I hope I’m wrong, but you know me. Always suspect the worst. Especially after discovering four recent mosquito bites on my legs, waking up with a daily headache, and hearing my dentist say to me on Monday, “Oh, your tonsils are really red and swollen! Looks like a classic case of West Nile Virus.”
Which only confirmed my suspicions.
(Okay, she didn’t say that last sentence out loud. I added it in my mind.)
Plus, two of the dead & sick birds were chickadees and one was a nuthatch, which immediately sent me into a spiral of depression. Why can’t the fucking sparrows disappear? Why does it always have to be the cute birds?
Despite my headache and overall feeling of shittiness (and did you know that another symptom of West Nile is excessive swearing on your blog?), I will attempt to lighten your day with a story about my parents. As I mentioned in my last post, it was my mother’s birthday this weekend. So of course we celebrated with the traditional telling of stories designed to embarrass their progeny.
Our family dog, Suka, is a fourteen year-old Springer Spaniel. She’s incontinent, deaf, arthritic, and apparently, very territorial. On occasion, my dad urinates in the backyard (they live in the country, thank god. You can do this if you live in the country). He claims this is for convenience and to lessen the burden on the septic system. (What you’re hearing now is the faint sound of me laughing.) He recently noticed that whenever he pees outside, Suka will immediately hobble over on her arthritic legs and pee over the spot where he just did, marking her territory.
So, of course my parents decided this was a prime opportunity to have a pissing contest. Literally. My mom bet my dad that Suka wouldn’t pee over her spot, opting to urinate only over my dad’s. My mom claimed that she was top dog, and Suka would respect that.
I’ll give you a moment to digest this.
And wouldn’t you know it, she lost the bet.
Moving on. Earlier in the day, I helped celebrate my friend Wendy’s birthday in Madison. (There was a twofer special on birthdays last Sunday.) A number of old friends joined us, one of whom had just attended a wedding the night before.
Do you know that in certain parts of Wisconsin, it is a great honor to be asked to “Drive Car” for a friend or family member’s wedding? To “Drive Car” means you wear a carnation boutonniere and chauffer two members of the wedding party (which can be as large as 15 couples in some parts of the state) from bar to bar between the ceremony and reception. Most of the time when you “Drive Car,” you get to drink, too.
I can’t tell what my favorite part of this concept is, but I do enjoy the dropped article.
It’s also common around here to “drive bus” or “drive truck” for a living. As in, “Doesn’t Henry Gellings drive bus?”
“No, you’re thinking of Jim Flood. Henry Gellings drove truck for Michel’s the thirty years.”
(Note the intentionally absent “last” between “the” and “thirty.” In Wisconsin, this is another word that is frequently implied but rarely used.)
Which reminds me. Is Barstool Racing common at taverns in your city? How about Pitcher Races, where the teams have names like “The Christ Punchers” or “Ueker’s Pukers” and first prize is … more beer?
Well, back to obsessing over my swollen tonsils. I’m going hiking tomorrow, so I do hope for a break in the malaise. If I get some good photos, they'll be on the blog shortly. I hope to be back to my regular blogging schedule in early September, after I have a good chunk of book numero dos under my belt. And after I get over my West Nile Virus.
Suka. She's a real pisser.