Friday, December 4, 2015

Don't Send a Man to Do a Woman's Job / RIP

My wife forgot to pick up a few items last night so she asked me to get them after work, as the list was in the car.

"Yes, Dear," I told her, not thinking.  And not thinking is the lever point upon which this entry teeters and wobbles, kind of like a see-saw with a large farm tractor on one side and a mid-size hippopotamus on the other.

They were out to get me today, although I have no idea who They are or why they wanted to get me. It certainly has nothing to do with my medication, which isn't the kind that calms the voices, although some suggest that kind would benefit me greatly. 

My flat tire light is screwing with me. Not in a quiet, sneaky way, no... it's more of an overt, cackly way; disclaiming responsibility and looking all innocent-like. Because of Philadelphia (The City That Ate Your Car), I've had to repair rims and purchase tires. One tire manages to want air about every week, down slightly from two weeks. Just for fun, another wanted some air - perhaps it was jealous. Now that the tires look and check out fine, the light is back on again. We have this incredibly handy compressor that plugs into the lighter socket and will blow up tires until the cows come home. Where the cows went and their manner of conveyance is a matter of pure speculation. Perhaps the cows (or the tires) just like watching me get the compressor out of the trunk and fill up tires, to the lovely tones of the car's warning beeper.. ssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh went the compressor. DING. DING. DING. DING went the beeper. It's the same noise that drives me insane when I unfasten the seat belt (the device that holds your dead body in the car after a crash).  So none of the tires needed air but at least I got dirty.

On the way home from work I hit a small bump. Normally this is not worthy of notice but this time the blue tooth adapter was in need of attention so it dutifully lept out of the socket, ruining my drive home music. I will confess to having NO patience for electronics, which is a bit of a shame, as I use them at home and for work. There's something about this happening in the car that sets me off like the fourth of July. The adapter becomes airborn, then I use it like a hammer driving nails into the dashboard, all the while screaming like a madman who really needs those medicines we discussed earlier. Even though it's cold outside and we all have our windows closed, everyone around me saw violent movement and got a monosyllabic vocabulary demonstration of immense proportions. Simultaneously I was hearing the voices (that I don't have) reminding me that we don't do this shit while driving. Fortunately this was a red light.

Once I reconnected the entire apparatus and reassured the phone that the blue tooth adapter was still connected to it and screamed a little less loudly, I was off with the green light.

It was in the grocery store's parking lot, after I tripped a few times on my double-tied shoelaces, that I realized what was about to happen. I was not born with psychic abilities, nor do the meds provide it. When I looked at the list, it was mercifully short, well written (my wife's handwriting varies wildly) and completely generic, composed entirely of her mental shortcuts. As she was not there, I couldn't not decipher her mental shortcuts. And let's face it - how accurate are men at figuring out what a woman wants, even if she is there to tell you in plain English? It's like those old spy movies, where the Secret Phrase identifies you to the other spy: "The elephant flies with the penguin at dawn."  Huh?


Before the University of Missouri marches and accuses me of sexism and White Privilege and demands that I be fired from my post as husband, I need to tell you that shopping does not belong to any specific sex: it belongs to one specific person who does the shopping. In this case, it's my wife. She knows Stuff. She knows how much Stuff there is in the house and how much Stuff needs to be purchased, as well as what kind of Stuff needs to be purchased. Unfortunately this is not properly communicated in the list she gave me, which was sitting in the open, where she left it (in the trunk, under the little black thing that barely functions as a spare tire, past the jack that even Albert Einstein cannot accurately place under the correct part of the car).

The first item was bread. This was so simple, even I could figure it out without too many mental gymnastics and potential high rates of failure. Next on the hit parade was butter. Butter probably makes an awful lot of sense to my wife, but to me it is a decision fraught with indecision, bordering on sheer terror. How much butter? What brand of butter? Salted or unsalted? Yellow or festive rainforest packaging? Half sticks or full sticks? Or it would be a trick, where she actually wants the yellow tub of "I Cant Believe You Call This Crap Butter Substitute."

Then it was time for potatoes. People who do not shop do not know the great variety of potatoes and their uses. You don't buy the russet potatoes for mashed potatoes. You do not buy the golden potatoes for chocolate pudding. And you do not, under any circumstances, buy the little ones for PI. They come in bags, you know. Bags of many sizes. Five pounds. Ten pounds. Oh My God, I Just Got a Hernia size. There is simply no way to grok this.

Lastly, thank heavens, is milk.  Unfortunately this is where things start to really fall apart, historically. And just as history is wont to be, they fell apart this time. I'd be a fool to think this would turn out any other way. I don't even know what happens with milk but there I was, standing, transfixed, like a pubescent boy in a whorehouse, only I didn't feel all that appreciative of the wonders and possibilities of milk. It might be that there are four huge walk-in doors of white liquid that bewilders my mind. One percent, two percent, three percent, four; lactose intolerant, local, four times the price and more! This was made even more difficult by the sizing.  Apparently I wanted the most top-secret of all milk products: the half gallon of milk. Plain old milk. Milk from a cow, with minimal processing and no indication that it was Organic on the brightly-colored label. Just f-ing milk, thank you very much.

Shaking my head, I went to the least crowded checkout line. This was one of three lanes open because no one in Manglement figured that people shop at five o'clock for dinner or anything. I should have known the shortest line was pure illusion and was not disappointed: the line was at a complete halt, as the lady in front of me had already paid but was putting each item in what looked like handkerchief rollups she brought for this very purpose, as her home planet does not permit plastic bags.

I rolled the cart up to the automatic door, which failed to open. This begs the question of what kind of entity I am that is not recognized by automatic doors. Perhaps They stopped it from operating as intended, I dunno. I parked said cart carefully so it did not roll itself into traffic, no matter how amusing this would have been. The cars don't stop for people, no less carts.

By the time I got home, I needed an extra half hour to figure out how to carry five heavy plastic bags and my briefcase in one trip. This is because I'm a man and men don't make more than one trip. And trip is what I did - have you ever seen anyone trip up the steps? The bags did not break as they usually do when I carry them, so I was in luck, right up til they started to catch on random knobs, doors, pets, and the odd elephant in the house (not a pet).

After I tripped, again, on my double-tied shoelaces, I sat down to type this out. It's therapy, no matter how many tell me I should seek a much more effective (and expensive) type of therapy.


Scott Weiland (48), original singer of Stone Temple Pilots, died in his sleep last night, on a solo tour.  This is definitely a bad way to find out the rest of your tour is cancelled. Scott suffered from bipolar disorder, which probably drove his serious issues with alcohol and drugs.  Rest in peace, you brilliant, stupid son-of-a-bitch.

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