I Am the Lorbitch and I Speak for the Trees

Gather ’round, children, and I’ll tell you a story. It’s a story of a great environmental injustice, and how I made two hapless planet destroyers be my bitch, just to prove a point.

I was minding my own business one day when the doorbell rang. A man in a hard hat handed me an orange piece of paper and said the electric company had sent him to cut down one of my trees and to trim off all the branches of another tree. The trees in question were apparently in danger of getting close to the power lines.

Point A: the trees were NOT near the power lines, but this happened to be the day, month, and year that the power company was sending a truck around, so even though they were not close to the lines, someday in the future they could be, so the work had to be done now. This point will be very, very important for keeping you from thinking I’m just an asshole.

Much haggling, arguing, and demanding of names of supervisors ensued, during which I calmly repeated, “No, that’s not what you’re doing.”

I finally called upon the training I’d received during my years as a hostage negotiator (re: parent of toddler-sized children) and magnanimously acquiesced to the removal of one tree, and one tree only. But I had a list of demands that included:

  • No driving on my grass with your ten-ton truck; do it by hand or don’t do it at all.
  • No poisonous chemicals sprayed on my property to keep the tree trunk from resprouting.
  • You will haul off every scrap of the object so that it will look as though it had never appeared.
  • You’re not touching the giant oak tree. The Bradford Pear I’m willing to part with, but the limbs you want to cut back on the oak are not going anywhere.

As we’d been negotiating for longer than it would have taken them to remove the trees, clean up the aftermath, and go get a beer, they finally agreed. I set up a lawn chair and a glass of wine to watch the proceedings unfold, something that made them very nervous. I was also holding the garden hose and this is February; I made sure they understood that I might not be legally allowed to cause them physical harm, but I’m allowed to water my tree and my yard any time I like. One wrong move with a chain saw or failure to put the lotion in the basket would result in getting the hose again.

Point B: Yes, for the record, I actually said the words, “or it gets the hose again.”

So it’s two o’clock in the afternoon and I’m having a glass of wine in my front yard just to prove that I’m the kind of person who will drink at that time of day while babysitting a tree massacre. The fact that it was a follow-up to my lunch glass of wine is not important. As the unnerved gentlemen got to work, a car made a u-turn in the road and pulled up in front of my house. An old man jumped out and asked what was going to happen to the limbs that were being sawed off.

“I’m doing some landscaping, and if they’re going to put those limbs through their wood chipper, I’d like to have the chips.”

I’ve never felt more generous in my life. I walked over to the men who were removing a tree with a chain saw and axe instead of the giant blade attached to the arm on their oversized truck and said, “The man would like you to take the wood chips to his house when you’re done.”

“Uh, ma’am, we don’t do that. We just haul them off,” the poor, poor fellow said.

“Those are my wood chips. And I want them to go to his house. I’m giving them to him. He lives just over there, and I’m going to get him a chair so he can sit down and wait for my wood chips.”

So now the future wood chip owner and I were watching the workmen remove my tree. He declined my offer of a glass of wine, but was kind enough to hold the garden hose in a threatening manner while I got another glass for myself.

After the limbs were all chipped and the old man was hiding in the safety of his car, it was time to remove the large trunk. They resorted to the chain saw again while one of the workmen shot me nasty looks for not letting him just use the giant truck lopper. When the mighty trunk had fallen, he retrieved the poison to keep it from growing back.

“Uh, no. Remember our bargain?” I said, twirling the garden hose ominously between my fingers and taking a sip.

“How about if I get a rag, and spray it on the rag and wipe just the stump?” the other workman offered kindly. I am ruthless with my land holdings but not unkind, and I agreed to allow him to lovingly rub the tree stump with a chemical. The first workman was nonplussed.

Point C: I had already looked up the name and chemical composition of the poison while they were cutting. It’s halfway harmless. This was really just about being a bitch because they were taking my tree and I learned from a movie once that you can’t let the terrorists think they have the upper hand.

Afterward, the two men worked together to drag the trunk over to their truck, but instead of heading around back to the trailer with the wood chipper on it, I noticed the strangest thing: they tried to hoist it onto the platform of the truck, presumably to carry away.

“Excuse me, what are you doing with the trunk?” I asked sweetly.

“Well, there’s no sense chipping this bad boy. This here’s good firewood,” the first workman said somewhat condescendingly. As if I didn’t know that firewood was made from… wood.

“Yes, it is,” I replied in a Disney princess voice before morphing into a Disney villain. “It’s my fire wood. I’d like it in pieces about this big.” I showed them how large with my hands, then sat back in my chair.

The two workmen exchanged glances, and then the smarter of the two dropped his end of the trunk and reached for his axe.

“What are you doing?” the first workman asked in what he thought was a whisper, but it turns out you have to shout when you’ve got a wood chipper going.

“The lady said to chop it into firewood.”

“So what? We don’t give people firewood! We’re a removal service! We remove it!”

“Yeah. I’ll wait right here and guard the sharp stuff while you go tell her that.”

I almost got up to get another glass of wine while they chopped the wood, but decided this was an opportunity to demonstrate Christian temperance. Plus I had to go pick up my kids in an hour. They chopped and stacked the firewood, then loaded up in their truck (without saying goodbye, I must add) and followed the old man to his property to shovel the chippings out of the back of their truck.

Point D: I hated the tree they’d cut down. I even wrote a blog post once about how this very tree was planted by Satan and that it was trying to kill me. I’d actually looked into having it removed but it was going to cost $300. I now don’t have a plague tree in my yard, and I do have a stack of unholy firewood.

Now, I know there will be internet trolls who think I abused my power and made life miserable for two men who were just trying to do their job… oh, you thought there was more? No. That’s it. I did, I made life miserable for two men who were just trying to do their job. There was no “but” coming after those words. The end. My tree is gone, life is good, and I don’t suspect they’ll be back any time soon to attack my oak tree.

 

Lest you think this is another wine-induced hallucination on my part, here’s a picture of my poor evil tree coming down.

 

The Great Curling War of 2016

This is real. It’s absolutely, one hundred percent really real. I mean, I feel bad even mentioning it. This is the low hanging fruit of comedy gold since I didn’t have to do shit except tell you about it. Without even getting drunk first.

“Use of High-Tech Brooms Divides Low-Tech Sport of Curling”

Yes, good people, there is a controversy afoot and it’s cleaving the sport of curling in two. There will be factions. There will be in-fighting. There will be name calling. There may even be blood. All because somebody invented a better broom for sweeping the ice during what has to be the stupidest Olympic sport ever to waste air time.

“Now hold on, Lorca! You can’t go being judgmental about a sport you’ve never even tried!”

Ha. Joke’s on you. I have tried it. So what if it was in my kitchen and the rest of the world calls it fucking mopping up a melted ice cube?! I’ve done it!

Okay, I was wrong. I’m gonna need a drink to process this. (sluuuurrrrrrp) That’s better.

If you didn’t bother to read the article, let me break it down for you. Some guy decided that it’s still curling (and therefore, still stupid) if you use a Swiffer instead of a household broom. If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’. Yes, a “directional fabric pad” is shaking up the world of Olympic sports in a way that doping in cycling and East German female swimmers who turned out to be dudes couldn’t do. Forget your controversies over Russian gymnasts being taken from the hospital nurseries where they were born and raised on a diet of uneven bars and air, apparently the type of broom you sweep the ice with in (let me say it again) the world’s stupidest sport is about to cause Canadians to come unglued, which given their propensity for manners is something I’d pay to watch.

Let’s back up. A few years ago, a shoe company developed a running shoe with springs in the heels. The International Federation of Running Really Fast issued a decree that anyone caught wearing these shoes in competition–whether the World Championships or your local Turkey Trot–would be banned for life. Even further back, Speedo invented a fabric for competition swim suits that left little to the imagination but helped athletes shatter 38 world records in the preliminary qualifying heats of one Olympic games.

