In the Land of the Whirling Dervish

Five minutes has gone by since I typed that subject line. In trying to decide what I would title my summation of yesterday, I thought up that particular subject. And then, in a stroke of genius, I thought I would begin the post with a very official definition of the term “whirling dervish,” which I was 100% convinced was a fancy, technical term for “Tasmanian devil.” This is a true story. I thought, “whirling dervish” = “Tasmanian devil.” Am I the only 40-yr-old human under this particular rock?

I am so shocked to find that a whirling dervish is a crazed, dancing, Muslim monk.

“A member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, as the  Sufis, some of which carry on ecstatic observances, such as energetic dancing and whirling or vociferous chanting or shouting.”
I mean, I am totally shocked. Totally.
Really shocked.
They don’t just engage in whirley dances. They do vociferous chanting. Vociferous, people.
This is what I thought a whirling dervish was.
And this is what one actually is.
I guess you can learn new fun facts at any age. I’ll be more careful how I describe my children in the future. The former clip really describes my household more accurately.
Especially yesterday.
Especially after 2:30.
Up until school got out, I was sluggish and struggling to keep up with my duties for the day. I was scheduled to pick up two extra kids from school, so I did that. I gave everyone an ice cream snack, because nothing says ‘calm household’ like 6 kids full of chocolate. We got homework done.  And from that moment on, it’s like I was surrounded by Tasmanian dervishes. Or whirling monks.
There’s so much to tell that I think I will have to just hit the highlights.
I have a new buddy. Javaris. He’s in AG’s class. He’s a really sweet kid and everyone in the family likes having him around. This is good, since he’s always around. Now he even eats with us. And his cousin does, too. But back to that in a moment. Javaris was over. And Darius. And everyone seemed to be interested in the hamsters. This must have been shocking for the poor little beasts, because they’d enjoyed a period of peaceful waning interest lately and hadn’t had to fight off the grubby, fat paws of my children. SnuggleMonkey was a bit of a hazard with the hamsters and had one of them in the orange ball, chasing it all over the downstairs. So our very beloved house guest, we’ll call her Blemma (man, that’s a good name), rescued the hamster and put her back in the box. And then Blemma and I proceeded to chat in the doorway to the kitchen. Over Blemma’s shoulder I could see a flash of movement from the hamster, which is not unusual after a child  has driven her crazy. So I kept talking. But that flash of activity turned into a flurry of very uncommon behavior. And that’s when I noticed it.
Both hamsters were in the same box.
Maybe you don’t know that hamsters are not social creatures. Unless you consider instant mating or death a social behavior. I suppose you could make a strong argument for one of those. But our hamsters are sisters and sisters don’t socialize.
They were fighting.
And if we hadn’t interrupted them, we’d have a very dead Olive on our hands.
Since I don’t deal well with such urgent matters, I immediately began to scream in nonsensical words. “Ohhhhhhh, hey….guys……arrrrrrrr……pggggggggg.” I finally managed to screech out, “Help! The hamsters are together!” Then I ran into the dining room, where most domestic rodents are stationed, and placed the top of the box vertically down into the box to separate the hamsters. Then AG and Javaris picked up the little underdog to inspect her.
She was wounded.
Bloody paws. Cuts on her side. No other damage.  I made a joke about neosporin and then went to Google what I should do to help this hamster.  It said to clean the wound with water, peroxide, and apply neosporin.
And that’s what we did.
The 3-yr-old wandered in to ask, very indignantly, how the hamsters had ended up in the same box. We decided as a group to blame her, the 3-yr-old. It just seemed like what needed to happen. No, we didn’t. We just pretended not to hear her.  Just kidding again. I think I just feigned confusion and walked on. Except I really was confused.
About this time, the potatoes needed to be browning in a skillet. So I started this process. My phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize and I was expecting an important call, so I took it. The potatoes were moved off the heat, I removed myself to the porch, and the whirling, dancing monks carried on with their vociferous chanting inside.
Twenty minutes passed. A very critical twenty minutes, if you have 7 kids in the house and a 6:30 cub scout meeting to attend. There was no skipping that meeting. He was getting his Bear rank, his pinewood derby medal, and some belt loops.
Somehow, in the midst of all of that, we sat down to eat. And Javaris and Darius sat down, too. On the fly. We prayed. We ate. We laughed. We destroyed the kitchen. Only two of us made it to the cub scout meeting and even then, they were 30 minutes late for it.
After AG and his dad left for the meeting, and Darius and Javaris went home, I was alone in a kitchen that looked like a band of 14-year-old boys had tried to cook a Thanksgiving feast in it using materials from 1812. I hardly knew where to start. But I loaded the dishwasher. I washed the remaining dishes by hand. And then I decided to mop. While the mop water was filling the sink, I figured I would use my time to vacuum the rest of the downstairs.
Sorta forgot about that mopping business. When I remembered, I had this to contend with.
The picture doesn’t do justice to the 1/8th of an inch left before the Red Sea spilled over onto my dirty kitchen floor. I guess that wouldn’t be the worst thing, but it’s also not the most efficient way to mop.
And then I threw the gyrating monks into their beds and asked them to chant less vociferously.
That’s the last thing I remember. The rest is fuzzy.
All I know for sure is I went biking tonight in my pajamas and I’m pretty sure that’s not  okay.

15 thoughts on “In the Land of the Whirling Dervish

  1. Thank you, Missy! Thank you! For the first time in my 54 years, I understand these lyrics from “The Sound of Music.” Describing Maria: “She’ll out-pester any pest, drive a hornet from its nest; she can throw a whirling dervish out of whirl. She is gentle, she is mild, she’s a riddle, she’s a child. She’s a headache, she’s an angel, she’s a girl.” I never understood before because I had the Tasmanian Devil image in my mind, too! Don’t you just love Google?

    1. Ha ha! I thought a whirling dervish was just a nickname for a Tasmanian devil, too! Just found out differently tonight. Guess my image came from seeing spinning Tasmanian devils in cartoons.

  2. Yep, I had it pictured totally didfferent when that “whirling dervish” part was sung, I always pictured a whirl wind….never a monk, NEVER.

  3. Haven’t you ever seen the Tasmanian Devil whirling around like a tornado in the cartoons? I think that might be why you confused the two.

  4. Fannie Flagg writes about whirling dervishes in “I Still Dream About You”. This is a book set in Alabama, so it must be a southern thing. Much too cold up here to whirl and they would blend in with all of the snow in their white robe thingies.
    We have 2 guinea pigs at school and we had a similar incident when we somehow came up with the idea to put them in together. I hate the rodents and will never hold them, but was forced to grab the long haired one, which proceeded to shed all over me, I was carrying on like a banshee, the pig managed to free herself, the kids were either instructing me, screaming at me, or standing on their desks, I was crawling around on the floor in the corner with the wanna-be football players blocking her escape. In the end the little animal activists were citing me with charges of animal cruelty and bad classroom management. If they only knew what I really wanted to do with the little rodents! (and I am talking about the 2-legged ones!)

  5. “Ohhhhhhh, hey….guys……arrrrrrrr……pggggggggg.”

    I can totally picture this.

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