Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Thursday, August 18, 2005


The stealth silent stalker

There is danger lurking in our suburban rambler.

It is the enemy. It terrorizes and maims. It is dangerous and menacing. Yet it does not make noise. It is a silent and ever present threat. Yet it does not emit harmful gasses or fluids of any kind. It does not make sudden movements. In fact it makes no movement at all. It sits there in plain view. Benign in appearance. Don’t be fooled.

The enemy lurking in our home. It is…… the coffee table.

What, you may ask, can be dangerous about a coffee table?

The coffee table sits idly in the TV room. Its twin brother sits innocently in the living room. They look functional and innocent and decorative. They dutifully hold your magazines and glass of water. Your cup of coffee. Your sandwich on a plate. Duplicitous conniving little bastards.

They lie in wait. The coffee tables. They wait silently for your just-about-one-year-old to walk up to them. To fall on them. Fall over them. Fall into them. They bruise her cheek with their nasty little sharp corners. They leave mean looking black and blue lines on that irresistible kissable chubby cheek. Right where your sweet little girl unwittingly toddled up and fell for no apparent reason. No apparent reason but that toddlers are very toddly and wobbly. And coffee tables are terrible and mean and sharp.

The coffee tables sit there indifferently and wait for the child to walk up. They gleefully aniticipate the inevitable. Then it happens. Those tender dimpled knees buckle and they greedily nab a piece of those fragile little gums and brand new teeth. They are not satisfied until they bruise or draw blood from your sweet small unsuspecting child.

The coffee tables. They call from across the room. “Hey there little tyke! Come on over and hang on to my sides! I am just your size! You can walk around me AND see over me! You can crawl under me! You can find all sorts of contraband on me! Like US Magazines to tear and eat! Like Coffee to drink, to stunt your growth and then spill on the floor! Look at all this succulent contraband I hold! Just for you little one! Then WHAM! They get a piece of forehead, cheek or chin. Greedy rotton mean nasty ratty old coffee tables.

Then they cackle evilly and say to me “AHA!!! THAT’S gonna leave a mark! Explain THAT one to the neighbors! NOW you’re gonna get some looks in the grocery store! You will be ruined! Social Services will come take your child, you will be labelled an abuser, an outcast, a pariah! My plan will be complete!!! And no one will we the wiser!”

Mean nasty sharp cornered coffee table. Innocent and benign my ass.


Blogger cmhl said...

you couldn't be more right.

and driveways too. my darling daughter fell on the driveway this morning and skinned her knee. evil, I tell you, inanimate objects can be EVIL.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Two words. Arnica gel.

And, sister, this is exactly why I've lived without a coffee table for the last six years.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My coffee table is now outside in the storage shelf after my three year old son fell onto the evil leg and required four stiches and seven hours in the emergency room.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Kari said...

Brilliant post. Funny and true.

Well, not funny when she get hurt. Sob.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

The week before I went into labor with my first child, I dragged the coffee table outside and I've never allowed one in the house since. (My oldest is just shy of 22)

They are evil!

3:58 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

The time will come (quicker than you can believe) when the coffee table will return to its benign, non-sinister self.

In the meantime, that's why God invented the baby-proofing store. (What? They don't have one in MN? You gotta come to L.A.)

8:51 PM  
Anonymous ae said...

Frickin' coffee tables! When I would babysit our godson (when he was less than 2-yrs-old), I was like one of those cartoon nervous people scurrying around underneath the guy spinning priceless china on long sticks. Jeez. One can NEVER let one's guard down around sharp corners and hard surfaces! They're everywhere! It's a plot, I tell you.

9:59 PM  
Blogger GraceD said...

Meghan, thank you.

Thank you for validating my number one fear when Moll was a wee babe.

Everyone said, "Grace, you're nuts." And they were right, except for this coffee table business. This business FROM THE DEVIL HIMSELF.

It may have been 13 years ago that the scary ass c-table was vanquished to the garage, but I remember. I REMEMBER.

And...my kid is ALIVE TODAY.

So, who's nuts now, huh? HUH?

12:27 AM  
Anonymous pjindy said...

Meghan and readers. I am in suburban culture shock. HEEEEELP.

First off, in suburbia you have neighbors. In my two weeks in this new and crazy subculture, I have met only one, but that gave me enough taste to want to return to the haven of isolation I have reveled in for the past 18 years. Alas, that is not to be.

My neighbor of just 14 days comes over to me yesterday as I stand discussing my "yard plan" with my new contract help: a tow headed boy of 14 year who will mow weekly. She introduces herself and explains that *the* property line is "not down the middle" as you might suspect between our two houses. No, the line was off-center and last week my contractor mowed one strip of her lawn, and that was really unnecessary work on our part and really, she would take care of it, if we just followed her "line".

Sheesh, what is the sam hill is this about?

I wanted to recommend she just do the whole lawn shabang thang between our homes, and that would be fine with me. Or..... ask if she were fertilizing that "line", or.... inform her she "owed" me for that strip I accidentally paid to be mowed for her last week, or.... could she please water my section as well as her own? Is this why the fence was invented?

But no, feeling my way carefully in this new environment, I nodded in puzzlement and sage understand ling while the 14 year old contractor explained that it wasn't his error, rather he had subcontracted the job to his dad last week. As for me, I have never mowed a lawn, let alone someone Else's strip.

Geez, what is wrong with people? I mean really. Would the squatters law really come into play in a property line dispute if I moved the wrong strip of lawn for 5 years? Did my neighbor really think I could convince a judge that I owned that strip due to physical anguish and financial set back of mowing for 125 weeks? Wouldn't the survey take care of any future property dispute?

Today, being neighborly, I brought a bottle of wine in a Chinese pocket to welcome a new backyard neighbor. They seem pleasant enough --tho since they are kitty-corner, there is not risk of mowing disputes. And, at any rate, my 14 yo contractor refused to budge on his price, even with that strip removed from the contract. Suburbia.

And you thought coffee tables were a challenge.

5:00 PM  

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