Monday, April 30, 2012
This little holiday doesn’t have quite as much going for it, unlike the flashier Thanksgiving and Christmas spectaculars, filled with rituals like massive feasts and drunken relatives bickering over stupid things. Basically, May Day involves flowers and people prancing around a stripper pole. That’s about it. So let’s jazz things up with some new traditions, shall we?
Prepare Your Dwelling
1. Throw away the left-over Easter Eggs that have been dripping radiation in the back of the fridge for too long now. Those things were really cute at one time but, just like children, they turn bad before you know it. And it doesn’t matter that these were Little Jimmy’s first Easter Eggs and parting will be such sweet sorrow. Jimmy has already forgotten about them and moved on. He is now more invested in obtaining security clearance to those damn locked cabinets in the kitchen which tempt him with their forbidden treasures.
2. Finally put the Christmas tree box back up in the attic. Granted, you may have been using it as a handy folding table for the laundry, but that job activity is not part of the tree’s union contract, and he’s about to file a grievance. The last thing you need right now is a labor dispute when you are trying to make 27 flowery headdresses for your nieces, a gaggle of girls that are living proof that your brother clearly needs to find something else to do with his penis.
3. Force yourself to have the dreaded talk with the relative who was been “staying over for a few days” for at least a month. Explain to this person, the one you essentially stopped loving on Day 6 of the visit, and simply couldn’t stand by Day 9, that May Day is the International Day of Moving On Down the Highway. Doesn’t that sound like fun? I’ll help you pack!
If the relative proves even more slothful than expected and does not immediately leave on a jet plan, tell the rest of the May Day story, which involves May 2, otherwise known as May Dead. This is the International Day where people who actually pay the bills in a dwelling are allowed to hunt down those who don’t, and nobody asks questions about bodies that might be discovered in alleys on May 3rd.
4. Beautify the world by running down to Lowe’s and buying a bunch of those sad little dollar plants left on the orphan rack after gardeners who really know what they are doing have picked through everything. Take them home and shove them in something, maybe the cute planter on the patio that looks just like a giant coffee cup, that thing you had to have back in 1983 and then promptly forgot about. If really invested, you might actually mow the lawn, but everyone will understand if you’d rather watch Ellen.
On the Big Day, Plan Exciting Activities That Will Entertain All Maturity Levels
5. Make sure that your maypole is the most obnoxious and borderline obscene-looking thing that you can find. After all, back in the day before the Christians came along and redesigned history with their stone tablets and burning bushes, May Day had something to do with fertility. (Ask your assembly-line brother, he’ll know about that.)
The little kids won’t get it, unless they’ve been watching HBO after you go to bed. But there will certainly be that unruly pack of twenty-something males that always stands off to one side, drinking beer, normally too cool to be at a party with flowers but forced to make an appearance or they risk disinheritance by Great Aunt Cleo. Ogling the giant tribute to their own anatomy will keep them occupied for hours.
6. Spike the lemonade. Just do it and don’t ask questions.
7. When all the little girls gather around the maypole, daintily clutching the long ribbons and trying to avoid the birds that keep pecking at their flower-laden heads, walk up and whisper to them a little secret. If they run really, really fast, fast like Momma just found out what really happened to the fancy crystal vase in the formal dining room, they will actually be able fly. Like an airplane. And then they can wear cute skirts and serve peanuts.
Now, just stand back and watch the Himalaya-on-acid developments, with projectile children sailing through the air and your neighbors holding up ranking cards based on style, execution and landing distance. If any of the little Amelia Earharts turn on you as the inspiration for the Lucy in the Sky Without Diamonds business, simply point at the empty candy wrappers littering the patio and shrug your shoulders. Sugar is the devil’s work, yes?
8. If you decide that you need to burn something, another ancient tradition that was kind of down-lowed by the Puritans, go right ahead. There’s something very cleansing about destruction and rebirth, especially if you’ve had enough of the lemonade. It is generally advised that one should burn things and not people, but a good host will always let the guests decide. Take a vote and see what happens. As a safer alternative, perhaps everyone should just hold their lighters to the sky while someone plays “Freedbird” on their iPad.
When It’s Time For People To Go Home, They Need To Git. Two options:
9. Walk out onto the patio, completely naked. Most of your relatives will realize that they really shouldn’t be seeing this and begin gathering their things, unless those relatives happen to be from East Texas, parts of Arkansas, or also watch HBO after midnight. To motivate your friends that don’t qualify for the incest category, hold up a cattle prod and wave it menacingly. This should nicely resolve things in an expedient manner, with car doors soon slamming. (Unless the non-relatives are from West Texas, parts of Louisiana, or raise livestock. All exit plans have risks.)
10. If some people still insist on hanging around despite your personal free-birding, knocking over wine glasses and getting cheese dip on your hand-sewn May Day table runner or waiting for their little Maypole Girl offspring to reenter the atmosphere and crash back to Earth, there’s only so much you can do. This might be a long night, especially if someone finds a dusty brochure on what really happened with all that May Day fertility stuff back in the day once the moon came out and the cows were asleep.
Just make another batch of spiked lemonade, find a comfortable chair, make sure your insurance premiums have been paid, and pray for daylight.
Friday, April 27, 2012
1. I knew there were going to be issues when they told me I had to light both ends of the baton before I could twirl it.
2. Wine is my friend. We have a secret language.
3. It’s a really good idea to make sure you have underwear on before answering the front door.
4. Has anyone seen the colander?
5. OMG! I just figured out that you have to turn ON the vacuum cleaner or it doesn’t do any good. I wondered why it had such a long tail…
6. I have no idea how I got 2,000 friends in Facebook. I’m assuming that alcohol was on the selection committee.
7. My fortune cookie had a recall notice in it.
8. Food always tastes better if you eat it standing in front of the refrigerator instead of taking the time to get a plate.
9. Today is National Procrastination Day. People suffer from procrastination all the time even though they try really hard to not do anything about it. If you support procrastination, think about posting this as your status, then don’t do it and go watch TV instead.
10. I’ve never been a big fan of people who don’t instantly shut up when I give them the “all I’m hearing is white noise and your blouse is ugly” look.
11. No one is born with hatred or intolerance. These are skills one must learn while standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles for three hours.
12. I’m just gonna have to blame the allergy medication for anything that happened between the hours of 10pm and midnight last Saturday.
13. So, what’s the real difference between first-degree and second-degree murder? Skill in hiding the body? Neatness? The dismount? Choice of soundtrack?
14. Okay, fine. I’m the one who ate the last piece of pizza and then made up that crap about a home invasion and paid the neighborhood boy to lie about somebody running down the alley with grease dripping from his chin. Trust me, that was just a minor moment in my resume of deception and world domination.
15. The treadmill in the den. The thing that I absolutely had to have, used it a few times, and then ignored it ever since. It’s just like any relationship I had in college, only without the beer bong and the subsequent need to visit a free clinic while wearing sunglasses and using a fake name.
16. Click “Like” if you think that people really shouldn’t be clicking “Like” on every tiny update from everybody on the planet. (Co-dependent, much?)
17. I really meant to accomplish a lot of important things today. Then I got out of bed, which totally ruined everything.
18. I have no idea how those stains got there.
19. Anybody besides me think you should have to use your real name when adding a comment to anything online? Except for porn sites. That’s a world of delusion in itself, with the obvious lie that sex lasts for hours, everybody has multiple orgasms, and all you have to do to arrange for sex is order pizza or have a plumbing situation where a service tech has to lie on the floor and reach for a lug-nut.
20. If anybody asks, I was nowhere near the intersection of Hampton and Bonnywood roughly two hours ago. I know nothing about how the fire started. And I certainly don’t have a flaming baton. Not anymore.
Friday, April 20, 2012
1. “How To Remove Your Head From Your Ass Using Common Household Items”
2. “The Margarita-Based Diet”
3. “He’s So Completely Not Into You That He’s Moving To Another Planet”
4. “Chicken Soup For The Soulless”
5. “The Five Best Ways To Keep People From Slapping You”
6. “Depression: How To Tell The Difference Between The Real Thing And Simple Laziness”
7. “Things You Shouldn’t Wear If You Don’t Want People To Leave Money On Your Nightstand”
8. “Lights Up, Standards Down: Ten Reasons Why You Really Need To Leave That Bar Before Last Call”
9. “Social Networking Snafus, Part I: Some Things Really Just Need To Stay In Your Locked Diary”
10. “Social Networking Snafus, Part II: Tequila and Typing = Bad”
11. “The Magic of Movie-Going: How To Fully Enjoy The Experience By Shutting The Hell Up And Not Chewing On A Side Of Beef During The Screening”
12. “Blood Is Thicker Than Water and The Stains Are Harder To Get Out”
13. “The Illustrated Guide To Things That Shouldn’t Be On Your Computer When You Take It In To Be Serviced”
14. “The First Rule of Highway Safety: Stay Away From My Lane And Continue Living Until The Next Exit”
15. “Come On, Eileen: The Importance Of Making a Damn Decision About Things So That The People Who Are Trying To Love You Will Continue To Do So”
16. “The Best Villages To Live Where People Actually Raise Their Own Children”
17. “The Circle Of Life: How Assuming That I’ll Forgive Whatever You Do Just Because We’re Supposedly Friends Can Lead To Complications, Confrontations and Gunfire”
18. Jokers To The Right: An Examination Of How Some Right-Wingers Are So Self-Centered That They Are Actually Creating Black Holes In The Universe”
19. “Mommy Drinks Because The Other Options Would Result In Jail Time”
20. “Mastering The English Language: How To Understand Apparently Complicated Phrases Like ‘Stop Texting Me Every Time You Blink’, ‘Don’t Go Into That Dark Alley’ and ‘Your Facebook Request Has Been Denied Once Again’”.
21. Rolling In The Sheep: An Examination Of Fox News Viewers”
22. “Gardening For Growth: A Handy Manual For Identifying and Weeding Out Those People In Your Life Who Are Preventing You From Reaching For The Sun”
23. “Take This Lob And Shove It: 101 Snappy Comebacks For Those Critical Times When You Need One But Are Drawing A Blank”
24. “Here Comes The Rain Again: How To Deal With The Constant Deluge Of Idiots Who Are Allowed To Walk The Face Of The Earth Without Supervision”
25. Who Are We Kidding?: The People Who Really Need This Book Have Never Read One In Their Entire Lives”
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
1. I hit the failblog when trying to get to the meeting place on time.
I can leave three days early for the festivities and I still won’t make the starting time. Something random and absurd always happens, like a sanitation strike or a runaway elephant blocking the road. Of course, everybody else hears about the tragedy in plenty of time to take an alternate route, getting there early enough to visit with the rest of the participants and become best friends, which marks me as the lone outcast before I even get there.
2. I can’t gracefully enter the conference room.
Nope, I’ve got to clatter in the door after they’ve already started the opening remarks, proceed to trip over a pocket of air, stagger into the bagel table, nearly upend the sloshing coffee urn, send packets of sweetener skittering across the floor, and then finish with a flourish by losing control of my briefcase at just the right moment that it hits the end of the conference table and bounces back into my gut, knocking the wind out of me. In the ensuing stunned silence, I do not receive any high scores from the Olympic judges.
3. I will lower my ass into the loudest chair known to mankind.
There can be a whole pack of unoccupied office chairs, shoved over in a corner because people have already gone through them and picked out the good ones. Try as I might to find the most well-behaved of the lot, I will end up selecting the one that squeaks like people have been having career-advancement sex on it since 1972. And as I try to sit perfectly still and not make annoying noises, the height-adjustment lever will snap off and the whole contraption will plummet to the floor so that my knees are above my head.
