Thursday, July 21, 2005

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity

For some people, blazing heat combined with stifling humidity frizzes their hair. For others, it disturbs their sleep. I’m lucky. The weather we’ve been having this week just makes my brain dribble out of my ears and collect in pools in my clavicle. If I get any more stupid, I’ll forget to breathe.

Example 1: Today was street-cleaning day, so Consort moved both of our cars to the correct side, one behind the other [Do you not have a garage? I hear you asking. Well, yes, we do. But Consort has a home-improvement project in there which might be compromised by parking cars in the garage. He swears it will be finished momentarily. I hope our great-grandchildren will someday be able to park their hovercraft in there]. Daughter and I went to a kids program this morning and when we returned a car had parked in the space I had occupied this morning, directly behind Consort’s car. The car now filling this space happened to be identical to mine: exact same make, exact same color, exact same interior. I idled staring at this car for a full minute, convinced I had somehow driven off in someone else’s car. Finally, using my most casual tone, I asked Daughter “Doesn’t that look like our car?” She glanced up for just a moment and replied, “No, there isn’t a dent in the back.” Only then was I finally able to park.

Example 2
[Actually, Examples 2 through 7 because I have repeated this one several times]: I’ll be puttering in the kitchen and will take some dry dishes from the dishwasher to the cupboard. Mid-room, I will notice out of the corner of my eye something on the stove which should be on the counter. I will pivot one quarter-turn to pick it up only to glance down and realize my hands are full and pivot back one-quarter turn to put the dishes away. I will start to move forward, only to see the exact same object in the corner of my eye -- the object I still have no room to hold -- and pivot back towards it again. Repeat the above dance step several more times to fully appreciate how stupid I have become. Someone peering in the window might safely assume one of my heels is nailed to the floor.

Example 3: Consort and I were unloading groceries while the world’s largest moth bounded around the kitchen, careening off the walls, creating a breeze and generally mocking us. The thing was the size of a grapefruit. It was impossible to continue a conversation with this oscillating B52 flapping around so I looked down on the counter and carefully chose something with which to whack it. I chose box of light bulbs. It wasn’t bad enough that a box of light bulbs weighs, at most, three ounces. The real problem is that …THEY ARE MADE OF GLASS. Apparently, my cunning plan was that the moth would look up and think “Man, she’s prepared to shove glass shards into her own tendons. This broad is nuts. I’d better get out of here!”

Luckily, the weather seems to affect a few other people this way as well. As I mentioned, Daughter and I went to a kid’s program this morning. It was a show where trained professionals brought out different mammals and talked about them. After the talk, the kids would get to ask questions.

I am not making fun of small children. I am not. I heard some of these kids asking their parents very logical and complicated questions on the way in to the show. Granted, most of these questions involved what was going to be playing on the car DVD player for the ride home, but I could not have phrased these requests any more cogently myself. However, once these children were in a warm outdoor environment and the trainer asked if there were any questions, their hands shot up while their brains scuttled away.

TRAINER: This is Bonky. He’s a North American gray fox. He’s about six months old. He likes to eat mice and insects. The reason he’s so quiet right now is that he’s nocturnal. Can you all say that? ‘Nocturnal’ means he comes out at night. Does anyone have any questions?

(First child flings herself on to the stage, gasping with the effort of trying to be chosen)

TRAINER: OK, you have a question?

(There is a pause. Clearly, the child hadn’t planned this far in advance.)

CHILD #1: …. What’s his name?

TRAINER: Bonky. Anyone else?

(Children rush the stage. Trainer picks a child who is tearing at the trainer’s pant leg.)

TRAINER: Yes?

CHILD #2: Hi.

TRAINER: Hi.

(Silence)

TRAINER: Do you have a question?

CHILD #2: I have a kitty-cat.

TRAINER: That’s great. Does anyone have a question? Yes, you?

(He points to slightly older child, clearly in hope of getting a question.)

CHILD #3: Yeah, uh. How old is she?

TRAINER: He’s about six months old. Anyone else?

(A child is holding one arm up with the other arm. The arm in the air is flailing with life-or-death urgency.)

TRAINER: Yes, do you have a question?

CHILD #4: I have a cat, too.

TRAINER: Does anyone else have a question?

(The crowd roils. The arms wave.)

TRAINER: A question that isn’t about your own pet?

(The crowd shifts a little bit. Two hands remain up. The trainer picks one of the two.)

TRAINER: Yes, what would you like to know about the fox?

CHILD #5: How old is she?

TRAINER: He’s six months old.

CHILD #5: My cat is three years old. Her name is Bumpers.

And they had nine more animals to show us.



Today, maybe a brain would have been redundant.

3 Comments:

Anonymous DC said...

I messed up my calendar and came within hours of making my kids miss their entire first week of camp

...and I wasn't even clever enough to blame it on the weather.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Quinn Cummings said...

Oh, that's a NICE one.

Anyone else?

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I spent the entire week thinking it was Wednesday...As a result, I had to throw myself on the mercy of a friend because I didn't show up for our Friday night plans because I thought it was Wednesday, or at the most, Thursday. I really hope a telethon is soon formed to find a cure for this embarassing condition.

8:30 PM  

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