It Hurts a Little When Children’s Dreams Die

I remember the precise moment in time when I learned the world was a cold, cruel, unfair place. I was a little kid, and judging by the car this story takes place in I had to be between the ages of two and five. I was riding down the road with my mom and I asked her a truly profound question:

“When blind people drive, how do they know where to turn?”

The resulting conversation was heart breaking. I was bereft with unadulterated hurting at the thought that someone wouldn’t be able to drive just because he’s blind. It left me reeling, wondering what other seemingly arbitrary “rules” had been forced upon us as a society.

But now, I’ve had to sit back helplessly while my own beautiful, wide-eyed, innocent daughter struggles with the reality of the cold hard truth. She sent me this text message:

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You can just feel the pain coming through the phone, fourteen words that speak volumes about what it means to have your dreams die, even if they’re dreams of living in a world where you can actually dance in a castle owned by a man who wears garters and a bustier all day. He’s the embodiment of Hugh Hefner joined with Frederick’s of Hollywood, and now it will never happen.

All because Janet (she’s a cow, I tell ya) probably has a cell phone with her. Of course, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Janet’s a bitch who would probably have insisted that Brad pull off the highway at the first sign of car trouble, so the whole thing would never have happened. And Brad would have had to have actually listened to her for once for them to end up at Dr. Frankenfurter’s castle, so it’s a moot point anyway.

My Shitty Mother’s Day Gift Might Have Been Used

If you’ve read this blog for a while or even had the misfortune of standing behind me in line at the grocery store, you know that I am NOT a high maintenance individual. No, I don’t mean that I’m not a regular bather… but there’s an excellent chance that my daily shower does not involve shaving and didn’t include putting on makeup or a bra after the fact.

That means I’m pretty hard to shop for, especially when it comes to sentimental holidays like anniversaries, Valentine’s Days, or Mother’s Days. It’s like you know you SHOULD get me something special and meaningful, but you also know that’s totally not who I am and you’d be wasting your money and wasting my “I get a present!” holiday. Instead, I want the far-out things that I really could buy for myself but that I don’t get, mostly because I wasted our weekly budget on vegetables, polio shots, and orthodontia for the kids.

Last year, after squirreling money away for a long time and arguing with my husband for years about whether or not it was actually a good idea, I bought myself the World’s Ugliest Camper. To most people, that’s an accurate description. To people in the “camper world,” it’s the most glorious object ever to grace the highways. It’s a 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman, and yes, it even has the teal-blue color scheme. I love it! It sleeps three, tows easily behind my little Toyota, has a fridge and a microwave and an AC unit, and most important, it has a toilet.

All of my camping horror stories are for another blog post, so before you start bitching about how “that isn’t camping!” let me tell you that my first camping trip happened when I was 11 days old. It lasted three years, and I was in college before my parents finally admitted that it wasn’t a camping trip, we were just homeless. They called it camping to avoid any finger pointing from the school system and to prevent damage to our self-esteem. Trust me, folks, I’ve roughed it.

Unfortunately, one thing this camper doesn’t have is what’s known as a holding tank. Luckily, I read a lot, so I happened to find that out the EASY way through online research into my new camper instead of by actually taking a poop in my camper without having it hooked up to a sewer. Those ABC After School Specials were right… it pays to read.

So when I told my husband–to his face, even–that I wanted a poop box for Mother’s Day, you’d think by now he’d have been used to it. Instead, he did that thing where he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose while thinking really hard about how to respond. When his vision returned to normal, he just said, “Where would a man buy one of these poop boxes if he was going to purchase one for his wife?” He actually had the good sense to smile and looked relieved (haha! RELIEVED! AS IN, HE RELIEVED HIMSELF!) when I told him it was already in the Amazon shopping cart online.

