“Your wife’s older. How come YOU got vaccinated first?” asked the ODD reporter.
“I called the NYS vaccination hotline and they had an open appointment, so naturally I signed up my wife first,” said the husband. “Then, another appointment opened up, so I moved fast and booked it for myself.”
Turned out, his appointment was earlier than the wife's.
”This led to a week of intense vaccine-shaming,” reported the husband.
The shaming increased when they found out that the wife actually had no appointment—the NYS scheduler had messed up.
But the shaming decreased when they learned that giving another person your appointment is risky – you could lose the appointment in the process of making the switch.
The moral of the story? “Some people are going to get vaccinated first. Other people: Be nice.”
Husband lands in wrong room
“So exactly what happened?” asked the ODD reporter.
“I was going to do something important,” said the husband. “On the way, I landed in another room and had no idea what I was doing there!”
“That’s it?” said the reporter.
“That didn’t used to happen to me,” said the husband.
“No worries!” piped up the wife, an expert on episodes of disorientation.
“Forget trying to figure out what you forgot! Be creative…do something else in the other room! Eventually, the thing you forgot will come back. By then, you won’t even remember that you forgot it. And guess what? It won’t matter!”
Wife kills house plant
The wife joined the husband at the dinner table. “I killed the begonia,” she announced.
“What?” said the husband, glancing into the next room where the plant used to sit.
“It grew like crazy, taking up the whole sunroom!” said the wife. “Branches were bending at creepy right angles. I clipped back stems so they’d come back healthier, but noooo! Plus it flowered once in five years.
“I feel out of control of everything! I wanted my sunroom back. So I cut, pulled, grabbed, wrenched, then dumped the whole damn thing in the garbage.”
“So you murdered the begonia,” said the husband. “Let’s hope it never saw Little Shop of Horrors.”
News from the NYT
While reading her New York Times online, the wife was delighted to come upon an ad for sweatpants. “I need new sweatpants!” she exclaimed. “OMG, how did they know!?”
“It was chaos!” the husband told the wife. “People getting vaccinated willy-nilly! Vaccines arriving at homes unannounced, via FedEx! At our house too! I gave you a shot. I was going to have you give me one, but then someone else gave me one! I don’t know who it was, where they came from, or where it happened!” Then what?” asked the wife, breathless. “Then I woke up,” said the husband.
News from the Deli Counter
Wife returned from the deli with salami. “I know, I know,” she said, “I shouldn’t have.” “Well, is it fresh cut?” said the husband, conjuring a free-range salami. “Very funny,” said the wife. “At least I didn’t get baloney. What is baloney anyway?” she asked. Said the husband: “Nobody knows.”
News from Not-the-Hardware Store
“We spent over half an hour looking at potholders on Amazon,” said Andrea in DC. “We scrolled, the same products kept coming up, and they had all kinds of features—pocket, no pocket, round, square, rectangle, and my favorite: ‘heat resistant to 325 degrees.’ What happens at 350–burnt hands? But for the pandemic, I would have gone to the hardware store and been out in 5 minutes. I miss going to the hardware store.”
News from Neighbor’s Backyard
Our neighbor Denise texted one morning: “There was a bird in our yard…maybe a small hawk. It killed something and left a pile of feathers and blood behind! Gross! Why couldn’t it have happened before all the snow!” Then she sent a photo for us to share (we’re not going to). “Yuk,” said the husband, but then texted back: “It is outdoor dining. A hawk’s gotta eat.”
Tips for Surviving the Pandemic
Identify Your Dead Zone!
Communication often fails— “you never listen!”—when the husband or wife is at the kitchen sink talking to the other person at the kitchen table, or vice versa. So they declared the sink a “dead zone”—no communication in or out. “That way, you can talk, but you don’t expect to be heard,” said the husband. “If accused, you just say, 'Dead zone'.” Peace restored.
Wife got a new Fitbit and hated it. “It had so many features I needed to take a course to use it. I could turn on Spotify from the Fitbit, but my phone had to be near the Fitbit, so really, did I need that feature? Somehow I set an alarm for 9:34 a.m. and for days couldn’t turn it off. Would I wear an ankle monitor if that became all the rage? No, I would not!” Fitbit: history.
Panties for No-Pantsers!
“What’s all this talk about nobody wearing pants around the house?” said the wife. “I always wear pants—mostly sweatpants, some days leggings, and one day, a flirty skirt over my leggings, around the house! I think it’s just men going pants-less.” (To be clear…not the husband). However, If you are a no-pants woman, you might want to spice things up with a pair of “Whocaresday” or “WTFday” hipsters from “Pandemic Panties”-- tagline: "Put a Smile on Your Cheeks.”
Celebrate Your Grungy Sheet Pans!
Now that the whole world seems to have discovered sheet pan recipes (husband recently whipped up a tasty fennel, sweet potato, chicken breast concoction) everyone should stop worrying about their grungy-looking sheet pans. All that grunge is “a sign of life,” wrote Eater. It will help “cook and caramelize” your food. And for those of you who’d rather shoot your food than eat it, Eater adds “the rustic quality of a used pan is another element in an Instagrammer’s arsenal.”
Hang in there...we're all in this together...and apart.
