I almost got a haircut today. Really – I did. Almost.
I really need a haircut. Badly. And I actually asked for and received $20.00 cash back at the grocery store specifically for the purpose of obtaining one. Not only that, but the barber shop is located in the same shopping center as the grocery store. Only about 250 feet away, in fact.
I even told my wife that I was going to get my haircut today. And a couple of friends, too.
I really wanted to, but I didn’t.
So why didn’t I?
Well, the macro explanation is that I pride myself on being frugal (read that, “cheap”.)
The micro explanation, as one would expect, is a bit more explanatory.
Week after next, 75% of our children are showing up at our house from, literally, hundreds and thousands of miles away in different directions around the country. This, in and of itself, would normally neither cause me to visit or not visit the hairdresser, however, this particular visit is for the purpose of filming scenes in our movie project.
My hair needs to look more like this…
…And less like this…
The issue is not that my hair needs to look like it does in every other scene in the film (although it does) and in order for that to happen, I have to get it cut. And the issue is not that if I get it cut this week I will probably have to have it cut again next week, too. The issue is not that if I get it cut this week it will cost me $20.00, or if I get it cut next week it will cost me $20.00.
The issue is that if I get it cut this week and I get it cut next week, it will cost me $40.00.
I have decided that it’s time to break with my past (almost) tradition of (usually) waiting to create a new category for this blog until I have written more than one post fitting the category that does not yet exist.
You may be wondering why I feel compelled to do so at this time.
It’s because yesterday was Tuesday and the day before that was Monday. This, naturally, leads to the conclusion that today is Wednesday.
Let me explain further…
As some of you know, I am involved in the making of a motion picture. It has been in production for nearly four (4) years. Over that time, I have gained some weight and, while I am still quite handsome, my appearance may have shifted just the slightest little bit. By about 25 (twenty-five) pounds, actually. (I can still get into my costumes and regular street clothes and have not been forced into upsizing my pants, etc., though, if you look really closely, a slight “muffin” effect has become somewhat evident.)
As part of an overall effort to make the “muffin” retreat, I have been weighing myself on, pretty much, a daily basis.
I have, over the years, developed my own “weigh-in” strategy which has proven effective for me. It goes like this:
Get up in the morning
Go into the bathroom
Sit on the chair with the hole in the seat
Accomplish the required activity
Dawn my original birthday suit
Using available nostril-evacuation procedures and the materials required to do so, remove any and all loose or pliable objects and/or substances from as much of my nasal cavities as I can access
Using approved earwax-expulsion procedures and materials, make any unwanted earwax buildup go away
Exhale and hold my breath for as long as I am on the scale
Once all the above weight adding materials have been expelled, stand on the scale and adjust my posture (shift my weight) in an effort to find the lightest possible reading on the digital display (literally) at my feet
In the past, these techniques have served me well. This week, however, something has changed. And not in an acceptable manner.
On Monday, I weighed myself. Weight was several pounds more than I had anticipated. I was not happy.
On Tuesday, I weighed myself. Weight was 2.5 pounds less than on Monday. Still not acceptable, but going in the right direction. I was not as “not happy” as I was on Monday.
Today, Wednesday, I weighed myself. Weight was 2.5 pounds more than on Tuesday. Definitely not acceptable and going back in the wrong direction.
After about a minute of considering my options, I went over to the sink, turned on the water and expectorated into the downspout. Then I went back to the so-called “scale”, exhaled, held my breath, grabbed onto a towel rack, adjusted my stance, looked down between my feet and beheld what I consider to be a minor miracle – I was now 1.5 pounds lighter than I was 90 (ninety) seconds prior to the current weigh-in effort.
It still wasn’t back to where it was when I wasn’t “not happy” as I was on Monday, but it was better than when I wasn’t happy just before I spit.
For this reason, I have come to the conclusion that my bathroom scale is laughing at me. It intentionally moves around and mocks me as I attempt to ascertain an accurate measurement of my own personal tonnage.
It goes out of its way to make me think I’m fat.
My bathroom scale is not my friend.
