Tag Archives: family

Daily Discussion with BQB – Death and Children

Well…that’s kind of a scary title for a blog post but don’t worry, I’ll make sense of it in a minute.

A kid from my graduating class at East Randomtown High School died this week.  Late thirties.  I can’t say I was friends with him but there wasn’t any reason for that.  Our paths just didn’t cross that much.  I have memories of being a nice little kid and playing with him at recess and stuff but other than that, I didn’t know him as an adult or anything.

Makes me sad…a) because you never know how much time we have left and b) they guy was in better shape than I am so holy shit, I should probably skip the next donut.

Oh what the hell.  Give me the donut.

Video Game Rack Fighter and I don’t have children.  It saddens me.  Thought I would by this age.

Men apparently have biological clocks too.  I mean, sure, in theory, a seventy year old man can knock up a chick but that’s a) if you make it to 70 and b) it won’t be that much fun to be a dad because you’ll be too tired to play with the kid and c) really, only a select handful of men can pull off impregnating a younger woman.

Ahh, you forgot that part.  A 70 year old man can’t impregnate a 70 year old woman i.e. a woman in his league because her lady area is all dried up and filled with bats and spiders and so on.

Not that I’m knocking the older gals.  I’m sure old men probably just have a little flag that shoots out of their privates that reads, “Thanks for playing.  Try again.”

Anyway, only super rich 70 year olds can woo and knock up a younger woman.  Like our 45th POTUS, the Trumpster, for example.  He knocked up a younger woman when he was 60 and now he has a ten year old at 70.

Good for him, but I don’t own any skyscrapers that I can point to when I’m 70 and say, “Hey, younger women, I own this and I can give you a good life so please allow me to impregnate you and a good time will be had by all.”

That’s exactly how I’d say it too.  I’m such a romantic.

Just saddens me all around.

Because now I’m just thinking like, realistically, even now I’m pushing it and at best I have a couple years left to put a bun in the oven before I’m the oldest baker at the kid’s graduation.

Maybe I should just adopt a bunch of poor orphans and become their father.  I can fill BQB HQ with orphans and turn the place into an orphan sanctuary.

I just don’t want to be forgotten, 3.5 readers.

What say you?


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Don’t Buy a Bunch of Presents For Your Kids and Then Complain About Your Kids Having Them


Hello.  I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, a world renowned poindexter, reviewer of pop cultural happenings, epic nerdventurer and a champion yeti fighter.

Additionally, I’m an accomplished philanthropist and activist.  My causes include “Stop Lightning Infused Toaster Pastry Toilet Death” (a rare condition that occurs when the subject eats a toaster pastry that has been struck by a bolt of lightning, then dies on the toilet while trying to expel the aforementioned lightning bolt) and #OscarsSoPretty (a movement dedicated to giving more golden statues to people who look like bronzed gargoyles).

Today, I announce a new cause – “Don’t Buy Your Kids a Bunch of Presents on Christmas Only to Then Turn Around and Complain That Your Kids Got a Lot of Presents.”

How it Starts

Mom and Dad work hard all year and spend a bunch of money on toys to make kids happy. They put a lot of work into it – shopping, hiding the toys so the kids don’t find them early, wrapping them, putting them under the tree and so on.

Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles often get into the act.  They love the kids so they get the kids presents, wrap them…the adults in the family will coordinate and ask each other what the kids like, what toys do they already have so they don’t get the wrong thing and so on.

And then after they do all this work, they just ruin it by turning Christmas morning into one long, drawn out bitch and moan session about how these kids have it so good and they had it so terrible.

:::Kid opens present:::

ADULT #1: Oh look at that!  Aren’t you special?

ADULT #2:  Yeah, when I was a kid I didn’t get anything like that.

ADULT #3:  My parents made me get a rock from the back yard, draw a smiley face on it with a magic marker, then bring it inside, wrap it, and put it under the tree myself.

ADULT #4:  You had a magic marker?  Ha! My parents couldn’t even afford markers.  I just had to pretend my rock had a smiley face.

