I texted the boss a little Christmas greeting recently:
I got this back:
Not one to be shown up, I had the last word:
Yeah, I may be old, but I’m still hip with the sexting. Happy New Year, everyone.
There was another slumber party. (Who knew the extremely late thirties were going to be a second golden era for slumber parties?) We skipped the nature walk this time, though we did pretend until the very last minute that we were going to go on one, going so far as to pack winter hiking gear. Then we arrived at the boss’s house, and she uncorked the pink champagne. So what I’m saying is there was pink champagne on one hand, and a nature walk in subzero temperatures on the other.
You can probably surmise which one prevailed when I tell you that an hour later we were cruising to the pizza place and Lulu was shrieking, “I can sober up really fucking fast if we’re pulled over! I’m not taking the fall for you bitches!” (This is where we pause to disclaim that Lulu was not, in fact, driving. She was just being theatrical. The Boss, who was, in fact, driving, had not had anything to drink. Like, at all. Because we knew we had to go pick up the pizza. And because, evidence to the contrary, we’re not idiots. And because she’s the hostess with the mostess, and she knows that the hostess always designatedly drives. Mind you, we did pick up our pizza at 3 pm to take home and eat later, so there’s that.)
The main point of this sleepover was a re-match of last year’s Wii dance off. Me versus the Boss. The odds were on me, due to my landslide victory a year ago, which was, in turn, due to my uncanny ability to replicate the “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” moves (who knew?).
I talked some serious trash in the lead up, but in truth I was a little nervous this time. We were playing over the honour of a man. Kind of like a medieval tournament, but in reverse. And instead of, like, handkerchiefs as tokens of the beloved, there was Google images.
And that man was…Adam Levine. How this happened, I do not know. Somehow, I got pulled into a dance-off over the honour of that Maroon Five tattooed muscle dude.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t get Adam Levine. I could make a list of why, but that seems rude. Suffice it to say the Boss is a fan, and I am not.
After I kicked the boss’s ass, even without having to rely on any Dirty Dancing ditties, Lulu, ever the peacemaker, got philosophical.
I get it. He’s a total pig. If he came up to me, I’d like: gross. But sometimes there’s just the lust, and it is what it is.
Pause while she gazes at the ceiling.
If I knew what it was about him, I’d make a lot of money.
Then the boss and I put a squirrel Christmas ornament in Lulu’s bed, and instead of passing out from fear—she really hates squirrels—she just said, “VERY FUNNY.”
And then it was 10 pm and we all went to bed because we’re big talkers but that’s about it.
So apparently I’m running the Scotiabank Waterfront 5k in a little over a week. So apparently I’ve been slacking in the whole fundraising thing. But I haven’t been slacking in the training. Which is sort of amazing, because I’m very good at quitting. (Though I like to think of it less like quitting, and more like being gifted at trying lots of different things.)
To recap: The Boss announced her intention to run a half marathon that was to take place four months after her chemotherapy ended. She’d been training for one when a breast cancer diagnosis crash landed in the middle of her life last fall. (You can read more backstory here and here. Or you can read about the Boss in her own words here.)
So Lulu and I thought we could probably get off our healthy bums and train for the 5K that’s associated with the race. You know, like a tribute to the lady who brought us together (she really was our boss) and became our beloved friend. So we embarked upon the Couch to 5K training program, which involves a lot of walking and running. And walking and running and walking and running. Then there’s more running than walking. Eventually there’s no walking at all.
I’m not gonna lie, running is not my favourite way to pass the time. I’m not a natural runner, I guess. It’s fine. It’s nice when it’s over. Toward the end of a run, I sometimes chant in time with my steps: “This is not as hard as chemotherapy.” One syllable per step. Yes, I sound like an idiot.
Once this summer Lulu and I were in the same town, and we ran through some woods together. And here I would have thought if Lulu and I were ever running through the woods together it would have been because someone was chasing us or we’d decided to re-enact the Blair Witch Project or something.