Because Amazon is awesome and they actually care about both Mother’s Day and hygienic pooping, my giant box arrived two days ago. I only ordered the 12-gallon poop box because I wasn’t really sure I could lift and dump (haha! DUMP!) the larger sizes without causing a biohazard cleanup. Trust me, I’ve had two kids and changed diapers for a grand total of seven years… 12 gallons of piss and shit is more than anybody should have to put up with at one time.

This morning, in honor of Mother’s Day, I snuck downstairs to the front porch to open my gift. Inside the Amazon box was another box, this time from the fine poop-boxing folks at Thetford. It contained my poop box!

AND IT HAD BEEN OPENED! OH MY NORSE GODS, THIS POOP BOX HAS BEEN RETURNED! SOMEONE BOUGHT IT AND DECIDED, “NO, YOU’RE NOT THE POOP BOX FOR ME!” AND RETURNED IT!

I inspected every angle of this thing for any tell-tale signs that it had actually been used, short of actually putting my nose to the hose opening and inhaling. I checked the wheels for signs of scuffing, I checked the hose connectors for anything suspicious. I did find a horrifying smear of something that turned out to be a lubricant around the hose lid and, after convincing myself that it was very unlikely that this poop box had been connected to a trailer where they filmed porn movies and this was the remnants of pooped-out anal lube, I realized it was to make the tiny cap spin on better.

As you can imagine–also from reading this blog for any amount of time or standing behind me in the grocery store–I’m a little unstable. This box could have been hand crafted in my front yard by OompaLoompas and I still would have wondered if one of those little shits (get it? SHITS!) had defiled my poop box when I wasn’t looking. It’s good to be suspicious about these things, nay, healthy even. And now, much like my parents’ alternate reality of my childhood, I get to complain for years to come about my husband buying me a Mother’s Day gift that had been soiled. My poop box is actually very clean (thanks to the bleach it’s currently soaking in) and now I don’t feel bad asking for something crazy for my birthday.

 

If I Wanted to See Tits, I Have Two of My Own

The fine folks at Golf Digest magazine have lovingly placed themselves on my list of fucktards who are out to destroy the world. It was a move so galactically shitty that I really had to pause and ask myself if it was actually an April Fool’s Day prank, or even better, a satirical attempt to make a stand for the way female professional athletes are treated by both society and the world of sports.

No, it was just a magazine cover with a topless female golfer, Lexi Thompson.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when a world-class athlete showed up for her photo shoot, hopefully with at least her agent in tow, and about halfway through the shoot some CEO’s nephew said, “You know what would be great? Let’s get that shirt off of her and show her boobs!”

I would also love to think that an argument ensued, one in which Lexi took out a golf club and began lopping heads off, only to have her agent say, “Wow, Lexi, I really dropped the ball on this one. Taking your shirt off is actually in the fine print I forgot to read, and if you don’t do it we’re going to have to pay them serious money for breach of contract. But it’s gonna be fine, because right here after the shoot I’m going to commit hari kari for being a dumbass and letting you down.”

Or, even better: “Hey Lexi, we’re gonna take your shirt away from you because the article is really about how child slaves in third world countries work for 50 cents a day to make Nike apparel, but you’re not having any of it! Now take off your shirt!”

Or, possibly this scenario: “Did you know that your earnings for one LPGA win would cover the cost of 6,000 mammograms for women who work but don’t earn enough to cover even the most basic healthcare? This cover shoot is going to address that fact inside the special issue on the War on Women. Now shows us your tits!”

Or even this one: “Hey Lexi! This article is going to focus on the really twisted way that women in sports are still called ‘ladies’ or ‘girls’ and they still don’t earn as much as men even though some top-notch female athletes are shattering men’s records. We’re going to trick people into reading that really important article by making them think it’s about sex! Now strip like there’s a twenty in it for you!”

No. That didn’t happen. None of it.

Here’s what did happen: a magazine with a cover article about top female golfers (with cover copy that said “women who outdrive you”) featured a pro athlete without her shirt on, with only the two thin sleeves of a white golf jacket to keep her nipples from flopping in front of the censors. It showed up at my house unannounced, the house where my I live with my two teenage daughters.

