My method for dealing with the trauma of daily life is to write wildly exaggerated but more or less true stories about my adventures, which can be as commonplace as getting deported by the Secret Service or as wildly exciting as watching worms grow. When someone asks me how my vacation went, or how I got tar and blisters all over my feet, my answer turns into an epic such as the ones below.
I can't even push a car off the road without hurting myself. WARNING: This story mentions God. Proceed at your own risk.
Read all about exploding fireworks and exploding children when we celebrated Independence Day 2006 as only the Steigers can.
Stories from 2004
Here's a story about my drug-crazed college friends.
Once again we face car problems that no normal people would ever have.
Ours is a constant struggle for survival in the wilderness, as described in stories about Sylvia's attempt to gun down the varmints that are threatening our idyllic way of life, a lively herd of chickens stampeding all over our house and yard, and the long-anticipated violent death of our rooster.
A recent discussion among humor writers led me to speak my mind on what it's like to be a Canadian-Texan hybrid.
Years ago when we first moved to Wyoming, all my friends in Texas kept asking WHY. Eventually I wrote a long answer to cover all their questions, and that became the first of many more-or-less true stories of our adventures here in the wild west. You can read all about the reasons for and results of our migration, that first story, as well as the genuine cowboy that lived next door to us. One that friends keep asking me to resend is our 1997 trip to cut down our own Christmas tree, and the caroling expedition the same year. I haven't written much the last couple of years (maybe the novelty wore off?) but slightly more recent are my stories about the time Irene decided to have her ears pierced, or the obsession my lovely and talented wife developed for compost worms, or my ill-fated attempt to become a camp counselor. Those of you who always knew I would get myself in trouble with the law will be delighted to know about the time I almost got deported by the Secret Service for threatening to kill the President. Some recent trouble with our car reminded me of my laughable efforts to replace a broken hose on a borrowed truck.
In 2003 I learned how to play softball after 25 years without so much as taking a brisk walk outside. For folks who wonder if we ever moved from the trailer park to our land, here's the story of an ill-fated move that still gives me nightmares. There's also my description of our trip through the mountains this summer, which may be of interest to my Texas friends who don't see any mountains bigger than the freeway pileup on the way to work. I spent my vacation the week of Thanksgiving on my back in the mud and ice, and my Christmas vacation breaking the law and my neck.
In Christmas 2004 I made a Mess of Handel's Messiah.
I have a reputation at work and among my customers for being easy to get along with, but I'm here to tell you that reputation is entirely undeserved. I wrote this story about my wild office rage to remind myself that there are things I'm ashamed I did, and I still have a lot to learn before I really deserve the reputation I have.