Monthly Archives: January 2007

Guest Post!

This post comes to us from the artist formerly known as FreLo of Fresh Loquats, new official superhero name Abacus. You will not believe what happened to her after she dropped me off from our party-crashing adventures the other night.
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well, after that sultry evening with Blue, at 2 am i nearly got reamed by a drunken driver with a stolen car who ended up plowing through the fence and driving into the library wall in front of my eyes. have you ever seen anyone drive into a building? i hadn't. we were the only two cars on the street and if i'd been fifteen feet closer it would have been my car between him and the library wall. they spun and knocked over a telephone pole and a fence, and somehow by the grace of the goddess i had slowed down just before they came screaming into view.

i called 911 which was already looking for them with a helicopter. the guys got out and ran. i decided not to look into the car to see if there were any injured people in there, as the 911 people wanted me to do. thank you, trauma camp, for teaching me to protect my eyes and heart. i just told them i could not do that; and they did not pressure. when the ambulance got there i left. they called back after i was home, around 3am, asking me to come identify the poor souls who they caught running, but i declined. then they suggested that they could drive the fugitives over to my house to be identified. um, for what-- a tea party? i don't want their brothers coming to my door to inquire as to why i pointed the finger, yo! yes, cops can be stupid sometimes, friends.

anyway, the bottom line is this: thank you, goddess, for showing me how both -not in charge- and -in your arms- i am.

thanks for being out there, friends.

You’re going to need some seriously tough nukins.

They tell you lots of things when you’re pregnant, put dozens of scary ideas in your head about how the the birth could go all wrong and you could bleed to death, and the kid could be deformed, and you’ll never have sex again and your marriage will end, and the kid will get all these injuries from playing on the Noah’s Ark at the church playground down the street, and you’ll be paying ER bills for the rest of your life, on your own because your spouse will have by this time flown to Paris with her young, perky-breasted new lover. What they DON’T tell you, which is equally important as these other things, is that your child is going to injure YOU.

It’s true. Those of you who are pregnant or thinking about it or those who will be waving and saying bon voyage to the swimmers as they head off on their miraculous weird little journey, it is very important that you begin worrying, now, about how your child is going to physically hurt you. First, for you birth moms, there’s pregnancy. You puke. Only for one trimester, if you’re lucky. Your back hurts. At 8 months you pull a groin muscle hauling a vacuum cleaner up your client’s stairs. Then when the kid is breech and you have to have an external version, where the doctor or midwives or a doctor and three midwives dig their hands into your belly and attempt to physically haul the baby into the right position, externally, you’d better be on drugs, that’s all I have to say. Then when the kid goes vertex (head down) and engages (ready to exit the building) your back REALLY hurts. Then you have the baby, and, well, you have the baby. You’ve all heard about that.

And non-birthing parents, you’d better be ready to faint from hunger and dehydration when your groaning, panting spouse won’t let you dare even think about leaving her for one instant, even for one little box of Raisinettes, because you are her ANCHOR and if you leave she will NOT be able to continue with this labor business and get the damn thing OUT. Think naked, sweaty and moaning is sexy? You will never see it the same again. Especially after the placenta emerges in an enormous glosh of red schmutz. Ew.

Whew. You’re finally healing from your two days without food and water, or those three muscle layers of stitches. It’s time to enjoy your new baby. You watch the baby grow. You fall in love. You think, what was that psycho ox talking about, all that babble about the kid hurting you? Just look at her. Ooda booty booty boo? Wu are! Wu ar! Voila. You have now suffered a brain injury.

$%&&!**!!!! Goddamn, when did she get TEETH? And then your nipples become little round war zones, frightened little creatures just shivering and waiting for the dreaded return of The Biter. Then she grows up more and she starts using your nukins as punching bags. Punching, poking, pulling, scratching, biting, basically just exploring her effect on her world. And, ladies, your boobs ARE her world.

You make it through the Breast Awareness stage. She’s standing up, she’s walking! She’s learning to say “fuck”! One day you’re in the shower with her, she’s squatting and you’re leaning over her, picking up the Irish Spring, and then she stands up very quickly and bashes you in the nose with the top of her big hard head. You stagger backward, hands on nose, and the lights go dim and you see stars – and oh, wouldn’t they be pretty, except that the pain throbbing up your nose and into your skull and eyes is a little distracting from anything beautiful at the moment. And then she slips on the soap and falls and starts to cry, more from surprise than pain, and you pick her up and hold her and say “it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok,” in time to the pulsing of the blood you can somehow see in the veins of your eyes.

