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March 23, 2003

Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy Put

Put paid to several hours of my sleep deficit last night, crashing into unconsciousness with the wife at the for me, early, early hour of 9:30. That's about normal for her in the last seven months, what with Newt the fetus sucking up the calories she would normally use for staying up past ten, cleaning the hairballs out from underneath the bed, or tolerating my eccentricities.

This means that normally when I come to bed, at or around the first wee hour of the morning, I come in low, slow, and terrified of things that go squish in the dark. Since the war started, that wee hour has been a little bigger than normal, quickening the growth of an already substantial weekly sleep deficit, as I tried to affect the course of the war by sucking down ever larger portions of the information ocean, much I used to try and affect a Carolina free throw by holding a cigarette in my left hand.

I stopped smoking, and the Carolina basketball program collapsed. I go to bed early one night, and the next day's news is full of casualty counts and captured American soldiers.

It's enough to drive a man back to solipsism.

Not that I had the time this weekend to work on my impression of the Chinese brother who could swallow the sea. Sainted wife's three cousins and sister had decided weeks ago that this weekend was the weekend to paint the downstairs in new and sundry hues, because as everyone knows, newborns are very sensitive to bad decor. It's a leading cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, I understand.

"Either that wallpaper goes, or I do," they say. Very Oscar-Wildish, new infants.

Being a heterosexual man, and thus accurately perceived as essentially useless in the entire decor area, I was put in charge of Ngnat while they taped, scraped, and painted, doing their best impression of a Trading Spaces episode, an impression that included arriving in costume Saturday morning.

L to R: Teaching Maenad, A. Actress, Banking Maenad and Advertising Maenad as Frank, Hilda, Laurie and Genevieve

Very precious, I am sure, and full of jovial sisterhood, but geez. A man couldn't take a step without treading in estrogen.

For future reference, it feels much like an early morning hairball.

I tried to do my part, in the hours when Ngnat was asleep, offering beer to all and sundry at the drop of a hat,and watching what news I could. It was eerie, watching the 7th Cav on subtitled CNN while the soundtrack to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert blasted out of the boombox in the next room.

Oddly appropriate, though. After all, both involved oddly clothed men traveling through the desert in large metal vehicles.

I did manage to get rid of some of the cheap Rolling Rock Kehaar had unsuccessfully tried to force on us during the October fishing trip, though one Maenad cousin waxed suspicious at the April 2002 expiration date stamped on the can. I did offer them the quality beer, but everyone other than Aspiring Actress preferred the elderly evil they knew to brew they had never heard of.

She took a Tetley's, thinking it a cider after hearing the name on the list I reeled off. She disabused herself of that notion one Oscar worthy spit take later, and traded me for a Wexford, which she pronounced perfectly acceptable after an hour.

How anyone can take an hour to drink a beer they like is beyond me, but that's neither here nor there.

They primed and taped Friday, painted Saturday, and came back for second coats and furniture rearranging today. In between they told stories on each other, though I'm sure I was only graced with the ones considered appropriate for male ears, like the time when one cousin, the Advertising Maenad, went into a meeting with United Airlines after hearing one too many radio promos for The Vagina Monologues

"So, how is everything at Ugina?" she enquired of the executives present.

The Banking and Teaching Maenads spoke of dialect, and taught me the meaning of "fart in a skillet", an expression so country I had never heard it. It apparently means an action that is both crazy and far fetched, such as cooking a fart in a skillet. Michael Moore resisting the chance to run his mouth at the Academy awards is a fart in a skillet.

Farts and vaginas. Not really that different a conversation from the ones I have with my friends, really. We do tend to polish off more than one beer before getting to those subjects, though.

They left his afternoon, while Ngnat and I wandered about in the woody tract behind the house, leaving my kitchen grape in color, my dining room a rich cranberry and my living room a succulent lemon.

Between that and Priscilla, still blasting from the boom box, it was like walking into a fruit salad. A very good fruit salad, I should hasten to add, lest either A. Actress or one of the Maenads come by to visit. A fruit salad full of hues both pleasing to the eye and extremely well delineated, as opposed to those all too common impressionist fruit salads. Not that my opinion matters a whit, which is as it should be.

Posted by Bigwig at March 23, 2003 10:45 PM | TrackBack
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