My Friend Tom : A Fan Letter That Foams At The Mouth

I have a new obsession. And for once it doesn’t involve these girls.

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Don’t worry ladies, I still adore you, I just think about other topics sometimes now. (Photo Credit people.com)

Let’s just say his name. Tom Bricker. Or as he’s being referred to in my house currently “my friend Tom”, in the same tone that the acne covered, coke bottle glasses wearing girl who was just invited to sit at the popular lunch table would confidently and hopefully say “my friend Brittany”.

Anyway so this Tom fellow, we’re totally BFFs and by that, I mean he has no clue that I exist. Anyway my friend Tom runs a wildly popular website disneytouristblog.com. I suggest you pay a visit, even if Disney isn’t your bag. Because everyone loves good photography. And robots.

Did I forget to mention that my friend Tom is a robot? Yes he claims to be a human being with a job and the like, however in reading the Disney Tourist blog, this electronic side of him slowly became apparent.

Case and point. Tom is a lawyer. While not the most beloved job in the world, it’s a difficult one and requires a lot of education, thus we can all conclude that Tom is smart and well spoken. Robots incidentally are well spoken and extremely smart, take for example the Googles, totally brilliant and also a robot.

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You can rely on me for this one; I’m well informed when it comes to the interwebs. (Photo Credit : updatealways.com)

Now, being a lazy, layabout artist, I’m not too familiar with the rigors of being a lawyer, but the phrase 100 hour work weeks have been bandied about before. When this is considered, the fact that in addition to working full time, that Tom runs a successful blog and posts regularly, one must conclude that he is a definitely a robot who doesn’t sleep.

On top of being the world’s busiest, almost-human writer, Tom takes beautiful pictures. He takes theme parks and makes art. It’s beautiful; my friend Tom’s photos make me wish I knew how to operate my phone so that every image didn’t look like this.

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What is this? It appears to be a marine creature. I don’t even know, yet images like this appear on cameras operated by me ALL THE TIME. (Photo Credit : I wish I could say the The Drunk Unwashed but I don’t drink and breastfeed, so it’s just me and my terrible skills.)

I’d post an example of Tom’s work but that would be stealing, so you’ll just have to visit his website HERE. At first, this talent for photography made me question the whole “my friend Tom is a robot” conclusion, because robots don’t have souls and therefore are incapable of creating art like Tom’s. But then it came to me- Tom is a Martian robot. While our meager earthling robots are limited by their inability to feel the beauty of a sunrise, aliens are a superior race and thus their robots outpace ours in many respects.

Anyway, being a Martian-robot-lawyer and celebrated blogger wasn’t enough for Tom, after all, he was still getting about three hours of sleep per night or whatever it is that Martian-robot-lawyers do in the wee hours. Tom and his alien motherboard thirsted for more, so he bit the Flash. Or at least, I think that’s what happened, I mean isn’t that how Peter Parker became Spiderman? By biting? Or maybe Tom was bitten, seems unlikely given that his skin is made of Depertron the hardest element known to Martians. Regardless, some sort of exchange occurred between my friend Tom and the Flash because in addition to being a Martian-robot-lawyer-writer, Tom started running marathons. Without training. (Click the link to read about it.) And he began using all of those hours that he’d previously wasted “sleeping” each night to zip around the world. While the rest of us mortal earthlings were sleeping, Tom scaled the Great Wall of China and then he swam around Alcatraz.

Then because all of that awesome can’t be contained, it must be shared, our favourite superhero-Martian-robot-lawyer-blogger created ANOTHER website that he frequently posts on; Travel Caffeine in case any of you are interested.  With all of this busyness, I did question whether Tom was time traveling to get all of this done, but quickly rejected that idea. My friend Tom is far too generous a superhero-Martian-robot-lawyer to keep such a wonderful life changing concept as time travel to himself.

Now that everyone knows what I’ve been spending my time on, you should go check out each of my friend Tom’s blogs. I’m not greedy, I can share him. And to conclude, a message specially for my new pal; sorry to blow your “I’m a normal human” cover Tom, but it had to be done. No doubt your lovely wife will be surprised however I imagine you will quickly subdue her shock with an offer to jet her to Jupiter for your wedding anniversary.

Five Things Friday- The Insults Just Keep Coming

  1. Remember when your mom would subtly leave deodorant on your night stand when you were twelve?

My husband totally did that. Only not with deodorant. He arrived home yesterday and brandished a drugstore bag at me. “Look what I bought” he proudly proclaimed, first pulling out the items he had purchased for himself before getting to the real purpose of his visit to the mall; “I bought you razors and soap.” Essentially my hubby just called me hairy and dirty. Point taken Tex, I won’t wait for an instructional tutorial on how to use both, I promise.

 

  1. My new spa routine

I thought Mini-Tex’s bum being infested by ferrets was bad until this week when he learned how to whistle. Well, not whistle exactly, but exhale using his mouth. He likes to practice this trick while we are feeding him. So not only is everything in the kitchen and living area covered with spatters of breastmilk mixed with apple from when Mini-Tex creates an impromptu catapult using his spoon, but now every time we put some food in his mouth, he reacts by creating a fine spray of baby slobber mixed with gruel. It’s making me consider bathing more than twice a week.

