Author Archive: Mercy Pilkington

You Said “Shaft.”

Mount. Shaft. Grind. Insert. Hole. Stopcock. Lubricate. Bushings. Seepage. Stroke.

No, this isn’t a list of things I plan to do on any given Saturday night. It’s a very true list of words I wrote down during two back-to-back episodes of the television show How It’s Made. Heehee. I said, “Back-to-back.”

You can call it educational all you want, you can swear to me that it’s interesting, or enlightening. But I’m telling you, it’s nasty. Filthy, pornographic, Penthouse letters-quality erotic spew. There is no way that the words, “This apparatus has two spouts that spray a solution over the surface,” can mean anything other than what you now think it means.

Take this episode for instance, which explains how hot dogs are made:

“Long rolls are loaded into the stuffing machine.”

“It pumps the meat, twisting it every 5.25 inches.”

“Then steamy air blows the casings right off.”

“A mouthwatering meal is just minutes away.”

SERIOUSLY? This is a Freudian slip buffet! How am I supposed to concentrate on the actual making of hot dogs with this level of suggestive language blowing around the room? CRAP, I just said “blowing.”

Just in case you think I’m blowing this out of proportion (dammit!), watch it for yourself and play my family’s new drinking game. Every time you hear a suggestive word or phrase, you take a drink. You won’t make it through an explanation of how shovels are made without succumbing to alcohol poisoning. Trust me, there are lots of “shafts” and “inserting” in that episode.

I’m Gonna Be a Tree When I Grow Up

I have grand plans for my demise. No wait, that didn’t come out right. I have grand plans for my funeral.

First of all, I don’t want a funeral. They’re stupid. They hurt, and everyone stands around with a dead human in the room. It’s very, very awkward when you overthink it like I tend to do. I’ve been both a guest and a family member of the deceased at these things, and they never, ever go well.

When I die, and want someone to cremate me (ideally, someone who does this professionally) and put me in a paper cup, put a tree seed down in the dirt and ashes, and plant me somewhere with a view but that doesn’t border a garbage dump. The best part of this process is–wait for it–I want a kick ass tree house when I’m big enough.

I’m no tree math expert, but I’m under the impression that a good-sized tree, the kind necessary to actually hold up a tree house, has to be around fifty or sixty years old. I’m nothing if not completely inept at being patient, so I’ll need my tree house built up on stilts until I’m big enough to hold it. It’s like a training bra for trees. You wear a training bra until your boobs are big enough to hold up a real bra, so I’ll need a training tree house until I’m big enough to hold up my real tree house.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whoever ends up in charge of this death improvement project needs to remember to donate everything first. Don’t forget to give away my organs and my skin. My skin is pretty bad assed, but I pity the person who gets my face. We won’t even discuss the poor sap (tree pun) who gets my liver, but let’s go ahead and build that guy’s tree house at the same time that we build mine, just to give him a head start.

The Limitless Untapped Potential of My Handicapped Goldfish

First of all, yes, my goldfish is handicapped. I’m sure I’m supposed to be all politically correct about it and call him differently abled, especially when you compare him to my typical friends, but my typical friends are human and are slightly more abled than my goldfish. If we compared my fish to other goldfish, are any of them actually abled in the first place? What do they do, exactly?

Let me describe the scope of my fish’s handicap. First, he swims upside down. That would be a cool trick if he was doing it on purpose, but he’s not. He gets flipped over due to something wrong with his equilibrium and he can’t turn back over, so he just keeps going. He also has one eyeball that exploded, so one eye is normal, and the other eye is all pupil. Finally, something is wrong with his swim bladder (the thing that helps fish go up and down in the water and just hang out there), so he can only stay at the surface, which means he can’t get to the food that drifts down to his fish tank gravel.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I’ve checked…he’s still alive.

Here’s how we have to accommodate my fish’s handicaps. First, we don’t really care about the eyeball thing except if he turns the other way and we have to look at it. Then we just stop looking at him. But the upside down thing, I have this wooden spoon next to the tank and I just reach in and flip him over. As for the swimming down part, I just make sure to feed him often enough that he can reach food at the top of the tank.

