Top Two Entries (and by that, I mean the only two)
The Care and Feeding of Ruthette
March 5, 2010
Figure 1: The Ruthette takes a defensive posture.
It has been my privilege to care for and feed the ferocious and yet majestic Ruthette many times over the past few years. The key to remember when dealing with this amazing creature is that the Ruthette does not like to be “fussed over.” The diligent caretaker will take steps to ensure that whatever activities are undertaken in order to best serve the Ruthette’s needs are performed in a fluid, natural manner that will not arouse the Ruthette’s natural anxiety or fury.
Figure 5: The Ruthette attacks.
The Ruthette, for some reason unexplained by science or evolution, becomes enraged at the sight of glitter or “cuteness.” While it is impossible to single out every item that would be an issue in caring for the Ruthette, the wise keeper will avoid anything with unicorns, fluffy kittens, scratch-n-sniff, or scented fur. Be warned: do not entertain the idea of using a Care Bear as a comfort and companion for the Ruthette. Ruthettes in the wild have been known to mangle Care Bears and even turn on the foolish keeper who provided them.
Figure 3: Snacktime!
The Ruthette will eat just about anything, but it is unwise to feed the Ruthette large amounts of green vegetables or beans. Macaroons and starchy foods are a boon, but the caregiver must be sure not to make these seem in any way as though they have been specially provided. Nonchalance is the key. Also, cheese is the Ruthette’s favorite food, and I recommend encasing any unpleasant food or medicine in cheese as a dosing method.
Cake is not recommended, however.
The Ruthette is both playful and intelligent, and very high-spirited. Frequent activity is recommended—the Ruthette loves to jump! Be aware, however, that the Ruthette is not remarkably coordinated and some exploits may lend themselves to supervision.
This is not a comprehensive guide to the care and feeding of the Ruthette. For that, you will need to read my seminal work, Not Without My Coffee: The Inside Story of Ruthette. These pointers, however, should enable you to join the many who have found joy and companionship with the Ruthette.
THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF RUTHETTE
When you bring your Ruthette into the house for the first time, make sure you give her a tour of all the rooms in the house. If there are certain rooms where she is not allowed to enter this is the best time to tell her so. Make sure your Ruthette has a space for her very own. A separate room works best, but if your Ruthette has to share a room with others, make sure she has a space where she can retreat when she needs solitude. Many people find a laundry basket in a dark closet works well. Ruthettes are very protective of their sleeping areas, and will be happiest if they have their own bed. If they must share a bed, frequent laundering of the bedding is essential.
Don’t be alarmed if your Ruthette spends the first few hours at home re-arranging all of her new things. Ruthettes can be very particular concerning the arrangement of their things; after the first day, re-arranging sessions may happen sporadically throughout the next few days with episodes lasting between fifteen minutes and an hour and a half.
Chapter 2 - The Natural Ruthette
Ruthettes have seven different senses. In addition to the five standard senses, Ruthettes are equipped with special senses of Humor and Justice. We will discuss the weakest senses first, and end with the strongest.
Sight - The poorest of a Ruthette’s senses is her eyesight. Your Ruthette will very likely need glasses or contact lenses to correct her vision. Do not be surprised if your Ruthette has to squint to see things even while wearing her glasses; this is normal.
Smell - A Ruthette has quite an active sense of smell. Lingering scents of trash in the hallway, raw chicken down the kitchen drain, smelly shoes, flatulence and other distasteful smells are likely to elicit a negative response from the most patient Ruthette. On the other hand, Ruthettes enjoy a variety of peculiar smells, such as babies' heads, coffee, National Geographics, and fresh ink. Each Ruthette is unique and will have her own particular smell that she enjoys.
Taste - A Ruthette’s sense of taste is quite strong. Because of this, most Ruthettes start out in life being very picky eaters. It is not uncommon for young Ruthettes to get upset when foods touch each other (even when both are favorite foods!) This and other “picky eater” behaviors can be easily corrected in a young Ruthette, but is harder to correct as an adult. Through proper training, a Ruthettes sense of taste can be desensitized easily. Ruthettes love basic flavors: bread, cheese, potatoes, rice, and chicken. Some seasonings they also find enjoyable, but Ruthettes as a rule do not enjoy spicy foods. Because of a genetic anomaly, a Ruthette’s tongue is super-sensitive to hot flavors. So even if your Ruthette likes the taste of spicy food, it is literally painful for her to eat them.
Hearing - A Ruthette’s sense of hearing is the same as an average human. However, even though a Ruthette hears the same things as you and I, she has special receptors in her brain that interpret those sounds and filter out the sounds of dishonesty and injustice.
Humor - It will not take you long to realize that your Ruthette has a very strong sense of humor. Making others laugh with quick wit is a favorite pastime for all Ruthettes. To keep your Ruthette happy, make sure you are ready to laugh at funny stories, and try to give her a fresh audience at least once a week.
Justice - Strongest of all Ruthettes’ senses is their Sense Of Justice. All other aspects of your Ruthette’s behavior are ruled mainly by this sense. Be aware that Injustice and Bad/Rebellious Behavior will bring out a strong reaction of Righteous Indignation in your Ruthette. You should balance this tendency by supplementing her diet with large doses of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. With proper training, this strongest of her senses can make your Ruthette a valuable asset.
Chapter 3 - Feeding the Ruthette
Most Ruthettes are very capable foragers for food. The best thing you can do for your Ruthette is make sure there is plenty of rice, noodles, eggs, and cheese for her to choose from. Other than those four essential items, the Ruthette can forage from whatever you have in your kitchen for her meals.
Chapter 4 - The Productive Ruthette
To have a happy Ruthette in your house, you must train her to some purpose. If you don’t keep her busy, her natural mothering instinct will kick in. This usually results in un-wanted reminders, attempts to complete your sentences and general life plans for your household. Good ways to correct these behaviors are stern looks and a patient “Thanks you, but that’s not necessary.” Eye rolling and impatience will are not effective, and will compound the problem with defensive behavior. Better to avoid this situation by giving your Ruthette a job.
Ruthettes are especially well suited for jobs as a justice of the peace, personal reading advisor, and tour guide. However, most Ruthettes can adapt to a variety of occupations.