I’m Giving Up Swinging

One of the ostensible perks of returning to blogging was supposed to be a return to having sex with my wife. Not that I had stopped having sex with my wife, but there was the explicit threat that I’d be cut off if I carried through with my plan.

So when I wrote my People of the Philippines: I have returned! post last week I was fully expecting to hop back in the saddle the next day, right after NewWifey(tm) read it. And I said so.

Nope” she said. “I’m outta here.”

“What?” I said. “You’re leaving me? Didn’t you read my entry? I’m back to writing stupid stories again!”

She laughed. “Not ‘leaving you’ leaving you. I’m teaching at a stitching show in Virginia this weekend, and I still have to pack. I wanna be on the road before nightfall.” She looked at her watch. “I guess I could give you a quick hand job though. But it’ll have to be one-handed, since I need to text the event organizer about some of the details.”

Beggars/choosers. I took it.

Three hours later she was gone. Gone, it turns out, for two weeks. After the Virginia gig she’s booked events in a couple of other grits eating states before swinging home.

You know what that means.

TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!!

Wait. Never mind. I forgot, I don’t have any friends. Donning a toga and smashing grape bunches into your face all by yourself is pretty sad. I guess I’ll just hang out in my hammock.

Long time readers know I love my hammock. This is the hammock my uncle gave me as my wedding present back in 2001. The hammock I hated him for because it wasn’t cash.

Hated him, that is, until I climbed into it.

Now I love my uncle.

Not to belabor the point, but I spend a lot of time in that hammock. So much so that a few years ago when NewWifey(tm) embarked on a weeks-long teaching tour during the winter, I set it up indoors while she was gone:

Hammock 3

I don’t think I slept even one night in my bed.

Well, why not do it again?

This past Saturday then I trundled across our yard with the intention of breaking down the hammock stand and reassembling it inside the living room. A five minute operation at most.

However it was such a nice day out, sunny and unseasonably warm, that once I got to the tree line where ol’ Swingy was set up I thought it would be a shame to not enjoy it right there while I still could. I mean, it’s great having a hammock in your living room (until your wife finds out), but there’s still nothing that compares to swinging in the open air on a beautiful day. I plopped down, gave a kick to start her rockin’, and within 5 minutes I was blissfu-zzzzzzzzzzzz..…….

I don’t know how long it had been once I drifted off, but at some point I became vaguely aware that I was still rocking. That was…odd. Normally, unless you kick out a leg, or start rocking your butt cheeks back and forth, a hammock will gradually, gently, wind itself down within a minute or two.

I opened an eye. Then another.

Oh dear.

Or rather: oh deer.

There, standing right next to the foot of my hammock, was a deer. A young buck, with a full rack. He was eating my wife’s hostas.

My wife has been waging a series of pitched battles with our local deer population over her hostas ever since we moved up here. She keeps planting them, and they keep eating them. Nothing she’s tried – repellent sprays, malorganite, inflatable hunter figures, Trump posters – has had any success deterring them at all. I’ve suggested plowing under our entire lawn and resurfacing it with AstroTurf, but she’s grimly determined to win this war.

But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, a deer was eating one of the hostas my wife had planted right next to my hammock. I was rocking because the beast’s flank kept bumping the cotton webbing every time he went down for another mouthful. I don’t know how he didn’t at least smell me – from that distance I could overpower an unregulated Calcutta abattoir – but there he was. Maybe he just liked hostas so much he was willing to risk olfactory injury to get some. Maybe he was retarded. Whatever. He was there, rocking my world.

So here I was, mere inches from a magnificent native woodland creature grazing peacefully at the edge of a wooded clearing on a beautiful fall afternoon.  I suppose I could have just lain there and silently observed this beautiful spectacle of nature playing out right before my eyes.

Instead, I sat up and screamed “STOP EATING MY WIFE’S HOSTAS, YOU STUPID FUCKING DEER!” and threw my SpongeBob pillow at his tail.

This did not sit well with the deer. Instead of running off into the woods, or at least slinking away with his head hung in shame, he jerked his head up, swung it around, and stared at me. I counted 7 points on that rack.

Uh-oh.

Have you seen any of the many, many “Deer Attacks Hunter” videos on YouTube? I have. This one made a particular impression on me, for obvious reasons. So when my bellowing and throwing of soft, fluffy cartoon character pillows didn’t cause him to bolt, I had a funny feeling I knew what was gonna happen next. And it did.

In one swift motion that buck stood up on his hind legs, pivoted to his right, and came crashing down antlers-first into my hammock.

Where I wasn’t.

I may be fat and filled with alcohol, but my finely honed sense of self preservation allows me to react with remarkable speed and cowardice at the first sign of danger. When those 7 Points of Death hit the webbing I was already gone. As soon as I saw the monster rear himself up I’d rolled off the right side of the hammock into the dirt and was hightailing it for my porch. I didn’t look back until I was halfway up the stairs.

Once I did look back I saw quite a sight, and heard quite a racket. The deer was back up on his hind legs, but now with my hammock swinging around his body. His antlers were stuck in the webbing! I guess when he slammed those head-knives down to gore me and I wasn’t there (sorry, buddy) all those prongs and protrusions got tangled in the latticework of cotton cording, but good. Now he was bucking up and down and tossing his head around wildly trying to free himself.

I ran the rest of the way up the stairs to grab my camera.

Of course, my camera is still my little Nintendo DSi so first I had to wait for it to boot up, then tell it that no, I did not want to play “Animal Crossing: Wild World”, then scroll through the menu to the camera function, and then run back to the porch to take the shot.

But when I got there:

Hammock 1

Amazingly, as you can see, the frame landed upright. But…my hammock! That hammock was supposed to be my sofa/reading nook/dining room table/video game station and maybe port-o-potty (bucket underneath – all those gaps in the webbing aren’t just for decoration, you know) while NewWifey(tm) was gone. And now it had a huge deer-hole in it!

Oh well. I guess it was better than having a huge deer hole in me. The deer itself, by the way, was nowhere to be seen. I guess he had his fill of hostas.

Dammit.

I didn’t care. I wanted an indoor hammock, and I was gonna have an indoor hammock, deer hole or no deer hole. I went back inside and grabbed some rope.

Two hours later I had reconnected enough of the torn webbing that it would support my weight again, at least if I shifted over far enough to the other side that my right ham was hanging out into space a bit. I could live with that. It was too dark to disassemble the thing and set up back up in the living room by then though, so I packed up and went inside.

The next day, Sunday, was another warm one. So although I fully intended to just grab my patchwork hammock and drag it inside, I couldn’t resist. I plopped down for one. last. swing. in the sun. And almost imme – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

Again, I don’t know how long I was out. But once again I woke with the uneasy feeling that I was still swinging long after the swinging should have stopped.

That stupid deer! I swear to god, I’m gonna dig up every hosta in our yard and replace them with plastic ones. $2.99 apiece at WalMart – I already checked. As long as I don’t tell NewWifey(tm), I bet she’ll never look close enough to notice the swap…at least til winter, when they don’t die. But I’ll deal with it then.