4. I will be seated too far away from any known electrical outlets.
And my laptop will have roughly three minutes left on the battery. The laptop that has 47 spreadsheets that I am supposed to share with everyone else or the meeting cannot continue and people have flown from other states for nothing. The unit will fire up long enough to tell me that it is dying. And then it does.
5. I will have a small mental breakdown during Introductions.
As we go around the table, everyone else will have fascinating job titles, exciting careers that have won them Nobel prizes, and a charming personal anecdote to share that has the crowd showering them with laughter and adoration. When it’s my turn, my suddenly dried-out mouth will barely be able to choke out my name, I’ll be unable to remember the official designation of my current position or who I report to, and my pitiful, meandering, pointless job description will make three people cry about the shame I must be experiencing. Later, one of them will discreetly hand me a check so that I can seek therapy.
6. I will have no idea where my glasses are.
They will be completely AWOL, despite having worn them mere minutes ago on the drive in. I do my best not to cause even more of a ruckus as I get frustrated and re-check each and every pocket in my briefcase. (Despite my stealth maneuvers, the incessant zipping and unzipping will cause the surrounding people to give me glares indicating that I’ve had far too much coffee and really need to settle down.)
Just as I give up the search and hope that I can wing my way through the mess, the moderator will ask me to review the slide on the overhead and fully explain how we can resolved Critical Issue #3. I can’t read a word on the screen, never mind the numbers, and I’m not sure if the things in front of the screen are people or potted plants.
7. I will have a life-threatening coughing fit.
At some point during the proceedings, probably right when the topic is “how your job performance affects your compensation”, I will get one of those inexplicable throat tickles that come out of nowhere. I will stupidly try to remedy the situation with a simple throat-clearing, which quickly escalates into a full-on round of hacking and choking, complete with the horror of uncontrolled spittle flying out of my mouth and across the conference table, landing in parts unknown.
Naturally, there won’t be a handy bottle of water anywhere around, because they drank all that up waiting for my tardy ass to get there. So the only recourse is to stagger out of the room and collapse in a nearby stairwell because I have no idea where the bathrooms might be, having missed orientation and donuts. No one will bother to check on me for hours, until a surprised janitor bonks me on the head with his mop.
8. I will get caught not paying attention at some point.
I can spend the entire day listening carefully and taking copious notes, but that one moment when I very briefly wonder if I should get a tattoo of a barcode on the back of my head will be the exact moment that a vice-president asks me for my opinion of what was just stated. (At least I think it’s him, I can’t really see anybody on that side of the room. It might be the janitor, who got a very serious promotion and joined our staff after performing CPR in the stairwell.)
9. I will get something in my crotch.
This never fails, ever. I always manage to get a shame-inducing stain on my pants at some point during the meeting. And the real kicker is that I never know where this stain comes from. Knowing that I have this issue, I will avoid all provided snacks on the little table, I’ll skip lunch and just read in my car, and I stay away from water fountains (a notorious source of surprise wetness).
Yet, usually about mid-afternoon, I’ll look down, and right there in my crotch will be some melted chocolate or a splash of salsa or some organic vinaigrette. Two seconds after this discovery, I will be asked to step up to the whiteboard and draw a diagram of the new inventory system. (Try drawing and talking when you’ve got your privates mashed against the wall or hidden behind a briefcase that you clearly don’t need to be carrying. Fun times.)
10. I will not get out of the meeting early.
All my co-workers get to attend “all-day” meetings that actually end about 2PM, with everybody running off to use their expense accounts at the local bar. I will get that one facilitator who loves her job and can’t wait to solve the entire world’s problems with sticky notes and a flow chart. We will be there way past 5PM, while we debate the merits of four proposals that won’t change a damn thing about how we do business, my laptop continues to be dead and my crotch dries into a crackling crust of obnoxious humiliation. And then my throat starts to tickle…
Monday, April 16, 2012
I just wanted a quick something to eat, folks. That’s it. And here we go…
1. I was nearly killed, Part I.
There I was, traveling along in my car, bellowing along with Adele as she set fire to the rain. (Isn’t it amazing how the lack of witnesses can make you think that your singing voice is spectacular? I was in that sweet spot.) I was innocently taking a benign short-cut to the nearest Taco Bell, a somewhat-hidden road that nobody uses because there’s nothing on it but illegally-dumped trash and some possible discarded bodies. (You won’t find me poking around with a stick up in there.)
Next thing I know, this SUV the size of Baltimore comes barreling out of nowhere, heading straight toward me in MY lane. After pausing to briefly wet myself, I managed to survive by swerving into the official oncoming lane. The mammoth SUV didn’t even slow down or half-heartedly make a hand signal of apology, although there was a nice parting gift in the form of a beer can being tossed out the cracked passenger window.
2. I was nearly killed, Part II.
I drive the remaining two blocks to the shopping center at the rate of roughly three miles an hour, eyes darting about in search of anyone else too lazy to actually try and not kill random strangers. Breathing a sigh of relief as I turn into the comparative safety of the parking lot, I am stunned to see another renegade SUV approaching from the left, this one flying past her stop sign with enough force that the metal pole actually cracked. The car hurtled past the front of my own with just a whisper between us, evil mariachi music blaring.
Then the SUV suddenly slammed on its brakes and skidded into a parking slot, with the back doors flying open and people hitting the pavement before the car came to a complete stop. En masse, a horde of mission-focused women raced into the murky depths of Stein Mart, knocking aside shopping carts and slow-moving patrons. (What the hell could they be selling in there that was worth possible jail time?)
