So, I’m just going to come out and say this.
I HATED Cheerios when I was a kid. HATED THEM.
To this day, I cannot understand the appeal of Cheerios. They taste like round paper to me. And, yet, every toddler in the world seems to love them. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that my unique-ness was obvious at an early age.
I did like Froot Loops, though. I mean, what’s not to like? They’re colorful, they taste like mini sugar cookies minus the cookie part, and they have a wonderful toucan named Sam touting their product.
Now people are all up in arms because it’s been revealed that Froot Loops has been bamboozling us this whole time. Shockingly, we have learned that just because the loops are different colors doesn’t mean they are different flavors. In fact, they are all the same flavor.
So, all of the people – and I am not one of them – who always used to separate their loops by color because they didn’t like certain flavors are feeling betrayed. They are probably the same people who liked Cheerios. Obviously they have disabled taste buds.
I don’t really care if Froot Loops are all the same flavor. It’s not like they’re M&M’s, for crying out loud. M&M’s are obviously different flavors – and it’s no secret that the blue ones are the best.
I learned a long time ago, when I dug to the bottom of a box for my prize and found a stupid coupon instead, that the cereal business is full of smoke and mirrors. Nothing surprises me any more when it comes to breakfast food that you pour into a bowl.
But don’t. mess. with. my. candy.
So now that I’ve been on this new medication for awhile, it’s become clear to me that my occasional lapses of memory are probably not caused by terrorists poisoning my food. I mean, that’s pretty ridiculous when you think about it. It’s not like terrorists are that subtle. They bomb restaurants; they don’t sprinkle memory altering drugs on the filet mignon.
Clearly, I have Mad Cow Disease.
The problem with this is that I used to be a vegetarian. So, I only have myself to blame. I hate blaming myself. It’s really not healthy. Although I don’t think it’s quite as damaging as Mad Cow Disease.
Before you pooh pooh my occasional lapses of memory, you might want to hear about the most recent example.
I forgot to take my clothes out the washing machine.
Don’t worry, there is more to the story.
When I finally remembered, I opened the washing machine – only to find it empty.
This was perplexing, to say the least. Puzzlement turned into fury, however, when I opened the dryer to find all of my clothes. Very dry. And very small. Because they are not supposed to go in the dryer. But my loving husband, thinking he was doing me a favor by not pointing out that I forgot to transfer my clothing from one appliance to the next, did it for me.
“Fine, I guess I’ll do him a favor back,” I thought in a not very vengeful way. At that point I was actually feeling remorseful because between finding out my clothes would be better suited for a Barbie doll and thinking that I should do my husband a favor, I had already sent a slightly sarcastic and biting message to Cap’n Firepants not exactly thanking him for his “favor.”
On the slight chance he really did mean to do me a favor, I realized that I might have been somewhat rude.
Cap’n Firepants had a heap of jeans on his side of the closet, so I decided that I would apologize for my sarcasm by washing them.
Now, although we don’t actually take our clothes down to the riverbank and beat them, the procedurefor washing clothes in the Firepants household is nearly as labor intensive: 1. Turn on the washing machine, 2. Pour in detergent. 3. Put in the clothes. 4. Run around the house and grab more clothes from various nooks and crannies to make sure you do not waste water on a load that does not quite exceed the weight limit of a service elevator. 5. Add the bra that you extracted from the dog’s teeth. 6. Close the top of the machine. 7. Come back in 5 minutes and realize the machine stopped. 8. Open the top and let it drop hard in a very dramatic way to restart the cycle. 9. Kick the machine to show it who is boss.
I got the whole process rolling, and patted myself on the back for being the bigger person. Even though I was really not bigger; my clothes were just smaller.
Thirty minutes later, I passed by the laundry room, and realized it was awfully quiet. I looked in and, sure enough, I had forgotten to close the top. I closed it. I kicked it. Noise ensued.
Don’t you see? Total proof that I have Mad Cow Disease.
Oh, need more?
