Double Whammy Day, Fibucetera 20, 40 A.B.

"You never really know someone until you live with them."

Jane Goodall    


     Well, Jane, maybe that's true when that special someone happens to be a gorilla or a great ape - or even a typical chimpanzee - but I now have my doubts when it comes to my fellow human beings.
     Or did you just forget to add three words to the end of the above sentence?
     Maybe you actually meant to say "You never really know someone until you live with them over 20 years"?
     It occurs to me to ask because I've lived with the same woman for nearly 20 years now and it was only tonight that I discovered her to be terribly prejudiced against candied cripples.
     Excuse me - I mean to say handicapped M&Ms.
     I know because we recently bought a couple bags of special Easter pastel M&Ms and have been putting them out in a dish on the kitchen island.  We've been eating them down without regard to color or plain/peanut distinctions.  I personally don't care for the taste of the peanut ones, but I've eaten them anyway whenever they've come up in my indiscriminate candy grabbing because I'm a liberal secular humanist and, damn it, that's what we do.  Taste, like appearance and  much else besides, is merely one more primitive delusion to be overcome and not given in to.
     I thought my wife and I agreed on this, but no.
     This afternoon when I went to the candy dish, one M&M remained.
     A horribly disfigured M&M.
     I won't go into details - they don't really matter, after all.  Suffice it to say that the unfortunate light blue fellow inhabitant of the universe that I'm talking about here seemed to be lacking its lower half.  Or maybe its right or left side.  It's so hard to tell with some candies, and M&Ms are among the hardest.  It clearly was a birth deformity, however, as the outer candy coating at least was complete, even if no actual "M" could be seen.  Despite this "M" deficiency, only a fool would mistake it for a Gummi Bear 
     Even while trying not to stare.
     And just so there is no misunderstanding: I am not always a fool, and this afternoon was one of those times I don't think I was.
     My wife, on the other hand, foolishly tried to deny her prejudice when I confronted her.
     "I didn't leave it because it was crippled," she blushed on her way to a nervous giggle.  "I just had had my fill."
     "Right," I scoffed as I waved the wronged candy under her nose, then proceeded to prove my laudable open-mindedness to her by manfully crunching it before her very eyes with the mouth I had had the foresight to bring with me.
     Properly chagrined, she returned to living her life as the spouse of a saint.
     My appetite for moral superiority merely teased, I proceeded to show my love for all M&Ms by finding their bag and consuming its contents, sight unseen.
     Still, I doubt that I will sleep well tonight as my mind ponders what other secret proclivities my "better half" has been keeping from me all these years.
     Has it really and truly been the coincidence she claims that whenever she's set the table, I'm the one who has gotten the chipped Garfield glass while she has gotten the Snoopy?
     No, a good night's sleep tonight is simply not in the cards....
     Maybe it's just as well, however.  Maybe if worries and doubts keep me up all night, I'll finally be able to catch that gremlin she swears keeps taking all the blankets from my body and tossing onto hers....

     As if today hadn't been traumatic enough for me when I read in the newspaper this morning that Tyco International Ltd. has just about cornered the U.S. clothes hanger market.  Here we are, all preoccupied with the anti-trust case against Microsoft, the oil company mergers, and the AOL-Time thing when what we really should have been concerned about is whether or not we'll soon have to pay $5 a pop just to keep our shirts off the floor. 

     Some days that old T.S. Eliot quote that goes "I should have been a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the floors of silent seas" really hits home....

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(©Now by Dan Birtcher immediately prior to stapling his blankie to his mattress)