Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seen Around the Neighborhood . . .

While perambulating around the perimeter of our subdivision the other morning, I happened across a huge, rectangular cardboard box sitting in front of someone’s house.

Fools! Everyone knows that when you’re fortunate enough to acquire a big flat screen television, you don’t announce it to the world—and especially burglars casing the neighborhood—by giving its cardboard box pride of place in front of your house. Why, these people made no effort whatsoever to deface the box and break it down into unrecognizable little pieces. In fact, the box looked as if it had never even been opened.

Then I drew closer to it, and saw that it wasn’t a TV at all, but merely one of those objects As Seen On TV.

I refer to one of the many manifestations of the Bioflex 2000 Ultimate X-Treme Digital Family Gym for Home, Office, or Still in Its Original Box Under the Bed. Or in this case, on the homeowner’s curb.

Ah yes. Beware the Ides of March. Two and a half months since New Year’s and the accompanying resolutions that are seldom kept. Clearly someone’s wife was sick of stubbing her toe on this box.

I see variations of this thousand dollar “Look! It’s also a clothes rack!” advertised in the weekly Flyer all the time, with any one of the following interchangeable qualifiers: Barely Used. Rarely Used. Never Used. Free—Please come and get it out of my house!

Okay, so this neighbor—or at least the lady of the house, who probably had to push this behemoth out the door herself even as her husband sat in his recliner, swilling his beer and bellowing she would do no such thing because he had every intention to start using it for at least an hour each day beginning next week—isn’t so foolish, after all. No one was going to steal this thing, let alone burgle their house. Not even Mr. Lucky, the King of Scavengers, would bother with this waste of titanium and polymers.

Not when I’m still stubbing my toe and hanging clothes on the one he has already.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baby Bear's Newest Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Banana

The battle of wits continues. A better Bear trap has given rise—like a higher tide, heaven help us—to a better, more devious Bear.

Nearly two years ago, we removed the plug from his bathroom sink after we caught him soaking his backside in the basin while water poured over the edge of the vanity onto the floor.

The other day, Baby Bear was in his room playing a video game. Mr. Lucky was in his den playing a video game. And I was in my office—well, I wasn’t playing a video game. But I got up to use the master bathroom on the other side of the house.

When I emerged a short while later, Baby Bear had moved to the family room, where he was now watching TV, all innocence and nonchalance. (Yeah, I know—that should’ve been my first clue he was up to no good.) On my way back to my office, I noticed his bathroom door was closed and I could hear water running inside. I figured it was Mr. Lucky—but then on a hunch I went to Mr. Lucky’s den on the other side of the family room (some days I think this house is too big), only to find him at his desk, destroying planets and asteroids in his daily quest to become galactic overlord of twelve systems.

Now I dashed back to Baby Bear’s bathroom, just in time to see the water seeping out from under the door.

I threw open the bathroom door to find the sink overflowing. I turned off the water and saw what was plugging the drain.

A banana.

He peeled a banana, then shoved it into the bathroom drain. It was a perfect fit. Barely ripe, it was quite firm, and I could not pull it out; I could only break it off, leaving the lower half still clogging the drain.

I started bailing water, while Mr. Lucky got a long fork from the kitchen to try and extract the rest of the banana. It was going nowhere. Eventually the water softened it up enough that the sink slowly drained on its own.

How did that kid come up with the notion to do that? And WHY?

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he must’ve conjured up this idea well in advance, and was just waiting for the right moment—i.e., for Mom to leave her office next door to his bathroom—to do it.

At least we caught it before we had another repeat of the Great Flood of 2006.

What to do now? No way are we going to ban bananas. They’re good for him, and he loves them—so much that I have to buy a bunch every day. He comes home from school, finds the bunch, and devours it till it’s gone:

Cheese doesn't last very long around here, either: