Thursday, September 29, 2005

Wheezus Effin' Christ on a Bicycle...

Some things are just Not Natural.

Like forced evacuation with a Fleet Phospho gun and Dulcolax bullets.

The interior ethnic cleansing is well underway. And all I can hope is that when the juices run clear, I'm done as a bone-in chicken breast. I'm afraid to drink cranberry juice, because then I might find out the nanospeed of liquid expellation with the added benefit of a tailwind. In the words of Jon Stewart, 'Condi, here come da fudge.'

In other news, did you ever realize how many commercials on TV are for food?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Today


(for Pam)


We're going to talk about 'things that aren't really discussed'. Namely, undesireable body excretions.

Yes, if you don't want to hear about the poopy chair and the colonoscopy, it won't hurt my feelings. Just go now. Stop reading and come back in a week or so.

I mean it--you probably don't want to know about bleeding anal crevasses, rectal fissures, and the most unnatural invasion of an oriface you can imagine. You don't want to hear about the way the camera-on-a-stick snakes up your rectum, through your colon, and doesn't have any good thrust or rhythm. You don't want to hear about how it eases it's way creepily into the large intestine, which, by the way, goes all the way up your side and across the top of your mid-section, then down the other side.

And you certainly don't want to hear about the best weight-loss plan ever. Ten pounds in the span of a couple months without even trying--hey, that's cool, but it's my secret.

Indeed, it's been an interesting few months, but when the lab at the doctor's office told me to bring in five 'samples' and gave me a poopy chair in which to excrete such samples, I decided life was probably no longer really worth living. Because I? Don't especially love to talk about shit with strangers. Yet, question after question from the docs -- describe it. Firm, loose, watery, bloody? What time did you take a shit this morning? How many times did you dump today? What color was it? Black and tarry? Brown and smooshy? Hot and watery with particles and blood? Any other colors: Red, green, grey? How much blood, like a few drops or a cup?

We all love our locked-door bathroom time, don't we? For some, it's the only time away from the rest of the needy little ones, and a chance to read a magazine. For others, it's an orgasmic expellation of successful lunch meetings. Still, for others, it's a Sherlock Holmes investigation, digging around the poopy chair with a popsicle stick, looking for bloody bits and undigested nuts and vegetables.

I told you not to read this. You can still go away and pretend like you ignored it. But if you are fascinated by my bowels, you can help me. Friday is the colonoscopy, and I should have a diagnosis in a week or so. It's probably not cancer. It might be colitis. It's definitely something.
Please don't tell me you're sorry--just make me laugh, okay? Because if I have to share my intimate bathroom experiences so explicitly with a dozen doctors I've never met, and put poop in a margarine-sized tub five times, refrigerating them, we can at least make it funny, can we not?

Oh yes, yes we can. My ass is your playground.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It is my duty to inform you...

...that the rapture is nigh.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The rapture index is at 161, nearing the 'Gulf War high', though it's still a good twenty points below its all-time high which occurred shortly after 9/11. Katrina, Rita, higher oil prices (yes, that is a rapture-relative category)...what else could it possibly mean?

For the sake of all that is rapturious, buy some water, people. Hell is a thirsty place, indeed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Look ------------------------------------------>

New links all over the place. Go visit them, and report back to me all the great things you have found. It's like a road rally.

There may even be a prize.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Pants.

And so, after lunch, we said our goodbyes and escaped departed. But not before Glennie decided that this could not be the official goodbye. "You have to come by our house again before you leave forever," she exclaimed. "We have to show you Dad's retirement video." (insert: because you wouldn't come to Michigan in January for it.)

Our schedule was packed, but we agreed to stop by the next day, after we had lunch with friends.

"What time?" she asked.

"I don't know exactly. Between two and three."

This was clearly distressing to her. "We have to get ready for church at five..." she said anxiously.

"How long is the retirement video?"

"An hour."

"So even if it's three, we'll have plenty of time."

"But what if you're late? We need to have The Goodbyes!" she said. "Well, I suppose we could skip church..."

"We'll be there before three. I'll call you when we're on the way."

That seemed to calm her. And off we went.

After lunch the next day, at precisely 2:33 p.m., I called Glennie from the car. "Hello, Mother." I always say this on the phone, in the same voice that Jerry Seinfeld says 'Hello, Newman.' So she knows it's me. Because I don't do the signal anymore, which is ring once, hang up. Ring once, hang up. Ring once, hang up. Then ring and don't hang up. This? Is the Family Signal. Because Glennie does not believe in caller ID or answering machines, and she doesn't want to answer the phone if she thinks it might be Aunt G. But I told her that was all silly, and I wasn't going to play anymore.

Anyway, she took a chance and answered, and I said, "Hello, Mother."

"Leeeeese!" she said, as if we didn't just spend 24 agonizing hours together.

"We're five minutes away."

"Oh! Well wait! I have to get my pants on. And Rosie says that you need to find--"

"Mom...we're five minutes away. Get your pants on."

"I will, but you just make it a long five minutes. I have to tell you this. Rosie says that you need to find a chiropractor--"

"Mom, can't we talk about this when we see you? In...four minutes?" We pass the familiar Walmart plaza on US31.

"Be quiet once. I need to tell you what Rosie said! She said you need to find a chiropractor--"

I sigh.

