My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

My Life in Service


“You know what kind of bread aliens like?”
“Stale bread. The staler the better.”
“You know what kind of tomatoes aliens like?”
“Tell me.”
“Green tomatoes!”

Dusty’s big on space and aliens and the moon these days. I’m not sure where this is coming from exactly but her brain works a mile a minute and since it gets sent up to Mars every night for a refresh, it could be that it’s been looking out the portholes on the journey and wondering to itself about the stars and planets it’s passing on the way up and back.

But, I’ll tell you. The kid is no dummy. She read to me last night – "The Great Steamboat Mystery" by Richard Scarry which I bought from the library book sale for fifty cents – and I swear, though its been a number of years since I’ve studied reading theories and such, that girl’s reading on a 2nd grade level. I kid you not. The only word she stumbled over was “though” which she read as “thought” – which ain’t bad in my estimation.

She has inherited her parents’ Reader Dork gene (a super double-whammy) but does not have the math skills of some other five year old (I’m think of AJ, Harri3t!) geniuses because that gene is hard to find in our pool. In fact, my grandmother was the only math genius in the family and that got flushed out when she produced my dad. And he can’t budget his way out of a burlap bag!

(no segue here)

Dusty recently created scenery for her Pooh Play – a drawing of grass and flowers and clouds - as a backdrop for Pooh (a small Pooh who use to be attached to a dreadful gift book. It drove toddler-Dusty nuts so I cut the book off and freed little Pooh), Kanga and Roo (Red’s kangaroo with a baby in the pouch), a general bunny for Rabbit and some other critters. We don’t actually own any Pooh merchandise (apart from small Pooh) so I forget who all’s in the stories but she puts on these little short Pooh skits every so often before she gets bored and moves on to something else.

(again, no segue)

I’m working on a couple of future entries but today and yesterday were filled with frustratingly long conversations with Tech Support because a database I use is not working (again). So, my time has been w-a-s-t-e-d and so is my brain. But not by drugs (though I could really use a beer right about now). Both subjects came out of a meme portia12 tagged me with. You know the one – you list 5 embarrassing things, etc. And I’ve been having a hard time coming with any I’d want to share. I mean, depression’s not really embarrassing per se. So, I had to go back in time. Back to a period of my life where I was cut adrift and searching. It was not long after my parents’ divorce and I became a latchkey kid with little homework and a lot of time on my hands since middle school let out at 2:15pm. So, I’ll talk about that soon if I can ever get this software crap resolved. The jist is what do the television show “Benson,” the show “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and singer Billy Joel have in common? Me. Stay tuned! I know you won’t be able to sleep at night figuring that one out. The theme of this future essay: I Was A Weird Kid. It’s true.

The other thing which isn’t so much embarrassing (though I guess if you are the opposite of me you might find my list to be embarrassing to admit) as it is just things that annoy the ever-living shit out of me. Like sounds. Sounds like nails being clipped, food being slurped, whistling, gum chewing, etc. Yeah, I gotta whole lot of those. Pretty great stuff, that.

Since I began with a Dusty quote, I’ll end with one.

“What’s your favorite thing?” Dusty asks me in the car. She is drawing a picture in a pad of paper.
“Pumpkin pie.”
“That’s not a thing! That’s a food!”
“It is, too, a thing.”
“No, it’s a food.”
[I have learned you cannot win these kind of arguments with Miss Black and White. Miss Literal Mindedness. Miss Always Right (gosh, now where does that gene come from , I wonder?]
“Well, then, I like to read books.”
“Okay, then.”
Finally satisfied, she draws a picture of me reading a book. Apparently she didn’t wish to draw a picture of me eating pie. Or draw a picture of a pumpkin pie. Whatever.

Again, the Mars brain. She is inscrutable! And, this should have interesting results: Dusty’s class is going to a classic movie theatre in the city next week – in fact, Auntie Amblus worked there for years wearing a flapper dress – to see “E. T.” I can’t wait to hear what her Mars brain thinks of the little space monkey!

Speaking of conversations I can’t win with Dusty, she insisted we hear funny songs this morning. I had the depressing – because I’m a glutton for punishment – Burt Bacharach/Elvis Costello “Painted from Memory” on the player. So that was ejected and “A Mighty Wind” was inserted. Dusty loves “Old Joe’s Place” but after that one,

“These songs aren’t funny. That’s not funny.”
“They’re funny to grown ups.” Explaining parody to a five year old is a losing battle.
“Well, they’re not funny to me. Put on ‘Rubber Biscuit’.”
Yes, your highness.

Because I live to serve.


3:33 p.m. ::
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