Thursday, April 28, 2011

Duck and weave, and grab the Pedialyte on the way by...

Despite my persona, I'm not a confrontational person.

Really, I'm not.

When people argue, I get somewhat uncomfortable. And unless I'm really pushed, I'll keep my mouth shut for the most part. Unless my opinion is asked, then I may spew forth venom like a geyser.

But for the most part, I don't stir the pot as they say.

But sometimes, one cannot stay silent and let things past. For me, it's when dealing with the galactically stupid.

A few years ago, Daven brought home one of the many daycare acquired illnesses he has been exposed to. The whole works, including some action involving evacuation of fluids. At both ends. Being the good and loving parents we are, we took care of the little guy. And with medical knowledge to both of our credits, we know that when the little ones are expressing fluid violently, you must replace expelled fluid with some new stuff. Enter the pharmaceutical gurus:

Unfortunately, this stuff doesn't have a long shelf life once opened. 5 days if I remember correctly. As such, we don't keep a ready supply on hand. So, being the hunter and gatherer of the household, I volunteered to quickly run up to the grocery store and pick up a jug.

"How hard could that be?" you ask. Well apparently you've never gone to the grocery store over here in "The Wood" after the sun goes down.

I jump in the truck, drive to the store, park, and begin the trek into what I'm thinking will be an uneventful excursion. But as I get closer to the crosswalk, I notice headlights out of the corner of my eye. Realizing that they haven't even made the turn onto the main drag, I figure it's safe to cross.

I forgot where I was. Lack of sleep with a sick kid will alter your mental state so that common sense isn't so common. This is Maplewood, and the cup of idiots runneth over.

I'm halfway into the crosswalk when I notice the lights are now pointed at me and approaching quick. Just as I make eye contact, the car stops (about 6 feet away or so) and douchebag driver lays on the horn. Now, tired or not, I'm pretty sure the law says that one must yield to pedestrians when they are in or about to enter the crosswalk. Also, dickweed decides that the stop sign before the crosswalk does not apply to him. Regardless of all that, I'm pretty tired, pissed at the world because everyone else is sleeping through the night and not dealing with a sick child, and I'm really not in the mood to be honked at. All that in mind, something shifts in my brain, and the inner bad ass comes out:

"Bring it Bee-otch!!!"

Why a pug dog you ask? Take a look at one. Anything that stupid looking better be able to back something up.

Back to the story. There I am in the crosswalk trying to comprehend where this guy gets off honking at me when I was just trying to cross legally well before he even got anywhere near here. At this point, with the inner bad ass activated, I take action:

Unoriginal? Yup. Appropriate for the situation? What do you think? I didn't want to waste time, so I flashed him the old one finger salute. At this point, he backs up rather quickly. But if he failed to yield to a pedestrian much less stop for a stop sign, do you think he's gonna check his mirror? When he stomps on it to back up, he almost runs down another couple exiting the store. The gentleman whom almost became road kill does not seemingly have a hesitation to confront, as he ditches his bag to the ground and slams a rather angry fist on the guys trunk, all the while cursing heavily.

The jackass driver stops, and proceeds to swing open the door.

It is at this point I decide Pedialyte is not worth dying over, as it would seem the situation has reached a whole new level of volatility, and in my less than optimal mental state, the first thing that springs to mind is a shootout between the two. But as I'm weighing the options of running back to my truck or diving behind the pallet of discount chips right inside the door, a very authoritative voice pierces the chilled night air:

"Get back in your vehicle, and shut the engine off! NOW!!"

All at once, I'm aware of the blue and red lights swirling and reflecting off the windows and other cars in the parking lot. Apparently, there was a squad car parked just a few spaces down from where this was all going on, and the law enforcement officer was now making his way over to the action. I watched from the safety of the bulk buns, and after a few moments decided I needed to be on my way. I had enough drama for one night. After locating the goods, exchanging the currency for it, and walking on out, I noticed that the squad was now parked behind the idiot driver's car. The driver was conspicuously absent from behind the wheel. The good officer was writing in his ticket pad, and I stopped and asked if I needed to make a statement or something. He answered in the negative, saying that the other couple provided enough statement and unless I really wanted to make one I could be on my way. I thanked him for doing his job, and proceeded to go home.

And that was that, until the next time I needed to make a run to the store for items to deal with sickness. That's right, another situation evolved. Elli has since banned me from making sick item procurement runs.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Raisins. They suck...

Raisins suck. You may like raisins, in which you suck. Why not just eat the grape? It's so much better.

But it seems that the world is not in agreement with me on this one, because raisins continue to rear their ugly selves all over the place.

They even look bad. Ever seen a pile of mouse turds? Look familiar then?

