Category Archives: Captain Quirk

Men in Tights

RECENTLY BOUGHT EASTER DRESSES FOR MY BROOD AND COULDN’T HELP BUT REMEMBER THE YEAR I FOOLISHLY ASKED MY HUSBAND TO SHOP FOR TIGHTS…

Men don’t belong in tights. Nor do they belong in stores that sell tights apparently. At least that’s what my husband thinks—after I sent him on an insufferable mission to obtain a couple pairs for our resident ballerinas/heathens-who-needed-suitable-Easter-attire on short notice. Of course, this ridiculously urgent need arose because I don’t plan particularly well. June Cleaver (as a mother of daughters) would have had a stash of snag-free tights at her fingertips, available in a rainbow of sizes and colors for all of her tight-wearing brood.

I’m no June Cleaver.

Me: “Hon, would you run to the store and pick up some white tights for the girls? They need them for church in a size 4-6. Oh, and they have to have feet. And they have to be stretchier (is that a word?) than the ones I got for Palm Sunday. Remember those wretched things? It was like they were meant for some squatty toddler with beefy thighs—not a gangly first grader. Remember how stinking irate I got when I tried yanking and pulling on them to get them up where they were supposed to be—and they just wouldn’t go? A squirrel could have lived in that crotch gap. Anyway, I threw the hideous things away. Did I mention that the tights have to be white—not off-white or cream, but white white? Otherwise, they won’t match the dresses I bought. Can you handle that, Hon? I knew you could.”

Dutiful Husband: “Alright already. I’ll do it (insert string of indecipherable griping). White tights. Not cream. Size 4-6. With feet. Stretchier than the last ones. Got it. But remember this—you owe me. This is NOT my idea of fun.”

Needless to say, when the man returned it was evident that the assigned task, which had indeed not been the least bit fun, proved to be a supreme challenge. I would owe him for an eternity. Maybe longer.

Me: “Thanks for getting the tights, but where are the feet? I believe I specifically stated that they needed feet. These are ‘capris,’ Hon. They have no feet.”

Dutiful Husband: “Wad-da-ya mean they DON’T HAVE FEET?! Why doesn’t it just SPELL THAT OUT IN ENGLISH on the stupid package for crying out loud?! And what the $#@* does ‘capri’ mean?!”

Me: “It means they have no feet.”

Dutiful Husband: “And a man should know this—why?!” (I assumed—correctly—that this was a rhetorical question).

The love of my life then proceeded to fish out the phone book and dial up another establishment that could potentially save the day. (No sense driving there when the impression of idiocy could be made over the phone just as handily). It saves everyone time and trouble.

Dutiful Husband: “Hello? Yes, I need two pairs of white leotards in size 4-6 WITH FEET. Do you have such an animal? No? Okay, thanks anyway. Bye.”

Me: “Did you just ask someone for leotards? We need tights, Hon, not leotards. White ones. With feet.”

Dutiful Husband: “Who do I look like?! Fricking Baryshnikov?!!! I’m a DAD—not a guy who buys stuff like…like this!” he shrieked, motioning emphatically at the soon-to-be-returned merchandise. “Leotards. Tights. Tights. Leotards. What’s the difference?! I don’t pretend to know the difference! I’m not supposed to—I’m a DAD, remember?!”

At that point I quietly and privately acknowledged how infinitely obtuse I had been to expect the man to deliver under the circumstances. It was an impossible mission and one I probably just should have carried out myself. Then again, I could have wound up with that home for wayward squirrels/embarrassment-of-a-crotch-gap disaster a second time and felt like a fool all over again. Either way, I lost.

Me: “I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have ever…”

Dutiful Husband (furiously punching numbers into the phone): “No, no. I’ll do it. I told you I’d do it and I will. Hello? Yes, it’s me again. APPARENTLY I don’t need leotards, I need tights,” he said through clenched teeth. “White ones. Size 4-6. With feet. Do you have ‘em? Good. I’ll be right there. Hold them for me and guard them with your life.”

This time he came back with four pairs of the silly things (just to be on the safe side). Lo and behold…THEY HAD FEET. And the crotch gap was at least tolerable. All things considered, I was comforted in the knowledge that he came through in the end. But I have to agree…men just don’t belong in tights.

