Prunes and Prism

RULES FOR YOUNG LADIES: Some arch advice on snagging a husband. Exercising the mouth into a pretty shape through repetition of certain words seems to have been an indoor sport for young nineteenth-century girls; in Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens' overly bred girl repeats, "papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism." (

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Meet the Mess

If a headache lasts for two days and doesn't respond to painkillers -- but you can apply eyeliner and make a pot of coffee without seeing flashing lights in your peripheral vision or puking -- then is it still a migraine?

Friday my head hurt so badly I couldn't remember Joe Lieberman's name when I saw him at the American Airlines departures area at LaGuardia. All I could think was, Hey, hey, it's ... it's ... The Grand Nagus!

I said to the cab driver, "Hey, that's Al Gore's running mate -- what is that guy's name?" He whipped around and said, "Bill Clinton's here?" And I said, "No, that other one -- " And here, again, I could only think, The one who's married to Hadassah!

Finally the driver yelled, "Lieberman!" and I yelled it too, and we both did that thing where you throw your hands up in the air and repeat the obvious thing you couldn't think of and bob your head a little.

This is one of the many reasons why I will never be a talking head on Meet the Press. The first and foremost being that I am not, strictly speaking, the press.

Then I went inside and got a real Coke from Sbarro and put my head down on a table in the food court. I was looking at the headlines in Hudson News (Britney pregnant, again! Angelina Jolie, not pregnant anymore!) and thanking the baby Jesus that no paparazzo would profit the dollahs from catching me slumped over with my hair making a big Kewpie-doll spray in my fist (one of the few poses in which my head didn't hurt).

When I got home my dad gave me one of the pain pills left over from his bout with pleurisy(!), and despite a fitful night of dreams in which Grace Slick narrated just off camera, the headache is, for the most part, gone.

On a sad note: I called the Comrade before dinnertime, and he thought I was coming home tonight. I'm not sure how he could have thought I'd be turning around and coming back the following day, but now that I think about it, I do remember him saying something like that, and I'd had no idea what he was talking about but vaguely agreed. I think we both have gotten so used to not understanding what the other one is saying all the time that we're too quick to affectionately ignore each other. I called him again after dinner and he'd eaten a whole Entenmann's pecan ring. "Are you depressed?" I said. "No,"* he said. "I just wished to eat.** And I wanted some hydrocarbates."

My mother laughed so hard at this she turned red and lifted her feet off the floor.

*Somebody thinks very highly of herself, I guess.

**Oh, to live in the country of men, in which a pecan ring can be just a pecan ring.


Anonymous EndureForte said...

Heh, heh....sometimes a pecan ring is just a pecan ring and a hydrocarbate is just a hoot!

11:34 PM  

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