Friday, April 1, 2011

But who are the Dutch?

Pink Submarine courtesy of The Bunny Hop

Yesterday was a better day.  I am hoping today will follow suit, but I've been too busy putting out small domestic fires around The Manor to have the time for even a rapid assessment. 

A submarine and five sub satellites surfaced in the moat, and we are waiting for what I suppose might be First Contact, except that we're fairly sure it's Captain Haddock and the Miniature Badminton Team dropping by to stock up on supplies. 

Then the rugrat, Buddy the Kitten, managed to chew through what turned out to be an important data cable.  I know it was a data cable because it sported a green tag labeled "data cable." Sven Feingold (whom we recently discovered was the biological father of Marlinspike Hall's Cabana Boy -- which brings on a host of migraine-inspiring genetic issues... but let's leave that for another time, shall we?) -- Sven Feingold, working tirelessly on a new section of the labyrinth in preparation for ManorFest 2011, happened to be leaving La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore's Very Private Apartments as I was lecturing the Bit O'Fuzz about his propensity for chewing electronics, and after a brief search in the left cargo pocket of his faded denim overalls, triumphantly pulled out four condoms, a feather duster, and a neatly bundled bit of cable, complete with the sweet green tag. 

Sugar-free banana-flavored yellow glow-in-the-dark condoms.

He's something of a Boy Scout, is Sven.

Fred and I spent a harrowing afternoon in Captain Haddock's vessel, The Schvitz, back in 2005 -- quite the feat in an area designed for single occupancy.  We made a quick run from The Moat to Le Havre, across The Channel.  We made it back to the manor in under a half-hour -- our introduction to his patented Corkscrew Technology™ that transforms the distance between large-mouthed rivers into... well, private little connecting Chunnels. 

The Captain's sub was built by Pierre Poulin of Québec and is slightly larger than his Guinness World Record model, weighing in at roughly 1500 pounds (sans Haddock).  If Fred and I could cram ourselves in there, the Miniature Badminton Team could've wedged themselves inside, no problem.  Even so, the guys have chosen to do their underwater traveling in pairs, comfortably nestled in tiny quilted goose down-lined living units that closely resemble conjoined oven mitts.  The Australian National University was *this* close to trashing their slightly defective Serafina units (the world's smallest autonomous subs, roughly 40 centimeters in length, with pink plastic hulls, and 5 size-C battery powered propulsion systems, complete with seven cute little propellers) when Haddock swooped in and purchased them for a song.  The renovations probably cost more than than the total purchase price for the five underwater crafts, originally destined for the offshore oil industry.

Did you know that a Dutchman built the first submersible in the early years of the 1600s?  Can anyone tell me who the Dutch really are?  Bonus points for pointing out the vast Dutch homeland, with a 100-word essay explaining its primary physical attributes on a contemporary, topographically-detailed globe.  Remember:  "Globes are... symbols of wisdom and you can often find them on the desks of great scholars."

Anyway.  (I wonder how long I can blame this blogging catastrophe on my penchant for ketamine?)

While waiting for The Team's laundry and List of Needed Sundries and while Buddy the Kitten is taking a well-deserved nap, I'm trying to get my head together.  If the ketamine treatments have anything to do with my improved sleep, I am already grateful.  I just need to remember how to wake up, as I usually go from a half-awake state to slight somnolence and back again in 40-minute cycles.  Now I am stringing 4, 5, and even 6 hours together without waking, time enough for well developed dreams and some restoration of spirit.

Tuesday, I thought that my hands might hurt a bit less than usual, and was trying to convince myself and every stray medical professional we came across that the infusions were, indeed, working, and that I must be close to the discovery of my personal magic number -- the lowest, most effective dose of ketamine.  Yesterday, I knew that was a bunch of hooey, but as I had already been strutting and crowing about it, tried to let the topic die a natural death.  If only Fred were a disinterested party, because the first words out of his mouth upon seeing my bright and cheerful visage yesterday morning were:  "Are your hands still better?"

So it just completely sucks that I woke this morning, after a sleep that actually qualifies as "restorative," to find my entire right hand a deep, dank purple and frosty enough to put the chilling properties of ice to shame.  Movement seems entirely normal but my perception of that movement is fucked.  My fingers feel *thick* and uncooperative, much like my right leg!

I will not have too much trouble hiding it, as there aren't many moments in the day when my right hand attracts any natural sort of attention.  The hope is that this is a passing change.

When I say the hand is cold?  I mean the hand is COLD -- "cold" capitalized, bolded, italicized, underlined, and colored arctic blue.  It burns like a mo'fo and demands an unduly large measure of my consciousness -- it's hard to ignore.

The only good thing may be that holding it cupped in my relatively balmy left hand actually feels nice.  Usually, my freezing body parts don't tolerate touch, even if logic says that the touch ought to be pleasant.  Hence, people are always annoying me with offers of luxurious socks, cashmere leg warmers, delicate fuzzy blankets, microwave-warmed bags of rice or beans or whatever... none of which can I put up with when put in contact with my body.

But warmth feels marvelous to this right hand.

To be obnoxious -- it's a calling! -- I only seem to tolerate the warmth that comes from my own left hand.

To say that I am tired of the weirdness of this syndrome is a masterful understatement.

So... I'm gonna sit here and hold my own damned hand until Haddock and The Team pop their respective hatches, then whip up some lunch for everyone.  It's hard to figure the right amount of food when the athletically talented but physically challenged miniature badminton team drops in.  I mean, they had a pre-dawn intense practice session, then made an undersea journey of considerable length (and depth)... plus they skipped breakfast, the rascals.  Factor into the equation that The Captain's appetite is famously voracious, and that Bianca has invited Sven to join us at The Captain's Table -- Sven who has mentioned several times, eyes all a-twinkle, how famished he is this morning.

We are letting most of the Domestic Staff have the weekend off.  No weekend guests are scheduled for occupancy.  Abbot Truffatore has been called to Rome (we hope it's nothing serious) and the grounds are really too wet for much earth-moving.  We're weary from running around Tête de Hergé and, since Fred has resigned from the Board of Directors to the Militant Lesbian Existential Feminist Congregation, his schedule is lighter than normal.

So I'm thinking comfort foods, comfort cooking -- baking breads, making one-pot wonders, that sort of thing.  I'm thinking spooning naps, with kittens for needed softness.  I'm thinking maybe a haircut, maybe some light cleaning in the larger ballrooms and salons.  I'm thinking a short but tasteful memorial service for Tobacco Road basketball. 

And I am ignoring my colder-than-a-witch's-tit hand and the likelihood of its lack of cooperation.

A witch's tit (or witch's teat, to use the older spelling) supposedly left a marking that witch hunters and courts would look for on the body of an accused person. Supposedly, witches would suckle their familiars, and sometimes the Devil himself, from this "unholy" body part. To find these marks, as well as insensitive spots on the skin called devil's marks--caused by the Devil's claws or teeth--the suspects were stripped, shaven, then closely examined for any blemishes, moles, or even scars that could be labeled as diabolical. To find marks invisible to the eye, the examiner would poke the victim inch by inch with a blunt needle (called a bodkin) until they found a spot that didn't feel pain or bled. Discovery of these marks or spots--one supposes they would be considered cold since they were a sign of communion with the Devil--would be "proof" of the person's dealings with Scratch, so they would be shown in full court before the execution.

From The Chive:
Amazing ice sculptures before winter’s end

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Haddock Corporation's newest dictate: Anonymous comments are no longer allowed. It is easy enough to register and just takes a moment. We look forward to hearing from you non-bots and non-spammers!