Except maybe Baryshnikov. Somehow they suit him.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2008 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under Captain Quirk, Holiday Hokum

Hang ‘em High

Anyone who has frequented my home knows a thing or two about me. Firstly, I expect guests to stand in front of my refrigerator and ogle the multitude of photos that grace its shiny surface—because, of course, that is the very best way to become acquainted with the odd ducks who live here. That’s code for: I will be offended if said mammoth-sized shrine-to-the-family-snapshot is dismissed as a clever ruse for disguising a hideous-looking refrigerator. Never mind that that is completely true.

Secondly, the shameful coating of dust with which my furniture is often festooned doesn’t particularly bother me; although the abomination of clutter contained within my household makes me want to launch things into the yard while shrieking wholly cathartic strings of vileness regarding the aforementioned items. Not surprisingly, I’ve done just that on occasion—to the horror of many.

Thirdly, it is plain to see that I have a debilitating obsession with projects—the remnants of which lay like carnage throughout my humble abode. Heaps of I’m-planning-to-do-this and stacks of I-aspire-to-do-that patiently await me, punctuated, of course, by a deluge of I’m-in-the-middle-of-these-eleventy-seven-things that promise to exasperate me in some form or fashion before I am through. Never mind the swell of boxes that routinely topples to the floor in my dining room, mocking my inability to fulfill a promise I made to my progenies centuries ago—one that would involve actually opening the stupid boxes and conducting the certain-to-be-dazzling science experiments contained within. To be a good parent if only for the time it takes to mix and stir tiny pools of repulsiveness in a plastic cup or the ever-practical, authentic-looking petri dish provided for my convenience.

As one might expect, I re-stack the boxes when they fall and carefully place the nuggets of newly acquired science project-y whateverness atop the growing mound, vowing to follow through one day soon. If nothing else, I am well-intended.

Only recently have I come to the realization that my dear projects (even the ones within which I am completely immersed) are decidedly part of the problem (i.e. projects = clutter = the bane of my existence). Indeed, it seems I am surrounded by that which seeks to suck the joy from my world, one clump of hobby-related nonsense at a time.

Fortunately for me, however, my desire to act upon several of my New Year’s resolutions has resulted in a nesting-like flurry of activity. Translation: In the past 19 days I have finished more projects, organized more hopelessly disordered spaces and disposed of more schlock than I previously considered humanly possible. That said, one bay of my garage currently houses a dilapidated monstrosity-of-a-couch, a three-ton cabinet, a nonfunctional television set, boxes upon boxes of obsolescence I don’t even remember purchasing and a wheelbarrow teeming with artwork that my charges (gasp!) no longer deem worthy of praise. It’s like a colossal staging area for an operation to rid my world of dead weight. Naturally, I will see to it that the more purposeful items find suitable homes—which will undoubtedly gladden my heart, not only because providing for others gives me a healthy dose of the warm fuzzies, but because it is likely I will then be able to wedge at least one vehicle in our garage. Life is good.

Moreover, since the gods are clearly smiling upon me of late, I somehow convinced my better half to join me in my maddening quest for order. More specifically, I commissioned him to move large and unwieldy objects, to lug heavy boxes hither and yon and to offer suggestions as to what to do with the vast array of mystery items I harvested from forgotten corners and whatnot. Of course, his duties also included hanging massive quantities of pictures—as the man possesses an uncanny knack for doing so coupled with the fact that I possess a comparative dearth of picture-hanging abilities.

At any rate, he willingly and expertly contributed to the aforementioned picture-hanging event/circus, impressing me even further with his strange and wonderful capacity for manipulating fractions in his head and wielding the big and scary tape measure thingie like only a real fix-it guy could. What’s more, he feigned patience and understanding whenever I demanded that a certain wall hanging be repositioned an inch to the left or a smidgen to the right. Or when I argued vehemently that this piece or that piece would truly sing if only it could be nudged a bit higher, a tad lower, or perhaps “…moved over there by the lamp, instead.”

Spackling compound became his fast friend.

Indeed, I am making considerable progress on my New Year’s resolutions—thanks to my able-bodied assistant and his beloved can of Spackle.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (issuing orders to hang ‘em high…or low, maybe).

Copyright 2011 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under Captain Quirk, Refrigerator Art

The Week before Christmas

An oldie, but a goodie…

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the land

Not a shopper was idle, the stores were all jammed.

The carts were all taken, the traffic—a bear,

We hoped that a parking place still would be there.

The children were whining from dawn until dusk,

“You must spoil us rotten!” they grumbled and fussed.

With MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Saks,

The plastic was certain to work to its max.

