I found a page in the book of my life in a magazine ad

Published 4:05 pm Wednesday, June 3, 2009

By Madoline Thurn

I very seldom take the time to read the articles in the magazines that come flooding in here, let alone the advertisements. But one day not long ago, I was busy hunting something to do instead of ridding the carpet of animal hair. And there was this page in the magazine I was leafing through while trying to find something to read worthy of neglecting removing the animal fur from the carpet.

The page was covered with print, not even broken up into three columns or anything; just a tiny picture right in the center of the page, about an inch square. And a sentence three words long, printed in red ink, “We can help.”

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I read the whole page. I thought I was reading my biography. The first sentence was, “Make kids’ lunches.” Substitute that with “feed the animals.” Then swap the cats’ food for the dogs’ food. Because that’s the way they like it.

The next sentence was “call the plumber.” Substitute with, “try to find the plunger.” The toilet is clogged from some foreign object the grandkids flushed down it and the plunger is lost because they were playing outside with it, using it for Excalibur or something, considering the imagination of kids.

The next sentence was “get a haircut.” Forget that. Takes too much time. Just try to find a headband to keep my hair out of my eyes.

Next item on agenda was, “Spend some time on treadmill.” Ha. The treadmill has clothes and stuff draped all over it.

Instead, I’ll just run down to the road to get the paper. Of course, all the animals have to go, too. Only some of them can’t make up their minds. They wait until I get outside the gate to decide to go, too, and hence begin ear-splitting barking or howling or meowing or something.

Whatever. The neighbors will think I’m being cruel to animals, so I have to retrace my steps through the gate to open the door for them. Well, by this time, the ones that are already outside the gate are exploring the whole neighborhood. So I’m whooping and hollering and breathing out life-threatening threats. And all the neighbors know that I’m going to be cruel to animals.

Next reminder was “Weed flowerbed.” I did that on the way back from getting the paper and waiting for the animals to return home. Pulling weeds was preferable to reading the depressing headlines.

“Get a manicure.” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Weeding the flowerbed is as close to a manicure as I get.

“Get the fingerprints off the TV.” Substitute that with “Remove animal nose prints from front door.” Which they put there because they were being contrary, lollygagging around and wouldn’t come on when I was going to get the paper. And, I had to turn around and come back and let them out. Maybe I’ll just remove the storm door.

“Add vacation pictures to photo album.” Ha! It would take more than a day for that. All the pictures we have ever taken are thrown into a great big carton. Someday, when somebody decides to do something with this carton, it is a timeline: the closer to the bottom of the box, the younger the grandkids.

“Recaulk the bathtub.” Yup. Can you believe it? the grandkids gouged it out. Wanted to see if the bathtub would fall through the floor. But not today. I’m not in the mood. I wonder if they make grandkid-proof caulking.

“Replace empty paper towel roll.” Yeah, might as well. And while I’m at it, I’ll replace the empty toilet paper roll, too. Why is it, the paper towel and toilet paper always runs out by the person that uses them just before me? That’s a law of physics that I have pondered ever since I had a husband and kids.

I’m just going to place this page in a manila folder. Someday, if the offspring find it, they will know it’s my autobiography.

The picture right in the center of the page was of a bag of rice that you just pop into the microwave for 90 seconds. What goes good with 90-second rice? Butter?