Monday, April 24, 2006

Breath of fresh err

When I rolled over to say good morning to wife Kara just after the alarm woke us up today, she greeted me with a laugh before I even opened my mouth.

“What’s funny?” I asked.

“Your breath,” she replied. “It smells like a Red Lobster’s dumpster.”

And with that, she shattered my long-held belief that bad breath can’t come out of one’s nose. I always thought that breathing through my nose protected any loved ones I happened to see before I made it to my toothbrush in the morning, but this is apparently not the case; your nose does not serve as a Brita for your breath.

Now I’m also worried that the mouthwash that I use every morning is creating a race of super bacteria in my mouth. The label on the bottle claims to kill 99.9% of the bacteria that cause bad breath. But what about the other .1%? Those are the ones that can benchpress ants. They probably look forward to their mouthwash bath every morning. It gets them all invigorated, firing up their little flagella and putting them in the mood to reproduce. Trying to kill those suckers by bathing them in mouthwash is probably like trying to kill Popeye by bathing him in spinach.

But luckily this morning we had a good cross-breeze going through the room, as the weather has finally warmed up enough to leave the windows open. There hasn’t been any fresh air in the house in so long, I feel like we’re camping out when we leave the bedroom window open at night.
“Tell me a campfire story,” I say to Kara.

“We have to get up early for work tomorrow. Go to sleep,” she says.

“Well, now I’m not sharing any of my s’mores with you,” I say, smacking my blazing marshmallow against the wall to put it out.

While it’s nice to finally get that winter staleness out of the house, I always feel bad opening the windows for the first time in the spring, destroying all the tiny cobwebs on the window sills that the little spiders have spent all winter perfecting. They had some impressive webs going this year, too. When I reached over our nest of dirty dishes in the kitchen to slide the window open for the first time this season, I noticed that one of the webs had the words “Some Pig” written into it. The web above that said, “You Are”. I guess Kara’s not the only one who notices that we live in a sty.

This is also the time of year that Kara gets it in her head that we must buy lots of flowering plants, carefully placing them about the house, arranging them so that they get the proper amount of sunlight, and neglecting them until they die a slow, brown, and very dry death.
Kara’s like the little girl from Finding Nemo who kills all of her pet fish but still wants more. She just can’t resist the call of the wildflower. When we walk into the gardening section of a store, the plants can sense that she has a gangrene thumb. They all sit perfectly still, none of them making eye contact.

“Oooh, this one’s pretty! Let’s take a couple of these home,” she’ll say to me.

“What did those poor plants ever do to you?” I’ll reply.

“But they’re so pretty and so soft! I want to love them and squeeze them and pet them and call them George,” she says.

A few weeks after she buys new plants, I’ll be strolling up the front walk when I’ll feel a tendril wrap around my ankle.

“Water! Waaa-ter!” the mums plead with me. Kara would water them, but she’s at the store, getting more plants.

If you’re strong to the finich ‘cause you eats your spinach, you can reach Mike Todd online at


  1. If you ever figure out what is a Brita for your breath, I'm the first in line to buy one, mkay?

  2. "I want to love them and squeeze them and pet them and call them George" I thought I was the only one who remembered this line. I've used it on my son and he looks at me like I'm nuts.

    This was hysterical Mike.

  3. Like a Red Lobster's dumpster? Heaven help us - do you need a tic-tac?

  4. Dude - after seeing that toothbrush of yours I doubt it would help your bad breath problem.