Red Foreman and Whatever the Opposite of Unicorn Farts Are

Most of the time I’m Pollyanna; my life is sunshine and rainbows and I love it and I have endless patience for most things and to quote the Lego movie “everything is awesome”.

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A picture of my life 99.9% of the time. (Photo Credit Amazon UK)

But then, some terrible bureaucracy will poke its paperwork filled head out of a whole and suddenly I’m a werewolf on an unpredictable, couch-eating rampage. This also goes for telemarketers.

Tex is the second nicest person in the whole entire world. The title of nicest person in the world goes to Tex’s mother Zoey. I once watched her cut her finger- she bled rainbows, butterflies and a song with lots of trills. After applying a Band-Aid, she apologized to the potatoes for quartering them.

Being married to the second nicest person in the world is a burden at times. Because some of the time, for example when someone calls to inform me I’ve won a “free” vacation, well I don’t always feel like being nice.

The summer before Tex and I got married, UHaul made a staggering error while billing my move across country. After listening to me deal with the moving company on the phone, my mother congratulated me for not losing my cool, while Tex cowered in the corner, apparently terrified of his future vengeful bride. “You eviscerated them with your words” he exclaimed, shocked that his chosen life partner could use such a nasty tone.

We’re three years in to knowing each other and the harshest word Tex has ever used was “dinkus”. Since my talk with UHaul, I’ve modified my approach to people and callers I find unpleasant, so as to protect my husband’s delicate sensibilities. Thus when the bank called this evening to offer me “an excellent service for a nominal fee”, I stopped them dead in their tracks then firmly and assertively stated that I was not interested and to please refrain from calling me about such practices.

I was quite proud of my restraint until I turned to my husband who translated the entire conversation for our au pair. “Janie, she told the bank to shut the hell up about their useless product and never call her again”.

Apparently no matter what I sound like this man.

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“How about we discuss my attractive offer of my foot up your ass?” (Photo Credit : Youtube.com)

 

C’est la vie. My husband bleeds rainbows as opposed to me; I’m composed of slugs, thorns and scotch bonnets.

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You always wanted to read my diary right?

There are a couple of people whose blogs I follow who just post about their life. I don’t know these people, yet I find myself reading about their Thanksgiving holiday (thank goodness Grammy recovered from that hip replacement.), their new kitchens (Victoria, I love that counter top) and looking at pictures of their sheep (Wooly Wednesdays- so cute!).

In lieu of an actual post, dear readers, you may peruse my diary. Only not actually, because I don’t keep a diary.

Dear Judith,

(Judith is my imaginary friend. I tried writing to myself but I was like “I know all this stuff! Why am I telling myself this?” Whereas Judith is a shut-in; she lives with her mother who is 108 years old. Judith, by contrast, is mysteriously only 42 years old. I haven’t asked her about that whole situation. Anyways, she doesn’t get out much. Judith really likes Fig Newtons, sometimes I’ll tell her about when I see a new flavour of that cookie- she gets super pumped about that. Well as “pumped” as Judith can get- it mostly looks like her neck breaking out in hives, but as her understanding and only friend, I totally get it.)

We visited Regina last weekend. When my cousins were little, they were wrestling with their Mom, everyone was having fun until someone kneed my aunt in the groin. She shut down the wrestling match immediately saying “It’s all fun and games until someone gets kneed in the vagina.” The little girls latched onto this saying immediately and would repeat it in public “It’s all fun and games” and they’d shout the last part “until someone gets kneed IN THE VAGINA!” My uncle was properly mortified by this and tried to cover it up by saying loudly “It’s all fun and games until someone GOES TO REGINA!”

Judith, I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken. My life was all fun and games, and then we went to Regina; now I feel like I’ve been squished flat by a Mack truck. Good gravy I am tired. Not as tired as your mother of course, and I’m sorry for complaining what with her flambormalistosyalgia, but man that trip was tiring.

Worth it though, when I lived in the most beautiful city in the world, it’s ugly step sister Regina, seemed quite homely. But it’s been over a year since we’ve lived in sunny Saskatoon, with the gorgeous river running through it and the bridges arching so neatly over the treed river valleys. Regina doesn’t have a river, but it’s glorified little paddling pool, Wascana lake, isn’t half bad and a lot of the neighbourhoods are quite charming. I enjoyed wandering around the city much more than I have in the past.

