Mambo #51

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Oh, it’s on. Like Donkey Kong.

At 51, it appears Aunt Flo is departing forever. I can only hope. Why? I have been described as surly lately. I fear my family is going to start grinding up hormones in my coffee to keep me from going into a homicidal rage.

Example: at the grocery store, my husband parks our car.

“The whole back end of the car is hanging out,” I say. “We’re going to get hit. I’d pull up.”

Sighing, he makes a big show out of putting his seatbelt back on. Restarting the car. Putting it in first gear. Pulling up further.

As we head into the store, I realize he has moved the car forward approximately one quarter of an inch. Super.

Inside, he “accidentally” hits my ankles with the cart. I accept his tepid apology and send him to the end of the aisle for mushrooms then shout, “Honey, did you ever find those hemorrhoid suppositories?”

He yells back, “Yes, my darling heart, I found them close to the Monistat you needed. Is extra strength going to be enough?”

He’s quick, I’ll give him that. It’s on.

The next day, I replace the tennis shoes in his gym bag with black dress shoes. He doesn’t react but it’s probably all he thinks about as he saws the heel off one of my pumps.

I paint his toenails red while he sleeps and giggle all day until I get to the gym where I discover all the music on my iPod has been replaced by several hours’ worth of Gregorian chants.

The next morning he’s in the downstairs shower and hears me come in. “Truce!” he screams, from behind the curtain, but I’m too busy smearing Vaseline on his glasses to respond.

The shower curtain pulls back just as I finish. I look at him innocently. “Ok, truce. I’m out of tricks anyway.”

“I don’t trust you.” He eyes me suspiciously.

He should be suspicious because I’m most certainly not out of tricks. I could do this all day, every day. I wait on the other side of the bathroom door shaking in silent hilarity, waiting for him to notice his glasses.

I guess he noticed because midway through my shower upstairs, the water shuts off. I hear him on the other side of the shower curtain whistling.

“Say Uncle and I’ll turn the water back on,” he chortles.

“UNCLE!” I shriek, soap burning my eyes. The loss is humiliating but I admire him for his daring.

I have married well.

I can tell it’s going to be a fun ride on the Hormone Train. Luckily I’m married to someone with the patience of Job……and the occasional “Mambo Red” pedicure.

Seven Rules for Renting at Movie Kiosks

pexels-photo-270456.jpegIt’s Saturday night. You are tired of everything you see on any streaming channel and remember that right down the road is a kiosk from which you can rent a newish movie.

I think this qualifies as rule 1/2, okay? Go online at home and reserve the movies you want first, before ever going to the big red box. One and done. The only thing you have to do when you actually get to the Box, then, is swipe your credit or debit card and wait. Swipe and wait, people, swipe and wait. Much easier.

If you are still in the dark ages and don’t own a computer, or you just happen to be out and about and decide to pick up a movie on the way home, let’s be a little more considerate. See below.

  1. Are your hands clean? These red kiosks are a public use item, which means God only knows what cultures might be growing on the touchscreen. I certainly don’t want to use the screen after you’ve been eating some big greasy hamburger, or mining for green gold, or trying to pick the apple you had for lunch out of your teeth.
  2. The places of business putting out these kiosks also should make antibacterial wipes available just like they do next to the grocery carts. Why? See above.
  3. People, for the love of God, make your phone calls before you lean on the box, head under the screen, and start cruising for a movie. Do not call home three different times trying to get a popular consensus on what you should get, dimwit. People are waiting. More importantly, do not call someone and leave a message, then linger in front of the screen waiting for a callback. You’re a big boy and it’s only a couple bucks. Live dangerously.
  4. Please, for the love of all that’s holy, read the trailer information for movies some other time, like at home while you’re choosing your movies beforehand. I was once behind a man who read the synopsis of at least 16 different movies to his phone friend. I was just trying to return one movie before the 9:00 p.m. deadline. The horse’s ass ended up not renting anything, and I had to pay extra because of his obnoxiousness. Why? Because my email receipt showed 9:01 p.m.
  5. Speaking of deadlines, try to avoid the 8:55 p.m. rush. It’s not pretty. Whoever drew the short straw at home has to return the movie, and obviously the clothing choices reflect that. People, please remember that you will be seen returning the movie, oh Unshowered One. Wearing orange piggy flannel pajama bottoms and a red Wisconsin sweatshirt while rocking striped spa socks…I am judging you, and I am not alone. You’re making Walmartians look like fashion icons. (I’m not saying I wore that to return a movie. Okay, yes I did.)
  6. If for some unusual reason I have to stand at the kiosk and choose instead of having reserved my movies at home like I normally would, don’t you dare stand too closely behind me. It does not make me go faster. It skeeves me out and gives me butterfingers, causing my fingers to slip because it makes me nervous…
  7. …and threatened. If I feel threatened, it could also force me to break out my professional ninja moves and karate chop your solar plexus. It’s very possible that I could miss and deliver a massive blow to your junk, making you miss YOUR 9:00 p.m. deadline. Whoopsie! My advice: Back the heck off. You’ll get your turn.

