Thursday, April 10, 2014

Locker Room Toilet Paper and Eating African Violets (two topics you've never before seen together in a title)

This morning, before starting my workout I stopped into the women’s locker room to use the restroom.* Instead of being on the plastic roll thingy, the toilet paper was sitting on top of the dispenser cover, where I also set my phone and water bottle. When I finished, I picked up my things and headed across the gym to the elliptical machine. It wasn't until I’d stepped up onto the pedals that I realized I’d strolled past about 20 people carrying my phone, water and the toilet paper roll, with about eight squares dangling behind me like a two-ply tail.

Not knowing what to do with the knock-off Charmin and especially not wanting to parade past the audience again to return it to the bathroom, I decided to slide the roll onto one of the machine’s handle bars.** That’s when I heard one of the old men who works out in khakis and Rockports say,

“Dang! She ain’t gon’ stop her workout for nothin.’”

There was a woman two machines down who could’ve won a blue ribbon at the state fair with her gargantuan breast implants.*** Feeling snarky and competitive I had to fight back the urge to tear off massive handfuls of the toilet paper and stuff it into my sports bra. I thought it would be funny. But, a lot of the things I do trying to be funny just wind up embarrassing my kids and cause me to not get invited back to places.

My dad was like that too. But, somehow it always worked for him.

Apparently, one night long ago, at a dinner party, he ate the hostess’s floral centerpiece. I have a feeling that perhaps alcohol played a role. Or either he was starving and the meal wasn’t ready. Or both.

Years later, the hostess, who was then my seventh grade English teacher, shared the story with me as if it was just hilarious.

“That Robert! He does the funniest, craziest stuff. Keeps us all in stitches!”

That night at supper, seeking a few laughs for myself, I bit off a leaf of my mom’s African violet and got sent to my room for acting like a freak at the dinner table.**** The next day she made an appointment with a psychologist to have me “tested.”

How was it that when my dad did something socially unacceptable, destructive and borderline psychotic, he got laughs and crowned “life of the party.” But when I did it, my brother smacked me on the head and called me a creepy little, plant-eating weirdo?

Life’s not fair.

If my dad were here today and found himself standing on an elliptical machine with a roll of toilet paper in his hand and a bunch of people staring at him, I wonder what he would do with it.

What would you have done with it?

*No, I don’t normally start out blog posts or even conversations about going to the bathroom. I’ll probably do it regularly when I’m about 80, though. And you will too.
** I mean, where else would you put it? The drink holder was too small and the phone slot was too narrow and I didn’t want to just drop it on the floor.  
*** Well, at least the left one could've won.
****If you’re going to act like a freak, don’t do it at the dinner table. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pip Squeaker Shoes: A Surefire Way to Make Your Toddler Want to Murder You

This morning at Walmart, I was strongly tempted to put down the cantaloupe I was checking for freshness and call DFACS about the cute, yet neurologically abusive shoes a mom was making her daughter wear. Yep, I’m sure you’ve already guessed it. They were the kind with squeakers.(Squeakers, Little Green Trike shoes, Wee Squeak Baby Shoes, Pip Squeakers Little Monkey Feet: These are some of the common street names.)

What kind of sadistic kids’ footwear company would manufacture shoes with  squeakers in the soles? So that with EVERY step the poor kid takes, he or she hears squeak, squeak, squeak. As if learning to take steady, unassisted steps isn’t difficult enough, having to deal with shrill, annoying noise pollution with each stride is just maddening.
If he could talk, this kid would say, "Fergoshsake, make it STOP!"

Hey parent, you think it’s so blasted cute watching your daughter confusedly try to figure out where that noise is coming from with each wobbly step she takes. Do YOU enjoy realizing that you accidentally selected the squeaky shopping cart at Kroger?

“Oh,freakin’ yay, for the next 45 minutes, I get to listen to that squeaky, whistling sound with every wheel rotation. Forget it! I’m going back to get another one.”  

Sure, at first the kid is mildly amused with the squeaking novelty, but after half an hour, the neurological effect rivals Chinese water torture. You silly moms probably think your kid is toddling all over the house for his own amusement. But really, he’s searching desperately for the liquor cabinet, so he can drown out the racket.

And think of the unfortunate siblings and pets who have to endure this! For those with super sensitive ears, the nervous system damage is similar to that of second-hand smoke.

(an actual defense from a squeaky shoe buying mom)

“I like them because I can hear my daughter wherever she goes. I know where she is even when she’s out of my sight.”

Sure, Mrs. Einstein, I bet your cat, the one with the anxiety disorder, has a bell on his collar too. That’s why you keep catching him stealing your Xanax. 

Here’s an idea! Put down your phone and actually watch where your daughter is running off to. Then you won’t need the squeakers. Then, 15 years from now, she won’t shoot you with a 44 Magnum while you sleep.

An actual torture video masked as toddler delight
(Did you see the little girl running and screaming to escape the auditory cruelty?)

No research has been done on the long term effects of squeaky toddler shoes (I Googled it.) But I’m pretty sure that in a few years a disturbing similarity will emerge among America’s petty thieves, arsonists, serial killers, drug abusers, sexual predators and fanny pack wearers. And the root cause will be undeniable.
Years later, the effects of Wee Squeaks will follow these two victims wherever they go. 
If you know someone who puts squeaky shoes on their child, it’s your responsibility to closely follow this person around, rhythmically sounding an air horn for hours at a time. It might also help to buy them season one of Criminal Minds on DVD. Be sure to tape photos of their precious child wearing the squeaky shoes all over the box. You might need to draw an arrow from the title down to the shoes. (some people need hints.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Enter My First Annual Rotten Food ID Contest

Jack and I drove down to Tybee last night to spend some quality time with my mom, sister and nephews, see the St. Pat's parade and enjoy a small "after-the-fact" birthday celebration.

My sister Pamela gave me my first gift this morning.

P: (dropping a mysterious metal object in my outstretched hand) Happy Birthday!

ME: Cool! A mood ring! 

P: I prefer to call it an "external danger level indicator." You get to wear it, but it's  actually more for your friends and family and other people you come into contact with. Ya know, since you don't have a tail with rattles or the ability to shoot out ink like an octopus."

ME:  (thinking about how helpful it would be to be able to shoot out poisonous ink) Do you think I'm moody?

P: will you put it on before I answer?

11:15 am. That's me! Calm, relaxed and loveable.

ME:  What the heck? I don't feel any different!
P: You don't realize it, but you're a ticking time bomb....And you need a manicure.

I wish there had been an "OMG! What the crap is THAT!?!?!?" ring color setting for when I opened the mini fridge downstairs in search of a Diet Pepsi. 

This photo doesn't do justice to the horror I felt at discovering that someone (hopefully not a family member) had defacated in the refrigerator. 

(If someone is going to defacate in your refrigerator maybe it would be better if it was a family member. Although I can't conceive of any explanation whatsoever to make defacating in any kitchen appliance an acceptable thing to do, whether you're family or not.)

P: Do you think it could've been a leftover  pizza at one time?

(And I thought finding a rattlesnake in my dad's storage house freezer was a special kind of disturbing. Maybe this is a good lesson never to look inside any refrigerator or freezer owned by my parents.)

P: (after staring at the mysterious glob for 15 minutes)
"Maybe we should take it into the light."

So we proceeded outdoors like scientists carefully transporting a decomposing tumor of Jabba the Hutt.

What was even more unsettling than the looks of the thing was the smell. Earlier in the day I'd wondered if there was a septic backup.

After interviewing various family members about their downstairs refrigerator usage over the past six months and consulting with the CDC, we were able to positively ID the remains. And thankfully it's not feces. 

(I'm really glad because having to ask someone if they defacated in your parents' fridge is just sort of awkward.)

What do YOU think our mystery leftover is? Just leave a comment with your guess. The first correct entry will receive an authentic Dan Uggla bobblehead. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cheetos and Calvinism

Picture me sitting down at my laptop, covered in orange crumbs. I would provide a photo, but I’m a little Amish when it comes to selfies.

I think that Cheetos are the snack food equivalent to eating a slab of sauce-laden ribs (as opposed to sauce bin-laden ribs, for any Islamic readers I may possibly have). Sorry, I digressed in the first sentence again. 


Let me start over.

Eating Cheetos is like devouring a plateful of spaghetti with powdered sauce using only your hands and mouth.

That didn’t sound right either.

Cheetos are really messy! Ok? There!

