Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Suburban Morning. But for the Big, Dead Bird.

My good friend and neighbor called me this morning. Let's call her "Ellen". Ellen was freaking out a little.

Ellen: "There's an enormous dead crow in my yard. With his head shoved in the ground. Like in the ground. And his weird feet are sticking up. And there are like, thousands of crows circling overhead and sitting on tree branches staring at my house. What are they doing? Why is the front of my house like a Hitchcock movie?! Help!"

Me: "I think you need to call the Health Department or something. It could have West Nile."

Ellen: "Oh. Mah. Gawd. So, now I can't take the kids to school because I am pretty sure those other crows are going to attack us and give us West Nile."

Me: "They're not going to attack you. They're crows - not La Costra Nostra. It's not like they think you killed their brother and they're waiting to take revenge." [I peer outside the window.] "Um.. I could be wrong about that."

Ellen: "I'm not calling the dang Health Department. I am taking care of this NOW." [Ellen is little, but she is hard core.]

Me: "Do you need me to come down there and help?"

Ellen: "No. I can do this. But I'm probably going to throw up a little."

So about ten minutes later I hear a noise that sounds like tires squealing. Except that it gets louder and louder and seems to last for a while. Five minutes after that Ellen calls me back. And this is what happenned:

First, Ellen put on like three pairs of gloves and grabbed a big, black hefty bag and a rake. Then, she went outside and sort of poked the crow. And then she threw up in her mouth. This was followed by our other neighbor and dear friend, Mimi coming out of her house. And it was ON.

Ellen: "Help me! There's a dead bird right there and then all these other birds and I just had an issue with vomit."

Mimi: [Looks up and sees the swarm] "What the ...?!"
[Looks down and sees the enormous, upside-down crow corpse] "Oh my ...?!"
[Looks up and spots another neighbor's adult daughter sitting on her front porch smoking Newports in her pajamas and staring into space.] Whispers: "What is her name again?"

Ellen: Whispers back: "I have no idea. I always call her Boo Radley's sister."


[BRS nods. Gets up and walks over. Assesses situation. Takes rake and prods bird into the hefty bag. As the bird's head comes out of the ground there is a noise. A soft, swooshy sound. As if the bird's head might pop completely off and thousands of evil mini-crows might come flying out of the hole in his neck and begin attacking the neighborhood.]

[Mimi then does what is described as a "Stuart" run and screams in high C for at least 30 seconds]

[BRS nods at crazy neighbors, drops hefty bag in trash can at the curb, walks back to her porch - all without taking the ciggarette out of her mouth. Sits back down, resumes staring into middle distance]

Mimi: "OK. Great! Glad to have helped. I'm going inside now."

Ellen: Stunned. "Uhhhhhh....."

But the best part of the story as far as I'm concerned is that Ellen's husband walked right by all of it on his way to work that morning an hour before all this went down. And it was a trash day. So he would have stepped out of the house, noticed perhaps two hundred crows cawing and circling his house, then walked right by the huge dead bird, then three steps later walked by a trash can. And then he just kept walking to the train.

It should be clear to everyone that disposing of dead animals is a DADDY job and not a mommy job. And, Ellen's husband is like some sort of special forces, military ops badass dude who is scheduled to re-deploy in about five minutes. It's not like he's a florist. The freaking crows were practically spelling it out in formation in the sky: 'Come back and deal with this situation or your wife will throw up in her mouth'. But no. In Mommyland, all jobs - particularly the gross ones - fall squarely on one person's shoulder's. And I think we all know who that person is.  Boo Radley's Sister.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's 8:03 am and I Need an Adult Beverage

It is 8:03 a.m., and it has not been a good morning. I am exhausted. I am unpleasant. I am very close to coming to unhinged. And I am being provoked. Where to begin. Or more precisely... With whom?