Easy enough, right? You would think. So many people, however, observe no @Redbox etiquette whatsoever.   I’m just doing a public service here.

Enjoy your movie.

*originally appeared on the Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

So you want to write a book?

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So you want to write a book?

Yes? Write the book.

No? Yes, you do. Go write the book.

Have you finished writing the book?

Yes? Start editing.

No? What are you waiting for? Take a 15 minute Facebook break, then concentrate on writing the book.

Have you finished editing?

Yes? No, you haven’t. Edit again.

No? Take 15 minute break. Pin on Pinterest. Then finish editing.

Have you finished editing the book?

Yes? No, you’re not. Call your friends, at least three, and have them read over a copy of it.

No? Take a 15 minute break and check out where you might want to submit your book once it’s finished, either to an agent, directly to a publisher, or online as an ebook.  This will help inspire you. Then get back to editing. Then have your friends read over a copy of it.

Your friends finished editing the book, and you’ve finished putting the changes you agree with into your manuscript?

Yes? Edit again. You’ll thank yourself later. Take out unnecessary words, and read it out loud. You’ll catch a lot of errors this way.

No? What are you waiting for? This book is not going to publish itself. Go edit the damn book.

I wrote it, edited it, had my friends proofread and revise, added the changes I agreed with. I’ve re-edited. I’ve revised. I’ve proofread. I think it’s ready to go.

Yes? No, it’s not. Edit it just one more time.

No? You’re right. Edit one more time.

I have looked at my book so many times I’m starting to hate my characters. I never want to see the name _______________ ever again. I’m sick of it and I’m done.

Yes? Congratulations. You’re done.

No? Yes, you are sick of it. You’re done.

***

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

The Nose Knows Nothing

I had to wait a while before I could write about our New Year’s Eve celebration. Not because I drank so much that I was still hung over. Not because I had so much fun that I am only now sending out thank you notes and finishing up my photo books.

No, it’s so I could get a solid hold on what reality I was living that weekend and when I told you, I wanted to get it exactly right.

My husband had a nosebleed in the middle of December. He suffered in silence, as it started in the middle of the night and all evidence of it was gone by the morning. It was no more than a footnote over our morning coffee.

That weekend he had another. I raised an eyebrow and have to wash a load of towels.

Still, only two nosebleeds. Not a huge deal but certainly strange because I haven’t seen a nosebleed from him since his sinus surgery five years ago, which will live on in infamy. Because I will never forget what a nightmare it was and I want to ensure he doesn’t either.

Christmas Eve comes, and my husband’s schnozzle decides it has had enough of its quiet lifestyle and erupts like a volcano. This one has my attention. It’s everywhere, it’s never-ending, and most importantly, it’s getting our clean, ready-for-company house all dirty. Time to deploy the big girl panties.

We finish cleaning for the party and I wash my hands eleven times (get it? Eleven? Nosebleeds?) and our Christmas Eve celebration continues.

That night, we agree he has to talk to his doctor after the holidays about the nosebleeds. My Own Darling drives almost 3000 miles a month for work and does NOT want to get that type of nosebleed while driving.

I boil water and run a vaporizer until our walls are dripping so I can put moisture in the air. He not only has been dealing with the nosebleeds but also got the same illness* I had and has been coughing up a lung for the past two nights. It’s the dreaded man cold and I mentally gird my loins. He visits a quick care and gets some Tessalon Pearls. He mentions the nosebleeds but they’re not concerned since he’s not having one right then.

The moist air doesn’t help. That Saturday I hear him skittering down the hall to the bathroom and I just know it’s another geyser. A half hour doesn’t seem like a very long time normally but when he’s losing what looks like a gallon of blood, it’s an eternity. We’re getting to be experts at managing them but definitely not happy about it. Plans to call the doctor have been moved out of “maybe” into talks of Immediate Care instead, but it stops and doesn’t come back. Talks stall.

