Running on empty

“How do you juggle everything?”

Even before Brynn’s hospital stay and last illness threw us into a scheduling tailspin, people would ask me: “How do you do it all?” How do we feed, clothe and clean up after the diaper-clad and manure-producing masses? And slog through work? And handle the cooking and laundry and dog retrieval and stink bug collection… and, on occasion, eat out with mock civility?

How do we make it work?

It’s simple.

Lots of alcohol.

No….that’s not the solution.

It helps but it’s not the solution.

The answer is, we don’t do it all. In the basement we clear a path through mounds of dirty laundry in snow-plow style. We sustain the kids on cereal and pizza. The dog sulks and stares forlornly at the door when we whittle down her walks.

We do run down our energy reserves to zilch. But when that happens, help is right around the corner.

At your local convenience store. Right next to the Skoal dispenser and that grimy “take-a-penny, leave-a-penny” dish by the cash register.

It’s in grocery stores. And sold in bulk at Costco and Sam’s Club (trust me, I’ve bought it by the case.)

Salvation, in a two-ounce bottle.

The 5-Hour Energy Drink.

It’s billed as a vitamin supplement but let’s call a spade a spade. We’re talking about a condensed caffeine jolt.

I’m not a coffee drinker, and I’d have to down a vat of soda to reap the stimulant-spiked benefit. Instead, in my “break glass in an emergency” sort of style, I resort to the 5-hour energy drink.

Not that I’m endorsing this product.

For starters, there’s nothing 5 hours about it. At best, it’s 90 minutes of guaranteed consciousness.

Secondly, the taste is positively vile. An uber sweet, wincingly-bitter syrupy shot. I can’t help but shutter from the wretched tang.

Still, I drink it when I need it. Lately, that’s been often.

In a perfect world I’d administer the 5-hour drink intravenously and spare myself the horrid aftertaste. Maybe it’s time to borrow Brynn’s picc line.

Or else crawl under my desk and sleep the work day away like George Castanza.