In honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary I would like to hie back to a simpler time; a time when my husband and I realized we were outnumbered by the children, and we were forced to institute the following rule: The first one in the marriage to break and run had to take the kids with them—all the crazy, gum chomping, kids. Good times.
When Sherwood and I were young we produced a lot of little kids, a lot of grubby, grimy little kids, who because of their love affair with dirt and grime required a ton of hosing off—also bathing. When these little kids took baths they sometimes chewed huge wads of bubble gum. I didn’t mind; it kept them quiet. (For a while they tried to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with them into the tub, but I put the hoodoo on that right away.)
In the early days and even though we had a lot of filthy children, we had only one bathroom. It had one bathtub. One fine evening, Sherwood decided to take a bath in our one and only bathtub, the very same tub our children had used earlier that evening.
From the bathroom I heard the haunting boom of my husband’s voice.
“Linda, get in here.” His voice was thick with some emotion I found hard to identify. It was repugnance.
Naked and dripping, he stood leaning against the sink, his arms braced against the porcelain, bent slightly forward at the waist. He was not smiling or winking.
“Look at this.” He pointed to his hairy damp backside bits. He added, “Is that what I think it is?”
Me, I’m a funny girl, I asked, “Is this a test?” I did not look.
“No, I mean it. Look at my butt.”
“I’m not looking at your butt. You can’t make me.”
He pointed harder at his backside, completely devoid of any spirit of good-natured high jinx. There was more back and forth, denial and insistence and such, but I’ll spare you. I finally realized that this might be a serious situation causing real distress for my husband because he’d been standing there leaning against the sink, naked and pointing at himself for, well, longer than was good for either one of us.
I bent down and I did look.
Sure enough, there it was, a wad of Double Bubble chewing gum the size of a hamster’s head nestled in . . . ummm. . . well, just nestled.
I said, “Oops.”
He said, “Get it off.”
I asked, “How?”
It was a good question. I believe I missed the chapter in Home Economics dealing with “butt hair gum removal.”
I’d heard a rumor once—something club soda—stains or something, but I didn’t think club soda was going to apply in this case. I knew you could use ice to freeze gum and then chip it off of stuff, but chipping seemed the wrong sort of action to take. Pulling was right out. Shaving/cutting seemed promising, but it was going to be close work.
I can remember hoping that my hand was going to be steady enough, what with the laughing and all.
The real problem is that there just isn’t any kind of hotline for this. I blame the government.
Let me just report that the operation was a success, and I employed a combination of techniques.
To the children and now grandchildren I would like to say, “Let this be a lesson to you. Never chew gum in the bathtub. Chewing gum in the bathtub can make your father have to have his posterior shaved. There are reasons for family rules. Rules are our friends, and YaYa doesn’t make this stuff up. She has experience. She’s lived.”
Linda (Steady Now) Zern
Monday, September 26, 2016
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Folks sometimes come out to the country to visit us. They wear flip-flops and short-shorts. We recommend long pants and steel-toed boots—even for the babies. The country is no joke. There are snakes in the water, horse poop in piles, fire ants in heaps, and animals doing what animals do all over the place.
Warning! Graphic! Farm related animal talk and scenarios featuring animals in their natural habitat. They will not be wearing clothes—of any kind—ever. They do not act like people, no matter how much we insist.
On one side of our property is the “weekend” home of Mr. Abe. Mr. Abe likes to fill his fields with boy goats—lots and lots and lots of boy goats. He sells the goats to other Muslims to eat; these are goats considered clean, pure, and unsullied by hands, knives, or products that have touched or are pork.
Try to understand: There are sixty or more horny boy goats next door to my house at any given time waiting for the knife of purity. It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah over there because boy goats will . . . um . . . er . . . oh forget it . . . they will hump anything that stands still long enough to let them try. They are not gay. They are just boy goats, sans girl goats.
Picture it! Sixty to one thousand boy goats attempting to dominate, rut, hump, and get their freak on with sixty to one thousand other boy goats. It's like a game: King of the Mountain. I've forbidden myself from looking over at Mr. Abe's, afraid that I'll turn to salt.
I once saw a boy donkey running away from a giant Nubian boy goat that was trying to declare his inter-species love, both of which were being chased by their owner—my neighbor who lives on the other side of me.
Do not visit the country if you are unprepared to explain donkey/goat sex to your children. I mean it. Unless, of course, you want to go with the standard, “They’re just wrestling, dear.” Because that’s a lot of wrestling.
And the wrestling dodge will not explain Porno Pete, the overly amorous donkey that used to stand on the other side of the fence, trying to appeal to our girl horses. His method of asking for a date was to display his . . . rather . . . ambitious . . . personal . . . oh forget it . . . he let it all hang out CONSTANTLY. It was gross. I finally had to forbid the grandchildren from looking over at Porno Pete, telling them that they would turn to salt if they did.
Do not visit the country if you are unprepared to explain the anatomy of a boy donkey in love.
“What is that thing, Mommy?”
Go ahead, explain; I’ll hold your coat.
And whatever you do, don’t visit after a smashing, good semi-tropical downpour. It’s a regular frog freak fest, closely resembling a frat party, resulting in about ten trillion tadpoles swimming across the front yard. It’s life, and it just goes on and on and on.
Life! Messy, funny, dramatic, lusty life.
On second thought, come on out, any old time, but just remember to wear long pants and boots and be prepared for a hefty dose of Mother Nature.
Linda (Salt Pillar) Zern