December 30, 2012

What to Expect When Men Get Sick

            It’s often been said that men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Trust me, when a man gets sick, it’s either too quiet or not quiet enough.  You ladies know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had to deal with a man who is ill.
There are two distinct types of men in these circumstances, and each is extreme.  Men do not do things halfway.
The first type is the Stoic.  He’s a macho guy, and will neither desire nor require attention of any kind.  You will not even know he was sick until you find him dead.  He will refer to a mangled appendage as a “cut” and will ignore pain; or, at least, will never admit to it.  Our Stoic will not think twice about going to work with something contagious – like leprosy – and will continue to work while body parts drop off.  He’ll fix the car while he’s bleeding to death from a drive-by bullet wound.  He’ll play poker with his buddies the day after quadruple bypass surgery.  He will not stop.  He’s the Energizer Bunny of humanity.  He is the real reason for nailing coffins shut.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Whiner.
To the Whiner, every sneeze is pneumonia, every headache a brain tumor.  An upset stomach is always good for a white-knuckled trip to the emergency room and a speeding ticket to add to the collection.  If you’re not sure of your guy is a Whiner, there’s an easy way to find out.  Just walk into any emergency room in the state in which you live.  If you are greeted by name by any member of the staff, then, honey, you’ve definitely got yourself a Whiner.
OK, so he’s wheeled into the emergency room, is examined by an exasperated doctor (who has real emergencies to attend to), and is told, for the umpteenth time, to go home and stay in bed for a day.
You must have done something to offend this doctor for him to wish this on you.  Maybe he’s getting you back for that emergency appendectomy you had to have last year that interrupted the only golf game he was winning . . . in his life . . .that he had big money riding on.
“Your wife will give you all the TLC you need.”  He looks at you and smiles evilly.  Oh, yeah.  Had to be that appendectomy.
After arriving at Home Sweet, he climbs into bed under at least 10 layers of electric blankets, with a thermometer jammed in his mouth.  By the end of the day, you’ll want to jam it someplace else, on the pretext of getting a more accurate reading.
Just to cheer himself up, he’s watching a video of “Camille,” and looking as miserable as Dennis Miller in a deaf mute ward.  And in case he’s not in stitches by the end of “Camille,” he has videos of “Last Holiday” and “Philadelphia” as backup, as well as a copy of Death, Be Not Proud on his nightstand.
When you ask him if he needs anything, he’ll respond, “Yes.  A gun with one bullet.”
“But you only have a headache.”
Don’t ever say, “only.”
In response, you will get a diatribe regarding your lack of sympathy and a litany of descriptive phrases detailing the massive pain he is currently suffering, and the fact that this headache isn’t a “normal” headache, but feels like it could be brain cancer, winding up with “I only wanted the gun to shoot myself in the arm to distract me from the pain in my legs.  I think I may have an embolism, or something.”
And never smoke around this person, unless you care to spend the next few hours listening to a graphically described harangue on the effects of secondhand smoke.  This one will develop a smoker’s hack at the mere sight of a cigarette, lit or not.
He has pills to counteract the deadly interactions of his other pills.  He owns a hospital bed, a cardiac monitor, and a blood pressure cuff.  His food must be overcooked and unpalatable, and the only dessert he’ll eat is Jell-O.  He must be kept from watching all television medical dramas because, immediately following such entertainment, he will develop all the symptoms of the plot disease.  The fact that it’s a type of flesh-eating malady found only in a small town in Liechtenstein, and he’s never traveled outside his town in the U.S. will not deter him.  He will declare that the germs were brought in on the clothing of some careless traveler with a death wish.
He takes so many vitamins that Centrum had to hire a second shift.  He gets personal Christmas cards from the presidents of Upjohn, Eli Lily, and Merck.  He gets a fruit basket from his local drug store every year on his birthday.  His doctor sends him tapes of Marcus Welby reruns just before his daughter’s tuition payment is due.
In short, either way, Stoic or Whiner, men are men. 
And really…would we have it any other way?


December 14, 2012

HATS OFF . . . DEFINITELY!


Have you ever noticed how some people are “hat people” and others aren’t?

