Nuts in 2004

JULY 14, 2004: The new toilet upstairs drives me nuts. "Flush the shit,” said the plumber, “then the Charmin.” But Pop, Betty, and me, we keep forgetting.*  So that new toilet upstairs, it keeps stopping up, it keeps overflowing. This means more plunging. It means cleaning up a flood of piss and poop and spent Charmin squares on a damn near daily basis.

That my Toyota Echo’s front and rear bumpers are scraped and nicked up, that there's a ding in the driver's-side door, and another and near the fuel door hatch, and that none of them are my fault, and this is my first new car; and the cost to repair all these scrapes, nicks, and dings will run me between one and two grand — it drives me nuts. What the devil happened to rubber bumpers, anyway? I blame the body shop lobbyists.

That Pop pushes food onto his fork with his forefinger — so that the knife stays clean — it also drives me a little nuts.

That he doesn't believe me when I say we’ve got a slight ant / spider / millipede problem. “I never see them,” he says. Man, I tell ya, it’s nuts.

That I tell him to spray on some “Off!” before he goes out for his early evening walk. Instead, he waves me off. “I saw one mosquito last night,” he says. Yup, nuts.

That he’s willing to drop a small fortune to plant bushes between the tall pines to block out the view of the house next door — it’s nuts. He spends most of his waking hours sinking into a sofa, with his back turned to that house.

Dust? You betcha it drives me nuts. It can’t be stopped. Dust, man, it keeps on accumulating. Dust is unstoppable.

That stain that won't come out of the kitchen floor — nuts!

That, no matter how hard or how often I hit the gym, I'll never look like Brad Pitt in Troy. Nuts. That, now that I'm finally thin, maybe I look TOO thin. Nuts. That I can’t seem to sweat off my moob fat, it’s totally nuts, man. That, when I do too many sit-ups, the thin layer of skin stretched over my tailbone bleeds; and when I shower after the gym, it burns right there, on my tailbone. It’s no good. It’s painful. And it's nuts.

That I overuse the word “that,” and that I can’t seem to help it, that’s all kinds of nuts.

But maybe I eat too many nuts to begin with. “You are what you eat,” right?

*[6/27/21: “Pop” was FV’s nickname for his maternal grandfather. Betty was Pop’s “companion” following the death of his wife.]

[6/27/21: Let’s bring the phrase “what the devil” back into fashion, eh? Methinks modernity is desperate for an injection of concentrated quaintness.]

[6/27/21: The original version of this post appeared in 2004 as “The Dislikes.” It was FV’s second-ever blog post. His first post, “The Likes,” isn’t worthy of a revival, in our estimation.]


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