House Arrests

You have the right to remain unenthused

My wife can blame Fortnite.

You know, the videogame that teaches kids how to properly shoot an opponent in the back, strip them of their loot and dance over their corpse?

It’s social studies, economics and art class rolled into one.

Being responsible homeschoolers as well as raving gamers, my wife and I are sure to set aside quality time to play with our kids for educational purposes.

Occasionally, we’ll get a bit rowdy. (Well, as rowdy as a family can get bonding over the internet while snacking in the comfort of their living room.)

Last night was pretty intense. My wife teamed up with 1/3 of our triplet daughters for a death match against a bevy of baddies.

The game reached a fever pitch.

And then…

huzzAH! Score a win for the home team!

’Twas time to rejoice.

Victorious game characters broke into a celebratory you’re dead/we’re not virtual dance routine, as they should.

My daughter, buzzing from mass annhiliation and stovetop s’mores, set the laptop aside, bounced off the couch and proceeded to mimic her video-self’s dance moves.

It was a cute little jig she called The Hype.

My wife, equally high on a cocktail of mayhem and glucose, was compelled to join in the ceremony.

She rose from her seat…

and began to dance.


The entire room went into a solid state.

That is with the exception of the hip-hop hyper-mom gleefully body-rocking around the furniture.

I recognized immediately she was in violation but kept my mouth shut.

It didn’t take long for the girls to launch their patented triple-strength disapproving-demotivating-cease-and-desist lethal laser stare.



The momentary display of vibrant enthusiasm was summarily arrested as their mother unceremoniously brought her funky herky-jerk to a halt.

*tsk tsk*

Honest mistake but still punishable.

Mom assumed the shared victory had granted her temporary immunity to Must Obey Family Ordinance 4.0 which strictly forbids parental dancing.

Sorry, babe. Blame Fortnite.

My wife has unsuccessfully tried to override MOFO-4 numerous times since it was imposed two years ago. Even her claim for a Mother’s Day exemption, which she deemed the perfect loophole, was denied.

I, on the other hand, have no problem with the rule. I’m a model house citizen.

I abide.

Of course, I can’t dance like my wife. I only know a few moves:

  • The Mos-Def-Tone-Def Shuffle
  • The Fused Spine Shimmy
  • The Hey, Mister! Are You OK? Spaz n’ Thrust

Let’s just say I try to avoid tripping on the light fantastic.

Even so, I did challenge the rule on one occasion:

We were in the van for a short jaunt to Costco. At the wheel, I’d slipped in a new CD I’d burned for just such an excursion.

The speakers boomed Beastie Boys.

Without realizing, my upper torso began to undulate.

My right arm auto-animated in a repeat elbow pivot, karate chop motion.

My head tilted to the left. My head tilted to the right.

Left. Right. Chop.

I was a frog in the dissecting tray; the music, the electric current.



And that’s when ordinance 4.0 was amended to include a new sub-section: no butt-dancing either!


Frankly, I think this whole system is run with an iron fist. The rules, in my opinion, infringe on basic human rights.

They also seem borderline discriminatory:

Must Obey Family Ordinances (as of now)

  1. Adults should never walk around the house in boxer shorts

1.1. Must also have a shirt on at all times

1.2. NEVER EVER be seen outside house in boxer shorts and/or without a shirt

2. Adults may never enter girls’ room without knocking first and receiving instructions

2.1. Knock again if no response after first knock

2.2. Knock again if no response after second knock

2.3. If no response after third knock, walk away and try again later

3. Adults should never use slang terms and phrases considered to be cool by anyone under 20-years old

3.1. Effective immediately, rule now includes abridged texting (e.g. L8R, TMI, OMG)

3.2. It is permissible to use old timey slang (e.g. groovy, radical, tubular) so long as such terms are limited to no more than two per day

Do these house rules seem at all targeted to you?

I agree, but the dancing thing is all on my wife.

And heaven help her.

Cuz that lady can’t help but cut loose.

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