Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #14

Note: Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...

Dear Brian,

As you know it is very hot outside and I need advice on how to find comfort. I tried less clothing, but sometimes people and places frown on the clothing is optional theory.


Dear Mars,

Yes, indeed, the temperature outside has become almost intolerably high. And has been proven by many profound studies, such intense heat can cause even the most law-abiding citizen to suddenly snap and beat the Avon Lady to death just because she is wearing yellow shoes.

So I commend you on attempting to find reasonable ways to keep cool and avoid any heat-induced activity that may lead to embarrassment and/or incarceration. It’s always encouraging to see considerate people such as yourself actually taking steps to keep themselves mentally healthy, rather than continuing to do the stupid things that lead them to psychiatric wards.

And although it is true that one shouldn’t “let it all hang out” in most public arenas and retail establishments, the situation is not quite as restrictive as you might think. For the nudist-in-the-know, there are actually quite a few available options to satisfy your need to be free and natural.

I am quite happy to provide the following list to you, as you seem quite grounded and realistic, and nearly always make regular payments on your account with us. (One of the surest signs of mental health there can be.) However, in accordance with a court ruling in a situation that has nothing to do with you, I must insert the following text into any client reading where nudity is mentioned:

I hereby affirm that in no way, shape or form am I suggesting that this client remove an article of clothing as a directed therapeutic action, nor am I advising that the liberation should be staged in a crowded supermarket without fair warning to patrons, nor am I suggesting that any of the above take place in front of several members of the Broken Arrow First Baptist Church as they purchase fresh produce in order to prepare a celebratory meal for the Lord. And I humbly apologize once again to the fine family business known as Piggly Wiggly of America, LTD.

Okay, then. No need for alarm. Just a bit of court-ordered reparations. It happens more often than one would think. (And perhaps someday I will fill you in on all the details from the Easter Sunday stripper pole action. It’s really quite an amusing story once you take the jail time out of the picture.)

So, where did we leave off? Ah, yes. I was just about to share with you some quality local organizations where nudity is met with a healthy enthusiasm, if you should choose to visit these establishments of your own free will. In fact, the first on the list also involves a house of worship, although one that is not quite as starchy as the Baptists.

The House of Love and Breezes Sanctuary is located just 20 miles west of here, in a lovely walled compound previously owned by the Methodists until that incident with the misprinted festival pamphlet several years back. (“Harvest Festival Gays” brought in a completely unexpected crowd, words were exchanged among the congregation concerning responsibility, and the wounds never healed.)

Love and Breezes is completely non-denominational , and everyone is encouraged to share in the best facets of all religions. I must say that fellowship in the nude is quite refreshing and comforting once you relax. However, you should be aware that there are certain distinctions.

Passing around the offering basket requires more accuracy and gentleness. Joining hands in prayer requires concentration when reaching blindly to each side. Certain phrases from songs of worship, such as “mine eyes have seen the glory”, can take on the wrong meaning if you don’t remained focused on the true message. And you certainly don’t want to slam shut your hymnal in a moment of rapture.

Let’s see. South of town we have the nudist amusement park, Magic Mountains, which can be a lot of fun with the right attitude. The roller coasters are certainly exciting, especially the one with the double loop. Bumper cars are a hoot, and the merry-go-round sure seems to get everyone in a frisky mood. The fun house is definitely worth a visit, but be prepared for the line to back up as astonished men stare in the mirrors at equipment that for once actually looks like what they’ve been telling everybody they had all these years.

Speaking of, there is a large sign at the entrance cautioning the more amply-endowed male and female visitors to use good judgment when selecting rides. Please follow this advice, and avoid things like the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Himalaya. Those things have a lot of G-force going on, and you don’t want to be responsible for you seatmates going home with a black eye or two.

If you prefer your fun indoors, there’s the I.C.France entertainment complex over by the mall. You can find all sorts of interesting activities in this happy place, all of them clothing-optional. There are many fine restaurants offering a wealth of international cuisine. (Sadly, the Benihana’s was recently forced to close. They were unable to build a client base for some reason.) I would also suggest that you stay away from the sushi palace. Saki-drenched people can be humiliating when they are armed with chopsticks and you innocently walk into a room where the AC is on high.

Nude bowling draws the crowds, though, as well as the nude disco and the nude rock climbing. Interestingly enough, the most popular spot is the La Boinga Bar with nude karaoke on weeknights. Apparently watching pathetic attempts at singing is even more laff-worthy when the performers try emphatic arm choreography whilst naked.

Oh dear, I see that our time is about over. I feel a wee bit guilty in that you did not receive any true counseling during our session, but it goes that way sometimes. As compensation, please accept this free pass to Magic Mountains, including the glow stick parade at midnight. (Shots of tequila are definitely in order before THAT spectacle begins.) Tell them that Dr. Brian did NOT send you.


Dr. B.

P.S. And I’M not one of the men shamed by the fun house mirrors. I’m just repeating local lore. (Oh wait. I think I just broke one of the conditions of another court settlement. Dang. Those rulings can be SO pesky sometimes. Scratch this.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Sara Evans - “Born To Fly”

We start off in the yard of a house, with a pig-tailed and barefoot Sara screwing around on top of a wood fence while various family members and/or homeless people pretend to be doing things behind her. Then we switch to another Sara, much less countrified and sporting a tiny little miniskirt that accents her legs as well as apparently contains a microphone in the zipper so she can start warbling the song.

Well, Fence-Walkin’ Sara can’t be outdone, so she joins in with the lyric bellowing while continuing her gymnastics routine on the fence. Sadly, she must not be a very good multi-tasker, because she soon tumbles off said fence and into the convenient arms of an inbred cousin wearing a hat. And what does that fool girl do? Hops right back on the fence like she don’t have a lick of sense.

Meanwhile, three guys probably named Bubba, Zeke and The Other Bubba are messin’ with the wheel on some old-timey car that ain’t never gonna run again, so I’m not sure what the point is with that. And it seems that Momma might be tryin’ to do the wash on the stoop of the house, but this is proving kinda tough to do, since she ain’t got no soap, water or clothes. Poor thing. Maybe she should go rest a bit and try again later.

A couple of other Sara’s start popping up, wearing cute little outfits and facial expressions. Oh, and messing with their hair. It seems Sara really likes to run her hands through her own coif while wiggling her hips or just standing in the yard, taking her turn on Tumbleweed Watch. She also plays nice with a doggie that looks just like the one in that movie with the tornado, the stupid road that winds around itself, pushy people on brooms, flying monkeys, and singing.

Speaking of The Wizard of Oz, there goes the mean old lady on her ugly bike, haughtily bouncing her way down the dirt road just, just beyond the clusters of hillbillies doing pointless things. The Sara’s don’t care. They just keep warbling and wearing adorable outfits. Then, dad blast it, the old lady marches into the yard demanding that Toto be returned to the slave basket on her bike. No one pays any attention to her at all. (This probably explains how she became the mean old lady.)

Then we have Sara’s parents recreating the famous painting where the country couple stand next to a pitchfork and look stern. No explanation is given for this, so we’ll just assume that people got bored and somebody found some old farming equipment in the prop room. Mayhem ensued.

There’s an odd scene where the Bubba’s seem to be arguing over Fence-Walkin’ Sara, standing around her in a group, arguing and gesturing like they’re trying to figure out how much they can get for her at the cattle auction. Sara don’t mind, smiling away while she sings. When you can get away with wearing pigtails at her age, life is pretty sweet and the potential to be auctioned off isn’t something you should trouble yourself about.

Mean old lady still wants somebody to listen to her concerns, with her latest issue apparently involving a parking ticket, but the clan ain’t up to it. Next thing you know, Old Crabby done snatched up Toto and is making snarling faces like a bad drag queen that really needs to practice more. I guess them folks should have paid more attention to the bitch with the bike, ‘cause now they got a reduction in inventory.

I guess the horror and pain of this abduction causes one of the Sara’s to run into the house and throw herself down on an ugly green couch, where she starts writhing in remorse and devastation. I’m assuming the grieving process in this part of the country also involves lying on your back and thrusting your breasts skyward, because we see some of that.

Now we really start jumping around, with lots of images of the cousin-brothers and uncle-daddies doing some kind of mime routines out there in that dirt yard. This, of course, does not distract Green-Couch Sara, as she remains fully invested in finishing up her aerobics session while sprawled across furniture. She’s a very focused woman, she is.

At 2:29 we get another shot of Crabby Old Meanie, with her shoving a finger at us like an angry, cross-dressing proctologist. No sign of Toto, so there’s no telling what’s happened to him. I’d strongly advise against accepting any covered dishes from this woman after the next town funeral.

Next thing you know, here comes a twister headed toward the farm. As is typical around these parts, folks start pointing at it and running out in the yard for a better gander, instead of high-tailing it to the cellar. (Probably because it always smells like feet down there, and who wants to mess with that?)

Green-Couch Sara stays right where she’s at, because girl got a song to finish and at least 7 more ways she can sprawl on the upholstery. We get a cheesy shot of the house being sucked up by the twister, then we’re back inside as Sara calmly continues her performance whilst relatives and livestock zip by the convenient picture window over her left shoulder.

And we wind things down by jump-cutting around to check on the other Sara’s, including a new one that managed to find a skimpy black top that looks just right when deadly winds are blowing debris and tractors through the air. I’m happy to report that even though Green-Couch Sara rudely took off for parts unknown and left most of her family and her other personalities behind, everyone seems to have survived without too much trauma.

Now, if they would just quit running around like idiots, maybe they can get back out in the fields and bring the harvest in before Sara blows back into town and parks that house in the wrong spot…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Idiot Fondue - Case Study #36

Continued from a previous post. Click Here to read the first session with Bexx, a client annoyed by straight people who are confused that some lesbians fancy intimate toys…

Dr. Brian paused in mid-paragraph of the latest article he was perusing, something about curious dysfunctional behaviors among attendees at Nascar events, or some such, he really wasn’t sure yet, and turned his tired eyes to his office doorway to see who was bothering him now.

