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Day #176: Table In The Corner

The Story:

 

Shown to the back of the room

I shrug my shoulders

At least I’m near an exit,

I tell myself sarcastically.

Scanning the room

For one familiar face

I see there are none

And go back to the task at hand.

Primping and preening

All is made presentable

Wondering about my plastered smile

I wander to the bathroom.

Grinning into the scratched and dinged mirror

I shake my head at the awkward expression

Sitting on my face

Like a drunk on a three-legged bar stool.

 

Sighing in resigned indignity,

I return to the main room.

Head down, avoiding eye contact,

I walk to the back of the room.

But what’s this?

My table, my table- it’s gone!

How?

Why?

A few moments are spent questioning sanity- how could a whole table disappear?

 Snapping out of it, I scan the room for the second time that day

Tables of laughing, socializing strangers block my view

And force me to search on foot.

Finally, tucked in an obscured corner

I see it

Just as I left it

But about as far from its point of origin as possible.

I have been brushed even further out of the way

My table is now hidden behind a myriad of other tables

Not for the first time, I wonder why I bothered to come

 As I stare at my neighbor- a large Ficus plant.

 

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Today was a strange day, professionally speaking. Ever show up to an event or a meeting and immediately realize it was a mistake to come? Yeah, that was me today at yet another graduate fair. The organizers were very professional, the other vendors very kind, but there was no need for me to be a participant in what inevitably turned into a four hour block of time spent people watching, sipping a free Coke and nibbling at a free Danish. Things did not get off to a good start, something I should have taken as an indication of how the rest of the day would go. I was led to my assigned table by a very lovely student, so what if it was in the very back of the room? No big deal. After setting up everything, fanning out flyers, setting out some pens etc., I decided to go back to the office and try to get a little bit of work done before having to come back for the rest of the day. Well, upon my return about 10 minutes before the start of the event, I walked to the back of the room, to where I knew my table was and- it was gone. Another school was set up in its place. What the deuce?  For a few seconds there, I really questioned my sanity- did I just imagine setting up my table in the back? Was I confused somehow? I even thought I might have wandered into the wrong room. Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I spied my table- on the other side of the room and in the corner. Now I was wondering if someone was playing some type of weird joke on me. Why would anyone go to the trouble of moving my table? I slowly approached my new location, looking for anyone stifling a giggle and found that everything was just as I had set it up. Weird. As I sat down, I was still half waiting for someone to pop out and say “Gotcha!” but it never happened. My current location in the corner was, let’s say, less than desirable, and I was completely ignored by about 99% of the students who attended. All I kept thinking was, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”. Oh well, at least I got to sit next to a Ficus.

And I Had The time of my life...

Love & Squirrels.

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Day #175: Inspiration For Hank

The Story:

“Dag blame it! Come outta there!” he screeched, the helplessness of his situation finally getting the better of him. Hank had never been one to raise his voice or come close to swearing (if you could call it that)- he just didn’t have the gumption (or the vocabulary). “I swear on a monkey wrench, if I knew how to come in there after you, you can bet a handful of chicken farts that I would!” Hank was screaming now.

Trembling with frustration, Hank kicked at the curb, immediately wishing for steel-toed boots instead of the flimsy Toms that covered his size thirteens like a swath of rejected potato sack. “Captain Crunch, that hurt! Ouuuuch!” he whined as he hopped on his one good foot while attempting to examine the damaged toes on the other. Graceful Hank was not, and in this folded pogo stick-like state it took less than a second for the bulky mass of a man-child to come crashing down like a sloppy game of Jenga. “Ah, crapachino with cream!” he said before flinging himself back onto the pavement, not caring that pedestrians were now forced to step over his prostrate form. He was the picture of pathetic.

The architect of this skillfully constructed Jenga is officially my hero (call me!)

