6.13.2008

Schieve

I have no idea if “schieve” is the right spelling, or even if it's an actual word. It may simply be old Italian slang or a form of ”skeeve”. My mom claims to have picked up the expression from her grandmother, and usually pronounces it shhh-keeve. In any case, she usually uses it to describe when I'm disgusted by or shunning something, be it a type of food I don't like or thinking a plate is dirty. I'm particularly particular about food, and my folks think this is unusual since I'm such a slob in every other aspect of my life. Honestly, I'm not eating off the floor in my room so dust or laundry doesn't bother me.

I guess that's why I freaked out on the little boy who grabbed my instrument over the weekend. It wasn't that he was touching my property, or even that he nearly pulled a $600 piece of equipment to the ground. It was where he was touching it, that he had his fingers on the mouthpiece. You know those television commercials for disinfectant soap that show the kids running in the mud, picking up frogs, wiping their nose, then reaching for a sandwich while a green glow is added to accentuate the aura of germs they've picked up? That's the mental image I had in my head in that moment, reinforced when the kid was scratching his behind with the same hand a moment later. My mom would say I was schieving.

Thursday, I stopped in a supermarket on my lunch hour to pick up a card, some healthy snacks, and some other items for Father's Day. When I reached the self-checkout, I noticed my shoe was sticking to the floor. “Not gum...” I thought to myself, looking down. There were a few red spots on the floor, most likely melted candy. Something that might have been in someone's mouth now coating a floor was disgusting, but not as bad as gum. I finished my transaction, careful to avoid the sticky spots on the floor.

As I walked away, I kept hearing a sticky sound, like some residue was still on my sneaker. I looked on the sole and saw a giant red circle of candy completely mashed in to the design. Dragging my feet in the parking lot got rid of some of the surface candy, but dragging my feet on the lawn back at work only added grass, and the next time I looked I thought there was a tomato under there. I tried not to think about it the rest of the afternoon, though every once in a while I'd pick up my foot and the carpet would briefly rise with it before falling free.

When I got home, I immediately turned on the hose to full power, took off the shoe, and let water pressure power wash the mess from the grooves. A few times I turned the sneaker the wrong way, and water splashed in my face. I definitely schieved that, my lips pulling taut as I tried to make my face water tight. I carried the shoe around to our verandah to dry, and heard skittering in the corner. A huge squirrel leapt up on to the wall and froze, staring at me. I froze, and stared back. For a moment, I thought it was going to make a run for the steps behind me, but then it looked over it's shoulder, and braced itself to run down the wall. For a moment its tail was sticking up as it clung to the stucco on the other side, then it scampered down into the yard. In hindsight, it was a lot like that scene in The Fugitive where Tommy Lee Jones has Harrison Ford cornered in that drain pipe.

Walking back around the house, I reached a patch of wet grass and hopped the rest of the way on the one foot that still had a sneaker. The neighbors really don't need Cable for entertainment. Inside, my parents asked how my day was otherwise, but my face was still sealed. I rushed to the bathroom and washed my hands and face vigorously with soap and water, then rinsed my mouth with mouthwash.

I took my plate of dinner in my room so I could surf the web while I ate. In the kitchen, I heard a WHAM! followed by my mom shouting to my dad. “Where did it go? I think it ran by your foot!” WHAM! WHAM! “I never saw something so fast; how did that get in the house??” A few minutes later, I returned to the kitchen with an empty plate and found them eating peacefully. As I put the dish in the sink and began washing it, my mom asked if I didn't like the chicken since I wasn’t having seconds. In truth, it was quite delicious, but I lied and said I'd had a big lunch. Whatever spider or other bug darted across the floor in my imagination based on what I'd heard had tainted my appetite. It's not always logical, but when it comes to things like bugs in the kitchen I schieve.

3 Comments:

Blogger b13 said...

I think "schieve" is correct... followed by "vats"... pronounced "skee-vahts".

"Hey, Louie! Remember that tramp near the pork store? What a schievats!"

6/13/2008 12:47 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

*giggles* You are definitely entertaining.

6/13/2008 1:22 PM  
Anonymous thewritejerry said...

that is vintage MCF!

a true classic.

6/13/2008 8:52 PM  

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