Summerfest happened. And I served food. And got a lot of it on me.

I lived the dream.

The festival went on for exactly 12 million hours. And we were there through all of it. Well, not me. I have this thing called a job right now, with an ever-approaching final day and an infinite amount of work to get done. But I was there in the evenings, and then all day Saturday. And that still felt like 12 million hours.

It was great to meet so many of you there. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello. I'll just assume the rest of you were too ashamed of me for failing the Ironman to show up. I understand. Or you were caught in a tornado. Or the Queen of Colors attacked you!

Ok, now I'm getting worried.

I just called 911. They wouldn't let me file a missing person's report for thousands of people I don't actually know. Now I have to come looking for you myself. Please wear orange for the next little while so it will be easier to spot you. Also, if you have cheese cake waiting, that would be awesome.

Daniel was in charge of standing at the front of our tent and barking out orders to the rest of us, who either cooked or loaded the food onto plates and into cups, in the case of those mango drinks made with hate. Emma ran around screaming at us to make sure to keep the food covered. She was apparently worried about spreading disease. Whatever that is.

By the time the festival came to an end on Saturday night, I would have given all of my possessions, save my Snuggie, to have everyone just agree to abandon our belongings and head home. But it wasn't to be. We stayed and picked up every last piece of the unbelievable amount of equipment that is apparently required to run a successful island food stand. And then we traveled across the whole world to deposit it in all of it's places.

When Sunday morning rolled around, I was sure I had been run over by a train, drug to the dump, burned with the garbage, shipped to Siberia, and dropped into The First Eye's cave for 100 years. But at least I was done peeling mangoes.

We attempted to recover from the shocks of hard labor over the course of Sunday and Monday, avoiding rice like the Queen of Colors avoids heads of hair (due to a bad experience once). And I thought we had succeeded. Until Monday night.

Expecting to receive a full night of sleep, I retired around 11:00 PM. Daniel had already gone into his own bedroom and apparently fallen asleep there.

And then it began.

Suddenly, like he was being attacked by the devil, I heard him scream from his bedroom, "I need a mango drink stat!" And then it was quiet. I lay awake for a while attempting to make sense of what I had just heard. Then, only a few minutes later, I heard another scream: "Get this lady some chicken! I need a chicken bowl now!"

This happened for the remainder of the night.





And finally, at 3:17, I had had it. One of two things was happening. Either Daniel was running an island food stand out of his bedroom in the middle of the night all night long, or, he was delusional. He knows we are not allowed, by lease, to run businesses out of our apartment so I was quite sure this was not what was happening. He also knows that I'm, if anything, a nark. I would turn in my own child for accidentally tying her shoe the wrong way if I thought it violated some law. What can I say. I like witnessing punishment.

So delusional it was.

I marched to his bedroom, stormed inside, leaned over his bed and demanded to know what was going on.

Then he punched me. Square in the face. Right in the nose. I was punched.

To this moment, he denies that this happened. But it did. I was there. And I saw and felt it take place. I was punched. Just like in Rocky.


He sat up in bed, seemingly incredibly alert, and demanded more chicken.

"Who in the hell do you need to give chicken to right now?!"

"This woman!! She needs chicken! Get me chicken or get out of the kitchen!"

Now I know what you're thinking. "Eli, if he is delusional, why are you entertaining this conversation with very logical responses? Also, your hair looks super good today. I love you."

First of all, thank you, and I love you, too. But second, when this young man sleep talks, he seems as lucid as the Queen of Colors on meth. (Which is very lucid). I learned this when we were vacationing in Mexico and he gave Krishelle and me a nonsensical lecture about the 1960s television program Bewitched, before attempting to hang up his shoes on hangers in the closet of the hotel room we were staying in.

So even though he's spewing crazy, there is still a part of me that feels the need to respond analytically and seriously when presented with such alert mannerisms and assertive tone.

From time to time, he will give me very rash, but convincing-sounding advice about what to do with my life. Then, moments before I follow through with some irreversible decision, per his suggestion, I'll see him start washing his underwear with toothpaste. And it isn't until then that I realize that the advice was not coming from a person in his right mind.

SO happy I didn't go through with that sex change.

This sort of thing also reminds me of the time my Great Grandpa Hinckle told us the stock market had crashed and urged us to sell all of our stocks immediately. We went to do so but were stopped right as we heard him mention that President Hoover would never get re-elected.

Damn Alzheimer's.

"Daniel! What woman are you talking about?!? Show me which woman you are referring to!"

"This one right here!!!"

I looked around carefully, just in case. There was no woman ordering chicken in his bedroom. It was at this point I determined once and for all that he was sleep talking.

"Daniel!!!! Are you awake!!!??? WAKE THE HELL UP!!!!"

". . . yes . . . I'm awake . . . I thought there was someone here ordering chicken."


Daniel plopped back onto his pillow and mumbled something about "you could at least be nice about it . . . I didn't know nobody was here ordering food . . ."

I walked out of his bedroom and thought, that was the stupidest conversation I've ever had in my life.

~It Just Gets Stranger