Introducing: My Brother’s Relentless Quest for a Pack of Gum (and the 5 Kids Blog Shop)

My brother is about to introduce you to the 5 Kids Blog shop. If consumerism and spending and people trying to make a buck makes you CRAZY, get out now. RUN. Because my brother is TOTALLY trying to make a buck (…he’s literally attempting to make one whole dollar…), and he’s about to explain the whole thing to you BELOW.

Just in case you decide to keep reading, though, I need you to understand exactly who to blame for this entire “shop” situation. In order of blameyness, please find fault with the following:

1. My brother, Jeff. Since I was 3 and he entered this world, he’s maintained his #1 position on the To Blame List. This entire post just proves my point. If you don’t have a little brother on whom to pin blame, I suggest you get one STAT. Who else are you going to point your finger at when the dog is found hog-tied with your mom’s best scarf? And wearing her gold clip-on earrings? And is perhaps decorated with those adorable, multi-colored, slippery, banana-sized balloons you found in your dad’s top dresser drawer next to his hidden stash of Almond Roca? You NEED a baby brother, friend. I’m telling you.

2. My sister-in-law, Kim. You know that person who’s unreasonably enthusiastic about EVERYTHING YOU DO? Who thinks things that are definitely NOT good ideas ARE good ideas? That’s Kim. She said a store was a GREAT idea. She also said running a half-marathon was a great idea. She also said having 5 kids was a great idea. Kim is not to be trusted.

AngeryDragon.png3. YOU. You keep sending me messages asking to buy real stuff. “But Beth,” you wrote when I told you Angery Dragon t-shirts were only imaginary, “we need actual t-shirts so we can warn people when we’re Angery Dragonesque. This is a PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE.” And, well, maybe you have a point.

4. Me. Because I listened to you and to my dumb brother and to my enthusiastic sister-in-law even though I know better.

So, fine.

It’s done. 

And here’s Jeff, below, to explain.


Except… P.S. Sorry about what’s on page 2 at the shop. I said Jeff could do whatever he wanted. And then he did. In his defense, there’s a giant hand on the front of it which looks like the international symbol for “WHOA, THERE; HOLD YOUR HORSES” which I feel is extremely appropriate under the 5 Kids Is A Lot Of Kids circumstances.

And now here’s Jeff…


Hi. I’m Beth’s brother, Jeff.

I like gum.

Already this isn’t going well.

Remember in school when you learned about Citing Your Sources? Apparently, if your paper includes a direct quote, you are supposed to Cite Your Source. But then you also need to Cite Your Source if you paraphrase someone else’s ideas. OR if you summarize them. OR if you use “facts, information or data”. So that would be… for everything. You have to Cite Your Source for Everything! And if you screw up Citing Your Sources, that’s a Big Deal. That’s Plagiarism, my friend. Game Over. You fail.

That’s the kind of stress I’m under right now. Because I’m pretty sure I stole “I like gum” from this kid:

Sure, Jonathan technically said, “I like TURTLES.” But that’s just changing a single word. And if I’m honest, I wrote using the exact same delivery and inflection as the original. So, to make this right:


Hi. I’m Beth’s brother, Jeff.

I like turtles gum.*

 *Jonathan. (Small-sized Zombie & Turtle Lover). (2007). News interview. [Local News]. Portland: KGW.

Here’s why I’m talking about gum:

Beth promised me gum if I help her.

Which I’ve now done, and, in return, I get a pack of gum!

Sure, now she’ll say it was a hypothetical pack of gum. She will try to argue that anytime a “pack of gum” is offered as payment, everyone knows you’re really saying “pretty much nothing.”

She’s tried this kind of bait-and-switch before, though. I’m not standing for it. I want my two dollars gum.**

 **Savage Steve Holland. (Director & Screenwriter). (1985). Better Off Dead. [Film]. North Hollywood: A&M Films.

How did I help her, you ask? Excellent question!

First, I suggested a 5 Kids Blog shop.

