Wednesday, June 30, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 8

  Okay, it wasn’t actually Whoopie, but she looked enough like her that we fully expected Robin Williams to come walking in the door next. In any case, whoever she was, she certainly was not pleased with the ruckus she perceived that we were making. “Why are all of you screaming like you don’t have any sense? I’m trying to teach these boys over here how to pull up their pants and they can’t hear me with all the hollerin’.”

  Dr. Brian smiled benignly at the intruder. “Valene, I’m sure it wasn’t that loud. After all, nothing can top the barnyard noises we can all hear when you have a group session with those unfortunate people who think they are cows. I’ve never complained about THAT, even when you are doing the ‘stampede’ therapy. Besides, we were just about to have a breakthrough in my session. It’s understandable if there is screaming. Nothing gets resolved without yelling and tears.”

  Valene suddenly seemed intrigued. “Really? What session is this?”

  Dr. Brian puffed his chest out proudly. “These are the Clampitt children. I am conducting impromptu emergency psychotherapy in order to possibly save them from eternal neurotica. Aren’t they cute? Especially the one with the stick.” He winked at Little Sahara, who waved Jenna in the air in a manner that completely irritated me.

9. Lip Gloss can help you make friends.

  Valene gasped. “The Clampitt children? You lucky son of a gun. I’ve read all about them in the local medical journals, like Missouri Madness and Kirksville After Dark. Is the mother here, too?”

  Dr. Brian allowed a look of sadness to pass over his face, acting heart-broken even though he had only known us for thirty minutes. “I’m afraid it’s too late for her. The damage is irreversible. The only thing we can do is ensure that the medication never stops.”

  Valene sighed. “I knew it was coming to that. Poor dysfunctional thing, all those years trying to manage destructive children who have no boundaries, concept of reality, or understanding of the metric system.” Then she perked up again. “Which one is Patient X?”

  Mellie Jo made an exasperated noise. “We have actual NAMES, you trollop. Can you leave now so I can finish explaining why my sisters should be removed from society and locked in some place dark? I’m really getting tired of waiting for that to happen, and I need to expedite.”

  Valene studied Mellie Jo closely. “So YOU must be Patient Y. I can already sense the tendency toward violence and the disregard for societal regulations. How exciting! Tell me, that time when you mailed Little Sahara to Alaska, did you really intend for-”

  Dr. Brian cut her off. “Valene! We are supposed to be professionals here. My patients and our discourse are entirely private matters, especially since you haven’t slipped my usual fee under the table.”

  Valene studied Dr. Brian for a moment, then reached down and opened a leather bag that I hadn’t noticed before, probably because it wasn’t mine and therefore promised little interest. But hey, that purse was very stylish and made a nice statement. Perhaps we would need to speak privately after all this mess was over, exchanging fashion tips and learning how to be even more captivating.

  Valene finally retrieved a ten-dollar bill from the rattling depths of her leather accessory, then marched over to Dr. Brian’s desk and slapped the money on his blotter. “There. For five minutes you can pretend like I’m not here, just like my husband does for free.”

  Then she marched back toward out little group, allowing her exquisite clutch to lead the way without detracting from her statuesque beauty that followed. This amazing woman was really getting my attention, possibly to the point of slight obsession. Which was a new sensation for me, since usually I’m the object of my own affection.

  Valene increased my infatuation when she bypassed my horrid sisters and squatted down in front of me, taking one of my manicured hands into her own. “How could I have had any doubt that YOU must be Patient X? You have the most luxurious naturally curly hair that I have ever seen.”

  That was it. I loved her. Deeply.

  Mellie Jo was not impressed. “Well, I think her hair is ugly, even if she does brush it for three hours every night while she sings songs to herself about flowers. The dogs sure don’t like it, because they bark every time she walks by a window, and Janie Dilson said people in the seventh grade shouldn’t color their hair and-”

  There was a sudden whistling sound as Jenna the Stick swung through the air, smacking Mellie Jo in the forehead and sending her toppling off the back of her chair. Mellie lay there for a moment, making sure she wasn’t bleeding or dead, then shared her thoughts without getting up. “I can’t stand you, Little Sahara. One of these days I won’t be able to stop myself and I swear I’m gonna-”

  Little Sahara leaped to her feet, towering over the sprawled form of Mellie Jo and shoving Jenna in her face. “Talk to the STICK!”

  This was boring me. I didn’t care if they killed each other. More apple juice for me. I gently turned Valene’s head back in my direction. “Was there anything else that you wanted to compliment? I have lots of things to admire. In fact, I have some brochures back in my room.”

  Valene smiled. “You are just the cutest thing. I think I need you for my next group session. It starts in twenty minutes. Want to go?”

  Possibly, if it meant continued attention of any kind. “What are you going to talk about?”

  Valene’s grip on my hand tightened in a pleasant rather than serial-killer manner. “It’s my CA group. Cosmetics Anonymous. We talk about what makeup means in our lives.”

  I think I had my very first orgasm right then. “That sounds wonderful. Can we go now?”

  Dr. Brian cleared his throat. “Valene, this is MY patient. You can’t just whisk her away to one of your pathetic, self-involved gatherings of spoiled children.”

  Valene glared at him. “You can certainly LOAN her out for a few minutes.”

  “She’s not a book in a library, Valene.”

  “I can be loaned,” I interjected. I’d rather be worshipped, but loaning is good. “I don’t mind.”

  Valene smiled lovingly at me. “Of course you don’t mind. You are the sweetest thing ever. Now, we’ll just need you to sign a few waivers. And I’ll need to speak with your agent, if you have one.”

  Agent? What talk was this? “I’m not sure. I would KNOW if I had an agent, right?”

  “Yes, you would. They are people who call you and tell you where to go be pretty.”

  My confusion cleared. “Then I must not have one. I don’t need anybody to tell me that.”

  She grinned. “Okay, then. Let’s get started.” She stood, still clutching my hand as I delicately arose from my throne, and then we traipsed toward the door.

  Mellie Jo, still lying on the floor and fiddling with a dust bunny, called out. “Are you going to keep her forever? Because I would really like that.”

  Valene smile mysteriously. “Well, we’ll just see how it goes.”

  My heart leaping with excitement, we exited the counseling room.

10. Lip Gloss can help you find your way home.

  Once we were in the hall, Valene began babbling excitedly about the fun we were going to have, and how things worked in her sessions. I was going to be assigned First Chair, which is normally where the most troubled people sit, but it also was the only chair that could be seen from everywhere in the room, and that was more important. Valene wanted me to give a speech about myself, so I loved her even more.

  Then I suddenly came to a halt. “But what am I going to wear? I don’t have any of my wardrobe with me.”

  Valene waved her hand in dismissal. “You look beautiful just the way you are. And the embroidery on your hemline is beyond words.”

  “Yes, I know that, my glow is eternal. But shouldn’t I wear something special for my debut?”

  Valene pondered this, then nodded. “You’re right. But we’ve only got a few minutes…” She glanced up and down the hallway, then came to a decision. “Follow me.” She scurried toward a wing of the building that I hadn’t noticed before. The flooring changed to Italian marble, and there was gold leaf on the water fountain. I immediately wanted to live here.

  “This is where we keep the rich clients,” whispered Valene. “They have more money than they know what to do with, which is probably why they’re crazy. I mean, why they need special attention. I think this room will work.”

  She stopped in front of a hand-carved wooden door with an ornate pewter knob. The name “Mrs. Rustworth” was etched into the detailed surface. Valene slowly pushed the door open, peeked inside for a moment, then shoved the thing all the way open.

  My mouth dropped.

  The enormous room was crammed with racks and racks of exquisite couture. On the far wall was a massive vanity counter that could probably seat twelve, loaded down with jars and vials and tubs of makeup. I trembled with passion at this stunning sight.

  Yet I hesitated. “But where is Mrs. Rustworth?”

  Valene waved her hand again. “She’s in hydro-therapy right now. Which, given her condition, means she’s sitting on the edge of the pool, dangling her legs in the water while Vivaldi plays and someone serves her cucumber sandwiches. Now hurry, pick something out, we only have five minutes.”

  They were the most divine five minutes of my life up to that point. It was a blur of lust, fabric, and lip liner. THIS was how people really lived. I wanted Mrs. Rustworth to adopt me. Even if she was crazy and couldn’t swim. I wonder if one of those “agent” guys could arrange that for you? I might need to get one after all.

  Sadly, the clock was ticking. I eventually made a selection, reapplied, and shot back out the door. I grabbed Valene’s hand. “This is what my life is supposed to be like. I’ve been doing something wrong until now. You’ve got to help me.”

  Valene adjusted my feather boa just a slight bit. “We can change your life later. Right now we’ve got to get to the meeting.” And off we went, racing down hallways and around corners, finally arriving at a conference room, with a placard outside where some calligraphy person had scrawled “Welcome to Cosmetics Anonymous! Let’s Glitter Together!” We slipped inside.

  The place was filled girls and women of all ages. They had all tried very hard to make themselves beautiful, but I was prettier than any of them and instantly knew that I had the power in this room. I relaxed, taking my royal seat with grace and charitable respect for their lesser beauty. Valene welcomed everyone, discussed a few administrative items, and then introduced me.

  As I stood, I waved at them in the Queen Elizabeth manner that I had mastered many years ago. Instantly, they all returned the exact same wave, and I liked them a little more. I scanned the crowd, noting one woman with lip gloss that actually changed color with her moods, and another woman sporting a t-shirt which read “Bonne Bell Lip Smackers 4 Ever”. They were very excited that I was here. I smiled happily. These were my people.

  I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be rich and live in a fancy hospital where people wanted to hear me talk about myself all day long. And I could change outfits every twenty minutes.

  I approached the podium and began to tell my story.

  “Once upon a time, I had a Charlie’s Angels Christmas stocking…”

The End

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 7

  I lay there in my hospital bed, one arm still strapped to my back, studying the strange doctor-man who had just waltzed into my room, offering un-requested assistance and seeming to have an issue with my personal life expectations. I didn’t really care for him. “And what,” I asked coldly, “is wrong with wanting to bury my tragically-destroyed lip gloss?”

  Mom sighed, and gently stroked my hair again, which she really needed to quit doing. I only like to be petted when I’m happy and get my way. “Poodle, we can’t go around having funeral services for cosmetics. People will talk.”

  It was my turn to sigh. “I’m not asking for anything FANCY. Just my closest 100 fans, and maybe an orchestra in case I need to sing. And cake.”

  “Cake?” asked Mellie Jo, pausing in her efforts to dismantle the motor for my automated bed. She wiped her greasy hands on my fresh bed linen, and I hated her more. “Why do you want stupid cake at your stupid funeral for your stupid lip gloss?”

  I glared at the worthless heathen. “Just because YOU never eat anything doesn’t mean that I can’t have refreshments in my time of need. And stop touching my sheets with your devil hands!” I kicked at her with one delicate foot, but I miscalculated and ended up whacking Little Sahara upside the head. She fell to the ground with a small whimper, then lay there quietly as she feebly felt around for Jenna the Stick.

  Mellie Jo’s face flushed with fury. “I’M not the one who doesn’t eat, it’s LITTLE SAHARA that never eats, even though it doesn’t matter now that you’ve killed her. You never pay ANY attention to anybody else in this family. You run around like a Big Old Queen!”

  Mom looked at Mellie Jo. “No, sweetie, that would be your Uncle Brad.”

