Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why our basement may become even scarier

My shoulders got a little bit pink when the girls and I spent four hours at the pool between the hours of eleven and three o'clock the other day. Who knew? I was liberally smeared in PABA-free SPF-9000 sunscreen so my baby sunburn never really hurt. It just made my back itch.

So this morning, I was sitting on the edge of the bed and contemplating the idea of rolling on the bedroom carpet like a horse, when it suddenly occurred to me that my husband was lying there, sort of half awake and emitting little pained growling noises about having to get up, and I thought, "What better way could there be for him to welcome a brand-new sunshiney summer day than by scratching my back?"

"Will you scratch my back?" I asked sweetly. "Up at the top, by my left shoulder. It's really scratchy there."

"Itchy," he corrected automatically, as I knew he would.

I closed my eyes and let myself enjoy the sensation of fingernails on my itchy back. That is a feeling I could get used to quite easily -- someone to follow me around all day long, alternately scratching my back, massaging my shoulders and pulling off any stray gray hairs on my head they happen to see.

My husband began laughing fiendishly behind me and I drowsily said, "Whasso funny?"

"Look," he said in his wicked voice.

I glanced back over my shoulder and he was not scratching my back with his fingernails. He was scratching my back WITH HIS TOENAILS. Those same nasty, long, waxy-looking things protruding from those same skinny, salt-white feet that made me check my babies' precious little feet seconds after they were born to make sure they weren't cursed with those awful-looking things.

I jumped from the bed with a vertical leap into space that could probably land me a spot in the WNBA, supposing I could ever manage to repeat it, and ran for the shower to wash the toenail cooties off my skin. There is NO EXCUSE for that kind of thing in a marriage, that intentional touching of the toenails to the spouse's unsuspecting skin. No excuse AT ALL.

That's why I'm thinking about locking him in the basement the way Betty Applewhite did her son Caleb on Desperate Housewives, until he learns to behave himself. If he doesn't, I may have to buy a deep freeze and go Mrs. McCluskey's route.

There is, after all, no housewife more desperate than the one who's just had toenails that Dracula would be proud of raked down her back.

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