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What do 3285 days, Jerry Lewis, ground bees and Santa have in common? Nothing. Unless you’re me. (A full-circle essay brought to you by Fresh Air and Sarcasm.)

3 Mar

blog image styx

I didn’t eat pizza for nine years.  Mostly because it was the last thing I ate before getting the rotovirus and the vivid and colorful memory of “rotovirus + pizza” remained in my brain for 3285 days until my brain reversed itself and told me that a slightly charred crust with mushroom and eggplant is wonderful and that they have vaccines for that other thing now.

It’s kind of like how I will not listen to Styx because they also once made me puke and I didn’t even have a stomach bug.  Instead I was trapped in a car where the driver honestly enjoyed listening to a grown man/boy sing “I’m SAIL-ing A-way” with that weird inflection that makes me angry as well as nauseous.  And then there’s the whole use of the word “lad” which, unless you’re Frank McCourt or Flannery O’Connor, you have no business using.  So there’s that.

But what I really would like to discuss here is the reason I will never again work in the garden.  Of course, when I say “work” I don’t mean the kind that transpires in an office (did that and am proud to say that my biggest accomplishment there was dismantling the “Secret Santa.”  By refusing to participate and clearly articulating the reasons why, I was able to single-handedly kibosh an office ritual that had devolved into a high school popularity contest where there was always one person who completely disregarded the established budget and made the rest of the rule-followers look like misers).  Really, in 1999 I got a drug store brush and comb set while the woman who sat one cubicle over got a “Cashmiracle” opera-length scarf and she neither attended “La Traviata” nor saw the face of Jesus appear in the wet cement sidewalks outside her apartment.  So there’s that too.

I mean the kind of work that is often performed at home, outdoors, for free.

See, when the bees attacked, I had been contemplating dinner (see “crust” above) while picking up sticks (see “puke” also above).  I’ll tell you what I wasn’t thinking: “boy there sure are a lot of angry, brown bees coming out of the ground over here where my hand is.”  I was also probably not thinking: “I wonder if Styx will ever play live again and does anyone care?”  (Answer: July 24, 2015 @ SPAC and no, no one does.)

It sure would have been helpful if I had paid more attention to those bees, though.

Because when they went crazy and started stinging everything around, I was still trying to figure out how Dennis DeYoung, et al, ever became popular the first time around.  And then, just for a moment, I thought that maybe the bees had somehow intuited my thinking about Styx and were having a horrible, angry reaction of their own.

Finally, I screamed like a girl (because I can) and ran inside like Jerry Lewis (because that’s how I run).

Which is where I should have been to begin with.

And where you’ll find me this spring too.


Words with such little gravitas, they anger me. (Also: a children’s folk tale.)

28 Sep

broth: so whiny and non-committal and whiny.  It’s the Joe Lieberman of soups.  It’s not even a soup, it’s an ingredient.  A true cook uses stock to make soup; in the dusty annals of your grandma’s house is where broth is served.  With ants on a log and nothing more.  By 4PM.  And the ants are extra dry.  Parched.

chill: what the broth means to remedy.  I don’t chase chills; I chase thrills.  And when I’m cold, I’m frigid, numb, wintry, perhaps.  When Joe Lieberman is cold, he dons a sweater vest because “most chills are felt primarily in the torsoooooo.”  (I hear him in my mind: that’s why I added the quotation marks.)

Joe Lieberman does not chill, my friend, Joe Lieberman feels chilly and poof! there goes your gravitas.

draft: precedes the chill which precipitates the broth (precedes and precipitates- dictionary game on!)  Which angers me because we just insulated the entire house.

The house that Jack built.

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