Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 Suggested Facebook Changes

1. The “Delete All My Posts Made Under the Influence of Alcohol” button.

Tired of waking up in the morning with the nagging suspicion that you might have had too much fun with your wall last night? Just hit this button and an app will determine the sobriety level of all your posts, quietly removing now-awkward updates and comments, replacing them with recipes for humble pie.

2. The “Instantly Un-Friend Me From People Who Can’t Make A Coherent Update” button.

Click on this to weed out the friends who apparently never made it past the third grade and/or the English language, resulting in a status message of “U go didnt make told her she aint stupid cow mess a that. Sure did!!!!” There will be an additional option to also delete anyone who clicked “like” on these offensive updates, since supporting stupidity makes you an accessory to the crime.

3. The “Remind Me Why I Friended This Person” application.

Enter a friend’s name, and you will receive a detailed report of exactly what you were saying, thinking and wearing when contact was first made in the Facebook environment. We all have those questionable friend listings that are the result of murky, possibly lust-based decisions that we need to clean out every couple of months or so.

4. The “Status Flair” button.

For those troubled times when you can’t think of anything creative or worthwhile to put as your status, just hit this button and your mundane, yawn-inducing words will be poetically transformed into brilliance, worthy of at least 85 comments and possibly even a fan page.

5. The “Help Me Find This Thing That I Know Was There” search box.

While it is true that posts and links just up and disappear on Facebook from time to time, the real root of the matter is often the result of getting so buried in the pages, clicking here and there, following the bunny trail, that we end up on the wall of someone we have never heard of and never will again. An hour later, when you want to share that funny video you found with the cat riding a Harley, you can’t find it. Of course you can’t, that was 247 clicks and 3 countries ago. Even Moses couldn’t part that Red Sea.

But problem solved. With this fancy search box, just enter a few words about whatever and the program will instantly figure out exactly what you’re babbling about, take you to the link, bookmark it in all programs you own that allow book-marking, and send you a complimentary bagel in the mail.

6. The “Stalker Sterilization” program.

With this lovely security detail in place, you no longer have to worry about people friending you for unsavory purposes. Just as you are about to accept their request, a warning box will pop up, alerting you to the fact that this person has a reputation for commenting on every move you make and hitting the “like” button as if it was a pinata. You can then decide if you want to satisfy your vanity or your sanity.

7. The “I Never Chat On Facebook So If You See Me Doing So It Is A Glitch And You’d Best Not Open That Door” button.

Self-explanatory, yes?

8. The “I Love You But Don’t Send Me Those Damn Game Requests” program.

With this nifty feature, people who violate this agreement will be sent a small electrical shock if they click on your name for the invite. If you are one of those people who secretly play the games yet publicly whine about getting game requests, YOU will get the electric shock. Fair’s fair.

9. The “Politics Time-Out Status”.

Use this temporary status when, even if you normally are very vocal and supportive about your political causes, you are currently not in the mood for yet another post about someone decrying the Satan-like actions of a given politician. Sometimes you just want to read funny jokes about child-rearing or peruse photos of people doing stupid things after consuming tequila. We all need a break now and then.

10. The “Like Button” dropdown.

When clicking the “Like” button, you will now have subcategories that you can choose to better express why you are doing so. Example categories include:

“I’m not actually happy that this tragic thing has taken place in your life, but I wanted to show sympathy and support.”

“I only clicked because no one else has done so and your post looked sad and lonely. Do not take this as an invitation to become best friends.”

“I am so pleased that you have finally figured out how to link a YouTube video.”

“I don’t really agree with your statement, but everybody else in the family has liked it, and I don’t want to deal with hateful glances at Thanksgiving.”

“There. I finally clicked on something of yours. Quit making vague statements on your wall that some people don’t pay enough attention to you.”

“Too busy / tired / undersexed / overworked / disinterested to make an actual comment.”

“I made it past the Stalker Sterilizer. Hah!”

“No underlying motive. I just like it. Thanks.”

“Send money. Jody’s in jail again, damn fool.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

“True Blood” Casting Changes for the Upcoming Presidential Election Year

It’s true! Well, not really, but still. Let’s meet our new cast, who they will be playing and why they are qualified, and (this is True Blood, after all) whether or not we can expect to see them running naked and free through the lusty swamps of Bon Temps.

1. Sarah Palin as “Sookie Stackhouse”.

Qualifications: Excessive absenteeism at work, constantly demands attention and extensive wardrobes, has family members that made poor decisions in sexual relationships. Past TV Show: Sarah’s Alaskan Crapfest. Nudity expectations: Doesn’t own actual body, must speak with husband first, then Jesus.

2. Jon Stewart as “Bill Compton”.

Qualifications: Already has experience at doing things better than people and entire networks who are supposed to be doing the job, like reporting the news, so he should have no problem being the nocturnal King of Louisiana and trying to control a bunch of unruly vampires, just like Jon does every time he appears on Fox News. Past TV Show: A tiny little cult hit on Comedy Central. Nudity expectations: Only if Stephen does it, too.

3. Rick Perry as “Russell Edgington”.

Qualifications: Kept doing the wrong thing until he alienated the living (things like killing them on air and stuff), adheres to questionable moral code that no one understands or has ever seen, sure would love to have himself a plantation from back in the day when you could legally whip somebody for not making money for you fast enough. And then sell them. Past TV Show: Walker, Texas Deranger. Nudity expectations: Rumors abound on which side of bed he prefers, clarification meetings scheduled before final draft of scripts.

4. Mitt Romney as “Sam Merlotte”.

Qualifications: Apparently went to same shape-shifting academy as the Sam and Tommy brethren but did more homework, resulting in skilled wind-riding capabilities that carried him into the land of Fox News, just like Dorothy but with a different set of flying monkeys. Past TV Show: Played both Darrins on Bewitched. Nudity expectations: He’s Mormon. Hundreds of women have already seen him naked, no big deal.

5. Ralph Nader as “Tara Thornton”.

Qualifications: Started out as a really likeable character who provided wit and keen insight into issues, later devolved into goal-questionable persona with annoying ability to muck things up by supporting peripheral causes that affect voting outcomes in a not-good way. Tendency to be confrontational rather than olive-branch-offering, and possible lesbian. Past TV Show: Why Won’t People Listen To Me? Nudity Expectations: Consumer safety reports advise against operating this vehicle.

6. Rush Limbaugh as “Andy Bellefleur”.

Qualifications: Drug use, denial, and delusions. Past TV Show: Any episode of Lost, particularly an episode where you have no idea what’s going on (which would be all of them). Nudity expectations: None. By court order.

7. Hillary Clinton as “Pam De Beaufort”.

Qualifications: Amazing ability to stand by her man despite unfortunate choices involving interns, cigars, and national policy. Not afraid to deal with both stripper poles in trendy nightclubs and Gallup polls that require an adjustment in public speeches. Past TV Shows: Little Rock Junction and I Should Have Known Something Was Up When I Saw That Stupid Beret. Nudity expectations: I’ll have my people work with your people. But that’s a lovely blouse you’re wearing. Let’s do lunch.

8. Anthony Weiner as “Jason Stackhouse”.

Qualifications: Just had to go there. And it seems that the equipment is in order. Past TV Show: Meat the Press. Nudity expectations: Already met.

9. Rachel Maddow as Alan Ball, creator and producer.

Qualifications: Innate ability to distinguish fact from fiction, synopsize and present material without patronizing, and put belligerent people in their places. All of which will come in handy when the stars of the show get bitchy about who has the better trailer, entourage, or number of pointless sex scenes. Previous TV Show: Rachel Maddow Has the Answers and You Don’t. Nudity expectations: Currently evaluating all reliable sources before responding prematurely, but not afraid to show what needs to be seen.

10. Wolf Blitzer as “Alcide Herveaux”.

Qualifications: Just the wolf connection, not much else. But on this show, that’s enough. Past TV Show: Some mess where he stares at a map and spits out numbers and predicts things that have to do with primary colors. Nudity expectations: Exit polls indicate this is a non-galvanizing issue.

11. Michelle Bachmann as extra vampire in crowd scenes.

Qualifications: She’s already undead and doesn’t do anything really important, should work out fine whenever we need non-credited actors who can be killed off without affecting the story line in any way. Past TV Show: Anywhere there’s a camera and a microphone. Nudity expectations: Her husband hasn’t even seen the goods, so why should we?

12. Arnold Schwarzenegger as “Lafayette Reynolds”.

Qualifications: Because every actor needs a good challenge every now and then. Or even for the first time. And who doesn’t want to see a Republican finally meet Jesus? Previous TV Show: Let’s Make A Deal About Changing The Constitution So I Can Be President. Nudity expectations: Just check the Internet. Done.

Start sending your fan mail now! Of course, some of them can’t read, but don’t let that stop you. It certainly hasn’t stopped them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

10 Things That Tea Partiers Apparently Didn’t Learn In Kindergarten

It seems that many future Tea Party starlets missed some critical days of training during their early schooling, probably because they were already so busy attending questionable church festivals and taking baby steps toward their eventual insanity. But in the interests of fairness and the slight possibility of redemption, let’s review some highlights…

1. There was a reason for the safety scissors.

As with many potentially dangerous implements, it’s a good idea to start slowly with the learning curve. That’s why safety scissors had cute little round-end blades and the inability to actually cut much more than air. This was to keep first-termers from running around all hog wild, hacking away at everything they could get their hands on. Improperly-trained cutters will just grow up to slash everything in a budget that doesn’t directly fund something that will benefit their personal revenue stream. This is a bad thing.

2. Sometimes you have to work together with other people.

This is why a good kindergarten program includes structured group activities such as everyone participating in the creation of a mural about happy bunnies or a colorful pageant celebrating Thanksgiving harvests and side-dishes. The program does not include activities that encourage the ignoring of other schoolmates’ concerns and demanding that your own agenda be the only thing on the table or you’ll jack up the credit rating of an entire country. In fact, a good program would send this self-involved child to a quiet room where he can think about his actions while a stern letter is sent to his parents and constituents about what really happened.

