Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
"Imagine being an actor and saying 'I was on TV once.'
'Oh really?' a friend asks. 'What did you play?"
'Ummm. I was on Angel once.'
'Ooooh. Were you a vampire? A werewolf? A luchadore mailman?"
'No. I was...a...' the actor scratches at his arm, 'twink slave demon.'
'Oh. Um. Did you have any lines?'
'Two lines, actually.'
'Fun! What were they'
Loud sigh. 'Peepee, and icky.'"
Before I went to Florida earlier this month, I asked Comrade if he'd like me to bring anything back for Christmas. He said "Bring me the ugliest thing you can find. Not counting people or personalities."
Being trapped in an aisle of a thrift store in Florida between dozens of angry, old ladies trying to get the cheapest Christmas gifts possible for friends and relatives who will already be suffering just by having to share a building with them on a day they were hoping to relax.
While waiting in line for TSA, a woman in a wheelchair needed to come through, and an entire line of people behind her thought this meant that they were invited to a special Lines Aren't Real Party, and the family in front of me and I ska-washed that immediately.
"The line is waaaaaay back there." I said, pointing to the end of the line, which was somewhere on Cape Cod.
"I'm so embarrassed." said a lady wearing a "Chill" t-shirt. "I was just following the group.
I'll just go back there. Sorry everyone. So embarrassed." And then she slotted in two people behind me while the rest of the line cutters were carried away on a sea of pitchforks.
"People get so angry at the airport. But we're all going to the same place."
"We are?" asked a father in front of me. "Are we going to the same place."
"Well," Chill T-shirt said, "Eventually."
"It is way too early to be that existential." He replied.
"I've been up for hours." She said.
"Plotting to cut the massive line?" the mother in front of me asked.
Chill T-Shirt did not speak again while we were in line. Hopefully ever.
As we all removed our belts and shoes, and put our various bags and jackets in plastic tubs, the daughter in front of me, probably two or three years old, started moaning.
"I'm so sorry." the father said.
"It's fine." I said. "She's been completely ... I don't want to say chill ... calm for the last half hour. Statistically, she's a top tier child."
"Wow. Statistically, a top tier child. Thanks. She's usually a monster. Are you going to Aruba?"
"I wish." I did not lie. "Tampa."
"Well, you'll miss out on her airplane operatta. I envy you."
And then we were separated as they were pulled out of security twice. Once for forgetting there was a Leatherman in their bag, and once for something that got them both taken away.
They did not make the flight to Aruba.
Rat pig tails. A rat tail on each side of the head.
Who's going to set the trend?
App Ad: Do you like puzzles? You have two wing shaped pieces, and one shaped like the stalk with an antenna. Put them together. Only 99 cents.
Idiot: That looks like fun. I might buy that game.
Actual App: Here is your first puzzle. It's in the shape of grieving over your grandmother's death. Where does the resentment go?
For the last couple of years, Comrade collects things he enjoys from Imgur, and I collect things I enjoy from TikTok and we show them to each other a bit before we fall asleep.
The other night, he was showing me some video of how some scientific somethingscope used an illumination technique to highlight musculature and skeleton ... things ... that technology couldn't differentiate before. It also showed how your skin thickens as you age.
"So much terrible skin." I said.
"What?" said Comrade.
I had fallen asleep at some point. There was no such thing as a somethingscope or that illumination technique, or people's skin thickening as they aged. It had been a dream. I had been completely silent while he was doing something non-Imgur related on his phone, and out of nowhere I had said "So much terrible skin." with Zero Context.
We laughed about it, and talked about something else for a while. I decided to go to sleep for real but he tapped me on the shoulder and said "Oh, wait. It's not exactly what you thought but I think I found what you were talking about."
It was the same weird photo he'd shown me before but it wasn't a human body they were studying, it was a hornet's.
"Gross." I said.
"Yea," he replied, "the skin doesn't thicken as it ages, though. I don't know where you got that from."
"It's one of those yellow legged hornets they've found in Georgia. The cousin of the Murder Hornet or something. They haven't found a nest yet but scientists are worried they could completely destroy the honeybee population in Georgia, which is enormous."
I remembered reading about those. "That's awful."
"I hope they find the nests." Comrade said.
"I hope they all fucken die." I said. Having just woken up. Because the previous conversation hadn't at all happened.
It's all true. I had read about the yellow legged hornets, and they are a threat to the honeybee population in Georgia, and they are "cousins" of the "murder hornets" but we hadn't been talking about them. There was no technology enhanced photo of them.
I had, after being silent for several minutes, said "So much terrible skin." laughed about it, listened to Comrade telling me about something completely unrelated to technology or hornets, gone completely silent, and then said "I hope they all die."
I'm a keeper.
Are you an angel? Because your hair is all over my pasta.
In the spring, I ordered Plants For Dummies for our house to spru...add some green to our house (you know, aside from the tiny artificial Christmas Tree). I ordered a Money Tree, a Parlor Palm, and a Hoya Tricolor.
They came separately. The first one to arrive was the Hoya, which looked great, and which I put on a table in the art room where it could get direct sunlight.
The second was the Parlor Palm, which had some sketchy leaves, but which I put on a desk in front of a window that gets tons of sunlight.
The third was the Money Tree. It was destroyed in transit. Every branch was bent, all the leaves had holes. It was in sad shape.
Not being an expert on plants, I took a picture of the Money Tree and asked if t could be saved, and I was told to cut off all the leaves that were discolored and chewed apart, and snip off the branches they were from. So I took the picture of the remaining stumps, and they immediately sent out a replacement.
I kept the snipped Money Tree with the other plants, figuring in a few months it might recover. The new Money Tree arrived in much better shape, I put it in the window, as well, and set alarms in my calendar to water them, just in case.
A month later, the two money trees were nigh indistinguishable. There were more branches and leaves on the pruned money tree then there had been when it arrived. Sweet.
Since then, I've checked in on them whenever I'm in the art room or walking by the front window, and I've been good about watering them. The Hoya wasn't doing as well as the other plants, so today I moved it into that prime window real estate. And when I moved it, I noticed a problem.
The original Money Tree was positively covered in tiny ants. Not mites. Definitely ants. The Parlor Palm had nearly invisible webbing on two of its branches. Spider mites.
I didn't have any plant-safe pesticides handy, nor vinegar or lemons, so I made some pepper spray (ground pepper and water) and went after the ants.
"This plant is spicy!" one ant was overheard saying, "Y'all need to try this. It's got a great kick."
I ordered some groceries including lemon and vinegar.
When the groceries arrived, I sliced off a small part of the lemon, and squeezed it directly over the ants and the two Money Trees (the ants had journeyed westward, Manifest-Destiny like, while I waited for the groceries).
"This rain tastes like citrus!" the ants sang. "This plant has some serious Willy Wonka Factory vibes. I love it!"
The Spider Mites were unavailable for comment.
So I mixed up a 50/50 vinegar and water and put it in the failed cat sprayer (Comrade bought it to keep Polly off off of tables, but it doesn't have a spray function, only a mist, so she thought we were just trying to keep her cool on hot days).
As I sprayed the Money Trees down with the mist, the ants could be heard saying "Mmmm. I don't know what this flavor is. It's a little sour, but with the citrus and the pepper, it's not so bad. I hope there's some umami nex---" and then plunging to their tiny deaths.
Then I sprayed down the Parlor Palm, got some tissues and swept the webbing off the leaves. The Spider-Mites on the tissues were quite dead.
I'm buying non-chewy food for post-surgery Comrade (he's fine) and I can't believe that with our modern society where there are fifteen different varieties of Rice Crispies, Dorito flavored pizza wraps, and banana flavored eggplants that pudding still just comes in: Vanilla, Chocolate, Butterscotch, Tapioca, Rice, or some combination thereof. And the only jello flavors available at our grocery store are strawberry or a variety of sugar free citrus flavors.
This is a fairly mundane observation but i offer it as context to the fact that I misread "carb conscious jello" as "crab conscious jello" and was trying to figure out what the hell the gelatin industry was doing to those poor crustaceans.