the dirty dozen {twelve notable excerpts from the decade-spanning comment thread i discovered when i turned to the internet after a melon at my father's house started hissing and foaming*}

01 If I find anything, I'll post again, I go by the pseudonym SealMan, by the way.

02 Better a $5 watermelon lost than a broken washing machine.

03 My husband is very supersticious and believes this was a super-natural incident. Thank goodness I found this blog, I was starting to believe him.

04 Am I the only one that heard theirs pop? It was a pop and then a fizzling sound. The watermelon is still fizzing four hours later and leaving a yellow bubble like liquid behind. Ewh, I'm glad I had some kind of notice before I tried to eat the thing. I was thinking today was going to be the day.

05 I bought a pack of 2 mini watermelons from the Altamonte Costco on Aug 22nd. On Aug 23rd I came home from work and exactly the same thing happened to me. It smelled like vomit on dead people all over my kitchen. I dont know how a volleyball sized mellon managed to have sprayed gallons of fluid and chunks all over my kitchen, but there was at least an 8 foot spray. All the fruit next to it rotted instantly.

06 I couldn't even talk this morning I was so horse, (and I have a bad back so I have been sleeping on the couch about 10 feet away from the watermelon all weekend)!!!

07 It was dark and I only saw something that seemed to be coming from inside the melon...and trying to get out. I swear I even saw some sort of light emanating from my melon. I was so freaked out!

08 wow! we just cut open a watermelon purchased from walmart in thornton,co tonight. Right when i cut it open it spilled about two cups of clear liquid all over the counter. But what really caught my eye was the inside of the melon. It was growing so weird, kinda spiral looking with 4 red circles inside. The rest was light pink not consistent at all. i know this was not normal this is about our 10th watermelon this year.

09 I bought a mini-watermelon from Fresh & Easy in Burbank yesterday and tonight when I came home from a party, I saw it was foaming and smelled fermented. My husband keeps telling me to cut it open to see if a bug comes out, but I have declined.

10 It's 2015 and I'll be the first to continue this discussion. We just had this in a mini watermelon, a stream of white foam coming from the end of the watermelon. I have never seen this in nearly 40 years of eating watermelons. I now have a special connection with this group of fine people.

11 I think they were honeydew, my least favorite melon. No matter how long I waited, they were never going to look like a cantaloupe.

12 I will cut new watermelon today, but am a bit apprehensive!

*it seems likely that said melon had bacterial fruit blotch.


ROAD TRIP UPDATE: V {11:45, los angeles}

in the six and a half hours it took us to get from our bungalow in phoenix to my sister and brother-in-law's new apartment in industrial los angeles, the temperature on our little car's instrument panel dropped from 45 to 19 degrees celsius; god bless california. i woke up this morning when taco (their 25-year-old box turtle) began his early-morning summertime dance in the terrarium next to our inflatable mattress. we're excited about marriage equality too, taco.

in case it takes laramie a while to get there with her monthly newsletter (sign up for her monthly newsletter), note that el atacor #11's potato tacos live up to the hype and are perhaps the best possible way to celebrate making it over chiriaco summit without breaking down on the side of the interstate (we got that out of the way in my in-laws' truck in scottsdale on thursday afternoon, when we limped to the nearest exit ramp and shopping center, where i ran into the ladymag's former fashion editor as we partook of the air conditioning at a sports authority).

i rode with my father-in-law when he took the truck back to the bungalow. "when i got this as a repo it had just my front seat, here; down in mexico these guys had gutted it and were filling it full of drugs and off-roading it across the desert."


