Fifteen Minute Funkbuster: No Running Or Farting

It’s February, and I don’t know about y’all but I’m in a rut. I’m stuck. In a funk. And I know I’m not alone, because as stated above, it’s February; days are cold, tempers are short and buttocks are very, very wide. Ok that last one just might be me, but mine is wide enough for all of us, let me tell you. Anyways, in this terrible, cold, unforgiving month, right in the dead center of winter (the cold season starts in October and extends until May where I live- your sympathy may be sent to, as I was moaning, in this frigid month that makes people do strange things like contract “you” and “all” despite not being from the South, at times, one can get into a routine. And not a good kind of routine, more like a “Why are the Kardashians contributing more to the world than me?” routine.


Based on my observations, these ladies alternate between sitting on the couch and taking inappropriate pictures of themselves. Proof and point; they couldn’t even be bothered to get up from their chesterfield for this photoshoot. (Photo Credit :

Well, I’ve got a funk buster for you. Back when I used to run, (I know it was awful, the only reason I did so was because my mother would chase me the entire time with a giant spider. You may send your sympathies to as I was saying, back when I used to run, and I wouldn’t feel like running, which was always, my mother would say “Just put on your shoes and run for fifteen minutes, after that time, if you still don’t feel like running, turn around and come home” then she’d shake the feared arachnid in my direction. This was a super sneaky tactic because if one adds this up, unless you’re in the habit of running fifteen second loops around your house, in all likelihood, you’ve been tricked into a thirty minute long run. A strategy almost as devious as my mother’s ability to animate that rubber spider into something that looked like an escaped nightmare.

So look at your To-Do list, or your Project List, or your List Of Things Too Awful To Make A List Of and grab the lowest hanging fruit. To determine which item is the low hanging fruit, subject it to the following test; upon reading or thinking of the item, is your next thought “Well, it IS slightly better than stabbing myself in the thigh with a fork repeatedly”, then do that, for fifteen minutes, that’s it. No tricks, no rubber spiders, just fifteen minutes. Pick one thing that you don’t hate, unless it’s running, because we can agree that no one actually likes running. Or farting, unless you live alone and have excellent ventilation.

It sounds overly simplistic, and that’s because it is, I actually learned an entire language using this method. My agreement with myself was that I would read a French comic book for fifteen minutes each night, no matter how tired I was, no matter if I didn’t understand much, no matter if I had read the exact two pages the same three nights past, no matter what, I read. And now I speak French.

So I’m using this same strategy because I have a baby. So my list is endless, and full of things like the art piece that I’ve been in the process of finishing FOR EIGHT YEARS. My painted covered albatross is hanging in our soon to be nanny’s room. So at present, the nanny will arrive and ask “What’s that?”. In it’s current state, my artwork looks like modern art that someone threw under a bus, then deciding that wasn’t bad enough, threw bits of sand and muck on for good measure. And I could lie, responding with “It’s our Paul Klee, one of his early years, isn’t it precious?” or I could tell the truth “That’s my art piece. I shall finish it when my mother finally gets around to cleaning the basement.”*

For the record, the art piece isn’t even at the top of my list, the reusable diapers with elastic so saggy that they could pass for an elderly gentleman’s underpants are the only items meeting the “Better Than a Stab Wound in my Femoral Artery” criteria. However, fifteen minutes adds up quick, especially on a daily basis, so I may very well get to my art. And if not, everyone is invited to come by my house and enjoy our young Paul Klee.

*Please nobody tell our nanny that my mother moved out of the house and it was sold before she ever got around to cleaning the basement.

I might have exaggerated slightly about the whole being chased by a rubber spider bit, but my mother DID sing and dance around my exhausted, still running body (my brain had floated away in self preservation) as a way of taunting me into finishing a run once. It’s also possible she viewed said action as “encouragement”. I love you Mom, I’m sorry I told your untidy basement secret to the interwebs.

