Mom: OH MY GOSH!
Dad: What’s the matter?
Mom: There’s a bug in my wine! Ugh, that’s so gross.
Dad fished it out, and Mom took back her glass to rinse it and her mouth out in the sink.
Dad: Oh, it’s a little beetle.
Dad: To be fair, I can think of a lot of worse bugs to find in your wine.
Mom: It’s still gross.
Dad: It must have flown indoors and been attracted to the smell.
Ian: Must have been an alcoholic beetle.
Mom came back over, looking around.
Mom: What did you do with it?
Dad: Well, it looked like it was dead, so I just tossed it on the ground.
Dad: It was dead!
Mom: So a dead beetle belonged on our floor?
Dad: Fine, I’ll pick it up. It can’t have gone too far.
He pushed the coffee table and couch apart from each other, searching the floor.
Dad: Oh, it’s still alive. Oh, man, look how it’s walking! It’s just wobbling all over the place!
Me: You got a beetle drunk!
Dad: The beetle got fucked up!
Mom: Yeah, it would’ve gotten even more fucked up if I had swallowed it.
Me: We need to make sure it gets home safe.
So Dad put the beetle outside near the grass so it could sleep it off.
My family has a lot of clutter. It’s accumulated over twenty-some odd years of living together, and every once in a while, we get together to try to get rid of some of it. One of the biggest problem areas is the garage, and while every summer we say we’re going to band together to take care of it, it never actually happens. Until now.
Yesterday, my dad decided he was done with the mess, and so tasked my brother and I with taking care of it. He has work and Mom needs to study for a test, so we don’t have any help (meaning it will take forever and a day), but it’s something that needs to happen.
We worked on it for a little over an hour today, and in that time:
As the day wore on, the garage started getting very, very hot, so we gave up. We didn’t even get through a quarter of the stuff Dad had assigned to us, but I have high hopes that we’ll be able to do it. Hopefully before the spiders get to us.
Ian was supposed to go to his friend’s graduation party this evening, and Dad made the mistake of asking him if he wanted to bring a gift.
Ian: “Do you think he would want that shirt I mentioned he might want?”
Me: “Seeing as I’m not even sure what friend we’re talking about here, I’m gonna go with I don’t know.”
Ian, running upstairs to go get the shirt: “Well, we could get him a gift cart to Wal-Mart.”
Dad: “Nothing says I think you’re great like a gift card to Wal-Mart.”
Ian ran back down the stairs, holding up a black button-down shirt emblazoned with an orange car surrounded by flames.
Ian: “Do you think he’d like this?”
Me: “I’m not sure anyone would like that.”
Dad: “Well, it looks like it’s from Wal-Mart.”
Me: “Does he wear stuff like that?”
Ian: “He wears car stuff. Well, he likes cars, at least.”
Me: “I like painting, it doesn’t mean I like to go around in shirts with a bunch of paint splatters all over them.”
Ian paused to think about this for a few moments.
Ian: “So… Wal-Mart gift card?”
Mom and I were downstairs watching a movie when I heard a cat growl, and saw Tinkerbell chase another cat downstairs and out the open back door. I got up to look outside, because I though she and Jack had got into a fight and were about to resume, when I saw it wasn’t Jack; it was a grey cat we had seen hanging around our backyard before, and had taken to feeding.
Somehow, the grey cat had snuck past my mom and I, up the stairs (in full view, directly across from me), and had lounged upstairs for who knows how long before coming across Tink.
The grey cat ran off, and I pulled Tink back inside, where she began pacing around the house, searching for any more cats that had snuck in.
The next day, we were in the backyard cleaning it up/doing yardwork, when we spotted another cat. She was very friendly, and also decided she needed to go in through the open back door. Strangely, she wouldn’t listen when Ian and I tried informing her that this wasn’t actually her house, so we followed her in, trying to keep her out of trouble. She wouldn’t let us pick her up, but we managed to keep her from going upstairs or harassing the Tinkerbell. We were trying to sort out how to shepherd her outside when she froze, staring at Rudy, our turtle. She stayed there for a good minute before slowly backing away, and then turning and running out of the house.
The moral of this story is we really need to start keeping our door closed. Or maybe we should start planting catnip so we can have even more visitors.
Do you ever have one of those days where you just can’t seem to get things right? And you’re determined to have a good day, but you keep doing little things wrong, and they keep piling up, and it’s like the universe just looked at you and said: not today, bitch.
