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The day began with a bloody nose, and unfortunately it wasn’t mine. Plugging someone else’s schnozz is never as easy as tending after your own.

It’s the end of summer tomorrow, but I don’t think we’ll notice. Today I filled the pool. Gnat’s friend came over for two hours of hypersonic screeching (they sound like dolphins on helium) and they spent some time splashing in the pool. Lemonade and crackers afterwards. At four her friend left, and I finished off the stack of papers required for Gnat’s induction into pre-school. I came across Medical Form B, which had to be signed by a physician. Without this form the school assumes massive cootie infestation, with diphtheria sauce shooting out her ears in big pink streams, as well as Projectile Hepatitis Syndrome where she coughs pieces of infected liver directly into the lunchboxes of other kids. No form, no school. Uh oh. I called the pediatricians’ office; it would take 48 – 72 hours to get it done. School starts on Thursday.

Saddle up, kid. Made it to the doctor’s office by 4:20. Back in the car. Grocery store, not because we had to, but because I wanted to. Flowers and ice cream, sausage and milk. I stock up today so I won’t have to stock up tomorrow. Of course, I will stock up tomorrow so I don’t have to stock up on Thursday. I need an excuse to go to the grocery store? Out of spinach. How’s that? Jeez.

Back home. Made the coffee. The new coffee maker not only has a glowing green dial, as noted yesterday; it has a clock with a ticking second hand, which really does make it look like an old style sonar readout. I want to put on the cans and hunch in front of it with a watchful expression, saying things like “I’m picking up something unusual, Captain. Either this is a new blend of Starbucks we’ve never seen before or it’s the old Folgers-class grind pulling a Crazy Olson.” But of course I don’t, because that would be stupid beyond compare, and I have to be on Hugh’s show any minute now and be stupid within the normal parameters of stupidity.

Afterwards, burritos. Gnat refuses to eat them. “Fine,” I say. “No dessert.” She eats it. I give her an Oreo, but it’s one of those mini-Oreos. Brilliant creation, the Mini-Oreo. Kids feel cheated – only adults would come up with something as tricky and evil as the Mini Oreo. On the other hand, it is indisputably an Oreo, and that tells them they would be unwise to complain. Next: the injectible Oreo, three microns thick. Oh, you don’t want one? Fine. "No, no! I’ll take it, daddee. Let me tie off a vein." All right, then.

He says, blandly, hoping this little merry snippet of an idle life will mollify those who’ve come for 2000 words on German-influenced movie soundtracks, predictable talking points dressed up as barely-recognizable parodies of the opposition’s positions, movie reviews, ruminations on Target shelf-stocking strategies, and other staples of the Bleat. (Jasper says: “woof!”) Sorry: Mondays are hell. At the end of the day I have two columns to write, and right now each one is just a single dormant cell that shows no signs of dividing and multiplying. I must work. Tomorrow: Elvis, Hero King of Powers. Stay tuned, and apologies.