KID’S BRAIN: Umm…I’m sorry?

The Two Types of Kid’s Christmas Present Complaints Made By Adults

#1 – That didn’t exist when I was a kid and I wish it did.

This one is a little more understandable.  Time marches on.  Inventors invent.  Scientists science up some shit.  New products are created.

You wish you had better toys to play with when you were young.  Even aside from toys, you think your life might have been better had this product or that product been around when you were younger.

I feel your pain.  I am unwaveringly convinced that had YouTube existed when I was twenty, I would have gotten a spot on Saturday Night Live and be well into my movie career by now.

But hey, just because today a creative person can buy everything they need to put on a web show at Best Buy for a reasonable price doesn’t mean I should hate on youngsters who do that, or hate on myself because of…what?  I was born in a time when video cameras where giant contraptions you had to hold on your shoulder and even when you did record something there was no way for the average person to share it with the world?

Be happy that science is constantly creating new inventions.  Hopefully, science will eventually find ways to save the world and bring about peace and so on.

Don’t be sad whatever you are interested in now wasn’t around when you are a kid.  If you are healthy enough to complain, then you are healthy enough to go get whatever it is now and use it.

Hell, if I weren’t so wretchedly ugly, I’d make my own YouTube show.  Sure, I was wretchedly ugly when I was a twenty year old but people would have been like, “Good for him.  That wretchedly ugly twenty year old is doing something with his life.”

Today, if I did it, people would be like, “Eww…that wretchedly ugly man is trying too hard to look cool.”

And who knows?  Maybe all these new inventions aren’t great.  Maybe we were better off without them when we were younger.  Maybe we talked more.  Maybe we were more willing to listening to different points of view instead of retreating into Internet bubbles that rehash our viewpoints.

Maybe life was better in the 1990s when people would have thought you were an asshole for taking pictures of your lunch to show people what your lunch looks like.

#2 – My parents couldn’t afford something like that.

Sorry to hear that, but when you make this complaint, you’re missing the big picture.

You’re making this complaint because secretly, or perhaps not so secretly, you are jealous of your kids.  Your parents struggled and didn’t have much money.  Thus, you had to go without.  You would have enjoyed fancy toys and so on as a kid.

Yeah, your childhood was hard, but if you are complaining that your kid got something you didn’t get, then don’t be sad your kid got something you didn’t get.  Be happy that you overcame your past and put yourself into a position where can afford to buy your kids things that you weren’t able to get as a kid.

And you know what?  If you are healthy enough to complain, then you are healthy enough to play with that toy now.  It isn’t too late.  Grab it while your kid isn’t looking and play with it or hell, you’ve got the money now, buy yourself one of your very own.


Christmas is supposed to be great for everyone, but really, it is the best for kids.  They don’t have money.  They have no ability to get any.  They have minds full of mush. They still think the world is a magical place where a wonderful flying fat man can make all of their dreams come true.

Don’t worry about knocking them down a peg.  As soon as they grow up and venture into the real world, there will be a long line of people (employers, boyfriends/girlfriends etc.) who will be more than willing to tell them that they aren’t good enough, so let them enjoy the toy that wasn’t around or that was unaffordable when you were a kid, because once a kid grows up and realizes dreams don’t just magically happen, even when you do try real hard, the holiday season begins to lose its luster.


Don’t put a lot of time, money, and effort into buying your kids presents only to turn Christmas morning into a bitch and moan session about how lousy you had it and how great your kids have it.

Kids hear more than you think, and while they may not understand certain things you say today, they might look back as adults and realize what you were saying, that you were mad at them for having something you didn’t have.

If you really, truly, honestly can’t help but hate on your kids for having a better Christmas than the ones you had growing up, then just save your time, money, and effort and don’t buy any presents.  Tell the kid to go into the back yard and pick a rock and imagine that it has a smiley face.

Sure, the kid will be sad now, but when he is an adult, he won’t have to deal with all of the emotional stress that comes with feeling bad because he got better presents than his parents did.

So how should Christmas morning go from now on?

ADULT #1 – Hooray, you got that toy!

