Why Aunt B. is So Grouchy Today

My intern promised me he’d come back yesterday afternoon and deliver some stuff around campus for me. When I got to work, late, today, I discovered he never came back. I had to cut out of my staff meeting early to get it done.

When I got to work late, I also had a bunch of computer and logistical nightmares to deal with as I attempt to arrange the meeting for which the intern was supposed to deliver the packages.

I got to work late because the Butcher locked me out of the house this morning. Here’s how it went. I woke up at 5;45 to walk Mrs. Wigglebottom. I notice the Butcher is still not home from his exciting night out. I take a moment to hope that he’ll make it to work, but give it no more thought.

Mrs. Wigglebottom and I are just about to the right turn and we see the Butcher tooling down the road. We wave and laugh and he goes home to get a few more hours’ sleep and I go on with my walk.

When we get back, the front door is locked. I don’t have my cell phone with me because it’s in the kitchen, charging up. I knock. No response. I knock louder. Still nothing. I go around to the back and holler for the Butcher. Nothing.

I root around in the recycle bin for something firm enough to pop the front door lock (this can be accomplished with a credit card). But of course, everything in the recycle bin is soggy and limp.

More pounding.

I go through the neighbors’ trash looking for something firm. Nothing.

More pounding and yelling.

Through this all, Mrs. Wigglebottom has apparently decided I have lost my mind and she is steadfastly refusing to participate. She’s at the far end of the leash, cowering and pulling as far away from me as possible.

The cats, however, have emerged out of nowhere, and they’re doing whatever they can to help. Do I need more folks in the recycle bin? The cats volunteer! Do I need more folks rooting around in the neighbors’ garbage? The cats are in there with me. Are we running back and forth between the front door and the back door? No problem. Are we yelling loudly? The cats yell too.

I think the cats probably thought this morning I had truly become one of them.

Finally, I put on my sweetest, nicest voice and stood under the Butcher’s window and said, “Butcher, hey, Butcher. I have cookies.” To which he replied, “mrhrmrhhmrmrgh.” But at least he’d replied!

So, with that, I kept tempting him with cookies. And finally, he yelled, “What the fuck do you want?” And I could say, “Let me in, fuckhead.”

No, no I don’t know what a fuckhead is. Perhaps it’s some kind of fish, like the crappie. But that did the trick and he came down and unlocked the door.

So, today has not been fun, but we’ve learned some valuable lessons:

1. Though you can break into our house very easily with a credit card or driver’s license, apparently we’re safe from any burglars who can only afford implements made out of cardboard.

2. Mrs. Wigglebottom is, at heart, a chicken.

3. The cats, especially the small cat, are very brave.

4. The dog loves order and routine.

5. The cats love chaos, surprises, and the chance to be loud and messy.

6. My intern is utterly undependable.

7. I love to make lists.

Also, one last thing made me grouchy. After I’d delivered my packages, I decided to leave a complaining and bitter note in the Professor’s mailbox (my motto: why not inflict your misery on the world?). I went into a building, and up to the third floor and started wandering around looking for her mailbox.

The longer I looked, the more frustrated I got, and confused. How hard can it be to find a bunch of mailboxes?

And then I realize that 1. I’m totally in the wrong building. I need to be next door. & 2. Her department is on the first floor anyway.

I need some sleep, I guess.

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