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You never know
what's going to happen

"Stop looking for meaning in everything," my wife scolded me after I'd asked her what I thought was a normal question: "What did you mean by that?" This was something I asked after getting over being stunned by her earlier pronouncement out of the blue, "You never know what's going to happen."

There's no answer to that statement, other than, perhaps, "Yes," but since the statement seemed to come out of nowhere, for the previous sixty seconds I'd been trying to figure out what it meant.

It started with a kiss. I kissed her neck. Then I bit it—not hard, like a vampire, but more of a nibble while making tiger "chuffling" noises, something I occasionally like to do for reasons which now escape me (no, wait, I once saw "Roy" of "Siegfried and Roy" do this to one of his tigers who loved it, so logically I assumed my wife would, too). Though after what she just said I may never do it again.

We hadn't been talking about anything specific, other than it was late and time to go to bed. I was working at my computer, and she came up behind me and announced she was going to bed, and I replied that I would not roll my chair over her foot and cripple her.

I know I'm coming across badly in this story already, as if I'm unstable or something, but I meant what I said to her in a loving way, because she has a habit of creeping up silently behind me and then I roll my chair back and am in danger of rolling over her little cat feet. I never have, but I always fear I will, so I've told her more than once not to do that. See, I'm really very logical.

So I said that to her and she said "Thank you," and then I chuffled and she made her big pronouncement, "You never know what's going to happen."

You can tell this is all true, because not much is happening, and if you continue reading you'll see not much more happens, except that I get increasingly confused, which, if you're female, you have long suspected is the normal state of males, and if you're male, you've imagined is the state females prefer for you to be in.

My only retort to this was, "I'm going to bring a rodent in to kiss you, that's what I know is going to happen."

To anyone who doesn't know me I'm sure I just sound worse and worse, but we do, in fact, have a pet rodent, a chinchilla, and he does, in fact, like to be kissed goodnight by my wife; in fact, he specifically asks for this every night.

So I go get him from his favorite hiding place, under a log on the heating grate in the bathroom, and I bring him into the bedroom where my wife is waiting for her goodnight kiss from both of us. The chinchilla kisses her and I lean in to kiss her to, and that's when she says, "You've got to stop constantly looking for meaning in everything."

I assumed she was talking to me, since she usually doesn't speak to the chinchilla in that "helpful" tone of voice, whereby she's trying to help me be a better person by being more like her.

She launched into her impression of my inner monologue, "Why'd she say that? What did she mean by it? What did she mean last Tuesday? What is she getting at," she rattled on, as if these questions were not coming out of her mouth but floating around in my brain, which, I have to admit, they often are, though I never speak them in that rapid-fire manner (because if I did it would only make her laugh).

Her doing it made me laugh so hard I could hardly breathe. I couldn't see, either, with tears streaming down my face, though through it all I actually managed to keep the chinchilla perched on my shoulder and off the floor, where he would have taken the opportunity to get behind the headboard, possibly disappearing for days, during which time the only sign of his existence would the sound of muffled gnawing on extension cords, followed by a fire hazard of flickering lights.

"You've got to relax and give your tiny brain a rest," she added, and this time I did think she could be speaking to either myself or the rodent, since his brain is even tinier than mine.

Now that I could breathe again, I took the risk of saying something else stupid. "You're always saying I don't listen. Then when I do listen, I don't understand what you're trying to tell me. So I just wanted to know what you meant."

She shook her head and looked at the rodent as if he surely understood, then they both looked at me as if I was "slow." At least that's how I saw it.

At this point I said the only thing I could think to say, "Thank you, darling," and went to put the chinchilla to bed. I still have no idea of what my wife was trying to communicate to me, and the rodent isn't talking, either.

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COMPUTER EXTENDED WARRANTY WARNING

If you're buying a new computer, an extended warranty is a good idea because a single repair can cost more than an extended warranty.

But don't make the same mistake I did—I had a Dell with on-site service, and when I bought an HP (because HP provided a lot more value, and Dell's ordering system kept changing things on me), I bought the HP extended service assuming it was on-site, like Dell's. It's not. HP will Fed Ex you parts, but you have to install them yourself or find someone who will, or wait two weeks while you Fed Ex your computer back to them (at their expense, but it's still a long delay).

To their credit, HP has the best toll-free phone support I've ever experienced for a PC—they help with all the software installed on your computer when you bought it, including Windows, and walk you through installing new hardware, too.

But if you want someone to come to your home or office and physically fix your hardware, you need to make sure your extended warranty specifies on-site service. And, as always, read the fine print. What it doesn't say can be as important as what it does. As my wife always reminds me, "NEVER ASSUME." She's right again. Sigh.

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FONT FANATIC? FONTAHOLIC?

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If you're into publishing, whether in print or online, and you want a good excuse to visit San Francisco in August (a very good month there), then you'll want to sign up for Seybold San Franicsco, http://www.seybold365.com/sf2004/ . While every conference on the planet says it's the "premier" whatever, for the publishing world, the Seybold show actually is.

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Preferred Consumer

A friend of mine has launched a new informational web site to help you make smarter buying decisions. At www.preferredconsumer.com you'll find thousands of useful free articles, service provider directories, link directories, auctions, coupons and more on specialty channels ranging from real estate to pets, senior living to travel. Preferred Consumer uses no cookies and never asks for e-mail addresses so your privacy is assured. Their proprietary Informiti search engine helps give you focused results.

 

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DO GOOD WITH A CLICK

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One Final Word

Chuffle. (Listen to "chuffling")
 

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The SchoomozeLetter is ©1998-2005, Daniel Will-Harris, all rights reserved. If you'd like to use any article on the web or in print, please ask for permission. If you're an agent or publisher looking to publish these pieces, just drop me a note.