But this little guy is resilient and resourceful. He’s learned to keep breathing and not panic when he’s on his back. He’s learned to fight his way down towards the bottom of the tank by swimming as hard as he can and then wedging himself between his little resin bridge decoration and the side of the tank so he can hang out down there. He’s even learned (get this) to tell me when he’s hungry…if he’s not hungry when I walk past his tank he just maintains and does his fishy thing, but if he’s hungry, he’ll do this weird cross between wiggling his body and having a seizure. I swear it looks a lot like a dog wagging its tail.

So already this fish has taught himself to adapt, to overcome, and to communicate in his own way. He’d be a fucking Mensa member, if they’d allow goldfish (the ADA laws are surprisingly vague here). And this is a good thing because I’m not willing to watch over his tank like a new mom afraid of crib death. I figure he’s made it this far with my half-assed attempts at intervention, so I’ve probably just Darwinized the snot out of him. Now we need to find him a role in life. With his current skillset, there’s not a lot open to him, but with his proven record of superior intelligence, I’m thinking a government job is in his future. I recommend Chairman of the Fed, or Speaker of the House.

Way to Discriminate Against Four Legs, Disney

There’s a new show on Disney channel and it’s creeping the snot out of me. It’s called Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, and it’s a darling animated show in which all of these different animals live in the Wild West (hence the title) and they help each other problem solve, get along, play fair, etc. It stars a cat as the sheriff, and there’s a bird of some kind, there are pigs, some cows, a sweet little skunk, and other random and sundry animals. They walk upright and wear clothes (this is the Wild West, not Ancient Rome) and they do things like work on their farms or run the general store or drive the train…you know, good old Old Westy stuff.

Exhibit A: The cows are cowboys who herd…other cows. That’s just wrong. It’s like Stockholm syndrome, playing out in technicolor. They’re all cows, and yet some of the cows wear clothes and run the place. I keep waiting for the pigs to stage a revolution and Boxer the horse to rebuild the windmill before getting sent to the knackers.

Exhibit B: All the animals can talk…EXCEPT THE HORSES THEY RIDE. Yes, these animals ride horses and their horses have cute names like “Clementine.” Only the horses they’re riding can’t talk. They neigh and whinny and stuff, but not words. What the hell, Disney? Are you illustrating that non-verbal and mentally challenged animals are second class citizens who get saddled and ridden all day? The fucking cat wears a hat and talks and rides the non-verbal horse! THE CACTUS CAN TALK, DISNEY…WHY CAN’T THE FUCKING HORSE TALK?!

I haven’t been this disturbed since the movie Barnyard (yet another animated farming travesty of justice) where the male cow Otis has udders. I nearly walked out of the theater. But I’m shaken to my core over this latest cinematic fiasco in which Disney so clearly espouses hatred and discrimination and has flipped plant physiology on its Stetson-wearing head. We’re not through here people.

You Know What’s Sexy? Overalls.

When your husband calls you up and says, “Honey, I’ve put some extra money in your checking account and I want you to go get a new outfit,” be careful. BE CAREFUL. In my world, it means that turkey season is upon us and I need new pants.0003936456631_500X500Make it so.

Penis Cakes for Everyone!

I’m not sure where the parenting fail actually occurred, but there’s something to be said for a man who emails his daughter and says, “You have to write about the penis cakes.” Interestingly, that was my dad, and it was my mom who actually used the words (in English, even), “Lorca has to get her hands all over this penis cake thing.” Thanks, Mom and Dad. Do you remember those years when I didn’t live at home? When I was busy getting a Master’s degree in English? Just checking.

Yes, my dad sent me a link, presumably because the headline was too enticing for me to pass up. He knew I’d have something to say about this:

Mandatory Penis Cakes For ‘Homosexual Weddings’  (you’re welcome, Dad)

Sadly, “mandatory penis cakes” (while not words that I’ve ever strung together on purpose…in English) is not the worst thing wrong with that article. No, the incorrect use of single quotation marks isn’t the worst problem either, but I applaud you for thinking that. I think it might have been the words, “Orwellian concepts of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness’,” in the actual article. Because apparently you’re a commie douche canoe if you think we should support tolerance in this country.

