First of all, thanks for being here on pretty short notice. I thought the controversy would have blown over by now, but it hasn’t, and I want to put an end to it so my family can move on. I know we have folks from the paper and the TV station here in town. I heard there’s national media too, which surprises me, and the US Geological Survey, which does not surprise me.

I am a dad. That’s first and foremost in my mind at all times. I’m many other things, too, of course. I’m a member of the community, I’m an ex-husband, I’m a friend, I’m a home-renter, I’m a son and a brother and an uncle, and I’ve recently become a skilled amateur firefighter. But being a dad is job one. And what I’d like to say to everyone here is that I’m sorry. Because apparently becoming the most awesome dad in the world is a terrible thing to do. And be.

About a year ago, I picked up my sons from a birthday party where all the kids were playing “the floor is lava” in this birthday boy’s rumpus room. And it wasn’t lava. It was carpet. Wasn’t even red. The idea that we had failed our children so completely that they had to live in this hallucinatory world made me want to anger vomit. It was then I decided to do something about it for my kids, for reality, and for the environmental ecosystem. Every day is Earth Day.

People have told me it’s unsafe to have lava in the rumpus room. Or anywhere that any living thing might be. In truth, I care more about safety than any of you. Let me ask you this: are my sons Creg and Dostin more likely to act safely when knowing that if they fall off the couch, you’ll land on carpet? Or if they know it’s actual lava on the floor of the rumpus room? You do the math. I’m sick of doing math.

Here’s another question for you. Who loves their kids more: a dad who gets his kid a video game system for a few hundred bucks or a dad who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars and commits a remarkable number of crimes installing lava in the rumpus room? Who’s more committed? Who’s spending more? Who’s willing to go the farthest? Then that’s your better dad. And being the best dad, defeating the other dads, that’s what’s important here. That’s what we all want.

And look, I get it. I understand why worse dads wouldn’t want to commit to this. Just acquiring thousands of kilograms of metal tungsten is too much hassle for guys who would rather be cutting the grass or whatever. But then you have to get the metal tungsten fabricated into floor covering specific to the configurations of a given rumpus room. And that’s before acquiring the lava rock, superheating it to 2000 degrees, and sourcing a pump system so it’s in constant motion. How the hell else are you going to keep it superheated? Ever thought of that. My guess is you have not. That kind of technology involves the kind of shady deals with the black market nuclear submarine community that most dads aren’t willing to make.

But it’s more than money, more than light terrorism. It’s sacrifice. Creg and Dostin have seen their old man installing the lava equipment himself, They’ve seen me lose all of my left hand and most of my right leg. For them. To them, that’s what love is, and I think that’s a valuable benchmark for when they go to proms and get married and so forth.

Was it worth it? I invite you to come to my house, come into the rumpus room, and listen to the way my boys tell each other, “Be careful. The floor is lava.” There’s a lot more urgency now. Desperation. The loving terrified pleas that emerge as they try to save one another. That’s something I’ve built. And the lava flowing through the floor of the rumpus room is also something I’ve built.

So again, if that’s a crime, take me away to jail. I’m told that it is actually a crime. I will now go to jail.

Thank you. We have free stickers by the door.