New Years’ Eve dawns and over morning coffee, Joe decides to celebrate early by having a party in his nose, with lots of streamers. It’s made worse because he’s coughing so much but finally this one stops too. I suggest a quick care visit but it’s vetoed. The nosebleed stops…

…only to start up again around seven that night and this time, we don’t even need to discuss it before piling into the car to go to the ER. We can’t get it stopped.

They put a sexy plastic ring on his nose that pinches his nostrils shut but that doesn’t work. He graduates to level two; a nurse fashions another one out of two tongue depressors which does the trick but pinches his nose so tightly that he feels like he’s choking. He is, actually, because since he can’t breathe through his nose, he’s got to breathe through his mouth but guess what’s starting to clog his airway? Our friend, the helpful blood clot, trying valiantly to stop the nosebleed.

I’m going to pause here to confide that Joe doesn’t do well with swallowing vitamins in the morning. One multivitamin and he’s choking and gagging on it and can barely get it down. The sounds he makes are unlike anything heard in nature, and they’re coupled with his bare foot pounding the kitchen floor as if that will help. I’m pretty sure our neighbors hear this morning routine. It cracks me up because I’m evil like that but at least I know he’s taking his vitamins.

There are four ER nurses in the room with us now, all telling my darling Pookie Pants to stay calm but when Joe feels the gigantic choking blob in the back of his throat, despite the instructions, he most certainly does not stay calm.

To my untrained eye, it appears our room has become the site of a horrible butchering but boy howdy, does that gets us ushered immediately and with all due haste into an exam room. I realize that I’m going to have to burn my clothes and Joe’s, but at least I know where all the antibacterial gel is in the emergency room.

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pacing and bleeding.

 

Long story short, we were there four hours. For three of those hours, Joe’s nose was pinched shut and he still felt as if he were suffocating. He paced. He griped. He paced. He complained. He fretted. He bled. However, all his bloodwork is fine and the doctor finally comes in and numbs his offending nostril so she can insert this long tampon cigarette-looking thing into his nose. Once inserted, she is able to pump air into it and it conforms into the shape of his nose voila, end of nosebleed. He’s much happier and we get to leave. However, by this time it’s 10:30 p.m. and I don’t feel like cooking but we stop at two different places and nothing’s open. Because it’s New Year’s Eve.

I am so crabby. Sulky. I’m starving and at 10:45 p.m. I heat up beef for sandwiches. We eat in relative silence and stonily clink glasses at midnight.

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pit of misery, indeed. but a good sport.

 

The next day is January 1, which is the day my side of the family celebrates Christmas. Joe has, up until now, said he was going to go (even with that…thing in his nose) but now he has changed his mind because he’s not “breathing” right. This brings back horrid memories and PTSD flashbacks of his deviated septum surgery. It was a truly dark week in history in the Cacciatore household.

 

Still, I go through the motions of preparing for the ninety minute trek into town. I make the jambalaya I am supposed to bring. I have all the presents I’m supposed to bring all wrapped and organized, so I go take a long bath while having a hot cup of tea. But I know what’s coming.

Joe is still not feeling well. He doesn’t want to go which is bad enough, but now, he doesn’t want me to go. He looks like a deer caught in the headlights at the thought of me leaving for the day. He is panicking with a capital P.

I will refrain from comment here because sometimes time does not heal all wounds, and I was super upset because CHRISTMAS WITH MY FAMILY and I’m about to miss it.

However, I know a panic attack when I see one, and Joe is having a big one. The look in my poor Honey’s eyes when I say I’m leaving him all day long is pure terror. I wouldn’t do this to my worst enemy; I certainly wouldn’t do it to my husband. Whom I love. It’s a three hour round trip and my husband, my true love, is convinced that he doesn’t have enough air.

NOTE: HE DOES. HE DOES HAVE ENOUGH AIR. HE REALLY, REALLY DOES. REALLY.

He just thinks he doesn’t because we can’t take out the packing from his right nostril, and his left is congested. For all of the soothing, understanding sounds I make, I don’t get why he can’t OPEN HIS MOUTH TO BREATHE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE DOES WHEN THEY HAVE A COLD.

However, see: panic attack. I get it. I stay home.

I also pout and cry that day. I am miserable because I work so hard to get just the perfect gifts, the funniest things, the most thoughtful; and I have to send my jambalaya and my gifts into Joliet with my girls. I miss seeing my brother open his “favorite child” pin, and don’t get to see his kids open presents that were on their Toys r Us wish list. I miss my sister and her kids opening carefully chosen silly mugs. I miss sitting and joking around with my other five siblings because I just don’t see them nearly enough and I like to be snarky in person, not just on Facebook.