However first I had to deal with the current hosta muncher. I didn’t want to make the same mistake as yesterday, since I didn’t have much rope left if I needed to repair another deer hole. I figured I could just slowly ease myself out of the webbing without being noticed and then maybe throw rocks at it from the safety of my back door.

I cracked open one eye to guage when it would be safe to scoot.

But it wasn’t a deer I saw standing next to my hammock.

It was a bear.

A freakin’ bear!

Shit. Change of plans.

To: run.

I didn’t have time to be subtle about it. The bear was already pointed at me nose-first, and only about two feet away. If he didn’t see me he needed to be fitted for a red-tipped cane and a guide dog. I threw myself hard to starboard and hit the ground running. Behind me I heard a loud snort, and then the sound of a 400 hundred pound meat rocket launching. I prayed adrenaline would give me wings.

However, after that initial explosion of events I heard what sounded like a real explosion. I didn’t dare look back – whatever I was doing was keeping me alive, so I didn’t want to change things up – but something big had obviously just happened behind me. I made it to the stairs, took them 3 at a time, and vaulted over the railing, bypassing the gate.

Then I looked back.

The bear was still at the hammock. And he was fighting it to the death.

Just like the deer, he was all tangled up. But unlike the deer, his whole body was cloaked in webbing, not just his head. He must have leaped for me with all four limbs splayed out to get caught like that. (On reflection, he looks like the bear who poached my garbage back in May. I could still smell my coq au vin on his breath.)

I had to get a picture of this. Back to the bedroom for the Nintendo, wait for it to boot up, tell it not to load the fucking game, and run to the porch.

Only to see this:

Hammock 2

Well, that does it.

I’m buying a beanbag chair on my way home today. And 50 plastic hostas.

Ciao, kids. Eat more venison.

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not fin

Well that didn’t last long.

My apologies to America, and to all the grieving families. If I had thought for one minute that someone out there would become so distraught upon reading my “Goodbye” post that they’d go out the very next day and shoot up a music festival in Las Vegas, I never would have done it. God, you people are so fragile.

So yeah, I’m back.

Ok, no. It’s not because my departure triggered a particularly enthusiastic response from some 2nd Amendment aficionado (although it is burdensome knowing I engender that sort of devotion).

Rather, I’m returning to blogging out of fear of triggering something much, much worse.

No sex.

I did mention that NewWifey(tm) faithfully reads my blog, right? Well it turns out that despite the occasional cringe (over, say, jokes about recent mass shootings. ..but when is there ever not a recent mass shooting in this country?) she actually rather enjoys my scribblings. Enjoys them to the point where she became enraged – like the rest of you – when I announced I was taking off like a velcro prom dress.

What ensued was several days of pleading, reasoning, cajoling, and high pitched whining. On her part, for once. When she saw that none of it was having any effect on me, she played her ace in the hole. As in: “You’re not getting in my hole til you start writing again, Ace.”

Gahhhh!

You women hold all the power. You know that, don’t you?

I can’t put marital congress with a 3-input wife at risk.

Look for new updates shortly.

As soon I get done with one of those inputs….

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ps…I suppose I should shed the snark for a second and thank all of you who left whining, pleading notes of your own following my last entry. They didn’t factor into my decision, since none of YOU offered 3-input sex (and I’m looking at you particularly, WhyStinger), but I thank you all for what to me was a completely unexpected outpouring of…rage? Sympathy? Indignation? Whatever it was, I was touched. Thank you.

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fin

It was 17 years ago today I hit the “Send” button on my very first Dangerspouse entry.

A lot has changed in 17 years.

Did you know I only began blogging to keep myself from falling asleep at work? I’d recently started working overnights, and the transition was awful. I was constantly in danger of nodding off in the middle of my shift, and when you’re on the radio that’s not a good thing. This was before YouTube and Facebook, so no Dr. Pimple Popper videos to jolt me awake in horror, and no…well, whatever it is that Facebook does to cause horror. I’m still not signed up. The point is, I had very little options open to me in the way of mental stimulation. And coffee wasn’t cutting it.

Then one night I read an article about this thing called “blogging”, which was apparently getting very popular with all the cool kids. It seems all you had to do was write a paragraph or two about what you had for lunch, and strangers would like you! Well, I had to get in on that. I mean, I ate lunch all the time. I signed up for one of the services mentioned, “Diaryland”.

At first it was a bit of a disappointment. The article lied! Nobody liked me. It was just like real life. But blogging did have one benefit: it kept me awake at work. Aside from the sheer fun of thinking up ridiculous stories, I could also finally say all the inflammatory things I was thinking but would catapult me right onto the unemployment line if said on air.

If you read any of my early entries, they’re awful. Not that later ones ever got *that* much better, but still. For the first year or three I would just hammer out whatever word salad was being tossed in my brain that night, and hit “Send”. The entries were overwrought, over long, and usually just plain stupid. But quality wasn’t my concern. Not getting fired was.

Then a funny thing happened. People started reading my blog and leaving comments. After a few famous bloggers mentioned me, the number of readers and comments grew. Then they absolutely exploded when one of my entries took “Blog of the Day” honors at some giant meme site. Suddenly my site meter was telling me tens of thousands of people were checking me out from all over the world! I even got an offer to move to California and write for a TV show. (I didn’t take it, thankfully, because I later found out the guy doing the offering was a fraud. But I still bragged about it.)

Well of course, it all went to my head immediately. I became an insufferable jerk. Don’t get me wrong, I was always full of myself. You don’t go into radio because you’re the shy, self-effacing type. But I wasn’t quite so blatant about it back when I didn’t think people were actually paying attention to me. But once they did, my entries became self centered and incredibly boorish. I was still working overnights though, so they were still insanely long.

Then a succession of things occurred that started to affect my output, most important of which was my being named to a big morning drive show in New York City. Suddenly I didn’t need an outside agent to keep me awake at work. Fear worked just fine. Fear, and constant show duties. Even if I wanted to, I just didn’t have time to scribble stories about imagined sexual conquests and disastrous attempts at international intrigue.

At the same time, I was getting more and more requests for “favors” from readers. People with a Cause would write me, imploring me to mention everything from their nephew’s lemonade stand, to the surefire plan for world peace that just occurred to them which everyone needed to hear RIGHT NOW. “Would you pleeeeeeeeeeze pen a few paragraphs and link to the following sites in your next 5 or 6 entries?

No. No I won’t. I write funny stories. Not PSA’s.

I caved a few times to some favored readers out of a sense of obligation, but always through gritted teeth. But even when I didn’t cave, I still felt indignant. Write your own damn promos. Y’know, if you were a better wordsmith people would read YOUR blog too, and soon “Nephew Pierre’s Un Citron Pressé” stand would have to hire illegal Mexicans to keep up with the demand.

