An even bigger prick

“Are you going to write about it?” she asked me from across the table while we were eating lunch yesterday.

“I don’t think I really want to,” I said. “I mean, it’s just a little too moronic, dontcha think?”

She paused for a moment, presumably because she knew I’d arrive there on my own.

“I guess I kinda have to, don’t I?” I asked.

“I think so,” she answered.

So here I go.

Thursday night, there was a book fair at Zan’s school, and since Jayna had already morphed into a screaming, crying, porcupine-badger-Tasmanian-Devil-electric-eel type of thing by the hour at which it was time to leave the house, plans for the whole family to attend were spiked.

* * *

We interrupt this blog entry for an important update on Operation Release the Pahpiece: The pahpiece remains banished from Casa de Scratches, and the child whose mouth it had occupied ’round the clock for three full years has been doing remarkably well … except when she becomes very upset (which, we are told, she only does about 9 gazillion times per day, often for no apparent reason, and always with the fury and intensity of a Category 5 hurricane) and no longer has a pahpiece with which to soothe herself. One such time arose on the evening of March 5th, 2009. Neighbors reported the spontaneous shattering of their windows, and the yelps of visibly pained and distraught canines could be heard for miles around. Eventually, we are told, she reached the point of total exhaustion, at which time her father was able to successfully cage her—er, place her in her bed, rather—for the night. Stay tuned for further updates.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog entry, already in progress.

* * *

Once the Ambien I had slipped her was working its magic, I was able to carefully escape from her room. (Relax; I’m just kidding. I would never give her Ambien. It’s much too expensive. Tequila is what we sedate them with in our house.) And, for the second consecutive night, I decided I’d try to help facilitate an easy bedtime transition for Zan by turning on his light, lowering the shades, turning down his bed, etc.

So I reached for the lamp, and I turned it on, and lo and behold, it sprang to life, so there was no need for me to reach for the wall switch and possibly cause another catastrophe like the one that played out the previous evening. With the light now on, I withdrew my hand from the lamp and turned away from the dresser, and as I brought that hand and arm back to my body, one of the large, white cactus needles—which I so foolishly disparaged in my previous entry by saying were “just for show”—went all jihad on my ass, and achieved martyrdom by drilling itself into my sleeve.

Terrorist cactus spine

More terrorist cactus spines

And then, for the second time in roughly 24 hours, I heard the scattering of little pebbles as the terra cotta pot containing the cactus again toppled, and again spilled its contents onto the dresser and floor. And then I heard the dry, muffled thud of the little cactus as it, too, fell to the floor.

Déjà vu. Except, this time, I didn’t say “fuck.” No siree. What I said was, “You have got to be fucking kidding me!” And I said with gusto.

My choice of profane exclamation wasn’t the only way in which Thursday night’s cactus-toppling incident differed from the previous night’s … because this time, instead of falling behind the dresser, where who gives a shit what’s back there?, the cactus fell directly in front of the dresser. And instead of coming to rest partly against the moulding along the base of the wall behind the dresser, which the night before had kept the cactus itself raised slightly above the carpet, the cactus landed smack-motherfucking-dab on the carpet. And when the clusters of tiny little red cactus needles were introduced to the carpet, it was love at first sight.

During the half hour that followed, after I had gathered up the pebbles and returned both them and the cactus to the little terra cotta pot from whence they came, I was on my hands and knees with a flashlight and a pair of tweezers as I attempted to locate and remove from the carpet the hundreds of little needles, several of which found their way into my flesh during the operation.

Let’s go over that again: I was on the floor. On my hands and knees. With tweezers. And a flashlight. Removing cactus needles from the carpet. Who’s life is this? Mine? How is that possible?

Once I finished tweezing the needles from the berber carpet—whose mostly beige weave is accented by a smattering of rust-colored fibers that look exactly like the tiny little red cactus needles I was hunting, and can you even believe this shit?—I busted out the vacuum, which I used to suck up whatever I could from in front of the dresser, as well as the mess from the previous night’s incident, which was still behind the dresser.

And then, in an act that defines the kind of dedication it takes to be a parent, I ran the palm of my bare right hand back and forth and to and fro and hither and yon on the carpet in front of the dresser to determine if I had succeeded at extricating all of the needles, because better they end up embedded in my hand than in Zan’s or Jayna’s frequently bare feet. Fortunately, it seemed to be all clear.

