Wife Confesses, I’m Jealous of Everybody!
“I think everybody is having a better pandemic experience than me,” the wife confided to the ODD reporter. “And I’m jealous of every single one of them, including and especially my very best friends!”
“Who? Well, I’m jealous of the ones who got away this summer, who already have fire pits, who’ve weight-lifted their way to buffness. The ones bravely commuting to work, working productively at home, or home schooling four kids AND working productively at home…I salute them all and am insanely jealous of them all. And I feel really bad for feeling this way.
“But here’s the thing: I had so many great pandemic plans! That I’d get rid of all the clutter in the house with my name on it. Get in tip top shape with zoom! Become an expert vegetarian cook! Revise my f**king memoir! None of that happened.”
The wife confessed her secret to a beloved friend. “She told me, ‘It’s okay, you’re doing fine, these are hard times, and look at all the things you have done.’”
“Did I feel better? Of course, I felt better! She is an extraordinary person. Smart. Incredibly kind. Empathetic. Accomplished...pandemic accomplished.
“I’m so jealous.”
Husband’s Bike Demands Time Off!
“I was returning from a short ride, almost home when I heard a snap, crackle and pop and the pedals stopped spinning. I slammed on my brakes, came to a screeching halt and thought,‘This ain’t good,’” reported the husband.
“So I dismounted to examine the situation and quickly determined that my bike wasn’t going anywhere. Maybe ever again. I had only one option at that moment. Walk the remaining mile to get home (the wife -- aka, driver of the Team Car -- was out on her own mission).”
“That doesn’t sound so terrible, only a mile,” said ODD reporter.
“Have you ever had to walk a mile in cycling shoes, carrying a bike on one shoulder then the other, then trying to roll it on one wheel?” the husband barked.
“I have not,” said the reporter, somewhat defensively.
“Well it sucks!” said the husband. “First, cycling shoes have very stiff soles. Second, and this probably should have been first, they have cleats on the bottom (to clip into the pedals). Your heels are lower than your toes and there is almost no traction, so you have to proceed at a snail’s pace.”
“But you made it home?” queried the reporter, tentatively.
“Yeah, I did,” the husband replied, calming down. “And the damage wasn’t as bad as I feared, to me (it did take about a week for the grooves in my shoulders to disappear) or more important, to my bike.”
Time to Break Out “The Good Clothes?”
“I have ‘good’ clothes to wear out in the world and ‘around the house’ clothes, you know, schmatas,” the wife explained to ODD.
“But I’ve been living in these schmatas for 8 months, saving my ‘good’ clothes, like my ‘good’ red sweater that I love, for when this is all over. Look at what I’m wearing! I can’t take it anymore!”
Her clothes looked ok, thought the reporter, but her hair could do with some tidying up.
“What do you mean, good clothes?” said the eavesdropping husband. “Even in normal times, I never had ‘good’ clothes. I have indoor clothes and outdoor clothes.” Which led him to realize it was noon, time to head upstairs to change out of his pajamas into some other indoor clothes.
“This means he’s about to put on a barely connected array of rags that used to be a sweatshirt,” announced the wife.
Desperate for counsel, the wife called her dear friend Sara to ask: “Is it time to break out the ‘good’ clothes?”
“Absolutely!” Sara said. “They make us feel better. Why would you not?”
“Well, when it’s over, what if all my good clothes have turned into schmatas?” wailed the wife.
“Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it,” replied Sara. “And let’s face it, we’re probably not coming to it any time soon.”
Reassured, the wife donned her good red sweater and headed for the basement to take out the trash.
News from the WaPo App
“Alert!” it said on the wife’s phone.
“You have no alerts,” it said.
News from Husband’s Inhaler
One morning recently, the husband lost his grip on his nasal inhaler. “It just got away from me,” he explained. “Before I knew what was happening, it was halfway up my right nostril. Just goes to show, these times call for a firm grip -- on inhalers, and reality.
News from the Ocean
Observant fishes to worried humans: “A pandemic, worldwide strife, a do-or-die election. Tough times. Just remember: you can always come back here and start over.”
