The New Hat

My son got a new hat the other day. There was really nothing special about it. If anything, it looked like one of the many poorly crafted hats that I had enjoyed in my younger days.

“I picked it for Grampy in heaven, because he liked baseball” he said with a proud smile. I gently leaned in, kissed his forehead and told him that my Dad would have loved the hat. I did this calmly and in full control of my emotions, however, on the inside, my heart was racing, the tears building as my lungs gasped for air and I was suddenly flooded with a swell of memories from my days with my father.

What my son doesn’t know is that, over 6 years later, I do the same thing. It seems that almost everything reminds me of my father in some way or another. Ultimately, it’s the reason I stopped playing fastball, because that’s the thing we shared more than anything else and every time I took the field, after his death, the emotions became too overwhelming.

There’s also my unreasonable love for anything Sherlock Holmes and the sudden instinct to purchase old Hardy Boys books whenever I spot them. There are many other situations I can think of that, good or bad, have me instinctively doing something with no rhyme or reason attached to them. I’m no head doctor, so I’m not about to try to figure them all out but I’m assuming its normal behavior for anyone who has lost someone so close to them.

I thought about how I was distancing myself from the things we shared together instead of embracing them. It’s not that I wanted to forget, it’s just that I don’t want to be constantly reminded of it, if that makes any sense. It’s hard, man. Life has definitely become easier but those last days certainly haven’t vanished from my memory. That said, I didn’t want to return to that anxiety ridden “Why me” place that I spent so much time in. I want to be the story of the guy who fought through adversity and came out stronger on the other side, not the guy who caved to the memories and hurt his own family in the process.

You may look at my son’s new hat and just see a poorly made hat from any department store in the world, but to me, it’s a symbol that I’m doing better now. It taught me that life can go on, even with the heart break, and that my father’s memory will live on in my children even though they never had the chance to actually meet him.

I dusted off my ball cleats last weekend in hopes of making a comeback next season; because I know my Dad would have liked that.

The Curious Case Of The Missing Kit Kat’s










Some of you may not know this about me but I am a detective at heart. Back in the days when I thought reading was awesome and worth my time, I owned and read every single Hardy Boys book there was. That’s right, back then the Hardy Boys consisted of Frank, Joe and I, and we solved a LOT of mysteries together!

(Note: If there are teens or twenty something’s reading this, the Hardy Boys are not characters in the WWE, that is a blatant rip-off of a classic and they have never solved a crime, no matter what Vince McMahon says!)

Back to the mystery at hand, I was recently brought back to my young detective days by a string of incidents at our local Sobeys grocery store. It seems that someone, or even a Mob style faction, has begun an international miniature chocolate peddling ring and have been removing the Kit Kat’s from all of the Schneider’s Lunch Mate containers. I present to you, Exhibit A, above.

My first experience with this was a traumatic one as I had picked up a few for a last minute family picnic. Upon opening my son’s container, I noticed that the aforementioned Kit Kat wasn’t there! As his tears began to flow, I realized that the only solution was to give up mine, which of course stung my taste buds.

I chalked it up to a one time error and picked up a Kit Kat for myself on the way home. Little did I know that this problem was going to rear its ugly head again. Fast Forward to a month later and I grabbed a few more Lunch Mates on sale, because you can never have enough emergency lunches! Now you’d think I would have learned my lesson and checked before cashing out but I was tired from a long day’s work and it slipped my mind.

Sure enough, upon opening my lunch, there it was again! Sausage – Check, Cheese – Check, Crackers – Check, KitKat – ??? No Kit Kat!? What in the world was going on here? I certainly wasn’t about to go back to the grocery store to complain about it, mostly due to laziness. The other side was me picturing a slightly overweight Dad at the grocery store, arguing about a missing mini Kit Kat…Yeah, who to believe?

Once again I let it slide, but my curiosity was peaked as to what was really going on with the missing Kit Kat’s, so I decided to plan a stake out. My plan was to hide out in the meat display, disguised as a giant ham, and then I would be able to catch the culprit in the act! Unfortunately my plan was foiled by a little boy who knew waaay too much about what a ham should look like. I decided to drop the whole investigation and took up my place on the couch to watch my favourite television show, Infomercials. We’ll talk about my love for infomercials at a later date.

After a month or two went by without thinking about it, we had a rushed day and I decided to grab my favourite last minute go-to lunch. Being the genius detective that I am, I decided to check the lunchables before buying this time around and you’ll never guess what I discovered…..Another missing Kit Kat!!! As George W. Bush once said, “Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me….You can’t get fooled again”! I rushed to the cash register with my evidence and waited for the manager to officially put me on the case! Instead I got a, “Oh, that sucks. Go ahead and grab another one” response.

WHAT!?!? “That sucks”? That’s all you’ve got? There is a serial chocolate thief on our hands here and all you have to say is “That Sucks”?! Well I am not about to take this situation lightly and have decided to officially launch my own investigation. It has only been a week but I have narrowed down the list of potential suspects to the following:

1. The Overnight Cleaning Crew – Probably the easiest ones to pin it on, which is the exact reason I am not suspecting them.

2. The Mogwai – The problem with this theory is that based on the store’s hours, the Mogwai would have to be eating them between 10pm and midnight. A short window, as every knows that if the Mogwai ate the chocolate after midnight, it would turn into a Gremlin.

3. The Cereal Crew – As everyone knows from movies like Toy Story and Night At The Museum, after a store closes, the characters all come to life. So I’m left wondering if Lucky the Leprechaun, Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle, Pop and company are responsible for this. It would definitely explain things like Cocoa Krispies and Chocolate Lucky Charms!

4. Desperate Parents – This is my #1 suspect. Tell me you haven’t seen a parent or child dip there hand into the bulk candy bins or snacking on an obviously stolen banana from time to time. As a parent myself, I know the urge to do literally whatever it takes to keep those kids happy and chocolate would be just the medicine a screaming child would need. The only catch here is that the “Free Cookie” booth is right around the corner and usually features the much coveted chocolate chip cookie.

So there you have it, my complete list of suspects in the Case of the Missing Kit Kat’s. If you have any information relating to this case, please contact me immediately! And to those who are worried about the future of Mini Chocolates, I promise that I won’t stop until the culprit is apprehended!


***Edit: Due to the Tweet I received from @Sobeys, I would like to point out that while the missing Kit Kat’s portion of this story is true, the story itself is intended as a joke. I am not looking to complain to the corporate HQ of Sobeys, Schneider’s or Gremlins writer Chris Columbus.***