THE OLD NEW NORMAL, Chapter 13: Great Unexpectations

By Liz McLeod

Ever Your House Manager


“You cannot be serious!” thundered Miss Carol T. Cat.

“That’s true,” I acknowledged. “It’s one of my many personal failings. On the other hand, look what being serious gets you. Years of therapy, that’s what being serious gets you, and do you know how much that costs? My way, everybody thinks you’re weird, but at least you have emotional security.”

Miss Carol glared balefully, her bright green eyes fixed upon me like a magnifying glass in a little kid’s hand on a hot day. Only instead of burning her initials into the doorstep for want of anything better to do, Miss Carol burned her eyes into my soul. Or maybe she was just looking past me, at the cobweb hanging from my kitchen ceiling. Whatever. Like I said, I don’t take her very seriously.

“You mean to tell me,” she continued, “that these wretched shortages CONTINUE? That you cannot purchase the required merchandise to sustain my diet – so you instead feed me this – this – substance?”

“It’s baby food,” I replied, throwing up my hands and catching them again before they could hit the floor. “Pureed Chicken, to be exact. It’s very healthy – and besides, you’ve only got one tooth left, and licking it up off the dish is probably an easier way to go at this point.” I didn’t mention my ulterior motive, of course, which was that I’ve been grinding up Miss Carol’s thyroid medicine and lacing the spoonsful of baby food with the resulting powder. Little does she realize.

“And do not for one moment presume to think that your tampering with these gelatinous meals has gone unnoticed,” she rasped as she lowered her head to the dish. “I shall attend to you presently. As soon as I have” – and here she commenced to lick furiously – “finished this flavorsome repast.”

That’s how it is, though. Have you looked at the cat food aisle in the grocery store lately, its yawning emptiness a fitting representation of the erratic world in which we are forced now to live? Those shortages have hit us at the Strand as well – well, not to say we’re planning to sell cat food at the concession stand. Unless there’s a demand, of course. But the other things that we *do* sell at the concession stand, well, the shortages are rampant. Junior Mints? Fuhgeddaboudit. Peanut M&Ms? I wish. And Moxie, blessed Moxie, once and forever Maine’s Official Gentian-Flavored Carbonated Drink? The distribution office at Coca-Cola New England has no idea when we’ll be able to get a shipment again. Once these shortages were unexpected and annoying. Now they just lie there and throb, like a migraine at 2 AM. We’ve gone from expecting the unexpected to living in a world where expectations are irrelevant.

And yet, we carry on, because in show business that’s what you do. The world needs entertainment and escape and moments of distraction, and we’re doing everything we can to provide them. And when expectations don’t quite materialize, we simply shift those expectations ahead. If we’re unable to do a show on a given date – like our GoldenOak concert, originally scheduled for January 21st – then we roll up our sleeves and say “all right, we’ll do that show another time.”  There’s nothing to be gained by complaining that the world right now isn’t what we’d hoped it would be. Shift your expectations. Bend, don’t break. And eventually, there’ll come a time when there’ll be plenty of entertainment, plenty of escape, plenty of distractions, plenty of Junior Mints, plenty of Peanut M&Ms and, we assure you, plenty of Moxie. Because that’s what we need right now. Plenty of, as they used to say, Moxie.

Oh, and plenty of cat food, too. 

Developed by Whitelancer Web Development |