When out in the shrubs there arose such a clatter,

I tossed up the bills to see what was the matter.

Away to the bushes I ran like a deer,

“The ladder’s so tipsy; he’s fallen, I fear!”

The cursing and shouting that came from his lips,

Ranked higher than ALL of his Freudian slips.

When, what to my wondering eyes should be found,

But a tangle of lights and my spouse on the ground!

He had twisted and twirled our new lights ‘round his head,

His ankles, an arm—so mad he was red.

More wrath than the Grinch and the Scrooge put together,

He stomped and he thrashed in the cold, snowy weather.

“Now tangles! Now snarls! Be gone in a jiffy!”

“Stop blinking! Stop flashing! Light right now! Look spiffy!”

“To the top of the hedge, to the top of the pine,

Now, light away! Light away! Give us a sign!”

As I helped him untangle himself from the mess,

We spoke of the folks who would soon be our guests.

My brother! His sister! Oh how the list grew!

My parents! His mother! Just WHAT would we do?!

I had not one inkling, how we would endure—

A day so immersed with our kinfolk, for sure.

“There are carrots to peel, and beds to be made!

This floor must be scrubbed! I’m beginning to FADE!”

“The gifts should be wrapped, the tree trimmed just right,

I wonder why I thought my plan was so bright!”

“It’s a bungled up mess!” my husband exclaimed.

“And I know exactly, WHO should be blamed.”

His brow—how it wrinkled! His manner—how wary!

Like the day that America failed to pick Kerry.

The smile he once wore there, oh where did it go?

I searched high and low, there. I just didn’t know.

“So why all the fussing? What IS your big beef?”

“You’d think that Osama was coming! GOOD GRIEF!”

“Your mother—she’ll cook, and my brother—he’ll scrub.”

“When things get too stressful, we’ll all hit the pub.”

“Your sister will wrap all the gifts up with glee!”

“And all will contribute to trimming the tree!”

Then a wink of his eye and something he said,

Soon made me recall, just why we were wed.

“There’s no doubt that our mottled clans have their own quirks.

But stranger than fiction, it actually works.

Like everyone’s crew, we all share some woes.

Each life has some oddness; that’s just how it goes.”

So I hugged him and thanked him for telling me so,

How fitting it was, to be near mistletoe.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2004 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under A Tree is Nice, Captain Quirk, Holiday Hokum, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, The Natives are Decidedly Restless, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

On the Cusp of Christmas: 12 Days of Lunacy

It has certainly been said that normal is relative. Clichés aside, the only notion of which I am completely certain is that my family is relatively un-normal—especially during the maddening month of December. For whatever reason, being on the cusp of Christmas seems to make those with whom I reside even more deranged than usual. I am no exception.

Once the feathery flakes and the distinctive sound of sleigh bells fill the air (and the bitter cold makes me seriously entertain the notion of spooning the dog), I am smitten with holiday cheer. I make lists. I shop. I hang mistletoe here and a slew of stockings there. I heap great masses of fake pine boughs atop windows and door frames, twisting it unmercifully around banisters and idle children. I devise convoluted and exceedingly impracticable (read: destined-to-fail) plans for that-which-needs-to-be-done-before-Christmas. I begin squirreling away Scotch tape and shameful quantities of wrapping paper that beckon to me from afar. I formulate a cheesy State of the Union/holiday letter in my head, vowing to embellish twice as much as last year. I actually clean—because it is ENTIRELY WRONG to set a crèche full of camels, sheep, the wise guys et al upon a layer of dust so thick it would choke the sweet baby Jesus. Sprinkle me with a wealth of tacky ads aimed at my heart (yet cleverly striking my wallet and guilt-ridden, impulse-buying command center) and I’m well on my way to becoming profoundly immersed in the season of good cheer. Ho ho ho.

Yet it is clear the Yuletide frenzy thing plays no favorites in this household. Indeed, I watched it literally consume a seemingly lucid individual (aka Captain Quirk) as it drove him to hoist his entire body into the far recesses of our attic at an ungodly and completely frigid hour—so that he might haul wreaths, herds of electric deer and plastic whateverness to the lawn. He then hammered a multitude of tent stake thingies into the frozen ground (sans gloves)—so the hoofed creatures would, in theory, refrain from toppling over and making a mockery of his efforts. And let us not forget the colorful language that filled the air that night, the clothes that offered a mere suggestion of warmth and the ferreting-around-in-the-basement for a tangle of extension cords that were decidedly less-than-cooperative—especially when our heathens wove deliriously in and around said lawn luminaries. For a fleeting moment, he foolishly considered stringing lights, too, and hunting for a stupid screw to repair an apparent defect that made our antlered wonder violently jerk its head back and forth.

