Friday, November 28, 2014

Just a bit of Fiction

The Smallest Moment

Brenda played the stay at home mom bit, but in reality she was a bit of a trophy wife that sort of looked after her husband’s kid.  She was a star in volleyball at collage and her legs got her invited to the right kind of parties to date rich men.  She played her cards well and now she has the beautiful house, hardwood floors, granite countertops, and the life of leaser that she believes she deserves. 

Jon does well at school, doesn’t get into trouble, and always wants to please… even if he seems to be a bit of a nerd.  Brenda knows that if he was her biological son, he would definitely not be such a nerd, but that can’t be helped.  As much as she would like a child of her own, it is better this way as she is approaching thirty now and a child could totally ruin her body and that just can’t happen! 

Her husband, older than her by ten years, is a VP in marketing for an automotive parts manufacture.  Not that he knows the first thing about cars, but he did well enough at the B-school to get a good starting job and is ambitious and status conscience enough to make his way up fairly quickly.  In actuality, he is pretty good at developing talent of the people that work for him but his one flaw is that he never recognizes talent or a good original idea until someone points it out for him.  After that he can take it and do amazing things.

Jon comes home from school carrying an oversized piece of paper very carefully. He doesn’t want it to get folded or crumpled up in his backpack so the whole way home on the bus he kept it in his hand, making sure nothing happened to it.  It is a drawing of a skeleton that he had made in art class.  The assignment had been to make a still life… but behind the still life in the classroom had been a medical skeleton so he drew that instead.  The drawing would have been impressive had it been done by a trained illustrator let alone an eight year old boy.

Paperclipped to the picture was a note from Jon’s art teacher.  “Jon is an absolutely amazing artist!  I have never in 40 years of teaching seen someone with such an eye for detail and the ability to put it to paper as well as your son.  I would like to submit this in the state art fair next month but I wanted you to get to see it before I sent it off as sometimes the art is not returned.  Truly AMAZING! –Edith Nellis.”

After setting the picture and note on the kitchen counter, Jon went excitedly to find someone to show!  Brenda soon came into the kitchen just home from yoga.  Not noticing what was on the slightly cluttered counter, she set her starbucks coffee and muffin down on the picture as she texted on her iphone 5.  As luck would have it, just as Jon came back in the room she picked up both her coffee and muffin and set them down closer to the sink. 

“Hey Brenda!  Look at this!” he said excitedly as he pointed to the picture sitting on the counter.

Looking up from her phone, Brenda glanced at the picture.  “Ooooh!  Very scary!  Did you draw it at school?”  then when back to texting.

“Look at the note from Mrs Nellis!”

Again she looked up, saw that there was a note clipped to the picture… “yes, put it on the frig so your father can see it in a few days when he gets home.”

A little disappointed that she didn’t read the note, Jon put them up together on the refrigerator with magnets so his father would see it.  The front of the refrigerator was stainless steel so magnets didn’t work there, but for some reason they worked fine on the side so that became the family bulletin board.

“I am going out for a few hours, be good for Maria.  She will feed you dinner.  Do your homework before you watch TV,” Brenda felt good about the last comment, made her feel like a responsible mother… though she knew he probably would have anyway and it wouldn’t even occur to her to check if he had.  Second graders don’t get any homework anyway…

Jon sat down at the kitchen counter and started doodling in the corners of the newspaper.  Happy thoughts going through his head about what his father might say when he showed him the note from his teacher.

About an hour later, Brenda came back into the kitchen dressed like she had stepped out of Banana Republic window display. “Where is this new place Jen wants us to meet at tonight?” she said into her iphone?  “no, you shouldn’t text and drive, just tell me the address and I’ll write it down.”

She moved about the kitchen opening drawers and closing them… 

“I even forgot what book we are supposed to be reading, Hahah!” she laughed, holding the phone with her sholder.  “As long as Lisa isn’t there, no one will even notice.”

Closing the last drawer with a pen in hand, she spun around and plucked a piece of paper off the side of the fridge.  Folding it in half to give herself a clean white area to write on, she started taking down directions from the phone.

“OH!  This is just where the old Zink used to be!?” she stopped writing. “Well, then I don’t need directions to that.  I’ll see you soon!  Bye bye.”

Looking at the unneeded directions, she carelessly folded it over again, popped open the trash compactor, and dropped the paper in.  Glancing around the counter, she picked up her mostly empty starbucks cup and half eaten muffin and dropped them in as well.  With the toe of her pump, she pressed the trash compactor closed and pressed the “COMPACT” button.  After a few moments of clicking the motor began whirring with the gratifying sound of the trash crunching.  With her domestic duties satisfyingly complete, she walked out to her Lexis and never thought of that incident again for the rest of her life. 

The next thing Jon ever drew was a small bit of a mural in the basement of his frat at Michigan State.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving trip to the farm... so far arrived.

So there I was...

L. and I were going up to her folk's farm in Alabama.  Given that we were going up there for the better part of a week, someone had to feed all our cats and dogs while we were away.  That someone was us because we were going to drive the five hours up there and bring the two cats and dog in the jeep.  Cats can not be trusted to run out into the parking lot and into the car, so we stuffed the two cats in individual cat sized mesh duffle bags to take them to Alabama. (they really are legit cat carriers but effectively they are mesh gym bags. The dog Mijo was happy to jump into the car and take a ride so he obviously didn't have to be stuffed into a duffle bag.

The plan was that after we were moving down the road and had gotten gas, we would let the cats out of their gym bags and they could roam the car and look out the windows as they liked.  Well, we had just gotten fuel and I made a terrible terrible terrible mistake. Rather than let the cats out so they could roam around, etc... I advocated leaving them in their cat carrier bags a little longer.  (They were finally being somewhat quiet and I made the mistake of interpreting that as the either becoming content or that I was winning somehow... so wrong.)  I didn't want to disturb the equilibrium that had developed.

Suddenly with the most olfactory violence I have ever felt in my life.  My nose was assaulted with the most horrendous smell ever... yes ever!

L. immediately looked at me with horror and accused me of farting.  I, of course, denied and counter accused.

L. opened the window to air out the terrible smell.  All that did was somehow magnify the smell to a horrid intensity that made think I probably shouldn't armor-all this car for a while incase some of the smell molecules were embedding themselves into the plastic dashboard. I would hate to lock them in under the armor-all.

We figured it must be a terrible smell from rural Alabama that was coming in through the open window so the window was immediately shut.  Still... it kept getting worse! L made inspired comments about how terrible factory pig farms were... but shortly it became clear, the smell was coming from inside the car... not outside.

Mother-of-god!  The smell kept getting worse!  At this point it was starting to be obvious that the jeep was the epicenter of some sort of terrible natural disaster. I had always considered cats fairly clean animals and assumed that they would never shit in their own cat crate.  Well, turns out I was terribly wrong.

Lets take a moment to consider cat poop.  Normally cat poop comes several days old and dried out in a litter box.  It is approximately as unpleasant as a power-point presentation. You know, something that must be endured but you get through it by pretending you are enslaved by an evil alien race and plot your escape to your home-world.  Well, fresh cat poop is a totally different animal! Fresh cat poop has got to be one of the most terrible substances on this earth!

We pull over, open up the back door, and pull out Amaretto's cat carrier.  Though I am not a religious man... "Oh Lord..."

She had shat all over the back of her gym bag and spattered the most terrible substance of slime and smell all over her carrier... and the entire back half of her body.  (Deep deep into her long fur) Let me set the scene.  The cat is covered in shit, the bag is full of shit, and we are sitting on the side of the road in alabama, and the cat is fucking pissed in a way that only a shit covered pissed off cat can be!

"RRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWW.....HSSSSSsssssssss~! swipe swipe swipe.  Claws out.

I held the cat...ish, and L emptied the bag as much as that is possible using a pine cone. Then we put the cat back in the bag and got back in the car.  You can't really clean poop with a pine cone and a cat in a poopy cat carrier is not a happy camper.  Also, the smell was so intense I am pretty sure that it actually was worse when my eyes were open.  L. made the comment, "I wish I hadn't been feeding them leftover fish for the past three days..."

Yea... it was bad.

We needed to fix this!  Fast!  The only option I could think of was that we needed to clean that bag and cat.  The thing is, no normal gas station is going to let you take a yowling shit bomb cat bag through their store with out question to obliterate their bathroom.  We needed an old school abortion ready gas-station bathroom.  You know, the kind of gas station where you have to take a key tied to a truck hub cap out and around the side of the building to the bathroom and nobody bothers you for the length of the procedure.

Luckily being on a back road in Alabama, the next such gas station was about fifteen miles down the road.  I'll leave the actual cleaning of the bag and cat to your imagination.  Every terrible thing you can imagine about holding a pissed-off shit covered cat under a tiny dirty faucet with no hot water in a tiny dirty bathroom on the side of the road is totally true.

Put it this way, we stopped in the next town to clean ourselves up in the local McDonald's bathroom.

Luckily we are now up at the farm and far away from anywhere that poop related events could possibly happen.