The Racquetball Chronicles: What IS It About SNOOPY’s Laugh?

My BFF Marovich and I resumed our racquetball war this morning, after taking several months off. I knew I was at risk of injury when Marovich’s tight headband flew off and landed in the server’s box, in her mad exuberance to whale on the ball. I lost the first game 21 to 3.

Since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, we took a break outside of the court to catch up on news. And that was when she shared this ridiculous tale. Fair warning: This probably won’t be nearly as funny to those of you reading this, but I literally cried my makeup off laughing. This story demonstrates our shared, stupid, juvenile humor. You know, the humor that probably only we think is funny.

SNOOPY laughing himself right out of the library.

SNOOPY laughing himself right out of the library.

So Marovich started out her story by asking me if I’ve ever heard SNOOPY laugh. I had, and I started giggling, straight up. If you have no idea what SNOOPY laughing sounds like, please watch this brief, :25 second clip of SNOOPY laughing in the library:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH9MAhDvNjo

(On a side note, I especially love this clip because SNOOPY gets kicked out of the library for laughing, which is like an animated retelling of Marovich’s and my 7th grade year.)

Marovich and my friend Chrissy were shopping at TARGET and they came across this SNOOPY toy with the laughter sound chip. At that very moment, Chrissy made it her mission to nail the pitch-perfect impression of the SNOOPY laugh. She worked hard on it for many days to get it down, exactly right.

She and Marovich hosted Thanksgiving dinner for Chrissy’s side of the family, and Marovich dared Chrissy to do the SNOOPY laugh every time someone said something even mildly funny. Chrissy did. Several times. No one blinked. No one laughed. No one thought anything was weird. Which, you know, is kind of insulting that someone in her own family–all of them, in fact–actually tuned her out, thinking, “Oh, that’s just Chrissy’s stupid laugh…”

So while we were sitting outside of the racquetball court, I pulled up the YouTube video of SNOOPY laughing, and that’s when we started laughing so hysterically, I cried my makeup off. I had visions of Chrissy doing this stupid laugh at Thanksgiving and everyone sitting around the table deadpan, nonplussed. One of the guys who was taking over our court after us walked in on me howling with laughter, and without even knowing what the hell was up, he started laughing. We went back into the court to play out our remaining 10 minutes. Every time I was about to serve, Marovich would throw her head back in that SNOOPY pose and do the SNOOPY laugh, and I’d lose the strength of my serve. She was Delilah to my Samson. By some miracle, I was still winning 7 – 3 when the clock ran out.

Marovich knows when I am way too deep into one of our conversations, I don’t pay attention to whatever else I’m doing. This has led to many funny stories over the years, like the time I drove up and yelled our coffee order to the garbage can at Dunkin’ Donuts, with Marovich sitting in the passenger’s seat, dying of laughter as I was looking over at her with my WTF puzzled face. (In my defense, the garbage can had this weird lid on it that could have been mistaken for the squawk box.)

So today was no different. I drove us to racquetball. As we exited and hit the parking lot, I pressed my key fob, with Marovich following me towards my black SUV. I couldn’t figure out why the damned door wouldn’t open, and uh-oh, when did I get this new scratch in the paint on my driver’s side? Marovich snorted, “This is a Nissan. This isn’t your truck.” So we walked over to the next black truck, tried to get in, and again, the key fob didn’t work. “This is a Chevy,” she pointed out, exasperated. By now, Marovich took it upon herself to find my Highlander, before I made a career out of attempted breaking and entering into every black vehicle that wasn’t mine in this parking lot. “Third time’s a charm,” she snarked, followed by, “This had better go in your fucking blog.”

I can hear her SNOOPY laugh all of the way from here.

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The Racquetball Chronicles, Episode 4: Sprained Boobs

Don’t shoot me if it’s been more than four. I think we’ve established that I’m terrible with numbers. For the record, the final scores tonight in Marovich’s favor (of course) were 21-1, 21-1, and 15-8. As you can tell, I was just warming up by Game #3. I’m confident I would have handed her ass to her if we’d rented the court for two hours instead of one.

Marovich & Me: We've been playing this game for 30 years and we still haven't bothered to learn the rules!

1980s-style Marovich & Me: We’ve been playing this game for 30 years and we still haven’t bothered to learn the rules!

So Marovich and I still haven’t read the 70-page PDF document explaining the Official Rules of Racquetball. I tried reading it, but my ADD got in the way, and Marovich is just way too busy with work. I’m lucky she squeezes me in. We were hoping tonight that one of you reading this blog might already know the rules of racquetball. If so, here are our questions for you:

#1. If you hit your opponent with the ball and you’re not the one serving, is it an automatic point to the server, or an automatic do-over?

#2. In the server box, there is a smaller side box to the left, and one to the right. In cut-throat, does one of the three players have to be in that box during the serve?

#3. If the ball hits our bottled waters sitting in the corner of the court, is that an automatic do-over?

#4. If the player receiving the serve chooses to play on a Long (Duck Dong) Serve or a (Martin) Short Serve, does that count? Or do they have to call it long or short?

#5. What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow? (Just makin’ sure you’re still with me.)

Our latest on-court shenanigans resulted in the addition of the “The Belch Hindrance” clause to our already customized version of the Racquetball Rules. Marovich knows if she belches while I’m serving, I’m the 12-year-old who just busts out laughing and blows my serve. Every time. You see, we have a girlfriend who has earned our deep respect for really setting the bar high on the tone, volume, and resonance of her belches. For our own amusement, we used to dare she-who-shall-remain-nameless to drink down an entire can of Diet Coke, call her mom on the phone, and then emit this depths-of-hell belch that literally went on for 10 seconds straight, as her appalled and very proper Catholic mom was screaming at her to stop in the names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It was EPIC. Sadly, Marovich has finally found the one thing in life she can’t do better than someone else. And every time Marovich attempts her totally fey belches on court, she knows my brain goes right back to our friend belching in her mom’s ear, and that makes me laugh even harder. When you’ve been friends since 7th grade, you know each other’s Achilles’ Heels. Hence the necessity for the new clause.

The estrogen-centric reading this will agree, there are some days of the month when “the girls” are more tender than others. I forewarned Marovich my girls were uber-sensitive and requested could she please try not to hit me in the chest with the ball, just this once? The next thing I knew, I somehow managed to hit my own self in the chest with the racquetball and it was so ridiculous, we had to stop playing so Marovich could regain her composure. In the next play, Marovich put both hands out in front of her–palms facing me–as she tried to reach one of those maddening shots that hugs the wall without crashing into it at full speed. My sore, swollen girls stood right in her pathway. Another hindrance. It was like that classic Seinfeld scene where Elaine accidentally falls in the women’s locker room and grabs Jerry’s girlfriend’s breasts to break her fall. With aplomb, I delivered Teri Hatcher’s famous line to Marovich: “They’re real, and they’re spectacular,” as we lost another five minutes on the clock to me icing down my sprained boobs.

After racquetball, Marovich imparted that Amy Schumer shares our same, sick sense of humor, as evidenced by her hilarious new Comedy Central music parody, “Milk, Milk, Lemonade,” which spoofs the big booty jams. It’s #NSFW, so don’t watch this one around the kids. I warn you, it’s a total ear worm and you will hate me in the morning: http://bitly.com/MilkMilkLemonade 

One summer night we were all drinking at the Diet Coke Belcher’s house, drawing Dirty Sanchez mustaches on each other with Hershey’s chocolate for selfies, debating the origin of Eggs Danny Thomas-style, when I got the impulse to call GoDaddy.com and purchase the MilkMilkLemonadeAroundtheCorner.com URL (I may even still own it, I’m not sure…). I was incensed to learn that someone else already owned my first choice, the MilkMilkLemonade.com URL. For all I know, it could have been Amy Schumer. And if it was Amy, then that’s okay.

 

Deconstructing the Earthworm Fart (TM)

Admittedly, I was not looking forward to spring break this year–2 weeks of hearing the young Padawan’s endless comments about farts, poop, balls, and wieners…but then one day, I took a good look in the mirror, and realized I was the Beavis-meets-Butthead driving this sophomoric, scatological humor train. This could be why my family and friends post stuff like this on my Facebook page without any hesitancy:

My Christmas shopping is done for this year...