I fall into the latter category.  Hats look terrible on me; while a friend of mine, who dragged me along hat shopping last week, could put a burlap bag on her head and look like Cindy Crawford.  I could do the same thing and look like Broderick Crawford.  People could give me spare change, for heaven’s sake!

So, off we trundled to “Hats, Hats, Hats.” 

The first one she picked up was a top hat, reminiscent of Fred Astaire and long, elegant staircases.  She looked magnificent in it.  She put it on my head, and I resembled a deranged version of Abraham Lincoln. 

Next, a cloche.  This is a French-style hat, made of felt, rounded on the top with a soft brim that rolls upward.  She looked like a high-fashion Parisian.  I looked like a toad peeking out from under a rock. 

But I humored her.  That’s the kind of person I am. 

She tried on a velvet baseball cap and looked wonderful.  I looked like Daffy Duck’s wife. 

“Please,” I begged, “buy one and let’s go.” 

“Oh, but there are so many to choose from!” she burbled.  “Let’s try a few more.” 

I was being punished for something, I just knew it. 

She tried on a white felt hat with a veil.  Men would have dropped dead if they ever saw her in it.  She put it on me and…voila!  A beekeeper!

Next, a cowboy hat.  She:  Dale Evans.  Me:  Trigger. 

She finally settled on a gray wool Kangol wedge cap.  It really looked cute on her, and I could easily envision her wearing it behind the wheel of a vintage sports car. When I tried it on, I looked like Ed Norton sporting a manhole cover.  But I didn’t care at that point.  It was over.  She had the hat wrapped up and we left for lunch, which turned out to be delicious. 

While drinking our coffees, she picked up her package and held it out. 

“Merry Christmas,” she said. 

I wonder if there are any job openings in the Department of Sanitation.

 

November 23, 2012

POLITICS AND ALLIGATORS IN A SMALL TOWN

     While working for the Provincial Picayune Gazette and still laboring under the delusion that reporting was what I was meant to do with my life, I was sentenced to the cruel and unusual punishment of submitting a daily story about a flyspeck of a town called Deep River – a settlement about as full of hot news stories as a rain barrel.  So, to those of you interested in a career as a small town news reporter, here is Lesson #1.  Pay attention.  It’s about all you’ll be able to pay with the salary you’ll be earning.