This has caused me to consider the possibility that I am not the only one; that, indeed, there may be others – maybe even dozens of them – who are unsuspecting victims of cruel bathroom scales. Scales which lie, silently, in wait for the next opportunity to jeopardize the self-image of the one person who relies on its personal integrity to provide accurate information regarding that person’s body fat content.
So, if there is anyone else out there who suspects that they are being tricked in this manner, I propose the following statement of intent:
Please raise your right hand and repeat after me:
I, (insert your name here), do solemnly declare that my bathroom scale is not my friend, that I cannot and will not trust any and all information it chooses to make known to me; and that, hereafter, I cannot and will not avail myself of its purported “services” with regard to the accurate measurement of my personal body weight.
Furthermore, I declare that, from this day forward, I will do all in my power to avoid any and all contact with said scale. I will not touch it, I will not stare at it, look at it or even glance in its direction. I will not refer to it in any conversation with any person or animal, be they family, friend, foe or pet.
I will not address it, either directly or indirectly, in any manner, as I go about preparing myself for my own daily activities. I will not think of it in quiet moments or in the rush of the day. I will not dream about it in my sleep.
Finally, if I somehow accidentally find myself actually standing upon it, glaring at the numbers baring themselves in its display, whether analog or digital or listen to any verbal report eminating from it, I will immediately avert my gaze or plug my ears, as required by the manner in which the thing attempts to inform me that I need to eat less and exercise more.
This morning, though, I’m not really hungry. But if I was really hungry, what would I eat?
This is the question that has plagued me for thousands of years, “What do I want for breakfast?” I never have a definitive answer to that question.
Judy never has a problem deciding how to start her nutritional day. And she is creative and unafraid to explore new culinary possibilities.
For example, this morning I slowly maneuvered my way into the kitchen, drawn by an odor of which I had not previously been aware, only to spy a frying pan hosting an egg and something I never would have imagined – two halves of a banana nut muffin cut, not top to bottom, but across the center, with the “ragged” sides buttered up and facing down to the hot pan.
Soon the naked surfaces of the muffin had sufficiently toasted. She then gently slapped the egg between the two halves, wrapped it into a napkin, stuck it into a bowl, gathered up her many purses and went out the door headed to work.
Do people really do that? I honestly don’t know, but Judy did.
This left me alone to contemplate my own breakfast needs, wants and desires. What do I want for breakfast? What shall I make? How shall I make it? As mentioned above, I’m not really hungry, and… and… and…
I think I have just had an epiphany!
I just realized that…
The amount of effort one is willing to expend in the preparation of breakfast is directly proportional to the amount of hunger one is experiencing at that particular moment.
Hmmm… I should contemplate food more often…
Well, as excited as I am about my newfound life lesson, I’m still not hungry and, therefore, still not any closer to figuring out what to fix myself toBreakmy overnightFast which, after all, is the whole purpose of breakfast in the first place.
Well, Friends, It’s been almost exactly two years since our last foray into the amazing world of cows and a lot has happened since then.
But I digress…
Since so many of my wife have brought it up, I have decided to embark on yet another amazing treatise on bovines. This time concentrating on benefits and practicalities of possessing a cow, not for fuel, not for milk, not for the much-required supply of lawn fertilizer, but simply for the joy of having a cow friend with whom to play and commiserate during those times when everybody is mad at, and nobody wants to be around, you.
Yes, friends, everybody needs a pet, and I submit that a cow could be a great pet.
Consider this: How friendly could a cow be if she knew that she would never wind up on a hot griddle or between the two halves of a bun?
Imagine your life with a pet cow…
(Dream sequence music starts here)
There you are, arriving home from a particularly difficult day at work and you know that your wife will be upset with you because, as you just realized, you forgot to stop on the way home to pick up the twenty-four pack of Muscle Milk she asked – no, demanded – you to get. Starting to sweat profusely at the thought of walking into the house without the Muscle Milk, you pull into the driveway. Cautiously, you exit the vehicle. Praying, you start to make your way to the front door and, upon arrival, you hesitantly reach for the doorknob. Using your left hand, you turn it counter-clockwise (because that’s the way your mother taught you to open a door) and, with a grimace, you slowly, gently (just as you pronounce the word, “Amen.”) push… open… the door…
Suddenly, to your shock and everlasting gratitude for prayers answered, you see your best friend – Daisy – running at full speed and leaping into your arms to greet you! Daisy is not your wife. Your wife is Hildegard. Daisy is your beloved and cuddly pet cow, and she is happy to see you!