My Christmas shopping is already done for this year…

I sort of realized it when Jack asked me for permission to do something and my quid pro quo was having him perform his best “earthworm fart.” Then there was our emoji text message exchange on Sunday morning, which had numerous piles of smiling poop emojis. You know the one…this one:

Text exchange between Jack & me Sunday a.m.

Text exchange between Jack & me Sunday a.m. My comments are in blue bubbles. I’m just grateful he spells “diarrhea” correctly, even in text speak…I must be doing SOMETHING right.

So…I went to play racquetball w/BFF Marovich Sunday morning (who didn’t hand my ass to me this week – I am improving and actually sort of won the last game because time was up as I was serving – I believe the score was 5-2) and back at her house, I reminded her of her infamous earthworm fart. You see, Marovich started this whole thing. She would always do stuff to make me laugh (never a quiet, polite laugh, mind you, but a full on giggle-turned-guffaw) and get us kicked out of the library when we were in junior high. She has this enviable gift for doing and saying the most outlandish things and keeping her poker face, which always makes me laugh even harder. So…she was a good sport about letting me videotape her on Sunday morning, but first, you will note, she had to pull a quick cross-eyed Eugene Levy-as-Loopy face…referenced here:

Eugene Levy as "Loopy" with two left feet from "Best in Show"

Eugene Levy as “Loopy” with two left feet from “Best in Show”

which always cracks me up…so the camera may shake a little, but you’ll get the idea. So without further adieu, here’s Marovich demonstrating her own invention, the one-and-only, legendary Earthworm Fart(TM):                                                                                                            

 http://bitly.com/EarthwormFart

 

 

 

The Care & Feeding of a Comic Book Husband: A Field Guide for Dave’s Next Wife

What a week it’s been! Between double-checking our Kraft Macaroni & Cheese boxes for metal shavings, Jack’s parent-teacher conference (Every.Single.Teacher.Complained…about Jack’s class clownery–yes, my DNA runs strong in the young Padawan), and getting the news that the friend we call “Texas” is moving to Colorado, it’s a good thing my addictions veer towards sugar-free Bubble Yum and reading. It would have been a rough week to come out of rehab.

After racquetball with BFF Marovich on Sunday–me still with no wins to report, although we played the same 16 to 6 point for six rounds and invented a new rule about laughter hindrance–Marovich and I reflected on the fact that she has, in fact, become my de facto husband. I had asked Dave for three solid weeks to fill my windshield washer fluid, hoping against all hope that the warning light would drive him crazy, too. Not so much. Marovich couldn’t bear it any longer. So, she did it for me. She was astounded that it needed more than 1 container of washer fluid, deeming it some technical mechanics term – something like “bone dry.” Marovich will probably be climbing on a two-story ladder (she actually owns one) to change my foyer lightbulbs for me as well. She’s brave like that. After all, she installed her own sump pump this past weekend, which impressed me no end. She insists I could have done it, too, but I’m way too ADD to sit through any DIY YouTube video on sump pumps unless Peter Dinklage is the on-camera talent.

Marovich and her sump pump, and some weird tool that looks like a bicycle chain.

Marovich and her sump pump, and some weird tool that looks like a bicycle chain.

Most weekends, when people with husbands/partners get that “honey do” list tackled, Dave’s usually out of town for comic book conventions. I’m not complaining–I love having the house to myself–and even if Dave were in town, it wouldn’t matter. It makes no difference to Dave if it’s a weekday or a weekend. Every day is the same. He’s still working, napping, and online gaming, so no honey do lists will ever be tackled. No vacations will ever be taken (that aren’t somehow connected to a working trip). Jack will never learn camping or fishing from Dave. None of my hilarious family gatherings will ever be attended (by Dave). As will happen after 15 years of togetherness, aside from a few hours a week of shared TV watching, and the occasional exchange over work-related issues, we lead very decidedly separate lives. And so it occurred to me, after talking with Marovich, that if something ever happened to me, the next spouse should have a field guide for how to manage Dave. And by “manage,” I guess I really mean “co-exist with,” because there’s truly no managing involved. The one thing I’ve learned since meeting Dave in 1999 is, you simply can’t manage an immovable mountain. So here are some helpful tips.

