Friday, June 27, 2014

A Week at the Zoo


If you spend a week at the Zoo, you're pretty much guaranteed to have fun. If you're lucky, you'll experience things that most humans have never been privy to, like having a one-year old growl at you with pure joy. 

Speaking of abnormal human behavior, Angie's patented 'frenzy clean' kicked off shortly before Nil and Tara arrived for the week. I rescued Peter in time, but David and Tommy were caught in the cross-fire and we had to leave them behind. As it turns out, they actually had no problem jumping on that grenade.

A trip to the Zoo wouldn't be complete without at least one or two trips to the ice-cream parlor. Per day.

By that rationale, a trip to the Zoo wouldn't be complete without at least one or two beers. Per hour.

On one of the nights where we actually got all the kids to go to bed, I convinced the adult-types to play poker.

As any self-respecting shark will tell you, cards can simply not be cut without having an honorary shot. Nil was the first to take the bait.

'What do you have?'

'How about Ponche?'


Nil's affirmative confirmed to me that she had already tasted the Spanish brandy that rivals any nectar the gods might partake in. And she wanted more.

I raced off to get the shot glasses and overlooked a minor point that almost killed Angie.

See, a few weeks ago, David's closet door inexplicably fell off its hinges. As you should know by now, strange shit happens to our family all the time. Our kitchen shelf pretty much did the same thing two years ago and I didn't blink an eye, so I did not even bother asking why a perfectly mounted door felt the urge to unhinge itself.

Angie didn't ask either, but she did volunteer me to fix it. I don't know why, though; I've proven time and time again over the years that I am crap at anything that involves tools. It would be like if I ignored Angie's track record and kept bugging her to cook me a hot meal.

In any case, I had removed the screws from the torn hinge-plate, or whatever it's called, and came to the brilliant conclusion that the 'screw-holes' were stripped. I proudly announced this prognosis to my lovely wife, along with my ingenious solution, which was to simply go out and buy bigger screws.

On the odd chance that I was wrong, I decided to keep the original screws. When trying to find a place that I would remember weeks later when I actually got around to buying bigger screws, my thought process kicked in. Screws? Hmmh. Screwdriver. Orange juice. Vodka. Alcohol. I know, I'll put these useless screws in a shot glass!
Weeks went by and before I could secure bigger screws, Opa stopped by. I was at work, but Opa knows full-well that I am fix-challenged when it comes to anything under a roof and didn't even bother waiting for me to hold a flashlight for him as he fixed the door.

I came home and Angie summed it up nicely.

'My dad was here today and fixed the door that has been broken for over a month now.'

'That's great, honey. What's for dinner?'

And that is how neither one of us ever spoke about the closet malfunction again. Until now, of course, when Angie almost choked on a shot of Ponche laced with four undersized screws.

Luckily, Angie has a strange drinking technique where she closes her teeth and only allows liquid through. Me, I would have totally chugged metal, but Angie managed to somehow choke-spit-gag the screws out. Even more impressive is that she was able to simultaneously punch me in the arm and start screaming insanities about uxoricide.

Being married to a feisty Quiz Mistress does, believe it or not, have some disadvantages. One that comes to mind is that I, unlike her, did not have nine years of Latin, so I had to ask Google to translate crazy-wife talk to something I could understand. That's when I discovered that 'uxoricide' is Latin for 'a man who murders his wife'.

'Ha! You didn't die.'

And that's pretty much when the night ended. Luckily, David's victory bugle kept the night short.

A trip to the Zoo wouldn't be complete without at least three kids boring the crap out of debatably innocent bystanders. For David, it was a Monopoly marathon.

It probably wouldn't have been as boring if David hadn't won every time. In his defense, though, he always wins.

For Peter, it was his Country Report.

This is actually the second version of his Country Report, which brings me to the funny little story about how I made Peter curl into a ball and cry.  Again.

See, Peter's poster was actually finished a week ago. Saturday, to be exact, which coincidentally happened to be the same day when Angie forced me to change the kitty litter. I know, I know, we are just a balloon full of fun and sexiness.

Anyhow, I proceeded to dump the old kitty litter and wash the box with hot soapy water. When it comes to scrubbing the cat's poop box, I have less patience than Angie, so I did not wait for it to drip-dry; no, my brain rightfully thought that the right approach was to carry the dripping mess straight through Peter's room and to the balcony to let it dry, even if by doing so meant that water droplets would completely destroy my first born's class poster that was wrongfully placed in my wrath.

After Peter stopped crying, I laughingly convinced him that a second version is ALWAYS better than the first. As Peter tearfully re-drew his poster, I switched to poster children that were hell-bent on scaring the crap out of new female-types that were invading his home.

In Tommy's defense, Tara really did look terrified.

A trip to the Zoo wouldn't be complete without at least one weirdo stopping by unannounced to watch the U.S.-Germany soccer match.

Thanks, Eisi.

While we're on the topic of unexpected events, no trip to the Zoo would be complete without at least one unplanned visit to the clinic. Tara's trip to the ER began on her second to last night in Germany, shortly after she decided to see what happens when you run headfirst down a set of stairs REALLY FAST.

Luckily, Tara took it all in stride and did what any sane person would do after a hard night with the Johnson's.

So, yeah, if you spend a week at the Zoo, you're pretty much guaranteed to have fun. If you're lucky, you'll probably also experience things that most humans have never been privy to, like having a forty-one-year old growl at you with pure irritation for laughing at her while she tries to clean up popcorn kernels that were gleefully scattered by wild animals wearing yellow shirts.

Ladder Talk: No Ladder Talk this time; instead a BIG BIG thank you to Nil and Tara for the wonderful visit - come back again soon! If you dare.

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