Then probably the biggest wet blanket for blogging in general descended on the world: Facebook. There were some defections before that when MySpace came on the scene, but it was the Siren’s call of Zuckerberg’s monster that triggered the real extinction event. Suddenly it was considered not just unfashionable to craft long-form works, but downright impolite. You’re looked on askance if you even use indefinite articles there. For people who dreamed of having followers but just didn’t posses the writing skills to attract any, this was their dream come true. They left in droves – even some of the luminaries, like Uncle Bob and Dancing Brave (and she was a professional writer!).

The effect was amazing, and amazingly swift. Withing weeks of FB’s launch I watched my number of reads drop from the tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands, to – and I’m not kidding – single digits. Diary rings – the sub-groups that catered to all sorts of nuttiness – closed seemingly overnight, and even the guy who runs the place seemed to have abandoned ship for a while.

All those things – no need for an anti-sleep aid any more, pushy people demanding favors, rats jumping overboard – led to my first Great Hiatus. I would sometimes go weeks, months without posting, rather than hours. I missed it, because I found I really enjoyed writing, but what could I do. The cards were now stacked against me.

But then a couple of Good Samaritans set me up a WordPress account. “It’s so much better than Diaryland!” they said. “It’s easier to put in entries, you can add pictures right from their menu, and lots more people are there to stroke your fragile ego!

I fell for the sales pitch. And you know what? They were right. WordPress was (is) everything they say. I started to get my mojo back. I began writing again, even though I don’t need it to stay awake any more. I even managed to write while convalescing from two successive elbow surgeries where I could barely move my fingers. I rediscovered the joy of writing for its own sake.

But then….yes, another funny thing happened.

To wit: people I know in real life began reading my diary. Or rather – and this is worse – people NewWifey(tm) knows began reading my diary (Hi!). NewWifey(tm) would read my entries, as she’s done from the very first, but now every once in a while she will now groan with real anguish, “Oh no. Now my friend is going to think that I (whatever idiocy I happened to write – usually sexual).”

On top of that, I think NewWifey(tm) herself is/was starting to get a little tired of my Bad Boy schtick. She denies it, but I’m pretty sure I’ve see the Eye Roll a few times. You have no idea how sad that makes me. She used to be my biggest enabler of smut, urging me, in the Good Olde Days, to make her more evil, more lascivious. Her favorite invective used the be “cunt”, which she alternated with “cocksucker” depending on the gender of the person who just cut her off.

But now….

Damn the maturation process. Damn it to hell.

But the biggest change I’ve seen in the last 17 years has to be the chilling effect social media has had on nonconformists. Many, many things now fit into only one of two categories: “Acceptable” or “Not Acceptable”. If you do something, say something, post something, think something, and ONE PERSON finds it “Not Acceptable”, that person can instantly call legions of likewise small minded lemmings to arms, and retribution will be swift and terrible.

Even though I’m not on any social media platform myself, the situation has gotten so bad that even I’m worried about it. What if one of the people who knows who I am takes umbrage to some pedophile joke I make, writes a Facebook post about it, and it goes viral? Not only could I lose my job – as someone in the media, public disclosure of a pedophile joke is certainly grounds – but no one would hire me ever again.

So no pedophile jokes. No dead baby jokes. No calling fat chicks “fat chicks”. No mentioning a person’s ethnicity, disability, or political leanings. No sneezing. Eat your vegetables.

It’s no fun any more. I’m constantly re-writing entries after realizing some line or other might result in a groan, an eye roll, or career ending retribution. This isn’t what I signed up  for.

So.

17 years is long enough for a blog to last, don’t you think?

Yeah, me too.

Thank you all. You’ve been a lovely audience.

This is Dangerspouse, signing off.

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Oh stop crying. Who knows, I may be back someday if I get bored.

In fact, I’ll come back briefly right now to leave you with some final thoughts. These are a few of the things I’ve learned the hard way in the now 50+ trips I’ve made around the sun. Take ’em or leave ’em:

My secret to having the happiest marriage of anyone I know:

  1. Have a common passion. Something you do together that unfailingly makes you smile at each other. It will smooth over more rough patches than you will believe.
  2. A constant stream of small acts of consideration is far, far preferable to long stretches of apathy punctuated by the occasional Grand Gesture.
  3. Don’t stop having sex. If you do, you don’t have a spouse any more. You have a roommate.

My tips for anyone trying to be a cooking god:

  1. Learn techniques, not recipes.
  2. Don’t criticize any dish anyone makes for you. In a world where it is stupidly easy to serve pre-made crap, anyone who takes the time to make anything from scratch is to applauded. No matter how bad, applaud it and eat it thankfully.(2a): Don’t apologize for home cooking that you produce. Ever. It showed you care, and that trumps everything. Unless you poison them.
  3. Never grab anything hot with anything wet. I’m not kidding abut this one.

How to punch someone when you absolutely, positively have to stop them in their tracks:

  1. Start the punch from the ground up. Bend your knees, then as you straighten up simultaneously twist your torso and shoulder towards the person you’re punching. THEN shoot your fist out, so that when it makes contact it’s got the full weight of your body behind it. If you just throw your fist out, you only have the weight of your hand and arm. This is why a 90 pound professional female boxer can drop an NFL linesman.
  2. Aim for a point just behind your intended target. If you want to punch someone in the nose, pretend you’re aiming for the back of the person’s head. That way you’ll still be accelerating on impact, which is a much more devastating blow.
  3. If you have time, wrap something around your hand a few times. A towel, a belt, anything. It doesn’t help the punch (unless it’s studded), but it might keep a few of those tiny, birdlike bones in your hand from shattering on impact. When I was a boxer, my trainer wouldn’t even let me (or anyone else) hit a speed bag without taping up my hands first.

How to be better at audio recording yourself:

  1. Keep a large glass of water next to you. Take a sip before you start. Take many more sips as you go along.
  2. Take a breath before you start.
  3. Imagine that you’re talking to your best friend, or a close family member. Talk only to them. That was probably the best advice I was ever given when I got into radio.

How to train a cat:

  1. Start with a kitten if you can.
  2. Learn “operant conditioning” (or “Skinnerian Conditioning”). It’s what I used to train pigeons when I was an Experimental Psych major in college, and it can be used on all other sentient beings. Including cats. Just remember: reward for successive approximations of behavior, and you will not fail. Works on spouses, too…. *cough*

How to gracefully end a 17 year relationship:

Goodbye.

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4.543 billion, to be exact.

Taxi Socks

** Warning: TLDR entry. I know it’s long. Just shut up and read it. **

In a previous entry I mentioned in passing that I’ve got a thing for watches. (Bonus for clicking link: wedding pics! NewWifey(tm) in a DRESS!)

This is absolutely absurd of course. I’m perennially two missed paychecks away from living in a Somali refugee camp. I might as well take up Fabergé Egg collecting. It’s just as farfetched.

But I have a thing for watches. What can I say.

So when I read that the Holy Grail of watch companies, Patek Philippe, was holding a one week only, first time ever, last time ever, FREE exhibition in Manhattan,  I immediately grabbed the KY and a fistfull of Kleenex. When I was done I ran to NewWifey(tm).

“Honey! Honey! Patek Philippe is having an exhibition in Manhattan!! Let’s go!”

Who’s Patek Philippe?” she said.

“Not ‘who’. It’s a watch company. Probably the most famous in the world.”

Are they expensive?

“Very. Even the boxes their watches come in cost more than our house.”

So why do you want to go? You can’t afford any of them.”

“I can’t afford Alina West either, but I watch her videos.”

Well you better not drool that much at a watch expo.” she said. “Fine. Go. Dream the dream, buddy.”

“That’s not drool” I said. “And do you want to go with me?”

I have absolutely no interest in your fetish. Besides, I can’t tell a Timex from a toaster.”

“Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of eye candy for you too. There’s bound to be tons of good looking wealthy guys. In suits.” (NewWifey(tm) is a sucker for suits.)

She thought a moment. “How wealthy?

“Some of these watches cost more than Faberge eggs.”

Ok, I’ll go” she said. “Who knows, maybe I can trade up.”

“Yeah, good luck” I said.”Just don’t forget I was the one who brought you there if you do manage to score. A new Ferrari would be a nice gesture of appreciation.”

Yeah, good luck” she said.

The next day we drove to the Park-n-Ride in North Bergen and hopped a bus to the Port Authority in Manhattan. Outside the terminal we hailed a cab, and 7 dollars later we were deposited in front of the Cipriani building on 42nd Street and Park Avenue, right across from Grand Central Station. The line to get into the exhibit stretched back to Madison Avenue. We got on the end.

The line moved pretty quickly for all that. Because the exhibit was divided into a circuit of different rooms, the doormen would let in a group of people and when that group worked their way through the first room they let the next group in.

But even though the line moved quickly it was still a pretty blistering experience. We had a hot day to begin with, and when you added in the cars idling next to you on 42nd street unable to move for the crush of traffic, I was baking like a sidewalk ham. Plus, I was wearing my Funeral Suit (with my good Pepe le Pew tie). Even NewWifey(tm) had a distinctive sheen to her, and she was dressed decidedly lighter.

However – and this surprised me almost more than the watches we would soon see – every 10 minutes or so a phalanx of tuxedo’d waiters would emerge from the building, each carrying a large silver tray loaded with water bottles. The worked their way back down the line handing out bottles as they went. I wasn’t thirsty, but I snagged one anyway. It had custom label, with the event name and logo wrapped around in blue and gold. Fucking classy as hell. I felt immediately out of place.

So there we were on line, me sipping my free classy water and NewWifey(tm) swiveling and scanning for wealthy potential suitors. Or at least wealthy philanderers.

And of course I didn’t notice the blob of neon pink bubblegum until I stepped in it. Gahh! Have you ever stepped in New York City bubblegum on a 90-degree day? It’s like the La Brea Tar Pits, but prettier and stickier. I thought I was gonna be stuck until some future paleontologist dug me up and put my bones on display. “Early Homo. Fat. Possibly Homo. Bazooka Joe Tar Pit, Olde NY.

Thankfully I did manage to free myself fairly quickly. But I now had a bolus of goo the size, shape, color, and smell of a jumbo shrimp stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Every step I took made a soft sucking sound and then “pop!“, and left a small pink blot on the sidewalk. Well, I couldn’t walk into the storied Cipriani building and leave a series of sticky neon blots behind me like I could at home. I had to get that stuff off.

Fortunately I always carry a credit card in my wallet. I don’t have any actual credit, but I carry the card anyway for things like scraping ice off windshields. And gum off shoes. I hopped on one foot over to the curb and leaned against a tree for support while I removed the gummed up Florsheim.

And then immediately dropped my bare foot straight down onto a pile of dog poop.

Can I say it again?

GAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!

How did I not see that three inch high mound? How did I not smell it?

So there I am in Midtown Manhattan on a 90 degree day leaning against a tree in my itchy wool funeral suit, a pink soled shoe in one hand and a foot buried ankle deep in dog shit. And in 10 minutes I was going to be shoulder to shoulder with some of the wealthiest and most elegant people ever made looking at some of the most elegant and legendary timepieces ever made.

“Honey!” I yelled to NewWifey(tm). “Get over here, quick!”

NewWifey(tm) had obviously been too distracted by the glitterati to notice the drama going on right next to her, because she looked at me in real surprise and said “Why is your shoe off? And why do you smell so bad??

I quickly explained the situation, and begged her to do something.

Ok, ok” she said, and thought a moment. Then: “I’ll be right back. Don’t lose our place in line.”

She didn’t have to worry about that. Nobody would come within 10 feet of me. I watched NewWifey(tm) as she jaywalked across 42nd Street and disappeared into Grand Central.

Five minutes later she was back. “I knew there had to be a tourist shop in there” she said. “Here, put these on.” She tossed a small plastic bag at me.

Inside were those socks at the top of the page.

“What the…honey, you bought me clown socks?”

She shrugged. “What did you expect a tourist shop to carry? It was these or a pair with Betty Boop as the Statue of Liberty. And it’s not like I had time to hunt down a Hanes Factory Outlet. We’re almost at the front of the line. So shut up and put the socks on.”

I shut up and put the socks on. But I felt like a tourist from Des Moines.

Five minutes later NewWifey(tm) and I were waved inside.

As soon as we walked through the door both of us stopped and gasped. There in front of us, inside the Cipriani building, was another building. Patek Philippe had built an entire two story building inside the cavernous open auditorium/conference space of the Cipriani! It was a full scale reproduction of their store in Geneva, and I couldn’t resist the urge to be a total tourist dweeb and pull out my little Nintendo DSi and take a picture:

Interior 1 resize

Um…my little Nintendo DSi is not made for this sort of thing. Sorry. Anyway, that’s the top of the building-in-building. I wanted to get the whole thing in, but Mario and Luigi do not come with a wide angle lens. Suffice it to say, the building goes waaaaaaaay back, and is waaaaaay high.

Inside the second building we went, and as soon as we went through the front doors we stopped and gasped again. This was to be an ongoing theme the rest of the tour. Every room, every hall, every bathroom, took our breath away. Much as I’d love to bore you with descriptions of every piece, every display, we saw, I’ll just limit myself to a few highlights.

Like Queen Victoria’s Patek pocket watch:

Queen Victoria watch

And one of the world’s smallest mechanical watches – that thing on the right. It’s tough to tell scale in this pic, because the larger watch on the left doesn’t look *that* much bigger. But that watch on the left is also a miniature, about the size of a quarter. The puppy on the right is officially called “The Tiny One”, and is 11mm across the face – a bit smaller than my pinkie nail. It looked like a glittery aspirin, and is wound by a teensy key at the end of that chain. Made in 1850, it still works. If I ever get a horologist gerbil, this is what I’m getting him:

Tiny watch

And…

Eau d’ Hudson River at twenty paces! This is one of two pistols on display which have a small watch hidden in the handle, and shoots…perfume! They were made for the Chinese market, a fact I’m still having trouble grasping. Was there a society of punctual duelists towards the end of the Qing Dynasty who felt that spraying cologne rather than bullets was a more ignominious fate for a foe? Was their hygiene so bad that the only way to mask it was to fire a .45 caliber lavender scented slug directly into their pits at 2,500 fps? I have no idea. But they sure were purty.

