Monday, September 28, 2009

What Do You Do When There's a Dead Animal in Your Wall, and it Somehow Complements the Week You've Been Having?

Howdy. Hope everyone survived the weekend.

What I'm reading:

Just finished "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman. Loved it. It's told in the present, with tons of flashbacks, and since the book I'm writing now is like that, I was really excited to read it and see that style work.
Gayle Forman did an excellent job weaving the past and present together. So good that I'm half inspired, and half wanting to throw my book away because I suck.

What I'm Writing: I'm doing a bit of tweaking on a finished project.

What are y'all reading and writing? Any good books? Seen any good movies? Do you write a blog? What blogs can't you live without? Now's the time to promote it. Let us know what we should all be reading in the comments section today.

1. I'm Available for Speaking Engagements... Ha ha.

Do you ever have those weeks where your life is not quite going according to plan? During these times, I survive by imagining my future successful self, giving a speech to, like, school kids or cub scouts or recovering addicts, about how I've triumphed over weeks like this.

My speech this week would start out as follows:

"I totally remember this time, when I was a chubby housewife... and my 6-year old got in trouble at school for laying his head in his friend's lap, claiming he was 'dying of boredom'... and my 3-year old puked all over me as I picked him up from his first bus ride home from the Pingree School for Autism... and my cankles turned out to be shin splints... and that one project I've been working on for years was crashing and burning in a metaphorical pile of goo in the middle of my kitchen... and there was a very weird smell coming from my laundry room, that made me think a rodent of unusual size had died in the wall... But look at me now."

And then I'll show them the bronzed remains of the animal I found in the wall, and my 6-year old who's now 16 and didn't actually die of boredom, and my other son who's 13, and no longer pukes from the Earth's rotation and he's a real life Doogie Howser, and the pile of goo is now a published book...

Hold on. My 3-year old just handed me a booger.

And then I'd show them a picture of the nanny who now is in charge of receiving boogers, so I don't have to anymore.

The speech would be met with applause, and nods of approval, and people would come up afterward and pet the bronzed rat.

How do you guys deal with the potholes of life?

2. Hopefully you don't deal with them like this guy...

I watched Sam play a tennis match, but it was hard to pay attention because the match beside them was so freaking entertaining.

It was two older men. One had a knee brace, and every time he stepped on that leg, he would scream. A primal, gutteral grunt.

And when he had to run after the ball - which in tennis, one does often - it sounded like this:


Almost like he was being tortured.

Lucy (who was there watching tennis... Ethel doesn't play) and I could only asume the man with the brace was being forced to play against his will. There must've been a long-range rifle trained on his head, and a micro speaker bud in his ear, with a sadistic madman screaming, "I don't care how much it hurts. Play, or your head explodes!"

I really wanted to stand up and say something like, "Sir, are they holding a loved one of yours hostage, and you playing this match is the only way to get her back? Use morse code and give me a sign. Blink twice for yes."

Sometimes his opponent would deliver a drop shot, and all of us spectators would groan and smack our foreheads. I'm like half his age, and there's no way I would even try for those shots. The crowd would mumble, "Oh man. He's going for it, isn't he?"

Brace Guy yells as if his bionic leg is only triggered by primal screams. By the time he achieves forward momentum, it's already bounced like 5 times and is now rolling off the court.

The guy then screams again and throws his racquet, as if he barely missed the shot.

Lucy and I figured his captive loved one lost a finger at that point, because Brace Guy was so P-O'd.

Every time he looked over to the spectators, we'd all suddenly become insanely interested in the grass. The trees. Our fingers. Anything that would keep us from looking like the heartless weenies who are snorting at the guy in the knee brace.

Brace Guy lost the match. Threw his racquet in disgust. The following day, police discovered a body under the viaduct, with a tennis racquet sticking out of the neck where the head should've been.

Just kidding.


  1. Nothing like having fans come to my tennis match only to not spend one minute actually watching my tennis match. What is funny is that this was an actual state tennis tournament with matches going on and this guy was screaming at the top of his lungs for 90 minutes.

    When those guys started playing, I was sitting next to my opponent and he looked at me and said, 'Is that serious' and pointed over to the other guys. Yes, brace guy was deadly serious. As the match progressed, I cursed myself that I did not have a defibrillator in my car as well as some knives to perform an amputation of the guys leg because the way he was screaming throughout the match...I really thought that we may have to cut it off.

  2. Your posts always crack me up. Hey, if you're really ready for a speaking engagement, I'm the president of our local moms club. ;) I have a post up about banned books week (, and am reading scathingly controversial books to my 2 year old in honor of the week. Re: first person, did you see the recent discussion on Suey's blog?

  3. i deal w/potholes in my life by fallling in.

    funny post brodi!

  4. Sam- why don't you scream more during your tennis matches? Then we'd watch.

    Infant- I loved your post. Especially when you said, "I'm less frightened by what my son might learn from a book than by the prospect of a world that decides for him what knowledge he is allowed to access."