Next, she reluctantly eagerly agreed, and even offered me a cut of all the money she makes, which will be, and I quote, “for sure enough to buy a whole pack of gum.” ParentAs Beth writes in her advertising section, she’s not setting herself up very well in the “bags and bags of cold, hard cash” department by neglecting to do sponsored posts. “I want this blog to be about truth-telling,” she says. “I want this to be about the parent experience,” she says. “I want this to be about authentic living,” she says. I say she’s missing the boat, but when has she ever listened to me?

This is where merchandising comes in. For anyone who may not fully understand the power of merchandising, I offer the following quote from an American film classic:

Merchandising! Merchandising! Where the real money from the movie is made. Spaceballs the T-shirt; Spaceballs the Coloring Book; Spaceballs the Lunch box; Spaceballs the Breakfast Cereal; Spaceballs the Flame Thrower. The kids LOVE that one.***

***Mel Brooks. (Producer & Director). (1987). Spaceballs. [Film]. Los Angeles: MGM.

All that to say, we’re opening the 5 Kids Blog shop. Inside, you will find shirts and mugs with all kinds of blog-related content.

PeeFightPacifist.pngThere are sartorial renderings of some favorite posts, like the Pee Fight Pacifist, and, of course, the Angery Dragon. For the Nerd Parents among us, there are some mathematical treatments of the Parenting Condition.

AnyNumberOfKidsIsALotOfKids.pngThere’s the ‘Any Number Of Kids Is A Lot Of Kids’ series, from one to five, although you’re certainly welcome to ask for higher numbers (but you should know, that is a lot of kids.) And there’s… more. Keep looking.

And it’s all here in time for the holiday giving!

In closing, there are 2 potential methods by which I get my gum:

1. My percentage of commissions will allow me to purchase my own pack of gum, if maybe 700 of you buy a shirt (or mug!), or

2. No one buys anything, in which case Beth owes me a pack of gum out of her own pocket. I’m good either way. Ball’s in your court, internets.


P.S. 5-Kids-Is-A-Lot-Of-Kids-the-Flame-Thrower just may be in the works. Stay tuned.


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8 responses to “Introducing: My Brother’s Relentless Quest for a Pack of Gum (and the 5 Kids Blog Shop)”

  1. OMG, the turtle/zombie kid….hilarious.

    I can’t view your shop because my workplace doesn’t believe in fun…or shopping while working, but I am excited about having my own Angery Dragon shirt!

  2. My husband made a flamethrower. Several, in fact, each with “improvements” on the previous model. He’s now progressed to a couple of homemade forges, each of which fires at increasing temperatures, now somewhere in the many hundred degrees centigrade, or possibly past 1000. However I now no longer worry about him burning down the house roof as he attempts to relocate spiders and wasps to a higher plane of existence. The point of all this, not that I actually have a point, but anyway, if you want to know how to turn a water gun into a flamethrower you may like to borrow from his work. He’s still alive, if it’s any consolation.

  3. Please tell me you have a family betting pool going on how many people will buy the thong. If you don’t, you should. And if you do, you should publicize the entries in that pool, because then maybe people will buy them to help their current favorite family member win. And then Jeff could get his pack of gum. Or maybe two packs of gum!

  4. Let the record show that the only things ever found in proximity to your Dad’s hidden stash of Almond Roca were some Andes mints and a few pair of neatly folded socks. He told me so himself. Writers… they never let a few facts stand in the way of a good story.

  5. Jeff, your write just like your sister and so, I now love you as much as I do her! Very funny!
    This is, by far, my favourite blog! 🙂 x

    • Oh WELL DONE Sami!!! Any sentence addressed to Jeff that includes the phrase “Just Like Your Sister” is a guaranteed conflagration generator. You may have singlehandedly knocked *months* off the R&D time to bring the 5-Kids-Is-A-Lot-Of-Kids-the-Flame-Thrower to market. You are, by far, my favourite [sic] blog responder!

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