There were two in the cabinet, but my camera wasn’t up to the task so here’s a screen grab of one of them:

pistol-combined-with-watch-and-perfume-sprinkler-1

We stood and gaped at the company artisans they flew over from Switzerland to do things like engrave cases and enamel dials right before our eyes:

Engraving case

And then…

And then we rounded a corner and came nose to glass with this:

Type 89 resize

That, my friends, is the mythical Patek Phillipe Type 89. Yes, it really exists.

What? You’re not familiar with the Patek Phillipe Calibre 89? Well let me explain. The Calibre 89 is basically the Space Shuttle of watches, except it’s more complicated, more expensive, and hasn’t blown up on takeoff (yet).

That pretty much covers it.

So I’m standing there in front of the Calibre 89 display with my jaw open and a puddle of drool forming on top of my shoes, when the Patek attendant stationed next to it says, “Pretty sweet, huh?” He had the distinctive bulge of a shoulder holster under his jacket.

“It sure is” I said. “I wonder how long it would take me to save up for one?”

He eyeballed my 10 year old polyester funeral suit, the red plastic game system-cum-camera, the swatch of yellow and black checkers visible around my ankles, and said, “What do you do for a living?

“I’m a radio announcer.”

Are you Howard Stern or Rush?

“No.”

Then do you know how old the earth is?

“I think around 4 billion years. Why?”

That’s how long it would take you.”

Shit. Back to saving for Fabergé Eggs, I guess.

(BTW, they’ve sold 5 of those puppies now I believe, at 26 million a pop. I guess that’s how they can afford to hand out free water. And build buildings inside of buildings. If you’re curious about the watch, what it does, why it took 9 years to make, and why I’ll never have one – and you enjoy subtitles – then this little vid is for you.)

All in all we spent about two hours wandering through that fantasy kingdom. There was a bunch of other stuff I’ll never ever ever ever ever ever be able to afford but plan on buying someday anyway. And we watched the company’s self-stroking film in the theater they built inside the building (they built a movie theater inside the building that they built inside the building!). Finally it was time to leave.

A quick stop at the gift counter for a 20 dollar commemorative program, then we were out the door and back in the 90 degree land of dog turds, bubble gum cement, tacky novelty socks, and Timex watches.

So, did you enjoy it?” said NewWifey(tm).

“Yeah, it was great” I said. “Although it left me wishing I’d taken that position as third world potentate when I had the chance. How ’bout you? Any luck?”

She scowled. “Nah. One boob squeeze from a guy I thought had potential, but he bolted when he saw my Timex. And an offer from a foot fetishist, but…bleh. Sicko.”

“Oh well, better luck next time. If the show comes around again I’ll get you a better watch.”

We hailed a cab back to the Port Authority, and an hour later we were back at Dangerhouse.

Just one other anecdote about the day to mention here, one that I think illustrates pretty well one of the differences between “dating” and “married”.

Over dinner later (pic in a minute), NewWifey(tm) said, “What would you like for your anniversary present this year?” (When we were dating she loved surprising me with her choice of gifts. Now it’s a bit of a sodden chore to think of things, so she just asks.)

I already had my answer ready. If you read the entry I linked to up above, you know that last year NewWifey(tm) blew me away by gifting me a Movado Museum Classic watch. Pictures don’t do this thing justice. It’s gorgeous on the wrist, especially when poking out from beneath the sleeve of a black polyester funeral suit. She knew I’d wanted one for the longest time, and spent all year saving up for it. Still brings a tear to my eye thinking of that.

But here’s the thing. Watch snobs HATE this watch. Hate. When I went on a watch forum and posted, “Guys! Guys! My wife gave me a Movado Museum Classic!!” they practically banned me on the spot. “Your wife must really hate you” was probably the nicest of the comments left for me in the thread.

Why do watch snobs hate my Movado? Because it’s quartz. *Real* watches must either be hand winding or automatic (winding themselves with an internal rotor that swings around while you move your arm). People who buy quartz watches – especially Swiss made luxury quartz watches like the Movado Museum Classic – are the most ignorant of all watch people and to be shunned.

Fuck them. I love my Movado. My QUARTZ Movado.

But…I want an automatic watch too, now. Blame the Patek Phillipe show. I didn’t want the orgasm to end.

The 16th wedding anniversary is the “silver hollowware” anniversary, according to the Holy Retailers who determine these things. I’d already picked out a stunning, thoughtful gift for NewWifey(tm): a silver flask in the shape of an iPad, so she could sneak her mint juleps into…everywhere. (I still like surprising my mate and help-meet, thankuverymuch.)

So taking all this into account, when NewWifey(tm) asked me “What do you want for your present?”, I immediate answered “A Seiko-5 model SNK601!”

She groaned. “Is that another watch? Our anniversary is only a few days away – I don’t have time to save for another watch!

“No, no!” I said. “This is like a starter watch. A watch with training wheels for people who want to see if they can handle an automatic model. It’s not expensive at all! And it’s silver!”

She sighed. “Ok, fine. Send me the link. With two day shipping that should be plenty of time.

Four days later she gave me a wine decanter with a silver band around the neck, and a set of matching silver salt and pepper grinders.

Happy anniversary, baby!” she beamed.

I looked at my presents. “Thanks. They’re beautiful. But…what happened to the watch? You know, the thing I told you I really wanted when you asked me what I really wanted?”

Meh. I saw the picture in the link, and I didn’t think that would be something you’d really like. So I got you these!

I smiled and kissed her and we had a nice meal, and afterwards I took the decanter and set it next to the three other decanters I have on the bar and put the salt and pepper shakers next to the other salt and pepper shakers.

Decanters 2

And I love them. Fuck the Seiko-5.

THAT’S the difference between dating and marriage.

(Er…but I still want that Seiko. Someday….someday....)

The End.

Patek swag

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Oh wait, it’s NOT The End. I forgot I promised a pic of the post-watch orgasm meal.

This is what you make when you’ve just had a watch orgasm and you’re tired and elated and one ankle smells faintly of dog shit and you just want to get some calories in so you can get back to blissfully re-living the day in your mind:

Chicken Mornay

Basically, this is chicken thighs covered with leftover stuff I had in the fridge – some Mornay sauce, a bit of horseradish cream sauce, the remains of a ginger root – plus onions and the last of a clamshell of grape tomatoes, garnished with chopped scallion.  Into a Romertopf, and by the time we’d showered, grabbed a quickie, showered again, changed, and opened a bottle of wine, it was ready. It was also terrific. The cheese in the Mornay made it brown up really nice, and the horseradish really gave it a welcome spark.

Ok, now it’s The End.

The End.

Pepe le Pew Tie

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The Garter Belt

(HA! This is the entry I wrote for yesterday’s Daily Prompt “tailor”, but added the word “moxie” to get it on today’s list as well. I’m so sneaky! Oh, stop your sneering. You know you do it too. Besides, it’s easily the funniest thing you’ll read on either list, so just read it again and be thankful.)

