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The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

I have been visiting the country for nearly three years now and I can honestly say that today was just chock full of education. Most of which I did not want. But like that extreme close-up video they show you in fourth grade of a baby being born, I will never get some of these bits of knowledge to dislodge from my brain.
The day started off like every other day I spend in the country at Romy’s house, except that I woke up later than usual. It’s amazing how tiring nearly eight hours of non-stop Boom Blox playing is on an old lady like me. And towards the end of the night we weren’t even trying for points, we were just seeing how many different ways we could knock the animals over with a bowling ball.
There is an event out here called Truth and the Outdoors, which is a really cool event that is like a Christian hunting and fishing expo. We walked around for quite a while, visiting all the booths, eating samples of what I can only hope was beef and collecting as many free pens as possible before we came upon a soap maker’s booth. I am a sucker for good smelling stuff. So whenever there’s a booth like that I have to put my poor nostrils through the ringer, smelling every soap they make, some even twice. And conveniently this goat’s milk soap maker had at least one bar open of each scent marked “sniff me.”
Don’t mind if I do.

.
And I did.
There was peppermint, lilac, honeysuckle, leather, natural, eucalyptus and twig and berries.
Wait….what?
There, mixed in with all of the other soaps, was a basket full of twig and berries soap, complete with a “sniff me” sticker on it. I can’t say for sure whether the soap was twig and berry scented (hope so) or for twig and berries (hope not).
Either way I had no intention of sniffing.
Innocent word mix up, right? Perhaps. Or perhaps this part of the country is full of dirty birdies.
I had made plans to meet someone (that’s a whole other story) to sell something to a guy who found me on Craigslist so we left the expo for a few hours. As we were driving through some pretty landscapes, we passed a dog groomer’s on the main road. The name on the sign made me do a double take.
The business’ name?
Doggy Styles.
Yup. Because I’m going to drop my poor little innocent Yadi at a place called Doggy Styles. Is this like a Hustler club for dogs?
I don’t know and I will never find out.
And last and certainly not least, today I learned that country people have odd turn-ons. We stopped at a feed store/animal supply store (named Dickey Bub) to pick up hay….there’s a joke there that I won’t tell, but I digress. As we were walking through the store I happened to look up from my phone just in time to catch what looked like a country version of Victoria’s Secret.
Dickey Bub’s Secret?
They had a whole display of camouflage lingerie. There were underpants and bras, teddies and lacy thingamajigs – ALL CAMO!
That’s sexy? There’s some country hunter guy out there that wants his woman to blend in with the forest? That’s sexy?
I can’t even process what that means other than it seems like maybe hunters out here are turned on by…other hunters.
So I always get really excited and take note when I learn something new. Today I learned all sorts of new stuff. Stuff that I could have gone my whole life and not learned. Stuff that I will never need to know. Stuff that will not change my life in any way.
And that folks, is what education is all about.

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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Jenn's Adventures, Random

 

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Do you work here?

Do you work here?

TNA

“Excuse me, miss, can you tell me what size these are?”  said the older gentleman in the thrift store.

I looked around, already well aware of who he was beckoning but wanting to believe something different.  Miss?  I hate being called “miss.”  It makes me feel like the person talking to me is being condescending. But because of my good mood, I allowed it.

I walked towards him, knowing what he thought but deciding to play along anyway, such was my happy mood.

I grabbed the shoe and looked at the tongue, trying to ignore how many different strains of cooties I was exposing myself to.

“Eight and a half,”  as I handed back the shoe and turned my attention towards the jackets, smiling the whole time.

This guy thinks I work here.  He’s not finished with me yet.

I wasn’t looking for a new jacket but I pretended to be enthralled with them, furrowing my brow and doing that scrunched up face thing we all do when we want someone to just leave us alone because they think we are really deep in thought.  Although, to be fair, I usually am in deep thought, thinking things like, “what’s that smell?” or “could I make mac and cheese with chocolate milk?”  The answer to this is yes, but it’s not edible.

“Miss, can you help me again? My eyes can’t see that tiny writing.”

You just don’t want to reach your hand in that icky cooty-filled shoe so you’re asking me under the guise of bad eyesight. Well played old man…well played.

 I gingerly pulled the tongue of the shoe upwards to get a look at it. I made sure to use both hands to perform this task because I knew if I didn’t he was going to let go of the shoe, leaving me to put my empty hand on the bottom of the shoe to hold it.  In these moments my mind focuses on where the shoes have been and how filthy they are.  There is a one hundred percent chance that they have walked on a gum-laden sidewalk, a pee-sodden public restroom and if the person was not attentive, they very well could have stepped in poop.

