The Box Called X
I haven’t seen my husband in weeks. He’s been replaced by a look-a-like troll that spends his evenings below sea level playing X-Box. This happens to Chris from time to time. Days, weeks will go by when I don’t see him and only know he’s in the house because a faint light and the sound of machine gunning emanates from the basement. I don’t really mind. It’s his time, and, after all, he’s on workout break. I’m not that lucky, and I still have to fill my evenings with training and the rituals and requirements of daily life, like laundry, getting the mail, preparing meals - things that I’m not even sure would cross Chris’ mind if he were left to his own devices because it seems like the only device he’d find would be in the basement with forward, backward, shoot, kill buttons emblazoned with X-Box. Give it another week or so and he’ll be bored or will have beaten the game. Either way, I can’t help but think there must be some detriment to spending some much time below sea level. Is it like training at altitude. Will it work in reverse? Will his red blood cells actually get smaller, less capable of holding oxygen or forming intelligent thought? Only time will tell.
I Am A Survivor
The other night I called Comcast. It was Wednesday night, the only night I sit down to watch tv. So I sat down, I turned on the tv, and nothing. Blank. Empty. Flipping channels, through about all 10 that we have, and black staticky darkness filled the screen. How could this be? It’s Wednesday night, it’s Survivor rerun night on OLN, and we are getting down to the critical last days of Survivor Palau and I absolutely must know who gets voted off next and how. I sat on the couch in disbelief, turning the tv on and off, figuring that eventually I had to see something, anything. After 10 minutes of nothing, I got fired up and decided to call Comcast. And a recorded voice informed me that they were aware of an outage in my area. End of call. That did not reassure me. When would it come back on? How long would I have to wait? Where else could I go to get my fill? I kept busy with some housework, knowing that all of my island friends were busy scheming and plotting without my watchful eye. After another 10 minutes, I tried again and to my delight there they were, Katie, Gregg (why two “g”’s?), Jen, Tom, Ian. Oh, hello stranded island friends fighting for a million dollars, I thought. I’m back, I’m sorry I was late.
Awhile ago, I was sitting around the kitchen table with my relatives when I noticed something on my future brother-in-law’s arm.
“Is that a chicken?” I asked, curiously pointing to the tattoo on his upper arm.
“No,” he said firmly, lifting up his sleeve to reveal what again looked like a chicken, “it’s a fighting cock.”
I looked at the closely at the tattoo, skeptical, wondering if there was an anatomical difference between a chicken and a….cock. After close inspection, I could not detect any discernible difference. Sure, it was tricky, with the cock wearing fightin’ clothes and all, but underneath them fightin’ clothes was a pure bred, white meat chicken.
“You mean a fighting chicken,” I said, pointing out to him that cock equals chicken no matter how you look at it.
“Fighting cock,” he threw back at me confidently, almost too confident for someone that has poultry tattooed on their arm.
“Fighting fowl,” I said, agreeing passive-aggressively to disagree. While I won’t admit it is a cock, I will admit that it is a type of fowl, just like a chicken.
Last Saturday was the annual conference of our monthly wine club. Bob and Brenda graciously offered to host a festive party at their house with wine, food, and lots of friends.
A few of us were upstairs when were heard someone screaming something about fire. A few minutes later, Bob emerged in the kitchen looking for an ice pack with a hole in his shirt and a spectacular story to tell.
Bob was talking with a woman he had never met before. Since it was his house, and he had a few drinks, of course he struck up a conversation. Apparently, after a few minutes, he started feeling hot.
“Let me ask you something,” Bob asked, turning around, “am I on fire?”
Indeed Bob was on fire. Inadvertently, he had leaned up against a table with a candle and his shirt had caught fire.
With Bob turned around, the woman was immediately prompted to start screaming, “Oh my god, you’re on fire! STOP, DROP, and ROLL! STOP, DROP, and ROLL!”
At that suggestion, Bob did stop, dropped, and rolled on his living room carpet, leaving a black singe mark in the spot where he put the flames out.
When he came upstairs, all that we saw was a surprised Bob and a large hole in the back of his shirt.
For Chris, Meredith, and I, this did not surprise us. After all, Bob was the guy who one year on Ragbrai backed over his bike with the van. So, setting himself on fire? You expect no less from a guy like Bob.
The rest of the night, after we determined that Bob was unscathed other than some red marks on his skin and after he changed his shirt, the group giggled about the incident and someone appropriately christened him Shish Ke-Bob for the rest of the party.
On Thursday night, I told Chris I signed up for next year’s Blackwater Eagleman 70.3.
Tentative, he asked, “Are you trying to steal my thunder?”
I couldn’t blame him. It was not the usual hot, hilly half-Ironman course that I preferred.
“I just figured if one of us was traveling to Maryland, we might as well both travel to Maryland,” I explained, logically.
“Maryland?” he asked, “What’s in Maryland?”
“The race,” I replied, a little confused.
“No, the race is in Ohio,” he asserted with confidence.
“No it’s not,” I answered, knowing that my geography skills were likely far more superior, “It’s in Columbia.”
“Yeah, Columbia, Ohio,” he stated.
“Columbus is in Ohio,” I explained. “Columbia is in Maryland.”
He paused. Complete silence.
“I was wondering what the big deal about the race was,” he commented. “I thought what’s the big deal about racing in Ohio? It’s only a day’s drive away.”
I quickly pointed out that indeed the big deal was that it was in Maryland, about a 12 hour drive away.
“Oh,” he said. This clearly added a whole new level to this race that he had not expected.
Feeling like he had not yet felt the full folly of his mistake, I added, “And since when could you find a brackish river within Ohio’s watersheds?”
He laughed at that one. In fact we both did. It was a silly mistake, and a funny mistake. It was one of those mistakes that made two people laugh and reminded us that we are all human after all.