The marathon was also fun, don’t worry Judith, I didn’t run it. I was just there to cheer my Mom on. I met her twice; once at the six km mark and again at the 38 km mark. Mini-Tex and I ran with her for four kilometers. Ok, well obviously Mini-Tex didn’t run what with the fact that he’s a toddler and was asleep the majority of that time, but he was there gosh darn it. And I’m sure he was cheering his Gran on in his little baby dreams.

I forgot how entertaining being a spectator is. I liked cheering the people on “Go dancing pecs guy! You work that topless look!” and “Yeah beard dude- way to run with all that extra hairy weight. Keep it up!” At the very least, I made myself laugh.

Then came the 38 km mark. No one runs 38 km and feels good. Thirty-eight kilometers is an exercise in various states of pain. Some people were just getting through it. Then there was the one guy who had a funny gait, started limping and finally stopped to dry heave at the side of the road. The next stage is crying. I know because I’ve been there so I was determined to distract the man.

As he passed Tex, Janie, Mini-Tex and me, I cheered his name. I shouted “Looking strong Daniel” and he looked at me and said “No” pause “I’m not at all” then went on his painful way.

Well I wasn’t about to let that go, so I chased him down and started speed walking beside him.

“Is this your first marathon?” I asked.

“No” he wheezed “My tenth”.

“Ahh” I replied “Well I’ve run twelve or so of these and I can tell you they are EXACTLY like labour.”

I let the fact that a random stranger was discussing her labour sink in with him for a moment before moving on. “See, 38 kilometers is like the point in the labour where the nurses are all “We can see the head- you’re almost there!” and you’re thinking to yourself “Screw you jerks- I KNOW how far I have to go. That is exactly what 38 kilometers is like. So I won’t say you’re almost there but I will say you’re going to finish because in the same way that I had my son, and he’s all big now, this race will end. And even better, if you walk faster, you’ll get away from the weirdo who’s talking about child birth with strangers.”

I am nothing if not helpful. For those two minutes and likely the couple minutes after, I am certain that man was not thinking about his aching muscles or the blisters on his feet, instead he was trying to think of how to get rid of me and who in the hell gives a pep talk about babies’ heads crowning?

Judith, as always, I am inappropriately yours, give my best to your mother.

Unwashed

Illegal Felines and Crimes Against Friendship

Barbara Kingsolver, whose lifestyle incidentally I aspire to, changed her writing following living off the land for a year. According to my mother, she became sanctimonious and dull. So in the interest of avoiding said pitfall, here is an engaging story, which has nothing to do with the environment. Mom I dedicate this post to you.

I have only a sister. But growing up in a church, my family spent every Sunday morning, the occasional Sunday afternoon and every New Year’s Eve with another family, who had two boys the same age as myself and Diana. This was in addition to seeing these boys at every single church event that happened during the week. Effectively rendering Jamie and Jackie the boys in the family, the closest thing I have to brothers.

My mother and the boys’ mother Janie, often talked about how wonderful it would be if either Diana or I married one of Janie’s boys so we’d all be related. This gives you an idea of the closeness of our two families.

Janie and Lane, her husband decided to go away one weekend. My mother quickly offered to care for the boys. At home, Lane was a formidable figure. A cheapskate to the core, he preferred to risk death by pruning the fifty foot tall trees on his property himself rather than paying someone. A strict disciplinarian, things like rabble rousing, takeout pizza and pets were not permitted in his home. Jamie and Jackie knew this and followed the rules to a T.

In comes my mother, who believes that the real world can discipline children with consequences better than any parent and that every child has a right to a pet. This was the woman charged with caring for Lane and Janie’s sons for a weekend.

Friday night went off without a hitch. For the first time in their lives, Jamie and Jackie ate pizza that was delivered to the door. They covered their amazement and awe by devouring every last piece of the cheesy pie. At a reasonable hour, my mother tucked them both into the guest room bed and hugged them good night. So far so good.

It was the Saturday morning when the wheels began to fall off the cart. After a filling breakfast of pancakes topped with anything us children could think of in the kitchen including caramel sauce and maraschino cherries, my mother turned to the group of us and asked what we wanted to do that day. In a sugar induced fog, we all shrugged assuming that the weekend would consist or some combination of tag and playing at the park. “We’re going to buy Jamie and Jackie a cat!” exclaimed my mother.