News from the Cupboard at Nighttime
Sleepless night, dimly lit kitchen. Wife opens a cabinet for a tea bag when she sees, lurking behind the nuts, staring at her, the beady eyes of an angry brown bear. ‘I jumped!” she reported. “Thats how stressed-out we are.” (It was the husband’s new Costco-size bottle of honey.)
News from Denmark Children’s TV
A popular Danish TV show for 11- to 13-year-olds focuses on what normal bodies look like. It invites the kids to question naked adult volunteers, who represent different body types, including one guy who had horns implanted under his scalp. Now that’s inclusive.
News from the Last Century
After upgrading to iOS14, the husband discovered too late, at the grocery store, that his phone was perilously low on charge. Bitterly averse to writing anything down, he was reduced to copying the grocery list from his phone onto paper. “Humiliating,” he told ODD. “It felt like going back to the last century.”
Tips for Surviving the Pandemic
Hang in there...we're all in this together...and apart.
Mary in Maryland sent an enthusiastic endorsement (see “Wife Reluctantly Straps In”) of Coobie Comfort Bras! “You’ll never buy anything else,” she wrote. “They are amazing! Come in colors, comfy all day, plenty of support, but nothing extra.”
Laugh and Learn!
Called “hysterical and historical” by NPR, The Comedy Store is a chance to laugh and learn about the early days of Jay Leno, David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Freddie Prinze, Sarah Silverman, Whoopi Goldberg and many more, all nursed to stardom at the LA Comedy Store by the indefatigable Mitzi Shore (Sundays on Showtime).
Mask Deniers, Take Note!
"After falling on the sidewalk and busting my two front teeth [OUCH!], turning them into early-Halloween Dracula fangs," Claude in Manhattan reported, "I realized that my mask saved me the embarrassment of horrified stares at my bleeding teeth, plus no one could laugh in my face or recognize me later!” (Don't worry, he's on the mend.)
Be inspired by Jane Goodall
Listen to Krista Tibbett’s captivating interview with the inimitable Jane Goodall in lockdown, talking about “what it means to be human.” Good question…clearly we humans still don’t have the answer.
Color Your Owls!
Wife loves owls and started coloring them; many owls later, she can’t stop coloring. “It’s a great way to divide your attention between something really relaxing—coloring, and something truly awful—like the debates. “I plan to color on election night until morning, and possibly the next morning, and the next…. ”
What You Said
From Frances in DC
“I still want a pointy bra,” said Frances in DC, after seeing the photo of a bullet bra in our last ODD issue. “You can’t find them anywhere.” Plus, she said, ODD needed music to go with the bra story. Her suggestion: Pete Seger’s “Night Moves," wherein he hails his lady’s lady “points”.
From Anonymous in Hell’s Kitchen
“I Ioved the toilet paper analysis (See “Husband gets an 'A'")." So how big are these rolls? Are they single ply or double ply? How many sheets? I kinda also want to know, how many sheets are consumed each day?
Ed. note: "You sure do ask a lot of questions! Bottom line is: Your mileage may vary!"
From David in MO (wanted to share a joke)
“A priest, a minister, and a rabbit walk into a bar.
The bartender asks the rabbit "What'll you have?"
Rabbit says "I don't really know. I think I'm just here because of autocorrect."
From Andrea in DC
“Thank you for another entertaining, get-your-mind-off-your troubles, issue. As a Spelling Bee aficionada--who looks forward to finding that elusive seven-letter word every day--I'd like to add a new word to our vocabulary: Pangramista!”
The Bee Hive
For NYT Spelling Bee Obsessives (we know you're out there)
Weird Word of the Week
Toonie - the $2.00 coin of Canada. (Future ex-pat special!)
Pinniped - a marine mammal having front and rear flippers (are they ambidextrous?)
Googly - unfocused/rolling eyes, or in cricket, a kind of curve ball. As in Seinfeld's Amex commercial.
Queen Bee:9 of 21 days!
Calling all Pangramistas!
If you made at least two pangrams in one session - a rarity as the Bee keepers usually only manage one a day - send us the date, your pangrams, location and first names of the brilliant folk who uncovered them. Then, you will be recognized in ODD! Which can open all kinds of doors!