To Captain Coupon. Let's start with you. I know that you just love to mess with me. Making me mad is a delightful sport to you. But here's a hint; when your baby wakes up every 45 minutes all night long because she is teething and you do NOTHING expect snore and roll over, it is inadvisable to wake up at 6:30am and stomp around our bedroom bemoaning the fact that your dress shirt has wrinkles. And fuss about "where are my cuff links?" I have no idea. Where are my black pearl earrings? You don't hear me asking you to keep track of my random crap. Also, it is a very bad idea to use a tone with your wife about said dress shirt and then coo to the baby: "Did my sweet girl have a rough night? Daddy's here, it's all ok." Really? Is it all ok? Because for your sake, I hope the gun is unloaded. And if your judgment is bad enough that you ask me to make you breakfast, I will stab you with a fork.

To six-year old daughter. You are next. Why are you crying? You cannot be possibly be crying for the reason you claim. I am the meanest mommy on the earth? Seriously? You are six. So am I horrible because I refuse to dress the entire family in black pants and white shirts. And then have us all walk you to school. So that everyone in the neighborhood and at school can see us dressed alike. So that (direct quote): "They will see us and know we are a family and that we are really professional people". To what profession were you referring? Catering? I will not dress the entire family in matching outfits. We are not Von Trapps. Or Osmonds. We are also not crazy. I will not do it for family photographs, and I will certainly not do it on a Tuesday morning. I'm sorry that you are crying. You are very cute and I love you, but if you ask me one more time to change my clothes, I am locking you in the closet.

Back to Captain Coupon: No. I am not changing into a white shirt and I am not being mean to her. Please stop moving your mouth hole before my inner New Jersey takes over (like the Hulk does to Bruce Banner). I am no longer responsible for my actions.

To four-year old son: I heard you the first fifteen times you asked me to wipe your bottom. I am pretty sure you already know that we keep extra toilet paper and toddler wipes under the sink so I see NO REASON why you chose to wipe your keister with my shower curtain. And yes, you do have to wash your hands. Oh, I see. There is no poop on your hands because you didn't use your hands to wipe. You used the shower curtain. Therefore you do not have to wash your hands. That is very interesting logic, my son. Ahem. WASH. THEM. RIGHT. NOW. And you will use soap or I will bathe you in the front yard with a hose.

Back again to Captain Coupon: Stop laughing this minute and go to work. I mean it. Wait, did you seriously change your suit so that she would stop crying? Do you have any idea what you have done? You look like you need a wine list.

To the baby: I love you. You're the only one in the whole house who is currently good. And I know your mouth hurts. But why? Why do you hate me? Why do you bite me while you are nursing? I don't want to scream like that, but you see, it's involuntary. Because you are biting my nipple and it hurts like a bastard. Also, could you please try sleeping? For more than an hour? At night, I mean? Pretty please?

I hear a small voice that sounds eerily like my own. It says: "I should not have to ask you ten times to get dressed. Please. Get. Dressed. Or. We. Will. Be. Late." It is my daughter. I think she is talking to her brother.

To the dog: You. Do you know that your little squirrel chasing dream last night woke up the baby the one time she was actually sleeping? Was it necessary for you to howl? Really? Wake up that baby ONE MORE TIME and you're sleeping in the basement. Also, I get it. The floor next to my side of the bed is your happy place. I understand that this is a great honor. But do NOT pilfer disgusting items from the trash can and then take them to your special place where I step on them in the dark. I do not enjoy wiping wet Ritz crackers (or "reprocessed" Kleenex) off my feet at 4am. I am talking to a dog.

Silence. I look up. They are all there, staring at me. They are all wearing black pants and white shirts. Oh no. The Blur is obscuring my vision. The Cap'n is holding out a white sweater. "Put it on. It's time to walk to school." He is trying not to laugh. Its over. The battle is lost, and the little terror suspects have won again. I lack the strength to fight so I put on the sweater. We are a family of professional caterers and we are now walking to school.



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