But no place do I hate raisins more than when they ruin perfectly good dessert items. The worst offense? Dressing up like an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie. We've all done this. You spy the prize sitting invitingly on a table either at work or a party:


You snag one and then take what you expect will be that first big blissful bite. However the second the teeth hit what should be sweet chocolaty oatmeal lovechild combo goodness you sense something isn't right. Chocolate chips shouldn't be chewy right? All at once a chain reaction of realization goes through your brain:

Chocolate chips chewy = not right = wait a minute = not what I wanted = fruity = BAD! = RAISINS!!!

At this point it is ok to cry and then throw away the cookie. But if only it were done there. If you're like me, this unfortunate circumstance sets of the whole 7 stages of grief scenario. When I bite into what I think will be chocolaty oatmeal goodness only to have my taste buds molested by the mouse turd impersonators, my mood shifts as follows.
Shock and Denial: This cannot be. Surely the bakery made a mistake and the next bite won't have raisins.

Pain and Guilt: Why put raisins in here? WHY? I just wanted a cookie and I got this?! {sobbing}

Anger: JAKE MAD!!!!! What asshole does this?! Raisins belong in old people's pantries and little kid's lunches. NOT COOKIES!!!!

Depression: Well that's it. First this, now I'm gonna get an upset stomach, vomit, and my whole day is gonna be ruined. Why did I even take this cookie? Stuff never works out for me. {over exaggerated sigh}

Hope: You know what? I don't have to finish this abomination. I can throw it away and maybe next time it will have chocolate chips instead of raisins. Anyone else think these look like mouse turds?

Reconstruction and Working Through It: Actually, if I take the other way home, I could stop by the bakery and get the proper cookie. This day may not be completely ruined.

Acceptance: It's ok this cookie has raisins. Some people like them. Some people also like getting kicked in the nuts or having their nipples shocked. Or even both. The point is, some people are just weird, and weirdos need their cookies too. We may not agree with it, but damn it, this is America, and if people want to put things in their sweet treats that look like mouse excrement, I say do it!

Seriously though, raisins are terrible. Don't put them in cookies. Weirdos.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What? They're scary!

Few things truly terrify me. For instance:

Aliens scared the hell out of me when I was younger. And even now I'm a little uneasy outside alone when it's dark. But even if there are a few of them trying to take you to their ship, they're supposedly skinny as a bean pole and stand about 3 1/2 feet tall. Doesn't sound like something a swift kick can't take care of.

But they aren't the only scary thing around. How about these:

If you know me at all, you'll know how terrifying that was for me to search for a picture and have hundreds of them come up. Some people call them bees. I call them "winged spawns of Satan". Bees serve no purpose other than to sting. Wind, butterflies, and hummingbirds can pollinate flowers just fine. And why can't honey be produced in a level 4 containment lab where there is little to no chance of a bee escaping? I'm just saying.

And yet another thing that I find scary:

Pillsbury rolls are delicious. The buttermilk ones are heaven when coupled with sausage gravy. The crescent rolls? Orgasmic. But why, for the love of all things holy, do they have to put them in those god damn highly pressurized containers? This is one of the things I grapple with often: I want the prize inside the package, yet am terrified to open them. I'm convinced that every time I go to open these things they are gonna not pop open nicely, but completely explode and take my hand with 'em. But now having to deal with them for many moons, I have come up with a system that works relatively well.

First, I get my heart rate back down to normal using Buddhist breathing techniques. Then I peel the very first bit of the roll. If at this point I feel the slightest vibration or shifting of contents indicating explosion is imminent, I hurl the package as far as possible and dive behind the couch. If however I get that first bit undone and everything remains calm, I proceed to the next step. I hold the container at arms length and begin to shake the whole thing so that gravity starts peeling the rest of it off. Once it is completely peeled, I let it fall on the counter from a bit of a distance and jump back. Usually this results in it popping open, however sometimes it doesn't. When the latter happens, I fight back tears knowing I will have to engage in hand to hand combat with the beast. I usually opt for a weapon at this point. The preferred instrument?

That's right. A 50 lb maul. I figure it splits wood no problem and can pulverize concrete with ease, surely it can make a little paper thin cardboard package container it's bitch. However Elli always vetoes the maul since she's concerned more about her "flooring" and "counters" than my safety, so alas I must find another tool. Defeated, I return the maul and pick up a wife approved device:

Fuck off. It's the heaviest thing I'm allowed to use in this case. And it's end loaded nicely so I get incredible swing speed. So, finally armed I go on the attack. I creep up to where the ticking bomb is resting, careful not to make heavy footsteps which would cause jostling and set the package off, and in one swift motion strike from above, aiming for the seals of the exposed paper innards. At the moment of impact I close my eyes so as not to be injured by the flying debris caused by the pressure release of opening. Sometime I must strike up to 3 times, but most times only one is needed. When it does finally split open, I feel like I truly conquered something. Sadly, few other in the house appreciate my accomplishment. Elli rolls her eyes and Dav just looks and then goes back to his playing. Hannah normally has crabby time going on around dinner, so she's selfishly ignoring me anyhow.

I then have to sit down until I'm done shaking. The biscuits always taste sweeter knowing the hell I had to go through to get them.
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