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Hi. I'm trying to think of another description to put here. Any ideas? I'll try again at 420.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Good morning!

I've just gotten up and fed my menagerie. The stupid menagerie is still growing. I bought two pretty little fish and one of them didn't last the first 24 hours. I would save it until the next time that I go to PetSmart but the house already has this fishy odor that I've noticed lately. I have to hide the cat's food so the dog doesn't find it and I seemed to have hidden one bowl of tuna cat food just a bit too well.

I guess it'll show up sooner or later. In addition to the new fish, there's a new generation of snails in my fish tank. I've been scooping them up with my little net and dumping them out in the yard. The other day while I was trimming the hedges, I saw a HUGE snail shell. Apparently, outside isn't bothering these snails. I just hope that I don't find their nest. I'd hate to stumble across a hundred huge snails.

I've heard that the snails are asexual and that they only need one to multiply. Who knows, there're so many of them in there and just when I think that I've scooped them all out with the net, sooner or later there's a bunch more babies. I think that I'm going to have to clean the entire thing out even though technically, you aren't supposed to. The bottom sludge (under the gravel) is supposed to be a part of the natural filtering system.

I've been thinking about getting a teaching job. In this state, they had such a teacher shortage that they lowered the standards...just a bit. They just said that you don't need a degree in Education. I think you just need a degree of any sort. I'm not sure. I have a degree...I could teach. I would imagine that with all the education that I've had, I would be able to teach at a few different levels. I could even teach nursing at some level. Like my father said, "Them who can...do. Them who can't...teach."

I'm only kidding. I wouldn't be anywhere without teachers and for most of my childhood, I wanted to be a teacher. So much so, that I used to snag work sheets after school and collect them. I had a very well stocked classroom...in my garage. It was stocked with hot educational materials. I had to be the teacher because I was the bossiest and the oldest of the group. Either one of those titles would have made me teacher. Oldest AND bossiest...well, the kids were at my mercy. Plus, I had the stolen work sheets and a bunch of #2 pencils.

I'm sure that the statute of limitations has run out on these crimes...but for the first time anywhere, I'm going to admit them here. I'm over the shame of it all.

Sometime around the Work Sheet Heist, I also pulled off the Strawberry Caper. We lived in a brand new subdivision, sort of like the Poltergeist neighborhood. It was Elk Grove Village, Illinois back when a farmer named Busse was selling off parcels of his farm to Centex Corporation. They built houses. A lot of houses.

Anyway, the people who lived across the street from me all had corn behind their back yards. We could run in the corn fields all we wanted to. We would even crawl around to see if we could get lost out in the fields.

One time when I did get lost, I finally made my way out into a back yard that had a strawberry patch next to the corn field. I was halfway out of the field, on my belly, waist deep into the strawberry patch. I ate every strawberry that I could find. After I discovered the strawberry patch, I would go back down the street and crawl through the corn field and come out at the strawberries. I never came all the way out, just as far as I had to come out to eat the berries.

The most daring and heart thumping jape that I had ever gone on...it cured me of a life that seemed destined to be headed toward crime. I was 7 years old and if I wasn't checked...and soon...I would be into some seriously criminal behavior before I was 8.

I had a girlfriend who lived very close to me. She and her family were going on a vacation. She had one of those mothers who kept her house full of goodies. They had individual bags of potato chips, graham crackers and Flintstone Vitamins. I planned my first inside job. I was lucky if I could make myself a butterball. I'd take a table spoon of butter, mix it up with a big spoonfull of sugar and mix it up. Then, I'd shape it and freeze it for a while. Those were good. And I would take a piece of bread, flatten it, spread butter and jelly on it and roll it up. Then, I'd cut the roll into tiny jelly rolls with a butter knife. I had fun cooking then and I have fun cooking now. But I digress.

While the family was going through that last mad scramble through the house, I unlocked the sliding glass door that led to the patio in back of the house. I went home and waited what must have been an entire 3 minutes. Then I went back.

Of course, I couldn't just cross the street. I had to use my usual route to houses across the street...the corn field. I came out of the cornfield in my friend's back yard, opened the sliding glass door and I was in. I ran to the kitchen for a few Flintstone's Vitamins and as I was chewing a handful of them and grabbing a bag of Jay's (not Lay's) Potato Chips...I heard the key in the door. They had forgotten something and come back.

Somehow, I ran to the back of the house and hid behind a bathroom door without being noticed.

The bathroom led to a bedroom and whomever came into the house came into the bedroom. I could swear that I remembered hearing my heart in my chest. I waited behind that door for what seemed like 2 days. Then, I left the house, ran home and hid in my room for a very long time. I never committed a crime after that.

Well, not a property crime, anyway.

OK, I'm going to take a shower and check out teaching jobs. See ya!



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