Tag Archives: life

Contemplating Uranus

Hubby is an avid amateur astronomer… and an alliterative archetype, apparently.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the chance to string together eight A-words without using the word ‘anus’.  We’ll get to that one later.)

Anyhow, Hubby is my go-to guy whenever I spot something in the night sky that intrigues me.  I’m not much of an astronomer – I can spot the Big Dipper and Orion and the North Star, and that’s about it.  So, early in the evening I’d point to a bright dot near the horizon and sing out, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…”

And Hubby would say, “That’s not a star, that’s Venus.”

Oh.

So I learned to say, “Oh, look, there’s Venus!”

Then we got wrapped up in our move, and summer arrived with its long hours of daylight, and we didn’t have much time for stargazing.  But the other night we were sitting beside a little bonfire enjoying a cold beverage and I pointed happily to the bright dot in the southern sky.  “Oh, look, there’s Venus!”

Hubby said, “That’s not Venus, that’s Saturn.”

“Oh.  Where’s Venus?”

“You can’t see it now.  Planets move around, you know.”

“Right, so that explains why you haven’t mentioned Jupiter or Venus lately.  What about Neptune?  And weren’t you talking about seeing Mercury a few years back?”

“Yes, but you can’t see them right now, either.”

Mellowed by beer, my next question slipped out before I even considered it.  “But you never mention Uranus.  Can you ever see Uranus?”  As soon as the words left my mouth, I started to smirk.

In the firelight, Hubby didn’t notice my expression, or maybe he was ignoring it in an attempt to keep the conversation above a third-grade level.  “I saw Uranus the other night,” he replied seriously.

I couldn’t resist a straight line like that.  “Dang, I guess I should have put on some underwear.”

He gave an ‘oh-lord-here-we-go’ eye roll, and I attempted to veer back to the path of maturity by adding, “So what does it look like?  Can you see it with your naked eye?”  (Yes, I said ‘naked’ with a completely straight face.  See, I can act like an adult… for several seconds at a time.)

“No, it’s not very bright.  Even with my telescope, it’s just a fuzzy gray ball.”

I blame the beer.  My moment of maturity vanished without a trace.  “Uranus is gray and fuzzy?  That can’t be healthy.  And you say you can’t see Uranus without a telescope?  How does that even work?  If you have to look in the eyepiece at one end to see your other end, you must be very flexible…”

By this time we were both snickering.

“Yep,” Hubby agreed.  “It’s hard to get a glimpse of Uranus.  I can’t even spot it without help; I have to enter coordinates into my telescope to make it point in the right direction and then I use a computer program to track Uranus…”

“Okay, I’m never gonna turn my back on that telescope again.”

The conversation ended in a blaze of glory… literally.  We spotted a big meteor sailing erratically through the sky shedding sparks, and at that point we lost interest in Uranus… or anyone else’s, for that matter.

But now, inquiring minds want to know:  Have you ever seen Uranus?

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The Bee’s Knees

The other day I was working on Book 13 when I wrote “I made a beeline for the door”.  Then I stopped and stared into space as my brain took an unexpected detour.

Why does ‘make a beeline’ mean ‘to go quickly and directly to a destination’?  Have you seen how bees fly?  They look like little fuzzy drunks staggering home after a night on the town.

If I had actually ‘made a beeline’, I’d have wandered aimlessly around the room, made several erratic circles under a table and around a couple of chairs, gotten into a stranger’s face for no apparent reason, caromed off the window sixteen times before figuring out that I couldn’t exit through it, and at last arrived at the doorway; where I’d need three tries to make it through an opening several hundred times larger than myself.

Whoever invented all these sayings about bees had obviously never watched bees for long.  Take ‘busy as a bee’, for example.  Sometimes they’re busy, like these guys working away at my sunflowers:

Busy bees

But one summer morning I went out to water my garden, and eight of them were curled up together snoozing in a squash blossom.  They weren’t any too eager to get up and start working – after the first spray of cold water they struggled groggily out of the blossom, stumbling over each other like a bunch of hungover teenagers after an all-night party and buzzing complaints as they hauled themselves into the sky.  Then they staggered as far as the next flower before plopping down to sleep the day away.  So much for ‘busy’.

Lazy bees

And let’s consider the time-honoured tradition of ‘talking to your children about the birds and the bees’.  Say what?

Neither birds nor bees have sex like humans.  Most birds only have one multi-purpose opening for sending or receiving semen as well as for taking a dump and laying eggs.  And most species aren’t too fussy about fidelity.

