I Fear The Eagle

I don’t know why, but the Internal Revenue Service strikes fear into my heart.  It’s weird.  I mean, hell, I’m Canadian.  I have a justifiable wariness toward the Canada Revenue Agency, but the IRS shouldn’t even be on my radar, right?

Wrong.

Maybe it’s because of my innate problem with authority figures.  Maybe it’s just from watching too much U.S. television during my misspent youth, or maybe it’s the fact that the eagle in their logo issues a subliminal promise to cheerfully rip out my entrails and snack on them.  For whatever reason, the IRS scares me worse than the CRA.

This wouldn’t be a problem if, like most Canadians, I never had to deal with the IRS.  But when I published my books, I began to receive royalties from none other than the U. S. of A.  Which meant I had to creep out of my comfort zone and confront The Eagle.

Navigating the government forms didn’t bother me – after years of dealing with legal contracts and business documents, the red tape felt comfortingly familiar.  But then, completed forms in hand, I had to actually phone the dreaded IRS.

Knees knocking, mouth dry, I dialled with a trembling hand.

When the agent answered I nearly hung up in a funk.  Unlike CRA agents who answer with their first names, IRS agents identify themselves with intimidating formality as ‘Ms./Mr. LastNameOnly’, and then they spew out a big scary-sounding number.

When I managed to summon my voice and explain what I needed, Miss Weebles turned out to be efficient, friendly, and helpful despite her long scary number.  My questions were answered, my account was quickly set up, and I hung up thinking, “It can’t be that easy.”

But apparently it was.  Several years passed without incident and I gradually overcame the fear that the IRS was lurking around the corner waiting to swoop down and gut me.

Then last week I had a terrifying thought:  I’ve never filed a US tax return.  I don’t owe anything since I pay income tax on my royalties to the Canadian government, but here in Canada you still have to file a return every year even if you don’t owe anything.  What if the IRS required that, too?

Ohmigod.  The IRS was finally going to get me.

Cue up the telephone scene again, with me looking even more scared than before.

I got a male agent this time, which somehow seemed more ominous.  Mr. Hartman snapped out his name and his long scary number and I nearly fainted before managing to stammer out my question.

And everything was fine.  Miss Weebles had done a bang-up job, everything was in order, and I don’t need to file US tax returns.  Mr. Hartman was pleasant and friendly.  He even joked a bit and was kind enough to ask about my books.

I hung up the phone with a feeling of unreality.  Has my fear been completely unwarranted all these years?  Or is the IRS just lulling me into a false sense of security before they unleash The Eagle?

Or am I just a paranoid freak?  (Never mind; don’t answer that.)

* * *

P.S. The new cover art is ready for Book 1!  At first glance it looks the same, which is what I wanted… but it’s all in the details. Now it’s a middle-aged woman, the gun is actually a Glock (though not the correct Glock 26 because it’s prohibited in Canada), and I own the images.  No more stock photos, woohoo!  It’s a slow process, but I hope the cover art will be updated for all the books within the next couple of months.  Here’s the new Never Say Spy cover:

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Where’s Diane?

I’m on vacation!  Can you guess where?

crown isle gc

The perfume of hyacinths floating on cool misty air was absolutely sublime!

raindrop tree

Even the raindrops are beautiful!

dinner

Don’t worry, I haven’t turned into an oenophile – I had my beer for an appetizer. Counterclockwise from top: Painted Turtle Sauvignon Blanc from Oliver BC, Salt Spring Island mussels provençale, pan-fried Fanny Bay oysters, Greek salad. Yum!

shells

I’m usually not much of a shell-picker, but I’ve never seen a moon snail shell in such good condition. This one’s nearly four inches in diameter.

ice cream

Caught in the act, ice cream cone in hand. But you wouldn’t expect any less, would you?

