Written August 28, 2009
DISCLAIMER: There will be lots of profanity in this commentary. If you’re offended by profanity, don’t worry… I’ve included an asterisk (*) in place of one of the letters so you really can’t tell what the obscenity is supposed to be. F*cking LOVE that! See? Bet you thought I said “Focking LOVE that!”. You’d be wrong though.
I’m a HUGE David Sedaris fan. He’s an author, humorist, satirist, columnist, funniest person to come out of Raleigh, North Carolina EVER. I went to see him speak and it was the first of two times now that I’ve publicly peed my pants. I wish I were joking. If I could have fallen on the floor in a heap of laughter and tears without being sent for further evaluation I would have. The dude is FUNNY. The fact that he grew up around these parts is secondary but nonetheless interesting. I’ve actually seen his brother’s hardwood flooring van on the street that runs by our neighborhood. It still makes me wonder to this day who had their floors installed by “Silly P”. In any event, I ingratiated myself in my book club as the worst picker of books when I chose Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day”. The only other person who liked it was my friend, Heather, and I will be forever grateful to her for being as sick and twisted as I am. She just “gets me”. But, everyone will admit that it was the best book discussion we’ve ever had.
In this particular book Sedaris describes something called a “F*ck It Bucket”. His father was going through a rough time and his brother (Silly P/The Rooster) brought over a bucket full of candy proclaiming, “It’s gonna be alright. When shit’s got you down, you just need to say f*ck it and eat yourself some motherf*cking candy.”. Better advice I had never heard. I have been known to give my friends their own personal F*ck It Bucket when life deals them a big, stinking, rotten bushel of lemons. It’s the least I can do. Candy does do wonders.
So, when school started for my kids and all of us were getting the homework blues I had a flash of brilliance. I’ll make them their own F*ck It Bucket. Of course, I was politically correct and called it the “After School Bucket”. My sister had just happened to win a very pretty, oblong, lime green bucket recently. Lucky for me she was trying to declutter and I enjoy collecting random pieces of shit, so it became mine. (Did I see a new show called “Hoarders” is on TV now…) I placed it in the middle of the kitchen table and filled it with blank notebooks for spelling homework, a pencil cup stocked with freshly sharpened pencils, erasers, and brain building snacks they could partake in when they got home. I was so in love with myself when I was finished!
And so were my kids. When they burst through the door at 3:15 they stopped in their tracks. I could almost hear the angels singing. Book bags dropped to the floor as they stared at the beautifully appointed lime green bucket. “Mommy, what’s THAT?”. “That’s your new After School Bucket dears.” “Wow, what’s in it?” “Well, all kinds of things to make our afternoon easier and more fun.” “Can I have the granola bar?” “Can I have the almonds?”. Cherubs wouldn’t have sounded sweeter. I must admit though, at this point I felt a bit like a crack dealer dressed up as Ronald McDonald. “Come on kids… drugs are FUN!”. I even kept the festive multicolored ribbon that came tied to the handle. To me, it says “Welcome to the homework party!”. And seriously, I do think they enjoyed doing their worksheets just a bit more that day. At least, the whining was cut down by about half. And man, if that’s not worth it, I don’t know what is!
Of course, it could have just been because they were in an oat, fruit, nut, gummy snack stupor. Being kids, they are incapable of rationing themselves and proceeded to eat ALL the snacks in the After School (F*ck It) Bucket. ALL of them. The snacks which I had figured would last the entire week and which I had so lovingly and thoughtfully placed, were now in their engorged bellies. Crumpled wrappers strewn across the table and floor in what looked like a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of consumed protein and carbs. Apparently in the time it took me to look through two backpacks and clean out two lunchboxes my kids were possessed by the spirits of two long starved raccoons. Which got me to thinking, I bet they could really tear up a hot dog eating contest!
Back to the pantry I go to restock the bucket. I couldn’t be mad at them really, it was true that I had not explained the rules of the bucket and they ARE growing children as our ever burgeoning grocery bill can attest. Plus, who can be grumpy in the midst of that multicolored ribbon? No one I tell you! So, as I’m restocking the bucket I start thinking about my own After School Bucket and what I might like to include in order for ME to survive the homework hour. Let’s see… first there’s the obvious- bottle opener, shot glass, ibuprofen, and chocolate. But then I get creative- air horn to break up the “You’re using MY smencil!!!!” fights. (By the way, “smencil”=smelly (in a good way) pencil. My new favorite word.), invisible headphones to protect my ears from the air horn (and I say invisible because I would probably wear them most of the time so I could cut out the whining all together but I wouldn’t want to seem rude. Plus, I wouldn’t want them to take up the kind of room VISIBLE headphones would take up in a F*ck It Bucket. It’s all about space with me.), and one of those hilarious punching nun puppets. Ever seen them? It wouldn’t be useful or anything, I’ve just always wanted one.
Of course, making myself one would be next to impossible. I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for invisible headphones. Probably at the same store that sells “listening ears” to children. In spite of this, I want to implore you to give the F*ck It Bucket a try. Either for yourself, someone you love or your kids. I mean, I know you love your kids. Just don’t call the one for your kids a F*ck It Bucket. We all could use some motherf*cking candy or delicious snacks now and then don’t you think?
Copyright 2010 by Me