In My Insufferable Tribe. | Home

16 Dec 2019

For a Change.

Written by sally @ 1:08 pm — Section: sally

1. A few Friday nights ago, Larry called and asked if I had a broom he could borrow to poke a possum with. Of course I said yes, because what fool doesn’t have a possum-poking broom at the ready? He had trapped one and he and Spike were going to let it go in the woods near my neighborhood, only they got to the Possum Release Area and discovered that the possum was no longer in the cage.

“Hey,” I said to my boyfriend, who had just walked in. “You know how it’s been a few years since you’ve seen Larry? He’s coming over to borrow a broom to poke a possum with in about 30 seconds.”

If at all possible, this is how your new(ish) boyfriend and ex-husband who were friends in college should reacquaint themselves. They should have a shared goal of poking at a possum while you stand in your driveway and crack up.

By the way, they never did find the possum! It apparently made its escape/fell out of the truck/is on a grand adventure. But let it be known that I was there with a broom. (“It’s Shake and Bake, and I helped.”)

2. you see I have always wanted things to be
beautiful
and now, for a change, they are!

–Frank O’Hara, “Poem”

3. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai was the best book I read this year. I can’t tell you the worst because I stop reading when I get bored and move on to something else. There is no contract that says you have to keep reading books you don’t like. I promise.

4. I’ve been watching My Three Sons in the morning while I’m getting ready for work, only I have to leave before the end so I don’t see how things resolve. The internet is not just bursting with MTS synopses, though there is a listing on Wikipedia with super-brief TV Guide-style synopses, like so: “Ernie and Dodie are confined to their rooms.” If you’re like, who the eff is Dodie? then you’re not alone. She’s basically the Cousin Oliver of the MTS universe, the wisecracking daughter of Steve Douglas’s new wife, Barbara. Anyway, I got very into/obsessed with a plotline a few weeks ago and could speak of nothing else, and basically alienated everyone I care about. Chip has a girlfriend named Polly who suggests they elope even though Chip is kind of like a piece of cardboard. Oh, cardboard! Wouldn’t it be nice? It turns out she has a bad dad and wants to escape into the sweet arms of Chip. On and on, every episode, she was relentlessly hinting about their future. CHIP DO YOU THINK I’M SPECIAL? CHIP DO YOU LOVE ME and he’d shrug and say “sure” and kiss her on the cheek. OH CHIP MY CHIP LET US RUN AWAY. And then…they did! I couldn’t believe it. MTS set me up like some pins and I fell for it! It seemed so obvious and yet I couldn’t believe it happened! Chip was so disinterested! He was like “yeah yeah, woman” and then would go back to chucking Ernie on the shoulder or throwing a football at Uncle Charley or whatever. How could Polly manipulate him so easily? And look: was this so commonplace a practice in 1970 that it could be a not-insane plot point on a mediocre sitcom? Was this just how the writer saw women (always tryna get that man to lock it down) or was this a widespread belief?

On today’s episode, Ernie and all the Douglas men get played by a beautiful liar named Debbie who gets them to fix her car. Chip helps out and, in the process, dares to speak to directly to her, which Polly does not like, as she didn’t put in a season’s worth of hinting around to share Chip’s sweet ass with someone named Debbie for Christ’s sake. They discuss it over a game of checkers, and then Chip hops his piece across the board. “King me,” Chip says, and Polly says, “REALLY, CHIP?” and then throws the checkerboard on the floor. This is my favorite show.

One Response to “For a Change.”

  1. Danielle said:

    Same re: the Great Believers.