April 22, 2015
April 17, 2015
When I retire, I should like to explore my genealogy. Who among our lot had two nickels to rub together and was one of them wooden? My great, great grandfather died famously died wearing his confederate uniform at Gettysburg, not from the actual battle, but from wounds sustained when he staged a reenactment the following afternoon. When his body was searched, it was discovered that instead of bullets, his Enfield musket was loaded with almonds. Before he died, he managed to throw three of them out of the barrel and into the lunch of a nearby Union soldier, leading to the invention of pralines.
On my mother's side, there are several incidences of death by farm machinery and one great Uncle who was crushed under a falling set of encyclopedias. The women on that side are strong, and can crack walnuts between their knees, which explains why the men will only enter a room by walking sideways. The cousins are numerous enough to defy counting, and one noted male once traveled to the Middle East and used such poor language that the Library at Alexandria was rebuilt so it could be burned down again in protest.
My father's side suffers from bouts of heart disease brought on by a deadly mix of salty foods and profound disappointment at not being able to open jars. Many were so destitute they considered mud a food group, and if they did not clean their plate, were immediately sent to their room to count spiders. My paternal grandmother's house was kept so cold in the winter, the blankets were often seen putting on extra sweaters. She wore red shoes, most notably at funerals, though at her own she was curiously fitted with scuba flippers and a sombrero. She was fun loving and kind and on one memorable occasion, drove us swimming lessons and would wait under water for us to finish. On the way home, she took a sharp curve, the momentum of which flung the passenger door open, launching a neighbor girl into the bushes.
My maternal grandmother was affectionately called Meemaw, but one grandchild with low self-esteem insisted on calling her Youmaw and would only correspond with her via letters penned from under a wrecked school bus.
April 14, 2015
George and I drove to Target to get bubble bath, diapers and chicken thighs. The bubble bath was endorsed by Sponge Bob Square Pants, a cartoon character who has no internal organs but an encyclopedic knowledge of the Battle of Gettysburg from the point of view of a roof rat. The diapers were store brand and guaranteed to hold enough fluid to quench the thirst of a diabetic pharaoh. The chicken thighs were delicious, once you chewed through the blue jeans.
I had developed a strategy for carrying George into the store which involved the street never touching his feet, or any other part of his body, save the occasional eye tooth. The trick was to roll a cart up to the van where George could be lifted from his car seat into the cart in one fluid motion. An earlier version of the technique involved two motions, one fluid and the other gas, but was scrapped following complaints and not a few fainting spells. Once inside, George would move between the child seat portion and main portion of the cart with the grace of a jackal playing a harpsichord. Passersby would think to themselves, "what is with that child, and where can I find the processed cheese"?
On our way out, I stopped by Starbucks to buy my wife April an iced latte, and was proud when one barista commented on George's cuteness, but reality set in when she then paid the same compliment to a stack of napkins. Not wanting coffee after my urinary tract filed a class action suit, I bought a lemonade at a nearby burger joint drive thru while George sat perusing a pamphlet on toddler emancipation.
My friend Andrew texted that I could come by that afternoon to pick up some guitar and mandolin making supplies, and would have included harmonica making supplies had they not been devoured by a hellmouth with asthma. Rushing home to deliver April's coffee before she asked me to put my belongings in a trunk bound for Jupiter, I navigated the streets of my neighborhood with an alertness usually attributed a fox munching on bath salts. George commemorated my efforts by pouring apple juice onto his lap and decoupaging the pages of Goodnight Moon onto his pet crayfish.
When I parked in our driveway, George expressed pleasure at being home, yet disappointment that our front yard remained painfully without a trampoline or quartet of frogs singing Happy Birthday to an Adder.
Unlocking the front door, I stepped over a funeral procession for a moth who had caromed headfirst into our porch light following a long night of drinking. My heavy footfalls drew the ire of the moth's Uncle Simon who was rehearsing his eulogy while sitting on the lap of a yellow jacket.