#1. This will be your foyer for at least five days after Dave returns from a show.

We're on Day #3 of the foyer looking like this, post SC Con.

We’re on Day #3 of the foyer looking like this, post SC Con.

 

No, you’re not allowed to actually move this stuff out of the way. Dave has a very specific way he wishes to unpack the suitcase, so you must not touch it. Or move it. Just learn to accept it’s part of the landscape. Trust me, after a while, you won’t even see it anymore.

#2. Your vehicles will never be parked in your garage. (Mind you, this wasn’t so bad in Florida, but if you, too, will be living in Chicago where snow and ice are a factor, this may drive you crazy.) Despite two industrial-sized dumpsters in the last 12 months, our garage is absolutely filled to overflowing with floor-to-ceiling empty cardboard boxes. I’m too embarrassed to even share an image of it.

#3. If you love fruit, nuts, and vegetables, you’re eating on your own. (I marvel at the fact that despite growing up in Hawaii, Dave never developed a taste for pineapple. I mean seriously, WTF?!?). Oh, and don’t even think about cooking cabbage in the house you share with Dave. We always pray he’s traveling on St. Patrick’s Day.

The foods you'll be eating on your own.

The foods you’ll be eating all on your own.

#4. Burning candles are a no-no. Dave’s heightened olfactory nerves cannot bear the scent of a match or a candle being burned out. Birthdays are really fun around here!

The rest of this lengthy list will reside with Marovich and The Sister Wives for safe keeping. Just ping them on this blog in the event of my demise and share your email. They will get back to you. Be sure your printer ink cartridges are new, and you have plenty of paper loaded. In fact, better yet, forward it to Fed Ex Kinko’s so you can get the list printed and bound.

Sunday Racquetball with Marovich, Part Deux

So in between games of getting my ass kicked in racquetball today, Marovich and I sat down for a moment to discuss life and swig from our water bottles, wishing they were gin and juice (cue up Snoop Dogg: “LAID back…got my mind on my money and my money on my mind…”). There was no shortage of longshoreman speak, and we noted the men in the next court were not nearly as bad as we were. Perhaps they were clergymen. Mother, not followed by “Superior,” was our word of the day. (The first mention being fueled, no pun intended, by Dave Dorman leaving my gas tank on fumes the morning I’m running late. But…karma’s a bitch…a blonde bitch who goes by “Denise.”)

So Marovich and I were discussing muscle groups and various workouts when I made the mistake of telling her–of all people–that I inadvertently showed up for a pole class at my dance studio last week. It seems the term “Vertical Fitness” is my studio’s synonym for “Pole Class.” Who knew?

Or in my case, to shower me with singles...

In my case, to shower me with singles…

As I was attempting to quickly recover and gloss over that part of the story to explain which of my muscle groups needed a turbo-charge, Marovich held up her right hand in that “Stop” position, interrupting.

“Wait! You’ve waited until NOW to tell ME you went to a POLE class?

“Was it raining singles?!? 

“Is there an observation deck where I can watch you take this pole class?!?”

The fact that the owner didn’t even charge me for taking the class should’ve been some indication of my level of participation.

Just because...this looks like Marovich's new kitten and it sorta kinda ties in with the blog today.

Just because…this looks like Marovich’s new kitten, and it sorta kinda ties in with today’s blog.

Post racquetball, we were watching our weekly allotment of Schitt’s Creek episodes at her house and I was trying to recall the final score. Even in the heat of play, Alzheimer’s patients do better than me at remembering game scores. I thought it was 19 to zero (despite the fact that I did, indeed, serve 19 times but couldn’t close the sale), but I needed verification. “Is this for your blog?” Marovich asked, raising her right brow in her inimitable John Belushi style. That right eyebrow of hers gets such a workout, it has its own biceps. I confirmed. “Then I would tell people it was 15 to zero,” she advised. “We don’t want them thinking you played me in a wheelchair.”

Whenever I need that humility check, I can always count on Marovich. That’s what BFFs are for.