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Friday, June 12, 2009

Trash Talk

I lobbed a blackened cabbage toward the trash can and groaned as it bounced off the side and spun across the linoleum. It sounded like an eighteen wheeler losing a retread at ninety miles an hour.

“I need a vacation.”

“You need a free throw coach. That was a terrible shot.”

Bill Dear and I have discovered that teamwork activities are a cheap form of marriage counseling. Cleaning the refrigerator may not seem like an exercise in compromise, but we’ve found that many of life’s problems pale in comparison to a quicksand patch of Mrs. Butterworth’s that’s about to claim the life of a helpless pot roast.

We are presently in the kitchen seated side by side in wooden chairs, facing what he calls the Rottery: three shelves of timeworn tuna, meatloaf meltdown, and a swamp of sweet tea that could support a pontoon brigade.

The whole affair has the engaging scent of a garbage barge on an extended search for a home port.

I handed him a largish hunk of something that once resembled cheese. “Okay, Michael Jordan. Your shot.”

He banked the object off a handy Labrador napping nearby.

“Swoosh! That’s how you do it.”

“No fair. You had an assist.”

“And you had a vacation. Remember last month? You stayed home for a whole week.”

“Five days at home with two flu-ridden kids is not a vacation. It’s an internship.”

He attempted a three-point shot with a stray Brussels Sprout. The Lab intercepted the object with a snap on the downward arc, swallowed the thing in one gulp, and looked accusingly at his Pop. He hates Brussels Sprouts.

“Sorry, buddy.”

With a sigh, Bo settled his chin on the floor between his paws.

“That’s the trouble with dogs. They’ll forgive you for anything.”

“That’s why we take them on trips in the car instead of our wives. If you would act nice, I’d let you ride to the dump with your head out the window, too.”

I popped him with a wilted celery stalk.

He pulled a Tupperware bowl from the bottom shelf. The lid was puffed up like a chef’s hat, and a peculiar life form was clinging to the inside like a fruit bat.

“Have we ever had anything that color?”

“I don’t think they make food that color.”

“Well, they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” He lobbed the offending container toward the trashcan.

The bowl dropped to the bottom of the can like a laser-targeted depth charge. The lid spun for a minute before rocking back into place. We watched silently, ready to run if an explosion seemed imminent.

Bill Dear leaned back with the self-assured air of an NBA star at a post-game interview.

“But if it’s packed in Tupperware and the top is rising like a shot from center court, save yourself the painful learning experience and throw the whole thing away.”

We closed the refrigerator door and stood up.

“So now can I have a vacation?”

“Sure. Come with me.” He picked up the trash can and held it at arm’s length. I’ll take you to the dump.”

“Now that's foul.”

He loaded the car and I watched as he headed down the driveway with the big Lab perched happily in the passenger seat.

I dropped into the chair at my computer to Google exotic vacation destinations. The cat padded across the desk and nestled in my lap.

"Well, Kitty," I purred as I typed in a verification, “If life is a basketball game, I'm about to be charged with traveling."


spamwarrior said...

Hilarious! Thanks for making my day.

the Bag Lady said...

Amy - this was great!
Thanks for your comment - hope all is well with you.

Chris said...

That's the thing about food-basketball and dogs. The dogs play great defense.