School of Rock” songs.
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When the Backup Wingman steps up

My son and I find a lot of critters together. It’s what we do when we have free time. We go out and find cool stuff.

We’ve snagged possums off of our fence. I’ve held him by his ankles and lowered him into a hole to rescue a broad headed skink. We’ve engaged a team effort in catching a very terrified bird that was in a sunroom, catching it and releasing it outside.
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