Everything’s coming up Milhouse?

We’re at the end of 2020, and I don’t know where to start. This post will be a summary of my week, not the year.

I may have found a place for Feb 1st. A place to call my own. It’s cheap–for Victoria–and became available to me through connections. The owners were reluctant about showing the suite to strangers during the pandemic after the last tenants moved out in the summer; however, I’ve been endorsed by their daughter and son in law. I’m not a stranger, just strange.

This would be the best possible realistic outcome. I just need to sort out a few details with the landlords before committing. I’d love to stay in James Bay, but I can find something I like about this new neighbourhood. I’m already intrigued by the scrap metal art neighbours who went overboard with the holiday decorations. Though, I doubt they could ever match the endless spectacle brought forth by the residents of The Black Lodge.

Living by myself means I won’t have to worry about buying pajamas. This is a real concern of mine about moving in with someone who’s not a partner. I haven’t worn what could pass as real pajamas in a long time. My loungewear is tattered rags. Before being demoted to pajamas, they were my camping clothes. After a few years of disintegrating in my sleep, they then turn into clothes that I wear when I bleach my hair. Finally, whatever’s left gets shoved into the trash. Generally, I only replace things near or at the end of their life, except for bike parts. I’m selectively eco-conscious and frugal, like many Millennials.

What’s a proper pajama, though? Plaid? But I don’t know my clan! Farm animal print? A Victorian nightshirt and nightcap combo?

What if I walked around at night carrying a lit candle instead of using electricity as a normal person would? Obviously, the other person would find it odd, but would it be enough for them to ask me to move out?

Also, after ten years, I’m lost on what’s considered acceptable roommate behaviour. For example, if I massage my glutes by gyrating on a tennis ball in the living room, would that be okay? Danica of my original Victoria days kept a litter box* in the fridge:

A cake resembling a dirty litter box rests on the top rack of a fridge. On the bottom shelf is a giant jug of soy sauce.
*Actually a cake. Also, I’m sure that giant jug of soy sauce was mine.

She would’ve been okay with watching me use a tennis ball as a butt caster. But, a toy pony named Scoops was enough to spook Turkey Guy. So, I don’t know.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is how ill-prepared Post Canada was for the holidays this year. This isn’t a complaint as much as it’s an observation; none of us were prepared for the pandemic. Canada Post was so backlogged that it took them a month to deliver the hand cream I ordered. I could’ve gone two blocks down to the mall during my lunch break to get the same cream rather than pay ten dollars on shipping. As I said, I’m selectively frugal, and spending ten dollars to avoid the mall is a reasonable expense for me. I’ve been avoiding the mall before the pandemic made it cool.

When the parcel finally arrived, the letter carrier had rammed it into our mailbox from the top, blocking the bar latch. The key wouldn’t turn. The entire bottom row of the cluster mailbox was jimmied open using a metal ruler and moderate force, crushing any confidence I had in the security of those mailboxes. Yet, this was more exciting and convenient than going to the post office with a delivery notice.

Undeterred by the No Junk Mail label, our mailbox routinely gets clogged by drugstore flyers. I was delighted to finally receive what appeared to be personal mail and intrigued when I noticed that it wasn’t intended for anybody in particular. What kind of person would take the time to mail handwritten cards to strangers? Amélie from Montmartre?

Or… a Jehovah’s Witness. I did not consider this possibility. I applaud them for coming up with an ingenious way of getting into my place to share their “good news.” What they did was jimmy their way into my home with stationery!

A small white card opened to show the text inside. Hello! As a volunteer in Victoria, I'm letting poeple know about a unique online resource--our official website jw.org. It has over 1,000 languages and is totally free. No advertising or tracking. During these stressful times, having access to accurate and well-researched information is important. For example, there's an excellent article on "Pandemic Fatigue- how you can beat it" that I found very helpful. You will find many physical and spiritual insights on this site. I hope you have the opportunity to explore this website. IF you have any questions or would like more information, please contact me at my email address below. Sherryne"

The envelope came with a return mailing address written on the reverse. This is an opportunity for me to spend $1.07 just to be petty. I noticed that the address was within the neighbourhood, so I could also be cheap by hand-delivering my bad news. I could stockpile drug store flyers to donate to them monthly. Thanks to me, they’d save money on toothpaste and pass the savings on to The Watch Tower Society.

Two screen grabs from The Simpsons depicting a yellow female and a yellow male dressed in church clothing. The first frame says "Wait, Marvin, I just had a thought. Maybe we're bothering people by trying to change their religion. What if we don't have all the answers?" The second frame says, "You're right, Noreen. Let's go get real jobs."

If you want a better Jehovah’s Witness story, here’s a post about a zealot who stalked me at work.

I made Milhouse the theme of this post because I was surprised with a holiday card from two work friends in which they had written thoughtful messages. They’d interrupted my week-long binge of pessimism, and it was welcome.

Still from Futurama showing two toad-like characters in royal clothing having an exchange. The text reads "This concept of wuv confuses and infuriates us!"
Wrong show.

Sandwiched in-between their love was a Milhouse decal since I’d quoted The Simpsons enough to out myself as a fan.

A white Milhouse decal in front of a Santa-face print Christmas card laying on top of a red envelope.
Not sure which bike he’ll go on yet.

The bad news, though, is that one of them is breaking up with the job, riding off to work for another bike retailer, leaving me with nobody else to bandy Simpsons references.

Homer and Bart Simpson are in a bike shop talking to a bald, moustachioed employee pulling a bike away from Bart. The employee says, "Hey, Pally, I don't want to downshift your enthusiasm."

Without social media to passively keep in touch with people, I have to aggressively keep in touch. I’ll make them do a brevet with me, thus forcing them to be with me for at least ten hours. I could always use more people like them in my life.

Have Jehovah’s Witnesses considered randonneuring? They’d just need to learn to sermonize at an average speed of 15km/h.

However this pandemic plays out in 2021, it’s going to be a significant year for me.

4 thoughts on “Everything’s coming up Milhouse?

  1. That Jehovah Witness letter is the same one as I got. I’m also deaf and I live in Indiana USA. A lot of other deaf people I know around the country also got the same thing. We were like WTF? There’s some sort of mass campaign going on to drag us into their cult. Pass!

    And this after they showed up at our hideaway house in Vermont some years back. I mean deaf JW, not hearing, knowing we are deaf and live in the house. We were shocked and dismayed. Had to run them off our property and told them not to come back again.

    And yet they still managed to find us again in Indiana. Ugh.


    1. Yup, they’re notorious for going after deaf people! They’ll go as far to become FLUENT (!) in ASL for the sole purpose of recruiting deaf people. Sadly, this has been effective as many deaf people latch to the idea of having a community in which they are welcome.

      My previous encounter was with one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses, but in this instance, I think someone just wrote a hundreds of cards to mail out to the neighbours at random.


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