There are strangers in your life that you should never lie to:
Your doctor or therapist because they won’t judge you, want to make you healthier, and can only make the best treatment plan with your full cooperation.
Your lawyer because they won’t judge you and can only provide the best legal advice when they know all the facts.
Your dentist and oral hygienist because, regardless of your lies, as soon as you open your filthy mouth they know whether you’ve flossed or not.
Sometimes I like to fantasize that I’m actually as competent as everyone seems to think I am.
Being an adult means that you have the power to eat dessert for dinner, but the wisdom and self-control not to.
Last night, Beta spent half an hour out on the deck. She was wearing the wool cape I got her last Christmas. She had her new noise-cancelling headphones that block so many of the sounds that bother her. She used the new family telescope to check out the Pleiades.
That was pretty awesome.
The ancient Egyptians practiced consensual taxidermy
I got a fish tank a year or so ago. It’s one of those Back to the Roots garden tanks that support a betta and three plant buckets. We had an alge problem, so we added a snail. He gets around a lot, so we call him the SpeedSnail.
(The fish is Fish Stick. It’s what was for dinner the night we brought him home.)
Yesterday, I noticed that the tank walls were getting a little brown. I decided today was the day to clear the counters and do some maintenance on the tank. The first part of that maintenance is to take out the plant pots.
So, I take out the middle pot. The roots are a little long, but not bad. Take out the far left pot. That one is ew and I may need to invest in new growth rocks. Then comes the one with the spider plant in it. This was an experimental plant. I look in the pot and notice one of the rocks looks strangely smooth. And round.
We collect shells. I have several snail shells from various beaches and our yard. So the obvious first thought is, “who put one of the shells in there?”
Then I look at the tank, and all the alge. I look at the tiger-striped shell in my pot. And SpeedSnail took a quick trip back into the tank.
He must have climbed up the feeding tube, gotten across the rocks, and discovered there was no water up there. He sealed himself up, and waited for the water to come back.
I watched him for a while before I left to meet Quinn for lunch, and spotted him sneaking a peak from inside his shell. When I got back to the house, he was busy hoovering up alge as fast as he could.
So, the snail had an adventure. The tank will get nice and clean again. FishStick can make aggressive moves against a tank-mate that can’t care less about what he’s doing.
All is well.
Aye, lads, it’s chilly
But not as chilly as our boy Willie!
You see, he’s dead.
So goes an old family refrain. It comes out often during the winter, especially when someone remarks that “it’s a bit chilly.”
There’s a particular cadence, too:
Person 1: “Aye lads, it’s chilly.”
Person 2 (not in the least bit somber): “Not as chilly as our boy Willie.”
Everyone (in a cheerful chorus): “You see, he’s dead!“
We’ve lost the genesis of it, but Megh thinks there was a second refrain as well. “Something about being colder than a witch’s tit,” she says, but can’t remember more.
As a mathematician, I take care not to be caught doing philosophy. When I buy my copy of Philosophy Now, I ask the newsagent to wrap it up in a brown paper bag in the hope that it will be mistaken for a girly-mag.
Mike Alder, Newton’s Flaming Laser Sword
Shhhh… Soldiers don’t have bedtimes.