Let the great debate begin. With the arrival date of a very expensive, very noisy long-term houseguest looming, Wife has been on a mission to clear out the junk in our house. She explains that she is “nesting,” but I like to think she is more along the lines of a pot-bellied robot sent back in time to eliminate high priority targets Flotsam & Jetsam, who know her only as The Tidynator. But that’s not what’s up for debate. I’m referring to the photo, circa 1989, that Wife found in a box filled with finger paintings, loose glitter, and what appears to be a lattice of popsicle sticks and glue. The photo features me, aged “This Many” (holds up four fingers), and Wife, aged “This Many” (holds up four and one half fingers), sitting back-to-back at adjacent tables in our pre-kindergarten nursery school. That’s right, Wife and I are Pre-School Sweethearts. Sure, we weren’t so much dating as Avoiding Each Other At All Costs (girls are gross!), but Pre-School Contemporaries doesn’t really have the same ring to it, does it? Here’s where the debate really heats up: in the photo, I can be seen staring intently over my shoulder in the direction of Wife, who is being served a lunch-time hot dog by our teacher, or, as I knew her, The Lady Who Sometimes Gives Us Hot Dogs. The question is, was I unconsciously experiencing True Love, that great cosmic force that binds all beings across time and space? Or was I just really hungry? I would ask The Tidynator to travel back in time for the answer, but she went shopping for storage bins (she said she’d be back).
I’m starving. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. I’m not literally starving. In fact, I’m probably the opposite of starving – whatever that is. I can’t remember the exact word my doctor used. I think it starts with “you are getting fatter.” Regardless, I haven’t eaten since the beginning of this sentence, and now I’m hungry. I’m so hungry that I’m actually angry. “Hangry,” I like to call it. It’s an emotion I discovered as an infant, and is best described by medical experts as “high pitched screaming followed by excessive crying.” Hanger is typically found in people who are either extremely impatient or < five years old. I currently reside in the first category, although from 1985 – 1990, I fit both classifications, and nearly drove my parents insane. No, really, I was, like, two hanger-attacks away from causing an enzyme to be released into their brains that would have turned them into schizophrenics. Don’t believe me? It’s on Wikipedia under “Child Psychology,” because I just put it there. Even if you yourself don’t suffer from hanger-attacks, I bet my bottom dollar you have a friend or relative who does. And if you don’t, no biggie, because I have no idea what a bottom dollar is. Seriously, though, I don’t recommend tangling with a hangry person. If you start to see the warning signs (beady eyes and an empty box of junk-food), get the heck out of there! Trust me, you do not want to stick around for the crying, which is so pathetic, it’s scary. Oh, look, we’re all out of my favorite cereal. [whispering] “Run.”