Lanae stood in said doorway, not so gracefully licking one of her fingers, her tongue presumably in pursuit of a bit of raspberry filling that had rudely escaped Lanae’s latest pastry treat. Goal achieved, she cleared her throat. “That woman is on the phone again.”

Dr. Brian sighed, removed his reading glasses, placed them in an area of the desk where they were least likely to be destroyed by one of Lanae’s random and spontaneous acts of clumsiness, and cleared his own throat. “Would you mind being more specific? Right now the potentiality pool contains half the population of the entire planet.”

Lanae briefly glanced over her shoulder, perhaps to make sure she wasn’t missing anything more interesting on that insipid soap opera of hers, or possibly listening for the pleading cries of yet another donut that desired consumption, we shall never know, then Lanae faced forward again. “The lesbian, the dildos, the airplane. That woman.”

Dr. Brian was amazed. “Are you referring to Bexx?”

“Yes, it’s Bexx!” squealed Lanae, suddenly showing far more enthusiasm than she ever bothered to muster, so we’ll have to assume a gas bubble was somehow responsible. “I knew it was a name that made me want to get out packing tape and shipping labels. Yes, Bexx is on line one.”

“We only have one line, Lanae. And why didn’t you just ask her name?”

“She didn’t give me time! Before I could say a word, she demanded to speak to you and then put me on hold. I must say, she’s not really my favorite person.”

“Very well, then, I’ll take the call.”

Lanae paused. “Should I go ahead and prepare you a nice cocktail? We’ve still got some of that Madonna merlot.”

Dr. Brian shook his head. “That really won’t be necessary. It’s just Bexx, what could she possibly say that…. Okay, go ahead, make one. And send people home if there’s still anyone out there. And then lock the front door.” He hit a button on his desk phone. “Bexx? How are you doing?”

“It’s about damn time!” came a very confident but slightly-disgruntled voice. “Not very fond of waiting.”

“Really?” asked Dr. Brian. “Interesting. Considering you were supposed to call me back from that airplane four months ago. I think my wee bit of tardiness pales considerably in comparison, yes?”

Bexx sighed. “Well, you have me there. But I am still on that plane, if that gets me any kind of bonus credit.”

“Surely you jest.”

“No, I’m not jesting, mainly because I don’t want to ever do anything that can be described with that word, I don’t care for the sound of it. Anyway, I was cleaning out my day-planner and realized that I never got an answer from you. It completely annoys me to have things still pending in my planner. I greatly enjoy checking that little box and-”

“Bexx, could we slow down just a bit? Why in the world have you been on that plane for four months? That just seems like something we should be talking about. Is it a hostage situation?”

Bexx paused briefly to, from the sounds of it, throw a cheese grater against a window. “Oh, no, nothing like that. I bought the plane. It’s mine now. I live on it.”

Dr. Brian did his own pausing, then: “Why did you buy the plane, Bexx? And why am I not aware of your apparently healthy financial resources? I’m offended and stimulated at the same time.

Bexx did something else that resulted in an odd, crashing noise before continuing. “Sorry about the racket. I can never find the damn corkscrew when I need it. I swear there are little lesbian gnomes that run around this place and hide things two seconds before I need them. Hold on.” The phone was abruptly slammed down on a hard surface, followed by diminishing footsteps as Bexx marched away. Was there an issue in the cockpit?

Dr. Brian glanced up to see that Lanae was once again standing in his doorway. “She bought a plane?”

“Lanae, you know very well you shouldn’t be listening in. This is a confidential conversation, a sacred arrangement of trust between doctor and patient.”

Lanae snorted. “Oh, please. I sit right outside your door. I can’t help but hear everything. Well, okay, sometimes you talk really low and I have to pretend like I’m doing something at the filing cabinet by your door, but most of the time I’m innocent. So spill.”

“Sorry about that. Still there?”

Lanae turned and fled, although not very far, and Dr. Brian returned his attention to the phone. “Yes, Bexx, I’m completely at the service of you and your money.”

“Good. Sangria was having trouble getting the stairs to lower and she couldn’t get in.”

Dr. Brian only paused briefly, then “Do alcoholic beverages often have trouble gaining access to your plane?”

“Sangria is my girlfriend,” clarified Bexx, apparently having found the corkscrew after all as a resounding pop echoed over the line. “We’ve been together four months now, and I couldn’t be happier. Well, I could, but that would require the incarceration of certain Republicans.” Sounds of clinking glassware as the now-liberated bottle of whatever had its contents redistributed. “Oh, and you’ve actually met her. Sort of.”

Really? “How so?”

“The last time we talked? She was the flight attendant that was getting on my nerves, all pissy just because I stole her beverage cart, then wanting me to identify my Martina Navratilova carry-on and I had to let you go. Really annoying. But it all turned out just fine in the end.” Sounds of Bexx and Sangria lip-smacking one another in a mini-celebration of the kismet event.

“I see,” said Dr. Brian. “So tell me. What was the issue with your luggage? If you don’t mind.”

“Oh, that,” scoffed Bexx, breathing a little heavy and doing something to Sangria that resulted in both a low growl and a hand-slap. “One of the vibrators I had packed away got bored and thought it would be fun to turn itself on mid-flight. And some crazy-ass, uptight Holy Roller woman heard it buzzing over her head and started screaming about a bomb. You know how it goes.”

“I’m afraid I don’t. Does this happen to you a lot?”

“Anyway,” continued Bexx, apparently distracted by Sangria’s fleshly counter maneuver, “we worked it out. I popped that bag open, whipped out Xena Baby, and shoved it right in Martha Washington’s face. Didn’t even turn it off. I thought Tammy Faye was gonna have a coronary, right there. It was a real hoot.”

Dr. Brian calmly gulped the rest of his wine.

The sound effects coming from the phone suddenly took a startling turn, with someone either having an orgasm or breaking a nail, followed by some clattering of equipment and a sudden echo on the line. “Still there?”

“I’m afraid so. Am I intruding at this point? We can reschedule.”

“Not at all,” chirped Bexx. “I’ve been waiting four months and I’d really like to hear your answer. And so would Sangria.” (Sensual throaty laughter from one of them.) “I’ve got you on speaker now. So go. Tell us why you think lesbians use power tools even though they clearly don’t want a penis.”

Dr. Brian was distracted by movement at his door once again. Lanae was poking her head around the corner, her eyes wide enough to stop traffic, and a slight smile on her sugar-coated lips…

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Adele - “Rolling In The Deep”

We start off with Adele sitting in a chair, in what might be a hotel conference room, as long as that hotel is somewhere vaguely European. It seems we have some remodeling going on in this hotel, since some of the furniture is covered in plastic and such, but nobody is standing around explaining anything, so who knows. What we DO know is that Adele is sporting a hair bun that could easily take over the planet. This makes me a little tense.

We start getting jump shots of a Ninja Woman in another room where there seems to be mounds of snow on the floor. It’s not clear if this is an artsy statement about local weather conditions or an advertisement about the availability of inhalant drugs in this community. Cut to a shot involving thousands of water glasses covering the floor of an otherwise nondescript lobby in said hotel. This makes me think that lazy waiters have not adequately attended to parched customers in the hotel restaurant, and it saddens me.

Then we have a drummer, banging on his instruments while shoved under an obscure staircase. Has he been bad? Is he in timeout? Or does he just not understand that this is probably not an appropriate place to beat on things?

More shots of the brimming water glasses. This is potentially important, I’m just not sure why.

At 35 seconds into the fun, we have a tribute to R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” video, with crinkled paper taped to a wall. This is very cool, if they planned it. Not so much if they didn’t. And why is Adele unable to get up from her chair?

Oh look, that Ninja Woman has had enough of the snow, and she starts to… I’m not sure what she’s doing. I don’t know if that’s a leaf blower or a walking cane, but she’s using it in a violent manner on the pretty snowflakes. I think there might be some issues that we don’t comprehend, and probably shouldn’t question. Just let the woman work it out.

Meanwhile, Adele’s hair bun continues to dominate the world.

Okay, we start getting glimpses of some shattered crockery piled up on the floor. It’s never a good sign when you encounter mounds of violated dinnerware, but let’s see where this goes. Well, it seems that somebody is at the top of a staircase and hurling cups and saucers at a convenient screen thing, which is resulting in the pottery mess on the floor. Since we can’t see the person destroying things while trying to remain hidden and escape blame, I’m going to guess this person is Sarah Palin.

Jump shots of culinary destruction, Adele still captive in her chair, twirling Ninja Woman with the attitude, and that drummer who really doesn’t understand that he’s probably not in the right spot.

Oh, and more shots of the glasses. The creepy water glasses all lined up and staring at us with their uniformity and rabbit-like population explosion. And not a single one of them has a lemon wedge. I really don’t care for those things. Just say no.

This goes on for a while. Hair bun, plate-smashing, Ninja ballet and confused drummer. Again, I’m sure it all means something, I just didn’t take the right classes in college.

Finally, something new, with the camera zooming in on what might be a model of the New York City skyline, arranged on a fancy table in a room with discarded deer antlers piled on the left side. Before we have enough time to study the model and figure out where the best subway entrances might be, we have to go back and check up on Bun, Ninja, Drummer, and Glasses. They all seem to still be invested in their original assignments, so we don’t learn anything new.

Brief shot of some ceiling medallions involving man-horses shooting arrows at unseen targets. I’m going to guess that this symbolizes record producers. Or maybe Adele just has a fondness for beastly men with archery skills. Who knows.

Suddenly, back at the NYC Skyline Table, somebody sets off what might be sparklers on the ceiling, and flaming bits of some such shower down on the buildings. That’s nice. Like the people of New York appreciate reminders that crap can fall from the sky and force them to make updates in their daily planners. Oh, and it gets better. While Bun, Ninja, Drummer and Crockery continue to cavort, some of the model buildings actually catch on fire and melt. Insensitivity, much?

Then again, I wasn’t asked to participate in the planning sessions for this video, probably because I drink too much and they knew I would take too long to answer my emails. So it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed the boat here, with Adele and her producers focused on a vision that has nothing to do with terrorists and disruption of wireless service, and more to do with an embittered woman getting her musical revenge whilst trapped in a hotel where thirsty people are not satisfied.

Final shot is of Adele and her belligerent hair sitting in silence, staring at the floor. Probably wondering just how the hell they are going to pay yet another hotel bill where some fool thought it would be fun to throw plates down a staircase…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #13

  Note: Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...

Dear Brian,

Why do people try to put round pegs in square holes?

submitted by Serena L.


Fess up. Were you drinking when you sent this?

Not trying to be rude, but I always try to ensure that I understand all provisional elements which led to a patient’s submission. You clearly have issues, I would just like to make sure I focus on the signs of dementia that are most important to you.

And of course, there’s the legal angle. Should the authorities contact me after you, say, dance naked at the intersection of 4th and Main, or, you know, actually kill someone, I need to be able to provide them with professional guidance. “She knew exactly what she was doing” means admit you to the Psych Ward. “She was totally smashed” means throw her in the drunk tank and let her sleep it off. This distinction is critical.

But I suppose, to be fair, especially since I have vacation coming up and may not be immediately available should the police knock on my door, I really should analyze your query from both a plastered and non-plastered angle. Let’s do that, shall we?

Let’s choose sobriety first. After all, there are a number of organizations that use a similar slogan in their campaign materials, so they must be on to something. Even if that “something” is a hypocritical effort by right-wingers to stir up donations. I’d like it to work for ME, because I have bills.

So you’re sober, and you want to know why people try to put round pegs in square holes.

Well, from a purely physical standpoint, that round peg is going to fit in a square hole, unless it’s a really big round peg. So you’re not speaking in literal terms. Therefore, this is a euphemism that something else is going on in your life.

Ah, so we’re talking about sex. Hello. I should have gone there immediately, what with “pegs” and “holes”. (I’m really getting a bit slow as the years creep by. I need to speak to my pharmacist, or I should say DOCTOR, about a good vitamin regimen.)

You’re not happy about the sex that, apparently, you’re not getting enough of, or what you ARE getting quickly turns into complications, anxiety, and madness. This is not healthy. Things must change.

What’s a girl to do? Well, the first step you take is to sign into your PC, access your “love swap” websites, and immediately delete all connections where the gentleman caller does not give his full name and/or does not provide a clear, non-manipulated high-res photo of his tackle. You know what you want, why settle for second-best?

And while you’re at it, delete “friends” with User Names like “John Doe”, “Raging Stallion”, “Hunka Burnin Log”, and “Cellblock D”. These people will not make you happy at the end of the day.

Now go to all your main profile pages and make some updates. Remove any indication that you are desperate and will take a chance on anything. That photo of you lying in bed and looking sadly over at the empty space beside you? Very artistic shot. Get rid of it. The video you posted where you make a scrumptious home-cooked meal, waltz into the dining room with a steaming tray of goodies, and then burst into tears when you see only one place setting? High quality and well shot. Delete it.

Why was this necessary? It may come as a surprise to you, but the average straight American male does not exactly find it erotic when a woman waves the Needy flag from the get go. Have the “WUV ME” tattoo removed from your forehead. Take off the “Neurotic and Clingy!” panties and throw them in the back of the closet.

Once you’ve tidied these things up, turn off the PC, and walk away. Do not check your email for 3 days. If Prince Charming has really been searching for you for 30 years, he’s not going to be disturbed by a long weekend.

When an appropriate amount of time has passed, calmly sign back in, and SLOWLY review the entire contents of your inbox. Do not seize the first email from a male-sounding name and immediately begin making plans to have yourself Fed-Exed to him the next morning. If the gentlemen stupidly identifies his work location in the email, do not run to the phone and call his boss, trying to arrange some days off and a travel voucher for him.

Read each and every email with a healthy sense of caution, and carefully consider what each and every of his written words literally mean, rather than what you would like them to mean in your fevered and lusty mind.

And here’s a hint: Just because they respond at all, it does not mean that they love you. Word.

Okay, that’s one analysis. But the more I’ve pondered you query, I’ve come to the conclusion that you really were drunk when you mailed this, and I must go into THAT angle of the analysis. (It also means that I’ve wasted my time for several paragraphs of expensive counseling. You will still have to pay for it, of course, but perhaps you could tear off the top half of this and give it to your even needier friend who joined that “I Will Bang Anything With a Pulse” website.)

So this is what really lead to your question:

You were at Joe’s Crab Shack the other night with your best friend, Chlamydia, having cocktails and chit-chatting. Clam was doing most of the talking, as she always does, but you’re used to the sound of her incessant voice by now and it was actually comforting, soothing, like a tropical downpour.

You were having a bit of sidebar fun, flirting with the waiter and making sure your breasts were in the way each time he reached for your empty glass. You knew you really had his attention when he started trying to refill your water glass each time you took the tiniest sip. Things were heating up. Then you spied his mother bringing him lunch money, and she looked EXACTLY like you, so the plug was quickly pulled on that little adventure.

You vaguely looked in Clam’s direction, checking in, and discovered that she was only on Item 4 of the 10 things about herself she always brings up, so you had plenty of time there, she usually doesn’t stop for input until Item 7, glossed-lips flying. You turned back to the bar.

And there he was.

You don’t normally go for cowboys, but something about the way he filled those jeans, standing at the bar with one boot up on the rail and talking to his buddy, sent a hormonal jolt through your body that nearly blew your toes off. You realized you were staring and were just about to turn away, when he looked right at you, gave a little tip to his hat, winked, and then kept talking to the buddy.

Oh my god.

You turned to Clam and kicked her under the table.

“What the HELL?”

“Sorry, sweetie. I love you, but I needed you to shut up for just half a second.”

“Well, you didn’t have to-”

“Yes, I did. You weren’t going to take a breath for twenty more minutes. Okay, don’t look right now, but there’s a guy at the bar-”

Her head immediately whipped in that direction.


Her head whipped back. Her massive hair did the same a few seconds later. “O-M-G. He is so fuc-”

“He’s mine, don’t even think about it.”

“He doesn’t even know you exist.”

“He winked at me.”

Clam paused, pouting, then “But that doesn’t mean he wants-”

“I am just telling you, as a friend, that if you do the tiniest thing to distract him from me, I will CUT you. And quit sticking your titties out.”

Clam sighed, then relaxed her shoulders. “Well, we’re gonna need some more alcohol to get through this. Where’s the waiter? Is it past his curfew?”

And so the seduction, and the serious drinking began. You did all your attention-getting tricks, laughing loudly over nothing, flipping your hair, pretending to get margarita salt on your shirt and then jiggling things around.

Five rounds later, things were getting a little swimmy. You were having a hard time remembering Clam’s full name, and whether or not you were the person who drove tonight. Cowboy still hadn’t come over, but he hadn’t left yet. And you really had to pee.

So you fumbled for your purse, and then struggled to slide across the booth bench. (It sure wasn’t this hard getting IN here.) Wait, why are there legs at the end of the booth? You look up, and focus. It’s him!

“Hi there, pretty ladies. My name’s Brad. Mind if I sit with you a bit. My buddy had to get on the road, but I’ve still got some fight left in me, and you two been yukkin it up all night and havin’ a good time.”

You hurl yourself to the other end of the bench, squeezed up against the wall to ensure there is more room on your side of the booth than on Clam’s side. She’s in the same frenzy, throwing packages and crap over her head, but she’s slow out of the gate. He plunks down to your right. You quietly promise Jesus that you will go back to church real soon. Amen.

And he turns out to be completely charming, telling funny stories that have you busting a gut. Even Chlamydia is enraptured, temporarily forgetting to be a slut. But he keeps ordering rounds. You’re so lit that you can no longer understand everything he says, but it’s fascinating just watching his lips move, and the way his big hand rubs his chin every once in a while. But it becomes clear that something ELSE is about to bust if you don’t do something about it in the next five minutes.

“Sugar, could you scooch out a bit? I need to powder my nose.”

He scooches. As you slide over, you discreetly grab a shrimp fork and stab Chlamydia’s hand. (“He is MINE, bitch.”) Then you stumble toward the restrooms.

To find that the ladies’ room is packed, line out the door. Oh god. This is a serious biological moment.

Then your eyes spy the men’s room down the hall. Not a soul in sight. You’re drunk and clenching, and the decision is a quick one. You stagger that way.

You slam through the door. Still no one. Perfect. You beeline to the only stall and slam the metal door open, only to find that the toilet is broken and overflowing. How is this happening?

You turn around, and there are two urinals on the wall. One is very low to the ground, probably for little boys, and is out of the question. The other one seems awfully high, but it will have to do.

You approach the taller one, trying to work out the math. You’ve SEEN these before, of course, but you’ve never had to use one. The bowl doesn’t stick out far enough for you to just lift your dress and squat, there’s not enough room for you to spread your knees and try to get your business hovered over the water.

Maybe you can back into it? Yeah, that’s got to work. So you struggle getting your panties down (WHY do undergarments cause so much trouble when you’re schnockered?), then hike your dress up to your bra to keep things dry. You stumble backwards and feel the cold porcelain hit you in the upper butt. You stand on your tip-toes and are just able to clear the bowl.

When you sit down, your feet actually come off the ground, so you have to hang on to the flush handle for balance. It’s an odd sensation and position, but your body instinctively knows that it’s good enough, and here comes the pee.

While struggling to hang on, you think you feel part of the bunched-up dress get caught on something, but you’ll worry about that in a minute, can’t stop the flow right now, you’ve saved up gallons while flirting with the cowboy. There’s been so much pressure for so long, that the release is almost erotic it feels so good. You let out a small sigh. And relax.

And your hand slips off the flush handle. Suddenly you are plummeting forward and downward. Halfway to the floor, to your increased horror, you realize your dress IS caught on something and is in the process of ripping apart down your back and across your waist. The good side is that this somehow slows your fall, so that when your head hit’s the ground, it’s just a gentle tap.

The bad side, and it’s really bad, is that with the way the dress split, the upper half of the dress has your arms entangled and you can’t move them. The bottom half of the dress is keeping the bottom half of your body stuck on the urinal. You are hanging upside down, with your exposed lily-white ass aimed at the ceiling.

The door to the men’s room whacks open. Cowboy boots shuffle across the tile floor, and then pause. You hear the gruff, sexy voice you’ve been giddy about all night:

“Darlin, how’d you get your cooter caught on that there toilet?”

Please see Lanae at the front desk. I’m sure you’ll be needing more sessions.

Try to get some sleep,
Dr. Brian

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #12

  Note: Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...

Dear Brian

Does Joes Crab Shack put "Stolen From Joes Crab Shack" on the crab tools because they want customers to steal them and then do advertising, or NOT steal them?

submitted by Breakfast at Tiffanys

Dear Breakfast,

First, why do you insist on not using apostrophes in your submissions? What has the apostrophe ever done to YOU to deserve such neglect? Was there an incident in grammar school? Did you watch some idiotic horror film wherein a crazed apostrophe captured townspeople and killed them with dangling participles? Perhaps we should investigate this further in another session.

Second, please refrain from spilling hot melted butter on your letters. It’s filthy and rude.

Now, to the matter at hand. On the surface, the answer to your query is quite simple. You do not take things that don’t belong to you. I don’t care what words may be printed on the object, if you did not pay for it, then you leave it alone and select something from the menu that you CAN pay for.

Did your mother not mention this to you at least once or twice during what I now presume to have been a very troubled childhood? Or was your mother right there with you at this shack thing of Joe’s, pawing the utensils as well and shifting things around in her clutch to make room for contraband? Does your family tree include the names Bonnie and/or Clyde?

And really, the more I study your submission, the more concerned I’m becoming about your true mental state, especially when it concerns thievery and deception. The letter is written in purple crayon, which is not unusual considering the nature of my clientele. But this has been written with a BROKEN crayon. And there’s a stain in the lower left corner that came from the tear ducts of a 5-year-old.

You stole this crayon, didn’t you! Snatched it from the hand of the innocent toddler at the table on your left. Judging by the stress fractures on the crayon, it seems the brave little toaster held on for quite some time before the thing finally snapped, sending the angel tumbling backwards until she whacked her head on one of the insipid pieces of memorabilia they have nailed to the walls in those places.

The restaurant manager actually had to make those irritating waiters stop line dancing to “Car Wash” long enough to attend to the sobbing child, slapping a Hello Kitty band-aid on her noggin and racing her to the nearest emergency room, bouncing around in the back of a fish truck.

Poor thing even lost the remaining half of the now-melting crayon, her grip faltering when they hit a rather nasty speed bump whilst roaring out of the parking lot. The poor little damaged crayon sailed out the window into the dark and evil night. Plink.

And you just sat there at your table, whining because your next margarita hadn’t arrived yet, asking the manager to turn the music up because some urchin was crying, and wondering if the mussels were fresh.

You are cold, indeed.

And you cannot blame your mother for this horrendous action of yours. Even if the suspicions about her concerning criminal activity are proven true, she grew up in a different time and place and would never have acted in the aggressive manner that you did.

Given the same situation, she would befriend the child first, compliment the little darling’s dress, and then, when impish Emma was distracted by the amazing choreography of the Crab Shack Rockettes, your mother would discreetly tuck the crayon into her bosom, say a few polite words of farewell, and then graciously slip away.

Of course, the child would still eventually discover the theft, but it would be hours later, and the parents would ignore Emma’s security concerns and assume that the child had simply done something stupid with the damn crayon. If Emma persists in her pronouncements about the lady with the big boobies snatching her writing tools, she would be strongly encouraged to go to bed early and think about her lies.

An unjust resolution, to be fair, but far more agreeable than your savage actions, snarling and ripping the crayon out of her weak little hand, and then hurling Shirley Temple across the restaurant, followed by a noisy and uncomfortable ride in a delivery wagon that smelled like cat treats and unwashed old people.

And we have a final matter to address with your submission. It appears that you have scribbled your correspondence on Joe’s Crab Shack stationery. (I’m amazed that they even have such a thing. I just assumed that, in a facility wherein talent-deprived individuals perform line dances and get very excited about the birthday of a complete stranger, there would be little evidence of the capability to read and write. Then again, they let YOU in the door, so all bets are off with such an establishment.)

At the top of this parchment, you have replaced JOE’S with TIFFANY’S, resulting in the phrase “Tiffany’s Crab Shack”. Now, a greener therapist than myself would diagnose this as a subconscious admission that you have a certain bodily condition that requires a visit to the “special section” of your local Walgreen’s. And this would be a fine analysis with most patients.

In your case, however, it actually reveals the true root of your neurosis. You couldn’t care less WHY Joe puts the little message on his crab crackers. Your dissatisfaction lies with the fact that he used HIS name instead of YOURS. It’s a classic case of delusional grandeur.

You want people to see your name everywhere, preferably in lights, with sparkly letters. And you don’t care what the item is, as long as your name is on it.

This is how Hitler started.

To be fair, there are other deranged neurotics like you running around out there. This is why we see Roto-Rooters becoming Roberto-Rooters and Porta-Potties becoming Portia-Potties. But you have gone beyond the normal dementia, now that you have bitch-slapped a child and then calmly ordered another round.

Speaking of which, I’m late for my next appointment. Emma is here to discuss her fear of seafood-themed restaurants and the color purple.

Please see Lanae at the front desk to arrange for another session.

With Irritation,
Dr. Brian

P.S. And for gawd’s sake, learn how to use an apostrophe!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #11

  Note:  Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...

And now we have an international query:

Dear Dr. Brian,

Why am I living in the only country in the world that sees fit to drive their cars on the left instead of the right side of the road. What this means is that I have to pay attention while driving and I don't like it. Please help.



And Dr. Brian responds:

Dearest Razzie,

We will dispense with my impulsive need to ascertain why you choose to name yourself after an expulsion of natural gas in a manner that is considered rude and offensive. We have more pressing issues to address. Another session, perhaps?

Now, this driving thing.

First, are you certain that you live in the only country in the world where people drive their cars on the left side of the road. I’m assuming you live in the UK, based on the crudely-drawn image of the Queen’s bum on the back of the envelope, the aroma of fish and chips wafting from the stationery, and the packet of matches from some pub known as “Ye Olde Snog and Shag”.

I must confess that I was a bit thrown by the matches. Why include such? Instinct tells me it’s a cry for help from one of your alternate personalities. But to be fair, there could be a less sinister explanation for you having placed weapons of fire inside international correspondence.

Perhaps you are just absent-minded, and the check covering our last session, which should have been included in this fish-reeking submission (ahem), is instead lying near an ashtray in your game room. Maybe the children have been playing with fire again. (Please DO read that pamphlet I sent you last month, “Adolescence and Arson: Kiddies Who Kill“). Anyway, I’ll assume for now that the matches were a gift. I have no use for them, but thank you.

My point being, we have established that you are in the UK. As we all know, the British have a history of being a bit pushy, running around the globe, conquering things, and turning Australia into a giant penal colony that eventually produced Mel Gibson and vegemite sandwiches. Lots of little colonies everywhere. So surely, other folk in burghs here and there drive on the left as well.

In other words, don’t be self-centered and act like you are the only one forced into inane vehicular situations. It’s fairly common. Most people survive with mental health intact. Even if it does look ridiculous, is pointless, and is the result of the English once again clinging to things that have outlived their usefulness, like figgy pudding and royalty.

And then comes the real whining: “What this means is that I have to pay attention while driving and I don’t like it.”

That, dear expulsion, is the root of your mental flatulence. It’s not that you have to pay attention, you don’t mind paying attention at all, it’s that you have to pay attention to something other than YOURSELF. This notion completely gets under your skin, causes you to snap pencils, makes your face crinkly, and you redirect your anger to innocent targets like dumb-ass local driving rules and how many steps it takes to get to the loo at the Snog and Shag.

We knew it was coming, this eventual conflict with how much you crave attention versus what anyone else in the world might be interested in at the same time. There are warning signs all throughout your files wherein you voraciously tried to steal the spotlight. Let’s review a few incidents, shall we?

Did you really think it was necessary, during your school’s third-grade Christmas production of “Mary, Joseph and a Barn”, to suddenly start turning cartwheels, naked, singing “I Will Survive”, just as they were bringing out the Baby Jesus?

I still have 4 members of that audience as clients to this day.

During that fateful presidential election, at the final debate when it was down to the wire and evenly tied, and you somehow finagled getting to ask the final question, did you think it was appropriate to ask George Bush about his stand on the pending legislation to declare May 28th as International Beaver Emancipation Day?

There was no such pending legislation, even though his staff spent several months trying to support it. Sadly, analysts have since confirmed that this staff work was viewed with great praise by certain segments of the population. In fact, George won the election simply because some people were excited about the prospect of free beaver in the future.

You changed the course of a nation just because you thought it would be fun to talk about beaver on live television. Any guilt there? Just a little?

No. You indirectly set the stage for Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Dick Cheney, but you’re going to whine about having to drive the Jag on the wrong side of the road. Childish twit.

It’s time for an intervention.

I realize that, with someone so self-centered that they can see out their own butt, your recovery is going to take some serious time and dedication. Your ego wasn’t built in a day. So we’ll start small. I’m going to give you a few exercises.

The next time one of your relatives does something stupid and requires immediate medical attention, please put down the microphone you always carry with you, and at least dial 9-1-1. Do not, as you usually do, consider this an evil attempt to steal your audience. Do not pretend that your cell phone is dead. Do not ask the screaming injured person to tone it down a little so you can continue your interpretive dance about the Stonewall Riots.

The next time you are at the grocery store, and the manager asks you to refrain from singing, kindly do so. Most patrons prefer perusing the produce department without accompanying vocals. This is just human nature. The request for you to cease and desist is not, as you usually assume, due to bitter jealousy over the fact that you can warble a tune while juggling melons. They just want you to shut up.

I understand this will be difficult for you. These are baby steps for most, giant leaps for Razzkind. But I want you to work on this. Try really hard, every day before taking any action, to think about whether the action is appropriate in daily life, or might possibly be a little self-serving. Or in your case, completely self-serving and could possibly result in injury, mass suicide, or World War III.

Please try very hard.

Otherwise, I will have you arrested in the interests of national security, world peace, and biblical pageantry everywhere…

Take care!

Dr. Brian

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: "The Other Boleyn Girl"

Note:  This was originally posted on my "Popcorn in the Dark" blog, a movie review site that I apparently lost interest in after just this single entry. Perhaps I should rethink that?

Okay, right off the bat, kind of a crappy title, right?

The history books (well, at least the history books that I ran across) already make little mention of this shadowy sister of Anne Boleyn. But we're gonna make a movie about her and still not even mention her name! How's that for your self-esteem?

Seriously, they could have at least come up with some vague, innocuous title like "Second Fiddle" or "My Enemy, My Sister" or "Fleur de Lis". Something. But no, they slap a title on the movie that sounds like somebody's research notes. Good planning, there.

Anyway, on to the movie. We have Eric Bana as Henry VIII, Natalie Portman as Anne, and Scarlett Johansson as.... see, I can't even remember her name. Probably "Mary". Lots of people were named Mary back in the day, we'll go with that.

Initially, as youngsters and then budding women, sisters Anne and Mary are besties, lots of scenes with them running about, cavorting discreetly, bonding, and wearing restrictive clothing. Of course, we do have Mummy and Daddy and really atrocious uncle plotting on the sidelines for the most politically and financially-astute arranged marriages for the frolicking girls, a sure sign of impending doom.

Then here comes Eric Bana, I mean Henry VIII, looking mighty fine on a horse. (In fact, all of the leads look pretty plush, considering that somebody decided to go for the "natural look" and none of the stars seem to be sporting any makeup.) Henry decides that he wants to play slap and tickle with Mary, instead of the family-proffered Anne.

Instantly, Anne transitions from soul-mate sister to scheming shrew. Okay, maybe not instantly, but the family does send her to France for some skill-sharpening, and she comes back with a very large croissant up her ass. End result, she MEAN.

Then we have some business with Mary not being able to provide a much-needed male heir to the throne. Lots of scenes of Suffering Mary trying really hard to do what's expected, with Anne running around and making things even more difficult. Anne is really rude, just sayin. (Look, Anne, you get to live in a castle and such, with people who bring you things whenever you want them. This is a good thing. Revel in the delight. But no, Anne insists on vicious jibes and mockery of relatives.)

Eventually, of course, Henry tires of all this whining and non-production of babies, and he grows impatient. After all, he's able to change the religion of an entire country with the waving of his hand, so why IS it that these underlings can't find a suitable fertile woman for him to make sport with?

So he boots out Mary and tries another flavor of Boleyn, probably because the castle staff will only have to change one letter on all the monogrammed bits of the palace. Anne rushes in, saliva dripping, only to find that pleasing the king is a bit more complicated than having a bodice with quick-release touch points. There’s that whole thing about his enormous ego and his fondness for letting the guillotine help him win arguments.

And Anne’s not real successful with that damn male-heir thing, either. She spits out Elizabeth, of course, but people weren’t really interested in a child without a dangly thing. Then the rumors start: She's been playing hide and seek, if you will, with her brother. The whole Boleyn family has been misbehaving, and members of such have gone so far as to frequent unsavory nightclubs. And Anne has been spotted wearing white after Labour Day. The horror.

In the end, all of the Boleyns are executed, destroyed socially, or forced to wear cheap linen. Except for Mary, who retires to a cottage in the country and lives a full life, presumably working in her chaste garden and shyly flirting with the inevitable gnomes who inhabit such places. Good for her.

Moral of the story? Life's too short. Don't bang the king unless you're just really, really bored.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Britney Spears - “Till The World Ends”

We start with words splashing across the screen that it’s “December 21st, 2012”, while ominous clouds of something fill the sky. Great. I guess Britney has spoken with her personal prophetess and we’re all going to kick the bucket in a few months, which sucks tremendously, because I’m fairly certain that I won’t have all my Facebook games to the top level by then, and all my work will have been pointless. But hey, maybe Brit’s got some special ideas on how to live our remaining time in a fun way. Let’s check it.

Okay, first we get a shot of Britney’s high-fashion legs walking in a tunnel, so apparently we should spend some time walking around in couture in closed-in spaces. She’s got some of her posse with her, and they meet up with some other folks in wherever this dank place is. Everyone seems to be on the sweaty side, not sure what’s up with that, but all the folks still look sexy because it’s a Britney Spears video and it’s a requirement that all participants be young and hot.

We eventually get a full shot of Britney, and she’s once again trussed up in something black with metal studs, her hair looking slightly naughty and dirty. She sings roughly 7 words and then the camera pans away from her, so I’m not sure that the cameraman really understands what his focus should be. Anyway, the camera goes above ground, where we see some guy diddling with a manhole cover, trying to get it open. Two wandering, leather-clad skanks see him doing this, and rush over to help out. Must be something special in that there manhole.

Back to Britney, as she warbles the song and wanders around this industrial complex, where we seem to have a tremendous amount of people wearing the least amount of clothing possible. (To make sure we understand the clothing minimalism, the camera is basically rammed up the behinds of several thin actresses.) Most of these people are not really doing anything, so Britney decides it’s time for a dance off.

Instantly, a clearing appears in the sea of sweating bodies, and Britney is joined by several lovely lasses who also enjoy wearing thongs. While they gyrate and thrust their arms in the air, we get jump shots of the probably-poisonous clouds still billowing outside, along with buildings possibly crumbling, just in case you forgot for a second that, you know, everybody’s going to die. We also get shots of other well-gelled people slipping into that manhole, so apparently Britney’s Boiler Room is the place to be.

Britney, always a professional, works the crowd by wandering around and letting people see her underwear. She’s briefly distracted by some dude looking really skinny and not right (think Christian Bale in that movie where he lost all the weight and went crazy, not a good look). Then Britney is magically back on the dance floor without her home girls, so I guess she fired them. We get side shots of lots of people feeling very amorous and rubbing themselves on one another. (Yet another requirement of a Britney Spears’ video. There’s a handbook, you know.)

Oh wait, now the home girls are back, and they are doing a dance with Brit that looks like they’ve all managed to sit on a cattle prod at the same time, jerking and shimmying. This somehow ramps up the audience and everybody gets even more naughty with as many neighbors as they can reach. Or maybe it’s the images of possible meteors or some such starting to slam into nearby buildings. Something’s got these people sexed up.

And there are more people on the dance floor, so I guess not everybody found a hookup or three in the audience. We also get some side shots where Britney appears to be dancing in front of a screen made out of all her gold records, then we head back to the main room where people are thisclose to having all-out sex to the beat of the music and the wailing on the track and the possible aphrodisiacal appeal of the planet being destroyed.

Now Britney is somewhere else in her underworld, leaning against a concrete pillar (is she tired?) while three male models gaze at her adoringly and sweat. She must really like this part of the set a lot, because she actually remains relatively still for at least two seconds. Then she’s back to gallivanting all over the place, with her posse now composed of males whose only goal in life is to touch Britney’s body and clothing, as if trying to figure out what she would look like if she ever wore a complete outfit.

Then we cut to… maybe a bomb shelter? Some cement room where lots of people have been crammed. While a production assistant screws with flipping a red light on and off, Britney and her cellar buddies do that synchronized thing where everybody hunches their shoulders to the beat. And still manage to have anonymous sex with strangers without losing that beat.

Okay, back to the main room for another line dance, this one with Britney and her stable of athletic, multi-racial studs. Not to be outdone, the girl posse and some of their friends undulate offstage with a tenacity that you usually only see in churches where people handle snakes and wear bad polyester clothing. We get to the point where you can’t tell who is doing what to whom, but they all seem to be having a swell time, so I guess it’s all good. Until somebody ends up pregnant. Then there will be a lot of finger-pointing and unanswered phone calls.

This raucous free-love choreography goes on for quite some time, with basically everybody getting a chance to ride all the rides in the amusement park. Yay.

Suddenly, just as Britney wails the line about “see the sunlight, we ain’t stoppin’”, we start seeing images of that sunlight breaking through the nasty clouds and such. (How cinematically convenient!) Now, I think these people are supposed to be pleased about the sunlight, but you really wouldn’t know it based on their reactions. Instead, most of them are reacting to the rays like it’s “True Blood” and Simple Sookie done screwed up and ripped some tinfoil off Bill’s parlor window.

Then I guess some assistant director stepped in and told the cast “look, dripping sex-bots, you are HAPPY that the sun is shining on you. This is NOT last-call at the after-hours bar and you have to go have sex somewhere else. The planet has been saved, and that’s a good thing.” With this bit of advice, we start to see most of the crowd untangle themselves from their random partners and look toward the sun with an attitude that might be feasibly approaching glee.

And the party gets started again, with everybody thrusting body parts about in rapture, especially when the sprinkler system kicks in and they all get drenched. (Don’t really get why the sprinklers didn’t work when the sun wasn’t shining, but hey, to each his own.) And that’s how we wind things down, with the boys and the girls and their minimal amounts of leather and morals all gyrating madly to the song, thrilled that the “everybody is going to die” business no longer applies due to the grace of Britney warbling a dance tune and doing pelvic thrusts.

Speaking of, Britney appears in the final scene, literally popping up by shoving her head out of that manhole and gazing about with wonder at the new world. Something tells me this might happen every day with her. Just guessing…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #10

Note:  Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...

And we have this from sunny California:

Dr. Brian,

My friend from Canada insists on bringing me candy when she visits. The problem is I haven't eaten any of the candy because it is always something called beaver and/or elk droppings. Do you think this is some sort of delicacy there? Is it safe to eat? Am I just being a prude?

Thanks, Margaret


Where to begin? There is such complexity to your paragraph that I do believe we’ll have to break this down very carefully, phrase by phrase, so that we do not miss a single possible contribution to your current dysfunction.

“My friend from Canada”

How did you acquire such a thing? How do you even KNOW someone from there, let alone manage to build your relationship up to the “BFF” level? Was there a snafu involving a misdirected email and a subsequent court order? Did you make a wrong turn on your way to Martha’s Vineyard, followed by the poor decision to just “see where this road goes”?

As most learned professionals are aware, Canadians are a unique class unto themselves. In most mental science textbooks and professional journals, they usually have their own special section, usually with an introduction along the lines of “everything you have just read concerning appropriate social behavior does not apply to the following culture.”

And then there’s the issue that your “friend” can most likely see Sarah Palin from her house. Political convictions and professional analysis aside, that woman is crazy. Your friend is in constant danger of being mistaken as wildlife and gunned down by Sarah or one of her fertile, unmarried children.

For her own safety, your friend should move. Of course, this might mean leaving Canada. And then you would no longer be able to use the artsy phrase “my Canadian friend”, just “my friend”, which will lower your mystique factor and possibly introduce even more complications into your relationship.


Friends don’t insist. On anything. They allow you to do what you need to do in order to avoid unhappiness in life, confinement to a mental institution, or jail time. Friends are there for no other reason than to enable you, provide alcohol, and destroy evidence. Canadetta is not being friendly with the insisting.

“on bringing me candy when she visits.”

The easy explanation here, for most analysts, is that we’re really talking about sex, but I believe in your case we are indeed referring to sugar-based concoctions that children ingest and then refuse to go to bed or to stop bouncing on the pogo stick. So for now, we will operate under the assumption that Canadetta is innocent at this point. Except for the part about being from Canada.

“The problem is”

No, that’s for me to decide.

“I haven’t eaten any of the candy”

Interesting. Right in the middle of a sentence you went into a regressive state. This particular phrase actually refers to a blocked memory from your junior year in high school. Despite your protests to the contrary, everyone knows you were indeed involved in the toilet papering of that house in Golden Thrust Estates. We have primitive video. Let it go.

“because it is always something called beaver and/or elk droppings.”

See, there’s that Canadian thing again. This is why Canadians always have a special section in textbooks.

"Do you think”

Of course I do. All the time.

“this is some sort of delicacy there?”

Chances are strong that it is not, since it’s Canada and all. When was the last time you heard anyone proclaiming the divinity of Canadian food? Never, that’s when. Now, that doesn’t mean they don’t actually eat this mess, and that it may even be quite popular. I don’t know. I have not had the opportunity to observe the locals in action.

It IS clear that there is apparently enough need for this type of thing that companies are producing the product in massive quantities. So either Canadians love to munch on fake poo, or they find great joy in lugging said poo across the border and watching Americans react when they see it on the coffee table.

“Is it safe to eat?”

Nothing is safe to eat. Do you not watch the news? Fresh fruit can take your life in an instant. So feel free to put whatever you want in your mouth, it’s only a matter of time before you bite into something that’s going to repeat. Might as well live it up while you can.

“Am I just being a prude?”

Now THIS is about sex, and has nothing to do with animal byproducts, gifts containing such, or Canadians. You are not a prude. You clearly enjoy sex, and have a healthy and adventuresome attitude about it. This is evidenced by the fact that you once drove toward Martha’s Vineyard. It’s obvious that they have lots of sex there. Otherwise, why would the Kennedys keep going back?

To surmise, it’s a given that you will not be able to rest comfortably until this situation is resolved. I would advise that you take direct action to alleviate the unsatisfactory conditions. As a first step, invite your friend back for another visit, artfully arrange some down time where there are no distractions, pour a few glasses of wine, and then begin.

In a pleasant and non-aggressive tone, (in other words, do not emulate anyone on Fox News), explain that, although you do indeed love a good laugh, and certainly enjoy sweets from time to time, you also enjoy variety, and would greatly appreciate offerings of another sort. Be sure that you tilt your head at the right angle, so that you appear both angelic and non-threatening.

If another insulting bag of candied excrement should appear on the next visit, you move to Phase II. I have consulted with my homies that I counsel in South Dallas, and they assure me this method will work. Calmly flip open your Blackberry, and text your friend the following:

“Bitch, don’t be bringin’ that moose crap up in my house.”

Canadetta will either never return, or on her next visit will be lugging a benign fruit basket with organically-grown produce.

Let me know how it goes!

Dr. Brian

Dr. Brian,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Video Blog #1 - Trying Something New

  We now present Bonnywood Manor's virgin video blog. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? Enjoy...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #5

Note:  Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue"...

My slutty but hard-working secretary just handed me my mail, and we have this question to peruse:

Can a hangover result in death?

And Dr. Brian responds:

What an odd question. Of course it can, this happens all the time with rock stars, bored rich kids, and bitter Republicans. Especially after mid-term elections.

So you clearly have much deeper issues, and think that you are cleverly hiding your real delusions behind this innocuous query. Amateur. Surely you must be aware of my powers. I can easily and competently diagnose anyone in a 5-mile radius without even breaking a sweat. You have offended me with this childish act. I will now rip you to shreds.

First, there are the grains of sand that irritatingly fell out of the envelope when I opened your letter. You reside near a beach, or at least perform your postal activities near a beach, same thing. There are two types of people who frequent beaches: weak people with no direction in their lives, and strong people who thrive on giving direction to those weak people.

The weak go to the beach in the hopes of finding a tiny bit of fulfillment in their miserable lives, even though they are doomed and they subconsciously know it. At first, everything is pretty and the sun is nice. But soon they see all the more-beautiful people around them, hopes fade, and their thoughts turn to the ocean. The powerful ocean where perhaps they could fling themselves to a salty death.

But because the weak ARE weak, of course they don't do it. In their minds, they race to the water a hundred times, leaping over crabs and empty beer bottles in a stunning ballet of impending demise, finally catching the attention of the beautiful people as they gurgle and sink. Instead, the weak people give up their dreams and drag their sun-burnt bodies back home, and iron their clothes for another soul-crushing day in their part-time job at Sunglass Hut.

The strong people go to the beach because they mistakenly assume that God created the beach in honor of their glory. The strong don't simply walk onto the beach, they ARRIVE, wearing designer thong-wear and stomping around like Godzilla attacking the city, shooing away the weak people from the prime real estate. They carry harpoon guns to shoot any idiot servant that does not immediately provide them with requested beverages or snacky things.

And as you would expect, the strong people are there to torment the weak people. This is how life works in any environment, but especially in natural settings involving water. They laugh at the attire and hairstyles of the weak. ("I think you might have sailed right past the look you were going for, Chlamidya.") They are terrible to the children of the weak. ("Mommy drinks because you're ugly.") And they do their best to get the weak to follow through with the suicidal thoughts. ("Do you see that island over there? Cuba? I bet you can make it!")

You, dear patient, are obviously one of the strong. This is clear from the sand that poured out of your envelope, as I can see that you have personally autographed each grain. Do you have to purchase an extra airline ticket for your ego when you travel?

Now, let's move on to the stamp on your envelope. On the back of said stamp, we have the driest saliva I have ever seen. Are you SO anal that you cannot even produce adequate body fluids for postage? Do you even HAVE bowel movements, or do you just pay someone to take care of that for you?

And the stamp itself? I was unaware that you could actually purchase stamps trimmed in 24-karat gold. Amazing. Or did you just apply the gold-leaf yourself? Most likely. I'm sure you've never been satisfied with anything produced by anyone else, and you always have to embellish and upgrade. Who knows what you've done with that vagina of yours. Is it wi-fi capable now?

Yes, I know you are a woman. This is not a sexist statement, although I am sure you will attempt to take it that way, and you are already alerting your fleet of lawyers. No, it is based on the fact that you indicated your return address as "Ultimate Diva Supreme, 123 Goddess Way, Nirvana, FL." So you're either a woman or a drag queen. Oh wait, with the available surgical procedures these days, is it possible that you-

Well, drat. There's the bell, time for my next patient.

Could you possibly return for another session? Have your people get with my people. (I know you have people, anyone with your level of maintenance has GOT to have people.) My pulse is pounding at the thought of further dissection. I'm all aquiver...


Dr. Brian

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Dr. Brian - Case Study #4

Note:  Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue".

This just in from left-field:

Dr. Brian, did Mikey really die from eating exploding pop rocks?

And Dr. Brian responds:

Well then, this is going to be a treat.

First, why would you even care about the answer to this question? Judging by the finger-paint smears on the torn sheet from your Big Chief tablet where you scribbled this question, you can't possibly have achieved puberty. The Mikey incident you reference occurred over 30 years ago. There is no way you could have a personal interest in Mikey or his passing. You are a rude little child with no manners.

Obviously, your parents are to blame. By calculating the angle and degree of finger-paint splatter on your "submission form" (yes, you irritating urchin, watching "CSI" can be useful, perhaps you should try it, if only to learn how you might die), it is apparent that there was no supervision during the painting session. My analysis indicates that gallons of said finger-paint were violated by your actions. Did you perhaps BATHE in the chalky fluid? Or is it that you have no motor skills whatsoever?

A good parent would never allow this unruliness. Proper parenting dictates that, should a child dare to exhibit artistic tendencies, there are strict guidelines which must be followed to avoid terror and heartbreak. As we all know, "artistes" are really just budding sociopaths teetering toward a life of alcohol and crime. Strident measures must be taken to prevent your little Picasso from one day going on a murderous rampage at the Piggly Wiggly. Clearly, the parents in this scenario did not follow the manual.

So we've settled that. Your parents suck.

But alas, as a proper physician for the neurotic and generally boring, I feel I must address your actual question, if only for legal reasons. Yes, Mikey did indeed breathe his last after ingesting chemically-treated sugar. These things happen, especially in the wanton days of the 70's when peanut farmers could become President. And people in synthetic leisure suits were running rampant, what with the gold chains and all. It was a terrible time. How this nation survived, I do not know.

But you, young artiste with your useless questions, do not have to suffer the same fate as a certain spoiled youngster who managed to look cute whilst consuming mass-produced cereal. You can rise above the evil sirens of bohemia, taunting you with their beckoning calls to stray down the rotted path of poetic license. Put down the finger-paints, you warped and miserable child, and seek refuge in the mundane platitudes of normalcy. And avoid sugar at all costs.

Best of luck,

Dr. Brian

P.S. Please return the paperweight you surreptitiously snatched from my desk. There was no door prize in our session. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bonnywood Archives: Flashback #1

Note:  Originally posted on "Idiot Fondue", nearly two years ago...

Case Study #1

An annoying debutante writes:

Dear Brian, how much beer, is too much? luv tiffles

And Dr. Brian responds:

Good gawd, woman, why the hell would you ask this question? Are you serious? There is no reason to worry about the limitations on beer, real or imagined or put forth by the voices in your head. There are natural laws of nature that will take care of this issue for you. Just keep drinking. Eventually you will either pass out and awake in a strange bed, or you will die of alcohol poisoning. You are wasting valuable drinking time by even bothering to ponder the implications of your actions. Order another round.

Instead, let's focus on other issues that are more important and screamingly clear in your email. First, you've got to drop the "tiffles" angle. Obviously this is not your real name. No decent parent would ever mark a child with such a pathetic cattle brand, no matter how many episodes of "Dharma and Greg" they have seen, or how many Hallmark cards they may have pawed at Wal-mart. Stop pretending. If you must take on an assumed name, go with something firm and constructive like "Studebaker" or "Propane". This tells the world that you own your life. "Tiffles" tells the world that you might wet yourself if the milk expires.

Second, let's talk about the grammar. Or better yet, the appalling confirmation that you have no idea what this might be. Yes, I have tremendous insight, and realize there was an incident in the sixth grade where your Dr. Pepper Bonnie Belle Lipsmacker application device malfunctioned, and you spilled the syrupy concoction on your English textbook, thus sealing the pages together for three semesters and you were held back a grade. This is no excuse. You were fixated on your lips, instead of attaining proper communication skills, and you must own the oversight and take steps to rectify the situation. Sign up for classes immediately.

Besides, I can tell by the way you signed your name that the boy you THOUGHT you might be attracting with your wanton lip-prepping had no interest in you. Yes, I am talking about Pete. I can visualize him by the way you parted your hair in the employee ID photo from the time you worked at Casual Corner. Pete did not want you and your glistening beauty products. He wanted to join the wrestling team, and relished the thought of having access to the boys' locker room. I cannot say any more without violating the sanctity of doctor/patient privilege.

So, Miss Studebaker, thus ends our virtual session. Drink more, apply less, and try to act like English is not your second language. Everyone will benefit.


Dr. Brian

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Katy Perry featuring Kanye West - “E.T.”

We start out with old-timey music playing while the camera pans over piles of rubble. It’s not clear what we’re looking at, but some of the tidbits of this and that sure do look like bones, so this might not be the happiest video ever. Is this the fallout from a war of some kind, like the Republicans trying to do everything they can to prevent universal health care and, oops, they went too far?

The camera focuses on a robot on the ground, sporting what might be a tiny coal furnace in his chest. That seems odd, so we zoom in for a closer peek, but we don’t really learn anything because suddenly we’re in outer space, with a pod-ship flying toward us. (Hey, is that Sigourney Weaver waving at us from the window, wearing tiny panties and clutching a cat?) Next thing you know, Kanye is onscreen, rapping away, so the plot’s a little hard to follow here.

While Kanye floats around in some anti-gravity chamber, he babbles about his sexual prowess and how having bang-bang with him will blow your mind. That’s nice. Thanks for offering, but I believe I’ll pass. Then the pod-ship flies away from us, and I can’t say that I shed a tear that Kanye had to go somewhere else for a while.

We start hearing Katy’s vocals while we watch some billowing thing floating around in the night sky. (Or maybe it’s not night and the sun is dead. Wouldn’t surprise me, this hasn’t been a real uplifting video so far.) The billowing thing undulates for a while, and we get the sense that there is some kind of being in all the billowing fabric. Maybe a drag queen with a little bit too much dependence on chiffon?

Eventually we see that, yep, there’s somebody in there, but it’s an alien, sort of like the “E.T.” that we know and love from the movie, but WAY stretched out and not accompanied by Drew Barrymore in pigtails. While this guy continues to billow in the sky and Katy wails about “different DNA”, we get quick images of scientific-looking things and possibly an egg being fertilized.

Oh wait, here comes somebody else doing gymnastics in the sky whilst wearing an outfit with far too much flapping material. We have more quick images of various things, none of them very pleasant until a shot involving some guy’s naked chest. We could certainly study that for a while, but I guess we don’t have time. Okay, the new sky floater is apparently Katy, wearing wicked-ass makeup, a blouse made out of plastic tubing, and a severely-rigid hairstyle that makes me want to organize my CD’s.

This Katy floats around for quite a while, probably because she refused to get strapped into THAT mess again and they better get some serious footage while they had the chance. We see another series of nature shots that are somehow uncomfortable, then Katy does a wardrobe change into something that involves a lot of white material and a new hairdo that could easily grate cheese. I guess there’s some structural issues with this new outfit, because she seems to be having trouble getting the top half of her body in a comfortable position.

More nature shots, and we move from uncomfortable to downright vicious, with animals killing each other and such. Nice. Not really caring for that business. But Cheese-Grater Katy doesn’t care, continuing to do a bad version of The Robot while whizzing through the air. Oh wait, she’s not whizzing anymore and seems to be falling down to… well, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be Earth. We’ll just call it “ground” for now.

It seems that Katy changed her clothes once again while re-entering the atmosphere, and now she’s all dusty gothic, with the train on her skirt long enough sleep 60 dinner guests and another new hairdo that makes me think “Jennifer Lopez in ‘The Cell’” for some reason. Oh look, Katy has landed near that robot thing, and she runs over to investigate if that really is a coal-burner in his chest.

She takes a few seconds to sing a touching part of the song, then she wipes some radiation fallout off the helmet of the robot, and we see that inside the helmet is the video image of a head. Seeing this, Katy then crams her hand into the coal-burner thing on his chest. (Not really sure that would be my first plan of action, but we’ll assume that Katy has read a manual somewhere that says “when encountering video heads, shove your hand into places that look hot”.)

And this fire-touching leads to Kanye returning to the anti-gravity chamber for another round of rapping. (And the connection would be?) At first, Kanye is using one hand to grip his crotch so hard that you really expect toothpaste to shoot out of his head. (Kanye, HOW old are you again?) While Kanye continues to love himself down, we see the robot get to its feet, along with shots of violent sex among animals.

The randy footage gets Katy’s hormones a-jumpin’, and she smooches the robot on his glassy helmet. This apparently causes a brief nuclear explosion, so I’m not sure that was the best move. But it also causes the robot to turn into a slightly-androgynous male who likes to shove his chest forward so Katy can lean toward his nipples and we get a close-up of her fabulous makeup.

It seems that Katy might have some failing eyesight (honey, maybe you shouldn’t be floating around in space so much) so she reaches for some spectacles lying conveniently nearby. While Kanye appears to being sucked away by some gravitational pull (yay!), Katy slaps on the glasses, then pulls off her outfit so we can see she has gazelle legs and a puffy tail. Didn’t see THAT coming.

We wind things down with Katy holding hands with her new lover, and the camera slowly pulls backwards as she and her surprisingly butt-baring beau stand and watch yet another nuclear explosion occur in the distance. Then they take a few steps toward their future together as a non-traditional couple. I’m guessing the marriage won’t take place in Texas…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Lady Gaga - “Paparazzi”

  Okay, Gaga’s put together another little mini-movie. This one starts out with pretty images of a fancy estate somewhere, complete with well-tended gardens and the absence of anyone wearing non-couture outfits. The title credits roll, and we see that Alexander Skarsgard is also in this. (Eric from “True Blood”! Yay! I hope he exposes as much of himself as Lady Gaga does, because you know she’s going to be waving her hoo-hoo around, whatever the song might be.)

  We get scenes inside the house, and it’s clear that whoever lives here makes so much money that they just have to leave stacks of it lying around, they’re so bored with trying to spend it all. Cut to a bedroom, where Lady and Eric are astraddle each other in bed. Sadly, they are both wearing clothes. (Well, in Gaga’s case, she’s typically wearing whatever she could find in Liberace’s tool drawer.)

  The two of them are having some insipid conversation about whether or not they love each other, but I’m distracted by Lady’s “tribute to Liza Minnelli” wig. Then they smooch for a while, but no fangs appear, so I’m a little disappointed. The love-making gets a little more passionate, which naturally inspires Eric to lift Gaga off the bed and carry her out on a balcony. (Hmm. Does Gaga have something that needs to be aired out?)

  He plops her down on a convenient railing that is just the right height for some vertical lovin’, and we suddenly realize that someone is taking pictures of them. Gaga surprisingly gets a little bent out of shape. (Did she hear the cameras? Surely she’s not bothered by them. Girl has cameras in her bidet.) Whatever the case, they tussle a bit and then Gaga slaps Eric. He doesn’t really care for that so he just shoves her ass off the balcony. Oh my.

  As Lady Gaga falls, she does a nice tribute to the movie “Vertigo”, complete with dramatic poses and some hand choreography. Cut to Gaga splattered on the pavement below, with paparazzi rushing to take her picture. Even in death, Gaga looks artsy and chic. Newspaper headlines start flashing across the screen, announcing the end of both Lady Gaga and her career. How sad. (Well, except for Madonna.)

  Hold up. Looks like Gaga survived, because we next have her being assisted out of a limo and placed in a wheelchair, while she wears a cinnamon bun on her head and happy servants do a line dance. While that mess is going on, we start seeing another Lady Gaga, this one wiggling around on a fancy couch while wearing a modified version of those plastic-ring things used to hold cans of soda together. This Gaga likes to do things with her tongue and show us her pretty leather gloves.

  Back to the wheelchair business, where Gaga is being wheeled into (presumably) her house. Just before they cross the threshold, she and her servants do a rousing jazz-hands thing. I don’t know if that was for good luck or they just have the music in them. Anyway, they get her ass inside, and the dancing servants start assisting her with changing her outfit. (I guess she was too tired to go somewhere private and do this.)

  Quick shot of a dead Playboy bunny in a bathtub. What in gay hell?

  And don’t forget about Couch Gaga, who is still trying to prove something which pretty much requires that she ride that couch like it’s a rodeo and a bull just shot out of a chute. Of course, none of her movements mess up her hairdo, because that would just be too tragic for anyone to take.

  Anyway, back at the Rehabilitation Clinic, Gaga is now wearing an outfit inspired by “Metropolis”, and is struggling to get on her feet using little walker things. To provide moral support, more dancers come in from the sides and do a routine. It’s over the top, and I think we can all agree that we will never see a line dance quite like this one again.

  Shot of another pretty but dead woman, possibly in the garden. Then we have a dead female impersonator wearing Statue of Liberty headgear. What’s up with these dead people? Somebody around here does not like to be contradicted.

  More fun with Couch Gaga, as she continues to get the antique furniture all sticky, and additional shots of glamorous dead people sprawled around the estate. (Oh look, even that nice maid apparently plummeted from an upper floor onto the tiled entryway. I guess she didn’t bring someone’s tea on time.) Wait, now Couch Gaga has some friends joining her on the couch, and they both look like Greg Allman. Then they’re gone. And then they’re back, so inspired by Gaga’s writhing that everyone decides to shove tongues down each others’ throats. How nice.

  Oh boy, another Gaga, this one wearing a drug-inspired senorita outfit and marching into a room with a bevy of similarly-dressed attendants. Naturally, it’s time for another line dance, and away they go. If I had to give their routine a name, it would be along the lines of “Reenactment of That Time When the Flock of Psychotic Hummingbirds Attacked Picasso during the Running of the Bulls. Part Two.” Or something like that.

  Well, look at that. There’s a third Greg Allman sucking face with Gaga.

  Anyway, The Hummingbirds fly back to wherever, and now we have another Gaga. This one also likes doing things with her tongue, and has a fondness for feathery headdresses and tributes to Napoleon’s horse. (This is intercut with shots of more supermodels that will never hit another runway.) There’s also something about Dalmatians, but this is very obscure.

  And we start to wind things down with Lady Gaga and Eric back together again, no explanation given. His fashion statement in this scene is a metallic eye patch and the lack of pants. Her motif is a Minnie Mouse rip-off paired with odd black lipstick that makes her mouth look tiny. They’re in one of the sitting rooms of the estate, where they have just been brought refreshments by presumably the last surviving member of the household staff.

  As newspaper headlines flash that, whoops, our bad, Gaga is really alive and still dominating the entertainment world, Gaga hops up and fixes Eric a nice cocktail. We see her slip what looks like poison into his drink, so I guess she’s not quite over his having tossed her butt over the side of the building, but then she licks the spoon after stirring the concoction. Hmm. Is this going to be a Romeo and Juliet ending? Probably not. Gaga still has a few albums left on her contract.

  Gaga prances back over to the couch and hands the drink to Eric and his eye patch. He takes a swig while Gaga patiently sips her own tea, and then he dies, rudely dropping his glass onto the fancy carpet next to his purple silk socks. Gaga grins weirdly, puts her sunglasses on Eric, then slips out of the room to see if the Allman Brothers need anything.

  Next we have the police and such checking out Eric’s body, then wheeling it out of the house. Cut to Lady Gaga and her traffic-cone hairdo being escorted to a waiting car while the paparazzi goes crazy with attention and devotion. More newspaper headlines inform us that she’s been found innocent and all is well. But we still end the flick with Gaga and her metal bustier in a police lineup. In typical Gaga fashion, she makes even potential incarceration sexy and fun…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

I Really Don’t Think This Is What Genghis Khan Had In Mind, Part 4

  So, we’re sitting at Genghis Grill, and I really need a drink.

  But I’ll have to wait just a bit, because our server was rather chatty, completely invested in making a big production out of personally greeting all members of our party, and I’m at the end of the row, shoved up against a short wall that had no logical reason for being where it was.

  (While briefly trying to determine the structural function for this wall, I peeked around it and was met with the visage of an apparently-starved woman who was shoveling food in her mouth with manic frenzy, grunting and such. She gave me a look that made it very  clear that she was going to stab me in the forehead with her fork if I didn’t stop staring. My bad. I guess she won’t be sending me a Christmas card.)

  Back on the other side of the wall, our server had taken exactly one drink order, meaning there were still six more to go. Great. I quickly determined that the holdup had something to do with this establishment not offering diet DR. PEPPER. Oh my. Roni usually drinks diet DR. PEPPER, and you must give Roni what she wants or you will pay for it the rest of your life, in painful and tedious ways. She doesn’t ask for much, but when she does, you better put out with a smile on your face.

  I reached for my keys to hop in the car and head to the nearest grocery store, intending to save Mom from a life of misery. Amazingly, Roni changed course and decided that some other beverage would prove at least minimally satisfactory. Terrific. Now we just had five more drink orders. I probably had plenty of time to take a short nap and get some laundry done.

  Next up? One of the nieces and the nephew announced that they wanted a special drink composed of a sugary something combined with Red Bull. Seriously? I don’t think so. You have enough NATURAL energy coursing through your bodies. There’s no reason to jack you up any higher. (And why the hell is something like that even ON the menu for already-vibrating powerballs to find and covet?) I opened my mouth to swat down the idea.

  And was instantly intercepted by Mom, beaming at the little angels and saying that would be just fine, drink all you want. Hook them up to a sugar-and-caffeine drip, if you can arrange it. I sighed, and began studying all available exits out of the building. If any relatives starting turning cartwheels and speaking in tongues, I was out of here and not looking back. And then changing all locks at the house.

  The pace of things began to pick up and a bit, and suddenly Little Miss Chat-and-Linger was standing beside me, pen poised to duly note my drink selection. I ordered a concoction dubbed “Sake Sunrise”, a mix of something, something, sake and champagne. The combo intrigued me. It was either going to be very good or very bad, and I couldn’t live without knowing the answer to that question.

  Miss Chatter flitted off to ask someone what she was supposed to do after she wrote things on her little note pad, and I turned my attention to the rest of our gathering. It was time to get in line and start poking at raw chunks of meat. “Ready?”

  No, they were not. They had questions that must be processed, integral questions that would determine whether or not they would ever get up from the booth. The most common query was this: “What are we supposed to put in this damn silver bowl?”

  I was fairly certain this had been covered during the 100-mile trip across the universe to get here, but perhaps we suffered some short-term memory loss when the two youngest nieces were bellowing “Polk Salad Annie” every time we pulled up to a stoplight. I tried again. “You just put what you want in the bowl. Pick out things you like.”

  “Like what?”

  “Like things you like.” (Hello?) “There’s beef and chicken and seafood and veggies. And stuff. You’ll see.”

  “What if there’s something I don’t like?”

  My teeth were gritting. “Then DON’T pick that. Pick. What. You. Like.” (Did they just start eating solid foods YESTERDAY?)

  “Do they have popcorn?”

  That one completely stunned me and I lost my focus. Out of desperation, I mentioned that there were interesting recipes both in the menus and on little cards that you could carry through the line. This proved to be an incredibly stupid and inefficient move on my part.

  All heads swiveled and began perusing the mini-recipes. Within two seconds, we had more recalcitrant commentary.

  “Well, on this one, I like that, and that, but not THAT.”

  “Why do I have to put pepper on it? I don’t like pepper.”

  “What is Super Dragon spice? Are we eating dragons?”

  “Vegetables are STUPID.”

  I gently and lovingly took the menu from the most vocal contestant, smoothed down her cute but tousled hair with warmth and affection, then threw the menu across the room. “We don’t HAVE to follow the recipes. You can get whatever you want.”

  This did nothing to help with the crowd control. In fact, the yapping and confusion increased a bit, especially when someone spied the word “watercress”, sending them all into a fresh tizzy. One of the nieces even whipped out a cell phone and hit speed-dial for her lawyer.

  Dawn cleared her throat. “We don’t have to follow the recipes. You can get whatever you want.”

  The entire table looked at her as if Moses had just parted the red sea with stone tablets and we were now at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, with perfect understanding shining down on all. Their faces sparkled with love and devotion for this saintly relative who had changed their lives completely.

  By saying exactly what I had said. Same words. God.

  Just then, Miss Chatter strolled up with some of our drinks. She paused at my chair and said “Here’s your Sake Sun-”

  I snatched the glass off her tray and gulped down half the contents, not caring that a bit of it dripped off my chin. Then I discreetly belched and turned to the circus. “Let’s go get in line, shall we?”

  Thirty minutes later, we all managed to join the end of that line. It wasn’t very long, which was a fine and good thing, but it was just the exact length to place our party directly in front of the area where you can pick up those damn cards with the little recipes, in case you need a reference tool as you work your way through the wondrous options and choices just ahead of us. Instantly, curious hands shot out to snatch up some of the cards, and the craziness kicked back in high gear.

  “Do I HAVE to get octopus?”

  “”What’s a pinch?”

  “I an NOT puttin’ that in MY mouth.”

  “Why is this card orange and that one green?”

  Me, inner voice: “Jesus, Mary and Joachin, will you let it GO with the freakin’ recipes! Nobody in this line is making ANYTHING that is written down. We are going to WING IT, and we are going to love the hell out of doing so!” Me, outer voice: “Just watch what I do, okay?”

  Suffice it to say that I aged a number of years getting through that line. I was in need of plastic surgery by the time I reached the end of it. I practically threw my bowl of rawness at the little attendant, ripped my number card out of her hand, and fled back to our table, where I downed the rest of my drink while simultaneously ordering two more of them. Our server took one look at my expression and wisely upped the total to three.

  Eventually, the rest of the tribe made it’s way back to the table, excitedly waving about their number cards and chattering about how fun it was to cook your own food. (Even though they didn’t actually do that part, but I kept my mouth shut.) Everybody put their numbers on this metal tree thing that helps servers reunite you with your silver bowl, post-grilling. Terry snapped a shot of our tree once it was fully prepped, which is shown below. And we’ll end our story here, since the picture, to me, captures the sheer insanity of the day. Bon appetit!

  (And yes, that’s a pair of chopsticks perched in front of my sister Dawn. She used them that day, of course. Effortlessly. Yet another feather in her sainthood. I just can’t win with her…)