Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cold showers bring no flowers

Every morning, our ferret Chopper runs into the bathroom and paws at the side of the bathtub, standing up on his hind legs like a prairie dog, waiting impatiently for his morning coffee. He doesn’t actually drink the same coffee that you and I do, but if he did, he’s such a good little guy that he’d probably drink only fair trade coffee, even though he wouldn’t understand exactly what that means, either.

Chopper’s coffee is the warm water that comes out of the faucet before it gets hot enough for a shower. Either my wife Kara or I will spoon him some warm water with our hands, and he’ll take a few enthusiastic licks before he runs off to find some remote corner of the house to convert into his very own half bath. He’s quite the little architect.

Last Saturday morning was different, though. Chopper and I both stood there beside the tub, waiting for the warm water to start like we were waiting for Godot. I only reference “Waiting for Godot” now because I had to read it in high school even though not a single blessed thing happened during the whole play except for two guys standing around like idiots talking about nothing like it was a presidential debate. Since reading that play hasn’t done me a lick of good except that I kind of felt in on the joke while watching the movie “Waiting for Guffman,” which everyone in the world except me thought was hilarious, at least I can make myself feel marginally smarter by mentioning the play here, because smart people prove their smartness either by mentioning obscure literary works in regular conversation or by questioning other people’s patriotism. Both ways work.

Even though only the hot tap was turned on, the water felt like glacial runoff. I yelled up the stairs, “Did you use all the hot water for your shower?”

After a brief pause, Kara said, “Oh, I think I might have fallen asleep in the shower this morning. Sorry.”

The fact that she had fallen asleep while standing up would have been perfectly understandable if she had, at any time during her shower, been a giraffe, or if our brand of soap had been Irish Narcoleptic.

Chopper gave up and wandered off. I crawled back into bed.

“Hey, what are you doing? Take a shower and let’s go get something to eat. I’m a little bit hungry,” she said.

“I’m a little bit rock and roll,” I replied, high-fiving myself.

“Seriously. Get ready and let’s go,” she said.

This was the low point in my morning, compounded by the fact that the news was reporting that chimps are making weapons now. It’s only a matter of time before they start selling them to rogue states and dolphins.

So I took a lightning-fast shower, keeping warm by bathing in a steady stream of expletives. A certain warmth also emanated from the knowledge that I had just earned Good Husband tokens, which could be spent in any number of ways, including, but not limited to, practicing poor toilet etiquette and not looking up from the computer screen while she was talking to me.

When fate smiles on you and lets your significant other wrong you in some small way, it’s very important not to get too excited, lest you turn into the bad guy, which can happen quicker than you might think. Wringing everything you can out of your partner’s mistake is a delicate art form. You have just been given a precious little egg, an egg that you must nurture until it hatches into a beautiful little swan of revenge. At least that’s what I hear from other married people. I would never do such a thing. I’m too busy heating up shower water on the stove.

You can offer to be a ferret’s barista online at


  1. a beautiful little swan of revenge... pure genius. my sides are still hurting.

  2. uggghhhh my husband always uses all the hot water. So...I veto him from showering before me and the kid now. So he has to have cold water. The dork. Poor little ferret though, no coffee?? how mean. lol

  3. Nice blog.

    Christopher Guest and casts, many old "Second City" veterans, are an acquired taste - like shower water.

    Failing to see much humor in Waiting for Guffman, maybe you'd like his newer movie, Best of Show (rather than dogs, picture it somehow adapted for ferrets).

  4. I liked Waiting For Guffman but it definitely wasn't as good as Best In Show.

    By the by, congrats on the best column award Mike!

  5. I really can't decide which I like to do more, read your post every week and have a nice little chuckle to start my day out right, or wait several weeks and then come back and read several posts and laugh like a hyena sitting here at my desk, while anxious clients stare at me through the lobby window and freak out, cause they think I'm laughin' at them. Just for kicks sometimes I point at them while I'm laughing.

    So I was thinking, could you just go ahead and write something funny to me every single day so that I can laugh and also so that I will be the most special of all your readers? Like your number one fan, almost... 'cept you'd be doin most of the work and all.... and I'm gonna need you to not let anyone else read it, or I wouldn't feel quite so special, would I?


  6. Mitali -- That's the first time the word "genius" has been associated with anything I've ever done, except for the times when it's been preceeded by the words "Nice job." Looking forward to your next column...

    Burf -- Better to have a hot shower than a clean husband, huh?

    Buster -- Rock on dude. Maybe Christopher Guest will grow on me like salt and vinegar chips. But I dunno, man. Right now he's, like, plain old Fritos. Maybe I need to crank it up to eleven and rent Spinal Tap.

    Andy -- Good to see you, man. That's very non-douchey of you to stop by.

    Melodyann -- Shucks, dude. I just barely have enough brain cells to keep this up. But if I grow any more of 'em, I'll certainly get them crackin' on your super-secret emails. Hope all's well over in your neck of the woods. What the hell does that mean? Woods don't have necks. Regardless, always good to hear from you.

  7. "an egg that you must nurture until it hatches into a beautiful little swan of revenge"

    ROTFL. Do your eyes literally gleam when you conjure these phrases?

  8. We have an 18 y/o son living at home and he takes looooooong showers in the morning before school. My wife asked what the hell takes him so long....I just laughed.

    My Blog

  9. Anon -- Thanks dude! I think my eyes might gleam, but that probably has more to do with the booze.

    Chris -- Just run the dishwasher. That'll get him outta there.