3. Some people have adaptability issues.
So I finally get in the drive-thru line at Taco Bell. (I took one look at the parking lot, and realized that everybody on the planet who wasn’t shopping at Stein Mart or drinking on crime-infested roads was apparently inside this building. Not messing with that.) I put my car into park and review the situation in front of me, because you never know when you are going to get behind one of those fools who has apparently never been in a drive-thru before. (These are the same people who can’t use a drive-up ATM, either.)
The driver of the car directly in front of me is apparently flossing, or doing some similar activity that requires her to be shoving her fingers into her mouth. I choose not to dwell on her personal choices, and focus my attention on the next driver up, who is in the prime ordering location in front of the giant menu board. This woman is staring blankly at said board, her eyes glazing over, and not saying a word. The intercom is silent as well. We have absolutely nothing going on. Tumbleweeds are blowing past and crops are rotting.
Great. The sloth people got here before me.
4. Things are not always what they seem.
Three years later, the two cars ahead of me have managed to accomplish something, and they have pulled around the corner. I pull up to the intercom, receive a pleasant though hurried greeting, and proceed to start placing my order, an order that is firmly implanted in my brain because I have been sitting here so long that I have it memorized.
“I’m sorry, sir. Can you hang on just a second?”
“I’ll be right back.” Click.
Right back? Where the hell is she going? I sigh and sit there. For a very long time. Now I’m the one staring blankly at the giant menu board while nothing happens on the intercom. I have misjudged my fellow drive-thru companions. Those two women weren’t lazy and stupid people. They were dealing with an attendant who apparently had to go back to training class after each order. No wonder that one woman had her fingers in her mouth. She had resorted to chewing on a limb because she was so damn hungry waiting in line.
5. Some people are just bitchy.
Movement in the rearview mirror catches my eye, and I glance up. A car is pulling up behind me (No! It’s not worth the wait! Save yourself!). The driver of said car applies his brakes, waits roughly two seconds, and then honks. Are you kidding me? Dude, you haven’t even been here long enough to know if I have failed as a human being or not. Give me a few minutes to prove that. God.
6. I bite off more than I can chew.
As I’m wondering if my family will even notice that I’ve been gone for a month, Bermuda gets back on the horn, sounding so winded that she’s either just run a marathon or had an enviable round of sex. “Okay, sorry about that, go ahead.” So I do. And then she stuns me with the total. “That’ll be $16.38.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I just managed to spend nearly twenty dollars at Taco Bell. For myself. I furtively glance around to see if anyone is recording this for national TV, but I don’t see a camera anywhere.
7. Some woodpiles are missing a few logs.
I drive around the corner of the building, and I nearly rear-end Fist-Eating Woman, who is surprisingly parked at the first drive-thru window, the one that they never use at this particular location. Granted, she may not be from around here and initially unfamiliar with local tradition. But still, the layers of dust and cobwebs coating this unopened window should be some sort of minimal sign that things are awry.
Amazingly, the woman is waving a fistful of money at the decaying window, shoving her hard-earned income at someone that doesn’t exist. (Insert your choice of joke about suspect charities, political parties and/or TV-based religions.) Luckily, Bermuda leans out from the real service window and motions for Britney Spears to pull forward.
8. Some people just weren’t raised right.
I finally make my own way to the Window of Payment, where Bermuda is glaring at me like I’m somehow responsible for not only this crappy day but some of her unruly children as well. She takes my twenty, slaps some change in my hand, and then wanders off to some out-of-view location where she feels compelled to begin berating someone named Bucky about his overuse of cheese.
Bermuda walks up, empty-handed, looks surprised to still see me sitting there, and then she wanders off again. This time she hollers about needing a key to something that is apparently locked. (I’m guessing it’s not her mouth or her virginity.) There is a small crash, and something rolls by underneath the window. Then silence.
9. Retail transactions are apparently very complicated.
Some guy that I have never seen before walks up to the window. (Is this Bucky? He does sort of look like he might abuse dairy products.) He leans out the window. “Can I see your receipt?”
What? I’m not returning anything. I just stare at him, because I’m a little wary about where this could be going.
He explains. “I just took over here, and I don’t know what you ordered, and I need your receipt to go get your food.”
I look at the cash register with an expression of “can’t you just hit a button on that thing and see what was just ordered?” He looks back at me with an expression of “You don’t understand. Bermuda was running this thing, there’s no telling what she destroyed during her shift.” Fine. I’ll do anything at this point to get my food. I’ll even pee in a cup, if that’ll help. I shove my receipt (which, interestingly enough, already has a grease stain on it despite not being near food) at his snatchy little hand.
10. They really need a time-motion study up in this grill.
Possible-Bucky studies my receipt, glances at the rest of my car in search of the 14 other people that should be there based on the amount of food I ordered, doesn’t see them, scratches his head, then he turns and wanders into the out-of-view area. He returns a few minutes later with a tiny little sack. “Here’s the gordita.”
I take the miniscule offering. (Is he forcing me to be on the diet that my doctor says I should be on?) “Um, there should be a few more…”
He holds a hand up. “It’s coming.” Then he vanishes around the corner again and, based upon another startling sound coming from that direction, trips over something that is confining an angry cat. Or possibly Bermuda. He returns with a minimally larger sack. “And here we have the nachos.” Then he’s gone again.
I glance in the rearview mirror. There are now enough cars piled up in the drive-thru lane that we could start our own country. The idiot directly behind me honks again, because he’s an impatient and worthless human being. I attempt to turn around and flip him off, but I’m old, and all I succeed in doing is making something in my neck that feels important snap in an ominous manner.
Bucky presents me with an adult-size sack that, according to his suspect words, contains the remainder of my order. I quickly rifle through the contents, determine that all of my steaming and drippy treasures appear to be in order, and smile weakly at Bucky. “We’re good.”
“Have a nice day!” says Bucky’s mouth. His eyes say “Please take me with you. Bermuda scares me, and you have enough food that we could live for a month without a source of income.”