3. Don’t eat the paste.

Granted, it can cause an intestinal disturbance, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since we’ve already noted in your progress report that your system needs some serious flushing out. But on the flip side, it can also cause you to have visions of Jesus instructing you to do idiotic things and then be obnoxious when confronted with the idiocy. (Side note to those with severe vision-based behavior: Contrary to the checks you get in the mail, Jesus is not two brothers with a four-letter-word for a last name.)

4. A package of construction paper has a rainbow of colors.

Just like people. And they all start out the same size.

5. Everyone gets juice and cookies during break.

The cookies don’t all go to just a few people, and no one controls the price of the juice so that their donors can make more money.

6. When your tummy hurts, you get to go see the nice nurse and she takes care of you. End of story.

You don’t have to sit there and suffer and be sad, you get to feel better as soon as possible, even if you can’t afford it or the place where Mommy works won’t help her like other Mommy work places will. (Unless you’ve lied too many times about being sick or trying to find a job. Then we need to talk.)

7. If you take out the alphabet blocks on the bottom of the tower, the whole thing falls over.

This is a fundamental, irrefutable precept that is being ignored by some folks who want to decimate the productive classes of society. If there are no worker bees, eventually there’s no honey, and you end up being the King of Nothing But Air. This would mean that Dora the Explorer would have to read her own maps and find her own food without the assistance of lower-paid, over-caffeinated friends and jungle animals. Little Dora would die in the forest, clutching her empty designer backpack.

8. You have to say the entire Pledge of Allegiance.

Not just the parts you like. Or just the part about God that wasn’t even added until 1954 by right-wing extremists (surprise!). And you can’t cross your fingers behind your back when saying any of the parts.

9. You have to follow all the rules of Chutes and Ladders.

You can’t just do what you want and expect to win. If you cheat, they make you quit. If you move somebody else’s token, they make you quit. If you show your genitalia on a communication device, it will eventually end up on the Internet, and they make you quit. Unless you’re a Republican, in which case you can keep playing and blame somebody else for something you did.

10. Don’t be a pushy bitch on the playground.

You’ll get a second chance to go down the slide after everyone else has had their turn. Everyone. Not just the people who watch Fox News and eat the paste.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

10 Survival Tips For The Next Appointment With Your Doctor

1. Don’t make one.

This is the best method of preventing humiliation and discomfort in a clinical establishment populated with people wearing designer scrubs and shoving needles in your arm. Sadly, your body often chooses to ignore this plan, and insists on having something go awry with one of your organs, systems or ability to fully enjoy frisky physical relationships. That being the case, there are certain steps you should always follow to minimize risk and dissatisfaction.

2. Make sure that the little receptionist lady fully understands that you have entered the building.

Don’t assume that just because you signed the arrival sheet and handed it back to her that she will do whatever she has to do to ensure timely processing. You must solidify your relationship with further validations of your check-in, like making direct eye contact, possibly shaking her hand, speaking positively about a brooch she is wearing, or even mildly hinting that sexual favors may be in the offing if she just keeps your place in line.

Otherwise, your little slip will be tossed to the side, resulting in hundreds of people arriving after you but going through the sacred inner-chamber door before you, forcing you to watch three successive hours of “Golden Girls” reruns on a crappy TV while unsupervised children scream and throw things.

3. Do not speak to anyone else in the waiting room.

No one. You never know which one of those people might be the whack-job who, when given the tiniest possibility that you might actually care about what they have to say, will immediately launch into a complete inventory about anything medical that has happened to them in their entire lives. Life’s too short for this. You are allowed one brief nod as greeting, no actual vocalization, and then never look at any of them again, instead staring at a blank spot on the wall or pretending to organize messages on your phone.

4. When they call your name, run like the wind.

Do NOT piddle around. Get your butt through the door as fast as possible. The staff is sick and tired of dealing with people who are sick and tired, and they just want to get things done, not stand around while you gather up your things and say goodbye to your new best friends in the waiting room. You don’t want to make the staff mad, or they will shunt you off to an exam room that the doctor doesn’t even remember he has, where you can rot while pondering your sins.

5. Do not be offended by what the scale says about your weight.

You might as well accept, beforehand, that the number on the scale is going to be higher than you want it to be. Those things lie. They are purposely made to add at least 10 pounds, and will never come close to matching the more pleasing number you just saw on your own scale at home. This is some international protocol, that doctor scales must be rude and overbearing. Just ignore the number. Unless it went down from the last time, in which case the scale is surely the most accurate scale the world has ever known..

6. Don’t be greedy with that lone, out-dated magazine someone left in the exam room.

Pace yourself. You may be sitting in here for a very long time, and you don’t want to use up your entertainment options with careless haste. Even if it’s a magazine that you would never consider reading in the real world, it may be your only friend for hours. Read each and every article, including the recipes for Mongolian goulash and tips on making your own facial scrub out of apricot jam and drywall spackle.

7. You may have to create your own amusements.

Of course, if no one has bothered to provide you with dry but time-killing literature, you can always make stick people out of the tongue depressors, with cotton-ball hair, and have them perform show-stoppers from Broadway shows. Naturally, to save yourself from perplexed questions and possible accusations of vandalism, you will have to quickly toss your little people behind a cabinet should you hear the door opening before the final curtain.

8. Embrace the fact that you must sit on top of paper that crackles constantly.

You have to do this, so you might as well accept it with some degree of dignity instead of making a big fuss about it. Yes, it can get very annoying, especially when you or the doctor has to repeat things because the damn paper is sending out Morse Code from betwixt your legs. (And really, what’s the true point of the paper? If something serious or lethal actually gets spilled on it, are we seriously to believe some really wide but cheap toilet paper is going to save the day? Thinking not.)

9. Don’t let the doctor turn the examination into anything about him.

This is your party. You didn’t spend three days in the waiting room just so he could tell you about his own gall-bladder issue back in the day, or how he doesn’t really care for tofu. Keep all the focus on you, and be sure to fully detail every physical concern you have that might require further study or at least the prescribing of happy pills with an envy-worthy number of allowable refills. Some doctors instinctively understand the proper priority. Others do not, and you must train them. Be strong.

10. Lie when necessary.

Always give the impression that things are happening to you out of sheer fate and circumstance, and not because of you neglecting things like exercise, a healthy diet, and moderate use of alcohol. This is critical. You want important people like insurance claims approvers to feel sorry for you, not hate you because you’ve become a burden on society with your slacker ways and disinterest in following rules. After all, if the insurance money dries up, it may be a long time until you can afford to sit on crackly paper again and make musical stick-dolls. And that would just be sad.

Monday, August 22, 2011

10 More Random Character Updates From “True Blood”

1. Eric just needs to make up his mind.

For three seasons we completely understood Eric. Didn’t necessarily care for his actions, but you could always depend on him to do something astonishingly brutal at just the right moment. Now he’s running around making whoopee with Sookie during inclement weather, not bothering to even stand up for himself when he would normally just kill his transgressor, and refusing to wear hair gel. And now he’s Antonia Granola’s bitch. Really?

2. We’re over the Andy Bellefleur thing.

So he’s addicted to V. Good for him. Now, can we move on from the scenes where he’s either jonesing for a fix or, having gotten one, proceeds to use his sudden burst of strength to irritate the local citizenry with his Napoleonic lust for an actual purpose in life? No wonder Katherine Helmond hasn’t been back on the show. Would you want to be the momma of that mess?

3. How has Merlotte’s managed to stay open?

Sam’s never around anymore, off screwing around with his subplot about Luna, her overly-willful offspring, and her Ex-Baby Daddy that clearly hasn’t been to a salon for several seasons. And Tommy, paragon of virtue, has been left in some type of in-charge capacity at the restaurant. Yet people continue to pile through the door in a quest for deep-fried Louisiana artery-cloggers like nothing untoward is happening. Is this how Republicans get elected?

4. Nan sucks.

Let’s see. We already have one vaguely drag-queen woman who runs around with severe makeup, has a foul mouth, and generally dislikes everybody who isn’t her or Eric. Her name is Pam, and she’s better at the bitchiness, hands down. And Nan refuses to divulge anything about her tenuous connection to The Authority, an organization that we stopped caring about because they never tell us what’s up with that. Nan needs to get a new gig to make her more interesting, preferably one with less evasiveness and mascara.

5. The Lafayette/Mavis thing.

Are we serious with this? Don’t you think it was a little bit easy to have Laff be possessed by a woman with issues? Stereotyping, much? Granted, with the way things played out, ending with Lafayette clutching le bebe and then Mavis soaring into Heaven or wherever it is that spirits go when their contract has run out in a TV series, I was unavoidably moved. But still, Mavis didn’t take that damn devil doll with her, and that really bothers me.

6. Luna.

Honey, haven’t we seen enough of your nipples?

7. The Sookie/Eric/Bill group-sex dream.

Okay, first, Sookie can wear mammoth-heeled stilettos with her trashy red lingerie (because doing such is so comfortable and natural), but Eric still has to bend over about three feet just to kiss her. Just how the hell freakishly tall is he anyway? (And when Bill stands next to Eric, I can’t help but think of a yellow brick road.)

Second, Sookie needs to eat more, because she looked like one of the finalists on “Survivor: Bon Temps Island”. And lastly, despite the attempt to make Sookie’s wishes in this dream be all about female-dominance, the male homo-erotica of Bill and Eric squirming on the couch sent me in a totally different direction.

8. Debbie done did Dallas.

Okay, she didn’t do Dallas, not that they’ve shown us, anyway, it was just fun to type that out. But she did do a lot of mean-ass stuff back in the relatively recent day, including trying to kill off the star of a TV show, and that doesn’t sit well with some people. I’m just not buying the complete reversal where she went from Cooter-lovin’ killer to someone who just wants to be held (even if it’s Alcide doing the holding). I’m expecting the Stepford-wiring to short-circuit at any moment and she’ll flip out again. Oh wait, did she just take some V? Uh oh…

9. Arlene and Terry

This is what you get if the Scooby Doo gang really did take all those rumored drugs. And never stopped. (And Arlene, sweetie, could you maybe not let that voice of yours get into the upper ranges so much? Love ya, but damn, girl.)

