Rude kitty

I was sitting in my garage, contemplating having nine glasses of wine, when a little black cat came skulking up, clearly feral. Ah. So this is the little bitch that’s been tormenting the dogs. The cat looked at me, backed away, and jumped up on the top of my gate, obviously planning to go into the back yard.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” I warned her.

She cut her eyes. You’re not the boss of me. Cats can speak telepathically. If you don’t believe me, just look one in the eye and strike up a conversation. They’re real smartasses.

“Yes, I know you’re a grown ass woman, I was just offering some friendly advice.”

Why don’t you just guzzle down some of that high class boxed wine you got there and mind your own business?

“I can see you make your own decisions, so go ahead little mama. Jump on back there.”

Fine.

“Fine.”

FINE.

“FINE.”

And so with that, she takes the leap. Despite her ignorance, I felt compelled to protect her. I tried to make it through the house and to the back door to let the dogs in before they made her acquaintance. No such luck. The kitty’s ego was much too inflated to peak around the corner to see if there were dogs afoot. The dogs made chase right as I was opening the door.

OH shit oh shit oh shit oh shit! Miss Kitty should have listened to Mrs. Garage Lady.

They were right on Miss Kitty’s tail when she took a roll, over what I don’t know. She went tumbling, a ten-foot trail of shit spewing out of her behind, and ran smack-dab into our rock pile.

Lucky for Miss Thang, we have one gimpy Yorkie and a big fat Labraheeler that my husband swears isn’t fat, it’s just that white isn’t slimming. That being said, the cat had time to regain composure and make it over the back fence to safety.

Before I could even get my “I told you so” out, I heard OH FUCK YOU, LADY from over the fence. Feral cats are so RUDE.

Children of the corn

Trying to write with kids in the house is like trying to solve anti gravity with the intelligence of a cotton ball. Children are the assassins of the train of thought, creativity, and all things holy and good. The anti-sobriety, if you will. It's impossible to think, spell thngis correctly, or not repeat yourself because there's no way to concentrate. It's impossible to think, spell thngis correctly, or not repeat yourself because there's no way to concentrate.

Inevitably, I give in to the riveting question on their minds with a frustrated "WHAT?!" to which I'm asked, "Are rabbit poops round-round or long-round? Because Ely keeps saying they're long-round but that's stupid." The level to which I'm unimpressed by this question is unmatched by any question in the history of the world.

Now, I can usually withstand a lot of nonsense thrown my way, but today was like the Holocaust of the little creative beings that live in my head. I got zero done of any importance, but what I was able to do was keep a log of the conversations that hindered me from being a productive member of society. Please enjoy, and don't forget to send lots of Valium my way. Keep in mind, all the following questions were asked after incessant poking and beckoning "Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom. Hey. Mom."


Me: WHAT?!

Child: Can can, man man, can-can-can-can, man man! <this is why people kill people>

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: I forgot.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: You just don't look very happy today.

Me: That's because mommy's soul died three hours ago.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: The dog won't look at me. <he learned to avoid eye contact as well>

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: Look! <makes funny face that was totally unfunny>

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: I don't like peas. <there have been no peas in my house since ever>

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: Um...um...uh. <looking up thinking> I...I..well...sometimes...I just want to say hi to you and ask if I can have a soda.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: Why did they just do that?

Me: Why did WHO do WHAT?!

Child: What they did on TV.

Me: Was it kill a child? Because otherwise I don't know.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: Never mind.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: What are you doing?

Me: Trying to work.

Child: That doesn't seem likely. Your screen's blank.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: You can't spell pig with a Q.

Me: You can't spell at all if you're dead.

Child: That doesn't even make sense. <famous last words>

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: Why do things have to die?

Me: Honestly? I blame the children.

 

Me: WHAT?!

Child: Corn.

Me: WHAT about corn?

Child: I just like to say that word. Corn. Corn. If you say it a lot you don't even know what it means anymore. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. <what's the best way to dispose of a body, theoretically speaking of course?>

 


*This is a true story: I had this whole post written when one of the kids hit the keyboard with a ball, which closed the window down without it saving and I had to rewrite the whole effing thing. This is not a quality product, as when my soul died I was unable to recreate what I had previously written.

You may be thinking,...she doesn't sound like that good of a parent. You know what I have to say to that?! Well DUH.

Society dismembered

Recently I was spying on my niece and her friend while playing with Barbie dolls. I wanted to make sure they were playing well with one another, and they were. Creepily so. They were polite, giggling, and having what I would describe as a lovely time.

This really brought back some lovely memories of my own. Or should I say, anti-lovely.

