Tails from the Checkout Line: Caught Between Planets

We’re on a budget trip – herding kids at the Super 8 in Decorah, Iowa.  Upon our arrival, to our horror, we realized that we’d forgotten our 4 month old‘s nookie.  Being in a budget frame of mind, the local Walmart seemed like just the ticket.  I found the relevant mouth attachments without much problem, then parked myself in the checkout line behind a mountain of a woman with countless 8-packs of toilet paper heaped precariously in her shopping cart.  The cashier was staring off into space, quite catatonic while the woman in front of me pawed noisily at the dried skin on her heel.  As usual, I selected the checkout line with some form of price check in progress.

I never found the google maps client to be of much use on my blackberry – it always seems so self assured, but is almost almost terribly wrong unless I’m building a route from points of interest so popular no one needs directions to or from them anyway.  But still it’s fun to watch the thing spin it’s wheels and bravely declare where it believes you are.  That’s what I did to kill the time while our price check ensued.

What I didn’t notice was what must have been a certain degree of gravitational pull generated by the Zeppelin of a woman gliding in behind me in line.  Kudos – her cart was filled almost entirely with vegetables.  My admiration for her dietary preference notwithstanding, the practical side of me began to fathom the ramifications of 1300 feet of vegetable eating colon.  I didn’t have to fathom long – I was enveloped in a toxic cloud faster than you could say f-r-o-m-p.  The cashier awoke from her coma with a furrowed brow and frenzied motions for a manager.  Suddenly she seemed inspired to move this line along.

My accusatory glance at what I believed to be the source organism behind me confirmed my suspicions – she quickly averted her eyes and feigned interest in the Joli twins, prominently depicted in some rag on the magazine rack.  Mountain lady in front of me stopped servicing her dried up heel and began to pat her brow with what appeared to be a heavily used kleenex tissue.  It’s amazing the noxious fumes didn’t set off some form of Homeland Security alarm.

The odor was penetrating and tenacious, and induced a doomsday torpor over all the  customers and cashiers in about a 40 foot radius.  I no longer took pleasure in tinkering with my blackberry, but instead prepared myself to ride out passage of the collective kidney stone that bound, we the damned, in a wretched fellowship of lost souls.

The sun rises, the sun sets.  And so too passed the rank shroud in due course.  I emerged from Walmart today a wiser but a sadder man.

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Belly buttons, chalk, and a warm taste in one’s mouth

Well, yesterday I somehow felt really invigorated to write in the blog.  Tonight I’m feeling uninspired, yet obligated to write – perhaps for the generations to follow, ’cause there’s a grand total of nada reading this blog as of yet.  I might try adding a few categories like “Nice Russian girl,” “Wholesome co-ed,” or “Ballerina body” to see if that makes a difference.

For lack of any real substance I’ll ramble about the days events. 

ACT I

I had a conversation with an old friend, well placed in a significant corporate heirarchy, who told me about a meeting he’d attended.  If memory serves it had something to do with a female lawyer leaving the company under good conditions, characterized, unfortunately, by the speaker as leaving with “a warm taste in her mouth.”  Unfortunate indeed.

ACT II

My wife was out  of town with her mother and our daughter, and arrived home about the same time I did.  She’d done a little shopping, and inevitably, that means our child ends up with another toy or some similar space occupying posession.  This time it was sidewalk chalk, and provided my wife and I showed absolutely unswerving attention for the duration of the play period, she had a ball.  The following is the layman’s guide to drawing pictures that meet our daughter’s specifications.  These are the top six an aspiring art entertainer for our daughter needs to be fluent in, as a minimum:

Ava People

“Gaga,” is of course grandma.  Mind you, my renderings are no masterpieces, especially given the fact that they are normally accomplished with my left hand while my right hand is trying to change a light bulb with our daughter tugging at my elbow.  But they’re still better than what you see above, which were drawn in the Windows Paint program with a touch pad for a mouse, with my laptop on my stomach as I reclined on the couch.  Given those conditions I’m quite proud of how they came out.Daddy looks like Satan, which is technically incorrect.  Everyone else is photo-realistic in the extreme. 