And after a year the damn nose is still not healed; you know because she keeps poking it and accidentally sideswiping it with her new soccer-theme backpack/sleeping bag/flashlight combo, and every time it feels like Mt. Vesuvius about to erupt inside your facebones.

And then there are the shiners. It’s those damn hard heads, and how they like to swing them around like playful bowling balls. You play “bom bom butz”, a game you’ve always played where you tap foreheads lightly together, but this time she decides to butz you good and hard in the eye. Shiner. Then a few weeks later, the bruise finally fading to a soft buttercup yellow, you’re lying down together in your nice cozy family bed, relaxing in warm morning sunlight as the little one joyously jumps around, and then she trips and falls and her elbow comes down on your glasses, shoving them right into the spot that was healing from the killer butz. Shiner. Again. And this time there’s a very angry red mark on your cheek where the metal frames pinched the shit out of you. And your 250-dollar glasses look like they got hit by a diesel train.

Then they start expressing their anger. You start to wean her, tell her no, nukin is for after breakfast, and she gets this look – then she hauls off and slaps you – WHAP! across the face. Huh. Well THAT was interesting. You have a vague handprint on your cheek, and it still stings two hours later when you get back from the walk you took so that you wouldn’t scream bloody murder at her. Thank GOD for the two-parent system.

And it’s not just your own kid. It’s all kids, everywhere – they’re out to hurt you, really. You go out to hear your friend sing with her band at Jovitta’s. She’s a preschool teacher and all the cool parents have brought their cute little toddies to run in screaming circles around the dance floor in time to the music. Your kid and god-kid are out there, in the mini-mosh pit, screaming and laughing and falling and crying and yelling “mama! I have to poop-a-potty!” while the skinny dyke waitress tries to scoot around with lots of breakable things balanced on her arms, trying not to kick in any little teeth as she rushes by. Your god-kid runs up to you and says “Mama Blue! Dance with me!” and so you go out there with her, and she’s squatting down, and you lean over her to tie her shoe – you’d think I’d have learned from the Irish Spring Incident – and she stands up very suddenly, this little linebacker with the brick-hard head, and her head bangs into your chin, hard enough to snap your head up. Ho. Lee. Christ. The Pain. The Pain. The Pain, Boss, the Pain! It starts on your chin, where she hit. It arcs up the right side of your face. It lightning-bolts into the side-joint of your jawbone, which feels like it’s come unhinged. It spreads warmly, sickeningly through the top of your skull. You look at the kid; she’s got this look on her face, big brown eyes wide and fearful, and you realize that a moment ago she could probably only see the whites of your eyes, as they had most definitely been swept into the back of your skull. Smiling weakly, you gather her up and give her a big, stiff hug, and say it’s ok sweetie, it was an accident. We bonked, huh? We bonked, she says, and laughs and runs off. And you stagger to a chair. And now there’s a hard grape-sized thing on that jawbone hinge, and you have a lovely bruise blossoming purple on your chin and a club-music style headache banging rhythmically away at the inside of your brain.

Well THAT won’t happen to ME, you say. MY child will be an angel, a gentle little bleating lamb who will never hit or pinch or slap anyone ever, whose soft spot will be forever soft. It’s all about the parenting, after all. That Ox woman and her partner must just be doing something wrong. OK. You just go with that. After all, if prospective parents really knew, they might not do it, right? And then the human race would just die right out. But new parents – hint? Get yourself some good insurance. Make sure your nose, eyes, chins, heads, glasses, teeth and nukins are co

vered. And get a facemask. I’m just sayin’.

Blue Ox and Fresh Loquats’ Party-Crashing Nite of Hotness

At 9:30 Fresh Loquats called and said “hey, I just read that there’s this free GLBTQ Al-Anon disco dance downtown, want to go?” I looked down at Rocky, who looked back up at me sleepily from the nukin. I was in my silky pajamas. I was sleepy. I was really, really sleepy. “Come on over,” I said.