So, a couple of hours later, we returned to the house after having taken Dimples to and from piano lessons. I proudly remembered that I needed to put the jeans of Cap’n Firepants into the dryer.
I opened the washing machine. No clothes.
Now, Cap’n Firepants was still at work, as far as I knew. But, it seemed clear to me that he had driven twenty minutes home, put his clothes in the dryer, and then gone back to work. Obviously.
I looked in the dryer.
Oh. My. God! Someone stole Cap’n Firepants’ clothes. While we were gone, someone snuck in the house, stole 5 pairs of jeans and my bra, and left.
Nonsense, I realized – after a few minutes of complete panic.
Obviously, Cap’n Firepants came home, put his clothes in the dryer, waited for them to dry, put them away, and went back to work.
Easy to prove. I’ll just walk into the closet and there will be the freshly folded clothes.
I walked into the closet.
There was the heap of jeans.
Oh. My. God!
He came home, put his clothes in the dryer, waited for them to dry, put them away, got them all dirty, put them back on the floor, and then went back to work. In the space of 2 hours.
Or I forgot to put them in the washing machine.
Oh. My. God.
I just did a load of laundry with no clothes in it.
And that, my friends, is why you should not eat meat.
One of the many attributes that my daughter inherited from me was a love of reading. This can be good, but also has a bad side. We get addicted to books. We wallow in them. As a result, we both have the horrible habit of reading during meals. Since my husband is not a big reader, and it seems a bit rude to completely ignore him the few times a week he is able to join us for a meal, I established the “3-Person Rule.” When there are 3 or more people at the table, no one can be reading.
According to my daughter, this is the equivalent of being banished to Guantanomo. At least 3 times a week, it’s only the two of us at the table because I have to feed her before one of her extra-curricular events and my husband is not home, yet. So, she is happy. And I am happy. Because the book takes her mind off my bad cooking. And I get to read, too.
But when we have “family dinners”, she reads until I, the last one, finally sit down at the table, then glares at me, sighs dramatically, and pushes the book to the side.
That’s when it gets fun.
One of the many attributes that my daughter inherited from my husband was an aversion to small talk.
So, we sit in silence, the three of us, until my daughter says to me, “Don’t you have any stories to tell?” Not because she wants to hear them, but because she is bored. And she refuses to reveal anything about her personal life. And my husband just doesn’t really want to talk. So, it’s all on me – the woman forcing my family to socialize with each other.
And then I rack my brain for a story that I haven’t told a million times that’s appropriate to talk about at the dinner table.
My supply is being quickly depleted.
Today, I couldn’t think of anything. But, right when I ate my last bite (being a teacher who usually has 20 min. to eat, I’m always the first to finish), I remembered something. I regaled them with a true story from a book that I was reading. It involved someone who had been treated terribly as a child by his parents. Not exactly great table talk. But it was all I had.
“So, you see? You are so fortunate to have great parents like us!” I observed.
Without missing a beat, Dimples looked pointedly at my empty plate and said, in her best exasperated tone, “Who won’t leave the table even though they are done eating!”
Ah, the mistreatment that poor child has to endure.
Twenty years from now, she will show up for an appointment with some unsuspecting therapist who will be subjected to an hour of unrelenting anguished tales about the parents who abused her by forcing her to put down her book at the dinner table.
Oh, wait a second. No he won’t.
Because she’ll be too busy reading a book.
One of my depression-combatting strategies is to watch hours of sitcoms with my bulldog, Wonderbutt, snoring and farting in my lap. I’m not really sure if it’s the sitcoms, Wonderbutt, or the inhalation of gases that actually help, but I’ve been too lazy to change any of the variables in the attempt to conduct a scientific investigation. The most recent sitcom therapy has been “Modern Family” for the sole reason that one of the networks has been running “Modern Family” marathons during the past couple of weeks. However, they alternate them with “NCIS” marathons, which seem to have the opposite effect on my temperament. I tell you, this T.V. watching can be a real roller-coaster for the psyche.
