Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Conference Call I'm On Is Really Boring

Tumdiddletum diddle tum diddle tum.

Inappropriate things to do on a conference call:
Piddle without the mute button on
Sketch rude drawings of participants and post them via live conferencing software
Get into knife fight
Simply drive away in car, leaving phone on table, and go to a matinee
Indulge in loud and acrobatic exercise
Call old friend on other phone line
Make fart noise (unless there are several people on various phone lines, leaving everyone to wonder who really did it)
Audibly shake martini shaker (stirred is better)
Speak in sibilant whisper to pet boa snake ("Yesss, my sssweetie!")
Run down the street shouting "Release me! Release me!"
Growl very, very quietly
Shout "Fuck you and all the cretins you work for!"
Shout "Our company is a sham and we are selling you a shoddy bill of goods!"
Punch large hole in wall and toss phone through, preferably whacking neighbor on the head
Announce to group on phone that your parole officer has just arrived
At certain pauses in the conversation, laugh gently yet maniacally under your breath
Repeat an irrelevant word over and over (e.g. "butterbutterbutterbutter")
Give birth

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My littlest boy's piddles are single-handedly destroying the planet

Not because he is peeing on the flowers and the earth (although he does that, too). But because after depositing as little as three droplets in the potty, he jumps down and flushes—with a great deal of pride and delight. Multiply this by several piddles per day, and this adds up to gallons of water!

I want to shout "NO NO Don't flush it don't you know that people in Africa have to walk a mile to get a bucket of water and use that for everything all day including drinking and dishes and here you go and flush, flush, flush one of the Earth's most precious resources you tiny madman??!"

I keep silent. But here is my quandary: If I tell him to let it sit, will I be instilling bad habits? Years later, will he be visiting someone's house and neglect to flush—leading the hosts to exclaim "What an AWFUL bad-mannered boy!" What shall I do?

He must have flushed about six times on Earth Day alone.

I'll tell you what I do. Being 9 months pregnant, I have to piddle about 18 times throughout the night. I do not flush until about the 17th time, thereby restoring the natural balance of things. This type of behavior can make dear husband scream with rage, but those African families are thanking me. "If it's yellow, let it mellow!" they are chanting! So echoes the parched Earth.

Sometimes the littlest boy will also deposit a Turdlet of Extremely Small Size in the potty—one so miniscule that it is hardly worth flushing. The size of a coffee bean! But just as CFLs make us look like unattractive aliens, even Turdlets of Extremely Small Size must be flushed. The Earth has its natural rules, without which chaos would surely rule. "If it's brown, flush it down" is one of them.

He flushes the Tiny Raisin-Sized Poolet with glee. Then he tilts his head to one side, smiles, and sings a little song to cap it off: "Put a poop in your pocket, and save it for a rainy day." (Don't look at me. I don't know where he picked up such lyrics!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Attack of the Cones

Prior to the Open House for our home this past Sunday, I took the boys down the street for some good old-fashioned trash picking. As everyone knows, an empty box of Trojan-Enz lying on the sidewalk in front of one's home knocks a good 10 grand off the price, and this just could not be allowed. I brought yellow rubber gloves with me for the most offensive items. Each person got a plastic bag. It was like an Easter egg hunt, except amusingly different!

Here was some of our take:
Candy wrappers, assorted sizes
Cigarette boxes and butts
Assorted plastic bits
Three pieces roofing shingle
One Snapple bottle
One Taco Bell wrapper
Trojan-Enz box, empty
One pair ladies' pantyhose (black)
One large, matted clump of ladies' hair (black)
(I wonder if the latter two were related? They lay on the street in close proximity to each other.)
One large orange traffic cone

I didn't know what to do with the cone, as it was too large to stuff in the garbage can, so I promptly hucked it over the back fence of our property into the parking lot of the Post Marine supply store. (Well, what else was I to do?) I considered the matter finished, but apparently the traffic cones of Westchester did not.

They began to follow me.

On our way to Route 95 later, I glanced into the Post Marine lot to see a whole mess of orange cones: as many as 6 or 7 sat in the lot (the one I had thrown lay on its side right next to our fence, but seemingly at home among its brethren). Had they all gathered here to investigate? Some of the cones stared at us menacingly. They had seen what I had done to their kin and they didn't like it.

On the way up to Mahopac later, we spotted whole herds of the things sitting on their haunches by the roadside, staring at us malevolently. They were clearly breeding, and they had vengeance on their minds.

Once we got up in the country we continued to see them. Lone wolves (some battered and covered with reflective tape) sat here and there on seemingly bucolic country lanes. Their presence was disconcerting. We continued to see them lurking in unexpected spots.

I expect them to come for us shortly. They do not take lightly to ill-treatment of one of their own. We'll pull aside the bedroom curtain tomorrow morning and they'll be there, waiting in a row on the street before our home. Perhaps some of them will be clad in the discarded finery of street garbage: one bewigged with a matted clump of hair, another swathed in grubby pantyhose. God, no! They will be there. And they will begin to shuffle slowly, inexorably in our direction.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Morning Songs

The Younger:

"I'm the greatest! I like trains!
I'm the greatest! I like dollars!
Many many many dollars.
Many many many dollars."

The Elder:

"Trains, trains, puffing along.
Chuffing along the track.
There may be some accidents, oh no!
Like crashing into other trains, oh no!
I like pasketti but I don't like poop.
I don't like poop when it's in my soup."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Last Best Hope

Our home has been on the market for exactly three weeks tomorrow, and everyone loves it. They love it, I say! Unfortunately, they do not seem to love the neighborhood. They do not love the Hispanic family of approximately 8-18 people who live a few houses down, nor do they admire Shuffles (bag lady extraordinaire!), nor do they favor the unintelligible little woman with the small dog, nor do they want to have a dinner party and invite the timid-looking Chinese family who still has a big fat light-up snowman sitting on their porch by the Ides of April. My beloved neighbors, shunned.

