Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

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I Really Didn’t Mean To Get This Pale; Sorry, Again, For Frightening Your Child

I’ll be the first to admit, I have been indoors a lot lately. The days have been short and snowy, so I hadn’t felt bad spending them in my blanket nest and the adjacent graveyard of dirty bowls and empty Snack Packs.

I am a pile of inertia content to Netflix and Chili for weeks on end, forever browsing Lands End’s collection of chamber pot accessories.  “Yes,” I routinely shout, “of course I’m still watching; why should I have to keep selecting ‘Continue Watching’? Also, please don’t send me another email with the signs of depression.”

Any seemingly natural light in this picture is an illusion.

The delivery guy recently stopped returning my calls after saying he didn’t want to be an enabler. So, at the urging of WebMD’s page on bedsores, I finally stood up and decided to re-enter the world of groceries, as I had become chili-poor. Though I had planned for an exhausting and uneventful visit, I did not intend for your kindergarten-age daughter to be horrified by my paleness. You, also, may have never seen this spooky shade of moonlight on a human either, and had naively assumed that there was no missing link on the spectrum between “Irish” and “specter.”

Your daughter’s shriek went right through me, like chili though a ghost. As parents, you may have done a good job debunking spirits, but I don’t know if anything could have adequately prepared her to see me and my visible face veins cooing over various canned goods. Sure, you can keep insisting that there are no such thing as ghosts, but it’s tough to debunk my wraith-like hue, beef-dotted beard, and stench of death, a stench that isn’t unlike open bedsore infused with cumin.

I get it; my current look is a lot to explain even without delving into the supernatural. So apologies for the resulting discussion of the metaphysical and/or the extremities of the human condition.  I know acknowledging death or gratuitous apathy are prickly conversations for parents.

Sorry, again; I’ll now cower back to the stale air of my chili lair. I don’t mean to be frightening, I’m just a regular guy: a regular guy who watches eighteen hours of TV a day and eats nothing except chili and pudding.

If it helps, maybe tell your daughter that ghosts usually only haunt one very worn section of couch at a time. Perhaps, if she’s still anxious, she can leave out a chili offering for any spirits lurking in her closet or under her bed.  Campbell’s or Wolf aren’t bad—Hormel, though, would be taken as a sign of hostility.  Should she ever meet another phantom-esque shopper, just tell her to relax, and, if she’d like, she can go ask them what they thought of Queen’s Gambit.

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