“I’m just gonna lie here and not move until things get better for me. If this is where trying gets me, then I’m gonna just do nothing. Can’t get any worse,” Hank mumbled to himself as he stared up at the blue sky and plumes of feathery clouds that fringed his view. And so he lay there, all day and just stared at the sky. The clouds changed from feathery wisps to fluffy popcorn kernels and then to globby melted marshmallows. Hank began to forget his earlier troubles and occupied himself with identifying the many shapes and figures the clouds formed in the bowl of blue above. A girl on a swing set chased away by a headless dragon with two tails… a puppy licking its paws… an ice cream cone in a race car… a woman making a pumpkin pie on the back of a piglet who wouldn’t stand still.

“Excuse me young man, are you alright?” asked a worried, if not slightly uppity, woman’s voice from beyond Hank’s peripheral vision. Tearing himself away from an amusing cloud scene of a daddy longlegs making peppermint taffy, Hank sat up and looked in the direction of the lady’s voice. Blinking rapidly in an attempt to help his eyes adjust from a day of cloud gazing, Hank tried to gather his wits.

“Hello? Young man, can you hear me? I asked you if you were quite alright. And what are you doing lying on the ground like that, anyway?” The woman said with a little less sympathy and quite a bit more uppity-ness. Hank wondered if he might be incorrectly interpreting her tone, for upon closer inspection the older woman had such an upturned and pinched little speck of a nose it was a wonder she could breath and speak at the same time. Perhaps her “uppity-ness” was simply her impatience to end each sentence in order to gulp in some much needed air.

“Beg your pardon, ma’am,” Hank replied as he dusted himself off and stood to face her. “Thing is, I was trying to wrangle some ideas out of this thick skull of mine,” Hank knocked on the side of his head for emphasis, “for  this writing class I signed up for at the community college. I tried all week to come up with something, I was having a H-E-double-hockey-sticks time of it too. I got so frustrated and confused, I just sat down on this here sidewalk and decided not to try anymore,” Hank explained, electing to leave the part where he fell down out of the story.

“Hmph,” the woman replied testily. “Well, you didn’t look confused to me, in fact, you seemed to be having yourself quite the time a few moments ago,” she said curtly before side-stepping Hank and continuing on her way.

Hank thought about the moments before he was interrupted and smiled at the memory of the cloud woman trying to roll out her crust on the unruly piglet. “That’s it! I’ll write about the stories I saw in the clouds!” he hollered excitedly after the woman who was disappearing down the street. Proud of his revelation, Hank slapped a silly smile on his face and ambled home, anxious to start writing.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Blah. I’m in a funk. Inspiration, yeah, apparently it took a few sick days and is currently unreachable. I’ve learned over the last few months at this that fleeting inspiration/motivation is pretty typical- I’ll go on a run of having one awesome idea after another only to be slammed up against the ‘writer’s block’ wall days later. My current ‘dry spell’ I can attribute to the fact that I am uber busy and preoccupied with my actual profession (lame alert!). Who knew that focusing on my work would detract from my time to daydream and lollygag- a process that is crucial to my very scientific writing ‘process’? This story probably doesn’t make much sense, but that’s what you get when the author is in a writer’s lull.

How do you handle lack of motivation/ absence of inspiration?

damn evil pencils... with their beady little eyes and pink behinds

Love & Squirrels.

Day #174: Shut Your Mouth When You’re Talkin To Me!

The Story:

“…you know what I mean?” Tina laughed and shook her head in feigned disbelief. Tina couldn’t believe how good it felt to just carry on a conversation with somone. Man, she had missed this. It had been almost six years since her self-imposed ‘vow of silence’, something her 18-year-old self felt was a necessary tactic in her ongoing protest against animal cruelty. At the time she believed her silence would instigate a ‘revolution’ amongst her peers, that they too would take up her cause and take the ‘vow’ as well. She was immediately osterchized instead, dismissed as the ‘weird hippy chick’. Tina’s last words rang in her head for months after that,

“Join me in silence! Join me in denying yourself free speech until that day that even the most helpless among us, our animal brethren, are given a voice and are truly spoken for!”