The other problem with watching “Modern Family” is that I’m not sure it’s actually improving my mood, so much as altering my personality. After watching for a few hours, I have a keen desire to go to dinner with the gay brother that I don’t have or to call Claire and challenge her to a battle of the neurotic perfectionists. Even worse, I start speaking in a thick Colombian accent, saying things like, “Aiii! After all those years with Peg, who knew Al Bundy could be so sweet and charming?” I have a tendency to immerse myself in fictional worlds, in case you couldn’t tell.
These issues could be avoided, of course, if someone just decided to make a sitcom out of my own life. I already mentally explain things to a camera-man half the time, anyway, so putting an actual camera in front of me would not be a stretch. Then I would could watch my own show for hours with Wonderbutt snoring and farting on my lap, and become myself – which would be a welcome change.
Or I might become Wonderbutt.
Some might say that would be an improvement.
It’s Like Driving Miss Daisy – Except She’s a He and in the Front Seat. And Her Butt is Thirty Times Larger than Her Head.
So, you know how you open the pantry door and take out the leash, and your dog dances the happy dance and practically trips you as he races to the front door? And then he sighs loudly as you wander around the house looking for your keys? And then he starts whining and barking at you when you tell him to wait a second because you lost your phone and he lets loose a barrage of doggie expletives because you are wasting precious time interrogating everyone in the household? And then you finally get to the point where you can open the door, but you can’t because he has wedged himself in front of it to make absolutely sure that you don’t leave without him? So, you have to pull the door open and slide him across the floor until he realizes that the moment of departure has finally arrived? And then, he races out the door and you yell at him to wait and to stop running because he has a broken knee?
And he does. Wait, I mean.
By the car door.
Because he does not want to go for a walk.
He wants to go for a ride.
Chauffeured by you.
And even though it’s raining and cold and you have absolutely nowhere to take him, you feel sorry for the poor guy who, despite his torn ligaments, has been dancing by the front door every time you put on your shoes for the last three days. So, you let him jump on to the passenger seat and you ignore his muddy feet, and you ignore the seat belt beeper that warns you that someone more than 35 pounds is sitting next to you, and you ignore the fact that you should not be rewarding a dog who ate your book of strategies for winning Scrabble out of pure spite for anything that takes your attention away from him.
You drive your silly dog to the neighborhood nearby where the houses are far from the road, so maybe no one will notice that you are on a joyride with your bulldog. And you slow down to let him watch deer grazing in the yards. You even roll down the window so he can inform the deer that they better watch out because, if he feels like it, he’s going to heave his 60 pounds through that window and plop onto the ground and then there will be trouble.
And then you move on.
After wandering around for about fifteen minutes, you finally pull back into your own driveway. Your dog lumbers out of the car slowly. He follows you to the front door. Exploring the neighborhood on his own four paws holds no appeal. As soon as you get inside, he sprawls out on the floor with a sigh.
You can’t tell if it’s a sigh of contentment or disappointment.
But at least he won’t be eating any more books any time soon.
Wonderbutt the War-Waging Bulldog has been on a literal tear lately. Markers, socks, Rainbow Loom rubber bands – nothing is safe from him. I would threaten him with coal in his stocking, but he would just eat that, too. The coal and the stocking.
We came home the other day to find that the kitchen was Ground Zero. Placemats, kitchen towels, newspapers, and Dimples’ book were all victims of Wonderbutt’s fury. And just when we thought we had it all cleaned up, we found one of Dimples’ birthday cards right outside the dog door, like a welcome mat for the Poop Pen.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance cover this? Or is it considered an “Act of God”? Maybe an “Act of Dog”?
(Click on the thumbnails to see a larger view of mass destruction.)
“I can’t find my house,” my 11-year-old daughter, Dimples, lamented.