But those sportological innovations don’t hold a candle to the new and improved IcePad broom. Again, see previous statement about lying and dying.

So far, most of the top dogs in curling–oh my god, there are actually top dogs in curling–have signed a pledge (not Pledge furniture polish, although I can see how your brain might go there given these people have dedicated their lives to competition involving household cleaning products) to never, ever, ever use the new Swiffer-style brooms. And I mean, even at home to clean up dog hair.

Hopefully, one of two outcomes will take place. Either the 2016 Winter Olympics are gonna be nail biters thanks to the ensuing controversy of bristle doping, or this will be the thing that finally gets drunken fans to wake up long enough to ask themselves, “What the hell are we watching? Who turned off the hockey game?” Whichever scenario plays out is fine with me.

 

‘Cause You Know You Need More Books…

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Hermithood and the Unlikely Stun Gun Incident

I have the most freakin’ awesome life ever. In the history of life, even. I get up at 4am (stop it, it is TOO awesome!) and have some coffee. I feed my fish and walk my dog. Then I go to my desk and work doing a job that I actually really like because I get to kill people without any fear of consequences other than realizing that I’ve already killed someone that way. Sometime around noon I eat lunch. Sometime when it looks darkish outside I eat dinner. Sometime around full-on advanced darkness, I go to bed.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Poop, my life sounds kind of pathetic when I get it all down in print like this.

So some time ago I decided that I needed to get out of the house more. I didn’t want to just go hang out in a random store and accost people with attempts at conversation, at least not after that time I tried it in the yeast infection treatment aisle. In my defense, I just didn’t happen to notice where we were standing at the time.

Long story short, I set out on a mission to do something different, but it had to be as interesting and awesome as my current job. Even better, rather than just meeting strangers for conversation, I wanted to do something with my powers, something that benefited society.

And that’s why I now sell stun guns for a living.

Just kidding. I now sell stun guns on the side, because my job is still really great. But stun guns are great too. See, here’s where you’re thinking, “Lorca, you’ve finally done it. You’ve finally damaged your liver to the point that it’s no longer filtering anything out of your bloodstream. You’re not even making sense.”

Yes I am! Making sense, I mean… AND filtering my blood!

I sell stun guns because who doesn’t need a great way to put a violent jerk on his butt? For those who aren’t sure they have it in them to zap a bad guy, I also sell pepper spray. The kubotans are really awesome, but if you can’t zap a guy, I’m guessing you’re not into stabby motions either. It’s all about knowing who you are as an assailant.

Anyway, you’ll be hearing lots more about stun guns and pepper spray and stabby motions and how to have an internet party, but in the meantime, if you’re interested in self-protection (and jumper cables!), comment below!

In Which Another Company Sends Me Free Stuff

They never listen. Even when I say there are a galactically high percentage of posts on my blog about killing my husband, eating random non-USDA animals, or how to put together an awesome outfit for when an asteroid hits the planet, people keep seeing my blog and thinking, “Hey, you have a blog! Would you like to try out our product?”

Let me be the first to say, I love free stuff. I will try out your product no matter what it does, even if it’s a marinade kit for making jerky out of your own family members. But I don’t think the person making the offer has always thought through the ramifications of sending me stuff and giving me free rein to tell the world what I think of it. Like the time Vicks sent me a thermometer and I became convinced it was a tiny vibrator, and therefore had to convince others that it looked like a tiny vibrator… through this blog.

What’s really great is when I’m offered free products but they’re things that I would never otherwise use and so I have to put on my imagination hat and pretend that people who really do care about these things might like them or dislike them. Case in point: the box of beauty products that showed up at my house.

Now, when most people think of beauty products, they’re thinking of frou-frou things like eyebrow dye or face creams that contain microscopic shards of actual diamonds to make your face glow. No, for me, beauty products involve anything with two steps, a flowery smell, or a tiny jar. And I’m positively allergic to them (not really, I’m just allergic to the thought of using them).

