Tuesday, January 28, 2020


     I trust I shan’t surprise any of my Gentle Readers by stating plainly that my household is a bit off-axis for American middle-class households on the fabled Island of Long. And of course, over the years I’ve become accustomed to a somewhat oddly slanted modus vivendi. When your chief worry is whether the accumulation of books is crowding out the furniture, your organizational maunderings are about keeping the various calibers of ammunition proximate to their guns, your cats hold nightly redecorating sessions centered on scattering your towels around the living room, your giant dog routinely rests his chin on the dinette table at dinner time, and your spouse can be found with her eyes fixed to the clock at 2:59 PM (Eastern Time), counting down the seconds until she can joyously shout “Snort Time!” you become indifferent to suggestions that the two of you might be perfectly at home in a sanitarium. As long as it has a nice hot tub and broadband Internet access, at least.

     Even so, now and then I’ll encounter a...feature of Ye Olde Homestead that strikes me as above-average bizarre. Today in my kitchen, at 04:33 EST, I found this:

     There was just something odd about that little arrangement. I know, I know: a giant unconsumed potato has to be somewhere. But in a decorative ceramic bowl atop Beth’s baking unit? It seemed to call for an explanation:

CSO: What are you staring at?
FWP: Could it be any more obvious?

CSO: (looks down at the potato) What’s the big deal? It’s for dinner.
FWP: All by itself?

     (Trust me: Though it might not be obvious from the photo, that spud is large enough to overfeed a family of four. At this point my Skull DJ put Tom Paxton’s little ditty “Stop! Don’t Slay That Potato” on my internal jukebox and turned up the volume.)

CSO: No, silly, with meatloaf and creamed spinach.
FWP: Sweetie, that’s just wrong.

CSO: Why?
FWP: You plan to serve BryantCorp’s sacred creamed spinach, found at only a single restaurant in all the world, with meatloaf? C’mon!

     Beth started to sputter, whereupon I burst into song:

FWP: ♪ Oh, I would eat anything for love; ♪
♪ I would eat anything for love;
♪ I would eat anything for love... ♪
♪ ...But I won’t eat that! ♪

     And I alone am escaped to tell thee.

     (Apropos of nothing, today is the feast day dedicated to Saint Thomas of Aquinas, the Doctor Angelicus, the foremost intellect of the Middle Ages and the greatest of all the Doctors of the Church. I understand that he, too, loved to eat and drink, so celebrate appropriately.)


Linda Fox said...

Don't forget 1/31 - St. John Bosco. In his honor, I will check the cupboards for that famous chocolately drink!

JWM said...

Reminds me of a time...
Shortly after my divorce from the evil first wife I was living in a crappy apartment a long way from my hometown, and in a neighborhood that was, well, less than ideal. I was feeling lonely, and more than a little down when I got a call from the ex.
"Hey, how 'bout coming over for dinner. We can talk a little, have a beer.."
Since I am no paragon of wisdom I accepted. I was working full-time, and attending a mandatory class after work that kept me tied up until early evening. The drive to the ex-apartment was about a 90 minute crawl through the worst traffic that Los Angeles has to offer, not to mention having to park in a neighborhood with no parking.
I showed up at her doorstep exhausted, starving, and in serious need of a buzz. A quickly chugged beer did little to improve things.
But soon enough she announced that dinner was ready.
I sat at the table, and she set out a bowl of supermarket spaghetti sauce. And a potato. That was it. "A potato?" I asked. "What else?"
"Oh, that's enough", she said. "You know- a potato instead of the pasta..."
I give myself great credit for simply walking out without cursing her the blue streak that she so richly deserved.
I stopped on the way home and got a burger.



You had an evil ex-wife too?

I call mine "Satan's favorite daughter".

Brian E. said...

Ha! You are too kind.
I just call the mother of my children:

“She who shall not be named”

Funny thing is, I can’t think of a dozen times in the two decades since our divorce that I actually have uttered her name. That’s called moving on, folks. Dwelling on unpleasant history is unhealthy and unproductive, save as a warning against future mistakes.


Begging Francis' indulgence this is a fun thread.

My current wife had to experience, for the first couple of years, my financial burden... she still hates my first wife with a burning passion. Me? Aside from the odd whistlefulness about a tornado in the area, I've moved on.

My older child asked me if I hated her. Yes. But I don't think of her. I have a beautiful wife, two amazing if annoying children, and that's my revenge. Like I told that kid, "Hate is a poison you take hoping the other person suffers".