15 jan 2000        

- warning -

At six o'clock this evening I went grocery shopping.  I do this regularly.  I'm the default shopper in the household.  I like it.  It gets me out of the house, lets me drive through other neighborhoods to gawk at other people's stuff, and gives me the chance to see the big picture, that sense of where I am in the scheme of things.  This has been my habit for many years, and each time I return to my little porch with bags full of promise and pasta, I feel a renewed sense of domestic calm.  I'll walk in the door to find my wife doing laundry or finishing the dishes or some other homey common task and I'll know once again that things are fine.  It's a wonderful feeling.

But not tonight.  When I walked in I heard the sound of impending doom.  Viv was on the phone, and all I caught was the end of a sentence.

"...and it's unbefreakinglievable!" Viv said.

She's not prone to this sort of outburst.  Whatever it was, it was big, but I couldn't tell if it was lottery big or dead cat big.

"What?  What's unbefreakinglievable?" I asked.

She told the caller to hold on, pressed the phone to her chest, and with a zeal rarely witnessed, she said it.


At that moment I made a choice.  I would not give my neighbors the opportunity to be interviewed by the news media hungry for juicy tidbits about what sort of character the husband was, had they heard anything unusual coming from the house in the past, was this the first time he'd been seen running from the house, screaming, stuff like that.

Instead, I decided to let my neighbors eat their dinners as if nothing had happened, as if the entire future of our finances was not at stake, as if my modem was not in imminent danger of being commandeered by a fevered and unreformed garage sale addict.

There may be dark days ahead, citizens.  Dark days indeed.

If you don't hear from me for a while, chances are it won't be due to domestic violence or my incarceration.  It will simply be because I can't get the woman offline.  That and the time consuming work of trying to find a decent ISP in Bolivia, my new address.  So if you find an interruption in updates please be patient, my little muchachos y muchachas.


One thing I did not purchase at the store this evening was chocolate.  We still have gobs left over from Christmas stockings and there's even a basket in the kitchen with some of the dregs of Halloween.  With the new millennium here or almost here, my campaign to get back to my original weight is in full swing, so I'm trying to reduce my intake of the stuff.

My efforts, though, do not keep chocolate from getting into the house.  A few days ago one of Amy's therapists gave her a little chocolate egg from her trip overseas during the holidays.  It was a very kind gesture, but once again danger has reared its ugly head.

Because the little chocolate egg came with a toy inside, it also came with a written warning.  But it wasn't just a tiny warning label, this caution came in a document, a tome folded up in the egg alongside the toy.

Designed to keep children from choking in 30 languages, it is a monument to the power of litigation.  Click on it and enjoy weeks of reading. 


That's it.  I'm off to lie in bed and listen to the first rain to hit the roof in a long long time.



  today's music:



today's wisdom:

"Why does a hearse horse snicker/ Hauling a lawyer away?"

Carl Sandburg