Category Archives: Cap’n Firepants
Technically, I didn’t bring you the terrorists. I just called attention to them. Well, I tried to call attention to them. As far as I can tell, the F organizations (FBI and FDA) have made absolutely no attempt to thwart the terrorists’ blatant attempt to slowly sabotage our population by putting memory-erasing additives in increasingly gluten free food. Of course, they could be making efforts that I don’t know about – or that I’ve conveniently forgotten.
In the meantime, the terrorists have infiltrated the dry cleaning business. How do I know this? My keen powers of observation tell me so.
I was recently at the cleaners, and got a bit nosy about one what of the employees was doing behind the counter.
“What is she doing?” I subtly asked the person dropping my clothes into a bag.
“Her? Oh, she’s just ironing a bar code onto those pants. You know, so we can make sure they don’t get lost.” She said this kind of nervously. And who can blame her for being nervous when being interrogated by the intrepid Mrs. Cap’n Firepants?
Before I could ask any more penetrating questions, the terrorist/dry cleaner employee shoved my claim ticket into my hand, and beckoned the next customer.
And then it hit me.
“Oh. My. God.” I thought. I raced home and dashed into my closet. Sure enough, all of my recently drycleaned clothing had bar codes in them.
So much for my keen powers of observation.
“I’ve been violated and I didn’t even know it!” I whispered to my bar-code free pajama pants.
Sure, they say it’s to make sure my ten dollar blouse doesn’t end up in the hands of a serial dry cleaning thief. But I know better.
The terrorists are tracking my clothing.
That way, when I finally kick the bucket as a result of their food poisoning plot, and my husband gives away my clothes to someone, and the new someone brings them in to be cleaned, and the terrorist/dry cleaner sees that someone else used to own those pants, and they call my house to let me know that my pants have been filched, and my husband lets them know that the pants are no longer mine because I am deceased due to forgetting that I’m not supposed to walk in front of cars going 65 miles an hour (and he assures the terrorist/dry cleaner that those are not the actual pants I was wearing when I met my demise), the terrorist/dry cleaner will be satisfied that the food poisoning plot is working just as planned and report this encouraging progress to the Head Honcho Terrorist with a cryptic tweet, like, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants wears control top panty hose.”
My husband seems to think this is a bit “of a reach”. Coincidentally, he uses a different dry cleaner. Who does not put bar codes in his pants.
So, clearly, I am sleeping with the enemy.
The plot thickens.
My husband, the Long Suffering Cap’n Firepants, and I (the Just as Long and Sometimes Even More Suffering Mrs. Cap’n Firepants) had a bit of a tiff last night. I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say that he thought there was a miscommunication even though I had clearly communicated, and that him apologizing for misunderstanding my communication is not really an apology because it obviously implies that I was at fault for not clearly communicating. And I think we can all agree that I am a fabulous communicator.
But I am not a very good prognosticator.
I was at school today, and the secretary called on the intercom to see if I could send someone to the office to pick up a package. I didn’t have students at the time, so I told her I would send one as soon as they returned.
Of course, I forgot.
“Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, can you send someone down to the office now?” Obviously the secretary really wanted me to come get that package. I wondered what it was. I hadn’t ordered anything. Then I realized what was happening.
“Cap’n Firepants sent me flowers to apologize, and the secretary is really eager to brighten my day,” I thought. “He is so forgiven!” I immediately drafted a student to pick up my special delivery. I couldn’t wait to see my surprise.
The door opened.
“What is it?” I asked expectantly, as soon as the student entered. I couldn’t see what was in his hands because I was on the other side of the room.
“Balls,” he said.
I apparently couldn’t hear what he said because I was on the other side of the room.
“Eyeballs,” he said, as he approached me.
And then I remembered. I had ordered something. Sheep eyeballs for my 3rd graders to dissect.
The students cheered with excitement as I dejectedly looked down at the jar that the secretary had been so eager to get off her desk. The jar of a dozen eyeballs that was supposed to be a dozen roses. The jar of eyeballs that I forgot I had ordered – my forgetfulness obviously due to the trauma of being falsely accused of mis-communicating. The jar of eyeballs that used to belong to sheep that had now become the worst Un-apology ever.
He is so not forgiven.
“Did you call?” my husband asked.
“Yes, but it’s too late now.”
I could hear the alarm in his response, even though it was only one syllable – “Oh?”
“Well, yes. We’re already home. I was calling to see if you thought we should get Wonderbutt a life jacket because we were at Petsmart.”
“Well, how much are they?”
“Oh, you don’t understand. I already bought him the life jacket. You didn’t answer so I just made an executive decision.”
