There are no bad owners, only bad dogs



Last week when I heard the Diet Coke explode in my purse I immediately leapt into action (like a ninja). I rescued my cell phone, wiped it off, took out the battery and swabbed the inside with damp paper towels. I shook it gently until no more Coke came out. It seemed OK for about 10 minutes, then it started beeping. That beep was like the beating of the telltale heart. It was ringing its own little perky death knell. The beeping got louder, more frequent, and more sporadic until I eventually removed the battery. I couldn’t turn it off any other way. The keyboard was useless. Yesterday I finally got to the cell phone store to see if it could be repaired. They scoffed. Apparently Diet Coke is one of the most corrosive substances in the universe. We’re lucky that cans and bottles have been devised to hold such an acidic mixture (that I pour into my stomach constantly). It may the closest thing to a universal solvent the world has yet seen. So I am receiving a “reconditioned” phone in the mail today. Sadly, it won’t have any of the phone numbers I need, nor pictures of the two bad dogs.

Stutter’s surprise birthday party wasn’t a surprise anymore by the time we got there, having stopped to pick up DramaQueen and 4 bags of fiery hot habanero Doritos on the way. These are Stutter’s favorite snack in spite of the fact that they cause loud, painful farting. I have heard these farts, so I can testify to their loudness. The painful part is sheer speculation. The party did a lot to remind me of the reasons I am no longer married, as it was attended by a lot of Stepford Moms whose zombie-like demeanor scared the beejeebers out of me. Once I lived among them! Eeeww! One of them asked for the recipe for sangria (aka wine spodieodie) and looked stunned when I told her what was in there. I wasn’t sure why it was so stunning until she expressed awe that it was just so complicated. “No, it’s not hard at all,” I told her. “It’s hard to screw it up. Put what you like in there and it will be good.” She didn’t believe me as chopped fruit + wine + juice = brain surgery, apparently. Then she and another SM started quizzing all of us newcomers about what kind of work we do. When she found out that we all work(ed) at EduMart, she immediately began pumping us for information about how she can get the answers to the kindergarten entrance exam. For fuck’s sake. They want to know if the kid can recognize some letters and numbers. If the kid knows some colors. The answers are: three, B, and blue. Just read to the child.

Then they started talking about their “Mom’s Group,” which was named after their subdivision. It reminded me of one awful night when I was invited to be a substitute at a game of “Bunko,” which I had never heard of before I came to Texas. It sounds like it would be fun in theory – stupid dice game, prizes, drinking – but it was just awful. I didn’t know the rules and didn’t know most of the people there, and I didn’t particularly care about winning, because it seems a lot like Yahtzee, not exactly a game of wit, cunning, or skill. I thought we were just there to socialize, and if you won, woo hoo. These women were cutthroat about their frickin Bunko, man. If you lost a pointyou’re your team lost, you got the stinkeye. You have to change tables and get a new partner when the music stops (I might be remembering the WHY incorrectly, but there was a lot of seat changing) and everyone was just so – ick. This was like twelve years ago and I still remember how snotty and smug those women were. Either you’re in or you’re out, and clearly I was out. Auf wiedersehen.

The Stepford Mom at the party was one of those people whose eyes don’t quite look in the same direction, which always makes me nervous and uncomfortable, as I never know which one to look at and I quickly look from one to the other, over and over and over until I know I look like an idiot (or a speeded-up version of one of those cat clocks). Why can’t people whose eyes look in different directions just come out and TELL you: Look at my left eye. No, my left, not yours. There. Better?

The whole party was crawling with other people’s children which had two excellent consequences. One: There was an inflatable bouncy house, which is fun to bounce in after dark when you’ve had a glass or two of sangria (it was sandy and smelled like feet, but still… fun). We almost knocked the bouncy house over. Two: Wigs and costumes were present and the birthday boy ended up in a wig and tiara, all draped in pink and wrapped in feather boas. I’m not sure if he had lipstick on or not.

And last, but not least: Although it took EduMart years and loads of documentation to fire LaZBoy, the merry band of unemployable idiots that work for Crazy WheelChairLady apparently were a lot easier to fire. So they did. Fire them, that is.

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birth & death