(Why was that so difficult to write? Sometimes flowery language and trying to relate things to Middle Eastern pork condiments can get in the way of your main point. When I publish a book on being a better writer, I’ll have to remember to include the part about not letting condiments detract from your story. It’s like that time I tried to start my mother-in-law’s obituary with a haiku about horse radish. It just didn’t work.)

Okay, where was I?

Ah, Cheetos. (I’m still munching away on them and will need to vacuum this chair when I’m done.) They’re the only snack food that causes me to have to change clothes after eating a bag. Usually emergency wardrobe changes are reserved for falling in puddles or accidentally letting the back of your dress fall into the toilet when using the bathroom.

It just sounds lame to have to say “sorry I had to run home to change because I ate a bag of Cheetos.” And you think you can just brush the orange powder right off, but you can’t. It’s like glitter. No matter how hard you try to remove a piece of glitter from your face, it’s stuck there for a month.

Demetri Martin calls glitter “the herpes of crafting supplies” for that reason. So I guess that makes Cheetos the herpes of puffed snacks. Ew! Somehow comparing food to a recurring communicable disease just zaps the yum appeal right out of it.  

I sat down to write something sweet and touching about my dad and what the last three days have been like without him. Instead I’ve just spent 10 minutes waxing nonsensical about the inconvenience of Cheetos powder.

My friend Amy would say that it was meant to be. “Girl you weren’t being silly. God led you to write about Cheetos today because he knew that it would help a lot of people.” Amy doesn’t get upset about much that happens to her because she believes that everything is destiny, even dialing a number and getting that super loud FAX beep in your ear. It’s all meant to be. 

I once asked her if she was a Calvinist. She replied, “No, I usually wear American Eagle.”

I’m not sure what you were supposed to learn from this post. Wear gloves and a bib when eating Cheetos? Be more like Amy? Stay away from glitter? Try not to let condiments distract you?

I’ll let you decide.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Losing My Job and Getting Back My Stay-At-Home-Mom Status

DISCLAIMER: I do not and have never had an open case with DFACS. And I’ve also never stolen any copper wiring. But I have tried to color my own hair before. The results inspired the invention of Chia Pets.

Today is my first full day as an unemployed person. Sort of by choice (another blog post entirely). I’m back to being a stay-at-home mom and quite happy about it.

Yesterday, leaving Hospice Advantage for the last time, I felt like Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz tearfully saying “Goodbye, Tin Man! Goodbye, Lion! Goodbye, Scarecrow!” That emotional experience taught me that most of my coworkers have never seen The Wizard of Oz. And that people really don’t like to be called things like “Scarecrow” and “Tin Man” if they don’t get the reference.

Working full time, with a husband in another state, two kids and four pets to maintain has left me frazzled beyond the help of Xanax-infused Calgon. I’ve never been one of those women who could juggle a lot.

They say to start out with scarves. And with lots of practice, you can slowly work your way up to juggling leaf blowers and livestock on America’s Got Talent. But the Youtube tutorials didn’t work for me.

Video of a Goofy Clown Guy Giving Juggling Lessons

My brother Rob was a great juggler. Growing up, he used to practice with eggs all the time, which is why we always had to have Pop Tarts for breakfast, rather than French toast. And why, to this day, people’s shoes still get stuck to my mom’s kitchen floor.

(somehow I got WAY off track. I wonder if there is an award for most unrelated tangents in a blog post. I’ll check and get back to you.)

What I meant was, I’m not one of those moms who is chief of staff at the local hospital, runs two successful side businesses, home schools her 11 children, publishes a New York Times best selling young adult series, raises her own certified organic vegetables, wins three triathlons a year, always has her kids’ raffle tickets sold before the deadline and never turns down her husband’s requests for nightly affection. Whoever she is, I hate her. I’d totally not wave at her in traffic. But she wouldn’t notice because she’d be too busy organizing a mission trip to Croatia and quizzing her kids on the Beatitudes and practical uses for Plutonium.

So, in order to preserve my sanity and get DFACS off my back, my job had to go. Which, unfortunately means that the paycheck did too. Which unfortunately means that I’ll soon be coloring my own hair, shopping at Good Will (more than I already do), collecting tin cans and stealing my neighbors’ copper wiring. As they say, resourcefulness is Godliness.

