The Smokies: The Cabin Fever Diary Edition
February 6, 2011 in The Smokie Awards
Day 1: Hey, this isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s cozy. The pantry is full and we have popcorn, movies and chocolate chip cookies. To hell with housecleaning. I’m in my sweats and thick, white socks and we’re going to play some Go Fish! and then watch Shaun the Sheep in Off the Baa!
This is really pretty nice. No work, no school, no obligations. I’m making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and we’ll all waddle to bed with full tummies and sleep like babies. Bonus – no need to set the alarm – there’s a snowstorm!
Day 2: Little Penguino more than a little irritated with daddy for eating all the chocolate chip cookies last night. But that’s okay. We’ll get out the Play-Doh and and then read some books and – ow! who the fuck left that mother-fucking monopoly piece on the carpet? it almost cut through my heel! – gotta get some socks on.
Game number 361 of Go Fish! No one’s even saying “Go fish!” anymore; just shouting “Fish!” with the unspoken “mother-fucker” tagged on at the end. I’m so tired of playing games. I just want to sleep. What’s that, honey? No, we’re out of Dorito’s. Um, no, it was me; I ate them. I’m sorry. Hey, they were mine, too! Jesus, when’s it going to be bedtime?
Day 3: My head feels a little itchy, maybe I ought to take a shower? I probably ought to wash these sweats, too. Maybe later. Goddamn it, who left the milk out overnight? This is the fucking end, people. We have no more milk – I hope you’re happy! No one gives a damn because I’M the one who buys the groceries; no one else around here with a driver’s license has two working brain cells. Why do I have to be the one to do everything? Can anyone answer that simple question?
Hell, no. I get off this couch for no man. Why don’t you try making lunch for once? Do I look like I care if I’m being helpful? Do I? Do I? Oh, really? Well, you don’t look so hot, yourself. I know you are, but what am I? . . . I’ll mumble if I want to!
Day 4: ♫ Sweetheart? ♪ Breakfast is ready! ♫ Get your shoes on, it’s time for school! ♪ Bye, honey! ♪ I’m headed to work! ♫ See you tonight! Ahhhhh. Time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the Smokies.
And at the stroke of midnight, she carefully lifts the lid on a glass case, scoops up Robert Redford’s taxidermied body and coos: You, you are my one true love.
(Nominated by MilitantRubberDucky, seconded by NoDebutante, and DietertheMasseur piled on.)
I have a brothel in my basement and am taking piano lessons. I always wanted to play piano in a whorehouse.
You are not an idiot. Most women collect shoes. Ironically I own one pair of black clogs and one pair of brown clogs. I do have thirteen shrunken heads, however.
(Nominated by Blix, who thinks shrunken heads are funny. I blame it on too many episodes of Gilligan’s Island)
I love salmon and I thank you for all your hard work. We have a salmon hatchery near us and our kids get to watch the fish get cut open and their eggs taken and so on. This is okay according to one child since salmon are so ugly. The best part of the kids learning about the salmon is the song they sing which goes: eggs, alevin, fry, parr, smolt, adult (and then they do jazz-hands and scream) spawning!
(This makes most mnemonic devices blanch in comparison.)
ChillbearLatrigue/Egyptian Otter Stands Firm
Today, I am an otter.
(Nominated by GeodeJane, who is otterly besotted.)
There is nothing wrong with your computer monitor. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your computer monitor. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Otter Limits.
(Nominated by Penny Danger, who really goes for that type. The type who has this intro memorized, that is.)
@Zanz: I’ve never seen an otter attack, but they will chase a grown-ass man away from their young. I had a very good time watching my husband get owned by an otter.
Well, that’s a mom for you. It sounds like it was a good show watching your husband get chased.
When is that not a good time?
BJonston wrote:Looters suck. Mummies are cool. Quincy was awesome.Ankhs for the memories.
(Nominated by ChillbearLatrigue for obvious reasons that include clever and hilarious.)
I dreamt of a world that was dark and fetid. In a blind panic I sensed eminent danger. Salvation from certain doom came from the cat’s decision to get off of my face.
(I’m guessing thereafter the fetid cat was not fêted?)
(This, because it made me laugh.)
Weegee’s Bored/No Means No
Many of the 77% are older men who haven’t had sex since the Reagan Administration. They are fundamentalists for whom the opportunity to talk openly about vaginas and wombs is irresistible. This is their eroticism, and they justify it to what passes for a conscience as saving lives of unborn. Among everything else, they’re creepy.
(This, too, made me laugh until I remembered that I was getting a lot more sex during the Reagan administration than I am now.)
There was a power outtage during a frosty night that drove Benjamin Franklin and I, naked, into the same bed. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it (So is Ben).
(Is this code for saying you married a one hundred dollar bill?)
MilitantRubberDucky/You Can’t Marry a $20 Bill
I bet he fantasizes about his wife with another woman. I’m not sure how that plays into this argument, I just know that it does and that it is amazing.
(Nominated by Rene Sance. I’m going to take issue with the amazing part and just say sickly fascinating.)
