I’m Probably On A Government Watch List For Searching Ricin Today

My two best conversation starters
My two best conversation starters

I have an issue with Breaking Bad, and that issue is that I can’t stop watching it. The show is over, I know. Still, for some reason, I find myself watching it when I need a diversion. Perhaps it’s not light viewing, but that doesn’t stop me. I like Walt. The metamorphosis of his character is nothing short of genius, and Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of him is poetry. This weekend I started busting through all the episodes of Season 5 again because I admire the way Vince Gilligan was able to do with Breaking Bad what Abrams and Lindelof failed to do with my other favorite show, LOST, which is tie up loose ends. (Admittedly, LOST had about a gazillion loose ends to tie up, so maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe I should work on letting go?) As I said, I have an issue.

Anyway, tonight I was binge watching episodes when Joe walked in. The boys have seen bits and pieces of the show over the years, and as they have gotten older I’ve been more willing to explain the show’s premise and characters. Last week, I got into a long conversation with Luke trying to explain the relationship between Walt and Hank using my husband and brother-in-law as examples. Nothing like telling your kid, “Well…it’s like if your dad cooked crystal meth and your uncle worked as a special agent for the DEA.”

If you’ve seen the show, you know that ricin figures into the plot repeatedly. So tonight Joe catches a few lines about ricin and its effects and becomes concerned. Of course he does. He’s perpetually on high alert, that one.

“I’m scared,” he tells me.

“Of what?” I inquire.


Oh, holy hell.

“Joe, there is no reason to be scared of ricin.”

“What if I get poisoned?” he asks.

“You’re not going to be poisoned by ricin. I’m pretty sure about that.”

“But, it’s out there.”

“It’s not easy to come by. You’re safe. Why are you asking these questions?”

“Because my throat kind of hurts,” he tells me.

The character on the show, you see, was feeling under the weather. The viewer discovers it’s due to ricin poisoning. So, of course, my son now thinks his scratchy throat is a sign that he’s been poisoned. It’s about this point that I’m ready to hang my husband for passing on his worry-gene onto my darling son.

“There are about a dozen reasons why your throat may feel sore right now, Joe. None of them have anything to do with ricin,” I reassured him, trying not to laugh. I then told him to stop watching my show and get out of my room.

If there’s one truly great reason for having kids, it’s the conversations you’ll have. It’s not every day I get into a conversation with another adult about ricin. Chances are, though, if I did, it would be a lot less amusing and they’d probably look at me sideways for a while afterward.




I’m Not An Addict…Well, Not Really

What it looks like when I get my way

We’re one week from the start of Season 5 of Breaking Bad. Steve and I started watching this show on the recommendation of some friends back in February. We watched through Season 1 together. We watched the first couple episodes of Season 2 together. But, we were watching late at night, and Steve (somewhat understandably) decided that staying up late on work nights watching a show that is as dark and disturbing was not something he needed to be doing. So, I continued watching the series by myself while riding my bike trainer during the days. I got through all four seasons by myself. I loved it. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the start of Season 5 and now it’s almost here, which is awesome.

For the past few months, I have been bugging Steve to catch up on the episodes so that when Season 5 starts we can share it like we shared LOST and Battlestar Galactica. He has been non-compliant. But, time is ticking away until the season premiere on July 15th. So, today I decided to turn up the heat. Knowing I could not possibly get him through three seasons in a week, I simply began telling him about the episodes, hoping to arouse his interest. He did not bite. I was getting impatient. I pulled up the seasons on my MacBook, trying both to refresh my memory (I finished the shows mid-March) and to prove to him I was serious about watching it again. He barely blinked an eye. I pleaded. I wheedled. I appealed to his kinder, sweeter nature by telling him that I really wanted him to watch it with me. He did not care.

While I was regrouping and working on a strategy, Joe came to me asking me to rent a movie for him tonight on iTunes. He was dying to watch some Fantastic Four film. The light bulb dawned. I told Joe that I would love to rent him a movie tonight, but he’d have to get his father to agree. He asked me how. I gave him a hint. I told him that Daddy and I had something we could watch tonight, so I would love to rent his movie if his father would agree to watch tv with me. A few minutes later, Steve walked into the kitchen and stood behind me.

“That was a new low for you. I can’t believe you used your son against me like that,” he said in a hushed voice.

I smiled out of the corner of my mouth. I got him.

So, tonight as I write this, I am sitting on my bed. The kids are asleep. Steve is sitting next to me, and we are watching our fourth episode of Breaking Bad Season 4. Yeah. I got my way. Not unlike a meth addict, I will do whatever it takes to get my fix.