Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In which Corb reveals seriously mad super powers.

A glimpse into our medicine cabinet. Can you tell which row is mine?

 "Ted, did you use my deodorant?"

Dammit! Each and every time...it never fails...

I call out from the bedroom, trying to sound as innocent as possible. "Why no, Corb, I didn't. How could you possibly think something like that?"

Footsteps, moving closer to where I lay. A more suspicious tone. "You did, didn't you?" 

I can feel him hovering in the doorway, but decide to play it cool and keep my attention focused on Mark Twain. "I told you, I didn't do it. But why on earth would you think I did?"

"I keep all my stuff in the bathroom cabinet lined up in a certain way. Right now, the deodorant's facing in the wrong direction."

I look up from my book. Even tone, Teddy, even tone. Sound surprised...surprised, yeah, that's the ticket. "Well, that's kind of strange."

"What?" asked Corb. "That the deodorant's been moved or that I keep all the stuff in the cabinet all lined up in a certain order?"

I smile and move back to reading in bed. "Both."


Three days later. Same bed, same book, same us.

His voice, from the doorway again. "Ted, are you trying to drive me crazy?"

I'm a little confused. "What?"

"Are you REALLY not using my deodorant? Because either you are, or there's a ghost in our apartment that's playing with my head."

I can't help but smile. "So you think there's a ghost in the apartment that likes using your deodorant?"

"Wow, that one mighty nice smelling ghost."

"Hey, maybe it gets sweaty there, hovering around in the afterlife..."

"Ted!" He pauses and stands there, watching me smirk. He smirks back, now convinced. "So you have been using it, haven't you?"

I slam the book down. "Oh my God! I don't believe you!"

"I don't believe you!"

I rise from the bed, move right over to him, get in his face. "So the other day, I ran out of deodorant, see, and okay, maybe I did use your stinking deodorant, just one time--"

"Aha! I knew it!"

"--but ever since then, because you're such a freak about order, and you had to say something threeeee minutes after I did it, and who the fuck else knows exactly which way their deodorant is facing on this whole entire planet--"

"It's just my thing! I place everything all in the same direction, so if something's moved--"

"It's freakish! It's like that psycopath in that horrible Julia Roberts movie, Sleeping with the Enemy. You know, the guy who sneaks in and organizes her canned goods from A to Z? I suppose you alphabetize your toiletries, too?"

"No, of course not." Beat beat beat. "That would be strange."

I poke the big guy in the chest, amused beyond belief. "Strange? And you don't think that keeping your toilet stuff lined up in the same direction and then asking around the minute something's moved ISN'T strange? Do you know, I've spent the past three days using Theo's Red Bull deodorant, because I was afraid of using yours? Because I knew that with your toiletry super powers you'd be able to know within five minutes that I was scraping your stuff under my pits? Do you know that I've been forced to smell like a teen-age boy for the past three days, just because of you? HUH?"

"I don't have toiletry super powers." His voice, kind of sulky. "I like to keep things neat, that's all."

"Neat. Freakishly OCD, more like it."

"It's not OCD!" Then he grins, and turns away from me. "That much."
"You should have a big old T on your chest. Toiletetry man. Faster than a speeding plunger! More powerful than a misplaced bottle of cologne. "

" Heh. Hey, you're not going to write about this tomorrow, are you?"

Write about it. As if!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ten reasons I hate doing Algebra.

I flip through her book, spread out across one side of her messy red bed. I try hard not to let the desperation show. Don't let her smell the fear, that would be the worst thing...it's gotta be in here somewhere in this thick book...gotta be... "Oh, wait! Here it is. It says here in this book..." I scan the page, trying to refresh my memory from my days in high school.

And Miss Thing sits across from me, picking at her underarm. I tactfully try to ignore that. "So, if you want to graph 2x-3y=9, all you need to do is to let x equal 0. So what do you get if x equals 0?"

Ashes keeps picking at the scaly bumps formed around her armpit.

"Ashes? What do you do to x to solve for y?"

Ashes stops her picking, looks over my way. "Dad? Do you think I could have herpes of the armpit?"

Okay, okay. Maybe if I just humour the beast, maybe we might actually get some work done. "Gee, I'd hate to think how you'd get herpes of the armpit, Ash."

Ashes giggles at the thought and goes back to scratching.

"So, Ash? What would you do to solve y if x is 0?"

Scratch scratch scratch.

Okay, this might take some redirection. "Well, if x is 0 that means that 2x would be two times zero, right? So what's two times zero?"


"Good. Right! So that leaves us with 3y equals 9, which means--"

Ashes stops her scratching, abruptly. A look of concern passes ovcer her face. "Dad, can you be allergic to Teen Spirit?"

"Well, I suppose so." I abandon the book, glance over at her, suspiciously. "It just seems weird that you could all of a sudden become allergic to something you've been wearing all day and for the past three months..."

"But you could, right?"

"Sure. And if we can just get through this we could--"

"So what could I do to stop it from itching?"

"Well, you could stop scratching."

As if. "Besides that."

"You could scrub under your armpits..."

Ah, there you go. Ashes smiles at me, sweetly. "Daddy, can I go scrub under my armpits?"

Oh, groan. Just keep it together, Teddy. Be firm. "Sure you can, right after we just finish this--"

Scratch scratch scratch. "Oh, this armpit is so itchy. Do you mind if I just go wash them and then come right back?"

Bang, bang, bang. This is the sound of me mentally banging my head up against a proverbial wall.

It's no use. Better to give in, Otherwise, I'd be lying on this damn bed until midnight. "Sure. Go ahead, Ash."

"Oh, and I'm going to get a drink while I'm at it. You mind?"

Five minutes later, she's back on the bed. I read through the book and the paper in front of me. Refresher course. "So, 2x-3y=9, X equals zero. Two times zero equals zero so we're left with 3y=9. So what do you do--"

"Ouch!" She places her hands to her armpits. "My armpits are BURNING! I must have scratched them too much or something."

"The pain will go away. Come on, focus! What would you do to 3y=9?"

Ashes places a finger to her mouth and looks up at the ceiling. "Divide by three."

"Good! Divide by three! Which would be...?"

"Ummm, three."

"Good! Three, let's write that down, Three. Now, let's let Y equal zero, So, what would you--"

"Owwwww!" She places both hands under her pits. "My armpits are soooooooo burning!"


"Want to hear my song?" Suddenly she starts singing, belting out in a little girl voice the theme to Star Wars. " Herpes...under my armpits...it's really itchy...oh yes it is...herpes...under my armpits...really really itchy..."

Sigh. I can't stand it...I just can't stand it...the things some people will do to get out of graphing the linear equations of two variables...

Then I burst out laughing. I can't help it. "Sing it again, Ash."

Hey, my little girl may never be a quantum physicist. But at least she can sing about her herpes-ridden armpits, from a galaxy far, far away.