Today was one of those days.
I’m not going to go into everything that went wrong today, mostly because that would take too long, so I’ll just tell you about all the stuff I did wrong.
My mom and I were downtown at the hairdresser’s, and while I waited for her to finish up, she asked me to walk down to the sandwich shop to pick us up some lunch. It was during the hottest part of the day and I wasn’t exactly dressed for it—I was wearing flip-flops and I had run out of shorts, so I was in black jeans—but I figured since it was only ten minutes away, I would be all right. I had been there before, and I was pretty sure I knew where it was, so I started walking. Five blocks later, I still hadn’t stumbled across it, so I pulled out my phone/GPS to sort out where, exactly, this shop was. Turns out, I had been walking in the wrong direction all this time. It doubled my walking time, but I was determined not to let it phase me.
Cut to after dinner, when my mom and brother started parading around the house, searching for Ian’s lost phone. They’d been searching for a solid twenty minutes, growing increasingly frustrated, and had started searching for it in less and less probable places. Ian had gone upstairs to look for it, and I followed him to the laundry room, where I had a finished load in the washer. He started going through the dirty laundry, checking his pockets to make sure it wasn’t there.
Me: Crap. Did I…?
Me: No, never mind. I was afraid I might have put it through the wash, but I checked all your pockets.
He didn’t find his phone, so left the room to search for it elsewhere, leaving me free to finish the laundry. I pulled some clothes out, and I heard something metal scrape against the washer.
Me: Oh, no. No, no, no, please, no.
I removed most of the clothes, and there, buried in the back underneath some socks, was Ian’s phone.
I picked it up and put the battery back in, and it turned on! The screen was water-damaged and glowed rather strangely, but hey, it turned on, and that was half the battle.
Of course, Mom and Ian were still shouting back and forth as they looked for it, so I made my way downstairs, sporting what one of my friends has dubbed my “creepy (read: nervous) smile.” I explained the situation to them, and they found it very funny (which was good), and immediately jumped to put the story on various social-media type sites (which was less good). Ian ended up making a youtube video about it, because there’s nothing like immortalizing your mistakes and putting them on the internet for everyone to enjoy. Or laugh at. Something like that.
I firmly believe that cats make some of the best pets. Earning their love is deeply fulfilling, and overall, owning one is incredibly rewarding. That being said, there are times when the only words you can use to describe them are "little shits".
If you have cats that are allowed outdoors, you'll know that to them, the doors to the house are endlessly fascinating. They'll wait patiently in front of the doors to come in, acting as if there's no place on earth they'd rather be than inside the house... right up until you open the door. Then they turn around and run away. On top of that, they come back a minute later to do it all over again. After the fifth time in that many minutes, you swear you'll just leave them there, that you'll come back after you're done eating or whatever the cat keeps interrupting (because they only do this when you're busy). Then, of course, your cat starts crying, and imitating a dog with their puppy-eyes, and you feel so bad that you cave and try to let them in. And they turn around and run away again.
Is it some sort of practical joke? Is this a game to them? Do they like watching their humans jump around and wait on them hand and foot? Or are they really that indecisive?
I came across a video that documents (if my experiences are anything to go by) the 10,000th time a cat has pulled this nonsense.
You'd think the solution would be to just leave the door open. This, of course, only causes the cat to disappear, right up until the time when you decide to close the door again, when the cat reappears and demands to be let inside.
After roughly four hours have passed, and you've promised the cat your firstborn child if they just stop toying with you and get in the damn house, they come inside.
Then you go through it all again the next time they want outside.
I came out of my room and started walking downstairs to double-check I had everything I needed for tonight’s dinner, when I spotted a massive spider on the wall right next to me. Naturally, I screamed—except it wasn’t a scream so much as a sad, dying animal noise—and the two of us immediately froze in a staring contest. I broke it off first, very calmly not running down the steps.
I thought I’d wait for my mom to come out of the shower so she could deal with it instead of me, but the spider started moving again.
Me: Don’t do it.
It started making its way towards my room.
Me: Don’t do it, don’t do it!
It ignored me.
Me: Fine. You leave me no choice, creep. Neither of us wants this, but now I have to take care of you.
Clearly, it didn’t think I was that big of a threat, since it kept moving towards my room.
Me: Quit moving, creepy little bugger! This will be so much easier if you just stop moving! Okay? I’m still gonna get you, and set you outside so hard and fast your little head will spin. So cut it out.
