Finally, Spring has officially arrived! At least on paper. I’m situated in New Jersey and I’m freezing. Even as I write this. Inside my house.
My wife likes to keep the thermostat low around 65° and my preference is to turn the thermostat up to 80°/85° and then set it on fire so I can rub my hands over the flame until the boiler kicks in and the house finally warms up to a point where my blood returns to a consistency that’s just slightly less viscous than bathtub caulk and I can move around again without looking like Fred Gwynne in “The Munsters”.
It’s funny, I’ve never brought this up directly with her, but my wife and I have a kind of “Mad Magazine” Spy vs. Spy thing going on between us when it comes to the heat. We’ve never actually seen each other in front of the thermostat and yet we’re both aware that one of us has been monkeying around with it because the setting is either at 65° or 80° — but never a word is spoken about it. There’s probably some sort of deeper meaning buried in that behavior but I’m in no mood to start Googling Karl Jung. My wife probably has all his books anyway and there’s no upside to arguing with someone who brings facts with them even if I do believe that’s a form of cheating.
Here’s the horoscope. If you remember, last weekend we had Electra Glide in Blue. No that’s not right. It was Mercury in retrograde. Electra Glide in Blue is not a horoscopical event but coincidentally enough kind of a horrible movie starring Robert Blake who was in the Our Gang comedies, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” with Humphrey Bogart and some show about a parrot who was an undercover detective, if I remember correctly. Might have been a macaw detective. Or a cockatoo. Which one is on the Froot Loops box? It’s not that one.
This week my sources tell me that a very rare Mars-Uranus conjunction at 9 degrees of Aries was in effect over much of the tri-state area equivalent of the Milky Way and that caused a lot of gnashing of teeth, spoken and unspoken acts of recrimination and a 3-5% decrease in tipping totals in diners, restaurants and catered functions where the bartender’s not supposed to have a tip jar out anyway, but everyone feels guilty because he comes with it preloaded with singles so it looks like everyone else already duked him and no one ever wants to be seen as a cheapskate, particularly when you’re standing next to some guy tossing dollars around like confetti because he doesn’t have a clue that it’s an open bar and the bartender’s tip has already been figured in the whole price.
Also, and this is probably a men’s thing — I don’t know if they have them in the women’s room — is there anything more awkward and frustrating than having a men’s room attendant who hands you a paper towel when you finish washing your hands and then stands there looking at you like a six week old puppy or says, “God bless you, sir,” without breaking eye contact until you dig out a dollar and toss it in a basket full of dollars all for the pleasure of being handed a paper towel to do something you’ve been doing for yourself since diapers were no longer a sartorial necessity? To me, employing a men’s room attendant always felt like the kind of job the government would just make up so they could get their share of the tips.
This weekend is a good time to tie up loose ends from the past. Call an old girlfriend or boyfriend if you’re not married or if your spouse says, “Go ahead. Knock yourself out.” If you’re in an Encyclopedia Brown mood, you might even consider solving a couple of cold cases. Here in NJ, all cases are cold cases because it’s still 35 degrees regardless of the fact that it’s Spring. Also, be careful with your money as there is a good chance that errors might be made at the bank (no, not in your favor!) or that you might lose or misplace your wallet or purse. Keep your cash in a sock until Sunday around 2, 2:45 pm. Should be safe by then unless you’re in a restroom with a men’s room attendant. In that case, watch your head when you bend down to remove a dollar from your sock to tip the guy so you don’t accidentally slam it on the sink, or an open stall door on the way up.
Have a great weekend!
© 2013 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett