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Blurday, August 27 in the Year of the Pandemic

Top Stories

Wife Reports Strange Sounds in Kitchen


“It started with the oven,” the wife told ODD. “There was a really loud whirring sound.  Then on the breakfast table, there was a creepy ticking. From across the kitchen came this intermittent humming. And I don’t know, I think the floorboards were super loud.”

“I didn’t hear anything,” said the husband.

ODD sent a reporter to investigate.  He said that the whirring was the oven’s convection bake setting, never used before, that the wife had mistakenly turned on to heat their quiche. (This news sent the husband on an eager dive into the Freestanding Gas Range User Manual to find all the uses for the convection bake setting.) The ticking was from a loose metal bottle top, the humming from the refrigerator, and absolutely nothing was wrong with the floorboards.

“I think the wife might be losing it,” the reporter reported. 

Husband Bewildered by Mango Varieties 


As with many couples, this couple is fond of mangos. But recently, the husband returned from a shopping trip with what the wife insisted were “the wrong mangos.” 


Though feeling unjustly accused, the husband had to admit he didn’t know much about mangoes.  So once again, he cleared his schedule and plunged into the worldwide web.  “Tell them I used the search terms “mangos” and “variety,”  he instructed ODD.


“The first websites that popped up said that there were anywhere from seven (but they only listed six) to over 400 mango varieties,” the husband reported.  “The other thing I found out,” he continued with great enthusiasm, “is that there is an Angie mango and a Glenn mango!” Learning that the Glenn mango originated in Italy and the Angie in Florida, the wife was really mad.  "That just doesn’t seem right,” she said.

The husband was able to identify the wife’s fav as the “Honey aka Adaulfo, aka Adolfo, aka Champagne mango.”  It hails from Mexico (and Brazil and Peru and Ecuador).  At about 100 calories a cup, a mango is not bad for a fruit that, when fully ripe, peeled, and wolfed down by a man (the husband) bathing in it at the kitchen sink, “tastes like ice cream, only better.” 

Not Just People, But Stuff Breaking Down!


First, the camera on his laptop stopped working, reports Claude in Manhattan.  Then he bought an external camera that only worked once.  The shuffle command on his laptop’s Google play music stopped shuffling.  His phone started to go—he could barely hear people talking—which sent him to Virgin mobile which sent him to Boost which sent him to Apple, which blamed “gunk” in the hearing mechanism and removed said gunk. 


Then his phone wouldn’t charge, and he found out that his friend Walter’s phone wouldn‘t charge either. But Walter had a foolproof plan for failure to charge; use a safety pin to get the lint, tissue parts, whatever else was in your pocket next to your phone out of the hole in the phone where the charging cord goes. Done.


Anonymous, from Hell’s Kitchen, reported that her laptop camera crapped out too, which led her to buy a webcam for her desktop: problem solved. Unfortunately no such quick fix was available for anonymous’ dishwasher, which crashed and died in March, just in time for the pandemic.  She found an online store that offered only curbside delivery of a new one, with no installation.  “We live in an apartment building with no elevator, and nobody here studied electronics,” she told ODD.


But apparently, she quickly adjusted. “I love washing dishes!” she said. “It’s the most meditative thing there is!  Water running, peace and quiet, you don’t have to think about anything, and the key thing is, at the end you feel that you have accomplished something!”  


The wife—who reports that her desktop gave up the ghost and their dehumidifier won’t stop beeping--thinks maybe “we should all just wash some more dishes.”

Short Takes

News from the living room

Noticing that the couch had sunk dramatically over the past few months, the couple agreed to change sides. Efforts to adjust are ongoing.

News from the kitchen—conversation overheard

Fridge: “It’s feeling really tight in here.  They’re definitely pandemic buying.”

Freezer: “You think it’s bad for you--you should be in HERE.”

More news from the kitchen

Wife cheered by bright colors in utensil drawer--yellow, orange, lime green, fuchsia, cherry red—all implements she can’t identify. “It’s true,” she said. “There’s beauty all around us.”

News from the yard

Husband’s limited hedge-trimming skills leave 10-foot-tall burning bush with unsightly asymmetrical mohawk.

Tips for Surviving the Pandemic

Don’t be so hasty to trash your gaiter!

There’s now backlash against the backlash against wearing a gaiter, which was based on a small study that questioned their efficiency in protecting against the virus.  For the latest, see New York Times “Save the Gaiters!”

Drop in on Ramy.

The Emmy-nominated Hulu series provides a fresh look at life through the eyes of a young Muslim-American man bewildered by the world and how to be good and holy in it, created by and starring Ramy Youssef.  Great supporting cast too, especially the breakthrough character played by Steve Way, who has muscular dystrophy and who is and plays Ramy’s best friend.

Don’t worry about coloring your hair yet.

Because really,


where are you going?

Get those absentee ballots!

Find your drop off locations! 

Plan the trip to your polling site! 

Line up your comfy shoes!

Decide on what food to pack!


Hang in there...we're all in this together...and apart.

What You Said

Several of you responded to the wife’s story about changing her part--

Denise in Westchester said “I changed my part, to the left as well!” Andrea in DC didn’t change her part but reported that “My friend Deborah just told me she changed her part!”  “A trend…?!” queried Andrea.  ODD says yes! 

Also, from Denise in Westchester--

“Sorry the husband got stung by a bee – again! [Ed.: She’s right, his second sting.]  We too have a fungus-causing mushroom growing in the yard--I think I’ll go out now to pull it up [Ed.: She did.]…As always, hilarious! Keep those issues coming!”

Several readers wanted to know: Did the wife really buy a wig (the one on the wig stand that husband found “unnerving”)?

Ed.:  Yes she did, inspired by her pandemic hair, her thankless search for non-baldness-causing alternatives to maligned Deva Curl products, and Viola Davis. She is saving her wig debut for her next trip to the post office because, she told us, “It’s more special than grocery shopping, and besides, the post office needs our support.”

The Bee Hive

For NYT Spelling Bee Obsessives (we know you're there)

Weird Word of the Month

Poppet -- an endearingly sweet child or a small figure of a human being used in sorcery and witchcraft (or some combination?)

Runner-up WWoM

Mononym -- a person's name, consisting of one word, typically a first name without a surname, or an individual who is known and addressed by a single name -- you know: Cher, Madonna, Prince

Honorable Mention WWoM

Since our last issue there have been a lot of oddball words -- here are few of our favs: Vincible, Larrup, Farrago, Peccant and Galumph (haven't heard that one since childhood).

Husband's Stats

Queen Bee:17 of 35 days!

Husband says, "Not to make a foofaraw, but too many days with too many words. I need a potation."

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