It’s A What?

Last month, Ken and I decided to rent a booth in an antique market owned by a friend of ours. You may be surprised by this, but years ago, Ken and I had an antique business called Washington House Antiques. It’s a fancy name—perhaps you were thinking we aspired to the Oval Office—but let me assure you the name came about because we lived in a house in Washington, Ontario and I’m the kind of person who named my stuffed animals Teddy or Rabbit or Koala. We had a store on our property, I had a booming eBay business, and we had booths in several markets. But then I started working full-time, and Kate got older and life just got too busy. Recently though—in fact, it was right after Big Junk Day—I looked around the house and realized I could be one step away from being featured on Hoarders. It would be an upscale episode where the psychologist would question my desire to hang on to 40 pieces of Beswick Art Pottery from the 1920s, and I couldn’t bear the thought of my family being brought in, ‘intervention-style’:

Mom: Honey, let them go. You haven’t even dusted them in months.
Dad: Och! They’re neither use nor ornament, lassie. Gi’ ‘em up!
Brother: Speaking as someone with a PhD, you could earn good money with those. Let me see the contract with the antique market. 10% commission? Not bad.
Ken (whispers): Don’t let them into my office!

At any rate, I had a lot of things in the house and sheds that I could use to stock a booth, but at a certain point, I ran out, and now I have to find other sources for things to sell. Which brings me to the internet and more specifically Facebook Marketplace, where the average person can list their absolutely weird stuff for free. Here’s a small sample of things that I’ve seen over the last little while that made me do a double-take:

There are many words that begin with the letters ‘sm’. Smell, smooth, smack, small, sment…SMENT? This is an ad that I actually saw a couple of months ago and I’ve thought about it every day since then. It’s a small statue of a boy holding a large misshapen bowl. The caption for the listing says “Sment boy”. Two things are noticeable about this ad. First, THE BOY IS NOT EVEN CEMENT. It looks like some kind of pottery or plaster that the person has painted with acrylic paint. Second, the paint brushes are standing in a jar labelled “Cayenne Pepper”. How the f*ck do you know how to spell “Cayenne” but not “Cement”?! Maybe the person was being really clever, like “I know it’s not really a cement statue, but if I call it Sment then no one can sue me for trademark infringement. Kind of like that Mickey Mouse/Mighty Mouse thing.” At any rate, it’s not very appealing, and I did NOT buy it.

This one looks very innocuous, but the real weirdness is in the description. This is a cat scratching post made of cardboard and fabric. The reason the person is selling it is because his cat is “too cool for it”. So I guess if you have a cat who’s nerdy or awkward, this is the perfect gift for them? Personally, I think the reason the cat doesn’t use it is because cats are notoriously lazy, and have no interest in walking all the way across a room to use a scratching post when they can just scratch the arm of the chair they’re lounging about in. I speak from experience.

Right now it’s July, 5 months into the middle of a global pandemic, and this charming display is being sold. It’s being advertised as a “Coffin shape diorama”. I can’t tell how big it is since the pictures of the measuring tape are all blurry. I’m just praying it’s not life-sized, because there are several disembodied arms and legs in there. To be honest, I can see a market for something like that around Hallowe’en. OR if you have neighbours who insist on having large parties with no social distancing or masks, I think this would be great to put on their porch as a warning.

This one boggles my mind. Why on earth would you want a pool thermometer with a large bowel movement attached to it like a handle? Seriously, if you’re willing to pay $17 for something like that, I will come to your house every day with one of Atlas’s poops and throw it in your pool for free. AND tell you if the water is warm.

I was scrolling through Marketplace when I saw this picture, and my first thought was, “Who’s selling that weird, sad-looking dog?” and then I read the description, which said “Antique Scarf”, and my second thought was “WTF? EWWW!” It’s a dead animal. I’m not wearing that around my neck no matter how ‘antique’ it is. Basically what you’re selling is a very old, very deceased—possum? Sorry, I’m not that familiar with the types of animals people drape across their shoulders these days.

Finally, I leave you with an enigma that will haunt me for the rest of my days. This is something my mother brought me last week. At first glance, it’s just a couple of bottles of essential oil. They’re both listed for medicinal use. One smells like peppermint and the other smells like cinnamon. The one that smells like peppermint is called “Peppermint”. The one that smells like cinnamon is called…“Thieves”.