"--a chiropractor who has one of those heat lights that can tell what vertabrae need to be adjusted. It's a little rolly thing, they roll it up and down you spine."

"I have a chiropractor, mom. And we're by Big Lots now."

Glennie shrieks. "Well slow down!"

"Mom!"

"WHAT?!"

"I'm hanging up--"

"But I'm not done telling you--"

"We can talk about it ALL when we get to your house, in one minute. Now get your pants on or you'll ruin The Goodbyes."

"But just one --"

I hang up. Mr Wheeze looks at me.

"She has to get her pants on," I explained.

Mr. Wheeze nodded, then slowed down. "If there's one thing I don't want to see..." he began, then stopped, a look of horror on his face.

I didn't speak. He deserved to sit there thinking about it.

When we arrived, Dad ushered us in to the living room. "Mom's...Mom will be right out." he said.

On the middle cushion of the living room sofa (or 'davenport', as Glennie still calls it), were twenty-five or thirty tiny yellow Post-it notes, arranged in rows and columns, all with writing on them. Matt sat to one side of them, and I chose a chair next to my Dad's favorite spot. On the chair was a photo album, and I picked it up; paged through it as Dad sat down. Photos of my Dad as a baby, a school boy, a soldier. The thick, black-framed nerd glasses he wore then are in vogue now.

"When you joined the Army," I said, "Korea was over, right?"

"Ah, yep." Dad doesn't say much. Which makes me love him even more. It's rare I have a chance to talk with him, without Glennie around.

"So where did you go?"

"I trained in Missouri," he said. "Boot camp."

"Was it hard?"

"Pretty much."

"How long were you there?"

Glennie burst into the room at that moment, fully pantsed.

"He was gone six months, and I wrote to him almost every day," Glennie nearly shouted.

I realised how fleeting these moments were, just talking quietly with my father about his life, before me.

"I went to visit him with his parents one weekend. When he got home, he did one weekend a month of service in the Reserves," Glennie explained. But I already knew this. I just wanted to hear my Dad tell me.

I wish I could explain how it is. I fancy myself to be pretty good with words, but for this, there are no words, only frustration. You might be thinking to yourself, why doesn't she just say, 'Mom, Dad can answer for himself.' Why doesn't Wheezy's dad stand up to her? Why doesn't she see how obnoxious she is? All I can tell you is that of course we've tried. We've tried, and tried. And nothing ever, ever works. It is too late for her to be contained. My father has given up. Years ago, he stopped trying to be heard. And I, normally a fighter, know that this time right here, right now, is for my father. My daddy. And then I will be gone again for a year, or who knows how long. And so I don't start the fighting. Not this time. I just turned the pages, and looked at photos of my dad at work; pictures I'd never seen before.

***

The video was pretty cool. My dad worked in the same factory for forty-seven years. The company held a party for him, and several people spoke. My dad sat on the stage, looking uncomfortable as one after another praised his service. He doesn't like the spotlight. Yet, he pulled off a quick, witty or dry response whenever one was required.

Glennie narrated through it. She pointed out herself, and my brothers and sister, as they filed in. Brother 2 and family "were late, because they hit a deer," she explained. She pointed out for at least the 48th time that I was the only child not present. Eventually, the video ended. Glennie only made us watch about 10 minutes of the end part of the tape, which was an overhead video camera shot of the room and the the people filing out.

After the video, Glennie picked up her yellow sticky notes from the couch, putting them in order, and stood up in front of Matt, facing him.

"I didn't go to church this morning because of my bruised foot," she confessed to Mr. Wheeze, "but I watched two sermons on TV."

She proceeded to read her sermon notes to Mr Wheeze, while he sat there, dumbfounded. When she finished the first sermon, she began the next. I was counting yellow sticky notes, and as each one was read, I praised God because that meant one less thing Glennie would direct toward me.

When finished, she abruptly handed the notes to Mr Wheeze.

"Uhh, no, that's okay, you can keep them," he said.

"Are you sure? You can use these for your own sermon sometime. It's hard coming up with sermon ideas."

"Oh, yes, I'm sure. I can remember it."

"Mom," I whispered, and nodded my head at Mr Wheeze. "Believe me, Ma. He wants those notes." I nodded again, encouraging her.

Mr Wheeze gave me a look of death, then said, "So what do your other notes say, Mother?"

Startled, Glennie thanked him for reminding her.

"Okay," she began, her half-glasses perched on her nose, "First. Are the kids drinking enough water?"

"What?" I said.

"Are they?"

"Yeah."

"Okay. Next! Rosie says you should go to--oh wait, we talked about that one already. Okay, what day do the kids start school?"

It went on like that, twenty notes worth. Until it was time to say The Goodbyes. Which, for our family, isn't really as sad as it sounds, at all.

###

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Attention Readers!

Answers to all those right-winged Katrina accusations. Go get 'em, folks. And if you do well, I will try oh-so-hard to write about Glennie.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

she nice, the wheezus

I know y'all are waiting for the pants story, but every time I try to write it, I can only think of all those sandwiches we had when we weren't hungry. I wish like crazy we could send those sandwiches to NOLA.

I will write it when I get my funny back.

For now, please be outraged at our country's incompetence. And donate something to help.


Please help our people. And if you haven't cried yet...well, shake off your indifference and take a closer look at what has happened.

Peace.