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I love my family.

In quarantine I frequently find myself desperately wanting to get away from them.

Wait, is what we’re doing still called quarantine?

Currently I’ve escaped to our basement. There’s a man from Orkin (pest control) down here, and it’s small and cramped, and he’s just standing there not doing anything which is really awkward because he has an uncomfortable mustache (well, it’s likely silky and smooth and very comfortable to him, but it makes me feel weird), deep blue eyes, and I’m pretty sure he should be wiggling through our crawlspace checking for varmints instead of just standing there eating Cheetos (but expertly keeping the phosphorescent orange cheez powder off his silky white moustache like all facial hair aficionados are apt to do). Maybe it’s his lunch break. I wonder if he washes his hands a lot, or maybe pest control experts are apathetic towards the fact they’re covered in disease and industrial poisons between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. so they just munch away.

Still, I’d rather be down here with him than upstairs with those people.

My wife says if we had a bigger house it wouldn’t be a problem. I wholeheartedly disagree. Notorious B.I.G’s song Mo Money Mo Problems was originally titled Mo House Mo Strife but Sean “Diddy” Combs made a last-second edit prior to release. You can look it up.

No, a big house would be worse because they’d (wife, kid) still interrupt me to ask super annoying questions like “Honey, we have to go over our spending this month so we don’t dip into our savings account” or “Dad, I like this girl but she doesn’t seem to like me, what should I do?” Who do they think I am, Phil Donahue? I don’t have time to make financial decisions or become a spirit guide for some pre-teen’s hormone-fueled inconsequential nonsense.

Plus, bigger houses just have bigger rats. You get used to rats in a small house. They become both a defining character and a pleasant reminder of how awful it was to live in the 1300’s so never experiment with time travel. Added bonus: you don’t have to host for the Holidays. Nothing lets you off the hook like reminding interested parties they’re welcome to come by and hang out, but please refrain from using the toilet if you hear any splashing sounds. Or squeaks.

Anyway, despite my well documented evidence to the contrary, I keep catching my wife looking at property listings in bed. IN BED. It’s scandalous. At first I thought she was just eyeing her favorite Peloton instructor Denis Morton. Denis is quite the catch – single, handsome, super funny, REALLY smart, brimming with all these bizarrely inspirational phrases I’ve literally turned into t-shirts (I sent him one, although after several hours of searching for his apartment and phone number the best I could do was locate Peloton Headquarters’ address in New York so I doubt he’ll get it, more’s the pity), a former Division One football player…did I mentioned chiseled, perfectly sweaty and how smart he is? I mean, this morning I wrote down today’s quote for future shirt or possibly poster creation: “There is no progress without failure. Just learn and go.” (Sigh). Dreamboat.

Am I still talking about Denis with one “n”? Did I mention he grows his hair out then cuts it and donates it the charity “Wigs for Kids?” No wonder I’m still talking about him. Do you think he talks about me?

Ah, anyway, no, she’s not lusting after Denis, she’s looking at friggin’ houses. Devasting.

The saving grace is not having w2 employment. It turns out banks, with all their homespun, neighborhood friendship and community support-themed advertising, only loan money if you can actually pay it back in such a way that they’ll also profit from the repayment. The gall of those cigar chomping fat cats makes my blood boil, but in this particular instance their greed and inhumanity plays strongly in my favor. I don’t even know what a w2 is, but I’m glad I don’t have one, because it’s a one-way ticket to two-car garages, central air, at least two bathrooms (twice the rats!) and fancy screen doors all over the place.

No thanks. Plus I heard neighborhoods with large houses are super weird, what with their block parties (a.k.a. pyramid schemes), invites to summer barbecues, sidewalk chalk-covered driveways, willingness to share lawn care equipment, community watches, etc. Again, no thanks. I’ve seen the freak show that happens in these places – I mean, nobody just made up “Stepford Wives,” “Your Friends and Neighbors,” and to a lessor degree “The Sopranos” and “Alien.”

So we’ll stay where we are, please and thank you. It’s not that bad. The rat, er, Orkin guy just left, so I’ll get along just fine.

Besides, the squeaks in our crawlspace are fairly easy to ignore once you get used to them.

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Engaging irreverence, occasional coherence, often pointed, mixed with enough indelicate humor as to create a want, a craving for more.