But enough about me. I do what any good wife would do. I take my husband’s concerns seriously and hold his hand while we sit on the reclining loveseat so he can relax enough to sleep because did I forget to mention? It’s Monday afternoon, and Joe has not slept in about five days between his terrible cough and the inability to breath. He hasn’t slept, like, at all. He can’t fall asleep because he’s certain that the second he does, he’s going to stop breathing altogether. (Guess who else hasn’t slept? Me.)

I think of all the soothing things I can do to calm the panic attack he’s having. I give him ONE of my TWO XANAX which as anyone knows is a terrible second only to missing Christmas. I pour him a lavender scented bath and put on soothing music which helps for approximately seven seconds. He’s back to panic mode before he’s even dried off and has his jammies on.

I find my blog on his deviated septum surgery, reread it, and cannot believe the similarities between then and now. Folks, this is a nightmare.

EXCEPT IT GETS SO MUCH WORSE.

Monday at bedtime, the most horrible night of all, I put on an ocean waves soundtrack, hoping that it will soothe his panic and allow him (and me) to sleep. Joe sleeps for ten minutes at a time. He wakes me up because he’s convinced there are subliminal messages in the ocean waves so I have to turn it off. I warn caution him that I have to work on Tuesday and that if he doesn’t let me sleep, I won’t be able to function. I make him swear he’s going to let me sleep. He goes out onto the couch.

He lets me have approximately two hours of sleep before he shakes me awake. “I’m not sure how I should be breathing.” It’s 1:30 a.m. and we’re both exhausted and one of us is very angry. He won’t take a shot of liquor to help him sleep. The Xanax has done nothing. He’s pacing like a caged animal so I wrestle him down and force feed him a double dose of Nyquil, which has absolutely no effect. As a matter of fact, it seems to wind him up even more.

The rest of the night is ghastly. We’re both hallucinating from lack of sleep. The only thing keeping us going is the fact that we’re going to the doctor’s in the morning so to get the packing out.

Tuesday morning, after a refreshing three hour rest, I dress for work, (I think?) shove him in the car and drive to his doctor’s office where we park our butts.

When the doctor finally is able to see him, he prescribed more cough syrup with codeine, and then—blessedly—Doctor takes out the packing. (look away if you’re squeamish, but gawd, I didn’t think he’d EVER finish pulling that thing out of Joe’s nose. It was about the size of a rolling pin and about as big around.)

The effect on my husband is galvanizing. It’s as if someone literally has flipped a switch. His color comes back almost immediately and he’s showing more clarity than I’ve seen in a week. I take him back home to drop him off because although he’s going to take a sick day so that he can sleep, I myself cannot call in sick. I am so tired I can barely see straight. I mainline coffee on the way to work.

Five hours later, I’m uneasy because I haven’t heard from him despite a few texts and a quick voicemail. Has he had another nosebleed? Is he even now face down in the hallway bleeding out? DID HE GET BLOOD ON OUR NEW COUCH?

The last one spurs me into action and I call him again. A different man answers the phone. He sounds—dare I say—perky. Happy. “Boy, I feel so much better,” he crows. “I was able to sleep.” I repress the urge to tell him he’s had more sleep in the past few hours than I got all night. Good thing I’m at work because I’m rolling my eyes.

“I don’t feel like I’m gasping for air anymore,” he continues happily. “Of course, the doctor did say my airway was probably compromised because of my cough.” Of course he did, I think. His doctor is a man so he is a little more likely to empathize with the man cold.

But here’s what matters; there’s no more panic in his voice. While still hoarse, his voice sounds hopeful, like there’s an end to the past couple weeks of wheezing, coughing, phlegm, and let’s not forget, nosebleeds.

His optimistic tone buoys me, much to my surprise. Sounds like sleep is on the horizon for me too. My eyes well up in gratitude. I tell Joe to try to get another nap in and turn on that ocean waves soundtrack—maybe it will tell him to sweep the floor and do the dishes before I get home from work.

*Not a man cold, though. Because no one can ever be as sick as a man.

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

 

Cold Sores and Dry Shampoo

image of a sick little girl stock photo by Davbid Castillo Dominici

Pretty accurate description of how I looked that day.

It began innocently enough. A minor itch. A slight twinge. A little tingle. I started to fret. But maybe it wouldn’t happen this time. After all, I had gotten through other bouts of illness without developing one—maybe this would be one of those times.