10. Hoyt and the Misguided Efforts

Two things. One, let’s not watch the nature channel so much, there’s enough wildlife right outside your jacked-up door. And two, no it’s not okay to have best friend Jason drop off The Monster’s box of CD’s and panties over to Jessica’s. Best friends are supposed to help you talk trash about your Ex, not perform custodial services and (unbeknownst to you, thus far) hook up with said Ex in the back of a pickup. And Ex’s aren’t supposed to jump so quickly on the best friends, especially in such an unglamorous, farm-vehicle-based manner.

Then again, maybe Sookie is on to something with that 3-way marriage business. Let’s wait until she gets done screaming and running over at that hotel where people are pretending to be nice, and then we’ll ask her more about it, mmmkay?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

10 Things I Learned During The Back-To-School Tax-Free Weekend in Texas

1. There’s really no reason to leave the house for 72 hours.

None. Getting out in this mess is just not worth it. Yes, you might save a few bucks, and who doesn’t want to do that right now, but the side-effects of venturing forth into the madness include frayed nerves, public-berating of unfocused relatives, the regretting of childbirth, and alcoholism. Is it really worth all that? If you end up being institutionalized, clutching discounted receipts and forever babbling about long check-out lines that speak of Satan, you really can’t enjoy those extra dollars in your checking account, now can you?

Sadly, despite the preceding two weeks of retailers blaring ads about the Tax-Free Extravaganza, it’s quite easy to forget that such a thing is taking place and simple tasks like running to get milk or return a rented jackhammer can turn into excursions of evil and face-clawing, because…

2. Everyone wants in on the parade.

Suddenly, even non-school-supply merchants start pretending that they are bastions of back-to-the-books bonanzas. Flyers arrive in your mailbox pronouncing that you can get deeply-discounted packages of notebook paper from home-improvement stores, dry-cleaners and gynecologists.

Amazingly, lots of folks buy into this below-the-belt luring, and rush to invade theoretical “tax-free weekend safe zones”, so you can’t even innocently pick up some pesticide for those red ants without climbing over screaming urchins who are slugging it out over the last remaining Dora the Explorer backpack.

3. The traffic is unreal.

Granted, any fool knows that you simply can’t go anywhere near shopping centers or strip malls during this weekend of insanity. But the frugal parents have to get to those places somehow, from wherever it is that they dwell, and this means that all highways and byways that get remotely near the malls will be cram-packed with soccer moms driving vans full of bouncing brats that are only excited about school supplies until they actually have to use them.

And don’t try using any alternate routes to get where you’re going, since those formerly-secretive avenues will be filled with those same vans, because the drivers are already slipping toward madness and they are desperate for any time-saving shortcut that might prevent them from doing something unspeakable that will be turned into a movie-of-the-week on Lifetime. Starring Tori Spelling, holding an apple pie in one hand and a machete in the other.

4. The school supply requirements are quite different from back in the day.

In my time, the shopping list was generally this: five shirts, two pairs of jeans, a pencil box, and some glue. Now I see shopping carts loaded with computers, netbooks, wireless phones (who do these children need to call?), backpacks that come equipped with ironing boards and wet bars, hundreds of those horrid stretchy bracelets for “social development”, and a personal assistant who will carry all this crap to school for them.

5. Some people have an unusual concept of proper school attire.

Maybe it’s just me, but one would think that an educational wardrobe for a third-grade girl should not include pint-size versions of halter-tops, navel-baring frocks, bustiers with the image of Lady Gaga on each cup, and gym shoes with stiletto heels. Then again, if Momma is pushing the shopping cart while dragging along a stripper pole just in case her services are needed, we probably have some apples that really didn’t fall far and it’s way too late for reformation.

6. Perhaps the need for some type of tax relief might have something to do with the parents not understanding value versus spending ability.

You’re going to buy that child a pair of Nike tennis shoes that costs $150 per foot? Are you kidding me? I can remember when my rent was less than $300. If you can justify that kind of expenditure in your budget, you clearly don’t need this weekend to help you get through it al. (And what extraordinary thing could that child possibly have done to deserve footwear that costs more than some Texas teachers’ salaries?)

Go back home and do something useful like teach your child to earn an allowance and buy his own damn shoes, and let the people who really do need the tax break spend less time standing in line behind you and the apparent long-lost child of a European royal family.

7. I’m amazed that Rick Perry still allows Texas to have this tax-free weekend.

Perhaps he does so for business reasons, there is that angle. But making it a little easier for the children of Texas to attend school must cause him considerable concern, because the last thing he needs for his political career is to have an educated public in this state. Just sayin.

8. One of the ripple effects of this weekend is that so many people are out and about that all the restaurants are crowded.

And this is the worst sin of all, as far as I’m concerned. Because when I want to eat, I should be able to do so without any undue impediments. It’s just better for everybody that my food requirements are met in a timely manner, trust me on this. I get a wee bit disgruntled when there isn’t a booth available at Applebee’s and we have to sit at one of those inane tables in the middle of the room, where the hell-raising beastly children can run past and whack my elbows because their parents are too busy on Facebook to remember that they still have offspring to raise properly.

9. Heat complicates things.

It’s 108 degrees, people. In the shade. No one should be doing anything right now. End of story. Why can’t we have a tax-free weekend when it’s cooler, like in November? Make those kids wear last year’s clothes for three months, maybe then they’ll be a little more appreciative of finally getting something new, and not expect Mommy to shell out for high-end couture just so they can look cute in Algebra I.

10. Exxon Mobile and General Electric don’t have to pay taxes on squat. Ever.

And we only get one weekend? Just sayin.

Friday, August 19, 2011

10 Political Statements Using Food At A Mexican Restaurant

1. The “Michelle Bachmann” Burrito

Take one regular meat burrito. Unwrap and remove all the good stuff, leaving nothing but hot air. Wrap tortilla back up. Make small picket sign using toothpick and sugar packet, proclaiming “Pray Away the Gay!”. Sell for $2, just like the imaginary price of gas that she dreamed up while waiting for Marcus to finish another private reversion therapy session with a hot client and put his clothes back on.

2. The “Rick Perry” Pico de Gallo

Take one Bible, one American Constitution, two letters threatening secession, the concept of public education, the ability to ignore any factual documentation that disputes scripted ranting, and the misunderstanding that Big in Texas does not necessarily translate to national relevance. Chop all ingredients into small pieces. Mix with satanic hair gel. Serve with every evening-news meal whether they request it or not. Wait for most customers to ignore the mess and eventually push it to the side of their plate. Throw in trash when customer leaves.

3. The “Sarah Palin” Salsa

Set small, empty bowl on table. Walk away before finishing your term as food server. Pause at magazine rack near door, wonder what those things might be, then head out door and check on pregnancy status of all your known children, using results to determine context of future political appearances.

4. The “Newt Gingrich” Nachos

Dig out menu from 1994. Find dish that no one has ordered in years or remembers why it managed to be popular back in the day. Cover with excessive amounts of cheese. Serve with a side of pointlessness.

5. The “Rick Santorum” Sizzling Fajitas

Take one incredibly-hot iron plate, throw on sliced vegetables, strips of meat and shredded morality. Place this creation on the table of patron just overheard making a gay slur, point at the steaming and crackling hot plate, and announce that this is just a friendly reminder where some people will be going for the hate-based things they have done in their lives. Hand the idiot a tiny pitchfork, then sing a show tune while heading back into the kitchen. (If time and scheduling permits, make this presentation whilst wearing drag, and a commitment ceremony is taking place at a neighboring table.)

6. The “John Boehner” Menu

Refuse to give the customer anything he orders. Unless it has Tea in it.

7. The “Rick Scott” Florida Flautas

This one takes some planning. Go online and order an extra-long alien. (There are many websites where this is possible, take your pick.) When he arrives, program him to act a certain way, a disguised manner that encourages disgruntled voters (read that as: People who don’t bother to actually do research) to vote for him. After the successful election, fry your long alien in Koch Brothers lard, which will chemically alter him and reveal his true colors. Garnish with an air of superiority and a disregard for what the people really want.

8. The “Wisconsin Cheese” Quesadillas

While most people are looking the other way and thinking something untoward can’t happen in their own state, do some wicked ground-level rearrangements that people didn’t heed the warnings about. With your new and conscience-devoid kitchen staff, force the cooks to create dishes that actually make people less full than when they sat down to eat. (Well, only certain people, the folks who actually work.) If anyone doesn’t want to eat the meal, threaten them with imprisonment.

9. The “Mitt Romney” Refried Beans

Start cooking this dish on the left side of the stove, move it temporarily to the middle, then shove it to the right and pretend like the first two recipe instructions never happened. Done. (Also available in multiple servings for card-carrying members of the “We still have polygamy but pretend like we don’t” Society.)

10. The “Glenn Beck” Sour Cream Enchilada

Take one disgruntled ball of sourdough, allow it to rise on a burner powered by Fox News, watch as the dough expands to epic proportions of slander and stupidity, then step back and watch as the dough implodes from self-importance, the power to the burner is cut off by previously-limitless Fox News, yet the dough refuses to believe that his relevance has expired. Serve with grapes.

Please take a moment of your time to fill out a comment card on our service, and thank you for dining at Bonnywood Manor!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Granny Mae Saves The World, Part II: Rick Perry’s Hair

So I was sittin’ out on the back porch, eatin’ me a moon pie and wonderin’ if that Bufford family down the street was ever gonna spit out a kid that was worth somethin’, when one of my own youngins hollered out for me to come look at the TV for a minute. I thought about pretendin’ like my hearin’ was done gone, but this was one of my feisty girls hollerin’ and I knew she wouldn’t shut up till I took a gander.

So I dragged my ass in the house, bangin’ through the screen door and throwin’ my wadded up pie wrapper at one of the cats, the speckled one that could play with that piece of nothin’ for hours. Made me wonder if sometimes it wouldn’t be better to just be simple and let people feed you.

