|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Mar. 06, 2005 - 12:53 p.m.
One of the biggest advantages of living in the middle of a state forest 6,287 nautical miles from any other human being is that you are 6,287 nautical miles from any other human being.
One of the biggest disadvantages of living in the middle of a state forest 6,287 nautical miles from any other human being is...you are 6,287 nautical miles from any other human being.
Actually I don't see this as a disadvantage, having been castigated and driven out of every community by peasants with pitchforks and blazing brands since leaving home at...uh...28? 30? Whatever. People were mean to me. That's the point. I don't see ANY downside to living under a bridge, far from civilization, waylaying lost travellers and grinding their bones into bread.
NewWifey(tm) is perhaps a shade less rabid in her desire to eradicate humanity, or at least distance herself from it. In fact, she can be nauseatingly gregarious when it comes right down to it.
Approximately every 4 month or so she rises up and declares her desire to interact with something other than a fat Italian traffic reporter, a Welsh Corgi with cat poop breath, and a cat poop generator.
When this malaise come upon her it usually requires nothing more from me than accompanying her to WalMart for an hour. We stand around pretending to look for that elusive skirt she's been wanting, but really just surreptitiously eyeing the size 18's with their 104 dB triple-wide strollers. Then we go home and she feels better about her life of solitude...until the next bout, when we do it again.
And last week it was time for her latest next bout.
This time however, NewWifey(tm) sprung a suprise on me.
"I wanna throw a party." she said.
"A party...? You mean like, invite people over? To Dangerhouse?"
"Yes. That's what 'throw a party' means."
"But...nobody likes us. Even if they did, you know how hard it is for me to socialize."
That's true, by the way. It is VERY hard for me to socialize, and not just because of my general malevolence towards others. When you go to sleep at 5:30 in the afternoon 7 days a week and all your frie...er, acquaintences work 9-5, that doesn't leave much time for the "coctail, dinner, Mazola Twister" routine that's all the rage these days.
Sundays are my one day off, but even throwing parties then have been problematic the few times we tried it early in our marriage. The class of people who are willing to attend any sort of soiree at which I am in attendance are the class of people who drink Sterno with fish. Asking them to leave at 5 in the afternoon, when the last 4 kegs haven't even been tapped yet, just so their host can get his 11 hours of beauty sleep, would be like asking them to go inside the house to pee. It just don't make sense to that crowd.
So we haven't thrown a party is a while.
"Look, I know how difficult it is to get actual HUMAN humans to visit us, living as we do here at Ice Station Jersey, miles from the nearest Starbucks" she said. "But you have President's Day Monday off, which means we can throw a fete on Sunday and you can stay up late for once! I'll send feelers out around the neighborhood and see if anyone's interested in a cheese spread and foosball kinda thing. Waddaya say, sport?"
I should probably mention here that this conversation was taking place in bed.
The entire time NewWifey(tm) was making her case she was stroking Little Elvis with both hands, speaking softly, and flashing those eyes that promised all sorts of depraved wonders if I merely gave in to her request. That ol' familiar Chick Strategy.
Will we guys never learn? I did nothing to move her hands away.
When it got to the point where she said "Waddaya say...?" I had already formulated a rebuttal in my mind. But I ... just ... couldn't ... concentrate.
Then...it began to dawn on me that the longer I took to formulate an answer, the tighter NewWifey(tm) was gradually gripping The Boys.
Now, I make my living off my basso profundo pipes (that's my voice, to you lucky non-radio bastards).
The employment potential for Castrati in this business sank to "zero" years ago.
"A party sounds like a great idea!" I gasped.
"Great!" she chirped. "I knew you'd be thrilled!"
And she hopped out of bed and skipped out to the kitchen.
Wait....what about my depraved wonders??!
Shit. We never learn.
That night, and all the next day, NewWifey(tm) dialed and badgered every other person antisocial enough to purchase a home in the same State Forest enclave that we did. Granted that's not a lot, but it still took her a few hours.
At the end of that time, only ONE COUPLE accepted our offer.
Out of probably close to 60 housholds that she tried.
NewWifey(tm) got off the phone after the last call, stormed into the Man Pit, and yanked the Playstation controller right out of my hand.
"You did this!" she hissed. "YOU!"
"What? What did I do NOW?" I had no idea what she was talking about. All I'd done the past two days was shoot cops and nail hookers in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" (I've cunningly outfitted CJ with the False Nose Glasses. They'll never catch me now! BWAAA HAHAHAAAA!!) (Parenthetical comment #2: For those of you who have never played this gem of a game, the character you control - CJ - is black. But. If you go to the clothing store ("Binko's") and outfit him with the False Nose Glasses...it's a WHITE nose! The effect is Michael Jackson's dick, pre-dye job. I love it.)
Back to the plot:
NewWifey(tm)'s ears were fuchsia from blood pressure. She spoke through teeth gritted hard enough to pierce Kevlar.
"Every. Last. Goddam. Person in this feckless outpost of The Dammed asked me the same question: 'Is your husband that guy who races around the neighborhood all day is his little siver car with the stereo blasting that stupid Woo Hoo song? No thanks.' (Editors note: I love that song, but I can never remember the lyrics.) Only ONE couple agreed to come - and that's because they just moved here from Thailand last week and don't know who you are yet! YOU RUINED MY PARTY!"
I thought about that for a second. Thai, huh? Maybe they've got a hot Thai BarGirl daughter!
Woo hoo song, indeed.
Of course I feigned contrition that my odious nature had foiled yet another of her plans to bring us - however briefly - into the mainstream of American society. Anything less and I would have been disemboweled with a blunt grapefruit spoon.
"Now listen very carefully," she continued. "We will be throwing a party this Sunday, only it will be an intimate dinner party with a couple who's grasp of English is dodgy at best. And you WILL behave yourself. That means NO jokes about serving dog or cat, NO taping your eyes back into slants, and for god's sake if you mention Thai Bar Girls even ONCE you will never feel my uvula with any appendage of yours again. Understand?"
Shit, she was on to me.
Of course even though we were hosting the party, I was expected to do all the cooking. This wasn't entirely unexpected, as I do all the cooking around here anyway. But still, it would have been nice if she'd asked if for once she could disappoint the guests, not me.
With both dog and cat off the menu I was initially at a loss for what to serve Thai people, but I eventually settled on traditional American fare. After all, Beenie Weenies probably smells pretty exotic to someone used to nothing but fresh seafood and coconut juice, right? I mentioned this to NewWifey(tm) and she fixed me with one of those "this is why they call it 'The Troubles'" Irish stares.
"I had a funny feeling you were going to try something like this. Well you can forget it. I've made up a menu, and tomorrow on your way home from work you can stop at the A&P and pick up whatever ingredients you need. Now if you'll excuse me I have to start cleaning all the Silly String you shot at the dog this morning."
(I had purchased 5 cans of yellow Silly String earlier at a Dollar Store, and when I got home I chased a very thrilled Casey around with them until all 5 were emptied. It looked like a Chinese noodle shop exploded in our living quarters.)
Sunday morning then, and I was up early to prepare the feast. NewWifey(tm)'s idea of "appropriate fare" turned out to be Cream of Roast Acorn Squash Soup, Risotto con Fungi, and Coq au Vin. Booze for dessert. Well, that certainly sounded appropriate for a Winter's night I guess, and easy enough to prepare. So I couldn't really complain.
Still, cat would have been a nice change of pace.
When the couple showed up at 3 they were nothing like I'd expected. I mean, if you didn't know any Thai people and your wife said that two Thai people were showing up for dinner that night, what would you picture in your mind's eye? A chick with peanut butter colored skin wearing a grass skirt with a coconut-halves bikini top, and a little black haired guy wearing only soccer shorts, right? Maybe with a pet monkey on a delicate silver chain? Arriving by bicycle?
I was just as suprised as you would have been then, when I was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Rudjanakanoknad (who thankfully told us we could call them Hank and Marie). I had the peanut butter colored skin part right, but everything else defied logic. They pulled up in a Buick (probably duped into it by Tiger Woods. He's half Thai, right?) and were dressed in formal evening wear. They were also five foot two and four foot nine respectively, so they looked like they'd just stepped off the top of a wedding cake. I placed them in their mid-50's.