I put the car in drive, politely roll to the end of the drive-thru lane at a safe and reasonable speed, check both ways before pulling out into possible cross-traffic, decide that the coast is clear, and move a mere inch forward. Suddenly, an SUV comes thundering out of the depths of hell, roaring past and narrowly missing me, as another empty beer can is tossed out of the familiar cracked passenger window.
I’m never leaving the house again.
Friday, April 13, 2012
You know the drill. All you really meant to do was lie down for just a second or two, letting your body regroup after that ill-advised Chinese buffet. You pick up a trashy magazine, barely finish the first paragraph, and the next thing you know it’s two hours later and everything in your world is not right…
1. You’re covered in sweat.
I have never understood what that mess was all about. Why were you sweating in your sleep? Does your body have to work harder when it tries to sleep during daylight? Did you sleep-walk and do aerobics? Is it a reaction to the Egg Foo Yung? Was the bed on fire at some point?
2. Your mouth is completely dried out and your sinuses feel odd.
This means that you were snoring really hard, like at the chain-saw level, a level you normally only reach after tequila has been introduced and there was a drinking game involving tiny plastic pigs. The violent-snoring also explains why the cat is perched in the farthest corner of the bed, eyes wide, wearing a crucifix and clutching a tiny designer bottle of holy water.
3. You have no idea what time it really is.
Even if you look at the clock, because all the clocks in the room are showing that Devil Time that you know just can’t be right. Somebody has got to be playing a trick on you, right? Your panic and confusion increases as you check other rooms and other clocks, hoping that someone from Candid Camera is standing beside one, but you only get confirmation that, yep, two hours of your life done got sucked away. Just like the pig-tailed redhead in that movie where monkeys flew and people melted. Maybe you should find three traveling companions that like to walk and sing happy songs and things will get better? Or maybe not.
4. The stumbling and general body dysfunction.
The impromptu nappage has your body really whacked out, and now your system is not cooperating in a pleasing manner. So there you are, staggering around and slamming into things that you normally wouldn’t have any problem navigating around. (“The corner of that dresser has always been there, sweetie. Don’t hate the furniture because it’s beautiful and stationary.”)
Of course, just as you trip over nothing and crash to the floor in front of your picture window at the front of the house, fanny waving in the air, Gladys Kravitz across the street will capture the action with her wireless phone, and then she will race to slap the evidence online. Within five minutes, 46 of your supposed friends will click “Like” and make rude comments about alcoholism and the elevation of your butt. You will have to un-friend these fools later, once you remember if you have a laptop and where it might be.
5. The fuzziness.
Your head is all clouded, because your brain is confused, expecting input data that should have happened two hours ago, and the command center is short-circuiting trying to analyze and catch up. And you’re making things worse by sending signals to the brain like “I can’t believe I fell asleep!” (obviously you did, Rip Van Winkle) and “I wasted so much time!” (Did you seriously think you were going to do anything important, anyway? You were laying on your bed at three in the afternoon.)
6. Food tastes funny.
There’s really no reason for you to eat, but you pinball your way into the kitchen and latch on to some comfort food, desperate for something that will return balance and normalcy to your life. But the food tastes all wrong, cottony and flavorless, so you pull your head out of the chocolate pie and shove it back in the fridge. You’re now starting to wonder if you’ve slipped into an alternate universe. This is a minimally interesting (“Hey, what if they have flying cars over here!”) but also terrifying (“What if they don’t get Ellen in syndication!”).
7. No one seems to care about your trauma.
You turn on the radio, expecting to hear news reports that Anonymous has released a carefully-designed virus that makes people fall asleep on the job, meant as a political statement about Congress. But no, nobody seems to be saying anything about that. Just the same old songs from Britney (“Oops, I’m A Chipmunk On Helium Again”) and Bieber (“I’m A Millionaire And I’m Still In Puberty!”).
8. You have lost the ability to communicate effectively.
Best friend Bitsy calls. She’s very excited about a new place in town where they serve rhubarb martinis and kiwi salsa. Everybody who is anybody is racing there right now in their Mini-Coopers. She heard that, just last weekend, RuPaul showed up unannounced and led a limbo competition using some guy in a thong as the limbo pole. She can be at your house in thirty minutes, run put on something cute that can be adjusted to slutty easily, should the need arise. If some of the men are already horizontal, this could be a good thing. Hey, gurl, hey!
Your tongue is still fuzzy and too big, and this is far too much information. You briefly try to remember what drinking binge or unexpected pregnancy led to your friendship, but you can’t recall. (Something about New Orleans and two people really, really wanting those beads.) You simply hang up on Bitsy without a word. She’ll be fine.
9. The damage to your personal appearance.
A bit calmer now, having just had a one-sided conversation with someone who might be in worse shape than your own situation, you wander into the bathroom for a physical assessment in the mirror. Your face is both mashed and puffy (was I dragged behind a horse carriage in Central Park?), your eyes are bloodshot and watery (well that certainly doesn’t say drugs and/or angry serial killer) and your hair is jacked, matted and twisted (the words “breach birth” come to mind). You will not be making any social appearances this evening.
10. The eventual fallout and backlash.
It’s 3 AM. Your body is still out of whack with the sleep thing, so your eyes are wide open and you don’t feel the tiniest bit tired. You briefly consider resuming the story in the trashy magazine, but that thing started this whole mess and it’s not really your friend anymore. There’s nothing on TV, despite the satellite beaming 712 channels into your bedroom. There’s no one you can call to kill time, because all of your friends are already slumbering or doing a backbend under a RuPaul stage prop.
You sigh, then happen to notice the cat is still crouched in the far corner of the bed. Has he not moved? How bad was your snoring? You try to calm him. “It’s okay, BoBo. I won’t do that anymore. I’m all better now. Come on over here and let’s have us a nice little nap. Come on, lay right next to my leg like you always do.”
