Monday, September 27, 2004

Assorted Stories With Very Poor Transitions

Here's a tip for those of you about to become parents (Glen, pay attention): If your face ever feels damp, it's because you're bleeding. Your child's head is a +13 mace and the attack cannot be blocked. 3.1 units spend much of their day devising ways for their dome to hit your face at particle accelerator speeds.

I heard Eli 3.1 crying earlier this week and went to investigate. I asked him what was wrong, and he said "Mommy didn't laugh when I put underwear on my head."

This is a huge problem. Putting underwear on your head is always funny. It's part of the classic "Pilot to Bombardier" routine where you wear your wife's underwear on your head like a WWII leather flight helmet.

Not that I would know anything about that personally. But I've been told.

Gloria's mother is here for the weekend (her birthday). We were sitting around the kitchen table on Friday night, and Gloria brought out a birthday cake. Then she brought out these edgy, super-slim candles. They looked like the hippest cigarettes ever made, so hip that if you bought a pack, you'd never even smoke them, just have one hanging casually from your lip as you drank Turkish coffee at the local elitist street cafe.

Gloria lights these candles and they start to spark in a somewhat alarming manner. She quickly looks at the package and they are, in fact, sparkler candles.

I'm glad the Roman Candle version was out of stock.

So Gloria's mom starts to blow out these candles, about eight of them. She's in her early sixties and has high blood pressure, and even a short walk will leave her short of breath. These particular candles are very difficult to blow out, and when she finally gets down to only two left, three of the extinguished candles come back to life.

At that moment, I realize that I'm having some weird kind of insertion moment into a Six Feet Under episode. The signature opening of Six Feet Under is that someone dies in a highly unusual way. As I watch my mother-in-law's face get redder and redder, I realize she's locked in a life-or-death struggle with birthday candles, and if she doesn't extinguish them with the next breath or two she's going to blow a valve right there. I idly wonder if a home defibrillator might have saved her.

That's when I realize the fatal flaw in my scenario. On Six Feet Under, the obvious choice NEVER dies. It's the person you least expect--which, of course is me. As I'm waiting for death to strike, idly wondering what will kill me, I think about the home defibrillator again, and wonder this time if it would have saved MY life.

It doesn't matter, of course. We couldn't have one, even if they cost six dollars and came with a free physician who lived in the closet under the stairs. No matter where we put the damn thing, Eli 3.1 would find it. We'd be sitting quietly on the couch one day, then suddenly we'd hear him yell "CLEAR!" followed by a large thump. This might or might not be followed by the cat racing down the stars at Formula One speeds.

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