Despite her tormentors and naysayers, and there were plenty, Tina kept her vow and refused to utter a single syllable until that day came when she felt her animal friends were also given a voice. Leaving home after graduation, Tina travelled the country, taking odd jobs, mostly washing dishes or handing out flyers, until she joined up with a grassroots group, named PETA. Tina was instantly hired, ironically, as a communications coordinator for special events. After four years of working with the organization and a particularly successful demonstration involving lettuce leaves fastened in strategic places on a few of their lady activists, Tina realized that PETA had become a force for the rights of the animals-  they finally had their ‘voice’.

Wait... what is this for? Someone should poke some air holes for that blonde, she's not looking too good.

Tina broke her vow the next day, without any pomp or announcement. She had simply woken up, dressed and went down to her neighborhood café for a large coffee with soy- her usual order. After her order was placed and received, Tina engaged the barista in her first try at small talk for more than half a decade. If she said so herself, she thought it had been going quite well.

Taking advantage of the natural lull in the conversation, Tina brought her coffee mug to her lips and took a large sip. “OH!!! Why this coffee has gone cold!” She screeched almost spitting the chilled beverage all over the barista. “Glenda! How on earth did you not notice the coffee you served me was colder than a witch’s teat?” Tina said, looking up at Glenda, the barista, in confusion.

Glenda, a middle-aged woman with an open face and auburn hair pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. “Well it was piping hot when I served it to you, miss,” Glenda replied as coolly as Tina’s coffee, “but you’ve been yacking away at me for about an hour now”.

Tina pushed her sleeve up and looked at her watch; sure enough it was about an hour and a half later than it had been when she entered the café.  She had talked and talked and talked without even realizing it. Blushing with embarrassment, Tina replied, “I am so sorry, Glenda. I haven’t spoken to anyone for over six years, guess I just got excited. I’ll get out of your hair now and let you get back to work. I hope you won’t hold this against me”.

Feeling a little guilty for her harsh words, Glenda waved it off and told Tina not to worry about it. Relieved, Tina gathered her belongings and said, “Thanks for listening, anyway, I really appreciate it,” before heading towards the exit. “Oh and one more thing,” Tina said turning from the doorway, “Could I get another coffee?”

cause it's funny

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Ever go a span of a few days where you encounter very little to no human interaction? I know you extroverts probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but for an introvert like yours truly, going for a day or even two without talking to another person is not that rare. While there was an occasional conversation with Andy in between his demanding job on the movie set and completing school work, I didn’t speak with another person in person all weekend. So inevitably today, after this conversation hiatus, I found myself jibber jabbing away at any provocation with just about anyone who was unlucky enough to cross my path. An advising session that usually would have taken about a half hour, ended up lasting almost two. The token, “did you have a nice weekend?” asked by a faculty member was met with a detailed oration on my two days off. I just kept talking and talking and talking, meanwhile, my inner dialog was praying for someone, anyone to just shut me up- I couldn’t seem to stop myself. I honestly have no idea what I went on about; it was like I just needed to get it all out of my system so I could be a functioning member of society again. I’m officially a mess.

TWO:    Apparently, a few themes from the book I’m currently reading, Wicked by Gregory McGuire, worked their way in. First- Glenda is the name of one of the main characters. Second, one of the running themes in the story is the fair treatment of animals and Animals, hence the PETA reference. Oh, and there was that whole, “colder than a witch’s teat” remark…

Love & Squirrels.

Day #173: Scout’s Horror

The Story:

 

I spot you

From over fifty yards away

There in your guise of innocence

You guard the entryway,

Picking off the weakest and the unsuspecting.

 

My throat closes up;

My hands begin to sweat;

I quell a tremor- I know I must approach,

But can I hope to pass unscathed?

 

Pacing sporadically,

Looking intently for your next victim

You don’t see me yet.

I search for the others- you always travel in packs;

I see them now, swarming on some poor soul, he never had a chance.