My sister and I used to play with Barbie dolls. I used the term "play" loosely, because it was more like MMA Barbie Unleashed. By the time the smoke had cleared, there were blonde chunks of hair and singular little plastic arms and legs scattered across the battlefield of our room. Somebody would be crying while the other was saying something like, "Well, you shouldn't be a stupid, fat pig!"

About this time my mother would have had enough, and she'd head down the long hallway to our room. "What is going on in here? You two act like a couple of heathens!" Then she'd threaten to take us down to the mental hospital where she worked so we could learn to appreciate what we had. When she'd leave the room, we'd make faces at each other of how we imagined those retarded people to look. We were, indeed, heathens.

Watching those girls playing, though, reminded me of something else. We also had a Ken doll, and as a kid I was fascinated by the fact that there was just a little mound where his wiener should have been. When I first got to pondering this, I thought, well, that makes sense, because no little girl needs to see that. But upon further contemplation, I realized there was an entirely different reason for this.

Boys and girls are like oil and water from day one. If little girls are happy to rip Barbie apart limb by limb, you know good and well if Ken hadn't already been dismembered, they'd be happy to take care of that shit too. There'd be little broken dicks littering households all across the country. This wouldn't be good for future relationships because it would give girls ideas that they wouldn't otherwise have unless they'd seen a Lorena Bobbitt special. Fathers and brothers would cringe and become fearful, and the next thing you know, there would be a paradigm shift in the gender dynamic and women would be ruling the world. The men who run the Barbie company know this.

What they also know is that Barbie would become obsolete. Little girls would only want Ken dolls to rip the parts off of and make little dick necklaces. After that, they'd use the eunuchs to chauffeur Barbie and her girlfriend around. Little girls wouldn't dream of the picket fence or children anymore. If they did happen to have children, and they were boys, we'd end up like China, except opposite, throwing the boyfolk in the river. It would be complete chaos.

I can only imagine the effect this would have had on me and my sister back then. It would have exponentially increased the likelihood of us becoming major figureheads in the heathen movement. My mother would've ended up on 60 Minutes apologizing for us and offering excuses: "They aren't really mine. I found them."

It would be forever before women forgave all the years of oppression and learned to live with men again as equals, but it would never go back to normal. Men would be underpaid and under appreciated; they would cry, it would be a mess. So look. If you're wondering why it's still a man's world, I think it's quite obvious. It can all be directly linked back to anatomically incomplete Ken dolls. I know, I know...I'm in the wrong career.

Bigfoot. What a cutie pants!

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with Bigfoot. I'm totally fascinated by the idea of that fuzzy bastard living in the woods, eluding humans for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

It's also no secret that I'm a big Les Stroud fan. Any guy who will take off on foot and live in tent in Alaska for a year all by himself is my kind of weird. Plus, his show isn't douchey like many of the other survival-type shows.

These days survival isn't interesting to people unless there's a gimmick, like meh, survival is boring, but what if we stick people out there naked? Or hey, let's make it a vicious back-stabbing game and see who wins. These shows? Stoopid. Les Stroud? Awesome.

What a cutie pants!

What a cutie pants!

Seen here, looking debonaire.

Seen here, looking debonaire.

I don't always allow photos, but when I do, I'm thinking deeply

I don't always allow photos, but when I do, I'm thinking deeply

So I was really excited to hear that he was planning on doing a Bigfoot special after his curiosity was piqued living out in the wild and having unexplained animal encounters. He teamed up with a guy named Todd Standing, who originally set out to disprove Bigfoot. Yeah right. Like that could happen. Anyway, Todd got the following shots of the Big Guy to share with the public. While I realize this could be some Hollywood makeup artistry and a fuzzy little suit, I totally choose to believe that this is the face of my infatuation.

My husband thinks I'm stupid that Bigfoot is number one on my bucket list. However, he says I'm free to embark on my quest to find and befriend my special yeti, and he'll be waiting for me in front of the TV when I get back. He's making the assumption that I'm going to come back. Pff.

When I find and become pals with Bigfoot, who I imagine to be named Edgar, I may never want to leave. Besides, I'm going to be so charming that they'll want to absorb me into their society, teaching me how to beat rocks together and flash unsuspecting motorists. I'll live in a den and eat berries and get my girlish figure back.

I've been trying to talk my husband into moving into the woods with me, but he says I wouldn't make it past my first spider encounter. This offends me deeply. I think, depending on the size, I could make it through two or three easy.

My love for Bigfoot runs deep ya'll. If you get a chance, check out Les Stroud's Bigfoot Special and tell me what you think. Or don't check out Les Stroud's Bigfoot Special and still tell me what you think. Either way, I'll be biding my time, knitting some extra large booties and mittens, and working on my song, "Soft Bigfoot, warm Bigfoot, big ole' ball of furrr, happy Bigfoot, sleepy Bigfoot, grr, grr, grr". I want to make sure Edgar knows I was thinking of him all along.

