The Week In Review

Also in this series, The Berenstain Bears Wonder What Mom's Fucking Problem Is

My boys are going to grow up thinking that Jan and Stan Berenstain were some really twisted motherfuckers. In order to counteract the nonstop stream of high-def candy and toy commercials that masquerade as children’s entertainment these days, I read them a book before bedtime. My kids feel that this is a rather quaint activity, something akin to whipping out a loom before bed and weaving the very blankets they’re going to sleep under. “Daddy, can we play Nintendo instead?” they’ll ask. The answer to that question is always no, and is met with groans until I pull out one of the Berenstain Bears books, which they enjoy because it gives them a sneak peek into the real world of bears and they can see how bears ride bicycles, go snorkeling, and how father bears are functionally retarded.

It also helps that I ham up the Berenstain Bears a bit. Picture Matthew Perry’s frantic mugging for the camera on Friends, as portrayed by Charles Nelson Reilly. Now multiply that by a hundred, and you’ve got some idea of how over the top I get. I also can’t help but interject some weirdness into the proceedings because I have read the fucking Bears Vacation so many times that if I don’t ad-lib, I’m going to flip the fuck out, something the State of Arizona made me promise I wouldn’t do any more (see: State of Arizona/Chuck E. Cheese v. Dogs on Drugs).

And that’s one of the more tame examples. Before the boys were old enough to repeat words, the Berenstain Bears might go in for more exotic fare as evidenced by an old family favorite, The Berenstain Bears Learn About Felching. But the boys are impressionable and teachers tend to pick up on comments such as “…bent Mrs. Bear over the picnic table and banged her like a screen door in a hurricane.”

So I have to get a little more creative with my weirdness, so the Berenstain Bears are more likely to deal with 9/11 Truthers, or Münchausen syndrome by proxy these days, which is a marked shift from the days when the most interesting thing on the Berenstain Bears agenda would be buying lube.

My six year old (he turns seven next week) is an excellent reader, and so my four year old relies on him as his reality backstop.

Me: …and so to make ends meet, Mrs. Bear had to go to work on the Mustang Ranch.

4 Year Old: The Mustang Ranch? What’s that?

Me: Oh, you haven’t heard of the Mustang Ranch? It’s a ranch in Nevada where girl bears who want to make money go to. They have… Uhhh… Parties there. And everyone is really friendly.

4 Year Old: Daddy! Is that really what it says? The Mussang Branch?

6 Year Old: No, daddy’s just kidding.

Me: Haha! You got me. Mrs. Bear actually went downtown Vancouver to find a clean needle exchange.

4 Year Old: DADDY!

Holy shitballs, it has been forever and a day since I’ve done The Week In Review. I really have no excuse for this except to say that Sundays have been spent drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon with Marvin the Hipster Spider, which takes some of the motivation out of me.

I liked eating insects before it was cool.

I liked eating insects before it was cool.

(If you’re wondering just how many meds I’m off of currently, you’re probably not familiar with Simian Idiot, where this particular inside joke came from.)

Ok, let’s go back in time and see what shameful shit I’ve been up to recently…

Wow. That was a lot of catching up to do. I had to go back and read some of those articles, because I didn’t remember them. “Dammit! Someone has been hacking into my site and writing about buying cucumbers and lube, or how Dick Van Dyke has a game hen-fisting fetish!”

“Uh, that sounds exactly like something you’d write about.”

“Oh. Ok, well, anyway, who wants to read The Berenstain Bears Huff Keyboard Cleaner?”

12 Responses to “The Week In Review”

  1. Cher says:



    Why can’t the bedtime reading please please be televised?
    That would be awesome.
    You are crazy in a crazy, crazy (good) crazy way.

    • Greg says:

      I have another one that reduces my kids to giggle-tears. It’s called Squirrel is Hungry. In a nutshell, squirrel finds a walnut and wants to hide it. They go through a list of places where he can’t hide it…

      Where can squirrel hide the walnut? Here?

      No, the bird’s nest is full.


      No, the rock is too heavy.


      No, that’s mole’s home!

      I read the entire thing very super-sugary and sappy. Then they get to the part where they suggest that squirrel hide the walnut in a fox hole.


      (explodes, throws the book across the room, starts stomping around, slamming doors)


  2. Geez, that beats my “The Gruffalo Collects on your Debts” and “Olivia Dreams a Grow-Op”, not to mention “Captain Underpants finally gets Laid”. Word.

  3. Vonny says:

    That was quite a big review, but I gather you have had a few things on your plate lately.

    Munchhausen’s by proxy is a condition that has always creeped me out. The Berenstain Bears would not be susceptible to that, I think.

  4. Nico says:

    My 4-1/2 year old has been reading for a year. This is not attributable to my genetics or my tireless teaching. I blame his father, who read early.

    He’s gotten good enough that he can sit at my computer and read everything I type, the little jerk. Yes, you. Go draw something, so mama can have a minute of peace.

    • Greg says:

      Haha, I now have to be careful to switch the screen when my little ones come in. I’m not used to that. “Daddy, what’s a Mongolian clusterfuck?”

  5. Vesta Vayne says:

    Wow, that was quite the review. I hardly remember what I posted two days ago.

    My sister was a big Berenstain Bears fan when she was a kid. It’s nice to know kids are still reading those books, or listening to dad alter the story for his own amusement, or whatever.

    • Greg says:

      The funny thing is they have always LOVED the Berenstain Bears, but now they choose them because they want to hear me get crazy with it. If I don’t, they complain. “Daddy! Be funny!”

      Sorry! Jeez!

      We draw the line at the “new” Berenstain Bears, though. The originals, when it was Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and Small Bear are the good ones. When they added Sister Bear, or whoever the fuck that is, they blew it. I don’t necessarily mind the PC reasons behind it (or maybe I’m too cynical and it was just to capture a larger market by including a girl bear), but the length of the books went through the roof. A bedtime story should not take longer to read than a game of hockey.

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