I put the kid in bed where she was pretty much instantly asleep, because I’m a bad mother and kept her out at a friend’s birthday party until past her bedtime, and then came home and let her watch a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. Besides wanting to sleep with Johnny Depp, nothing says “You’re a Lesbian” like having a schoolgirl-style crush on Leo. Have I ever told you about Diane? Diane was my good friend from when I lived in New Hampshire. She was a big butch biker dyke with spiky salt and pepper hair and callouses on her hands. Diane, I’m certain, had a crush on Leonardo DiCaprio. I would tease her about it, and she’d just smile at me and not say anything. I LOVE my butches.

So I put on an outfit and a little makeup in a hurry, kissed poor Melissa who is absolutely miserable with a cold (“be carefuh, huddy,” she said), and headed out with my friend. Fresh Loquats, who shall heretofore until she nixes it be known as FreLo, is a wonder. You know what’s funny? We were in colleges right next door to each other, at the same time – I even dated someone at her school, and she dated someone at mine – and we never met. I don’t know, I think that’s weird. She was in an outfit too, of course, and looked – as always – fabulous and sexy. And her car had heated seats. I love heated seats. Mmmm. Warm buns.

So off we went to the Al-Anon dance, where neither of us would know anyone and we’d be forced to dance to disco music. With FreLo! Yay! When we got there we just walked right in through the lobby looking like we knew where we were going, because we didn’t have wristbands or conference badges or anything – we just followed the sound of disco, straight into the ballroom. We made it! And there they were, a horde of codependent queers in 70’s costumes, shaking their disco-groove butts off. Oh my god. I need a drink.

In no time FreLo whisked me onto the dance floor, because that’s what we came here for, right? and I shook it with the rest of them. I, of course, scoped the scene for hot babes, because that is my way. There were lots of them. And they were all men. Holy SHIT, can queer guys dance. And then, oh man, they started playing 80’s Madonna, and those boys just about hit the roof. And then they started playing the carwash song, and then It’s Raining Men, and I just about drowned in homo adoration. And hey! I was dancing! And I looked GOOD! And FreLo looked good! We were tearing up the floor, in fact! And I had to remind myself, Blue, you’re not at Body Choir – if you keep whipping out these crazy moves, these nice people are going to be afraid. After all, they aren’t drinking anything. But then I thought, because these are the kinds of conversations I constantly have with myself, hey, I don’t know any of these people! who cares what I look like? and I letter rip. I mean, we were over there with the boys, just going nuts. And then I saw someone I knew.

And she was staring at me.

But it turned out ok, because she loves to dance too, and by that time I was too far gone to stop anyway. Dancing makes me high. And there were other people I knew, suddenly (it’s funny who you’ll see at these kinds of functions, and you give each other that slightly nervous “oh, you too?” smile). There was a guy there who looked just like Raul Julia, who played Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha when Mom and I went to see it (Sheena Easton was Dulcinea), and this guy was seriously ripping up the floor, with all the flair and strut and rhythm only a truly and deeply homosexual man can master.

Why is it that when you’re on the floor, there’s one side where the queer women are, and they’re just shuffling from foot to foot like they’re dancing to elevator music while bagging groceries, and then there’s the party side, where the men are just working like it’s 1999? There are always a few women over there with the guys, usually Latinas here in Austin, who are equally into it, eyes half-closed in the ecstasy of it, but on that other side over there the women are still doing the grocery-bag dance, eyeing each other.

Anyway, at about midnight FreLo got hungry so we headed off to Roshni’s. She was having an Indian Food and Movie Slumber Party with a bunch of fellow Body Choir people. On the drive over I was telling FreLo about the 300-year crush I’ve had on Roshni. And oh, I said, I hope Jean Marie’s there. Jean Marie is HOT. Yeah? said FreLo. OH YEAH, I said. And sweet, and wonderful, just like Roshni. And they’re both TOTALLY hot. Roshni and Jean Marie, in the same room, I said.

We drove on silence for a moment. Then FreLo whipped out her lip gloss, and I said “me next.”

We laughed our asses off. I fucking LOVE us.

The food was great, and the movie was good, and Roshni and Jean Marie were hot. And I came home covered, once again, in Roshni’s perfume. We just hugged. Really.

Hey, you with the new haircut, wanna buy a card?

I’m awake.

How am I going to do this school thing, y’all? I’ve been lying there for an hour trying to figure and reconfigure and work out hours, how to fit it all into a week, and still have time for my child. The time I’m going to have to spend away from her is a looming mass of badness. Melissa, too, but Melissa and I have been together eight years (Happy Anniversary!) and can weather time apart. The fact of the matter is that Rocky is going to be three in April. Three. I’ve never seen that before. And I’ll never see it again. And I’m talking about spending Three away from her.

