Jesus. What is this? Some kind of Quest to Be Eternally Useful? It seems I just can't stop showing y'all how to do stuff. Stuff, it must be pointed out, that probably only maybe one person amongst y'all--that would be, oh, one person shut away in a cabin somewhere, snowed in by a blizzard and without cable and only very limited internet access, someone who's been stranded so long that they've already watched Every. Single. YouTube video--every single one, even the one where the guy shoots spaghetti out his nose (have I seen this? No. Do I know for sure it exists? I'm willing to bet good money on it: a kid once shot a noodle out his nose in a 9th-grade history class, hoping to make me puke or gag or run screaming from the room. I looked at him the way your dog looks at you when you're doing your lame-ass imitation of Danny DeVito selling crack to the Pope and said, "Oh, please. And the purpose of that would be. . . .?" So I'm sure he's made a video of that by now.) will find any of this interesting or vaguely useful. [Go ahead. I'll wait here while you go back into that paragraph and try to follow the actual sentence, minus The Parentheticals.]
[Note: if you ever decide to become a substitute teacher, you must be Immune to Everything. Everything. The only thing I couldn't handle was--duh--puking. It happened only once, and I gathered up my stuff and walked out of the room. I don't Do Puking. But everything else? Like the time a mouse--not a lab mouse, but a wild, crapping-in-the-corners mouse--ran across the desk. Girls squealed. In another life, I would have squealed, too. OK, in another life, I HAVE squealed. Back in The Day, when I used to lie out in the sun nekkid for hours ("Hence the melanoma," you're adding, helpfully), I once walked into the house, sunblind and sweaty, and saw a little mouse eating out of the cat food bowl. I squealed and jumped up on a chair. Nekkid. 40. Standing on a chair in the middle of my own kitchen. And then, "What the hell? Is this particular Girl Response somehow programmed into our genetic structure or what?" (In an even more former life, I used to have a pet rat named Matilda. So you tell me.) And then I got down and starting yelling for the cats, as in, "What the hell do we even HAVE you slackers for, anyway? Lazy bastards!" They came in the kitchen only when they heard me rattling their food bowls, making sure the mouse didn't have friends. This time at school, however, I said, "Oh, good grief. It's a MOUSE, for crying out loud! Grow up!" On the inside, I was going, "Eeek! Eeek! Eeek! Hanta virus! Mouse pee on my journal!" I had a big guy (in college, when I was tutoring rather than subbing) pull out his knife and show it to me, to see what I would do (I grabbed his collar--I had to reach WAY up, as he was a basketball player)--and asked if he wanted me to make him eat it. After a beat, he started laughing. Good thing for me. The point is: you can never be fazed by anything. Anything. Except puking. Then you can just yell, "You disgusting pig!" and go home.]
ANYWAY. Where was I? Jesus, why do you people let me get off on tangents this way? Don't we have a schedule here or something?
The point of this was (and here I have to go back to the top and see if I can fucking remember). . . .the point was that, if you have absolutely nothing else to do and are desperate for someone to show you how to do something absolutely useless, then this right here is for you. Or maybe someone gave you one of these bowls as a gift, and after opening it up and muttering to yourself "What the fuck?" and writing them a nice, vagueish sort of thank-you note ("Thank you so very, very much for the lovely and so very thoughtful gift. Hank and I have always wanted one. It's perfect, and it exactly matches the living room decor!" [Note: using "decor" will often throw off your basic thank-you note recipient, as they will think you've lost your mind or, perhaps, that you wrote the note while drunk, and will cut you some slack for not actually mentioning, by name, the actual gift, as you were taught to do in childhood ("Dear Grandmother, Thank you ever so much for the beautiful lacy white socks with the little pink bows. I will treasure them always."]), you've been using it as an ashtray. Or maybe a candy dish, wondering what in the hell you're supposed to do with the little stick. Here you go:
Now I'm tired and have to go lie down. Or get back to work--today I'm cleaning off my desk (a long, long task), dyeing stuff, and proofing stuff, all sort of simultaneously. One of these days I'm going to learn how to post something here without getting lost on some wayward trip. Just a photo or a video and a short, simple note. Won't that be refreshing? Yeah, buddy. . . .