When I was young, I was one of those women who secretly sneered at women who suffered great menstrual mood swings, thinking them delicate little neurasthenic types. What you need is some exercise and a hobby, I’d think.
Of course life has a way of sneaking up on you, and I’m being punished by becoming, in my forties, a PMS murder defense waiting to happen. On Friday, I snapped at three oldish tweens hanging around the little kids playing next door: "Aren’t you a little old to be playing with kindergarteners? Take off!" I barked, which is exactly what my neighbor wanted to do but wasn’t PMSsy enough to say. Glad to be of service, neighbor; just be careful where you aim me, I’m loaded! On Saturday, I left a bitchy voice mail for my insurance agent, after I received a third bill for the Passat’s policy, something I thought was settled two weeks ago, following a series of about six phone calls trying to explain that no, I didn’t want liability only on my brand new car; that was an option I’d chosen on my ’87 beater, but that would be pretty foolish for a car that’s not even paid for, don’t you think? But I didn’t feel really crazy until this morning, when I went 10 rounds on the phone with the proprietor of the hated local ice-cream truck franchise.
Tell me what you would do, if you were stemming spinach at the sink at 9 a.m. and heard the cheery electronic melody indicating overpriced freezer-burned ice-milk products would be available for sale at curbside in just a moment, at an hour when many are still in bed and which is, after all, Easter-freakin’-Sunday. Nine ayem! Easter Sunday! I growled but let it pass. They came back through at 11:30. I reached for the phone. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to offend a non-religious person like me on religious grounds today?" I asked. "Would it kill you to wait until noon?"
"We got a city permit says we can be out anytime after 9," he grunted.
"On Sundays? On Easter?" I said.
"On any day," he said. Tone: Bite me. "Just trying to make a living, lady."
I have no problem with anyone trying to make a living, but most people’s work doesn’t come blaring through my neighborhood disturbing the peace several times a day from tulip season through Labor Day, and turns me into the Joseph Stalin of frozen treats, since I have to say no every single time, while the trucks themselves all appear to be driven by mullet-headed parolees and the actual treats themselves are repulsive, neon-colored representations of Tweety Bird with gumballs for eyes and frozen gumballs! Frozen gumballs! I ask you.
"I’m calling my city councilman," I finally said, slamming down the phone, although "slamming down" is something of a misnomer when you’re talking about a cordless phone, and threatening to call your councilman is not the sort of thing to strike fear into an ice-cream-truck business owner’s heart, but still. We have a noise ordinance in town, passed during the first days of boom cars, which is utterly unenforceable but still requires that vehicles be muffled and any music from same can’t be heard 40 feet away. What a joke.
OK, then! I guess that’s out of my system! At least the bunny cake(s) turned out well.
On to the bloggage:
Thanks, Miss Beth, for passing along proof, as if we needed any more, that aggressive Canada geese are a menace worthy of Donald Rumsfeld, once he’s done with Syria and Iran. And we know they’re terrorists, because only terrorists would attack a disabled man, right?
Perdue said the birds knocked him to the sidewalk and pecked him repeatedly as he left the store at 5110 Pike Plaza Road. Perdue, 43, said he had trouble fighting off the geese because of a work-related injury and surgery that has left him with rods and steel supports implanted in his back. The large geese eventually stopped attacking after several minutes of screaming as he was down on his hands and knees, he said. "I had blood all over my knees. One of them — I guess it was the male — bit me on the back," Perdue said Thursday. "They got me pretty bad. I’m hurt all over. I can hardly move."
Speaking of which, one of our other readers — from Canada, amusingly enough — says the trick is to make yourself big (arms out to sides helps) and make a loud noise, and they’ll back off.
And thanks to the readers who wrote to explain the playing-card thing: It helps troops learn the faces of the guys we’re after while they pass their down time playing solitaire and euchre and whatever, a common-sense explanation I should have thought of myself. Wrote Dwight: It kind of makes sense to me: the troops are probably out there in the middle of the desert with not a whole lot else to do. No booze, you can only eat so much a day, they may not have sporting equipment or power for the Playstation/GameBoy, if they’ve got one: cards are cheap, highly portable, and require no power, so I’m sure they’re a recreation of choice. I’m sure the thinking is that, if they sit there staring at poker (cribbage? hearts? bridge?) hands long enough, they can’t help but pick up what Barzan (or the other 51 losers) looks like. Decks of cards are probably also pretty easy to distribute in bulk to the various outposts as well (or even print on the spot).
As for why Saddam’s brother-in-law didn’t rank higher than the five of clubs, wrote Jack, After the court cards and the aces, the assignments were random. DoD printed only a couple of hundred decks; there’s a free download at DoD’s site.
So there is.
And finally, if you’ve ever wondered what my brother-in-law looks like, well, now you know. (He went out and got a post-retirement job and ended up in one of those arty shots photographers love to get for a run-of-the-mill business story.) Sixtysomething and he still looks puckish.
See you tomorrow, late.