Well, I Never!

Rhino Head and the U-Haul, New Orleans-bound
Rhino Head and the biggest U-Haul truck available, New Orleans-bound

For years now, I’ve had three “non-goals”: things I strive never to do in my life. Since I always forget at least one item on my list of rules, and I’ve lately added two, I finally had to write the list down:

  • Never sue anyone.
  • Never divorce.
  • Never rent a storage locker.
  • Never use a hash tag.
  • Never use a drive-through.

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12th Mom, Her 12-Year-Old, Their 7th Mother’s Day

The Other Woman in His Life
How about hooking that hose to my vein for Mother’s Day?

“I think it’s a really bad idea that you’re going to be gone for the whole entire Mother’s Day, Dad,” our twelve-year-old Little Monkey said to the Man I Married.

Wise child.

MIM responded, “Your mother and I give each other a lot of freedom to follow our dreams.”

Quick thinker.

He continued, “Your mom had to be gone all day yesterday to follow her dream, so she doesn’t mind that I’m gone all day on Mother’s Day to follow mine.”

Much as MIM’s masterful at pulling split-second malarkey out of his derriere, he also spoke the truth. It would be splitting hairs to point out that I’ve spent twenty years chasing one dream, while he’s spent our marriage chasing twenty, and I thought fatherhood was going to end his following the next shiny fantasy twinkling over the next green hill. But adoption papers don’t come with a “required personality change” clause, so I’m not sure why either one of us thought that would be true.

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The Things We Kept and Schlepped

royal stamps3Recently I suggested to the Man I Married that we get rid of our old hamper. The wicker reeds have been snapping off and leaving our laundry room looking like a forest floor after a windstorm. It’s also difficult to stack because of its flaring shape and won’t fit under the new sink MIM installed despite having no water supply or drain. Let’s just call the sink a hamper.

“You can’t get rid of the hamper!” MIM responded, surprising me with his uncharacteristic fit of sentimentality for an everyday object, when he keeps so little (other than 2 motorcycles, 6 banjos, 1 viola, 1 clarinet, 5 guitars, 1 mandolin, countless harmonicas, and let’s not even start with the cider equipment). Even his first wedding ring is long gone.

We moved into our first apartment together over 27 years ago with that hamper, a hand-me-down from my mom. We carried it up and down two flights of stairs, with bags of quarters, to the laundry room in the basement of our Makiki apartment building, where my nylons once got wrapped around the washing machine’s agitator, and I fled in panic. Yet one more reason to never wear pantyhose. I still feel guilty about leaving the scene of the crime.

At least the hamper doesn’t get smelly, since it provides more and more ventilation over the years.


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How to Wash a Motorcycle: a Husband’s Guide

His Very Pretty Bike (Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter 1500cc)

Up on Defenestration: a Literary Magazine Dedicated to Humor, is my instructional essay, not at all based upon a true story, How to Wash a Motorcycle: a Husband’s Guide.

In case you’re curious, here’s the definition of Defenestration:

1) a throwing of a person or thing out of a window

2) a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)

3) selling all of your motorcycles in order to buy one Harley.

Oh So Safe

“It’s in pretty good condition,” MIM said.

A year ago, we took off on a day trip to see our 25th piece of land in two months. We’d seen property perched on bluffs. Property at the base of cliffs with a history of mudslides. Property halfway down precipices held up only by morning glory and blackberries. Property on flood plains. Property on bogs. Property on mud flats. Property on river sloughs.

Property that had been on the market for a while. Property no one else wanted.

Property that was cheap. For good reason. Sure, you take a chance that you’ll be rolled up in a mud Stromboli after the mountainside decides to go surfing, but isn’t life full of risks? Why, houses have slid into Puget Sound in the expensive burbs of nearby Magnolia and Bainbridge. The mansions of Queen Anne are being held up by walls of fimo. The well-traveled Highway 99 viaduct (which MIM takes to work every day) is held together by toothpaste and hi-tech bungee cords. Trendy downtown Seattle condos are built on a mudflat that will liquefy in the next earthquake. When I worked in a downtown office building and told my brother The Agitator about my earthquake-preparedness kit, his response was that I would not need a kit, but he would need a shovel in order to dig me out.

So why not get the same risk for a fraction of the price?Read More »

On Flexibility

As he pulled into the grocery store parking lot to buy ice cream on our way home from a day trip (to look at more cidery property), I asked the Man I Married what he was going to do about grocery bags. I keep loads of reusable bags in my car—always have, but I do especially now that Seattle charges for plastic or paper bags from the store. MIM keeps no bags in his car, which perhaps explains why he often buys beer and nothing else.

“I’m going to buy a bag,” MIM said, giving me his exaggerated horrified look. “I am going to bend over and take that whole five cents…”

The Little Monkey was in the back seat, so MIM wisely did not finish the sentence about taking that nickel right up his behind.Read More »