“But it doesn’t fit. It was a medium. So, we’re going back. We’re going to take him with us this time so he can try it on.”
I could tell that my husband was extremely thankful that I was taking care of all of this without his involvement. Because: A) The thought of buying a life jacket for our bulldog seems about as logical as buying a kayak for a T-Rex, and Dos) trying to get Wonderbutt to try on different sized life jackets in the middle of a store registers about a 9.5 on his Ways-That-I-Refuse-To-Humiliate-Myself Scale.
So, well aware that my husband thought that we might as well build our dog a float out of crisp dollar bills for all of the good a life jacket would do, I toted Wonderbutt and my daughter to Petsmart for our bright orange fashion show.
Predictably, we immediately gained an admiring audience of Petsmart customers as I struggled to fit Wonderbutt into the next size up. It had to be explained to everyone that he likes to swim, but tires pretty quickly – usually when he has just made it to the deepest part of the pond.
Wonderbutt is short. But what he lacks in height, he definitely makes up for in rotundity. So, even the Large jacket was no match for his girth. We had to purchase the X-Large for him – the one with a very fit looking labrador on its packaging. I found this slightly embarrassing, but Wonderbutt did not seem disturbed by this in the least. Perhaps this was because he had absolutely no intention of keeping the thing on for more than 5 seconds.
“This isn’t going to work, is it?” my daughter asked, as we stood in line to check out, and Wonderbutt managed to wrestle the life jacket off his back and on to the ground.
“Sure it will,” I replied confidently. Okay, maybe not exactly confidently.
Back in the car, I watched as Wonderbutt got in the back and proceeded to attack the life jacket with the zest he usually reserves for eating carpets or sofa cushions.
I looked at my daughter, whose eyebrows were raised.
I closed the door and got in the front seat. Already, the buyer’s remorse was beginning to sink in. I pondered my possibly expensive mistake, then turned around to speak to my daughter.
“Uh, just make sure he doesn’t eat the receipt, okay?” I said.
And so Wonderbutt’s next adventure began…
My family does not trust me in the kitchen. Even the dog. Mrs. Pain in the Butt, our golden retriever, paces and pants every time I turn the stove on – just because I happened to set off the smoke alarm a few years ago while I was cooking. My husband is just as bad. Since I had never operated a gas stove before we moved into this house, he is convinced that I am going to blow us all up. This paranoia stemmed from the fact that, the first night we moved into the house, I placed a box on the counter next to the stove, inadvertently turning one of the dials ever so slightly. We woke up in the middle of the night to the distinct smell of gas. I try to tell him, “But I wasn’t even cooking when I almost killed us!” He does not find that reassuring.
The only family member that meets my rare trips to the kitchen with delight and anticipation is our bulldog, Wonderbutt. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he steadfastly clenches to the belief that I am going to give him food scraps while I am foraging for a Diet Coke.
And our daughter? Here is how confident she is about my kitchen skills:
My husband, who usually prepares breakfast in the morning, had to leave early one day, and reluctantly left it up to me. My daily breakfast is cereal, but my daughter is used to gourmet meals made to order by Cap’n Firepants. That morning, at 6:20, I went to wake her up.
“Hey, sweetie. Time to get up.”
“Umm. Daddy had to go to work early, so it’s just me today.”
“What would you like for breakfast?”
Silence. Then a hesitant, ”You know how to make waffles, don’t you?”
“Well, I probably could. I think it has a recipe on the side of the box. But I think I would need to use the mixer (don’t I?), and that would take a lot of time. Plus, you know I’m not good at doing multi-step tasks early in the morning.”
She sat up, and looked at me.
“You. Just. Put. Them in the. Toaster,” she said slowly.
“Oh! Those kind of waffles! Sure, I can do that!” I said with great confidence.
“Okay,” she said, looking at me doubtfully.
“I can!” I said.
I marched to the kitchen to prove my point, thinking, “Geez, why can’t she just have a darn Pop Tart like every other kid in America?”
Oh yeah, because we don’t have Pop Tarts.
Another thing no one trusts me to do – the grocery shopping.
Beth died last night. She was supposed to die tonight, but my hard-hearted husband hastened her departure by going to bed early. Of course, he did not know that he was killing Beth by doing this. And the alternative would have just prolonged the inevitable. But still.
I had put off preparing for the death because I thought I would have more time. But Cap’n Firepants threw the zinger at me at our daughter’s bed time that he was pretty exhausted, and could I please read tonight? He stepped back from me a bit when I acted like he had just asked me to climb the roof at midnight and clean up squirrel poop. Generally, I jump at the chance for an extra night to read to our daughter. But I dreaded the chapter that I knew was next.