But the fine folks at Somaluxe sent me some stuff to try, and I have to admit that not all of it sucked. Let’s get the sucky stuff out of the way first:

One product called Lip Rescue actually had me excited for a minute. Not only is it NOT in a jar small enough to hold exactly one baby tooth (a typical problem with lip products… there’s never enough of it, and you lose it when you drop it down in the pocket of your cargo shorts), I love any product that tells you right there in the name that this is going to pull you back from the brink like some kind of search party, lowering themselves in a human chain off the cliff face to get to you. Basically, my personal concept of beauty needs “rescuing” at all times, so it’s like it was made for me.

Unfortunately, I’ve figured out that this product is unadulterated, pharmaceutical-grade cocoa butter. It took me a minute to figure out what that horrible smell was that seemed to be following me from room to room, and by the time I realized it was the Lip Rescue I’d just tried, it was too late to make it go away. It smelled and tasted like I’d just done body shots off a Hawaiian Tropic bikini model.

I never did get to try the Redness Repair because a) I’m not red and b) I already got burned by the Lip Rescue aroma, there was no way I was putting anything that smelled like this on my body and walking around with it. Remember, I’m weird… you might actually enjoy smelling like an entire bouquet of wildflowers, but I just keep thinking I’ve left a household chemical lying around with the top off.

The Skin & Nail treatment also seemed like it was made for me, and not just because I own both skin and nails. It smells like Play Doh, and who wouldn’t love to walk around making other people think you’d just spent a solid hour playing with Play Doh? It’s like a constant “in your face” to the rest of your co-workers: “Oh, you were filing last year’s taxes and writing up the report for the shareholders? Yeah, I’ve been playing with the Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop and cutting the little people’s Play Doh hair with plastic scissors.”

Now, before you think I’m just cracking on this company, some of the products were fun. The shampoo and conditioner are lime flavored and coconut flavored, respectively. The only drawback there is that I shouldn’t have any products in my hands at 5am that make me think I need some rum. Nine AM is gonna be ugly if I latch onto that thought and run with it.

(WAIT! BRAIN FART! I TAKE IT BACK! As I’m sitting here typing this, I kept having to stop because I got bitten by bugs last night all over my feet. I tried the Redness Repair on my bug bites, and it seems to be working. It could be placebo effect brought on by the fact that I have yet to say anything really supportive of these products–like beauty product survivor guilt–but I don’t think placebo effect is supposed to make your skin tingle. I’ll keep you posted.)

Finally, the last product is actually pretty awesome, even for a best-face-forward underachiever like me. It’s a mud mask type deal made by Citrus Clear, but it does incredible things to blackheads. It’s so great at its job, in fact, that I sneak up on family members who don’t want to wear mud mask and swipe it on their noses, promising them that it’s life changing. So far, I’ve managed to nab my husband and both kids with it, but I have plans to get the UPS lady the next time she’s unloading something heavy in our driveway. Despite my family’s initial protests, there’s a suspiciously high amount of the product missing, which leads me to believe I’ve managed to convert them through skin care Stockholm Syndrome. They’ve figured out that they can just shut up and use the product, or I can leap over the banister like a cosmetics ninja and attack them with it.

(BRAIN FART THE SECOND! The Redness Repair actually really worked on the bug bites. I still feel them and they’re kind of annoying, but I no longer want to dig at them with a cheese grater. I’m putting this jar in the camping stuff right now!)

 

 

Midget Problems

You might think the title of this post would mean something like having problems that are really small, or don’t amount to anything. No, it actually refers to the curse I inflicted on another human being, completely by accident. I really didn’t mean to and it wasn’t some Greek tragedy promise I’d worked out with the universe, or anything like that (I mean, come on, if I had the power to change the course of history with a single wish, do you think I’d waste it on a mere mortal when I could have used it to gain majority control of Nestle corporation?!).

I accidentally made my kid a midget.

