White Lightning Axiom: Redux: Crash-n-Burn

Friday, July 09, 2004



Argh! The final hours of this short week have been passing reluctantly. Fighting, scratching, biting every second of the way. It all started last night at about bath time. I was in the kitchen and the Mrs was in the living room with the twins. I was stuffing green beans into jars for canning and quickly lost track of time. Mundane and mindless activities like that tend to pull me into an automaton like state. Pick up bean, stuff in jar. Pick up bean, stuff in jar, ... howling in the back ground ... pick up bean. Then the fog breaks and I hear Alexis, the queen of shriek, living up to her name. Its way beyond their bath time. I prod my brain back into gear and start the preparations. Fill the tub, warm the milk, lay out the clothing, salves and other sundry items. Run back down and escort the condemned to their fate. Jacob, in his usual way, is more than happy to climb the stairs to the forbidden pleasure of peeing in the bath tub. Oh the joy! Alexis, on the other hand, is not too enthused that the end of the day is coming. Much too early for her taste. She tries to head off down the hall, I block. She fakes left, then blots right. Ahhh, classic move, but I am well schooled. Her flanking maneuver is foiled as I reach out and scoop her up. She squirms and thrashes in my arms as we march up the stairs to the sound of cascading water. Jacob is taking his time, counting each stair on the way up. So onward we march. To paraphrase Henry V as he urged his lords and soldiers: Once more into the breach my friend, bathing is such an ugly thing . Once we get into the bathroom, we go through the drill of restraining Jacob from jumping into the tub with his clothes and diaper on while trying to corner Alexis so we can make her get into the tub. This time, she is putting up some pretty stiff resistance. So I hold her with one arm and start to strip off the diaper with the other. Pretty standard maneuver for us and all is going well until I notice the smell. Oh no, she has soiled herself. This explains the sudden unpleasantness! The diaper falls to the floor and here I am, holding her as she gives me a look that says "Now what ya going to do tough guy!". The Mrs has to haul Jacob out of the tub and put his diaper back on. We will need to put him in the nursery with us as we clean up his Moi-Moi. If we leave him to his own devices, within moments of us leaving the bathroom he will be sitting inside the toilet bowl splashing the blue water all over the place. To complicate matters, we find that Alexis has a pretty good case of diaper rash so the whole bath thing is going to be a struggle. Nothing like pouring hot water on a raging rash in a sensitive area. We try to make the process as quick and minimal painful as possible. She howls and wails the whole time. Right up until she gets her 'Puppy' and curls up on the sofa. A little smile crawls across her face ... the look of victory. Its as if none of the last 30 minutes ever happened. That, or she is contemplating what will come to pass later that night.

Once the 'Battle of the Bathroom' had concluded, the Mrs and I get down to the final hours of the evening. I've get the bottles of beans into the pressure-cooker and start them canning away. While I wait for them to finish, I spend some time in the basement harassing the dogs and slogging through the blogosphere. The Mrs is down there too, trying to undo the damage I did to the XP machine. We think that the google toolbar is somehow involved in this,. We will have to wait for the commission report to see if Saddam had no relationship with Google in the XP machine attack. So I try to split my time between monitoring the sputtering and rattling of the pressure cooker and monitoring the sputtering and rattling of web logs. I get hung up reading yet another involved posting at the Belmont Club
only to come to my senses when the racket from the kitchen becomes too loud to not be noticed. I look at the timer on my desk and find that I never started it! The beans only need to be in the cooker for 20 min and it has most probably been longer than that. So I dash up the stairs and remove the pot from the burner ... nuts. I turn off the burner and wait for the pressure to reduce. The other 4 bottles of beans have sealed nicely, but the water inside is about an inch too low. Oh well, they should keep ok. While I wait for the pot to depressurize, I let the dogs out and go back downstairs to mop-up some of the mess they left behind. Soon enough, I forget that I have beans cooling upstairs and am only pulled back into reality by the sounds of the Howling Hounds from Hell barking at some trespessing squirrel or slowly moving vehicle on the road. I let them back in and send them to the basement to help the Mrs fix the XP disaster. I run up to the kitchen and pop off the lid from the pressure cooker .... FWOOOOOSSHHHHHHH! Boiling water blasts forth everywhere! What in the world! As a gallon of searing hot water floods the stove-top, counter, floor and exposed skin, I notice the little metal rattling thing rolling across the floor. I forgot to remove the plug that keeps the pressure at 10lb. Argh! The noise is horrendous and the Mrs comes up with the dogs to see what I had pulled forth from Pandora's box this time. As the water makes its way towards the hall, I hear a buzzing sound that I always fear. The sound of electricity arcing. The Halogen elements for the cook-top are enclosed, but I'm sure some water somehow made it inside. I feverishly call for the electric for the range to be cut before I end up as a conduit. Soon enough, I calm down and we restrict the dogs to their room while we mop-up the second water related incident of the evening. Somehow, the bad luck from the bath and the pressure cooker was balanced by the fact that I did not have a single scald or burn on me. Someone saved my hide from myself.