I’m a published author, so I can tell you with total authority that yes, George Orwell’s books 1984 and Animal Farm were totally about penis cakes. You may not realize it–and I’m sure you didn’t realize it in your eleventh grade lit class–but Big Brother was actually a porno baker and Manor Farm was actually the name of a gay night club in Orwell’s home town.

I could be way off base here, but I’m pretty sure that Gov. Brewer vetoing a bill in Arizona is not going to result in the animals overthrowing the farm and then celebrating with a penis cake. I’m also a little saddened that the Tea Party refused to acknowledge the lesbian weddings where they would actually shun all things penis, baked or otherwise, and opt for a vagina cake. There’s that Limbaughian ‘lack of tolerance’ rearing its ugly head.

Even better is the comparison some shitsnacks are making that being forced to bake a penis cake is actually like slavery. I’m gonna have to go all Princess Bride on this article and say, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” I’m just not seeing the correlation between being shipped on a boat and sold at auction to work in the cotton fields for the rest of your now-short life, and being forced to acknowledge that the people around you are actually people, thereby rewarding them for their human status with cake.

Guess what really should result in mandatory penis cakes? Morons with verbal diarrhea who manage to offend three different groups of people (homosexuals, African-Americans, and cake fans) in one really unthought-out article. I kind of wanted Jan Brewer to veto the bill on the grounds that it was just immoral, but now I hope she did it out of spite.

This Ugly Rant Makes My Vitiligo Act Up

“I just can’t get motivated today. I’m so depressed.”

Those words, spoken by many a fast food employee on any given day (and other industries, lest anyone think I’m profiling), are just about the stupidest words any human can utter. Some other nominees for Verbal Diarrhea from the Great Uneducated include:

“I think he might be a little bit Asperger’s. You know, he’s like Sheldon on that TV show.”

“I’m sorry, my A.D.D. is acting up.”

“Oh, you know how she is about wiping your feet when you walk in the house. It’s an OCD thing.”

When did it become okay for all the armchair psychiatrists to not only diagnose mental illnesses (incorrectly, I must say) but also to justify shitty behavior by attaching letters to the end of the sentence? Here’s my breakdown of it:

Asperger’s – “No, he doesn’t have Asperger’s, he’s unique or odd. And you’re not a doctor.” This one gets even better when ADULTS DIAGNOSE THEMSELVES. Listen, fucktard, you don’t have Asperger’s,  you’re a shit who treats people so badly that you have no friends. You do, however, have Shit Who Has No Friends-itis.

A.D.D. – So you forgot to listen to what I was saying while we talked face to face, and then you didn’t write it down anywhere that I needed you to do something. You’re failure to complete the task that I asked you to do has nothing to do with your non-existent A.D.D. and a lot to do with your own self-importance which has led you to zone out while people talk to you.

OCD – Get me started. I dare you. You don’t have OCD, you just want everything your way, including the pens on your desk and the bottles of shampoo under your cabinet. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting all of YOUR things put exactly where YOU had them, but don’t make excuses by pretending to have a debilitating mental illness. Own that shit, and bitch slap anyone who moves your stapler. Possibly WITH the stapler.

Depression – This is the one that really pisses me off. Depression has become synonymous with two other very serious problems. The first one is outright sadness. You are NOT depressed when your dog gets hit by a car and smeared down the highway for a few hundred yards. You’re SAD. There’s a difference. One is caused by a chemical misalignment in the human brain, and the other is caused by a dog puddle. Big difference. The other reason people claim they’re depressed (this one is for long-term sadness) is because they have made stupid decisions and jacked up their lives, and now they don’t want to get out of bed. Again, NOT THE RESULT OF A MEDICAL CONDITION, but rather the result of you deciding to drop out of high school and take that job selling curling irons from a kiosk in the mall. You’re life legitimately sucks, but instead of pretending to have a disease, refer back to OCD and own that shit. You did it to yourself, not your brain.

