When I was in third grade my family lived in a big yellow house on Comanche Road. We had a great big yard and all the neighborhood kids used to come to our house. At one point, a new girl moved into the neighborhood a few houses down from mine. She was tall and tough and had an accent I had never heard which I recognize now as seriously Staten Island.

She told me her name was Marie, and I asked her to repeat it.

She said, “Marie,”

and i said, “Murry?”’

and she said, “Marie!”

and I said again, “Murry?”

and she said once more, “Marie! not Murry!!”

I thought about what she had said and still was unsure of the difference. This introduction was starting to get uncomfortable. I decided we should move on from names and play on the swings. This was fine until I had to introduce her to my mother, and I said, “Mom, this is Murry,”

She never came to play again.

Sorry Murry, if you ever see this, I get it now, Marie, like Mary but not really…


dad snake

Here is a conversation I had with my mother via text about a copperhead in my parents yard:

MOM: Tang hunted down the snake under the mint along the rocks by the patio. When I went to get her, I saw what i thought was a copperhead. I called your dad.

He came with a shovel, but he sent me to get the machete from the truck. I gave him the machete and turned to seek higher ground, but he said, “stand here with the shovel to keep his attention,” since he was looking at me!

Your dad went in front of him while he looked at me and WHACK, a single swipe decapitated him!

I posted it on facebook.

ME: This reads like a poem.

MOM: Someone was bitten by a rabid skunk at Cheeseburger in Paradise.

ME: What?! Related: rabid rat bit a woman on the J train.

MOM: Yesterday, the skunk sprayed first, which was detrimental to business, then attacked someone.

When did that happen with the rat? Are you equipped to deal with that? You must capture/kill and keep the rat.

ME: Um… no, I don’t actually know that woman and I don’t want a dead rat.