So, here I sit, at 1:51 pm, looking around my living room for the first time, thinking “so that’s what it looks like in day light!” AND I solved the mystery of why the bedroom trashcan is always turned over.

I should probably clean something. Do stay-at-home moms still do that? Wasn’t there some kind of new labor law requiring it to be outsourced to cleaning union members? I’ll look that up too.

Another cute Callie photo.
Jack is still at school and Andrew just left with the Dudley Baptist Youth Group to go on a ski retreat.

Helping him pack (my first order of business as a stay-at-home mom) was totally different from how it would’ve been if I’d had to work today.


Flying up to the middle school 10 minutes before the church bus is to leave.

ME: “Get in, Honey. We’re late!”

ANDREW: “But all my stuff’s at home. We forgot to pack it last night.”

ME: “We don’t have time to go home. You should’ve thought of that!!! What do you have with you right now?”

ANDREW: “My social studies book, a protractor, my bat bag, sliding shorts, cleats, a leftover Uncrustable from lunch and half a Gatorade.”

ME: “Perfect! Let’s roll.”


ME: “I’ve packed you enough canned goods to survive for six months after a nuclear holocaust. Things aren’t going well between us and North Korea these days. Have you even THOUGHT about that? Oh, and here’s your freshly pressed tuxedo in case you guys attend a royal wedding. And don’t forget this indestructible auto-filtration water bottle with solar powered GPS, ya know… case you get lost in the dessert.

(Zipping his suitcase) Oh Gosh! I almost forgot your Undead Survival Tactical Walking Axe! What kind of mother am I?


ME: “It could totally happen! Don’t act like you haven’t seen The Walking Dead! With that attitude, you’ll be the first to get eaten.”

 It wasn’t until after I’d left the church that I realized neither one of us remembered to pack him any underwear.
       (On the bus, waiting to go.)

I guess I still need more practice at this whole staying at home thing. And with juggling. Now where are those eggs?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Sting of Being Replaced By a Younger, Prettier, Thinner Woman...(when you're about to turn 40!)

To protect the innocent and silicone enhanced, some names have been changed. Well, one name……okay, two.

It’s weird how every time I go to scoop out my cat Callie’s litter box, she seems to instantly materialize in front of me with this horrified look of betrayal, as if to say “How COULD YOU??? Those creations are precious parts of who I am! And you’re just going to discard them with the used Q-tips and coffee grounds? Why don’t you toss out my soul and your Grandma’s wedding band while you’re at it!?!?”

If she gives me the shaming stare long enough, I usually cave in. I’ll start whistling a tune to break the tension (like my gynecologist does) and pretend I’m just raking around for entertainment and stress relief, as if her litter box is an over sized, super-clumping Zen garden. After a couple of intimidating seconds, Callie will skulk off to begin her 37th bath of the day. Then I hastily and guiltily remove her artwork and pray that one day she’ll find it in her heart to forgive me.
Callie's latest selfie. I caught her doing one with duck lips the other day and made her delete it. 
Today is Day Four of my “sort-of-on-purpose” unemployment/stay-at-home-mom assignment.” And, thanks to a run-in with a former work associate, I feel like one of Callie’s litter box clumps.

ME: “Replaced? Already?” (to be read in a shaky, vulnerable voice) "But it hasn't even been a week yet."

SERENA: “Oh yeah, Baby Gurl, they done replaced you like a busted catheter. And she purty too! And seem like she real sweet.”

ME: “Just shut up! And my name is ANGELA!!!!! We worked together for over 2 years! And you NEVER bothered to learn my name…..choosing instead to create a nickname for me that obviously came from the seat of your daughter’s sweat pants!”

(but I didn’t really say any of that.)

ME: “What’s her name?”

SERENA: “It's Stephanie. Everybody say real good things about her.”

ME:  (staring incredulously, like Callie at the litter box, thinking ‘you know her NAME!?!”)

Clearly this is how a newly divorced woman must feel when her former mother-in-law tells her about “Britney,” her ex-husband’s 19 year old fiancĂ©, whom he met last week when she made his caramel latte at Starbucks.

Abruptly, my homemaker bubble of bliss was violently pierced by the mocking thorn of jealousy. The job that had become an anvil-weighted albatross around my neck, from which I couldn't wait to escape…..suddenly didn't seem so bad.  Just like my old, matted-haired Teen Talk Barbie, left abandoned in the closet until my little cousin wanted her. How DARE she!?

