Oh Deer! On My Lawn! Quick, Pee!

Most Hilarious Way to Repel Wildlife from Your Yard (Clue: Naked Vampires!)  #funny #wildlife #deer #vampire #lawn

So then…my neighbor sends me this photo she took of interlopers on my front lawn.

I respond, “How beautiful! We saw these deer the other night too. How cool that they come right up into my front yard!”

She emails me back: “Yes, they do look wonderfully magnificent, but the damage can be unbelievable. Our other neighbor and I lost all our roses out front 2 years ago from these beautiful animals. If they keep eating from your yard and destroy it, you can purchase coyote urine online – yes, coyote urine — and spray it over your plants to hopefully keep the deer at bay!”

I reply: “Seriously? Coyote urine sounds expensive. Can I just go pee on the plants myself?”

Meanwhile, I send the photo and emails to a couple of my other neighbors who respond with:

Friend 1: “As I scrolled down, I was hoping you had a photo of your urination in the act…”

Friend 2: “My neighbor said that she literally had her son pee on her lawn to try to scare away raccoons — but it only scared away other neighbors!!”

Friend 3: “How exactly does a company collect the coyote urine?”

How indeed?

Are there highly-trained rubber-suited urine collectors who get the coyotes so drunk on cheap beer that the coyotes willingly pee into plastic containers that are packaged and sold to nice suburban families with deer problems? “Come here, coyote. Pee into this cup. No, over here, coyote!”

If so, then my lawn would repel deer.

But wouldn’t it also attract a bunch of coyotes who would smell their brethren’s beer-scented urine? All the coyotes would be like: “Dude – Party House! This place stinks to high heaven – this must be THE place to go craaaazy! Call your cousins – everybody meet at this house tonight. We’re gonna get wiiiiiild!”

Then I’d have a coyote problem. And what kind of urine repels them? Werewolf? Vampire?

Is it even possible to collect urine from a werewolf or a vampire? Have you ever seen Edward or Jake pee? I’ve never once seen True Blood’s Eric or Bill Compton take a bathroom break.

And even if I could collect their pee (as in, “hey vampire, let’s do a bodily fluid swap – a quart of my blood for a quart of your urine”), then my yard would smell like vampire urine – so it would become the frat house for all the vampires to come party, strip, and urinate with abandon.

OK, wait a minute — that might not be so bad, actually.

At least the partying and stripping part.

OK, not sure how I transgressed from deer on my lawn to naked vampires – although to be fair, most of my thought processes do end up thinking about naked vampires – but anyway –

Slate.com says that Bill Graham of Leg Up Enterprises in Lovell, Maine believes he’s the predator-urine baron, claiming control of 90 percent of the U.S. market. He says he gets his pee in keg-party-sized barrels from 10 facilities he doesn’t want to say much about. Bill Graham explains that coyotes in zoos and on farms urinate into areas of their pens that drain into vats, which collect the urine that he packages and sells online.

But really – how do we know he goes to all that trouble?

Maybe Bill Graham himself is just an extremely prolific urinator.
— Darcy Perdu

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(Any wild animals visiting your yard or home? Any interesting remedies to repel them? Do YOU think about naked vampires?)

My Preteen’s Suspicious Behavior with the Laptop…

Why Do You Need the Laptop in THERE?  Funny story about my preteen boy taking the laptop in THERE! #funny #teens #parenting #computer #laptop

So then…the server sets down the second round of drinks. As we toast Girls’ Night Out as carefree ladies for a whole evening, unencumbered by husbands and kids, it’s only natural that the conversation turns to…

our children’s poo patterns.

“My God, it takes Emily forever to poo. She takes a book in there and it seems like hours before she comes out again!” exclaims Patty.

“She’s 8 and she’s bringing a book to the bathroom? She’s like an old man!” says Brenda. “Trevor doesn’t bring anything in the bathroom, but I can hear him talking in there – no phone – nobody else in there — just him talking.” We laugh and encourage her to set up a recording device.

