Sep 10, 2016

The Devil Is in the Details: The Weirdest Conversation Ever

     Having strict parents that were on top of that both doctors was just as much a blessing as it was a curse. For one, I knew — before the tender age of ten or even maybe eight — what catheter, prostate and urethra were (my father is a urologist, can you tell?) which has come in handy countless times in my life so far. And by countless I mean that you can't even count all the times catheter, prostate and urethra came in handy because they weren't any, but still — knowledge is power and my inquisitive nature has never minded knowing useless bits and bobs. What I did mind was the curse part, the part where I was trying to feign being sick so I could skip school. With two doctors in the house that posed quite a challenge, but I'm proud to say I was successful on several counts. And in the end, all the plotting to outsmart my relentless jailers turned out to be yet another learning curve.
     So to successfully outwit your vigilant doctor parents and trick them into thinking that you're too ill to go to school, you have to cover all your bases. Of course I couldn't just cough and say I didn't feel well. And even simply warming up the thermometer didn't do, hell no, it was too basic, so I had to devise a far more elaborate plan. Here's what I did: early in the morning, I snuck a towel from the bathroom in my room, put it on the radiator to warm up, then covered my face with it for several minutes and kept my eyes open as much as I could under the hot towel until I felt my face burning. Then it was showtime.
     "Mom," I called with the frailest of voices like the little sneaky bastard that I was. "I don't feel well."
     Mom then felt my face, which was of course all red and hot because of the preheated towel, and upon noticing my red, watery eyes declared, "You poor thing, you really are coming down with something."
     BINGO!
     Needless to say, it was all smooth sailing from there: she gave me the thermometer and went to get ready for work as I stayed in bed, warmed up the thermometer in the towel and paid close attention not to overdo it — I was coming down with a flu or a severe cold, I wasn't dying.
     A few minutes later mom returned, checked my temperature and said the magic words, "Honey, you're staying home today, you can't go to school like this," and that was it — I outfoxed a parent, I bamboozled the alpha and the omega, baby.
     The first time I pulled this little stunt off and after everybody left and the apartment went eerily silent, I lay there motionless and wide-eyed thinking, "I did it. I can't believe I did it. I'm the ruler of the entire universe!" And from that moment on I knew: details, the devil is in the details.
     Who knew, however, that a lesson imprinted on my brain when I was a kid would after all these long decades lead to — just as the subtitle says — the weirdest conversation ever.
     "Hey, babe," I said to my boyfriend while walking the dog this Wednesday. "Where do you think I could get a pig's eye?"
     "A pig's eye? You need a pig's eye??"
     "Well, actually I need an orangutan's eye but I don't think that's a possibility so a pig's one will have to do."
     "You need an orangutan's eye but you'll settle for a pig's one and you're asking me where you could get it?"
     "Yes. And some chicken blood."
     "OK, you need to tell me what the fuck is going on."
     I guess I kind of fucking had to, right? And so I did: after many years of fostering the story in my head, I finally started working on the book I'd been wanting to write and since I know that the devil is in the details, I'm fully aware that you have to cover all your bases if you want your story to hold up. Coincidentally, for this specific story to hold up, I need to make some strictly scientific and highly empirical assessments and find out first hand a few things about eyeballs and blood. Human eyeballs and blood. Since I'm pretty sure that's out of the question (if you'd by any chance like to volunteer, do send me an email), I asked Google what the closest thing to a human eye was and it said an orangutan's one. Since, again, I'm pretty sure that's out of the question too, I set my mind on getting a pig's one, fuck it, it would have to do. And some chicken blood.
     "And here I was thinking that you're a complete psycho when, in fact, you're just a marginal one," my boyfriend gave his scientific assessment of the situation. But when I assured him that I wasn't concocting any magic potions, casting any spells or developing a penchant for witchcraft, we decided to go try our luck at the butcher's. And that's where things got really weird.
     "Hi there," I said with a bright smile to the butcher behind the counter in an otherwise empty shop, thank fuck.
     "Hello. What can I get you?" he said with a smile himself.
     "Um ... I'm sure this will seem somewhat odd but ... could I by any chance get a pig's eye?"
     Silence.
     "A pig's eye? You need a pig's eye?"
     "Um ... yes."
     "Well, that's a first. Let me think. Does it have to be a pig's one?"
     "Well, actually no, not really. What are my options? Could I get an orangutan's eye?"
     "Orangutan's. Funny." He thought I was joking. "I was thinking more along the lines of an ox or a cow or a chicken."
     "A chicken wouldn't do actually, but the other two sound great," I said.
     "Let me make some calls."
     Long story short, two days later I was on my way to the butcher's to pick up my eyes happy as a pig in mud. I better not tell you, though, what I did with them when I got them home — after all, the subtitle doesn't read Psycho Bitch, which is what my boyfriend's been lovingly calling me this past week. But you know what? Psycho or not, I was listening my father talk about old men who get these long, thin tubs stuck up their willies when they can't pee since I was born basically so trust me, handling a set of eyeballs doesn't freak me out nearly as much as it should or you think it would — oh, the blessings of having doctors for parents.
     I'm aware, however, that not everyone was lucky (or unfortunate?) enough to have someone desensitizing them since day one, so I'm going to be gentle on you and just say that after returning home with the slimy buggers, we got up close and personal, the rest I'm leaving to your imagination because the destiny of those bulbous suckers isn't the point — what I would, nonetheless, like you to take away from this story is simple: details. Details matter, because details are the difference between good stuff and great stuff, so always keep an eye on them (wink wink). Even if it means getting elbows deep in the vitreous humor.




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