04 November 2003

No, I'm not a dad. Yet. But it's coming.

October was exceptionally busy.I've been helping out a friend of mine with some stuff a few days a week. I went to Memphis three times - twice for job interviews, once for a big baby shower. I've tried to beat the apartment into some sort of shape to where it would be okay to bring an infant home. The Impending Spawn (John Taft is his name; have I told you that before?) has a place to lay down and a box for his toys. He doesn't need much more than that right now.

Not to say he doesn't have a room full of shit. The kid-to-be has only been a concept since Mardi Gras and he has more worldly possessions than I do. Three strollers! Five bouncy-seats! Hundreds of bottles! Two-thousand nipples! Lots of stuff, buddy.

It should be noted that Sonya has been a joy throughout her pregnancy. She's been reasonably comfortable and never the least bit sick or complaining. Until the last couple of weeks, anyway. Now she's very uncomfortable. That's no surprise, since the fucking kid is almost down between her knees. And she's been just a touch crabby, but I've written that off to hormones and general discomfort. She does, too.

Did you do anything for Halloween? We went to Tulane with our friend Baris to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Unfortunately, we went on Friday night and the movie was Thursday. We stood in the empty auditorium, looking around.

"Empty building," I said, "just us three, Halloween night...the lights are gonna go out at any second and we are so gonna be slaughtered. This is every horror movie ever made!"

But we got to see the college kid's costumes, and they were good. Kobe, Fletch, Hunter Thompson. The girls mainly dressed as some variation on "filthy whore." You know - slutty nurse, sluttly witch, slutty nun. There was lots of college girl T&A. And that's pretty great.

For reasons too convoluted to explain I found myself in St. Bernard Parish today, some thirty minutes out from the city. This was the countryside, buddy, with swamps on both side of the road. I was with Darrell, a black man who's also a retired electrician. We were at a taxedermist's shop, looking for the taxedermist.

"Man, park the car and get out already," Darrell said, "we not in the city anymore. People see a black man in a car drivin' slow up their driveway they gonna come out shootin'. Ain't you afraid?"

"Nah," I said, "they won't be shooting at me."

The taxedermist took us to his showroom. It was like a fucking museum, man. Grizzly bear, musk ox, zebra, alligator, cougar, leopard, wild boar and all other manner of exotic animals you rarely see outside of a zoo. He had a fucking elephant head on his wall. An elephant! That he himself had killed!

Of course, the liberal animal-lover and conservationist in me was appalled. But my inner redneck was deeply impressed. He'd killed many of the animals with a bow and arrow, which is pretty impressive. To kill the elephant, though, he used a big fucking gun.

"I hear these are endangered," Darrell said, pointing at the leopard.

"Aw," the taxedermist said, "that's all a bunch of bullshit."

"Now what you think?" Darrell asked as we drove away, "what you think would happen if you messed with some of these folk out here?"

"I dunno," I shrugged, "but if you messed with that guy you'd be in some bad, bad trouble."