NUTSenough already

And so. In the bright light of an afternoon, slathered in sunblock (SPF 60), the canpers and nuts and colts and counsellors of NUTSella gathered at the ball diamond. Some lurched into view and many had blank, Zombie-like expressions on their faces. Nonetheless, all answered the call of Monkey On Your Shoulder.

One by one they lined up and the antidote to doom was administered.

Ronnie McD asked if his could be supersized.

Timmy asked for a double double and Dunkin wanted a donut too.

Gene Simmons stuck his tongue out at Anthony Weiner, who took a picture and posted it on twitter.

Marc Antony-without-the-h? All he wanted was JeLLo.

In no time at all, the entire NUTSella canp population was inoculated against apocalyptic shenanigans and pretty soon, life returned to normal. Canpers went back to being kind, tolerant and respectful of others. The ceiling didn’t collapse on the western world.  Debt was still rampant and spelled with a B, but canpers kept their teeth to themselves and took to sleeping at night instead of wandering in search of flesh to eat.

There was a canp-wide consensus that NUTSella Popsuckles™ are way tastier.

However, Zombiepalooza did leave a lasting… ah… mark on NUTSella. Having survived the worst, many canpers developed a willingness to try new things.  The “fast” crowd — Ronnie McD, Dunkin and Timmy — took to eating fruit and “vegables” and raiding the Garden of Goodness for freshly picked carrots and tomatoes from the vine.  Sista said it was aloud.

The change was even more dramatic at the prowlers’ cabin — better known as the teenagers’ cabin. All the boys, including Zombie, started waking from the dead before noon.  Zombie stopped sleep walking and started playing baseball.

Gene Simmons  kept his tongue to himself and Anthony Weiner put away his not-so-smartphone.  Both of them decided to play nice. And Marc Antony-without-the-h? He decided maybe he can live without JeLLo after all. Now he likes Popsuckles™ better.

Rain Dance

I walked into the family room a couple of days ago and there they were. I could see them through the glass doors. The three of them. Wet and filthy. It was pouring out, teeming rain, and they were out there in the middle of it – the kids and the dog.

It made me so happy.

My big boys still kids enough to play in the rain. They were filling a Frisbee with the water and flipping it, fooling around with the new rain barrel, running around with sopping heads and smiling faces. The golden doodle was a mud mutt.

Happy happy. Joy joy.

I love the rain.

Love the sun too, but rain? It’s dripping with possibilities.

On the way somewhere important, all dressed up and suitably lacquered, when a cloudburst does a number on your hairdo, soaks your shoes, renders your outfit soggy, nothing bad happens. It’s okay.

Just water. Not Rapture. You can laugh about it and feel good knowing you will dry.

At an outdoor wedding in a beautiful waterfront park a couple of Junes ago, the downpour was torrential. And a wee lady in a flower-girl dress hopped in a puddle all through the ceremony. The jubilant wedding dance.

When my boys were little, we first did a rain dance. Barefoot in the front yard, we danced around in circles, laughing and singing as the rain soaked our shoulders.

At the cottage of my childhood, we jumped off the dock into the rain. Hurled ourselves high and far as we could into the wet sky hollering.

Played cards and board games as rain tapped a beat on the tin cottage roof.

In the here-and-now world of disastrous flooding and deadly tsunamis, of natural calamities that seem not so far away, the kids and I reckon showers are a glass full and spilling over.

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Math Problem

This is why you can call me a whack job.

Picture it: I am sick in bed – an aching, flab-on-bones stretch of snot and wrinkles. There is a nest on top of my head that is hair uncombed and unwashed for three days. A puffy pile of used Kleenex is growing in the wastebasket and a box of new stuff, a couple of books and a stack of lozenges are within reach. Think of wallowing – in Joe Fresh flannel.

The door is closed and the T.V. is off because on the other side of the wall something important is happening. My child is learning. A savior in the guise of a burly, middle-aged male teacher is filling my kid’s head with math knowledge. I am daydreaming about him drilling a hole and sending it in via a tube (cylinder). Algebra, geometry, number sense and linear relations are trickling in painlessly, at a steady pace, when something external unbalances this imaginary equation.

It’s noise. Loud, brain-jangling noise. There’s incessant, crazed barking from a wild animal during school time in the dining room. I know that sound. Trouble.

I haul my sorry butt to the window and, sure enough, there’s Holyflyingpiranha on the wrong side of the fence. She’s in her boyfriend’s yard, having presumably been lifted over the maximum-security style layers of chain link by someone who shall remain Nameless. Argh.

Girlfriend is clearly done with the weimaraner. She has her sights set on the pup and the aged, crotchety shar pei. HFP wants over that fence to “play” with our next door neighbours’ dogs.Oh my freaking brink of calamity.

She doesn’t play nice, my girl. Not nice at all. Likes to grrrrowl, grab with her teeth and “a shake shake, shake shake a shake it” to the beat of Metro Station. Although she is wonderful with humans and a favourite friend at the nursing home, it’s another ball of fur with dogs (usually extracted from their hides).

We know that. We’ve been trained. There have been so many training sessions and so many trainers, Holyflyingpiranha could be teaching math in the dining room. Her problem is her humans. Mom is one of those anthropomorphic pet owners who typically keeps her out of trouble but doesn’t treat her like the animal she is. Another one of her humans usually instigates the trouble.

And this is it. Girlfriend sees fun. Probably smells blood. Woo hoo! She’s making enough racket to give the bylaw control officer a headache and all I can think is the tutor must be cross-eyed by now.

I stick my sick body out the window and start cooing lovingly. “Coooome….coooome. Treeeat… Come on home honey.” My arm is stuck straight out with her favourite squeaky toy in full view. Squeaking. She races up and down along the fence line. Looks like she’s coming over this way. Almost, almost, almost there. Not.

Back and forth she goes, barking full tilt as I coo and squeak. I want to scream and roar, but what will the tutor think? We’re crazy? I am certifiable. In a split second, the paws are in the links. One, two, she’s over. Math? Dog fight = Holyflyingpiranha + Shar Pei + Puppy – Fence.

I open the bedroom door a crack and rasp, “Sweetheart, could you get (Nameless)? The dog’s next door with the shar pei.” Mr. Grade Nine, head full of zero, is undoubtedly enjoying the distraction. I can hear him bolt from the dining room. In a couple of long minutes Nameless our rescue hero is at the fence – watching the action on the other side. “They’re playing” I can hear him/her say to the neighbour who is out of sight. Apparently she doesn’t agree, so Nameless goes into their yard and retrieves the crasher, lugging her home.

Woo hoo! The mathless teenager bolts from the dining room again, anxious to get to the back door to wipe the dog’s paws. Rrrrf. Slam. Bang. It’s loud. And not over. It never is.

The doorbell rings and Nameless the rescue hero has a few things to say to nobody in particular on the way to the front door. It’s no goodness and I can hear it all from the bedroom. The neighbour – whose dog has been hurt – is barking at a high, furious pitch. F-bombs drop. Kapow. The door closes. They have taken it outside. I can hear, through the wall, Mr. Grade Nine giggling his way through what’s left of a math lesson. 0 = 0 + 0 – 0 x 0 ÷ 0. Nothing and everything.

I wonder about this wall and the properties and variables that allow me to experience math problems from a sickbed behind a closed door. I wonder if the tutor could maybe come drill a hole in my head.

There’s a scratching at the door, so I open it a crack and in comes my girl. She hops up onto her blanket on the bed beside me, sniffing around for her squeaky toy. Lesson over for the day.