Ready to guess?  If you said “the west coast”, you’re right!  The first two photos were taken at the Crown Isle golf course clubhouse in Comox, BC.  The food is from Deez Bar and Grill in Qualicum Beach, BC, and that’s me on the shore of the Salish Sea, ice cream in hand.

We’re on Vancouver Island for the week, soaking up some humidity and smelling the flowers while it snows in Calgary.

Our hotel is right on the shore, and from our window we’ve already seen harbour seals, a sea otter, bald eagles, common loons (the avian variety, though we’ve seen a few of the human sort, too), and thousands of surf scoters, black scoters, white-winged scoters, greater scaups, harlequin ducks, and of course, seagulls.  Herring roe is lying in drifts along the shore, and the washed-up seaweed looks as though it’s been encrusted in yellow pearls.  (Fortunately it’s not smelly.)  I’m envying the stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers, but I’ll save that adventure for another trip.

We have lots of day trips planned, but we always have to go to one of my favourite places in the world:  Cathedral Grove.  This little pocket of old-growth forest is right off the Alberni Highway (#4), an enchanting few acres of giant trees that are hundreds of years old.  No matter how often I go there, I still stand in awe.

cedar

Just in case you thought I was using a bit more artistic license than usual when I described hiding inside a cedar tree in Book 10 (oops; correction:  Book 9.  I’ve got Book 10 on the brain!)… there’s room to hide an entire baseball team in here!

big tree

Here we are in front of the tree that BC Parks has designated the biggest, though there are several others close to this size. Notice the “small” tree lying behind us – it’s actually the top of a fallen giant, only about 5’ in diameter at that point.

big tree sign

Kinda puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it? This sign was placed around 1992, so that means the big guy is coming up on his 900th birthday.

Yesterday we made it to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre and the World Parrot Refuge, and still on our to-do list are trips to Englishman River Falls, some wineries, and any other interesting side trips that catch our eyes in passing.

And best of all, the weather has been perfect so far.  As the joke goes, “Weather is here; wish you were beautiful”.

Hope you’re having a good week – we are! :-)

* * *

P.S. We’re out and about this morning, but I’ll be back to reply to comments later tonight or tomorrow morning.  “Talk” to you then!

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Rude Awakenings

My husband deserves a medal.  Not just for putting up with me on a daily basis (which in itself is medal-worthy), but for daring to sleep in the same bed as me.  That’s an undertaking for none but a brave man.

I sleep well, but lightly.  Some little corner of my subconscious always has an ear open, and my entire body is ready to leap awake at the slightest provocation.  This is a problem, because there are lots of slight provocations during the night.

Dreams, for example.  Depending on their content, it’s entirely possible that I might kick, punch, scream, or laugh myself awake.  The laughing dreams are the best – I dream of something so hilarious that I’m laughing my ass off in my dream, only to wake with a guffaw.  The kicking and punching dreams are another matter.  I haven’t made contact with Hubby yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I’ve farted myself awake, too.  There’s nothing worse than bolting up in bed in the middle of the night thinking, “Ohmigod, something just came out of my ass!  Did I just shit the bed?”  (BTW, I never have.  Just sayin’.)

Back when I had cats, I frequently woke up already on my feet and halfway out the bedroom door, dashing toward a location pinpointed in my ever-alert brain by the sound of a cat horking up a hairball.

I wake at the slightest noise from our back alley, which is annoying because there’s a green space near us and people, especially teenagers coming back from parties in the wee hours, tend to walk and talk boisterously there.  I’d swear those voices are coming from just beyond the foot of the bed.

But the most dangerous situation for Hubby is this:  sometimes I snore.  That puts him in the unenviable position of trying to rouse me enough to make me stop snoring without actually waking me.  It’s a losing battle.

The other night I lurched up in bed with a yell, eyes wide and fists clenched.  Hubby recoiled.  “I just barely whispered your name,” he explained.  “I only wanted you to stop snoring.”

Clutching my chest over my hammering heart, I snapped, “Well, it worked!”

