I have neglected to mention my ex-wife, because... well, some people get all uptight and judgmental about it when they discover that you once shared a nuptial bed with, y'know, a sinister lying murdering baby-eating slag. But hey, who hasn't at one time or another, right?
Soooooo... about Margaret. I should preface this by pointing out that there comes a time in every young, free-spirited, thrill-seeking otter's life when he is likely to develop a little "thing" for feral cats. They are the Punk Rock Girls of the animal kingdom... just an irresistible ball of smokin' hot mindfuckery, all disheveled fur, scars, alluring eyes, and hormones. Dear god. Margaret and I met when she was scalping a couple of bogus tickets for Sonic Youth (this fact dates me, I'm aware) and after figuring it out a block away, I went back and threatened to kick her mangy ass, at which point she assured me that if I touched her, she'd yank one of my eyes out and spit in the socket.
It was love at first sight.
Ah, the adventures we shared. The trash cans, the train-hopping, the catalog of petty crime... I felt edgy, inspired, alive. My friends tried to warn me, yes... they said she'd give me distemper or rabies, or that I'd end up being scraped off the road by some fat DOT worker in a reflective vest. But to no avail. I was unstoppable. I blame it on the drugs. Okay, and hormones. And booze. But back to the story.
It is probably no surprise that alcohol fueled the decision to get hitched. I only dimly remember it. A few flashes come back to me: Roadside wedding chapel, a tattooed dwarf and a 100-year-old lady dressed up as Sonny and Cher officiated the ceremony, there was a buffet table draped in a plastic Fourth-of-July-themed tablecloth (though it was October) with a few stale Costco snack foods laid out, our witnesses were the waitress and line cook from the attached diner, "Chubby's," whose mascot was a poorly-drawn bald ChiMo-looking clown.
We attempted to settle down after the wedding, clean up our lives... Margaret got this brilliant idea to start a daycare business to make a little extra money, watching the children of stressed out animals who'd produced particularly large litters. That's when the trouble started. I'd notice that, say, seven kids would come in, six would go out. I asked her about it.
"They'll never notice," she told me offhandedly. "You know most animals are so fucking stupid they can't count higher than four. Really I'm doing them a favor! I'm just, y'know... taking a little off the top. Isn't that what all babysitters do?"
"Sure," I said, "With stuff like the liquor cabinet, or the kid's piggy bank, or grabbing a few condoms or a little weed from the parents' bedside table... but, um... as a general rule, it doesn't extend to snacking on the 'extra' kids."
"Hey, quit pointing fingers, mister. I didn't get all up in your shit for swiping those printer ink cartridges from your work."
"Slight difference. Eating baby gophers is not the same as pocketing office supplies."
"So says you, Mister Morality-Police. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go reduce the noise level in the playroom by about 12%."
You can see my dilemma. Bottom line: the whole thing was kinda disgusting, but mostly I didn't want to be legally attached to her if some animal happened to develop enough grasp of cardinality to complain.
Ah, Margaret. You gorgeous, intoxicating, brutal psycho-bitch-from-hell...