It has been so hard for me to work at all the past two years. And not because I’m a slacker – I need work, it would seem, to stay sane. I enjoy working. Yes, even housecleaning. For all my complaining, there are enjoyable things about working by myself, for myself, in people’s quiet homes. What has been hard, aside from the fact that I have to clean toilets, is that every part of me has ached to be at home with my baby. When I went back to work it was like physical pain. Part of that is because Rockster had the heart defect, and I was so afraid of losing her. Not that that makes the need to be with her less important – if anything, more so. Also, Melissa is pretty much a full-time parent. She doesn’t work many hours, and when she does work it’s in the house – so really, I haven’t had much one-on-one time with Rocky. Melissa is a wonderful parent, very involved, always there when Rocky has needed anything. She’s engaging and delightful to be around. She loves horsing around and doing things I would normally sit back and watch Rocky do. I usually would rather sit and read books with her, or make art projects, or bake – that kind of thing. So which do you think she’s going to choose? What happens, no one’s fault, is that I’ve spent a lot of time in my house, standing back, watching Mo raise Rocky. I also need more Me Time than Melissa. I’ve got that creative itch that requires my attention. Plus in order to make enough money to help support the family, I have to work longer hours, away from home. So what this boils down to is that the time I’ve spent with Rocky hasn’t felt like enough. If you compare me to other working moms, I would seem to have it made. But I’m not going by the conventional standard here (do I ever?). I’m going by what feels right. And it hasn’t felt right. I’ve spent a good chunk of the past two years heartbroken over having to leave, having to pry my crying daughter off my legs.

And now I’m sitting here, having successfully brought myself to tears, wondering how the hell I can make this work. I just don’t know if I can do it. But if not now, when? When Rocky goes to school? That is an option, but here’s the thing. We might home school her. My idea is to home school her for the first few years, at least. Then see where we go from there. Melissa has deep misgivings about this, so this is probably not the last time you’ll hear about it. If I’m not going to have time to make her breakfast in the morning before I head out to my day job (work and studying for school at a coffee shop), when the hell am I going to be a teacher?

OK. I stepped away and worked it out. I buy the cheap groceries (and hope that buying pesticide-and-hormone ridden food for one year won’t give us cancer), and we eat a lot of beans and rice, and I don’t do anything fun like travel or go out to eat ever, and I can find those pre-pregnancy naked-with-boots photos and make them into cards and sell them to lesbian college students. I personally had a whole wall full of those cards, the ones you used to be able to buy in shops in Northampton, P-Town and San Francisco. You can get young lesbians to buy anything, if you look at them the right way.

So after my tour of colleges, selling my wares, I’ll come back to Austin and marry a rich and senile old man who will give me money but not remember that he married me, and I won’t have to work at all. Just for good measure I’ll start looking into selling the body parts I don’t need, like my lungs.

Ok, y’all, our rent’s about to go up. We don’t know by how much. But that studio Harry the Landlord is building downstairs, for the massage business? That’s not going to be free. Whatever money I’m able to save by buying cheaper groceries and cutting out the travel budget is going to be swallowed up by that.

Which is all the more reason for me to go to school, to get a job where I’m making more money. Three times as much per hour, in fact. Because in the long run, with bills getting bigger, if I don’t get a new job I’m going to end up working longer hours than I do now.

At this point, 4:15 a.m., one Blue the Ox must go lie down in bed and do quieting-the-mind exercizes, and trust that there’s an answer, and that all will be well.

Won’t it?

Interpretations, anyone?

Last night I dreamed that the sidewalk outside my house was covered with dozens of toilets, and I was out there with my pants around my ankles.

Putting the Sexy Back in Schoolgirl

It’s official. Today I enrolled in massage school. I’ve given up one night a week and Saturdays 9-5 to school, plus one Sunday a month 9-5, plus 15-20 hours a week of reading for school. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, to a 22-year-old college student who doesn’t have any other responsibilities, and maybe also to a corporate lawyer. Put that all on top of everything else in my life, you know, little things like laundry and food shopping and cooking for my family, continuing to get the daily forty minutes of exercize that keeps my anxiety and depression at bay, relationships with my partner, child, friends and dog, who doesn’t like to be excluded when I’m talking about people I love, and all the extra work I’m going to have to take on to pay off the loan, and this is sounding a little bit more than slightly completely insane to be doing.