So this past week, someone is on the way to our house to look at it--to possibly even BUY it--and on the way out of our neighborhood I see it. A dreaded shopping cart of the CVS variety, parked idly in front of someone's shitbox of a house (a house built 100 years ago that was once beautiful until dopeass proles got their meaty hands on it and removed the front porch, vinyl-sided it, and vanquished every ounce of original charm and character). I dunno about you, but when I see shopping carts sitting about in a neighborhood, I think, "I'd rather not live in that neighborhood." Except that I do live here already. Um.

Almost nine months pregnant as I am, I slam on the brakes and park the car, hop out, and deliver the shopping cart unto the house before which it is parked. (Oh, yeah: Before I do that, I pause to fill it with flaming turds. I thought that would be a nice added touch. The cart sails through the front window of the house and deposits the burning poo on the owner's carpet. It's crazy good fun! Burn, poo, burn!)

So the person who came to see our house that day turns out to be someone so wealthy and good-hearted that she is looking to buy a house for her housekeeper. No, that was not a typo. A real house! Maybe our house. Our house, which represents our entire livelihood, is being considered as a gift. Hey, I'd like to work for that lady! I will be a chore-girl who can answer her door, iron her clothes, or buff her pet iguana.

There may be one problem: The housekeeper may not be fond of neighborhoods in which stray shopping carts, occasionally filled with flaming doo-doo, roll haphazardly down the street. "Thank you for the free and wonderful house!" she may exclaim. "But I spotted an abandoned shopping cart. Forget it. I do not want such a house in such a dreadful place. Nor do I wish 'Shuffles' to be my neighbor. No, I do not."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

14 Unfortunate Truths

1. CFLs may save the planet, but the light they give off is exceedingly harsh and ugly. Suitable for the basement laundry area, garage, and attic only. Otherwise, you may start to look like the person mentioned in item #4.
2. Paula Abdul may deny that she is drug-addled, but she's doped up on goofballs for sure.
3. Naked toddlers occasionally cannot sense when poo is about to drop out of the back hatch onto the carpet.
4. Cindy McCain is an alien. She has deposited her eggs in the brain of her husband and is waiting for them to hatch.
5. That Britney no lookee so good with a few extra pounds on her. She ought to become anorexic.
6. Lumpen Proletariat cannot be cured of the notion that it's okay to ignore garbage that blows onto one's lawn.
7. Pregnant dudes? Yucky poo poo!
8. Someone you know probably looks a little bit like a turtle or a monkey. Admit it.
9. On occasion, you don't feel as "fresh" down there as you might like.
10. Sometimes you want to poke someone in the eye, but you hold back only for fear of reprisal and jail time.
11. Zoo animals hate us. If they could, even the herbivorous among them would eat us.
12. Mike Huckabee is clearly plotting something BIG and astounding. In 6 days or so.
13. Raising children should always involve an early and prolonged cocktail hour.
14. The saddest part about being pregnant is the early and prolonged lack of the rewards of item #13.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Satan's Own Shitter

Our house hunt continues, and today we saw a monstrosity that defied the imagination. It was an open house in Bronxville, for a Mediterranean-style creation boasting 3,200 square feet and 4 bedrooms. The square footage resulted in part from one enormous room that once, in the day, must have been quite magnificent. All wood-paneled and draped in dusty, heavy brocade curtains, it seemed to invite ballroom dancing. At the other end of the crumbling old wreck of a house was a huge dining room that apparently once housed a table that could seat 25 people. It also was bedecked in old, threadbare curtains. The room reminded one of a lovely belle ill-used by rapacious men, and now a loose baggage with smeared makeup. There were blackish smears on the walls where paintings had been recently removed.

At the back of the house was a crummy old kitchen with an electric burner and some nondescript cabinets--completely incongruous with the grand rooms at the front. Beyond that, a creepy room that used to be some Certified Public Accountant's home office, complete with gross wood paneling. There was a hallway stained with what looked like bird droppings, leading to a small alcove that smelled remarkably like urine. I backed away quickly, dragging my toddler with me.

Ah! But the convenience! There was a bathroom right off the kitchen. And, it was--I jest not--completely black, but for some gold-leaf embellishments. Black floor. Black walls. Black ceiling. And black toilet! Yes, a black toilet. It was Satan's Own Shitter.

Upstairs was even scarier. Every room had wall-to-wall shag carpet in every hideous hue imaginable. The front room was done in brown from floor to ceiling, and the brown shag rug was covered in detritus and safety pins. Another room was covered with horrific-looking stains that reminded one uncomfortably of murder, and creeping, dank stains on the ceiling where the paint was buckling off. An instant vision was conjured of the family who had lived in this place: The patriarch snorting lines off the belly of some hired slagmount in his king-size waterbed, illegal guns stashed in the attic, with the matriarch counting ill-gotten lucre from their porn empire down in the Grand Ballroom. The place just stank of Badness and, quite possibly, death. Oh yeah, and the musty poo of the devil.

People kept piling in to see the place: whole families! As we fled in a hurry, the creepy real estate agent cackled after me: "Did you see the grand room? Lovely, isn't it?" She tittered wildly and nervously. Yes, we had. But we had also seen Satan's Shitter, and we felt like we needed a strong and abrasive shower.