The Insurance Clause

"Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets its twenty year term life policy."

“Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets its twenty year term life policy.”

It’s December.

A magical, wondrous month filled with snowflakes, piping hot cups of caooacoaoa (sp?), and, of course…

Life Insurance.

Yes, now that Wife and I are in the feared Twenlights (twilight of our twenties), we have decided to celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of the Year with Holiday HIPAA Consent Forms, Merry Medical Information Bureau Weigh-Ins, and – who could forget? – the Festive Fireside Conversations About the Locomotive of Death Hurtling Towards Us With the Power of a Million Hell-Horses.

No wonder our parents never told us about Life Insurance when we were kids – they were hoarding all the fun for themselves!!!

After all, nothing gets you into the Christmas Spirit faster than being told your height to weight ratio puts you in the “Standard Plus” category of policy-holders. Well, nothing except also being told that if you gain any more weight you will be taxed in the form of a higher monthly premium.

Oh, and um, hey, kids? Did you know that if you have smoked *a* cigar within the last six months, you might as well be a smoking cowboy on a billboard in Times Square in the eyes of Big Life Insurance, and that this DOUBLES your rate? Wow!

I just can’t wait for that special morning when I get to tear open that invoice, write a check for the amount due, and slip it in the mail. And the best part? I get to do this every month for the rest of my life!

Move over Santa. Christmas now comes twelve times a year in this household.

Yankee Doodle Smelly

"I don't know how they do it, but this smells EXACTLY like Rancid Garbage. Just remarkable."

“I don’t know how they do it, but this smells EXACTLY like Rancid Garbage. Just remarkable.”

Do you smell that?

No? That’s strange, because I’m holding it right under your nose. Here, let me help you out by shoving it into your face. Oh, wait – the lid’s still on. One second.

By now, you’ve probably guessed that Wife and I are in a Yankee Candle on a Candle Huffing Date, which is a truly, truly remarkable guess. Great job.

The particular candle we are currently whiffing, “Marshmallow Factory Explosion,” would be about as subtle as a dump truck off-roading in the White Mountains to any mammal with a decent pair of nostrils. But since we are awkward, over-evolved humans, and not adorable basset hound puppies, the scent is just strong enough to elicit a meager, “Oh, yea…it does kinda smell like an exploding marshmallow factory. Heh. Oo, let’s try that one!”

I’m not sure why Candle Huffing is so fun.

Maybe it’s because my sense of smell is so weak that the moment I step into a candle shop I feel like Neo in The Matrix when he wakes up in that giant pudding snack cup and uses his eyes for the first time.

Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to date.

Whatever it is, I lo-ooooo-ve Candle Huffing. Wife loves it too. Forget dinner and a movie. This is our new jam.

I’m not sure the teenager working the cash register loved it, though. She just stood there while we smelled over fifty different candles, watching us like we were tweaking glue sniffers touring an Elmer’s plant.

The Good, the Bad, and the Moldy

"I'm just doing what nobody else has the guts to do to this potato salad."

“I’m just doing what nobody else has the guts to do to this potato salad.”

Everyone has a dark side.

Some people pee on the toilet seat. Others tell their friends that the movie “Something Borrowed” was really good and they should definitely buy the thirty dollar high definition extreme special edition extended digital download so they can watch it, like, all the time.

Me? I enjoy killing expired food. Allow me to explain.

Wife is an amazing woman. She has more virtue and kindness in her pinkie toe than I have in the entire extra pinkie toe that is growing out of my neck. Just kidding. I mean, can you imagine?

Back to Wife. Out of the infinite list of her inspiring strengths, she only has one, glaring weakness: she can’t throw out food.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a piece of fish from that barbecue we hosted back in the Cretaceous Period, or a basket of strawberries that has sprouted a beard and is starting to lift weights. If it used to be edible, Wife can’t stomach the thought of throwing it into the garbage. Which is ironic, because she also couldn’t stomach throwing it into her stomach.

So guess whose job it is to make sure our refrigerator doesn’t become the Wild West of bacteria, complete with E. Coli saloons and tumblemolds?

INT. KITCHEN – MIDNIGHT

Cue MUSICHeavy, clinking FOOTSTEPS.  Floorboards CREAK. The refrigerator door swings open, revealing…THE FOOD EXECUTIONER!

He SNAPS his yellow dish washing gloves. We hear a muted STRUGGLE. A limp celery stalk SCREAMS. Then silence. Somebody FARTS.

Somewhere, an orange cat CACKLES.

FIN

Modern Callar

Captain snootypants.

Captain snootypants.

What’s black and white and growls like a tiger?

If you guessed tiger, you’re wrong. Besides, there’s no such thing as a black and white tiger. Wait, is there? Let me google that real quick. Ah. I stand corrected. According to Wikipedia, the white tiger is a “recessive mutant of the Bengal tiger.” Wow. That’s a pretty harsh description. You’d think the editor of the white tiger Wikipedia page has something against white tigers. Maybe they were mauled by a white tiger, and have been on a smear campaign ever since. I feel sorry for anyone who makes the mistake of bringing up white tigers in this person’s presence. They’d be like, “Oh, white tigers? Let me tell you something about white tigers. They’re no-good mutant freaks and I hate them.”

I’ve gotten off topic.

The correct answer to my original query is “Modern Dance.” See, Wife’s Christmas present was two tickets to the Boston Ballet’s presentation of esteemed Czech-Nederlands modern dance choreographer Jiří Kylián’s (yes, that Czech-Nederlands modern dance choreographer Jiří Kylián) better known works. One of his pieces, entitled “Tar and Feathers,” features, among other things, a pianist playing a piano on ten foot stilts, a giant pile of white bubble wrap, and dancers in black leotards growling like tigers.

And that wasn’t even the craziest part.

The craziest part of the show was watching the two high society women sitting in front of us have a muted argument that began when Ms. Snooty Pants A refused to move her legs as Ms. Snooty Pants B was trying to get to her seat. Ms. Snooty Pants B then “accidentally” hit Ms. Snooty Pants A in the face with her fur shawl as she was removing it. Ms. Snooty Pants A demanded an apology, Ms. Snooty Pants B refused, and the two spent the rest of the performance silently growling at each other with their eyes.

Best show I’ve ever seen.

The Bobby Pin of Evidence

Unsolved mystery.

It’s a mystery. No, I’m not talking about how toilet water stays put in the bowl, I’m talking about the presence of hundreds of thousands of tiny instruments of seemingly alien origin in my home and car. I have no idea how they got here, or what their creator’s intent was. All I know is that we are dealing with a mystifying invasion of small metallic clips with duel bulbous prongs and a single serrated shaft. Perhaps they operate some sort of Mayan Death Clock when fully assembled? Or are they micro listening devices planted by the government of some small island nation who took offense to one of my blogs and is plotting their revenge by slowly learning my greatest fears and then exploiting them? Now, I’m no Betting Octopus, but if you put two sticks, one red and one black, respectively representing the aforementioned possible explanations for this phenomenon, I would probably grab the black one with my tentacles. Or would I grab the red one? Aren’t octopi colorblind? I’m getting off topic here. Seriously, if anyone has any Hot Leads as to what these strange objects are, and what they are doing in my personal space, please enlighten me in the comments below. I don’t want to be one of those tin foil hat wearing conspiracy kooks, but I’m starting to feel paranoid. Also, the saran-wrap hat I’m wearing (to prevent brain hacking) is really uncomfortable.