Poems, fantastical imagery, a contemporary sensibility infuse this fabulous two-season series starring Hailee Steinfeld as a young, smart, funny, frustrated, revolutionary Emily Dickinson; terrific supporting cast includes Jane Krakowski as mom, Toby Huss as the family’s outmatched and overwhelmed patriarch, and a cameo by John Mulaney as a cranky Henry David Thoreau. (Check out New Yorker’s Katy Waldman on the show here.)
The Flight Attendant
“An unexpected thriller in which Alex (Michiel Huisman) is murdered in the first episode but remains involved in the life of Cassie (Kaley Cuoco, “The Big Bang Theory”), who delivers a tour de force performance as an alcoholic flight attendant forced to solve the murder while falling in love with the dead man,” writes Claude in Manhattan.
The Walking Dead
“They’re back!” says the husband, a dedicated “Walking Dead” fan boy. “It’s about survivors in a world where the living might be more dangerous than the un-dead. It’s also heavily dependent on characters making really bad choices, which I think drives most good TV/movie plots. Plus you can watch forever--sequels, prequels --and of course the weekly talk show “The Talking Dead”.
“Funny, dramatic, heartfelt, with great scenery, animals, characters, love stories…it took me away every night,” writes Sara in Brooklyn of this totally addictive, four-season “charming escape to a beautiful Greek Isand (Corfu) with a rather eccentric British family just before WWII,” adds Claude.
Bob Hearts Abishola
From creator, director, etc. Chuck Lorre (most recently, “The Big Bang Theory”), a hilarious love story about a white, middle-aged owner of a compression sock company and his relationship with a smart, confident, intriguing, straight-shooting cardiac nurse, Nigerian immigrant Abishola, brilliantly played by Folake Olowofoyeku.
Send us your recommendations! We'll share them!
What You Said
Lucy in Massachusetts
“Hey, where’s my Bored as Hell Digest?”
Liz in California
“Do the authors have a spy camera in my house? I laughed so hard because we’ve experienced about 80% of these things--from yelling from one part of the house to the other (or worse, texting!) to the go-to tilapia recipe to Stuart’s obsession with Spelling Bell (hands off, Stuart, the NYT crossword puzzle is all mine). I shared the newsletter with my adult kids, too. The eldest, the parent of a 13-month-old, was in stitches. Thanks for bringing cheer in the midst of gloom, and affirming that what we’re going through is normal (for these times).”
Regina in Brooklyn
“Great edition! Re ‘To shout or not to shout,’ when we rebuilt our house 18 years ago after a fire, I lost my campaign to install intercoms between the floors—I’ve never let my husband forget that, in all the years that we've been yelling up and down the stairs. Now we just text or call each other (or our teenage son) on our cell phones when we're on different floors. Much more civilized!”
Joanne in Manhattan
“Love this, makes me laugh, especially the Whole Food shopper's comments. I loved the kid who knows the difference between school and the kitchen….smart kid. And I saw Lisa Dechardin's cat!”
Maritza (Elijah’s Mom) in NJ
“The December issue was awesome!!! Mom was pretty happy to have made it into the issue too. I was so happy that you included a picture of the crib we turned into a desk. Can't wait to read future issues.”
Ann in Brooklyn
“You guys are having too much fun!”
Editor: They're talking about the last issue...check it out here!
The Bee Hive
For NYT Spelling Bee Obsessives (we know you're out there)
Weird Word of the Weeks
Bibelot - a small decorative ornament of minimal value, an object of curiosity, beauty or rarity.
Hodad - a non-surfer who frequents surfing beaches and pretends to be a surfer, in other words, a surfer wanna-be.
Word you don't hear anymore
Fuddle - we're all befuddled that this has fallen out of favor. Both fuddle and befuddle seem to be interchangeable (flammable, inflammable). Fuddle is the intransitive verb form (for you grammar aficionados). Oh, and fuddle is also legal as a noun: "Sometimes he gets in a fuddle and can't find things".
Queen Bee: 38 days in 2021
Some Seriously Long Words
Some days, the Bee has a sprinkling of longer words --- 8, 9 or 10 letters. However, lately there's been a spate of mega-words -- I'm going with 10+ letters. Wondering if I'm imagining things, I checked over the past two months and found 16 mega-words.
Herewith the behemoths:
Mollycoddle, Lightweight, Collectible, Incontinent, Convenience, Heptathlete, Kitchenette, Coincidence, Entitlement, Analogizing, Gullibility
Mollycoddled, Incontinence, Inconvenient, Lollygagging, Belittlement
The husband shall refrain from entering his words into the NYTs Spelling Bee App until the wife has had an opportunity to “have a crack at it”.
The husband shall list his words for the day on a single page in a spiral notebook.
The words shall be listed in columnar fashion, grouped by initial letter.
The daily Spelling Bee letters shall be listed across the top of said page.
The points required for “genius” shall be noted on said page.
The husband must make his best effort to find as many words as possible before seeking help, and whenever possible, seek no help at all.
The official ODD help source shall be www.shunn.net/bee/latest
First-level help (the number of words beginning with each letter) may only be accessed once “genius” status is achieved.
Second-level help (breakdown of the words by first two letters), shall be used only as a last resort and never until after dinner.