ADULT #2 – Good for you!  Have a lot of fun with it.

But seriously, in private, when the kids aren’t around, feel free to bitch and moan to each other all you want and hell, if you can think of a nice way to say it, maybe remind the kids now and then that money doesn’t grow on trees so they should take care of their toys and don’t break them and shit because there are starving, toyless children in Africa otherwise they might grow up to become self-absorbed douches.

Ahh hell…what do I know?  Do whatever you want.  I’m not a child psychologist.  Merry Christmas.

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Zomcation – Chapter 5


Mack had taken his dress uniform out of the dry cleaner’s bag and laid it out on his bed.

He stepped into his pants and zipped them up, then put on his clean white dress shirt. He stared into a mirror as he made sure that he fastened every last button.

Next, he tied his tie and made a perfect knot. He put on his coat and buttoned it, then took a moment to admire the medals pinned to it.

Finally, he put on his beret. The outfit was complete.

The solider inspected himself in the mirror, brushed a bit of lint off of his shoulder, then shouted, “Atten hut!” and snapped to attention.

“Left face!” Mack barked as he snapped his body in perfect time to the left.

“Right face!” was next and Mack quickly snapped to the right.

“Forward!” Mack found himself standing up straight in front of the mirror again. He snapped his right hand up to his temple in a salute then whispered to himself, “At ease.”

The soldier stood there, trembling. He unholstered his service pistol, pressed it up against the side of his head, closed his eyes and clicked off the safety.

His hand shook as he hovered his finger over the trigger. He was thinking about pulling it when he heard a car door slam.

Then he heard some familiar voices.

“Look,” came Abby’s voice from outside. “I don’t need this. You two are going to stop being little monsters for one week and you’re going to have a good time.”

“How can I have a good time now that Tommy is going out with Heather instead of me?” Paige asked. “Hashtag life over.”

“Your life is not hashtag over,” Abby said. “One week at Wombat World and you’ll be saying, ‘Tommy who?’”

“Wombat World is a tool of the man to turn us all into mindless consumers, slowly giving away pieces of our soul to the corrupt and oppressive capitalist state,” Dylan said.

“Maybe,” Abby replied. “But its also fun as all get out so stop complaining. Huh. Weird. Why is Mack’s car here?”

“Shit,” Mack said as he clicked the safety of his pistol on and holstered it.

The soldier shut the door and sat down on the edge of his bed as the voices of his family poured through the house.

“Can’t we just have a nice vacation at home?” Paige asked.

“Yeah,” Dylan said. “I can work on my beatboxing skills.”

“You have no skills,” Abby said. “God, you kids are the worst. When I was your age I would have killed for a trip to Wombat World.”

“When you were our age there was only like three things to do,” Paige said.

Mack lowered his head into his hands and closed his eyes as the voices grew louder.

“That’s not true,” Abby said. “There was at least nine things to do.”

Abby knocked on Mack’s door.


Mack grunted as his sister creaked the door open. “Are you decent?”


The door opened all the way. Dylan ran into the room and playfully socked his uncle in the gut. That move would have hurt most people but Mack just shrugged it off.

“Aww sweet, you’ve got your uniform on,” Dylan said. “We gotta play Power Action Ninja Soldier Force.”

“After dinner,” Abby said as she held up a pizza box.

Paige poked her head into Mack’s room. “Unk can you teach me how to drive? Mom can’t handle it.”

“I guess so,” Mack said.

“Thank God,” Paige said as she left. “Hashtag someone knows what they’re doing.”

Abby shook her head in disgust. “Dylan go polish your action power soldiers.”

Dylan instantly corrected his mother. “They’re power action ninja soldiers serving together in a single force.”

“Whatever,” Abby said. “Uncle Mack and I need to talk.”

“OK,” Dylan said as he left the room.

Abby sat down next to her brother and opened up the pizza box to reveal a steaming hot wheel of pepperoni pineapple.

“Some za?” Abby asked.

“Don’t mind if I do,” Mack replied as he took a slice.