And, despite nearly being crushed to death, and the destruction of your house and most of the furnishings inside, you are happy to see Daisy!
(Exit dream sequence music starts here)
See what I mean? Having a cow as a pet could be a beautiful thing.
“But,” you say, “I already have a cat.”
Many of us have pet cats. Judy and I have had several. Most recently, a feral that figured out how to get into the house through the doggy door in the laundry room.
Judy named her “Lucinda”. I felt that she was appropriately named because I believe that “Lucinda” is female for “Lucifer”.
But that’s another story for another post…
Let’s look at cats and cows for a minute. For now, let’s not concentrate on the differences, between the two, let’s look at the ways in which they are the same, or at least similar. For example, the words Cat and Cow begin with the same letter of the alphabet:
If you think about it, this is a great start.
How else are they the same, or similar?
They both speak in languages that begin with the same letter:
Yes, again we see how they are the same. Cat’s say “Meow” and cows say “Moo”. With a little practice, I think they could probably talk to each other and get along quite well. They could have some great conversations about the weather, their favorite sports teams and even about how much they love their owners.
Also, they both have four legs and a tail. They can go for long walks on the beach together, discussing the origins of the universe all the while swatting away flies.
Now, let’s investigate some of the challenges that might arise when, in lieu of a cat, you have welcomed a cow into your home.
A cat will use a litter box filled with cat litter to deposit former meals. However, cow litter is not easily available in most grocery or pet stores. In fact, you may also have an issue finding an appropriately sized “cow litter box”.
You will need a larger space in which to place the litter box and store the litter.
Even after obtaining the necessary litter products and successfully placing them, you will have to train the cow in the proper utilization of the items in question. This may take a bit of doing as most cows are not familiar with waste elimination etiquette.
Many felines are quite affectionate. You may find them occupying your lap, your bed or the back of your sofa. If you find a cow who likes you, you may have to get a larger lap, bed or sofa to accommodate this, albeit loving, intrusion.
For those who have multi-story houses, while a cow can probably climb stairs, it’s probably best to keep them on the bottom floor of your home. Especially if you lack cow-capable umbrellas.
You will never lose your cow when it attempts to hide (hyde?) in the house. It won’t fit under a bed, sofa or behind the toilet.
You won’t have to worry about finding dead animal puzzles in the hallway, bedroom, laundry or dining room. Cows are not known for hunting birds, ground squirrels gophers, lizards, snakes, rats or anything else not larger than themselves.
A cow will never hide in the bookshelf, waiting for you to pass by so it can leap out and land on your back, sliding down, claws extended, rendering your flesh shredded from your shoulders (possibly exposing and/or damaging or completely obliterating the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and/or teres minor musculature) to your ankles when you least expect it. This lack of aggression may also lead to fewer heart attacks.
The likelihood of tripping over your cow in the dark is actually quite remote. This makes the chances of broken bones, sprained ankles or accidental death from this type of accident equally remote.
Finally, the smell alone is enough to keep away unwanted visitors (although, a slight increase in the fly population may be a minimal risk). There is little danger, however, of keeping away those who really like you. They will understand you and will be willing to accommodate your affinity for “exotic” pets as long as they stay off their laps.
And now for the real reason for this plea…
There are plenty of cows available for immediate rescue/adoption. And let’s try to remember what happens to cows kept only for their utilitarian existence. Once they are no longer fulfilling their “purpose”, they are not simply discarded… They end up on your hamburger bun or covering your new sofa… (Or if they are unfortunate enough to live just outside New York City or other metropolitan areas within driving distance of a hunting preserve, across the hood of your neighbor’s car who thinks he just shot a deer.)
So what do you say, my fellow Bovine enthusiasts? Is it time for you to do whatever it takes to save a cow who, otherwise, has no future? Take that next step and adopt a cow.
After all, the worst that can happen is that you could end up with a nice chair…
Until next time (probably another two years),
And for the reading impaired…
To go to the beginning of this riveting series, go here…