Julie confides, “Well, Conrad is 5 but he still does the same thing he’s done since he was 2. If he has to poo, he strips completely naked and sits on the pot, singing at the top of his lungs! He says it’s the only way he can go number two!”

We all laugh. “Well, let’s hope he out-grows that before adulthood. That could be awkward around the office,” I say.

“What about your kids, Claire?” asks Julie.

“Well, I don’t mean to brag—“

(Don’t you, Claire? Don’t you, really?)

“—but Allie and Max are pretty regular. They’re 12 and 8 and they just go in every morning and evacuate their bowels,” says Claire.

“EVERY morning?!” we exclaim.

“Well, yes, doctors say it should happen daily — and morning evacuation is the best. I feed the kids plenty of fiber, salads, and—“

“Oh, shut up, Claire. We hate you,” says Julie good-naturedly.

“Yeah, Claire, we hate you and your perfect bowel-evacuating children,” says Brenda with a mock scowl.

Claire laughs, and tries to look humble, but secretly she’s beaming inside.

Patty mutters into her sangria, “Good Lord, Emily doesn’t poo every day. I’m not even sure if she poos every week.”

Patty waves her wine glass in my direction. “OK, Darcy, fess up. What’s the evacuation situation at your house?”

“Well, Chloe’s 9 and she’s pretty regular, I guess. But Tucker’s 12 and always takes a long time to poo. But lately, he’s been taking his computer in there and it seems to take even longer.”

Everyone’s eyes widen.

“Oh my God – well, he IS 12. That’s around the age, right?” asks Patty.

“Oh no, do you think he’s…you know?” asks Brenda, somewhat mortified.

“He must be! That’s what the computer’s for – he’s looking at porn!” says Julie.

Claire is speechless.

“Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to know,” I said. “Every time I asked him what’s taking so long or what are you doing on the computer, he was really evasive. So I thought, oh my God, what if he’s in there…looking at sexy pictures and…doing what teenage boys — you know.”

I lower my voice and they lean in a little closer.

“So yesterday after he was in the bathroom forever, he went downstairs. I snuck up there, grabbed his computer and checked the browser history. And there it was – Club Penguin!”

Everyone laughs and looks reassured. All our kids have been to the Club Penguin website to play the computer games there. It’s harmless — but addictive, since the kids want to check on their penguins all the time, so we discourage playing it on school nights.

“Here I thought my little angel was using the computer to find inappropriate websites for arousal and self-pleasuring – and the whole time he’s just been playing Club Penguin! I was so relieved!” I say, taking a sip of my Lemon Drop.

“Unless…” whispers Julie.

“Unless what?”

“Well, unless he’s aroused by…you know…penguins,” says Julie.

I gulp. Julie laughs.

“Oh, I’m just kidding,” she says. “I’m sure he doesn’t have a penguin fetish.”

She grins. “Or does he?”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Share a funny story about your kid’s odd behavior – or something about penguins – or porn – or penguin porn!)

Complete Invasion of Privacy!

They really DO NOT like what we're doing in the backyard -- but how did they even find out?  Complete invasion of privacy!  #funny #they'rewatching #humor

So then…I answer the phone and a voice says, “Do you have a trampoline in your backyard?”

Actually, I do. But now that someone’s asking, I’m suddenly, inexplicably nervous about admitting it.

“Who is this?” I ask.

“This is Jean at Harry’s office. You asked us to re-quote your car and home insurance.”

“Oh, right, right.” I recall now that I asked our insurance broker to check for lower premiums.

“It’s still out to bid,” she says. “But one of the insurance companies asked me if that’s a trampoline in your backyard.”

“Um, why are they asking?” I ask suspiciously.

“Some insurance companies charge higher premiums for that – and some won’t even write policies for homes with trampolines because they’re so dangerous,” she explains.

Suddenly I feel guilty that I’ve allowed my kids to gleefully jump, flip, roll, and twirl on that trampoline for years. It has a huge netting enclosure so I think it’s pretty safe – and so far, no injuries. Plus they’ve enjoyed lots of bouncing, laughing, exercise-filled fun in the great outdoors, so that assuages my guilt a bit.