In case you're wondering, yes, I know I'm an idiot.

The taming of the garage

About every two weeks, my husband and I engage in the black hole of house projects; the cleaning of the garage. Once we get it spotless, it seems overnight it gets overrun with pizza boxes, rags, cans, and trash. We enjoy the cleanliness for approximately 32 seconds before the inevitable happens.

This morning we walked in the garage to discover Mr. Nobody (also the stealer of socks) came in overnight and performed a tornado spin. We each blame one another on why this is happening.

Husband: "When do you plan on doing something with those boxes? That's the whole problem."

The garage is packed full of manly things: tools, lawn equipment, aircraft mechanicky things, toolboxes, ropes, boxes of wires, bikes, bows and arrows, fishing poles. And my four boxes.

Me: "So my four boxes are the problem here?"

Husband: "What gave you the impression this was a two-way conversation? Piss off lady. Please don't hit me."

So then we engage in a tit-for-tat, toxic marital repartee in which we decide neither is getting sex later so don't even fucking try it. But we bravely trudge on through the muck and mess and eventually end up with what any other homeowner would be totally jealous of. For 32 seconds.

The thing is, no one ever sees that version of the garage. People only come over when it looks like hobos have been cooking meth over a campfire in there. They look at us like we're trailer trash, and we each secretly express that it's the other spouse's fault this is happening. They shuffle their feet uncomfortably and dream of better friends, but we're all they have. So suck it, friends. We're all you have.

I've decided, though, that I'm no longer taking the blame for the garage phenomena. I have a secret plan, and since my husband doesn't even read my blog, he won't be on to me and it'll totally work.

I'm going to take two markers: one blue, for him, and one pink, for me. Now, each time I walk out there and find an object that he has added or moved around, it will get a blue mark on it. Similarly, each time I walk out there and leave an object, or move an object, I will put, again, a blue mark on it. I will use the pink marker to draw pretty flowers on the dry erase board on the extra refrigerator.

This will prove to him that he's the whole problem and I will walk away the victor of this whole fucking thing. He will be full of shame and I will tell him he needs help, and he will say piss off, but he'll still feel wholly responsible. And that's what marriage is all about: assigning blame. Winning. Conquering. Symbolically bitch-slapping the other every chance you get. If you don't believe me, just look it up.

I'm already preparing my victory speech, and it will go something like this:

I, the wife of this marriage, in order to form a more perfect union, have established justice, insured domestic tranquility, provided for my own defense, promoted my welfare, and secured my place in heaven, do ordain and establish that everything is your fault.

For four score and two days ago you brought forth on this concrete, a new box, conceived in sloppetry, and dedicated to the idea that you could just blame it on me.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether this marriage, or any marriage so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on the great battle-field of this garage. We have come to dedicate a portion of that garage, as a final resting place for all your shitty excuses. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

It is for us to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which we who fought here have thus far failed like a big dog. It is rather for us to accept that it's all your fault and work together to conquer the great task remaining before us -that this garage, under renovation, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that empty space with no boxes, by the boxes, for the boxes, shall not perish with pizza boxes.

With liberty and justice for me. BAM.

In today's news...

Today I came across the following article on ABC News. It made me smile inside because I love a little well deserved public humiliation.


An Ohio man is sitting on a street corner with a sign declaring he's a bully as part of his sentence for harassing a neighbor and her disabled children.

A judge ordered 62-year-old Edmond Aviv to display the sign for five hours Sunday. It says: "I AM A BULLY! I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports ( http://bit.ly/1ieU3sA ) that Aviv arrived at the corner just before 9 a.m., placing the hand-lettered sign next to him as he sat in a chair. Court records show Aviv pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge.


Schools are hitting the subject of bullying hard, because let's face it; the only thing worse than a fifth grade bully is a sixty-two year old bully.

But the article got me to thinking about this guy and what I would do if I were in his situation. Of course I never would be, because I'm not a douche, but suppose I were.

I was looking at this guy's picture and thinking...not only is he a bully, but he's also a really stupid one. Sure, you can put a funny hat on and some sunglasses, but dude, everybody can still recognize you! The judge may have ordered that he hold the sign, but I bet he didn't think to add in the rules that he had to be recognizable.

I'd be out there in a gorilla suit, I don't give a shit. I sure as hell wouldn't want anyone seeing my face or taking any real responsibility for what I'd done. I mean, you fuck with retarded kids and people will actually kill you. Don't be killed. If you're a bully, it's never too late to change, but you can't change if you're all dead and shit. If you end up in this situation, take a little advice from an expert at life: dress up like Lady Gaga, or Beyonce - anything but your lousy self.

What the bully should have done.

What the bully should have done.

Superpowers Cats Wished They Had

Today I take a break to proudly welcome Cary Vaughn. I discovered him on Humor Outcasts, stalked him to his hilarious blog Reluctant Cat Owner, and now I'm sitting across the street from his house knitting skin vests. That's how much I love this guy. His blog is about the reality of owning cats and the adventures of being gay. It's both hysterically funny and poignant; a must read.

Superpowers Cats Wished They Had

by: Cary Vaughn

A common conversation starter for us socially incompetent is the reliable yet impotent, "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?"  At least three-fourths of you reading this already have an answer.  But what about your cats?  When you are sitting in front of the TV on a Saturday night caught in an awkward pause between topics with the cat sitting next to you, have you ever asked them what superpower they wish they had?  I have, and their answers were....interesting.

Keep in mind, we're talking about simple creatures (they get confused when a paper sack is pulled over their head); therefore, their responses were inferior to your typical desire to fly or be invisible or making intercourse last longer than five minutes. 

For example:

The Power to Destroy the Red Dot

If you want a reminder as to why cats never evolved into the dominant species, wiggle the light from a laser pointer on the floor.  Suddenly, these pompous snobs lose their shit like white women on spring break.  However, no matter how [embarrassingly] hard they try, no cat in recorded history has yet to capture one, and oh how they all desperately want to be the first.

(Pictured: Pew, Pew, Pew, BOOM!)

(Pictured: Pew, Pew, Pew, BOOM!)

The Power to Not be Touched When They Don't Want To Be

Cats are fickle bastards.  They enjoy a good rubbing every now and then.  Sometimes, though, the heathens react as if the rubber has cooties, contorting into unnatural poses reminiscent of Emily Rose.  I've even witnessed Blind Murphy lower his backside so far to the floor as I tried to pet him that his crotch scraped the carpet as he walked away.

Apparently, the preferred method of the no-touch superpower is either a force field or the ability to become transparent in touched area (as pictured on the left).

 

  (“No-touch power! ACTIVATE!”)

 

(“No-touch power! ACTIVATE!”)

The Power to Make Every Surface They Sit Upon Into a Computer Keyboard You Are Using

(i.e. the cat wants to be magically teleported from wherever they are in the house to the keyboard the moment you start using it)

What the Hell is the explanation behind my cats' attraction to a keyboard?  Has there been any research on this? I would really like to know why I can't get any work done because a nasty cat asshole is always pressed against my space key.

And these insufferable bastards know you can't do anything about it.  Your only options are to either douse them with the water bottle or toss them across the room while riding the laptop like a magic carpet; unfortunately, you damage your computer either way.

  (Pictured: lots of unseen cat fecal bacteria)

 

(Pictured: lots of unseen cat fecal bacteria)

The Power to Inhale Food from Across the Room

I find it difficult to understand how a domesticated animal can be a food hoarder.  I would be sympathetic if a pack of them lived in the wild, uncertain of their next meal; however, all of my dingleberries get fed plenty three times a day at the same time, and yet two of them continue to act like fat camp failures during every meal.

Mr. Tiddles was quick and eager to express his wishes for this superpower.  He states that it will help accomplish his goal as I drag him away from his intended target.

I am grateful the laws of physics and lung capacity prevent him from wielding this power.  I can only imagine how many times I'd return home from work to find one of the other cats hanging out of his mouth.

The Power to Take Your Soul

The picture says all I need to say on the matter.

Of mice and boogeymen

I have never been a very brave person. Or even remotely brave actually. Let's just go ahead and call it what it is; I'm a weenie. If it's any little bit creepy, I'm afraid of it. I freak out about spiders, unexplained noises, ghosts, and hanging my foot off the bed where it's left vulnerable to monsters and little black eyed children playing with ovaries. Let's discuss.

ZOMBIES & HEIGHTS

I don't believe there will ever be zombies but if there were I'd be a chickenshit. If I were in the zombie apocalypse, I would have been dead in the first two minutes. The first minute and a half would be spent trying to climb a tree. The last thirty seconds would be spent being pulled down from the tree by my leg screaming "oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit" and eaten by zombies because I'm afraid of heights. Besides, there could potentially be spiders in the tree and screw that. The apocalypse is where you find out exactly what you're made of. I already know the answer to that. I definitely wouldn't be one of those people making any history or saving humanity. Just another grunting torso ooching along the ground grabbing at legs.

