I am Eating My Husband’s Soul: Rank, Rude, and Hysterically Funny

6 08 2004

eRobin at Fact-esque turned me on to this one, and after reading it I have to wonder–was she trying to tell me something?

I am Eating My Husband’s Soul…and it isn’t my first–one of the great blog-titles of all time–is rude, raucous, scatalogical, and unrepentant about any or all of it. Think Erma Bombeck meets Tank Girl. Katy, the author, goes out on limbs I never knew existed and then uses them as platforms from which to launch water balloons filled with–well, NOT water. Or, you might say, water filtered through the human body. OK? And she wants to do it when you’re looking up–straight at her. And she gets away with it.

‘Eating My Husband’s Soul’ can be hysterically funny even as it challenges the whole notion of laughter–what it is, why we do it, and the kinds of things that provoke it. By rights, a lot of what she writes shouldn’t be funny; at least, you wonder why you’re laughing even as you’re rolling on the carpet ruining your new sweater with fur-balls and cat hair. I hope this is fiction–in fact, I’m putting it in the fiction category because I just can’t believe shit like this actually happened: it’s the 4th of July and the fireworks are about to start….

I had distinctly told Eric that I wanted this 4th of July to be Traditional: Only people we barely knew, especially from envious or hostile foreign countries. I invited all Jesus’ family and friends from Mexico, the Canadian family from down the street, and anyone browner than I like my toast with an accent. Sadly, we ended up with a yard crawling with Basques and their large entourage. Still, we didn’t know them and my dogs and I are truly sheep enthusiasts, so we had much in common.

The highlight was literally moments away, when we’d begin lighting fireworks.Eric doesn’t like his parents to see him naked with sparklers up his ass. Never has.

“NO, katy!” he pleaded.

The Canadian said, “I’ll do it! I don’t mind!”

“Sorry, this is an AMERICAN holiday, David.” I told him, not breaking eye contact with Eric who continued to back away.

“Katy! No! I’m Serious!” he hissed.

“Do you think the Native Americans wanted what they got?” I asked him, unwrapping a box of extra long burning Sparkle Plentys; some cones, a few fountains.

The Canadian was beside himself with envy. “He doesn’t want to, though. I’m fine with it. I’ve lived in the states for 10 years now…”

“How about the buffalo? And Malibu Stacy?” I said to Eric.

I softly approached him, speaking in soothing tones, Pablo’s peppy accordion backing me up.

Eric tried to run, but he fell over the drunken sheep and Basque, landing with his perfect round rump in the air atop the pile.

I placed the Indian Uprising Rocket and the Freedom Fountain gently in between his unfortunately hairy butt cheeks and lit them.

What transpired for the next 60 seconds was truly breathtaking, followed by 5-10 minutes of jaw-dropping action.

Who could have predicted that “36 whistling whirl comets, aerial spinners and crackling colored pearls all flying like arrows towards the heavens” would meet up with gas from that sluggish burrito Eric had for dinner and start a war for independence that this time would not be won until David came to the rescue with my soaker hose. Slow but effective, the flames died down and left us all in silent reflection.

This has to be fiction. Doesn’t it?

Katy has the Calvin-esque, Bart-ish trait of not being the least bit apologetic about stunts like that. No, she revels in them. She preens, she struts, she points to the burnt and upended ass and says, “Look what I did! Ain’t I cool?” She is divinely, meta-ecstatically sure of herself and her actions. She never questions, she never hesitates: when a victim presents itself, she treats it like one. When the pompous go pomp, she sets fire to their panty hose. In her blog, she is a one-woman revenge squad, remorseless and crude, and there is no escape from her justice.

Of course, one can understand how she feels. She has a lot to put up with. Eric’s Family, for instance (Eric being the husband of the slowly-eaten soul in question).

Since Spanky’s father ‘passed’, we have to include the new mix of relatives brought to the stew through his estate; primarily Spanky’s sister and Spanky’s father’s cat, both named Denise. Secondarily, the cat Denise’s entourage: her personal trainer, Douglas, and her chef Raoul, both of whom share the main house with her, as well as some ‘hangers on’ who come and go.Cripple Denise shares the ‘carriage house’ with Christx and Sir Spanky.