     Lesson #1 – Salacious Rumors, assorted Lies, and Miscellaneous Gossip
Somewhere along the line, those inevitable lean days for news will sneak up on you (or, in my case, will lie in wait and ambush you, day after day).  Nothing is happening, town officials are taking five-hour lunches, and everybody else is on vacation.  The ever-present five o’clock deadline is looming closer by the minute, and there is only one thing left to do.
Make something up.
Oh, don’t look so shocked.  It’s very simple, it’s done all the time, and it makes terrific copy.  All you have to do is think up a nasty rumor about a town official, then call that official, repeat your newly-born rumor, and ask for verification.
Here’s a short example:
Reporter:  Mrs. Swane, is it true that, as First Selectman, you’ve been dipping into the town General Fund for personal use?
FS (First Selectman):  Absolutely not!  That’s a vicious lie!
Reporter:  My sources tell me that you’re building a castle out in Winthrop, complete with a moat.  Isn’t that quite expensive considering the salary you’re paid?
FS:  It’s beyond my comprehension how these rumors get started.  I am not, I repeat, not building a castle!
Reporter:  Exactly what are you building, then?
FS:  (quickly)  It’s just a replica of the Taj Mahal.  And it doesn’t have a moat, just a small reflecting pool out front.
Reporter:  But it is filled with alligators . . .
FS:  Well, yes, but they ate the Second Selectman last week, so they’re pretty docile at the moment.  They do get testy when they’re hungry, though.
Reporter:  Don’t you think “testy” is an awfully mild term to describe killer reptiles?
FS:  I don’t understand why everyone is so down on my alligators!  I need protection out there in the woods.
Reporter:  Mrs. Swane, I’ve seen your home and I’d hardly call it “woodsy.”
FS:  Well, it does have trees all around . . .
Reporter:  There are only two trees on your entire lot!
FS:  But there are lots of bushes!
Reporter:  That’s true.  With all those shrubs to hide behind, you’re just asking for a pygmy attack.
FS:  Well, my husband died last year, and I do need the security.
Reporter:  Don’t the jackals take care of that?
FS:  Oh, you’ve seen the jackals, have you?
Reporter:  Yes, but they saw me first.
FS:  Oh, my!  Are you all right?
Reporter:  Sure.  I’ll be out of the hospital in another month, and then they tell me that I shouldn’t have any trouble learning to walk again, with my new artificial leg.  Now, to get back to this General Fund thing . . .
FS:  I told you already . . . it’s ridiculous!
Reporter:  Then perhaps you could tell me why the town is running on a $200,000 deficit, with a safe deposit box full of IOUs signed, “A Friend.”
FS:  I don’t know anything about those IOUs!  However, the deficit can be laid at the feet of the town sanitation crew.  The cost of garbage collection has simply skyrocketed this year!
Reporter:  But the townspeople pay for garbage pickup.
FS:  Oh, yes.  That’s right.  Well, upkeep on the truck is very costly.
Reporter:  $200,000 worth?
FS:  Well, we had to replace a tire.
Reporter:  Where did you buy it?  Fort Knox?
FS:  No, but it was handmade in Akron, Ohio.  Labor isn’t cheap, you know.  As I always say, you get what you pay for.
Reporter:  Well, that just goes to show you why you’re where you are and I’m where I am.  I would have done something silly, like take it to an ordinary service station and have a regular tire put on.
FS:  I guess I can’t really expect you to understand the inner workings of town government, since you’re just a reporter.  Well, I’m sorry, but I’ll have to hang up now.  It’s time to feed my piranhas, and I just got some meat out of the freezer . . .
Reporter:  Wait, wait!  I wanted to ask you about the disappearance of the Third Selectman!
<CLICK>

 

 
 

November 9, 2012

STUPID QUESTIONS ANSWERED


Having become well and truly sick of the stupid questions that circulate on the Internet, passed along by people who regard them as “thought provoking,” I have taken the liberty of answering them in hopes that they will finally be laid to rest.  No, no, don’t thank me—it is my pleasure.


Can you cry under water?
Unless you are the Creature from the Black Lagoon or Jacques Cousteau, why would you want to?  And who cares, anyway?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated, instead of just murdered?

Rock and Roll legend on up.  Nobody will ever assassinate your first grade teacher, the mailman, or the guy who does your dry cleaning—though we all wish someone would.

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were
buried in for eternity?

I think people should worry less about clothes and more about how to get to heaven in the first damned place!

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

To prove that the whole “round hole in a square peg” debate is completely specious.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Being delicious

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Because it’s much easier to get a man to the moon than it is to try and figure out how to rapidly navigate O’Hare.

Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up every two hours?

Insomniacs say it all the time.

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Because if you said, “In TV” to sounds too much like “MTV” and creates a great deal of confusion and screaming.

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

They want to choose who to spit on.

Why do doctors leave the room while you change?  They're going to see you naked anyway...

They have to leave so that they can think about something terribly depressing in order to keep a straight face when they DO see you naked.

Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?

Who the hell knows?  Just get dressed, already!

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

There is a race in BoraBora that eats burned toast exclusively—you racist, you!

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

If the song is so stupid, why do you know it by heart?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

They are both cartoons, numb nuts!

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

Dirty diapers.

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

No

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

That was your idea, not mine.

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

The dog just likes to get his own air.  I’d be pissed off someone blew sausage and garlic breath at me, too!

Why, Why, Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are dying?

I don’t do this—I change the batteries.  Is this something you do?  I think I have a phone number you can call…

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money?

Why trust someone with your money whose job title is “broker”?  How do I know?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Because everyone lies about wet paint.

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

To avoid a guilty conscience.

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Because Jane doesn’t like them.

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Because the bullet proof vest isn’t on his head.

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Keeps the mess to a minimum.