Mind you, if I HAD to, I could probably have run a 5K when I started. But it wouldn’t have been pretty. My goal was to run it comfortably, to feel like I’d truly invested the time to get ready for it. And, you guys, I totally have.
I’ll be raising money for the North York General Hospital Foundation. North York is where the Boss had her chemotherapy, and they were very good to her.
So, if you wanted to throw a few bucks my way, I’d be very, very grateful. You can do that here:
Lulu told me, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, to get a balcony.
She, the Boss, and I had procured a Groupon for a two-night stay at a ski resort about two hours from here. In the summer it turns into a hiking-fishing-golf resort. The Groupon covered the shoulder season, when it’s too late to ski, but it’s too early to fish. But we didn’t care because our criteria for a getaway were: 1. Get. 2. Away.
However! Our supercheap Groupon only got us a ground floor one-bedroom suite. When I called, I dutifully asked, “Is there any chance we could get a terrace or a balcony or anything?”
“Sorry!” the Very Nice Phone Man said. “We can’t upgrade the Groupons.”
I had a little moment here, a little pause in my soul. I knew I had to channel my inner cheapskate/complainer because otherwise I would have Lulu to answer to. The problem is, I cannot tell a lie. The reality was, it wasn’t actually a lie—it was complicated. But complicated = hard to explain. And did I mention that I cannot tell a lie?
The Boss had not actually started her chemo yet. She was going to be in the thick of it when we arrived at the resort, and we didn’t know how it was going to go. I started to imagine The Worst Case Scenario. (Because I’m very good at imagining The Worst Case Scenario. It’s one of my inborn talents.) Then I started talking.
“Yeah, see, so this is a girls’ getaway weekend, and one of the girls is undergoing chemotherapy, and she gets really sick, (and by “gets” I mean “might get”) so we were thinking it would be great if there was a way to bring the outdoors to her without her having to like, walk down several flights of stairs.”
Very Nice Phone Man then said, “I got you covered!”
VNPM: We are all about making accommodations for people here. Let me see what I can do. [Pause for typing noises.] OK, I’ve got a great room for you with a balcony.
VNPM: Wait, wait! I can do better than that! [Pause for typing noises.] OK, you have a room with the best view in the place.
Me: Thank you so much!
VNPM: I have to write something on the reservation. What should I write? I’m thinking I should just write, “chemotherapy?”
Me: I think that sounds totally reasonable.
Fast forward six weeks. The Boss and I are a few miles from the resort. Lulu is meeting us later. The “problem” is that although chemo has been excruciating, the Boss has handled it with her usual aplomb/courage/kick-assedness. She doesn’t look sick enough to justify the special treatment.
“OK,” I say, “here’s the thing. In order to get us a balcony, I had to, like, explain a few things to them.”
“You played the cancer card?”
“I played the cancer card.”
Happily, the Boss is totally in favour of playing the cancer card. And, really, why the hell not? Can I just say for the record that if you’ve never had cancer or watched someone close to you have it, CANCER SUCKS ASS WAY MORE THAN IT DOES ON TV?
“So,” I said, “the thing is, you need to look sort of…sick. Like, enough to justify the balcony. I might have told them that you can’t walk up and down stairs. I might have made a little speech about bringing nature to you.”
The Boss was all over it. She grabbed my arm and I “helped” her walk up the desk. We approached slowly, We tried not to laugh. We started to check in, and OMG, then she started freestyling.
I had pulled out my “It’s girls’ weekend!” card and was attempting to make small talk with the Desk Clerk Who Was Not the Very Nice Phone Man. (I had, irrationally, hoped that Very Nice Phone Man would be working at the desk. But it’s a ginormous resort with a bunch of different properties, and, probably, a call centre in Chennai.)
Somehow the talk jokingly turned toward how we’re going to be painting the town red. [Editor’s note: we stayed up till 10 pm the first night and 11 pm the second. Eleven was a stretch.] The Boss comes out with, sotto voce, “Well, you girls will have so much fun! I wish I could come with you!”
