So if you happen to write on the Internet in a particular niche -- oh, let's call it writerlyparentonlinejournaling -- it's likely that sooner or later you'll get e-mail from people asking you to promote various things. I don't actually mind this. Sometimes the mail is entertaining, and even though I almost never accept or even respond, it's a minor matter to delete it, no hard feelings. Lately I've been getting a lot of messages with the subject line, "Story idea." I don't know, I think they're funny. "I enjoy your blog atinylittlebitpregnant.com and wanted you to have this information for your upcoming coverage of National American-Made Radial Tire Day." And of course National American-Made Radial Tire Day is tomorrow and my full-featured multi-media enhanced editorial package was finalized weeks ago. Or, "Dear Julie Alittlepregnate.com, With Yom Kippur just around the corner, we wanted to offer our top holiday apps to add to the rollicking fun and festivity! New this year to chart your heartfelt atonement: ePentance. Download now and get our award-winning Golem Tracker free!" Which is nice and all, but I'm not Jewish, I don't have an iPhone, and I tally my sins and those of my intimates the old-fashioned way: on calfskin parchment, scratched in the blood of mine enemies, as a warning to all who defy me.
But I digress. Point is, I get these story ideas mailed to me, and while I can see the temptation to use them as a source of material, I have plenty to write about without them. There's always so much to say! For example, today I notice we're smack in the middle of Highly Localized Pantry Moth Week, and I feel my audience here at yeahjuliewegetitalready.com would be a perfect fit for the following information:
I reached into the pantry the other night and a package of crackers turned to dust in my hand. No lie. It was a stack of multi-grain crackers wrapped in plastic, and although they'd never been officially opened, I guess the wrapper had been breached somehow. As I clutched it it just...disintegrated. It was probably like when an archaeologist discovers a mummy and then, overcome with emotion, gives it a long welcoming hug and maybe a few hearty thumps on the back -- daaaamn. Sorry, Hatshepsut. That's...huh. Wow. Sooo...I'll just run go get my whisk broom, then. (I am totally sure that's happened, probably more than once.) Like sands through the hourglass, is what I'm saying: so are the crackers of my pantry.
I won't detail the horror that ensued, although if anyone else would like to imagine it, feel free. You know, "Story idea." I will simply say that I am still feeling the aftershocks from my hours of disgusted shuddering yesterday, and after reading the dire warnings of several Facebook friends, I'm going to attack the pantry again today, not just with Lysol, bleach, ammonia, and a blowtorch like before, but with napalm, a wrecking ball, and then perhaps just a touch of tea tree oil. (And you Facebook people call yourselves my friends. Hah. More like strangers I just haven't met yet.)
And yesterday as I worked to throw away the food and clean the shelves, up to my elbows in what is politely called frass, I thought, Well, at least the education I'm wasting wasn't a particularly good one. I reflected on the nature of housekeeping, which is an endless cycle of the same stultifying tasks, over and over, punctuated only periodically by special bonus jackpot jobs like sucking up a drift of insect shit, and although I do it out of self-respect and love for my family, there's really nothing that elevates it. No matter how willingly I do it, it's not exactly lofty work, unless of course your spirit takes wing at the very idea of moth anus, in which case please come over because I will get you very, very high. And I wondered how I was going to get the inside of the vacuum cleaner clean. Can I build a fire in a Shop-Vac? What if I add some kerosene? And a dollop of diesel? And a handful of artisanal benzene rings, just for the piquant aroma?
Anyway, if you have any tips on how to assure that I never, ever, ever again have to encounter eight kajillion larvae not only on the compromised food itself but on the exterior of other packages, the underside of cans, and for all I know writhing within my digestive tract even now AGGGGGGGH GODDDDDDDD AAAAAAAAGH OH MAKE IT GO AWAAAAY
...I'd be grateful for your advice. Or in the spirit of sharing huswifely wisdom, just tell me about the most disgusting thing that's ever invaded your home. If it is this, I will not be visiting your home. In case you had plans to invite me.
This post was not sponsored in any way, although the makers of every grain product I must now replace are, I assume, mightily pleased, but I did want to tell you that the brand name of the moth traps I hustled out to purchase -- "Contains a natural sex lure!" -- gives me some small solace: