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  • Harry Jensen

May 7, 2020

I just pulled a five-inch red toothpick out of my carpet. A sign from God, my father reaching out to me from the beyond to tell me that hell really is red and poky? I have never before seen it, I do not own any red toothpicks, and I have no idea how I could not have noticed it over the last ten months. Well, I do have an idea. I am still finding little socks and Hot Wheels and bits of Play-Doh under the couch and embedded into the carpet, all remnants from the former occupants of my playroom-cum-bedroom — Google “cum definition.”

Today, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. after two hours of sleep to eat sehri, our pre-sunrise Ramadan meal. I blasted some mix oats into a liquid for myself and Bean Curd, and dumped crabapple applesauce all over the molten grains. I proudly displayed them to Bean Curd, and was met with the same kind of laugh that exhausted plumbers bark when they notice poop on their elbow. It would have been a long sixteen hours on that oatmeal alone had we not broken fast at noon, unmotivated without the participation of T aka T-Minus 7. As in, T-Minus 7 days until T goes home, 7,000 miles away — talk about taking a hike!

This evening, we had our last Chautauqua with T, and gathered around the fireplace to be educationally silly in the dark. I read poetry from the website of Kovid Goyal, an unironically named man who invented a free-file converter that I use to cram pirated(!) books into PDFs. Pirating has been on my mind today, seeing as I found a $44,000 salary job listed by a vague enterprise called Pirate Ship. The entire job description was written in pirate speak, as in,“Argh, matey, pirates are all equals aboard the ship! Pirates do not discriminate based on sex, race, gender, creed, coolness....” I'm tempted. If the money is good, and I don’t have to plunder or murder anything, I’ll apply. Hell, as long as they don’t ask me to knock off anyone cool, I’ll keep my mind open.

After I read Kovid's "Loner" and his moving "Mole in a Hole," my house played an improv game I call Amendment. One person proposes a bill, and then the person next to them improvises an amendment to that bill, and so forth until everyone in the room has spoken. At this point, the original propositionista tries to remember and recite the bill and all its amendment as concisely as possible, and put it to the floor to be passed.

Every bill gets passed. It’s really just a very silly game, and there’s no competition to be had. We pretended to be Senators, and then representatives of our Model UN countries, and ratified the following doomsday ordinances. Take heart of the wise words below, and take care; I must go pull Play-Do out of the carpet. My Play-Do, this time; how's that for cool?



1. Mozambique’s Law

a. All dogs with less than three legs shall be confined to treehouses of Mozambique’s choosing, and these treehouses shall be built of Indonesian maple; the wood will be farmed exclusively by people with at least two older siblings and no younger siblings. If the dogs are not all fed steak, they must all be confined to the same 5’ x 5’ box.

2. Romania’s Law

a. All white houses must contain six clowns, three of which must be concealed at any given time. If a clown is found not wearing a hat with an impeccably square top, that clown will be executed. If an owner of a white house fails at any time to present their compulsory six clowns, their house will be demolished and rebuilt in the shape of a giant egg; six clowns will be installed. The egghomes will be made exclusively of Indonesian maple, farmed by people with two older siblings and no younger siblings.

3. Chad’s Law

a. On the second Tuesday and the third Thursday of every month, every person must wear tap dancing shoes in public. If a person is caught dancing in their tap dancing shoes, that person must be executed, ground up, and placed in every extant Hummer truck.

b. By a “person,” this law herein refers to a “manatee caught on land.”


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