Travesty Tuesdays- The Wobbly Bits That Are Usually Covered With Leaves Edition

Somehow this batch of postcards came out awkward. More awkward than usual. It wasn’t even my fault for once, I was merely recounting what my great aunt and my mother said to me.2016-08-05 12.24.31

To Birdie*

If you get a magnifying glass, you’ll see that the Golden Boy is actually naked. This was a point that my Great Aunt repeated to me many times during my visit when I was sixteen years old and the Golden Boy was taken down for cleaning and put on display in the local shopping area. I’m not sure whether she thought his nudity would offend my teenage sensibilities or if I seemed so naïve that the Golden Boy would be the height of my visit – “Hot Damn ! Gonna see me some nude statue action!” Regardless either reason further damages my teenage street cred considerably and cements the idea that I was reigning Lord and Emperor of the Nerds given that my sixty year old great aunt felt it necessary to say “This statue is R-rated; don’t be alarmed.”2016-08-05 12.26.29

To Andy and Sandy**

Before boom boxes, young men wandered around with sheep on their shoulders as a way to show how “hip” they were and to attract females. Whether it was the smell of the sheep or the men themselves, this wasn’t an effective courting tactic. They quickly switched to juggling gophers which of course went out of fashion the next year when ferrets became all the rage. Another problem with the sheep on the shoulder system was that the lambs would get stuck on repeat, or at least it seemed that way what with their refusal to produce more than “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep”2016-08-05 12.27.32

To Steve and Sandy**

Welcome! Greetings from the land who invented blisters. We were a pretty miserable bunch until the Band-Aid came along. Don’t believe what the old folks tell you- no amount of intricately carved dolls or ornately decorated wagons can take away the pain of a heel that rubs. We debated making the Band-Aid inventor our king but then Nike came along so we just used our old footwear to bean our enemies. This is why Holland is such a peaceful country- all of our tormentors are thoroughly concussed.


These poor, innocent friends of my parents are bound to be so bewildered by this card that I felt it necessary to both sign my name AND include the following sentence “ For an explanation see”2016-08-05 12.28.11

To Mrs. Jackson,

My mother ruined whales for me forever while we were coming home from Hawaii three summers ago. During a stopover at an airport , there was a GIANT whale tail made out of recycled ropes from ships as a part of an airport wide exhibit featuring art made from reclaimed objects. Despite it being 4 am my time or some other such nonsense, I was completely engrossed in the show and apparently so was my Mom. She stood motionless in front of the rope whale tail construction. I moved to stand next to her so we could share in our appreciation. “Doesn’t it look like a penis to you? My mother’s question shocked me out of my train of thought which had been about the grandeur of these mammals and how well the artist had executed their vision. “Pardon” I said, somewhat dumbfounded. “See it’s a penis” Mom tried to point out the various parts. I still didn’t see it. “Can’t you see the penis?” My mother asked loudly again in the middle of a busy airport. This was how whales were ruined for me. Suffice to say I’m never taking my mom to the zoo.



**Names have been changed to protect the identities of my church family who were probably already bewildered to discover my postcard in their mailbox.


Travesty Tuesdays: The Potentially Sacrilegious Edition

While going through my childhood bedroom I discovered postcards that I purchased when I visited Italy. So I brought them to my grandparents with the intent of writing to people. This act resulted in the following conversation.

Granddad while rifling through my stack of postcards splayed all over his dining room table “Unwashed, what are these?”

Unwashed who is overly chipper and excited about her project “They’re postcards, I’m going to send them to people.”

Granddad is in a mild state of disbelief “You mean you’re going to send these cards that no one would ever want to look at to people?”

Unwashed now all but bouncing up and down with enthusiasm “Yes Granddad, but it’s even better, I’m going to write complete nonsense on them before I do so.”

I think sometimes Granddad wishes I had normal hobbies like watching Netflix or at the very least didn’t have the addresses of all of his closest relatives.index

This card could be an excellent advertisement for protective clothing. Clearly the Garden of Eden was a dangerous place for soft fleshy bits. I mean, never mind all of the teeth and jaws that are just on the verge of mowing down on a pudgy muffin top, there are beaks. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen a chicken with kind eyes. For all we know, it may have been Adam himself who made the first jock strap after a tussle with a rooster.


This statue pays homage to the lost art of python wresting. There were a couple of die hard fans who tried to save it of course, adding rules to make it safe; only wrestling two pythons at a time, feeding them beforehand, not piping Zydeco into their cages (serpents hate piano accordions). Tragically, it wasn’t enough, the sport died out. Weirdly enough, the idea of clothing or substituting deadly snakes for kittens never occurred to anyone.


In kitten wrestling everyone wins, because kitten wrestling is actually snuggling. (Photo Credit :



(Photo Credit :

It isn’t talked about often but Michelangelo was a huge Spielberg fan. That’s where this painting came from. The old, beardy dude is all “I’m going to go off on my harem of angels now but I will be …right… here”. Said in a warbling, old man, alien voice of course. It’s rarely mentioned in guidebooks but the Sistine chapel totally lights up after dark like some sort of strange, elderly, finger-shaped night light, as an homage to that special extra terrestrial.

Tex’s Areolas- Coming to a Mailbox Near You

I called my father yesterday “Dad I need everyone in the family’s addresses, I’ve misplaced my address book”.

“What are you sending?” he asked. “Naked pictures, Tex and I had tasteful nudes done and we want to share them.” There was a moment of silence as my father waited for me to laugh, and then another moment as he attempted to decide whether I was being serious. “Oh you just love to pull my leg” he said hopefully, anticipating my confession that I was joking. I rushed onwards “They’re very understated, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tex’s nipples look quite so attractive. I’ll take Aunty Camelia’s and her children’s addresses first.”

My poor Dad, thrown off by my failure to admit that it is a joke and no doubt a mental image of Tex’s nipples in his head, started to blindly recite his sister’s address, hoping to get me off of the phone before I started describing other parts of Tex’s or my anatomy also likely in a hurry to find someone to open his mail for the next couple of weeks.

After giving me the eighth family member’s address, he asked again “Now what is this for?” I caved slightly and answered “In Tex’s family, they give out photos of the couple to other family members at Christmas; we’ve just put our own spin on it. As you can see I’m a little late.” At this my Dad seemed a little more hopeful that he wouldn’t be receiving a photo of my boyfriend tastefully holding a puppy over his junk in the mail. However my recent inappropriate Christmas gift to my grandmother of framed modeling photos of my cousin’s swimsuit fashion show still loomed large in his mind and gave an unsure tone to his voice as he asked “Who else do you need to send these too?”

Once I had secured every person in our family’s addresses including my elderly great aunts, I bid my father adieu. He hung up reluctantly, now unsure whether he needed to find someone to open his mail and my grandmother’s as well.

Addendum- While reading this post aloud to text to check for errors, Tex panicked and asked whether I had in fact enclosed topless photos of him. Priceless.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those whose naked images may have been sent to everyone I know.

And They’re Off!

Welcome to the world’s fastest post. I have exactly twenty minutes before I need to be somewhere thus we are free styling this evening. Both in terms of content and grammar. English literature grads beware. 

Carrie Blueberry is a blogger/artist friend of mine. Last week she painted one of her friends entirely silver and took photos. After reading this I thought to myself “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me to strip naked and roll in paint?”

Probably because I do that by myself every weekend. Not really but I’m thinking of picking it up as a hobby after seeing the outcome. Or perhaps Carrie never asks me because she assumes I’m already in the buff based on the number of stories I’ve written about leaving the house without clothing. 

At any rate I recommend you check out her blog and the accompanying photos. They’re lovely. Much like Carrie, whom I still like, even though she has never asked me to remove all my clothes and to quote Arrested Development “blue myself”.

And to you my lovely Unwashed Public, I bid you adieu, may you spend your weekend scooping paint out of the ridges of your ears. That was my way of saying I hope everyone plans to do something fun.



Marriage Is For Better Or For Worse; Do Giant Dirt Ice Cubes Go Under Worse?

On the eve of my wedding anniversary, I thought I’d share a conversational excerpt from the past week.

Roscoe arrives home to yet another roast chicken dinner.

Roscoe gestures towards the plate “Again?”

The Great Unwashed “Chicken breasts were half price this week so I bought eight pounds.”

Roscoe surveys the white meat dejectedly “Can you put some in the freezer?”

The Great Unwashed “No, because then there wouldn’t be room for the dirt.”

Roscoe verging on alarmed now and inspecting the apartment for signs of gardening paraphernalia “What dirt?”

The Great Unwashed unperturbed and completely missing the strain in her husband’s voice “The dirt I put in the freezer.”

Roscoe with a note of disbelief “You froze dirt in our freezer?”

The Great Unwashed excitedly “I fit an entire container of it in there!”

Roscoe waits for justification then realizes that it isn’t coming “Um why?”

The Great Unwashed “So that there will be a layer on top of the sand.”

Rosoce “There’s sand in our freezer too?”

The Great Unwashed “Well yeah, what else are the dinosaurs going to rest on?”

DIRT Themed photo

Can be stored next to fudgsicles and adds a distinct earthy flavour to burgers. (Photo credit: Pink Pink)

Roscoe stands still for a moment, not sure what to do now that his wife has converted the place that once housed bananas and expired meat into something that could pass for a playground, “What is wrong with you?”