But the mildly accusatory tone of the question makes me uneasy about admitting it, especially now that I’ve learned it may affect my premiums.

I ask a bit defensively, “Why do they suspect I have a trampoline anyway?”

She says, “Oh, they Google-mapped your house. On the computer, they looked at an aerial view of your backyard, front yard, the house, driveway, everything.”

“What? Are you kidding me? They’re looking at aerial photos of my home? That’s an invasion of privacy!” I object.

“Oh, all the insurance companies do that now. Aerial photos make it easy for them to spot any trouble before they write policies. They typically do a drive-by in person too, but the aerial photos save a lot of time to eliminate bad prospects right away.”

I’m outraged! This is sounding very Big Brother-y to me.

Now I have to worry about what we happen to be doing outside when the satellite cameras pass overhead?

What’s next? Will the insurance companies ask me:

Hey, are those your kids playing with matches on the front steps? Fire Insurance: denied.

Are you chasing a bee swarm with a blowtorch? Insurance denied.

Is that you skinny-dipping in the pool? Insurance denied.

Are those beer bottles strewn around your backyard while you and your friends try to build a tree house in a palm tree? Insurance denied.

Why is there a motorcycle in the pool? Insurance denied.

I’m not saying these things happened – but if they did happen, that’s MY business!

I’m just totally freaked out by the idea that someone can be sitting miles away in a little office watching what’s going on in my backyard on their computer screen. And how can they not be super judgy? Are they sitting there saying things like:

Darcy, is that your third glass of wine?

Do you really need to spend that much time “training” the cute new pool guy?

That honeysuckle bush needs watering.

And what if they perfect thermal imaging so insurance companies can see what we’re doing INSIDE the house?

Is that you sneaking Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at midnight when we specifically heard on our listening device that you swore to your family there was no ice cream left? Insurance denied.

Is that you giving us the finger? Insurance denied.

“So,” Jean says, bringing me back to the present. “DO you have a trampoline?”

“That’s what they think, huh?” I hedge.

“Yeah, they said they saw a big dark circle on the aerial photo of the backyard, so they figured it was a trampoline,” she says.

“Maybe it’s a moon crater.”

“Huh?” she says.

“Or like a really big black round blanket I’m knitting for an orphanage.”

“Darcy–,” she says.

“Yeah, OK, it’s a trampoline, dammit. And yes, I will get rid of the trampoline. If that will make them happy! It won’t make my kids happy, I’ll tell you that. And I’m totally blaming it on the insurance company!”

So I break the news to the kids, but they’re not too upset since they’ve had several good years on the trampoline and have started to outgrow it anyway.

I then explain to them in elaborate detail how insurance companies can basically see anything that’s happening in our yard and driveway and possibly home – and that they’ll report back to me any suspicious behavior perpetrated by my children.

They don’t believe me. Rubes.

Meanwhile I consider thwarting the thermal imaging sensors when I dip into my secret Ben & Jerry’s stash by wearing a tinfoil suit.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Can you share a related story about invasion of privacy or something that seems Big Brother-ish? Any funny stories about Google maps, satellite photos, insurance, tinfoil suits?)

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The Snap Heard ‘Round the World

I'm nervous enough on this job interview, and now he insists on a Japanese-speaking sushi restaurant -- things go hilariously downhill from there! #funny #interview #sushi #humor

So then…he says, “How about sushi?” and I respond enthusiastically, “Sure!” – because how could I not? He’s the interviewer and I’m the interviewee.

Even though I’m 25 and live in Manhattan, my experience with raw fish dining is severely limited, since I was raised mostly down South where we prefer our meals cooked, battered, and deep-fried.

However, Ted clearly loves authentic Japanese fare, since he’s ducked into a dim-lit little restaurant whose patrons are all Japanese, except us, and whose menus are all in Japanese with no English subtitles. There are pictures though — and I desperately look for something that appears to have collided with flame at some point.

