ye olde suppurating sore
Religion is just the wackiest thing ever! Urim and thummim is (are?) my latest obsession. Which is fitting, given the way that total strangers have chosen to speak to me about religion lately. There has been the usual assortment of millennial street preachers on the El (my favorite being the guy who said that after Jesus comes back we will all wear white: shit! I look terrible in white!), the cab driver who stressed that you can still be a Muslim even if you eat pork (I think he just really liked bacon), and the woman in front of me in line at the corner bodega, who was asking the Mexican checkout girl where she could get some “plain, white candles” and not having much luck communicating the request. From the hairnet and the skirt length I guessed that she was looking for Shabbos candles, so I did the neighborly thing and butted in to say that Ted's Produce probably has the best selection of Shabbos candles at the most reasonable prices, it is two doors down from the big Judaica store at Francisco but don't go there, they charge a fortune. The woman was pleased with this knowledge, and thanked me, and then asked, “What shul do you daven at?” After glancing around for hidden cameras, certain that I must be involved in a How Many Yiddish Words Can We Cram Into One Sentence? contest, I admitted that I am not Jewish, and that the only reason I am wise in the ways of Shabbos candle purchasing is that I have lived in this neighborhood for a long time and am a huge fan of all the crazy little grocery stores around here. Then we had a bit more chitchat as we walked out of the store, and she mentioned something about going home and helping her son get ready for a camping trip. Camping? In February? And haven't the Jews done their time in the wilderness already? But, you know, to each her Orthodox own.
THIS JUST IN! DEION SANDERS HAS INVENTED (read: endorsed) A WONDROUS HOT DOG COOKERY MACHINE! Watch the grainy low-res infomercial here, but you'll only get a few seconds into it before scrabbling for your credit card, because a huge, fifty-dollar machine that cooks hot dogs in minutes* has simply got to be worth the money.
*As opposed to the other methods of hot dog preparation, which can take hours, days, or even months.
WELL, AIN'T WE THE QUALITY!
The Smartypants household now has a new (used) car that was actually manufactured in this century! I know! Cue The Jeffersons theme song! We bought another Saturn SL2, but it is a 2002 model instead of our old 1995 one, and it doesn't smell like gas and (knock on wood) it shouldn't require a very irritating and just-this-edge-of-throw-in-the-towel-expensive repair every four months. I think it's kind of funny/sad that we bought the same car all over again, but it was a great price and Saturns have been good to us in the past. At first I was nervous about this car because the online listing had “clock” in the list of options. Who thinks of a clock as an option? Does “clock” look at all impressive listed next to “cruise control” and “CD player”? (Clock: It Goes Zero To Sixty In Exactly One Minute!) However, I think we made a wise purchase, and hopefully will be driving in (used) (Saturn) style for years to come.
EXPLANATIONS HAVE BEEN REQUESTED (see last entry)
1. “that sounds like a good plan, you fucking racists”—This was my ultimate reaction to a conversation I had with a friend of a friend of a friend about adoption. She asked if she could talk to me about my experiences and I was feeling perky that day and said sure! Anything to help! Let's all hold hands and sing in perfect harmony, because I don't know what I am getting myself into! So I met with this woman, and it quickly became clear that we were nothing alike. She talked about going with her husband to an international adoption meeting, and during the lecture about China's program, her husband turned to her and whispered, “That's the one for us. I want a little China doll,” and she whispered back that she felt the same way, and then they went home and got all excited about a little girl with black bangs who played the violin and was good at math, and on and on with the most horrifying heap of racist cliches you have ever heard. I was sitting there not knowing whether to try and de-program her (but where do you start?), or just smile pretty and flee the area as soon as I could. I chose the latter course, complete with a very insincere “good luck and keep me posted.” A few days later I got an email from her that was all full of rage about those damn Chinese and their age discrimination (prospective parents over 45 tend to be steered toward older babies and toddlers), which is just not fair because she wants a baaaayyybeee and no one would guarantee her one. The email ended with the announcement that she and her husband were now investigating Russia's program. Which sounds like a good plan, you fucking racists, because I never thought I'd say this but if anyone should adopt a Caucasian baby it is these people. “CHINA DOLL”? PLEASE LAY DOWN SO I CAN STOMP ON YOUR HEAD.
(If she had ended up adopting from China, I would have to secretly pray every day that her “China doll” daughter grew to be seven feet tall and a militant lesbian professional weightlifter.)
2. An explanation of the humpy shampoo girl, if you really must know.
About a month ago, we had some friends over for dinner, and one of the friends brought a cake. Nora has not seen these people since that night. They recently came by to pick up LT and take him to a poker game,* and Nora pointed at this woman and said, “Cake!” We all had a good laugh: oh how cute, the baby is remembering that you brought cake to dinner that one time, yes, she's a little genius,** etc. Then everyone was standing in the foyer preparing to leave, and there was a long pause in the conversation, which Nora filled in by asking, “Cake. Where is it?” By which she possibly meant (a) can the chitchat, let's get back to the TOPIC OF CAKE that I raised earlier, or (b) woman, don't TELL me you showed up at my house without cake.
*In my opinion there is nothing more boring than card games, and poker is particularly bad. LT is sort of lukewarm on it too, although he claims to like the strategizing and the beer. I would prefer to have just the beer, and limit any strategizing to figuring out escape routes after you and I start a huge bar brawl.
**Well, a genius for cake, anyway.
—mimi smartypants up against the car, hands where you can see them.