Corralling cats and words

Yes, it’s a commercial, but it’s still pretty funny (and kid safe–my kids loved it). It occurs to me that everyone else has already seen this except for me, since I don’t watch television.

In any case, enjoy!

 And by popular (?) demand, I’ll post that 490-word sentence, but below the cut. Click through if you’re curious/bored. And yes, it’s one big fat paragraph because, after all, it’s one big fat sentence. It also features Dating on the Dork Side characters.

Here’s the thing: to understand Rhino, you need a passing knowledge of his brother, Darren, who was the BMOC (big man on campus), the superstar athlete, the nice boy everyone’s parents hoped would take their daughter to the prom, and if you took everything that was Darren and held it up like a photograph, Rhino would be the negative, dark with his brother was light, shining in ways most people discounted, and I think that’s the saddest part of all this-people can’t see Rhino for who he is because they expect to see his brother-but before I go any further, I should point out that Rhino does have a perfectly normal name-like his brother-it’s Ben, but back in grade school-before his dad could admit to himself Rhino lacked the eagle-eyed sharpness of Darren-he squinted all the time, and his nose, well, he still hasn’t grown into it, and even I have to admit he’s kind of grumpy, if not actually wrinkled like a rhino, and it was clear to everyone, but his father, that Rhino didn’t possess any of his brother’s talent at baseball, and it was only after Rhino struck out with so much force that he spun around, knocked his helmet off, then knocked himself unconscious with the bat, did the Sports Father in his dad finally crack, never mind Rhino’s achievements in grade school, reading on a tenth grade level, whipping through levels in math like it was a video game-none of this seemed to matter, and I know it sounds crazy: here was Rhino, the sort of genius some vicariously-ambitious parents try to nurture in utero, thriving despite everything his father did to discourage any sort of success in school other than athletic, as if the only thing that could define a Rhinehold was sports, in particular, baseball-to be anything else was to be un-American in Mr. Rhinehold’s eyes-and I think it’s this last point, this always walking in his brother’s shadow, never finding his own spot in the household that compelled Rhino to move into the garage, and you’d think the Rhineholds wouldn’t let him, if only for the gossip factor, but they did, and while I can’t remember a time when Rhino didn’t live there, with his row of self-built computers lining one wall, his bed-only a mattress-up in the loft, I was the only one to help him move, his books (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Dragons of Eden, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, and so on), and I helped him whitewash the walls, collect discarded carpet squares to cover the oil-stained cement floor, and now when I come over, the mini-fridge is always stocked with Cherry Coke (my favorite), and I wonder about words like “home” and “brother” and whether they’re fluid, not so dependent on place, because I feel like I have both in Rhino.

5 Comments

Filed under Getting Schooled, The cat, Video, Writing

5 responses to “Corralling cats and words

  1. Amy

    You totally rock.

  2. Charity

    Aw, you’re sweet, even if you are the meanest mom on the planet. 😉

  3. Jenn

    Whew, impressive! Now I need a nap. 🙂

  4. darcy

    I am once again reminded why I am SO FREAKING THRILLED to be your writing partner! Go dorkside! And Go YOU!

  5. Oh wow… wow… and poor Rhino.

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