    If I had a month, I still would never have been able to write such a succinct and eloquent statement.

    Dorien- Let's fill our potholes with water, and take a swim.

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  6. Remember how in old movies the refined ladies never have to step in potholes (or similar road hazards) because there's always a gentleman to cover them with his jacket? I think everyone needs a jacketed gentleman like that.

    (I always wondered, what does that guy do with his jacket after it's been covering the wet, disgusting pothole? Does he put it back on?)

    I only have one question: did the dead animal COMPLIMENT your week, or COMPLEMENT your week? :) You might need to make that distinction, because I could totally see a dead carcass sitting up and saying, "Hey, really nice week you're having there, Brodi."

  7. My life is nothing buy potholes right now. It's very hard to keep my chin high. But, mostly, I just try to do things that keep my mind off of it. I try to have faith and hope. I know things will work out. It's just a matter of when and how and if that "how" coincides with what I want.

    Anyway, I think your speech to the kids sounds like a winner. I'd totally applaud if I were listening to it.

  8. Jessica- Derh! I'm such a dork! Thanks for the correction. Yes, if the dead rat was actually complimenting me, that would be a whole different post.

    Jenni- Thanks. The only way out is through, right?

  9. Sadly I am not talented enough to blog and I doubt my life is that interesting enough to post about and actually have people read. Case in point, I had a crazy, unsatisfying (but got a lot of stuff done) weekend. It would have been better, if I hadn't missed your blog, Brodi. That is the sign that your life is entertaining and your blogs witty because we just have to keep coming back.

    I loved the bronzed dead animal, but sadly I couldn't have one in my house, compliments or not...I'd still feel guilty that he died in my house.

    Brace Guy sounds scary - he might need an intervention.

    The way I get through tough times, I just chant a little tune, "look on the bright side of life". Okay, I'm a trooper, I grin and bear it until it passes.

  10. Una- actually I don't want you to start a blog. It would suck all of your time, and then who would I have witty banter with?

  11. that kind of speech is the kind that would be rewarded by the whole audience giving you a slow clap and then turn into a full standing ovation!

  12. When you do your speaking engagements be sure to let me know, I'll come sit in the back row and applaud.

    Potholes stink. I go out to lunch with friends or watch an old favorite movie cuddled up on the couch or just scream at my kids (not recommended, but life is life and I accidentally give in some times).

    Today at my house was random chore day (no it's not scheduled in, I'm not that on top of things) and we went outside and hosed down all the windows/screens so we can open them a little more dust free for a few weeks.

  13. We actually had a rodent die in our wall a couple months ago (and, yes, it was sheer torture listening to it scrabbling at the walls until that point). The only plus about it was discovering rotting chicken in our deep freeze (that had followed the rodents example and died). Too bad we didn't discover it until a few hours AFTER garbage pick-up. Still, with that smell, we never even caught a whiff of the rodent.

    And you should be careful offering to speak. I'm always looking for something for our Young Women to do...

  14. Brodi - I love being your witty side-kick in the comment section! Yay, this just clinches it, I have no need to blog! =) You just made my day! I now I have purpose in life!

  15. Shellie- Only if the audience were made up of the daft.

    Debbie- I just screamed at my kid and told him it was your idea. Thanks!

    Jennilyn- the scratching at the wall? Creepy! I would've moved at that point. As for the chicken, maybe I should check my basement refrigerator.

    Una- You are easy to please.

  16. Brodi,
    My life is one big pot hole I am constantly trying to enjoy. I actually had a lady at Target buy me Lindor Truffles because she felt so bad for me. My son was having a melt down (to put it nicely!) because he wanted a new car seat. I had another lady come up and hug me and tell me to "hang in there". This is why I don't blog... my life is so boring or so embarrassing I would never want anyone to read it! Hang in there with the puking, shin cancer and boredom. If we lived closer, I would bring you some Lindor Truffles!

  17. The tears are again rolling. You've done it again! Great post Brodi Ashton. LOLH (LOL Hard) Now can we see a blog on my expertise in English to English translation?

  18. Monae- You could always mail me the Lindor Truffles... just sayin'.

    Aliss- that's for my next post.

  19. Candy-Gram? Did someone mention Candy-Gram aka candy-by-mail?!?!?!

    "Candy-Gram for Mongo..."

  20. Una- Do they have candy-grams? Because that would be very cool.

  21. Brodi. The tennis match is complete hilarity! Really? You watched this? And as for your week, the only thing that could maybe make it worse would be your sitting here at our house listening to babies cry and cry and cry (like you offered). Thanks again for the offer! Can't believe the dead rodent! Gross! Please let us know when the stench subsides. And if you'd like a speaking engagement, I can probably arrange for you to speak to our church youth group :) You're pure inspiration. Truly. And PS! I just read a bio on Thoreau. Did you know it took him FIVE years to find a publisher for Walden? Stick it out. You're in good company.