I’m pretty sure the spider’s next thought was: You’ll have to catch me, first.
At this point, I needed to gather a cup and a sheet of paper so I could handle it safely, so I had to take my eyes off of it for a minute. By the time I got back up to where I saw it last, it was gone.
Me: Oh, no. No, no, no.
I carefully searched the surrounding walls, stairs and ceiling, with no luck. I saw what looked like a bit of spider web on the ceiling, but no spider. Then, of course, my mom came out of her room, catching me glaring at the web.
Mom: What are you looking at?
Me: I lost a spider. I saw it, and I went to get stuff to take care of it, and now it’s gone.
I stepped back to get a wider view of the ceiling, but something brushed up against my shoulder. I screamed (again), whirling around to find the menacing laundry hanging there.
Mom started laughing.
Me: I think it’s gonna come after me, now.
Me: Well, last I saw it, it was crawling towards my room. And I was kinda trash-talking it.
She started laughing again.
Me: If I die in the night, you’ll know why.
A day later, I woke up with a massive spider bite on my shoulder. So far I have yet to develop superpowers, but I’ll keep you posted.
Where we live, the temperature can go up to over one hundred degrees during the summer, so I set out a bowl of water in the shade for any cats that might wander through our backyard. I let our cat, Captain Jack, out into the backyard, and watched him immediately go over to the bowl of water, where he just... sniffed it.
Me: What on earth are you doing?
Me, laughing: What, seriously? You’re not gonna drink it, you just want to sniff it?
He then turned up his nose.
Me: Wow. Traitor.
Then he walked away.
Me: Fine, whatever. The water was barely for you, anyways. It was really for any strays who might wander into our yard. Thank you for sparing more for them.
Me: He’s probably going off to drink out of a fountain somewhere. Traitor.
Then when mom and I left to leave for a movie, we saw Jack in the front yard getting dive-bombed by birds (again), and I felt kinda bad for calling him a traitor, even as a joke. Though not quite bad enough not to do it again.
I went in my parents’ room to ask Mom if she wanted me to make her breakfast, and she mentioned that she heard noises earlier and was wondering if it was my cat running around.
Me: Oh, it was probably me wrestling with clothing.
Me: There’s a student-run organization on campus, the equivalent of the GSA down here--
I stopped at the confused look on her face.
Me, hurrying to clarify: Oh, sorry. Gay-straight-alliance.
Her: Gotcha. I was thinking, Geological Society of America?
Me: Ha, not quite. Anyways, I didn’t really have the time to be involved with them this year, but a couple of my roommates were, so they helped keep me up-to-date with what was going on. They told me that the council was buying binders for people, and they asked me if I wanted one. Of course I was like, heck, yeah! You know, they normally cost, like, fifty bucks, so getting one for free was almost too good to be true, so I was really excited.
She stared at me for a moment.
Her: Wow. Fifty bucks for a notebook?
I busted up laughing.
Me: No, no, Mom, binders are clothing. You know, they bind your chest. They’re made out of special material so you don’t hurt yourself or warp your ribs.
Her: Ooh. I was like, what, is it plated in gold?
Me: I’m sorry, I keep forgetting you’re not familiar with the terminology.
Her: I don’t know about that, but you have to remember I’m a high school teacher; every morning I tell the kids, pull out your binders! Let me check them to make sure they’re organized!
The moral of the story is that it helps no one when words have multiple, vastly different meanings.
Ian: Do you remember that old computer came, Roller Coaster Tycoon?
Me: Oh, yeah. Do you remember how whenever you’d get a guest who didn’t like your park, you’d drop them in a pit? But you made it too deep and narrow, so you couldn’t get them back out again.
Ian: Or I’d drown them.
Me: Like, oh, you don’t like my park? That’s cool. You die, now.
Ian: I think I drowned one in lava, once.
Dad: Sometimes we’d just hear shouting from the office: Ian! You can’t drown people!
Me: It’s not a good way to solve your problems.
Dad: We were kinda worried about you for a few years, there.
Me: You were so mean to your guests.
Ian: I remember there was a guy who wouldn’t go on this one roller coaster because it was too scary, so I kept picking him up and putting him at the entrance, and when he turned around and walked away, I’d just put him right back.
Dad: Maybe giving you a game that let you play God wasn’t such a good idea.
Ian: Yeah… I think it’s a good thing I’m not God.
I have no idea what I'm doing.