We sit at the counter. There are a few tables, but all in all, it’s a pretty small place. Ted passionately describes how fresh the fish is, how inventive the chefs are, and how the restaurant is so genuinely Japanese, the staff doesn’t even speak English. It’s clear he enjoys the cosmopolitan aura.

When the sushi chef comes over for our order, Ted lets loose an impressive list of exotic Japanese names for various raw fish.

I point to the picture of the chicken teriyaki.

While we wait, Ted asks about my current position, education, and interest in changing industries. I try to appear intelligent, dedicated, sophisticated, and witty.

He’s about 10 years older than me and has been working in the field I’d love to join, so I have lots of questions for him too.

When the meals arrive, Ted gleefully surveys his colorful platter of bite size sushi and deftly begins plucking away with his chopsticks.

My chicken teriyaki is in one large piece. It has not been pre-cut into thin little slices.

There is not a fork in sight. Nor a knife.

A quick scan of the restaurant confirms that no one here is using a knife and fork – and that such a request of the sushi chef would probably result in deep shame, loss of honor to family, and possibly hari-kari.

I’m too embarrassed to mime “knife and fork” to the chef, so I gamely pick up my chopsticks and try to corral the chicken into my mouth, while simultaneously answering Ted’s interview questions.

I manage to spear some thinly-sliced cucumbers which appear to be garnish, but I still can’t make any headway with the chicken. Finally I stab the chicken with one chopstick and start sawing off a piece with the other chopstick. I manage to make a little progress, but then suddenly, the sawing chopstick snaps in half with a deafening “CRACK!”

Time stands still.

Everyone in the restaurant turns toward me, sees my broken chopstick held aloft, and every self-respecting Japanese person shakes their head, rolls their eyes, and whispers “Gringo” to their companions. OK, maybe not “Gringo” literally – but whatever the Japanese word is for “dumdum Yankee who can’t even dine properly; someone bring her a Big Mac.”

I feel like such a hick. I turn bright red, but Ted, without even skipping a beat, just picks up another set of chopsticks and hands them to me, while continuing his next interview question.

I am so relieved! What a prince!

We finish the interview – I even manage a few bites of the chicken – and we walk back to his office. I collect my briefcase, hand him a clean copy of my resume, and thank him for the interview.

He smiles and says, “Yeah, it was really fun. Maybe we could have dinner together some time?”

This takes me by surprise. I was trying to exude the “please hire me” vibe – not the “please sex me up” vibe!

I shoot a look at the photo on his desk with his arms around a woman and two young kids.

I say, “Yeah, that’d be great. Will your wife be able to join us?”

His face falls and his eyes narrow. He’s trying to decide if I’m being deliberately obtuse or if I’m just genuinely naïve.

He coughs and murmurs, “Um, she doesn’t get into the City much.”

I want to say, “Well, I guess not, since you’re so busy dating.” But I hold my tongue.

I just smile cheerfully and tell him I look forward to hearing from him about the position.

I don’t get the job.

I do, however, learn to use chopsticks.

And I also learn to more nimbly thwart unwanted advances from current or prospective employers.

I find that a slightly regretful expression, combined with a heartfelt, “Oh, my fiancé’s so possessive about my evenings” is a fabulous face-saver for the colleague. It shuts down future invitations since I’ve just informed them of my pending nuptials – and it allows them the delusion that if it were not for my jealous fiancé, they would totally have a shot with me.

The only problem occurs if you get the job and after a while, someone asks why your fiancée doesn’t ever attend the company parties – in which case you’d have to consider hiring a fake fiancé for the events which is, of course, a rom-com in the making. So do that.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Can you share a story about an embarrassing dining experience? A job interview gone wrong? A boss or interviewer who asked you out?)

Gasp! Am I a HELICOPTER Parent?

Gasp!  Am I a HELICOPTER Parent?  #Funny #Parenting Tale about Helicopter Parents and Free Range Kids!

So then…he teeters toward the step down into the living room and I lunge for his little toddler legs in case he tips. He doesn’t. He waddles over toward his mother who is calmly watching him in her peripheral vision, while simultaneously chatting with another mom, eating chips and dip, and putting another child’s hair in a ponytail.

I marvel at her composure. I only have 2 kids and I’m watching them like a hawk for safety, hygiene, dietary desires, and every other conceivable need.  If they so much as TOOT, I wanna know about it!

She has 6 kids and seems cool as a cucumber. I lean in to see if her eyes are dilated – maybe she’s heavily sedated.

When she notices me hovering around her youngest as a personal bodyguard, she lets me know that he’ll be fine.

“But I’m so worried he’s going to fall into our living room floor or hit his head on the furniture,” I say.

She says, “Well, he’s our sixth, ya know – ”

(Yeah, I know – but what, the sixth one is expendable? Does she mean, “Oh it’s OK — if he’s a goner, I’ve got 5 more at home just like him”?)

“—so I keep an eye on him,” she continues, “but by now, I figure they’re all going to encounter some little bumps and bruises along the way.”

That makes sense. I ease up a little.

We eat lunch — the kids get in their swimsuits — we slather them with sunscreen – and they head to the backyard pool where the dads are on lifeguard duty.

Just then, one of her daughters comes up to her and says plaintively, “Mom, this swimsuit doesn’t fit me.”

We look down to see this 6-year-old girl literally hunched over in a one-piece swimsuit fit for a much younger child. The straps are pinching into her shoulders and her face is filled with pain.

The mom looks at her daughter and says nonchalantly, “Well, that happens sometimes with hand-me-downs, so if that’s all we brought, you’ll just have to make do.”

Make do? My mind is racing for alternatives. My daughter is age 4 so her swimsuits would be too small. My swimsuits would be way too big – but perhaps some safety pins? They live too far away to go all the way back for another one. My mind’s whizzing with other possible solutions.

The daughter says, “But it’s hard to move around, Mom. It kinda hurts.”

And the mom says, “You’ll get used to it. Now go on out and enjoy the pool with the kids. It’s a beautiful day, so go have some fun.”

So the little girl hunches back to the pool — and proceeds to have a blast with all the kids — swimming and playing and squirting water guns and doing pool flips all day long.

I am stunned.

I say to the Mom, “Omigosh, if I were at someone’s house and that was my kid complaining about a too-small swimsuit, I would’ve run to the nearest Target to buy her a new one! Or driven home to get one that fit! Or torn down the curtains and sewed her a new one on the spot!”

She laughs and says, “Yeah, I was pretty accommodating with my first couple kids, but then they started to expect it. So if I didn’t want to end up with a bunch of high-maintenance kids, I figured I’d better teach them to just go with the flow.”

I am in awe. I want to be like this mother.

What a wonderful philosophy. She tells her kid who has a genuine problem, “It’s a beautiful day, so go enjoy it” – and her kid does!

My kids are high-maintenance because I cater to their every whim.

And it’s all because I only had 2 kids.

If I had 6 kids, I’d be a much better mother.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Do you accommodate your children a little too much? Or are you a “go-with-the-flow” mom? Am I the only one with high-maintenance kids? Share an example of your parenting style — Over-Accommodating or Adaptable-Go-With-the-Flow?)

Creepy Stalker Dude’s Tye-Dyed Pillow

So then…I open the mailbox and find a little pillow – too big for a doll, but too small for a child. It is tye-dyed in dark swirly colors. It is misshapen and a little dirty. It has the word Chloe written on it in awkward handwriting – not quite a child’s writing – more like that of a mental patient.

I look up and down the street. I see no one. Who put this pillow in my mailbox? How do they know my child’s name?

I ask Chloe, age 5, if she knows anything about it. Nope. Husband or brother? Nope.

This doesn’t look like Chloe’s handwriting. And if she made it at school, it would have come home in her backpack – not wind up inside our mailbox.

So did someone make this for her? There’s no note. No one is taking credit for this spooky little dark gothic pillow.

I am totally freaked out. My husband David, of course, is blithely nonchalant.