But the rudest awakening I’ve ever had was years ago when I was living alone.  I owned a little two-storey crackerbox of a house with no air conditioning.  There was a giant poplar tree in the back yard, which was great because I could leave the second-floor bedroom window and curtains open at night to get a breeze without worrying about privacy.

I was blissfully asleep one night when a hellish racket and a glare of brilliant light rocketed me out of bed to find the police helicopter hovering with its spotlight trained on my back yard.

That was seriously disturbing because it meant they were looking for a criminal and s/he was too close to my house for comfort; but equally disturbing was the fact that they were looking in my bedroom window with a spotlight bright enough to reveal every detail of my birthday suit.

I think that was around the time I started keeping a set of clothes within reach of the bed…

What was your rudest awakening?

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Great Balls Of Portent

Every now and then I think to myself, “Diane, maybe it’s time you grew up. Seriously, you’re a fifty-year-old woman. Don’t you think it’s time you stopped snickering at farts and tasteless double entendres? Even teenagers aren’t as dirty-minded as you.”

And just about the time I take a deep breath and decide to squelch my baser nature and write nothing but G-rated blog posts forever more, something like this appears:

An anatomically correct building. And it’s Canajen, eh?

An anatomically correct building. And it’s Canajen, eh?

Yes, that is a real building: Newmarket Health Centre in Ontario, Canada, kindly brought to my attention by the CTV news team: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/aerial-view-of-anatomically-correct-newmarket-health-centre-sparks-jokes-worldwide-1.2254688.

I don’t care how innocent and/or politically correct you are, there’s only one thing that building resembles.

It was built in 1951 and nobody seems to recall who the architect was. He (I use the male pronoun because it seems the most probable) just couldn’t have drawn up those plans without recognizing the likeness. And the terracotta-coloured scrotum is the biggest joke of all – there’s no way that was accidental. It sticks out like a sore… um… never mind.

The architect probably thought he was safe in perpetrating his practical joke. After all, there was no Google Earth or satellite view available to the general public in the 50s. But now his puerile sense of humour is, erm, exposed, for all to see.

I think it’s hilarious, but remember I was innocent in this. I didn’t go looking for the likeness on my own – even I am not so twisted that I scour aerial maps in the hope of finding suggestively-shaped buildings. Nope; fate just dumped this article in my lap. So to speak.

Coincidence, right?

I think not.

Exactly a day after the Newmarket Man showed up in my news feed, my friend Chris sent me this:

Words fail me… Okay, no. It just begs for words.

Words fail me… Okay, no. It just begs for words.

Yes, they’re billed as “the tastiest balls you’ll ever put in your mouth”. And if you want to try ‘em, the recipe is here:  http://www.mtlblog.com/2015/02/poutine-poppers-are-the-mini-mouthgasm-you-need-to-eat-now/#

Needless to say, the tagline incited a few comments, largely focusing on the quantity of comparative research required in order to authoritatively apply the superlative. (Or, as we boorish types put it: “How many balls has he actually tasted?”)

Again, there’s really no polite and wholesome way to take this. Unless you were raised in a social vacuum by a Victorian nanny, a tagline like that is going to make you laugh. Or choke, I guess.

But my point is this: These two items popped up completely unsolicited, only a day apart, immediately after I’d considered cleaning up my act. They’re clearly a message from some higher (or probably lower) power: A clean mind just isn’t in the cards for me.

Since omens frequently arrive in threes, I waited with bated breath to see if fate would offer me any more family jewels. But, nope; that was it for this week.

When I think about it, though, I guess it makes sense. Balls generally come in pairs.

Did you get any portents this week?

P.S. I just realized it’s been nearly three whole years since I last wrote a post about balls: http://blog.dianehenders.com/2012/05/02/oh-balls/. Maybe my mind is cleaner than I think. But probably not.