Thankfully, though, those little thoughts went away.

Of course, the circus-like hauling-of-Christmas-décor could have waited until the wind stopped howling. Or until sunrise. Or mid-damned-day for that matter. Sadly, the man’s thoughts and actions on that particular evening were not related to anything derived by logic. December lunacy had struck with a vengeance.

Later that week, in fact, it led us both to question the notion that we were fairly sensible parents—having succumbed to the irresistible allure of a last minute/late night sale in which we chose to drag our sorry brood through aisle after aisle of wonderfulness kid-tedium on a (gasp!) SCHOOL NIGHT so that we might snatch some good deals on Christmas gifts for friends and family. “Mom, don’t you know we’re THE ONLY KIDS in here?!”

Naturally, my husband and I blame our inexcusably imprudent behavior on the celebrated 12 Days of Lunacy.

Even our charges have been afflicted with this so-called malady, cleverly weaving coveted items into everyday conversations, leaving updated versions of wish lists seemingly everywhere, laying fliers from various toy stores in can’t-miss-it regions of our home and dog-earing favorite pages for our convenience. What’s more, Frick and Frack have been acting peculiar since the first of the month—remembering to flush toilets, to pick up their shoes and to abstain from bludgeoning one another with snow shovels and whatnot. That said, they’ve been minding their p’s and q’s almost to a sickening degree, obsessing over the very uncertain nature of being placed on Santa’s “Nice List” methinks.

A coincidence, no?

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (on the cusp of Christmas). Visit me there at www.melindawentzel.com.

Copyright 2010 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under "G" is for Guilt, "S" is for Shame, Captain Quirk, Holiday Hokum, Home for Wayward Toys, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Normal is Relative, The Natives are Decidedly Restless, Vat of Complete Irreverence, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

Assume Nothing When it Comes to Toy Assembly–and on Christmas Eve, Even Less

It has been said that you can tell a lot about a person simply by looking at how they handle three things in life: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas lights. No doubt, “toy assembly” could easily be added to that list. Even more telling—toy assembly WITHOUT INSTRUCTIONS on CHRISTMAS EVE. Yep, WAY telling.

Needless to say, my husband and I learned plenty about one another last year on December 24th as we struggled to remain calm despite the plight that befell us. Let’s make that volumes we learned. Hells bells, it was an EDUCATIONAL FEAST.

At precisely 3 p.m. that day we made what could only be described as a horrifying discovery: One of the toys we had purchased—a multi-level, 56-inch, 197-piece Swiss Family Robinson style doll/tree house—had NO instructions. That’s right—NONE. Zip. Zilch. Nada. We know this to be true since we nearly destroyed the box in our frantic search for said directional material, to no avail. And no matter how many times we shoved our heads inside the box, tipped it on end and meticulously examined each little packet that poured out, we were faced with the same grim reality: THEY JUST WEREN’T IN THERE. And no amount of wishing would have made them appear; although at one point I seriously considered phoning the North Pole to make a special request. I may as well have.

Firstly, we tried contacting the store where we bought the blasted thing. No luck. It just so happened to be the last one on the shelf; so we couldn’t drive there to make an exchange, nor could we tear into another box to peek at its instructions. (Hey, we were desperate!) We then called the manufacturer, whose kind, caring and oh-so-compassionate answering machine wished us a politically correct “Happy Holidays!”

“Lovely—just lovely,” we thought. Perhaps it’s best that we didn’t leave a message. It would have been ugly.

We even got online in hopes that those elusive assembly guidelines would be available for downloading. Perish the thought. Too sensible. In lieu of that, we were able to view photos of the wretched thing—FULLY ASSEMBLED, I might add. All 197 pieces. Together. As one. Totally indivisible. Earnestly I studied that picture; somehow it just didn’t seem plausible that it had once been a jumbled mass of wooden thingies. Duct tape and/or Super Glue HAD to have entered the picture at some point. Although I was hoping they wouldn’t be a part of our solution that night. Stranger things have happened.

Meanwhile the clock kept ticking. We were due in church soon and after that we had tentatively planned to WRAP EVERYTHING (Procrastination Central here…)—so using that precious time to assemble what had become a monstrosity of a toy was out of the question. It was now or never. Do or die.