Don’t get all politically correct douche canoe on me. If my kid was actually a medical midget, would I be using that word? No, if my kid did have a genetically issued diagnosis of dwarfism in some form, I’d throat punch people for calling her names. Midget, however, doesn’t seem to bother me as a word or a diagnosis but that could be because I’m not related to any. Since it’s not a diagnosis and she’s not actually horrifically undersized, midget fits. As in, when this happens:

Or when she’s given a principle role in a stage production and meets her partner at the first choreography rehearsal and the director keeps eyeballing them and asking, “How is she with stilts?” (There’s a whole other reason why she’s awesome on stilts, but that was a different play.)

I don’t love being in a position of having no one else to blame. Besides being a little midgety myself, I failed to marry a man who was tall enough to reach that useless cabinet that idiot contractors put above the refrigerator for some reason. Of course, I also failed to marry a man with a last name that would sound good hyphenated with mine or who had a trust fund, so offspring height really wasn’t high on my list of priorities at the time. Sorry kiddo, for doing this to you, but when they need actors for the Lollipop Guild, you’re in.

Wildlife: You Can’t Shoot It, You Can’t Have Sex with It

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Everyone is so up in arms over the senseless death of Cecil the Lion, and with good reason. It was really a jackass move to lure him out and take off his GPS collar so a rich American guy could shoot him. You know what else was a jackass move? Posting a picture of it on Facebook. Nobody wants to see that: animal lovers will be calling for YOUR head on a wall, and hunters will just be pissed that you’ve got $50K plus travel expenses to blow on trophy hunting.

But this post is really about a more appalling event that occurred in recent weeks. Yes, more appalling than shooting a protected lion. I’d read an interesting article a weirder-than-boiled-shit article about a man who lived near my parents’ neck of the woods, a man who’d been cheating on his wife… with his wife’s dog.

Yes, it appears that this man, jealous of the love and attention that his wife gave to her Shih Tzu, decided to get back at her (the wife) by defiling the dog…repeatedly. Yes, this man apparently began to have a sexual relationship with the dog on the sly. The wife, who saw a change in the husband’s demeanor and suspected he was having an affair, set up a camera in the house only to discover that it was her beloved dog and not a trampy woman who lived in their trailer park.

Now, at the risk of providing too much visual, when this man began secretly boinking the dog, you’d have to assume there was no obvious trauma that would prompt the wife to take her adored pet to the doctor. So what does that tell us? It tells us that this man got back at his wife by putting his member in a dog that’s smaller than most gym bags, and that it didn’t damage the dog. Who’d he think he was getting back at since the world now knows his penis fits… never mind.

I couldn’t wait to share this news item with my parents, and I’ll readily admit I had intended to use more than a little “bwahahahahahaha!” during this phone call. But as I was dialing their number in my car, the radio broke into the song with an important alert. Yes, the DJ interrupted a song to give us the following emergency bulletin:

“Folks (yes, he said folks), we interrupt this broadcast to update everyone on the bear situation. The bear is still hanging around downtown near the courthouse, but I’ve been asked to remind our listeners once again that you can’t shoot it. I repeat, it is against the law to shoot a bear, even if he’s on the sidewalk in front of the Tastee Freeze. The authorities are trying to tranquilize him, so don’t shoot him.”

Please note the important news item there: it’s not to update us on the bear situation, since bears wander into town all the time in these parts. It’s to remind us that bear hunting is illegal. Yes, we’re so gun-crazy and animal-shooty that we’ll take down an animal just for walking in front of us. And the cops said don’t, during a Niki Minaj song.

I was so disappointed that I now had no moral high ground leg to stand on that I had to hang up the phone and not laugh at my parents for living near a dog molester. I relayed the sad situation of my thwarted scoffing to my oldest offspring, who said, “Theirs is still worse. We may have had to be told not to shoot a bear, but at least we didn’t have to be told not to have sex with it!”

FYI, that's my size eleven boot next to a bear track. They're a thing here.
FYI, that’s my size eleven boot next to a bear track. They’re a thing here.