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Public Menace #1

I like to think I’m a relatively harmless and competent person. I’m not much of a threat to public safety unless I’m forced to listen to the vapid warblings of 80s boy bands (but no jury would convict me for doing whatever was necessary to escape such a horrible fate).

The motorcycle safety course I took decades ago made me a good driver. Thanks to my dad’s teachings and some firearms courses, I handle weapons safely and I’m a good shot. Ditto kitchen safety: all my knives are razor-sharp, but I’ve never cut myself. I’ve never harmed myself or anybody else with construction or automotive tools…

I should knock on wood because I realize I’m tempting fate. Tomorrow I’ll undoubtedly drive my car into a tree while simultaneously shooting myself in the foot and being gut-stabbed by the kitchen knife I was inexplicably holding when my airbag deployed. Then, launched by the impact, the tools in my trunk will rocket forward and bludgeon me to death. If you don’t see a blog post next week you’ll know what happened.

Anyway, up until last weekend I really didn’t think the rest of the world had anything to fear from me.

I was wrong.

Apparently I’m an absolute menace with darts in my hand.

Come to think of it, if my sister’s reading this she’s undoubtedly going, “Uh, DUH!!! Yes, you’re a menace with darts!”

But she’s just bitter about that unfortunate lawn-dart incident when we were kids. So she still has the scar; pshaw. It’s in a place where nobody but her husband will ever see it. Anyway, I was young then, so it doesn’t count.

But these days that excuse won’t fly.

And neither did my darts. At least not where I wanted them to fly.

I hit the bullseye once, but that was sheer random chance. My darts wobbled and soared and plummeted and all but performed backflips on the way to the wall. (I say ‘on the way to the wall’ because saying ‘on the way to the dartboard’ would be a gross exaggeration of my competence.)

I stuck a dart in the wall four feet below the dartboard. And a foot above it. And knocked a piece out of the protective plastic cover that some forward-thinking person had installed to protect the fire alarm (which was only about 9” above the dart board; so that wasn’t really my fault).

And here’s the saddest part: I wasn’t even drinking. Maybe that was the problem.  I’m quite sure some beer would have made me a better darts player. It couldn’t have made me worse.

I don’t understand why I sucked so stupendously. In grade school I played outfield on the girls’ softball team because I was the only one who could throw well enough to get the ball back to home plate. I can toss a used tissue with unerring accuracy into a 9” square garbage can a few feet away while lying in bed with my eyes closed in the pitch dark.

But if I’m throwing darts? Go hide in another room. And don’t bend over, just in case.

Any darts professionals out there? Can you give me some tips? (Besides “Quit before you get slapped with a lawsuit for personal injury and property damage”?)

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I Got Ten Inches Last Weekend

Like so many of my inappropriate stories, it all started in the pub with the usual suspects on Friday evening. The waitress had been by to collect our food orders and my friend Chris and I had each decided on pizza. I had ordered a 10” medium and he’d gone for the 12” large.

Okay, I can hear you starting to snicker already. Wait for it…

The food arrived and we all dug in with enthusiasm. Except Chris, who was eyeing his pizza with a puzzled look. “What size pizza did you order?” he asked.

“Medium. Ten-inch,” I mumbled around my mouthful.

“Mine doesn’t look any bigger than yours,” he said.

By then everybody had stopped eating to listen with widening grins on their faces.

I peered over at his pizza. “You’re right. They look the same. Hang on…” I pulled out my little measuring tape. (If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I always carry a measuring tape, along with a bunch of other obscure but useful stuff.)

I measured my pizza. “Ten inches.”

Somebody called out, “Now measure Chris’s!” just as the waitress arrived to see me reaching toward Chris with my measuring tape extended.

Everybody erupted in laughter while the waitress froze.

Chris salvaged the situation as best he could by gravely measuring his pizza. Then he said the words you’ll rarely hear from any guy: “Mine’s only ten inches.”

The waitress’s apology for the mistake was almost obscured by the shouts of laughter. Then she turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you have a measuring tape in your purse!”