But then I think about that horrid woman in the putrid, flea-infested, scum-covered house who stiffed me my cash, and the way she chewed me out on the phone for not doing “a good enough job” cleaning said nausea-inducing shack, and all those other one-timers who treat me like the help and complain bitchily about my rates, and the few regular clients whose houses are just really, really hard to clean, where I go in and just stand there, completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, and I think, in two years, I can QUIT.

Yeeeaaaaaaaah.

It was kind of funny, because I had to do all this application stuff, and what it all boiled down to was that they’re making sure my credit’s good and that I’m not a sexual pervert psycho (ha! fooled ’em!). I mean, while I was in there trying to fill out their little questionaire, the admissions lady was telling me all about her pets, and a house she wants to hire me to clean. I take no responsibility for my scribbled, dumb-sounding answers. Blame Edna with the seven cats. She had told me on the phone that they needed a statement of petition, and then she whispered “you know, it doesn’t have to be more than a couple of sentences.” So I sat down to write my two-sentence essay, and of course it turned into a tome. Sitting at the computer, with absolutely no pressure to write anything but “I’m not a sexual pervert psycho (and I have good credit)”, I had the opportunity to really think about why I want to do this. You know, aside from not having to scrub shit any more. This is what I wrote:

“I grew up in a loving, touch-oriented family. Somebody in my family was always rubbing somebody else’s back, shoulders, arms or neck, or occasionally had their ‘client’ sprawled face-down on the floor, helping out with a low-back ache or an acting-up hip. In this way, I learned early on about the healing power of touch.

I graduated from college in 1997 with a degree in dance and creative studies. I also have had a lifetime of training in visual art, concentrating mostly in figure drawing. As an artist, I gained a knowledge of and appreciation for the human form. As a dancer, I gained an awareness of my own body, how muscles and organs worked, how it was put together and how it felt as it moved. I started modeling for artists and sculptors fifteen years ago, and that experience has served to tie my two modalities, dance and art, more closely together. Through art, dance, modeling and working with others in my dance pieces, my knowledge and love of the human body has deepened greatly over time.

During my time in college I took a course in touch. In one segment, we learned about the importance of nurturing touch in the proper development and psychological well-being of infants and children. It’s my belief that in this touch-deprived society, many are terribly in need of positive physical contact with others. During the course of that class, it occurred to me that I might like to attend massage school, to provide some of that missing physical contact.

I’ve had a very full life in the ten years since graduation. I’ve run several small businesses,
taught dance and art to children, traveled, got married, and had a little daughter, now two.
Through it all, the idea of getting a certification in massage never left the back of my mind. Now,
as my daughter becomes more independent and my life begins to settle down, I’m ready to take
this step toward the career that has been waiting patiently for me. I’m excited to begin.”

It’s not the awe-inspiring, hand-on-heart tear-wiper I wrote to get into college, but hey, it’s not
bad for twenty minute’s worth of thought! And it’s mostly not even bull.

You never know – they might even read it, after the credit check. Just so long as they don’t find those pictures of me on the internet.

You know how I said I’ve been a model for fifteen years? Not BS. I really have. Mostly figure modeling for painters and sculptors, but also for a few photographers. One woman who asked me to pose on a glass table (naked with black leather boots – how could I say no?) claimed to be making a book of lesbian nudes for publication. I got really nice prints from her, then never heard from her again. This other guy had me meet him out in the woods (I brought Brother Ox with me for protection, should I need it – he sat and dutifully read a book). I posed on rocks and in amongst trees and such. The next day when I called him to get my prints, he had changed his phone number. So those are the ones that are probably out there on the net somewhere. Though you probably wouldn’t know it’s me, unless you’re familiar with the particulars of my butt and other choice body parts. He probably used a telephoto lens or something. Sexual pervert psycho.

Even If You’re Constipated, Always Cut Up Your Peas

So it says on “the Goldfish Sanctuary” website (this is a real site, “dedicated to the humane treatment of goldfish everywhere”), that a constipated goldfish can be given peas, and that will help him pass his little fishy stool. Yes, I have a constipated goldfish.