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

We didn’t evolve from apes.  If the present condition of humanity is any indication, we evolved from Dodo birds—and there are none of those left.

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is this all you have to think about?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Yes.  The Saturday I go to buy one.

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

That’s not why they go.  They’re just checking to see if they are hungry enough yet to eat the food that they can’t identify in the Tupperware container in the door.
Why do people keep running over a thread a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

I don’t.  I have a vacuum cleaner that actually works.


Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

Try turning it around.

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

Invasion techniques learned from the Moussad.

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

This happened to me just recently—I was attempting to catch a friend of mine after he’d had a snoot full and was dancing on said table.  I caught him, but managed to knock his partner to the floor.

In winter, why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

Because we’re idiots with short memories.

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

Turn up your hearing aid.

The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.
My three best friends are completely insane, as am I.


November 2, 2012

ATTIC ATTACK!


I cleaned out my attic this past summer.
Now, this is not a pursuit to embark upon in the hotter-than-hell-melt-your-eyeballs weather that we had been having, but after months of working up to it, the appointed weekend had finally arrived and I didn’t want to put it off, yet again, for fear of getting hit by a truck in the interim.  Though I always wear clean underwear in preparation for such a twist of fate, and also to avoid causing my mother embarrassment, I wasn’t particularly enamored of the idea that people would be tramping through that untidy space to divvy up my earthly belongings, and probably taking about what a disgusting housekeeper I was.  Even though I would be dead at that point, I had no desire to add insult to injury.  God only knew what was up there.  I hadn’t seen any of that stuff for ten years or more, and spent a good part of my life, up until that weekend, desperately trying to forget that I even had an attic.
I awoke on Saturday to birdsong.  Well, birdcroak would be more accurate.  It was 112 degrees out with 90% humidity and not an air conditioner in sight.  I got up and jumped into the shower, as much to soak off the sheet that had bonded to my body like epoxy, as to get clean.
After I sweated myself into shorts and a tee shirt, choked down six or seven cups of iced coffee, and made 12 trips to the bathroom, I ventured upward.
Upon opening the door, I was assailed by a mustiness that was almost palpable.  Plus, multi-generations of spiders had obviously been working their little spinnerets to the bone to add that certain, je ne sais quoi, Bram Stoker touch to the d├ęcor.  I didn’t know whether to clean it or set up a photo shoot with “Better Dungeons and Gardens.”
Sighing, I took a broom to the cobwebs.  After a scant hour, they were down . . . and stuck all over my sweaty body.  At that point, I bore a striking resemblance to cotton candy . . . with feet.  
Next, dusting.  After ten minutes of that, the room resembled the aftermath of afternoon tea with the Tasmanian Devil.  Mexico City had cleaner air!  And now, on top of my cobweb body suit, I was covered with so much black dust that I got the unexplainable urge to drop to one knee and sing “Mammy.”  I idly wondered, if I got my period just then, would I have minstrel cramps?
After three more hours of dusting and another two of coughing, I unearthed nearly two hundred boxes, in which were stored such essentials as:
Corroded flashlight batteries
Broken transistor radio
Old . . . really old . . . dog food
Clothing I wore in elementary school
A box of stones . . . just plain old stones
An album full of photos of people I had never seen before in my life
A Brontosaurus skull
Bell bottoms
Johnny Mathis albums
A case of SlimFast shakes that had exploded years ago
An empty hope chest (neither I nor my chest ever had much hope)
A flat tire
Three decks of 50, 51 and 49 cards respectively
A ukulele
A portrait of Elvis on black velvet
A rug with cigarette burns
A pile of sticks (I guess they were meant to go with the stones, in case I wanted to break some bones)
A full-size Liechtenstein flag
A concrete gargoyle with a missing nose.
There was much more, but I was too afraid to explore any further, so I solved my problem in the most efficient way possible.
I tossed in a match, closed the door, and called the fire department.
At least now I have a good excuse for the mess. 

October 25, 2012

WAKEY, WAKEY. . .

