Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 420: Whine improves with age

Me: Stop whining.

SH: I'm a whiner.

Me: You don't have to be.

SH: You embrace my being a whiner.

Me: No. I don't. I tolerate it, as in I put up with it. That's what tolerate means, you know. To put up with. Not to embrace and approve of. Put up with.

SH: You knew I was a whiner when you married me. You're trying to change me. A relationship will fail if one person tries to change the other.

Me: I'm not trying to change you. I want you to change yourself.

SH: You're used to my being a whiner and you still love me. Why should I change?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 392: Mutton, lamb, it's all leathah

Me: Should I get these [patent leather cherry red never worn Doc Martens that I saw at the consignment store for $45 after selling some old jewelry for $45 which has got to be A SIGN never mind that I just bought the red cowboy boots last week and I already have hiking boots]?

SH: They look like they're for a - a younger person.

Me: I was sort of thinking that.

SH: Like Cindy [our friends' hip 29 year old daughter].

Me: You're probably right.

SH: They're shoes for people who call everyone "Dude."

Me: You mean PWCED?

SH: That's right.

Marriage 301, Lecture 366: Bed of roses

SH: I guess I won't bother to take a shower now [9:15 p.m.].

Me: But you haven't taken a shower in two days and we've played tennis twice.

SH: It's late! And I'm just going to have to take one tomorrow before we go to the play.

Me: Then don't come to bed with me because I won't be able to fall asleep. You stink.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 540: Offer it up

SH [as he peers into the shower, where I am bathing]: Why do you have the windows open in the kitchen but the heat on here?

Me: Different conditions.

SH: If you were willing to suffer, you could help reduce energy consumption.

Me: I'm willing for other people to suffer.

Marriage 301, Lecture 344: Kitchen confidential kibbutzing

SH: What are you doing?

Me: Taking the leaves off the basil.

SH: But you're not making the [Thai basil] chicken until Thursday.

Me: Taking the leaves off is a pain in the neck. As long as you're in the kitchen and I can't be online, I might as well get something done.

SH: You mean you can't just talk to me without having to be productive?

Me: Nope.

SH: But it's bad for the basil to take it off so early.

Me: I'm not washing it. It will be fine.

SH: You're not doing it right! Look at all the leaves you're leaving!

Me: If you don't like how I'm doing it, you can do it yourself.

SH: [nothing]

Marriage 301, Lecture 673: Trash talking

Me: Stop mashing the trash into the trash can. It makes it really hard to get the bag out.

SH: You got it out, right?

Me: Yes, but it's a pain in the neck.

SH: But it's important to fit as much trash as possible.

Me: No, it's not. It costs what - one and a half cents a bag?

SH: No! It's a lot more expensive!

Me: Three cents.

SH: More than that. Five dollars a box, so maybe a dime a bag.

Me: Oh no! And how much do you spend on wine?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 503: A man for all desserts

SH: We don't have enough chocolate in this house.

Me: There's an entire chocolate drawer in the refrigerator.*

SH: I mean like chocolate cookies.

Me: There are chocolate graham crackers in the basement.

[thump, thump, thump]

SH: Hey! These have high fructose corn syrup in them!

Me: Then don't eat them.

SH: [silence]

Me: I mean it. Are you a man of your principles or not?

SH: [silence]


SH: I'm going to eat them anyhow.

* Everyone has a chocolate drawer, right? And a bin full of Nutella and chocolate peanut butter in the basement, next to the leftover M&Ms from Halloween that yes, I totally intend to use this year because do kids notice if candy is a year old? No they do not.

Wisconsin 101: Of course there's beer #42

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wisconsin 101: Of course there's beer

I didn't get a photo of the sign for the rummage sale/brat fry, so just imagine.

SH: But brats aren't fried.

Me: It's like a fish fry, only with brats.

SH: But they're not fried.

Me: It's like a fish fry. Only instead of fish, they have brats.

SH: But they're not fried!

PS Yes, the people in that photo that I took yesterday at the music festival with the late band are wearing coats and hats. Why do you ask?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 502: Just desserts

SH: We might have to take the brownie [that we got from my dad's cousin at the farmers market this morning in our bratwurst/bread/brownie exchange] to the music festival [where the second band started 40 minutes after the scheduled start time, which ticks me off to no end because really, is it that hard to either create or stick to a darn schedule?].

Me: But you just finished a huge lunch.

SH: I haven't had dessert.

