Slice of Life — Timing Division

So I just heard a weird noise from the fish tank, turned around, discovered that the growth of hair algae had clogged the intake* and it was shooting air bubbles instead of current. I squawked, threw on a glove, and began fumbling in the tank, and at that moment, a car pulled up and the beagle started going off like a soprano foghorn.

Now, we’re on a rural route, so the mailtruck is actually an elderly sedan** and this was an elderly sedan and I thought it might be the mail, and they might have my ink (I ran out of cyan AGAIN!) and I need it desperately before tomorrow, so I ran downstairs. With a latex glove on. With green goop stuck to it. Because I REALLY need ink. Ink is more vital to me than blood, and anyway, it’s not like the mailperson’s going to get MORE surly.

I shoved the beagle back with a foot, grabbed the knob with my non-gloved hand, flung the door open, and the rather startled woman who had been shoving pamphlets in my door for Jesus took a step back and said "Oh…"

My used glove and I confronted her. Gir danced frantically behind me, seeing a NEW PERSON. Perhaps he could go jump up on her! And then pee on her feet! Oh happy day!

"Uh," I said, realizing that she was carrying a Bible. Things processed slowly through my fish-addled brain. Probably a door-to-door evanglist. Probably did not have any cyan ink on her person. Damnit.

There was a moment while we both tried to remember our respective scripts. I don’t know what she thought was on my glove–hair algae turns into streaky green goo when removed from water, but still has that vague algae look, and a latex glove is a latex glove. I looked not unlike I’d been giving a prostate exam to the Swamp Thing.

"We’re just trying to talk to a few of our neighbors…" she said. I got the feeling that I had not been what she had in mind, but that she was willing to plow ahead and save my soul from Satan, or at least algae.

I looked at her blankly, wondering if my tank had exploded yet. "Uh?"

"About Scripture."

"Oh! Right! Uh. Sorry." I looked away, and made eye contact with my glove, which I was holding up at about shoulder level the way you do with a filthy gloved hand.

She also made eye contact with my glove. The glove said nothing, perhaps confident in its own salvation.

"I’m really busy right now," I said hopelessly. This hardly ever works, but I wasn’t feeling particularly pseudo-Catholic today, and I never have anything clever to say to door-to-door evangelists. (I always want to, but it never happens. Sometimes I write a little mental script, and then I never remember it.)

Fortunately, I reckoned without the power of the glove. Perhaps deciding that I was dangerously insane, she said "Ah. Yes. Thanks for your time," and backed away. I went up and ripped goo until the intake was clear and the tank was saved. Gir was sad because he hadn’t gotten to pee ecstatically on anybody, but hey, you can’t have everything.

*I’m pretty sure my beloved Crab Bob is dead, because my hair algae has erupted, he’s not worshipping the chopstick, and I’m sad and don’t know if I want to replace him. I may be too soft-hearted for a reef tank. On the other hand, I better get one next week if it’s bad enough that it’s clogging the intakes.

**And our mailperson is really surly to me. Has been for like a year. I finally asked Kevin what was up with that, and he coughed a bit and said that he was under the impression that she’d quite liked his ex-wife. Small towns, man…

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