A few weeks ago I spent a good two hours mining YouTube for how to replace a broken key on a MacBook. I'd left the room just long enough for you, Hal, to climb on to my keyboard and begin scratching out an email to, I don't know, your pen pal in Quebec?
None of the tutorials featured my specific computer, so some of the thises and thats were arranged differently. Or maybe the video wouldn't have sound. In some of the videos it seemed as though the filmmaker/key tutorial-giver was just willy-nilly removing and replacing keys for sport, and those were just too pretentious to watch.
For awhile I thought: "You know what? Fuck W. I don't need a W. I'll change my last name if I have to." But then I added patience and better lighting and replaced the key, easy peasy. It's still a little wonky, for instance just a second ago I wrote "onky," but it's there in it's place. It simply requires a little extra muscle from my left ring finger.
And so, Talons McTalonstein lived to see another day. (Though, tonight you did it to Chuck's computer, making a souvenir of the No. 4. So now you have lost all of your computer privileges. Forever. In cat years).
We've recently bumped you guys up to big cat cat food. Orin, you hate it. You'd rather eat carrot peels and junk mail than Iams Hairball Control. When the automatic feeder dumps your dinner, you whine and will it to become the old stuff, the stuff for kittens. I've been reading Dooce long enough to know that if you want to eat Super One coupons for lunch, if that's your jam, I should just go with it. You have to have food and we can sort through the details of nutrition later. But I can't do that. You must eat what the automatic feeder tells you to eat. I expect more from you, Orin, than some sort of tired old growing up-food issues cliche. From now on, stay out of my Judy Blume collection and just forget about me teaching you how to wear a maxi pad belt.
("I'm writing 'Dispatches to Feline Nation,'" I just said to Chuck. "About what?" Chuck asked. "About how Hal is awful? How's he's totally upped his destruction game?" "Pretty much," I answered).
You know what would be nice, guys? What if every few months a little bus pulled up in front of the house. And what if a kind woman slathered in Aveda products and wearing a smock covered in dangling strings cupped you both lovingly in her arms and whisked you away for a week of camp. And what if that camp was Etiquette (Eti-Cat?) Camp and the first three days sucked and every night she'd hold a little phone up to your weird little smooshed face, Orin, and you'd sing that one whiny note you love. I'd half listen, but I'd be sitting on the couch lost in bliss because I was using a glass-glass instead of a plastic glass and I'd barely register your discontent. But what if on the fourth day you started to love it, guys? What if you found other cats that liked dipping an arm into a coffee mug. Cats that share your fondness for putting socks and underwear in the litter box. Cats that also dismantle modern technology with a single lethal talon?
Sure, you'd probably learn some new tricks. But by the end of the week, maybe some new positive personality traits would become second nature. Maybe you'd never jump from the back of the couch directly on to Chuck's nutsack ever again. (It goes without saying that this would be a pleasant reprieve for my breasts as well). I know that eventually the old habits would return, but. Wouldn't it be nice for awhile?
Watching you chew on each other's femurs as we speak,