So we spent the afternoon drawing perhaps 6 or 7 of each of these on the driveway, per our little taskmaster’s specifications.  As of the other day there are “beeg” and normal sized versions of each, and our daughter was clear in her expectation along these lines.

ACT III

I’m really running out of momentum here, as you can see by the fact that my content is degenerating progressively into yuppee parent speak.  But grant me one more foray into this realm – which is a description of Ava’s belly button behavior.  It comes to mind because she was doing it almost frantically today as my wife and I labored on our obligatory family imagery in the 92 degree heat.  Her habit is to lift her shirt, look at her belly button and exclaim “Hi Em Em (belly button.”  Then, after a period of time, she’ll lower her shirt and say “Bye Bye Em Em.”

This caused my mind to wander, which is not recommended when rendering artwork for our daughter, because any departure from the image templates (as depicted above,) however subtle, is absolutely not tolerated.  But I couldn’t help but think the “Hi/Bye Bye Em Em” thing could be a useful device in meetings.  It could perhaps serve as a polite means to convey that a participant no longer finds value in participation.  That is to say, a conversation with one’s belly button is more productive than anything that could occur in the meeting.  I’ll have to try that and report back- or, if any of you readers beat me to the gun, more power to you.

Belly buttons, chalk, and a warm taste in one’s mouth

Well, yesterday I somehow felt really invigorated to write in the blog.  Tonight I’m feeling uninspired, yet obligated to write – perhaps for the generations to follow, ’cause there’s a grand total of nada reading this blog as of yet.  I might try adding a few categories like “Nice Russian girl,” “Wholesome co-ed,” or “Ballerina body” to see if that makes a difference.

For lack of any real substance I’ll ramble about the days events. 

ACT I

I had a conversation with an old friend, well placed in a significant corporate heirarchy, who told me about a meeting he’d attended.  If memory serves it had something to do with a female lawyer leaving the company under good conditions, characterized, unfortunately, by the speaker as leaving with “a warm taste in her mouth.”  Unfortunate indeed.

ACT II

My wife was out  of town with her mother and our daughter, and arrived home about the same time I did.  She’d done a little shopping, and inevitably, that means our child ends up with another toy or some similar space occupying posession.  This time it was sidewalk chalk, and provided my wife and I showed absolutely unswerving attention for the duration of the play period, she had a ball.  The following is the layman’s guide to drawing pictures that meet our daughter’s specifications.  These are the top six an aspiring art entertainer for our daughter needs to be fluent in, as a minimum:

Ava People

“Gaga,” is of course grandma.  Mind you, my renderings are no masterpieces, especially given the fact that they are normally accomplished with my left hand while my right hand is trying to change a light bulb with our daughter tugging at my elbow.  But they’re still better than what you see above, which were drawn in the Windows Paint program with a touch pad for a mouse, with my laptop on my stomach as I reclined on the couch.  Given those conditions I’m quite proud of how they came out.Daddy looks like Satan, which is technically incorrect.  Everyone else is photo-realistic in the extreme. 

So we spent the afternoon drawing perhaps 6 or 7 of each of these on the driveway, per our little taskmaster’s specifications.  As of the other day there are “beeg” and normal sized versions of each, and our daughter was clear in her expectation along these lines.

ACT III

I’m really running out of momentum here, as you can see by the fact that my content is degenerating progressively into yuppee parent speak.  But grant me one more foray into this realm – which is a description of Ava’s belly button behavior.  It comes to mind because she was doing it almost frantically today as my wife and I labored on our obligatory family imagery in the 92 degree heat.  Her habit is to lift her shirt, look at her belly button and exclaim “Hi Em Em (belly button.”  Then, after a period of time, she’ll lower her shirt and say “Bye Bye Em Em.”

This caused my mind to wander, which is not recommended when rendering artwork for our daughter, because any departure from the image templates (as depicted above,) however subtle, is absolutely not tolerated.  But I couldn’t help but think the “Hi/Bye Bye Em Em” thing could be a useful device in meetings.  It could perhaps serve as a polite means to convey that a participant no longer finds value in participation.  That is to say, a conversation with one’s belly button is more productive than anything that could occur in the meeting.  I’ll have to try that and report back- or, if any of you readers beat me to the gun, more power to you.