Despite my initial misgivings - overdressed, ancient, no Bargirl daughter - they were actually a very nice couple who'd apparently had no problems at all with their ESL classes. It turns out that the husband had been some sort of minor dignitary back in Thailand, where his main duty revolved around promoting the beauty and safety of Thai resorts in Phangnga and Phuket to English speaking clients.
When his beaches, house, family and career all washed up at the same time on December 26th, he made the decision to move as far as possible as quickly as possible to an area on the globe that never, ever, ever experiences 30 foot high, 500 mph waves. The middle of a State Forest in the back hills of New Jersey, USA, seemed an ideal oasis; bears, vultures, snow, gangsters, and all.
One thing I asked Hank right off the bat was "Why the monkey suit?" (NewWifey(tm) and I were in our finest unpressed Gap knockoffs). This led to our first awkward exchange of the night, since he'd never heard the phrase before and thought I was merely mistaken about the material. "No no - monkey suit back at home. This one silk."
When we sorted that out he laughed and told me he just didn't know what to expect, and better safe than insultingly underdressed. Fair enough. On the other hand, I looked like a gigantic rodeo clown standing next to them in my checked shirt, jeans, and big rouge cheek circles.
I thought about excusing myself and bolting for the bedroom so I could put on my Funeral Suit, but instead Casey the Wonder Corgi bolted from the bedroom to greet the New Assholes (the only part of anyone he deigns to notice usually) and immediately a new crisis arose.
"Oh, what a beautiful dog!" squealed Mrs. R. "Do you raise them for food?"
I looked triumphantly over at NewWifey(tm), who had turned to stone.
"Honey," she said as casually as a statue can, "would you be a dear and lock Casey in the back bathroom? I don't want him jumping on our guests' nice clothes." She then turned to Hank and Marie and continued, "No, he is our pet. We don't eat dog in this part of the state."
"What a shame" said Hank. "He's got fat little legs."
Not that NewWifey(tm) has that much color, but what little she does have didn't return for several hours.
After that little faux pas though, things picked up. Mr. and Mrs. P had a genuine appreciation for Western food, having dealt with it professionally for the better part of 30 years in the tourism trade, and they complimented me profusely throughout the meal. They loved the wines we paired with the dishes, and even suprised us with a working knowledge of the Single Malt Scotches we poured afterwards.
I was almost ready to forgive them not having a Daughter-For-Rent.
The only incident of any note was when Marie asked if she could use our bathroom. Inadvertantly I pointed her to the guest bathroom, since it was closest. When she opened the door Casey dashed out between her legs and ran to the front door. Hank and Marie both took their shoes off when they arrived, something that must be considered polite where they come from. We didn't say anything at the time, preferring our guests to be comfortable. But if they knew half the things NewWifey(tm) and I do on those floors they probably would have opted for stilts had they been available. Anyway, after assholes, Casey has a thing for feet. He made a beeline for Marie's size-4 mules and jammed his nose so far into the toebox of one of them that when NewWifey(tm) pulled it free there was an audible "pop".
Fortunately Hank and Marie were amused at our potential roast's fetish, and we went right back to our Oban without any tension from the event.
Around 7 o'clock then we began wrapping things up. The P's knew I had to be up at 1am for work, and being gracious, proper and experienced diplomats, they smoothly led us through the winding down ceremonies without any oafish prodding on our part. After warm words all around I got their coats and led them to the door. And their shoes.
Hank had painfully bright patent leather loafers that looked stiff, but once you saw him put them on you knew he had to be an old pro at it. He didn't even need to sit down; just a slight bend at the waist, foot lifted to meet his lowered hand halfway, a quick finger insert at the heel, tug, slide, and zip... on.
Marie had dainty little (probably boxed) feet that looked like both could fit into a single one of her strapless beauties. She slipped her right foot in first, then lifted her left foot, teetered ever so slightly, and slid it home.
Then immediately gasped.
She clutched her husbands arm, lifted her left foot up again, and slipped the shoe back off.