 

  1. The Canadian version of “A Dingo took my baby!”

Much like his parents, Mini-Tex loves the great outdoors. So every day, I haul him, his toys, his jolly jumper and his ring of neglect outside. He loves it, I love it, and the mosquitos love it too. I thought it was bad when at his six month checkup, I had to explain that Mini-Tex didn’t have chicken pox, those were bug bites.

That was nothing compared to watching a small bird half hop, half fly off with a part of my son. Initially it was a small mosquito, but after feeding on Mini-Tex’s chubby little leg while he played in his exersaucer until the tiny pest was actually full to bursting, it morphed from insect into small avian species. Honest to goodness, when I finally spotted the bloodsucker all but draining my son’s little calf, it had the mosquito version of a pot belly. It was so bloated when it tried to take off, it dipped back down to the ground. The mosquito had fed on my baby for so long that it was too fat to fly. I’m pretty sure I’m sucking at this parenting gig.

 

  1. I’m moving to a trailer park

Not really, but I might as well given that I’ve started answering the door topless and if one is going to be super classy, it’s best just to rent the mobile home too. This event caused me to question our neighbourhood as well because the mailman didn’t bat an eye. This may in part be due to the fact that I was wearing a baby and a brassiere at the time, so there was a lot to distract from the nudity.

 

  1. I’ve started an anti-Post Secret blog

That sounded way more negative than it meant to. What I meant was that instead of the world sending me their secrets, I’m sending mine to the world. Only they’re not secrets, it’s mostly nonsense or manatees with facial hair Sharpie-d on. Also the entire world isn’t receiving them. Currently I’ve contained my weirdness to North America and people I know, but I might start looking up either politicians or business executives to infuse their life with random anecdotes about whales.

The Dog Pee School of Ballet

One summer when I was twenty, I decided to take ballet. This would have worked better if my job as a lifeguard hadn’t ended at eight pm every evening. As it was, my criterion for classes was as follows: at my level, which began after eight thirty and that were in my price range. Hence how I ended up dancing next to eight year olds on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The teacher was a cantankerous former ballerina who had taken to eating a family-size box of cookies each day. A large woman, she spent every class sitting in a chair shouting directions at the four children and me while an accompanist played classical music on a piano in the corner. Despite never demonstrating the proper technique once, she held the group to the highest standards and would fling objects and curse words whenever we failed to meet expectations. My lack of experience and exhaustion from working in the sun all day made me a target. My friends would sometimes tag along and listen to the lesson from the waiting room “Who was she so angry at?” I was asked after one particularly furious evening. I slunk down in the chair while changing out of my ballet shoes, “me” I answered despondently.

The teacher also owned a terrier. For the majority of the class, the dog would sleep on a pillow at the front next to her chair, but once or twice it would get up, pee in the corner, then bite the feet and legs of the nearest dancer before settling back down to rest. Consequently, the back of the room was a coveted spot not only because it was out of the range of staplers, hairbrushes and cassette tapes, all of which were occasionally thrown our way after a misstep but also for its distance from sharp doggy teeth.

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This ballet instructor likely would have deemed this to be an acceptable teaching instrument were it not for the effort required in throwing it about. (Photo Credit : walyou.com)

As I was often running late, despite being taller than the other girls and thus blocking the teacher’s view of them, most nights I stood near the canine terror.

Despite the profanities, the bite holes in my tights and the odd flying hairbrush, I continued with the class. At the end of the term was a recital. Classes became more intense as rehearsals loomed. My inability to simultaneously coordinate my arm and leg movements infuriated the instructor whom my family nicknamed “The Cube” because she was as wide as she was tall. Although my eight year old colleagues did their best to help, hissing the dance names under their breath at me -“jeté!”  in the hopes of avoiding the instructor’s wrath, it was to no avail. Finally one night, after watching me flail my arms and barrel sideways into the smallest dancer “The Cube” declared that we were all to hold hands and dance. This had the added benefit of allowing the children to whisper the sequence of steps to me without detection. Class went smoother after that.

This experience culminated with the recital. Picture fifty eight-year-olds in leotards and slicked back hair and twenty-year-old me running around the underbelly of a theatre while upstairs, onstage other eight-year-olds in leotards with slick backed hair performed.  It was the pinnacle of my dancing career, and I absolutely wasn’t ready. My family had turned out in full force complete with flowers to congratulate me afterwards. My sister had even brought along her boyfriend. While the children ran up and down the halls, muffling their shrieks of joy with their hands, I obsessively practiced the choreography. Then, my turn came; nervously I lined up with five tiny ballerinas, looking like a female Billy Madison  and stepped onstage.

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It was like this, but with a tutu. Also to make matters worse, because I was a nightmare of a dancer, “The Cube” stuck me not in the middle, which would have made the height and age difference less obvious but towards one of the ends so I was buffeted by two little girls who knew the routine much better than me. (Photo Credit : downtowntulsaok.com)

 

Halfway through the dance I realized I was grimacing, so I decided to smile. That slight break in my concentration caused me to lose the beat and lightly trample the child’s foot beside me. In the wings, my family said “Oh! She smiled! And now it’s gone.” Once more, I focused on the steps determined to keep up with my tiny dancing cohorts. After, we bowed and exited the stage and I awkwardly congratulated the little people on their work, while they stood, still not quite certain what I was doing there. Ballet is without a doubt a commitment involving pain and sacrifice, but for me it was mostly an exercise in all aspects of discomfort, right down to the weird slick backed hair.

This post is dedicated to Tex. I can’t wait to celebrate our first anniversary with you tomorrow.

He Said, She Said, Engineers versus Artists

She Said: Marriage According to the Great Unwashed

(Tex has added in his two cents in italics)

In a word, being married to an engineer is awesome. I love it. 

I always know where Tex is and what he’s doing; I’m kind of like Santa Claus but without the beard

Around about when we first started dating, Tex linked me to his Google Calendar. To say that it’s a comprehensive document is an understatement. It includes when to check his tire pressure (the 2nd of every month), any outings he has tickets for within the next couple of weeks and his work locations for the next year. I’m not saying I know when my hubby goes to the loo; if he starts slotting that activity in there too, it wouldn’t be shocking. After Tex sent me his schedule, I was supposed to create my own. That was a year and a half ago.

“By the way I need to borrow the car tomorrow to do this thing. Didn’t I tell you about that? Remember?”

 

The keys are always in the same place. Actually everything is in the exact same place

Or rather I should say Tex’s keys are always in the same place. It’s a crap shoot as to where I’ve stowed mine. This makes it easy to take my significant other’s keys. Please note this kind of behavior will get you into trouble on occasion. Along these same lines, Tex has routines and protocols for everything in our home, up to and including washing pots and the proper storage of baking soda. Everything is very easy to find and is grouped with like items when Tex has organized or tidied a room.

Since we’ve moved into our new place, there’s a constant litany of “Unwashed where did you put the colander/spatula/baking pan?” and she’ll respond with “It’s in the garage/shed/under the couch.” Of course it’s there. That is the obvious place for a frying pan.

 

Everything in the house is in perfect working order

Engineers love problems. They live for problems; the show “How It’s Made” is engineering porn. I’m always surprised whenever I see it on TV during the daytime, because I know there’s engineers out there, watching saying, “Oh, oh yeah, look at how well they figured out how to make paint spackle. Oh the hydraulics.”

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Somewhere, an engineer is getting worked up over belt sanders. (Photo Credit: all-that-is-interesting.com)

Along these same lines, whenever something in our house breaks, Tex launches into engineer mode, taking our tap apart, determining where the problem is and whisking Mini-Tex and me off to the local Rona to locate the necessary part. (It’s possible I’m only along for the charity popcorn that is always sold at the hardware store.)

 

Our car seat is installed properly

Remember what I said about “How It’s Made” being engineering porn? Oven manuals, car seat directions, really any kind of manual is like a dirty magazine for engineers. I’m not saying that I’ve found instructions for the lawnmower under Tex’s side of the mattress, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised to find them there. Whenever we purchase anything, Tex reads the manual from cover to cover then adjusts the item so it exactly meets his specifications; our car door opens after pressing only one button and it never beeps when it locks. Afterwards he files the manual so he can always refer back to it even though he never needs to because he has an eidetic memory. (But won’t admit to it because then he would have to confess that he’s actually a super villain.) He then carefully explains to me how the item works and all of the minor changes he’s made to improve its function. I half listen because I know that if something breaks I can always call my husband in a panic and say “Tex! The dishwasher/dryer/car is broken!”

 

Everything somehow relates to science

It doesn’t matter whether the topic is weather, cooking or machinery- an in depth explanation of the science behind the subject always follows. Yet I still can’t recall the basic rules of matter.

Unwashed’s equivalent is celebrity name dropping and referencing obscure Canadian authors. For example her post about Desmond Howl “Oh you don’t know Hornjob McGee? He appeared in little known indie film “That Greasy Summer.”

 

He Said: Marriage From Tex’s Perspective

(With Unwashed’s comment in italics)

By contrast, this is what it’s like to be married to an artist- bedlam.

Nothing is ever where you left it including the car

For a period of time, Unwashed hid various pieces of mail and vital items like my phone charger. It was only after I had exhausted my own search of our apartment that I questioned her “Have you seen my ID badge for work?” “Oh” she replied nonchalantly as if she wasn’t a magpie squirrelling away my belongings and correspondence “they’re in the Very Important Place.” “The pardon?” I asked “The Very Important Place” my wife repeated “I put everything right here” and then she pointed to the most random of hiding spots in our home. It wasn’t a loose floorboard under the bathroom cabinet but it was close.

Admittedly, sometimes I do tidy Tex’s belongings away for company and then forget to move his items back. And the car wasn’t my fault; we had just moved here and I drove past the house three times before finally throwing the car into park and walking home. I will cop to forgetting that I had done this and where the car was parked though.

 

Your laundry flies stand-by and there has been an exponential increase in the number of lost socks

They say purgatory is a place between heaven and hell, currently in my house there is a laundry purgatory or one might say it flies stand by as it exists neither clean in my drawer nor dirty and obviously in need of washing in my hamper. I suspect one day I will be searching online classifieds and find a “Missed Connections” ad written by one of my socks.

