Thursday, August 21, 2014

killer cat

Dear Domestic Feline:

I know it was you who left what could have been mistaken for an owl pellet in the middle of the living room floor for me to discover as I was battening down the hatches for the night. As I sifted through said pellet, I realized it was actually a jumble of fur and bone too mangled to fully recognize as the mouse it once was. I know it was also you who just last week brought in another dead, deflated, dehydrated mouse. Your antics of tossing it jubilantly in the air and pouncing on it gave you away.

I realize that you alone possess sharp claws and hideous fangs and that you are capable of death and destruction. Exhibit A: the back of the couch. I realize that every night I sleep prone and vulnerable while you roam with your concealed carry weapons in search of your next conquest.

What you fail to realize is that I am much larger than you. Due to our sheer size difference, the chances of you subduing and conquering me are slim to none. What you also fail to realize is that I know how to open up the magic closet that contains cans and bags of tasty tidbits you call food. It is I who retrieves this food and stocks that closet for your pleasure and nourishment.

It is because of all of these things that I ask you to refrain from leaving anything resembling a mouse carcass in the living room. Simply put, please, stop bringing in dead mice from the garage. Better yet, feel free to eat as many dead mice as your little heart desires.

I'm glad we've had this little talk because if I see any more mice miscellany, I may forget how to open the cans from the magic closet, and stray mice that happen into the garage may be your only recompense. Good luck with those claws and fangs.

Your Owner

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

home sweet school

There I was at the self-checkout of My Beloved Meijer when who should sidle up beside but Mrs. Deason, my much revered and feared high school math teacher. My heart stopped, then it pounded. I leapt with joy as I sprung to thank her for all she put me through to teach me a thing or two about formulas and complicated sums.

She was a tough egg to crack, let me tell you. She was to be feared, and most of us with a lick of sense truly did. Who know what she would make us do if we didn't get our homework done or show all our work. She was driven and tenacious, and she knew how to use that furrowed brow when she needed it.

Looking back, she was my favorite teacher although at the time, I was too petrified of her to realize it. She made you work, baby. Blood, sweat, and tears.

I gushed unabashedly on her ability to get the most out of a kid. She was touched, I could tell, almost brought to tears. It had been nearly thirty years since I'd been in her classroom, and I don't know how long since she retired.

She couldn't have known how much I respected her because I didn't realize it myself until after I left much, much later.

Then I thought to show her my children. I told her that we homeschool, and she shrunk back in visible discomfort.

What is it, Mrs. Deason? What troubles you so? Have a little faith in me. I was a good student, remember? I was in National Honor Society two years running. I got good grades. I could have done better. Yes, but even though the lightbulb often didn't come on until after the test, I showed great promise, did I not?

What then should be troubling you? Is it the fact that I was just feverishly looking for the $5 coupon I knew I had floating around in my purse. Was it the flurry of cards and papers and personal effects that had erupted from my pocketbook? Honestly, my life isn't really this cloud of confusion you see before you now. It gets better.

Here, go ask my children. Ask the young one if he knows how to do long division. See for yourself. Ask them what the capital of Florida is. Don't worry now. Have faith in the system. I know what I'm doing. I'm a degreed librarian. If I don't have the answer at my fingertips, I sure as shootin' know how to find it.

Don't wince like that, Mrs. Deason. There's hope for the future. My own children love math. Why, it is actually their favorite subject. And just think, I'm sure somewhere right this very minute there is a calculus class undergoing a grueling pop-quiz. Doesn't that make you feel better, Mrs. Deason? Somewhere an entire classroom of highschoolers is cutting their teeth on the quadratic formula. There, there, steady now. O lady, weep no more. It's all just a dream. Just a bad, bad dream.

link: life of fred, weep no more