Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:50 pm —

Here in Italy the kind of advanced technology that allows Americans to seal their garbage bags by pulling on a space-age device called a “drawstring” is unknown.  Trash bags here come with a sort of filament.  A long and exceedingly fragile plastic thread that is in no way capable of actually sealing the bag against the sorts of super-pressures built up by American waste production habits.

There’s a five stage process involved in properly sealing the Italian garbage bag:

1) Stall until garbage is spilling over the top.

2) Lift garbage bag up while producing old man grunts.

3) Attempt to use the filament despite the failure of the previous 912 attempts.

4) Find the duct tape, curse Italians for their refusal to do the hard work necessary to produce state-of-the-art bag-sealing technology, the children for creating trash, the wife for creating children, the numbness in my left thumb caused by stabbing myself with a knife opening a Nerf pistol two years ago resulting in a degree of clumsiness in tearing off duct tape, and George W. Bush because why not?

5) Drop the stupid string on the floor where it will be eaten by the cat.

So we go on vacation for a week — if by vacation you mean driving around France screaming “goshdarn it, if you two scamps don’t pipe down I could have a serious accident and then I will be very disappointed in you.*”

And we come home to Florence.  Okay, Pelago.  Which yes, does sound like a skin disaease.  We drive over to see the Cat Lady.  She’s British, lives up the side of a mountain that would daunt Granny Clampett, and we pick up Lightning the kitty.  Take Lightning home and it seems Lightning isn’t acting like her usual self.  In this case, howling much of the night causing me to cry out, “Oh, please, kitty, won’t you cease disturbing my well-earned repose?**”

This morning we discover that Lightning has a garbage bag string hanging out of her butt.  Which quite frankly took some of the steam out of my irritation.  Under similar circumstances I doubt I’d curl up in a  ball and go to sleep, either.

There’s a vet right at the bottom of our hill but Katherine made an appointment with her regular vet who is much better.  He’s more expensive, further away, slow and inconvenient.  But purely by coincidence he is the handsomest vet ever.  If you like young, swarthy, five o’clock shadowed with great hair, dreamy eyes and the cutest accent.  

Katherine and The Girl spend two hours discussing butt string with Dottore McSogno.  The Boy and I sit in the car playing Quordy on our iPhones.  

Lightning is home and doing better.  If by “better” you mean producing vast piles of diarrhea so toxic that I’m thinking of sleeping in the office.  Katherine and The Girl are digging through the piles of poo looking for string.  They’re going to measure the string, add it up.  

It’s a kind of home school math project.   


*translation:  ”G—– it you little —–, if you don’t —- —- —- — I’ll —– —- and ——-on a —– killing spree!”

**translation:  ”G—– it you —— cat I am going to —– —— and ——- —- cat cassoulet!”

Horaayy..there are 9 comment(s) for me so far ;)


This post is so full of win.

Your (hilariously named) Dottore McSogno reminds me of The Ticket Angel, whom a visiting friend spent AN HOUR with trying to get his refund on an unused train ticket at Termini. Except, I had to translate the romance for him. Yawn.

Miss Expatria wrote on September 26, 2008 - 7:47 pm

Imagine having a shoelace in your ass. Then: having a vet pull it out before giving you the 1 2 3 couuntdown. See how happy you’re not/wouldn’t be.

Kaori wrote on September 27, 2008 - 12:35 am

“…A tour de force from a master of the craft of, Reynolds’ latest post compares well to his rant about taking too long at the Hardee’s drive-thru and indeed, approaches the pinnacle of comedy realized in his the long-forgotten ‘Product Placement Pundit’ video bits. Reynolds just keeps getting better and better…”

Transplanted Lawyer wrote on September 27, 2008 - 1:00 am

Okay. Now I understand what a cat butt string is. And I feel awful for mocking the phrase on FB yesterday. Although I am very glad your cat’s butt string problem has been resolved, and by a man comparable to Patrick Dempsey, no less. Patrick Dempsey can do anything, you know. Like marry his best friend’s mom.

Also, please tell your family to wear gloves while digging through cat poo. It’s not very sanitary, you know. :)

Sabrina wrote on September 27, 2008 - 11:56 am

You’re using the wrong Italian garbage technology - you’re supposed to use all those Ipercoop shopping bags that you paid .05 for anyway. Keep a roll of ’scotch’ handy to seal up the inevitable holes and rips so your garbage won’t weep (what an image - what would make garbage weep, anyway? Probably having to sit around filled with cat pooh, soft cat pooh; it would make me weep too). You’ll be saving money; when I priced them the purchased garbage bags, which are about 2 mils thinner than grocery bags, cost about a penny more each - you’ll be rich in no time! And when the bag is full, you simply tie the carry handles together and there you go. You’re happier, your garbage is happier, and your kitten is definitely happier. Probably your wife and daughter, too, unless they are very unusual people.

Fern wrote on September 27, 2008 - 12:31 pm

One of the (many) kittens in my checkered past once wandered by me and I noticed a string hanging out of his ass.

“WTF?” quoth I.

Dunno exactly what I was thinking (if anything) but I held onto the little moggie and gently started pulling on the string.

And pulling… and pulling… etc.

I pulled about 6 feet of string out of a (maybe) one pound kitten while he gave me a startled and somewhat offended look.

I’m happy to report that he grew up into a fine little cat, none the worse for wear, though somewhat gun-shy whenever I picked him up for a scritchfest.

Howlin’ Hobbit wrote on September 27, 2008 - 1:39 pm

This story makes the odd strand of grass dangling from my dog’s butt seem quaint.

CalItal wrote on September 27, 2008 - 9:16 pm

Precisely why I avoid looking at the rear side of any of my pets.

Although one young male cat always seems to having something sticking out of the front side, usually still alive. Last night it was a mouse caught up in a game of “toss and catch”. The night before it was a newborn mouse being rolled around on the floor.

Now that I think about it, live animals aren’t so bad when compared to “vast piles of diarrhea”…

MiM wrote on September 30, 2008 - 5:07 pm

you must start a second blog, it’s wonder!

Ads wrote on March 18, 2009 - 5:58 pm
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