And bees?  Yikes!  Male bees follow a queen and take turns mating with her in flight.  When the deed is done the male bee’s penis gets ripped off, disemboweling and killing him in the process.  Unfazed, the next male in line pulls the leftover penis out of the queen’s body and re-enacts the whole grisly scenario.  Then the next male takes over, and the next.

So if we actually discussed ‘the birds and the bees’ with our kids, we’d be talking about promiscuous sex and snuff orgies.  Try explaining that at the next parent-teacher meeting.

‘The bee’s knees’ is another expression that makes me wonder.  Over the years it’s been used to indicate ‘something nonexistent’, ‘something very small’, and ‘something excellent’.  Apparently we aren’t too sure about the bee’s knees, either.

So if I should ever mention that I intend to make a beeline for bed to get as busy as a bee, it could mean staggering dozily away to sleep for hours; or zipping straight to bed for something a little more… *ahem* …interesting.  (Or downright disturbing.)

But what the heck; having a bit of mystery in one’s life is the bee’s knees, don’t you think?

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Stepping In It

We went for a short wilderness walk last week, enjoying the splashing of trout in the placid waters of tiny Loon Lake.  We only met one other group of hikers:  a family with a dog.

On the way back, Hubby pointed down at the trail.  “Don’t step in the dog shit.”

I eyed the flattened pile with a sneaker-print in the middle of it, and revolting certainty filled me.  I knew that sneaker-print.

Sure enough, I’d already stepped in it on our outbound trip.

Which begs the question:  What are the chances of being out back of beyond with virtually unlimited landing zones for my feet, and STILL stepping in the only pile of dog shit within ten square miles?

If you’re me, the chances are approximately 100%.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got big feet, so the odds are better than average.  If I wore teeny little size-sixes I might spend less time cleaning objectionable substances out of my treads. (Then again, if I wore teeny little size-sixes at my height, I’d probably topple over in a high wind.)

But in general I don’t think too much about my feet or where they’re landing.  They’re far away from the rest of me; and as long as they’re working fine, I let them do their thing.  They’re functional, not decorative.

Okay, definitely not decorative.  Some people are blessed with slim elegant feet and delicate toes or cute little chubby tootsies; but I inherited the Henders family’s knobby bunions and weird long prehensile toes.  I’m not sure how being able to pick up a pencil from the floor without bending over gives me an evolutionary advantage; but at least studies show that long toes make better sprinters.

I figure hooves would have been more practical.  How wonderful to never again smash my toes on a table leg.  Never to have my toes stepped on or crushed by falling objects.  No blisters from ill-fitting shoes.  And never having to shop for shoes at all – just an appointment with the farrier every now and then, and I’d be good to go.

But then again, the farrier would be like going for a pedicure, with the worrisome addition of red-hot metal. *shudders*

I had a pedicure… once.  The foot massage was nice; but having a stranger wield sharp objects near my feet was disturbing, and the toenail polish was wasted on me.  Nobody ever sees my toes – I hate having cold feet so I never wear sandals.  (Also:  Weird prehensile toes.  Nobody wants to see that.)

Or maybe my antipathy to sandals (and my unfortunate magnetism for merde) was born the year I marched in the 4-H parade as a kid.  Our uniforms dictated white sneakers for the boys and white sandals for the girls, and there was a prize for the club with the best synchronized marching.  We were determined to win it.

We marched behind the Beef Club.

Yep, you guessed it:  Right in my path was a fresh cow patty, and my precise marching step landed my foot in the middle of it.  You haven’t lived until you’ve had warm cow shit oozing up between your bare toes.  We didn’t even win the marching contest, dammit.

And that kicked off my lifetime of stepping in it.  Anybody know where I can buy some shoe diapers…?

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Putting My Worst Face Forward

Lately my face has mounted a malicious campaign against me, and it’s being aided and abetted by my middle-aged eyes.

My near vision has deteriorated to the point where I can’t see myself clearly in the mirror unless I’m wearing reading glasses, so when I glance in the mirror I look great… as far as I know.  Wrinkles?  What wrinkles?  The soft-focus face I see in the mirror doesn’t have any.  It also doesn’t have any zits or nose hairs or big greebly chin-whiskers… until I put on my reading glasses and YIKES!

So I’ve gotten wise to the games of my traitorous body parts.  Now I wear glasses every time I look in the mirror.  They won’t get the better of me again!