Internet people, listen up. Mental illness is very real, very debilitating, and affects lots of people. Lots and lots of people. And when you pretend that it affects you, too, you make all of those other people who really do suffer look stupid. Because when they do have to say to someone, “I’m having some trouble with me depression right now,” or “I’m going to a residential program for my OCD,” other people roll their eyes at them all because YOU made a joke out of their diseases.

The reason for the rant today is twofold. First, I’m out of coffee creamer. But second and probably more importantly, I’m sick of people tossing around these medical conditions like they’re not only a punchline, but like they’re the excuse for everything that is screwed up about themselves. I’ve decided to highlight how stupid they sound by blaming everything on actual recognized-by-society but pointlessly unrelated medical conditions.

If I don’t complete an assignment that is due, it will now be because I’m feeling all lupusy today.

If I’m rude to you in the grocery store, it’s just because I have eczema.

If I don’t want to talk to you, it’s not your fault or my fault, it’s because I feel my prostate is giving me problems again.

See? Completely stupid. So let’s start a campaign right now. I tried making a Twitter hashtag–#MentalIllnessIsNotAPunchline–to raise awareness, but it was too long and didn’t leave me room to rant, so I’m shortening it to #Don’tBeAJerk. If you ARE a jerk, I’ll get all bipolar up on you and slap you with my stapler.

 

Where Are All the REALLY Slutty Girls?

In keeping with the whorehouse theme of my last blog post, this one takes it one notch closer to the gutter. Get your Lysol wipes and hand gel ready, you’re gonna need them after this post. Mom, Dad…I suggest you stop reading now.

While I work my full-time writerly/publishingerly job, I often get called upon to review books for publishing houses. It’s really cool. I get to read books before the rest of you, and I get to pass judgment on them without ever having to look the poor author in the eye. After one particularly bad incident where I drank the wine BEFORE reviewing Willie Nelson’s book (2 stars…it was pretty bad), I’ve now learned to temper my reactions, remain a professional at all times, and have the wine AFTER writing the review.

But I’m being pushed to my limits with the unholy amount of nasty romance books that literally (editors, I used that word correctly…I mean, actually literally) shows up on my doorstep (the literal door step, right outside my door). I used to clap my hands and feel really smug when a small package from a Big Five publisher would be waiting for me; it made me feel important. Now it just makes me reach for the above mentioned Lysol wipes and hand gel. Here’s why:

I just reviewed a book that included a play-by-play of a twenty-year-old virgin giving her first hand job. There was actually a description of her fascination with studying his um, sample (?) on her hands like a slutty little Jane Goodall…yes, fucking STUDYING, was the word the author chose to use…the biological matter on her hand when he was finished. (Here, take some of my Lysol wipes…I now keep them next to my computer for OCD moments such as this one.)

NOTE TO PUBLISHERS: You’re the reason I drink while I review books. I hope you can live with yourself.

When I was in school, there were quite a number of…worldly…girls among the student body. We heard about them, people whispered about them, but no one really had any concrete proof of their worldliness. Now that Facebook provides us all the proof we need of girls’ rampant and usually drunken worldliness, these books have really started to confuse me.

WHERE ARE THESE AUTHORS DIGGING UP ALL THESE GROWN-UP VIRGINS?!

It’s like every single story line has to follow the archaic model of a sweet and inexplicably innocent barely legal girl paired up with a wealthy, older, experienced, unattached, farm-animal endowed guy. Seriously? Name me three towns in America that has BOTH of those people running around.

So why do people buy this crap? Is it all those worldly girls I alluded to, buying up this stuff and trying to reimagine the way it actually happened? Are they envisioning shyly doing the nasty on his private jet instead of under the bleachers the way they actually did it? And wouldn’t you think it would just make them feel really bad and judgmentalled? Is it because their “firsts” were so unbelievably awkward and therapy-inducing that they need to pretend that these stories are actually happening all over the world right at that very minute?

I’ve always heard that porn gives men unrealistic expectations about women, but the gals are just as guilty. In these books, all men know how to give incredible orgasms while deftly having sex in the back of their limos, quite possibly from the genetic mutation that made them so oversized, and all girls are quiet and timid until the right man comes along who also has a genetic mutation that makes his eyes work differently from the rest of society’s, enabling him to see the beauty beneath her faded, stained hoodie. She morphs before his very eyes into a cross between Miss America and a pole dancer before descending all the way into Vegas hooker mode.