 

Head down

Eyes avoidant

I breeze past the first of their ranks undetected

Suppressing a cry of jubilation I press on.

 

The entrance is but a few feet away

Somehow their beady eyes and nimble legs

Have failed them- allowing me safe passage.

Out of nowhere, I see a flash of blue

Accosted suddenly by the leader of the motley crew

I wince in anticipation as he dodges in front of me,

 

“Would you like to buy some popcorn?”

 

pure evil...

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      OK, I’m probably gonna get a lot of crap for this one, so be it. Today, I decided to take advantage of the break in rain and get a few errands out of the way, first stopping at Walgreens to pick up a prescription and then on to my local Publix to stock up for the next week (and the impending flood since the rain is showing no signs of stopping for a few days). As I began to approach the Walgreens, my stomach dropped and I thought seriously about turning around and going through the drive-thru. But, by that time, they had spotted me. With their adorable scarfs and hats, there they were right by the door (that has to be a safety hazard, right?) just waiting for me to come closer. Cub Scouts… ugh. After smiling uncomfortably and avoiding eye contact, I all but sprinted inside saying “no thanks” and feeling like the scum on the bottom of scums’ shoe for not buying crappy popcorn. It’s not the Cub Scouts, per se, that I have a problem with, it’s anyone that sets up shop in front of a storefront and guilts unsuspecting shoppers into buying newspapers, cookies, popcorn, key chains or those rubber bracelets. It just really rubs me the wrong way. Say what you will, that I’m a misanthrope, curmudgeoned, grumpy etc., but is there something wrong with just wanting to patronize a store without having to worry about being hounded by a tableful of brightly dressed kids (and it’s always kids) trying to sell me crap? After escaping Walgreens, I drove a few blocks to Publix… and another table of Boy Scouts. I almost lost it. Having to say ‘no thanks’ to popcorn again, and feel like the worst human being alive again, I was ready to call it a day.

Dagnabit kids, what they need to do is get a job and stop askin for a handout... why, in my day...

Love & Squirrels.

 

 

Day #172: Nothing is So Exhausting… As Doing Nothing

The Story:

“Ugh, I’m soooo tired. I have had quite the day,” Scott drawled as he scanned through the Laughing Dog Chinese takeout menu. “I can’t even focus enough to figure out what I want, man I’m completely spent. What are you gonna get?” Scott looked up from his menu at his friend Chris.

Tossing a bored look at Scott, who was now slouched down in the one chair in the cramped takeout entryway, Chris looked at the menu one more time and replied, “Think I’m gonna go with the Cashew Chicken… maybe get some Krab Rangoon. I’m starving, I was out on the lake all day and been working out in the yard fixing a few sections of the fence where it was starting to rot. Didn’t realize how hungry I was until you called and mentioned grabbing some Chinese”.

“Yeah, I totally know what you mean. I’ve had a pretty killer day too,” Scott said before pulling himself out of the chair and up to the cashier’s counter to place his order. After Scott placed his order, and Chris ordered his Cashew Chicken they both sat down in a nearby booth to wait for their food.

“So, Scott, what all did you do today to be so exhausted?” Chris said as he absently watched a muted Chinese game show on the TV set across the empty dining room.

“Uh, you know… usual weekend stuff,” Scott said a little too casually.

Chris pulled his attention away from two Asian men in brightly colored futuristic suits who were bouncing around a studio set on giant balls, and looked at his friend. Something was off. Chris couldn’t remember a time Scott had passed up a chance to direct the conversation towards his favorite topic- himself. “No, I don’t know. What kind of weekend stuff? Must have been intense to wear you out,” Scott pushed.