In my defense, I once witnessed Tex systematically search for an hour for one lost sock. He found it in the end. I am neither that thorough, nor do I possess the memory to retrace my steps and the steps of others exactly to locate lost undergarments. As for the laundry, I’ve created a complex system that there isn’t enough time to explain, be assured that all of my and Mini-Tex’s clothes are found and cleaned on a regular basis. Tex’s shirts make it into the wash when they can hence the stand by comment.

 

I’ve been forced to take bizarre and ridiculous pictures of her

I had to take a picture of her covered in chocolate icing, holding a wad of flaming bills while riding a pig and I was supposed to not only understand the symbology of this but at the very least hold the camera steady. Not to mention catch the terrified pig.

This is a complete exaggeration. Ok not complete. There wasn’t a pig though. I did make Tex take artistic photos where I composed an image of multiple juxtaposing elements and then posed myself in awkward ways to enhance this effect.

 

Arranging a room has less to do with what will fit and more to do with the “chi” and whether it makes a room “warm” or not

I’ve moved sectionals more times than I care to count. And I had to buy a big, really expensive chair to provide her with a place to read and feel artistic or whatever it is that she does when she isn’t riding pigs.

Again, he’s totally fabricating the pig thing and what can I say? Chi is a moving target. Happily I don’t have to move it.

 Also, did anyone else notice that Tex didn’t comment about the memory thing? I expect I’ll find his blaster ray gun in the basement any day now.

Five Things Friday- The Random Slutty Baby Infestation Edition

  1. My mother once called me a skank

Ok, maybe not in quite so many words, but I swear that was the take home message. It was during university and after going out on a date with yet another older electrician that I met at the local bar, I commented to my mother that there were a lot of tradesmen who frequented the establishment. She replied “Of course they hang out there- it’s where all the horny co-eds are.” And I was all “Did you just call me a horny co-ed?”*

  1. My baby is infested with ferrets

Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone with horrific halitosis and you’re like “Sir, I don’t know you, but I’m fairly certain that something has died in your mouth. You may want to make the acquaintance of a dentist.” Or at least that’s what I think to myself in those situations. Anyways Mini-Tex started solids and the last three days he’s been “eating” apples. “Eating”  in quotations because in actuality, our entire living space is covered in apple goo and Mini-Tex imbibed three spoonfuls. He hadn’t pooped in a couple of days, apparently because he was plotting to kill me. I opened up his diaper and gagged from the scent. Whatever deceased ferret that inhabits strangers’ mouths with halitosis has taken up residence in my son’s colon. And invited its whole zombie ferret family. Hurray for solid foods.

  1. My last bathing suit decomposed on my body

This sounds less gross than it actually was. That was a lie, it was pretty disgusting. As a hater of both shopping and needless consumerism, I wore my last bathing suit until it wanted to fall off my back. I use the word “wanted” because if it had fallen off, I would have sewn it back on and kept right on swimming. Unfortunately, it decided to die on my back. And chest. And legs. Instead of putting the offensive article out to pasture like any rational person would after fifteen years of service, I continued to wear my bathing suit as the elastic which helped the suit to keep its shape, gradually disintegrated on my body each time I wore it, smearing black indelible stripes onto my pasty white skin. I’ve since bought another of this kind of quasi indestructible swimsuits, I plan on wearing it to the pool when Mini-Tex is a teenager so he has a genuine reason for not wanting to be seen with me.

  1. I’ve started wearing ass-less chaps

It’s the latest in MILF fashion. Actually, not really, but I have started wearing pants because skirts just don’t work when you’re crawling around on the floor after a baby. Also, I donated all of my skorts after my friend Charity, of the stripper name and PhD, pointed out that just because there are shorts underneath, doesn’t mean that you can sit with your legs open like a model posing for Maxim. As a result, I’ve been living in my one pair of cargo pants. However after a visit to the local play place and approximately 3,908 trips down the bouncy castle slide, I’m fairly certain the butt is see-through.

  1. Guess who’s the newest member of Hell’s Angels?

It’s probably not me, but I think I still should get points for walking by the house of a biker gang every single day when I take Mini-Tex for a walk to put him to sleep. The home might not actually belong to the Hell’s Angels, however, I always see at least four bikes parked out front that change each day. And sometimes they ride by me in a group while I’m out walking so I feel like I’m in the newest “Fast and Furious” movie. At the very least, if I go missing, the internet now knows where to find my body.

*In case you’re wondering, she did, my mother totally called me a horny co-ed. It wasn’t like the time that I made up a story about her pushing me down a hill and then yelling “Look at the fat girl! Look at the fat girl!” while I tumbled. Despite the fact that this event never occurred, my mother received much judgment at her gym for it after I spouted the fictional tale loudly in the lobby. My mother has respect for people of all shapes and sizes, except for young ladies looking to get their skank on apparently.

