Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trick or Treat

When you become a mother, you agree to do certain gross things not even the wildest sixth grade boy would dare imagine.
For starters, there’s the birth. No detailed book or loving girlfriend can prepare you for this. While I’ve never been to a murder scene, I now can imagine what it might look like.
Then, just as you’re coming to terms with all the gore, you start changing diapers.
As a mother, you’ll handle more raw sewage with your bare hands in your first three years of parenthood than the will the average sanitation worker in a 40-year career.
It will be runny. Gooey. Yellow. Green.
It will coat your clothes, your hair, your carpet. You will get it under your fingernails and, perhaps, all over your furniture.
For the most part, you will become immune to poop’s putrid odor.
But that’s not all.
Oh, no.
As a mother, you will actually put out your hands out so that they may serve as a receptacle when your child projectile pukes in public. You might even do it if your neighbor’s kid pukes and you’re on duty in their yard.
Moldy bananas, smashed hot dogs and patches of dried out spaghetti in your car interior become the least of your worries.
These substances all are the currency of motherhood.
Still, I recoiled in horror last week when I opened my new silver handbag in search of Mr. Mastercard.
There it sat, wedged between my favorite blue leather wallet and my husband’s cell phone, a corner of its greasy cellophane wrapper poking out.
As I pulled the six-day-old Texas State Fair corn dog into the light, I could see teeth marks on its tender pink underbelly. Petrified crumbs tinkled to the floor.
Amazingly, there was no mold.
The corn dog had been mummified to perfection in a vat of oil so nasty, no living microbe wanted to feast on it.
Still, there was a smell. A smell so strong, the fans above me began to automatically spin. The doors of The Children’s Place spontaneously blew open; customers were sucked though it screaming.
I stuffed the corn dog back into my purse (What, you thought I would surrender that cute $4.99 T-shirt?).
Clutching my purchase, I raced to the nearest trash receptacle, found the corn dog and deep-sixed it.
As I went to snap my purse closed, I spied the promising glimmer of green—a half eaten granola bar purchased the same day we at the corn dogs.
I sniffed the bar, deemed it free of corn dog cooties and popped the remainder into my mouth.
It was good.
So good.


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