We’ve got this railroad-tie retaining wall that runs down the side of our property, and I’ve been worried recently that it may shortly refuse to perform its main function of “retaining”.  This would be a rather alarming state of affairs if it comes to pass, as that wall is the only thing keeping a Delaware sized chunk of dirt and toxic waste from crashing through our bedroom window. And the rest of the house. A portion of the wall extends down our driveway, and while not as tall as the other stretch it performs a similar service.

I first noticed there might be a problem with the driveway wall when I wasn’t able to park my Subaru next to NewWifey(tm)’s Nissan. We have a 2-car wide drive and normally I park on the right side, hugging the retaining wall so I can open the door far enough to squeeze my bloated carcass out. But I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been having to park closer and closer to NewWifey(tm)’s car on the left. Finally last Wednesday I was forced so far over that I couldn’t open my door far enough to get out. I considered the sun roof, but…bloated carcass, remember? I parked behind NewWifey(tm).

What was up with that?

I found out what was up as soon as I got out of the car. Or rather, what was out. The retaining wall had a distinct bulge in the middle, encroaching out onto space normally reserved for a Subaru Forester. The entire wall was additionally leaning several degrees from vertical and, perhaps most startling, a sinkhole appeared to be forming on the lawn side of the wall.

Oh well. Just another one of nature’s unfathomable mysteries. I shrugged my shoulders and went inside to grab a sandwich.

An hour later NewWifey(tm) happened to look out the front window.

Why did you park the Subaru behind me?” she asked.

“Huh? Oh, the retaining wall is collapsing and a sinkhole opened up in the lawn.”

WHAT?!” She bolted out the door and down the steps, not even bothering to put her shoes on.

Women. Hysterics over every little thing, amiright guys?

I stayed put in the recliner. For one thing my presence is very rarely needed, and even more rarely desired, during times of crisis. For another, it was a really good episode of “My 600 Pound Life“. I needed to know if Blimp du Jour was gonna follow Dr. N’s advice, or ignore it and end up being planted in a piano box before they rolled the credits.

About a half hour later NewWifey(tm) trudged back up the stairs and into the house. She had a look of defeat.

I gotta call a contractor” she said, and disappeared into the computer room. A few minutes later she was talking on the phone, her voice rising steadily as she went along. Finally I heard her practically bark “GOOD BYE!” before slamming down the handset.

She stormed into the living room. “Six grand!” she said. “Those fuckers want SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS – and that’s just to replace the retaining wall! The sinkhole and the collapsing driveway will be extra.”

“Collapsing driveway?” I said.

Yes – and how did you not notice that? The front of your car was sitting in a dip about a foot deep over there. Didn’t it seem odd that you were looking at asphalt instead of the garage door when you parked??

“I just assumed I was so hungover that my head was drooping.”

She rolled her eyes. “Anyway, we don’t have six grand. But I bet we could fix it ourselves for a lot less. We’ll just need to rent some equipment.” She looked at me. “Have you ever worked a backhoe before?

“Well…yeah.” I squirmed a bit. “But I swear, not since we’ve been married. Honest!”

She stared at me blankly for a second before a look of disgust took over. “Not ‘back-ho‘” she said, “‘BackHOE‘. It’s a big excavating rig with a shovel at the end of a long arm.

“Oh! That’s different. Then, no.”

Forget it. I’ll do it myself” she said, and went back to the computer room. Twenty minutes later she came back holding a legal pad with a bunch of figures scribbled on it. “Between materials cost and renting a backhoe for a day, I think we can get away for under two grand” she said.

“You’re going to work the backhoe?”

Yes.”

“Have you ever worked a backhoe before?”

No.”

“Aren’t you scared you might fuck it up?”

I’m not scared of anything.”

I can certainly attest to that. In the 16 years we’ve been married I’ve rarely seen her blink, let alone blanche, it the face of dangers that would have me reduced to a puddle of urine and tears. This is a woman who bangs on a metal pot and runs after bears in our yard to drive them away from our trash can, who got up on the roof in the middle of Hurricane Irene to brace our satellite dish so she could watch her K-dramas, who regularly eats my cooking. My little lady’s got moxie, I tell ya. So I knew she wasn’t lying when she said the prospect of hopping into a 40 ton earth mover and tearing into our property without any prior experience gave her no pause at all.

“Ok” I said. “As long as I’m not required to do anything more strenuous than bring you a restorative lemonade once in a while, you have my blessing. When do you plan on starting?”

Beer” she said. “And I’ll start cleaning up the area tomorrow and maybe take the top layers of the wall down by hand. The more I can get done first, the less time we’ll have to keep the backhoe. That should cut the costs down even more.”

Sure enough, the next day I came home from work and saw this:

Wall Demo resized

For the record, what you’re looking at is: the retaining wall bulge section, two top layers removed and piled on the side, a spade, a crowbar, a reciprocating saw, a pickax, and a small sledge hammer.

What are you not looking at?

NewWifey(tm).

I know. This seemed curious to me, too. The only time NewWifey(tm) ever steps away from a project is when it’s finished, or she has to poop.

I went inside.

“Hey baby” I called. “Where are you, honey? Are you pooping?”

Nothing.

That was odd. I checked the kitchen, the dining room, the computer room, even the back porch. No wife.

Then I opened the bedroom door.

I couldn’t believe what I saw. Mounded on top of our bed in the middle of the room was a pile of blankets and comforters the approximate size and shape of a Fiat 500.

And it was quivering like a 14 year old who just discovered PornHub.

“Honey…?” I said. “Sweetie, are you under there?”

No answer.

I lifted a corner of the mound and peeked under. It was NewWifey(tm) alright, but looking in an almost unrecognizable state. Her eyes were wide open and seemingly trying to escape from her skull. Her skin, already pasty Irish white, was now so pale you could almost trace her lymph system. She was tucked up in a tight ball, knees under her chin (filthy work boots still attached) and sweating like – well, again, that 14 year old.

“Pookie!” I said. “What’s the matter??”

Her bug eyes darted back and forth through the breach I’d made in her blanket fort. “Did you see it?

“See it?” I said. “See what?”

She pulled back farther into the mound. In a near whisper, she said “….the snake“.

Snake?

“A snake?” I said. “No, I didn’t see one. Not today, anyway. Why, did you see one?”

NewWifey(tm) gave a quick nod. I could see a new crown of sweat forming on her forehead.

“Honey!” I said, “Are you…are you afraid of snakes?”

She didn’t say anything, just glared at me with those bugged out eyes, and grimaced.

I laughed. “I can’t believe it! You ARE afraid of something!”

Just kill it” she said. “But be careful. It’s HUGE.

“Ok, ok. I’ll save the poor widdle wifey. Where is it?”

In the herb garden.”

I let go of the blanket and she immediately sausage rolled herself again.

Out to the herb garden then, to catch a snake. A huge snake.