Cowboy Cookin’

“We’re going to kill something, skin it and eat it” Tex proclaimed one afternoon midway through his visit to my city, just when I thought that he was adjusting to the civilities of urban life. Thankfully he didn’t mean an elk or deer, the creature Tex was hankering for was lobster.

The first problem with this idea was transportation. In Tex’s world vehicles come with half or one tonne sizes with a gun rack on the back. By contrast these were my wheels at the time.

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It might look more manly if I removed the streamers. (Photo Credit : price.salespider.com)

Happily, although Tex likes his meat red and his boots nicely polished, he isn’t averse to riding a bicycle, so we rode to the grocery store. The next problem was how to get the boxed up lobsters home. Normally I stow delicate items like eggs in my jacket so that my body can absorb the impact of any curbs or bumps. It was decided that there are better ways to lose a nipple than by stowing live crustaceans in your clothing, so Tex set about using our other groceries to pad the saddle bags of my bike to create a nest for our new marine friends.

The last and greatest problem we faced that day was me; specifically my inability to kill and dismember living creatures. An avid meat eater, I had no problem with the theory of the process, but the actual act itself caused me quite a bit of anguish. Once we arrived home, Tex was all set to commit murder. I on the other hand was preoccupied with the lobsters’ mental wellbeing.  I sang to comfort the lobsters and distract them from their impending doom. Every creature loves music right? Meanwhile Tex busied himself with boiling a stock pot full of water. “Do you think their lives were happy?” I asked Tex. Standing over my slow moving salt water friends that I had carefully transported home, I worried aloud “Should we show them pictures of the sea during their last moments, or would that be cruel?” Guilt was slowly building in my gut; I tried to assuage it by brainstorming a last meal for the lobsters. “What is a lobster’s favourite food?” I wondered.

Then came the terrible moment. Tex held the lobsters over the boiling stock pot of water and looked down. “I don’t think it’s hot enough” he lowered the lobsters back into the box and transferred the pot to another, supposedly more effective burner. The lobsters had been spared, and given an extra couple minutes of life, so I sang them a song from the “Rescuers” encouraging the hard shelled creatures to be brave. They lazily waved their claws at me. I don’t know if lobsters understand English.

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Unfortunately Bernard and Bianca did not show up at the last minute to prevent the lobsters’ demise, undoubtedly they were too busy saving orphans to concern themselves with a couple of undersea creatures. (Photo Credit : youtube.com)

The water reached a rolling boil on the larger burner and once again Tex held the lobsters high above the pot. Supposedly the change in pressure when lobsters are immersed in boiling liquid creates a sound like a small scream. Neither Tex nor I heard that noise over my shriek as Tex dropped Fergus and Amalda in. (Following their close call minutes earlier, I named our supper which is according to Tex a rookie cowboy’s mistake; the only names his rancher brother gives his cattle are “Filet Mignon”, “Steak” and “Chuck”.)

Twelve minutes later the lobsters were declared done and Tex offered the tongs to me. “Want to fish yours out?” he asked. I didn’t. I wanted nothing of the sort but I took the tongs anyway and haphazardly grabbed a lobster (Possibly Amalda?) out of the pot and dropped it on the plate. The lobster was sopping and water sloshed over the plate. Then Tex confidently turned his lobster in the pot so it was easy to grasp, raised it out of the water and held it still for a couple of seconds to allow the shell to drain before lowering it onto his dry plate.

I brought my full plate with lobster water to the table, too distressed to tip the excess liquid back into the pot. “Turn your lobster like this” Tex instructed, “It makes it easier to break off its arms”. My hand went to touch the poor dead lobster, then pulled back at the last second. “Touch it” I ordered my hand. My fingers hovered around the lobster almost touching it, then pulling back. “Just pick it up” Tex encouraged. “I can do this” I thought as my hand hovered around the dead sea creature. I’m not sure what terrified me more, the idea that the lobster would move when I touched it, or the fact that it wouldn’t. Finally after more coaching, I picked up my lobster. That’s when the low grade distress noises started, my terror and guilt combining in a small, high pitched hum.

Undeterred by my hesitation, Tex continued to coach me in the art of lobster slaughter. “Now you grip it like this, and break its arm. Don’t hold onto the pointy part of the claw.” That last part seemed obvious but in my upset state I had grabbed the claw tightly in the wrong spot, it was only then that I felt the pain in my hand as the points of the claw dug into my skin. “Crack!” Tex’s lobster was now down an arm. My stomach lurched, it sounded just like the rat dissection in grade twelve, when my partner had to break the rat’s arm in order to pin it down. In that biology lab, not only had I refused to break the arms but I avoided pinning the rodent to the cutting board as well.

In the present, I held a dead crustacean and gave it the same horrified and disgusted look I had given the formaldehyde preserved rat.  “Your turn” Tex gestured to my lobster. Desperate to delay the inevitable I sweetly asked if I could watch him do it again. “Crack!” off went the other arm of Tex’s lobster. “Now yours”, Tex urged.

