Friday, May 15 2020

canada man, nun farts, and bags of dirt

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone - and happy Friday! I'm feeling proud of everything Marissa and I got done this week. Our home projects board is thinning out, the house is in good order, and I'm looking forward to diving into a long relaxing weekend with the family. I think this weekend, we'll just lay low and spend some time quiet time together. Sometimes you just need to hide out in your home and recharge the introvert batteries, you know?

I'm kidding of course. My batteries have been charging for... the last three months. But for whenever we do emerge from quarantine in full force, there's a sneak preview into what will be my favorite joke.

Amazingly, I'm not even sick of my family either. So far we have pretty good character chemistry, and Rodney remains at that fascinating age where his brain is mature enough to string together more complex ideas, but still young enough where he keeps us on our toes.

Lately he likes to hide things around the house. Mimi sent him a toy from the new Toy Story movie. We haven't seen the movie, but I gather that the stuntman and motorcylce is based on some silly Canadian version of Evel Knievel, so we just refer to him as Canada Man. Rodney played with his motorcycle most of the day, but Canada Man himself was missing, until I stumbled upon him while reloading the kitchen paper towels.

canada mans house

"Rodney," I asked. "What is Canada Man doing in the closet?"

Rodney wandered over to address my concern. "That's Canada Man's house," he replied. "Shhh..." he said putting his finger to his mouth. "He's sleeping." Rodney shoved me out of the way and closed the closet door.

Sip. We had a great day yesterday. Before going to bed on Wednesday night, I found a great recipe for Rodney and I to make together. It was a French dessert called "Nun Farts" - these little deep fried donut holes, and the combination of sugary donuts and a funny fart joke seemed like the ideal activity for a bored four year old boy.

Rodney excitedly climbed around on my lap while I copied the ingredients from the computer to a sheet of paper, converting grams to cups where I could.

"Let's do this, dude," I said, dragging the mixer out of the corner. Together we melted the sugar, milk, and butter, combining it in a large mixing bowl.

"So now it says this is all the flour we need," I said incredulously staring down at the small cup of flour. "Apparently, it should come together in a dough now."

The meager scoop of flour made a tiny splash in the bowl of sweet milk, slipping beneath the silky surface. The mixer continued to churn, but nothing happened.

"So we did something wrong, but from what I can tell, we just need more flour," I said. Rodney reached his tiny finger into the bowl, swiping the side and bringing it to his mouth.

"TASTY," he squealed.

Adding much more flour, the mixture thickened to a dough, and we moved operations over to the frying station. Rodney occupied his time by playing drums on the hanging pots and pans while I covered the dangerous part involving hot oil. We fried the entire batch of donut holes and rolled them in powdered sugar.

"These turned out pretty good," said Marissa biting into a sample.

"We did something wrong, because I had to use way more flour than the recipe called for," I explained. "I think they were supposed to turn out lighter... you know - more fart like."

Marissa pondered the metaphor while she chewed. "It's still kind of like a fart. Maybe one you held in for a while." The three of us snickered childishly.

We ate donuts, got our fill of coffee, and lounged the rainy morning away on the couch watching movies with Rodney. After a quick PB&J lunch, I threw on an acceptable outfit and headed out the door for the adventure of the day - picking up dirt from Home Depot.

This summer, Marissa is leading a little campaign to improve the grass situation in the backyard. And since it's been so rainy lately, it's a great time to put down grass seed.

"So I'm the order is twenty bags - it's going to be kind of a big one," instructed Marissa. "If they give you any trouble, just show them my ID or whatever."

I made may way through the Home Depot parking lot and stepped forward to approach the counter. I leaned in toward the mouth hole.

"I'm here for a pickup," I said.

"Name?" said the woman without looking up from the computer.

"Marissa Recker. Or Jensen - I think your website still uses my wife's maiden name," I replied. The woman gave me a puzzled look.

"I'm going to have to call Marissa and confirm that it's ok," she said, dialing her phone and bringing it to her ear. I could hear Marissa's chipper voice answer the dial tone. The woman nodded and handed me release papers.

"Sorry about the trouble," she said.

"No worries - I get it," I replied - even though if I'm being honest, I really didn't understand the stringent security measures around what was literally just twenty bags of dirt. Can you imagine if this dirt made it into the wrong hands? All that dirt unaccounted for fallen victim to the whims of a mad man.

"I should have messed with them a bit," laughed Marissa later. "What's his name? What does he look like. Does he have a mole on his back? Yeah - just make him take off his shirt for you real quick."

I slowly wheeled the cart of dirt out to my car. I turned down assistance from the other employees, because frankly it felt pretty good to do something active - especially after spending all morning eating nuns farts and watching movies. It felt good to move around.

Thanks for stopping by this morning, friend. Hope you have a wonderful day today, and have a happy Friday.