And Golf Digest didn’t have the decency to respond to any of the F-bombs I tweeted at them.

Here’s the thing, before you think I’m just a fat, ugly feminist who can’t tolerate a photo of a beautiful, powerful woman existing in my mailbox. I have a really fun app on my iPad, made by the folks at Bass Pro Shop. It’s an app where I get to poke the screen and kill wild animals in probably much the same way that anti-hunting advocates think hunting actually works. The animals dart out and you “shoot” them willy-nilly without any care for what species they are. If the run, hop, or fly, you get to shoot them.

I never said it was a good game, I said it was fun.

But at the end of your round, a guy with a really redneck voice announces your score and then makes some little jabbing commentary on how bad a shot you are. It’s funny. But the first time he said, “Now son, you gotta do better’n that,” I was taken aback for a split second. Why the assumption that someone who would want to slaughter innocent woodland creatures is automatically a man? Oh yeah, because men are dumb (said the fat, ugly feminist).

Then I got over it. Nobody was hurt by the word “son.” It was also a free game that didn’t show up on my iPad unannounced. I put it there, AFTER trying it out. I can also just hold my finger on it for a split second longer and delete it if I’m so offended. No nasty letters got written to the folks at Bass Pro over the word “son.”

But the magazine? I pay for that. A lot of money. Advertisers pay for it, too, and by the laws of math I pay for that as well, since the products I buy cost as much as they do in part to cover advertising costs. My name was on the address label, meaning the subscription was in my name. Why? BECAUSE I GOLF! And I’m BETTER AT IT THAN MY HUSBAND. Meaning I “outdrive” him. So is the appropriate response that I shouldn’t be allowed to have a shirt while I play? Should I have to remember that I’m a nobody if I beat him at this, a nobody who should have to show her tits to the world for daring to enjoy a sport enough to become good at it?

The really sad thing is I’m not good at golf. I just like it. It’s fun, it’s peaceful, and every once in a while something crazy happens, like the time my husband teed off and hit me in the ass with the golf ball, even though I was standing behind him. But Golf Digest single-handedly ruined the game for me by letting me know exactly where women stand…it’s topless, in case you were still wondering.

Monkeys…Cheaper than an iPhone

If you’ve been following me on Facebook lately, you’ll know that I’ve been whining complaining gnashing my teeth in an angry rage expounding on the issues surrounding a certain wedding that we had to not only attend, but actively participate in it. I once had photographic evidence of this fiasco in my phone, but then I was forbidden to share the photos so I deleted them to make room for a video of a wombat who appears to be dancing to Gangnam Style. And as odd as it seems–considering my whole world is usually all about me–I wasn’t the one who suffered the most at this wedding.

You might actually be thinking of my autistic child who suffered greatly at this event, but even then, you’d be partly incorrect. Oh she suffered, but I’m pleasantly repulsed to say that she really wasn’t aware of too much happening around her at the event. She had a full-size bag of kettle chips in hand, her headphones with her playlist going, and flip flops on her feet for most of it, so she did pretty well, considering.

The real victim in the whole thing was my older child, and by older I mean the one who will legally be allowed to drive a car in our state within the next three months. She somehow got lumped into a category of wedding party participant known affectionately as “junior bridesmaid.” For those uninitiated in the world of completely stupid and over-the-top celebrations, a junior bridesmaid is someone who can’t yet rock the strapless taffeta nightmare you inflicted on all your best friends from college and someone you can’t legally invite to the bachelorette party, but who is way too old and too tall to be your flower girl. My daughter was the oldest of the junior bridesmaids… they went down to six years old.

Yes, she got to wear the “little girl” dress. It was not only hideous, it was highly inappropriate for her advanced age. There is brief photographic evidence HERE. Before you comment, please know that I’m the one who took the picture and the one who zipped her up, so I’m 100% certain it’s not on backwards or inside out. It’s just…that…ugly.