Immediately, dozens of thoughts bred from insecurity and feelings of failure bubbled up into my brain.

-         - She’s younger, thinner, prettier and more medically enhanced in the torso region. And here I sit, wearing my husky pants and about to turn 40!

-          -What if she’s a glowing success at the job I essentially gave up on, deeming it too much of a challenge with not enough resources to work with?

-          -What if those few doctors who never gave me the time of day, actually DO tell her what time it is? And make eye contact with her? And give her all their hospice business? And include her in their wills?

-          -Even worse….what if the doctors who referred ONLY to me (because I was me)….what if they like her MORE? And think she’s more professional, and knowledgeable and charming and gives better service and tells funnier jokes?

-         - What if the grumpy woman who runs three personal care homes in town, the one who treated me and all other reps as if we were hemorrhoids or pantry moths….. well, what if she adores Stephanie? And takes her to lunch? And brags to anyone who will listen about how much better Stephanie is than Angela was?

Given this self-directed assault on my confidence, I’m sure you understand why I spent the afternoon with a bag of Oreos. Double stuffed.

To add insult to injury, I realized too late that we were out of milk. Trying to convince your overly competitive ego to just let go of the situation and move on is about as effective as telling yourself that Oreos really do taste better with orange juice.

For a second, I could hear my mom’s voice in my head saying, “Move on, Angela. You wouldn't go back if you could. Now clean all those black crumbs out of your teeth and go do something productive.”

So I did..... sort of. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

An Update on Our Move to Richmond

I'm experimenting with asterisks in today's blog post. For every asterisk, or nine, you can find an explanation or random tangent at the bottom of the page. Thanks for playing along. 

I’m starting to regret making my big “The Weight Family is Moving to Richmond” announcement back in August. For the past two months all I hear is “are y’all still moving?” or “How’s the move coming?” My favorite is “I thought y’all were moving” which to me is closely akin to “what are you still doing here?”

Yesterday, Co*  the guy at my vet’s office, delivered the “I thought you guys were moving” line.
When I replied, “Yeah, we are. Not fast enough for you?”

He gave me one of those slightly fearful looks that a sane person gives a schizophrenic and countered, “Angela, you know I’m always glad to see you. And Katie. And your cat Anakin. The skin on my arm is finally starting to grow back since his last visit.”**
Random photo of dinner tonight. Remember when people where happy with just one meat and one cheese? How did we survive?
I don’t seriously think Co or anyone who asks about our moving progress is doing so out of a desire to finally be rid of us.***It’s  just an easy topic for small talk. ****And people really do want to know our progress.

So, here’s an official “Weight Family Move” update you can share with your friends, relatives, legal counsel and pest control service technician. (B.J. is ours and that guy loves to talk.)

Our house is still on the market. Lee Ann***** says that realistically we might not see much interest until Spring. However, a family looked at it on Monday. I didn't get any feedback, but at least they didn't steal anything from the medicine cabinet. (I keep the expired Vicodin from James’ vasectomy shoulder surgery as bait.)
If you’ve ever had a home for sale, you know what an inconvenience it is having to constantly keep the beds made, used plates and glasses out of the bedrooms, cat hair tumbleweeds off the floors and toilets flushed.******

Since I’m not particularly good at any of the above, I fly into cleaning tornado mode an hour before the house hunters arrive, while James and the boys contentedly sprawl in front of MLB Network and graze on tortilla chips (the extra crumbly kind).

The goal of staging your home for sale is to try to remove any personal items that may subliminally bias customers against the property. For example, I had to remove my beloved ax from the bedside because Lee Ann said it might send the wrong messages. She suggested replacing it with a healthy, green plant.  
The beloved family ax. And yes, James still sleeps with that fish pillow on the bed.
Trying to find a nice, healthy looking houseplant to replace the ax.

It’s also important to remove any name brand (or off brand) products.

LEE ANN: “Don’t forget to put away your shampoo and hairspray and mouthwash and all those personal things. You’d be amazed at all the little things that can affect buyers’ impressions.”

