Monday, July 03, 2006

Driving the Mrs. crazy

Yesterday at work, I hit myself in the eyeball with a drinking straw. It was a souvenir Mickey Mouse bendy straw that a co-worker brought back from Obligatory Appeasement of the Children World, so it was a good deal beefier than your average disposable straw. I was bending the straw backwards and then releasing it, so that it would go “twaaaaannnng” like a miniature diving board. I greatly underestimated the kickback that Mickey was packing. He should really come with a warning label: “Don’t be an idiot around this drinking straw.”

Luckily, it was the soft curve of Mickey’s ear that bounced off my cornea, so there was no need to alert any medical professionals, which worked out well because I doubt there would have been an applicable check box on the worker’s comp form to describe what I had just done to myself.

Also, while I was mowing the lawn recently, a wood chip hit me right in the eye before I even had time to flinch. The frequency of things bouncing off my bare eyeballs is becoming somewhat alarming. A complete lack of reflexes in middle school might have done me some good, back in the Two for Flinching days. But now I’m worried that my eyelids’ slow response time is somehow age-related. I’m not twenty-five anymore, like I was three years ago.

Maybe I’m feeling sensitive about getting older because something very disturbing happened last weekend. My wife Kara and I went to a high school graduation party because we’re friends with – the horror, the horror! – the parents. We’re parents’ friends now. That’s going to take some getting used to. Seems like just a few days ago, we were the ones graduating from high school, so much smarter than we are now.

Regardless, I was fiddling with the Mickey straw yesterday because Kara wouldn’t let me leave work, and my enthusiasm for being productive had long ago expired. Kara and I carpool together in the mornings, so if one of us gets stuck at work in the evening, the other is held hostage as well. Fortunately, instant messaging technology lets the aggrieved party harass the productive person on the very computer screen upon which she is trying to get some work done.

I saved the chat we had yesterday around quitting time. Here’s how it went:

Me: You ‘bout ready to head home?

Kara: hey... doubt it... my job is crazy right now. I’ll get back to you in a few.

[Ten minutes pass.]

Me: Dude, it’s late! I have to be in early tomorrow. Should we just sleep here tonight?

Me: I gather from your silence that you do not share my desire to depart. I guess I’ll start making a blanket out of Post-it notes.

[Fifteen minutes pass.]

Me: I just injured my eyeball with a Mickey Mouse straw. Do we have any goggles lying around? I’m thinking of going with a James Worthy goggle kind of thing. Would be safer that way.

[Ten minutes pass.]

Me: I can’t remember what our house looks like. Do you think we’ll be able to find it?

[Ten minutes pass.]


Kara: OK OK! We can go now. Jeez.

Me: Hang on. I’m working on something -- be ready in an hour or so.

Kara puts up with the aggravation of carpooling with me for the same reason that rich people put up with having chauffeurs in their cars: I drive, and I don’t complain while the boss is around. We used to split the driving 50/50, but after we got married, whenever I tried to hand her the car keys, she acted like I was offering her a dead squirrel.

You can punch Mike Todd in the arm online at


  1. OMG I still am laughing. I am sorry but your eye missfortune, and picturing Micky punching you in the eyeball, just had me rolling.

    I bet Kara didn't answer you cuz when you told her about the straw she fell out of the chair laughing. I know I did. hehehehe

    I'm gonna have to come back and read this a couple times just to laugh some more.

  2. Burfica -- Thanks so much for the kind words!

  3. I apologize for not stopping by very often, but this was halarious! I know exactly how you feel about the shared car experience. I and the wife have to play musical cars since our work schedules are nothing alike. I drive, because, well, I don't do the passenger thing, not in MY car, nosiree! She just closes her eyes and visits her happy place while I attempt to avoid those people out their trying to kill us. And yes, she tells me to be there to pick here up at 9:15 and of course I'm beginning to fume by 9:37 and no wife. Only I don't even have a cell phone to harrass her with. I hope you realize that if the right people have read this post, a major product recall, complete with class action lawsuits and a spot on 60 minutes is about to insue. Shame on you! hehe