Me: You had an apple fritter at home and a churro at the market.

SH: That wasn't dessert, that was breakfast.

Me: Those are dessert foods.

SH: But it wasn't dessert. It was breakfast.

Me: So it's the timing, not the content?

SH: Dessert is a post-meal food.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 520: My freakout vs SH's freakout

What makes SH freak out:

Dropping something that does not break or something that does break. Either kind of dropping prompts a freakout.

A tiny scratch on the car.

The basement flooding.

A wet newspaper.

A cat throwing up.

Spilled milk.

Anything that is against perfect order but that can be repaired or re-established easily.

What makes me freak out:

Getting my new migraine drug, Lyrica, in the mail from the mail order pharmacy and discovering that I have been charged a $100 co-pay. The co-pay on every other drug I have taken in the past ten years has been $20.

And guess what? You cannot return drugs to the pharmacy for your money back, even if the package is unopened. Thank you, Congress, for saving me from myself. Like I didn't have something else to use that $100 on. Like red boots.

SH's reaction to $100 drugs is to shrug and point out that he spent more than that on wine last week. Which does not make me feel better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 552: I am not your secretary, or, You're not doing it right again

Me: I made a haircut appointment for you on October 29.

SH: That won't work.

Me: But it's six weeks from your last haircut.

SH: It has to be engineered properly. I don't really want it every six weeks, I want it eight times per year.

Me: ??

SH: That way, it doesn't fall during Summerfest.

Me: ??

SH: If you do it every six weeks, it doesn't divide well. Eight times a year comes to every six and a half weeks.

Me: ??

SH: Early November, late December, early February, late March, early May, late June, and so on.

Me: FINE! I won't make any more appointments for you!

SH: But it's too much trouble for me to make appointments!

Marriage 301, Lecture 412: The hard way

The scene: The zipper on SH's inside pillowcase has gone off the tracks. My solution was to safety pin the pillowcase shut, but The Engineer doesn't like it. He is trying to put the zipper slide back on the teeth. He spends 30 minutes working on it, to no avail.

Me: Why don't I just sew it closed?

SH: That's not the right thing to do.

Me: It solves the problem.

SH: No it doesn't. The only solutions are to get a new pillowcase or to repair this one.

Me: No, sewing it together would work. I could baste it and then when I need to wash it, I could cut the stitches and re-sew it.

SH: That's not a solution. That's a kluge. Engineers don't like kluges.

Me: So you would rather buy a new one or waste more time trying to fix this one rather than going with an actual solution?

SH: Yes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 301: Yes he's a control freak why do you ask?

SH: Has the mail come?

Me: Yes.

SH: Anything for me?

Me: No.

SH [looking through the stuff I put in the recycling]: Hey! There's stuff here I didn't see!

Me: You really care about the Dell catalogue?

SH: What about these coupons? There's a coupon for Pringles here!

Me: You need to eat the potato chips we already have.

SH: What if I wanted to look at these things?

Me: Too bad.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 302: Expensive urine

Me: I'm stopping the diet soda again.

SH: Why? Because you have head-aitch?

Me: No. It's just too expensive. Even on sale, it's $4 for a 12 pack.

SH: Do you know how much I spend on wine?

Me: Sort of.

SH: Every time I drink a glass of Ridge, it costs $4. And every-

Me: Stop! I don't want to know!

SH: Buy the Dr Pepper.

Marriage 301, Lecture 693: The buck stops here

Places SH is boycotting because of political reasons:

Salvation Army
Wal-Mart (except when he needs a car battery or kitty litter)

Places that have actually given us horrible, crummy service despite our paying high fees for years but that SH refuses to cancel or services we could get for free but SH won't cancel for sentimental reasons:

The BMW Club
His hotmail account

Monday, September 20, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 30: If a man whines in a forest, etc, etc, etc

SH: I haven't been able to whine all week!

Me: Why couldn't you whine on your trip?

SH: Because there was nobody to listen to [and feel sorry for] me.

Me: You mean because they would have bitch-slapped you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 630: The hiding away blues

SH: Where's that pouring spout thingie?

Me: I don't know.

SH: Where did you put it? [Opening every single drawer in the kitchen.]

Me: I don't think I put it anywhere.

SH: Where is it? Is there a general catch-all place for kitchen gadgets in here?

Me: I don't remember ever putting it away.

SH: I can't find it! [Opening all the cupboards.] Where did you hide it?

