You touch, you die. No exceptions. No mercy.

March 1, 2009

Other than the obvious (dangly bits + vise grips + blowtorch = pain), there are not too many ways to hurt those of us who inhabit Planet Man.

For the most part, we’re quite adept at shrugging off the roadblocks life throws at us. For example:

Wife: “Honey, I ran over the family dog.” Planet Man resident: “No problem. I saw a cute St. Bernard puppy at the pet store.”

Wife: “Honey, I put the vacuum cleaner nozzle through the 42-inch TV.” Planet Man resident: “No problem. Super-Duper Electronics Emporium has a sale on 100-inch models.”

Wife: “Honey, I forgot to buy coffee at the store.” Planet Man resident: “No problem. We’ll sell your grandmother’s jewelry that survived the Titanic sinking and buy a coffee plantation so we’ll always have a steady supply.”

However . . .

As even-tempered and understanding and patient and caring and loving as all men tend to be, there is a short list of things we will not tolerate. And by short, I mean one thing: Do. Not. Touch. Our. Stuff.

This is one of those unwritten rules that should be included in all marriage vows. Right there with all the crap stuff about love, honour, obey, blah-blah-blah.

“Back away from the Man Stuff” should be in the Constitution. And the Bill of Rights. I believe it’s already in the Magna Carta and will soon be added to the Geneva Convention. It’s even in the Bible, right there with all those covet commandments.

Dear Wife: You can boss me around, force me to watch Grey’s Anatomy, coerce me into giving you a back massage, elbow me into conversing with your mother and admiring your manicure without surrendering to the gag reflex, but my Stuff is out of bounds. Verboten. Yes, that does mean you. I have my lawyer on speed dial. Or I will as soon as I figure out how to work this damn cellphone. You haven’t seen the instructions around here anywhere, have you? No? Now, where was I? Oh yeah . . .

Each inhabitant of Planet Man has his own particular Stuff (also referred to as Invaluable Treasures). I, for example, possess books and magazines, Orange Monkey (don’t ask), my MacBook (love you!), the coffee machine and several items tucked under my side of the mattress. These are not to be touched by Viking Woman under any circumstances (unless, of course, she is standing inside our burning house and passing them out to me through an open window).

However, lest you think I’m being childish unreasonable, please note that she is allowed to touch my clothes, but only to remind herself there is actually carpet in the bedroom.

Due to a recent interest in food preparation, my Eternal List of Wonders (as it’s also sometimes known) has expanded to include certain items in the kitchen and pretty much everything in the pantry. The latter is also a perfect example of my organizational skills. Everything I need at that very moment is right at the front. Everything I don’t need right now is jammed into a dark corner somewhere.

It’s chaos but it’s MY chaos and I relish its wild, untamed nature. Or I did. Because, over a recent rainy weekend, Viking Woman and a visiting friend decided the pantry could use a bit of a tidy.

While I sulked read in the bedroom, they proceeded to pull everything out, rubbish those items whose best-by dates were achieved in the 20th century, and then place the purge survivors back on the shelves. They used a method they like to call “alphabetical.” Yeah, right. As if that’s real. Nice try. You can’t fool Planet Man with fancy words.

I look in the pantry now and feel violated. All the bottles and containers are upright or stacked. The cereal boxes stand at attention side-by-each. The baking supplies nestle together on one shelf, eagerly awaiting the spatula and a pre-heated oven. There are storage boxes filled with satchels of tea and hot chocolate, with tubes of sugar and envelopes of salt and pepper. The food wraps are all here. The sandwich spreads are all there.

It’s all so . . . so . . . neat.

And by neat I mean prissy. And by prissy I mean, oh, there’s the Smoked Paprika I haven’t seen since 2004. Hello, old friend. Meet potato salad.

Thanks honey! Um, I mean, don’t ever touch my Stuff again!

At least not until the next time I can’t find the Cajun Seasoning. I’m serious!

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2 Responses to “You touch, you die. No exceptions. No mercy.”

  1. Lily said

    Do you know George Carlin’s comedic piece on ‘Stuff’….it’s hilarious! This piece reminds me of that. Do take a look at it if you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth the 5 minutes!!

  2. Megan said

    Very funny stuff here, I really like your use of crossing out words, haha. I was pulling all the goods out of my pantry because I was sure I had a can of evaporated milk. Do they have that in NZ?

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