I took a deep breath and recalled my university Animal Physiology lab, when I’d been paired with a beautiful but flaky sorority girl. She was a partier and a consistent C student whereas I stayed home most nights and excelled at the course. At first glance it seemed like an unfortunate pairing however after I passed out during the teaching assistant’s demonstration of how to behead, then filet a fish, the sorority girl beheaded and prepared our fish for the experiment while I inhaled through my nose on the floor and focused on not puking all over the other teaching assistant that was patiently rubbing my back. “No more blood!” The cheerful sorority blonde proclaimed when I returned to our lab station still woozy and soaked in my own sweat.

Closing my eyes I bent the lobster’s arm back. “Crack!” My stomach heaved, and my guilt over having broken the poor creature’s claw was thick at the back of my throat. It didn’t matter that it was dead; in my mind the lobster needed that claw. “Now the other one”, Tex instructed. As I gripped the remaining claw, a wobbly “Uhhhhh” was added to my high pitched hum. It grew in volume as the claw moved to break, so loud that the “crack” was almost soft underneath my keening.

Just as in both the biology and animal physiology labs, my dread over dismantling a living creature had me bathing in my own sweat. But unlike both of these situations there was no one else to dismember the lobster for me. Regrettably, the worst was yet to come. “Now you rip the lobster body in half” with a great “POP” Tex’s lobster was in two and my stomach flipped over.  My arms shook and tears gathered at the corners of my eyes as I tore Amalda in two. At my feet, Whiskey, my room-mate at the time’s cat mewled pathetically for a taste.

Tex’s enthusiasm was palpable now as he prepared to taste his meal. Using my can opener, (surprisingly I lacked the tool to crack the hard shells of crustaceans) he broke the hard red chitin of the claw into pieces and fished out the meat inside. Then handed me the can opener so I could so the same.

Next to literally tearing a creature in half, this step seemed humane. But then as the meat dangled limply from my fingers I realized that guilt had stolen my appetite. By contrast, Whiskey the cat was in a frenzy at my feet. So I passed the meaty claw to him. He devoured it with what can only be described as feline ecstasy.

From there, the gradual consumption of our meal continued, Whiskey was fed more surf than I think any cat aside from those in cultures which worship felines have eaten. While cleaning up Tex grabbed me about the shoulders and kissed the top of my head “You did great Unwashed” he said. Clearly he was more engrossed in his dinner than in my reaction, either that or “great” in cowboy terms means wimpy and on the verge of fainting.

The Great Unwashed, Coming to a Mailbox Near You -Travesty Tuesdays The Spam Edition

I recently came upon a collection of postcards. The images ran the gamut from Babysitter Club book covers, to remote locations in the US, to beautiful pieces of Italian art. Clearly when one comes upon such a bounty, there’s only one course of action- start inflicting yourself on the world in the form of postcards like you’ve discovered how to make 457 dollars a day and want to share the secret with everyone you know AND  all their friends.

No longer am I asking for volunteers to send cards to (for the record, I received one lone reply last time in response to that request) instead, if we once had a conversation and your address is listed- you’re on the list. I’ve got a lot of postcards and nothing but nonsense to cover them with. All I need are your addresses. Happily, over the years I’ve amassed an equally large collection of contact information that could almost but not quite keep up with my childhood love of 35 cent souvenirs.

Here’s an excerpt from the first batch

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Next to opening up their mailbox to find one of those novelty cheques for a million dollars, it’s everyone’s dream to receive a postcard like this, no?

Dear Iris,

I don’t know you well but I thought you’d enjoy receiving images of random cyclists exiting a tunnel in a place that I don’t remember the name of and that you likely don’t care about. It’s a part of my new campaign to treat the mail like the internet. I’m going to send 300 of my closest friends an offer to enlarge their vagina next.

Socially inappropriately yours,

Unwashed

 

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Don’t these people look hangry to you?

Dear Ben,

This is what it looked like in Ancient Rome when the lunch cart was late- people standing around, their stomachs rumbling and all of them grumbling about how Aelius must have gotten into the wine again and taken a dip in the aquaducts. If they’d had Twitter, they might have tweeted something passive aggressive like “Still hungry #thelionsaretooAelius” But instead after the fourth time this happened, they just fed the tardy man to the beasts. Then regretted it- no one could quite make his beef and fig dish the same way.

Much carnivorous action,

Unwashed

 

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The ghost of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s clothes is even more terrifying if you know that her father was a prison warden during the era of straps and racks in Canadian penitentiaries.

Dear Jared,

People are all “Wow, I can’t believe you write even though you have a baby” what they don’t know is that the mannequin  from this card appears to me in my dreams and threatens to suffocate me with her moth eaten veil that smells of mould if I don’t put pen to paper. It’s like the literary version of “Nightmare on Elm Street” The wallpaper also starts to spin in those dreams. This may be why I prefer paint. Happy Writing!

Sincerely, your friend and the undead spirit of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s clothes

 

My Grandfather is having a love affair with his new car. Incidentally his new car is Tex and my new car. Well, they’re the same make and model, so close enough. I wrote this to him because when Sula informed him one night over dinner that I had bought a car, (Yes, Sula is so lovely I have to share her with my grandparents.) apparently my grandfather’s fork just hovered in the air while he stared at my friend in disbelief with his mouth open. The idea of me doing something normal like buying a car was shocking I guess. I sent this to him to tease him, because trading in our lovely, practical minivan for something absurd would be just the kind of ridiculousness I strive for every day.