“Yes,” I said, picking up her cue, “But we’ll come back and trash the room like an 80s hair metal band, and you can participate in that.”
My friends, we got to our room, and not only did it include a balcony, but it was a two-bedroom suite on the top floor. They had surprise-upgraded us. And it really did have the best view in the place. Thank you, Very Nice Phone Man. No, seriously: thank you. We had more fun than you can probably conceive of. I would post the karaoke videos, but…not so much.
This is the part where it starts to sound like this post is sponsored by Blue Mountain Resort (I wish!). But honestly, from the first call to book the Groupon (Hi, Mr. Very Nice Phone Man!) to everyone we encountered there, they could not have been nicer or more helpful. The whole experience caused me to Google their corporate shit. I don’t know, these Intrawest people have some serous customer service good karma going on. (But then again, they’re getting their payback because we’ve already vowed to make it an annual thing. And a girl only has so many cancer cards to play.)
The moral of the story: I played the cancer card. I guess. But there really was cancer, and three girls spent two days having the time of our lives. So: Blue Mountain? THANKS. Breast Cancer? FUCK OFF.
An email from the Boss:
Teff Grain. It’s so good. I use it as a hot breakfast cereal and mix it with a little natural honey, cinnamon, raisins, berries, etc. I was reading more about it and it said “Many of Ethiopia’s famed long-distance runners attribute their energy and health to teff.”
So I conclude that if we eat it, we’ll be like Ethiopian runners, but in Canada.
So I just moved up to five-minute running intervals and called Lulu to complain about it. I got this voicemail in return.
Hi! It’s me! Oh my God, I’m so out of the loop with everything. I’m trying to get organized with my life. Yeah, I just went from the minute-and-a-half intervals to the three minute intervals. [She pauses for maniacal laughter.] I thought there was something wrong with my phone because I wasn’t prepared for it. I’m always like, ‘press a button, put my headphones on, and go.’ So I was very confused and thought I was dying.
I’m super nervous about the five minutes. But good for you, man, you’re like my superhero.
OK, call me when you can. I don’t really have any other news. I’m just sitting still here for a second and enjoying a beverage. OK, bye.
You guys, running is hard.
Remember how Lulu and I are training for a 5K? (And how the Boss—the cancer patient—is training for a half marathon? Hey, some of us were born great. Some of us have to work really hard for mediocrity.)
So we’re using this Couch to 5K app, which is basically a run-walk interval program. You run, you walk, you run, you walk. As you progress, the running intervals get longer, and the walking intervals get shorter. A nice lady turns down your music and says, “Now run! You’re doing great!” She’s very soothing and even-toned, this lady. It’s kind of disconcerting: she turns down my Gaga and announces, “Brisk walk!”
Really, it should be the reverse. Lady Gaga needs to record one of these apps. Imagine: At the appropriate time, Gaga rips though your brain shrieking, “You’re a freak bitch, baby! RUN!!!!!”
There are a zillion versions of this app, and I ask you in all seriousness, why not a Lady Gaga one? Somebody should run with this. No pun intended. (This is just like the time I invented that banana Tupperware thing in my head and then ten years later someone actually made it.) Come on, Gaga, come on, venture capitalists of the world: Mediocre girls everywhere need you.
We were dancing, Lulu, the Boss, and I. Because that’s what you do when you’re hanging out with your girlfriends and you have a get of jail/parenting card. The Boss said something about her bald head. It was semi-self-deprecating.
“Do you know what you look like to me? Lulu asked the Boss. “You look like a goddess.”
I had to agree.
A couple weeks later, the Boss and I went to the Keg (If you’re in the US, know that the Keg=semi-cheesy Canadian steak franchise. But expensive enough that you feel kind of classy). We took a picture which I can’t post because I don’t generally post identifying pictures here, but also because in front of me you can see 1) a “Keg-sized” glass of wine, and 2) a giant vat of butter for me to dip my crab into. (“Dip my crab into” should be a metaphor for something untoward, but I assure you it is not. I was literally dipping my crab.) There are only so many receptacles of yellow liquid a lady can countenance being photographed with.