At the time, she was sitting in our living room listening to the Sound of Music soundtrack (the good one). Since I get lost all of the time, especially when I am actually inside the place I’m trying to find (like a store at the mall – “Where the heck is Macy’s? Oh yeah, I’m standing in it.”), I wasn’t completely surprised by her proclamation – just a little sad that she inherited the defective gene of disorientation from me.
Then I realized she was playing Minecraft. She is probably the only person in the world who plays Minecraft while she is singing along to “Do, Re, Mi”.*
(If you do not know what Minecraft is, then
I hate you consider yourself fortunate to be in a state of blissful ignorance, pour yourself a glass of champagne, and pull up the delightful YouTube video of, “What Does the Fox Say?” to celebrate your escape from Stupid Things to Which Kids Today Become Addicted.)
“I should just kill myself,” she announced.
“That seems a bit drastic,” I said.
“No, then I can re-spawn and I’ll end up back at my house again.”
Well, at least the game fosters creative problem solving skills.
I think I’ll try that technique the next time I’m at the mall and can’t find my car in the parking lot.
(*But, apparently, “My Favorite Things” is big in the Minecraft world…)
Depending on your source, “ludicrosity” may or may not be a word. I honestly thought I made it up, but it’s littered all over the web – which just goes to show you that it’s impossible to be original any more.
Ever since I realized that my anti-depressant was making me happier than everyone else, then found out that someone obviously switched it with a placebo right at the moment that I was about to receive some not-so-anti-depressing news, I have been experiencing weird moments of ludicrosity that I decided I should start chronicling. If you don’t think they are funny, don’t tell me. Because I will start crying.
I had the above online exchange with a student who kept posting on Edmodo without following our class rules.
Kind of begs the question, “Why the heck did you put a door there if it CAN NEVER BE OPENED?!!!!”
So many things to love about this app. The price, the name of the company, the fact that 116 people have rated it already…
This is what happens when you buy a cheap bluetooth keyboard; they give you instructions that were apparently written by the student featured in my first image…
And finally, I think this was actually meant to be funny. I hope.
It turns out my anti-depressant only works when there is nothing to be depressed about. Which seems kind of ineffective. I mean, if your medication isn’t going to help you look on the bright side of things when you find out that your dog probably needs $1500 surgery – TWICE – then, really, what’s the point of taking it?
As I mentioned in the last post, Wonderbutt has been limping. Cap’n Firepants and I could not agree on which leg was hurt, which was embarrassing to admit to the vet. We were pretty sure it was a back leg, but the darn dog has two of those. I was certain he was favoring the left one, and the Cap’n was equally sure it was the right one. It turned out that I was right. And I’ve never been so depressed about being correct. Because the Cap’n was right, too, apparently. According to the vet, it appears that Wonderbutt tore the ligaments in both of his rear knees.
So, first of all, I didn’t even know that Wonderbutt has knees. I still can’t find them. Who’s the stupid idiot who decided to give dogs knees? Next, you’re going to tell me they have elbows, too.
Secondly, the vet does not know this for sure. So we must pay $500 to be certain with X-rays that must be done while Wonderbutt is anesthetized. (Apparently, the vet is doubtful that Wonderbutt will be relaxed enough to get good X-rays done while he is awake.) Then, we get to fork out the $3000. Which should be very interesting since we don’t happen to have that in our Swiss bank account right now.
I came home from the vet, and decided that the best way to deal with this information would be to take a nap.
Another astounding revelation – naps at 10:30 in the morning really don’t help to combat the threat of oppressive veterinary bills and a hobbled bulldog.
In the meantime, our daughter, Dimples (who has a “touch” of scoliosis, and needs to go to a specialist so we can get more specific bad news) is alive with the Christmas spirit. She is cheerfully dancing around the house, decorating, and delighting at placing ornaments in unusual spots for me to find. Her birthday happens to be in a few days, so nothing is going to dampen her good cheer.
And my mother-in-law called this morning to see when we were going to pick her up for Thanksgiving. Which we did. Yesterday.
We all find our own ways of avoiding reality, I suppose.