Monday, January 16, 2012

Stinky, Stinky, Stink

Hub and I go into a shop in town.  Rather quiet in there.  Only a couple of clerks -- one behind the till, another washing the floor with a mop.

A smell permeates the air.  A floral, lemony, breezy, freshy smell with a kind of soapy tang.  It tingles our noses.  Maybe we unconsciously screw up our faces a bit.

With a sniffle, the clerk says, "I know.  I know.  Too much 'clean stink' in here for anyone!"

I pay for a few purchases and Hub and I go the the vehicle.  I toss my shopping bag on the console.

"What did you buy?" Hub asks

"Warm mitts and gloves," I reply.

"Oh for cryin' out loud," Hub says.  "That wasn't necessary.  There is a box of gloves and mitts in the basement."

"I know.  But for so many of them one is missing and those blue gloves I've been wearing?  Those stupid thinngs are both for the same hand.  That's why I bought new ones."

"Don't you know how to fix that?" Hub asks.

"Well, yeh, I guess.  I can wear them anyway.  Up to now that's what I've been doing but I find it annoying and uncomfortable to wear two gloves for the same hand."

Hub laughs.  "Don't you know if you turn one inside-out, it will fit the other hand?"

I sniff.  Maybe unconsciously wrinkle my nose a bit.

"Too much 'smart stink' in this vehicle for me!

So with a slightly different take that obliquely parallels what my mother used to say after a lovely meal...

That was stink enough to leave me sufficiently suffonsifized to the point where anymore would be superfluous.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Scrabble Enigma

Since childhood, I and my clan and many of my friends have engaged in Scrabble games.  And since time immortal we have done so on the old cardboard game board.  And what grand visits and conversations we had while doing so. 

Even though there are scores to calculate and record, a bag to be passed, tiles to be drawn, (and counted while doing so).  There is the to and fro-ing of the dictionary to look-up words like “cwm” or "udo" to see if such a bizarre combination of letters could really be words. 

And then there is the outrage of  “Roll up your sleeves for pete’s sake!…following by a gasp and sigh and then the concerted brainstorm among all participants to return the tiles to their original positions.   

And this is generally followed by a tutorial to demonstrate the difference between a sleeve roll-up and a sleeve-shove. 

And so we are busy, very busy it would seem, but still amazingly in the midst of all this other activity, the game goes on at a steady and stimulating pace.

And so when opponents come to visit, I say to them…
“Would you prefer to play on the computer or on the old-fashioned board?”

And for a very few times, they generally say “Let’s play on the computer -- it’s probably faster.  We won’t need a dictionary and no one has to do the abominable task of keeping score.” 
And so we go to comfortable chairs at the computer and Hub even sets up extra mice so each player will have their own. 

But this is where the insidious and mystical thing happens.  The participants seem reluctant to visit.  The game is played in some kind of reverent, or should I say, irreverent silence. 

All those things I mentioned previously (i.e. passing the dictionary round, drawing letters, counting tiles, sleeve tutorials, scoring, etc.) are not interrupting our game and the game is going smoothly --- but oh so silently.

Yet amazingly, either way the game seems to go as quickly. 

But when the grandchildren come, they like to play Scrabble and yes, although they be tied 24-7 to their electronic hand-helds, they shut them off, put them aside, and positively insist that we play on the board rather than the computer. 

And this is where, in the midst of some kind of magical trusting openness, I find out so much about their moods, frustrations, school, and their day-to-day lives. 

I think the silence of a computer-game is embedded in the insidious psychological effects of electronic devices overall.  But I am mystified, and as yet have not encountered the research paper that seeks to explain it. 

Perhaps you might?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Toilet Paper Management 101

As you are, by now, well aware -- Hub and I are retired, we live in the country, and many days there is nothing that occurs in a 24-hour to pleasure our senses.  This can drive one to derive pleasures from things in ways that to others, in a more active and stimulating environment, appear completely immature and idiotic.  And that is what leads to this next story.     

Now it just so happens, that Hub sometimes goes to town thrice in one day.  For fuel, tire, batteries, …or just to take the puppies for a drive, but despite the oft-taken trips to town, Hub will not take with him even the shortest list of food or cosmetic items I may need.  He will pick up a prescription, or gladly fulfill a 23-item list of mechanical or hardware items.  He might even grudgingly go to the bank or pick up the mail, but groceries or cosmetic shopping is out. 

But this week, the need was critical.  When we were in town together I went to the grocery store, while he went to the drugstore to pick up a prescription.  Before he went his way and I mine, I told him toilet paper was on sale at the Drugstore and we needed to get some.  “So while there,“ I said, “could you just grab a couple of packages.“ 

He grudgingly said he would.

But, of course, when we got home, I discovered he had not bought the T.P.

Yesterday, when I opened the T.P. cupboard in the bathroom to get a new roll, there were only three rolls left, actually two after I replaced the empty roll. 

So when he announced, a short time later, that he was going into town to check out some hardware on sale I said, “Oh, good.  And while there you can pick up the T.P. you didn’t pick up when we were in town the other day.” 

“Okay,” was his response.

Now Hub does have my sympathies.  I know how frustrating the paper-aisle can be.  With shelf tags that one can never be certain if they match the item above or below the tag.  And each brand making 23 different kinds -- lotion laced, unlaced, double, mega, regular, big carboard centres, small centres, quilted, pillowed, woven, etc. etc.

So, I was sympathetic and not too surprised when Hub came home with a 12-pack and said, “I don’t think these were on sale though they were above a sale tag.  I think someone just deposited them there by way of exchange when they noticed the sale stuff.  I paid an arm and a leg for these.  Probably averages out to $3.50 a roll.”

I was only half-listening to this rant cause I know how frustrating the paper-aisle can be. 

Now this morning, I checked the cupboard to see if the T.P. was properly put away and in doing so, I remembered what Hub said about how expensive that T.P. was and reached out a figure tip to feel the texture of the T.P. he had bought.

Something that felt like an electric current made me quickly pull my hand back.  And something else made me reach out and touch it again.

I came to the kitchen for coffee. 

“You know, Hub, I have to tell you something about that T.P. you bought.  I felt it this morning -- well you know, just to see how it felt.  And you know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you are totally overjoyed, or that tingle you get in your spine when you hear really fine music?  That’s what happened when I touched that T.P.  Fine, mighty fine.

So now, since you are going back into town today, you will need to pick up something else.  Go to the Drugstore and see if they have regulatory pills, meaning pills that will ensure we only need to go once a week.  You know, something, that works like those birth control pills that allow women to suspend their menstrual flow until after the beach party. 

And since they are always advertising pills for people who urinate too often (maybe get some of those while you’re at it)…they must have something for those who do the other too often.  In the meantime, the eating of cereal or yogurt with enzyme-activated biotic cultures are suspended. 

And we are both on a diet of strictly rice and cheese until the all-too, way-too, expensive T.P. is used up.