SCARY MOVIES

I can't watch scary movies. I can't watch scary commercials even, or ghost stories on the History Channel. If I watch a crime show or The Walking Dead, my husband has to be around so there'll be somebody to slay the bad guys that will certainly show up in the middle of the show to chop me to bits. If my husband isn't home and I accidentally see a scary commercial, I fully believe pulling a sheet over my head will protect me. Once, I made the mistake of watching The Grudge. I have never, ever gotten the image of that woman out of my head. I always think when I roll over to the empty side of the bed that she'll be there waiting for me. I'm forty years old, for God's sake. And people wonder why I drink.

PERVERTS

One Friday night before I was married I was chilling out at home when I heard a man's voice. Oh my god...someone is coming to get me. I knew it! I just knew it! I called my friend who lived on the next street over. I told him to hurry, that someone was outside trying to get me. He rushed right over ready to whip somebody's ass. I saw the lights of his truck pull in the driveway. I was safe.

I figured he was outside hogtying the pervert, because several minutes passed before he knocked on the door. When I opened it, he looked at me blankly and said, "You dumbass. It's the football game." He turned around without another word, got in his truck and left.

Yep. You're an idiot.

Yep. You're an idiot.

OK, so I lived a short distance from the high school. It was Friday night. It was Texas. You can hear the commentator pretty clearly if you step outside. From the inside, though, he sounded like a crazed lunatic wanting to display my entrails in his china cabinet. He sounded JUST LIKE THAT. Turns out he was just a crazed lunatic excited over a touchdown. Honest mistake.

SPIDERS

In those days there were a lot of spiders in my house because I lived next door to the World Hunger Relief Farm. The problem with that place was that evidently they were so busy relieving hunger that they couldn't be bothered to mow. I couldn't control the spiders (that were the size of house cats, by the way) and I lived in constant fear that they would leap on me from across the room. I used tactics such as throwing shoes and spraying them with Lysol, but usually just called the neighbor behind me to come kill them. He had a pretty high tolerance for my crap and said it was just like having another wife, except without any benefits. He would always roll his eyes, but dammit he could fucking kick a spider's ass and that was my main concern. In the end, I literally sold my house because I couldn't do anything to rid the house of spiders, and I even sold it to a friend and didn't even tell her what she was getting into. How shitty is that!

GHOSTS

My sister and her friends invited ghosts into our house when we were kids via a Ouija board. For one thing, they aren't so easy to unfriend as those people on Facebook from high school. They don't just fucking leave because you're peeing your panties and crying in the corner. They like that crap. It gives them purpose. Did you know those spirits stick to you even if you move houses? That shit is true. Most all my problems are directly her fault, and all because she wanted to know if she'd marry some stupid boy who turned out to have a gherkin. Yeah. That was worth it.

MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET

My son is afraid of the monsters in his closet. He wants me to reassure him that nothing's there, which I try to do, but let's face it, I don't come across as credible. There are monsters in there. Everybody knows that. That Darth Vader mask paired with the zombie outfit makes for a very intimidating night's sleep.

I feel like, rather than trying to convince him there's nothing in there, empowering him is a better strategy.

"Oh, there are monsters in there? OK, well here's your light saber. You'll totally win, because the force is with you."

For extra safety, I hand him his nun-chucks and say "Make me proud." Then in the morning I ask him what all monsters he beat up, and he supposes that they're just too afraid to mess with him. I agree and we have waffles. That, my friends, is how you disarm the monsters. Except I can't take my own advice.

CLOWNS

Do you know what my mom did to comfort us when we were little? She hand-made life sized clowns to keep us company.

LIFE SIZED CLOWNS. Just let that soak in for a minute.

During the day they were all cute and polka-dotty, but at night they transformed into beasts of ten feet tall or more, looming over the bed, cackling wildly and whispering my name. I remember it just like that.

"Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite", my parents would say at bedtime. Yeah, if only bedbugs had been my problem.

I slept a total of three hours as a child and I'm pretty sure I have PTSD. My parents have no idea how I ended up to be such a sissy considering neither of them are afraid of anything, but I assure them it's their fault somehow.


It's really important to me that I don't raise my son to be a sissy. Getting through life is hard when you're afraid of everything, and so everyday I do my best to show bravery in the face of spiders, funny shadows, and other extremely dangerous situations. Hopefully my son sees this bravery and soaks it in. But if not, he'd better figure it out. My husband says it best: "He can be a fag - I don't care - but he'd damn sure better not be a sissy."

That awkward moment when someone asks you a question

I was recently able to sucker my new friend, and author of the novella Suki, to guest write for me. I don't quite remember how I came across her blog but it is super funny and I encourage you to visit. Today I give the floor to C.F. Winn. I hope you enjoy That awkward moment when someone asks you a question.


