April 1st, 2013
Put a baboon on it.
Practice makes perfect tail hole placement.
I recently returned from volunteering at an African Wildlife Sanctuary where one of the volunteer activities included caring for Maximus, the three-month old baboon, at night. He was one-month old when his mother was shot by a farmer.
A three-month old baboon weighs about three pounds. When sleeping don’t worry about crushing it. It will scream and you will move. The scream of a baby baboon is enough to make a Marine cry. You will immediately do whatever it takes to make it stop.
Until Pampers® makes a baboon-specific diaper line you are on your own when it comes to tail holes. Punch the tail hole in the diaper before you take baboon possession. On the non-tab side of the diaper measure the width of two fingers up from the bottom center. Punch a hole the size of your index finger. If you’re over-nighting with Sheila, the seven-month old, make it the size of your thumb.
Prior to bedding down it is advisable to bathe your baby baboon. Not for him, for you. He’s been swinging in trees all day, rolling in the dirt and shitting and peeing himself. While a three-month old baboon is very active during the day at night he’s just plain scared. Think: hairy goiter-sized thing super glued to your hip therefore it’s difficult to disrobe with a baby baboon clinging mightily. If you try to move it it will scream (see above). Some suggest ripping it off like a band-aid from your hip and placing it on your head but then how to wash its bottom (bottom washing was a high-priority goal for me)? Forget about relocating the baboon and, with your one available hand, simply soap up your clinging monkey like it is just another body part. Afterwards wrap a towel around yourself and your baboon.
Baby baboons are animated and squirmy. Diapering a newly washed one is not easy. Threading the tail through the hole first is advisable (all I can say here is: good luck) then pin its chest down with your palm, endure a scream or two and secure the tabs…in back. Baboons, and all primates for that matter, have opposable digits on all four limbs—imagine having thumbs on your feet—which makes undoing things, especially front-facing tabs, a snap. Who Flung Poo, anyone?
If you have any clue about how to care for a young live thing give your baby baboon its bottle immediately. If you are like me, pretend to sleep until you hear your baboon flying around the tent until it comes to rest on the bedside table where it finds its bottle of formula.
You will need to change a baby baboon’s diaper twice during the night. I changed it once and thought I was up for an award. If the award was a pee-soaked mattress then guess what? I won! News alert: A baby baboon lives on formula and therefore its pee does not smell. Its poop, on the other hand, does which just goes to show you some things are universal and understood. While others, like over-nighting with a baby baboon, are not. Good luck!
January 6th, 2013
I was a hairy child who took after my father who took after a Slavic werewolf named Petra many generations removed. I was thirteen when I first heard about the potential for laser technology to be redirected from the flagging defense industry to the hairy women of the world. I was in the kitchen eating Wheat Thins and Cheez Whiz staring absent-mindedly in the direction of the Avocado Amana refrigerator when I heard those mellifluous words: permanent hair removal.
Prior to engaging in laser hair removal, growth started south of the Tropic of Bellybutton. Re: density think concert attendance for Madonna (in the 80s, not “Madge” in the ’00) and ended at the follicular non-man’s land aka the toenail. I had to shave twice a day if I didn’t want to look like a Flintstone.
For my 30th birthday I bought myself a one-way ticket to Baby’s Bottomville. I bought a pre-paid, five-year, no-hair guarantee at the local, laser-hair removal parlour.
The pamphlet described the procedure as relatively painless likening the discomfort to the snap of a rubber band—Goliath’s rubber band maybe. I can only speak from my experience, but I would liken the sensation to an electric sewing machine needle à la the epidermis-and-taffeta number that creep was fashioning in Silence of the Lambs.
I’ve always prided myself on what I believe is my higher-than-average tolerance for pain and so, for the first session, I gripped the table and sweated. For session two I brought the dog’s rubber kong to bite. By sessions three I was sporting a topical anesthetic cream and by session four I was on vicodin.
After five years of having this done every thirteen weeks I am now amazingly hair free. And for the first time ever I have a clearly defined and recognizable (from land, sea or air) Bermuda-free triangle—no one gets lost, no one gets hurt.
December 22nd, 2012
I’m following a recipe from an online bed-and-breakfast printout for cooking up syrup for my fruit salad. Normally, I’m opposed to mucking up fresh fruit. It’s like putting makeup on a baby—detracts from all the natural beauty (and bottle sucking is a complete waste of MAC lipstick). But a friend made the fruit salad with the syrup and it was delightful, a real mouth dance so I got the recipe and am taking a whack.
The fruit syrup I am making calls for arrowroot. I know what arrowroot is. It’s a fancy-pants cousin to cornstarch and we all know what cornstarch is—the precursor to cement. My history with thickeners goes back to the seventh grade with Mrs. What’s-Her-Face. Three other students and I had to make a fruit pie and it came out like a trompe l’oeil ice cream sundae or faux-spill coke can—the thing did not move. It was a pie statue. A total dessert gridlock. When the world’s super powers go ape shit on each other and obliterate all DNA, what will remain standing is a cockroach outline of the skyscrapers and my replicant-of-a-pie. Mrs. What’s-Her-Face gave us all a “D”.
It’s been twenty-five years since 7th-grade home-ec, aka the pie-stocene age, a quarter of a century past fruit-filled humiliation and yet when I measure out a tablespoon of arrowroot I flashback and feel inadequate.
At first, everything—the orange-and-pineapple juice mixed with sugar and the don’t-make-me-say-it ok arrowroot—is super liquid-y. The recipe says to stir “constantly”, but I hate the idea of “constantly” anything and soon tire of circling the pot. I set my wooden spoon on the kitchen counter where, over the next nanosecond it super glues itself to the tile surface.
I look into the pot again and still, everything is pretty splishy splashy. I know a chemical change is supposed to occur at any moment but it’s hard to believe, really, even with my history and all.
And then it happens. While I’m not looking.
While I’m cutting up a mango actually. The thickener mists descend behind my back enveloping the somewhat-ly stirred pot. A post-traumatic stress flashback and blup, blup, blup, when what to my wondering eyes should appear: a potful of translucent slime good for freaking your sister out in the dark and not much else. The Psycho shower scene plays out in my head with a wooden spoon and Mrs. What’s-Her-Face in place of Norman.
As I frantically wrestle the wooden spoon from it’s final resting place my concoction zooms past the slime stage through a stronger, more robust flan phase before resolutely aligning its molecules into a lickable slab with a hardness factor just south of cubic zirconia.
Oh, sure, you can add more liquid, try and trick the pot of flubber back to it’s original soupy state, but elasticized food products (which this has now become) are the density of Jupiter and as stubborn and voracious as a black hole (let’s just say Stephen Hawking got it right). I add the equivalent of a doughboy full of o.j. and the mixture only just begins to give way. What started out as an effort at two cups of syrup has resulted in a metric ton the consistency of flu hack.
“They” say you can never go back and what “they” really should have said was: you can never retroactively “constantly” anything so really all my last minute flailing is just that (if you got through that last sentence without re-reading, congrats to you.)
So there I am, pick axing the hack block with my best meat cleaver, re-experiencing the state of thirteen hood all over again complete with the contradictory and overwhelming sense of personifying “Loser, the Super Hero”.
While, it’s true, I had yet to succeed-with-syrup and my beautiful mangoes lay in their own private Alcatraz, I didn’t let it go at that. In fact, I didn’t let it go at all. I transformed the entire experience and my perspective. Prior to final solidification I staked an oasis of drink umbrellas like flags atop Mt. ArrowRoot, stepped back and realized I had created a book end, a doorstop, a paper weight. I failed at nothing. I had, instead, created…ART!
What greater good is there than to channel negativity into creativity? I proudly set my newly cooked sculpture, with a 70-year half-life, as a hood ornament for all to admire.
November 22nd, 2012
I threw a wish in the well,
Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell
I looked to you as it fell,
And now you’re in my way
Many cultures throughout history have regarded water, because of its vital necessity to human existence, as a sacred gift from the gods. The idea of a wishing well, a body of water which will grant wishes, comes from this tradition.
I’d trade my soul for a wish,
Pennies and dimes for a kiss
I wasn’t looking for this,
But now you’re in my way
Our protagonist would trade her soul for this wish! The wish turns out to be for a man, ergo this woman would trafe her soul for a man. Would someone get Gloria Steinem on the line? And yet at the same time our protagonist “wasn’t looking for this” thing she wished for? Me thinks she doth lie too much, but let’s continue.
Your stare was holdin’,
Ripped jeans, skin was showin’
Hot night, wind was blowin’
Where you think you’re going, baby?
Initially, it would seem the object of this woman’s affection is interested. He is looking at her intently. His pants are ripped? Is he poor? Unlikely. In fact, in the era in which this was written purposefully torn pants were in fashion, an indication of one’s level of style. Most jeans of this type are very expensive so from this limited information we can assume the man in question has means or at least we know the money he does have is spent on appearing fashionable. What follows: hot night, wind was blowin’, is an indication of the season. And while it may be a stretch, I’d like to posit that perhaps this is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the protagonist as sometimes a talkative woman is referred to as a windbag. It may be an oblique reference but not completely unfounded as you will soon see our protagonist is quite repetitive. Further scholarly research is required to establish this as historical fact. But unsupported or not let this be a lesson to all young girls—less is more.
Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?
It’s important to remember this love letter/poem/Internet sensation is from a brief era of extreme experimentation when the male/female paradigm was turned upside down. Woman took on the role of aggressor typically reserved for the male and since the heterosexual male couldn’t take on the role of female he had no role at all (except to take women’s numbers and call them, maybe). And, for the record, she knows it’s crazy…
You took your time with the call,
I took no time with the fall
You gave me nothing at all,
But still, you’re in my way
This is a classic example of the come here/go away syndrome many couples engage in otherwise known as Bossy-the-Cow-runs-after-Mr.-Good-for-Nothing. She herself says he gave her “nothing at all” which only serves to make Bossy run faster. Poor Bossy. As my Grandma Etty would say, this young man of interest is as cool as the other side of the pillow. Bottom line is the man should always want it more and, as my Uncle Ezra would say, this one would rather chase sheep.
Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad
This is an interesting use of tense to create emotion, ie missing someone before you have met them (also, and less interesting, is this example of protagonist as repetitive windbag). It’s like in the movies when someone drinks a love potion and falls in love with the next thing that crosses their path. Everyone in the audience wants to yell, Don’t kiss the troll. It’s the potion talking, stupid! And after this man’s rebuffing he is still “in her way”. Really? I would argue the protagonist herself is the only thing in her way, living inside her pretty little head and running after unavailable metrosexuals in ripped jeans. Let’s hope someday soon she sees the light. Unlikely but…maybe.
November 12th, 2012
For those raised by wolves I’d like to offer a free primer on what to do when confronted with a closed restroom door. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up. A door is a tall rectangular piece of metal, glass or wood with a mechanism for opening and closing. For purposes of this tutorial we will only be dealing with metal or wooden, ie opaque doors. Opaque means you can’t see through it which is where knocking comes in. Hold that thought. A Door, when opened, allows for entry into a room. When said door is closed, better yet locked, that room remains private which is a good thing given what can and does go on in a restroom. One last definition that will prove helpful: a restroom is the public, more polite word for bathroom even though one neither rests nor bathes in them.
As a review please take this simple test. Imagine you have to relieve yourself and the door to the restroom is closed. In order to gain entry you:
A) Jiggle the sh*t out of the door handle and barge in.
Surprise!—the answer is not A. Shocking for 98% of the population, I know. Why is A) wrong? Let’s back up. What is typically done in a restroom? We know it’s not resting or bathing (see above). Believe it or not the #1 activity in a restroom is…#1! The #2 activity? You got it followed by hand washing, primping, oh and on girls’ night out, barfing your brains out. Let’s focus on the two most popular restroom activities which are best executed in the panties-or-zipper down position. I don’t know about you but when my panties are down I am not at my most social which makes barging in a less desirable option (and if I am “socializing” with my panties-down getting barged in on is still not high on the list). When I am in a public restroom and hear the crazed rattle of the door handle my sphincter closes (see flight or flight). When my sphincter closes I find it really difficult to eliminate which means a longer wait time for you. Ergo barging in on me while I’m getting down to business is not in your best interest.
Since the incorrect answer is A the correct answer is B: knock on the %*$!#’ing door! Let’s back up. For those of you not yet familiar with the concept of knocking—and don’t be ashamed as you are not alone—allow me to explain. First, you don’t need to buy anything or remember to carry anything with you because the beauty of knocking is that everyone was born with this ability! Knocking, an easily acquirable skill, is something you do with your hand using knuckles or finger joints. Simply bend your fingers to make these areas of your hand more accessible then rap them on the outside of the door to create a tapping sound. It’s that simple. If there is someone on the other side of the door this tapping sound will alert them to your presence. In response the occupant will say, “Occupied” or “Someone’s in here” or “Just a minute” or “Panties down!” or some such phrase. The general take away being, someone is in the private room you want to enter and sorry to break it to you but you have to wait.
Here’s a simple ditty to help you remember:
If you need to drop trou please knock now
Don’t be an ass and knock on the %*$!#’ing door!
August 22nd, 2012
At the police station.
Police woman to Rape Victim: We have your composite drawing out with an APB and are running the DNA sample now. A Todd Akin Rape counselor will be with you shortly.
Counselor (enters room with large binder): His, my name is Tanya. I am a trained Todd Akin rape counselor. Why don’t you tell me what happened.
Victim: I was raped.
Counselor: Ok, before we get ahead of ourselves, were you “legitimately” raped?
Counselor: Were you “legitimately” raped?
Victim: I was raped.
Victim: I don’t even know what you are asking? Is this some kind of joke?
Counselor: Of course not, legitimate rape is no joke. Let’s start over. Please tell me what happened.
Victim: I was assaulted at night in a parking lot and forced to have sex against my will.
Counselor (reading guidelines): Forced sex with a stranger is a good start. When you say “assaulted” what were you doing out late at night in a parking lot in the first place?
Victim: I’d been working late and was leaving work. I called security to escort me to my car.
Counselor: All very legit. Please go on.
Victim: Security watched me get in my car. I locked my doors and they drove off. Then this maniac jumped up from the back seat. He was in my car.
Counselor: An ex-boyfriend with a key?
Victim: No! A complete disgusting stranger who grabbed me around the neck and put a gun to my head. He said if was a good girl and cooperated everything would be just fine. But it isn’t fine, is it? Nothing is fine.
Counselor: No, it isn’t. Please go on. The more you process, the sooner you can begin healing.
Victim: I guess he had slim jimmed the door. Security was too far away at that point to hear my screams. He had a gun so I went with it.
Counselor: Any chance you could be pregnant?
Victim: How do I know? It just happened. Oh my God I hope not.
Counselor: Most likely you aren’t since according to the Todd Akin Rape Counseling Guidelines a women’s body has a way of “shutting down that stuff” in the face of legitimate rape which from the way you described it it sounds like it was.
Victim: Wait, what? Are you saying if I am pregnant it wasn’t a legitimate rape because my body didn’t shut it down?
Victim: If the witch drowns she wasn’t a witch? But if she doesn’t drown then she was and she’ll be drowned anyway.
Victim: Clearly you have never been raped.
Counselor: Not legitimately, no.
January 6th, 2012
The houses on either side of me are rentals. Every two years or so they are re-rented to the ubiquitous young family with crying babies and barking dogs. It’s as if one of the requirements to rent these houses is that you be very loud and sometimes get hauled away by the police. No concern for others is a plus.
Every morning when I leave my house to either to go for a walk or get in the car or take out the trash or water the plants or breathe the air the dog barks and the baby cries—like a duet. Sometimes while the dog is barking and the baby is crying I hear a human voice talking on the phone or talking with another live human both of whom never say a word to quiet the dog as if they live on another planet where incessant ugly sounds are pretty and only they matter—oh, wait that’s the planet I live on, too. After what feels like the half-life of polonium someone tends to the crying baby but I have never heard anyone ever tell the dog to be quiet. Ever. He gets quiet when he wants to.