(After having a couple of people explain what Thieves Oil is made of, I googled “Why is it called Thieves Oil” and the answer was “Its name was inspired by the legend of four French thieves in the 15th century who wore a special blend of rosemary, clove and other botanicals while they robbed the dead and dying.” ROBBED THE DEAD AND DYING? They probably wore those antique animal scarves too.)

My Week 272: I Get Good News

I got a congratulations letter in the mail the other day, and it was very special. No, it wasn’t a response to a short story I’d submitted—usually THOSE emails are more along the lines of “We regret to tell you…” and they make me sad instead of excited. At least I’m averaging one acceptance for every twenty rejections so in other words, I’m no Stephen King but I don’t feel terrible 100% of the time about the fact that no one appreciates my weird writing. Anyway, this letter was from someone named Linda Rabenek. First, she thanked me. Then she told me how pleased she was to be writing to me. Finally, she congratulated me. About what? Well, apparently, my colon is a ROCK STAR. You might remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about my experience taking a colon cancer screening test—it seems I passed with flying colours and I didn’t even have to study. It would have been the best test ever if it hadn’t involved poo. But I’m thrilled to know that I don’t have colon cancer and also very gratified that Linda is super-pleased with me and the way I “take care of my health by getting checked out with the fecal immunochemical test (FIT)”. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to the word “Fitbit”:

Person 1: Ooh, I really like your new watch.
Person 2: It’s a FITBit.
Person 1: So it keeps track of your heartrate and steps and stuff?
Person 2: Something like that…

Therefore, in honour of this joyful occasion, I’m pleased to offer you some thematically related ideas for TV shows that I had:

A beach scene. People in uniform milling around. A body lying on the sand. Camera pans to a large poo beneath a palm tree. Cut to Danny.

Danny: It’s not looking good, boss.
Horatio: Tell me what you’ve got, Dann-o.
Danny: Large male, judging by size. Probably a vegan, based on the amount of broccoli and the self-righteousness smooth texture. Well-hydrated. Looks like the Number 2 Killer has struck again.
Horatio: (gazes sternly into distance). I’m making the Number 2 Killer my number one priority. He won’t get away with this sh*t again. Let’s roll.

Camera cuts away and credits roll to the sound of “Squeeze Box” by The Who. The title appears: CSI: Excremental.

Awesome, right? There’s also a new twist on Sherlock Holmes which I call “Alimentary”. It’s the same basic premise as CSI: Excremental, but with more deductive reasoning:

Sherlock: I’ve come to the conclusion that our victim is indeed a beet farmer.
Watson: How could you possibly know that, Holmes?
Sherlock: For God’s Sake, Watson—look at the colour of his scat. That slight pink tinge is a dead giveaway. Have I taught you nothing?!

Then there’s the “HBM” version of Game of Thrones:

Tyrion Lannister: The war is finally over—the Starks have won the Iron Throne!
Jon Snow: I don’t know about iron, but this throne is certainly cold.
Tyrion: Why is your face so strained, Jon Snow? Is winter coming?
Jon Snow: Something’s coming but it isn’t winter.
Sansa: Not enough Bran, if you ask me.

Other related titles:

Friends: The One Where Ross Takes A Dump
Breaking Wind
Bojack Horsemanure
Brooklyn Two-Two
The Deuce
Brown Is The New Black
Unbreakable Kimmy Sh*t
Poopernatural
Going Pains
Mad About Poo
Law and Order: Special Rectum Unit
The X-crement Files
The Big Bowel Theory
Hawaii Two-O
Shart Tank

Narrator: I sincerely apologize for this incredibly juvenile blog post. An discerning audience such as yourselves deserves better.
Mydangblog: Here’s a picture of a vintage cookie jar that looks just like a poo emoji!
Narrator: Sigh.

My Week 112: It’s the Sh*t, I’m An Enabler

Wednesday: I consider recent movements

Today’s topic is something that we’re all very aware of. We do it every day. We were fascinated by it as children—in fact, some children like to make art with it. As adults, we examine it, consider it, pretend it never happened, or fixate on it, but we rarely discuss it. It goes by many names: dump, turd, doodie, dingleberry, fudgebunny, rosebud, or in my own family’s case, trump. Yes, I’m talking about poop. Admit it—we all, in our own way, are interested in this subject, at least our OWN subject. Most people really don’t care to think about other people’s sh*t—well, their LITERAL sh*t anyway. In fact, most people are FAR too interested in other people’s figurative sh*t for their own good, and are always happy to express their opinions on things that never concern them.