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As you can see my ride comes pre-pimped, no need for a reality TV show.

Dear Granddad,

Did you hear the news? We decided to trade in our can for something more practical. Our new car is pictured on the front. After all, how is one supposed to go joy riding in something with side air bags? Where the fun? Where’s the sense of peril? There’s just no point in driving unless you can feel the wind in your hair, the rain puddling at your feet and your childrens’ fingers pinching your side as they cling to you with their nails while trying not to fall out of the car. I’m off to pick up Betty and Archie for the shin dig, Archie’s jalopy broke down again, thank goodness mine is reliable. It’ll be a swell night.

Love, Unwashed

The next card was sent to a man who began as a friend of Tex’s and became a friend of mine, so much so that when I sent him an unsigned postcard, he figured out who had sent it. If sending weird pieces of anonymous mail and then being called on it isn’t a sign of a good friendship, I don’t know what is.

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Hammy’s post petite potatoes diet head shots

Dear Wyatt “Why did I give Tex’s crazy wife my address” Strumpber,

This is Hammy Swine. After spending his childhood working the petting zoo circuit thanks to his momager, Larda, he tried out for the role of “Bebe” hoping to make it big. Obviously he was rejected seeing as the role went to a younger, pinker, thinner pig. Ever the fighter, Hammy was determined and went on a diet of small potatoes when he learned of a Babe related opportunity- “Babe 17: Bringing Bacon Back”. Hammy was elated when his newfound weight loss led to a supporting role. Tragically Justin Timberlake passed on the role of the hiphopping farmer so the project was kiboshed. Now Hammy spends his days sitting on street corners trying to sell future shares in his own pork roasts in exchange for watermelon. It’s a story that reminds us to just let pigs be pigs.

Wow, that got dark and very weird fast. Even for me. I think I’m going to stop there.

Five Things Friday – The Drunk on Beet Chips Edition

1. I brushed my teeth at least four times this week

Someone give me a damn medal. It doesn’t sound like much but when you’re the sole person in charge of a small person virtually 24 hours a day, things like reasonable dental hygiene need to be celebrated. In lieu of a medal I would accept a parade.

2. I witnessed a hit-and-run on Tuesday

This one is less bad than it sounds. So there I am, minding my own business, bleaching diaper inserts in the sun, when all of a sudden, across the laneway, I watch as a SUV smashes into the motorcycle that is parked next to my new neighbour’s garage. I was aghast and expected the driver to jump out and inspect the damage. Instead the SUV pulls forwards, then backs up again to hit the motorcycle, then keeps going so the bike is being dragged along the ground.  I run to get a closer look at the plates of the SUV as it drives away. After running back inside to record this information, I hot footed it back outside all ready to run and knock on my neighbour’s front door. Not surprisingly, there was already a man standing outside, righting the motorcycle. Breathless from the shock of witnessing someone trying to demolish his wheels and from sprinting back and forth with a baby strapped to me, the news came out in staccato bursts “Someone. Drove over. Your bike.” The man calmly looked at me and said “I know, it was my wife.” I don’t know whether to give these people space or make them muffins.

 

 3. I may be becoming Desmond Howl

 

This one is possibly worse than it sounds. It’s ok that you don’t know who Desmond Howl is because I’m going to tell you. At length, and then you’ll want to pretend to be a four hundred pound, drug addicted, washed up rocker too. It’s a good game, like tag but only better. Desmond stumbles through life in an exhausted haze; my days seem similar to this. Desmond falls asleep at random times of the day- I fall asleep at random times too. Desmond wanders around only partially clothed, I’m generally missing an article of clothing or at the very least have a part of my bra unclipped. Desmond survives entirely on doughnuts and cocaine. I would like to survive on doughnuts. But not cocaine, I’m not that exciting. Get ready world, at this rate, my come back tour will be starting next month. If you’d like to play the Desmond Howl Game too, I’m looking for a bass guitarist.

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I’m not sure what this picture is doing here. I may be drunk. Further proof that I am turning into a four hundred pound character from early 90’s literature. (Photo Credit : efdreams.com) Paul Quarrington, if your ghost can hear this, come be my writer-in-residence. We’ll jam together, I play a mean maraca.

4. Great Unwashed gives tips on how to mow a lawn

For ideal results and disgruntled neighbours, choose a paisley pattern. The effect is maximized if one misses spots. Although you may not have to work hard to tick off your neighbours if their spouse has taken to running over their ride.

5. If my lawn care tips weren’t enough, I’ll throw in lessons on how to be a better spouse free!

To add some spice and uncertainty into your spouse’s life, play “Hide the Car”, instead of parking your shared vehicle in the driveway, park three streets over and walk home while they’re at work. Then promptly forget where you’ve left the car and when they ask gesture in all directions helpfully. Following this advice also decreases the rate of flattened motorcycles by 87%.

This post is dedicated to Erica from thesnarkyscoop.com because she regularly expounds to the world in groups of five. Erica is quite funny and as her blog indicates, occasionally snarky.

Why Facebook Stalking Your Ex Is A Bad Thing

We all do it, yet it’s a terrible pastime, let’s outline the reasons why.