That only increased the merriment because everybody at the table knew the story of how I used to lurk in men’s washrooms with my measuring tape. We didn’t enlighten our waitress, though. Some things are just too hard (yes, I said ‘hard’) to explain.

And speaking of questionable behaviours, Hubby and I had a chuckle over our Valentine’s Day meal, too. We avoid restaurants on Valentine’s Day because neither of us wants to eat in a crammed-full restaurant. So Hubby had picked up steaks, crab, and a lobster tail for our dinner, and I was making Eggs Benedict for our lunch.

We were out of back bacon. (I know you’re thinking, “How could Canadians run out of back bacon?” You’re right; the government will probably revoke our citizenship cards.)

Anyway, we improvised with regular side bacon, but we’d gotten some mutant package that was either the product of a novice butcher’s first day on the job, or else they’d swept up all the bits that had fallen on the floor. Or both.

But we slapped the bacon on the Bennies (no, that’s not a euphemism) and dug in regardless. A few minutes later a bacon fragment escaped my fork and Hubby looked over in time to see me groping down the front of my T-shirt.

I quipped, “Most women would spritz themselves with cologne for a Valentine’s Day lunch with their sweetie. I drop bacon down my cleavage.”

He shrugged, grinning. “Works for me.”

Ah, bacon. The universal male attractant. Or maybe that’s cleavage. Or bacon-flavoured cleavage…?

So how was your Valentine’s weekend?

 

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Funny As A Turnip

A few weeks ago I noted in passing that some vegetables are funnier than others. So that got me thinking about the innate amusement value of produce.

At first I thought it might be the shape that determines the joke factor. After all, oranges are spherical and pretty boring, whereas bananas are oddly shaped and intrinsically funny. But that might be a subconscious bias on my part. Bananas come with a lot of psychological baggage as a result of their frequent misuse for purposes best left unmentioned…

Wait, why are you snickering? I was referring to the classic ‘slipping-on-a-banana-peel’ pratfall. What did you think I was talking about?

Okay, never mind; I’ll drop the fake indignation. You know me too well. But to keep this discussion pseudo-scientific, I’ll omit the phallic symbols that trigger a chortle-bias in my puerile brain. No bananas, cucumbers, or zucchini.

So let’s take turnips. Nobody in their right mind could assign a sexual connotation to a turnip. And if you’re about to inform me otherwise, please… just don’t. That’s the kind of thing no amount of brain-bleach can wipe from my mind. Not to mention it’ll make me snicker every time I go through the produce department.

I find turnips innocently funny. ‘Turnip’. It’s such a lumpish, stolid word. It’s the sumo wrestler of vegetables. Maybe it tickles my funnybone because one of my favourite sayings is ‘Strong like ox; smart like turnip’. Or maybe it’s only because other words beginning with ‘tur’ make me giggle, so turnips are funny by association.  For instance, just try saying these words out loud without cracking a smile: ‘Turkey’. ‘Turgid’. ‘Turd’.  (If you’re reading this at work, you might want to skip the ‘out loud’ part… but I dare you…)

Whatever the reason, turnips are a lot funnier than, say, lettuce.

If amusement value was influenced by shape alone, leaf lettuce should be a good candidate for some laughs. Ruffles and green colouring – it should be funny, right? (I find green funnier than red or yellow, too, but that’s a subject for another post… or possibly for incarceration and intense psychoanalysis.)

But no; lettuce isn’t funny. Maybe it’s because amusing things rarely happen while you’re eating lettuce. It’s at best a duty and at worst a punishment. I usually enjoy its crisp crunchiness and the fact that it’s good for me, but it doesn’t make me giggle. And if I want crisp and crunchy, I’d rather eat potato chips. Or if it has to be crisp, crunchy, and green, give me dill pickles. Or what the hell; dill-pickle-flavoured potato chips.

But back to my rigorous scientific analysis.

