The week without an afternoon sitter continues; I’ll have to write a column tonight, which leaves no time to write a bleat. So I’ll do a pathetic version of a blog, writing as the day goes by.

9:00 The coffee’s already done. In my waitering days we always had the raw materials ready to roll - a stack of ten filters, each containing one emptied packet of McGarvey Restaurant blend. Pull out the basket, dump it in the trash, put in a filter, hit the button, and the Bunn-o-Matic did the rest. That was a find blend; you could drink it all day. And we did.

And I do. I’m an all-day coffee man. I have my last cup around eight at night. I grind it so fine it’s weaponized. But I’ll never nuke that last half-inch in the pot; that’s wrong. You might as well just swab a knitting needle with speed and jab it in your soft palate.

10:00 Damn, it’s dank. This day needs fog. At least it’s not another cold spring - temps are rather normal, and the tulips don’t look like they’ve dressed for the wrong party.

11:00 Layne points out this extraordinary collection of auction items - a Montana drugstore was closed in 1952, and stayed closed for 51 years. Now intrepid Montanoligists have cracked the seals and entered the sanctorum, and the booty is being offered to the public. it’s an interesting reminder that decades never arrive or depart intact, that every era drags along the remnants of its predecessors. When you say “fifties” to people they think tail fins, Elvis, hula hoops, etc. Most of this stuff predates the infusion of Modernity into the popular bloodstream; some of the logos and packages go back to the twenties, or before.

Too bad that the chamber was cursed, and all who enter shall be dead in fifty years.

12:30 She’s down for her nap. Hoorah. Now I can go upstairs and wrestle with the monthly movie. I figured out why I couldn’t add transitions to my movie clips; it has to do with -

Oh, who cares.

2:30 She’s up from her nap. Sometimes she wails; sometimes she just walks out into the hall, grins, and says “I had an excellent nap.” This time I heard her laughing: Daddy! There’s poop in the bed!


Silly poop!

Sigh. I grab a wet rag and the bottle of “Mother’s Little Helper,” a cheerfully named feces eradicator. They’d never call it “Daddy’s Little Helper,” of course. To many women, “Daddy’s Little Helper” would bring to mind some sort of tripod which fastens on the thighs and helps Daddy hit the bowl 70 percent of the time.

There is indeed poop in the bed, and that means there’s poop elsewhere as well.

Holy Crow! says Gnat on the changing table. Peeeww!

Wonder where she picked that up.

5:00 As i noted earlier, Gnat is fascinated with my Penguin Classics paperbacks. Today I found her in her bed reading Dante’s La Vita Nuova. What’s that book about? I asked. She looked at the cover, which had a detail from a fresco called “A Poet Crowned by His Lady.”

“It’s about people,” she said. “It doesn’t have any pictures. No colors. Allll black.” A Dante aficionado in the making? She’ll be in good company.

We had to go downtown after her nap; I needed to get some letters from the office computer to write the column at home. While I was getting ready to go she fired up her computer and started ditzing around with Mr. Potato Head again; I told her to close the computer and come here to be shod. “Just a minute,” she said. She clicked back to the main screen and clicked on the EXIT sign, waited until the program quit and she was returned to the desktop. Then she closed the computer. It’s frightening. More frightening: one of the disks had the usual free programs and trial offers; when I looked up from my machine this morning I saw she was halfway through the AOL sign-up process.

I’m waiting for a pizza. Yes, I know: pizza on a Wednesday night? What madness is this? Has tertiary syphilis finally snaked its tentacles into my brain? No: I’m just too tired to cook. Wednesday is usually Indian Chicken night, but we got home too late. It takes an hour to cook, and to be frank I had no taste for it today. I did have a taste for a particular kind of pizza, the type with the hammered-thin crust, the lake o’ grease, the salty sauce with extra salt, and the salty Cheese (with salt). I ordered from a local place that exists, I swear, only because people eventually tire of their favorite pizza, and want something different. It comes in a plain brown box, like some sort of cheese-based pornography. The coupons are hand-drawn.

There was enough grease on this thing to lube the big tractor that rolled out the Saturn V rockets from the Vehicular Assembly Building. I daubed most of it up, and in the process the paper towels made the transition from grease-soaked paper to paper-based grease. The very smell of these towels made Jasper want to have sex with something - wave the towel in front of his snout, and the drool came pouring down, and that hideous liverish dog-weenis popped out as well.

9: 00 PM I’m glad Trenyce got the boot; she had an ooky skank-taint, and she gave me the creeps. There is no justice in the land if Ruben loses.

You know why I like Simon The Cruel? He remains utterly impassive when an entire audience is booing him behind his back. Never turns around. Doesn’t seem to notice. Perhaps he has some miniaturized Hate Sink on the nape of his neck; it soaks up displeasure and dissipates it before it reaches his ears. Or maybe he’s just British. Or maybe he’s just a jerk.

10:00 Just passed the TV - my wife was watching an interview with Judge Judy. I’ve said this before; I love Judge Judy. And not in that beat-me-whip-me-I’ve-been-so-naughty sense; I enjoy her snap judgments, her X-manesque ability to shoot blistering Scorn Beams from her eyes, and most of all her enthusiastic desire to apply the rhetorical two-by-four to the Clueless-American community. A few days ago some big earnest dufe was suing a little slip of a thing, a boobed-out sylph who thought she was cuter than God’s puppy. That three-thousand dollar check for a car he gave her after they broke up? A loan. Did she think he wanted more from her? Well, yes. Did she dump him after the check cleared? Yep. She grinned and minced and made rolly-eyes and ohmigod! expressions to her friends, to the camera, to the nation that would now, having known her, would love her too. Why not? She got a makeover for this show. She was going to be on TV!

“You know what you are, madam?” said the Judge. “You’re a prostitute. No - you’re worse than a prostitute. You took the money and you didn’t even deliver.”

She’s not like Dr. Laura, who strikes me as the human manifestation of the flesh-eating virus. She’s fair. Brutal, but fair. She’ll chew you two new ones and then award you a thousand dollars if the law’s on your side.

11:00 Okay, wrote the Backfence; it’s on the disturbing enthusiasm of the new Oreos. Needs editing. Must go.

Tomorrow: another day at home! The excitement, like the pooping, never stops.

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