          I don’t know about you, but it takes me a long time to wake up in the morning.
I totter to the bathroom and run the bathwater.  Then I swear, because the last person using the shower didn’t switch it back to the faucet, and now my head is soaking wet, along with the shoulders of my bathrobe!
I dry my hair while waiting for the water to heat up.  I shed my robe and step into the deliciously hot water running from the tap.  It continues to pour forth hot for about ten more seconds, and then turns colder than Bob Dole’s smile.  I swear again.
Once that ordeal is over, I step out, dry off, and brush my teeth . . . with hair conditioner.  My teeth don’t get clean, but, by God, they sure are manageable!
Next, deodorant.
The container is empty, so I put two bay leaves under each armpit, so that if I do sweat, at least I’ll smell like soup. Hair dry, I massage in styling mousse . . . which turns out to be shaving cream.  I swear a third time and rinse out my hair.  It now smells, according to the can, like a fresh spring morning in Ireland.  Well, at least it isn’t green.
Hairspray next.  Wrong again.  It’s RAID.  So now I have hair that smells like an Irish roach motel, teeth that are touchably soft, and a really bad attitude.
          I get dressed and stomp downstairs, snatch open the freezer and grab some frozen waffles . . . only they aren’t frozen waffles.  They are honeycombed Handi-Wipes that some fool had put in the freezer, and I don’t discover my error until I’ve heated them up, loaded them with syrup, and taken the first bite!

          Well, at least I can have a cup of coffee.  Nope.  It is freshly perked potting soil that I had put in a coffee tin and forgotten all about.
Not feeling safe in my own home any longer, I jump into my car and speed to work.
          Another mistake.

           It’s Sunday.

 

 

 

 



 

October 19, 2012

THOSE MARVELOUS LABOR-SAVING DEVICES


We’ve come a long way in the last 150 years, haven’t we?  Now we can spend more time doing what we want to do as a result of all the labor-saving devices we’ve invented.
Take the vacuum cleaner.  Of course, we didn’t need vacuum cleaners before the advent of throw rugs and carpeting, but we now have vacuum cleaners to keep these justifications for vacuum cleaners clean… unless, of course, the belt breaks or the canister explodes.  Then we have dust, cat hair (even people with no pets at all end up with cat hair in their rugs.  I’ve never been able to figure this out), and unidentifiable brown crumbly things littering the carpet our forefathers had no use for and no labor-saving devices to clean up the amazing mess that the labor-saving device made.
Then we have dishwashers, to save women everywhere from “dishpan hands.”  That is, until it gets clogged and spews hundreds of gallons of scalding water all over the house, creating an effect similar to the Mississippi delta in the area your labor-saving vacuum cleaner threw up ten minutes ago.  And though you don’t have dishpan hands, you do have washerwoman’s knees!
But wait!  We have WETVACS to clean up the water with which your labor-saving dishwasher so thoughtfully created that sunken living room you’ve always wanted . . . until it shorts out and sends 200 amps through the saturated carpet, electrocuting your Chihuahua.
Moving right along, we have the washing machine.  You just drop in the dirty clothes and some laundry soap and, twenty minutes later, you have clean clothes.  Of course, during those twenty minutes, the plastic blade guard shakes loose and what you are left with is a load of clean, but unrecognizable, rags.  You can dry them automatically, too; then you’ll have DRY unrecognizable rags.
Ah, but we have a labor-saving sewing machine to stitch back together the rags created by your labor-saving washing machine.  The sewing goes well until a strange sound from your labor-saving trash compactor momentarily distracts you and you run the needle through several fingers, calling for a trip in your labor-saving car to your labor-saving hospital, where you will get a tetanus shot.  Unfortunately, your labor-saving car is struck by another labor-saving car on the way, so you arrive at your destination by way of a labor-saving ambulance.
So, people, before you pick up that blow dryer, do yourselves a favor--make sure your insurance is paid up.

October 12, 2012

Here’s One More Place I Can Never Go Back To!