The boys were dumbfounded. They knew this was not allowed. Scholarly pets like ant farms were forbidden so a cat was definitely against the rules. However the laws of their house dictated that they respect the adult in charge and for that weekend the adult was my mother so away we all went to the pet store.

An hour later Harley the cat rode home on Jamie and Jackie’s laps. The rest of the day was spent playing with the kitten, dressing him up in dolls clothes, cuddling the fur ball and in general enjoying all the perks of pet ownership. At an appropriate time, my mother tucked the boys and Harley into the guest room bed and hugged them goodnight.

The next afternoon, my mother dropped the boys off, Lane met them at the door. Clapping his eyes on the cat he demanded that we “Take it back”. “It’s an animal, not a sweater Lane” my mother replied “and besides it’s your cat.” Lane was unmoved “Take it back” he repeated as my mother brought Harley and all his accoutrements that we had purchased the day before into the house. “He’s so cute!” Janie exclaimed. “Don’t get attached, he’s going back” Lane deadpanned.

And that was how one of my mother’s closest friends got a cat. Appropriately, out of defiance for Lane, Harley is still alive. At 25, he skulks around their house, essentially just a bit of fur stuck on a pile of bones but living nonetheless.

At the age of ten, I knew that my mother hadn’t asked permission from Lane. Or even bothered to question the boys on what type of pet they’d like. But it was only at 32 that I thought to ask the most important question, after reliving the story over the phone one night. “Mom, did Janie even know?”  Still laughing from the memory of her ballsy acquisition she somewhat sheepishly confessed “Nope”.

Readers, I invite you all to suggest ways my mother can atone for her sins. Keeping in mind that she once tried to make my childhood home into a zoo, so taking in animals is NOT a punishment.

And Mom, you know that we will always love you Mrs. Flax.

Remembering Who You Are While Going Pee

It’s a thing. And not just for Moms who finally get a moment of privacy to think. In rural places, while there is some reflection involved, that statement is a reminder of the lack of anonymity in a small town.

In my marriage, I’m known for my willingness to drop trou anywhere to relieve myself. A habit that previously, was more likely to bother a black bear ambling by than a neighbor. While Smokey’s cousin might have taken umbrage with my lack of decorum in his living room, peeing in the bush had few if any consequences. The obvious ones being awkwardly located mosquito bites.

By contrast, on the prairie, where plants are plentiful but by and large short, peeing anywhere particularly by the side of the road is problematic. Tex and myself both work for the government, rendering our mugs somewhat higher profile within the community. Add in our unique cargo trike and you’ve got yourself an embarrassing story should anyone pass by whilst I crouch in the weeds.

So there we were, pedaling along the road to the national park when nature started calling. This urge coincided with Mini-Tex’s need to get out and stretch his legs. So we pulled the bikes over to an entrance to a farmer’s field and commenced exploring the roadside. The pickings were slim; a bare field, knee high weeds next to the field or a ditch. Crossing my legs and hopping from one foot to the other, I squeaked “It can’t wait”.

“Just remember who you are” Tex cautioned as he stood watching for a break in traffic. Having only just lived down my performance in the high school the day after we moved to town, when I showed up looking like a homeless person and yelling about childcare, I wasn’t keen on becoming the resident exhibitionist. After two pickup trucks and a hatchback passed, Tex gave the go ahead “there’s a break”. Already poised in the ditch I quickly dropped my pants. “Hurry that semi’s gaining speed” my husband called from the other side of the bikes. As the tractor neared, I hurriedly pulled up my capris, chuffed that in my haste, I didn’t even pee on my shoes.

After that we continued on our forty kilometer bike ride and hike. Though pleased with my ability to excrete with speed, I rationed my liquid intake so I wouldn’t have another similar pit stop on the ride home.

Black Markets, Being Amish And Sketchy Kijiji Meet Ups

I bought a television. It wasn’t by choice. This purchase was in response to the constant questioning from potential au pairs while we searched for the right person to watch our son. All of the young women we interviewed, regardless of whether they came from a mud hut in Africa or whatever the heck kind of cold house they have in Greenland, all the young women wanted to know one thing, “Why don’t you have a TV?” And then came the questions after that; “Is there a reason you don’t have a TV?” “Could I have a TV at your house?”, “Could I buy a TV?”, and finally, “Are you secretly Amish?”