Scott nervously folded and unfolded his receipt. Crap, why did I have to open my dang mouth, Scott thought to himself. While Scott had been truthful, he was exhausted, it wasn’t due to any exertion on his part, quite the opposite, in fact. Replaying his day, Scott was having a hard time remembering anything of consequence he had actually done since awaking at eleven o’clock that morning. Let’s see, he had made a pot of coffee, spent about three hours catching up on some of his shows from last week thanks to DVR, he had done a few sit ups and pushups before taking a quick shower. After making two cheese quesadillas Scott had settled in to watch one of his favorite movies- (a secret indulgence Chris would give him hell for should he find out) The Phantom of the Opera. After watching that musical treasure of cinematography, Scott browsed the web for a while before falling asleep on the couch for about 2 hours. Upon waking, Scott had rung up Chris to see about grabbing some grub.

“Well, uh to be honest, I didn’t really…” Scott began before one of the petite women from the restaurant came speedily shuffling out from the back with two takeout bags and screamed, “One order Cashew Chicken, one Order Krab Rangoon!” Looking at the stapled receipt of the other bag she screamed (unnecessarily as she was ten feet away now), “One order Hot Spicy soup, one order number 26, fried rice!”.

“Sweet! Let’s get outta here… we can go back to my place and watch the game while we eat,” Chris said as he grabbed the food-laden bags from the woman and headed towards the door.

Scott let out a sigh of relief and followed Chris out the door.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Rain, rain go away… cause I had big plans for today but you ruined them so I ended up sitting on my tuckus all day and did a whole lot of nothing. So instead of a day of tailgating and football, I spent the majority of the day glued to the couch (I did get up long enough to make some lunch, take a shower and do a 30 minute pilates video) and, strangely, this inactivity has really worn me out. Who knew doing nothing was so tiring?

TWO:    To reward my day of nothing-doing, Andy and I tried a new Chinese takeout place for dinner tonight. While waiting for my cashew chicken and his tofu General Tso, we were greatly entertained by a bizarre Japanese or Chinese game show. From what I could gather it was some sort of improv show, hosted by two brightly dressed Asian men who looked like they just walked off the movie set of some futuristic kid’s show.

Love & Squirrels.

 

Day #171: DONuT Mind if I Do

The Story:

“I can’t get over how good it was. You don’t understand Frankie, you weren’t there,” Charlotte said to her friend as she bit her lip absently, apparently still thinking about the experience.

“I guess I just don’t get what the big deal is, but ok,” Frankie replied apathetically. Charlotte was about to go off on one of her dramatic tangents and Frankie had a paper to write. Apparently that would have to wait as Charlotte grabbed her arm and began an impassioned ode to the donut she had just consumed.

“Frankie, it was wonderful. From the first moment I saw it, I knew that I needed to have it. There it was, sitting to all of its brother and sisters, but it clearly out shone them all. Perfectly round, it’s pink frosting like a jubilant smile on a rainy day. Its perfect peppering of sprinkles, like a fragmented rainbow resting on a soft pink pillow. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It almost looked too good to eat. Almost. I knew I would have to act quickly, lest some other individual be drawn by its lustrous gleam of dough perfection and snatch it up before me,” Charlotte paused for dramatic effect, closing her eyes and waited a few seconds before continuing.

“It looked like happiness, if happiness had one definition, I believe it would have been this donut. I really believe that. Finally, after marveling at it from afar, I approached the counter and asked to purchase that dream-like pastry. $1.29 seemed more than a fair price for the chance to hold in my own two hands, if even for a moment, something so delightful, so pleasing and so delicious. Taking that first bite was like a religious rite in my mind. Closing my eyes, breathing in the sugary smells with a hint of strawberry, I opened my mouth and what followed I can only describe as- life changing. The texture, the sweetness, the blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah….” Charlotte’s words continued to flow from her overanimated mouth but Frankie could no longer make them out.

Nodding every so often, Frankie began scanning through her phone for a good place to grab lunch… might as well multitask while being talked at. Charlotte would go on like this forever if Frankie couldn’t find a way to distract her; that was a lesson learned early in their friendship. Looking up from her phone, Frankie nodded at something Charlotte said before her attention was drawn by a few neighborhood kids playing in a puddle up the street. Seeing this as a possible opportunity, Frankie interrupted Charlotte just as she was going into how the sprinkles represented the many different peoples in the world- united by their shared home (Frankie guessed the donut now represented earth), “Look Char, look at those kids splashing around in that puddle, isn’t that… beautiful and uh, poignant?”