       I’ve decided that there is no good time to get groceries.
      No matter when you go; weekends, weekdays, early in the morning, mid-afternoon, or evening, it really doesn’t seem to make much difference.  And I’ve tried them all, so I know whereof I speak.
     My latest foray was early in the evening on Sunday.  My husband, Stij, is an avid (read that “foaming at the mouth”) New York Giants fan, and there was an “important” game on that evening, so he wanted to “just do a quick shop.”
       It is to laugh.
      Walking into our local megamarket, we observed the cheery banner of greeting above the door, which read, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”  We pried a shopping cart out of the row that had been spot welded together, and set off.
     Now understand, Stij is the easiest-going person you’ll ever meet, this side of Mahatma Gandhi, but he won’t trust me to drive his truck since I told him I used to participate in Demolition Derbies.  The fact that it took a great deal of skill on my part to come out of one of those things with only a couple of dented fenders left him unimpressed.  All he had to hear was “Demolition Derby,” and the driver’s seat suddenly became an unattainable goal.
     All this by way of saying that we do the grocery shopping together, since I am sans automobile, at the moment.
     But, as I said, he’s an easy guy to be around, so I don’t mind . . .
     . . . except during football season.
     We’d barely stepped over the threshold of the store, and the first thing he did was check his watch.  He did this twelve more times before we even got to the produce aisle, where I like to start my shopping.
     “What do you want to eat this week?” I asked.
     “Food,” came his helpful reply.
     “For veggies, how about some green beans, carrots, and cauliflower?”
     “Fine, fine, fine.  Just get it and let’s get going,” he muttered, checking his watch again.
     By the time we got half way through the store, the whole endeavor became less like shopping and more like fleeing from aisle to aisle.  I was grabbing and tossing blindly, while he shouted at one innocent bystander after another to “move your bovine carcass out of the way!” 
     OK, so we made it to the bread aisle, which is the last one.  Watch-checking had escalated to every other second.  I was wheezing, soaked in sweat, and dangerously dehydrated.  I grabbed what I I hoped wasn’t some frou-frou artisan bread made with twigs, seeds, and gravel and we rounded the bend on two wheels at 90 mph, only to be stopped dead at . . . ta da . . . the checkout lines. 
     The lines were seventeen deep.  At the end, people were getting married, babies were being born, and old people, who were young when they got into line, were dying.  There was even a house being built at the end of the queue at register three.
     “#$#@#%@#$#@#$!” Stij commented.  “Come on.  We’re not waiting in these lines!”
     “Are you proposing we embark on a life of crime?”
     “No!  Just leave it!”
     “Patience is a virtue.”
     “Yeah, and silence is golden.”  This was accompanied by a look that can open coconuts at twenty paces and close mouths instantly.  “Come on.”
     Sighing, I abandoned our loaded card and followed him out to the truck.
     Did I say, “followed?”  It was more like “sprinted.”  By the time I caught up, he was already driving out of the parking lot and was irked to have to slow down to forty or so, so I could jump in.
     Fortunately, we don’t live too far away from the grocery store; and a good thing, too.  The G-force on that short ride rivaled anything NASA could come up with, and pinned my cheeks back to my ears!
     Into the house we dashed – he for the television, I for the phone, where the plastic surgeon is on speed dial.
     After a brief confab with Dr. Karloff, I hung up with an appointment and yet another admonition to stay out of the truck on football nights.
     I expected to hear the TV blaring when I walked out of the bedroom, but there wasn’t a sound.  Fearing for the bric-a-brac, lest his sports lifeline had inexplicably given up the ghost, I ventured cautiously into the living room.
     He was sitting there.
     In the dark.
     This was not good.
     It was 8:02.  “Wasn’t the game supposed to start at 8:00?” I asked.
     “Yes.  8:00.  Tomorrow night.”
     I shook my head.  Nothing is worse for a New York football fan than Giantus interruptus.
     “Do you mean to tell me that I look like I just spent two hours in the front row of an Aerosmith concert for nothing?”
     “Yeah, but look at the bright side.  We can go back to the grocery store now, and . . .”
     “Excuse me?”
     “Never mind.  Forget I said anything.”
     He spent the entire evening sulking and staring into space, but it gave me a great idea for Valentine’s Day.
     I’m going to skip the lingerie.
     This year, I’m really going hard-core.
     I’m going to buy myself an official New York Giants football jersey!