Me: I don't think I was ever in charge of it.

SH: Oh. Here it is. [In the high cabinet with all his wine stuff. A cabinet that I DO NOT TOUCH BECAUSE I DON'T DRINK WINE AND I DON'T TOUCH HIS WINE STUFF.]

Me: You mean it's there where you put it?

SH: It's got to be your fault somehow.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Marriage 301, Lecture 503: How much life insurance?

SH: I have to re-rinse this pot because there's still soap on it.

Me: No you don't.

SH: You're trying to kill me with soap residue. There must be soap on a third of all the dishes.

Me: And yet you're not dead.

Marriage 201, Lecture 982: A prophet in her own country

SH: You've been telling people you're going to get the boots? [Note that yet another box of wine arrived today. While I was coloring my hair. Which I now color to cover the gray and not just because hey, what's it like to be a redhead?]

Me: Yes. Haven't you been reading my blog?

SH: No! I live with you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 487: You bring a knife, I bring a gun, or, MAD part 2

Yet another box of wine arrived yesterday. Two boxes this week with probably six or seven bottles. Good price! SH claims.

I have told him that every time he buys extra wine (he already gets two bottles a month as part of his Wine of the Month club), I will buy more shoes or purses.

This latest wine shipment came after I bought the purses and shoes at the Divine Consign sale.

Question for the audience:

Do I buy the red cowboy boots (on sale for $49.99 at Sheplers) in retaliation? Or will I just escalate the tensions? What do I do if he buys even more wine? HOW CAN I STOP THE MADNESS?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So smart

Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from - well, you know.


Here is what I learned today that I hope will serve me in the future:

1. If it has been a year since I took a class on preparing food that can be stored without refrigeration, it would behoove me to review my notes as to the science of food preserving.

2. As opposed to trusting just any old recipe online.

3. Which may or may not include an acid that will keep low-acid fruits from killing me.

4. And if the recipe does include lemon juice, of which I have none, it would behoove me to stop and ask myself, "Self, is there possibly a reason for the inclusion of lemon juice in this fig/mango/tomato/other potentially deadly food recipe?"

5. Rather than just saying to myself, "Eh. No lemon juice. No big deal. I don't like lemons that much anyhow."

6. And then reading on another blog a week later that OMG! you could get BOTULISM!

7. Even though botulism is indeed rare in this country and your friend Lois' mother never put lemon juice in her tomatoes and your grandmother made raspberry jam sealed with paraffin and nobody died. At least not from the tomatoes/jam.

8. Otherwise, I will spend an afternoon re-canning the figs and mangoes even though I thought I was DONE WITH ALL THAT.

9. Which still won't be as painful as hearing my husband say, "You always do things too fast," which is another way of saying, "I told you so."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 43: While the cat's away

SH left for Portland Sunday morning. He has to be there until Saturday. The usual glamor of business trips: meetings all day and then email and all his regular work in the evening. Some nice meals out but usually, when I do his expense reports (which you will remember it took me three years before I convinced him that I was capable of doing his reports for him because you know I am so unqualified to enter receipts into an online program), I see receipts for Burger King or the like which I think we will all agree is not haute cuisine.

The only good thing about his being gone is that I get to go to bed early (i.e., before midnight). And wash things in the bathroom sink without hearing someone complain about it. And eat things he doesn't like, such as beans and sweet potatoes and squash and anything with "that orange flavor." I can pick the chocolate pieces out of the Kopps Never Enough Chocolate without hearing someone nag at me or having to listen for the footsteps on the stairs, which is my signal to throw the cover back on the custard and push it back into the freezer.

And I can work on my projects without interruption, such as finishing the canning that I started last week when my mom brought all those apples and we made and canned applesauce and apple butter and I made an apple pie with a crust of butter and lard and if you don't think that's worth having a slightly shorter life for, then you have never tasted my pie crust.

Want to know what I canned?

I'll tell you.

Over 50 jars, pints, half pints, and quarts, of these (low sugar - I don't like things so sweet they hurt my teeth and yes, I am looking forward to my root canal next week at the dental school where the baby oral surgeons need to learn to address their patients as Ms So and So rather than by their first names, at least if they want me to call them "Doctor") preserves:

Pear ginger
Mango peach
Apple butter
Rhubarb chutney
Plum cardamom
Fig ginger
Mixed stone fruit because I was too lazy to make smaller batches of peach, plum, and pear

SH wants to know if I am preparing for the apocalypse.