At any rate, I realized lately that I may just be weirdly interested in poop. It started a while ago, when I was in the hospital after having major surgery. In the bathroom, there was a chart that had images of different kinds of poop on it, and descriptions of what each one meant. Like there was the “normal” poo that looked like a sleek log, then there was the bulky poo that looked like really long, dry cookie dough and was described as “a sausage shape with cracks in the surface”, which meant the person was somewhat dehydrated. (If you’re interested in more of this, just google “Bristol Stool Chart”—I know you’re saying out loud “No way”, but we both know you’ll secretly look at it). Then, a while ago, I saw a giant poo in the doorway of a defunct sushi restaurant down the street from my condo. Right away, I was like “Whoa! That’s the biggest poo I’ve ever seen! Also, its owner needs to drink more fluids.” Later, it was still there and I tried to point it out to a friend, but she was like “No! You need to stop. I do NOT want to see some homeless person’s poop.” I realize some people are just really uncomfortable with random feces, but this was like World Record stuff—it literally haunted my thoughts for days, and every time I passed the doorway, even though it was long gone, I pondered the size, and diet, of its owner. Then last week, the topic of my obsession with the doorway poo came up and my manager asked me what it was all about. I embarked on the merry tale, and how awesomely large the poo was, but we all know how terrible I am at oral storytelling, and I think most of the story was just me going, “Wow—it was just so—yeah—like this huge juggernaut—amazing”. Everyone laughed, but I realized that just maybe I should keep my fascination with poo to myself. At least while at work. But here—well, here, I have carte blanche to write about whatever the hell I want, and you can judge me, but you can’t argue with the fact that deep in your secret heart, you also think poo is, if not cool, at least interesting and informative. Seriously, nobody is watching as you nod and smile. Or when you look into the toilet in the morning to inspect your offering. The other day, I felt the urge, and afterwards I snuck a peek. My reaction? “Huh. Impressive!” Then I giggled a little, because I said it out loud, but no one else was in the bathroom to hear me. And please don’t try to tell me that you have never passed judgement on your own sacrifice to the porcelain god, because we all do it. We’ve all gone, “Holy hell! What did I eat yesterday?” or “Why doesn’t corn digest like regular normal food?”, “Alcohol sure does a number on my bowels”, or just “Good one!” I think the world would be a much happier place if we all discussed our poop on a regular basis—after all, no matter what colour, gender, or religion you are, it’s something we ALL have in common. Even the Queen enjoys a satisfying voiding of the royal bowels. Trump trumps. Obama boom booms. Trudeau pops out little smiley faces that sparkle. I was thinking last night about how best to use modern media to bring us all together via bodily waste and I came up with a TV show that would address the issue :

A beach scene. People in uniform milling around. A body lying on the sand. Camera pans to a large poo beneath a palm tree. Cut to Danny.

Danny: It’s not looking good, boss.
Horatio: Tell me what you’ve got, Dann-o.
Danny: Large male, judging by size. Probably a vegan, based on the amount of broccoli and self-righteousness smooth texture. Well-hydrated. Looks like the Number 2 Killer has struck again.
Horatio: (gazes sternly into distance). I’m making the Number 2 Killer my number one priority. He won’t get away with this shit again. Let’s roll.

Camera cuts away and credits roll to the sound of “Squeeze Box” by The Who. The title appears: CSI: Excremental.

I know, right? There’s also a twist on the new Sherlock Holmes drama which I call “Alimentary”. It’s the same basic premise as CSI: Excremental, but with more deductive reasoning:

Sherlock: I’ve come to the conclusion that our victim is indeed a beet farmer.
Watson: How could you possibly know that?
Sherlock: For God’s Sake, Watson—look at the colour of his scat. That slight pink tinge is a dead giveaway. Have I taught you nothing?!

So the next time you secretly poke through your dog’s crap with a stick to see if he ate some tinfoil, or jump with joy at your baby’s ginormous diaper dump, know that you’re not alone. Here’s a vintage cookie jar for you that looks just like the poo emoji.

poo-jar

Friday: I’m an enabler.

