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Remember the kids’ book, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day?
Well, I had one of those last Wednesday.
I hadn’t slept well the night before. There may have been MSG in the wonton soup I had for dinner—that always keeps me awake. Or it may have been the upsetting news I received at the dentist’s office. (Apparently the roots of a molar were damaged when I had my wisdom teeth removed many years ago. And now the tooth hurts and may have to be removed . . . very upsetting news, indeed.)
So I started the day feeling off-kilter and cranky.
I did some housework, made breakfast, packed Bill’s lunch (really his dinner. . . he gets his “lunch” break at 7 PM), and got ready to drive him to work. I’ve been driving him to work lately because his motorcycle has been in the shop awaiting parts for several weeks, and there’s no reasonably-priced place to park a car in Old City where he works.
Getting there wasn’t too bad, but on the way home I had no fewer than 3 near-misses. People were pulling out of side-streets in front of me, changing lanes without signaling, and making left-hand turns across traffic when I was coming the other way.
I got home—relieved that the car and I were unharmed. But as I began tidying the kitchen I got an unpleasant surprise: I noticed a hole had been chewed in a bag of cookies.
We’ve only had one other mouse in this house, and it took us almost ten months to get rid of the sneaky devil. Here we go again. . . .
I muddled through the rest of the day, too tired to get much work done, and drove back to Old City at 10 PM to pick Bill up. It was an easy drive with very little traffic. I felt free, cruising along on Columbus Boulevard in the crisp night air. As I drove past the colored light display at Spruce Harbor Park I imagined I was looking at the northern lights. It made me relax, and I smiled thinking the day was going to wind up okay after all.
But when Bill and I got back to our neighborhood, we couldn’t find a place to park. We drove around and around and around. At 11:15, after 40 minutes (yes, 40 minutes!) of hunting, we finally found a spot at a meter. This meant that the next morning—a morning when I could really use a little extra sleep—I’d have to move the car by 8 AM to avoid getting a ticket.
I was fighting back tears as we entered the house and I put the kettle on for tea. I was exhausted and I felt like this day was about to push me over the edge. I knew I had to make a conscious decision to hold it together, but I just didn’t know how.
I noticed Bill was making himself a sandwich—a bologna sandwich.
We had heard a Weird Al Yankovic song a few days earlier, which we hadn’t heard before. It’s a silly song about lunchmeat, a spoof of the song My Sharona.
Weird Al’s version is called My Bologna.
Most Americans mispronounce bologna, calling it “baloney”—I do, too. A more correct way to say it (though still not the way an Italian would say it) is “bah-low-nah,” which is the way Weird Al pronounces it in his song.
So, with Weird Al’s song in mind, I turned toward Bill and said,
“I see you’re making yourself a bah-low-nah sandwich.”
Bill looked over at me with a sly smile . . . he saw where I was going with this.
“Yes,” he replied, repeating the words of the song,
“I’m making it with muh-muh-muh my bah-low-nah.”
We laughed. The tension of the difficult day had started to crack.
As we sat in the kitchen having our snack, I played the YouTube video of the song, and we laughed some more. Then we watched a few of Weird Al’s other treasures, the funniest of which was Living with a Hernia (to the tune of Living in America).
We said our goodnights.
I went to bed smiling.
I slept well.
Thursday was a better day.
Photo by Chris Favero from USA / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
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