Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Universe is Evil

Here's the thing: I thought it was going to be a calm day.

The bathroom remodel is still in progress but Toby the handyman called first thing this morning and said he wouldn't be here until this afternoon. Which, combined with the unseasonably warm weather, meant this should have been the perfect time to go out and do a little work in the front yard. See, when Toby's here, I take the dogs out back with me and if I try to go out front without them, they spend every minute barking hysterically as if to reassure me that they have not mysteriously disappeared or been dognapped or the like.

So, cheerfully leaving the dogs inside, I went out front and began raking, straightening the brick landscaping and weeding the lilies.

This is when the universe decided to smack me in the face. By which I, of course, mean "send a snake to kill me."

That's right, there was a snake in the lilies.

When did I see it, you might be wondering?


That's right, I picked up a SNAKE.


Luckily, I was wearing garden gloves or Opie would have gotten a phone call from the emergency room in which the nurse said things like "seems to be in a catatonic state"  and/or "may have had a heart attack."

In any case, the evil beast was apparently lurking under the dead leaves and when I grabbed a huge handful to put in the compost, I felt it wriggle.

What did I do?

The only thing anyone could do in such a situation....screamed profanity and flung the whole pile as far away from me as humanly possible.

Which was, apparently, a little shocking for the guy who lives across the street and just happened to be in his yard...which is upsetting for me because, although Opie and I can't ever seem to remember his name, he is the one guy in the neighborhood who has said we can take cover in his tornado shelter should the need arise.

With this in mind, I waved, pointed in the general direction of the flung about pile, and said "Sorry....snake."

Note to self: We might not be welcome in the shelter this spring.

But I digress...at this point, ever the devoted spouse, I decided to email Opie about my near death experience.  And, in the interest of continued marital bliss, kindly gave him a list of things that he definitely should NOT say when he got home.

1.  "It was probably just a little garter snake."  Inaccurate.  From what I saw,  it was a cobra.

2.  "I'm sure it wasn't poisonous."  Cobras are poisonous. Plus I'm pretty sure I saw three inch fangs, dripping venom.

3. "Snakes are more scared of you then you are of them." First of all, that's not possible. Second, how could anyone possibly know the level of fear that a snake experiences? Did a scientist hook a snake up to some heart monitor and put it face-to-face with various humans?  Did some parsel-mouth go out and interview a snake to test the veracity of the theory? Of course not.

Then I advised Opie that it would be wiser to say things like "That sounds like the worst thing to happen to anybody EVER." Or "What a rough day you've had...I brought you some candy." (I also mentioned he could feel free to substitute wine or diamonds for candy) or "How about a back rub?"

So, to clarify, it was NOT a calm morning, I did not spend any more time clearing the lilies and might never try to again, the universe is clearly conspiring against me and it's entirely possible we'll have to move.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Danger Lurking In The Bathroom

I don't think I'm alone when I say sometimes having pets is like having toddlers...toddlers who will always speak a different language and never really grow out of the "terrible twos" stage.

And, in the case of my little darlings, toddlers who might secretly be trying to kill you.

Take our latest adventure when I just wanted to spend a few minutes getting ready for the day BY MYSELF in the bathroom.

For some reason--possibly because he watches too much cable news--Bubba is convinced the bathroom is rife with hidden dangers. In his self-appointed role as Knight Protector, he always wants to come in the room with me, guarding me from any potential peril.  I have told him repeatedly that I'm willing to face the peril on my own but he insists it's too perilous.

Why guarding me can only be accomplished by sitting right on my feet is a little unclear.

Sassy also attempts to come into the bathroom with me but I suspect this is not due to loyalty but because she wants to make sure no one is getting treats or being petted without her.

In any case, some mornings I just prefer to get ready without wading through a horde of hounds and I close the door behind me, This works with Sassy who eventually goes downstairs to make sure no one has hidden a treat in her bed while she wasn't looking. Bubba, on the other hand, flings himself down on the floor right outside the door, occasionally sighing and whining loudly to reassure me he's there if I need him.

Now picture me, standing in the bathroom, trying to get ready for the day when SOMETHING lunged out of the bathroom cabinet, grabbed my leg, sunk its teeth into my pants, then ducked back into the cabinet.

This, if anyone is wondering,  is NOT a calm start to the day.

Terrified, I immediately screamed all the curse words I could think of, jumped back, tripped, and slammed my head into the shower door. Bubba, feeling vindicated that his constant vigilance had finally been rewarded, jumped to the rescue. Unfortunately, by "rescue" I mean "freaked out and desperately tried to slam his way through the door." I spent a few hysterical seconds trying to pull the door open, inadvertently yanking it into the open makeup drawer.

Sassy, ever the team player (and suspicious that all the shouting meant treats were being thrown about) ran upstairs and started barking her support. 

Which didn't do much to help the situation but definitely added to the overall feeling of mayhem.

So, Bubba was crying, Sassy was barking, I was trying not to have a heart attack...and the rotten cat was sitting under the bathroom sink, laughing at us all.

The completely unrepentant Princeton P Kitty
I have already warned Opie if he says "Why wasn't the cabinet door shut?" I will be forced to murder him in his sleep.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Going Postal

We are, at long last, going to have our bathroom redone.  

This will be cause for great celebration, just as soon as the work is finished, because I have been wanting to redo the bathroom for years.  I won't celebrate until the work is finished, however, because I'm pretty sure the dogs are going to be absolute nightmares for the entire process. After all, there will be strangers in the house and any time strangers are in the house--particularly when Opie is NOT in the house--the dogs are convinced that the strangers are actually paid assassins planning to kill us all.

So, the work is supposed to start today and I thought the drama wouldn't start until the workmen actually arrived.

