Sometimes I worry that you think I’m only this way with him; that I can behave like a normal adult person out in public, but he somehow presses my adolescent-humor-plus-toddler-attention-span button.
Please know that this is not the case.
To prove it to you, let me tell you this year’s Saga of Crock Pots.
For those who don’t remember, I use mini crock pots in the makeup trailer at my haunt for keeping… various substances… warm and easier to work with. They’re brilliant, portable, easier than a microwave, and I can generally find one for $3-4 at the thrift store.
OFFSPRING: Good, you’re home
HIM: (hands off bag) Put groceries away.
ME: (waves mini crock pot triumphantly)
OFFSPRING: Why are you waving a pot of blood at me?
ME: There’s no blood in it!
HIM: (quietly) Yet.
ME: It’s not even for blood!
HIM: (quietly) Yet.
ME: Stop that! It’s not for blood! I’ve already got a blood warmer!
OFFSPRING: (putting up groceries) Fine, what’s this one for?
ME: (smug) Flesh.
HIM: (leaves, stifling laughter)
Unfortunately, I discovered two days before opening night that this new one was on a shelf at the thrift store because it was defective: it gets dangerously hot and I could do nothing to my gelatin recipe to keep it from scalding the actual flesh off any helpless actor in my chair. Authentic, true, but I try not to actually maim them.
It’s an insurance thing.
So, with no time to wait for shipping, it was off to Target. Husband insisted on staying at home—his thinking was that paying for overnight shipping might still be cheaper than whatever I’d find at Target, and usually he wouldn’t be wrong but they had this for $10. It’s way too big, but… $10! (And in red, so it’ll be tougher to clean… but cheap!)
ME: And that’s plus tax but without shipping…
HIM: (on phone) Yeah, just get it.
ME: Hang on, I want to see if they’ve got a smaller one. Even for the same price.
ME: Oooh. Red shirt! You! Red shirt! Hiiii! Hi. (smiles) Do you have more of these? Only, you know, smaller?
RED SHIRT: Ummm… (turns to other nearby red shirts) Do we have smaller ones?
DUDE RED SHIRT: No, that’s the smallest one we carry.
ME: But it’s too big.
OTHER RED SHIRTS: (begin counting floor tiles)
DUDE RED SHIRT: … Unfortunately, we don’t carry anything smaller. I’m sorry.
ME: Wow. I really set you up there and you just walked right past it. I mean, that was a perfect opportunity and… nothin’. Huh. Okay, I guess I’ll just take the giant one then. (leaves, bemused)
ME: You there?
HIM: Yeah, I’m just… amazed at the Target employee who missed a golden opportunity to say “I get that a lot.”
We have a friend, whom I shall call Kevin, who has a very specific anxiety disorder centered around awkward social situations. We call it his Three’s Company Syndrome, because he literally cannot watch an episode of that show, or any show that involves cringey moments like that—he has to leave the room, it makes him so sympathetically uncomfortable for these fictional characters. Awkward silences are physically painful for Kevin, and watching someone walk by with toilet paper stuck to their shoe gives him a headache.
Kevin cannot even watch me order a martini.
I’ve no idea how we’re friends, because those moments that cause him pain are honest-to-god fascinating to me.
Kevin would have had a stroke when I got to the checkout counter.
CASHIER: Find everything all right?
ME: Yup, just this. I mean, I wish you’d had a smaller one, but…
CASHIER: Well it’s a great time to buy these. They’re so much more convenient than the oven for cooking, aren’t they?
ME: (bites lip)
CASHIER: What do you make in it?
CASHIER: I mean, it’s none of my business what you cook at home, obviously.
CASHIER: I just like hearing about new and interesting recipes, and I love—
ME: I work in a haunted house.
CASHIER: (perplexed at apparent subject change) Oh?
ME: So this is going in the makeup trailer.
CASHIER: (vaguely concerned) … Oh?
ME: I’ll be using it for a gelatin mix that we use to make melted flesh and burn effects, things like that.
CASHIER: (visibly ill) … Melted… flesh…
ME: (big smile) Aaand now you’re sorry you asked. (small laugh)
CASHIER: I… I did ask, didn’t I?
ME: (smiles reassuringly)
CASHIER: Here’s your receipt.
ME: Thanks. And hey, now you know an alternative use for crock pots!
CASHIER: Yeah… melted… um… Happy Halloween!
ME: You too! (waves, leaves)