BoBo stays right were he’s at, clutching the bottle of holy water even tighter.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
1. “Unless you’re giving birth right there in the front seat, there’s no reason why you can’t stay within the lane markers.”
2. “There is no possible way that your car has passed inspection in the last fifteen years. I haven’t seen this many violations in one place since the Kardashians were picked up for another season.”
3. “It’s nice that you’ve designated God as your co-pilot. But it looks like He didn’t get the memo.”
4. “That there red electrical tape is right pretty as a brake light cover. Sure is.”
5. “In certain parts of Texas, they would have already shot you by this point.”
6. “Do you even understand that you are driving a car right now?”
7. “Why do you keep slamming on the brakes for no apparent reason? What happened to you in your childhood?”
8. “Are you trying to win some type of award for the sheer number of stuffed animals lined up in your back window?”
9. “It’s so sad that all the other cars on the road are interfering with your ability to talk on your cell phone.”
10. “Quit looking at me like that in your rearview mirror. I wouldn’t be honking if you actually knew what you were doing.”
11. “Uh huh. You just had to swerve around me at 90 miles an hour, yet here we are waiting at the same stoplight two blocks later. What the hell did you prove with that move?”
12. “Um, the light is green now. Do you want it to say ‘please’ before you actually go?”
13. “Do you seriously not understand what lane you should be in before you exit the highway?”
14. “Here’s a thought. If you would actually put down that triple-decker cheeseburger for two seconds, you might actually be able to focus on the road. But the bit about using your boobs to hold your drink was kind of interesting, so I’ll give you a couple points for that.”
15. “I’m going to guess that you have to pay for your car insurance on an hourly basis.”
16. “Dude, I can’t help you merge into my lane if you insist on going the same speed as me. Pull ahead or drop behind, then we can be merge buddies forever.”
17. “If you throw one more thing out the window we’re going to end up on Jerry Springer.”
18. “Could you turn that radio up a little bit louder? Because I think there’s some dead people in Siberia that can’t quite hear all the words.”
19. “You know what? Maybe if you didn’t let your 47 kids do handsprings in the backseat, you wouldn’t be ricocheting off the guardrails like a chipmunk on crack.”
20. “Why couldn’t YOU have been on Oceanic Fight 815?”
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
1. Some like it hot.
These folks reach in, turn the hot-water tap to ultra-gusher, completely ignore the cold-water tap, and then leave the settings like this for the entire three-hour tour. Now, I generally like to wash away my sins as well as anyone, but I really don’t need to see my flesh swirling down the drain.
2. Some people have focus issues.
Why are you turning on the shower and then wandering off to fold socks or read a book? Get your ass back in there and start scrubbing.
3. Some people just don’t understand science.
Here’s how it works: If you let the shower run forever like that before you ever hop in, of course the hot water is going to run out before you get everything squeaky and sterilized. Stop being surprised by the sudden rush of cold water that makes some things more pointy and other things more emasculating.
4. Some people are inconsiderate and hateful.
Speaking of water temperature, if you live in a dwelling with plumbing that has satanic qualities, where the mere flushing of the toilet can cause massive and painful fluctuations of the water temperature for innocent people in the show, then stop flushing the toilet when people are in the shower. It’s very simple. If you hear water running anywhere in the house when the recycling urge hits you, then you need to just hold it or go to the gas station down the street.
5. Some people do unexplainable things when they are unsupervised.
Why did you leave the hand-held shower head hanging like that? What were you doing with it in that position, all crotch-level and all? Put the damn thing back at head-level like a normal person.
6. Some people can’t put things back where they found them.
See that little soap holder on the wall? Why is there nothing in it? Why is the missing soap lying on the floor, shoved into a corner? Is it in time-out? What did it do to you?
7. Some people believe in a Shampoo Fairy.
You know the shampoo bottle is empty, because you’re the one that just used the last of it. Don’t plunk it back down and act like you have no idea what happened. Did you expect us to believe that someone broke into the house and stole just the liquids? Fetch a fresh bottle before you go off and get dirty again.
8. Some people have one-night stands.
These are the folks who can’t wait to try out a new product, use it once, then completely abandon it and never think of it again. This is how you end up with 47 bottles of body gel lined up on the shower floor, a little army of sanitation soldiers, mutely staring at your nakedness and yearning for you to call them back after your brief night of love.
9. Some people have annoying and suspect phobias.
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t reuse the same towel that you used yesterday. Your body is theoretically clean when you step out of the shower, assuming that you’ve done things correctly. Ergo, the towel should be relatively clean as well for a good many days, and it should not be dripping with whatever it is you imagine to be on there. (Unless there’s something you and your sex life are not telling us.) Quit pulling out a fresh towel every time you get wet. We don’t need to do the laundry every three days.
And once you’re done with that towel? Don’t throw the thing on the floor and expect small servants to rush forth and tidy up. Don’t leave it dangling on the doorknob, because it’s just going to fall off, and we still don’t have those servants. And do NOT hang the towel crookedly on the little drying rod where it normally lives. Make the ends match, people. It doesn’t need to look like you had a seizure during the two steps from the shower to the towel bar.
10. Some people just can’t see what is right in front of them.
Especially when the mirror is fogged over because you took a three-hour shower using scalding hot water. Just wipe it off and get your life back on track. And don’t give in to the temptation to write something naughty in the steam sweat. Those words stick around longer than you think, you can still see them days later from the right angle, and we don’t want your visiting grandma to learn some surprising street lingo in the powder room, now do we?
Sunday, April 8, 2012
The occasion: A festive birthday party at a friend’s lovely home. The setting: The quaint back patio of said lovely home. The time: Several drinks into the night. The issue: An over-enthusiastic revelry participant walked smack into the glass door that leads from the patio to the inner sanctum, as long as you open it first. (This is a critical point, yes?)