I ask him the same question every time he gets a new shipment of wine. The score is still

Wine 300+, preserves 50

It is soon to become

Wine 300+, purses +1 or +2 depending on what I see at the Divine Consign Sale tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Buy now or be sorry later

Don't regret things you didn't buy. We bought brown bread ice cream at this mill museum in England. SH thought, Well that's good ice cream maybe I should get some more. Then he decided no, he was full. We would find more brown bread ice cream at our next stop. But we didn't. And we couldn't find brown bread ice cream on our next trip to England, even though we stopped at every single ice cream shop we saw. He has been regretting not getting another cone for four years, people. FOUR YEARS. When you find something you like, buy it twice.

Go to this great Divine Consign sale at the Elm Grove Women's Club, 13885 Watertown Plank Rd and find the things I did not buy, like the purple suede Kate Spade heels that would have gone perfectly with the gray wool dress I bought two days later. Or the red Hobo purse that was indeed leather.

You get to go starting Thursday at 9:00 a.m. through Saturday at 3:00. I will go early on Wednesday evening so I will get all the good stuff first, just like when I was in the Junior League in Memphis and volunteered at the thrift shop. Many items never made it out of the back.

This time, I'm buying the shoes and worrying about what they go with later.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 421: But I had to fight to get him to write his will

After going to the airport to drop SH off for a six-day trip. SH was driving, of course. He is a total control freak micromanager which means he cannot bear to be in the passenger seat of a car. I, too, am a control freak micromanager, but I also hate to drive, so this one works out. As he gets out of the car, he notices that his keys are in the ignition.

SH: Those are my keys.

Me: Yes.

SH: I suppose I don't need them on the trip. You don't need to switch to your keys.

Me: That's fine.

SH: But what if you die before Saturday?

Me: You can take a cab home and then Regina [our next door neighbor] has a spare key.

SH: OK. Bye.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 520: What's yours is yours and what's mine is mine

SH: Hey! You ate all the stuff from the bakery!

Me: No I didn't. There's still some left.

SH: It's the stuff I don't like!

Me: Too bad. You had your chance.

SH: But you should have left it for me. I've had a bad week.

Me: Quit complaining. I got it based on my family connections, so I should have first dibs.

Marriage 201, Lecture 308: Goose, gander

We wanted churros.

SH: Hey! You farted!

Me: So?

SH: That's not sexy. It's not ladylike.

Me: I'm not a statue, you know.

SH: You're not supposed to fart in front of me.

Pero there were no churros at Mr Churros.

Me: But it's OK when you fart in front of me?

SH: That's different. That's what men do.

Me: I thought you rejected the farting, burping, coarse model of masculinity. I thought you were more refined.

SH: Not when it serves my purposes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wisconsin 101: I'm related to everyone here, or, I died and went to food heaven

When your dad's dad was one of 12 children and when many of these children and their progeny, also more numerous than the stars in the sky, moved from northern Wisconsin to the Big City of MKE, it should surprise nobody when you run into relatives you never knew existed, much less met.

Hence it was not entirely shocking news when my mother, who attended a reunion of everyone who went to her now-defunct high school in northern Wisconsin, told me she had seen my dad's cousin at the reunion. And that the cousin lived in the MKE. And that he and his wife own a bakery.

Not shocking. And indeed welcome, especially when my mom said that Greg had invited us on the Family Tour of the bakery.

Which is what my mom and I spent five hours doing yesterday.

Yes, you can spend almost that long touring a bakery, especially when you throw in a lot of family gossip. (The story about your granma's funeral and the lipstick. The canning business your great-grandfather started in N WI and sold to Libby for $25,000 in the mid 20s AND WHERE'S THE MONEY NOW, I ask you? The time my dad and his cousins dragged the calf-poop covered tailgate out to the sidewalk and my grandmother, who was wearing her new fur coat, stepped on it, slipped and fell. And cursed like a sailor, leaving, to paraphrase "A Christmas Story," a tapestry of profanity that floats above Lake Michigan to this day.)

And when your dad's cousin takes you into the store right before you and your mom are leaving (saying goodbye takes half an hour, natch, because that's how My People roll), opens the display case with the blueberry muffins, the chocolate chunk muffins, the lemon raspberry muffins, the coffeecake muffins, the chocolate cake with pecans and caramel, and the pineapple upside down cake, and says, "Take what you want," it really takes a long time to leave.