The Boss had a hot flash. Who knew that was a side effect of chemo? Five to ten years of fake menopause, which ends just in time for the real thing!
“I’m going to have to take off my head scarf,” she said. “Is that OK with you?”
I sort of loved that she asked my permission. I was like, “Hells, yes! Take it off! Take it all off!”
This was the same lady who a few months ago was all, “I am not OK with being a person with cancer.” And yet, tonight, she was smoking. The makeup, the outfit–she had it going on. She just didn’t have any hair. It made her even hotter, in a “I am ripping up a picture of the Pope in front of you motherfuckers” sort of way.
The funny thing is, the Boss has this killer wig. It is to die for. I tried it on once, and I’m telling you, I have never looked so good. I’ve seen that wig a whole bunch of times, but never on the Boss’s head out in the world. I think this is telling. I think the Boss is braver than she thinks she is.
Wigs are hot and uncomfortable. So, apparently, are head scarves when you’re having a hot flash.
So she pulled it off. We were sitting at the bar. Then we went to a show (more on this later!). The Boss stayed bald the whole damn time. As we were walking from the restaurant to the show, she said, “Watch, watch how people stare at me.”
It was true.
I defended them. “Of course they’re looking at you. Who wouldn’t look at you? Think about it: you’re walking down the street, you’re on your way home, and all of a sudden this beautiful bald lady is in front of you. How can you not stare?”
My defense was heartfelt, but man, did they stare. Worst was the 30-to-40-something men. They seemed to be riveted to their phones, but then they’d look–just for a second–and then they were back to their phones. But the look–the look was killer.
“Do you know what you look like to me? Lulu asked the Boss, back when we were just dancing in our hotel room. “You look like a goddess.”
Yes, I thought. This is EXACTLY what a goddess looks like. Everyone is staring at her because how can they not? But also, SHE is staring at them. She is saying, “I’m hot, and I don’t want to wear my wig or my headscarf, and if you want to stare at me as a result, knock yourself out and BEHOLD ME.”
I might as well have been walking down the street with Kali. I learned about her in yoga teacher training. She’s the goddess of war and destruction, dark and violent and fierce. But also of life and creation, because you can’t have one without the other, can you? There are 108 ways to say her name! It takes a long time to go through them. Here we see her standing on top of Shiva, who is usually considered the Main Destruction Dude. (Because, you know, boys write history. And mythology But I digress.) Also, she is blue, so you would probably stare at her if you saw her sitting at the bar at the Keg.
“You look like a goddess to me!” Exactly. I just hope we can all remember, later, when everyone is healthy and distracted, what it’s like to be a goddess. Or what it’s like to walk down the street with one.
“There are a ton of things that could go wrong here,” said the Boss.
Unfortunately, we were halfway up a mountain at the time. A mountain made of mud. Hiking: it seemed like a good idea at the time.
“I could get dizzy and fall. And then I’d get a cut, and because I basically have no white blood cells, I could get an infection and die. Also, my heart is beating really fast, and I think I might have a heart attack.”
I turns out that when you’re going though chemo, climbing a mountain isn’t maybe the best idea. Especially when you’re halfway to the top when this occurs to you.
So we sat on a log, and we looked at the vista. And Lulu and I told the Boss our big news: we’re running the Scotiabank 5K in the fall in her honour. Of course, she’s running the freaking half marathon (TWO MONTHS after her last surgery) but, hey, for Lulu and me, a 5K is a commitment. Then we talked about side stitches and shin splints and run-walk intervals. We sounded very impressive. Also, a few tears might have been shed.
And then we went back down. Slowly. And not because of any chemo-induced fatigue, but because that dang mountain really was made of mud.
