Tuesday, May 10, 2005

In Which Our Heroine Encounters a Pink Confection.

Something funny turned up on my doorstep this morning, and her name was Janice.

Her stringy brown hair looked like it hadn't been washed in a month, and clearly she allowed a sugar-high 3 year old to cut it, but it was still her best feature; her best feature by far. In fact, the clump missing from her greasy bangs highlighted her pasty forehead in such a way that it almost detracted from the large, protruding mole she had over her left eyebrow. Well, to clarify, she really only had the one eyebrow, but I'm talking about the portion of that eyebrow located on the left side of her face. The eyebrow was an intimidating mess of hair; one single strand of hair had grown out the mole and joined the jungle of the eyebrow beneath it.

I tried to meet her eyes in order to stop staring at the mole, but this was difficult to do since only one of her eyes was able to stare back at me. The other one, the left one, the one underneath the hairy mole, lolled about in its socket, seemingly watching my bare feet and the cloudless sky at the same time. The right one, bloodshot as it was, met my gaze. The white of her eye was better described as yellow, and the iris was more oval than round, sort of like a cat's eye turned on its side.

Her nose was enormous, but in a thin, beak-like way as opposed to round and bulbous. It looked raw and red, so I quickly looked away. Not to her mouth because for all intents and purposes, she had no mouth. No lips, anyway. Not even the thinnest of lips, as far as I could tell, and she kept darting her tongue out to lick where lips should have been, and it was just wrinkly, spotted skin. She didn't smile. Maybe she couldn't. All she did was grunt.

I backed away just slightly from the door, imperceptibly, I hoped. It wasn't so much that I was afraid of her, but that she smelled, in a stale, stagnant kind of way. There was body odour to be certain, but something more than that, something that vaguely reminded me of gym shoes, incontinence, and cheese. Possibly her crusty clothes were contributing to the smell, they looked stiff with crud and impossibly uncomfortable. I would have thought they might chafe her skin, except all of her exposed skin, gaunt as it was against the sharp bones of her body, was covered in dark, downy hair, reminiscent of an aborted bird fetus found on the side of the road.

She wore shorts, curiously, though the weather is still a bit cool for them. Her legs were so skinny they couldn't even support her knee-socks, which drooped about her big, floppy shoes. On anyone else I would have called them clown shoes, except on her, I didn't doubt that they were real, and that her feet really were that big. I tried not to think about the dirty people you read about in the Guinness Book of World Records with 16 inch long toenails.

I shuddered involuntarily, but all in all I thought I had remained pretty composed. I was pretty sure that Janice (I read her nametag, pinned to her concave chest) was used to far worse reactions than mine. She grunted once more, and shoved a small brown box into my hands.

Oh Canada Post, where do you do your hiring?

Anyhoo, Project International Twinkie Exchange (PITE, for short) has crossed the northern border and landed at my doorstep.

I used my iron will to leave it unopened, unmolested, and unexplored until Jason came home, and then all hell broke loose (not that hell is ever very well restrained at my house anyway).

Dear, sweet Becky thought it was a tragic, sheltered life I was living, never having come across pink Sno Balls before, and so she kindly sent them upward, with a cautionary word that they may or may not be actually fit for human consumption. But she didn't just send those, no, she send a whole boxfull of treats for us to squeal over (correction: Jason insists that he did not squeal).

The Kit Kat, for example, provoked a "Oh look what this looks like!" reaction from these fine lips of mine. We do of course have this particular chocolate bar up here, but the packaging is much different. Perhaps this is a testament to the boring life I lead, but we spent quite a long time studying the wrapper. "It's orange!" I exclaimed, with wonder. I generously described it as "retro" while Jason more pessimistically dismissed it as "ghetto".

At any rate, the box of goodies was a big hit at our house, maybe sadly so, considering our chronological ages. Luckily, we're as immature as they come, so Becky, we thank you sincerely. We are now in the throes of thinking up a 'Canadian' package to send in return.

Jamie: "Should we send fudge? Maple fudge?"
Jason: (sternly) "No. Nobody actually likes fudge."
Jamie: "Well God in heaven, what else is there?"
Jason: "Syrup?"
Jamie: "Oh don't be retarded, Americans have maple trees too you know."
Jamie: "I'd send poutine fixings, but considering Americans don't have free health care, we should probably keep our heart attacks to ourselves."
Jason: "Well, you could always send her a Kit Kat from here so she could see our far superior packaging."
Jamie: "Yes, yes, we could do that."

Woops, sorry if I spoiled the surprise there, Becky.

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