ROAD TRIP UPDATE: IV {17:55, phoenix}

my sister-in-law brought our elfin redheaded nephew over from the other side of town last night. due to start kindergarten in the fall and gloriously pre-haircut, quentin was an occasional glimpse of ringlets behind his dad's knees for his first few hours here; he hasn't seen us since the winter before last, and we're meeting all over again. when he crept out and showed a bit of interest in an origami set we found on a shelf of board games, we racked our brains for middle-school memories: his mom made him a cootie catcher, i tried to recall the little paper balloons my best friend and i would fold and inflate, and joe half-remembered a paper airplane. the only stiff piece of standard paper we could find was a copy of joe's resume that he'd left in his carry-on bag and had been using for notes on phone calls, so wings it became. the airplane was the big winner, of course; ill-creased as it was, it swooped over the lawn like a maddened fly. quentin was instantly enchanted and shriek-giggled as he chased each wonky flight; who doesn't trust and love uncle joe the plane-chucker?

joe squinted to re-fold a busted wing in the afternoon's waning light. "this is the best response my resume has ever gotten."


ROAD TRIP UPDATE: III {13:45, phoenix)

i called my dad at nine o'clock this morning, chest-deep in an amoeba-shaped pool in the middle of a thoughtfully xeriscaped yard in downtown phoenix. by half past ten the sun had melted the glue binding my mass-market copy of a clash of kings; the chapter on tyrion's nightmares after the battle of the blackwater detached from the book's spine and fluttered to my lap. i'm now the color of the little she-cardinals in the canary island palm behind our old bungalow (they sound like ben). i don't know that i'm interested in being ben-colored, but i'm not sure i have a choice at this point.


ROAD TRIP UPDATE: II {19:55, somewhere over indiana}

i sing of the peace of mind afforded by a $50 refurbished wifi camera! it's possible that i'll end up with a $5000 cellular bill next month now that i receive a smartphone push notification every time a creature passes between the cats' food bowls and our rusty craigslist bar cart, but it's ever so lovely to have occasional proof that our shy little siamese isn't turning to dust under the bed—or turning to dust more quickly than the rest of us are, i suppose. for our next month-long road trip i think i'll buy a second camera and train it on our stove. the sleep i will sleep knowing that ghosts haven't fiddled with the knobs and burned the house down, internets! i am glad i won't have a spare motion-sensing camera, on the other hand, when we're staying in a shack on the mississippi delta in a few weeks; i don't want grainy phone footage of a spectral sharecropper stealing our souls in the moonlight.



car: coming along well at my in-laws' place in arizona, supposedly

cassettes for car's old blaupunkt player: to be purchased (ebay?)*

confirmed itinerary:
nights 1-5: phoenix, az (airbnb, house)
nights 6-8: los angeles (chez jo)
nights 9-11: orange county, ca (chez dad)
night 12: tucson, az (funky old hotel)
night 13: el paso, tx (funky old hotel)
nights 14-15: marfa, tx (airbnb, warehouse)
nights 16-18: austin, tx (airbnb, trailer)
night 19: dallas, tx (funky new hotel)
night 20: clarksdale, ms (shack)
night 21: st. louis, mo (tbd)
nights 22-24: chicago (chez jen)
nights 24-25: nashville, tn (airbnb, apartment)
night 26: asheville, nc (tbd)
nights 27-29: charleston, sc (funky old hotel)
nights 30-32ish: baltimore, md or washington, dc (tbd)**

petsitter: booked, to be warned about the wi-fi pet camera so she doesn't think we're creepers

ratty copy of more five-minute mysteries: purchased

wi-fi pet camera: purchased

joe's last day of work is tomorrow, and as we're leaving soon, i'm transitioning from trying to get editors excited about irresponsible-road-trip-related stories (which is working, i think!) to keeping new projects to a minimum until we get back (what if we settle in mississippi for good?). our loved ones are enthusiastic about the trip, perhaps in the way that one can be excited about someone else getting a pixie cut or a tattoo, but i also like pixie cuts and tattoos. that works for me.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 do we need a dashboard talisman?
02 do you have a favorite place to stay in el paso and/or asheville?
03 will we die in a shack?

*i need to get on this. at present the sole tape in our possession is the anniversary edition of straight outta compton joe bought on record store day.
**at this point i feel a bit like spinal tap, or a MASH LARPer.