Abby took a slice for herself and closed the box. Brother and sister sat there for awhile, silently chewing and avoiding talking to each other.

Finally, Abby gave in. “So, you were supposed to be working until five.”

“Yup,” Mack said.

“I take it another job has bitten the dust?” Abby asked.

“You take it correctly,” Mack said.

“What happened this time?”

“I shared one of my stories,” Mack said.

“Oh,” Abby said. “No wonder.”

“To an eight year old kid,” Mack said.

“Oh God,” Abby said.

Abby pulled a crispy piece of pepperoni off of her slice and ate it. “So to recap…”

“Do we need to recap?” Mack asked.

“To recap,” Abby said. “There was the car wash where an engine backfired and you tackled your boss to the ground because you thought it was an ambush.”

“Right,” Mack said.

“Then there was the job at Price Town, which was going well until you told an old lady which common household items she should stock up on and how to use them to kill intruders,” Abby said.

“In my defense,” Mack said. “She asked.”

“The deli where your co-workers accused you of looking way too happy while you were slicing the ham,” Abby said.

Mac had finished his slice of pizza and started working on the crust. “Trumped up charges if I ever heard them.”

“The club where the patrons accused you of bouncing too hard,” Abby said.

“Had they not started shit they wouldn’t have been bounced at all,” Mac replied.

“And the groundskeeper gig you went way too overboard on,” Abby said.

“Squirrels are no match for C-4,” Mack said.

“You blew up a golf course, dumb ass,” Abby said.

Brother and sister each grabbed a second slice.

“So,” Abby said. “I can’t help but notice that you’re wearing your dress uniform.”

“Just wanted to take it out of mothballs to see if it still fits,” Mack said.

“I’d believe that if it weren’t for the gun on your hip,” Abby said.

“You have to take them out once in awhile and clean them or they get rusty,” Mack said.

“Bullshit,” Abby said. “I’ve seen Scent of a Woman, Mack and I know perfectly well what you were up to.”

“You do?” Mack said as he took a bite of his pizza.

“Yes,” Abby said. “And I think it sucks. These kids love you, you know.”

“I know,” Mack said. “I’m not sure I was even going to do it. Sometimes it just helps to know its an option.

“But…why?” Abby asked. “Why would you even entertain such a thought?”

“This,” Mack said as he looked around the bare room. “This isn’t a man’s life.”

“What?” Abby asked.

“Outside of America there’s a whole world that’s a pile of shit,” Mack said. “People are suffering. My fellow soldiers are dying. I’m not able to do the one thing I’m good at.”

“Are you ever going to tell me what happened?” Abby asked.

“Can’t,” Mack said. “Classified.”

“Come on,” Abby said. “Something embarrassing happened, right? You got drunk and brought a hooker to the base or something?”

“No,” Mack said. “And thanks for thinking so highly of me.”

“Well I don’t know,” Abby said.

“You’re not cleared to know,” Mack replied.

Abby scoffed. “Fine. But you have got to figure out how to make it as a civilian.”

“I can’t,” Mack said. “There’s no one like me in the civilian world that I can relate to. No one has done the things I’ve done, seen the shit I’ve seen. No one at a regular job understands me and I can’t do any security contracting because of the bogus dishonorable discharge, which I assure you, was completely undeserved.”

“And I trust you enough to take your word for it,” Abby said. “And you know you’re welcome to be here for as long as you need to be.”

“Thanks,” Mack said. “But real men pay their own way. Real men have their own homes. Real men…”

“The kids listen to you when you tell them to do something and the house has never been cleaner since you moved in,” Abby said. “That’s payment enough.”

“It’s not enough for me,” Mack said.

Abby stood up and held her hand out.


Abby flexed her fingers toward herself.

“A soldier never surrenders his sidearm,” Mack said.

“He does if he wants to keep staying here,” Abby said. “I don’t need the kids coming home to your blown out brains one of these days.”

Mack grimaced then stood up. He popped the bullet out of the chamber, took out the clip, and handed it all to his sister.

Abby reached into Mack’s closet, took out a lock box, and locked the gun and parts inside.

