Lighting Fires In Public Places

Another perk of living in the student ghetto along with the cast of Shakespearean inspired characters that grace my presence during the wee hours is the area around the house.

Needle and Junky Park boasts riverside picnicking, summer music festivals and countless people some with permanent residences and some without. It also has a needle drop box. The needles don’t always make it in.

This lush spot is one of my favourite places to run. It’s also the meth heads’ favourite place to run after me. As of yet I haven’t been caught.

So there I am running through the park, almost to the playground which marks the end of Needle and Junky Park and the beginning of Soccer Mompreneur Park when I spied a man carrying a GIANT branch. He also had with him a soiled grocery bag packed to the brim. Rather than being weary of the man, I concluded that he was an artist, hellbent on creating the perfect scene with just the right branch. However he was quite heavy and as a rule most starving artists are just that- starving and very skinny. With all of these factors indicating something else, I clung to my hopeful idea; he was an artist there to create incredible and heartfelt images with nature.

And then he gave me crazy eyes as I passed him. So I picked up my pace a little bit and decided he was a crazy artist. I continued on my run for a while then turned around. I didn’t think of the man again until I saw the thick cloud of smoke next to the river on my way back. Next I saw the fire, and watched Crazy Eyes pick up more branches to add to it.

Now in school they educate people on things like “Don’t eat poison.” “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Don’t play in traffic.”

They never covered what to do if you see a man start and tend a fire in the middle of a public place. What made the whole situation worse was that no one else batted an eye.

I came up with two conclusions;

  1. Building fires in public parks is a normal and acceptable practice, my life has been incomplete up to this moment and I am probably a little unpatriotic for never having done this myself.

    Fire in Dumpster

    Fires; not just an ingredient for a romantic evening under the mantle.  (Photo credit: benwatts)

  2.  He made crazy eyes at the people around me and they were equally terrified and refused to pull out their cell phones to call the police in front of him.

Walking until there was a fair amount of space between me and the crazy eyed arsonist, I phoned 911. Then immediately felt guilty because I had been taught never to call 911 unless it was an emergency and I still wasn’t sure this was an emergency.

“Hello, Emergency 911. Do you need police, fire or ambulance?” asked the operator.

I hadn’t thought I would need to make a decision, that if it was an actual emergency the operator would be comforting me because I would be going into shock.

“Uhhhhhh police?” I said, thinking that the only thing needed was a stern man in uniform to walk down to the park and say “Hey! Stop that!” At which point Crazy Eyes would cease tending the fire and dig through his soiled grocery bag for a bucket to gather river water in. Or possibly a fire extinguisher, for all I knew Crazy Eyes could have been an organized man who plans ahead.

“A man has built a fire in Needle and Junky Park.” I said into my phone as inconspicuously as I could.

“I’m transferring you to the fire department” said the 911 operator humorlessly.

What made the whole situation worse was that the fire department operator didn’t seem at all fazed by my story. “Is the fire out of control?” She asked.

“No” I said now thoroughly convinced that this was not in fact an emergency and may very well not even be illegal.

“Thanks ma’am we will try and send someone to check it out.”

The “try” in the last sentence before she hung up now has me questioning whether making campfires in public is something that people do.

I guess the only way to find out is to go get my own giant branch and light it aflame in the middle of the park.




This post is a part of the Student Ghetto Chronicles series. To read more about living in a place where items like pants are unnecessary click below.

Bongs, Dirty Laundry and Elmo

Midnight Thespians; profanity, moaning and sprinklers

This is also the last post in the 2013 Top Five Great Unwashed Countdown. Tomorrow starts the Unwashed-a-palooza in which I release five new posts in five days. You’re all invited to the party.

If It’s Big, Red and Painful; Go To Emerg

My seventeen year old cousin Candy* is visiting me for March Break. I’ve done quite a bit to try and amuse her; we’ve grocery shopped, gone to four different pharmacies in search of my favourite blister band-aids, sat on the couch and drank pot after pot of tea. A regular laugh riot.

However I decided to be kind and invite another person her age over for dinner last night. My second youngest cousin Sophie** has the misfortune of living in the same city as me. This means that on occasion she’s forced to come over to my house, listen to my boring, old person stories and eat my food.

So there we were, my husband Roscoe, Candy, Sophie and I, sitting around the dinner table attempting to enjoy a meal. I say attempting because invariably the talk turned to medicine and although I can still enjoy schnitzel while going through the intimate details of a gunshot wound, for Sophie and Candy this was not a daily event.

The conversation meandered around from rabies to Ebola and finally ended up on the half life of erectile dysfunction drugs. Roscoe and I both studied biochemistry at university hence we started by discussing the chemical properties of Cialis versus Viagara. An important difference between the two drugs is that the half life of Cialis is over four times that of Viagara. The half life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for half of it to degrade in your body. Erectile dysfunction drugs work to direct blood flow to the man’s fun pole.

Tadalafil tablet (20 mg)

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment- it’s all fun and games until you set a world record for stiffies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now the thing about erections is you want blood there, because that’s what makes an erection, but the flip side is that blood shouldn’t stay there too long. Your tissues need oxygen, if you have blood pooling somewhere, eventually the oxygen runs out and the cells could start to die. This is why it says on both Cialis and Viagara, “If your erection persists more than four hours, seek medical attention”. The only thing worse than a flaccid joystick is a dead one.

So because Roscoe and I can never appreciate normal television shows like The Bachelor, or Two and a Half Men, choosing instead to watch such delights as HopkinsBoston Med or other televised surgery shows, we’ve actually watched the treatment for a never ending erection. Not the actual act itself, but mostly the reaction of the man with the member that was permanently at attention. If purple colour of the patient’s face was any indication it’s an excruciating procedure.


Nothing good is ever happening if your face looks like this. (Photo credit: JulkaG)

Roscoe is working towards becoming a doctor, and so he was able to describe the treatment for said malady. “It’s very easy, you simply lance it.”

Sophie’s reaction was priceless, her eyebrows flew up in horror as she exclaimed “You lance the peen?!”

Chicken noodle soup with leeks nearly came out my nose. Poor Sophie kept sputtering “That hurts so much! I had to have the back of my leg lanced and it was unbearable. I feel like there should be a public service announcement about this.”

Having laughed myself out at this point and no longer in danger of having a relative of the onion family and chicken broth come out my nostrils I added “Well it’s better than having it come off.”

“You mean like if your hand slips?” Sophie asked looking at Roscoe, like this sort of thing must happen occasionally in medicine.

Roscoe of course was still able to happily eat his soup, swallowed then calmly replied “No, the penis is like any other part of your body, if a piece dies, the dead tissue has to come off otherwise the area around it will become infected and cause more issues.”

“Oh my god.” Sophie having given up on eating, sat back in her chair still wide eyed and stunned.

Completely unperturbed by the conversation in the way that only a future physician could be, Roscoe tried to smooth things over “You’d get a prosthetic. They’re not very good, but you’d have one.”

As surprising and admittedly funny as the idea of a false trouser snake was to me, nothing could top Sophie’s shocked exclamation “You lance the peen?”

It was like I’d been provided with a new way of judging catastrophe. As though I could stand outside a burning house, next to a shivering, abruptly homeless family and comfort them with “At least you didn’t have to lance the peen.”

Grapevine House Fire

Take heart- no peens were lanced.  (Photo credit: TexasEagle)

Or the next time I have to clean both the fridge and the toilet in one day “Well, I’m not lancing the peen.” Following being turned down for a job I’d buoy myself up by saying “No one’s peen was lanced.”


I spent the rest of the night giggling to myself. Cleaning the dishes was punctuated with my outbursts of “You lance the peen?”

Hilarious, mostly because I feel the majority of people would react in the same manner. Thus by writing this post, I’m performing a community service by getting this message out there. Hopefully that will excuse the fact that I wrote nearly a thousand words about problems you can have with your Johnson. So before the next time you or your loved one pops a little blue pill take a moment to ponder “Is it worth potentially lancing the peen?”†

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of young people who spent the rest of their March Break listening to me do impressions of Sophie’s exclamation.

**Fake names have been used to protect certain stylish young people who do not wish to be associated with their cousin who writes about willies.

† Just before posting this article I had Roscoe use his doctor knowledge to check the frequency of this side effect. He said there were less than ten reported cases ever but that a whole host of other medications can also cause permanent pant tenting. However then he started using his doctor voice rather than the nice husband voice that tells me my hair looks pretty, so I didn’t pay close attention. Regardless, as per Sophie’s suggestion I have now put this information out to the greater electronic world. Although I would say as a rule of thumb, if it’s big, red and painful, go to Emerg sooner rather than later.



The South Americans Were Going To Have To Bunk In The Bathroom

Bad news. My Dad put the kibosh on “The Great Unwashed Anniversary” party. Sometime around when I asked him if the spare guest room could fit all my Armenian readers for the week, he shut the whole idea down. Also there’s a new rule at my parent’s house now; my Dad must be consulted before I invite the internet for a party at his home.


I called to cancel my order at the bakery. It was just as well, they were having difficulty with my instructions “Make it look Unwashed”. (Photo credit: bunchofpants)

Sorry to cancel on everyone. I know all my international readers had flights booked and were looking forward to tasting our country’s sweet, sweet maple syrup over pancakes the morning after the fete.

In place of a giant bash celebrating a year of writing, I’ve decided to put up the top five posts from the year, each day counting down to the anniversary. After that I’ll start a new Unwashed year with five days of new content.

I realize that informing everyone before I started this process, rather than midway through would have been ideal however occasionally life is not idyllic. Like this morning when I let the neighbour’s dog into my parent’s house and allowed it to create a muddy paw print trail through every room on their beige carpet.

Without further adieu, the third of five greatest Great Unwashed posts.

Mid-Day Stabbings

My fear of needles is making me pungent and gooey. I have a long standing history of trypanophobia- I even have a scar from it. When I was five, I was involved in a horrible playground accident that left both my mother and I covered in blood. While crawling across a set of monkey bars my elbows buckled and my teeth went through my lower lip. Then my face bled like I was dying in the way that facial wounds do. Unless of course you’ve cut a dead person in which case your biggest problem is your choice of hobbies rather than the amount of blood coming from the wound. I digress. So my mother rushed me to our family doctor who declared that I would need two stitches or it would scar.

At that point in my life the only way I would endure a needle was to have my mother lay across my legs and pin my arms to my sides to prevent the kindly medical professional from battling my five year old self mixed martial arts style while administering a vaccination.

“I don’t think I can hold her down for that long.” My mother replied. Hence it was decided that my mother liked our doctor too much to have her attempt to sew my face back together. So my mother and I went home. I have the scar to prove it.

Further cropped version of Image:Chuck Norris ...

It doesn’t matter how widely you smile now Chuck, you’re still getting those stitches.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother then started working out and developed biceps the size of my headso that the next time either my sister or I fell off playground equipment she could pin both me and Chuck Norris down to receive stitches. My Mom’s very committed to being a good parent. Or at least that’s what I tell people when they ask why my mother is lifting the neighbour’s sedan by herself.

Back to the malodorous, sticky present. Last week I had my yearly physical and because my doctor is colluding with the devil, I was sent to get blood work done. This is the only possible conclusion one can come to after being sent for bloodwork, it is never that one has an excellent GP who is concerned about anemia and blood iron levels.

This would have been fine had my doctor not recently moved offices. Previously when sent for blood work, I would have both time and space to prepare myself appropriately. First I would purchase an orange juice to ensure that I wouldn’t become “The Floor Unwashed”. Next I would drink the juice in the elevator while doing muscle poses in the mirror to pretend that I was brave and look for resemblances to my mother. For whatever reason no passengers ever joined me in this exercise, even though oftentimes they were also headed to the lab.

Lastly I would wait awkwardly outside the lab door for a small child to go in ahead of me. This was the most important step of all. No matter how terrified I was of needles, it was vital for me not to be out-couraged by a child. A favourite diversionary activity of mine is to make up words while being stabbed by total strangers.  While watching a three year old next to me stoically receive their MMR vaccine I would then pretend to be equally brave while a phlebotomist took vial after vial of my blood.

That was before the medical practice moved buildings. “The lab is just across the waiting room now!” my doctor cheerfully exclaimed while steering me out the door of her office and handing off lab request forms. As she waved to my back I trudged across the waiting area and into a tiny room.

“Where do I take a number?” I asked the woman there.

“No numbers or waiting, you just sit right down.” She patted the seat next to her. On the other side of the lab tech’s chair were a series of packaged, pointy instruments and vials.

“But. Um. I?” There was no time for juice, I hadn’t even gotten a cursory bicep curl in. And worst of all, there wasn’t another soul around as she closed the door to the room, let alone a small person who I ought to be a good model for.

It was terrifying. It was painful. I may have almost passed out. Twice. But the phlebotomist kept going.

And now I have a band-aid on my crook of my elbow that I can’t take off. Having watched the woman enthusiastically descend upon my arm I can’t help but think that if I remove the bandage, the phlebotomist will somehow know my arm is free for poking again and appear on my doorstep sharps in hand.

To avoid this problem of freeing up the desired fleshy real estate I have worn long sleeved shirts all week. However three days ago the band aid looked like it was close to falling off, having lost all of its glue, which was smeared around my elbow in a grey sticky mess. In order not to agitate it further I decided not to change shirts again. However after the heat of three September afternoons, I must admit I’m becoming a little ripe. It’s not my fault though- blasted trypanophobia.

I really should start eating more red meat. I don’t think I can do this again next year.

Travesty Tuesday – Tricycle Rides and Unfortunate Sleeping Arrangements

The Great Unwashed- “I’m putting up a Travesty Tuesday post.”

Roscoe- “But it’s Friday.”

The Great Unwashed- “You know that saying “It’s five o’clock somewhere?” Well it’s Tuesday somewhere. It’s a time zone thing.”

Roscoe- “That’s not how time zones work.”

Red onion slices

These account for approximately 60% of the New Zealand diet.** (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Unwashed – “It’s Tuesday in New Zealand. Honest. And it doesn’t even matter if it isn’t, New Zealanders do things backwards anyways, they call every second Wednesday “Girdle” and only eat raw onions.”

Roscoe walked out of the room after that. He does that sometimes.

Here is an email I sent to my youngest cousin Candy*. She came to visit me just before leaving to go to college. It’s my guess that she robbed multiple convenience stores and the judge gave her the option of going to Juvie for a month or spending time with me. I think Juvie was looking pretty sweet after she read this.

Oh well you can’t win ‘em all, right Candy?



Dear Candy,


SURPRISE! We’re going camping. Nothing big, just the local park and only for one night. To celebrate this momentous occasion my truck is in at the mechanics getting both the flap thingie on the front fixed and also the SCREEEEEEEE noise that it’s been making any time I turn it on.

The parking lot in front of the garage was packed full of broken-down cars. The mechanics seemed doubtful about when they would be able to return my truck to me.

English: A man is repairing a tri-cycle who se...

Candy, I think you over packed a little. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As such it’s my recommendation to you Candy, to practice core muscle exercises for the next few days. Not only will these assist with paddle boarding which we shall be trying at the park but it will also help in your transport to the house from the bus station. My current plan is to ride a tricycle over and have you ride on my shoulders the three kilometers home. You will have to carry your suitcase on your back obviously.

This is a hugely popular transportation method in India just so you know.

We will be sharing the giant self inflating mattress while camping because I can’t be bothered to bring and blow up two separate ones when I could punch and kick my way through a night next to someone who is obligated to be nice to me by virtue of sharing just over 12% of my genetic code and staying in my house.

I also suggest you bring a sweater, a bathing suit, sunscreen and a UV shirt*** if you own one. Otherwise I’ll make you wear one of my UV shirts which are so used and stretched out that they’d look more appropriate on a fashionable orangutan.

Or maybe not, I feel like a fashionable anything would refuse to wear a UV shirt.

I have all necessary other camping items although I suggest you remind me to bring pillows. I often forget this item and no matter how I arrange the pile, firewood never seems comfortable to sleep on.

Lovingly, awkwardly and always on three wheels, your cousin,

The Great Unwashed


*Candy is as sweet as her made up name. She would never burn down convenience stores. She is frequently forced to visit me, a severe penance for crimes she doesn’t commit. At least I don’t think she commits crimes. I was covered in highly flammable oil during her visit though.


** I wouldn’t necessarily trust my knowledge of the world. I garnered most of the facts I know about New Zealand from Wild Buttercup. However I only looked at the pictures so I don’t know how reliable my information is.


Also I’ve never been to India. However I would like someone to ride on my shoulders while I peddle a tricycle. As a young child I was prevented from attempting this, I can only assume that sort of fun is illegal in Canada. India seems like a fun loving place. I bet mothers allow that sort of thing there.


***For those of you who don’t go red and shrivel up in the sun like a raisin a UV shirt blocks ninety to one hundred percent of UVA and UVB rays. For near albinos like Candy and I this type of clothing is a necessity for all outdoor activities. We combine it with 110 SPF sunscreen and then complain about feeling burnt. The Irish are fun to kiss but you probably shouldn’t procreate with them if you ever want to sit out on a beach.

My Bedtime Ritual

I go to bed at the same time as most third graders, this is not so much an active choice as it is a response to my body shutting down. Prior to the magical hour of nine pm I am a normal, (relatively) functioning adult; I do chores, have conversations with Roscoe about things which need to be done around the house and what not. However after nine pm all bets are off and I am transformed by exhaustion. I decided to record what happens on a typical evening.

8:58 PM

Roscoe and I are in the office. Roscoe is doing work. I am reviewing my day with him.

The Great Unwashed – “So the mechanics have an opening at 9 AM Saturday which would work around the family function at one and leave me enough time to cook dinner for our friends at five.”

Roscoe – “That sounds good, you look tired. Why don’t you go to bed?”

The Great Unwashed exits the room to go sit on the sofa.

The Great Unwashed – “I’m not tired.”

9:00 PM

It’s at this point when the magical hour begins and I transform from a perfectly functional adult into a nonsense spewing, sloth.

9:01 PM

The Great Unwashed calls to Roscoe in the next room.

The Great Unwashed – “Why don’t we own a llama?”

9:03 PM

The Great Unwashed – “We should eat more capers.”

9:04 PM

The Great Unwashed – “I want to learn skeleton.”

9:05 PM

The Great Unwashed – “Wait is skeleton the one where you’re face down or is that luge?”

Roscoe sensing that there is a question that actually requires an answer pipes up “Skeleton is facedown”

The Great Unwashed – “Oh. Then I want to learn to luge.”

German natural track luger Michaela Maurer at ...

At 9:04 PM at night I want to hurtle myself face up down a chute of ice. Don’t ask what I imagine doing at ten PM.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s around this point generally that Roscoe hauls himself out of the pilot chair in the office and comes to tell me to go to bed.

9:06 PM

Roscoe “Go to bed”

The Great Unwashed sprawled across the couch lacking any sort of muscle tone, squints and says defiantly -“No”

Weary but not beaten Roscoe returns to the office.

9:11 PM

The sound of the Great Unwashed voice is tinged with exhaustion now.

The Great Unwashed – “Where’s your lumbago?”

Roscoe is now approaching fed up and once again leaves the office to face The Great Unwashed who actually appears to be liquefying before his eyes from lack of muscle tone.

Roscoe – “Go. To. Bed.”

The Great Unwashed – “No, I’m not tired and I don’t want to have to brush my teeth.”

9:12 PM

The Great Unwashed – “Would you still go out in public with me if I wore stick on mutton chops?”

9:13 PM

The Great Unwashed – “The bathroom is too far away. Carry me!”

Roscoe will be unmoved by this plea. Mostly because previously when he has acquiesced to my demands to be carried I have gone limp and turned into what he calls “a 300 lb blob”. This of course causes me to take offense that he thinks I’m 300 lbs and annoys Roscoe because I’m still no closer to brushing my teeth.

9:15 PM

It’s at this point generally that I start to sing fragments of songs over and over. I may have migrated to the floor in a half hearted attempt to go to the bathroom to brush my teeth.

9:17 PM

Roscoe once more extracts himself from the pilot chair and stalks to the living room to face me.

Roscoe – “GO TO BED”

The Great Unwashed in a thoroughly defeated and utterly exhausted tone “No.”

Roscoe stomps back to the office.

9:23 PM

The disembodied and miserable voice of the Great Unwashed floats into the office.

The Great Unwashed – “I’m so tired I don’t want to exist!”

And with that I promptly brush my teeth and go to bed. And then I wake up at five am, perky and raring to go in a way that would cause people around me to become homicidal, luckily most of the world isn’t up at that time. Thus far no bodily harm has come to me for awaking at this early hour.

Oprah Wants You To Eat Jesus

It’s the time of darkness and frozen water here in Canada town which means that along with wearing two pairs of pyjama pants around the house to keep warm, it is also the time that Oprah releases her list of favourite things.

I’ve spoken before about how much I want Oprah to love me. And in the same way that girls follow their boyfriends to motocross races and pretend to enjoy the sound of roaring engines and the smell of testosterone flying about, the surest way to make someone love you is by pretending to enjoy what they are interested in. Hence why every November I rush out to the stores and ooh and ahh over Oprah’s favourite things; I want her to love me. Even loving me a little would do.

Thus in the name of making Oprah love me, I shall share some of the more special items on her list so that you too may love them and hopefully in some sort of strange karmic equation this will result in the media titan adoring me just a little.

Even if you aren’t Christian, everyone needs to go out and buy the Oprah approved nativity scene. Because it’s made of chocolate and everyone loves chocolate. Every part of these adorable figurines is edible from the tiny horse’s mane to the newborn babe himself. There’s nothing better than shouting out “Who wants to eat Jesus?” at a family gathering.

Oprah wants everyone to wear muumuus to bed. This isn’t a new concept, for years Lee Valley has been hocking dresses for men to sleep in during the winter. These wide robes are just like the Lee Valley version only they have spandex. And as everyone knows spandex makes the world go round. Quite literally, since spandex’s incorporation into most women’s clothing, obesity rates have skyrocketed. Everyone needs to buy this and then think about how much Oprah should love me while wearing it.

The muumuus look just like this but are eighty percent more sexy. Which is kind of like multiplying zero by eighty. (Photo Credit :

The muumuus look just like this but are eighty percent more sexy. Which is kind of like multiplying zero by eighty. (Photo Credit :

One of Oprah’s fondest desires is for everyone to be skinny. Every month she gives out tips on how to be a healthier you. Thus I can only conclude that her recommendation that to buy flesh coloured nail polish is a part of this quest. Perhaps it makes your fingers look longer and more slender if your nails are the same colour as your skin? I haven’t a clue. Whatever the reason, you need to go out and purchase some matching flesh tone nail polish immediately. You can wear it while you type up an email to Oprah about how she should love me.

Since I don’t use body wash or soap for that matter, you my Unwashed public, will need to purchase and use this next Oprah recommended item on my behalf. Based on the price alone, this product must smell like heaven crossed with a baby in a peach grove. While you are walking around smelling stupendous you can think about how awesome it would be to watch me be interviewed by Oprah. I know, you’d love it as much as I would.

Of course no Favourite Things List would be complete without an excessively superfluous item which you should buy just because it’s extravagant. May I suggest that all of my readers buy the bright orange three hundred dollar jewelry box that Oprah likes? You can give it to everyone on your list, even the men; all those compartments would be perfect for fishing lures.

It Would Have Been Worse If It Was a Leech

The other day Roscoe arrived home from working at the hospital to a problem.

The Great Unwashed– “I think I swallowed a maggot, can you look at my throat?”

Roscoe his voice heavy with disbelief “You swallowed a maggot.”

The Great Unwashed undeterred by Roscoe’s lack of concern for her wellbeing-  “Yes.”

Roscoe – “Why were you eating maggots?”

The Great Unwashed– “I wasn’t but one time a friend of mine ate a maggot that got caught in his throat and then crawled up into his sinuses and he described the sensation to me. My throat feels exactly like that, so I need you to check it out for me.”

Roscoe realizing this problem is not going to go away until he acknowledges it-  “Fine. Come here. Open your mouth.”

Roscoe is giving The Great Unwashed’s mouth only a cursory glance “Wait, don’t you need your expensive ear and mouth thingy that looks the emergency car window breaker? Or at the very least the pepper shaker with the light on the end of it?”

Roscoe uses something that looks like this to inspect people's ears and eyes. He claims his opthawhateverascope looks nothing like this though. (Photo Credit :

Roscoe uses something that looks like this to inspect people’s ears and eyes. He claims his opthawhateverascope looks nothing like this though. (Photo Credit :

Roscoe – “Do you want me to season your throat or examine it?”

The Great Unwashed -“Examine please.”

Roscoe inspects the back of my throat for creepy crawly things.- “No maggots. You’re fine.”

The Great Unwashed – “I don’t think you followed the proper insect ingestion protocol.”

Roscoe – “Who went to medical school here?”

The Great Unwashed – “All I’m saying is that if I were checking if someone had eaten a maggot, I would have used a flashlight, or maybe some maggot food to entice the maggot to come out.”

“Arrrrrrrrrgggg!!!” Roscoe throws up his hands and stalks out of the room.

The Great Unwashed calls after him “What do maggots eat?”


The Only Stores I Make Lists For Are The Ones That Sell Liquor

Not really however the series of texts that I sent to Roscoe would make you think otherwise.

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:52 PM

We are out of wine. Please bring some home with you, it will make me a nicer person.

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:53 PM

And by nicer person what I mean is drunk. Which is as close to nice as I get.

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:54 PM

In fact I was once called “agreeable” when I was tipsy.

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:54 PM

Which is the opposite of what I am now, you’re at risk of losing an arm to biting if you come home without wine.

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:56 PM

Which even if you happen to have chainmail stashed in the car to protect your appendages, is still not a good thing- human bites are super infectious.

From The Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:57 PM

Also I love you.

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:57 PM

But I would love you more with wine.*

From the Great Unwashed to Roscoe 5:58 PM

I’d also bite you less. That sounds dirty but it’s meant to be intimidating.

*Now this would make a good greeting card. Appropriate for all occasions. I would love most things more with wine. I’m not alone in this either. Paul Johnson from The Good Greatsby freely admits to enjoying his children’s company more with alcohol.

Also no Roscoes were harmed in the making of this post. The man had the good sense to bring home two bottles of hootch.

Here’s a Can of WD 40 From Your Secret Santa

I was at work the other day and saw a bag of Epsom salts on a coworker’s desk. There was a small tag on the package that read “From Your Secret Santa”. Seeing as this particular coworker was pregnant and could benefit from relaxing in a tub full of warm but not too warm water- this was an excellent gift.

The moment hammered home to me why I am not buying gifts for any of my or Roscoe’s family this year. While an extremely thoughtful coworker thought to purchase this woman Epsom salts as a Secret Santa. I would have purchased salt. Just salt. Because it’s a requirement for most recipes and it makes everything taste better, ergo in my eyes a box of salt is not only a perfectly acceptable but practical gift.

Other things which I deem to be perfectly reasonable gifts are; windshield washer fluid- because this is Canada and it is winter after all. As well as toilet paper because everyone uses it. Personally I recommend the last item as a potential gift for everyone on your list because if a friend seems upset over this gift it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that they have questionable hygiene habits. Thus you probably shouldn’t be friends with them anymore and this gift giving act has saved you the trouble of an awkward friendship terminating discussion.

After receiving a fire extinguisher and three bags of milk for his birthday two years ago Roscoe took over the responsibility of buying gifts for his and my family. He also tells me explicitly what to purchase for him. Personally I feel this is a little unfair especially after I thoughtfully presented him with thirty 100W incandescent light bulbs for our last anniversary. They met the cheesy “You light up my life” criteria while being functional. I mean really, who doesn’t like light?

Regardless I’ve lost gift giving privileges and am prohibited from joining in on such practices at work due to Roscoe’s fear that I’ll be sacked immediately for giving what are truly awesome and sensible gifts.

A residential smoke detector is the most famil...

This is a great present too because everyone is supposed to have one in their basement but doesn’t. I’d include partially charged batteries to make their holiday more exciting when the “Low Battery” beeps goes off in the dead of night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa’s Making Honey After The End of The World

Every year Canada Post runs an incredible program that is manned and operated by volunteers. In the months leading up to Christmas children can send their letters to the North Pole and Santa will write back. Of course “Santa” is probably a fifty seven year old retired female accountant but it doesn’t matter. The whole thing is magical.

Occasionally I like to spice up my sister’s life by sending her ridiculous things in the mail. Sometimes it’s a drawing.

This hangs on the fridge next to a mosaic made by our five year old cousin. Those are my mother's abs by the way, not an homage to snakes on her stomach.

This hangs on the fridge next to a mosaic made by our five year old cousin. Those are my mother’s abs by the way, not an homage to snakes on her stomach. I’m in the middle.

Sometimes it’s an awkward valentine professing my love for her roommate. Recently, I’ve felt the need to step it up a notch. So I decided to write to Santa on her behalf. We’ll see whether Santa writes back.


Dear Santa,

Lookin’ hot. I’m loving the black belt that you wear. So trendy.  Last year you were awesome by the way. I loved how all of the clothes you brought me also fit my sister which was fabulous because when I gave them to her, she found them very wearable.

For this year I would like clothes again however as always I’m a little picky. I would like a very specific garment- a bee keeper hat. Just the hat. Not the outfit, and preferably in beige. Living in the downtown of a metropolis can get kind of boring so I’d like to spice things up by plopping the bee keeper mask and hat on my head and then wandering through the streets pretending I’m in the middle of a post apocalypse movie. Also if you could bring me a guy who looks like Will Smith to help me out with the whole charade I’d appreciate it too. Don’t get too stressed about bringing me the actual Will Smith, I know you’ve got a budget. I’d also like whoever you bring me to be able to juggle. There is never enough juggling in post apocalyptic alien war movies.

Much love,



I should probably add that Diana and Phillip are very happy together and to my knowledge Diana has never expressed an interest in Will Smith or Will Smith lookalikes. I merely was drawing from my meager well of post apocalyptic movies which consists of “Men in Black”. Also I once saw a poster for “I Am legend”. Generally I don’t watch movies because that would requires for sitting for a period greater than ten minutes.

*Names of Diana’s boyfriend’s have been changed to protect their anonymity because they never asked to be a part of a family with a weirdo writer.