Thanks to the terms of the enormous estate, we don’t see much of them. They are busy taking care of their chores ala the terms of said will. Someday, when the cat Denise dies they hope to be very rich, (unless somehow that cat has kittens, which I’m all for; she’d make a great mother.)

That still isn’t fully clear, though, as the attorneys are only 1/3 of the way through the will. Some days the lawyers call with good news: ‘You can drive the Bentley if Denise, feline, doesn’t need it.’ Other days, ‘Don’t touch the Bentley. Denise’s need is defined as ‘possibility of desire.’

One thing is certain for now: That old man’s cat knew what she was doing when she went scratching on his screen door several years ago and anyone who even thinks of crossing her had better remember that.

His parents she finds particularly…trying. For instance, they came to the 4th of July party. With their luggage.

Late in the evening, Eric’s parents showed up uninvited; decked out like a red, white and blue plague. His father, Leo, wore spangled socks with plastic sandals, skinny iridescent blue/white legs forming parenthesis around a pair of wheeled red suitcases. Those suitcases with their bungee cord fastener and Shriner’s decals protested our happiness.Meanwhile, in Leo’s hand was a limp American flag, waving half heartedly in front of his unzipped fly.

Eric’s mother, Dottie, had flag barrettes in her crispy blonde hair the size of cat heads. Crammed onto her chubby feet, white vinyl moccasins embossed with crazy glitter and sequins warned: ‘Did I Leave The Coffee Pot On? I’ve Shit Myself’.

Despite the 85+degree temps, Dottie was ensconced in an American Flag sweatshirt that played the national anthem from twin star-studded nipple speakers. In front of her expansive groin she clutched either a worn suede purse or her uterus was finally falling out, which-ever being cursed to rot outside her body with a Bush/Cheney pin stuck through it’s leathery hide.

I was keeping my eye on those suitcases.

Nothing and no one is spared this relentless Eye of Truth, not parents, not family, not friends, certainly not her husband, and not even the harmless waiter who only wants to take her order, little knowing what awaits him at the hands of this militant vegetarian.

Eric and his father ordered steak, which we saw being wheeled by on a gurney to the people at the next table where it took 2 waiters to hoist it onto the table in front of the slavering gluttons. The slabs glistened with blood and made me cough gently into Eric’s mother’s napkin.Dottie ordered Shrimp Scampi and a new napkin. I couldn’t decide what to order.

“What do you have that is vegetarian?” I asked the waiter, Ian.

“We have a variety of tasty fish and chicken dishes, as well as pasta.”

“When you say ‘fish’ and ‘chicken,’ are you somehow implying these are not the standard animal variety, but a genetically modified plant product?”

“Nooo…” he said, dully referencing his high school biology. “We have pasta and an assortment of salads,” he turned my menu right side up and pointed to these sections. I closed my menu and sat on it. It was cool beneath my pantiless bottom.

“Hmmmmm. I don’t like reading menus, it’s so impersonal.” I told him, thinking it would bring us closer together. “Tell me, Ian, what sort of salads do you have?”

“House. Garden. Chef’s. Waldorf, Chick…uh…pasta.” He recited, staring unhappily at the menu beneath my ass.

“Are there any other vegetarian entrees?” I tried, shifting as my flesh stuck to the cold leather cover.

“No, but you could pick the meat out of something.”

“Like the chicken?” I asked.

“I’ll check back,” he said leaving.

I smiled at Eric and his parents. “Let’s get a bottle of something nice,”

Eric and his parents exchanged looks like they were the wrong Christmas gifts.

“She means gin,” Eric clarified as his father reluctantly picked up and put down the wine list.

Her eventual ‘lesson’ is still being worked out (his name is ‘Tyrone’), and while it is, I don’t want to give away too much. Actually, I can’t give away too much because I have no idea what she’s going to do next–or to whom. One of the attractions of Katy’s writing is that everything is so wide open–no possibility, no matter how bizarre, implausible, or arcane is ever off the table (ever taken a monkey shopping?)–there’s no way to predict where it’s going next. Even when you think you can, even when you think it’s obvious, you can’t and it’s not.

The only thing you can be sure of is that you’ll laugh your ass off–with or without benefit of sparklers.




One response

6 08 2004

You’re so right about questioning why we laugh. I read that blog and feel so guilty sometimes for laughing. But she doesn’t slow down even a little to let her readers think about it. It’s so much fun.

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