Me: I’m not sure what to make for dinner.
Rhoda (a puppy): I’m gonna eat your son’s shoe.
Me, having placed slimy shoe on shelf of refrigerator while looking in vegetable drawer: The thing about scallion pancakes is, you start with flat dough, roll it into a log, and then roll the log in on itself, like a cinnamon bun. Then you roll it out again into a disk. It seems like that process should help you understand space travel.
Rhoda: This new sandal is delicious, but less compelling than the custom mahogany peg that holds together the table that French sailor made you. The one that got stranded on the Azores. Funny that he’s an alpaca farmer now.
Me: Do you need to go outside?
Rhoda: Outside! Outside! Someone put a spell on the raised garden bed! The only way to reverse it is to sprint around it, then proceed to make a figure-eight around the invisible hellhole and then crash into the fence! Then again! Again! Again! Your shin is on fire! I’m going to scratch out the fire with my baby teeth!
Me: I think I’m going to make that taco thing from the Martha’s Vineyard cookbook. I just have to flip through every page to find it, because while there’s a table of contents for the pages nobody is going to read, like “Building a Family Pantry” and “Planning, Shopping, and Preparation,” she doesn’t list the actual recipes. She just has “season” sections. And then instead of saying what the meals are, she calls them things like “The Moriartys’ Family Meal.” Why?
Rhoda: Nice. I’m going to go take a man-sized crap on your son’s bedroom rug.
Me: Rhoda? Where are you? Rhoda! No! We were just outside!
Rhoda: I indicated that I was about to do this. Doesn’t it look like a drunk stevedore just mistook this room for an outhouse? Why are you rolling up the rug? Oh. I look forward to the procrastination/shame cycle you’re going to go through now. Good week coming up.
Me: Maybe we should order out.
Me: Look at this photo that someone thought it was important to list on Zillow:
It’s just a faucet. And then the tub is kind of dirty. I don’t think that faucet is a huge selling point. I got my hair cut, and the only other client in the space said her neighbor’s house sold for $60,000 above asking price, sight-unseen, and without an inspection.
Rhoda: I don’t even care that there’s a stick in my water bowl. This shit is dope.
Me: Also, why choose this photo that makes it seem like there are always prowlers outside the house? Clearly they are working on the house, but… could they not wait five minutes to take a different exterior shot?
Me: It’s like when they say “possible in-law in basement.” What a nightmare! Like possible killer clown in sewer. You don’t even know if your in-law is there? Just add a few words and clarify what kind of potential the basement has.
Rhoda: I’m going to lick my butt and then try to kiss you.
Me: Alright, I should use the food we have. Where does the Martha’s Vineyard lady hide the rice salad recipe?
Rhoda: It would be nice if you used smaller planters so I could get to the soil more easily.
Me: Rhoda, get out of the plant!
Rhoda: Excuse me, I’m eating the plant. Can you move?
Me: Rhoda, no! No! You do not eat plants!
Rhoda: Bitch, this my plant.
Me: Rhoda! NO!
Rhoda: Plant? If I sit down on my soft muppety butt on the tile floor but with my front paws planted, I will slowly slide backwards. You find this adorable.
Me: Oh my God. You are adorable. What season would be right for a rice salad? Summer?
Rhoda: There’s like a slight nuttiness to the soil in this rubber tree plant. A hint of… could it be jasmine? Peppermint tea? That’s the joy of food like this. The complexity gives you in-the-present-moment awareness while recalling lives never lived.
Me: Is it spring? Wouldn’t a rice salad with mango be a spring thing? Also, why are there four pages referenced in the index for one recipe?
Rhoda: Like maybe once I strolled along the rows of a tea plantation, thinking of the beauty and the brutality of the human world. You people try to disguise how terrifying you are. But also you are weak and petty. I stand by you though. I do. It’s just my nature.
Me: Rhoda! Get! Off! The! Plant!
Rhoda: This game sucks.
Me: Oh, it’s under “A Light and Colorful Winter Meal.” Winter. That seems wrong. She suggests broiled grapefruit for dessert. I also cannot get behind the advice to boil the rice like pasta and then drain it.
Rhoda: Where is a good place to barf up soil? Just kidding. Right here is good.
Me: Rhoda! Rhoda?
Rhoda: Oooh, is that a paper towel you’re using for my vomit? Lemme get in there.
Me: Rhoda! Rhoda! Get out! GET OUT! Disgusting! Disgusting!
Rhoda: God, this is nice. Nice textures. Good flavors, positive interaction.
Me: I hate buying paper towels. The boreal forest is not our rag bag.
Rhoda: Now I’m going to lick your leg with the same tongue that has had vomit pass over it twice. Also, your moisturizer seems to contain an ingredient that does not suit my palate.