The Green Behemoth

Now that I’ve moved out, I can share this story publicly.

There I was, on the porch of my new second-story apartment, trying to heave all 8’3″ of my green couch through a very narrow entrance. My dad was on the other end, and together we were doing everything we could to defy geometry.

It was never going to fit. With a sigh, I plunked my head against the pea-soup green fabric. It was the end of the road for Green Behemoth and me.

In that moment, my mind traced the miles I’d brought GB, clear back to South Dakota…. Continue reading “The Green Behemoth”

Peace and War: a Tale of Three Mice

It began with a rustling in the walls. Then glimpses out the corner of my eye.

Then I saw one.

A mouse. In. My. Kitchen.

I went on red alert and did…well, pretty much nothing. I considered telling the apartment office that I had mice, but I just figured they would charge me pet rent.

So, I covered my butter, swept up my crumbs, and figured I’d live and let live. The uninvited guests didn’t worry me, and really, since I didn’t have any traps, I didn’t feel like making a special trip to the high-scale dollar store. (Did you know you can’t get out of there without paying $1.08? I mean, what kind of false advertising is that?)

And then came the day I found craters in my taters. Continue reading “Peace and War: a Tale of Three Mice”

What Happens When You Go to the Movies Alone

So there I was at the movie theater on a Saturday night…alone. (Yes, I’m one of those people.)

Since the theater was lightly occupied, I’d selected a seat smack-dab in the middle of the row. A smattering of couples sat here and there, the nearest being down the row on my right and one three rows down.

The movie was more than half over when I noticed the guy a few rows down get up, leaving his date. (A strange fact about me: I always notice when someone is missing out on the movie. I wonder what on earth could be so important to forego the foundational pursuit of answering “What’s going to happen?” I make up scenarios in my head…and end up missing that much of the movie myself.)

In my official deduction, Mr. Truant had consumed too much Coke, because when he returned, he did not have any additional concessions in his possession. (Go ahead; say that three times fast. It’s fun.)

As much as I thought I was tuned in to the movie, my brain was busy tracking Mr. Truant’s movements. Not because he was attractive or noticeable, but because even I knew he’d missed his turn. His girlfriend was three rows down, but he just kept coming up the stairs. Continue reading “What Happens When You Go to the Movies Alone”

A Starbucks Script: as told by baristas

What would the script look like if Starbucks baristas could make an honest welcome video? Probably something like this…

Manager/barista: “Hello, welcome to America’s favorite barely-coffee shop. Fall is only nine months away, so that could mean just one thing: you’re wanting to order a pumpkin spice salted caramel chai mocha frappuccino. Let me get that started for you. Your total today is a mere $25.73.”

Barista 1: Many customers comment that it’s hard to remember what our sizes are. Here’s a tip to help you remember: tall is small (and small is tall), venti is plenty, and at only 12,000 calories, grande is…just right.

Barista 2: All baristas love making frappuccinos. In fact, we look forward to when school goes back so that we can see the kids before and after school each day ordering the ten-step drink and spending their parents’ money wisely. Continue reading “A Starbucks Script: as told by baristas”

The First/Last Christmas Tree

It was December and I was wearing shorts and sunscreen. There’s something wrong with this picture, I thought.

My family and I had just traded hemispheres, and this was our first Christmas Down Under. Only a couple weeks before, my parents, older brother, and I had stepped off the plane from the States onto New Zealand soil, where we planned to settle.

Christmas in summer was the new normal. Gulp.

When in Rome, right? Barbeque for Christmas dinner? Of course! Go to the beach after opening “prezzies?” Why not? Watch the Queen’s address after tea—naturally! Continue reading “The First/Last Christmas Tree”

The Martian Nativity

No one knew when it had started. Or why. But everyone suspected who…and that’s why no one attempted to change it.

We called it “The Martian Nativity.”

In my church—which I dearly loved—we kept a closet of Christmas decorations. Only the Lord and possibly a retired custodian knew how long some of those items had been there for…or from whence they had come. Deep in the recesses resided Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. They seemed like perfectly normal lawn ornaments: a dull plastic, hollow for illumination, and who knows how old. Every Christmas they were automatically propped front and center on the elevated platform, from the week after Thanksgiving until somewhere after the new year. Continue reading “The Martian Nativity”