But…

A while ago I went for a physio treatment, then ran errands all over town.  When I finally got home I glanced in the mirror only to discover I had creases in my face that looked like a topographical model of the Grand Canyon.  No wonder people were giving me those wary sidelong glances.  Even a couple of hours later, the marks were still faintly visible.  Life just isn’t kind to redheads with fish-belly-white complexions.

So I developed a workaround for physio, propping my face at odd and uncomfortable angles so that I could get up off the table and still pop into the grocery store without frightening the other customers.

I smugly believed I’d won.  My face wouldn’t betray me again.

How wrong I was.

I recently discovered a floral art club that was having a public demonstration (and I just proofread that sentence and found I’d originally written “pubic demonstration”).  Anyhow, I popped in to take a look.  At the flowers.  Geez.

Being new in the area and hoping to make friends, I always try to put my best face forward at these events.  I was warmly welcomed and directed to a table where they offered free dainties and coffee/tea along with (to my delight) chocolate-dipped strawberries.

I snagged a couple of strawberries and sat down to gobble the goodies.  Then, being extra-careful because I wanted to make a good impression, I mopped my face thoroughly with the napkin just in case I had any vestiges of chocolate left on my lips.

The floral demonstration went on much longer than I’d expected, so I had to leave early to get to some other appointments.  Thank goodness I’d been sipping tea, because that meant I also needed to pee.

I ducked into the washroom on my way out, and no; I didn’t have any chocolate on my lips.  But I must have dropped a chunk onto the napkin before wiping my face, because my right cheek sported a giant dark-brown smear.  It was big enough to be easily visible from outer space anywhere in the room; and I’d been sitting there for an hour.  No wonder the other women had given me those odd tentative smiles before turning hurriedly away.

So my face has won another round.  I don’t even want to know what it has planned next, but I’m sure I’ll soon find out.

Please tell me I’m not the only one battling a subversive face…

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Schrödinger’s Leftovers

Today I’m opening the fridge doors of my brain and combining my questionable leftovers to create this week’s meal… erm, post:

The bright spot of my week came from jenny_o’s blog, Procrastinating Donkey.  She mentioned an article about a raccoon that climbed over 70 storeys up a construction crane and then took a dump (or, as the media delicately described it, “made a poo”) before climbing down again.  The article is over two years old but somehow I had missed it the first time around, and I laughed until I could do nothing but slump in my chair clutching my aching belly and wiping away tears of mirth.

It’s tempting to believe that the raccoon was stating its opinion on human construction in general and the crane in particular; but the truth is probably much more prosaic.  Its sphincter was likely clenched during the whole climb, and when it arrived at the top and looked over the edge it had a perfectly natural response.  I’d probably shit myself, too, if I looked down to see nothing but 700 feet of empty air under me.  Just looking at the photo makes my butt pucker.

And speaking of terrifying views…

I was walking past the book display in Superstore when I glanced over at the books in the children’s section.  I froze in mid-stride, my jaw dropping as a horrific thought flashed through my mind:  “Good God, somebody published a children’s book about Donald Trump!”

An understandable mistake, yes?

Fortunately for my sanity, I was wrong.  But I’m still shuddering at the thought of a ‘touch & feel’ book that includes a swatch of Trump’s hair.  Blargh!  Now I need to go and wash my hands for about half an hour.  And while I’m at it, I’d like to rinse out my brain, preferably with brain bleach.

And on the topic of rinsing out icky stuff…

The other day I was cleaning the Soggy-Something-Or-Others (SSOOs) out of the drain after washing dishes.  I removed them gingerly (that word always makes me smirk, since I am a ginger) with my fingertips, ’cause, ew; right?  Then I had to chuckle over the fact that less than half an hour ago I’d been gobbling that very food with enthusiasm; and after floating around in hot soapy water the SSOOs were actually cleaner than what I’d just put in my mouth.

But that just proves Schrödinger’s Law of Leftovers:  If you believe a leftover is safe to eat in any given instant, you can eat it and be perfectly fine.  But if you believe it’s rotten, that same leftover eaten at that same instant will make you sick.

Which creates those awkward moments where I look in the fridge and think, “Yeah, it’s probably okay to eat that… but… maybe not.”

And I don’t throw it away because it’s probably still okay; but Hubby and I each know in our heart of hearts that we won’t eat it.  I don’t know why we don’t just figure out that if we’re having doubts about eating it now, we sure as hell won’t eat it after it’s been putrefying and/or petrifying for another 24 hours.