So the two of us (Tweedledee and Tweedledum) pooled our meager resources—common sense, manual dexterity, mechanical ability and patience—and met the challenge head on. After two full hours of heated debate, we emerged from the basement victorious. The “monstrosity” had been assembled—totally without the aid of duct tape, glue or a single marriage counselor. Unquestionably, the picture on the box had saved us. Had it not appeared there in such fine detail, I am certain that we would have been the proud owners of 197 distinct wooden thingies.

I suppose then we could have presented the silly thing (unassembled) as one of those colossal “gift projects.” You know, “the gifts that keep on frustrating….” Granted, it might not have been completed till now, but it would have certainly lived up to its claim: PROVIDES HOURS OF ENTERTAINMENT. Indeed, that would have been highly entertaining; but I wouldn’t know as much about my spouse now, would I?

But then again, I’ve seen him handle tangled Christmas lights.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2005 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under Captain Quirk, Holiday Hokum, Home for Wayward Toys, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Normal is Relative, Rantings & Ravings, The Chicken Man, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

Call Me Quirky

Contrary to popular belief, no one on earth is immune. Evvvvvverybody’s got ‘em. Quirks, that is. Some stranger than others. Some stranger than fiction.

Personally, I find the whole topic of idiosyncrasies remarkably intriguing. They fascinate me. What can I say—I’m easily amused. Good grief, I found being hurried to death in a restaurant so incredibly amusing that I was moved to write about it. So to be humored by good old-fashioned oddities almost makes sense. Almost. Call me quirky.

Perhaps my biggest curiosity stems from wondering where they come from in the first place. Do we arrive on the planet pre-wired for the development of certain eccentricities? “Okay, let’s see…this one will have blue eyes and will forever dot her i’s with little curlicues.” Is it somehow genetic? (Weirdness simply breeds weirdness). Or is it mostly influenced by our environment? (Monkey see, monkey do).

Who knows where such peculiarities originate? I don’t pretend to know. But what I can say for certain is that quirks are very real and are utterly brimming with entertainment potential. Think: “Felix Unger” (The Odd Couple) or “Monk” (of Monk). These guys have literally defined (and some would even argue, “glamorized”) the concept of quirkiness. Popularized it to a degree.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe each of us is eager for the limelight—striving for a slice of uniqueness that will set us apart from the throngs of ordinaries. Public bizarreness—that’ll definitely do it—famously, if done right. The next time you carpool for instance, try holding your breath and raising your knees to your chin whenever you cross a bridge WITHOUT anyone noticing. That’s just plain strange—quirkiness at its finest; but it’ll surely get you noticed. Or try this one: While standing at a busy checkout, lovingly ogle your stash of wheat-backed pennies and painstakingly organize all your bills, so that those stoic-looking characters you cart around in your wallet are all right-side-up and facing the same direction—not one-another. No doubt, you’ll get some queer stares—with or without a three-dollar bill.

Another one that gets me is when people meticulously wipe their silverware while dining out—which goes WAY beyond checking for dried food particles. If you ask me, it borders on the obsessive; as does the practice of methodically arranging individual lunch items in the same manner day in and day out…sandwich at six-o’clock, carrot and celery sticks at three and nine-o’clock respectively and Red Delicious at high noon. And how about those who can’t bear to consume anything “out of order?” Or those who won’t tolerate the peas and potatoes touching at dinnertime? We can’t have chummy vegetables now, can we? I suppose it’s no different than refusing to allow the blues and browns to mingle in a sock drawer. People would talk.

I especially enjoy watching individuals like my husband, who are absolutely compelled to “erase” a mid-air sketch, lest someone bump into it later—just hanging there in all its imaginary glory. It cracks me up each and every time I see him do it. Just for fun, I’ll scribble a “note” on this so-called canvas merely to watch him squirm when I leave it there. It kills him. I know it’s cruel, but I can’t help myself. Nor can I resist the temptation to hand Captain Quirk a plain, old ordinary pencil every so often—just to watch him cringe in disgust. You’d think I had offered a bucket of spiders or something. The man won’t go near one (mechanical variety excluded), since he finds them positively repulsive. Sharp, dull, freshly gnawed or in mint condition. Doesn’t matter. Won’t touch ‘em. In my opinion, it simply defies logic. Welcome to Quirkville.

