I got tolly lit up over the holidays.
I was inexplicably invited, once again, to the EMDAMOTLA’s* Annual Open House Extravaganza/Illegal Fireworks Display a couple of weekends ago. I suspect that it has something to do with providing evidence as to how one can make monumental mistakes in life and still recover and move on. In any case, I always consider it a kind gesture and a great honor. The crowd invariably comprises various dignitaries, politicians, heads-of-state, and other members of social strata that I do not generally encounter in my otherwise low-brow life.
On occasions such as the AOHE/IFD, I make every effort to appear a civilized and well-bred individual, feigning erudition and taking great care to ensure that my shirt buttons are aligned properly. In other words, something other than my everyday self. One would think that going to such lengths would preclude me being set ablaze by the hostess. One would be wrong.
There remains, as I write, a debate as to whether she was actually trying to murder me or just burn my clothes (a third explanation, that it was an accident, is simply laughable and need not be further discussed). I suppose there is a foundation for the latter argument, as evidenced by this transcript from the courtroom during our divorce proceedings:
Judge: “What reasons can you give, MDAMOTLA, for wanting to end this sacred union?” (This was, of course, prior to the addition of the “E” at the front of her acronym.)
MDAMOTLA: “umm … Your Honor, have you even looked at him?”
Judge (to me): “What … what … what the hell are you wearing? Is that a robe?”
Dead Acorn: “Why, yes it is, your eminence. I see that you’re wearing one as well. They’re quite comfortable, aren’t they?”
Judge: “First, this is MY COURTROOM, and my robe is a centuries-old tradition befitting my noble calling. Second, mine is NOT pink terry-cloth with Hello Kitty patches sewn all over it.”
DA: “Well, I can’t help it if your boring tastes lead you to wear such uninteresting crap.”
Judge: “THIRTY DAYS! Bailiff, escort this man to jail.”
On the other hand, I distinctly recall her threats during the birth of The Live Acorn: “YOU! YOU DID THIS TO ME! I WILL KILL YOU!” I did not take that as an idle threat then, nor do I today.
Anyway, I was standing in the dining area with The Person With Whom I Was Attending (And Likely The Real Reason I Was Invited), leaning against a table, when I detected a foul odor, as if someone wearing a loose knit sweater had backed into a votive candle and had caught fire. “Sugar pie babykins,” I said to TPWWIWA(ALTRRIWI), “do you detect a foul odor, as if someone wearing a loose knit sweater has backed into a votive candle and has caught fire?”
It took a few minutes of discussion concerning whether the smell was more likely due to the burning of wool or of a synthetic fiber, and what color of dye was used that would result in the particular scent, as we were trying to deduce who would be stupid enough to back into a votive candle, before TPWWIWA(ALTRRIWI) noticed the flames climbing up my back, lapping at the ceiling, threatening to ignite the entire house, and which would have undoubtedly eventually left the entire city in a pile of smoldering rubble:
There was precious little actual concern among the partygoers after she bravely risked her own life to pat it out; on the contrary, there was mostly coughing and laughter, with perhaps the loudest laughs coming from the city Fire Chief**. I’m glad I could be of some amusement.
I suppose it was a productive evening … The Live Acorn got another “yeah, that’s my dad …” moment, the EMDAMOTLA got rid of a 15-year-old sweater, and I am virtually guaranteed an invitation for next year’s AOHE/IFD, as the rest of her societal guests will certainly ask if she’s going to have the clown show up again.
There’s got to be an asbestos-lined ugly Santa sweater on the internet somewhere.
* Ex Mrs. Dead Acorn, Mother Of The Live Acorn
** Not true. He was there, but he only chuckled mildly.