Cap’n Firepants reads a different book with Dimples, so he can be forgiven for not knowing that he had just asked me to walk into the Valley of Death. And, I am sure that he would point out that I was the one who picked the book in the first place.
It’s just that I did not realize that Beth’s death in Little Women would occur while I am still in mourning over the approximately one hundred and thirteen people who perished in Les Miserables. I am still reeling from that massacre, and the repercussions of its soundtrack, and now I had to add one more body to the pile.
Plus, Dimples and I had just recently had our class picture argument, and I was pretty sure that reading an entire chapter to her about the death of a beloved character was not going to endear me any more to her. She makes it a point to avoid sappy death scenes in books, and I had kind of tricked her into this one.
Of course, Dimples handled it much better than I did. She is not a middle-aged mother fighting depression and haunted by visions of Anne Hathaway dreaming a dream as she is dying in a filthy street in Paris. And, I think that it is entirely possible that she would be happy with all of the characters being killed off as I have probably referred to these paragons of virtue a little too often. (“Do you think Beth would complain if her mother asked her to clean the toilet? Do you think Beth even had a toilet?”)
Fortunately, she has not compared me to Marmee, yet. Because we all know how that Battle of the Moms would shake out.
So, at the end of the day I cried more than she did. And that night, I dreamed my dear daughter was in the hospital dying from the flu.
I try not to censor my daughter’s reading, but I’m beginning to think someone should probably censor mine.
“I’m just letting you know that Friday is going to be a Whole Day of No Obligation for me,” I informed my husband a couple of days ago.
He raised an eyebrow as if to imply that, in the World of Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, every day is one of no obligation. Since he was cooking dinner at the time of this announcement, I could somewhat see his point. However, I do actually perform some household duties on a regular basis, and have been feeling the need to boycott all of them since late October when daily obligations to family, home, and work seemed to have kicked into high gear.
“I am going to read all day in my pajamas. I might even not brush my teeth.”
“Okay,” he said. This is the same “okay” I get when I tell him I have a really great idea I have for a new invention, like bras that have interchangeable cups because no real woman has two breasts that are the same size. One of these days, I will divulge a particularly unique inspiration and he will leap up and respond, “By George, that is the most brilliant thing I have ever heard!”
So far, that day has not happened.
Despite my husband’s lack of enthusiasm for the project, I must say, that with the benefit of advance warning for all involved, including my 10-year-old daughter and the two Butts (our dogs), my second Whole Day of No Obligation has been a success.
I completed two books, and when my daughter bounced onto my bed complaining, “I’m bored,” I stifled my motherly/teacherly instinct to tell her that this would be a good time for her to clean her room, knowing full well that I would then be obligated to make sure the job was completed to my satisfaction – and I was not going to fall into that trap – and said, instead, “I’m sorry, but you will just have to entertain yourself as today is my Day of No Obligation.” And then I continued to read my book as she silently retreated. And I fervently hoped that she would not interpret that to mean, “So, go start practicing to be a serial killer who, when caught, will claim that you would have led a legally productive life if you had not had an erratic, selfish mother who refused your every wish and desire just so she could finish reading her book about serial killers.”
It is possible, I suppose, that I will have to reap the consequences of my DNO’s in the future. But, I think all in the household will agree tomorrow that their lives are much better for having given me a brief respite from laundry, entertaining, dog-bowl filling, and the general multi-tasking usually required of me on a daily basis.
Oh, and I did end up brushing my teeth. You’re supposed to enjoy your Day of No Obligation, and that is difficult to do when you have sticky teeth and a stale tongue.
Before you read on, in my defense, I would just like to say that trying to fight depression during the Christmas season, especially when you are a teacher, takes Herculean strength and not a few brain cells. Plus, I was a bit pre-occupied with the world ending and a few other things.
One more party. Last night, we had one last Christmas party to attend. And I was so looking forward to being done with them all.
The entire Firepants family was invited to this one. I had inconveniently scheduled a hair appointment right before the party, but I had planned ahead to make sure we could head over there as soon as I was done. White Elephant gift bought and wrapped. Dessert prepared. Address Google mapped.
Before my appointment, I reminded Dimples that she needed to find a “dress-up” outfit and something to use to roast marshmallows before I returned home.
(If you are new to my blog, I must inform you that I have an overactive Dorfenbergerthalamus that overheats and explodes if I am late to anything. This may seem random, but it’s a pertinent fact.)
I arrived home 40 minutes before the party.