When we were buying the 30-gallon freshwater condo and plants and rocks and $15 driftwood from Maine (arrgh! the agony!), I was reading that stressed-out people (who, me?) derive great calming benefits from having a fishtank. So we set it all up, and settled back to the soothing sound of bubbles, the trickle of water, the soft motion of beautiful living plants swaying to and fro in the gentle current – and one Pocket the goldfish, floating like a cork on his side at the top of the tank.

Merciful heaven! Flush it! But lo – the goldfish was still breathing, and simply looked to be napping like that, like a little bobber. Then he’d swim down as hard as he could, thrashing his tail and paddling his little fins like outboard motors, and he’d get about a foot down – then he’d just bob right back up to the top, say “aw, fuck it,” and go back to his napping. I’m sorry, but watching the fish act like it is dying is NOT relaxing. It makes me tense. It puts me on edge. It makes me grouchy. And the fishtank is pretty much the center of the house, since that’s the only place it would fit, so there’s really no avoiding it. Everywhere you go – there’s the dead-looking fish, staring at you with his little bulging eyes, with every gasping O of his little maw, groaning “help me! heeeeelp meeeee!”

So I googled it. Google is Satan’s Toolbox. Just like when I googled “heart palpitations” and the first five websites had me convinced I was going to die, right then, in my ergonomic roly-chair, mouse in hand. The first five websites I came up with when I googled “floating fish” told me that Pocket was going to die of a horrible disease called “swim bladder disorder”, and that I should probably just do him in before it got bad. How do you “do in” a goldfish? I mean, I remember how we did it up in Maine, when we were deep sea fishing . . . but I don’t think bashing him on the head with a bat is going to have the same effect on a two-inch fantail as, say, on a 25-pound bluefish, nu? Do you tie tiny cement blocks to his feet and drop him back in the tank? Or am I going to have to do it possum-style and put him in a bag and run him over with the SUV? Uh, yes. I did do this once. After my goofy little, vicious rabid varmint-eating dog tore into a little pouch-rat and mortally wounded it. You REALLY did not want to hear that. In any case, I don’t have to murder my pet fish, because he’s not terminally ill. He’s constipated.

Anyway, how would I explain what an SUV is to Parsley?

For some reason, fancy goldfish often have this issue. What’s so damned fancy about a fish that can’t poo? So then I googled “constipated goldfish” and luckily there’s an army of websites out there dedicated to this unfortunate and sadly, common problem (Pocket, just remember you’re not alone!). And they all say feed them peas. Hm. Ok. So I defrosted a few, peeled off the skins and dropped them in.

That’s when it happened. Parsley, who is smaller than Pocket (and usually smarter) swooped in like a hawk and ravenously gobbled an entire pea. And it got stuck in her mouth. And she swam around and around, in a panic, opening and closing her mouth and coughing and banging her head on things to try to dislodge it, and she looked at me and telepathically screamed, “Mommy! Parsley – can’t – breathe – ” and I stood there frozen, my mouth hanging open, tearing at my hair – what will I do? WHAT WILL I DO?! And I ran around and around in little circles, yelling at Melissa PARSLEY CAN’T BREATHE! PARSLEY CAN’T BREATHE! How can you just SIT THERE? and she was just so goddamned CALM, and finally we decided to call the Fish Guy. The Fish Guy owns a little fish store and was probably the guy who founded the Goldfish Sanctuary. He is SERIOUS about fish. And he will literally yell at you if you put them in danger. So Melissa says, “YOU call the Fish Guy” and I say, “YOU call the Fish Guy!” and she says, “I am NOT calling the Fish Guy” and so finally I called the Fish Guy. I said, “Um, I need goldfish advice.” “Yup,” he says. “I . . . um . . . fed my baby goldfish a whole pea and now it’s stuck in her mouth and she can’t breathe.” And he says, matter-of-fact, “You’re just gonna have to catch her in a net and pop that sucker out.” I pause. “Using what?” “Toothpick’ll do.” “Oh. Ok.” “Buh-bye now!” Well, that went well.

So we did.

And then Parsley was released, pea-free, back into the tank, and she swam around in loopy little circles for a few minutes, looking disoriented.

Pocket: “Parsley! Parsley! Are you ok?”
Parsley: “Oh, I’m much better now.”
Pocket: “I was so worried! When I saw the big-heads jab that stick down your throat -“
Parsley: “What stick?”
Pocket: “What?”
Parsley: “What?”
Pocket: “Who are you?”
Parsley: “Hey look, a pea!”