“I had to double up on how much I smoked because there was a kid crying in the parking lot, and it gave me PTSD.”
“Have some Bailey’s because it has milk in it.” (To the Boss, who asked if anyone had any antacids.)
While drinking wine directly from the bottle: “Is this what alcoholics feel like? This is why I don’t drink.” The Boss: “Alcoholics don’t drink rosé, dear.”
[Editor’s note: this makes it seem like all we did was drink. But really, we brought an ungodly amount of booze up with us and we returned with…an ungodly amount of booze. And we managed to stay up all the way till 10 pm the first night….and 11 pm the second night. So, basically Lulu is all talk. Which you already knew.]
“This isn’t high school! This party is going to go on until ELEVEN!” (When someone suggested she should calm down.) [Editor’s note: the party only made it till 10 pm.]
“I’m a little bit scared that you’re going to be so hot that you’re not going to know how to behave.” (To the Boss, on the topic of her post-chemo, post-surgical body.)
Don’t take my picture! You know what I look like in pictures! I look like someone else in pictures! (Horrified pause.) Unless I actually look like that.
I’m going to go outside and have a smoke, and when I come back, I want this suicidal music turned OFF! I need to hear some angry women. Give me some Pink.
“OK,” said Lulu as she came into the spacious (upgraded! but that’s another post!) suite she, the Boss, and I are sharing for the weekend. “I have an idea to discuss with you girls. But we’re not going to talk about it now. I don’t want to do a big lead-up because it’s not that great of an idea, but we’re going to talk about it later.”
The Boss: “I’m not doing a threesome.”
The phone rang at work, and when I picked it up I heard this:
“Don’t give me too many details about your life or else we won’t have anything to talk about this weekend—because we’re BORING!”
It was Lulu, doing the Lulu-shriek-talking. She, the Boss, and I are headed out of town for a little weekend getaway we like to call MOTHER’S DAY WITH NO CHILDREN.
Spa-ing, hiking, riding down some kind of crazy slide down the side of a mountain. My only regret is that the zipline where they let you go tethered together with two friends isn’t yet open for the season.
I tried to give Lulu the directions, because she’s meeting the Boss and me there, and she said, “Look, I’m just going to drive north and when I get close, I’m going to pull over and start texting you guys.”
“The weather is supposed to be bad,” I’d remarked in an email exchange earlier.
“That’s OK,” Lulu wrote.
That just means more time for the free entertainment show and earlier drinks. We could spend the whole weekend locked in a car and we’d still have fun—as long as it doesn’t get too hot. PS. I hate typing now since there is no auto correct – can’t they set that up on my computer?
What is this “free entertainment show” she speaks of, you might ask. Is it going to be like in Dirty Dancing, when you go to the resort and they put on a show in the dining hall and then later you “make friends” with one of the dancers and he helps you find your true awesome self and also you pioneer the unfortunate trend of rolled up cut off jean shorts?
No, the “free entertainment show” is merely Lulu’s unceasing colour commentary on life.
“OK!” she said as we were preparing to hang up. “You two–don’t talk about too much in the car! Talk about kids in the car!”
“OMG!” Lulu squealed. “Pink! I love you, but I’ve failed you! I’ll never be a backup dancer for you now.”
Lulu, the Boss, and I were watching Pink’s Grammy performance of Glitter in the Air. She and her dancers are on this ribbony trapeze thing way above the audience. At this moment, Lulu had to give up her dreams of backup dancer stardom.
The setting: a slumber party. Pink drinks were being consumed, because it’s a proven scientific fact that pink drinks enhance Pink. It’s also a proven scientific fact that pink drinks cushion the blow when one sees one’s career ambitions go up in smoke.
“She looks like Mary, Mother of Jesus,” I said. “But with glitter.”
“The three kings,” said the Boss, taking a sip. “They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I bet they brought glitter, too.”
Maybe they brought glitter and pink drinks. The third item was probably a massage therapist. It’s very likely it just got lost in translation.