This week, Larry the Cheeto and I have decided to pull a Freaky Friday kind of switch on you.

She's posting on my site (simplystick.blogspot.com), and I've hijacked hers. I'm hoping to be simultaneously delighted and horrified by whatever she decides to reveal in her post...and when she's done reading mine, I hope she thinks I'm still worthy of a good belly laugh.

In terms of writing, things are moving along nicely.

My book, SUKI, has been out for a while, and as it gains momentum, it's really touching people. But in my life, nothing is that easy. The problem I'm facing now is that someone wants to interview me. Live.

In reality, I am a very shy, private person. The thought of saying things without a bleep button or a ten second delay terrifies me. The pressure to perform or entertain sends my brain and my body into catastrophic spasms.

Let me give you some examples:

My family and I were on vacation at a modern Dirty Dancing type of establishment.

family feud

Besides tubing and hay riding, there were scavenger hunts and games that we could participate in. We all decided on Family Feud and they all decided that I should be captain. 

Full disclosure: I told them no. I told them it was not a good idea. I told them that my sweater should not be a darker color under my arms than anywhere else. But they insisted that I do it.

I stepped up to the buzzer - a small bell found in hotels and only the most popular brothels - and the MC asked the question. We were the first "contestants" up, so he lobbed us an easy one.

The quickest person to hit the buzzer would control the beginning of the game. That part I had. I was so anxious that my adrenaline was revved up to a hundred trillion amps or ounces or however you measure that type of thing. I would've beaten the speed of light into the next galaxy.

But then came Part 2. Answer the question. And that's when it all fell apart.

1. The MC's question sounded like Charlie Brown's parents on every holiday special.

2. Despite that, I knew when to move my hand and got to the buzzer first...hitting it so hard that it broke in two.

3. The MC, my opponent, and my team, turned their heads in slow motion as they watched the pieces of the mangled bell fall to the floor. I had bought myself some time until I felt them all looking at me expectantly, waiting for my answer. My eyes were squeezed tightly shut, and my mind was blank. I looked like a two year old squatted in the corner, my face red. It should have occurred to any parent within a few feet and owning a working nose that it might be a good time to back away...or run.

 

4. As the MC uttered an ominous, "three seconds" warning, my mind was still on hiatus, but my mouth, the real competitor here, blurted out my answer - The dentist.

The question was: Name a dangerous occupation.

In my defense, this all happened at a time when AIDS was a real fear and not much was known about it except that it could be transmitted via bodily fluids. Like spit. In someone's mouth and around the teeth.

The officials weren't buying my reasoning, and so my career as Family Feud Captain came to abrupt and merciful end.

When I was five, I rode home on the school bus, but didn't get off at my stop.

Soon it was just myself and the bus driver. She pulled over and had me come up front next to her:

Bus Driver: "Do you know where you live?"

Me (shaking and speaking in a Minnie Mouse whisper): "Well, my mom shops at that supermarket over there. (I pointed across the highway at a brick building) She takes a really long time and then we go to the other store that way." (I pointed toward an open field)

Bus Driver: "But do you know where your house is?"

Me: "Yes, it's right there."

I pointed to a home fifty feet from where we were stopped. My mother was out front, unloading groceries from three different stores. She was completely unaware that I wasn't there and waiting for her on the cold back steps like I did every afternoon.

I had successfully shown the bus driver some of the places that we frequented in the town that I lived, but had not answered the question that she was really asking.

My track record has never been too good, but my shining moment was in fourth grade, when a volunteer from our local fire department came to speak about his job.

After he was done talking, he asked if we had any questions for him. Every hand in the class shot up...except for mine. I looked around and my face began to burn, as it always does when I feel stupid. So I did the unthinkable and raised my hand without actually having a question to ask. Then I did the worst thing I could've done and made eye contact with the fireman. I had forgotten that doing that guaranteed the worst possible outcome ever, and it's still true today.

Fireman: "Young lady in the glasses. Do you have a question, or do you need to use the bathroom?"

Me (leaving my hand raised, although the sweat pouring down my face was pushing my glasses dangerously close to the end of my nose): "Um, I have a question."

Everyone leaned in because they must've had a hard time hearing my voice over my pounding heart.

Me: "Did you ever die in one of the more dangerous fires?"

Anyone who knows my family would think that when it comes to interviews or questions about any subject, I'd be the coolest personality out there.

Most of my conversations with the relatives are interviews... aka interrogations:

interrogation

Uncle John: "You did pretty well in high school and college, right?"