And I have to say I’m tremendously proud of my kid. She looked stupid and she was humiliated, but she did it. She also did it while being a bigger grownup than I would have been about it. Hell, she was a bigger grownup than I was about it and I didn’t have to wear it! I kept photos of it in my phone for a while to show random strangers in elevators how horrible it looked. My kid shed a tear or two, then sucked it up and got the job done. Notice how I stopped just short of using the phrase, “Close your eyes and think of England.”

My husband and I decided that Kiddo the Elder deserved some kind of reward for her stellar putting-up-with-it-ness, so we offered her a kind of crappy second-hand gift. Since as a full-time writer I’m technically my own company, I could get myself a new tax-deductible iPhone for work and give her my two-year-old model, which would be leaps and bounds better than the six-year-old hand-me-down semi-smartphone she’s been using. And I have to say, she was mildly pleased by the suggestion, which wasn’t quite the reaction I was expecting from someone who’d just been told she could have an outdated piece of technology with a crack in the corner of the screen as her reward for spending ten hours of her life dressed as a sister wife in front of a thousand people.

Then I get this email from her (which was amazing because I didn’t think her crappy phone would make phone calls anymore, let alone send an email):

“Dear Mommy, I really do want a new phone, but I was thinking that I could just keep my old phone and you could keep yours, and we could use that money to get a tiny monkey instead. It would wear diapers and not go to the bathroom in the house, and it could help you get stuff off of tall shelves while I’m at school (unless the principal says I can bring it to school). It can also legally make you a drink and bring it to you, which I am not allowed to do. By law.”

She raised several hostage negotiator-level great points, but I still felt compelled to reply:

“No, a monkey will eat our faces while we sleep.”

Six hours later (it took her that long to type this), she replied:

“No, it won’t. We’ll leave meat out on the counter for it so that it will go for the meat instead.”

Sound logic, but I didn’t love the thought of raw meat sitting on my counter top while a lesser primate hunched over it, feasting on it in the dead of the night. I had to answer:

“What if YOU were the one to get the new iPhone and I kept my old one?”

She’d planned this well, like a little behind-the-scenes Lannister cousin:

“Monkeys are cheaper than iPhones.”

ME: “Only from black market monkey dealers, and the quality on those is for crap. And speaking of crap, guess what else monkeys like to do?”

HER: “They don’t fling their poo, you saw that on Madagascar.” (Italics mine, her phone won’t do that.)

ME: “The answer is NO! You’re getting an iPHONE!”

So yes, that’s how we had to put our collective foot down and force our teenager to take a piece of technology that retails for slightly more than double the price of my first car. Luckily, the first thing she did was drop it while trying to turn it on, thereby soothing my guilt over giving her a used phone as compensation for a pretty wretched day. No monkeys were acquired or harmed in the development of this blog post, and now new smartphones were smashed on the kitchen tile. In other news, I’m having the best time with Siri.

 

You Can Lead a Turkey to Water but You Can’t Keep It From Looking Up and Drowning

Yup. It’s turkey season. No, not the time of year when we sit in our lawn and watch morons go by. The time of year when we dress like morons…

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and sit in the woods…

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and watch absolutely nothing go by except lots of poop…

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while we make turkey gobbling noises for no apparent reason. It turns out my husband and I were striking our turkey calls and waiting for a response, only to discover back at the car that we were actually answering each others’ calls. I never said we were good at this. I did find at least one turkey though, but I bet it’s gonna be a tough bird.

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Goldfish Are Assholes

See, it’s not enough that goldfish swim in circles all day in an effort to mesmerize your innocent children then inexplicably die while they watch. No, that would be bad enough. I can trump that with a goldfish who decided to live.

My autistic daughter got an aquarium for her birthday because she loves checking out all the fish whenever we go to the store. She could stand for hours and look at these things, so we thought, “Hey! I know! She’ll love an aquarium of her own!” (IMPORTANT NOTE: the fact that she’s autistic has absolutely nothing to do with goldfish being assholes, and it really has no bearing on this story…it was really just to make you feel really horrible about what our goldfish did to us. Keep reading.)