There’s always a danger in waiting two weeks to do the Smokies in that there’s so much good writing on the Wordsmoker website that it becomes nearly impossible to pick just one piece that stands out among the rest. So I tried categorizing them. There was going to be the Iron Lung for Bravery and the Iron Lung for Badassery. And then, relatively late in the week, there was a piece that broke my heart at the same time it lifted me way, way up.
In the beginning, there was Ethel-Egg and her poignant AA in Twelve Steps with Ethel-Egg. I’ve heard AA stories of hitting bottom and listened to AA rhetoric all my life and never have I read words as tender and lovely as those in her piece about her struggles with alcohol and attending AA.
7. So. AA. Me and Mum walked in to the meeting holding hands, I was so scared to finally go to an AA meeting. Mum and I walked in and sat down. Everyone was looking at us. Cup of tea? Yes said Mum. No said me. Cos I’m so fucking tough. Ohh, no don’t do your nice fucking cup of tea shit you arseholes. I’m too tough for that.
8. The meeting started. Hello. Hello. My name is . . . I’m an alcoholic, etc, etc.
9. Everyone’s looking at me and Mum. The man who was leading the group said, “So, it’s nice to see you here,” looking at Mum, and she said, “Yes, I’m here supporting my daughter.” Everyone was like _______. There was an actual *sigh* sound; they weren’t expecting that. They thought that I was there for Mum.
10. But I was it. I had to say, yes, it’s me. And I put my face into Mum’s shoulder. Mum said, “Say your name, love.” I was so ashamed. Mum said, “Come on, love.” I said, “Mum’s come with me because I’m too scared to come by myself.
So, I’m reeling from Ethel’s confessions and along comes the inimitable Muskegharpy and her tour de force, As the Gurdy Turns: Life on a Commercial Troller. So, honey . . . how was work today?
I have less than a minute to get to the stern to stun and bleed the first King salmon slung on board. It’s gruesome, filthy work and I always manage to do it wrong–at least according to my husband. The shiny slab slides between my legs and I sit down on the fish to keep it from thrashing about while I beat it over the head with my gaff. When the King is finally still, I slide a knife behind its gill plate to bleed it out. My whole left side is spattered with blood. Dump the King into the slush tank. Run back into the wheelhouse to correct our bearing. Get back to the stern to bludgeon and bleed the next fish.
I turn on the wash down pump to clean the blood from the deck and purge the slush tank. Keeping fish in a tote full of clean salt water preserves the flesh until we can clean and ice them in the hold below.
I keep one eye on the lines, one on the depth sounder, one on the other boats, and one on the bitchy pump that works until it doesn’t. Back at the helm, sitting on our one chair, I slam my coffee. We barely get the lines back out before we have to pull them back in, plugged with fish.
After about the 10th fish, we are no longer civil. We pretty much scream obscenities at each other, the other boats, and the fucking fish. Lack of food is taking a toll. Between running from wheelhouse to the stern, I manage to cram a chunk of cheese and some Oreos in my face. I shove a granola bar and a Dr. Pepper at my husband between strikes. Then the pump quits and I have to wash down the deck with a 5-gallon bucket that I fill over the side. Nothing is fast enough or right enough for him. My knees are raw from kneeling over the side to fill the bucket.
Bloody fucking hell! Which brings me to my final Iron Lung winner, DietertheMasseur, who shows both courage and humor in the face of what used to be the scariest thing on planet earth in WHY I LEFT THE DREADFUL REVIVAL OF “COMPANY” AT INTERMISSION (In Wich an Anniversary Approaches, I Have a Midlife Crisis, and Several Axes are Ground). No whining, no self-pity, no regrets.
Anyway, the gist of all of this is that, because of my HIV status, I’ve spent the past twenty years with no idea whether or not I should be making long-range plans. For most of that time, I’d just given up on much of what I wanted to do with my life in terms of “the future.” Those things seemed to require unreasonable time commitments, so, y’know, I kind of gathered my rosebuds. When effective treatments came along, I didn’t do well on them at first: they had really, really terrible side effects and didn’t work particularly well for me. Then newer treatments came along, and suddenly I was in my late thirties and had, for the first time since adolescence, a measurable life expectancy. Surprise!
On the other hand, even if I died at a ripe old age, anything I wanted to get to before I died was kind of urgent. The clock didn’t stop ticking. I’m not a kid anymore, kiddo. This meant a complete rejiggering of almost everything: life priorities, long-range plans, and, yes, close personal friendships. Time, as the Petit Prince wisely observed, is really the only investment one ever makes. Standard midlife crisis stuff, really. Then, of course, came the sepsis, and the long-range was off again, but now it’s sort of back on again, so basically what do I know?
Thank you so much and confetti for Ethel-Egg, Muskegharpy and DietertheMasseur and the rest of we Wordsmokers. I feel like a better person just knowing you all. Speaking of which, daddy ChillbearLatrigue is up next time and I know you’ll save some funny for him.