Me: "Yep." (I thought that by saying very little, there'd be no ammunition with which to attack)

Uncle John: "And it's really amazing how fast you got promoted at work. You must be good at what you do, right?"

My brother (they always come at me in packs): "Yeah. How long did it take you to go from bookseller to assistant manager of that bookstore?"

Me: "Two months."

Uncle John: "And then you were a manager of your own store how long after that?"

Me : "Six months."

My brother: "Then tell us this, you could have been CEO of any company you wanted to work for. Why did you choose this life instead?"

Uncle John nods.

The life they are referring to is that of a single mom of three with a job that I do out of my home instead of a traditional office. I can see why they feel that way though. I really dropped the ball when I chose to continue on as parent to my children, despite the fact that I would have to do it by myself. And making my own hours with the flexibility to go on class trips, etc. is not only undesirable, but plain irresponsible. Clearly.

My mother is the interrogator of the mundane and unnecessary.

She'll ask me questions like:

"The dog had to be put to sleep. How does that make you feel?"

"You're working? Who's with you?"

"You guys are having hamburgers for dinner?  Do you put onions in them?"

"So you're pregnant? Where did that happen?"

She can go on for hours asking about nothing, all the while listening intently, because somehow, giving her my super-secret hamburger recipe might  reveal all of the things she accuses me of keeping from her. Like the times and locations of my daughter's soccer games - because the schedule I forwarded to her two weeks before the season started must've been written in Sanskrit.

She gets so caught up in nonsense details that she misses out on the juicy stuff.

Like when I was in high school. I'd go on a date and even though she knew what movie I was going to see, she'd ask, "What movie did you see?" instead of "Why are the buttons on your sweater fastened all wrong? Oh, probably because it's also inside out." or " Why have you been grinning and staring at me for the last fifteen seconds instead of speaking, and why do you smell like burnt oregano?"

After a lifetime of invasive, insulting, and inane questioning, an interview should be a no-brainer, but if it sounds something like:

Interviewer: “Have you ever hated something you wrote?"

Me: "Does drunk texting count?"

Don't say I didn't warn you.


CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a hilarious group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor's office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.

You can now order SUKI in paperback at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by email at info@bookrevue.com or by calling (631) 271-1442.


CF Winn is the founder of Winning! Publications, a firm specializing in editing and promotion services for authors. Her latest project is the just released TRAILER TRASH, WITH A GIRL'S NAME, a hilarious and heartwarming story of a boy saddled with a girl’s name and forced into a nomadic existence.

Haiku Tuesday


There's a girl Yeti

Living inside my mirror

Can't make that bitch leave


Sometimes little girls

Want to marry their daddies

And that shit is gross


Yoga pants are one

Calories are another

Enemies of me


Pretty is a curse

Major overabundance

Of it on my face


Dog gives me that look

I'm like...get a fucking job

But then I feel bad




Why me why today

Pajamas are all dirty

Guess I'll go naked


Whether doing laundry,

cleaning floors or making bed

Ovaries are required


Mad, people will get

If you tell joke on Twitter

Malaysia. Too soon.


See kid with cookie?

Tell him to look over there

And take the cookie


Animals feel bad

When they can't open a jar

Sorry guys, no thumbs


How I can tell my husband loves me


Me: Why didn't you tell me I was so gray?

Husband: I tell you you're great every day.

Me: No. Gray.

Husband: That's what I said. Great.

Me: GRAY.

Husband: Yes, great. You're great baby.


I can wear THIS and he still wants to have sex with me.


Husband: It's time to go.

Me: Hold on, I need to find my keys.

Husband: They're in my pocket.

Me: OK well let me grab my phone.

Husband: It's in my pocket.

Me: I've gotta find my chapstick.

Husband: It's in my pocket.

Me: I need my electronic cigarette.

Husband: It's in my pocket.

Me: I can't find my shoes.

Husband: They're in my hand.


He knows I used to look like this and doesn't care.


Me: <having meltdown> Mother fucker! I can't roll my hair. The damn things won't stay in!

Husband: Sounds like you need an aircraft mechanic. <rolls hair perfectly>


Me: What kind of girl am I. I can't paint my own fucking toenails.

Husband: Sounds like you need an aircraft mechanic. <paints nails perfectly>


Me: I'm gonna go slip into something a little more comfortable. <puts on onesie. at 10a.m.>

Husband: <smiles. shakes head. only judges silently>


Getting dressed to do yard work...

Me: Do I look like a moron?

Husband: No. Just a Mormon.

What lies beneath...

Today I got the pleasure of spending the day with my adorable little baby niece. When my mother called and asked me if I could watch her, I thought, well hell yes. She's cute, I'm cute. It's a match made in heaven. What could go wrong?