Initially, I said things to the dog like, “It’s ok, you’re ok,” as this is what I say to my dog when he seems scared or upset while barking his head off like a mad ninny. The dog barked right over me till I found myself yelling, “IT’S OK, YOU’RE OK.” Eventually I worked my way up to, “Shut the fuck up!” which worked about as well as, “You’re ok” and “YOU’RE OK”.
Enter: The Note. I’m a writer therefore I write notes. In hindsight should I have gone over a spoken directly to my neighbors? Hell no I mean sure, but I didn’t. Shoo me—hold that thought. So I wrote a note to my neighbor and signed it with my real name and address. In return I got a very rude note from the dick wad husband taped to the man door of my garage. So I took the note and marched over and rang the bell. The husband and I got into for about 30 seconds at which point this man said, “Shoo,” and motioned with his hand for me to get off his rented porch. Shoo? Really?
Long story short I held my ground and when we both calmed down and got to the part about his dog barking non-stop and being a general nuisance he actually said, “What do you want me to do?” to which I replied, “How about tell your dog to be quiet?”
Neither of us said anything further.
January 20th, 2011
Sluts, cougars, Taylor Swifts, lend me your ears! Stop giving it up so easily. Make a man treat you respectfully before you go sleeping with him. Because your mother said so? No, because I said so and I said so because if you, if all of you, required a man to treat you respectfully before giving up the goods then guess what? Men would treat women respectfully, period. La la! It’s so simple, it’s stupid. Except for one thing. You keep sleeping with that dick head who booty calls you at 2am thereby ruining it for the rest of us.
And now for a little historical background brought to you by the Greeks:
Lysistrata is a Greek comedy written way back when, by you-don’t-care-who. The gist of the play is the men are out fighting the never-ending Peloponnesian war and the Athenian women are sick of it. They want peace. So, led by Lysistrata, they band together and hatch a plan: “we must refrain from the male altogether.” In other words, no sex. To build the tension the temptresses sit around looking all hottie patottie decked out in their “best transparent silks and prettiest gewgaws” (aka bling).
So, the men are all preoccupied with bashing each other’s heads in until they get “the urge” at which point they go home for a brief “respite” only to find their women wearing wet t-shirts saying, “Cross Your Legs for Peace”, “Hell No, We Won’t Blow” and “Go F*ck Yourself (literally)”.
“Before long the device of the bold Lysistrata proves entirely effective. Peace is concluded and the play ends with the hilarious festivities of the Athenian and Spartan plenipotentiaries in celebration of the event.” I believe the “event” would be the end of the war but I’m thinking there’s a double meaning here. Hilarious…
A brief review:
- Men behave poorly.
- Women tire of tolerating poor male behavior.
- Women voice their discontent to poorly-behaving men.
- Men cultivate selective hearing, ie poor behavior continues.
- Women revoke men’s toys.
- Men take notice, “hearing” with other senses.
- Men behave well.
- Women return toys to men.
- See bullet #1
I’m seeing a pattern here and it ain’t London tweed. What if women, the world over, actually stopped tolerating poor male behavior (sound of arctic wind whipping across frozen tundra)? What if the next time a guy didn’t call when he said he would the woman simply said, “No, thank you, goodbye,” to the guy when he finally did call? And this woman told two friends who, when faced with a similar situation, said, “No, thank you, goodbye,” and they told two friends and so on and so on until there was a worldwide web of women saying, “No, thank you, goodbye,” to crappy male behavior. As a result, a worldwide web of initially confused, subsequently pensive and ultimately enlightened men would clue in to the proper treatment women and, by jove, call!
I believe every woman, on some level, wants to be a Lysistrata, ie a strong-willed celebrater of hilarious festivities surrounded by respectful (drooling) men while lounging around in transparent silk. Problem is there aren’t a lot of Greek gods falling out of the sky so when one demi-god, okay semi-god, does flutter to earth, and he’s kind of a lout, we loosen our standards to accommodate him forgetting we deserve better. Don’t tolerate lame, warrior-like behavior. It will only go down hill from there.
