I’m a Little Teapot

By Lisa Scottoline

Once again, I learned something from Daughter Francesca.

I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be the other way around.

Either she’s a really smart kid or I’m a really dumb mother.

We begin last month, when Francesca had a cold and comes home with a neti pot.

If you’ve never seen a neti pot, it looks like the small pot they serve tea in in restaurants, which is cute.

Except a neti pot is not cute.

This is where it gets disgusting.

If you’re eating, move on.

But if you want to change your life, keep reading.

When Francesca came home, I asked her to show me how to use a neti pot.

So she fills the neti pot with distilled water, puts in a little packet of God knows what, and screws the cap on. Then she inserts the spout of the neti pot into her right nostril, tilts her head to the left over the sink, and pours water up her nose.

You know what comes out her left nostril?

Water and snot.

I almost threw up. It gave me nightmares.

Until I got a cold.

And I bought a neti pot.

And it changed my life.

My sinuses felt clean for the first time ever.

And my cold went away.

Meanwhile I didn’t even know I had sinuses beside my nose.

But my neti pot did.

I get more oxygen now than ever before.

I breathe like a champ.

My sinuses sparkle.

So I’m addicted to my neti pot. I use it every night, whether I need to or not. I can’t even wait until bedtime to clean my sinuses.

It’s sex for middle-aged women.

Meanwhile I barely shower.

I can’t be bothered.

And my hair never gets greasy like it did when I was young and normal.

It’s straw now.

At this point, I’m pretty sure it repels water.

Anyway to return to point, it’s easy to use a neti pot, once you practice.

All you do is stick it up one nostril and start pouring.

At first you’ll feel like you’re waterboarding yourself.

Don’t worry.

You are.

I forgot to mention, you have to keep your mouth open and breathe.

I forget that sometimes at night.

Basically I drown myself before bed.

If you forget the directions, remember the song:

“I’m a little teapot, short and stout.

Here is my handle, here is my spout.

Now stick it up your nose.”

Okay, that’s not the song.

I remember on the show Welcome Back, Kotter, when Vinnie Barbarino used to say “up your nose with a rubber hose.”

My mother always thought that was hysterical.

But that’s exactly what using a neti pot feels like.

It’s like a douche for your nostrils.

Meanwhile, does anyone even douche anymore?

I found a website for womenshealth.gov, which said that about a fifth of women between fifteen and forty-four still douche.

Why?

Why did anybody ever douche?

Way back when, Mother Mary did. She told me that women were supposed to so they were clean down there.

Where?

The sinus of the south.

Are you throwing up yet?

I remember there were commercials for douche on TV, telling you in sneaky ways that your vagina was stinky.

But I’m pretty sure it smelled like a vagina.

I checked online, and all the websites I found recommend unanimously that women should not douche.

Your vagina is self-cleaning. Like your oven.

But not like your sinuses.

It reminded me of another memory of my mother, and I have so many I think of them as mommaries.

Mother Mary was in a hospital gown being wheeled into surgery, and when the orderly moved the sheet aside, there was spotting underneath. The orderly hastily covered it up, embarrassed for her.

Mother Mary shrugged. “Don’t worry, it’s rust.”

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2024

Creature Feature

by Lisa Scottoline

You know that holiday poem that says, “…not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

It’s a lie.

I got creatures, stirring.

And they’re making me stir crazy.

Let me explain.

As soon as the weather turns cold, I open my front door and a row of wolf spiders rush in like an arachnid defensive line.

I’m too soft a touch to kill them.

Did you read Charlotte’s Web?

Anyway, I try to catch them with a glass, then run back outside to set them free. I succeeded in catching one, but seventeen others would rush inside and escape into the heating grate in the floor.

At this point my basement has four billion Charlottes.

Their web reads, WE LOVE IT HERE!

Next, I found a fieldmouse under the radiator in the dining room.

I call it a fieldmouse because there’s a field near my house.

Sort of.

Okay, so it was a housemouse.

Just ask the cat.

I think they’re friends.

Even though every day my cat looks at me like she’s never seen me before.

And we live together.

This would be the story of my second marriage.

To return to point, I lured the mouse out from under the radiator with peanut butter on a skewer, trapped it in a pot, and ran it out to the backyard.

So undoubtedly, it’s in the basement writing on the spiderweb, I LOVE IT HERE, TOO!

But now the creatures are getting bigger.

I was sitting in the family room with Daughter Francesca, and we heard scratching noises in the ceiling, then noticed the overhead lights moving.

I jumped off the couch immediately.

For me, that’s what it takes.

Something’s about to fall on my head, I get right up.

To find the remote, I don’t bother.

Then the scratching stopped, so I went back to the couch.

But Francesca went outside and found that squirrels had made a hole under the eaves and were running inside the house under the roof.

She even took a video.

By this time, I was back on the couch.

In any event, I had no idea if squirrels could be lured out by peanut butter so I had to call in a professional, who guaranteed that he could trap the squirrels without killing any.

So, I did.

In fact, I was on the phone with him when I noticed a groundhog in the front yard, who ran into a fresh hole under the garage.

So, you get the idea.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the season.

There’s Spring, Summer, Fall, and Vermin.

It’s cold outside, and all living things want to be warm.

And I have a nice, toasty house, even if my basement is getting a little crowded.

So, I’m going to accept that peace on earth and goodwill to men also includes defensive spiders, mice of whatever origin, ceiling squirrels, and one chubby groundhog.

My spiderweb reads, WE ALL LOVE IT HERE!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2023