I’ve been a part of the book industry in various forms for quite some time now, and here’s what I think would REALLY sell: total sluts. Guy sluts, girl sluts, sheep sluts, whatever. Absolute, genuine, Facebook-bans-your-account sluts. Tell it like it is, make it as realistic as you want to, and stop pretending that there are bookstores and coffee shops all over the world stocked with wallflowers who just need a good banging from the rich guy who decides to get his own coffee for once. Sluts, I tell ya. That’s the way to go.

It’s Not Like It’s Still a Whorehouse…

Go read the title of this post again.

You are the poster child for all things parent fail when your daughter says those words to you. That right there is enough to be given the mark of the (parenting) beast. But for her to say those words because you took her to dinner in the former-whorehouse-turned-bar-and-grill and then wouldn’t let her buy a t-shirt with the bar’s name on it because…well, it used to be a whorehouse…wait, where was I going with this?

Yes, my oldest tax deduction and I found ourselves out on the town so we popped into the former whorehouse to get a bite to eat. Technically speaking, it probably hasn’t even been a brothel since at least 1987. Possibly 1887. If not earlier. I might have my history facts a little skewed.

The really sad thing is in MY mind the building is a really cool part of our town’s history. If you go upstairs, you can still see all fifteen or so fireplaces where each girl had her own room. Like a big ‘ol college dorm, if that college let you major in fornication. Like most party schools do. Regardless, it’s a really neat historic building (only I guess they don’t let old whorehouses be on the Register, for some reason).

The best part of the evening (besides the resulting blog post where I tried to see how many times I could squeeze the word “whorehouse” into one article) was explaining to my child that whorehouse doesn’t need to be pluralized in order to indicate that the facility offered the services of more than one professional. My child seemed to think whoreshouse would be more accurate, but then we debated the need to have an apostrophe in there to indicate whores’ house. I also had to remind her of where the apostrophe would belong in the adjective describing “house,” at the risk of throwing it back to being whore-singular and hence our original problem.

While this discussion was going on (diagrams were involved…shut up, I said DIAGRAMS), the waitress appeared with our food. Unfortunately, I don’t stop talking just because the help has arrived. The kind woman heard our conversation and said, with no small amount of attitude, “We’re not a whorehouse anymore.”

The subsequent discussion on what she could have meant by “anymore” will be held at a follow up dinner.

OMG, Curling Is On TV Again

It’s that time again.

Winter Olympics time.

The pageantry. The athleticism. The making fun of a fucking sport that involves sweeping a broom across the ice of a hockey rink while the real athletes are on a break.

Okay, I’ll admit I was vaguely intrigued by curling the first time it reared its stupid-assed head at some Olympics in an unpronounceable foreign city (poop, it probably first showed up at the Salt Lake City Olympics, and I’m gonna look stupid…or drunk. Let’s go with drunk.). But now…NOW… Curling is like that nerdy kid that all the popular kids tried to cruelly trick into thinking he was popular like them, only he doesn’t have the self-awareness and the pride to go away now.

It’s actually on TV. Right now. It’s a Monday night in January, and no, it’s not even the curling US Trials. This is just…on. My TV. The football national championship comes on AFTER curling. What the hell?!

Curling was only mildly amusing when I first accidentally saw it wedged between a Super-G run and a triple Salchow. But all imbibing aside, WHY IS IT ON MY TV WHEN IT’S NOT OLYMPICS TIME?!

I’m sure there are legions of curling fans who would have my head on a pike just for having written this blog post, but fortunately, they live in places that still don’t know about electricity and non-ice fishing, let alone the internet. I’m safe. Probably. But I’m gonna have to go all SEC Football on this situation and demand to know who decided this was a sport? This was a drinking game at best, and we’ve all had a good laugh. Now get it off my TV.

This post brought to you by real Olympic sports like ping pong, horse jumping, and beach volleyball. And lots and lots of booze. I’m pretty sure you weren’t aware of that first part. The second part was kind of self-explanatory.

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