There was no post on Friday. You may have noticed. Instead you get a rare Sunday post and a bevy of excuses.
First off, I was suffering from Post Dentist Stress Disorder. My visit with Sgt. Scrape went exceptionally well, actually — I don’t think he ever had more than 14 metal objects in my mouth at any given time — but I was profoundly unnerved by how much he knew about me. When you graduate from high school your permanent record is apparently transferred into your dentist’s custody. And he, my dentist, made a point of mentioning every fact he knew, perhaps trying to create a sense of intimacy (similar to the supermarket checker who, after looking at my credit card receipt, says “Have a great day, Mr. Baldwin!” — something which invariable makes me want to punch him intimately in the nametag). “So, Matthew Scott Baldwin” the dentist said, tipping the tray so that all of his tools fell into my open maw, “how’s your programming job going? You programmer. And the house search? Did you find a house? A house on 1765 46th Ave. NW, perhaps? You know, I’ve been looking over your Internet Explorer’s history file, and I can’t say I approve of all these sites you’ve been visiting…” etc, etc.
So I was already a bit on edge when I got up Friday and discovered that I was on the wrong end of a write-in campaign orchestrated by my arch-nemesisesses, the Wiccans. There had never been any bad blood betwixt the Wiccans and I before, (perhaps because I alone, of all Earth-based bloggers, refrained from mocking the Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 Amazon reviews), but it seems that one of them stumbled upon a review of a game called “Witch Trial” I had written several years ago. Details of the game were then posted to pagen.ws, along with my email address and exhortations to “drop me a line”. I’m so totally not making any of this up.
That’s how I came to be besieged by almost four angry emails. For example:
Are you insane? Can you be anymore insensitive?..do you think this dark moment in America’s history is funny? Apparently you do because, although I can see the dark humor in this (in terms of what YOU think is humorous), I can’t begin to understand what kind of sick mind you must haveSooooo, yeah! I dare say that’s enough said on that subject. (Goddess knows I’m already going to get another three angry emails, what with my careless conflation of Wiccans and Pagans, here). Suffice to say that finding a coven in your Inbox before morning coffee does not a pleasant Friday make.
Then it was off to visit the in-laws, who inconveniently live over in Spokane. If you’re not familiar with Washington State, the whole “Seattle ~ Spokane” thing this may require a bit of explanation. You remember that Batman villain, Two-Face? Washington is exactly like that. You have the Cascades mountain range right down the middle of the state, and the two sides are (1) complete opposites and (2) always at war at each other and (3) played by Tommy Lee Jones in the motion picture. Western Washington is liberal and urban; Eastern is rural and conservative. Western Washington is constantly socked in by rain; Eastern Washington is plagued by perpetual drought. Everyone in Western Washington is hooked on heroin; everyone in Eastern Washington is addicted to methamphetamine. And driving from one side to the other is like going through the looking glass. It’s fun to set your radio to some random frequency and listen to the metamorphosis as well as watch it: you start off listening to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” you traverse Central Washington to “Todo mi Amor (Es Tuyo)” and, by the time you arrive near the Idahoian border, you are yee-hawing to “Be My Baby Tonight”.
That’s where I spent the weekend: hanging out in an area where they have more cattle than Starbucks. My In-laws live in an honest-to-god log cabin, accompanied by the World’s best dog, the World’s toughest cats, and a guinea pig named “Slim Shady”. (Slim Shady and I have an odd relationship, owing to the fact that I ate scores of guinea pigs while living in Bolivia. It’s hard to view a critter as both an adorable pet and a potential entree.) As always, I found hanging out in the middle of nowhere to be a profoundly mind-clearing experience. Plus, Pa-In-Law, as usual, got off a couple of excellent wisecracks:
Ma-In-Law: You see that Chinese restaurant? It looks so run down that we never even considered going there until last month. But we finally tried it, and it turns out to be quite nice inside. They even had a pianist who played while we ate.
Pa-In-Law: Unfortunately, the only song he would play was “chopsticks”.
How obvious is it that I don’t really have a point, here? Anyway: I’ve returned to Seattle and the yeti is back on track. I haven’t done many reviews for the past few weeks, but expect that to change as of tomorrow.* * *