Thursday, June 14, 2007

Water Restriction

Imagine your typical American office - one with individual offices instead of cubicles, though. People toil there daily, kissing client butt and generally getting things done. It's what they're paid for, after all.

Imagine that this office has a kitchen for the staff, with microwave, dishwasher, even a warming tray (a puzzling yet classy addition), and a refrigerator. The fridge is stocked with beverages - cans of soda, bottles of green tea, etc. The beverages are provided by the company for the hard-working employees. It's a very nice touch.

Except -

In the door of the fridge, there are bottles of water, all lined up like soldiers of healthy refreshment. In the hot summers of the South (even in air-conditioned office-ness), there is nothing quite as refreshing as a bottle of refrigerated water - except for a cold beer, but that's for after-hours. In the South, families have always kept a bottle of water in the fridge, pouring that cold water over ice cubes for maximum chill. It's so hot down here in August that to fill a glass with ice cubes and then pour cold water straight from the tap is to melt your ice cubes immediately. There has always been a bottle of water in the fridge.

My point is this. Water is crucial, right? We're 70% water, the Earth is something like 70% water, if you went more than three days without water, you'd die. It's basic.

Imagine this office again, with the fridge of water bottles. Imagine the slap-in-the-face post-it note stuck there - "FOR CLIENTS ONLY."

Imagine a place where the bottled water is off-limits to all but paying customers. I guess you'd have to bring your own water from home, or you could pour yourself a glass of water from the communal water pitcher (kept in the fridge, of course)... the water pitcher might have a filter upon it, but then - what about those folks who might put the lip of the pitcher directly against the lip of their well-used water bottle in order to refill? Imagine the transfer of germs and bacteria.

In these uncertain times of tubercular airline passengers and a thousand other infectious maladies - would it make sense for this fictitious office to offer its employees individual cans of sugary soda, but force them to drink your basic water from a trough, when you get right down to it?

Imagine the unruly rebels in this office who might pooh-pooh the restriction on bottled water, helping themselves to perhaps a bottle per day - it's only fair, considering the employees in question seldom partake of the proffered soda. What difference does it make - a can of soda or a bottle of water? Isn't this an imaginary free country?

And now imagine the final insult - one morning, an unruly rebel walks into the kitchen, opens the fridge, and finds that all the bottled water is gone, along with the "FOR CLIENTS ONLY" note. The illicit water is now surely locked away in a closet that cannot be accessed by mere mortals.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

300th post!

It's potty-training time around our house. Bethany's pretty much got it figured out. With a disciplined regimen of bribery (an M&M for every successful visit to the potty, which my mom says worked like a charm for me - and still does), she's mastered the basics.

But pooping is still cause for mild panic. When she realizes a poop is imminent, she gets an alarmed facial expression. "Mommy! Pick me up!" So we high-tail it to the bathroom, slap her small toilet seat onto the regular bowl and get her settled.

And we wait. The panic intensifies as the turtle head begins to peep in earnest. To distract her from the mechanics of the job, while also keeping Bethany on the toilet, I have begun to sing a song to her. As a parent, I've often been forced to create magic on the spot, and I have surprised myself with my ingenuity.

Everyone knows the song "Are You Sleeping, Brother John?" Well, try this on for size:

Where's the poopy, where's the poopy?

Here it comes! Here it comes!

Now it's in the toilet, now it's in the toilet.

Flush away, flush away.

Yes, thank you very much, I'll be here all week. She loves that song, and we sing it three, sometimes four songs, before the job is done. Poor Kyle - he's even had to learn the song because toddlers insist on consistency in everything. No matter who takes her to the potty, the song must be sung.

Now if you'll excuse me, I just smelled Bethany walk by, and that can't be good.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


An email exchange between me and Tomie a year or so ago:

Me: I HATE hearing a cat yarking his fucking intestines out, from the sound of it, but being unable to locate the results. You KNOW they're there, all but invisible. You look around, trying different angles with your eyes, hoping the light will help you by reflecting a certain glisten off a spot on the carpet somewhere... but nothing. But it's THERE, dammit.

Tomie: ...And though I'm sure you'll find the cat-yuck sooner or later, don't kill yourself over it. The smell will lead you right to it eventually, if the other one doesn't eat it first. EWWWW! Grossing myself out over here...

Good morning and welcome back. The preceding nuggets were background for this:

Last night, I could hear my cat - we have only one now - yarking her fucking intestines out, from the sound of it. I was pretty sure the sound was coming from the kitchen, and was appreciative of the fact that she chose to do it on a wipeable surface. I can't tell you how many times I have caught her decanting a hairball onto the carpet of the living room while her enormous ass was parked on the cool linoleum of the kitchen floor. Just making a point to barf right over that dividing line between rooms.

Anyway. I made a mental note to look for that cat barf first thing in the morning when I got up. As it happened, Kyle got up first and I remembered to tell him, "I think there's a hairball somewhere in the kitchen, so tread with caution."

I listened as he made his coffee, but heard neither a disgusted sigh and rumpling of paper towels, nor an unmasculine shriek of dismay as his foot skidded into the pool of sick. Hmm, I thought. Well, sometimes those hairballs sound worse than they actually are - maybe she just had the dry heaves.

I got up a short time later and came over to the computer, intending to check my email. And that's when it happened. A decidedly unmasculine shriek of dismay as my toes found the pool of sick on the carpet under my "workstation" (read: the end of the dining room table) - this was no ordinary hairball. Chilly after hours outside the cat's body and oh-so-copious, it certainly woke me in a way coffee never has.

And that, my friends, prompted me to sit down and tell you all about it. So you can thank poor old Jezebel for my return to blogging.