So today I was dragged out of my house deep in the sticks and made to walk around the city for a good chunk of the day. Usually for me "the city" is New York, or once in a while Boston, but today it was Springfield, Mass. I had a job that entailed wandering around downtown taking pictures of a particular group of slightly older women I sometimes assist; we will leave it at that. I also spent some time wandering around alone, because that is how Mojo often rolls.
The Favorite Husband was recently away on an extended business trip. Smarter wimmens use this time to either get their PhDs in some way-smart field or celebrate their millionth customer to visit their multi-million dollar online business, or at least have a couple of torrid affairs to pass the time. Me, I buy food that’s bad for me and watch terrible, terrible movies. Food intended to fully celebrate Ayn Rand’s me-centric philosophy (critics tend to call it “selfishness” but it is more complex and nuanced than that) by not sharing it with others.
Fans of the Craptacular have known for some time--due to Mojo’s incessant whining about it--that Mojo and her well pump have, shall we call, A History. A history that has yet to involve personal injury lawyers and expensive litigation, but she's not quite ready to close the door on THAT path. But for now... well, they say one should keep one's friends close and one's enemies closer. Looks like I have to move my bed down into the cellar and sleep near the well pump.
But first, a technical primer for those who live where there is REAL water service, and not out in the sticks where one must pray to the Evil Rain Gods for the privilege of having wet stuff come out of the faucets on a semi-regular basis. You see, unlike you citified "Just shut up and call a plumber already" sorts, Mojo has a well. Granted it is one step up from the hang-a-bucket-on-a-rope-and-twirl-it-down-to-the-water well, but the principle is the same. Instead of having picturesque rock-wall sides and a mossy wooden roof, Mojo's well is the more modern kind--essentially a big ol' pipe that got hammered into the ground until it pierced the water table, and then connecting the pipe to the side of the house.
My name is Xbrlsqy9~%. (FYI, in our language the tilde after any positive number is silent. You can Google it if you don’t believe me—although on our planet we say “&Kq-3nix it” instead. The &Kq-3nix domain name, you can plainly see if you &Kq-3nix it, was purchased on February 5, 1997, a full SEVEN MONTHS before those yahoos at Google thought they were so smart. But I digress. I’ll start again.)
As I have said many times before, I'm sure it is a sad commentary on Mojo's life that, when faced with some minor anecdote or happening, sooner or later I am bound to say something along the lines of "That reminds me of that scene in THE SIMPSONS where..."
Naturally, I have been watching THE SIMPSONS--albeit with dwindling enthusiasm through the years--since they were interstitials on Tracy Ullman's show. Even the hit-or-miss episodes of today have at least one line that will make me smile, or at least mildly smirk--which puts it far above most commercial television--but they do not begin to approach the genius of the Glory Days of the first ten seasons or so. There were just too many quotes ("Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.") that the Favorite Husband and I immediately co-opted as our own. And Homer, of course, was blissfully stupid, before it became a cliché.
When I was a wee, wee lass, maybe five or six, I had two goals in life, and they both revolved around a localish ice cream/burger chain called Friendly's (though back then it was just called Friendly). Friendly's was known primarily for their ice cream, and my family could eat ice cream like there was no tomorrow. When we kids were very little (and there was only three of us at the time; the Favorite Younger Sister didn't come along until I was six and a half) the Big Event was going out to eat, and with three obnoxious young children the safest place to eat was Friendly's. It was basically a diner that served lots and lots of ice cream, or an ice cream shop that sold burgers and hot dogs. Very low-key, kid-friendly, no dress code. (Back then, some restaurants had dress codes. No, kids, I am NOT kidding.)
In an effort to control their darling little angels, my parents always sat us in a booth, much to my chagrin. *I* wanted to sit up at the counter, on the spinny stools, with the bums and derelicts and sad, lonely singletons that also sat at the counter. But no--we ALWAYS had to sit in a booth, no doubt to corral us kids against the wall with a sturdy adult guarding the only exit. We would then gorge ourselves on hot dogs and burgers and fries and ice cream, while I would cast wistful glances at the spinny stools at the counter. I *so* wanted to enjoy an entire meal on one of the spinny stools, and I did not understand why my parents were so utterly opposed to the idea. So while other children were perhaps starving to death in some city ghetto or third world desert, I would eat my hot dog and ice cream and pine for the spinny stools that mocked me from just a few feet away. We all have our crosses to bear.
But our childhood was not entirely one of TOTAL deprivation, for eventually my father had to pay the bill, and the cash register was at the end of the counter. So during the two minutes or so of financial transaction, we kids were given the run of the spinny stools nearest the register, and we made the most of those two minutes. So while I never actually got to sit and enjoy a meal on a spinny stool as a child, I *did* have that small concession at the end of every meal at Friendly's.
Another thing Friendly had was what was called a Fribble. A chocolate Fribble, to be specific. A Fribble was this HUGE ice cream milkshake, probably around a quart or so, that came in this tall, large glass. I loved chocolate Fribbles more than life itself. My Favorite Father could eat (drink?) his entire Fribble, and still have room to steal from us smaller kids. It was the mark of a True Adult, I soon realized, if you could eat an entire Fribble by yourself. So back in the age when I could barely form thoughts, one of my earliest--aside from my unrequited desire to sit at the counter with the bums and derelicts--was to consume an entire Fribble all by myself.