I think his exact words are “Huh.  Ahh.” with a shrug.

“But don’t you want to know where this came from? What creepy person gave her this weird gift? It must be someone who knows where we live and what her name is – maybe a former babysitter? Or a repairman? What if she’s in danger?” I ask, my voice rising with hysteria.

“She’s not in danger. We live in a guard-gated community,” he says reassuringly. “No one’s gonna get past the guard to come and get her.”

“Well, they got past the guard to put the pillow in the mailbox, DIDN’T THEY?”

I give him the wild-eyed look that indicates I’m about to go off the deep end.

“Good point,” he concedes, “but maybe it was someone inside the neighborhood that put it in the mailbox.”

“Inside or outside — I think whoever left it is going to kidnap her,” I say firmly.

“Really? And they left the pillow because…why?” he asks. “If they’re planning to kidnap her, wouldn’t they keep the pillow for her to sleep on?”

“You’re not taking this seriously! I think we should call the police,” I say.

“Darcy, you do not need to call the police. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this pillow. Just throw it away and don’t worry about it,” he says.

“Oh, no,” I say. “I am not throwing it away. I am putting it in a plastic bag and keeping it in the file cabinet. If she gets kidnapped, I will have the evidence and fingerprints all ready for the police to investigate.”

“OK, you do that,” he says, in the tone of voice he uses when speaking to a small child or to – well, me when I’m being paranoid.

So I slip the weird mini pillow into a big plastic baggie and write the date on it in Sharpie and put it in my garage filing cabinet.

From that day forward, I am hyper vigilant whenever we are out and about with Chloe – at the park, the mall, the zoo — I am constantly looking over my shoulder for some weirdo in a dark swirly tye-dyed shirt.

SEVERAL YEARS LATER…

So then…we’re sipping drinks and snacking on appetizers at a friend’s backyard party when another neighborhood family approaches us and re-introduces themselves and their kids since we haven’t seen them in so long.

The mom says to me, “Omigosh, how old are your kids now? They must be so big!”

I say, “Oh, yeah, Chloe’s 8 and Tucker’s 11. Your kids are so grown now too!” I smile at them.

The mom says to her kids, “Hey, do you remember when her daughter Chloe used to come over to our house for art classes when she was about 4?” She looks up at me. “Your daughter had such a fun time. Hey, did you ever get that last art project she made? I’m sorry it took me almost a year to drop it off — it was a little pillow – I put it in your mailbox.”

David about spits out his beer. He looks at me, grinning and triumphant. I want to kill him.

He is about to spill the whole story about how I was certain an eerie stalker was sending my kindergartener ominous gifts – when in reality, both Chloe and I forgot that she used to take art classes from the neighbor lady who innocently dropped off the last project as a kindness.

I send him such a withering glare, it practically singes his eyebrows. He does not tell the story. But he is grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the party, shooting me meaningful glances and nodding toward that art teacher mom.

I know as soon as we get home, he is going to tease me mercilessly, congratulate me on finding the dastardly would-be kidnapper, and ridicule my paranoia.

But honestly, how are we supposed to remember what Chloe made in a neighborhood art class a whole year previous? And the mom could have avoided the whole mystery by simply writing a note with the pillow like, “Here’s your daughter’s art project, signed Nice Neighborhood Mom (not a Raving Lunatic Stalker Dude).”

Of course I am overwhelming relieved to have the mystery solved so innocently.

But now that I know my daughter did make this hideous pillow with the horrendous handwriting and dreadful dye job, I start to worry about her artistic skills.

So I guess she wasn’t in danger of being kidnapped – (or of winning any art contests!)

— Darcy Perdu

(Tell us about your suspicions and paranoia – or any embarrassing misunderstandings. Any art projects gone terribly awry? Share your Comments and Stories.)

Quick! Insert Two Cups of Margaritas!

When I asked my neighbor for advice, he totally cracked me up  with the description of his wife!  #funny #marriage #humor

So then…I kick the dishwasher. And the dishwasher is singularly unimpressed.

