Opreggano decided to do some home renovations, using power tools, by herself the other day. I know this because she sent me a text, “If I cut off any of my fingers you are my emergency contact.” I advised her to add my digits as an In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact in her phone, while she still had all of her digits. Later, when we were tooling around the town together, I shared a disclaimer with her, “For the record, I cannot be your ICE contact when I’m with you.”


This evening, while stooping with That’s Not Chinese and Alice, I shared with them a little story about me and Vice. The fact that ‘Vice’ is used as a preposition for important societal roles, like president, is interesting since it is most often defined and perceived as wicked, failing, degrading, and immoral, to name a few.


That’s Not Chinese had heard my Vice story before and had only one question for me, “You’ve passed background checks since then, right?” Alice, however, had not heard my story, so I shared this ‘intimate’ and intriguing detail about my past with her. Tricky, tricky, that’s me.


After Alice went home, That’s Not Chinese stayed on the stoop, finishing off the wine and enjoying the blackened (burnt) squash and tomatoes. At some point, after she peed on the tree, but before she drove home, That’s Not Chinese asked if I would be her ICE. “Sure,” I replied and added, “But like I told Opreggano, I can’t be that person when I’m with you or immediately after you leave my house.”


She left my house and I waited to receive a text from her saying she was safely home. When I didn’t receive the text, I sent one to her and called her. “Just wanted to make sure you’re home safe. When I didn’t hear from you I wondered if I needed to hit the streets (not like that time with Vice) to see if you were OK.”


“Trust me,” she told me, “Should the situation ever arise, you will be my first phone call.” “Like I told Opreggano, not if I am currently or have recently been with you. I can guarantee I’m just as guilty as you at that point, thus, best not be your ICE contact, but I’ll make a nice cell mate,” I replied. Then, I turned off my porch light – it’s a soft white, not red – and went to bed.

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