If anyone out there (Mom) is wondering why postings around here got sparse and stingy right around Christmas, I will tell you: Personal Apocalypse.
Here's what happened after Christmas:
1. Canine zoo animal felled by mysterious diarrheal affliction. Panic. Enormous vet bills are generated. Most egregious fleecing: a $334 abdominal ultrasound (and one accompanying shaved dog belly, which the Zookeepers like to rub while saying "look at dis pork belly"). Ultimate diagnosis: mysterious liver lesion that does not appear malignant. Prognosis: Lifetime prescription of (expensive) milk thistle (milk thistle!) for healthy liver function, and a normal lifespan.
2. Feline zoo animal felled by mysterious respiratory affliction. Panic. Battle lines are drawn when the vet attempts to draw blood examine the cat get within ten feet of the cat, which prompts the cat to unleash a great fury totally disproportionate to his compact size. Vet: zero, Cat: 1. Enormous vet bills are generated, anyway. In lieu of an adequate physical examination, which the cat effectively cancelled by going berserk, the vet resorts to a generic sort of patch-up. Aided by one vet tech, one towel and two chain mail gloves, the vet manages to grab hold of the cat's left rear haunch long enough to sink a giant syringe full of mega-antibiotics into his muscle. The cat gets better. Ultimate diagnosis: mad cow disease? Prognosis: Our vet may have fired us.
3. An Incident.
4. Vehicle felled by affliction of the brakes and tires. Let me first assure you that ZB and I drive our vehicle about one hundred feet a week. We've had it 18 months and put, I believe, 4,000 miles on it. That includes two round trips between Connecticut and Virginia. So we were mightily surprised (no, we weren't) when we dropped Ol' Reliable off for an oil change and heard back from our mechanic that we were lucky the tires hadn't fallen off weeks ago. Usually, I would take this sort of news with a big roll of the eyes, but 1) we knew the tires and brakes were going bad, and 2) we seem to have found the one mechanic in the universe who is widely praised as being straightforward and trustworthy. No, I will not tell you who it is. Not until we move and I don't need him anymore. Anyway, 4 tires+4 brakes+1 oil change+1 air filter+2 windshield wipers=$1,348.92. Christmas and birthdays are cancelled for the rest of the year.
5. Zookeeper A's computer felled by mysterious hardware affliction. I don't want to talk about all the things I tried to get it working again. I would have converted to Scientology to revive that machine, but it was resolute in its decision to die. Fortunately, the photos and documents are safe. Unfortunately, a new computer is moving in at the Zoo. Damage: $859.99.
This string of events began around December 27th and will (hopefully) draw to a close exactly today, when the new computer is delivered. I would say it's all just a bout of bad luck, but I am increasingly convinced that this town is evil and the evil has seeped into our household and poisoned everything in it. Did I mention Zookeeper B's back is hurting today? This might be item number six on the above list. We only have 7.5 months to go before we can vacate this accursed land permanently, but now I'm paranoid that the evil is trying to inflict maximum damage on our property and emotions before we leave.
I am not a superstitious person.
That might be changing.
In other news, I passed the first section of the CPA exam. However, I will almost certainly not pass the section that I am taking a week from tomorrow. I was supposed to be studying for the last eight weeks. As you may recall, if you read the preceding paragraphs, I was suffering through a personal apocalypse at the time. I'm doing some catch-up cramming but my expectations are set for "Embarrassing Failure". I hope you feel sorry for me. I deserve it.