The herb garden is just outside the picture, in the upper right corner. Over the years I’ve tried to grow thyme, tarragon, oregano, Thai basil, Mexican basil, Greek basil, marjoram, sage, lemon sage, and rosemary. I’ve failed miserably at all of them. A few years ago I threw up my hands and just let the spearmint take over, as spearmint always does. But I still call it “the herb garden” for some reason, perhaps to delude myself that one day I’ll try again and THIS time be successful, dammit.

So there I was standing in the herb garden, pushing aside stalks of spearmint and weeds, when sure enough I heard a rustle and saw a quick flash of yellow and grey shoot past my foot.

As I suspected, it was a garter snake:

Garter Snake Resized

Garter snakes are incredibly common in this part of the country, probably because mice are incredibly common in this part of the country. Always good to live near a restaurant, right? Anyway, I’ve been seeing – and catching – these things since I was a little kid. When I was young I kept them as pets. They’re absolutely harmless, unless you happen to be a mouse, and actually quite pretty (I think, anyway). About the only downside to them is their habit of projectile peeing all over you when they get upset. But as long as you don’t squeeze too hard or scream right in their faces, they’re pretty good at holding it in.

I went back inside the house, walked down the hall to the bedroom, and lifted the covers off NewWifey(tm).

“C’mon out, baby. It’s just a little garter snake. It can’t hurt you.”

She stayed curled up in a ball. “Are you sure?

“I’m sure, baby. Just a little ol’ non-poisonous garter snake. They’re everywhere up here. Frankly I’m surprised you haven’t seen one before. We used to call this area “the Garter Belt” when I was growing up, there were so many.”

It was HUGE.”

I laughed. “Aw, it couldn’t have been more than 14 inches. See?”

And I pulled the snake out from behind my back and showed her.

Two things then happened almost simultaneously: NewWifey(tm) screamed right in the snake’s face, and I reflexively squeezed.

The snake projectile peed.

So did NewWifey(tm).

I ran out the door, down the driveway, across the street, and about a half a mile into the woods on the other side before letting the snake go. He gave one last blast of urine as I released my grip and then he was gone, instantly disappearing into a warren of tree roots.

Back at DangerHouse NewWifey(tm) had reformed the blanket cocoon around herself, but she was now under the bed. I don’t know if it was some feral instinct to withdraw into a dark hole for safety, or if she just didn’t want to lay in the soup of various urines up above.

I knew reasoning with her would be futile, so I just backed out of the bedroom and closed the door. The recliner is perfectly comfortable for sleeping, and I always keep a small pillow stashed in the coffee table drawer for just such an emergency. I would be fine there for 3 or 4 days, which was about how long I figured it would take NewWifey(tm)’s adrenaline levels to drop back into the green. In the meantime I’d slide plates of food and bottles of beer under the bed three times a day, and take the used Depends away on my way out.

Ok, that was a bit of hyperbole. But it WAS pretty bad. We had to throw out the mattress pad, NewWifey(tm) didn’t sleep a wink that night, and I got a verbal lashing the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since that time I accidentally joined the NAMBLA mailing list instead of NASA’s. (There’s a “red rocket!” joke in there somewhere, I just know it.)

By the second day NewWifey(tm) was pretty much back to normal, although I didn’t press my luck. I tailored our lunch, skipping the linguini I’d planned in favor of soup, and trashing my bucket of gummy worms. I also refrained from pointing to anything longer than it was wide and screaming “SNAKE!!” like I wanted. Sometimes you have to be considerate of others, no matter how much the sacrifice, y’know?

Finally, on the third day, I said to NewWifey(tm), “So when are you gonna work on the wall again? It looks like it’s bulging even more now, now that you’ve taking some of the layers off.”

Fuck that” she said. “I’m calling a contractor.

“You said we can’t afford a contractor.”

She bit her lip. “I’ll hook.”

“Honey. You’re just being silly. Look, I’ll tell you what. Every day before you start working on it, I’ll walk through the yard and catch or scare away any snakes. You’ll never see another one again.”

She gave me a dubious look. “What if you miss one? That thing was really camouflaged – I didn’t see it til it practically slithered over my foot.

“Well, yes, there is the small possibility that one could escape my eagle eye. But again: they are absolutely harmless animals, barring all that pee. And I hate to put it this way, but…you’re just gonna have to suck it up this time. We don’t have the money, and we’ll have even LESS money if the driveway collapses and the sinkhole swallows DangerHouse. You gotta do this, babe.”

She looked off into the distance for a bit, then sighed. “Ok, I’ll get back to work on the wall tomorrow. But you PROMISE me garter snakes are not dangerous?

I gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I promise, sweetie. You know I would never send you out if I thought it was dangerous!”

She forced a faint smile and hugged me. “Well, I guess I might have over reacted just a bit the other day. You’ve lived here your whole life. If you say those snakes won’t hurt me, I believe you. They still skeeve me out, but I gotta be a big girl and get this job done.”

“That’s my girl.”

I patted her on the head and we went inside for dinner (burgers – I wasn’t taking any chances).

And with that crisis behind us, I should now have a new retaining wall and a filled in yard crater by this time next week.

Unless NewWifey(tm) finds out about the other slithering denizens that inhabit our little mountain paradise.

Don’t anybody tell her, k? At least until I manage to scrounge up 6 grand for a contractor. Maybe if I started hooking….

Ok, gotta slither off to bed myself here. Sorry it’s been so long between entries lately, but I still seem to be mired in sloth for no good reason.

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Bite Me

Man, I have just been in a deep funk lately. Like, diving bell deep. I feel like one of Bill Cosby’s dates after her second cocktail. My body refuses to move, even if it means I’m gonna get fucked if I don’t.

I don’t know why, either. Nothing calamitous has descended on DangerHouse (for once). My marriage is as pornographically raucous as ever. Even my despair over our nation’s seemingly inexorable march towards authoritarianism is being successfully moderated by judicious applications of alcohol. There is absolutely no good reason for it, but rigor mortis has set in nonetheless.

Needless to say, I have also not kept up with the Readings o’ the Blogs of Others during this stretch of ennui. I feel pretty bad about that, as some of my (virtual) nearest and dearest are going through some very difficult times. I haven’t been around to offer them even the faintest words of support or succor for weeks.  And I’m just vain enough to think, to know, that even the faintest word of support from Dangerspouse in one’s comment box does indeed bring succor.

Oh well. To make up for it, here’s a picture of my ankle:

Flea bites

Damn, I’m white.

Oh, those red marks? You’re probably thinking they’re hickeys given to me by the hordes of teeny, tiny groupies of my radio show, right?

Normally you WOULD be right. But this time, you’re wrong.

They’re bites.

Flea bites.

Yes, this time tomorrow I should be breaking out in quince sized buboes and listening for the bring out yer dead guy.

But how did I manage to acquire such a medieval scourge? I mean, it’s been at least a decade since I flushed my Yersinia pestis experiment down the sink. And at least two years since I cooked the last member of my Rattus rattus colony (at NewWifey(tm)’s insistence, dammit).

So how did I get flea bites?

Here, go back and read my previous entry.