Charlotte blinked a few times, as if coming out of a trance and turned to where Frankie was pointing. “Oh how wonderful,” Charlotte said dreamily watching as the kids began kicking the water in giant arcs. Relieved that she had successfully diverted Charlotte’s attention, Frankie was about to suggest they go grab lunch when Charlotte abruptly continued her thought, “It reminds me of all that is right in this world, like my donut”.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Have you ever become so fixated on something you can’t help but talk about it or bring it up over and over? It’s almost like you can’t help yourself, like you’re addicted to mentioning this one thing to everyone you speak to, reverting conversations back to it, etc. I was stuck by this affliction today, and the subject of my obsession? Donuts. Being a lover of all things sweet, especially pastries, when I saw one of the vendors at today’s career fair for my program, I almost giggled with glee. Since I was the coordinator for this event, I was required to be present throughout, meaning Sammy didn’t get to eat all day… all the while I was forced to be within mere feet of a giant box of Dunkin Donuts. Finally, I couldn’t take it, I needed a donut. And not just any donut, I needed the pink one. There it sat, looking just like the donut from The Simpsons, it was all but screaming for me to eat it. Not wanting to look like a complete oinker, I devised a plan to connect with this confection. I sent a student in to fetch it for me, brilliant! Having the donut handed to me, not having to lift a finger or pay a cent for this delicious treat made it all the more enticing. And let me tell you, that was perhaps the best donut I have ever had. Ever. Om nom nom nom nom… (I have a problem).

Love & Squirrels.

Day #170: Chicken Noodle Oops

The Story:

“I just don’t know what to do, Darcy. He’s just not getting any better,” Elizabeth whispered to her friend as they sipped their coffee. The two women silently turned in their seats at Elizabeth’s kitchen table to look at Thomas, Elizabeth’s seven-year-old son who was bundled under a blanket on the couch in the adjoining living room. Turning back to face each other across the table they both leaned in as if conspiring over something of great import. “He’s been like that for almost a month now. Lethargic, feverish, he has no appetite and he can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours at a time. I’m telling you, Darcy, I’m at my wit’s end,” Elizabeth said and quickly stifled the sob she felt at the back of her throat.

“You poor thing. You’re exhausted. I’m sure there is something I can help you figure out for your little guy,” Darcy replied, her voice laden with real concern for her friend and neighbor. It had been years since Darcy had had little ones in the house, both her children were grown and starting their own families. However, it was in her nature to try and help and she believed she had done a pretty decent job raising her two kids so when Elizabeth called her over for coffee and advice, she was more than happy to help. “Tell me Elizabeth, what all have you tried?” Darcy asked as she took a sip of her coffee.

“Well, I’ve given him lots of fluids, Gatorade, water, Sprite, even Pedialite. I’ve rubbed his arms and legs, I’ve given him something to help him sleep, ice baths, salt baths, every antibiotic under the sun… you name it, I’ve probably tried it. Nothing works. The doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong and I’m starting to get scared,” Elizabeth said, this time the sob breaking through before she could hide behind her coffee mug.

Distracted momentarily by the “Hang in there, baby” kitty mug Elizabeth had absently clasped in both hands, Darcy tried to ignore the silly if not poignant coincidence and focus on the problem at hand. While she wouldn’t consider herself an ‘alternative medicine’ nut, Darcy did have an old school leaning when it came to parenting. In fact, she had one fool-proof way to cure just about anything, although she wasn’t sure if Elizabeth was the type of woman who would baulk at the suggestion of something as… odd as her tried-and-true remedy. Glancing at the bundle on the couch, seeing how small and pale the boy look, Darcy knew she was just going to have to chance it with his momma and hope she had an open mind.

“Have you ever considered chicken noodle soup?” Darcy asked Elizabeth finally.