Because you are thinking, "I should put up at least a token protest. 'Oh, no! I couldn't possibly!' But then what if he shrugs and says, 'OK?' Then I lose my chance! But I don't want to be rude. What do I do? What do I do?"

So you compromise by taking just a few muffins, even though you could have cleaned out the case. But you have shame. You are no sinverguenza, not raised right. Still, it takes forever.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 307: Second best

SH had to settle for another form of satisfaction with his dream t-shirt. Note also that he is holding "Concerned!" ant killer. For humane ant-killing.

SH: You were mean to me last night [when I did not want to wait for him to finish his Munich project to go to sleep, as SH's "just a few minutes" = "an hour and a half" in CF time].

Me: I was getting a headache! And I was tired.*

SH: Then you should let me stick my finger in your bellybutton to make up for it.

Me: OK, but only over the nightgown.

SH: No. That's not the same. It wouldn't be right.

* Although not as tired as SH, who worked until 9:30 a.m. yesterday finishing the training presentation and exercise for the German guys.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 420: Raw wine

SH: I don't want any of that [rhubarb chutney that I made with the five pounds of rhubarb that my aunt sent with my mom].

Me: You liked it when you tasted it!

SH: I didn't get a raisin. I only had a little taste.

Me: And you liked it! You didn't say you didn't want it until I told you it had raisins!

SH: But if I ate some and found a raisin in my mouth, that would be objectionable.

Me: Fine. More for me.

Wisconsin 101: Visit from The Big Factotum

This is what my mom brought me last night in addition to a karaoke machine that she got at her church rummage, five pounds of rhubarb, seven cucumbers, and 50 pounds of apples, which we have converted into applesauce, apple butter, and pie.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 305: Everyone's talking

SH: So it's OK for you to listen to strangers talk about politics but you don't want to talk about politics with me?

Me: No! I told you I don't want to talk about politics!

SH: But we're not talking about politics. We're talking about talking about politics.

Me: I don't want to talk about this and you promised yesterday [in exchange for an extra three games of tennis] that we would have a politics-free week.

SH: We're not talking about politics. We're talking about talking about politics and that's not covered by the ban.

Me: Don't talk to me.

Monday, September 06, 2010

What it looks like when I do a home repair project:

1. I get all my materials together
2. I do the project.
3. I clean up.

What it looks like when SH does a home repair project:

1. He starts the project (caulking the tub, for example).
2. He asks me to get him a rag.
3. He asks me to get him a bowl.
4. He finishes.
5. Then he starts work on the gutters.
6. And calls me out to maybe hold the ladder.
7. But no, he guesses he doesn't need me after all.
8. Oh wait! Come back out here!
9. No. False alarm.
10. Wait! Wait! I need you! I need you to admire me while I work!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 401: The good life

Me: I want to move someplace else for the winter.

SH: Write that bestseller and we can do it.

Me: I can only write it if you're OK with your parents never speaking to us again.

SH: Can't you use a pseudonym?

Me: No! The whole point of having a bestselling book is so everyone I ever knew will know that I'm not a big loser for being laid off and then not getting another job.

Marriage 201, Lecture 540: Not tonight, I have Menards

SH: It's raining!

Me: Rats. We can't play tennis.

SH: I know!

Me: We could wxyz instead.

SH: Actually, I was thinking of going to Menards.

Me: You'd rather go to Menards than wxyz?

SH: Then I don't have to go tomorrow.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 435: You're not doing it right #4390

Exhibit A

Me: You moved the movie from on top of the book back to underneath the other movie!

SH: So?

Me: You took it out of the "back to the library" pile. [Exhibit A]

SH: I put it in the movie pile, under the movie we haven't watched. The movies are in order now. [Exhibit B]

Exhibit B

Me: That's not how it goes.

SH: But we're not going to the library today.

Me: Leave my stuff alone.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 431: Not tonight, dear

SH: You have head-aitch?

Me: Yes.

SH: You're going to bed soon, aren't you?

Me: As soon as you leave.

SH: Wouldn't you rather come with me to a smoky bar and stay up really late?

Me: Nope.

SH: Even if it meant you wouldn't have a headache?

Me: Nope.

SH: You'd rather go to bed early [9:45!] with a headache than go to a bar?!

Me: Yes.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 433: Barfly 2

SH: The numbers are compelling [on the new study that shows that drinkers live longer than non-drinkers].