Never mind. I’ll just tell you (although that entry was pretty damn funny and you should read it one of these days anyway): my wife has made it her mission in life to transform the scabrous hellion of a feral cat that wandered into our yard last month into the cover model for next month’s issue of “KuddleKittens Kwarterly“.

Somewhat alarmingly, she’s actually had a modicum of success. In my last entry I showed pictures of the beast feasting first on our porch, then in our kitchen after NewWifey(tm) gradually moved the feed bowl further and further inland. The post ended with her elation that he (we finally determined sex after spotting fuzzy dice) allowed her to scratch his back while he guzzled down a bowl of ($4.99/pint) heavy cream.

Now things have advanced to where the little mooch is sitting outside our door first thing every morning, waiting for NewWifey(tm) to rise and serve it forth (two days ago missing half an ear and with a solid plank of dried blood extending from the cut line to his jaw). When she opens the screen he immediately scampers into the kitchen and sits by the pantry, which is now, surprise surprise, loaded to overflowing with 15 varieties of canned cat food and a 50 pound bag of dried. I have no idea how it all got there, and NewWifey(tm) just gives me a blank stare when I ask.

So I wasn’t surprised when last week I came home and found NewWifey(tm) levitating about a foot off the ground with a full golden aura around her being and a look of divine joy plastered on her mug. I whistled to get her attention and she floated over.

Guess what?” she trilled in an octave that set the neighborhood dogs howling. “After I fed Midnight, he came over and climbed on my lap! I rubbed his belly and scratched his chin and he purred and rubbed the side of his head all over me for almost an hour!”

“Honey” I said, “Midnight is a wild animal. Who knows what he’s been rubbing his head on before he applied it to you. This is New Jersey – probably dead informants. And you know what kind of diseases they carry. I seriously suggest you shower off as soon as possible and maybe give your head and pubes a precautionary layer of Agent Orange.”

But she didn’t hear me. She just floated down the hall into the bedroom, a beatific look on her face. A minute later I heard the gentle hum of her vibrator.

I knew that any reservations I had about bringing a feral, bleeding, and possibly diseased feline into our midst would fall on deaf ears now that cuddle had occurred. I’d sooner get her to give up her wedding ring than that cat now (er…perhaps not a fair comparison, considering). The point is, I knew from long experience that objections would be useless, so I’d best just suck it up and deal with whatever may happen when it happens.

It happened the next morning.

I crawled into bed, pried the still buzzing vibrator from NewWifey(tm)’s hand, put a pillow over her snoring face, and fell asleep.

At 2:30am, a half an hour before my alarm was due to jolt me to work, NewWifey(tm) shook me by the shoulders. She was sitting bolt upright in bed, her nightgown up around her knees.

Honey, wake up” she said. She didn’t sound good.

Oh god. What now. I sat up groggily and flipped on my bedstand light.

She moaned. “My legs are on fire. I think I have hives or poison ivy or something.”

I looked at her legs. From the knees down her skin was a quilt of bright red dots with furrows of angry crimson lines connecting them.

I can’t stop scratching!” she said, carving some new lines in with her now bloody nails.

I looked closer. “Those are flea bites” I said. “Remember when Casey or Gloria would sometimes get fleas, and we had to deal with this?” I paused and stared at her legs. “I never saw it this bad before though.”

She gave a long groan. “How could I have fleas? Casey and Gloria are dead!

“Uh, honey….Midnight? Remember? The hour long lap dance? The face rubbing? That dead informant? I hate to say I told you so, but -”

I stopped.

My ankle itched.

I threw off my covers and looked down.

And took that picture.

You know what the worst part is? NEWWIFEY(TM) IS STILL FEEDING THE CAT!

We had to fumigate the house, throw the bedding out, shave and wax our entire bodies, and take enough Doxycycline to kill The Hulk, just in case. But that wasn’t enough to dissuade NewWifey(tm), nosiree. The next day she went out and got a blister pack of tick drops from the vet, the kind that come in toothpaste-like tubes that you squeeze onto the back of the infested animal and it spreads all over, killing (ostensibly) everything in its path. The next morning as Midnight was face down in his cream, she gave him the glop.

That was last week, and so far there’s been no repeat. Midnight is still as mangy and riddled with open sores as he was when he first showed up, but apparently all the little plague carriers hitching a ride have been vanquished. At least for now. She has to apply a tube every month to keep them from re-establishing him as their RV.

In the meantime, the scarring on our legs have subsided considerably. I can now wear socks again without screaming in agony. NewWifey(tm) still has a faint network of interlacing red lines up and down her legs but is otherwise none the worse for the experience. And at least one good thing did come out of this whole mess: she gets just as ecstatic when Midnight lets her rub his belly for an hour. But it’s not always the vibrator she reaches for afterwards now.

I think I’m gonna like this cat.

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Ah, a quick update on the peanut butter bread (previous entry, again). I did indeed make bread pudding out of the remnants, as threatened. I tore the remainder of the loaf into rough cubes, smeared some smooth peanut butter over the pieces to increase the volume (and flavor), lined a baking dish with grape jelly, added the bread, poured over a basic custard, and dotted the top with butter and a good amount more of grape jelly.

If any of you own an American style diner, this dish is your golden ticket to Millionaire’s Row. As stupid as it sounds, this peanut butter and jelly bread pudding may be the best bread pudding I ever had, let alone made. It was astounding.

Granted, the aesthetics were not perhaps what you’d call “astounding”. All that sugar on top caramelized, and the peanut butter browned even browner, and the overall effect visually was a dish that had been overcooked by perhaps a week or so.

Here, look:

Peanut Butter Bread and Jelly bread pudding

Kind of a mess, huh?

Fool! You know nothing of Peanut Butter Bread and Jelly Bread Pudding. It was wonderful.

Besides, a scoop of ice cream or mountain of whipped cream on top cures all.

Seriously. You’ll make a million.

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Ok, gotta run. It’s almost time for Midnight’s dinner and hour of belly rubs. And then an hour of husband rubs.

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….…….

Ciao!

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Me and my Big Brother

(In a nutshell: CLICK HERE to read my actual entry.)

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Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

I wrote an entry for the Daily Prompt’s “Triumph” prompt today, but it’s not showing up on the Daily Prompt’s “Daily Prompt” page. Not promptly, anyway.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I suspect, unless there is just more than the usual lag this time, that my title might be to blame. Do they have a naughty word and/or double-entendre filter over there that flagged me?

If that’s the case, THIS title should pass muster, being merely an innocuous play on a famous book reference, without any prurient meaning explicit or implied. (Not particularly witty though, but sometimes ya gotta really stoop to conquer the folks over at miniluv.)

So yeah, if you want to read my REAL “Triumph” entry just click on my post immediately previous to this one. You’ll like it. It’s got naughty and/or double-entendre stuff out the wazoo.

And a picture of peanut butter bread. Really.

Sheesh. I feel like a doubleplusungood duckspeaker sometimes….

(Oh, and if it really IS just an unusual lag, not censorship, and I see that my Naughty Titled entry shows up on the Big List o’ Submissions, I’ll delete this here stupid backdoor.)

Ciao! (Again.)