The Great Unwashed with just a hint of amusement in her voice “Don’t get upset I’ll clean it after, and you knew I was an artist when you married me.”

Roscoe inhales deeply in an attempt to calm himself and starts to eat his fourth chicken dinner of the week. He decides to let the dirt ice cube issue go and move onto other topics. “I couldn’t find the iron this morning do you know where it is?”

The Great Unwashed “Oh, I left it at work, but you wouldn’t want to use it anyway, it’s covered in crayon.”

Roscoe makes the internationally recognized “What the hell?” face. Then remembers that this is what he signed up for three years ago and continues eating his chicken.

Happy Anniversary Roscoe, I love you even if you don’t always love me, and I still think you’re handsome even if there are flecks of crayon on your dress shirts.


Taking Awkward Photos in Public Places

So supposedly this Sunday I’m attending Candy Hooling’s* eighteenth birthday party, which means that my cousin with the stripper nom de plume will be the age of majority. Well not really, but here in Canada we let you gamble with both your money and your life at eighteen. She’ll be able to buy lottery tickets and enroll in the military without her parents’ permission. Sweet deal huh?

Anyway to mark this blessed event, I decided to put up a selection of the photos that Candy took and then altered of me when she visited during her March Break.

Please note these photos are not the only ones that Candy has worked on for The Great Unwashed, she also photoshopped the photos for Noctural Apparitions. However I’m not putting those pictures up because frankly she didn’t do a very good job. Not only did Candy fail to make me look thinner, I also bear no resemblance to Charlize Theron in the doctored photos. These were my requests when I sent them to her. She made some very poor excuse about Photoshop being designed to alter the light not your facial structure.

Anyway, without further ado, the photos Candy took as well as the stories that go along with them.



This is a photo of me looking pensive. Candy must have photoshopped the light in this picture a lot because I never appear reflective. For the record I’m staring out into a flooded park. This is where I take my guests, to areas where hip waders are both a fashion statement and a necessity. Little wonder that Roscoe and I have so few visitors.



So Candy and I were walking along when she pointed to the bench in the photo above and said “What can you do with that bench?”

Well as you can see I can pretend to dive into it. But one can only go head first into park benches for so long. Copy of DSC00871

This is how short people use benches, hence why one rarely sees a small person sitting down. Furniture is not designed for people of our stature so we’re forced to find repose in unconventional poses.

This was a particularly hard shot to get, mostly due to the fact that my core strength is what is holding me up. This wouldn’t have been a problem if Candy and I weren’t laughing so hard at my silliness.

After taking this shot Candy insisted that I take a “real” author photo and framed this lovely scene below.



She tried to make me look both serious and gorgeous. I think that’s about as serious and gorgeous as I’m going to get. Especially when you take into consideration that I had gone bumbogganing not ten minutes earlier to get the next photo.

Please note bumbogganing is similar to tobogganing except when bumbogganing you slide on your bum, and in my case directly into an icy river. It’s the stuff that good ol’fashioned fun and hypothermia is made of.



Not pictured- the moment when I let out an “EEEEEE” and slid down the log I was climbing on into the river. According to Candy it was entertaining to watch. Note I am wearing Candy’s gloves because at eighteen she has far more sense in her young head then I ever will in mine.

Copy of DSC00881


Whereas this photo merely looks like I’m leaping into the river. Although I am in the habit of hurling myself into disgusting, murky, silt-filled rivers when I feel the world is far too hygienic and sanitized, only to emerge a little downstream freshly filthy and ready to take on both Lysol and Lever 2000, as it was I had a youngster with me that day so high speed mud baths were not on the itinerary.

If I recall correctly Candy had to actually lie down in the snow to get this shot. Needless to say my commitment to dirt and a general lack of cleanliness inspires an intense devotion in youths.DSC00889


This photo is funny on a number of levels. Not only am I small and incapable of pushing anything larger than a two year old over. But my arms also resemble pipecleaners, in both their ability to lift things without bending and in their thickness.



Candy is an aspiring artist, she wishes to work in television and radio. DSC00928


This is one of my city’s many historic homes. Candy and I decided that this should be the new way for tourists to pose in front of the house. For some reason my city’s tourism board turned this idea down when I sent this suggestion along with the photo to them.

*Names have been changed to protect those who although are very grown up, cannot yet drink in this country. If you think you’ve got it rough here kiddo, try the States, you’d have to wait three years.

Happy Birthday and much love,

The Great Unwashed