It’s a Thing

Ill communications, blood floods, amazing grace, and toot suites

Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump speaks with astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch as they conduct the first all-female spacewalk, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP
President Trump with Vice President Pence at the White House Friday.


One of the things that makes living in this unstable moment of human history so much fun is that it’s becoming less possible by the day to discern between fantasy and reality. As a result it’s also becoming impossible to tell the difference between so much fun and deeply terrifying. Take the letter sent by President Trump to Turkish President Erdogan, which the media and the Internet at large struggled to situate in objective reality, due to its decisively undiplomatic tone (“Let’s work out a good deal!”; “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!”) and fourth-grade vocabulary (no, really, they tested it). Memes aplenty sprung forth from an Internet trying to cope; but what spread even faster was a creeping certainty that, yeah, this one’s actually pretty terrifying.


Speaking of terrifying, Happy Halloween! A little advice for any devout Halloweeners planning to be the spookiest haunted house in the neighborhood: Give up now, because there’s no beating the house of horrors owned by the Lestina family of Bagley, Iowa, who this past week discovered their basement flooded with 5 inches of animal blood, bones, and fat inadvertently sluiced in through a drain from the meat plant next door. (One sec, I’m just marveling that the phrase “meat plant” wasn’t the grossest part of that sentence.) Fortunately, the family’s other neighbor is a club soda factory, so cleanup should be a snap.


Speaking of snaps, are you a klutz? Just unlucky? Are you me? If so, you’ve probably suffered an inexplicable freak injury or two or 10. I’m here to tell you that while you may be clumsy, careless, bumbling, and fragile, you are not alone. A viral thread on Twitter gathered thousands of grim tales of injurious oopsies suffered by victims of everyday threats like fitted sheets, high heels, honey buns, wedding gowns, dog vomit, and roosters. More than one respondent reported severe burns from ironing clothes they were currently wearing — which certainly earns the “freak” part if not quite the “accident.”



And lastly, while the technology does not yet exist for us to record our dreams (which, for me, will likely be nothing but blood basements for the next month or two), we do have the means to record just about everything else from our nightly sojourn into slumber. (Like, everything.) Twitter user @fin_costick made this unpleasant discovery when he reviewed recordings from the Sleep Recorder app he trusted to track his snoring and heard what can only be described as the exact opposite of snoring, if you catch my drift. The data may not resolve his sleep apnea, but it sure helps clear up why all his recent dreams feature saxophone solos.

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Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.