Me (spills wine on bedspread): Titus! Stop licking the covers!
Titus: But it’s so delicious. Spill some more.
Me: No!! OMG. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Titus: What do you mean? Wine is nice.
Me: You’re such a dick. I love you.
Titus: I know. Spill some more wine.
Me: Oh for god’s sake, here. Just lick it off my finger.
Raven: For the record, I dragged my butt across the carpet and sneezed on your pillow. Can I have some wine too?
Me: Sigh.

 

My Week 83: Back to Routine, A Present for Not Dying

Monday: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

After three weeks of working off site, I finally returned to the office on Monday. My secret agency is located right in the heart of downtown, and wow, it was sure good to be back. I hadn’t had anyone ask me for money, scream uncontrollably, or yell at me about Jesus for a while. Wait—before you get the wrong idea, I’m NOT talking about work (well, at least not my current job) because no one at work EVER yells. It’s literally the most civilized place of employment on the planet, and it’s great to walk in and have people so pleased to see you. It’s just that I live in a very “unstable” neighbourhood. But still, it’s MY neighbourhood, and you get used to all the zany things that happen on a daily basis. And by “zany” , I mean weird, frightening, and often disgusting. But not always—there ARE some nice things that I actually like about the area. So here are some of the crazy things that happened this week:

Monday: I had to get groceries. I have two choices—a Metro or Loblaws. They are equidistant from my condo, and the decision regarding which one to go to usually rests on the number and type of homeless people on the way there, and how much money I have in my purse. On Monday, there was a scary guy on the Metro corner who was yelling and pulling down his jeans, and I had no intention of being there when he decided that his boxer shorts were equally uncomfortable. So I headed the other way, towards panhandlers I knew were harmless. I always ask them if they want something from the grocery store, and it’s usually a cup of coffee or lasagna from the hot lunch counter, but I think they’ve all figured out that I’m an easy mark, because John wanted a loaf of bread and a tub of margarine, and Mike wanted a jar of Nescafe Expresso, which he assured me was “on sale for half-price”. Apparently, the coffee at the Food Bank is crappy, and he was craving something a little better to go with the Rice Krispie square that someone had given him. But hey—who am I to begrudge them life’s little pleasures? At least they keep their pants on.

Tuesday: My work partner L and I decided to go to Tim Horton’s to scout out some lunch. We are both a little obsessive about Tim’s Cream of Potato and Bacon soup, which is hardly ever on the menu, but it’s quite possibly the BEST F*CKING SOUP EVER INVENTED, so we live in hope. We hit the doorway, and scared the bejeezus out of some poor lady as we both yelled in unison, “The soup!! YES!!!!” and started fistpumping and highfiving each other maniacally. That’s right. Two grown women high fiving over soup. And then we had to say to the poor lady, who was looking around like a terrorist attack was impending, “Oh no—it’s OK—it’s just the soup.” But universal karma got me on the way out. I went to hold open the door for an elderly woman, who had simultaneously hit the Handicapped button with her cane. Instead of thanking me, she looked at me and snarled, “IT’S OPEN!” Crazy old bat—no soup for you!

tims soup

Wednesday: On my street, there are a couple of empty storefronts, which is weird because it’s such a busy neighbourhood that you’d think people would be dying to open businesses there. At any rate, the doorways of said storefronts are the nocturnal havens of numerous street people, who have no apparent problem sleeping in them and using them as bathrooms. I’m relatively used to the urine and occasional vomit, but on Wednesday morning, I passed the doorway of a former Sushi Express, and right in the middle of it was the biggest poop I’d ever seen. Obviously not a dog poop. Unless the dog was that three-headed thing from Harry Potter. But instead of being grossed out, I was intrigued. Like, how big was the guy who put it there, and how long had he been holding it in? I kept thinking about it all morning, and at lunch, my work partner and I walked down to Loblaw’s.

Me: Do you see that doorway over there?
L: Yes…
Me: There’s the largest bowel movement I’ve ever seen in my life in that doorway.
L: Why are you telling me this? Stop.
Me: No really—it’s gigantic. You wouldn’t believe it.
L: Eww. Really, you need to stop.
Me: Sigh. OK. (whispering) But it was soooo big.
L: STOP!

I’m lucky I work with such tolerant people. But it would have been really nice if she’d actually wanted to see it, just to confirm that it was indeed the largest poop in the world.