Her foot was all bloody!
Oh my GOD!
Marie immediately started babbling some strange gutteral noises at her husband. I thought she had gone hysterical and was speaking in Tongues, or maybe Simian, but Hank understood her. "She says there is something in her shoe." he said. "Would you be so kind as to get her a washcloth for her foot while I remove whatever was in there?"
Sure pal, as long as you don't sue!
I hustled to the kitchen and started soaking the first cloth I saw - an oven mitt.
And then I heard NewWifey(tm) scream.
I ran back to the front door and saw Mr. Rudjanakanoknad standing there holding his wife's shoe in one hand, and a sanitary napkin in the other.
A used sanitary napkin.
The dog must have carried it from the back bathroom and planted it there during his brief escape!
NewWifey(tm) went so white she was almost clear. Bright blue veins throbbed and pulsated in her forehead, neck and arms. She yanked the oven mitt from my hand and used it to snatch the sodden cloth out of Hank's grasp, then sprinted down the hall back to the guests' bathroom. And locked herself in.
Mr. P stood there for a long second, then gathering all his diplomacy training into one gigantic ball, said "Mr. Spouse, would you happen to have another bathroom where my wife and I could freshen up? We seem to have slightly soiled ourselves."
I couldn't say anything, just nodded and pointed towards the other lavatory. Hank helped his wife, who hopped on one foot. They kept the water running in there for at least twenty minutes, and when they emerged Mr. P's hands were rubbed crimson. Mrs. P was carrying both her shoes in one hand, her other hand holding a damp washrag to her face. The bathroom stank of regurgitated chicken and Scotch.
Mr. P shook my hand without looking at me, then half carried his wife down our front steps to the Buick.
Ten seconds after they pulled away NewWifey(tm) cracked open the back bathroom door and hoarsely whispered "Are they gone??"
"Yeah," I called back. "They just left."
I expected a mute-from-horror NewWifey(tm) to timidly crawl down that hall in shame, but what bounded down towards me was an ebullient, laughing banshee.
"HAHAAAAAAAAA!! AL-RIIIIIIIGHT!!" she screamed, pumping her fists the entire way from the bathroom to me. "Those fuckers - did you see the look on her face? On HIS face? That was PERFECT!!"
I was completely, utterly, thrown off by this. What? Huh?
"FUCK 'EM!" she screamed. "They wanted to COOK CASEY! Stupid dog eaters - serves 'em right!" and she went over and gave the dog a big hug. "I'm just sorry I wasn't clotting."
I was sure that would be the last we would ever hear from Mr. and Mrs. Pad Thai, but two days later I was suprised to see a Fed-Ex truck pull up in front of our house and lug a huge spray of wildflowers in a cut glass vase to our front door. Attached was a card that said simply, "Thank you for the lovely dinner. We will never forget it. (signed) Hank and Marie
Well waddaya know - they weren't upset after all!
I'm hoping to invite them over again sometime. But...during mid-cycle. You never can be too careful when dealing with foreigners. The littlest things can turn into a bloody mess.
Party on, kids!
Administrative note: You may recall, from two entries ago, I mentioned that the Evil Overlords at work were cracking down on our extra-legal internet (ab)use. Well..."limited" internet access went to "no" internet access shortly after that. For the past two weeks I have not been able to update my diary, peruse other diaries, or download porn from work. And since that's where I almost exclusively do all of the above, I've been effectively shut down.
However, Friday and Saturday I was able to log on for brief periods of time and leave a few notes here and there. Not as much as I would have liked, but hopefully it means the corporate shackles are being loosened just a smidge and I can get back to goofing off on their dime one of these days again. In the meantime, my apologies for the lack of entries and return notes.
One thing I was able to peruse, and thank god I did, was the post-Oscar coverage over at Go Fug Yourself. For those of you who remember the uber-wit who was Dancing Brave here at D-Land (now at http://dancingbrave.typepad.com/ ,and worth every pixel of your monitor), her side/main project that is getting so much well deserved hype did a TERRIFIC slash-and-burn rundown of red carpet disasters. Go read, and weep that you are not in her league.