But that would make too much sense.  And hey; Schrödinger’s Leftovers.  It’s probably just fine…

What’s cooking in your world this week?

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I’m A Rock Star!

Don’t worry; it’s safe to stick around – I promise not to sing.  I wouldn’t do that to you.  Hell, I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy.

No; my rock-stardom isn’t related to music (for which we can all be thankful).  It’s related to… well… rocks.

Our new home site is basically a gravel pit, which is good for a house foundation but not so good for gardening nuts like us.  The rocks are so plentiful and so interlocked that you can’t even dig into the “soil” here with a shovel – you have to bash it apart with a pickaxe or hoe.

Or…

You can dig it up with power tools, woohoo!

My latest toy (rented, sadly – it’s a little too pricey to own).

Playing with an excavator is a blast for a gearhead and toolaholic like me, but my excavating services won’t be in demand anytime soon.  After the first hour, I could make the machine do what I wanted about 90% of the time… if I worked with intense concentration and at the pace of a crippled snail.

The secret to not causing major damage with an excavator is:  If anything goes wrong, TAKE BOTH HANDS OFF THE CONTROLS.  (That stops everything from moving.)  But I’ve spent far too many years operating tools and vehicles where you NEVER take both hands off the controls.

So when things went awry on the excavator I usually remembered to let go with my right hand; but my left hand clung stubbornly to the joystick, causing some amusing and occasionally alarming gyrations.  But hey, I didn’t wreck anything – I only knocked over one little aluminium garden stake; pshaw.  And I did get the grade the way I wanted it.

One of our projects was contouring the rhododendron garden before I started hand-placing rocks and wheelbarrowing soil:

About half done. Only a few more tons of rock and soil to go…

The paper sunshades are to ensure that our poor little rhodos don’t fry in the 33C/90F weather we’ve had lately. The wheelbarrow and pickaxe and hoe and shovel are to ensure that I sweat enough to look as though somebody dumped a bucket of water over my head before rolling me in gravel dust.

A couple of days ago I dragged my filthy-but-triumphant self into the coolness of the house and announced to Hubby, “I’m totally rockin’ that garden!  I am a rock star!”

He chuckled.  “Do you want help?”

“No, thanks.  I have a system.  I load up some rocks, wheelbarrow some soil, then go and get my rocks…”  I paused, grinning at his widening smirk.  “…off.”

Which, of course, was a nod to my favourite rock stars from long ago, Dr. Hook:

Even clowning around (or maybe especially clowning around), those guys were amazing musicians.  A few decades later, Dennis Locorriere (the guitarist and usual lead singer) is better than ever.  Sadly, Billy Francis (the singer for this song and, um… ‘exotic’ dancer) went to the big jam session in the sky in 2010, but the scenery was mighty fine back in 1975 when this video was recorded!  (Relaxed-fit jeans must have been a male designer’s idea.) 😉

So… this week I’ll be rockin’ to ‘Get My Rocks Off’ while I rock my garden.

Rock on!

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Okay, I Admit It…

Hi, my name is Diane and I’m a bookaholic.

My addiction has serious effects on my daily life.  I always need to have a book within reach, and I get anxious if my To-Be-Read pile dwindles to fewer than ten books.

Oh, I pretend to be “only a social reader”.  I pretend I could put down that book once I’ve started it.  Sometimes I even succeed; but then all I can think of is getting back to the book.  I lie awake in bed, staring at the ceiling and fighting the book’s siren call.  Sometimes I manage to fall asleep.  More often I slip out of bed and finish reading in the dark and secret hours of the night.

Whenever I finish a book, I feel a lessening of the need… but only until I glimpse the next book.  Then the urge is stronger than ever.

I fight it, to no avail.

“Only one per day,” I promise myself.  “That’s normal, right?  That’s only social reading… okay, two books.  Two per day, that’s still okay.  I can do a full day’s work, have an early supper, and if I start reading by six I can be in bed by eleven.  Midnight at the latest.”

But then I find a series.

Soon I’m reading three or four books a day, immersed in the guilty pleasure.  Meals go uncooked; laundry undone.  I forget important appointments and have to find excuses for why I didn’t show up at my accountant’s or dentist’s or doctor’s office.

I feel ashamed.  Other people can lay down their books.  Some people only read a few pages before bed and then stop.  Why can’t I do that?

Because I’m a bookaholic, that’s why.  An addict.