We set up the aquarium and waited the appropriate amount of time before purchasing fish, giving the water a chance to decrudify before introducing living creatures into it. Then it was time to head to the store. After steering her well away from the $30 fish (Yes, there are fish that cost $30 at the pet store. If I ever pay that much money for a fish, I’d better be eating it paired with a 100-year-old wine, and Hugh Jackman had better be feeding it to me naked.), we found the moderately priced goldfish. I didn’t want to look like a cheapskate and go for the 38-cent fish, since I could feel people staring at me. I just knew they were judging me for being really, really cheap and buying my poor kid the fish equivalent of two-buck chuck. I sprung for three of the dollar fish, and we were outta there.

One of those cheap little suckers has turned on me, though. One of our orange fish has turned mostly black, starting with its fins and tail and now creeping up its body. It’s really a cool-looking mottled color, like a calico cat, but therein lies the problem: my kids have decided I let the fish die of neglect and replaced it with a different fish. Not only that, it really looks like I didn’t even bother trying to get a similar breed of fish, let alone buy an exact replica.

I tried looking up this phenomenon on the internet just to prove my innocence, but there is surprisingly little in the way of scholarly veterinary journal articles on illnesses affecting cheap goldfish. I’m starting to wish I had actually flushed the little crap head down the toilet since I’m being accused of killing him anyway. As it stands, I’m keeping a running tab of goldfish expenditures so I can either take it off my taxes or make sure I don’t reach the threshold where icthysacide becomes a felony.

I Know What You’re Doing, China, and It’s Not Going to Work

Per my previous post about how much I really adore getting free crap in the mail (even if the sender expects me to go to the trouble of telling all of you about it), a strange phenomenon has occurred: other people have jumped on the “send Lorca free crap” bandwagon. But there’s a catch…none of it works.

Screw you, free crap sender.

I was sent a smartwatch to review, only I’m actually far smarter than this watch. My Dachshund is smarter than this watch, which is an incredible feat considering my Dachshund is actually dumber than the paperweight on my desk. Since the smartwatch doesn’t work, the paperweight is smarter than the watch, too. I swear this is what algebra looks like if you try to apply it to real-world situations.

I told the smartwatch people, “Hey, I’m all for helping out my fellow man, so before I tell the whole internet how stupid your smartwatch is (I didn’t bring up the Dachshund yet), I just want you to know that it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t connect to my phone, it doesn’t alert me to things happening around me, and it doesn’t actually keep time because the hands aren’t really on there that tight.”

They apologized and sent me another one.

It had a human hair stuck to the watch face, underneath the glass. Yes, in one of those places that makes it irretrievable unless you void the warranty by breaking the glass. My OCD and germaphobia kicked in big time on that one.

And it still doesn’t connect to my phone.

Then another company decided they could trump the stupid smartwatch by sending me their “smartband.” Guess what a smartband is? It’s a smartwatch that is too stupid to tell time. Yes, this doohickey has to be worn alongside your watch if you want to know what time it is AND be told all kinds of important things like “your phone is ringing.” Why would I wear a band to tell me my phone is ringing? If I have the ringer turned off on the phone for some reason, then I probably won’t take any immediate action if it starts ringing. Can’t bother people in a movie theater with the ringing of a phone, but I can bother them by having a conversation on that phone?

Oh…and the smartband doesn’t connect to my phone.

But my writer brain has figured out what’s actually going on here. China (yes, the entire country) is mailing me cheap pieces of crap with a sinister plot in mind. Once all the pieces of the puzzle combine in my house, they’re going to morph into a Transformers-type robomonster and begin the first phase of US domination.

Sure…tell me you weren’t already thinking the same thing.

Luckily, all these pieces of crap are dumber than the Dachshund, so even if they do combine and turn into some giant robot, they won’t be able to work the doorknob. We’re all safe.