I spent last night tossing and turning because apparently I have some stress issues which feel the need to express themselves at night, while I’m dreaming.
So I spent the night searching for a tanning bed, because clearly I needed a tan, and the only one that I could find was one in the weight room of a local gym. It had no top to it. It was just the bottom part of a tanning bed, so clearly you could only tan one side of yourself at once, and clearly you could only achieve a state of bronzed perfection while all the weight lifters looked on. I emphatically announced to the weight room supervisor that I would NOT be disrobing to tan on a partial tanning bed while everyone was loading weights onto the bench press right next to me.
And after that one, I had a dream that my ten-year-old nephew, B, needed a nap while we were hiking in the mountains, and I had absolutely no comfortable spot for him to take a snooze in. BUT…I had a plastic bag of tissue paper (the kind that you use in gift bags, while you’re quickly wrapping freshly-purchased toys in the parking lot of the shopping center, right before you disembark and head straight to the birthday party). Apparently, I now consider bright blue tissue paper to be a hiking essential that no backpack should be without. (“Yes, I brought the granola bars and the water bottle with the filtration system in it and an extra pair of socks and the pocket knife, and oh, good! There’s the blue tissue paper, still in the package!”) In my dream, I pulled all of the tissue paper out of the plastic bag, stuffed it into my pack (which relieved me, because apparently I’m determined not to litter, even in my dreams!), and then I stuffed ten-year-old B into the plastic bag, which was all of four-inches wide and ten-inches long, with his head sticking out so that he’d have plenty of oxygen. (Don’t ask me how I managed to fit him in there, but I did. Apparently the laws of physics don’t hold true while I’m dreaming.) And then, because I wasn’t done there, I stuffed the B-filled plastic sack into my backpack, and I continued hiking, as I told B, “Just go to sleep now, while I keep heading up the mountain.”
I have no words!
Other than the ones which go exactly like this: “Don’t judge me.”
And yes. I achieved these little dreams without the use of cold medication.
In other news, we have added two new additions to the Jedi Manor. They’re each about an inch long. They’re both bright orange, and they do love to swim.
The boy attends youth group with his buddy, Carter, every Wednesday night, and last night was the grand spring finale, as the kids wrapped up their Bible study lessons, which started back in September. The group celebrates the last meeting every year by having goldfish races. The kids all break into teams. Each team has a fish. Each fish is put into a gutter, the likes of which usually show up on people’s houses. The gutters have the word START printed in Sharpie marker at one end, and the word FINISH is written at the opposite end. Two fish, from two different teams of kids, go head-to-head in a race. Clearly, the fish who makes it to the finish line first is declared the winner.
Regardless of the fact that the boys’ fish from LAST year won the Grand Fish Champion Ribbon, as he won every single race he competed in, the boy’s and Carter’s fish THIS YEAR lost his very first race in a single-elimination bracket. He never even actually competed, as the lazy thing refused to do anything more strenuous than float right above the word START. The kids cheered and jumped all over the place. They screamed and hollered and shouted for him to be victorious. They yelled words of praise and encouragement to him. And, through it all, that stubborn little goldfish simply stayed put, and he was disqualified after the very first heat.
I did honestly TRY to take some decent snapshots, but getting close to the fish races was like being in the middle of a mosh pit at a heavy metal concert, as all the children crowded in to see the fish swim. Hence, my snapshots are sketchy. The boy’s and Carter’s fish is the one on the right; the one who is hanging out at the starting gate. Sadly, he never left that position, and his neighbor went on to win the heat.
Slowpoke (as I’ve dubbed him) now resides at our house, with his brother.
Regardless of the fact that Carter’s mama said the words, “No fish!” when she dropped him off at youth group last night, he brought some home. It’s because I was his ride home, and when he told me, “I sure with that I could take a fish home, like the boy gets to,” and turned those sad little eyes on me, which were exactly like the great big eyes that Puss In Boots displayed for Shrek and Donkey, I was helpless to deny him. I said, “Your mama is going to be very unhappy with me.” And Carter replied with a huge grin, “Well then, don’t tell her! I’ll just sneak these into a bowl in my room, and she’ll never know! And please don’t text her before we get home; I want this to end up being a surprise for her!”
Somehow, I think she was surprised. As we backed out of their driveway, Hubs said, “Well, I think you’ll probably be getting the Stink Eye the next time you and Carter’s mama get together!”
The boy and I introduced his two tiny fish to our three giant goldfish beasts in the freshly-cleaned aquarium at our house, and our big fish hollered out, “Oh, yeah! We are at the tip-top of the food chain!” And then they proceeded to nibble the tiny guys, who were firmly glued to the very bottom of the food chain, so we had to yank them back out.
They got to spend the night in a flower vase.
After school this afternoon, the boy and I hightailed it to Wal-Mart, where we laid down thirty American dollars for a fancy fish tank with colored LED lights that would do any roller rink in the United States proud. It’s because we like to shell out ridiculous amounts of money to keep itty-bitty fish alive for ten days or so.
When we got home with the gold-plated, diamond-encrusted tank, the boy ripped the box in half opening it and then realized that low! The fish tank was cracked from top to bottom, with a break that was easily ten inches long. I told him that we’d let the fish camp out in the flower vase another night, and we’d return the tank tomorrow, because I had just fought the 5:00 crowd at Wal-Mart, and my stamina couldn’t take Round II.
While we were at the super center, I also bought pizzas out of the deli for the boy and Hubs to eat for dinner, because the boy and Hubs are quite fond of those $5 pizzas. After announcing that, “NO! No, I would NOT zip back to Wal-Mart right this second to exchange the broken fish tank,” I realized that the pizza was oozing liquid.
Liquid, people. A clear liquid (Let’s hope it was just water!) was oozing out of the plastic wrap surrounding the pizza, and the entire inside of the box was soaked, and the pizza crust resembled one that has been submerged in the sink for a solid hour.
And if that isn’t something you want to cook up for dinner, I don’t know what is.
Thankfully, Hubs boldly announced, “I’m taking this thing back right now!” And he did.
And he came home with cash in exchange for the pizza (because the clear liquid had ruined his appetite for another one) and a new fish tank, and Slowpoke and his brother have rented another apartment now. They’re all settled in for the night.
The LED light is set to BLUE, after we toggled four hundred and twenty-seven times between all the colors to determine whether Slowpoke and his brother would be happier with yellow lights, or maybe red lights, or perhaps the orange one. But wait! What about blue?
What I personally love about having two tiny goldfish living in a cheap and somewhat unstable tank (which resembles a seedy roller rink with a big disco ball) atop a bookcase at our house is this: We now have two more pets which are considered FOOD to Cats 1 and 2. As if putting up with Cat 2’s determination to capture Yoda Joe, the yodeling tree frog from the depths of the Amazon Jungle, isn’t enough, she now knows that we are harboring a very tiny, very SLOW fish.
And if the dreams involving tanning beds and ten-year-old boys fitting into the bags that tissue paper comes in don’t sufficiently exhaust me at nights, keeping one ear trained to catastrophes involving amphibians AND itty-bitty fish now while I sleep surely will.