"How rich was Mr. Howell, do you think?" I asked Ned. He was helping me do things, miserable things, around the house.
"Really rich," said Ned. "In the opening credits, they called him The Millionaire. ...Of course, if he was that rich, why wasn't he banging Ginger instead of Mrs. Howell?"
"Exactly," I said. "He was probably a single-digit millionaire." Like I even make six figures, much less nine. Wait. When you make a million dollars, how many figures is that? Seven? Nine? Why am I poor, do you think?
Ned pointed out that being a single-digit millionaire in 1967 was pretty impressive. I still say, if he was that wealthy, wouldn't he have been on his own yacht and not some cheesy rental tour boat that even Marianne could afford? You don't see Kanye on a whale watch. He takes the Bootay or whatever he's inevitably named his yacht and gone out looking for them all alone. With his posse.
I totally need a posse. Except I hate people. Hey, you guys are my posse! Congratulations. Let's go look at whales.
Anyway. Ned and I did a ton of stuff to the house this weekend. He fixed the door on my dilapidated shed. That shed was put up by Roman slaves. "As soon as we get this pyramid done, let's head on over to June's. Put up her shed."
We put the glass shelf back in my vanity, above, but then we couldn't put it back together--long story. We tried to fix the GODDAMN stupid teensy halogen track lights in my hallway, and what am I, a gay guy in 1987? They burnt out during my year abroad and I kept dreading replacing them, and it turns out that was for good reason. Three of the five now work, which is better than I was doing, but the two that they attached to the attic door won't light up, so I probably have faulty wiring and will burn to a crisp one night.
Dear Mom: You're welcome. Be sure to tune in to my last post where Ned mentions the word "fucking" about 407 times.
Also, I scraped and sanded and painted my windowsill, and now I await my blinds. I took down the awful broken plastic blinds so I could paint, and I have sheets over the window till they get here, the blinds, I mean. It's a nice look, if I were a crack addict.
Finally, at the end of all that choring, choring so I can make money for m'crack, I noticed the damn smoke alarm in the living room was open and battery-less. I got a battery, stood on the couch to put it in, and when I wasn't close enough, I stepped onto the coffee table,
and fell off.
The whole thing tilted, which I refuse to attribute to my girth, because of all the crack I've been enjoying. And speaking of crack, I toppled to the floor, along with the picture frame, Ned's phone, two pieces of midcentury ceramic I had on that table, along with a cute little square image of Michigan my cousin Katie sent me that I just love.
BOOM! BOOMBOOM! Tinkle! Everything went, and that was just my bones.
"Are you okay?!" Ned came running from the other room. And the thing was, I didn't know. You know how when that stuff happens, you aren't sure at first. You're so busy being stunned that the pain hasn't shot you through the heart and you're to blame yet.
I tried not to panic, and sat on the couch waiting for the agony to come. Ned put everything away and didn't say, "God, JUNE" when he noted his phone was amongst the wreckage.
Of all the things on the table, nothing got broken. There's a disturbing blue streak on the floor that came from the paint of the table.
On my person, I bruised several places but other than that I'm fine. Of course, I keep thinking of Natasha Richardson, but she was dead by now, right? That was like four hours for her.
"You're really lucky you didn't break anything," he said. "A woman your age..." he began, but by then I'd cocked the shotgun.
Ned went right out and got me a stepladder. My stepladder never even knew its real mom.
Okay, I'd better go to work now and exaggerate my injuries, as there is no point in getting hurt unless you can limp around dramatically and play a fife like you're in the Revolutionary War. I wonder if Ned would let me borrow his neck brace. Oh, yeah, and is anyone gonna point out that Ned did all that shit for me with his broken neck? If you can't do chores with a broken back, at least you can polish the fenders.