Broccoli is funny: It’s green (see, green is funny), and its resemblance to little trees is amusing. Plus, if you’re into childish humour, it stinks even when it’s fresh, and post-digestion it’s lethal if you get caught in the blast nimbus.

But just to mess up the ‘green and oddly-shaped’ theory, I also think persimmons are funny. There shouldn’t be anything intrinsically funny about a round yellow-orange fruit, but ‘persimmon’ is a giggle-worthy word in itself. When I was a kid I thought it was a made-up word; a colloquialism for a fruit that surely must have a more dignified name that the adults used. And persimmons have those little crispy-brown tutus around their stems.

Come to think of it, ‘tutu’ starts with ‘tu’…

Which fruits/veggies do you find funniest?

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So I Booked A Photo Session…

Yes, this is the beginning of a joke.  Last week I decided to set up a photo session, with predictable results:

photoshoot cartoonOkay; it wasn’t quite that bad.  I didn’t actually break my ankle; I just twisted it.  I think I remembered to suck in hard enough to hide the evidence of my Superbowl excesses, and the zits were mostly hidden by makeup.  I hope.  (Yes, I wore makeup.  Bleah.)  And my hair, bless it, behaved.

Fortunately I was working with the funny and talented Rick and Sandra Hand of Hand Crafted Images.  They made the session easy and fun, and I know the quality of the photos will be top-notch.  But with me as a model, there’s only so much their talent can overcome…

Does the camera hate you as much as it hates me?

* * *

I’m off for an arthrogram on my ankle this morning (an old kickboxing injury; not photo-session-induced), so I’ll be incommunicado until this afternoon.  “Talk” to you then!

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Um… Hello, 911…?

…I think I just killed my husband… with a bathtub…

I came very close to speaking those words several years ago, and yes, you did read that first sentence correctly. ‘With’; not ‘in’. After all, killing one’s husband in a bathtub is practically a cliché, and you know I’d never stoop to that.

When we bought our house, the upstairs bathroom had a ‘cultured marble’ (read ‘concrete finished to look like marble’) jetted tub.  If we didn’t remember to run the jets frequently it spat stinking gouts of slime because there was no way to drain the stagnant water from the lines. It was ugly, as cold as stone (go figure) and poorly insulated on an exterior wall. In winter my ass froze on the bottom of the tub no matter how hot the water was.

It had to go.

Our plumber friend surveyed it and advised, “That thing probably weighs nearly two hundred pounds. Break it up with a sledgehammer and take it out in pieces.” (Gary, if you’re reading this: We should have listened to you.)

We didn’t, of course.

No; the tub was in good shape. Somebody else might be able to use it. It must be salvaged!

We’re both strong, so removing it wasn’t too difficult. We extricated it from the bathroom with a modicum of sweat and profanity and lugged it to the top of the stairs.  There we balanced it precariously overhanging the stairs, and I went down to support it from below while Hubby held it from the landing above.

I eyed the teetering monstrosity looming over me and said, “I think we should wait until after lunch to do this. My blood sugar is low and I don’t know if I can hold this thing.”

And Hubby said, “That’s okay, I’ll take the bottom and you can take the top.”

We swapped positions and I quavered, “I think we might be solving the wrong problem here…”

And we were. Oh, yes, we were.

Have I mentioned that cultured marble is slippery?

As soon as the tub tipped past its centre of balance, it wrenched out of my grasp. I had only enough time to yelp, “I can’t hold it!” before it hurtled down the stairs like a murderous toboggan with Hubby underneath it.

The lower landing sported an oak railing and (luckily) a 90-degree bend in the stairs.

The tub hit the landing and slammed into the railing. The railing let out a hellish crack and tore loose from the wall but miraculously held at a crazy angle, barely preventing the tub from shooting over the edge and plunging through the living room floor below.

Frozen, I gaped down at the scene of the crime: The tub (still in one piece); the broken railing; Hubby squished underneath.