“There’s a discrepancy,” said the Boss. “There’s a discrepancy between what I think and what I actually am.”
This post is about cancer, Chicklets. This post is no fun. We’re all about the “mock” here at Mock Chicken, but you can only mock cancer so much before you start to sound like an idiot. You have to recognize its power over you, if only metaphorically. They start to come at you with Stage X, blah, blah, invasive, blah, blah, and the smart thing to do is to listen to the doctors, to listen to the People Who Know. It’s important to do that.
But it’s also important to listen to your heart.
When the Boss was first diagnosed, she talked about starting her own blog. We talked about various titles and subtitles. DARK PINK was one of them, because though she was down with the whole “I’m fighting cancer” thing, she wasn’t so sure it was all going to be all daffodils and pink ribbons. I like to think, invoking Lily, that she was finding her goth self. Then we thought of BITE ME, CANCER.
Wait. You can’t say that. It turns out that having cancer isn’t a black and white thing. There is no line in the sand where on one side you’re sick and on the other—congratulations!—you’re cancer-free. It turns out that anywhere you have to fill out a form—at a spa, for instance—there is just a single box marked CANCER.
The Boss is, rightly so, like, “What does that mean? Like, ‘had cancer, ever?’ ‘Currently undergoing treatment for cancer?’ ‘Afraid of cancer?’”
She has a point. The word “CANCER” with a check box? “Yes! Every time I close my eyes, I think of you!” Or, perhaps, “No thanks, I think I’ll pass!
But what if you can’t? What if it’s already there, lurking despite your half marathons and your organic vegetables?
Then, I’m sorry to say, you’re fucked. Yes, there might be a silver lining, and I’ll get to that—we’ll end with that, for sure, but you people with the daffodils, you can pretty much go shove them up your ass.
Just to clarify: I don’t mean “you’re fucked,” in the “you’re dead” sense. I mean “you’re fucked” in the “now you are going to have to confront everything you thought you were and everything you thought was true” sense.
“There’s a discrepancy,” said the Boss. “There’s a discrepancy between what I think and what I actually am.”
Yes. This is true for all of us, is it not? But if you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and you have no hair and you haven’t been at work for five months, it’s a little more true.
“I’m not good at being with myself,” says the Boss. The honesty of this simple sentence hits me in the gut. I think I went to a year of yoga teacher training that cost several thousand dollars to come to this same realization. And I’m not trying to be glib here, I’m just breathless at the raw truth of the statement.
Lulu, the Boss, and I have spent a lot of time talking about what no one should never have to talk about: how to be honest with one’s children but not scare them. This is what it all boils down to, is it not? It might be as visceral as, “I have cancer,” but it might also be as seemingly simple as, “I’m not going to let the monsters come into your bedroom while you’re sleeping.” The difference is that she says the former and I say the latter—my son’s fears have to do with monsters raising his blinds—but what if the two are the same thing? How do you promise your children that cancer is not going to get you? You can’t. You have your statistics, and the statistics might be very much in your favour, but, ultimately, you can’t. And that’s scary. You frame it to be all about the kids, but it’s all so motherfucking scary. You’re supposed to say, “I don’t want to scare my kids,” and we get that, but maybe what we’re also saying is, “I don’t want to be this scared.”
When you’re young and you have cancer, no one wants to accept it. They’re all, “My friend who had breast cancer when she was 39 had a mastectomy and…blah, blah…” All I can really think to say is that cancer doesn’t give a shit how old you are. It is indifferent to your story, to your suffering. It is the great equalizer: it doesn’t care if you are 36 or 76. You can buy a hundred self-help books and none of it makes a difference. None of it is any truer than what you already know in your heart: this might get you. Maybe now, maybe later. Maybe NEVER, but you never know. And because you never know, it’s in charge, forever.