“Chicken noodle soup? Of course! I made a homemade pot of it the first week he was sick. Didn’t matter though, poor kid could never keep it down,” Elizabeth said sadly.

“Well, actually what I have in mind is a little different than feeding him a bowl of the soup,” Darcy said reservedly.

Elizabeth flashed her a confused look and seeing the poor mother was on the verge of a complete collapse, Darcy leaned in and told her all about her secret remedy.

 

“Are you sure about this?” Elizabeth said, obviously not comfortable with what she was about to do.

“On my life, it will work. Trust me,” Darcy encouraged, “I know how crazy it sounds, I know. But I used it for 25 years between my two children and it has yet to fail me”.

Looking down at her sleeping son, Elizabeth closed her eyes and prayed that she was doing the right thing. Then, before she could talk herself out of it she lifted up the blanket covering her son and- poured cold chicken noodle soup all over him.

Gasping in surprise, the poor child sprang off the couch, flinging limp noodles as he stood, and let out a scream. “Mom! Mom what did you do?” he yelled and tried to wipe the soupy mess off of his soaking pajamas.

After putting the poor kid in a hot bath, Elizabeth joined Darcy who was already wiping down the couch and cleaning up the remnants of the remedy. Picking cooked carrots and celery out of the carpet, Elizabeth began to worry she had made a huge mistake. “What kind of mother dumps a pot of chicken noodle soup on her sick son?” she wondered in disgust.

“I know what you’re thinking. I thought it every time. You’re not a bad mother. Give it till tomorrow morning and you will see, it works,” Darcy said sympathetically and gave Elizabeth’s arm a friendly squeeze.

“I hope you’re right,” was all Elizabeth could manage to say.

The next morning, Elizabeth was surprised to be awoken by the sound of cartoons coming from the television in the living room. Throwing on a robe, she shuffled bleary-eyed into the living room and almost fell over when she saw her son. Sitting at the kitchen table, facing the TV, there he was eating an overflowing bowl of Coco Puffs… something he hadn’t been able to stomach for more than three weeks. His color had returned too, by all appearances he seemed… healthy.

“Hey buddy, how are you feeling?” Elizabeth asked hesitantly as she felt his forehead with the back of her hand. No fever. Come to think of it, she had slept through the night- not once was she awoken by the sickly moan “mommy”.

“I feel fine, mom. Can you move though, I can’t see the TV,” he said with his usual sever-year-old impatience.

She couldn’t believe it… Darcy’s remedy had actually worked! Who would have thought that throwing a pot of soup on a sick boy would actually do anything? Darcy had only discovered the oddity by happenstance when she tripped and spilled a just-cooled pot of chicken noodle soup all over her sick daughter. Noticing the immediate change in her daughter’s condition, Darcy would go on to use this technique for years- calling it her Chicken Noodle Oops. And Elizabeth thanked God that she had been kind enough to share it with her.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Have you ever packed your lunch in the morning and thought to yourself, “Man I can’t wait to eat this later, this is going to be a real treat,”? Well, I felt that way this morning. Thanks to the onset of a major sinus headache yesterday afternoon, the Chick-fil-A side salad and chicken noodle soup I brought for lunch went untouched. Waste not, want not, however so I stowed it in the fridge overnight- planning to take it to work with me today. Leaving the salad in the bag and then placing the bowl of soup delicately on top, I grabbed the entire bag and stuffed it in my purse for easy carrying. I realize now what my 7am brain failed to grasp- putting soup in a purse for a 30 minute car ride is NOT a good idea. Arriving in my office, I go to but the bag in the fridge and grabbing the top of the paper the entire bottom rips out (due to being completely soaked in soup) and the bowl of chicken noodle empties out- in my purse. A bowl of soup. In my purse. Yeah. Needless to say, the first half hour of my day was spent mopping up yellowy broth. Oh well, at least have my health, right?

best 'sick kid' ever... Fred Savage in The Princess Bride

Love & Squirrels.