Thursday: There’s always a LOT of construction downtown, and right across the street from the office, they’ve been excavating a hole for a new condo building for the last year. Towards the end of the day, I wandered down the aisle, and happened to notice that the excavating seemed to be finished, and that suddenly, a big-ass crane was in the hole. I happened to remark on the presence of the crane, and my life suddenly turned into a Monty Python sketch (please imagine that the rest of the people in the following conversation are extremely excited and have thick French accents. Because they are and they do.)

Me: Wow that is one huge crane!
Male Colleague 1 (rushing to the window): I know! It was not there last week, and suddenly now it is ‘ere!
Male Colleague 2: ‘Ow do they get it to the place? They must travel in the night!
Female Colleague: My brother, ‘e drives the crane truck. They bring the pieces in lying flat so they don’t ‘it the ‘ydro wires. Then they put it up, one piece at a time!
Everyone: Wow!
Male Colleague 3: My cousin, ‘e was killed by a crane. It was missing a safety pin, and it fell onto ‘im. ‘E was crushed.
Everyone (suddenly deflated): Oh…

There’s nothing like a sad crane story to ruin the party, folks.

Friday: If you send an email to the people on your team, make sure that you proofread it first so that it says “Sick Day” and not “Dick Day”. Because if it says “Dick Day”, the entire office will know, and be in good-natured hysterics most of the morning. No, surprisingly, it wasn’t me.

Saturday: Why I deserve a present for “not dying”.

In a little over a month, I will be having a fairly major surgery. It’s not elective, and I can’t back out of it. I am absolutely terrified, mostly because of the general anesthetic. I love how the doctor will say, “Count down from 100, and by the time you reach 95, you’ll be asleep”, because it’s not SLEEPING at all. Sleeping is where you have awesome dreams. Anesthetic is where you have no idea if you died or not. Just ask Michael Jackson. The only reason I know that I’m not dead every night is because I have very vivid weird dreams. The other night, for example, I had this bizarre dream where I was teaching math to a group of kids:

Me: And that’s how you figure out “less than” versus “greater than”.
Student: Why is that important?
Me: Because it’s the foundation for all other mathematics. Like algebra.
Student: What’s algebra?
Me: Algebra is when you have to find a solution to an equation that has a missing variable.
Student: What does THAT mean?
Me: Algebra is like being a detective, but instead of solving crimes, you’re solving for “x”.

Then I woke up in a cold sweat and yelled, “Is that right? How the F*CK do I even know that? What the hell is a missing variable?!” Because if you know me at all, you know that I know virtually nothing about math, having failed miserably at it in high school. But apparently, my subconscious remembers something about it, while I was passing notes and rolling my eyes. So anyway, anesthetic. I told Ken that I was scared of dying, and he told me I was being stupid, that I wasn’t going to die, and I was like “HOW DO YOU KNOW, KEN?! I MIGHT!”

Ken: You’re not going to die. I’ll tell you what—we’ll make a bet. If you don’t die, you owe me $50.
Me: I have a better idea. If I don’t die, you buy me a really nice present.
Ken: Seriously? You think you deserve a present for “not dying”?

Fuck yes, I do. And here’s my argument. There are women out there who get presents for having a baby. It’s called a “push present”. If a woman can get a gift for squeezing out a kid, why can’t I have one for not letting the Grim Reaper take me to the promised land? I’ve HAD a baby—it’s not that hard. Unlike NOT DYING. Ok, I admit that I’ve been able to “not die” for the last 18, 413 days, which honestly, is a feat unto itself when you think about it, but I’ve come close a few times and got fuck-all for it. So I think I’m owed at this point. And I have to tell you, there’s no better motivator for NOT going towards the light than a different, glittery, diamond-y kind of light. Or Cream of Potato and Bacon soup. It’s the gesture that counts.

My Week 75: Ken is Weirder Than Me, Is That a Light Sabre in Your Pocket…?

