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HOMEBOY: "Dad busted for using Mom's email; forced to sleep on couch"

I audition for Columbia's funniest reality show
 
COLUMBIA, 1/8/12  (Op-Ed) --  So I'm minding my own business in a rare moment the other day when the following email (I kid you not) lands in my in-box:   
 
----- Original Message -----
From:  Connie Pugh   <cgpugh@ 
To: Mike Martin   <mjmartin@
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 10:57 AM
Subject: Re: BEAT BYTE: Mizzou staffer becomes Native American hero
 
Mike,
 
Does Joomla, support an "accuracy checker"?
 
Hopefully,
 
Bob Pugh
 
Using his wife's email for some reason, Mr. Pugh, 71, was dissing our new website template, Joomla.   He was prob'ly all haywire about my reports that he's been padding his pockets with our tax dollars by selling overpriced land to the city and school district with a fast-talkin', big-dealin' group o' sharpshooters calling themselves the St. Charles Road Development Gang, LLC.  

All that on the heels of comments he made dissing public opinion about the Ward Reapportionment Committee, which he chaired.  See, Bob -- who sat on that committee with another of the St. Charles Road Development boys, Scott "Seven Figure Six Shooter" Atkins -- was basically sayin' there was no gerrymandering going on and the public was just being silly.

But then the other Bob -- Bob Roper -- came out in the Trib last month sayin' there definitely was gerrymandering going on.   The "business community" just didn't work it hard enough

Anyway, I quipped back to Mr. Pugh at the cgpugh email addy,  "Yeah -- Joomla just caught that 'Connie Pugh' sent me an email signed by that guy who can't get enough of our tax dollars.  Peee-ewww!" 
 
Still, I was scratching my head about Bob using his wife's email to send me a nasty gram.  He always uses his work email. 
 
Then it dawned on me.   I was being auditioned -- to take part in Columbia's zaniest, wackiest, funniest reality show ever:  the Columbia Tribune "HomeBoy" column by Bob's son, local attorney Doug Pugh

An ongoing, post-modern Brady Bunch saga about the triumphs and travails of growing up with Bob, Connie and Columbia's prominent Pugh family, HomeBoy can be LM-you-know-what hysterical.   Like the family's African safari gone hopelessly haywire.   Or holiday hilarity in the tongue-in-cheek "Time to trim makes Pugh family grim."

Adding to all the madcap mayhem is that Dad is like a dog who thinks it's a cat.   "I'm just a has-been, a nobody," the former Columbia Mayor -- and owner of a fabulously successful textbook retailing business who makes millions on the side selling land to local government -- has told me more than once. 

So, I got to thinking -- what could the HomeBoy column co-starring me possibly be about?  
 
Then it hit me:  "Dad busted for using Mom's email; forced to sleep on couch."

Here's the story line.  HomeBoy goes over to the folks' house for a late dinner one night after work, only to find that Dad has pitched a tent -- on the living room floor!   "I hate that couch," Bob grumps.  Mom is upstairs asleep. 

"Why in the world were you using Mom's email?"  Doug asks.   "Don't you have, like your own huge company?" 

But Bob doesn't want to talk about it.

The whole evening then becomes one madcap misadventure after another.  Bob tells Doug that he feels lonely all by himself in the living room, and can they make a father-son camping trip out of the whole deal?   A home stay vacay.   And they do, and then Doug finds old Timmy Teddy, his stuffed bear from when he was a kid. 
 
And after they stay up all night telling ghost stories, Bob awakes in a fright!

"Doug -- there's a bear in the camp!  Get the rifle!"

Doug is NOT a happy couch camper at this point, being awakened at 3 am and all.  "That's just Tim Teddy, Dad!   He's here all the time.  Crimonee!  Go back to sleep." 

Well, Bob tosses and turns and grumbles, prompting his son to ask once again:  "What were you thinking, using Mom's email to pester that jerk Mike Martin, then signing your own name?"
 
Well -- it turns out the whole thing boils down to a new policy at MBS Books, where Bob is Commander in Chief.   "We're not allowed to use company email anymore for outside shenanigans," he explains.  "It's my policy, so I felt like I had to abide by it, ya know?"
 
"Couldn't you use, like a gmail account?  Or Yahoo?  Or Hotmail?"  Doug asks.
 
"Listen, son -- I don't know the first thing about setting something like that up." 
 
So Doug grabs the family laptop that survived a plunge into the Nile River, an alligator attack, a rhino stampede, and a fall down Mt. Kilimanjaro during their safari.   He logs on.   "Okay," he says.  "First, you need an alias."
 
"What's an alias?"  Bob asks.
 
"A name that's not yours," Doug explains.  "And I don't mean Mom's name!  I mean, like This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ."
 
 
"Fer cryin' out loud, Dad!  Let's TRY to be a little discrete!" 

"Okay, okay," Bob says.  "How's about This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ?" 

"Tiny little mousy guy who would NEVER try to gerrymander the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Wards?  Are you kidding?!"  Doug exclaims.  "They'll know exactly who that is by the theory of opposites.   People often use a fake name that's the opposite of who they really are.  That's just like telling people you're a has-been!" 
 
"Okay smart guy," Bob says.  "What's YOUR email alias?" 
 
"My email alias?  You email me all the time!"
 
"Well -- I don't remember it."
 
"It's This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     Remember?" 

"Trib Home Boy at...."   Bob grabs a note pad and writes it down. 
 
"You have to write it down?  You ARE getting up there." 
 
Anyway, by this time Dad and Son are totally bushed and they yawn.  Bob's yawn is ZOU-loud, prompting Doug to shush him.  "You wanna wake mom up?  That's just what we need!"   Bob pipes down and tucks Doug in, giving him a fatherly peck on the forehead.  They finally fall fast asleep.  
 
 
Fast forward one week and I'm back at my desk.   I'm downloading my email, when suddenly:
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From:  Doug Pugh   <tribhomeboy@ 
To: Mike Martin   <mjmartin@
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:57 AM
Subject: Re: BEAT BYTE:  I fall into a HomeBoy column
 
Hey Martin,
 
You think you're really smart.  Well -- you'll NEVER guess who this is! 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Bob Pugh
 
 
Meanwhile, back at the Pugh house:   "DAD!!"
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