So what do you say all you sluts, cougars and Taylor Swifts? Let’s band together, sing a chorus of “No, thank you, goodbye” and be on our way to the next lute and feta party.
August 20th, 2010
I know this is a rather simple break down but let’s outline what, at its most basic level, separates a man from a woman:
- Woman=breasts, vagina
Notice I didn’t write:
Because a man should not have breasts! Period. If you are a man below the age of sixty-five (and even then) and you find yourself with breast-like protuberances there is something wrong and you, yes, I’m talking to you, should do something about it. Most likely you should lose weight and get back to looking like a man, ie flat-chested, shoulders wider than your hips and nothing hanging over your belt (under your belt? Hang on!). That I have to even say this…Dear Lord.
Society has such ridiculously high standards for women: basically look like Giselle Bundchen…forever. Don’t, whatever you do, age. But for men, my god, if your wallet is fat apparently you can throw away the scale and oh, while you’re at it, you can toss the mirror, too.
If you are a man with man boobs chances are great (99.99%) you have a belly that appears, at minimum, four months pregnant. Ew. What woman wants to climb on top of that? No one, really. Given the choice between mounting Mr. Rich and Fat and Mr. Rich and Fit no woman, of sound mind, would want to scale Mount Fatty. No one.
Which brings me to my next, more global, point: if women banded together, raised their standards (physical and emotional) and refused to put up (or out) for anything less than decency do you know how fast men would get with the program? If men couldn’t get laid unless they behaved and appeared like gentleman the vast majority of men would be gentle (height/weight appropriate) men. The thought just takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
But, there’s a problem Houston. Problem is the majority of women have little to no self-esteem. Through subtle and not-so-subtle cues, society (and parents) teach female children they are nothing without a man. Who wants to be nothing? Put up, shut up and get that man! He’s self-centered, rude and looks like an “after” photo? So what…you need one of those…for life. So deal.
Are there many mitigating circumstances and caveats to what I have outlined here? Of course. And should women be equally accountable and work on not being high-maintenance beeyatches? Absolutely. But, please, one unsolvable issue at a time here. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the Man Bro.
July 17th, 2010
There is sidewalk etiquette. The general idea of right and left lanes of street traffic applies. There are, I have learned, caveats where the above does not hold true:
- When you have young kids
- Are stoned and riding a bike
- Are rude like a woman with kids and riding a bike.
Having young kids, at least in my neighborhood, means you no longer have to concern yourself with anyone or thing except your kids and maybe your husband. If you are leaving a store you don’t need to hold the door open for anyone but yourself or your kids. If your kids are noisy in a movie theater you don’t have to leave. And if you’re rolling a triple stroller down the sidewalk and someone is coming toward you, so what.
Now do I expect a woman to go off-roading with her stroller? Yes, I mean no, of course not, but it sure would be nice if she made a small show of either moving to the side or saying thank you as she knocked me onto the grass. I’m just saying.
By now I suppose you’ve surmised I do not have kids. I made a conscious choice not to have kids. Do I respect the choice of others to have kids? No, I mean yes, of course, I do, sort of because actually I respect the choice to have quiet, well-behaved kids who do not become my problem. People don’t seem to having those kinds of kids these days.
I feel like there is a social hierarchy and married women with kids are on top. Then it’s widowed women with kids followed by married woman with no kids then divorced women with kids. Single women with kids are at the very bottom. Even below never-married women with no kids who are reviled like the BP oil spill so you know they’ve got to be low.
Why is procreation such a big deal? You’ve done something anyone can do. There are reports of even the unconscious having kids (and I’m not talking your garden-variety, thirty-something unconscious. I mean literally as in coma.) Reproduction is basically the aftermath of unprotected sex. Since when does someone congratulate you for that? Or send money? If anything, they leave it on the nightstand or, at The Bunny Ranch, with Madam Suzette.
My point is, do what you’ve got to do, but take responsibility for it. Don’t make it my problem and if it has to become in a small way my problem, own it by acknowledging the issue with uncommonly used phrases such as: “excuse me” (ik-skyooz mee) and “thank you” (thangk-yoo).
You’re welcome Stay tuned for next time when we’ll cover: bike-riding stoners.