  “Gaaawwwddd!” bellowed Mellie Jo. “I am SICK of living in this FAMILY where people are just so STUPID. Just stupid!” She ran to the door and pulled it open, hollering “STUPID!” into the hallway, startling a nun who was carrying a tuba. Mellie Jo flipped her off, then slammed the door and leaned back against it, crossing her arms.

  Little Sahara cautiously raised her stick and tapped Mom on the kneecap. “Mommy, can I get up now or is it safer down here? I can’t see where Mellie’s at, and that always makes me scared.”

  Mom looked from Little Sahara to Mellie Jo, to me, to Dr. Brian, then smiled weakly. “This isn’t as bad as it looks.”

  Dr. Brian cleared his throat. “Oh, it’s even worse than I imagined. You have a delusional eldest child who is so self-centered that I’m surprised it hasn’t affected the gravitational pull of the planet, a middle child with enough unexpressed rage that she could personally provide power to the entire Western hemisphere for 3 years, and a youngest child who is just trying to survive from one second to another. I need to get these youngsters into therapy immediately.

  Mom was a bit taken aback. “Oh. Well, I suppose we could schedule something…”

  Dr. Brian stepped forward. “No, this is an emergency. I need to talk to them right now or the fate of our whole galaxy could be in jeopardy.” He leaned down and gently helped Little Sahara to her feet. “Would you like to go to a pretty room and talk about fun things with me for a little while?”

  Little Sahara eyed him with slight suspicion. “Do they have pizza there?”

  Dr. Brian smiled. “I’m sure that we can find some of that.”

  Little Sahara squealed and leapt into his arms. “Daddy!”

  Dr. Brian chuckled. “No, but I am your friend and I want to help you.” He tweaked her little nose and somewhere in the background someone began playing a nice violin while the opening credits for a Hallmark movie rolled across the screen.

  Then he turned to Mellie Jo. “Would you like to join us? And is there anything YOU would like to eat, other than sour grapes?”

  Mellie Jo kept her arms folded. “I am not going ANYWHERE. And you can’t make me.”

  Dr. Brian continued smiling. “Oh, I think I can. I’ve read your file. If you don’t play nice, I’m going to tell your mother everything that I would imagine you’ve done and then denied doing. Starting with the time you took the waffle iron and-”

  “Okay, fine, I’ll go to your stupid party. But I’m NOT going to be polite.”

  “I would never dream of it.” He finally turned to me. “Can you walk on your own? Or should I have a nurse bring a wheelchair?”

  Mellie Jo had her own advice. “Why doesn’t she just shoot some of that hot air out her butt and float along behind us?”

  Mom was aghast. “Mellie Jo! We don’t talk like that!”

  Mellie smirked. “Yes we DO. Where do you think I learned that?”

  Mom looked sheepishly at Dr. Brian. “I really don’t know what she’s talking about. I dropped her a lot when she was a baby.”

  I cleared my own throat. “I believe Dr. Brian was talking to ME. And I can walk just fine if I can take the rest of this straight-jacket off.”

  Dr. Brian stepped forward, and he showed Little Sahara which tab to pull. She did so with much more viciousness than was necessary, giving me a small case of whiplash in the process, but at least I was finally free. I threw the jacket on the floor, graciously slid out of the bed, then smoothed out the wrinkles in my frock. “I’m ready to be presented now.”

  We headed toward the door, but Mom stopped the parade with a small squeak. “What about me? Should I be going? I just need to find my purse and then-”

  Dr. Brian held up the hand that was not clutching the traitorous Little Sahara, who was getting far more attention from this man than she deserved. “Now, now, Mrs. Clampitt. It’s far too late for me to be of any help with your case, but there’s still time to save the children. We’ll be back shortly. Perhaps you can spend the time picking out one of the other guest rooms for when you eventually snap. We have a long waiting list, and you need to be prepared. You’ll want a room in the East Wing, which has bars on the windows. Come, girls.”

8. Just thinking about Lip Gloss can get you through the day.

  So there we were, sitting in one of Dr. Brian’s counseling rooms. The wallpaper was rather plain, not even having the royal crest of arms that I had designed for myself in the third grade, so I didn’t really care for it. We were sitting in padded chairs placed around a small table, with Little Sahara having pulled up an extra chair for Jenna the Stick.

  Mellie Jo: “I don’t want that stupid tree branch at the table.”

  Dr. Brian: “Mellie Jo, be fair. You know that Little Sahara uses Jenna to communicate. You do want her to talk with us, don’t you?”

  Mellie Jo: “I don’t even want her to breathe, never mind talk.”

  This conversation did not have enough references about me, so I took action. “Can I have a chair for my lip gloss?”

  Mellie Jo:  “Your lip gloss is dead.”

  Me: “I still have the pretty pink pouch.”

  Dr. Brian: “Yes, you may have a chair for your pouch. And Mellie Jo can have a chair for whatever she wants. Then we’re all even.”

  I happily placed my pouch on a nearby chair, picking out a stray piece of sticky glass and throwing it behind the couch, then adjusted my frock once again to show how the pouch complimented the embroidery on my hemline. No one applauded, so I was slightly disappointed, but then again everyone doesn’t understand the finer details.

  Dr. Brian looked at the angry one. “And Mellie Jo, what would you like in your chair?”

  Mellie Jo: “Nothing. I want it empty like my life.”

  Dr. Brian: “There isn’t anything that you like?”

  Mellie Jo: “Nope.”

  Little Sahara raised Jenna the Stick, signaling that she was about to speak. “She likes Dewey.”

  Dr. Brian: “Is this a person or a sensation?”

  Little Sahara: “Dewey Potter. He’s a boy. And a cricker. And her boyfriend. And he smells.”

  Mellie Joe kicked over her empty chair. “I do NOT like Dewey Potter. You are a lying, evil little person.”

  Little Sahara: “Yes, you do. I saw you kissing him behind the-”

  Mellie Jo leaped to her feet, snatched up Jenna the Stick, raced to the window, ripped aside the curtain, used the stick to beat at the latch until it popped open, threw the lower section of the window upward, and then hurled the stick at the supposedly open window.

  The stick whacked against something just outside the window and bounced back into the room, thumping Mellie Jo on the head before landing on the carpet and rolling to a stop back near the table.

  Dr. Brian: “There’s a force field around the building. You aren’t the first stick thrower we’ve had.”

  Little Sahara grabbed Jenna and tucked her under her arm. “Don’t you EVER touch my stick again or I will CUT you.” She looked at Dr. Brian. “Let’s get this crap over with. I’ve got pies to bake.”

  Mellie Jo: “I’m not scared of you, you skinny little pizza bone eater. I can take you.”

  Me: “Why is everybody not talking about how beautiful I am?”

  There was a brief knock on the door, then it was quickly thrown open and a voice rang out. “You nappy little white girls need to shut the hell up and listen to the man!”

  We turned to see who this might be.

  It was Whoopie Goldberg.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Searching For Signal: #132 - “True Blood” - Season 3, Episode 3

We start out at Sookie’s house, where a naughty little werewolf is racing toward Sookie, intent on doing some really intensive cosmetic surgery. Sookie, because she’s been trained in the military while we weren’t looking, uses her cute little gun to expertly fire a bullet at Lassie Gone Bad.

Suddenly, we go into slow-mo, because somebody on the film crew has watched “The Matrix” too many times, and we see Eric doing some odd ballet move as he throws himself in front of the werewolf and takes the bullet. (Some people will do anything to keep the camera on them.) Turns out Eric wants to keep the werewolf alive so they can try to get some information out of him. Me personally, I’d just kill the werewolf and then go online if I still needed some answers.

So Eric and the werewolf tussle a bit, during which time the werewolf transitions back to his human form, and we learn that he’s an ugly redneck who has never watched the Fashion Channel. And of course he’s naked, flopping all over the place so we can almost see his tackle. Are they serious with this? I don’t recall watching “Deliverance” and going, boy, I sure would like to see some of those toothless, no-indoor-plumbing people rolling around nekkid on my kitchen tile.

As Eric and Cletus play squat tag, Sookie, dancing around so she doesn’t get any blood on her pretty white Merlotte’s t-shirt, available for only $19.95, can hear some of the redneck’s thoughts, but things are scrambled and she really only hears the name “Jackson”. Interesting. Then Eric spies that “Nazi werewolf” symbol on one of Cletus’ body parts, and he changes his plans, ripping out the redneck’s neck in a nice display of Vampires Gone Wild.

Roll opening credits. Ugly people. Exuberance in church. Dangerous night-time baptisms.

Cut to the Captain’s house, that upper management vampire whose role I still don’t quite understand, where they are putting out the flames on a crispy but still very much alive Lorena. (The Captain’s whiny boyfriend, Talbot, is dismayed that they used some expensive tapestry thing to snuff Lorena’s fire. I think I’m already tired of him.) Then the Captain makes a mystifying speech about how they do things differently in Mississippi. Never plan to go there, but duly noted.

Then it’s just Captain and Te-Bill, with the Captain wanting to know just “how much do you love that human of yours?” Bill looks all anguished about the trials of loving a human and never being able to find the right toothbrush. The Captain suggests that Bill turn Sookie, just like the Captain turned Talbot, back in some unidentified century when they didn’t have wi-fi. Then the Captain touches Bill in an intimate way on his forehead and tells him to sleep on it. Based on the one-sided lust in the air, I’m thinking the Captain meant to say “sleep on ME.”

Quick scene with Sookie and Eric burying the redneck in a creepy graveyard. Eric is explaining that these special Nazi werewolves are really, really dangerous. I think that Sookie already understands this, having whipped out her cute gun and trying to kill Cletus before Eric decided to reenact scenes from “Billy Elliott”.

Then Sookie is babbling about the name “Jackson”, and Eric explains that it’s not a person but a place, as in Jackson, Mississippi. Oh. Sookie: “Do you think Bill’s there?” I have to go find him, I’ll leave tomorrow. Eric grimaces, because he wants Bill to stay far away, wherever that might be.

Cut to Tara and that new, vaguely British vampire who helped her beat up the racist yokels in the last episode. They’re having what appears to be some form of sex in a motel room. (I guess Tara is over Eggs, making it one of the shorter mourning periods.) We can’t quite see what he’s doing, but it’s making Tara’s eyelashes quiver in a somewhat unnerving way, so he must be doing something right. Then she begs him to bite her (girl, no!) but he refuses.

Next we’re at Sam’s newfound family’s house, where Daddy is pawing his crotch while sitting on the skanky couch with his son and watching TV. (I have no idea.) Nasty Daddy and his dirty underwear race off to find Trashy Momma, while Sam gets all huffy with brother Tommy about almost getting him killed when they were playing animal tag the other night. Trashy Momma wanders in, all aquiver, hoping Sam is going to move in with them or something.

Nope, Sam tells them he just came to say goodbye. Mom gets all boisterous, barking at Nasty Daddy to go pour out his beer, and then explaining to Sam “We ain’t alcoholics!” Honey, first off, that’s a lie, and second, that’s the least of your troubles. Do you even HAVE soap in that house? Running water?

Quick scene with Jason and Hoyt, where Jason is all gung ho about joining the police force after having tackled a drug dealer in the last episode. Because I’m sure that’s one of the questions on the application form. Can you tackle? Circle yes or no.

Back to the hotel where Tara and the new vampire are basking in the afterglow. We learn that his name is “Franklin”. She won’t reveal her name. Then Tara has one of those out-of-nowhere mood swings and she decides to get dressed and run to the mall or something.

Now we’re at Fangtasia (which I believe I called Fangoria in the last review, my bad) where Pam is… looking for buried treasure with some pole dancer/waitress/tramp. Mid-slurp, Pam gets a call from Jessica, who is all distraught that the dead body in the basement is missing. Well, then, Pam explains. Your problem is solved. Bye.

Jason and Hoyt again, where Jason is trying to answer questions that might be on the police admissions test, and failing miserably. Bored, Hoyt starts pining for Jessica. Jason, of all people, then proceeds to offer relationship advice while eating cold pizza and managing to touch his nipples at the same time.

Quick scene with Arlene at the obstetrician, where we learn that her pending bundle of joy is already 9 or 10 weeks old. This means that conception took place when she was… uh oh.

Back to Merlotte’s, where Tara gets a phone call from a Mike Spencer (do we know him?) saying that Egg’s funeral is taking place RIGHT NOW. Tara rips off her bartender apron and runs out the door, jogging down the street to the cemetery, because it’s a small town and you don’t really need a car.

Once there, Tara discovers that no one else has showed up for the funeral. This Mike guy explains that Sookie is the one who paid for the funeral, and right on cue Sookie wanders out of the woods where she has been hiding for no apparent reason. They bond and Sookie asks Tara to “come back home”, meaning Sookie’s house, where the deer and the werewolves play.

As the two hug each other and plan slumber parties, the camera pulls back to show a grave reading “Thomas Charles Compton, 1862-1868”. Wait, who is that?

Conveniently, the producers insert a flashback to 1868, where Bill wanders up to his house and plays with an odd sponge on the porch. Some woman throws open the door, brandishing a shotgun. It’s Bill’s wife, Caroline. She’s a little confused, it’s been “three years since the war ended”. Where has he been? Maybe he couldn’t find a taxi?

She invites him in, and there’s some sadness, as we learn that “Thomas Charles” is Bill’s son, who just happened to die of “the pox” roughly 13 minutes ago. Bill cries the freaky blood tears, which causes the wife to overreact and threaten to kill him with her trusty shotgun. She really needs to settle down and quit being so fussy.

But she’s a nervous type, so she shoots him, getting blood all over the nice crown molding. Of course, when he almost instantly heals, Caroline assumes the worst and starts running and screaming, because that solves everything. Lo and behold, Caroline runs around a corner and into the comforting arms of Lorena, who is always up in everybody else’s grill.

Caroline, knowing that her screen time is limited because she didn’t appear in the opening credits, really goes to town with the freaking out and the overly-dramatic response to mundane situations. She begs Bill to kill her because she’s uncomfortable with relatives who have cold skin. Bill actually starts to bite her, but Lorena stops him.

Quick scene with Jason taking the police admissions test, but suddenly the questions turn into hieroglyphics and the sheriff has a bullet hole in his head. Then everybody in the room has bullet holes and Jason has lost his pants at some point. No idea.

Cut to Jason and Lafayette doing their road crew thing, babbling about inconsequential matters, when suddenly Hoyt, who is doing something pointless in a ditch, starts bellowing. He just found a body with no head. It’s Bon Temps, people settle down. These things happen.

Sookie is cleaning up yet another bloody carpet in her house, when some guy comes up behind her. They scuffle a bit, then decide to be civil. His name is “LC”, which of course made me think of the cow, and I lost my focus for a bit. But apparently he’s a werewolf, not the Nazi kind, and Eric sent him to watch over her. Really?

Over to Merlotte’s, where Sam’s newfound family, in all their skankiness, come clattering in the door. Sam: “I thought we agreed to take some time.” Trashy Mom: “Don’t you want to see us?” This has bad news written all over it. But at least Nasty Daddy managed to find some pants somewhere along the line. Maybe they belong to Jason?

Back to the headless body in the ditch, where the police have arrived and they are doing police things. For no apparent reason, the Sheriff from Newhart decides that he doesn’t want to play anymore, and he rips off his badge and such. Deputy Andy and Kenya look properly confused, while Hoyt is wondering if Jessica is ever going to text him again.

Sookie’s house again, where she and LC are chatting. He tests her mind-reading ability, and Sookie passes without breaking a sweat, natch. Then LC explains why he’s here, something about helping his Daddy out of debt and he made a deal with Eric. And oh, by the way, his Ex is playing slap and tickle with one of the Nazi werewolf leaders. These should be warning signs for Sookie, but her only reaction is to adjust her ponytail to ensure that she still looks cute and Southern.

Cut to Bill, shirtless and dreaming, back to 1868 again, with him still dealing with wife Caroline and her trembling and her tendency to wave a shotgun around. She’s still begging Bill to kill her, which is fine by me because she’s really getting on my nerves. Lorena, with her accent that shifts wildly all over the place, instructs Bill to make her forget. So he does the glamour thing, which is the one vampire skill that I truly covet. I would love to mesmerize my manager, with a “yes, I worked every day next week”, and then hop on a plane to Bermuda.

We then see Bill and Lorena burying the young Thomas, with Lorena advising that “the only way you can show love for a human is to stay away.” Something tells me that this slogan will not be appearing on Hallmark bookmarks.

Back to the Captain’s house, where Nazi werewolf Cooter (still love that name, despite it being applied to a minor character) is whining about the fact that his plans to capture Sookie have gone awry. Lorena, in another of her many vaguely European hairstyles, says that Eric is the source of the problem. Then she turns her head just right so that the camera captures her best angle as she gazes off into the distance, plotting the death of any female who looks at Bill for longer than two seconds.

Speaking of, Bill then marches in, surprising everyone by proclaiming “I hereby renounce my fealty to Louisiana. I pledge my allegiance to Mississippi” or some such. The captain glows, looks with disdain at Talbot and his mutterings about ruined tapestries, and sighs contentedly.

Captain: “We don’t need the girl after all.” (This would be Sookie.)

Lorena scrunches her face and stomps her ancient foot. She mad.

Quick scene at Merlotte’s, with Tara and Jason trying to bond, but then he freaks about his true involvement with Eggs’ death, sees bullet holes in people that don’t really have them, and then runs out the door, hoping that the writers give him something else to worry about in the next episode.

Lafayette’s house, where he hears a car honking outside, and he and his flamboyant accessories go to investigate. It’s Eric, sporting lipstick and eyeliner because the makeup crew got confused, and offering the very nice car he is driving as a gift to Laff. Something about Laff being the best salesman of vampire blood. When Laff hesitates, Eric makes a comment about the “strange, plywood hut you live in” and whether or not Lafayette is serious about moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Laff and his accessories say they’ll think about it.

Over to Merlotte’s, where anxious Arlene and befuddled Terry are conversing about things. Arlene: “I got me a baby comin’.” Terry is thrilled, hugging Arlene and wailing “Thank you!” Um, does he not understand the dynamics of procreation? You actually have to sleep with someone before you can possibly claim the tax deduction that squirts out. Do they not have any textbooks in this part of Lousiana? Do these people get to vote?

Cut to Sam’s Nasty Daddy carrying a tray of shots to a booth where Trashy Momma and Brooding Brother Tommy are sitting. When Daddy proffers the shots to Tommy, Sam intervenes. Brother Boy is underage, can’t be havin’ that. Drunk Nasty Daddy gets an attitude about it, harsh words are exchanged, and Trashy Momma finally orders her kin to leave. Except for Sam, ‘cause he owns the bar and all and is way cuter.

Bill’s house, with clueless Jessica wandering around batting her surprisingly large eyelashes. There’s a knock on the door. It’s Franklin, the new vampire, and he has some questions. “Has anyone gone missing lately?” I guess Jessica didn’t read the script, because she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. So Franklin pulls something out of a cute designer bag he carried in. It’s the head of that guy Jessica inadvertently killed, threw in the cellar, and then was troubled when the body went AWOL.

Franklin smirks. “I help you, you help me. Now tell me everything you know about Bill Compton.” This doesn’t look good. I knew Franklin was trouble when he made Tara’s eyelashes flutter in an annoying way.

Quick scene with Jason, where he wanders into his apartment, picks up the application form for the police department, and then burns it. I guess this is supposed to be the sad end to a dream, but he’s only had this dream for about forty minutes. I think he’ll get over it. There are other opportunities for Jason, like the adult film industry where he can choose a screen name like “Throb Wonderbull” or “Rod Canyon”. He’ll be fine.

Sam’s house, which is apparently right behind Merlotte’s. He awakens to the noise of somebody doing something in the restaurant, so he runs in there with a gun and such. After several shots of him posing dramatically with his weapon, pointing it at things that aren’t really there, he makes his way to his office. The office is a mess, indicating clandestine searching, and a bird flies out the window. Probably brother Tommy. This is confirmed when Sam finds abandoned clothing on the floor. You just can’t trust relatives who can transition.

Sookie and LC traipse into some leather bar named “Lupines”, where all the Jackson werewolves hang out. (Imagine that.) Sookie glances around and realizes there may have been a fashion faux pas. “Am I not dressed properly?” The bouncer at the door responds with “You look like dinner.” Great. Things could go awry very quickly. This always happens when people wear leather.

Sookie and LC split up, trying to find clues about what might be going on in a bar where people wear dead cow skin. Sookie, naturally, immediately finds a suspicious person when she reads his mind and realizes he’s one of the hillbillies that kidnapped Bill. As anyone would, she agrees to follow this guy to a darkened back room where people can’t protect her. Once there, of course he tries to rudely violate her, and LC runs in to save the day.

There’s a nicely choreographed fight, with the hillbilly and his suddenly-interested buddies walloping LC, until the bouncer guy intervenes and makes people play nice. Once folks are separated, the bouncer lets LC know that his ex-girlfriend is getting married to somebody named “Cody” or something like that. I have no idea who Cody is, or if I even got the name right, but LC looks tragic and place, so it’s probably not good.

Sookie’s house again, with Tara flitting about, and Franklin the new vampire shows up. He wants to come in, Tara initially won’t let him, but then there’s more of the glamour thing and suddenly Tara is the most welcoming hostess in the South.

Over to the Captain’s house, with Bill in his guest room, slamming things about and not very happy. Lorena appears, because she always does so when nobody wants her to, and she accuses Bill of faking his allegiance to the Captain. (This is no great logic leap, so Lorena is not all THAT, but anyway.)

Bill gets very agitated, yelling at Lorena that “You have deprived me of my humanity again. I will NEVER love you! NEVER!”

And then they jump on his bed and start having beasty sex, which is not exactly what I would have expected. Then again, I’m not undead, and probably didn’t get all the procedural emails. In the midst of the violent boudoir physicality, Bill grabs Lorena by the neck, and twists her head around to face the floor. (That’s a neat trick.) While blood gushes out of her mouth, Lorena proclaims “I still love you!”

End credits roll.

I can never watch “The Exorcist” again. Seriously.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Idiot Fondue: Case Study #31

Dear Dr. Brian,

If people from Boston are called Bostonians, and those from San Francisco are called San Franciscans, what are the ones from Dallas called? Dallasinians?

Your friend,


Dear Larua,

No, that is not a typo with your name. I must confess that it was originally so, but after carefully analyzing your submission, I feel that a minimal adjustment in the spelling of your name could prove beneficial. It is now a distinctive name, it will advance you slightly in those irritating lists where people are alphabetized, and it’s more fun to type. (Try it on your keyboard.) Therefore, as your physician, I am advising that you change your name immediately. I’ll have Lanae send the legal forms shortly.

Now, to more firmly address your query, it is important that we minutely analyze each element of your email. Even a small alteration in grammar, spelling or wording can change things in an astonishing manner. (To continue my previous thread, an online posting about someone named “Laura” could prove somewhat entertaining, while a posting with a free spirit named “Larua” becomes an instant bookmark, with its tantalizing possible details about tropical islands, or rock groups with fervent groupies, the kind who enjoy flinging their undergarments during concerts and living in communes where everyone helps make real butter.)

So, I must keep an open mind concerning the manner in which I can assist you. An initial observation would be that you have a geographical fixation of some kind. (This is a very real malady, with people over-using Google Earth , especially that “zoom in” feature, resulting in nightmares where troubled souls envision themselves slamming into the planet, suffering uncomfortable body realignments as country and city names whiz by them in a terrifying blur.)

Sadly, because EarthSlamPhobia was mentioned on the Oprah Winfrey show, it has become very popular of late, and some trendy physicians are quick to misdiagnose patients who are actually suffering from something that has not been publicized on talk shows that will be ending in 2011. In a related trend, there is a misperception among the populace that the cure for EarthSlamPhobia is an Intervention.

I’m sure you’ve heard of these ghastly things, where friends and family trick you into attending a dinner party or an outing to the zoo, and then they all gang up on you, demanding that you stop doing something that they don’t care for. These things never work, not only because you instantly hate them for their pushiness and subterfuge, but because your friends and family are not trained specialists. If they were, they would be appearing on TV, not sitting on your couch and bellowing self-help quotes from some odd website they found when Facebook was down and they were bored.

And really, all these platitudes along the lines of “We love you and we are here for you.” What is THAT? Seriously. If they are there for you, then they should have been around when you first mistakenly assumed that Percocet was an antihistamine, discovered that taking the cute little pills made things pretty and you no longer cared about troublesome facets of your life like relatives who intervene, and then began selling household appliances to insure that you kept not caring.

Anyway, I do believe I can eliminate the possibility of you having a geographical neuroses, simply by reviewing the cities you mentioned in your submission. You have listed both coasts, as well as a city smack in the middle of the country. This means you do not discriminate, which is a fine thing in itself, but also eliminates you from qualifying for any of the Mapsco family of maladies. People who suffer from such tend to focus on specific regions, like southern towns where folks speak with too many vowels or Colorado resorts where caretakers snap in the winter and get abusive with axes.

No, your particular diagnosis lies elsewhere. Yet still, my extensive training in the world of the mind and the many ways in which the brain can twist off into surprising roads of discovery leads me to believe that there is something behind the names of the cities you selected. Let’s go there, even if it proves fruitless, and I end up charging you for another session. (Somebody has to pay for the new linoleum in the remodeled break room in our suite of offices.) To wit, your cities:

Boston. Have you ever been there? It’s quite surprising. My first exposure to one of our founding cities occurred in the month of July. Such a time of year is excruciating in the place where I currently live, a little burgh by the name of Dallas. The word “steamy” does not even approach reality, with sweat getting into crevices you never knew you had. Things melt, and tempers flare. (You NEVER want to question the roadway decisions of your fellow citizens. This can result in rude gestures and the use of concealed handguns.)

But I never imagined that Boston could have the same July climate. It’s so far north, I just assumed that the igloos did not melt. Yet indeed they do, with a vengeance that is startling. I was quite amazed to learn that the fresh seafood in the fish market would grill itself as you stood there and perused the options.

And this thing with the pennies on the graves in that one cemetery. I tried to read the historical marker that explained the copper abundance, but I couldn’t keep the sweat out of my eyes long enough to learn the tale. Complicating all this was the horde of belligerent tourists who did not appreciate my non-movement and blindness. They were hurling pennies like The Rapture was around the corner.

But around that corner was the Parker House Hotel, where they make those rolls that apparently cause certain people to change their entire way of life so that they can consume these things on a regular basis. I failed to see what the fuss was all about, mainly because said hotel was very pricey and I couldn’t even afford the appetizers, let alone an entrée featuring the famous bread. Northerners apparently make more money than Southerners. Didn’t we end that pesky war? Poor Scarlet, she rolled around in that turnip field, getting mud on her couture and vowing never to be hungry again, but I’m assuming she wasn’t clutching a menu from the Parker House Hotel.

Finally, did they ever end that mess with the Big Dig? The massive roadwork project where they were building an underground tunnel to China or some such? I understand the need to garner support for the usage of tax-payer dollars. But really, the billboards and the campaign buttons? It’s a road, not the Stairway to Heaven. Especially if you’re just a visitor trying to find the North Church without getting re-routed to Detroit. And it’s a little unsettling to realize that the earth is being moved under my feet.

Speaking of, let’s move on to San Francisco, where I understand that you’ve spent some time whilst trying to keep your sanity and a firm grip on the things that are really important. Therefore, I really shouldn’t pontificate too much and risk corrective commentary, other than to share a formative experience I had whilst a youngster still finding my way.

In the mid-70’s, my mother and her best friend dragged their four collective offspring to this city by the bay. I was much too young to fully comprehend all that we saw, but I do recall seeing men holding hands, and homegrown newspapers seeking rights for people who just wanted to love as they wished. I was in awe, feeling tiny tendrils of validation for my burgeoning awareness of who I might be, but still scared. The rest of the country did not share this vision, or so it seemed to my naïve young mind. Soon I would be back in a land of closed minds and pain. But briefly, I yearned. Hope springs eternal.

Okay, I do recall a few other things. The hills, of course, because how could you miss THOSE? The trolley cars, which are enjoyable until someone’s posterior is shoved in your face while they are pointing out Coit Tower. Or some stranger requests that you take photos of them and their unruly brood as the Gap-clad little hellions swing on poles and wave. I don’t WANT to take pictures of other people. If I did, I would have gone to a different school, training to be a clerk at the DMV or perhaps a processing agent at the police station.

Oh, and the exquisite chocolate from that Italian-sounding place, and all of that business with the Wharf. The rows of houses, with the character of another time, standing proudly after so many years, despite the Starbucks on the corner and everyone muttering into little handheld things of metal and glass. And the people. The wild mix of people.

And finally, we have Dallas on your short list of proper names for residents. There are many ways I could go with my commentary on the local inhabitants. But really, this should be saved for another time. The nexus is you, and how I can assist. Despite my rhetoric, despite my fun with snarkiness and twisted interpretations, there are times when all this falls by the wayside, and you get real.

Searching for an answer that actually means something, I did let a bit of the whimsy back in. The first letter of your three cities is B-S-D. But I’m going to assume that you put a challenge in there, and that I should reverse the order. D-S-B. I only know of your personal situation peripherally, limited detail, but I hope this helps with your journey. DSB = Don’t Stop Believing. Don’t. In whatever your belief and hopes may be.

Best of luck, Laura, spelled correctly, and there really won’t be any paperwork in the mail about the name change. Unless my assistant Lanae has been especially productive, though I seriously doubt that she has. I’ve been waiting for her to change the paper in the copy machine since 1987.

As for the rest of you fine folks, who are used to sarcasm until the end, it’s not going to happen this time. A rare moment of heart, and some time to reflect. Think of the people you love. Tell them that. Again and again. And then maybe one more time. Then go take a walk, somewhere quiet where you can prioritize and breathe. Well, maybe skip the walking bit for now, considering the heat out there and the potential for sweaty crevices. But keep the breathing. And the realization of what’s really important…

Peace In,

Dr. Brian

Friday, June 25, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Lady Gaga - “Alejandro”

Preliminary bit wherein I absolve myself of any blame for what’s about to follow: We’re talking Lady Gaga, here, not Charlotte Church, so things in this video get a bit eye-opening. It’s also a very long video, so Lady Gaga can throw in lots of artsy stuff that may not make sense but is certainly interesting. So, if you’re not a fan of The Lady or can’t sit still for longer than four minutes you might want to skip this one and go check the lint in the dryer.

And in the spirit of this high-end soft-porn, my commentary might get a little off the tracks and take a detour through Smut Town. These things can happen when you watch tele-films created by a woman who has recently bellowed about her yearning for Disco Stick transportation. You have been officially warned.

Still with? Great. Here we go…

We start out with a giant “GAGA” logo, because she may not want us to call her name, but she damn sure wants us to remember it. Then we immediately cut to a very tired military-type man who is wearing little more than fishnet stockings as he lounges on some dreary patio. Yes, it took Lady Gaga exactly two seconds to get twisted.

Then the camera starts panning around, and we learn that there’s LOTS of tired military people sitting around at what might be a bar where no one is very happy. This could be because there aren’t any drinks on the table and the music hasn’t started yet. Who knows. We still have over 8 minutes of video for the producers to explain all this.

Cut to some shadowy figures standing on what looks like a ramp that probably leads to an underground laboratory where anti-social scientists named Hans conduct experiments involving plutonium and death. These figures are apparently practicing a dance routine where the theme appears to be stomping while carrying odd symbols and looking angry.

Oh good, they turned the lights up a bit and we can see that the dancers are wearing jock straps that appear to be vaguely Sumo-wrestling in nature. (So far they haven’t spent a lot of money on the costume budget for this production.) The dancers all have the same bowl-cut hairdo for some reason, probably because Lady Gaga was going for that “we might be poor but we have rhythm” look. The dancers march their way down the ramp so that Hans can begin dissecting them.

Finally, we have a close-up of Gaga herself, sporting a hairstyle that has been inspired by the handles on wicker baskets. She’s looking through some very funky binoculars, trying to determine where the sad music is coming from that has started to play. This is followed by someone carrying what looks like a human heart on a black satin pillow, and then a shot of Lady Gaga messing around with her mouth. Maybe she’s got some spinach caught in her teeth.

Quick scene, possibly back at the boring bar where they still aren’t serving any drinks. It’s snowing outside, and people are sad, or at least lethargic, so somebody probably died. Then we’re out IN the snow, and yep, there’s been a death. People are carrying a casket, while Lady leads the way, lugging that heart on a pillow while violins play. Did Ingmar Bergman direct this?

We switch to a man wearing leather panties and holding a gun in his crotch. It’s a pretty gun. He’s also wearing a strange helmet that doesn’t seem to fit, and there are very large holes in the wall behind him, which is letting in some of the snow. Perhaps he should call Maintenance.

Gaga again, with a severe blonde hairdo that is not kind to her facial bone structure. She might be wearing a modified veil, so perhaps she is familiar with the person in the casket, but this doesn’t explain why she’s acting like Eva Peron on some balcony, when the people still liked her, and before they made that Broadway show and then the movie where we finally learned that Madonna can actually act as well as get pregnant via a personal trainer.

Back to Wicker Basket Gaga, still screwing around with the pointless binoculars while she smokes a cigarette, watching the jock-strap dancers through a conveniently large but still gloomy window. The dancers apparently learned some new moves while underground, so there’s less stomping, but we still don’t know what happened to the rest of their clothes.

Oh look, Lady Gaga is able to flip just one lens of the binoculars away from her tragically-pale face so we can watch her not emote while she sings. THAT’S why she wanted those things. She doesn’t need to see anything, she just wanted a cool accessory that she can manipulate to the beat of the song. So she does that for a while as the dancers continue showing off their new moves, including the ability to arch their backs so that their crotches bulge even more.

And those dancers have some stamina, because they frolic around for quite some time. They seem to be really fond of doing this group-hug thing where they spin in a circle while war-like scenes flash on a screen that some crew person has helpfully erected in the back of the soundstage. Then the dancers pair off and things get a little heated, with some grunting and such, and for a moment I don’t care if Alejandro ever shows up.

Now we have Lady Gaga in a red-leather nun’s habit, lying on a bed and being overly affectionate with her rosary. This very personal time is inter-cut with scenes of possibly some barracks, where people are either having naughty relations or emotional breakdowns while they writhe on metal cots. Whips and high heels are major design elements, along with some line dancing where Gaga joins the Jock-Ettes for some synchronized choreography. (And who spread the kitty litter all over the floor?)

This goes on for a while as well (hey, they’ve still got 4 minutes to kill), with lots more simulated and symbolic sexual slap and tickle, where it’s clear that gender and manners are completely unimportant. (They definitely won’t be showing clips of this part on the morning talk shows. Well, maybe on the FX channel.)

Things finally cool off a bit, with the Jock-Ettes doing some comparatively mundane hand movements, lying on their backs while Lady Gaga stands in the middle, wearing something Greta Garbo would wear just before she took her own life in a tragic 1930’s movie.

Scratch that. We get a closer look at the outfit, and Greta would never go near this, even after she became a recluse and started drinking. This close-up comes courtesy of the Bowl-Cut Boys, as they lift a spread-eagled Lady Gaga over their heads, and we learn that there’s an inverted red cross in Gaga’s business section. The boys continually thrust Gaga at the overheard camera to Make. Sure. We. Can. SEE IT. This wholesome scene is followed by one where Gaga crams her beloved rosary into her mouth.

At this point, I’m sure the switchboard at the Vatican is very busy. I’m assuming that Lady Gaga won’t be getting a contract with Pepsi.

Back to the spread-eagled Gaga in case you missed anything the first time.

Suddenly we have Lady Gaga in another outfit, this one with shades of Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret”, minus Joel Grey or any of the startling eye shadow. She does a few solo dance steps, and then the Jock-Ettes are back, parading down the stage in pairs, wearing leather jackets while Lady goes some more dance steps that make it clear she’s hoping for a remake of “Saturday Night Fever”.

Then Gaga and the Jock-Ettes switch over to the laboratory ramp, where Lady has decided to one-up Madonna by wearing a bustier made out of machine guns. She’s very proud of this piece of couture, fondling the gun barrels as she shimmies. Meanwhile, the Jock-Ettes twirl, leap and touch their faces dramatically.

Now we’re jump-cutting all over hell, with brief bits of everything we’ve seen, mixed in with new material that fully express Lady Gaga’s art. (Or possibly the fact that the art director didn’t refill his prescription.) The metal cots are still filled with angsty couples, the Jock-Ettes are still flinging Gaga through the air, and the amorous nun is lying on her bed, belching contentedly after eating the rosary.

Wait a minute. We are suddenly getting shots of some non-bowl-cut guy standing around, looking forlorn but still trendy in his leather outfit. Is that Alejandro? Dude, where have you been. That bitch has been calling your name for the last half hour.

More jump-cutting and sexual hi-jinks involving uncomfortable positions. This time through there’s some business with the Jock-Ettes shoving Sacrilege Gaga all over the playground. (I guess they found out she had a better dressing room.) To get back at them, Lady Gaga straddles one of them, and then rips off her top. The chorus boys do a dismal job of pretending to be interested in her wares, so they just go back to dancing.

Final shot has Gun-Crotch Boy and Nun-Jandro on a bed, with wires coming down making them look like marionettes. Oh? So is Lady Gaga saying that she didn’t have all this sex of her own free will, that other people were making her do it? Uh huh. The camera zooms in on the face of Nun Gaga and the film begins to melt.

That was probably the Pope doing that. Just guessing.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 6

6. Lip Gloss can prepare you for any social situation.

  I was singing at the nightclub again, and everybody was slowly waving their hands in the air as I crooned a loving ballad about periwinkles. Tears were shining in their eyes because my voice was so beautiful, and they were passing around an offering plate so that they could build a church with my name on it.

  Then I realized that some rude person off to the side was talking over my singing, which meant that not EVERYbody was looking at me and this made me angry. I motioned for Beth, one of my backup dancers, to go kill them or something. I still had several selections left on this evening’s program, and I certainly wasn’t going to put up with that mess. But the voice just kept getting louder and louder, until you could barely hear my precious warbling. Wait a minute. Something wasn’t right.

  I opened my eyes.

  I was lying in what appeared to be a hospital bed.

  A short little nun was staring me in the face.

  My years of studying social graces at Miss Butterworth’s Pre-School for Supernaturally Talented Beauty Queens immediately kicked in. “Who the hell are you?”

  The nun smiled primly. “I’m Sister Mary Marie Kathryn Elizabeth Lola Bettina. And I was asking if you wanted the Jell-o or the pudding cup with your dinner.”

  Granted, both of these options sounded splendid, but I was slightly confused. “Why are you asking me that?”

  The nun’s smile faded somewhat, and her facial features hardened a bit, more along the lines of the traditional nun species. Her eyes made it very clear that I hadn’t been paying attention in whatever nun class she might teach and that I had never attended. “It’s almost dinner time, and you didn’t fill out the form.”

  Form? I had been SINGING in a dream, and now I was suddenly here, and no one had mentioned anything about paperwork. This was already getting tiresome. “Why are you concerned about my food? Where’s my mother? Did she finally join that circus she’s always talking about?”

  The nun checked her watch. “Visiting hours start at seven. I’m sure your mother will be here then. But you have to eat before you can have visitors, those are the rules, as you know.”

  No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know a lot of things. “Where AM I?”

  The nun smiled again, obviously very proud of her workplace. “St. Bonnywood’s Institution for Troubled Beauty Queens With Issues.” She practically beamed with delight at this announcement.

  Me, not so much with the beaming. Something had gone terribly wrong, but I had no idea what. Until I could gather some intel, it was probably in my best interest to play along. In the end, of course, I had every intention of punishing whoever was responsible for this. “Um, I guess I’ll take the pudding cup.” She turned to go. “Wait. Is it chocolate?”

  She turned back around, pulling yet another flavor of smile out of her arsenal, this one indicating that she would enjoy what she was about to say because of the potential torture and dismay it could cause. “Rice. We are serving rice pudding. Extra chunky.”

  Rice? Ugh. Rice pudding looked like the larvae we had to study one time in science class, until one of my schoolmates wisely tossed the sample out an open window and got detention. I decided to retract. “Perhaps I’ll take the Jell-o instead.”

  Yet another smile variation appeared on the nun’s face, this one speaking of darkness and implications. “Dear, here at St. Bonnywood’s, we learn to stick with our original decisions and not waver. It makes for strong moral character.”

  I guess I didn’t get that brochure. But really, this was just some stupid dessert. I had much bigger concerns, like escaping this place once I figured out what it was. “The rice pudding will be fine.”

  “As I thought it would.” She turned to go again.

  “Wait, just one more question.”

  She turned back, not even trying to smile, and sighed. “Yes?”

  “Could you help me take this straight-jacket off?”

7. Lip Gloss is more emotionally satisfying than some family members.

  The nun sighed again, because she had a tolerance limit for questions from astonishingly beautiful patients. “That will be for Dr. Brian to decide.” Then she was gone, her irritating nun outfit dragging on the ground and making an ugly slithery noise as she went out the door.

  I glanced around my cell. White sheets on the bed, white curtains at the one tiny window, white walls. Very trite and monochromatic. My dissatisfactions with this institution were growing. Then it hit me that there were NO flowers. What was going on in the world that I should be hospitalized without floral tributes from my fans?

  The door banged open again, and in marched another nun, this was one sporting a tray with what I assumed was my designated meal. Nun II kicked a rolling table thing until it was partially over the bed, slapped the tray on it, then pushed some button that caused the upper half of the bed to launch my torso into orbit. She clipped a bib to the front of my ugly and depressing gown, peeled the top off the larvae cup, and then did something that caused one of my arms to plop free from the jacket restraints.

  Then she turned to go, not having said a word the entire time. Perhaps they had removed her tongue. I had read somewhere that this could happen if you get too chatty in a convent. I could never be a nun. Not enough costume changes.

  I took a tiny nibble of each gummy substance on  the food tray, hoping to find something decently edible. My quest was in vain. Everything was nasty and wiggly. I threw down my spork and shoved the rolling table aside. To my amazement, the table shot across the room and slammed into the wall, causing the tray to somersault and splatter the wall. Well, then. There might be harsh questions later, but at least we now had some color in the room.

  Right on the visiting hour dot, there was a deafening crash of metal in the hallway outside my room. Two seconds later, the door flew open, and Mellie Jo thundered through, clutching a bedpan and a hula hoop. She slammed the door, looked for a lock but sighed when she couldn’t see one, then turned to me. “Where can I hide these?”

  “Mellie Jo, I am NOT helping you with whatever you’re doing and I-”

  “Fine. I’ll find somewhere.” She dashed into the tiny bathroom and slammed the door. From the sounds of it, she then began to remove the toilet using an axe.

  The main door opened again, and Mom waltzed in, wearing a smock with a startling farm-animal print of some kind, and holding the hand of Little Sahara, who was holding the limb of Jenna the Stick. Mom dragged my two youngest sisters to the side of the bed, where she leaned over and kissed my head. “You’re finally awake!”

  “Mother, WHY am I here? What’s going on?”

  Mellie Jo kicked the bathroom door open. “Because you’re a nut job, you whackhead.” Then she turned to Mom. “By the way, I don’t care what that nun says, I was NOT in the East Wing five minutes ago.”

  Mom smiled nervously. “Mellie Jo, we don’t need to talk like that.”

  Mellie scoffed. “Like what? Crazy girl over there needs HELP. Can I have some money for the candy machine?”

  This was very perplexing. “Mom, why is Mellie Jo saying that? What happened? Do people think I’m crazy? And why don’t I remember any of this? How did I get here? And why would you put me in place where all the people are wrinkled and ugly?”

  Mom sighed, then patted my head. “People don’t think you’re crazy, Poodle. You just had… an episode. And then there was that coma business. And, well, we’re just trying to make you better.”

  “Episode? But what did I DO?”

  Little Sahara stepped forward, tugging on my sleeve that was not strapped to the back of my jacket. She held up the Jenna Stick, and cleared her throat. This meant that she was about to act out something for us, a coping mechanism we learned that she had during the counseling sessions after the incident with the tricycle.

  She pointed at me and then at the stick. (Okay, I’m the stick. Got it.) She pretended to put something on the lips of the stick. (Lip gloss. Keep going.) Then she hurled the imaginary lip gloss to the floor. (Something ran a slight bell in the back of my mind.) Then Little Sahara began waving the stick around, making sobbing sounds. (Emotional trauma of some kind.) Then she pointed at Mom and screamed. (This was getting odd.) Then she threw the stick against the wall with all her might.

  What in the world…

  There was a knock at the door.

  “Come in!” bellowed Mellie Jo, as she walked over and kicked the Jenna stick under my bed. Little Sahara squealed and dove after it.

  The door opened and in walked a man who was not wearing a nun outfit, so this already looked more promising than the mean little hags from earlier. He was carrying a clipboard, which obviously meant he was a physician of some kind.

  “Hello,” he said, in a pleasant and soothing manner. “I’m Dr. Brian. What Little Sahara is trying to say is that you suffered a severe neurological breakdown when your mother wouldn’t allow you to have a funeral for your deceased Starlight Sensations Lip Gloss. And I’m here to help you with that.”

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Live Blog #1 - And So It Begins…

Okay, folks, we’re trying a new experiment. I thought it might be fun to “blog live” while joining my friends for a few drinks. For this particular piece of performance art, we are gathering at Tierney’s, a bar and grill in Lewisville, Texas. I’m going to keep a running timeline of the mayhem. This has “failblog” written all over it, because it’s probably going to be messy, but here we go.

Names have been changed to prevent social outcasting and/or the issuance of restraining orders…

3:50  I pull into the parking lot. There are no other cars in sight. What’s that all about? Well, at least I should be able to back into a parking slot without killing anyone. Normally, I would never attempt this if there were living beings within a 500-foot radius. Three tries later, I finally manage to park decently enough that drunk people won’t care.

3:57  I study a large, dangerous pothole in the middle of the parking lot. There’s a flag sticking out of the middle of it, one of those wiry things they use to mark off underground utility lines. I stare at it for a while, wondering if they are serious with this primitive warning device. Are people really going to see that? Especially me a few hours from now?

4:05 Where are my peeps? I drove all the way from the other side of the metroplex, through tons of traffic and hordes of idiots. My peeps live just down the street and they are nowhere in sight.

4:07  Apiphany and Blinda roll up. It’s nice to see them, but it’s very hot outside and the AC in the car has FINALLY reached a reasonable temperature. I contemplate just driving home. I have beer there, and it’s quiet.

4:09  I load all my blogging gear, shoving things in my pockets and such. I feel very hip and assume that people will be jealous of my professionalism as I head toward the door. Right then, I trip over nothing in the parking lot and nearly meet Jesus.

4:11  We are the only people here. The few staff people come running up, full of worship for Apiphany and Blinda. They are here all the time and everybody knows them. They are complete drunks.

4:15  We order draft beers because they’re cheap and electric bills are high.

4:18  I reach into my pocket, digging for one of my netbook accessories, and somehow manage to cut my thumb on something in there. Great. We’ve been here 15 minutes and I’m bleeding. I try to get Apiphany to pay attention and help me, but she’s already flirting with anything that will move and trying to take pictures of things that don’t make sense. Finally, she grabs some silverware from somewhere, rips the paper napkin off of it, and throws it in my direction.

4:20  Delta Jo arrives. Hurray! She hardly ever shows up. (We’re not sure if it’s because she secretly hates us, doesn’t find drinking in public to be of interest, or just has an aversion to other people drinking in public who have lost all motor skills and couth.) Delta Jo hasn’t had anything to drink for months. She immediately orders Jack Daniels straight. This should be fun.

4:33  Apiphany, Blinda and Delta Jo have been babbling non-stop, having a tremendous amount of fun dissecting various acquaintances and making fun of people who live in Odessa, Texas, because it’s easy to do and you don’t have to dig very far to find something to ridicule. I can’t really join in the conversation, because I’m trying to do this live blog thing, as well as keep blood off the keyboard. Starting to rethink the wisdom of this experiment, because it’s also cutting into my drinking. We need an adjustment.

4:37  Delta Jo is whining about searching for the perfect pod in Florida. I have no idea.

4:39  We are still the only people in this establishment. Have the emergency authorities already alerted the population to stay off the streets while we’re in town?

4:40  Delta Jo just said “I’m effectively banished from the house” as part of some story she’s sharing. This post might just become “Odd Quotes from Delta Jo”.

4:42  Why are they showing golf on all the TV’s? Oh my God, is this a Sports Bar? This could ruin me socially, especially if a Gay Pride parade marches by outside, and that could happen at any time around here. Is there a back door to this place?

4:46  Our server, Suctionetta,  is clearly gay, meaning this place has rainbow approval. Social devastation has been avoided. Suctionetta is quite impressive with his extraordinary serving artistry. You barely wipe the foam off your lips and another beer is plunked  before you.

4:47  Apiphany: “My eyes are so bad, I can’t read my tess messages.” Already with the slurring? She’s only had one beer. It’s going to be a long night.

4:48  Delta Jo is showing us pictures of her friend that keeps electric eels in a tank. Perhaps this is why she stopped drinking for a while.

4:50  Apiphany: “Answer the question. What kind of fish is Dory?”

4:50  Blinda: “She’s an Ellen fish.”

4:50  Now accepting applications for new friends.

4:54  The girls are now talking about jewelry. This does not interest me in any way. This is a perfect opportunity to visit the facilities, since I’ve already had two drafts, and something tells me we’ll soon be in the double digits. If I have any chance of surviving the night, I’d better keep things flowing.

4:58  Well, then. Apparently there is something amiss with the automatic paper-towel dispenser in the restroom. It kept beeping and dispensing the entire time I was in there, even when I tried to hold perfectly still. By the time I had completed my duties, there was a wad of rolled-up paper on the floor that could be used as a weapon. I frantically shoved the whole mess in the trash can like the IRS was coming for my receipts.

5:00  Delta Jo: “I have to go home and clean out underneath my sink.” Okay. Do what you need to do. But I guess she doesn’t intend to do that right NOW, because she suddenly races off to join Apiphany at the jukebox. They start playing songs that I don’t know. This is where I fall into the cultural void.

5:03  Someone else finally wanders in, but she sits way at the other end of the bar, hiding behind one of the pretend gambling machines. That settles it. The word is officially out. This town is in some type of lock-down until we have been properly confined.

5:06  Delta Jo, returning from the restroom,  has an issue with a step that really isn’t there.

5:07  One of the female servers has a really rough voice. Can you say Marlboro? Or possibly late night domestic situations where there’s lots of yelling and people from Child Protective Services have to make decisions about paternity and custody. Just guessing.

5:12  One of the servers (these people really LOVE Apiphany and Blinda) just brought us a sample of bubble-gum flavored vodka. Never knew such a thing existed. After tasting it, perhaps I should have remained in ignorance and denial. Just say no.

5:15  Blinda has ordered nachos. Yet another server wanders up with plates. Everyone else gets a porcelain plate. Mine is plastic. If I really ponder this, I could probably detect a conspiracy with profound implications.

5:19  Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” is playing on the jukebox. I’m expecting the servers to get out their lighters, but this doesn’t immediately happen.

5:25  Delta Jo is singing in French while eating nachos.

5:47  People disappeared for a while. Something about the jukebox. I just kept eating nachos and working on my blogs. People stared at me, because the concept of literary endeavors in a bar and grill is just not something you see every day. I feel slightly popular. Then I realize that there is greasy cheese on my chin and a bloody napkin on the table. Nope, they’re not gazing at the writer in admiration, they’re staring in horror at the messy pig with hemophilia.

5:49  Delta Jo suddenly decided to compliment one of my blog stories. But then she called it “Willage of the Damned”, and the luster faded quickly. Am I ever going to get any serious validation?

5:57  The table is now discussing shopping at huge outlet malls where your humanity is sucked out of you while rude people fight over designer jock straps. For some reason, this inspires me to order appetizers of fried pickles and chicken strips.

5:59  Lolo and Wild Jenno arrive. We have now officially become a group where the tip will be automatically added to the bill. Service could become risky, the staff no longer has to angle for a healthy cut of the tab, and it’s every man or woman for himself.

6:08  Delta Jo: “How do you find the balls?”

6:08  Cleary, I haven’t been paying attention to the conversation, because this startles me, but I’m afraid to learn any more. I listen briefly, and apparently the balls in question glow in the dark. I immediately make a life choice to avoid any more information.

6:19  Delta Jo: “Resveritrol Defiency.”

6:20  I question her, because I’m not sure if she’s speaking Vulcan or what. Delta Jo swears that this is a real thing that happens to real people, and she is suffering from it. Since this is not directly about me, I just let it go.

6:25  Wild Jenno is wailing about somebody named Jeff. Or Jim. Or maybe Jack. It’s really not clear, but this male person did something that was not appreciated.

6:26  Delta Jo: “Flourish!”

6:26  Now wondering if I should devote an entire website to random babblings from Delta Jo. Surely people will pay tremendous amounts of money to peruse this while they sit in their lonely houses, stroking one of their 17 cats and continuing to deny that they have interaction issues.

6:29  Delta Jo: “He’s not green, but he’s puce.”

6:29  See what I mean?

6:40  Blinda:  “Todd has become porkless.”

6:40 Okay, we might suddenly have a diva catfight over who can spew the strangest crap.

6:41  Lolo: “Cook it for an hour until it’s crisp.”

6:41  I think I’ve lost all control. Can my fingers move fast enough to capture all this?

6:42  Delta Jo:  “You skewer it and you do what with it?”

6:43  Apiphany, returning from the facilities: “I hate when you sit on the toilet and it slides around and you bang into things. That’s why I have bruises on my ass.”

6:44  Flamboyant server: “Salt on the rim?”

6:48  Delta Jo: “I picked TODAY to wear a skirt?”

6:49 Things are getting completely wacky, and we haven’t even been here three hours. I make an announcement that I need to leave by eight o’clock. The rest of the table looks at me like I’m speaking Swahili. It’s still daylight. What is this talk about leaving?

6:52 An odd sound erupts from the direction of the kitchen, a startling noise that can only indicate the discovery of a body in the margarita machine. Then more nachos arrive and we no longer care about the fate of the kitchen staff. We’ve got our food.

6:53  Me: “I don’t thing ‘naïve’ is the word. I think ‘don’t care’ is a better fit.”

6:53  Thank God I finally got something in, hopefully disproving the rumor that my friends are much more interesting than I am.

6:55  Who is this bald guy who just walked up to the table and is scrunching his face while he spits out the word “karaoke”?

7:00  Delta Jo is sharing an experience wherein she watched a special on PBS and had an epiphany about how people interpret music. I’m thinking the earth didn’t really move under her feet, but perhaps the Jack Daniels did.

7:02  Apiphany:  “Everything I know I learned from movies.”

7:06  Delta Jo: “I don’t know what the name of it was, but it was some big set for an opera.”

7:09  Lolo:  “But when you see it, the dancing is incredible.”

7:10  Everyone is sharing saltine crackers. No explanation is given. I decline.

7:34  Apiphany: “Have you seen ‘American Psycho’?”

7:37  Blinda:  “Isn’t the queso supposed to be green?”

7:37  Where the hell did SHE grow up? Was there a lot of spoilage in her youth?

7:46  Blinda:  “We can NOT mix the sweet potato fries with the salsa chips!”

7:48  Somebody at the bar is yelling at Apiphany. There’s some type of issue with the condition of the empty beer glasses that were just retrieved from our table.

7:49  Delta Jo: “I’ll give them a dollar to shut the hell up.”

7:51  Apiphany:  “Did it just get ugly in here?”

7:52  Delta Jo pontificates on exactly what is and is not considered appropriate behavior when it comes to wait staff attending to their customers. The Lord’s name is used in vain, and something is slammed.

7:53  Probably enabled by the alcohol, I briefly burst into tears of fear. Unlike the 80’s musical group with a similar name, I do not immediately produce a hit single or pose for publicity photographs. But I do order another round.

8:01  Delta Jo, pondering the current musical selection from the jukebox:  “This is the same song they were playing in ‘Silence of the Lambs’.”

8:02  What? Why would she know the soundtrack for that movie?

8:05  Apiphany: “I’ve been a bad girl in this bar before.”

8:06  Brian:  “She’s going after that chicken wing like it’s CSI.”

8:07  Apiphany:  “It’s so hot in here.”

8:09  Delta Jo:  “Oh dear GOD what is that on the jukebox?”

8:09  Apiphany:  “I thought you liked them?”

8:09  Delta Jo:  “I like ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, not everything they’ve ever done. What is wrong with you?”

8:11  Apiphany: “I’m sorry, were you talking to me?”

8:14  Blinda, sensing that Apiphany is getting more attention, whips out her lipstick and proceeds to apply it for at least twenty minutes.

8:15  Apiphany, sensing that Blinda is trying to get more attention, makes fun of the size of the compact mirror that Blinda is using, asking her if she gets the signal for ‘True Blood’ on that thing.”

8:17  Lolo:  “You have to comb it just right.”

8:18  Wild Jenno:  “I can French braid my own hair!”

8:22  People are using their phones to take pictures of  Wild Jenno’s braiding technique. This is a sign of the Apocalypse.

8:31 Suctionetta comes over, quizzing Apiphany about whether or not he’s going to appear in the blog. This is very important to him.

8:32  Suctionetta, determined to at least have one shout-out in the live blog, suddenly arrives sporting a new outfit. Clearly, Lady Gaga must be hiding in the kitchen and the two of them have had a fashion consultation. Suctionetta performs a nice dance routine as he buses the table, including several high kicks while swapping out the ashtrays.

8:39  Why is it that people in the bathroom can’t flush? WHY?

8:41  Delta Jo makes agonizing noises of pain as she watches the golfers on TV. I had no idea  this was something she was invested in.

8:42  I don’t recall ordering the catfish that is sitting on a plate in front of me. Am I at the right table?

8:43  Three people suddenly burst into loud, raucous laughter, something gets knocked over, and a chair is nearly broken. Yep, this is the right table.

8:44  Blinda:  “Harold is setting up outside.”

8:45  Me:  “Who the hell is Harold? What is this development and why do we care?”

8:56  Everyone else at the table decides that we’re going out on the patio to hear this Harold person sing. In case I don’t survive the sudden migration, I am posting this as my last words so that the police can investigate my final whereabouts:  We’re headed to the patio. Help me….



11:13  Where’s my car?

11:14  What the hell does that pink flag mean over there?

11:15  Are we still in Texas?

End Trans.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 5

5. Lip Gloss can be used as a negotiating tool.

  I turned away from the window and faced Chandra again, sighing. “I suppose we should go out there and make sure they’re still alive and all. Mom might not let me go skating if anything happens.”

  Chandra agreed. “ You’re right. But don’t think this means that I don’t get to hold your lip gloss. I still get to do that, especially if I help you look for little people. Let’s go.”

  We gathered our things so that we could traipse back outside, causing Lenore, the Dairy Queen waitress, to glare at us as she was heading our way with the glasses of water that nobody drinks. She wasn’t happy, but it wasn’t really my fault. I can’t help it if I have little sisters that can’t stay in one place or understand that my priorities are not the same as theirs. Nobody asked for MY opinion when somebody decided to risk playing slap and tickle back in the day and suddenly we had more tax exemptions running around in diapers.

  Chandra and I stepped out into the sunlight, waved to some fans down the street, and then glanced around the parking lot. Nothing. No sign of urchins or their slimy little trails. This was really a lot of work, tracking people down, and I didn’t understand why people would want to do this for a living.

  Suddenly, something bounced off the back of my head and fell to the pavement. Greatly irritated, even though I should be used to objects flying through the air after all the parades that I’ve been in, I still managed to whip around in a gracious twirl to study what was now lying on the ground.

  It was a maraschino cherry, stem intact. As in banana split, with whip cream, that kind of cherry. Had there been an explosion in the Dairy Queen kitchen?

  Then a familiar voice rang out. “I’m up HERE, you twit.”

  I glanced skyward, and spied Mellie Jo on the red roof of the building, one hand clutching a glass jar of cherries and the other shoving Little Sahara away from the edge.

  I really didn’t have time for this. “What are you DOING up there?”

  “I’m going to JUMP!” squealed Mellie Jo, then she plucked out another cherry and threw it at a passing car.

  “Fine,” I said, and headed toward the Dairy Queen door. THIS was exactly why I didn’t sign the authorization forms for additional siblings.

  Chandra yelled after me. “Wait! Are you just going to leave them up there?” I could tell by the tone of her voice that even though she was slightly shocked, she was also slightly intrigued and possibly jealous. Perhaps she could learn to have the same attitude toward her own sister. This could be promising.

  I turned back to Chandra. “Look, if she wants to jump, she can jump. I’m thinking it could solve a whole lot of issues. And it’s not like I pushed her.”

  Chandra pondered this. “But will your Mom still let you go skating? You can’t miss this one! Thad Daniels is going to be there, and Missy Baxley said he got a new haircut.”

  Oh, right, we’re back to the skating thing again. I sighed once more. Yep, I would have to get the heathens off the roof before I had any chance of getting to do a couples skate with Thad and his feathered hair. Maybe I could get this over with quickly. I looked up at Mellie Jo. “Come on down, Mellie. I’ll buy you a snow cone, you look really pretty today, and I won’t tell Mom what you did with the leftover meatloaf.”

  Mellie Jo was un-swayed. “Don’t try that ‘After-School Special’ crap on me. I know what you’re doing, I get to watch TV, too. When I’m not grounded.”

  I quickly lost my patience, having no time for untrained underlings who failed to realize my importance. “Mellie Jo, why are you so MEAN? Get down here.”

  Mellie Jo threw a handful of cherries at an elderly lady who was wheeling along an oxygen tank as she slowly exited Patti’s Potpourri. “I am NOT mean. I’m just not nice, and I don’t understand why people can’t just give me what I want. It would be so much easier.”

  Well, she had a point there. “What do you want NOW?’

  Mellie Jo wiped her sticky hand on her little frock with the pencil design. (Apparently Mom had gotten a really good deal on a bolt of this frightening material, and we all had examples of evil pencil outfits amongst our couture. Mom was handy with a needle, but she looked the other way when fashion knocked on the door.)

  Mellie Jo presented her demand: “I want your new glitter lip gloss.”

  Sorry. She would just have to leap to her death before that happened. I headed toward the Dairy Queen door once more.

  Chandra hissed at me, tentatively practicing her newly-desired skill to be more forceful and not be so sweet all the time because then you ended up in unhappy marriages. “Get back over here and give her the damn lip gloss so we can just go back inside where it’s cooler and we can talk about boys. I’m tired of being moist. Do it!”

  This startled me. Chandra was learning too quickly for my satisfaction, and we couldn’t let her get better at it than me. I would have to crush her at some point. But that would have to wait for another time, there was simply too much going on today.

  I looked up at Mellie Jo again. “Okay, I’ll let you hold it for a minute. But you have to come down first.”

  Mellie Jo didn’t budge. “No. You have to GIVE it to me to KEEP. And you have to GIVE it to me before I come down. Throw it up here.”

  I was aghast. Throw my pretty pink pouch through the air? Surely she was insane.

  Chandra hissed again. “DO IT! Do it right now or I’ll tell Thad Daniels that you kiss his picture in the yearbook!”

  I whipped the lip gloss out of the pouch and hurled it all Mellie Jo with all my might. Maybe it would hit her in the face and this whole mess would be over after some temporary blindness and tears.

  The tube tumbled through the air, reflecting the sunlight in pretty rainbow waves that filled the sky and made me look even more stunning. Mellie Jo reached up with her cherry-stained fingers, and the tube sailed right past her, bouncing off Little Sahara’s head, then skittering down the incline of the roof. Before I could even catch my breath the tube disappeared over the edge.

  There was stunned silence as we awaited the final fate of the Starlight Sensations Glitter Lip Gloss.

  It came in the form of a horrifying splatter noise of glass and liquid somewhere in the alley on the side of the building.

  I dropped to my knees on the steamy pavement, a wrenching wail of outrage and dismay bursting out of my darling little lungs...

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Searching For Signal: #131 - “True Blood” - Season 3, Episode 2

We hit the ground running, with Bill in the midst of the mean ole werewolves that can’t just leave people alone and let them walk around in the dark. Bill goes all vamp on them, and naturally the wolfies get the bad end of the stick, some of them dying and all. Interestingly enough, this altercation causes the werewolves to transition back to naked men, which could have been mildly intriguing if they weren’t in pieces all over the place.

Suddenly, this guy, dressed in what I guess you would call fox-hunting gear, rides up on a white horse. Bill gets all squirmy and calls him “Your Majesty.” Really? So we have yet another member in the complex web of vampire royalty that we need to keep track of, and I’m not sure that I have the strength. I don’t catch his name, so we’ll just call him Captain.

Captain is not really impressed with one of the surviving werewolves, whose name is Cooter. (THAT alone is worth a blog entry.) Captain is not pleased with how the hillbilly werewolves have treated Bill. “You DRANK from my guest?” (How does someone who has been kidnapped from a fancy French restaurant become a “guest”?)

Then Captain invites/orders Bill to “join me at my home”, and they both ride the white horse off into the moonset.

Opening credits roll. More shots of toothless poor people and bare breasts.

Cut to Tara still locked in the bathroom, grabbing and swallowing every pill she can find. Lafayette, in his Gloria Swanson headdress, bangs on the door for a while to heighten the tension, then finally breaks in and makes Tara throw up in the toilet, because that’s attractive to watch. Crazy Tara Momma wanders in and starts spouting religious things, so Laff bitch-slaps her out of the way. “You have failed this girl for the last time.” Then he snatches up Tara and they race out of the house.

Now we have Sookie and Jessica at Fangoria, where they are babbling to Eric about the “Nazi werewolf symbol” they found on the dead guy in Bill’s car. Eric wants to say something, but not with Jessica in the room, possibly because she has red hair. (Pam to Jessica: “Let’s go in the ladies’ room and stare at ourselves in the mirror.”) Once they shuffle off, Eric gives Sookie a quick history lesson on vampires, then claims he doesn’t know anything about this new batch. Of course we know he’s lying.

Quick scene in the ladies’ room, where Jessica is grilling a very bored Pam, trying to get tips on vampire feeding and what to do with the dead bodies. Poor Jessica. Home-schooling is not always what it’s cracked up to be, especially when there hasn’t been a single class.

Back to Sookie and Eric in the main Fangoria room, with Sookie all trembly and saying things like “Bill’s out there!” and “He’s everything to me.” Eric is not especially impressed with this, since he really wants Bill out of the way so he can have him some Sookie Pie. But then Sookie starts crying, which causes Eric to sigh as well as have a flashback.

It’s somewhere in Germany, 1945. We’re in the middle of some war battle, and the set piece is some farmhouse. While some soldier type is banging around looking for people, I keep thinking this farmhouse looks just like the farmhouse in a pivotal episode of “Harsh Realm”, an intriguing series that was quickly cancelled because it was too smart. That’s probably not the point. Anyway, this naked woman in a closet suddenly turns into a werewolf.

This causes Eric and the still-alive but technically kinda dead Godric to teleport in, using some vampire form of travel that has yet to be discussed. They attack the werewolf chick until she transitions back to her naked self and quivers against a wall, where we see that she is sporting that Nazi werewolf symbol. This is getting deep.

Cut to Captain and Tenille, I mean Bill, arriving at a very nice mansion where they probably have servants. Once they enter, some queen named Talbot makes a grand entrance on a curving staircase. They quickly whisk Bill up to some room that has been prepared for him, with Talbot telling Captain that the “business talk” can come later. What the hell? It’s like “Gone with the Wind”, only not at all.

Tara and Lafayette are in his car, racing to the hospital, when Tara makes him pull over. She can’t go to the hospital, because people are going to ask questions, and she’ll have to talk about Mary Ann and entire towns having orgies on the lanai. This is not going to get her any sanity points. Laff is all supportive, and it’s very tender. Then he tells her there’s “something you need to see”. Did the new “Dream Girls” soundtrack come in?

Sookie and Jessica arrive on Bill’s porch, and we see Hoyt huddled in the background. (Sookie to Jessica: “Be gentle.” Then she runs away for a costume change.) Hoyt is his normal sweet self. “We can fight our natures together.” But Jessica is still troubled about this vampire in love with a human thing, probably because she hasn’t seen “The Jeffersons” where it was made perfectly clear that interracial marriages were just fine. She runs in the house and slams the door. Hoyt cries and then kicks the stupid door. Jessica runs to the cellar and sleeps with the ripe body that is still there. The things we do for love.

Sookie arrives at her house, where she proceeds to kick Jason in the groin until she realizes who he is. Then they start cleaning the house while she babbles about Bill, doing a spot-on imitation of him saying her name. I’m going to assume that she picked up this skill because she’s married to Bill in real life, and there has been plenty of time to practice.

Sam is in his car, innocently taking a nap, when a shotgun is suddenly shoved in the window. The rude interloper is Tommy, and he makes Sam stumble into his trashy house, where we get to meet his nasty parents, who are sweaty and wearing night-night clothes, and also happen to be SAM’s parents. Heyyy. It’s a mother and child reunion.

Sookie, in her ugly yellow car, arrives at Merlotte’s, ready for her next shift, but she happens to spy an odd person standing in the woods. (An odd person in this town? Go figure.) The man thing utters “let’s make a deal”, but something tells me Sookie is not going to win a prize if she has a paperclip in her purse. Terry comes wandering up, because it’s only fair that he gets to be in scenes too, and they race off into the woods after the man thing decides that he would rather be somewhere else.

As they tramp through the swamp forest, Terry spies a footprint in the dirt and announces “Motorcycle boot. Size 10.” Has he been watching “CSI”? Then the tracks just suddenly stop, which causes Sookie to break down and tell Terry all about werewolves. Terry’s been working at Merlotte’s for a while, so he completely believes her.

Lafayette and Tara arrive at some mental institution, which causes Tara to get very dramatic and claim that people can’t commit her against her will. Laff tells her to shut the hell up, and then they meet the real reason for the visit, which turns out to be Laff’s insane mother. (Did anybody in this place have a happy childhood? And is that Alfre Woodard playing Laff Momma?) She mean, talking about God killing everybody.

Quick scene with Deputy Andy giving a press conference for no apparent reason, but he quickly runs off the stage when Jason shows up, leaving the Sheriff from Newhart to take over. Jason in a hushed sidebar scene with Andy: “We gotta make it right about Eggs!” (And no, this is not about some type of poultry abuse.)

Back over to Merlotte’s, where Sookie is explaining to Terry that he can’t say anything about the werewolf they spotted and lost. “It’s my one shot to find Bill.” Arlene parades through during the conversation, being really bitchy and rude. Once she’s gone, Terry hands Sookie a gun, because weapons are always a good thing with over-excited people. “I’d miss you if you got killed.” Aww. Backwoods sentimental expressions are so CUTE.

Once more to the trashy home in Magnolia, Arkansas, where people only wear limp underwear and abandonment is a central theme, as Sam listens to his Momma explain what happened. We have a long scene involving adoption decisions and bitterness, as well as disappointment over people not explaining the concept of “shifting”.

Over to the mental place (this is getting really busy) where we learn that Lafayette is working two jobs (plus that drug-dispensing bit) to pay for his momma to have a nice place to sit while she has delusions. Laff to Tara: “We can SURVIVE this.” Aww, Part 2. But really, girl, get rid of that nappy headdress.

Cut to Sam and his newfound brother Tommy pretending to work on a car in the yard of his sweaty parents house, trying to one-up one another on who had the worse life. For no apparent reason, they decide to transition to their animal selves and “go for a run”. Because this is “True Blood”, this means that they have to rip off their clothes first. We get a glimpse of the brother’s back, where he has a scar or a tattoo or something that matches the Nazi werewolf symbol. Oh?

Quick scene with Jessica on the phone, arranging to rent a chainsaw while she sprays Lysol all over Bill’s now-smelly house, what with the decaying body in the crappy basement. She then steals some cash out of her victim’s wallet, because really, he doesn’t need that now, right? There are so many moral decisions when you’re undead.

Back over to the Captain’s foo-foo house where they have tons of servants who seem very dissatisfied and have large teeth. The Captain is explaining to Bill that he wants to make Bill a sheriff over one of the districts. Because I don’t really understand the vampire hierarchy, I’m not sure what this means, but Bill does not seem to be impressed. Probably because that irritating queen Talbot is still fluttering about, and that would distract anybody. Oh, and the Captain wants to marry Bill’s vampire queen.

These people are just too busy.

Merlotte’s again, where the bar crowd is watching Andy on TV doing that press conference thing. They seem appreciative and clap in that “we love everybody” way that happens when rounds of shots are ordered. Jason, obviously not someone who would turn down one of those shots, hunkers down with Andy in a booth. Jason really, really, really wants to tell the truth about what happened to Eggs. Andy tries to change the subject by telling Jason that he is “prettier than most girls”. No idea where this is going.

Now we have Sam and his new, possibly suspect brother, running along as doggies and enjoying the open air while banjo music plays, because who doesn’t think “backwoods” without also thinking “banjo” or “fried intestines”? As they cross a road, a truck zips out of nowhere and almost kills them, with Sam transitioning back to his naked human self while his brother turns into a bird and flies off to find a Native American who can cry because people litter. This is really getting deep.

Next, I think we’re at Bill’s house, but I’m not completely certain. We see somebody’s cowboy boots scuffling along, then this person enters what looks like a home office, and he/she proceeds to rifle through things. We see a Stackhouse family tree, with Sookie’s name circled in an alarming way, as well as pictures of Sookie. Gee, do you think somebody’s stalking Sookie?

Cut to Sookie’s house, where she’s holding a gun, because she’s so stable. Eric arrives, not looking as pale as he usually does, so you know something’s up. He tells Sookie that he lied to her, then he has another flashback to that Germany thing. He and Godric are torturing the odd, naked woman who is not being cooperative but clearly has bouncing breasts. When quizzed, Dolly Parton tells the two that her master is “one of them”. Really?

Back to Sookie’s house, where she and Eric are still on the porch and pretending that one of them doesn’t have sexual desires. Eric explains that the Nazi werewolf sign is actually a Runic symbol (which I suppose should mean something to me) and that “these are not ordinary werewolves”. (Explain to me the concept of “ordinary” when it comes to werewolves. Can I buy a vowel?) Eric: “Invite me in for protection. And maybe some beasty sex.” Sookie: “I’m still Bill’s”.

Again with the Captain’s foo-foo masnsion, where Talbot the queen is being chastised by the Captain for not regulating his speech. (“We don’t need to say everything we think.”) The Captain is explaining to Bill that he is being wasted in Bon Temps, that he really needs to be a sheriff. Bill: “I’m not the vampire you are looking for.” This response does not please the Captain, so he threatens Sookie’s life. Bill, equally dissatisfied, takes offense. Fangs are bared, and Talbot becomes aware that perhaps there will be no need for the dessert course.

Over to Merlotte’s, where Tara and Lafayette show up because Laff needs to work so he can pay for Crazy Momma’s bed and breakfast. We switch to a very-pale Arleen emerging from the bathroom, with a concerned Terry making inquiries. “Are you sick?” Arlene lies that she is not, so Terry whips out a piece of paper and proceeds to discourse on the subject of “10 Reasons Why You Can Trust Me with Your Kids.”

Meanwhile, a strange man comes in and sits at the bar. Tara is sitting there all depressed and sad, so he starts talking to her because she looks like a barrel of laughs. We learn that he’s a vampire (on THIS show?) and he’s not necessarily a friend of Bill’s, but it’s kind of vague. What IS clear is that he’s wearing the cowboy boots we saw scootin through Bill’s house, marking him as a person you can’t trust with the silverware.

Speaking of Bill’s house, Jessica returns from wherever you rent chainsaws around here, lugging one with her. She opens the door to the nasty cellar, and she’s startled to discover that the body is gone. Poor girl, it’s just not her century.

Cut to Andy shoving a very drunk Jason into his squad car so he can take him some place to pass out. A call comes over the radio about some meth-lab bust that is going down, because this town doesn’t already have enough to worry about. Andy decides to drag Jason along when he responds. After all, what fun is a drug bust if somebody’s not drunk?

They arrive at the scene, and Officer Kenya (I think I called her Kendra in the last review, my bad) is not pleased with the impromptu deputizing of Jason. They make Jason stay in the car, because he’s cuter than they are, and they go off to smash test tubes and such. Jason gets bored, so he decides to stare off into the woods, where he spots a waif-like girl just standing there while her hair blows around even though there’s not any wind anywhere else.

This intrigues Jason, so he runs off to make friends with the forest creature. She doesn’t have anything to say, though, maybe because her hair keeps getting in her mouth. Suddenly, one of the bad guys breaks lose from the exciting meth-bust activities and runs toward Jason and Helen Keller. Jason, his high-school football instincts kicking in, tackles the bad guy to the ground. Has Jason found a new career, or does he just not like people who run in the dark?

Merlotte’s again, where sad Tara is sitting outside and swigging from a bottle of Wild Turkey, because people are always forgetting that alcohol is a depressant. Suddenly, two racist rednecks stumble out of the bar and start saying racist redneck things, then one of them, um, defiles the spot where Eggs died. Tara goes ballistic and tosses aside the bottle of Wild Turkey so she can kick some racist butt.

Of course, she only weighs 43 pounds, so she’s not really getting her point across at first. Then the mystery vampire with the Sookie-seeking cowboy boots shows up, and he helpfully holds one of the very-surprised rednecks while Tara wails away on him, showing impressive boxing skills that we didn’t know she had but always suspected.

Back to the foo-foo Captain house once again, where the discussion is getting a little boring because how many times can the Captain tell Bill he should be a sheriff? Thankfully, the monotony is broken by Lorena showing up in her own horse-riding outfit. (There must be a lot of foxes to hunt on this estate.) This inspires Bill to pick up an oil lamp and throw it at her with pleasing accuracy. She bursts into flames and starts screaming really loud, probably mad because she didn’t even get to try the pecan pie.

Sookie’s house, where she and Eric are still on the front porch, with him bartering to get invited inside so they can either play backgammon or have monkey sex, his real agenda is still not clear. Suddenly, Eric senses something coming and insists that Sookie invite him in RIGHT NOW. She does, there’s some shadowy scuffling, and next thing you know a werewolf is racing toward Sookie. She calmly whips out Terry’s gun and shoots.

Credits roll.

Then, to make sure that we remain confused and mystified, the episode is followed by a music video where Snoop Dogg is rapping a love song about Sookie. Not kidding. Happily, we had recorded this on the DVR, and it cuts off just as Snoop is really getting lusty about his intentions toward Sookie.

What the HELL?