Money, honey.

September 14, 2008

Kiwis, obviously disdaining such scientific inconveniences as solstices, consider Sept. 1 the first day of spring. So I could say to Viking Woman, with some degree of accuracy, “Hey, let’s get out of the house and enjoy this beautiful, sunny spring day.”

And what better way to celebrate what surely must be the end of winter than by going to a farmers’ market and discovering what new wonders Mother Nature has to offer? Which is why we drove the 20 minutes from Napier to Hastings and the A&P Showgrounds.

I cautioned Viking Woman before we even left the house that our bank account was sucking slough water and would continue said sucking until the arrival of the next payday. And so we should only buy what items were deemed absolutely essential to the actual placing of meals on table.

Which would explain why I forked out $2 for a pair of avocados, and $5.50 for gluten-free sausages. Shortly afterwards, I found myself distracted by a buxom young lady in a pushup bra selling, uh, something. When I did finally turn around, it was to find Viking Woman using her bank card to purchase $30 worth of wine.

“What part of ‘we have no money’ did you miss?” I asked her, hissing under my breath in the crowded building.

“I’m stockpiling,” she said.

“What? In case of an earthquake?”

“Maybe.”

“Did you ever happen to notice that, whenever they show the aftermath of an earthquake, they always include security-camera footage of wine bottles smashing to the floor? I’m pretty sure it’s right there in the telephone book: ‘In the case of disaster, please smash all wine bottles first and then proceed in an orderly fashion to a place of safety.’ ”

“Well, I’m pretty sure it says, ‘women and children first’ and absolutely nothing about men who pay too much attention to bank accounts.”

“Whatever,” I said, my shoulders, and resolve, already beginning to slump.

“Besides,” she said, “I’m actually stockpiling for our visitors.”

And that was the end of it.

Because one of those future visitors is my sister, whom we’re hoping to impress the hell out of so she will go home to Canada and inform my parents that, yes, John may be located a million miles away but, no, he is not living in a Third World country, nor is he in ever-impending danger of being devoured by some wild critter. Or cannibals. Or both.

So I learned something new today: “We have no money” actually means “we have no money unless we happen to be buying something for a member of John’s immediate family, something which Viking Woman will eventually share.”

Maybe I should write that one down. And then file it under Why Even Bother.

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