Monday, April 24, 2006


This evening, SWMBO and I headed out to restock our nearly bare larder. It’s not that there’s no food in the house, mind you, but we’re light on perishables - milk, vegetables, et al. - and most of the rest of our provisions are tucked away in the basement fridge. This is the situation we face every year after the conclusion of Passover, which, as holidays go, has the unique advantage of forcing a Spring Cleaning of the Food Cupboard.

It’s truly amazing, the Random Shit one finds when cleaning out the pantry and the refrigerator in advance of Passover. Cereal with expiration dates back in the 20th Century. UFO’s - Unidentifiable Frozen Objects - coated with a thick rime of frost. Bottles of rarely-used condiments. Mango peppercorns...chimichurri sauce...chocolate syrup...lekvar...

But now it’s time to put back the crap that we didn’t pitch out, and take the various orts and candle-ends that remain of the Pesahdik food and stick it in the Root Cellar until next year. Matzoh may not age as well as wine, but year-old matzoh beats year-old cheese any day. Well, most year-old cheese.

As we roamed the Stoopid-Market, the Missus inevitably found herself drawn to the Pet Supplies aisle, where they sell cat food we don’t buy and where they had run out of the one Pet Supply we could have used: cat litter. But the Missus didn’t care about that. She was on a mission. She’s always on a mission in the Pet Supplies aisle.

A mission to find Yet Another Useless Fucking Cat Toy.

Useless, because our cats rarely play with any of the toys the Missus buys for them. Cat beds, little Kitty Tchotchkes - whatever it is, our cats will ignore it. And so I gave the Missus the usual good-natured ribbing I dole out whenever a Useless Purchase is in the offing. Despite this, I was enough of a sport to get the object of her desire down from a barely-reachable top shelf.

[That’s a clue right there, Esteemed Readers. The top shelf in a Stoopid-Market is not like the top shelf in, say, a bar. It’s not where the good stuff is. It’s where the Slow-Moving Crapola is. “Throw it up top, Manny. Someone maybe will want one of those sometime in 2009.”]

Said object? A stuffed Mouse-Like Skritchy Toy, roughly the size of an Economy-Size Football, doped with catnip and possessed of nice, nubbly areas where a cat’s claws could get good purchase. The cashier almost had a heart attack when she inadvertently brushed her hand up against it and caught a glimpse of it from the corner of her eye. “Gaaaah! What the hell is that?!!?

Imagine my surprise when we brought The Bloated Mousie home and Matata immediately started groping it, a prelude to a full-blown scratching and rolling Hump-Frenzy. Even Hakuna, fairly wary in the matter of New Things, gave it a cursory inspection.

I had to acknowledge that SWMBO was right and I was wrong...this time. [There, I said it. Right there on the Inter-Web!]

But I’m a little nervous. I’ll be away from home for ten days, beginning this coming Friday. Business and Pleasure. And the Missus will be here, exposed to the temptation of the Pet Supplies aisle...very like Acidman trying to deal with a trip down the Beer Aisle.

There’s no comparison, of course. Rob’s motivation for avoiding the Beer Aisle is the risk of backsliding in a life-and-death struggle to stay sober. The Missus, if she yields, faces not much more than a temporary Stink-Eye from me...and since it would be delivered half in jest, you could call it the Wink-Eye Stink-Eye.

I hope there’ll be room for me in the house by the time I get back from my travels. Because there are sure to be more Cat Toys.

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