I will let this shoe fall on the floor before I put my hand underneath it to keep it from doing so.

 “Eleven. These are elevens.” I smiled and started walking away.  I lingered at the jackets a moment more just so it didn’t look like I was trying to escape.  I’m not entirely sure why I felt like it would be rude of me to walk away from a fellow shopper but I did.

I made my way to another aisle. No sooner had I walked seven feet towards my freedom, I heard him calling me again.

“Miss…”

Keep walking.  Ignore…..yes, you’re almost far enough away that he will-

 “Miss?”

You don’t have to turn around….you don’t have to turn around….you don’t have to–

I turned around and the same gentleman was just a few feet away from me, coming towards me, eager for my help, my knowledge, my expertise.

“Miss, do you have any more shoes in the back?”

Yes, which shoe do you want and I’ll go get it in your size. THIS IS NOT FOOT LOCKER. THEY DON’T STOCK EVERY SIZE OF EACH SHOE. THEY GET SHOES PEOPLE DON’T WEAR ANYMORE AND THEY PUT THEM IN THE STORE. THEY DON’T HAVE A BIG STOCK ROOM IN THE BACK.

 Finally, the charade was over.  It had to be.  No more bluffing.

“I don’t work here.”

“Oh, I look like a fool!”

“No you don’t, you’re fine.”  Yup. You look like a big fool.

 Freedom.  I could walk away with a clear conscience (Although again, I have no idea why I felt the need to go through any of this. I could have told him I didn’t work there the first time he asked me to touch the shoes.)

This is not the first time this has happened.  This is not even the second time this has happened.  I can’t even tell you HOW MANY times this has happened to me.  What is it about me that looks like I work in whatever store I happen to be shopping in? True, I used to work retail but I haven’t worked in sales for over eleven years.

Is it my self confidence as I stroll through a store looking like I know exactly where everything is?  Because I stick to the same stores most of the time so maybe that’s it.

Is it my general avoidance of every living creature that gets within a five foot radius of me?  Because most of the time I don’t make eye contact or smile at someone because of the exact situation that just occurred.  And to be honest, even when I did work retail, by the time I was at my breaking point, I had mastered the way to avoid most interactions.

Was I just the closest person to the customer needing help?  Was I just at the wrong place at the wrong time?

It’s hard to say why this keeps happening to me but it does.  And for some reason, every time it happens I’m still a little shocked.  I mean, obviously I am giving off some sort of “I’m here to help you” vibe to people who are shopping in the same stores that I am.

The last time it happened was when I went to Best Buy with my parents.  They were off looking at vacuum cleaners and I had already finished perusing CDs, DVDs, and WII games.  So as I was walking near the front of the store, an older gentleman (I just realized it’s usually an older gentleman) walked through the sliding doors and made a beeline straight for me.

I used to work at Best Buy. But not that Best Buy. And not for several years. And no, I was not wearing a blue shirt.

“Do you know where I could find a watch battery?”

Here we go again.

Luckily for this guy, again I was in a pretty good mood and bored.  I looked around for an employee.  Within my sight there were three “Blue Shirts” as we used to be called.  Each of them was with a customer and none of them looked like they would be finished any time soon.

It’s go time.  Do I ask a Blue Shirt to help him?  Do I tell him I don’t work here and walk away, leaving him standing there looking lost?  What do I do?

 “I don’t know but we’ll find out,” I said, looking around again to try to find an employee.

I walked around several areas of the store, half looking for watch batteries and half looking for a Blue Shirt to help him.  After several minutes, I realized neither was going to come to fruition so I interrupted the herd of employees that were selling ONE PHONE TO ONE PERSON. (Seriously, how many Blue Shirts does it take to sell a phone?  This sounds like a riddle, please feel free to comment with a witty answer)

“Excuse me, this guy is looking for watch batteries. Can you tell me where they are?”

This is your clue, Blue Shirts. Surely one of you can help this man.  I’M DOING YOUR JOB.

 One Blue Shirt looked up, semi-annoyed that I broke her concentration (because obviously you have to really focus to get the phone to start working; it all boils down to mind control.)

“They’re up by checkouts,” she said.  No sooner had the words left her mouth had she bowed her head back into the huddle to will the phone to activate.

Ok then…I’ll just do YOUR JOB.

 “Follow me,”  I said to the gentleman. And he did.  And we found the watch batteries. And he didn’t even say thank you.

You’re welcome…..jerk.

 Over the years I’ve been in similar situations.  Sometimes  I  help the person, sometimes I don’t.  And secretly sometimes, because of the cruelty I endured from customers over the years, I get great satisfaction in saying,

“I don’t work here,” and walking away.

And while I have yet to figure out why this happens to me so often, I have figured out a few things that make my shopping easier:

Never wear blue to Best Buy or Wal-Mart.

Never wear red to K-Mart.

Never wear stripes to Foot Locker.

Never wear a paper hat anywhere near the food court of the mall.

And never, EVER, wear any kind of khaki pants anywhere because it’s the go-to of every establishment.

POST SCRIPT:  After writing this blog, I was walking around the Goodwill By the Pound store (wrote a blog about it, you should check it out if you haven’t.) and a guy stopped me..

“Do you know what size this is?”  he asked me about the stained and soiled comforter he was pawing around on.

“Nope,” said I, breezing right past him without stopping to feel guilty.

I may just beat this trend yet…

 

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I know, Right?

I know, Right?

There are few sayings I loathe more than “it is what it is.” When someone uses this lame line on me, I inwardly cringe. It’s people’s way of excusing their idiotic behavior.

“Hey, I drank the last Mountain Dew, that one you bought specifically to take to work.”

“YOU KNEW I WAS SAVING THAT FOR TOMORROW AND YOU DRANK IT????”

“It is what it is.”

What does that even mean? I’ll tell you what it means. It means that I had something that you wanted, and instead of showing self-restraint, you did what you wanted without regard for my feelings and then had the audacity to excuse your selfishness by uttering five stupid little words.

JERK.

(Please note that I don’t have a roommate so if the above conversation actually took place, my friends and family would probably be placing me in a group home where I would spend my days making knitted toaster cozies.)

There is one phrase that grates on me even more and that one is “I know, right?”

If you are above the age of nineteen and you use the phrase, “I know, right?” there is something terribly wrong with you. Let’s take a look at this saying by referring to my imaginary roommate, ok?

“I can’t believe that our electric bill was one hundred and seventy dollars this month!”

“I know, right?”

“Yeah….it is right…which is why I said it. Why are you asking me if what I just said was right? I said it as a statement, not a suggestion. What I said is a fact: our electric bill was one hundred and seventy dollars this month and I am shocked. This requires no agreement on your part. You do not need to add “right” to the end of your response. You’re making me want to make my statement again because you have now added a question at the end and I can’t leave a question unanswered.”

JERK.

(I have no idea why I made my imaginary roommate such a jerk. I mean, this is the one person’s behavior that I should have control over and yet I’m dealing with a moron.

Anyway that’s really all I had to vent about for now. If ever we run into each other on the street, please refrain from using these two statements. And if you can’t, then I guess it just is what it is.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Random

 

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Ya down with O.P.P.?

Ya down with O.P.P.?

Warning:  This post is not for the squeamish.  If it weren’t my own true story, I’m not sure I’d even be able to admit to it, let alone,  read it.  But it happened and there is nothing I can do about it now. I can’t change the experience or forget that it occurred.  From here on out, this will forever be part of my autobiography.  Part of my life’s adventure.

My church meets in a retirement home’s multi-purpose room.  We are small but are actually growing there and we like it.  Truth be told, if I could afford it, I would live there.  I tell people that I want to live in a retirement community and they look at me as if I am crazy; but a retirement “village” is the perfect set up for me.  It’s quiet, except for the occasional blaring of the deaf’s television sets at four am because they fell asleep during the seven pm telecast of the Snuggie infomercial.  Every meal is fixed for you, which is perfect for someone who essentially lives on takeout or frozen meals because it’s just not worth it to cook for one person.  And this particular home has Wii bowling tournaments and I don’t want to sound all braggy, but I could totally beat those old people at bowling. Plus, they bring in outside entertainment.  A friend of mine is in a harmonica band and I went to see them play recently  and the home was giving the residents refreshments as they entered the program!  Free chips, soda or beer at three in the afternoon while I sit in the AC and listen to a harmonica band? YES PLEASE!

But I digress.

As is my normal custom at church, between worship service and Bible study, I sauntered down to the home’s public bathroom.  It’s a two seater.  Normally, even if the handicapped stall is open I go for the regular stall because to take a handicapped stall in a nursing home when you are not handicapped is bordering on cruel.  It’s a real possibility that while you’re in there, someone who actually needs that stall will come in and then you have to take that awkward walk of shame out of the stall. You know, the one where you open the stall door and lock eyes with someone patiently waiting for you to get out, leaning on their walker.  You smile that sheepish smile because you’re busted and they try to smile back but you can tell there are some territorial things going on here.

On this particular Sunday, as  I turned the corner to enter the restroom, I saw an abandoned walker by the sink.  The handicapped stall was open and I heard someone making noises but I entered anyway, trying to think what I should do if I enter the stall and they are in there but just didn’t close the door.  This happens sometimes because I think as you get up there, you don’t care anymore if someone sees you pooping or not.  But the noises were coming from the tiny stall so I took my chances and walked in to the bigger stall.  Whew.  Empty.  I put aside my pre-guilt of using the handicapped stall because, really, how long would it take me to pee?

I turned around to close the door and that’s when it happened.  I made the mistake of not looking at the door but just grabbing it and pulling it closed.  And this is where the regret comes in.  As I pulled my hand away, I felt something on it.  A sick feeling went through my entire body because just as I felt the sticky goo on my hand, my eyes landed on the handle.

There was something dark brown on it.

And on my hand.

OH NO. OH NO. OH NO. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING TO ME. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING! But it was.  I looked at my hand for a brief second.   It was on my index finger and thumb.  Now, had this been a  different time, a different place(not a bathroom) and a different color of goo (anything but brown or red)  my first reaction would have been to immediately smell my hand.

I didn’t smell my hand this time.  I didn’t want to know.  I didn’t want to confirm my fears.  Quickly I grabbed some toilet paper and wiped it off and threw that in the toilet.  I still had to pee though so with my one untainted hand, I swiftly unbuttoned my fly and did my usual hover.  Buttoning back up was a bit tricky but I made it.

I hurried out of the stall to the sink. All I could think about was what had just been on my hand and how even though I had wiped it off, nearly taking the outer layer of skin with it, it was still there, but was just invisible.   Yes, I realized that the proper adult thing to do would be to wipe the gunk off the door. When it comes to bodily secretions or fecal matter, I am not a proper adult.  I turned the hot water on as high as I could and as hot as I could stand it.  I tripled the amount of soap I would normally use.  I scrubbed every inch of my hands, especially the part where the substance had attached itself to my fingers.  I rinsed. I repeated the whole thing again. And two more times.  I washed my hands four times. I dried them and left. As soon as I got back to my journey bag, I got my hand sanitizer out and sanitized my hands not one or two times but THREE TIMES. I still felt dirty.  I spoke to no one of the incident.  Whether this was out of shame or shock,   I do not know.

Later I texted a friend and told her what had happened.  i told her that I may or may not have stuck my hand in….

Old people poo.

She LOL’d me.  This was no LOL’ing moment.  This was serious. This was traumatic.

I don’t have proof that it was old people poo.  In the hours since the incident I have tried to make myself believe that it wasn’t old people poo.  It’s a scientific fact that old people like chocolate pudding.  Maybe it was chocolate pudding.  Or maybe the dining room was serving chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Could have been chocolate frosting.  Or maybe, Just maybe, instead of carrying Werther’s or butterscotch disks, or starlight mints, maybe the woman who used the stall before me had a forgotten melted chocolate bar in her pocket.  Maybe she  sneezed and when she went to get her hankie, instead brushed against the melted chocolate and that’s what was on the door.

I’ll never know for sure. I’ll never have concrete evidence as to what the substance was on my fingers.  Could have been chocolate, could have been poo.

I could have smelled it to find out but sometimes it’s easier to not know the truth.  I have to accept the fact that I will never know what it was.

Because if I don’t accept that, I have to accept what is probably more likely the truth and that is that I stuck my hand in old people poo. And I cannot fathom living my life with “I stuck my hand in some unknown old person’s poo” as part of my legacy.

I am not down with OPP…Old People Poo…

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Random

 

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Death By Apartment

Death By Apartment

There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by since I’ve lived in this apartment when the thought “Hmm….that seems kind of dangerous. I might die because of this…” hasn’t passed through my mind. That’s not to say that I’m over here dwelling on death or ways to die, it’s just that, to put it bluntly, I kind of sort of live in a death trap. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home. Other than my parents’ house, this is the place that I’ve lived the longest. I’m comfortable here.

I’m also sure that I’m living in my coffin.

Let me put it another way: Besides the obvious lack of maternal instincts (other than the ones that come quite naturally to me when in reference to Yadi), and the total lack of interest, because of my home, I would never be allowed to foster a child (I must re-iterate here how my dwelling is but a minor part of this equation) This place would never pass the rigid inspection needed to allow it. I’m not even sure this place would pass the city inspection to avoid condemnation.

So I’d like to take you on a tour of my home and the many ways I could die in it. This is a verbal tour so if you haven’t been here, you must use your imagination. Hopefully I will paint a picture that will allow even the weakest of the creative minds to envision it.

Before we even enter the giant ugly red brick building which I call home, we must go up steps that are crumbling, cracking and eroding away. The landlord’s solution to fixing these is to shovel some Sakrete into the holes and crevices and barely smooth them over with what I can only guess is a jagged piece of glass. This is not even the biggest problem with the steps. I can’t even begin to recount the times that I have fallen down (or more often up) the front steps. I thought I was just getting clumsy (clumsier) in my old age until a friend pointed out that the one step in the middle is not the same height, so when I’m taking my natural strides, expecting the steps to be basically the same size (how dare I think this) they in fact, are not. This, along with my natural lack of grace in movement, causes me to trip at least once a week.

One day, I might be going up (or down) the steps with a sharp object (maybe picking up the jagged piece of glass that was used to even out the Sakrete) and fall on the uneven step, thereby impaling myself on the piece of glass that was supposed to have remedied the situation in the first place. Ironic Death.

I have some pretty mirrors from IKEA on the wall behind my couch. This is also the same wall I share with the upstairs neighbors’ stairs. It behooves me to mention here that they do not come and go like normal neighbors. They travel like a herd of buffalo stampeding everywhere they go. This causes my mirrors to shake on their wall anchors.

One day, I might be sitting on my couch, watching a stirring and emotional episode of Good Times when suddenly, the buffalo herd decides to go the grocery store. I could be sitting there eating Cheetos, totally unaware of the impending death I will suffer when the mirrors come crashing down on my head and the shards embed themselves through the still-soft parts of my skull. Good news is that because of this death, the landlord will now have more jagged glass with which to perfect his masonry skills.

The electrical outlets in my house are less than reliable. If ever I am in need of entertainment after dinner, all I must do is plug or unplug something in any one of the wall outlets in this apartment. Every time I plug something in, sparks and flames shoot out from the socket. This can’t be right.

One day, I could be trying to do my weekly vacuuming, go to plug my Dirt Devil in and the next thing you know, I’m a charred piece of jerky lying on the floor in a puddle of my own urine (Because although I have no proof that this is what happens, I am sure that when you are electrocuted you lose control of your bladder.) And of course, being smoked meat, I will smell delicious and the next thing you know, you see my big ugly apartment on the five o’clock news because, after my horrible and grilling death, every channel will be telling the story of how a normally mild-mannered, yet Be dog ate it’s owner’s face off because it smelled like Beggin’ Strips.

For a while, you could go in any room of the house, turn on the lights and find giant water bugs everywhere. At first I thought they were roaches and I was appalled because I am nothing if not a OCD housekeeper. But after many hours or looking at pictures of bugs online and having conversations with St. Louis natives, I found that these were just old-fashioned water bugs. What I discovered on my own was that if you don’t have bug spray handy or you panic and grab the first thing from underneath the sink with which to spray them, water bugs will die a slow and seemingly painful death when doused generously with Kitchen 409. Sidenote: They will also lose control of their bowels. This might be where I got it in my head that everything loses control of bodily functions at any given time.

One day, I might be sound asleep in my bed (why I’m sleeping soundly during the day I don’t know. Just go with me on this one) and the water bugs might decide to mutiny. They will all come up the steps of the basement, probably singing that “oh ee oh” song from the Wizard of Oz in a little platoon and attack me. They could embed themselves in my brain by going through my ear or nostril or any other orifice. Someone will find me, bugs crawling out of my empty eye sockets, lying in my bed. Death by water bug.

We’ve got a couple more rooms and the basement. Stay with me.

I may have mentioned my fears of the bathroom before. Not the one where I’m convinced I’m going to find a dead body in a public bathroom stall or the one where I’m positive that some night I’m going to get up to go pee and there’s going to be a snake coiled in the toilet bowl and because I’m not fully awake and unaccustomed to checking toilet snakes, I will sit down and he will bite my nether regions and I will die either from the venom or from fear or a combination of both. No, this fear is probably more realistic. Every time I take a shower, because I have seen the rotting floor beneath it, I am quite positive that it’s just a matter of time before I am showering, singing some Broadway show tune horribly off-key, when the floor finally rots away and the whole bathtub goes plummeting into the basement and I am found lying nekkid in a pile of ceramic rubble with various bottles of shower gel and shampoo strewn about my mangled body. If I’m lucky, it will be a quick death and the buffalo herd will not be doing their laundry in the basement at the same time. Nothing would be worse than dying nekkid in front of your neighbors as they’re sorting they’re unmentionables. Death by rotting floor.

The other fear I have is that I could be showering at the same time someone from the buffalo herd is showering and we all go crashing down because if my shower is leaking all over the floor, I’m positive that theirs is too. Also factoring in to my sureness of this is that I can see the ceiling becoming water-logged above my shower. It’s just a matter of time, people. Death by rotting ceiling causing nekkid neighbor to come crashing down on nekkid me, sending us both hurling into the basement.

Other than the fact that my back door opens directly into my bedroom, I don’t really have any fear (except for the water bug attack) of dying in my bedroom. Ironically, this will probably be where I will die because I am not expecting it.

This leads us to the basement. If possible I would avoid going into my basement at all costs but that’s where my washer and dryer are so once I run out of the 93 pairs of underwear I have, I am left with no choice but to go downstairs. To let you know how much I really hate going into the basement, I left the carcass of a dead mouse in a trap for at least two years because I didn’t want to go into the back of the basement to retrieve it. Also, I didn’t want to touch the carcass of a dead mouse. By the time I found him he was a shriveled little dried crunchy bit of mouse. The weird part is, when I went back to look at him again, the trap was there but the body was gone. Mouse body snatchers? I don’t know.

So I have to trudge down the rickety steps to the basement to do laundry. That part isn’t the worst part, although it’s scary in its own right. The more dangerous part is heading back up the steps with my center of balance off-kilter because I’m carrying a basket full of 92 pairs of underwear.

One day, I might be carrying my laundry back up the steps and not throw my weight forward enough and the next thing you know, I’m lying at the bottom of the steps in a heap, covered in my own clean underwear (save for the pair I’m wearing, because, again, I’m sure one would soil oneself when one realizes they are falling backwards to their death) Death by clean laundry.

Thank you for indulging me and coming on this journey with me. I’d ask you to stay the night but you might fall asleep on the couch when the buffaloes come home and I can’t in good faith, allow you to die by falling mirrors.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Random

 

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Valentine’s Day 3…I swear this is the last one

Valentine’s Day 3…I swear this is the last one

I’ve never hidden my candy obsession from you. So I don’t want to start now. As is my modus operandi, the few days following any candy-bearing holiday are when I strike. I am not stupid. I know that those chocolate Easter eggs or cherry candy canes will taste exactly the same the week after Christmas as they do the two months before. I can wait, to buy 12 boxes of cherry candy canes for twenty-four cents a box, I can wait.

Since Halloween I have built up quite a healthy (or unhealthy as the case definitely is) supply of candy. My candy drawer is what YOU might call way too full, although I would never describe it that way. It has reached an all time high to the point that it has now begun to seep into my freezer (a ten pound bag of Snickers, Milky Way,Twix, and M&M’s -plain and peanut- and three or four bags of candy corn, for mixing with peanuts. If you don’t know already, mixing a few pieces of candy corn with a few peanuts tastes exactly like a Payday candy bar. If you didn’t know this, try it, it will change your life…for about a minute.) and there is a two and a half-foot tall stack of candy canes sitting in the corner of my kitchen. The candy drawer has candy from Halloween, Christmas, and most recently Valentine’s Day.

I think we can all agree that I have indeed proven my expertise in the candy arena but some might not know that I am also a professional clearance shopper (For Christmas you will be getting a Scooby Doo Ipad cover. I do not care if you don’t have an Ipad and if you hate Scooby Doo, it was a dollar fifty so I will pretend that I picked it out especially for you and you will pretend that you absolutely love it. It’s how the world works.) So I’m just going to say it: As far as clearance shopping for candy, Valentine’s Day is the worst because there are only a few different things to choose from: chocolates in a heart-shaped box or those stupid little chalky “conversation hearts.”

Which brings me to the point of this entire essay. Yes, I realize it took three paragraphs to get here but bear with me, I think it’ll be worth it.

Chalky conversation hearts are one of the worst candies on the face of the earth. If you like them, please skip this part because this could ruin it for you. Conversation hearts are just heart-shaped Necco wafers which are only good for one thing: making the walkway up to the Christmas gingerbread house you make every year. And conversation hearts come in deceptive packaging.. They come in these cute little personal boxes all red and pink and full of the promise of love and good conversation. We were supposed to give them to people as gifts because if there’s one thing that is universal, it is that we all love eating chalk. (Sidenote: I do give props to the candy companies over the last few years in their attempts at evolving the candy hearts into something more closely resembling an edible. Now they have ones that taste like the inside powdery part of Runts. These are actually quite good but then I get all excited and eat the whole box and have those little painful citrus bumps on my tongue for days.)

My other issue with the “conversation hearts” is that they do not truly represent conversations. I think the candy companies could do better. I realize that over the years they’ve tried to jazz up their sayings by getting all Imy (pronounced Ay Em EEEEE) and texty. But still I think some changes need to be made.

Let’s first examine some of the familiar sayings:

GO GIRL – ok, seriously, has anyone really said this since 1992? I myself never said it but honestly, I haven’t even heard this since the early nineties. Even then it made me cringe.

U R MINE – Oh I get it, now we’re teaching kids very early on to be possessive of their significant others. All along I thought we were just giving them something to throw at each other during the Valentine’s Day party at school.

DON’T TELL – Yikes. I think that best explains what we are all thinking.

GO BOY – I’m not sure this was ever even a catchphrase. It’s almost like the candy company is trying to coin a cool new saying.

EMAIL ME – Do little kids not talk on the playground anymore? Or is this an attempt to draw nostalgic adults back into the world of crappy candy?

LUV ME – This one not only teaches horrible spelling but also, no matter what color you choose, if you hold it up very close to your nose, you will smell desperation and patheticness-osity-fullment.(I teach made up words.)

MY HERO – because every little girl needs someone to swoop in and save her. We just can’t do anything for ourselves!

GOT LOVE? – This one made my list because of its laziness and lack of creativity. It’s a crutch and I do not like comedy crutches.

DARE YA – This one kind of falls under the “DON’T TELL” category. Yikes again.

JUST DANCE – Did Nintendo expand into the world of candy making? Or are the people who come up with these just aging and trying to grasp at anything that seems to be “hot” these days?

HOLLA – I’m not sure but I think this short-lived phrase lost its luster around 2004. I don’t know, I ain’t no HOLLAback girl…

GUESS WHO? – My problem with this one is more of a safety issue. If you don’t know who is giving you the candy, perhaps you shouldn’t put it in your mouth. Have we learned nothing from the never-true rumor about the razor-blade-laden apples?

DRAMA QUEEN – Ahhhhh behold, the rarest of rare, the passive aggressive conversation heart.

TEXT ME – Look how hip the candy makers are!

CHICKS RULE – I am not a fowl.

And those are just the ones I could read. Also among the hearts, I found many smudgey sayings (Romy thought one that said “CUTEY” said “CURRY”) and one heart that even had a smudgerific (made up word) picture that looked kind of pornographic.

I think it’s time we got real with our conversation hearts. Put something on those hearts that I feel comfortable giving to people. In my proposal to the candy companies about these much-needed changes I also plan on sending them some ideas for new sayings on the hearts:

STOP STARING AT ME

I GUESS I LIKE YOU OK AS A FRIEND BUT SERIOUSLY, STOP STARING AT ME

QUIT TEXTING ME LIKE EVERY FIVE MINUTES, I DON’T LIKE YOU THAT WAY

YOU SUCK

YOU’RE BREAKING THE RESTRAINING ORDER

I WILL CALL THE COPS

DON’T TOUCH THAT

YOU AMUSE ME. YOU MAY STAY.

YOUR HUGS MAKE ME UNCOMFORTABLE

I’M DEFRIENDING YOU

YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY ON DRUGS

UR VIOLATING PAROLE!

YOU’RE NOT A FOOTBALL COACH, ARE YOU?

Those are some hearts I would gladly give out.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Random

 

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Barbie’s Careers

Barbie’s Careers

Today I awoke from a text message being sent to my phone. A very random text message but the gist of it was an announcement of Barbie’s latest career. As the conversation went back and forth, I began to think back on how many careers Barbie has had….

(insert wavy dream sequence lines with dreamy music here)

Barbie began her career as a teenage fashion model in 1959.  This Barbie came with a whole pizza and shoebox full of candy that she could stash behind the pile of sweaters in her closet.  Then, when Mr. and Mrs. Barbie, Senior, weren’t looking she would dig through the sweaters until she found her stash.  Teenage Fashion Model Barbie shovelled the snacks in by the fistful….only to throw them up later.  A bargain at just $5.99 when you stop to think that she comes with teeth that yellow and fall out after purging.

Barbie’s eating disorder lead to a step up in the fashion world when, just one year after her modeling career took off, she was named Fashion Editor.  This doll had a button on the back that made her say three different phrases:

“You are nothing! A gnat!  Get me Gloria Vanderbilt on the horn now!”

“I said DECAF! DECAF!”

“No, honey, mommy can’t read to you now. She has to destroy some people.”

The next few years were a time of soul-searching for Barbie.  She had ambition and she had dreams but she lacked direction. She became what is known in the corporate world as a “job hopper,” skittering about from one career to the next in search of satisfaction. Ballerina, Nurse, Flight Attendant, Tennis Pro, Figure Skater, Executive.  But none of these careers gave her what she needed.

Barbie turned, very shortly to volunteer work.  She became a Candy Striper at the local hospital.  This incarnation of Barbie is thought to be where she was most happy.  Stripes, on Barbie are slimming. And her ego got a much-needed boost when she would be hit on by all of the dirty old men who were recuperating from prostate surgery.  She also found a way to escape when she got tired of dealing with all of the infirmed.  She would just stow away in the hospital linen closet with the stash of magazines she was supposed to be handing out. (Hospital linens sold seperately.)

Barbie’s next career move would really give her the attention she was searching for so desperately: Astronaut.  She would come back to this career several times years later. 

The ensuing years for Barbie meant many, many more careers. She was an Aerobics Instructor (came with same accessories as Teenage Fashion Model plus legwarmers) a singer, surgeon and even Miss America, twice.

But it was in 1985 that Barbie really stretched herself professionally.  For in that one year Barbie was a Business Executive (accessories:  briefcase, business power suit and two sets of books)  Dress Designer (accessories: a bolt of material, a dressmaker’s dummy and a young gay male assistant who was beaten down by Barbie’s cruel treatment of him.) TV News Reporter (accessories: microphone, video camera and blooper real in which Barbie says all seven of the words you can’t say on television)  Veterinarian (accessories: dog and thermometer, examination table and horse tranquilizers to help her fall asleep at night) and finally, Teacher (accessories: books, desk and underage student lover)

But Barbie was still unfulfilled.  Why weren’t any of her career choices making her happy? What could she do differently?  What could make her stop searching?

Unicef Ambassador?  She did love collecting pennies…but no.

Ice Capades Star? No, she would never have enough time to train properly if, at the same time she was going to be a U.S. Air Force Pilot and Summit Diplomat all at once.

Rapper?   No, it’s hard to be gangsta when you’re also a Marine Core Sargeant, Teacher, Chef, Business Executive, Doctor AND Presidential Candidate (sexually harrassed intern sold seperately.)

In fact Barbie would be a Presidential Candidate four more times over the years. But each time she was forced to withdraw from the race when the press discovered scandals that threatened to ruin her professional and private life.  One year, they even went so far as to suggest that there was something illicit going on between Barbie and Skipper. Barbie denied these accusations and no substantial proof would ever be produced.

Having always been athletic, Barbie would eventually go on to try her hand at being an Olympic Athlete, Baseball Player, Professional WNBA Player, Women’s World Cup Soccer Player, Swim Instructor, and Gymnastic Coach.  Each of these dolls came with home and away uniforms, duffel bag and mini case of steroids.  Seedy hotel bathroom stall set sold seperately.

Barbie has gone through so many careers in her lifetime. While she was successful at each and every thing she did, they all left her feeling empty.  The one thing she often came back to was music and athletics.  If only she could find a way to combine the two in one fulfilling and prosperous career.

SHE COULD!

The Mattel Corporation, in association with Larry Flynt Productions is pleased to announce the newest addition to it’s Barbie family of dolls:

2011’s  Stripper Barbie.

This very fit, very diseased Barbie comes with strategically hidden tattoos, two different thongs, two sets of stick on pasties, a stripper pole, crabs, textbooks (because she’s only stripping to put herself through college to become a doctor, SeaWorld Trainer, Pre-School Teacher, Cake Baker, and American Idol Winner), a newborn baby that lives with Grandma Barbie (sold seperately)  a DNA test to find out who the real father is (Once you find out who the father is by taking the DNA test, you can go to the store and buy the father doll! Don’t expect him to be part of the kid’s life though because his night with Barbie was a mistake and he is not leaving his wife), and miniature scraps of paper with her “phone number” on it to give out to the businessmen who think that Barbie is interested in them and not just the twenties they keep stuffing down her pants. Just touch Barbie’s face with the magical cloth and bruises appear from when she lied to Ken about how much money she made that night!   Also available is a leatherette booth, half full ashtrays on wobbly tables and a disco ball with several mirrors missing. 

Club Pimp Ken doll sold seperately and with the following accessories: Pimp Cup, Fur coat, Bling. Extra Be-otches also sold seperately.

Stripper Barbie: Now we know how she afforded that Dream House.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Random

 

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