Friday, February 25, 2011

Bathing with Ben and Jerry

Gabriella Herkert

Catnapped and Doggone

The horrible, horrible day. Complete with unreasonable bosses, no tangible accomplishments and snow route bus schedules that require ten extra blocks of pedestrian travel on icy hills in girl shoes. Yes, oh yes, Sara has days – more than she would care to admit -- when the click of the front door lock behind her sounds like the trumpet of angels. And if we’re going to have that, we definitely need the rejuvenation of the personal religion recovery system.

Step one in Sara’s resurgence – Scuttlebutt beer. On a day like this one, she’ll go with the Gale Force Pale Ale. And yes, the bottle opener gets used before the coat hook. A girl has to have priorities. Drinking is socially responsible. Scuttlebutt is a local beer. Made a mere few miles from Seattle in Everett. Sara's support of a local business and commitment to sustainable consumables gives her the right to feel good about herself. The buzz doesn’t hurt either. Sara will finish the first bottle while indulging her OCD email issues. Admittedly, she won’t bother to open the dozen or so no doubt rambling/ranting missives from her equally OCD/paranoid/pain in the ass boss. Those can wait until morning. Sara might briefly dwell on how easy it would be to rid herself of his corpulence and drop his body in a conveniently located deciduous forest off the beaten path so his body can succumb to the local animal and insect population – poor poisoned things – while consuming her second beer. It’s important to spend at least a few minutes every day imagining the world as a better place.

Step two requires a caloric intake in something other than alcoholic form. Particularly since step three includes a bath and drowning, well not the drowning so much as the being found days later naked and bloated by good looking firemen when she’s not only dead but looking really, really bad, isn’t a place Sara wants to go. Ever. Food. Okay, the shells and cheese sound good. Clipping open the silver packet of Velveeta, Sara discovers that despite claims to the contrary, cheese like substances will not only not survive a nuclear blast but the expiration date isn’t actually an inside joke. Best if used before October 2001. What does that mean exactly? Best if used before. Does that mean that it’s not great if used after or I wouldn’t but you might or you will drop dead if you go there? Whatever it means, the hard, dense, no longer cheese colored won’t squeeze out of the pouch substance seems like a bad idea even in comparison to the equally bad day. After all, the door click was supposed to be the dividing line between the day’s horrors and the evening’s rejuvenation. Abandoning real food, Sara goes to the back up plan. Ben and Jerry’s Neopolitan Dynamite. Thankfully, Sara is smart enough to never, ever be without the good stuff. And it never gets close to an expiration date. On the other hand, she can’t pat herself on the back for her socially conscious food choice. Trucked in all the way from Vermont, the half Cherry Garcia, half fudge chunk nectar of the Gods can be attributed to a couple of guys from the Grateful Dead. Who understands self-medication better than them? Other than maybe Willie Nelson.

Bath time. Chamomile Epsom salts and water hot enough to scald. Have to counteract the cold of the ice cream and defrost the digits from unseasonably cold, yet traditionally wet Seattle. A more tech savvy bather would have long since figured out how to watch television on her laptop so she could easily move it into position, close enough to see but not so close that electrocution could lead to the same scary scenario as drowning (see naked nightmare above). No, Sara the technophobe has purchased a sixty foot cable cord so she can wheel the television into the doorway on its IKEA tv stand. Then it’s time to dig through the DVDs for a guilty pleasure. Nothing too stimulating, nothing too intellectual. Absolutely nothing where there are unethical lawyers in pinstripes instead of jailhouse jumpsuits. Too much of that and Sara will be projecting. As in projecting bath toys toward the workplace surrogates. That leaves rom-coms and animateds. The Quiet Man? John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in beautiful Ireland. Love Actually? Happy endings and British accents. Or the Incredibles? Hero work and cool costumes. And Edna Goldblatz. The funniest character ever drawn. Yep. Saving the world can save the day. The Incredibles it is.

Pruning in aromatic waters while watching Baby Jack come into his own as an anvil, Sara will be feeling better. The third bottle of beer will be mostly gone and the dairy injection will be coursing happily through her veins. When her phone rings, she will not even flinch. She won’t race to get it either. She’ll watch the credits roll with her head back and her eyes closed. She doesn’t know where her husband is or exactly what he’s doing but he’s not close enough to make good on any of his deliciously obscene message and he’s unlikely to have enough time to make the phone “connection” satisfying. Plus, Sara doesn’t want him disarming ordinance or invading countries while suffering from afterglow. Highly dangerous that and unlike the boss, she’s kind of attached to the husband.

Finally, Sara can climb into her jammies and tuck in under the covers for a good night’s sleep. Scarlett had it right. Tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for reading.



Michael Wiley said...

Ah, the comforts of alcohol and sugar. After a hard day, what could be better? Great post, Gabi.

Meredith Cole said...

TV. Bath. Ben and Jerry's. Okay, now I'm hungry. I'm glad Sara has some way to unwind after a difficult day. Sounds like her home is a safe haven for her (unlike some of the drifters we've seen on the blog this week!)

Kelli Stanley said...

Gabs, I raise a glass of Scuttlebutt to you!! Great post!! :)

And now, of course, I'm craving good ol' B&J -- beats P&J any day of the week. ;)

Gabi said...

Alcohol and -- self medication that defies historical period, genre and gender.

Gabi said...

It took Sara a long time to find her safe place. She treats it with reverence. Even the dust bunnies get to stay.

Gabi said...

Scuttlebutt for all.

Shane Gericke said...

This is why America will always be No. 1. We have Velveeta and they don't. And Scuttlebutt.

You are a real good writer.

Shane Gericke said...

Oh, and "not the drowning so much as the being found days later naked and bloated by good looking firemen when she’s not only dead but looking really, really bad."? Still laughing.