There was no bloodshed or permanent injury, but still, it was a startling moment in the evening, and we will now talk to a few of the horrified guests to see how they are doing emotionally…
1. Apiphany, a witness, and a popular celebrity, famous for her original and creative use of lip gloss.
“Well, I was simply standing there, looking glorious in the glow from the bug-zapper, and sharing a charming story with three of my favorites fans, a little anecdote about the time I fell on my ass in a Parisian hotel. I’ve actually grown a little tired of repeating this adventure, because so many people mistakenly assume that my graceful but noisy plummet had something to do with clumsiness and wine-consumption, but I just couldn’t disappoint my fans, they were so wide-eyed and eager to hear of any adventure involving me.
Anyway, I was just getting to the part where Ryan Gosling calls me on his cell phone, desperately wanting me once again, but his pleading is interrupted by the sudden rudeness of my legs flying over my head. Suddenly, as I’m acting out the part where one of my designer platform flip-flops went sailing through the air and beaned a Norwegian man eating curry near an ugly statue, there’s some movement off to my right as someone who possibly wasn’t listening to my story stands up.
I turned to tell this horrid person that I don’t appreciate it when my fans perform unscheduled maneuvers during my monologue, but the words died before making it out of my dewy and glistening lips. It seems the unfocused audience member was Tumblina, the charming and grown offspring of my socialite friend Lolo. (Tumblina’s ancestry is not really important to the story, but I so love saying ‘Lolo’ because it allows me to pucker my moist lips even more.)
I watched Tumblina in amazement, as she appeared to be in some kind of trance. This often happens with my fans, but she wasn’t looking at me and I couldn’t fathom what she might be interested in that was more dazzling than me. Tumblina paused at the glass door, as if studying something inside, then marched forward with determination, leading to a resounding collision was louder than the 21-gun salute they gave me in Barcelona.”
2. Big Tex, another witness, and one of the reluctant “fans” forced to endure the sad travelogue of Apiphany lying on her back in that Paris hotel.
“So I was just sitting there, trying to have a nice conversation with my work-wife Bitsy, when Apiphany came trouncing up and decided to regale us with the 412th rendition of that night in Paris when she made the poor choice of wearing three-inch wedgie sandals despite the marble lobby floor being rain-slick and treacherous. Bitsy and I discreetly joined hands in silent mutual support, and we quietly murmured a prayer that we would get through this without someone being admitted to a mental institution.
Apiphany launches, and of course she has all the facts slightly twisted around, making it appear as if she was the innocent victim of malevolent French spirits that mercilessly tormented her angelic body. This is not the case. Let’s just say that the problems all started earlier in the evening when Apiphany’s derriere managed to knock over a vase in a chic little restaurant, setting off a chain reaction that nearly destroyed half the building and underscored the French notion that Americans are simply animals with credit cards.
My reveries were interrupted by movement on my right. Tumblina had stood up from her chair at the far end of the patio, despite the published rulings that one mustn’t do distracting things when Apiphany is pontificating. Tumblina meandered toward the glass door in a shuffling manner, her eyes somewhat vacant and unfocused, arms hanging limply. It was just like Children of the Corn, except we didn’t have any children or corn.
Tumblina paused at the glass, possibly receiving further instructions from her home planet, and then she slammed into the door like a fly hitting the windshield of a Maserati doing 110 on the Autobahn.”
3. Bitsy, another witness, although her testimony may be overruled due to her intense fascination with and indulgence of the alcoholic options available at the soiree.
“I was just sitting there, drinking, and thinking how pretty everyone was. Big Tex was holding my hand. I didn’t know what that was all about, but it was nice and his hand was warm. Three ladies were standing in front of me, telling a story. They all looked alike, and they all sounded like Apiphany, so she was probably one of them. The story was about Paris and rain and ass. Something.
Then three other ladies stood up at the end of the patio and walked to the glass… what was that thing? Oh, a door. A glass door. One that wasn’t open, I don’t guess, because the three ladies smashed their faces into the door at the same time. I didn’t know why they wanted to do that, so I asked the jello shot in my hand if he understood what was going on. He didn’t. So I ate him.”
4. Gin-and-Tonika, birthday celebrant and actual house owner, giving us the point of view of someone on the other side of the evil door.
“I was inside the house, currently stationed at the table where we had a big-ass spread of food. We had tons of stuff, so I was throwing food at people as they walked by, yelling at them to eat it because I didn’t want to shove all that mess in my fridge. Especially the stuff with onions. I keep telling people that I don’t like onions but they bring that crap anyway. God.
Anyway, I’m talking to some friends from work, when suddenly there’s this sonic boom that they probably heard three counties over. We all look at the glass door, and there’s Tumblina, peeling her face off the glass and leaving a smeared spot that looked like the mask in those Scream movies. Luckily, Drew Barrymore wasn’t around and I was pretty sure nobody had a knife, so we probably weren’t about to be killed. I went to check on Tumblina and see if she wanted to take any bean dip with her when she finally left to go walk into her own doors.”
5. Crystal, the actual door, and the overlooked victim in this situation.
“I was just hanging there like I always do, keeping the cool air in and the hot air out, but still letting people see each other so they could make sure nobody was doing something stupid or hitting on spouses that were not their own. Off to my right, that really chatty lady was telling yet another story to three people with blank faces who were clutching their drinks really tight. Off to my left, there was another group of people just waiting for somebody to say something interesting until it was time for another round.
Then one of the Lefties hopped to her feet and marched my way. I prepared for my handle to be grabbed and concentrated on not making any squeaky noises when I got opened, because Gin-and-Tonika runs a tight ship around here and doesn’t care for onions or things that are not well-oiled. I sent a preliminary signal to the security system that it was time for them to make the little beep-beep noise when people open doors.
