The Splooge Effect

It was one of those mornings.  My inner Luddite had become a Tasmanian devil.  I glared at my computer screen.  I sighed.  I swore.  I let out a definite splooge.  I couldn’t help it.

“You’re doing again,” Layce said.


“Doing what?” I asked, trying to hide the splooge.

“You’ve been splooging ever since your Dad’s email didn’t go through,” Layce said.  “Give me your computer.”th

“I’m not splooging at you. I’m splooging at the Universe at large and technology in particular,” I said, handing over my laptop to see if she could sort it out.

“Well, some of the splooge splattered on me.  Did you send your dad’s email to the correct address?” Layce inquired.


“Yes and no.” I replied.

“What does that mean?  It’s either one or the other.”

“It means I sent it to the address on my contact list but it came back.  What I am attempting to do now is keep the email and see if I can find out the correct address otherwise I just wasted my time even bothering to write it.”

“I don’t understand Yahoo mail,” Layce said, scowling. She handed my laptop back.

“What do you use, Google?” I asked.

“No, I use Outlook Express through our internet provider,” Layce said.

“Don’t even get me started on Outlook Express,” I said. I pulled up Facebook and sent a private message to Lorene (my sister-in-law extraordinaire—she sorts out all the Bennett muddles.)

“Wanna listen to the email I just wrote Lorene?”


“Dear Lorene, the new baby is adorable. I hope work is going well. WTF is wrong with my dad’s email? My email keeps getting returned. WTF has he done to his computer this time? Have a nice day. Hugs.”

“Nice,” Layce said.

Next, I tried to share a photo on Pinterest. “Ah! I can’t even download a stupid picture on Pinterest.” I’m trying not to look like I’m splooging.


“Step away from the computer,” Layce ordered.

I didn’t listen to her and succeeded in downloading two of the same photo on Pinterest.  Okay, well that was better than nothing, I thought.  I glanced over at Layce who appeared to be having her own computer issues.  She sighed.  She swore.

“What the hell? I can’t get the new book cover to come up,” Layce said.  “It’s lost somewhere in the ether and that is not where I wanted it.”

“I think you’re splooging on me.”

“No, I’m splooging at the internet,” Layce said.

“Well, I think I have a piece of splooge right here. Yes, this is definitely some splooge right here on my shoulder.”


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My Wife’s Panties

“What the hell is that?” Layce asked. We were standing in the produce aisle at the grocery store. I was picking out apples.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said, focusing on the bag of apples to vet the squishy ones.

She pointed at my neckline. I put the bag of apples down and felt where she was pointing. “WTF,” I said.
I pulled on an errant piece of fabric. I felt like a magician pulling a scarf out of his sleeve, but in this case it wasn’t a scarf. It was a pair of panties. I had been wearing a pair of panties around my neck! My wife’s panties to be exact.

I held the panties out in front of me. The produce guy smirked.

Layce gawped. “Are those what I think they are?”

“Fucking static cling! I can’t believe you let me go out like this! We’re married. You’re supposed to check me out before we leave the house. It’s one of your conjugal duties,” I hissed. I was holding the panties, well, waving them around, gesticulating wildly.
People were staring. I came to my senses and stuffed them in my pocket. “They’re not even mine! What were your panties doing in my shirt?” I asked.

Layce laughed.

“I’ve been wandering around the store, thinking wow, I must have picked out a nice outfit today because people sure are checking me out—probably thinking, you know, for someone approaching her senior citizen discount days, she looks damn good. But no, they’re staring because I’m wearing a pair of panties as a scarf.”

“Maybe they thought you were wardrobe challenged and didn’t know the difference,” she sputtered between giggles.A full-blown fit of laughter was just around the corner. I could feel it like how barometric pressure drops right before a storm.

“Or maybe they think you’re a fashionista and panties are the new infinity scarf,” she said, tears forming in her eyes.

“Or maybe I just invented the first traveling panties. I could do an infomercial: Ever find yourself in need of an extra pair of panties—this amazing pair of panties”—I whipped them out of my pocket for effect— “Can go anywhere and be anything. Look, it’s a hat, tilt it slightly and you look French.” I put the panties on my head. “Or you’re out eating lobster and you need a bib. Here it is.” I tucked the panties in my neckline. “Ever find yourself in need of a fanny pack? Just stick this amazing piece of modern engineering through your belt loops and you’ve got yourself a fanny pack. Or how about flagging for help when your car breaks down?” I waved the panties in the air.

A crowd had gathered. People were staring. Layce was gasping and bent over. “I think I just tinkled in my panties,” she said.

“Not a problem.  I’ve got a spare pair.”

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The Vagina Dialogues

“How about the word moist?” Layce said.

“No, how about the word vagina?” I said. We were sitting at the kitchen bar discussing icky words and why they even existed.

“It’s not so bad if you shorten it to vag,” Layce said.

“I just can’t see using vag for my nether regions. If feels like I’m a home girl calling out to my buddies on the street. “Yo how’s your vag hanging?” I said. “It just doesn’t work for me.” I sipped my coffee.

Emma walked by. “Some people don’t have boy parts.”


“I thought that meant you were a girl,” I said.

“No, silly they don’t have any parts. You know like a Barbie doll.”

“Wow, that makes me feel glad to even have a vag,” I said.

Layce rolled her eyes. “I think penis is a pretty icky word too.”

“Did you know they make canes out of bull and elephant boy parts?” Emma said. The child was a veritable fact finder.

“Are you messing with me?”

“Would I do that?” Emma said.

Layce rolled her eyes again. “I think I need more coffee.”

“Yes, you would. Remember that time you two told me we had a furry snake in the back yard? You said it was indigenous to Oklahoma which is why I’d never seen one before,” I said, giving Layce the stink eye.

“No, they really do make them,” Layce said.

“Make what?” I’d lost focus.

“Bull penis canes,” Layce said.

“I’m googling it,” I said, giving them both a suspicious glance.

I googled and then I shopped. “They really do make them! And I want one. Look this one even has a inlaid buffalo coin. It says here you can send them your own special trinket and they’ll put it in your cane. How awesome is that?”


“Why in the name of God do you want a bull penis cane?” Layce asked.

Emma had plugged her ears by now. Evidently it was too much genitalia talk for her.

“So if muggers attempted to mug me I could brandish my cane and say ‘Don’t make me beat you with my penis.’”

“That’d throw them for a loop,” Layce said.

“Good self defense is built upon the element of surprise,” I said.

“They’d be surprised all right.”

“I wonder if there’s an candy dish made out of a vagina?” I typed furiously. When I looked up, Layce and Emma were both gone.


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Playing Possum

“Jesus H. Christ! What the hell is that?” I yelled. It was five thirty in the morning, I wasn’t wearing my glasses and I hadn’t had my first cup of coffee. I was not at my best. I was not in high alert mode. I wasn’t even close.

Our dog, Bear, had a possum in her mouth. Or what I ascertained from the fur and long tail. And size. For those of you who do not live in possum country, let me educate you. They are the size of a cat, not a cute kitten, a full grown cat, with a long hairless tail, a prodigious snout and pointy teeth—lots of them. And IT was in our dining room.
“WTF!” ( you all know what I really said, but this is a family blog)I screamed and backed out of the kitchen and right into Layce.

“What?” Layce said. She wasn’t wearing her glasses, hadn’t had her first cup of coffee and wasn’t in high alert mode either.

“Bear has a possum!” I pointed as I retreated further into the living room.

Layce squinted into the dining room. “Bear, drop it, right now.”

Bear wagged her tail, dropped the possum and sauntered into the living room–her pride self-evident.

“That’s a good Bear. You just stay right here next to me while Alpha,” I pointed at Layce “Gets rid of that THING you brought home,” I said, patting her head.

Layce poured herself a cup of coffee.

“What are you doing???” I said.

“We’ve got a good fifteen minutes,” she said.

“For what?”

“Before it wakes up,” Layce said. She sipped her coffee.

“What do you mean, it’s not dead?” I eased toward the coffeemaker. Layce poured me a cup.

“It’s ‘playing possum,’” she said. “They faint so their predator backs off. Bear thinks she killed it.”

“Oh.” I crept toward the dining room. It did look dead.

Layce put her coffee cup down and started for the back door.

“Where are you going?”

“To the garage to get a shovel or did you want Bear’s friend to stay for breakfast?”

“No, I don’t. Hurry back,” I said.

I kept an eye on the possum. I checked the clock. We still had ten minutes.

Layce came back in without a shovel. “I need a flashlight.”


“Because I can’t see to find the shovel.”

I ran to the office to get my ever accessible LED flashlight. I’d purchased three having discovered during a power outage that we didn’t have a working flashlight anywhere in the house. I gave her the flashlight. I checked the clock. We had eight minutes.

Layce returned with the shovel.

“OH, MY GOD!” I screamed at the possum rose up and scurried toward the kitchen. I ran and hurdled over the love seat.

“Get Emma,” Layce said. She headed the possum off with the shovel.

“Emma! Wake up! Hurry!” I said, frantically knocking on her door.

Emma opened her door, blinked twice and said, “What?”