Not so much.

At work, I felt the no-mistaking-it tingle that heralded the new arrival, and a look in my compact mirror confirmed what I already knew:  I was witnessing the birth of the world’s worst cold sore.

Fever Blister. Herpes simplex. It all sounds different to the ear but in the end, they are all the same—a gigantic cootie cluster on my lower lip, half an inch from dead center.

Maybe it wasn’t so much a birth as a coming home, however. After all, the only place I ever, ever get cold sores is in that very same spot. Same lip. Every time. What skeeves me out even more is the fact that despite my OCD antibacterial hand gel application efforts, despite wiping every touchable hard surface at home and at work with antibacterial wipes, despite bathing in Lysol and gargling with bleach, I got one anyway.

Thinking back, I realized that I had seen a coworker sporting a fever blister a week or two before. The “ewww” factor has been racketed up a notch.

Typically, the day before the spot actually makes its debut there is also quite a bit of pain, especially on the unique Chris Cacciatore pain scale. I’m not saying I’m a big baby but even a hangnail will wake me up at night. Throw a cold sore at me and it’s grounds for calling in sick.

The last time I got a massive cold sore was during a…you guessed it…cold. My defenses were down; I should have seen it coming. I had felt crappy all day at work, and suddenly, my entire bottom lip looked as if a chorus line of bees had stung it. That night, the pain was so intense that I was forced to start my obituary.

The next morning, surprised to find myself still alive, I realized that due to all the tossing and turning I did the night during the world’s worst night’s sleep, I had overslept.

For those who have no time for a quick shower, it’s dry shampoo to the rescue. Or so I thought.

I had picked it up on a whim, this dry shampoo. I had overheard a conversation while sitting at McDonald’s writing one afternoon. It’s normally a great place to write because you can tune everything out except this time, when two young women were talking about their hair. The conversation was animated as they discussed hair products but came to a standstill when one told the other she washed her hair daily.

The other said back, “You’ll dry your hair out! Don’t do that, girl. Use some of that dry shampoo. You won’t believe how it perks up your hairstyle on days when you are skipping a day, or maybe you’re just too lazy to wash your hair.”

What? A new way to be stylish while still allowing me to be lazy? Sign me up. I actually found some at the store on the way home. Now, normally, I don’t take much advice from people sitting in McDonald’s but due to the above referenced illness, I’m game…and since I overslept, what better time to try it?

Getting ready for work that morning, squinting through the cloud of agony my lip was causing, I read the directions and applied the dry shampoo accordingly, then brushed it out as instructed.

This is a product that I will never, ever buy again. I have a dreadful feeling it had been moved from the Halloween section of Wal-Mart into the hair section, as it obviously was meant to be used to make white stripes in my hair for a Bride of Frankenstein costume. Despite vigorous brushing, I couldn’t brush the white out and ended up with not only white patches of hair but a very pink scalp.

Thanks, random strangers at McDonald’s, for your crappy advice. Mom’s always said “don’t eavesdrop”, and I should have listened.

It worked out in the end, however, because coworkers were too busy trying not to stare at the white streaks in my hair to even notice I had a cold sore.

***

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world, and their antics keep her in stitches.

Pregnant Women Just Gotta Deal.

author’s note: Do you like “The Onion”? Then you’ll like this.

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Remember these days? (freedigitalphoto.net, pregnant woman holding belly by adamr)

A local father-to-be is honored for the hard work he did around the house on Saturday, while his wife “just puked all day”.

Jon Rhett goes on to say, “I mean, the dishes weren’t going to do themselves, right? Some of the bowls had cereal stuck on them so they were very hard to wash. I learned you have to let those soak because I cut myself on a sharp Frosted Flake that had adhered to the side of the bowl.” He then held up his middle finger which was indeed bandaged.

It wasn’t just the dishes that he helped with, though. Jon also vacuumed the living room (“I ate the cereal in there; I dropped a couple pieces”) and also used a hand towel to wipe off the sink in the bathroom. “After I did that, I threw it on the bathroom floor and did a little foot mopping. My wife spends almost three hours a day, every day, in here doing the Technicolor yawn. You’d think she would have gotten all of the ick off the floor, at least. But no, there was still a spot or two behind the toilet. Or maybe just a misfire from the old piss-cannon. Either way, our bathroom hasn’t looked this good in months,” he said. “I just threw the hand towel I used on the floor back up on the towel rack. Didn’t want to make extra laundry.”