So you have your mastectomy. You have your chemo. You take your drugs. You are a “survivor.” But I think (and this is just me talking, I’m not putting words in the Boss’s mouth—I’m just projecting) that the awful/amazing thing about cancer, is that it makes you face your worst fear. And your worst fear, it turns out, isn’t a single thing. It’s everything mixed together. It’s: “how do I be by myself?” mixed with “what do I tell my kids?” mixed with “Do I check yes or no when they give me the ‘cancer’ box at the spa?” And that’s the thing about cancer: it’s not linear. It’s everything all at once. It’s too much.
I wish I had a clever ending. Sometimes I like to circle back to how I started, which is this case is:
“There’s a discrepancy,” said the Boss. “There’s a discrepancy between what I think and what I actually am.”
But I don’t think that’s actually true. I think the Boss is exactly who she’s always been. She’s facing cancer with the same relentless introspection she brings to everything. It’s just that this is harder. Much, much harder. If there’s a discrepancy there, it’s a version of the same discrepancy we all have, whether we acknowledge it or not. The difference is that she’s narrowing hers, much faster than the rest of us. She’s burning off the bullshit. The flames are cleansing, but they also hurt like hell.
I love that I send naked Adam Levine pictures as inspiration and you send lovely, moving literary masterpieces. I will continue to send pictures of Adam Levine naked as that’s how I roll.
A note from The Boss. She and Lulu and I have been trading bits of inspiration over e-mail as fuel for some difficult times. We have different ideas about what’s inspiring OBVIOUSLY. This is the first and last time that Adam Levine will be mentioned here, because that’s how I roll.
“I don’t want to look like a hobo,” said Lulu, looking around to see if anyone was watching before dumping her coffee on the ground.
Lulu, the Boss, and I were communing with nature. It was item #1 on the agenda of the 24-hour girlfest slumber party extravaganza that had just gotten underway.
Before communing with nature we went through the Tim Horton’s drive through. At our destination—a little forest reserve thing near the Boss’s house—the Boss produced some Bailey’s and proceeded to spike our coffees. Because we all know communing with nature is enhanced by Bailey’s Irish Cream. (Bailey’s Irish Cream is not paying me for this post. But they should be.)
Did you know that if you put chickadee feed on your palm and hold it out, actual living chickadees will land on you and eat out of your hand? This, the Boss assured us, was supposed to be an exciting prospect. So exciting that she produced about 10 pounds of birdfeed from her handbag (a handbag being another thing that enhances nature communing).
When Lulu and I sipped our doctored coffee and shook our heads, the Boss was indignant. “Are you kidding me? They land on your HAND, you guys! It’s awesome.”
“When I go to hell and they make me push large a boulder up a hill for all eternity, they’ll also make me do it one handed so that WILD BIRDS can land on my free arm,” I said.
So Lulu and I huddled a safe distance away while the Boss fed the birds. The Boss wins the communing award, for sure.
Lulu was the first-runner-up communer, though, when a few minutes later she was attacked by a squirrel. It ran up her leg. For real. “No word of a lie,” as Lulu herself would say. The only reason Lulu doesn’t take first prize is because her communing was of the involuntary sort.
After the screaming was over, Lulu was more philosophical. “I’m delicious,” she explained, when we asked why she thought the squirrel had so decidedly targeted her. “I’m full of sugar and chocolate at all times, so why shouldn’t I be?”
When we got back to the car, Lulu didn’t want her coffee any more. “Just dump it on the grass,” said the Boss.
“I don’t want to look like a hobo,” said Lulu, who apparently thinks that the vagabondily-inclined are known for dumping their coffee on the ground.
“This grass is dry,” I pointed out, because I like to be helpful. “It could use some liquid.” So Lulu dumped her Bailey’s-laced coffee.
Then we packed the car with nine pounds of birdfeed and went home to commune with Wii Just Dance 4, where I played Patrick Swayze, the Boss played Jennifer Gray, and Lulu provided the color commentary. “I had the time of my life,” the song goes. Totally.