Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat

I saw something for the first time today, something I’ve never seen in 33 years of observing the world around me. I wasn’t witness to an extraordinary act of kindness or to some rare natural occurrence. No, today I saw human absurdity taken to new heights, to a place so beyond normal that the ridiculous becomes common. Today I saw a cat stroller.

Not a cat in a child’s stroller, but a cat stroller. And this cat was no kitty; the passenger was a full-grown ball of gray fur confined to a small, green wire basket on wheels. I’ve seen cat carriers at the airport and dogs in everything from bike baskets to backpacks, ferrets on a leash, free range iguanas that treated a living room like their own private fecal factory, but I’ve never seen a presumably domesticated feline in a rolling cage.

Normally I try not to stare at anyone or anything for too long, but I couldn’t avert my eyes from this mobile madness. The fluffy cat had just enough room to turn itself around in tight circles, an uncomfortable looking nose to tail loop. An accordion style sun bonnet printed with a faded flower pattern protected the out-of-the-house pet from the midday sun, but it was nearly 90 degrees! The cat’s coat was so thick that surviving a long winter at the North Pole would not have presented a problem. It must’ve been an oven under that gaudy sunshade!

In my neighborhood people say hello as they pass each other on the sidewalk; however, the cat lady didn’t even acknowledge me with a half smile. Her indifferent attitude toward me reinforced my belief that her little rolling circus act was quite weird. Surely she was aware of how ridiculous she looked pushing her prisoner pussy down the street.

Monday, August 24, 2009

King of my Kitchen

It was 11 o’clock and the savory scent of cooked cow wafting from the broiler had me pacing around the kitchen like a starved lion hunting a wounded wildebeest. Thin white smoke escaped from the broiler only to be sucked away by the hood fan. Salivating with bloodlust, I flipped the slab of perfectly seared sirloin and gently sliced it to examine its tender, pink center. I let out a low growl of approval as I set the sizzling meat aside and bathed it in A-1 and Worcestershire sauces.

After two, seemingly endless minutes, I pounced with predatory fury; total carnage ensued. Imaginary death squeals filled my ears. Tuffs of fur drifted to the floor. The stabbing fork’s tines and slicing serrated knife blade clanked and scraped a high-pitch rhythm on the porcelain plate. Chewy bits of fat and tiny strands of tendon packed between my teeth. My tongue was slippery with juices. My teeth gnashed and gnawed at the succulent steak.

As the feast was devoured, my pace slowed and I soaked the remaining meaty morsels in the glistening pool of coagulated drippings, savoring the beast’s finale. Then, like a lion polishing bare bones with its rigid tongue, I spun the empty plate and slurped up any evidence of the steak’s existence.

Reclined on the sofa, my appetite satiated, I purred softly and drifted off to sleep. Vegetables are fine, but there is no substitute for a late night steak.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turning the Screws

The pungent scent of Deet-filled bug spray, rivulets of salty sweat blinding my vision, an 1/8th-inch wrench in hand, oppressive heat that makes your legs sweat - I could've been in by father's garage on Hickory St. 22 years ago, working on my skateboard, but it was Monday and I was swapping out a tail light kit on my wife's suddenly beater Hyundai. Who would've guessed a cracked lens along with Virginia's stringent safety inspection requirements would create such a headache? An auto parts franchise quoted $300 for a new tail light kit. The Hyundai dealership mechanic was nervous he wouldn't be able to reinstall the new light due to the crushed rear quarter panel. The body shop said they'd have to replace the back fender, quarter panel and tail light, estimating over $1500 worth of work. The Internet said $156.00 would replace the entire tail light kit.

UPS delivered the part and I replaced the defective light in about 10 minutes. Four screws held the light in place. Four. The hardest part was pulling by hand the plastic rivets that fastened the trunk lining to the frame. Four screws. $156 compared to $1500+.

Sure the car still looks like a candidate for demolition derby, but at least the light will pass the inspection. When you know you'll never resell a vehicle, cosmetics become a secondary concern.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heaven On Earth

My confidence in atheism was soundly shaken today. Not to overstate this, but my entire belief system rattled like an empty beer can on a train platform. After my inaugural pilgrimage to Total Wine & More, I’ve come to believe that God does exits and that he’s the owner of 55 superstores in 10 states. Surely no mere mortal could create a franchise that boasts over 8,000 wines and more than 1,000 beers at each location. This feat deserves a chapter in the Bible, or at least a few pages in Genesis! “And on the sixth day the lord created Total Wine & More.”

Much like a visitor to the National Cathedral in D.C., I slowly moved along the aisles, reading the sacred scripture on the colored labels. Cases of microbrews and exotic imports were stacked high, creating chapels in which to worship the holy beverages. Employees clad in white uniforms moved unobtrusively through the store like angels. The store was a temple devoted to beer and wine, and I was in heaven.

According to the store’s buying guide, communion is held on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Brief Interruption

Let me begin by saying thank you to anyone who still reads this blog, as it hasn’t been updated in about five months. Funnily enough, my second son is about five months old now. Hmm, coincidence?

Actually that’s not fair to blame the little guy for my laziness. The itch I felt to blog began in the dark and lonely depths of the Major League Baseball off-season. My creative duties at the office had ground to a halt leading up to the holiday break. I needed an outlet, so I began Deliberately Unintentional.

Of course, my life got busier than ever with the arrival of Colton, and all of a sudden I was knee-deep in creating a 36-page annual report for work. The creative itch was scratched to the point of bleeding. But I’m back now, and I intend to post new stories regularly. I’m going to try and keep posts short and sweet this time, around 500 words. Thanks for sticking with me. Let’s have some laughs.