And I thought, “Shit, I just killed my husband with a bathtub.”

I hadn’t, fortunately. He was smart enough to let it carry him down instead of trying to stop it, so he escaped with only a few minor bruises. After I’d eaten some lunch and stopped shaking, we anticlimactically carried it down the remaining stairs, and we did eventually sell it.

But I’ll never forget the horror of those few moments.

Any bulldozing bathtubs of doom in your family tales?

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Code Phrases And Cauliflower

Before I begin, I’d like to note that I generally don’t criticize a man who’s washing dishes. I believe the correct response to a dishcloth-wielding male is a sincere ‘thank you’, possibly combined with hugs, kisses, ear-nibbling, and/or some friendly groping. (An aside to my dinner guests: This is why we turn down your offers to help with the dishes. It’s just one more little way we ensure we’ll still be friends when the evening’s over.)

But there are exceptions to every rule. (Okay, not to every rule. There are no exceptions to the “Don’t grope the guests” rule. It’s safe to visit us, I promise.)

Anyway…

A few evenings ago I watched the dishwater turn orange while Hubby scrubbed a pot with a steel-wool pad so rusty it looked like Ronald McDonald’s hair, and this conversation took place:

Me: “Maybe it’s time to either pull off the rusty part or throw the whole thing away.”

Hubby: “It looks okay to me.”

Me: “Let me put this another way: Don’t use that thing on my pots!”

And that got me thinking about the subtle little code phrases that develop in marriages. For example:

Me: “Do you want some of this (food item)?”

Hubby: “I’ll have some later.” Translation: “I will never eat that. I will continue to say I’ll eat it ‘later’ until it grows legs and walks itself to the garbage.”

Or

Me: “Were you using the (whatever tool I’m currently looking for)? Do you know where it might be?” Translation: “Goddammit, I can’t find the goddamn tool that I know I put away the last time I used it! Stop stealing my goddamn tools, goddammit!” (Yes, I’m a writer. You can tell by my extensive vocabulary.)

Or

Either of us: “What’s that smell?” Translation: “Did you fart, or is it time to search the fridge for rotting cauliflower again?”

Yes, there’s a story behind that.

One day Hubby and I were in the kitchen making lunch, and I smelled something.  Something vile.  Something remarkably reminiscent of gasses better released in other, more private areas of the house where food is not being prepared.

But I didn’t say anything. I mean, sooner or later we all let one slip, right?

But it happened again. Then again.  At last I demanded, “Did you fart?”

Hubby denied it. He thought I’d been dropping silent-but-deadlies the whole time.

We agreed that something must be rotting in the fridge, but we both dug through it and found nothing that should be emitting that stink. So I tore the fridge apart, washed the shelves and crisper drawers, and checked the drain pan underneath to make sure nothing hideous was growing in there.

Nada. But the smell persisted.

After several days of futile searching, Hubby finally traced the offending vapours to a glass container containing raw cauliflower. It had a locked-tight lid with a silicone seal and the cauliflower looked fine inside, which was why we’d missed it in our previous purges. But the stench was so fearsome it had come right through the sealed lid. Yikes.

The whole episode reminded me of a long-ago friend’s father when he encountered his wife’s er… effluvium. He sucked in a deep breath and then boomed in the heartiest of tones, “Well, hello, cabbage-ass!”

Yep, he was a master of subtle code.

Any code phrases or tales of festering cruciferae in your household?

* * *

P.S. Cool news:  I did a promo with Bookbub over the weekend, and Never Say Spy hit #1 on the Kindle Free Bestsellers list.  For a short time it was the best-selling book in the entire Kindle free store, fiction or non-fiction.  Of course, it was only my fifteen minutes of fame and it had dropped by the next day, but it’s still #1 in Women Sleuths. The best it had ever done before was #9, so I’m pumped!  Woohoo!  :-D

NSS #1 in all Kindle ebooks

My fifteen minutes of fame

 

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