Mrs MDMHVONPA and I finally get to bed at a later than usual time. I can feel the heat from the activities in the upper floors of the Haupertionian Empire HQ war-room as I settle back into our 25 acre water bed. I wake up several time during the night. Sweat beading on my head and soaking the pillow. Ugh, I'm going to have to open a window if this keeps up, but I know it is probably just as hot and muggy outside. Then I hear the complaining and protestations coming from the nursery. It is about 4am and someone is not happy. I listen for a bit and the noise does not abate. I am so tired that I am not sure who goes to the aid of our little ones, but I do remember that Alexis is upset because she has lost her pacifier. I would like to let this go so she will learn to sleep without the darned thing, but I know this could evolve into a full blown riot if it is left to fester. Somehow, she ends up in the master bedroom, rolling and tossing about on the bed. The Mrs tires of this rather quickly. A short lapse of sleep is interrupted by the sounds of little feet running back and forth in the hallway. I'm not sure how she got there but she is out of the bed and making her rounds ... at 4 am. Some more vaguely lucid moments pass as I find the Mrs in the doorway asking if I had seen Alexis. I tell her that I thought she was in the hall. As she turns to reconnoiter the great hall, a little head pop up from the foot of the bed. Heh, she was hiding from mommy in the laundry basket. Tricksy little people! She chases after mommy and within moments, I hear the wails of discontent over the baby monitor. The Mean Mommy of Mordancy has locker her away in the detention center. The Mrs collapses back into bed as the cries of dismay fade into a quiet simpering, and then nothing. I reach up and turn off the alarm on my clock. This morning, I will certainly be late to work, but I think I desperately need the extra hour of sleep.

As expected, I got up late and commenced the morning activities with minor adjustments. No shave, no floss and the kids will have to be ok with something else besides Sesame Street. The dogs were kind enough to keep the whimpering down to a tolerable level until I let them out. I think they can smell the temperamental emotional state that I was in, and promptly did their lawn demolition with no prompting or cajoling. I muttered some incomprehensible salutations to Mrs MDMHVONPA as I kissed her and the Torpitude Twins goodbye.
It's late, which means that there has been ample time on the turnpike for all sorts of nastiness to occur. As I expected, an accident has occurred and traffic is backed up from here to Pakistan. It bothers me little, I'm late as it is so no manner of angst or urgency will get me to work earlier. I can feel the irritation of others around me as they jockey about the lanes, looking for that elusive opening that will allow them to escape and burst forth to freedom. I insist from myself that I should remain calm, collected and detached. Just drive, mind your manners, keep ample space in front of you, dissuade tail-gaters and forgive the shoulder driving/bumper sucking/red-eyed maniacs. "You were there, you know how they feel" I tell myself. It was a nice drive. Weird.


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