Allow me to set the scene. My daughter had been sick for several days and was working on the world record for mucus production. I had recently contracted said illness and was valiantly (despite what my wife might claim) fighting it with over the counter medication, nasal irrigation, and sedation (namely NyQuil). There is a lot of hand-wringing and complaining about the change in the Nyquil formulation that somehow prevented kids in the Midwest from making green Crystal Meth that tastes like liquorice. Or something. I don’t quite get it. Regardless, the NyQuil was working. I was on my second night and sleeping better than I have in years. I was having great dreams and generally felt like I was sitting on a green, fluffy cushion of OTC narcotics. Pretty sweet. Except for the sickness part. But, so be it.
The night in question was pretty typical. We bathed my daughter and cajoled her into sleep. I drank the green syrup and watched a show I don’t remember with my wife. And then the next thing I knew, I was at an incredibly fancy (yet somehow still comfortable and unpretentious) party with the Obamas and other dignitaries (read: kids I went to middle school with). It was very vivid, but what I recall the most was that we opened presents and that there was a gigantic table covered in every dessert you could possibly imagine. (What this says about me and my life and the dream world, I do not know…I’m old, certainly…everyone was clothed.) So, I was enjoying chatting with the Prez. I think I played a little guitar for him. He was very gregarious and generous with his time. I sampled an outstanding apple pie. Then some cake. Then some…well, the sky was the limit.
The spell was broken by my wife shaking and poking me and telling me in a “the house is on fire” tone that we had a “poop situation”. Now, I am not especially alert when first awakened. Certainly not at three in the morning. And definitely not when I was just swimming in a pool of NyQuil induced presidential sugar fantasy. To say that her words were undecipherable is an understatement. The world was undecipherable. I could still taste the apple pie.
Having a small child and an old cat, poop situations are not too unusual, but it took a few moments (and a few too many pokes if you ask me) for me to grasp the gestalt of the situation. Daughter sleeping soundly. Wild haired wife holding a black and white cat in the air and repeating the delicious refrain, “Poop situation…poop situation…poop…”. I caught on. In my stupor I managed to pin the cat to the floor while my wife wiped the poop residue from our cat’s hindquarters. There was no dignity involved for anyone. The cat was embarrassed. I was confused. My wife was perhaps overly vigilant in her poop eradication. Obama was sorry I ever drank NyQuil.
But we got the poop cleaned up. We ascertained that there was no collateral damage to the blankets or sheets. And then we lay down to not sleep for an hour or so while I hallucinated about a table of desserts that smelled like wet cat food and pumpkin (with a slight hint of WD-40…go figure). I did fall asleep eventually. With a half-wet cat on my legs. I did not get invited back to the party.