  1. Your Ex is never fat enough

After I’ve dated someone, I prefer that they pile on the pounds like someone in a lifelong hotdog eating competition. Even if they’ve gained fifty kilos and are starting to look more spherical than person shaped, the preferable size for exes is along the lines of a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade balloon.

  1. No one ever takes pictures of themselves being waterboarded

There are approximately three trillion photos of food on Facebook and one hundred million photos of beach vacations. Yet the important moments that I don’t want to miss in my exes’ lives; being strapped to a rack or crying as drops roll down their face for the seventeenth hour in a row are never uploaded. How is it that tandoori chicken takes precedence over the moment when they close the iron maiden?

  1. Their new significant others are too attractive

My favourite types of people for exes to date come in two categories; fugly and bridge troll. If I click past a picture and my ex’s new partner doesn’t inspire images of goats and small children disappearing into gap toothed maws, I’m disappointed.

  1. They always look so damn happy

No one commands people to “Funnel your inner demons into a grimace” when they take a picture. Instead humanity is instructed to “Say cheese” and “Smile”. Any expression short of gut wrenching inner turmoil just doesn’t pass mustard with me.

  1. They have this pesky habit of still standing

Ideally after a break up, I would like my exes to say to themselves “Well there goes my reason for living” and then they should lie down where they are and wait for death. This has yet to happen thus images of my ex standing next to friends or family members always have a certain irritating, taunting quality.

My solution to this problem? That everyone in the world take photos of themselves in dire and painful straights; holding their heads in despair, struggling to swim against an over-powering rip current, etc. I volunteer the last three men I dated to go first

 

We Need To Talk About Bunnies

Not these bunnies.

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They are cute though. (Photo Credit : yogadork.com)

This man’s bunnies.

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(Photo Credit : montecito-realestate.com)

I have a long running history of, let’s call them intense interests. Normally my obsessions are understandable. For a while there I would only talk about a certain type of fuzzy collectible.

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They’re like Pokemon- gotta catch’em all. (Photo Credit : live-av.info.com)

But I was twelve so that was developmentally appropriate. Although talking about Beanie Babies all day, every day for two years might have been a little much for my parents.

And of course there’s my long running fascination and love of anything to do with this celebrity.

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Not being obsessed with Mickey and his empire is like hating unicorns and drinking their blood, so essentially not loving Disney transforms someone into a unicorn hunting mutant, that’s right Voldemort got that way because he didn’t worship all things Disney. Take heed my Unwashed public. (Photo Credit : en.wikipedia.org)

For a short period of time I watched this woman everyday while eating my steel cut oats.

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This makes more sense in the context of learning French. (Photo Credit: http://www.renaud-bray.com)

But then, somewhere around 2010, something strange happened. When I say strange I mean strange for me, it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill homeless man setting a fire in public, or threatening your upstairs neighbor, or starting a frog pond in your basement kind of above average occurrence.

In 2010 I became obsessed with these women.

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This would be easier to explain if I were a dude. (Photo Credit flickr.com)

It started out innocuously, in the way that these things do; I began watching their television show “The Girls Next Door”. But then my interest took on a life of its own, first I bought the box set of their series. Then I watched the whole thing start to finish. When I was done I watched it again.

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Down the Rabbit Hole indeed Holly. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

And I kept watching it.

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I can’t tear my eyes away. (Photo Credit : janetcharltonhollywood.com)

And reading about them.

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Have you ever seen a group of more interesting ladies? (Photo Credit : fanpop.com)

And acquiring Playboy related paraphernalia- come sleep on my red satin Playboy sheets; they’re super slippery!

I followed them on Twitter, which was quite remarkable considering that I barely know how to use Microsoft Word most days.

The obsession grew and I kept watching and re-watching their ditzy antics. My mother was ashamed, my father was amused, Sula was bewildered. I would proudly trot out my Playboy magazines at dinner parties. “Look at them” I’d exclaim, “Aren’t they beautiful?” My favourite part was when male guests would take the opportunity to spend twenty minutes perusing the magazine at the table.

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The perfect addition to any social gathering. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

This bizarre preoccupation with all things Playboy was still going strong when I met Tex. But somewhere around the time that I moved to live with Tex, my passionate, undying love of the bunnies began to diminish. Instead of watching them every day, it was once a week. And rather than discussing their latest exploits at length (Holly had a baby! Kendra is contemplating divorce!) I talked about work, or books I was reading. Gradually as my life became my own personal fairy tale, including a tall, dark handsome cowboy and adorable baby, my interest in these women’s laughable exploits shrank, and I put away the DVDs and their scrapbook, rather than sitting open on the table or couch moved to the book shelf.

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Yes, they published a scrapbook and yes I have spent hundreds of hours reading it. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

I even contemplated selling my Playboys back to the used bookstore. (We won’t discuss how grossed out my mother was that I bought second hand nudie magazines.)  Now, the girls have returned to their rightful place in the world, I think of them as often as I ponder the Kardashians or string theory, which is to say rarely, although it must be said that I never turn down a trashy magazine or book which mentions the lovely trio.