Monday, October 26, 2009

Love in the Time of Hollera

At one point during the past week I was absolutely certain that the CIA was somehow behind the H1N1 Virus. I was also pretty sure we owned several tiny purple horses that only revealed themselves in certain light and loved to have their bellies scratched.
I don't believe that what I've been trying to shake is Swine Flu, but I'm keeping my over-stuffed head down and trying not to cough on people -- people I like -- just in case. Whatever this is, it's vicious. I had a flu shot a few weeks ago, and the mental images of this new bug bending that virus over and making it its bitch are among the more pleasant things that have passed through my head of late. Seriously, it's like the scenes from "Lockdown" that they couldn't show on TV being played out in my bloodstream. And amid all the bacteriological anal rape, reality seems to have returned to the uncollapsed wave function and I am no longer able to reliably discern the real from the imagined. So I figure I'll just throw some stuff out there and let you decide whether it really happened or not.

- I think I had a telephone interview for a job I really wanted during which I told the woman interviewing me that I wanted to wear pajamas to work every day. "You know how they say to dress for the job you want? Well, I want to work from home. Or be Hugh Hefner. And frankly, pajamas are a huge concession considering I sleep in the nude and would have to buy new office jammies." I think I also used profanity, said that Human Resources departments should be renamed "don't sue us" departments and suggested that my management style was very relaxed and non-negotiable. "Yeah, as long as you get your stuff done, I don't give a shit if you come in 2 days a year wearing a tiara. What am I, your fuckin' babysitter?" So far I haven't received a call-back so I can't be sure if this really happened.
- I think Sandi and I had a date. I believe we went to dinner at a really nice restaurant, then went to see Lewis Black. I think I dropped Sandi off at the front door, then parked 3 blocks away from the theater and walked in the pouring rain. The next morning my clothes were still wet, so this probably happened. Which is great, because both dinner and the show were freakin' awesome.
- I think I solved for Pi.
- I think George Harrison sat by my bedside laughing and calling me "Eddie in the Sky With Diamonds."
- I think the fungus growing on the north side of our house tearfully begged me not to powerwash it away.
- I think Ethan stayed home from school one day because he wasn't feeling well and the school would no doubt shoot that look of disapproval they always shoot us when we do something wrong.
- I think on the day he stayed home he had his first real diarrhea episode. I vaguely remember running to the bathroom because he was in such a panic only to find that he'd locked the door. I think I begged with him to tell me what the problem was, and I think his response was a quiet, quivery "Water is coming out of my butt." I believe I got him to open the door and assured him that there was nothing wrong with him -- that it happens to EVERYbody some time.
- I think he then pulled out several flip charts and a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate how rare this actually is among 5-year-olds.
- I think I'm perhaps at my most delusional when I believe myself to be a good dad.
- I think I testified before Congress in favor of a single payer system.
- I think I actually believed that Ted Danson sent me an e-mail asking me personally for help raising money for the Clinton Foundation. And I replied all like, "George Clinton? I LOVE P-Funk! Do you think they'd come to my house and jam? I know all the words to 'Do Fries Go With That Shake?'"
- I think we had a Halloween party at our house for a few dozen of Thomas' and Ethan's school friends. I'm pretty sure this actually happened because the house was still totally destroyed as of this morning. However, there are several details of the party that seem just too surreal to all be true:
  • parents of 5- and 6-year-olds who have never met you before will just drop their kids off at your house and leave to "run errands" for 4 hours;
  • Sandi can not be that freakin' bad at math that she would ever imagine the appropriate amount of food to feed 25 kids and a handful of parents is 5 party-size pizzas, roughly 6 feet worth of assorted subs, 6-gallons of punch, 15 dozen cookies, 10 pounds of assorted candy, 4 trays of hot hors d'oeuvres, a case of beer, 3 cases of soda, 2 large bags of chips with dip, a 3-gallon drum of cheesy poofs, 2 large bags of pretzels, 2 cases of chocolate milk, 3 large blocks of assorted cheeses, 1 vegetable tray, 1 fruit tray, 8 cases of flavored water and whatever one could find in our pantry;
  • some little girl grabbed one of the boys' Nerf swords and smacked me in the legs for at least 2 hours straight;
  • the little kid who kissed Ethan in school is much worse than I ever imagined;
  • kids only seem to want the toys at the bottom of the storage bins;
  • buying a drum set for Christmas last year was a really bad idea;
  • parents who drop their kids off at your party then return to pick them up 4 hours later will actually think it's OK to say to you, "Man, you're pretty brave" or something equally asinine;
  • Some of those same parents will not understand why you're telling the little bitch with the Nerf sword to smack them until they bleed;
  • nobody will eat cookies shaped like fingers with almond sliver/fingernails held in place with red gel;
  • kids don't flush.
"Picture yourself on a bed with a fever, and George Harrison is mocking your high. Suddenly small purple ponies with chalkboards are helping you solve for pi." -- George Harrison's Ghost


  1. Are you sure it wasn't Mary Steenburgen and not Ted Danson?

    Another great post.

    Oh, P.S., we are gushy blog lovin' on you this week over at 4J.

  2. Oh, you guys rock! That's a really touching honor -- especially considering I feel so totally outclassed in your presence. I feel like Courtney Cox in Springsteen's "Dancin' in the Dark" video. "Who, me? Oh, Bruce!" Many, many thanks.

  3. I once picked a nasty fight with my then boyfriend, now husband as a flu wave was cresting.....I hung up the phone and started bawling, and then I thought, wow, my fucking back really hurts, BAD. WIthin two hours I was sweating, talking to the things dangling from the ceiling, and all that fun stuff. I can also testify that you should never pluck your eyebrows or cut your own hair while feverish.
    And of course the fungus doesn't want to be powerwashed. That would really hurt its feelings.

  4. Isn't it weird how parents just drop their kids and run? Like, what if you were an Uncle Pervy? Not saying you are, but, you know....

  5. This is my first time checking out your blog. You crack me up, something most men can't make me do! Great Blog, loved your comments about the post-party fiasco.
    As for dropping off your kid at a party for hours with a strange parent you don't even know... I'm not worried when parents don't know me and drop off their kid, I'm more concerned they won't come back to pick up their little terrorist.
    Great blog, looking forward to reading it.


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