“Mae…. Hurry!” yelled Lizzie from the TV room. “You gonna miss it!”

I paused a sec, because she done about 47 different things wrong in those five seconds. First off, I have never cared for her callin’ me Mae. I’m her mother, and she was breach, which means she needs to respect me till one of us dies, way I see it. But no, fool girl has to go off to the only college that would let her in, where she took drugs and read snooty books and came back home callin’ me “Mae” instead of “Momma”, like the first 20 years of her life was just practice. Total waste of hard-earned money, that school was.

Name changin’ didn’t stop there, though, no sir. Switched her own name from “Marisa” to “Lizzie”. Now how the hell you get “Lizzie” out of that? Said it fit her spirit self better. Bunch a crap. “Marisa” is a fine name, got it from a nice Mexican couple that lived near us back in the day, thought it was a real fine name, pretty. Had no idea my child would turn her nose up at it twenty-odd years later. Damn school again. At least the lesbian thing didn’t stick. Nothin’ wrong with likin’ the women, ‘course, that comes from inside and can’t be helped, but I knew Marisa wasn’t that way. Mommas know.

Like I know that this child ain’t the sharpest tool, never was. Just callin’ it for what it is, fair and square. Poor thing thinks I’m gonna miss whatever’s on the TV ‘cause she still don’t get the “pause” button on the remote. Tried tellin’ her a hundred times, but she still waits for a commercial to run pee real fast. We all have our ceilings.

All this went through my head in about three seconds, ‘cause when you get old you got to get things done, no time for screwin’ around, not like when you’re a young pup and you can take three months before you get around to seein’ a movie you wanna see. At my age, you go do somethin’ soon’s you think about it, or it might not ever happen.

I clattered into the TV room and plopped in my second favorite chair, ‘cause my favorite had Lizzie’s big-ass purse takin’ up all the space and I don’t like to do heavy-liftin’ after suckin’ down a moon pie. “What’s all the fuss about?”

Lizzie hauled her ass off the couch, ‘cause she’s one of those that can’t just say somethin’, it has to be a production with tickets and everything. “I think they’re gonna show Rick Perry sayin’ he’s gonna run for President!”

My poor, simple child. “Honey, we all know he’s gonna run, what you all fired up about?”

Lizzie lost a little of her spark, like she always does when folks don’t give her a gift certificate for every thought that falls out of her head. “Well I didn’t know. He hasn’t said yet. How does everybody know he’s runnin’ if he hasn’t said.”

I did one of my careful smiles, just a little turn-up at the corners so I didn’t seem like I was makin’ fun. “Honey, he’s been talkin’ about it for a year. That’s somethin’ you don’t talk about unless you mean to do it, or the tax man catches up to you before you can. It’s all a show.”

Lizzie/Marisa/Not-Lesbian frowned. “Whaddya mean a show? You’re makin’ it sound like you don’t think he’s serious.”

“Oh, he’s serious, alright.” I smoothed out my skirt that was all wrinkled for some reason, one of those “don’t know what the hell happened but it did” things, things you don’t have time to worry about in your golden years. “He’s right serious about running for President. And I’m sure he thinks he’s gonna win.”

Lizzie plopped back down on the couch, in that rough, un-womanly way she has, somethin’ I know I didn’t teach her, so it must have come from her daddy, or maybe that preacher from Locust Grove we had on loan for a year way back when most of my kids were still wild-eyed. That preacher ended up in prison a few years later, somethin’ about farm animals and some missin’ money, never really knew. We’ll blame him for Lizzie not sittin’ like a lady, I already blame her daddy for enough else.

“You sound like you don’t want him to win,” pouted Lizzie, her eyes havin’ that look they do when she’s not sure she’s going to understand an answer but it’s worth a try.

“Well, I don’t want him to win, truth be said. Man has done some terrible things in Texas, awful things, and to let him get the chance at hurtin’ the whole nation, well, it’s not right.”

Lizzie squirmed around on the couch, in that fidgety way she has of lookin’ like she’s about to birth a calf, right there on the afghan that took me six months to finish up. “How can you not like a man that wants to get Jesus back in our lives?”

Hold up. Didn’t see that comin’, no way. “Honey, what are you talkin’ about?”

Lizzie rolled her eyes, another feature she got from her daddy or the livestock preacher. “He had a big ole prayer meetin’ in Houston, askin’ the Lord to get us back to right.”

Well, now. That took me aback. Not so much for the prayer meetin’, cause that was just a big load of people with nothin’ better to do than act uppity and decide how everybody else should live their lives. But I’m not one to ask anybody to give up on their faith, whatever that might turn out to be, unless that faith means hurtin’ people for no reason. So I had to be tender. “Baby girl, you been goin’ to church lately, is that where your heart is?”

Lizzie squirmed some more, and I really wanted to run snatch that afghan out from under her before she tore up my handiwork, but I let it go. Then she took a deep breath, a sign I learned long ago that means she’s about to say somethin’ dumbass, and I braced myself. “Mae, I know you think I lost my way back when I went to the college, everybody says it down at the beauty shop, I can hear ‘em even though they don’t think I can, and maybe I did make some poor choices, but I’m tryin’ to do right now. We need Jesus in the White House. And Rick Perry has the best hair ever!”

Aw, hell. For two seconds there, I actually thought my girl had some sense finally, and my eyes almost got watery. Then she had to go and yuck it up with nonsense, and even though I try to stay level-headed, ‘cause you really have to do that when your family is a little crazy, I couldn’t help myself. “Rick Perry has the best hair? Honey, what are you talkin’ about? That hairdo of his is somethin’ you’d see on the head of some Church of Christ wing-nut just before he slipped in the backdoor of a whorehouse. And what has hair got to do with runnin’ this country?”

As I’m sure you can guess, I done lost her with that little outburst. Her face all scrunched up and her eyes got beady, her fingers rippin’ at that afghan that I might as well give up on bein’ good for company no more. “But you’re a Republican! Essie Lee says when you’re a Republican you vote for who they tell you to vote for!”

Well, this was some fresh hell out of nowhere. (Although it did confirm that Lizzie was still friends with that no-good tramp Essie Lee, even though Lizzie had denied it up to this point, a bit of fact that I could file away and whip out at a better time. Mommas have to juggle their vengeance, the good mommas know that. And I had more pressing issues.) “What makes you think I’m a Republican?”

Lizzie seemed startled, in that way I knew meant she’d done forgotten somethin’ else important like she’s always doing. “But you vote conservative…”

“No, honey, I vote for what is right at the time. Things change, you pick the best option. If you have to be black and white about things, maybe you’re not looking at the whole picture. But right now, the Republicans have a big ole stick up their ass and they seem hell-bent on destroying our country.”

Lizzie’s eyes welled up, with tears a comin’, then she hopped off the couch with more spring than I figured her blood sugar levels would let her. She went to runnin’, but not before she could blurt out somethin’ mean. “You hate me, that’s what this is all about. You never want me to be happy!” Then she popped into the guest bathroom and slammed the door, proceedin’ to start knockin’ around all the pretty knick-knacks I done set out to make our friends comfortable when they had to tinkle when visitin’.

Well, this was now out of control, and it was time for reinforcements. Which meant I had to call her daddy, bein’s I was all dead to her now, somethin’ that happens every other weekend or so since there ain’t nothin’ else to do around here but watch the corn grow. I picked up the phone and punched in some numbers. It only rang once, which meant that Virgil was just as bored on a Saturday night as we were. “I need you to come get your daughter off the ceiling.”

Virgil sighed. “Which one?”

“Who do you think?”

“What pissed her off now?”

“She wants to vote for Rick Perry because of his hair.”

Virgil sighed again. “Does she understand what he’s done to the people of Texas?”

“Went there, sure did, she has no clue. None. So I’m assumin’ that the Tea Party done got her at the Piggly Wiggly. Probably a Christian bake sale or somethin’.”

Virgil chuckled. “Sure is different than we ever thought it‘d be, ain’t it, Mae, these later years?”

“Yep, different times, Virgil. But we still gotta knock some sense into people. That never changes.”

“Well, I’ll hop in the truck. Still got some of that bourbon I got you last Christmas?”

“Still got, Virgil. Learned to keep it on hand. Ever since the breach birth and folks started gettin’ ate up with the dumb-ass.”

“See ya in a minute.” Took him about five minutes to get the phone back to wherever he puts it, him bein’ so ungainly and all, opposite a me, and provin’ once again he’s the one that taught our kids to be uncoordinated. I went back into the TV room, knocked Lizzie’s ugly purse on the floor, and took a seat, her bangin’ on somethin’ in the bathroom ‘cause she can’t stay focused, and me waitin’ on her daddy to come bring her back down just by walkin’ in the room.

Maybe I oughta get me another moon pie, keep me company till the next show around here. Might just oughta.

Monday, August 15, 2011

10 Random Character Updates From “True Blood”

Mea culpa: I’m offering up this temporary salve to the dedicated followers of my “True Blood” reviews. I know that I have been incredibly negligent the last few weeks with my updates, for various reasons, most of which can only partially justify my waywardness. Anyway, herewith are just some thoughts about certain characters so far, and if you aren’t caught up with the show, you should consider this a spoiler alert and run do something else rather than read this. Here we go…

1. Sookie

Sweetie, seriously, you’re a down-to-earth Southern Gal who generally makes decent decisions while still managing to look cute and serve pie at Merlotte’s with admirable efficiency. But honey, you ain’t been nowhere near Merlotte’s lately, running around and doing the bang-bang with Mr. Eric, often in strange beds that magically appear in the midst of pretty snowfalls. I know that must be a lot of fun and all, but let Uncle Brian break a few things down for you.

You realize that Eric is only acting this way because there’s been some Wiccan pussy-whipping, right? He didn’t choose to become Forrest Gump with blond hair and better pecs, this was thrust upon him by measly Marnie who just happened to wake up one day with the spirit of a pissed-off witch living in her head. At any second or flip of a witch switch, he’ll be back to his bad self, annihilating people just because it’s fun and there’s nothing good on the TV.