“This stays in my room for awhile until you’ve got it together,” Abby said. “Understood?”

“Understood,” Mack grumbled.

“Good,” Abby said. “Now come hang out with the kids. You’re not going to see them for a whole week.”

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A Guide to the Bookshelf Battleverse – Part 3 – BQB’s Family and BQB HQ



For the longest time, BQB believed he was too nerdy to find love.  Who’d ever want to be in a relationship with the owner of a blog that only has 3.5 readers?

That all changed when he went on an epic quest to discover the meaning of life and met Victoria Gloria Somersby Stratenhaus, aka Video Game Rack Fighter.

It was love at first sight and they’ve been together ever since.  They have so much in common that it is uncanny.

Similarities include:

  • BQB owns a magic bookshelf that brings literary characters to life.  VGRF once claimed to own a magic video game rack that brings video game characters to life, though SPOILER ALERT later admitted she made it all up as an escape from the hum drum doings of everyday life.  Try not to judge her though.  BQB didn’t.
  • BQB is the assistant to the assistant of the vice president of corporate assistance for Beige Corp, the world’s premiere producer of beige products and accessories.  VGRF is the assistant to the assistant of the vice president for corporate assistance for Drying Paint Media, the number one streaming media site for films of paint drying on walls.  By day, they both go to their appointed boring jobs.  By night, BQB pursues his dream of becoming a published author while VGRF designs video games of her own.
  • Their pets include Bookshelf Q. Battledog and Video Game Rack Fighter Cat
  • BQB’s arch nemesis is the Yeti.  VGRF’s enemy is the Sasquatch.

Among her many achievements, Ms. Fighter is the current world reigning champion of the uber violent video game, Car Thief Mayhem.

Uncle Hardassimo “Hardass” K. Scrambler

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While alive, Uncle Hardass’ favorite past times included 1) working at the salt mines (as in he actually dug salt out of the Earth for Salt Mines, Inc.) and 2) complaining about anything and everything.

Mr. Scrambler despises writers, decrying them with chants of, “Oooo! La dee da!  Look at me!  I’m a writer!  I have thoughts and opinions the world needs to hear!  SHUT UP AND GET A JOB AT THE SALT MINES, HIPPY!”

Invariably, Uncle Hardass’ advice for anyone’s problems is to get a job at the salt mines.

Sadly, Mr. Scrambler died of a massive heart attack several years back, which he claimed with his last dying breath was the result of his intense disappointment with his nephew’s decision to pursue a writing career.

BQB disputes that and argues it was the result of a life long love affair with baloney sandwiches.

Either way, BQB was not freed of his uncle’s constant tirades.  Uncle Hardass’ ghost haunts the halls of BQB HQ today.

Oddly, despite Mr. Scrambler’s hatred of writing, he regularly writes a column entitled “Things That Really Frost My Ass” which is more or less a laundry list of crap that is bothering the old timer at any given moment.



Aunt Gertie had been one of BQB’s 3.5 readers for awhile, though she recently quit, calling her nephew’s blog too pedestrian.  After Uncle Hardass’ death, she moved to the Decrepit Oaks Elderly Living Center, on the auspices that she needed help with the daily chores of life, but in actuality, to meet old dudes to get jiggy with.


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Uncle Hardass left explicit instructions in his will that his modest colonial style house was to be blown up rather than be left to his incompetent good for nothing wannabe writer nephew, Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Always the pushover, Gertie ignored her late husband’s wishes and gave the home to BQB anyway.

Upon taking ownership, BQB used the power of his magic bookshelf to construct large fortress like walls around his aunt and uncle’s formerly modest home.

His neighbors consider BQB HQ to be a real eyesore, petitioning frequently to have it torn down.  The Mayor of BQB’s hometown (East Randomtown) ignores them, as he believes BQB’s blog is the only claim to fame his town will ever have.



He may not look like much on the outside, but BQBD is a killer attack papillon, who to date, has eaten over twenty intruders alive.  He serves as the Chief of Security of Bookshelf Battle Headquarters.

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