Me: So?

SH: So you should start drinking.

Me: Nope. I don't like it.

SH: But you trained yourself to like coffee.

Me: Can I put cream and sugar in beer?

SH: No.

Me: Well, then.

Marriage 201, Lecture 758: Because you do it so much better

For drinking, not for peeing.

SH: Where are the cats?

Me: I don't know.

SH: But what if something's happened to them?

Me: I don't care.

SH: But where are they? [Begins throwing open doors, looking under the bed, in the bathtub, etc. Finally goes into the basement, where he finds not the cats but a suspicious liquid on the floor.]

SH: Oh no!

Me: What?

SH: Either water is leaking into the basement or one of the cats peed on the floor.

Me: Which is it?

SH: I don't know! I'm not close enough.

Me: So get close enough.

SH: It's pee.

Me: OK.

SH: But I don't have time to clean it up.

Me: Yet you have time to look all over the house for our cats who live indoors and go outside only on a leash.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Chats du jour: Born-again PCers

Remember how Laverne caught a chipmunk/ground squirrel/disgusting flea-ridden rodent a week or so ago?

And I was so proud?

I'm still proud, but realizing I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to cats killing things and my eating meat and so on.

As in, I like these things in theory and really in practice but I don't want to watch the sausage being made, if you catch my drift.

I was in the garden, picking tomatoes and picking tomatoes and picking tomatoes. And looking at the weeds, thinking, "I should probably pull those. Some day." I heard a rustling in the squash. I looked - poked the squash with my foot, which desperately needs a pedicure but the last time I went to the beauty school, she didn't do that great a job and she was only 20 and can see things up close and from far away, unlike me, who now needs glasses not only to see the TV but also to read the tiny, tiny print on the calorie label on chocolate bars, which is probably just a sign that I should ignore such information anyhow.

But if you can't read the calorie info on a Vosges Bacon Chocolate bar, then you really can't see your toes to paint them straight. You can ask The Engineer, the Most Meticulous Man in The World, to paint them for you, but you will be waiting a while for him to get around to it, as those Europeans need their report Right Now and he has to read his political diatribes so he can be Depressed About The State of the Military Industrial Complex that employs him and puts steak and frozen custard on our table and a roof over our heads, so keep shooting is what I say.

Not really. I don't want good people to die just so I might have Kopps. But a strong defense is never a bad idea.

Where was I?

Oh. I heard a rustle in the hedgerow and bent to look. Something streaked across the basil and out under the rabbit fence. The next thing I saw was Laverne, who had been minding her own business sitting under the trash can on the new driveway (also paid for by the Military Industrial Complex), with a chipmunk in her mouth.

I hadn't even seen her there. Fast and quiet like the wind, that one.

I jumped over the fence to take a closer look. Yes. She had a chipmunk in her mouth. He was staring at me.

SH had to see this. I yelled at him to come out and look. He stepped out of his second-floor office onto the balcony (also paid for by the MIC - we had to replace it when we moved in because it had been infested by carpenter ants, which don't sound like a bad thing - wasn't Jesus a carpenter? - but yes, they are and they cost you $2000+) and looked down.

"Get it out!" he yelled.

Oh. Right. Pacifist. Anti-war, supports the troops but not the war, blah blah blah.

But you know what?

I, the meat eater, the want all rodents dead-er, felt a little sick looking at the little chipmunk pleading desperately with his eyes.

I know.


I tugged at Laverne's harness to make her drop Chippie.

He fell to the ground and stayed on his back, little paws curled in front of his chest, frozen. Maybe he thought Laverne would leave him alone if she thought he was already dead.

She wouldn't.

After giving me a look of surprised betrayal - how many times had I praised her lavishly for doing this exact thing? - she grabbed him again. Fast, fast, fast.

I tugged her harness and forced another drop. Chippie still didn't move, so I pulled Laverne away from her completely fairly-won prize that she wasn't going to get to keep because of two hypocritical steak-eating sissies. I nudged him and he bolted, running straight into the rabbit fence and almost knocking himself out, which is when I started to think maybe he was too dumb to live. My feelings were confirmed when he tried to escape through the wild rhubarb, which is thick and impenetrable to chipmunks, and ended up scurrying against the leaves. However, I did not have the guts to be his executioner, so I cleared a space for him to flee.

Next time, though, Chippie, you are on your own.