“Start washing the pillows,” she tells me. “Just follow the instructions on the tag,” she tells me.
You may remember this cat from such hits as “nearly dying and costing me a thousand fucking dollars last year,” and “Bad housekeeping/good geography” back in September. I am going to punch him in in his stupid cat face once per day until I get tired of having to catch him to punch him in his stupid cat face once per day.
Allow me to set the scene: it is roughly 6:55 AM. I am already running several minutes late as I exit the shower, to discover my wife getting dressed and the boy playing on the bed. I discover that I have no socks. My wife tells me that there are some socks in the laundry room, so I, barefoot but otherwise dressed, head off to the laundry room to acquire them. Important detail about my house: due to weird architecture and a persistently stuck door that I haven’t done anything about yet, our laundry room is literally the farthest point in the house from our bedroom, but shares a wall with it– meaning that if you’re in there you can generally hear anything going on in the bedroom.
I am looking around for my socks when I suddenly hear two things, which both start at once: my wife, yelling “Oh God!” over and over, and my son, screaming his fucking head off.
I race to my room at top speed, still barefoot. My son is still screaming, his face is purple, he’s holding his hand at a very wrong-looking angle, and my wife… well, I’m not really sure what the hell she’s doing. She appears to be chasing something.
My first thought, of course, is that the boy has fallen off the bed and broken his wrist.
Luckily for everyone involved, I quickly determine that no, that’s not what has happened. I determine this because there is puke fucking everywhere, and I’m only barely exaggerating when I say that. Apparently Shithead here was laying in his accustomed spot on my wife’s pillow when he started horking. My wife tried to shoo him off the bed, and succeeded in doing so– except the little bastard started projectile vomiting in mid-shoo, leaving a foot-wide trail of cat vomit all over the following things:
- All of her pillows
- All of my pillows
- The sheets on the bed
- My son
- My nightstand
- My fucking phone
- (He missed a stack of books by about an inch)
- The floor near the nightstand, and finally finishing on
- One of my shirts.
Kashmir is tiny. There is more puke than there is cat. I am not at all sure why this is even biologically possible.
This is why the boy is purpled and screeching; he’s got cat vomit on his hand, which is in less of a “this is broken” awkward angle and more of an “I want this to fall off of my body” sort of angle.
So I get the boy cleaned up, we pull the linens off the bed, I clean off my nightstand and my phone, and I text my boss to let him know that I’m going to be late, and that he’ll greatly enjoy my reason when I get there to tell him about it. Meanwhile, the boy has clearly decided that his three-year-old brain can’t quite process what has just happened, and spends the rest of the time I’m home asking a near-constant stream of clarifying questions:
- Is the cat sick?
- Does the cat have an upset tummy?
- Did the cat burp?
- Did the cat throw up?
- Did the cat throw up on the pillows/the bed/the sheets/Daddy’s phone/the floor/me?
- Did you clean up the kitty puke?
- Does the cat not feel good?
- Did you clean up me?
- Do you remember that time that the kitty burped on my hand?
- All of the above questions, but starting with the word “why”
Why the hell do we have pets again?
Oh, the punchline: ask me when I bought my pillows.
Go ahead. Ask.
And then guess the answer.
If you said “two days ago,” you get to punch the cat too.
Here are the rules of Raking Leaves. Well, the Rule of Raking Leaves, because there’s really only the one rule: you are responsible for the leaves in your yard, period. The location of the tree does not matter, because leaves blow. We raked leaves last Saturday. There were leaves in my yard from oak trees, and I don’t even know where the nearest oak tree is. Nevertheless, because I am a Good Neighbor, and because the two trees in the front yard I share with my immediate neighbor (in the sense that they but up against each other with no fence as a divider; it’s one big chunk of grass) are both in my lawn, I did my best to blow as many of “his” leaves as I could into our pile. The majority of them fell off of my tree. I use an electric leaf blower, and if you had looked right after we did it you could pretty neatly delineate exactly how far my cord let me get into his yard, because those areas were bare of leaves.
My neighbor’s wife and son are outside right now, blowing leaves. They (or, rather, she, because their son is in a different part of the yard) are blowing the leaves not to the foot of the lawn, where the city can pick them up, but into my yard. Where the wind is just gonna blow them right the fuck back into their lawn. And I’m, like, right here, in my living room, and I can see her doing it, because the tree is right outside my living room window. Plus the city came by and sucked up leaves today, so they won’t be here for at least a week and this is a pointless endeavor right now anyway because there are literally probably still a million leaves on that tree that haven’t fallen yet.
I do not understand people.
Here’s my plan for Halloween this year: my son is insanely excited about the holiday, so I’m dressing up too, for the first time since, I think, 1999. Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. It has not been, for many years, but the boy’s enthusiasm has been infectious and there seems to finally be a backlash happening against the onslaught of obnoxious “sexy XXX” costumes that have been plaguing the holiday for the last too many years.
The idea is this: Walk around with the boy and my wife a bit, and then stay outside my own house to pass out candy. We have two large and excitable dogs, so past practice has been to keep the candy outside so that we don’t have lots of doorbell-ringing and door-opening and there’s no chance of one of the animals getting past us and getting someone hurt. We generally have a bowl full of the traditional stuff and I buy a dozen or so actual candy bars for kids with exceptionally good costumes.
Things I still need: black sweat pants (I’m sure I have a pair, I just need to find them), black shoes (don’t even need to find those), zipties. You can’t see it, but the second set of chains-n-hooks is being worn as a belt– I’m going to ziptie them together so that I don’t have to try and tie plastic chains. The first set is actually threaded through the sleeves of the outer robe so that they dangle by my hands, which I think is a pretty neat trick.
Unfortunately, I probably need a new mask, too. While I like the idea of the mirror mask, and it’s suitably creepy, I’m actually still kind of having a panic attack from trying to breathe in the thing and while I’m planning to wear contact lenses while I’ve got it on, visibility is still a real problem. Plus, if you look closely at the picture, you can still see big chunks of my neck and what I’ll try to pretend aren’t extra chins, and that’s not the look I’m going for. I found a decent old man mask at Target that was basically mask for the upper half of the face and a lot of beard for the lower half, and I feel like that ought to do the job just as well, or I could always go with some sort of monster look. There’s no way I make it two hours in the mirrored one, cool as it looks.
Hi! I’m Luther Siler. I’m the author of Skylights and The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 1, both available at various ebook retailers easily accessible from whatever magic rectangle you’re using to access this page. I’ve decided to start doing periodic– maybe once or twice per month– reminders on the main page of the blog of the various places I can be found on the Interwebs. Between Twitter and the blog I probably add 100 or so new followers a month, so it’s probably a useful thing for new readers. Regular folks, if you see the STATION IDENTIFICATION tag, feel free to ignore it.
So here’s where to find Luther Siler on the interwebtron:
- You can follow me on Twitter, @nfinitefreetime, here or just click the “follow” button on the right side of the page. I am on Twitter pretty frequently; I use it for liveblogging TV, whining about anything that strikes me as whine-worthy, and for short, Facebook-style posts. I generally follow back if I can tell you’re a human being. You are not a human being if your profile mentions SEO.
- My author page on Goodreads is here. I am accepting any and all friend requests at the moment. I am looking forward to the day when my Goodreads account has more friends than my Facebook account; it won’t be long.
- My official Author page on Amazon is located here.
- Feel free to Like the (sadly underutilized) Luther Siler Facebook page here. It’s mostly used as a reblogger for posts here.
- And, of course, you’re already at infinitefreetime.com, my blog. You can click here to be taken to a random post.
Thanks for reading!