ME: (creating a fictitious real estate scenario) “Well, my wife loved the kitchen and the kids went nuts over the creek and the huge back yard. We were crazy about the place. It wasn’t until after we’d made an offer and secured financing that we found out that the homeowners use KROGER BRAND MOUTHWASH!!! Needless to say, the deal was off. You’d think they’d put that sort of thing in the disclosure.”
Wait! I can explain!
I don’t so much mind having to keep everything “magazine tidy.” But I’m often not sure where to put things. The last two times we’ve shown the house, I’ve had a huge basket of clean laundry that I hadn’t had time to fold. I can’t exactly leave it out in the open as that sends the message “Slobs who wear wrinkled clothes live here; therefore the house probably has galvanized pipes.”******* 

Just to be on the safe side, I hid the basket in the crawl space under our house.********

And then there’s the problem of having to evacuate when it’s time for the tour.

ME:  “oh my gosh, it’s almost time for the house hunters! Quick, boys, get your shoes on! We've got to get out of here before they catch us.”

JACK: “Catch us doing what?”

ME: “I don’t know. Uh… here, I guess….”

When we have to rush out the door like that, I feel like a kid who’s trying to put out her cigarette, open a window and hide the matches as the parentals are coming up the stairs.

It’s not until we’re driving out of the neighborhood that I realize I have no idea where we’re going to spend the next hour or two while people appraise our paint colors, step off room measurements and wonder what kind of mouthwash we use.

Lee Ann is planning to host a brokers’ tour next week. She’ll be relieved to know that I put the ax away.********

We’ll be playing tourists all next week in Richmond, VA….our future home. I promise to write.
And if you clicked on this post hoping for an actual update of our move, here's what I've got. James is expected to be in Richmond full time by early January. That will leave me as a single mom with a freezer full of Marie Callendar's  three meats, four cheese lasagna dinners. I'm hoping to stay here through summer so the boys can finish out their school years and maybe play some Dudley Little League. (We do LOVE some Dudley Little League!!!!!)
Richmond. It's on the James River. Nice of them to name a river after my husband. Maybe they can throw my name on a state park or a toll plaza or at least a park bench at the state correctional facility 

*Who names their kid a prefix? Maybe it’s short for Cooperation or Coagulation or Co morbid Condition. I guess if you’re going to be named a prefix, Co is better than Anti.
 I just looked up words that start with Co. One entry was Co-Grandfather-In-Law. Seriously? I’ve never heard of a Co-Grandfather, much less a Co-Grandfather-In-Law. Like some old guy is going to reach his breaking point one day and say “Dang, these grandfather-in-law responsibilities are just too much to handle. I’m 87 years old, for crackin’ sake! That little philly my grandboy married is gonna be the death of me with all her grandfather-in-lawing needs. Y’all gotta hire me some help. Heck, I’ll even share the title with him and give him half my turnip harvest.
                -Actually, I think Co is really spelled Coe, Ko or Koh, (Andrew swears it's Coe. And he claims he's never wrong.) which makes that last paragraph completely irrelevant. But I refuse to delete it.

**That last line didn’t actually happen. I was just trying to somehow work Anakin into the story. He really is a mean cat, though.

***Except the Wingers. They delivered a load of packing boxes to our garage last week. Said they just had them lying around from their recent move in ’86.

****Conversation starters and responses you should probably avoid (based on my own experience).
-          “Why don’t any of your kids look like you?”
-          “Hey, I see your psoriasis is back!”
-          “Ya know, some people are saying that your uncle really DIDN’T die of natural causes.”
-          “Interesting outfit. Are you color blind?”
-          “I kept Monday’s paper for you. Figured you’d want a few extra copies of your daughter’s mug shot for scrapbooking.”
-          “People keep asking me if you’re on Meth and I don’t know what to tell them.”
-          “What last name are you using these days?”
-          “Are you going to keep your hair like that?”

***** Our realtor

******I live with three males who think of the toilet more as a carnival game than a sanitary fixture. I guess I should’ve never offered them prizes for ringing the bowl.

******* We don’t have galvanized pipes.

********I still can’t find where I hid the clothes basket when the people came three weeks ago. If we show the house many more times, Andrew and Jack are going to have to look for their jeans in the backyard with a metal detector.

*********Is anyone really ever glad when you run out of mouthwash? Better have some gum at least. Or just squeeze a mouthful of toothpaste.