But instead of opening me, this woman just stood there for a second and reviewed something behind me, apparently not interested in using me like I need to be used. I was just about to send a cancel memo to the security system, when the crazy woman suddenly ran forward and slammed into me. What the hell? What did I ever do to her except provide helpful access? People just don’t have any manners anymore.”
6. Tumblina, or She Who Travels Incorrectly.
“I don’t know why these people are being so mean to me, laughing at my expense and making jokes about Helen Keller. (Although the seeing-eye dog that somebody had delivered to my house is a cute little thing, so I might keep him just because.) They clearly don’t have all the information about what happened, so this is how it really went down.
I was sitting in my chair on the patio, wondering why Apiphany was at the other end of the seating area and acting out something that made it look like she had a personal condition that really needed to be checked out at the free clinic. Just then, I had a small vision featuring Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. They told me that if I just went into Gin-and-Tonika’s house, counted the number of unbroken corn chips, subtracted the number of discarded wine corks on the right counter, and then multiplied by the number of uneaten dishes that contained onions, I would be able to figure out all six Power Ball numbers that were going to be pulled later that evening in the 29-state mega lottery.
I leaped to my feet. I had to do this. Free money, right? Besides, I needed to pee.
All excited, I raced up to the door, then paused. Wait, had Robin and Whoopie said ‘Gin-and-Tonika’ or ‘Gin-and-Juicika’? Because Gin-and-Juicika lived way down the street and I was really tired and I didn’t know if free money was really worth walking somewhere. Then I noticed my reflection in the glass, and I could see Robin and Whoopie, one in each eyeball. They were each holding up a bottle of tonic water and nodding their heads. Got it.
And then I forgot all about the stupid door and smacked right into it. Alcohol was not involved, just visions of Good Will Hunting and Sister Act stars trying to be helpful, but the hyenas around here would not let it go. I’m glad that I hit my head and forgot about my mission. These people don’t deserve any free money. Well, except maybe Gin-and-Tonika, so she can pay somebody to get the imprint of my face out of that door.
But the jello shots were sure tasty. Mmm hmm. I might go to the next party after all, just for some of those. But I am not leaving my seat the entire night. Ever.
Friday, April 6, 2012
1. In The Bible. (Well, at least any part that talks about love, compassion or helping your fellow man. Stay away from that Old Testament mess. The tea-baggers love them some angry fire and brimstone.)
2. At a Gay Pride parade. (Unless there happens to be a handy closet nearby. You toss an egg up in that grill and someone in the crowd of hypocritical, self-denying Republicans will eventually trip over it.)
3. At a Planned Parenthood location. (Obviously, these folks are not going to cross the threshold of a place where they believe Satan, Oprah and Hillary Clinton are forcing reluctant women to have an abortion every week. But they are perfectly happy to stand across the street and threaten to kill the doctors and staff people. Pro-life, my ass.)
4. A bookstore that offers selections other than pornography. (They clearly don’t know how to read anything other than church fliers or Ku Klux Klan welcome brochures, so you’ll never see them in a Barnes & Noble.)
5. At a spelling bee. (You’ve seen some of their idiotic posters, right? Those signs look like somebody knocked over a bowl of alphabet soup while running to his gun rack.)
6. At a fundraiser for President Obama. (We don’t really need to explain this one, do we?)
7. At an institution of higher learning. (You might want to avoid the vocational-technical schools, because tea-baggers do manage to get into those every once in a while, at least until they get pregnant, get someone else pregnant, or deer season starts.)
8. At the taping of any show appearing on PBS. (A tea-bee is not going to have anything to do with a network that sometimes airs programs that treat Evolution as if it might be a real thing. Because we all know that Jesus buried those fake dinosaur bones in the ground just to test the faithful.)
9. At a Parent Teacher Association meeting. (The tea-bees hate teachers for several reasons: They are part of evil unions that practice satanic rituals. They dare trying to convince a child to use his brain. And they have the nerve to use textbooks that have not been heavily censored by Texas priests before said priests were transferred to another parish to avoid child-molestation charges.)
10. At the National Archives in Washington, DC. (Which is where they keep the Constitution. And the Bill of Rights, two documents that the baggers have clearly never finished reading. They only know the bits that their zookeepers have copied out, using a special crayon, and handed to them as they shuffled towards the latest tractor-pull competition.)
11. In a foreign country. (If a Tea Partier actually traveled abroad, they might be confronted with the fact that people are basically people, everywhere. And that just won’t do, because the whole foundation of the Tea Party is that certain belligerently ignorant white people consider themselves better than everyone else. You take that keystone out of the foundation and they’ll have to come up with another reason to hate people they don’t understand, and who has time for that when there are misspelled signs to be made and mosque-buildings to protest?)
12. In a dental clinic. (You take the video from any Tea Party rally, pause it at any point, and you can easily find five people that don’t have a full set of teeth between them. Granted, anybody can have dental issues. But this many in one place? Somebody rang a cowbell and the hillbillies came a runnin’, not thinking to stop and put their good teeth in for the TV cameras.)
13. Wrapped up in a certain President’s official American birth certificate. (They don’t believe it exists, so they’ll never think to look there.)
14. Next to the definition of “socialism” in the dictionary. (It cracks me up when I drive past one of those “No Socialism!” signs in somebody’s yard. You obviously don’t know what that word means in context with this country. And by the way, you really need to trim back that self-weeping willow tree.)
15. On the “tea party express” that they keep harping about. (Sure, the Tea Partiers managed to shake things up in the 2010 elections. The downside, for them, is that this allowed decent people to see the Tea Partiers for what they really are, as Congress stalled and unfair targets faced the wrath of the clueless. That express train has reached the limit of its run, and it’s heading back to Petticoat Junction. Unless it completely derails before it even gets there, careening off the tracks because of an Easter Egg of Truth placed gently in its path…