The Great Plotnik

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zeroes and Fives

Plot and Duck's kids have birthdays coming up and they aren't easy ones. The Great PD and Great FiveHead have had so many mice in their apartment they have taken to naming them. Today PD caught Virgil and Willem. Xavier will be next, followed by Yves and Zed. These little buggers are like hurricanes and nobody seems to be able to stop them. And then there's work.

The Great BZWZ is in the worst part of any PhD program, where there is little going on but hard labor and lots of questioning with few answers. Then you have a birthday.

And more work.

With birthdays and anniversaries there are eight good ones for every two bad ones. You can't help it -- when the number ends in 5 or 0 it marks you. Where am I now, compared to where I was the last time I had one of these (five years ago)?

NOBODY likes the answer. It doesn't matter WHAT you're doing now, five years ago things were easier.

So PD has one of those ends-in-5 birthdays this year, and the next day is Plot and Duck's Anniversary, which this year rounds into an 0. And an o. The 0 we know about. The o is what other people's mouths do after they say: "You're HOW old? ooooooooo.

BZWZ has several years until she hits one of these markers again, but this year's birthday is not an easy one either, and hers always comes before everybody else's. In Kindergarten she walked into the classroom on the first day of school and the teacher said "Happy Birthday BZWZ!" She broke into tears.

(Plot suggests a RX for his children: a short talk with Mummy P. 50? 60? 70? 80? 90? 95? HAHHH! Mummy P. was married longer to her THIRD husband than Plot and Duck have been together. She can remember what she was doing in 1920.)

And don't forget The Great Plotnik himself, who in October will stagger up to a birthday with a 5 on the end of it too. He can't remember where he put his keys.

So what's the message here?

Feel good. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good. Then laugh at the stupid markers. What are the odds that you will drop dead on your 40th? 50th? 60th? birthday anyway? Play those odds. Then hide in the house, under your bed, the rest of the year.

Plot and Duck saw a great play last night ("Trouble in Mind" by Alice Childress) that was first shown in 1955. It could have been written yesterday. The play is eye-opening but what is even more eye-opening is this piece of info from the press-pak: Childress was the first black woman in America to have a play professionally produced. The FIRST. The year: 1952. How about that?

So we're all making strides, faster, sadly, than the country is, but everything takes time. And time is the one thing none of us has in unlimited quantities.

Plot to his kids: "You are HOW old? ooooooooooooooo!


At 12:36 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

Mummy P is a wonder.

And "Plus"? I was just getting used to "Bang"s and "Baub"s. Nice review though.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Finch said...

Sarah has a zero bday (the same zero as your anniversary) coming up and like you, Plottie, I have a 5 bday on the horizon. The most depressing thing is having to sign up for I know I am old.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Brother Two Names said...

I have the same birthday ending in a 5 as The Great PD. Boy, are we both old.


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