Sunday: Ken is weirder than me and I can prove it

I realize that I have my own quirks. I’m sure I do, even though I’ve sat here for several minutes trying to think about what they might be. OK, here’s one—I might be a tad “obsessive”. Two weeks ago, I lost the back of an earring in my bathroom. I looked all over for it and couldn’t find it. It wouldn’t have made much difference except that it was a rather expensive, sterling silver earring back, specially designed to screw onto the earring post instead of just slide onto it. The last time one of them fell off, I stepped on it and crushed it. When I went to the jewelry store for a replacement, the woman asked if I wanted white gold or sterling, and that there was a price difference between the two. I asked how much the gold one might be, and was shocked—Ken and I could have gone to the Keg for that price. So I went with the silver, which cost the equivalent of Swiss Chalet for a family of four. Needless to say, when I heard the earring back drop onto the floor, I had a moment of panic. Which only increased as it became obvious that it had disappeared into some vortex of hopelessness under my bathroom vanity. I got down on my hands and knees, but I have sensitive knees and the wooden floor is hard, so I ended up lying prone, sweeping my arm back and forth under the vanity, hoping that I could feel it. Nope. Then I systematically moved all the furniture in the room and swept underneath everything. Nope. Ken got a flashlight, and looked into the far reaches of the baseboards. Nope. I got my hair dryer and blew it underneath the vanity. All I got for my efforts was dust bunnies. I went back to Toronto that week, very put out, and creating plans in my mind for how to best find the earring back. OK, I realize that this is probably the most “first world” problem that I could possibly have, but imagine if, instead of me, a government employee, and the missing object, an earring back, I was a farmer, and the object was my goat. No one would think twice if I was obsessing over the fact that my goat had mysteriously disappeared from a small, locked room. But I had a clever plan that would surely turn up my goat. When I came home last weekend, I got the vacuum cleaner out, and put the toe of a pair of panty hose on the end of the nozzle. I only have one pair of panty hose, having refused to wear them for the last 18 years on the grounds that they make my legs twitchy, which is maybe like another quirk. These nylons were from a Hallowe’en costume that I’d worn for my birthday party, and they were all glittery. I’d put them on and within 5 minutes, I was regretting having skin. At the end of the party, I may or may not have torn them off, wadded them into a ball, and flung them into the far reaches of the closet, screaming “F*cking panty hose! I hate you! I hope you die!” Anyway, Ken also thought my plan was pretty good, and watched supportively while I sucked up more lint with my clever contraption. Finally, I went to clean the nozzle. “Eureka!” I yelled, my heart soaring as I saw something silver in with all the hair and dust. Ken said, “Did you find your earring back?” “Well,” I answered, heart sinking again, “I found AN earring back. This one looks like it’s been under there for about 20 years.” I have as yet been unable to locate my goat, and Ken is now convinced that it must have fallen down the hole around the sink pipe. Now though, every time I go into the bathroom, I look around in hope. Hope which is immediately dashed as I realize that my goat/earring back is gone forever.

IMG_2561[1]

Anyway, back to Ken. I may be obsessive about things, but Ken is weirder than me. This simple trip to the grocery store is my proof.

1) On Sunday after lunch, we decided to get groceries. As we were leaving, he turned the outside lights on. “How long do you think we’re going to be gone for?!” I asked. He claimed it was just force of habit, but I worried that it would attract burglars. “Oh look,” the burglars will say. “Their outdoor lights are on. They must be away from home for a LONG time. Let’s go steal their stuff.” When I told Ken that, he scoffed and said that Titus would scare off any burglars. Titus just laughed and said, “Hey man—this tail wags ITSELF.” And while I have no idea what that means, I now know why our electric bill is so high. (As a side note, while I was writing this, someone came to the door, and Titus barked like crazy then sat in front of me protectively while I talked to the person, so maybe I’m wrong about the whole burglary thing. And I’m baking him special cookies today as a thank you.)

2) As I got into the SUV, I looked back at the house and realized that there was a large, plastic bag on the roof of the porch. “Hey, Ken,” I said. “There’s a large, plastic bag on the roof of the porch. How the hell did it get up there?”

Ken: It was probably the wind.
Me: What? There’s no way the wind could have blown it up there. Do you know anything about this?
Ken: Um…
Me: What did you do? What’s in the bag?
Ken: Dog poo.
Me: Why in the name of God is there a large bag of dog poo on the porch roof?!
Ken: Well, I was scooping up Titus’s poo in the yard, and I thought I’d try throwing the bag into the garbage can from over by the fire pit. I aimed a little high, I guess.
Me: When was this?
Ken: Thursday.
Me: Why the f*ck is it still up there?!
Ken: The ladder’s all snowy. I was waiting for the weather to get warmer. Don’t worry—it’s not going anywhere.
Me: I can’t even. Get it off there today.

