“Oh, why won’t you just cooperate?” Janice stomps her foot in exasperation.  Her husband, Dan, does not like the Fourth of July celebration outfit that Janice has picked out for them.  He has been standing with arms outstretched for the good part on an hour.  He thinks back on the other costumes he has endured.  There was the “Man-Baby” for Easter complete with diaper and pacifier, the Cupid outfit for Valentine’s Day (really just a recycle of the “Man-Baby” with the addition of a crossbow), and the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich cut-out for Elvis’ birthday – the cardboard made it very difficult to sit down.   

“You know that the Howards are coming as giant sparklers.  Don’t ask me how.  I heard Mandy discussing their outfits with her daughter, the one with the funny eye, in Walmart the other day.  She is not going to settle for anything less than perfect.  I bet her husband isn’t arguing.”  Janice cocks her head to the left to get a better idea of how Dan is looking.

Dan looks ridiculous.  Janice’s idea of dressing her husband as a charcoal grill and herself as a chicken leg is backfiring.  He is standing in the middle of a hula hoop with black sheets draped over his head.  There are orange and red felt triangles haphazardly pinned to his arms and torso.  “Hmm.  Maybe once I add the charcoal you’ll look more like a grill and less like a fat nun that’s on fire.”  That’s it.  Dan can’t take anymore.  He dreads holidays knowing that there will be some party he will have to attend dressed as something only fairly relevant to the festivities.  He no longer enjoys Cinco de Mayo for fear of having to dress like a taco.  Last Columbus Day he was dressed as an Italian sausage.  He is overcome with anxiety when Thanksgiving and Christmas approach.  He just finished his treatment for the rash caused by the gold paint on his Northern Star costume.   And Halloween.  The one day of the year it is acceptable, although in some circles not recommended, for a grown man to wear a costume is, of course, no exception.  Somehow, this past year’s Devil and Lost Soul costumes did not go over well at the church’s Praise Jesus Halloweenie Extravaganza and Dan and Janice were asked to leave.

His lips pressed tightly together, he suddenly grips the hula hoop and violently wrenches it left and then right.  The sheets pull loose and fall to his feet.  “Janice.  I’m done with this.  I’m a man and all I want is some barbecue and a cold beer and maybe some fireworks later on.  I don’t need all this crazy messed up competition dress up game you got going on with all your girlfriends.  Whoever heard of a Fourth of July costume party, anyway?  This is a bunch of BS.”  Freeing his feet from the tangle of sheets, Dan charges out of the room and heads for the kitchen.  Janice is left holding balled up construction paper and her hot glue gun. 

“Well.  High and mighty, if I do say…Hey, Dan? Dan, where is Reuben? Reuuuubeeennn!”  Janice and Dan’s 7 year old beagle inches back against the wall under the dining room table.   Janice has pulled out an old costume from the closet.  “Come now, Reuben.  You can wear this bun and be my hot dog.”

Dan spies a floppy ear and keeps quiet.  “Good luck, Rube.”




P.S.  The bookcase is finished!  Hooray!


This is the front view.  Captain Obvious.



This is the top.  I love that it has a top.

Bookcase Top



This is my bookcase from the side.

Bookcase Side



Yes, there is aluminum foil underneath the feet of my bookcase.  We were a little paranoid about the stain.  The foil will be removed shortly.

Have fun trying to read the titles of the books. 🙂