“There’s a possum in the dining room,” I said, and leapt back up on the loveseat.

She ran to the dining room where Layce was playing hockey with the possum and a shovel.

Emma ran straight at the possum, planted her feet, made moose antlers on her head and hissed.

The possum stared at her. Emma hissed again. Layce came in from the side with the shovel. The possum was trapped. It turned tail and ran out the open back door. We watched it run into the dark of night.

“It was kind of cute,” Layce said. “It had a very nice pelt.”

“We could’ve kept it and named it Fitz Herbert,” Emma said.

“Or Sylvia if it was girl,” Layce said.

I collapsed on the loveseat.

“Good hissing, by the way,” Layce said.

“Thank you,” Emma said with a little curtsy.

“Oh my God, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this Oklahoma living,” I said.

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Diary of an Insomniac

Did I lock the front door?

H. Bear would not allow anyone to get past the first ominous door handle turn without ripping off a limb before the perpetrator ever got further than the threshold.

“Go back to sleep,” my inner I-wanna-sleep voice said. I tried to close my eyes. My eyes popped open. Do we have enough milk for morning coffee? I want to bring Layce breakfast in bed which is mostly comprised of coffee due to my lack of culinary skills. Maybe I should go check. I could run out and get some. I’m not sleeping anyway.


“Close your eyes. There will be enough milk,” my inner I-just-wanna-sleep voice said.

“You sound like Yoda.”

“I’ll sound like the Dalai Lama if it will make you go to sleep. Now, close your eyes.”

I closed my eyes.

If I live 30 more years that’s only 30 summers left to enjoy. That’s only 30 vacations maybe 60 tops if I go on two trips a year.  I better make them count. I should make a bucket list right now.

“Please, close your eyes and count sheep, or how about walking on a beach or try meditation. That might work.”beach

“I can’t meditate. My mind is like a squirrel in a box.”

“Deep breathing. That’s easy. Anyone can breathe,” my I-wanna-sleep voice said.

“I always feel like I’m hyperventilating.”

“How about taking your hyperventilating squirrel in a box to a happy place?”

Am I happy? I feel happy. I have all these wonderful people in my life. I am happy. I am very happy…zzzzz.

“Thank you, Morpheus,” the I-wanna-sleep voice said.

“Not a problem,” Morpheus said. “I was getting sick of her too.”

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Forking My Girlfriend

“I’ve never read anything by Willa Cather,” Layce said. She sipped her coffee. “Have you?”

We were having iced coffees and a snack in the Barnes and Noble café. I didn’t answer right away because my mouth was full of spinach and feta filled pretzel. My grandfather taught me never to eat with my mouth full. He did so by poking me with a fork. A lesson well learned.

“I had a Willa Cather stage. I’ve read them all.”

Layce slurped her macchiato and eyed me over the rim.

“What?” I said, swallowing a piece of pretzel.

“Who has a Willa Cather stage? You’ve really read them all?”


“Of course, I read My Antonia, Song of the Lark, Death comes to the Archbishop, O Pioneers, the Professor’s House…”

“I got it.” She sighed heavily.

“Song of the Lark was my favorite,” I added. “It’s about an artist following her dream…”

“Please, not a book synopsis.” She slurped her ice macchiato.

“Didn’t you have a certain author period where you read everything by that author?”

“Yes, but it wasn’t Willa Cather.”

“She’s like an American classic.” I shoved another piece of spinach and feta pretzel into my mouth.

“I had a classics period.  I read all of Proust’s work.”


“Really? I’m impressed. Very few people have actually read him. What did you think about the madeleine? It was such a beautiful metaphor. And Swann was so indicative of social mores at that time in Paris.”

Layce stared at me. “You realize I was kidding, right? Nobody in their right mind actually reads Proust.”

“Well, I didn’t exactly read him. I listened to Swann’s Way on audio tape. It was twenty-one discs long which at 72 minutes a disc amounts to 1512 minutes or 25 and half hours.”

Layce gazed at me in what at first I thought was reverence for my accomplishment.

“There’s something sick and twisted about you,” she said.  “Normal people do not do that to themselves. It’s like you’re a reading masochist.”

I poked her with my fork.

“What was that for?”

“I did it for Proust and Willa.” I aimed my fork for another blow.


“Oh, all right, I’ll read Willa Cather but just one book if you promise not to poke me again. “

“Deal. Now which one are you going to read first?”

“How about the Song of the Sparrow?”

I poked her again. “It was a lark not a sparrow.”

“Have you ever noticed that Willa and Proust were never seen together?”

I raised my eyebrows.  “So?”

“They’re the same person.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“You have spinach in your teeth,” she said.

“Fork you.”


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