3) Then, as we were on our way to the grocery store, Ken insisted on taking his fancy shortcut, which is intersected by the train yard. Every single time we go that way, we get stopped by the slowest f*cking train in the universe. Sometimes they even just stop on the tracks. I’ve asked Ken why he always wants to take that route, and he claims that it’s “usually faster”, which is what I call “a lie”. If I had a dollar for every time we had to turn around and go a different way, I’d have enough money to buy another earring back.

4) Then we got to the grocery store. Instead of going to the normal, human cashier, Ken always wants to use “self-check-out”. Self-check-out is the single most inefficient thing ever invented, even worse than a salad spinner (because the lettuce is NEVER DRY ENOUGH). We have never once been through the self-check-out where we haven’t had to “call for an attendant” because I didn’t put the item in the bag properly, or the scanner can’t read the bar code, or God forbid, we have a coupon. As usual, this trip was no different because Ken tried to rearrange the items in the old, reusable bags that he makes us use because it’s “better for the environment”, and it freaked the machine out. Then we had to wait for a human cashier to come and reset the scanner. Seriously, let’s cut out the middleman and just use the human. The worst part about the self-check-out is at the end, where the machine has the nerve to say, “Please indicate how many bags you wish to purchase.” I don’t WISH to purchase ANY bags, frankly. But Ken won’t let me lie and say “Zero”, even though I tell him it’s semantics, and that if the machine would simply say, “How many bags are you using?” I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Nah, I still would.

5) We were finally on our way home. Ken decided to take the highway. It’s literally one kilometre (which is like .6 of a mile), but when I looked over, I realized he had the cruise control on. For ONE KILOMETRE. I said, “Really? You can’t keep your foot on the accelerator for two minutes?” But Ken is convinced that cruise control is better for the vehicle—less wear and tear on the engine. This is one of his many “theories about cars” that make me give my head a shake. Like, you can’t have the windows down if you have the air conditioning on. I’m like “Why? It’s not like we’re paying for the air conditioning, and I like the combination of cold air on my feet and warm air on my shoulders.” But Ken insists that it puts “strain on the engine”. I think he’s just making it up, and sometimes just to bug him, I’ll put down the window when he has the air conditioning on. Then, when he turns the air off, I put the window back up. Then he puts the air back on, and I put the window down again. Then…well, you get the idea. I’m fun and annoying all rolled into one little package.

6) I can mock all I want, but Ken’s best quirk is when we finally get home, and it’s really cold, and he says, “You go on ahead and open the door, and I’ll bring the groceries in.” Because he might have some strange affectations, but he’s the greatest husband ever. He does all the heavy lifting, in more ways than one, puts up with my earring back obsessions, and he never complains when I write about him. Of course, he hasn’t read this yet…

Thursday: K gets a light sabre.

I called K’s cell on Thursday night, and she answered on speakerphone:

Me: Where’s your dad?
K (distracted): What? I don’t know…
Me: What are you doing right now? What are those noises?
K: It’s my new, awesome light sabre.
Me: Please. Tell me all about your “new, awesome light sabre”.
K: It’s airplane grade aluminum, polycarbon blades, and LED lights.
Me: How much did it cost?
K: __________ dollars.
Me: What?!! Are you joking?!
K: It’s totally worth it.
Me: Holy sh*t. If you can afford to spend that kind of money on a light sabre, I’d better be getting a really amazing Mother’s Day present.
K: Yeah, for Mother’s Day, I’ll let you touch my light sabre.
Me: Honey, I changed your diaper for two years. Your “light sabre” and I are no strangers.
K: Oh my god, Mom! My light sabre is NOT a euphemism.
Me: No, but it would be a great pick-up line: “Hey baby—want to come back to my place and see my light sabre…”
K: Mom, stop! That’s—oh sh*t, I just hit the dog with it.
Me: Well, as long as you don’t cut off his paw and tell him that you’re his father.
Titus (in background): K’s my father?! Best day ever!!!
Me: Sigh. Tell your dad I called.

I came home last night, and K showed me the light sabre. She wasn’t lying. It is pretty awesome, but I needed to get one thing cleared up:

Me: Why doesn’t it retract?
K: Because it’s not actually a REAL light sabre. Obviously.
Me: So long as we all understand that, I’m good. Use the force, Luke. Find my earring back.