“Dimples, do you have your dress-up outfit chosen?”
“I thi-in-n-k so.” This took 5 minutes to sort out.
“What about the marshmallow roasters?”
“No. I told Daddy, but he hasn’t found anything yet.”
I strode to the pantry and grabbed some barbecue forks.
“O.K. It’s going to take about 15 minutes to get there. Is everyone going to be ready to leave in 10 minutes?”
Cap’n Firepants spoke up. ”Yes, I’ll probably be ready. But we’re going to need to stop on the way to pick up some beer.”
“What?!!!!!!!!! You’ve been home for 2 and a half hours. Why didn’t you get beer earlier?”
“What was I supposed to do, take Dimples with me to pick up beer?”
“So, now you are going to take all of us to pick up beer?!”
5 minutes later – “Oh, I forgot I had some beer. So, we don’t need to stop for it.”
“Thank God!” This was not sarcasm. I was truly appreciative that we would not lose minutes picking up beer. My Dorfenbergerthalamus was beginning to smoke.
5 minutes later - ”O.K., everyone. Let’s go.”
Wonderbutt is coaxed into the Kitchen Corral. Mrs. P.I.B. gives us the panicked look she gives every time we leave. Armed with our required and optional party supplies, the Firepants family exits stage right.
10 minutes later, as we are flying past the airport, a sudden realization hits.
“Oh, crap. I forgot the White Elephant gift!” I exclaim.
To his credit, Cap’n Firepants, instead of letting the expletives fly, says, “Do you want me to turn around?”
I won’t list all of the options that rattled through my brain, but they included stopping at a convenience store and grabbing a can of Pringles or wrapping up the marshmallow forks in a car mat.
“Yes-s-s,” I reluctantly whisper as I sink deep into the seat and wait for my Dorfenbergerthalamus to go nuclear.
“Don’t worry, Mommy,” Dimples assures me from the back seat. ”According to my Girls’ Book of Glamour, it’s best to be fashionably late to a party. Twenty minutes is ideal.”
Yeah, tell that to my Dorfenbergerthalamus…
Despite all of my Googling expertise, the pile of things that I just don’t understand keeps getting higher. I am pretty sure that I know less now than I did when I was 10. I mean, back then, I actually had to hold on to information for lengthy periods for pop quizzes and exams. Now, I discard any facts that are not vital to my present survival.
Today’s list of things I don’t understand:
- Why large things that protrude from your head are more appealing than small, unobtrusive things that can be covered by a fashionable hair style. Every time she sees my husband, Cap’n Firepants, our elderly friend, MILlie, complains to him that her stereo headphones will not work. He explains that the end needs to actually be plugged into something that makes sound – instead of dangling down her back. She says that she does not want to plug them into something; she just wants to walk around with them on, so they will help her hear better. (I tried to get her fitted for a hearing aid last year, but she refuses to wear one.)
- Why my husband insists on being loyal to a car-maker (let’s just call them “Frod”) who keeps selling him cars with transmission problems. After he got stranded, and they finally admitted there might be an issue (despite the fact that he brought it in 3 times before and there was “nothing wrong”), and then they proceeded to keep it for a week without offering him a rental car, I asked him if he still planned to go back there for his next car. ”Well, they did fix it,” he stated.
- Why Google cannot help me find someone to help me fix my husband. Not that kind of fix. Just fix his blind allegiance to an automobile manufacturer who has not once returned the favor.
- Why I keep shoes in my closet that are agonizingly painful to wear, then forget the damage they did to my foot the last time I wore them, then stupidly choose to wear them to work one day, not realizing until I am at work that I have made yet another dumb wardrobe decision, make my way through an excruciating day with blinding pain, then come home, take off the shoes, and put them back in my closet without even a sticky note to label them as “Shoes That Cannot Be Worn for More Than 5 Minutes without Completely Hobbling You for the Next Week”.
- Why Dimples takes 90 minute showers, and she does not even shave her legs, yet.
- Why Twitter sent me an e-mail inviting me to use it more often (I never use it; I just signed up for it so I could get a Pinterest account) and then proceeded to suggest that two people I would probably like to follow are Tyra Banks and Snooki.
- How I can explain to Twitter, in 140 characters or less, all of the reasons that I will never follow Tyra or Snooki.
- Why one of my students gave me a very nice gift today, then ran to me after school and said, “Oh, don’t throw out the gift bag because my mom wants it back.”
Why Wonderbutt decided to grab, out of all of the sections of the newspapers spread across the kitchen table, the Obituaries. And dragged them, relatively intact, out to his Poop Pen.