I was wrong.

See, the mailman just rang the doorbell, which usually means we have a package that he's going to leave in the door, he just doesn't want us to miss it. However today after ringing the bell, he waited on the porch so I had to go out and talk to him.

The dogs were pretty sure this was part of the mailman's ongoing nefarious scheme to murder us when we least expect it. And, ever vigilant heroes that they are, they kept up a hysterical cacophony of barking and snarling and flinging themselves against the door.

It is interesting to note that screaming "Shut up! Shut up or I will kill you!" Did nothing to deter the two crazed beasts from their rescue mission.

But I digress...the package, that's what I was going to talk about.

The mailman had a package that was presumably for us because it had our address on it. However it didn't have our names on it and it didn't have a return address. Plus there's like a bunch of postage due, which I have to pay without even knowing what's in the package.

The box in question

"It's weird," The mailman said. "And you don't have to accept it. But it might just be an honest mistake."

"Does this happen often?" I asked.

And he said no, that it's pretty rare.

"We're not really expecting a package," I said. "Unless my husband got some sort of early surprise for Valentine's Day."

But, honestly, I thought that was unlikely since A. Opie usually has packages for me delivered to himself at work. And B if it was for me I assume he'd at least put my name on it.

Anyway, this is when the mailman said "If there's something illegal in there and you didn't order it--"

"I assure you," I interrupted him. "If there's something illegal in there, we didn't order it."

"You'd be surprised how many people send drugs through the mail," he said.

"You'd be surprised how often we NEVER do that," I told him.

But he went through this whole spiel about how I'd have to contact a postal inspector and they'd come out, and not to throw the box away and on and on and on....

Then, because I have the unique ability to immediately imagine the worst possible scenario, I interrupted him to ask "What if it's a bomb?"

"I don't think it's heavy enough to be a bomb," he said, doing that thing where you keep shaking the package up-and-down to sort of determine how heavy it is.

Which, considering we were talking about a potential EXPLOSIVE seemed a little risky.

"How heavy is a bomb?" I asked.

And he admitted he has no idea but did I really know anyone who would send me a bomb?

"I think the whole point of sending a bomb is that the person who is going to get it doesn't think they're going to get one or nobody would ever open their mail." I argued.

He agreed and I think it's safe to say the mailman either thinks I'm crazy or he's my new best friend.

Anyway, in spite of the fact that the dogs were pretty convinced it was a bomb (and that the mailman was probably the one who had sent it!), I paid the postage, brought it in the house, and opened it verrrrryyyy carefully.

And do you know what it was?

Two bags of delicious, rain forest-certified coffee that my friend Eric got us for a Christmas gift. (Yes, I know it's February 8th and Christmas was a while ago but I do not fault him for this -- Eric and I have similar struggles getting to the post office in a reasonable amount of time for holidays...some of you may remember when I tried to ship his kids their Christmas gifts in a wine box. At the end of January.).
Totally worth the drama!
So, anyway, yes the outcome was a little anticlimactic, but the point is, now the dogs are extra hyped up and on red alert, Toby the handyman is due any minute which will not calm them down, and I am considering drinking heavily and and prank calling Eric the rest of the day.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Driving Alone

My niece was presented this Christmas as one of the Queen candidates for the annual Beaux Arts Ball.

This is relevant to the story only because it explains why Opie and I traveled home separately for the holidays. When I indicated to him that he might, perhaps, enjoy getting dressed up, watching a bunch of teenage girls getting "introduced" to a larger group of people he didn't know, and dancing, he suggested that, perhaps, I had him confused with my other husband.

The long and the short of it is that I drove home on the Wednesday before Christmas and he flew in a few days later.

Which means instead of brightening his trip with my stunning insights and scintillating conversational gambits, I was forced to keep myself awake and alert by enthusiastically singing along with my Road Trip song list titled Songs Opie Hates (not to be confused with the playlist that I use when he's in the car called Songs Opie Doesn't Think Suck...that list is much shorter).  In any case, this is what led me to my first insight of the trip:

1. The acoustics in my car are AMAZING! I never realized what a voice I've been hiding! See, when I'm in the driver's seat, really exploring my vocal range, reaching for those high notes, I freaking sound like a rock star! I mean, it's truly impressive!  But here's the strange thing: the second someone else gets in the car, it messes up the vibrations and I sound like a cat trapped in the closet.


2. I also didn't realize this until I moved to Oklahoma but Missouri drivers can be obnoxious.,,and I never knew that when I was a Missouri driver. And it's probably not true in all situations but there was a disturbing amount of traffic on the drive home and an even more disturbing amount of accidents and road construction. In Oklahoma there's a state law that when a lane is closed, you have to merge early and stay in that lane...and most people do! After my fourth one-lane road situation in Missouri, though, I noticed that  a shocking number of people ignore the Merge Now signs and sneak all the way up to the front of the line and then try to shove their way back into the correct lane.

These people should be hunted down like wild game.

But the slow crawl that encompassed much of my drive led me to my final, and possibly most disturbing revelation:

3. There is, apparently, a store in Missouri just off Highway 44 that is called Uranus. And they specialize in fudge. And there are all these signs saying things like"The best fudge comes from Uranus."

And while this is certainly a MEMORABLE marketing ploy, it's also horrifying. Because although I have more than a passing interest in all things chocolate, I don't want anus fudge.

Not ever.

Plus, then all I could think of was the kind of conversations that must have happened in the meeting in which they decided on the name...specifically, what other names did they come up with that DIDN'T make the cut?

It's too upsetting to contemplate.

In any case, to summarize: driving alone does strange things to my brain, I'm considering a career as a professional singer, and my niece rocked it at the Beaux Arts Ball!