Even dogs and cats suffer. Poor things. Ever watch them settle down for a nap or try to poo? Can’t do it unless they spin themselves into the ground first. Idiots. Even my kids have begun to show signs of budding peculiarities. One won’t run. Only gallops. Another didn’t blow her nose till she was 10. And the third strange child of mine refuses to eat sandwiches—period. Until yesterday, that is. Captain Quirk apparently offered up something so tasty even She-Who-Thrives-On-Rebellion couldn’t resist. Potato chip and jelly, in case you wondered.

I just HAD to snap a photo. It’s a quirk of mine.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (quirks and all).

Copyright 2005 Melinda L. Wentzel

 

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Filed under Captain Quirk, Daily Chaos, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, We Put the Fun in Dysfunction

Apples and Peaches and Pears, Oh My!

I don’t get this harvest thing. The picking and plucking, heaving and hauling, sorting and stowing to me seem hardly worth the reward—a bunch of garage-consuming, sickly sweet-smelling produce bent on wearing out its welcome faster than I can swat fruit flies.

Naturally, the overzealous-fruit-grower-guy in my life views the whole process, from buds to bushels, in an entirely different light. Throughout each season, he lovingly ogles his babies—one each of the apple, peach and pear varieties that inhabit our lawn. Countless hours are spent admiring their beauty and resilience, stroking their green leafiness and for all I know, whispering sweet-nothings into their ear-like blossoms which, strangely, seem eager to soak up his praise and words of encouragement. The man talks to trees, for crying out loud! He claims he’s simply “monitoring their growth and development.”

“Okay, Captain Fruitage. Mr. Happy Harvester. If you say so. Just get on with your foolishness and quit trying to save me from a life filled with apathy toward the wonderment of reaping that which we sow—namely, the apples and peaches and pears, oh my! You’re obsessed. Positively obsessed. And you seem to grow even more fanatical with eachpassing year. Ugh.”

When all this harvest schmarvest hoo-ha began eight years ago, I should have recognized the telltale signs of dysfunction right then and there. Painstakingly, this Doctor Dolittle of fruit trees fashioned two-by-fours into props, so that branches heavy with ripening fruit wouldn’t snap. At first glance, this actually makes a lot of sense and even smacks of ethical treatment for trees (Yea!). But when the casual observer notes just HOW OFTEN he checks and rechecks and checks yet again the positioning of said props, he or she might think the behavior a bit odd.

“It’s not as if mischief-minded grasshoppers or crickets are messing with your silly little sticks of wood, you foolish, foolish man. Stop with the paranoia already.”

Over time, this champion of growing and gathering sidled into the role of Extreme Protector, going above and beyond the call of duty. One year he attempted to coat practically every square inch of the trees in question—spritzing and spraying some magical, stench-ridden formula guaranteed to nix bugs, blight and all things fungal. (It doubled as cologne). He also fertilized, pruned and prayed to the hilt. But mostly, he cursed the shameless bears and deer for daring to pilfer his precious fruit. Blasted scavengers.

More recently though, I’ve noted that the fervor with which Captain Fruitage approaches nearly every harvest-related conversation has exceeded the bounds of tolerability. In fact, it has led him (oh so erroneously) to believe that I, too, should possess a deranged level of enthusiasm for said topic. What am I—a squirrel?! I think not.

Granted, I do enjoy a luscious piece of fruit now and then—plucked straight from the tree or vine, its juices still warm from the sun. But why the insistence upon converting me to “his kind”? Maybe he feels that without a fruit fixation, I am somehow incomplete or deprived. Or maybe he just thinks I’m lazy. But I’m not lazy. Really, I’m not. Just disinterested. Period.

Much to my chagrin, however, he recently pried me away from live coverage of the U.S. Open one afternoon (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!) and half dragged me to a spot in the lawn where I guessed that I was supposed to ooooooh and ahhhhhh or rejoice or something upon seeing the bountiful harvest—hanging there in all its succulent glory. What happened next involved a ladder crushing my foot, branches whacking my face, fruit thumping me about the head and shoulders and great masses of bugs that seemed intent upon flying up my nose and into my eyes. It hardly seemed worth all the grief.

And for my efforts under the trees, I was granted the opportunity to separate the worm-eaten and the non-worm-eaten varieties. Joy. I also got to lug those unwieldy props (grumble grumble) and boxes brimming with fruit all the way to the garage—where hordes of them are still parked.

I just don’t get this harvest thing.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.

Copyright 2005 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under A Tree is Nice, Captain Quirk, Home is Where the Weirdness Lives, Rantings & Ravings