Of course, later that evening, while getting ready for bed, I felt one of the renegade needles skewer my thumb … and, this morning, Zan discovered one in his lower leg, which I had to tweeze. And I fear that we will be finding these little fuckers all over the place for weeks to come, despite my best efforts.

And if that cactus so much as looks at me the wrong way, I am going to terminate its prickly ass with extreme prejudice.

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13 Comments

  1. Posted March 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    OMG – I went from chuckling, to grinning, to grimacing, to horiffied…hilarious! I love the commentary…I half expected you to say it went flying out the window and crashed to its death after you hurdled it…You have more patience than me, it’d be long gone by now! LOL

    http://centralturk.blogspot.com/

  2. Posted March 7, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit, dude, that cactus has got to go. Twice in one week? It’s a sign…

  3. Posted March 8, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Ok, maybe I’m the one who is weird but why is a cactus in a childs room? I’m sorry. Is it me?

  4. jen
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Thr trick for little cacuts hairs is TAPE, duct tape is good pulls them all out!! remember that for next time….there will be a next time right?

  5. Rocky in ND
    Posted March 8, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh man – I can’t believe you still have it! You know these things come in threes!!?? I hoping for the best — good luck!!!

  6. Posted March 9, 2009 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Have ZERO memory of how I found your blog but who cares? I love it!!
    And it seems like we have a lot in common. I grew up outside of Boston in Andovah and miss my wealthy childhood EVERY DAY!! (as a side note…thought marrying into a surgeons family would somehow assure me of the GUESS jeans and bon bon lifestyle I was meant to live – it didnt) I work for a non -profit social service agency in Maine which alas, feels paying people more than a few coins per week is unnecessary. (eating is highly over rated)

    What else? I have a kiddo with ADD and I was born in Feb 1970 which means, I too, am creeping up to 40. Actually , my hubby will be 40 in 10 days. Which means I will be sleeping with a 40 year old man. ICKO. ( I tell him that daily!)

    All my family still lives in and around the Boston area and it remains the greatest city I have even been too.

    Oh and I have a ridiculous love of all things wiener related. You didnt say that about yourself but I thought you needed to know!

    Hallie
    http://wonderfulworldofweiners.blogspot.com/

  7. Posted March 9, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Ha! I was laughing so hard…I have had too many time like that with my three little renegade boys…well, at least there were no cacti involved. Makes my piss in the trashcan and color all over the toilet incidents pale in comparison. But then again, there was that one time with the rose bush and its friggin huge thorns…we had fun at the hospital anyways…not.

  8. Posted March 9, 2009 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    That cactus has it out for you…I usually then start asking myself, “What is it exactly that I am being punished for and why?” You do have more patience than me though, because that cactus would have been replaced with a plastic petunia by now!

  9. Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Ok, being the problem solver that I am, may I make a suggestion…?
    First, I hate to eliminate good opportunities for you to have mishaps to write about but…

    Perhaps, just perhaps, that little cactus could be moved to a better location, a place where the activity is lessened, this way you could save yourself the annoyance (nevermind the pain, you’re a man, you can take it) with-out Zan’s little friend ending up out in the road being drivin over by you the next time this happens..
    And that light switch, well, you know what you gotta do…

    I’m just sayin, cause I like you man, and I really think you’ll have plenty of other mishaps to write about, even if you eliminate the hazards in your child’s bedroom lol!!!!

    http://www.LightBeyondTheVeil.com

  10. Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    You know what I want to call you right?
    As I’ve decided to clean up my act, I’ll just say this;

    YOU ARE AN IDIOT!
    Get rid of that damn plant..

  11. Posted March 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh no! I can’t decide whether to laugh that this happened again or whether to feel very sorry for you guys finding prickles everywhere.

  12. Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I got a hold of your site from a friend. She checks it daily to see if you have posted. We have been laughing our asses off since, I am originally from NJ and can relate to the “F” word-

    Oh about showing your posts being two months old on blogger logs? What’s up with that? I stuck you on mine so I can check it without having to go back to my bookmarks and it is driving my crazy!

    Keep up the great writing and making us laugh!

  13. Posted March 10, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    You are funny!

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