And no, I don’t want a 12-step program, thank you very much.  Just back away and let me read, and nobody will get hurt.

The other day I finished a book and went to look for Hubby in the workshop, but he was nowhere to be found.  I checked the garage, too.  Nada.

I’d seen him leave, so I wandered around outside for a while but I still couldn’t find him.  When I went back into the house, there he was.

“When did you sneak in?” I demanded.  “I was looking for you outside.”

He gave me an ‘are-you-nuts?’ look.  “I walked right by you twenty minutes ago.  I couldn’t have been more than six feet away.  You were reading.”

“Oh.”

He laughed.  “We need to rig up a cattle prod connected to a timer, to launch you out of that chair when it’s time to stop reading.”

“No,” I disagreed, with perhaps a hint of menace.  “That’d only piss me off.”

“Okay, how about an electric-shock cushion hooked up to one of those alarm clocks that comes on gradually?  It would start with a little tingle and then build up until you noticed it.”

“Um, no.  I’ve had that TENS electrical treatment for physiotherapy.  If you turn it up gradually you get used to it.  I’d just end up getting slowly electrocuted.”

“No problem; we’ll use a current-limiter.”  Hubby grinned.  “This could work.”

But I’m not convinced…

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So I’m zipping through the grocery store to grab a couple of things for dinner.  Tired, hungry, and cranky.  Groceries in hand, I waver between checkout lanes.  Which will be faster:  The lineup containing two people with carts piled high, or the lineup containing five people with only a few items each?

I don’t know why I bother wondering, because I already know the answer:  Whichever line I choose will be the slowest.

But wait!  A new lane just opened up, and there’s only one nice elderly lady with a quart of milk and a rutabaga ahead of me!  I slide in behind her, dreaming of home and dinner.

The cashier rings up the order and the little old lady smiles and hands over a twenty-dollar bill.  No coupons, no hassle.

Home free…

“Oh, just a minute,” she says cheerfully.  “I’ll give you the thirty-five cents.”

She rummages through her purse.  Once.

Then twice.

My dreams crash down in disarray.

“I’ve got it right here,” she assures the cashier, extracting her change purse at last.  “Here’s a quarter.  I know I have a dime in here…”  *rummages some more*  “Oh, I guess I don’t.  Well, here are two nickels…  Oh, did I give you another quarter?  Wait, I know I’ve got two nickels…”

Meanwhile, the people in the other lineups have all paid and departed.  I clench my teeth and wonder whether they’d rule it justifiable homicide if I throttled that nice little old lady, who is still excavating her change purse in search of the elusive nickel.

But guess what?  The fates must have a twisted sense of humour, because I just became that little old lady.

I know, I know; I’m sorry!  *flees from enraged pitchfork-wielding mob*

It was an ugly shock when I caught myself digging through my change purse in the checkout line.  I’d like to say I froze in humiliation and immediately whipped out my tap-and-go credit card instead, but I didn’t.  I knew I had two nickels, dammit.

Clearly old age is sneaking up on me.  Six years ago I mentioned that even when I’m looking great I still only look great ‘for my age’.  That seemed important at the time, but now the surest sign that I’m getting older is that I really don’t care anymore.  I’m fine with the way I look, and if anybody else doesn’t like it?  Tough noogies.

But I’m not completely free of vanity.  In fact, I’ve developed a foolproof way to look more youthful:  Forget nips and tucks and lotions and potions – it’s all about geography.  Where we used to live in Calgary, the median age is 36.  In our new area on Vancouver Island, the median age is 66.  So when we moved out here, I was instantly transformed from a worn-out old bag 17 years over the hill to a dewy young thing.  Ta-da!  And it only cost my life’s savings plus most of my sanity!  How often do you get a deal like that?

And hey, maybe now that I’m so much younger I won’t have to hold up a checkout line searching for change again; at least not for another decade or so.

So that’s my two cents worth for this week.  Wait, let me get my change purse…

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“Thorough”. Yeah, That’s It.

Now that we’ve moved to Vancouver Island I’ll likely end up flying instead of driving to visit other provinces.  And that means… *cue ominous music* …I’ll have to rent a car when I arrive.

I hate renting cars.

Despite the fact that our vehicle insurance policy includes full coverage for rental cars, my hand always trembles when I initial the “I decline insurance” box on the rental contract.

I just know that if I crack up the rental car and submit a claim, my insurance company will smugly point out the microscopic print where it says, “Coverage only for green-and-purple polka-dotted vehicles rented on the second Tuesday of the sixth week of any month beginning with ‘Z’.”

And if that’s not enough to stress me out, there are the spine-chilling threats in the rental contract itself:  “If you fail to return the car within 72 hours of the return date you may be liable for criminal prosecution and fines up to $150,000.

I have nightmares about accidentally putting the wrong date on the contract.  I imagine a cadre of malevolent car-rental agents clustered around a large ticking clock:  “Seventy-one hours and fifty-eight minutes… fifty-nine… Seventy-two hours!  Send out the enforcers!  Muwahahahaha!!!!”

And don’t even get me started about the form that itemizes the existing damage on the rental car.  The agent always makes me sign it before I even see the car.  When I object, they wave a casual hand and say, “Oh, don’t worry.  Check over the car before you drive away and if you need to add anything to the form, just bring it back and we’ll update it.”

I always find more damage on the car than what’s shown on the form.

So I make the long hike back to the office.  Car rental agents are trained to flee the area as soon as they’ve handed over the keys, so when I get back the desk is abandoned.  After a lengthy wait and a few calls on the “courtesy phone” (a complete misnomer), an agent grudgingly returns to the counter.

Then they walk with me to the car, eyeball the long scratches on the roof, and say, “Oh, don’t worry about those.  We know those are from the car wash so we don’t need to mark them on the form.”

I argue that the form shows all damage, not just the damage they feel like reporting; they argue that “everybody knows” they never worry about “those” scratches.

At last I prevail and they sullenly update the form and stalk away, leaving me to slide into a car that reeks like a 30-year-old ashtray despite being designated “non-smoking”.  Though I guess technically the car is non-smoking; it’s just that its drivers weren’t.

Then I spend the whole trip worrying that somebody will hit/steal/vandalize the damn thing and/or I’ll run afoul of some other fine-print wording that “everybody” but me knows.

At last I return the car with immense relief, and then spend the next month watching my credit card statement for damage charges in case somebody vandalized the car in their lot after I parked it but before they inspected it.  I can’t decide whether I’m freakishly paranoid or only extremely thorough…

Okay, never mind; I know the answer to that.

But I still hate renting cars.

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Getting The Goat

I’m on the road again this week, and one of my stops was my old stomping grounds in Calgary.  I don’t miss the city at all, but I sure have missed my wonderful friends.  We all got together for dinner, and after catching up with the last eight months of everyone’s lives the conversation turned to more general topics.

That is to say, the moral tone of the conversation plummeted like a rock pitched into a cesspool.

I was the unwitting instigator.  But really; it wasn’t my fault.  Much.

“So my friends were looking for a goat…” Jill began.

“Wait, what did you say?” I inquired.

“They were looking for a boat that was big enough to fit everybody into.”

“Oh!  I thought you said ‘goat’!”

Laughter ensued.  Then Mike, the usual shit-disturber, spoke up.  “Now every time you say ‘boat’ I’m going to think ‘goat’.”

Jill went on in the misguided hope that she might be allowed to finish her story.  “…so anyway, they wanted a boat and they were looking for a slip for it…”

The table erupted in bawdy speculation.

“A slip for the goat?  I didn’t know you could buy lingerie for goats.”

“Well, obviously it was a seductive goat if it would let all those people into it.”

“How many people can get into a goat, anyway?”

“Depends on how, um… accommodating… the goat is.”

I can’t remember whether Jill ever actually finished her story.  We were all convulsed with laughter, and the other patrons of the restaurant were eyeing us with expressions ranging from disapproval to envy.  (Or maybe it was all disapproval – I was laughing too hard to be certain.)  Oddly enough, the waiter seemed reluctant to return to our table after that.

We finally settled down, and Judy threw a pointed glance a Mike.  “You can dress him up but you can’t take him anywhere.”

Mike and I exchanged a glance at our T-shirts and jeans, and I countered, “You can’t even dress us up.”

I thought about suggesting that maybe next time Mike could throw on a sport goat over his T-shirt, but I decided it was time to put that topic out to pasture.  After all, people can only stand so many ba-a-a-ad jokes.

I parted from my friends reluctantly, with another warm and funny memory filed away.  And from now on a single word, either spoken or texted, will be capable of inducing paroxysms of laughter:  “Goat!”

Anybody else have a word or phrase that never fails to make your buddies guffaw?

P.S. I’m travelling again today so I’ll be checking in to respond to comments later in the day.  ‘Talk’ to you then!

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