As I've mentioned before; kids aren't exactly my forte. Kittens, sure. Wine, I got that. But kids...meh.

Looking back, this delusion of grandeur must have been spawned from watching unrealistic Pampers commercials.

At first it was all going great. We watched Bambi, we watched Tarzan. We played tickle and learned how to say puppy. I was thinking how easy this all was and what a bunch of sissies most parents are. But then several repetitions into the word puppy, I smelled the all too familiar aroma of feces. That's no big deal. I've changed diapers and I excelled at it, dammit.

However, nothing could have prepared me for the unspeakable things I would witness on this day, and I shall never be able to un-see them.

I took the little niece to the spare room and laid her down on the bed. This spare room is home to a magnificent comforter that I spent entirely too much money on and have never regretted it. Until now. Rookie move.

I've seen things burst forth from the bowels of elephants that didn't compare to what I observed when I opened that Pamper. It was everywhere, and as I explored deeper, I discovered that it covered her whole ass and the entire southern region of Texas.

I could not wrap my head around the fact that this all came from one little human twenty-pounder. My eyes began to water and I started to become ill. As I attempted to repress the vomit to the back of my throat, I realized this was a poop of epic proportions.

I found Jimmy Hoffa in there. I found the Lost City of Atlantis and Flight 370. There it all was, leaking out onto my pretty silver comforter.

Then the baby started to squirm. Keeping that shit from getting all over me, the comforter, and her was a feat nothing short of herding rabid cats.

I was unable to herd the rabid cats.

I was unable to save the comforter.

I was unable to save myself.

I was unable to prevent the baby's octopus-like extremities from painting the house with the ghost of Cheerios past. 

I began to weep and call out for my mommy, because I couldn't use the phone seeing that my hands were covered in shit. The baby was laughing, I was crying, the dogs were howling, the fish began floating up to the surface...it was mayhem.

The baby looked in my eyes and grinned. I was too afraid to not grin back, because shit, look what she did to Jimmy.

I cleaned her up, sent my comforter on a flaming ship out into the ocean, and cried in the corner for the rest of the afternoon. I had been conquered by the likes of someone who, until today, could not say puppy. But you better believe she could use a complete sentence to order a hit on my ass. You just don't mess with that.

The next time my mother asks if I can watch the baby, I will make sure to have the house blessed and sprinkled in holy water first. I will get out the shop vac and suck the diaper dry, and it should work depending on if the other hidden relics she has up in there will fit in the vacuum hole.

But if nothing else came from this, at least several mysteries were solved and I have a firm understanding that I should stick to litter boxes.

WalMart math and organic children

Like most of my fellow Americans, I hate going to WalMart. I dislike the people there and the fact that there's usually only one register open, which forces you to be with the people longer.

The closest WalMart to my house is one where people have been robbed in the aisles and the police are there most days. It really makes you think hard about how bad you want those cookies. But there are days when it saves you from having to drive across town, so you take your chances. Yesterday I took my chances.

In the one line that was open for 23,000 WalMartians, I ended up behind a woman with four little kids, all under the age of 6 probably. I accidentally let myself make eye contact with the woman, who immediately struck up a conversation as she was herding her brood.

Woman: You got any kids?

Me: Just one.

Woman: Just one??? Errbody needs a few of em.

Me: Mm...one is about all I can handle.

Woman: Oh girl, I got ten kids and I still want more.

Me: Ten?

Woman: Ten girl. And I had em all in just under six years. That's why I still look good.

Me: Oh...so you had twins or triplets?

Woman: No, they all organic.

Me: Organic.

Woman: Yes girl.

I don't know why I kept talking after this point, but you can't help what you're fascinated by. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Me: So...did you have premies?

Woman: No baby, they all healthy, full term babies.

Me: Uh huh...six years you say?

Woman: Yes girl.

Me: And you had them all. Out of your body?

Woman: Yes baby. Organic.

Organic.

Sooo...she grew the little fuckers in a garden? She didn't use pesticides on them? They're a new strain of living creatures? What does it all mean?! What, oh WalMart lady, are you fucking talking about?! And how do organic children explain how she managed to stuff ten kids into six years?!

I thought about it most of the evening. I desperately attempted to crack the code of what her hillbilly ass was trying to say to me, but to no avail. The meaning of the word organic was lost on her somewhere and had taken on a whole new meaning. And apparently, her reproductive system had switched over to a more efficient, production-line type of setup.

Why is it that smart people are not making the move to the new and improved, organic production line uterus?

If any of you can explain to me what you think she meant, I will buy you a pony. Otherwise, be careful out there. You never know what you might run into. Isn't life exciting?!