So I hop online and send an email to some of my friends in the neighborhood:

Dear Neighbors:
Did this happen to any of you when the power went out yesterday? When it came back on, my dishwasher now makes an odd persistent ringing noise.  The “reset” button won’t work, nor did unplugging and plugging it back in. If you have advice (or a dishwasher repair guy), please let me know! Otherwise we’ll have to wash dishes by hand! Gasp! Thanks, Darcy

A few people send me names of repairmen; then I receive this priceless email from my neighbor Dan:

YES!!!
My dishwasher makes an extremely annoying and persistent noise every time she washes the dishes…it started well before the power went out the other day, but certainly got worse during those hours…

Whereas yours makes an “odd persistent ringing noise,” mine makes more of an “incessant whining and bitching noise” that sounds more like: “Why do you always have to use so many dishes??…..Why can’t you bring your dishes to the sink??…..Why can’t you ever wash the dishes as well as I do??…..”

She was working fine when I first got her, but sometime right after I got married, the noise began…unfortunately there’s no way to unplug mine either…

Sorry I can’t help on yours, but any advice on dealing with mine would be greatly appreciated!!
– Dan

I crack up because I know Dan and his wife Tina — and they’re both very funny.

I write back:
Omigosh, Dan, I literally laughed out loud when I read your email! And yes, I do have advice on how to deal with the “incessant whining and bitching noise” emanating from your dishwasher. Buy your dishwasher a dozen roses and a gourmet meal at a restaurant so there are no dishes she has to wash — then watch the kids for a whole day so your dishwasher can lunch with pals, see a chick flick, have a massage, then enjoy a manicure for those poor wrinkled dishwasher hands of hers! – Darcy

Darcy, I tried that already…it worked REALLY well that night, but was back to the same malfunction the next day…
– Dan

Dan:
You slay me!! If you want to keep your dishwasher running smoothly, insert 2 cups of frozen margaritas daily!
– Darcy

(When I share these emails with a friend, she says: “First of all, tell him the thing to insert isn’t a margarita!”)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Ever have any appliance (or spouse) malfunctions happening at YOUR house?)

WHO Done It?

So then…I forage in the pantry for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up – chocolate being my addiction of choice.

I score a handful of White Chocolate-Covered Oreos and a glass of milk, then return to my home office for an afternoon of emails and conference calls.

As I pass the table, I see that someone has used the letter tiles from the Scrabble game to leave me a message next to the book I’ve been reading.

The book is “Six Suspects” by Vikas Swarup – a satirical crime novel about six people in India who are suspected of killing playboy industrialist Vikek Rai near Delhi.

Someone has arranged the Scrabble letter tiles next to the book to say: IT’S ARJEAN.

Only my son Tucker is home, so I totally crack up that he snuck in to allegedly name the guilty suspect.

He’s only 12, so I’m also impressed that he didn’t just spell out IT’S FRED or IT’S TOM. He actually leafed through the book to know that the story was set in a different country so he’d have to come up with a foreign-sounding name to be somewhat believable in his fake “outing” of the murderer.

Characters in this book have names like Eketi, Munna, Vivek, Arun Advani, and Mahatma – so Arjean could actually be a name of a character who could be the guilty suspect.

But while I’m chuckling at his clever trick, it suddenly hits me — he may have leafed through to the end of the book — and that maybe there IS a character named Arjean – and maybe he IS actually the murderer!

That little bastard.

I’m gonna frikkin’ kill him! I’ve slogged through 380 pages of this book already — and I hate finding out the ending before I reach the ending!

90 pages and 8 White Chocolate-Covered Oreos later, I reach the last page.

I can tell you this:

“Six Suspects” is an excellent book – very funny, very enjoyable, very suspenseful.

And it’s not Arjean.

And yes, I high-five my son for his clever Scrabble message.
And no, I do not tell him where the White Chocolate-Covered Oreos are hidden.

(How about you – any playful pranks from your kids? Anyone accidentally/intentionally reveal the ending of a book or movie? Share your Comments & Stories!)