Lastly, I’m sure you’re very proud of your breasts, still being young and all, when those things have a certain springy bounce, but I think we’ve seen enough of them. Thank you for keeping your top on in the next few episodes, no matter how hard the snow might fall.

2. Bill

Dude, I don’t even know where your head is at this season. That king mess is making you annoying and off-putting, especially for people like that whiny Portia Bellefleur, the one you stopped having sex with just because way back in the day both of your ancestors bumped uglies. Why you gettin’ all moralistic about that, when apparently incestuous slap-and-tickle doesn’t get folks too riled up in your part of the state? Besides, your abrupt ending to the relationship has meant that we haven’t seen Katherine Helmond since, a sin of great magnitude that must be dealt with at some point.

Anyway, we need some more effort on your part. Many of us are still pining for you and Sookie to get back together, if only so you can recreate that splendid graveyard scene from back in the day, when you tore your way out of the earth so you could make beastly love with the pie-scented Sookie as she once again encountered something unexpected while wandering stupidly through the Bon Temps cemetery. Let’s have some more of that, and less of the ordering people around and trying to silver your friends.

3. Eric

You are so cute and cuddly right now. And boring. Not really liking that second part. Snap out of it and do something atrocious so we can go back to the roller coaster of not caring for your actions but still wanting to sleep with you and your oddly-long torso. Although, based on the final few minutes of last night’s episode, when you did that aggressive open-heart surgery on a minor character, you might just be finding your way back to good vamp/bad vamp duality. Yay.

4. Jason

Well, now that you’ve left those Panther People behind (as far as we know, anyway), you’re actually turning out to be one of the most stable citizens of Bon Temps, something we never would have guessed at when you fornicated your way through the first couple of seasons. (Not that we minded watching that at all, you just keep right on removing restrictive clothing at any opportunity.) And that thing you did last night when you managed to close both those front doors using just your legs while spread-eagled on the floor? Quite moving. But let’s be careful with that Jessica angle, though, because she just might up and…

5. Jessica

Leave Hoyt? Hell, no. Girl, you need to settle down. Yes, Jason is one mighty fine snack plate, but he’s also still alive, which is the same condition that Hoyt is in, for now, and you seem a little put-out with that aspect of Hoyt at the moment. Don’t jump from one frying pan into another. (Sorry, poor choice of phrasing.) Besides, you and Hoyt were the cutest couple for a long time and everybody loved you, and you’re not going to care for the fan mail if you break his heart. Then again, it may be too late to patch things up, because Hoyt done gone and…

6. Hoyt

Kicked Jessica out? Dude, don’t you think you overreacted a tiny bit? Poor little dead Jessica was trying to explain her complex emotions, which you should have calmly listened to, not being dead and all and not really having any clue, but no, you decided to reenact one of your favorite scenes from some Rambo movie. (And did you have to kill that innocent lamp? It did nothing to you. That’s just bad sportsmanship.)

I understand that you’re feeling a little blue and unloved at the moment, so this probably won’t taste very good, but in that breakup scene you were acting just like your mother, getting mad because people won’t behave the way you want them to. (Cue Anthony Hopkins to stroll up carrying a shower cap.) But at least you’re not as messed up as…

7. Tommy

We’re over you and your inability to function as a decent human being. So your parents sucked, big deal. Other people have been through the same thing and managed to survive without having to kill mom and pop, although some of them did grow up to be Republicans. And you’d think, with your annoying new ability to change into whoever you want, you’d do something useful with that skill, instead of sleeping with the love interest of…

8. Sam

Man, when you step in it, you stomp down really hard. What’s up with that? New girl Luna has some serious issues, some of which you can’t control despite your insistence on fixing things for other people even though they don’t ask for or want you to help. Perhaps it’s time to rethink your romantic choices. Everybody you boink either grows to hate you, turns into a demon at really inopportune times, or runs off to New Orleans to become an angry and deceitful lesbian. Speaking of….

9. Tara

Not really getting the bad attitude, girl. Yes, you’ve had it rough, with alcoholism and possessed boyfriends betraying you and vampires trying to kill you and entire episodes where the scriptwriters just had you smoking a cigarette and not saying anything useful. But really, ain’t nobody up in that Bon Temps grill is having a swell time. (Did you hear that Hoyt and Jessica broke up? I know!) So you need to buck it up. And by bucking up, I’m not sure that means joining forces with a possibly confused, probably crazy, definitely dowdy schoolmarm by the name of…

10. Marnie

Or Antonia Granola Whatever the Hella. Look at you and your bad self, getting to play two different roles and making all the other actors just a tad bit jealous. Of course, since you’ve managed to irritate or cast spells on most of the main characters, your time in the split-personality sunshine will probably come to an end in a loud and gory way, but who knows. Some people stick around way longer than originally planned. (Can I get a high-five, Lafayette?)

But I do have one favor to ask. Could you possibly start wearing outfits that don’t remind me of home-schooling or people knocking on my door and wanting to tell me about the Lord? Thanks so much. I knew you’d understand. At least one of you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

25 More Mostly Pointless But Snappy Comebacks When Debating A Crazed Right-Winger

1. “Do you have to unhinge your jaw to swallow all that crap on Fox News?”

2. “I’m assuming you have people on your staff who can tie your shoes for you, right?”

3. “So, when you were little, was the monster in your closet bi-racial and able to speak complete sentences?”

4. “Did your family get a group rate on those lobotomies?”

5. “I’d call you a liar, but that’s a compliment with your people.”

6. “The woman should be submissive to her husband? So he’s the one telling you to be a total bitch?”

7. “Well, would you look at that. If I tap my shoe three times, half of the Republican men in here drop to their knees and stick their tongue out.”

8. “Is it hard finding shoes that you can get your cloven hooves into?”

9. “Of course you don’t like Welfare. It’s the one thing your money can’t buy.”

10. “Just curious. How do you keep from bursting into flames when you walk into a church? Is it the formaldehyde?”

11. “I’d ask you to point that country out on a globe, but I realize you still think the world is flat, and that’s just unfair of me.”

12. “I’m assuming you don’t shop at Benetton.”

13. “You’re having a prayer vigil for the economy? Isn’t that like asking Rick Perry to care about public education?”

14. “Yes, I see why you don’t like Rachel Maddow. That brazen hussy just insists on finding the facts, doesn’t she? So rude of her. Now, that Rush Limbaugh, he doesn’t give a hoot about truth. Have you slept with him yet? Because I’m sure he really turns you on. And he has prescription pills you can both take to help you forget what actually happened. And I believe that forgetting is the firmest plank in your party, yes?”

15. “You understand about as much of American history as I understand your willful decision to be an idiot.”

16. “So, does your hatred of Social Security stem from the fact that it’s kept too many liberal voters alive and well?”

17. “What part of ‘there was a surplus when Clinton left office’ do you not understand?”

18. “Are you still able to use those sheets after you’ve cut eyeholes in the hood? Because it would suck having to buy fresh linen every night. I feel your pain.”

19. “You want to reclaim America? From whom? The Americans?”

20. “Michelle Bachmann thinks the Italian Renaissance, especially Leonardo and Michelangelo (Gay artist alert. OMG!), is responsible for the downfall of America. Really? So, along that line of thinking, Marcus is responsible for the downfall of Michelle’s sanity. Because surely Michelle couldn’t have gone off the deep end without the assistance of an artistic homosexual, right? That’s got to be in the Bible somewhere.”

21. “Speaking of the Bible, I know that you haven’t read the entire thing, or you would have noticed the part about ‘do unto others’. So let me shorthand it for you. Goes around, comes around. You too, shall pass.”

22. “Sarah has visions of Russia from her house, Mitt upholds a religion whose founder had visions of thousands of wives, John McCain has visions that alternately lead him from far-right to middlin and back again, Herman Cain has visions of being elected leader of a party that hates black people despite their desperate inclusion of them just to get votes, and Newt Gingrich has visions that he still matters in any way. With all these visions, who needs TV?”

23. “Global warming doesn’t exist? Obviously there’s been a major climate change because you have been spawned in some manner. That wouldn’t have happened in a non-chemically-altered environment.”

24. “You want to completely eliminate taxes and still expect the government to function? Good luck with that.”

25. “Did you really think we wouldn’t notice that you’re an asshole?”

End Trans.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

20 Signs That You Really, Really Need A Margarita

1. You whack at the alarm clock, fully intending to get another 10 minutes of sleep, and the snooze bar snaps off the clock and flops under the bed. And now the alarm won’t turn off at all.

2. You realize that you’ve worn every outfit in your closet at least a hundred times, and there’s really no point in going on.

3. You go to make coffee, then realize that you were supposed to buy more. Last night at the supermarket. When you were standing in the coffee aisle. Trying to remember what you were supposed to buy. So you bought Cheez-It’s instead and hoped that was right.

4. You get in the car and the gas tank is empty. Oh, yeah. Forgot about that, too. Whoopsie. Now you’ll have to stop at that nasty gas station on the corner that you normally avoid because it smells like feet, and that one guy thinks that belching is a form of communication. Yay.

5. The traffic lights are blinking red and no one knows how to behave. At six consecutive intersections. Like the city just gave up and decided that your part of town isn’t worth the maintenance.

6. You walk into the workplace and your manager immediately hits you with “an opportunity”. Before you can even set your purse down. Or get fully in the door. You still haven’t had any coffee. There’s no way this is going to be pretty.

7. You learn that you will have a partner in this opportunity, the socially-stunted “Gerald” that lives three cubes over, a man who has never actually turned on his PC or met anyone that he hasn’t tried to sleep with, despite the utter refusals, restraining orders, and firing of warning shots. He just doesn’t get it. In more ways than one.

8. Your manager, with that clearly fake smile, informs you that you and Gerald the Man-Whore really need to get this project done, pronto, despite no money in the budget for things like overtime, copy-machine paper, or an explanation of what it is that he actually needs you to do. You decide that it really wouldn’t be too bad having to wear orange prison jumpers after you kill your boss. You hate your own clothes, anyway, time for a change.

9. As soon as your manager runs off to find a bigger-title ass that he hasn’t kissed today, Gerald announces that he just remembered a dental appointment and he runs out the door, hinting that you may not see him again until conveniently after the project is due. Something about wisdom teeth. You know this is a lie because he can’t possibly have any.

10. The phone rings and you stupidly pick it up without doing a sanity-check on the Caller ID. It’s your mother, who still doesn’t understand that you don’t actually live at home even after 20 years. She wants you to fix the broke step on the stoop. She lives three states away, and can’t seem to grasp what this means.

11. Lunch time. You pick up the microwave meal that you dutifully brought from home and has basically been thawing on the corner of your desk for four hours because you were too lazy to put it in the office fridge. Should still be fine, you’ve risked far greater food dangers. You schlep to the break room, and discover that the microwave door is missing. Not just broken, gone. Really?

12. You briefly consider nuking it anyway, assuming that if you dash to the other end of the hall you should be relatively safe from the radiation. Then again, it would be just your luck for the president of the company to pop in for a candy bar, be felled by radioactive air, and investigators trace the meal back to you since “Don’t touch and I mean it!” has been scribbled on the container in your handwriting. Not worth the risk.

13. You stomp up three flights of stairs (damn elevator is always out of order) to another microwave that thankfully hasn’t been vandalized, and slap your meal in the thing and punch some buttons. While the machine whirs, Bitsy Longbottom, who has never had a life of her own, wanders in and makes offhand comments about how people shouldn’t use things if they don’t work on that floor.

You realize that if you engage in actual conversation with Bitsy, you will probably kill her, so you remain silent until the ding, then slam the microwave door on your way out. (Oh, maybe that’s what happened to the one downstairs, Bitsy irritating someone to the point of slamming. She should be fired.)

14. Back downstairs at your desk, you gently start peeling back the cardboard top of the container, being super careful and all. Right when you just about complete your mission, Satan reaches up from Hell and slaps the container upside down in your lap. Boiling hot fake meatloaf gravy gushes everywhere. The saddest part of the whole scene is that no one even bothers to stop by and see why you are screaming in pain.

15. Hours later, your crotch still smoking slightly, but at a stopping point on the project, you head out of the building, into the underground parking, down to the bottom level, and across several acres of concrete to the safe spot where you normally park your car so mean people like Bitsy can’t key it. Then you remember that you parked way back on the top level because you were running late after all those misbehaving stoplights. Your left eye starts to twitch.

16. Back up the stairs and to the actual location of your car. It hasn’t been keyed by Bitsy, there’s a plus, but it has been ticketed. This is most surprising, mainly because you didn’t realize you could GET a ticket in your company’s parking garage, never having seen anyone else get one. What’s the deal? You peruse the comments on the ticket, apparently having been written by someone sitting on a vibrator.

It seems this spot is reserved for someone you’ve never heard of. Reserved? You look around for any kind of signage or spokes-model for more information. There’s nothing. Nada. The only thing you can find is a small pile of cigarette butts in an upper corner of the parking space. If that’s supposed to indicate that you shouldn’t park here, you obviously speak a different language than these people. Fine.

17. You throw everything in the car and get out of there. Once clear of the parking garage, you whip out your wireless to call your bestie just to vent, and you realize that you don’t have a signal. Right as you are driving past a cell tower with the name of your provider emblazoned on the side of it, along with the slogan “Best network in the country!” Uh huh.

18. On the way to your dwelling, you stop at the supermarket, hoping that this time you will remember everything you forgot the last time instead of just going home with crackers and a false sense of accomplishment. You spy an empty slot in the parking lot, professionally head toward it, blinker on, and get cut off at the last minute by a van loaded down with multi-fathered children, and bumper stickers proclaiming that Jesus is partly responsible for the piloting of this vehicle.

Breathe. Just breathe.

19. You park in another state, then stagger into the store, with everything twitching by this point. You head right for the coffee aisle, the one must-have you can remember since it’s been 36 hours without caffeine. You turn the corner, and discover that all the shelves are completely empty. A small sign, bearing the scrawled message of a 5-year-old in purple crayon and attached to one of the shelves with duct tape, explains that there has been a recall due to a misunderstanding with the good people of Bolivia.

While your jaw swings in the wind, you suddenly get a call on your wireless. (What, you can’t get a signal right next to the tower, but we’re clear as a bell in the dry goods section of Happy Mart?) Oh, wait. It’s your bestie calling!

20. You: “Girl, you are not gonna believe this day. We are going drinking, and we are going drinking right now. I’ll meet you at Ojeda’s in 10 minutes.”

Bestie: “Oh, honey, I forgot to tell you. I started that new diet this week, the one where I can’t have any liquid carbs, or vegetables that were grown above-ground. Alcohol has carbs. Can’t do it. Maybe some other time?…. Oh my, what was that noise?… Sweetie?…Are you still there?…. Why do I hear a baby crying?…”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Granny Mae Saves the World, Part I: That Damn Budget Mess

Note: Some of my long-time blog buddies may recall the peripheral character of Granny Mae Dean, the ancient-but-wise proprietor of Granny Mae’s Bait Shack and Trailer Park, who would pop up from time to time, holler out something sweet and spicy, then wander back to wherever she come from. Well, turns out Granny Mae done got herself elected mayor of Gravy Bucket, Oklahoma, and we join her just as she’s about to deliver her first annual State of the Trailer Park Address…

Hey, y’all!

Oh, shoot. I done messed up already. My speakin’ coach keeps harpin’ about not sayin’ y’all all the time, says it makes me sound country and backwoods, but I just can’t help it, said it all my life and all. And it ain’t like ya don’t know what I mean by the word, like everybody’s standin’ around and scratchin’ their ass and wonderin’ who the hell I’m talkin’ about. You know I’m talkin’ about you. Unless you’re simple. And if that be the case, you got other things to worry about other than who I’m talkin’ to.

But I suppose I need to clean it up a little, get all fancy with my speakin’, in case that fool governor ever makes his way to town like he promised, sendin’ a telegram to the Miss Gravy Bucket Festival and sayin’ he couldn’t wait to see us soon’s he could. I reckon he’s more interested in seein’ our tax money than our actual faces, but you gotta play nice and do what you have to do.

Speakin’ of, that’s one of the things I wanted to talk to you fine folks about. People playin’ nice, or not playin’ nice when they should be. I’m talkin’ about them dumb-asses up to Washington and what they’re doin’ with our national money. Is that some jack-up or what? I haven’t seen that kinda mess since the Barfield clan kept marryin’ the wrong cousins until they lost the farm and some of ‘em went to jail. All ‘cause of stupidity and not paying attention.

Now, I know that we got mixed thinkin’ about it right here in Gravy Boat as well. Some a you don’t want no more spendin’ and some of you think we should find more money where we can. And you feel rightly strongly about your thinkin’. And that’s fine. Up to a point. Things get outta hand after that. That’s why I had to send all you budget committee people home last night when some of you started actin’ a fool, sayin’ you ain’t gonna vote for nuthin’ unless it was somethin’ you wrote. Three-year-olds do that, not city council members.

We got to get serious and finish our budget soon. We don’t have a lot of time for anybody to be puttin’ themselves first and cryin’ like a baby if anybody calls ‘em on it and runnin’ to tell crap to the TV people that ain’t true or has nuthin’ to do with anything. If we don’t make some decisions, them folks over to Thomasville are gonna sweep in and take our town ‘cause of the money we owe them. They’re gonna incorporate us. Know what that means?

[General stirring in audience, with some folks over-excited about participating in the discussion and others snorting awake at all the commotion.]

No, Sammy Bob, thank you for yellin’ out an answer, but it ain’t got nuthin’ to do with sex and pigs. Why you always gotta go there? I know your momma raised you better than that. You need to stay off that Internet thing.

Why, yes, Emily Sue, that’s right. It means they will dissolve our local government and assume control of all town properties. You are such a smart little girl. And such a pretty dress. Make that yourself, did ya? You got a steady hand, you do. Your momma will be so proud of you when she gets out of prison.

Now, those of you that are starin’ at Emily like she’s holdin’ a snake at Sunday service, let me spell it out for you in a way that’s closer to your heart. If we don’t pay our bills, we’re going to lose everything, including our own high school, and our own football team, which means no more Friday nights where we go over to Thomasville and kick their city butts down their fancy field.

[The crowd erupts in panic, with two women fainting, three grown-men crying, and heads turning to the skies in prayer, pleading for celestial assistance in stopping such a horrid athletic disruption.]

Now, now, get back in your seats, we ain’t dead yet. (Lila Belle, could you run check on Annie Sue and Susie Anne? They done passed out right on top of that power cord and the last thing we need is for their bloomers to go up in flames.) But at least I got your attention, so we can start making some decisions. And we basically got three choices. Cut spending, raise taxes, or some mess of both.

[The crowd was instantly on their feet again, with part of them running to the right side of the room, part of them running to the left, and the reminder sitting atop a fence that someone had conveniently left in the middle aisle.]

For Gawd’s sake, people, is that the only way you know how to act? Get your asses back in your seats and let’s talk bout this like grown-ups. And quit lookin’ around for TV cameras and practicin’ the speeches somebody else wrote up for ya. I am not in the mood for any of that. I’ve had the sheriff stop all TV people at the town limit, even those Fox News people who will lie about anything just to get their ratings up, and that Rachel Maddow woman, who scares me because she’s too smart.

We are going to sit here, and you’re going to listen to me talk for a spell, and then you can talk, if you want, and we’re all going to make up our own minds about things, and then we’ll decide what to do. Nobody’s filler-busting and nobody’s refusing and nobody’s attaching anything to anything. We are going to work things out. You might have all the time in the world. But I don’t.

See, I been around forever. A very long time. There ain’t nothin’ I ain’t heard of, and I’ve probably done whatever it is at least once. Twice if it felt good or I got a prize. I’ve seen it all, and it comes down to this: how people treat one another determines everything. You gotta have respect for a person, whether you like them or their beliefs or their hairdo or not. Every person comes with a different story. Your story ain’t the only one in the book.

Let’s start with them there taxes. Don’t nobody like ‘em or want to pay ‘em. That’s natural, wantin’ to keep your own money. But let me ask you this. How the hell do you think things get paid for? That city swimming’ pool? You think it just walked up in the middle of the night, dug a hole, and then shoved its butt in the ground? ‘Course not. We had to buy it. Same with roads and schools and jails and water mains and police and firehouses and the town drunk tank. Everything costs money. Everything.

Including welfare, and this is where we lose a lot of folks with the budget. They don’t wanna give handouts. They get mad about people sittin’ around and doin’ nuthin’ and gettin’ a government check. Well, I’d have a problem if that’s all it was, free money for lazybones. But it ain’t, and if you don’t realize that, you’re missin’ a few cards from your deck, just shootin’ straight.

I dare any of you to look me in the eye and say there ain’t nobody in your family that hasn’t hit a rough spot. We all have our troubles with money, now and again, unless you come from a long string of family money and never had to work a day in your life. And if you ain’t never worked, at a real job, you shouldn’t be makin’ decisions about people who do. That mess about jury of your peers and all. Welfare is a good thing. The bad part comes when people are decidin’ what to give out and what not.

Which brings us round to the spendin’. We need to do that the right way, too, don’t need to throw money at anybody that sticks his hand out no matter how sorry you might feel. A budget is about being smart, bein’ cost-effective, as Emily Sue and her cute little dress might say. It’s not about preachin’ and takin’ choices away from people just because you don’t like their choices or who they vote for or who might be on the other end of their prayer telephone.

So, let’s get to work, everybody come sit down so we can figure things out. Just to get us the mood, I’ve done wrote up some rules for us to follow so we don’t get all mad and have to shun each other at the barn dance come Saturday. Here we go:

1. If you don’t understand how to compromise, you done took the wrong job.

2. You don’t get to change your clothes once you win the election. You wear the same get-up until the end of the job, because that’s the outfit people voted for. If it doesn’t fit right, you shouldn’t have put it on.

3. Just because somethin’ ain’t special to you, it don’t make it any less important. Every thing you touch affects someone.

4. Don’t try bringin’ the Jesus message into everything. He’s got his own people working on that.

5. This ain’t Simon Says. Make up your own mind.

6. Doin’ somethin’ because you’re a sore loser just makes you more of a loser.

7. Bein’ on the TV don’t make a lie into the truth. And they say it adds ten pounds. Which makes it a bigger lie.

8. People ain’t as stupid as you’d like them to be. Mostly.

[Granny Mae folded her paper and set it aside]

Okay, y’all, are you ready to get down to business? Well, good. Lila Belle, could you run get those cold drinks we got over to the Piggly-Wiggly? Thanks, hon. Now, where were we?

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Texas Barbecue

1. The intense and possibly gun-drawing pride.

As with most things, Texans are almost militantly proud of their barbecue. In the mind of a Texan, barbecue prepared anywhere else in the country or the world can’t even begin to compete. In fact, if you are visiting the state, and you stupidly happen to mention a fondness for barbecue from a foreign land like Kansas City, Atlanta or one of those trashy Carolina settlements, it is perfectly legal for you to be killed on the spot. The Texas Rangers will even hold you in place until the offended Texan can locate one of his many firearms and then terminate your daring rudeness.

2. Mooing, not oinking.

For a barbecue event of any kind to receive official Texas approval, a cow has to die. Beef is essential, and there are to be no refutations to this edict. Yes, you’re allowed to fiddle around with sausages and pulled pork, maybe even some chicken or turkey, all that lesser mess, as long as doing so doesn’t distract from the main attraction. Beef is king. This phrase can be found chiseled on many a gravestone in the Lone Star State.

After these two indisputable facts have been understood by all and the unbelievers have been dealt with, we then enter the section of Barbecue Law classified as “still Texan but some disagreement is allowed concerning the finer details”. You should be aware of all arguments in order to survive any social occasion…

3. Degree of moisture.

There are those who prefer that their barbecued meat contain so much juice that simply poking it with a fork can result in the total drenching of everyone in a five-table radius. Meat was meant to be succulent, brook no compromise. On the flip side, we have the Rawhide Rowdies who insist on a degree of juice-negating crispness that will leave you thirsty for the rest of your life. There is no middle ground, it’s either saturation or Sahara.

4. Appropriate time for sauciness.

Three camps here: Those who slavishly slather their meat with barbecue sauce from the time it is butchered through the entire cooking process and up to the moment just before a morsel enters your mouth. Next up are the folks who cook dryly but then offer up vats of simmering nectar for dunking and drowning at the table. Finally, we have the aficionados who affirm that meat and sauce should never meet or the world will end.

5. Slice-and-dice or the whole shebang.

This pertains to the sausages, and discussion only comes into play once you have satisfied the beef-must-be-the-main-feature regulation and the Texas Rangers have left the building. The actual cooking of sausages and links, of course, involves doing so with the tubes relatively intact. (Otherwise, you would have a mess that no one is happy about.) But for serving purposes, debate once again ensues.

One clan prefers that sausage be placed on their plate in the formative state, leaving it up to the consumer to either whip out an always-handy knife and proceed with the carving-fest, or gnaw at the entire tube, taking bites as needed. (Understandably, this method is very popular in Red Light districts.) The other clan clamors for the sausage to be pre-hacked, resulting in an array of meaty coinage that can then be drenched in sauce and speared with a fork or a finger or a grenade clip. Leftovers can be used as spares in a checkers game should someone drunkenly lose one of the original playing pieces. (These things happen.)

6. The productivity of ribs.

This factor is dependent on your degree of willingness to invest extensive physicality into your meal. Some folks will stop at nothing to get at the tender meat, spending hours gnawing at a bone to find the treasure. Others have busier schedules, and will often pass up this labor-intensive barbecue selection that can require you to rearrange your entire schedule to allow enough time for consumption.

7. Mustard or mayo when it comes to spuds.

You must have potato salad in some form, that much is non-negotiable. But the method of preparation is firmly divided into two camps. We have the creaminess converts, who insist that mayonnaise is an essential, preferably primary, ingredient for the potato salad to be deemed worthy. On the other side of the campground are the tangy touters, convinced that a salad is simply not edible unless things are spicy and yellow. Both parties agree, however, that the mixing of the two condiments is akin to devil’s work, and should never be attempted.

8. The coleslaw conundrum.

Once again, two distinct masses of followers. We have the folks who must have coleslaw with their barbecue, whether you make it with mayo, mustard or bacon grease. You cannot shirk this necessity, and the shame of not shredding cabbage when one should is cause for endless humiliation and life-long banishment. On the other page, we have the folks who will never eat anything that isn’t meat and/or potatoes, thus avoiding vegetables of any kind regardless of the preparation or presentation skills of the cook, the flow of alcohol, or local governmental rulings.

9. Bibs.

You never wear one. End of story. (Related note: Despite the lack of drippage protection, you must be willing to attack your meal with a gusto, using your bare hands whenever necessary, especially after you have knocked your cutlery to the floor in a power-play to grab the last remaining cut of brisket.)

10. Finger-sucking.

This you do. You do not let slip any juices, sauces or liquid fat that may misbehave and adhere to your digits. You go after these escapees with a vengeance, sucking at your fingers with enough intensity to peel the chrome off a trailer hitch. If such behavior embarrasses you in any way, then you really shouldn’t have come into the restaurant. Or the state of Texas.

Friday, August 5, 2011

10 Surreal Conversations at a Typical Drive-Thru Restaurant

Note: SOM = Skank on Microphone, the nasty dumb-ass that has somehow been granted communication permissions at this establishment. YOU = well, you. Here we go…


SOM: “Welcomecrackintheboxyourorder?”

YOU: “Okay, I think you just greeted me and want me to order. Can you hang on a minute?”

SOM: “….”

YOU: “Hello?”

SOM: “Are you ready?”

YOU: “No, I just wanted to make sure you heard me say just a minute.”

SOM: “…”

YOU: “Did you hear me?”

SOM: “Are you ready?”

YOU: “Do I just not exist to you until I answer ‘yes’ to that question?”


SOM: “Sir, please stop honking your horn.”

YOU: “I’m NOT honking my horn. It’s the people behind me.”

SOM: “Why are they honking?”

YOU: “I’m assuming they’re hungry. We’ve been in line for twenty minutes and we haven’t moved an inch.”

SOM: “Could you tell them to stop honking?”

YOU: “I don’t know them. I’m not telling them anything.”

SOM: “You’re closer than me.”

YOU: “Look, can I talk to your manager?”

SOM: “He’s not here, he had to run get some change from the bank and… Hey, is the honking coming from an ugly green Honda Prius?”

YOU: “What? Um… well… yes, it’s an ugly Prius.”

SOM: “That’s my manager. He’s trying to bring me change and you’re in the way. Could you go get the bag and bring it to me?”


SOM: “Could you please repeat that?”

YOU: “I haven’t said anything yet. Do you understand that the people in front of me aren’t here anymore?”

SOM: “Could you please repeat that?”


SOM: “Please pull up to the second window.”

YOU: “Um, there’s only one window.”

SOM: “Oh. That was my last job. Can you just drive until I see you?”


SOM: “You want any ketchup with that?”

YOU: “I ordered fries. Why would I not want ketchup?”

SOM: “Some people don’t.”

YOU: “Some people do. Like me.”

SOM: “Look, I’m supposed to ask instead of just give. I don’t make the rules. Ketchup costs money, you know.”

YOU: “Then add it to the cost of the fries and give everybody the damn ketchup.”

SOM: “Fine. Is one packet enough?”

YOU: “I’d like three. There’s only like two drops in one of those things.”

SOM: “That’s a lot of ketchup. Do you know how much sugar that is?”

YOU: “Are we really having this conversation?”

SOM: “I think we’re both talking, so, yes, we are.”

YOU: “Just give me the ketchup.”


YOU: “I’d like the Atomic Burrito and a large order of Jalapeno Bang-Bangs.”

SOM: “We don’t have chicken.”

YOU: “That burrito has ground beef. What’s with the chicken?”

SOM: “We don’t have it.”

YOU: “But I’m not ordering anything with chicken.”

SOM: “We don’t have chicken.”


SOM: “Would you like to super-size that?”

YOU: “No, thanks.”

SOM: “Would you like to super-size that?”

YOU: “NO! Regular size is fine.”

SOM: “Would you like to super-size that?”

YOU: “Are you some kind of upgrade terrorist? I don’t want the big one, I want the little one.”

SOM: “Bigger is better.”

YOU: “No, it’s not. Not if I don’t want it. God.”

SOM: “God wants you to have bigger things.”

YOU: “Just shoot me in the head.”

SOM: “Would you like the super bullet with that?”


SOM: “Can I take your order?”

YOU: “Uh, I was already ordering. Did you not hear that?”

SOM: “That was Yolanda. She’s on break now.”

YOU: “So Yolanda can leave in the middle of an order?”

SOM: “We have a union. There are rules. I don’t know why you’re here if you don’t support that.”

YOU: “Are you serious?”

SOM: “No, I’m Melvin. Can I take your order?”


YOU: “Does the Hawaiian Surprise sandwich have tomatoes?”

SOM: “I don’t know.”

YOU: “Is there somebody you can check with? I don’t want tomatoes.”

SOM: “I don’t know people in Hawaii.”

YOU: “Okay, does the person who is making the sandwiches know?”

SOM: “I’m not allowed to go back there.”

YOU: “Is there a manager I can talk to?”

SOM: “He’s not Hawaiian.”

YOU: “Why are you making this so hard?”

SOM: “You’re the one asking all the questions.”


SOM: “Could you please pull through and park in front of the building?”

YOU: “Why? What’s taking so long?”

SOM: “Your order.”

YOU: “I get that. What, of the things I ordered, is causing the problem?”

SOM: “Everything.”

YOU: “Even the water?”

SOM: “Yes. Especially the water.”

YOU: “How can there be a problem with a cup of water?”

SOM: “Um, no one ever orders that, so we’re not sure what to do.”

YOU: “You don’t know how to put water in a cup? Are you serious?”

SOM: “I’m very serious about food. That’s why I work here. Why are you questioning my values?”

YOU: “I’m not questioning… Look, if we skip the water, can things happen faster?”

SOM: “You’ve already paid. I’m not authorized to do refunds.”

YOU: “The water didn’t cost anything.”

SOM: “But it’s on the receipt. See? Item 4. Water.”

YOU: “Let’s just pretend that you’ve already given me the water and I already drank it, okay? Now, can I just get the rest of the food?”

SOM: “Um, okay.”

YOU: “No more problems?”

SOM: “No. Wait. Yes. Hang on.”

YOU: “What now?”

SOM: “They’re calling me on my headset. One sec. Okay. Okay. Sir, your chicken sandwich?”

YOU: “Oh, God.”

SOM: “Tina’s calling from the kitchen. She says she’s holding the tomato right now. But she doesn’t know what you want her to do with it after that.”

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scotch on the Rocks

Hi, People with two legs!

It’s me, Scotch the cat. I’m on Daddy’s toplap again, the thing I’m not supposed to be on, like the kitchen table and stuff that can break, but I don’t think he really cares right now. He’s in the other room, being very mad, and I’m pretty sure it’s not about me.

It’s been a very scary day.

I didn’t know it was going to be scary or I would have just stayed asleep. But I was up way early, before the dark goes away, running around and knocking things over for my Daddies to find later and talk real loud in funny voices. The Larm Clock said something with a 5 in it. I can only count to 5, because of my legs and tail, but I’m taking classes to learn more. I’m trying really hard but I know I don’t like that Ho Merk thing. I’m not good at it.

I was slapping at a plastic cap in the hallway (I love those things!), when Daddy got out of bed, looking not nice and very sweaty. That didn’t look good, so I ran to one of the places where I can watch things and people can’t see me. Daddy walked over to a little box on the wall, the Thermos Tat, and he looked at the numbers. They were big numbers that I don’t understand. Daddy did something with buttons and stuff, then he said bad words and stomped away.

I ran up to the Thermos Tat and hissed at it, because if Daddy doesn’t like it then I don’t like it either. Then I sneaked behind Daddy and watched him do something with the Circus Breaker Box in the room that’s way at the back of the house. Daddy didn’t like that box, either. He tried to make it do something and it wouldn’t. Then he went outside.

I’m not allowed to go outside. I tell my daddies every day that I want to go out there, but they don’t listen, and don’t let me. This makes me scratch stuff.

Daddy came back in, and he was still mad. He laid back down in bed, still mad. Other Daddy finally woke up, and they talked about Hair Conditioner. Something was wrong with it. A bad wrong. Other Daddy needed to call somebody about the Hair Conditioner, so he groomed himself in the little square room with water, then he left for that place he goes when it’s daylight.

Daddy sat down at his desk and turned things on, the toplaps and everything. That means he’s staying in our house today. Yay! I like it when he does that. I don’t understand why Other Daddy always has to leave when it’s bright outside but Daddy doesn’t always have to leave. But they keep feeding me, so I just pretend like I don’t care. I like treats. Yay more!

Daddy started typing and talking to people on the phone and doing the boring stuff that isn’t about me. This is when he is “working”. I don’t like this part, because when I jump on his boardkey he doesn’t think I’m cute and makes me get down. I never want to be working. It makes people different.

So I took a nap. I like naps. I have lots of places where I can do that, special places only for me. I change my mind every day about which is my favorite. Cause I don’t always remember the yesterday stuff when a new bright light comes in the window.

When I woked up, something wasn’t right. It was kinda warm. My special place in the window was warm, and I didn’t want to be there anymore. I went to go ask Daddy about this. He was talking to Other Daddy on the phone, and somebody named Pear Man was supposed to come visit, but not until later because Pear Man had lots of places to go, lots of people had Hair Conditioning problems.

Daddy said some bad words. And Daddy was only wearing his underwear pants. It wasn’t the right part of daylight for him to be wearing those. I was a little scared, but I could tell Daddy wasn’t talking about me and there was still food in my bowl so they still loved me. I thought I should take another nap.

When I woked up this time, it was all very wrong. It was hot. And Daddy was all shiny, the shiny he is when he walks on the Dread Mill, but he wasn’t walking on the Dread Mill and breathing hard, he was still working at his desk and typing every time there was a ping noise. I don’t think he was happy. He kept looking at his watch and saying bad things about God.

I thought maybe I should just be quiet and not run and knock stuff over. Sometimes you have to do this so people won’t yell. But everywhere I went, it was too hot, and I couldn’t stay still, and I wanted to scratch stuff, even the no-scratch stuff like cow chess and widow treements. So I went back to Daddy and his underwear shorts and I asked about why so hot and what’s wrong?

He petted me, and said my name lots in the special way that says love, and then he made me lay down in front of a machine. I didn’t want to at first, but he kept making me be still, so I finally did, and the machine was making wind! It felt good, like stretching, and catching tiny things that run. But I didn’t have to do anything, just lay and let the wind make my hair move. It felt yummy like treats. I wanted to stay forever in the wind.

And I fell asleep again, because I can do that really good. When I woked up again, Daddy wasn’t at his desk where people ping and he types. I went to look for him, running through part of the house where it was really really hot, and he was in the Guess Bedroom, lying on the bed and trying not to move. Oh, I know how to do that! I jumped up with him, and he had a bigger wind machine, and I snuggled by him and we just let the wind make it better than places with no wind.

Daddy petted me a lot, and he talked about nice things, and we just “had to get through it” and it would be good again. I didn’t really understand, but there was wind and Daddy and it was okay, so I purred. I knew something was wrong with other parts of the house, but the Pear Man was coming and it would get better because Daddy wouldn’t lie to me.

I think there was another nap, but I have lots of naps so I don’t always know when I have them. But Other Daddy finally came back from his daylight place, and he and Daddy talked about the Pear Man and if he was going to be coming today because there was a Heat Rave and lots of people had hot houses. I hoped all the hot houses had wind machines.

Then there was the ding-dong noise that means people want to come into my house. I’m not always happy about that. Sometimes I don’t know them and don’t know what they are going to do to me. Then Other Daddy closed the doors on the room I was in, which means stay there and don’t scratch, so I did. When doors are closed it can be bad and you have to pay special attention and hide. So I hid.

There was a lot of noise and banging. The ding-dong man went to the room over my head. I’m never allowed to go in the sky room, the place where my daddies keep Chris Mess boxes and a tree with shiny things that make me want to whack at them. You have to go up a Lad Her, and I think I can do it, but the daddies never let me so maybe there’s badness in the sky room.

Ding-dong man told my daddies that something was full of water, and that made the hotness come. Water? I make water. Did I do something bad? I snuck under a piece of furniture where nobody could reach me. I sometimes get sad about not understanding things and I have to hide.

More stuff happened in the sky room. I don’t know what, but it happened. Then it got kind of quiet, and I sneaked up to one of the doors for my hiding room, and peeked through the crack. Ding-Dong Man made Daddy sign something and give him a little piece of paper with numbers. Then Ding-Dong Man left.

I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I was glad that Ding-Dong Man went away. He didn’t give me any treats.

Then the doors to my hiding room got opened, and my daddies came to pick me up and love on me, which I don’t always like, but I know they need to do this because they are daddies. They showed me that wind was coming out of the ceiling now, not like the wind machine, but it still felt good. They told me I just needed to be Pay Shunt and then all the rooms would be happy.

I made them put me down, and I ran around to smell things, and I think they are right. I can smell feel-good air coming back, not bad air that makes Daddy wear underwear and be shiny and say bad words. I ran back to my daddies and let them love on me a little bit more, then I ran to one of my favorite sleeping places and tried to be Pay Shunt and wait for everywhere to be fun again.

I think I want a wind machine just for me. I liked it. Tabby Lee from the alley says I should ask Sandy Claws for stuff like that. But I’ll ask my real daddies instead, cause they know people like Pear Man and God Am It, and can take care of stuff like they always do. Cause they love me, and I deserve nice things.

Piece out.