The two are expecting their first child in a few months. Jon said his wife, Sega, claims to be suffering from “hyperemesis gravitadarum” almost since the day she got pregnant. “Oh, sure I Googled it,” he relates. “And of course some pregnant ladies throw up a lot. But that’s usually only for the first couple of months. My wife seems to really be drawing this out—I’m starting to think it’s intentional so she can get out of housework. I mean, I get it, though. Sometimes my stomach is a little upset. Every single Saturday morning, I feel exactly the same way. I’m hungover after Friday nights with my bros. But as you can clearly see, I was still able to do some housework even though I didn’t feel well. It really is just mind over matter. Take some Pepto, am I right? Some preggos run marathons clear up until their ninth month, I read somewhere. We all just gotta deal.”

When asked if he attends obstetrician appointments with his wife, Jon laughingly shook his head. “The last time we went together, we took my new pickup. Do you know how hard it is to clean puke out of floor mats? She had to buy me new ones because even though she used toothpicks on the grooves, some things just don’t come out. It still smells in there.”

One of Jon’s bros, Charlie Pratt, submitted his name and a small story describing his momentous aid and personal sacrifice to an online contest on “Everyday Husbands”, a small Facebook group of newly married men. When the admins of Everyday Husbands called Jon to let him know he won the prize (limo service to a local steakhouse and $100 gift card to the restaurant), no one was more surprised than his wife.

Jon said, “It’s almost as if she wasn’t excited that I won something.” When asked when he planned on using the winning limo ride and dinner prize with her, he told our reporter, “You know, I’m not really sure she’s going to be up for going out to dinner anytime soon. I’ll probably invite my friend Charlie from the group; his wife is expecting triplets and I imagine he’s probably going stir crazy,” he chuckled. “We could both use a night out from our respective ball-and-chains. Besides, this is a treat for my wife too. Now she won’t have to make me dinner whatever night Charlie and I decide to go. Plus she’d probably throw it up anyway. And now she won’t have to do dishes that night either.”

We tried to reach Jon’s wife for comment on his prize, but our calls were not returned.

Knew You’d Come…a sample

Fellow writers will understand this–ever have that one book you wrote that you absolutely love? I mean, you love everything y41zTJz4riFL__UY250_ou’ve written, but this one has a special place in your heart.

For me, it’s Knew You’d Come. It combines several of my favorite things: time travel, ghost hunting, and erotica.

It’s on sale for $.99, or free if you have Kindle Unlimited which IF YOU DON’T HAVE THIS, WHY NOT???

A caveat…it’s racy. Even the excerpt. So if you’re in the least prudish, look away now for the love of God!

Enjoy the sample below, then click the link to head on over to Amazon and fill up that new Kindle.

Happy New Year!

Whip Daniels watched the diminutive woman with the long, platinum blonde hair unload the van from his position behind the bar. Over the long years he had been here, waiting, he had watched many different people come and go. Sometimes a group of teenagers would break in, looking for a place to hang out, smoke pot and screw. Those trespassing apparently loved having a place away from everything, where no one would catch them playing their drinking games, pin the tail on the whatever, and strip poker.

Ah, poker. It would be so nice to be able to play a good game of poker. He had been an excellent player.

He had listened in on the conversations, and over the years had become accustomed to the various generations that passed through the building. He hated the hippies, though; once they were high, some could really see him and tried to have conversations with him.

It didn’t work. He was someone who could only watch reality and not be a part of it. It was a never-ending lifetime of floating around and watching people break in with food and booze. He enjoyed the aroma of their never-ending cheeseburgers, fries, and s’mores. He watched couples have sex and heard their moans of passion, and he missed his woman badly. He desperately wanted to touch her again, see her again; yet he knew she was far out of reach, unaware of his existence. It was a special kind of hell.

He returned his attention to the little blonde. She scurried around the van, loading her arms with more supplies to bring in. He knew what she was doing; over the years various brave souls had tried to spend the night and “test” for ghostly activity so he recognized some of the equipment.

The woman hustled back and forth between the van and the saloon, dropping off her boxes, bending and stooping, t-shirt molded to her perfect breasts, jeans painted on her ass…her delicious ass…his cock stiffened.

He floated around to the front and watched her close the van doors with her foot while she juggled the final boxes in her arms.

Finally, she finished and sat down to rest for a moment.

It was about time she got here—he had almost given up on her.

He looked down at his erection. Wonder if she had a machine to measure that.