Some days you realize from the very start you need to dig a foxhole and hunker down for a shirt-storm with only one “r” in it. Today was like that by breakfast time. Yes, that was the start of it… breakfast… and I didn’t even talk about religion or politics… no, not even once.
I pulled myself up out of bed in spite of an extremely upset stomach (I must’ve gotten up in the night, sleepwalking, and gargled carbolic acid or something). My head was clogged and full of cotton, making thinking a rather foggy prospect. But I remembered what the Princess had asked for at breakfast. Yesterday’s scrambled eggs had been a source of trouble… and a source of extra poop-fuel for the dog’s amazingly active poop-factory. The Princess had complained that the eggs yesterday were too squidgy to eat. They apparently were under-cooked because we were all running late yesterday and I had tried to feed her Frosted Flakes instead of eggs, for which I rapidly got tongue-whipped and had to start the breakfast short-order cycle all over again. So today I remembered that yesterday she had given me license to burn them today. Black eggs and ham… so to speak. I even remembered that Henry, the middle child, prefers sausage for breakfast. Number one son is being fed by the Marine Corps, so that saves on half the contents of the entire refrigerator. So I juggled the cookware and made both sausage and scrambled eggs without making the eggs too squidgy… they were only slightly dark brown on one side… in only one frying pan. I even got breakfast on the table ahead of schedule.
But that’s when the fun started. I had only stepped on the dog once during cooking (she insists on being no further than nose-touching-feet distance from me when I cook, and getting stepped on increases her chances of food being dropped, and she firmly believes that if she only eats enough people food, she will become a people too and be able to work the refrigerator and the can-opener for herself). But the dog had the Jimmy Dean Sausage wrapper on the floor at the top of the stairs and was busy licking the smell and all the color off it. As I was going back and forth to bedrooms to awaken the eaters for school, I managed to trip over her with both feet. I didn’t actually hit the floor, or fall down the stairs, but I got a wooden sliver in the palm of my right hand from the wooden railing on the stairs. It hurt. And I didn’t have time to get it out until after kiddoes were delivered to the proper school (each one in a different school, of course). So, grinning through the pain, it was onward through breakfast. I ate my Raisin Bran. The Princess did not eat the eggs… they were not squidgy this time, but she just wasn’t hungry. She said she had the heebie jeebies from it being Friday the Thirteenth and had lost her appetite. I asked her if I couldn’t just take a BB gun and kill the heebie jeebies with BB’s. She had to top that, of course, so she vowed that I could not kill heebie jeebies with BB’s but if there was a Chibi baby in the house, I could kill the Chibi baby with BB’s. (She is into Japanese anime and Chibi is a word that here means one of those annoying little deformed dwarf characters from an anime episode that signals a sense of mischievous menace in the goofy anime character-thingy). Whatever. No more eggs were going into the dog’s poop mill. I covered them in cellophane and put them back in the fridge.
And my son ate his sausage and promptly returned to bed. He was too ill to go to school… but he is at that precious precocious age where the teenager will put off dying until after the sausage has all been eaten. So besides hand surgery, a call to the attendance office of the high school was also on my to-do list. I packed the Princess in the old Ford pony and galloped off with her to the middle school and returned home just in time to deal with ducks in the road. Yes, I said ducks! Every year, at about this time, the same pair of migrating mallards come nosing around our defunct and mostly-water-less cracked swimming pool. They have chosen our defunct pool as safe place to build a nest (even though grandpa is from the Philippines where they have a dish called balut, made of nearly-hatched duck embryos. Grandpa loves his balut.) But these mental-midget ducks were now lounging on the actual street. And Southern Oaks is a busy street during rush hour. The cars were zooming past at above-the-speed-limit speeds, only inches from the stupid male mallard’s stupid green head. I honked the horn. I parked. I got out of the car and walked over to see what was wrong with the stupid duck that wouldn’t take wing even when I honked. He has no self-preservation skills. (Why is it always the male animal?) I shouted. I waved my hands. I ran at him and stamped my foot. Still nothing. Then… my ill stomach gurgled. That scared him and made him fly away. A future duck-shaped road pizza, that one!
So, I finally had time to be sick and go back to bed. But, of course, it is still Friday the Thirteenth, and I have not dug a foxhole yet.
Today’s Paffooney Cartooney is Mandy Panda and her son Henry… You guessed it, actually my wife and middle son in cartoon form. Pandas from the Pandalore Islands because my wife is from the Philippines but has Chinese eyes. My wife had already left for her teaching job at the point where most of today’s joy took place.