Monday, April 28, 2008

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

Everyone at my house has been sick this weekend. A rather grouchy Jackson has frequently reminded me that I started it, and therefore it is all my fault. I'm a giver.

On Saturday afternoon I added a new location to my P.I.P. tour of Big Flat City. Not to be confused with a V.I.P. tour, the P.I.P. tour showcases Places I've Puked. There's a story behind that which I'll tell you another time.

This time I had to veer over into a mostly deserted parking lot half a block from a busy intersection and a Walgreen's store. I revisited the contents of my breakfast while Jackson hoofed it to the drug store in search of medicinal relief. Katie cowered in the backseat of the truck, no doubt with fingers stuck in her ears, trying not to join in on the festivities.

I must have looked rather pathetic, bent over, one hand clutching the bumper and the other holding my hair out of my face, all the while trying to aim away from my tennis shoes and bare legs. A nice lady in a silver Buick pulled into the parking lot to see if I needed any assistance.

I had trouble seeing her because I was still wearing my sunglasses and they were thoroughly bespattered with tears that sort of involuntarily spurt out of your eyes when you feel rotten enough to abandon your vehicle and toss your cookies alongside a public street.

Desperately gathering my shredded dignity, I thanked her for her offer, and told her help was forthcoming as soon as Jackson returned from the drug store. She looked like she didn't believe me - surely I didn't look THAT pathetic - but she finally nodded and slowly drove away.

Jackson brought me some good drugs and even gave me the shirt off his back to wear - as he would want me to note - and we went home. By nightfall, he had succumbed to the same bug and we spent a lovely Sunday grumbling and grousing as we moved back and forth between the bed and chair, trying to get comfortable. By eleven o'clock Sunday night, Katie had joined the ranks of the living dead.

This morning I felt better, but I stayed home with the kid, who'd had a pretty sleepless night.

After getting Katie set up with a blanket, some juice, a couple of crackers and full access to the Disney channel, I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. After a while, I sat down across from her to play on the computer. Then the evil kid then changed the channel so she could watch Full House reruns.

She does this mostly because she knows Full House is like Kryptonite for me and she enjoys watching me squirm. I hated that show the first time around and I cannot comprehend what she finds so appealing about it. After wailing and gnashing my teeth, I told her I would keep quiet, as long as she would at least pretend to take a nap. After working out the details of the nap pretense - eyes would be closed, but she could stay in the chair and not have to move to a fully prone position on the couch - she started her pretend nap and I continued to play on the computer.

Finally, when I thought she'd moved past the pretend stage and was fully engrossed in the nappage, I eased out of the chair and started to stand with the intent of wresting the remote control from her fevered grasp. Just as I moved, her eyes shot open and she said:

"You're just like Barbie."

Not. bloody. likely.

Suffice it to say that I did not invest a lot of time in my appearance this morning. I managed to brush my teeth a put on clean clothes, but that was pretty much the extent of my morning ablutions.

I was wearing a pair of pyjama pants decorated with retro spark plugs and a raggedy old red t-shirt. My feet were cold so I'd been padding around the house in a pair of granny-lookin' house shoes which, although red in color and therefor coordinated somewhat with my red t-shirt, that accident of fashion did nothing to improve my overall appearance. I hate to admit I even own house shoes, much less find them sometimes cozily useful.

I hadn't done anything with my frizzy bed-head hair, other than twist it up in a clip on the back of my head. And of course, make-up would have been a laughable waste of animal by-products at this point. I hadn't even popped in my contacts and was still wearing my glasses.

And yet -

"You're just like Barbie."

Poor kid must be more ill than I thought. Had her fever made her delirious? Should I feel her forehead? Press a cool compress to her brow? Call the doctor? Or just move right on to boiling water and tearing sheets?

"How, pray tell, am I just like Barbie?" I queried, frozen halfway between sitting and standing.

"When you stand up your knees pop just like Barbie's do when you bend her legs."

If she's still sick tomorrow, her daddy's staying home with her!


Dijea said...

A total Art Linkletter moment. I love it!

Gator World!! said...

OMG, she is too funny!!!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, she's good.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Is it possible that young Katie was merely offering payback on behalf of your office colleagues for the ditching work day last week?

Perhaps an exchange of cash was involved?

(as an expert conspiracy theorist, I have to ask....)

David said...

My guess is, and I want to be sensitive here, that fair Kate has been learning from you, Spooky. How does it feel to have a disciple?

Janie said...

That's hilarious! And you tell it , oh, so well!

annie said...

I agree with David. Should we call you Spooky Barbie from now on?

BTW, I feel the same as you do about house shoes.

Tauratinzwe said...

Don't knock barfing. That's how I caught my wife. Threw up all over the girl. She couldn't resist me after that.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

LMAO...just like Barbie. *laffin until I am crying*

I guess that would make me Skipper? Cause my knees don't crack.

~says barbie barbie barbie~

That child is so much like you.

Anonymous said...

It was all those nights dancing at the disco in your high heels and then speeding away in your pink vette that did your knees in, wasn't it?

esperanza said...

Hmm...If I were that clever, my mom would tell me I had to go to school. Hilarious! And I hope the puking has come to an end. Nothing's worse than puking.

P M Prescott said...

Hope all get to feeling better soon.

Gerry said...

Too funny. I hope you all get feeling better.

But somehow I'll always picture a Barbie with camera in hand, unable to bend her knees, at the cemetary. LOL.

JenStar said...

She's a smart one, that little one! I think she has your number!

mid-life rookie said...

Barbie indeed! As I read I wondered exactly where she would make the connection. Cracking knees. Hee Hee.

Songbird said...

oh, man.

zorra said...

From one owner of popping knees to another: That's a scream! LOL at work...

Not the puke part, though. I hope all of you are completely over that by now.