After this exchange happened eight separate times, I decided it was time to buy a television. The only problem was that they’re damn expensive! If I was going to buy a technological chotchke I didn’t want, you better bet your bippy I wasn’t going to pay a lot of money for it. This was how I was nearly stabbed to death.

After much searching, I found a largish TV for a smallish amount of money on Kijiji. Tex had deemed it necessary to accompany me on said errand to prevent my corpse from turning up in the local river. However, in typical baby fashion, our son fell asleep right as we drove onto the street. Hence someone had to stay in the car with him because if faced with the choice of possible death and waking a baby, one always chooses the less painful option. So there I went to knock on the door by myself.

The only problem was; I was knocking on the wrong door. I had gotten the address mixed up. Realizing my error, I hopped across and down the street and knocked on the proper door. A large well groomed man answered “Is Jules there?” I asked. “You’re looking for the boys around back” the man answered before shutting the door in my face.

Walking down the narrow dark alley, I thought to myself “And she was never seen again”. Somewhat hesitantly, I knocked on the third door of the day. A lanky, scruffy youth answered. “Is Jules there?” I asked hopefully. “Yeah he’s downstairs” gestured a youth, pointing to a dark, narrow and steep staircase. I stepped inside the grubby entranceway and descended the staircase, all the while thinking “And she was never seen again”.

At the bottom of the staircase, I was greeted by a room that must have a special place in the “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” hall of fame for being the filthiest kitchen in the world. I was shocked there weren’t roaches skittering about. Despite the grime, the youth who had let me in recommenced making lunch. “He’s in there” the scruffy young man pointed to a doorway on the opposite side of the room. “and she was actually never seen again” I thought to myself as I approached the doorway.

Jules sat in his underpants on a single mattress covered by a sheet that had once been white but now was…not. The walls were adorned with a combination of machetes, marijuana paraphernalia and breasts. There was a large, beaten up looking fish tank in the corner resting on an even more beaten up chest of drawers. The nicest item in the room was the television which Jules was still watching. Suppressing my need to gulp nervously at the machetes, I introduced myself “Hi, I’m Unwashed, I’m here to pick up a television” all the while guessing how much time would have to pass before Tex would come to look for my lifeless body.

Jules jumped up and quickly explained that he was just watching the TV until I arrived so he could demonstrate that it worked. Eager to leave, I handed him the money as Jules unplugged the television. He gallantly offered to carry the TV to my car. Given the freezing temperatures, I didn’t want this man to lose his television and his testicles to frostbite in the same day so I declined his offer.

After making my way over several snow drifts, and popping the TV into the back of the van, all without waking my son, I turned to Tex and said “I just stole that man’s television. It was the nicest thing he had in his life, and I took it for a song. I hope he manages to get enough drugs with that money to forget how awful his life is.”

The whole way home I felt terrible. I mean I have everything; a loving husband, a beautiful baby, a nice house, clean sheets, breasts of my own so I don’t need to look at images of other people’s- everything. And now I had this man’s television. I felt just awful.

Months later, after relaying this story and my lingering guilt to my sister, she said “You know that it was stolen right?”

Ever the country bumpkin I replied “Huh?”

“How big was the TV, and how much did you pay for it?” my sister asked.

Gesturing with my hands, I said “One hundred dollars.”

“Definitely stolen” she replied.

A terrible pit formed in my stomach, similar to the one that I had on the drive home from the squalid basement apartment that day because I knew Diana was right. Now, to top it off, I was in possession of stolen goods. I’m not sure whether that makes my karma better or worse.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of people who have way more machetes than necessary and my contact information.

A Hot Buoyant Mess

I got invited to mom and baby aquafit. Before attending, I figured that it would be something along the lines of mom and baby yoga, wherein a whole bunch of moms stand on yoga mats while jiggling their babies for half an hour and talking about “Namaste”.

I was starting the aquafit class midway through the session, so I had grand plans of arriving early and asking the instructor nicely if I could only pay half of the fee. Mini-Tex of course had another idea in mind, specifically napping five minutes before the exact time that we had to leave. So I rushed around frantically packing what we needed, half-in-half-out of my one piece bathing suit, flashing my neighbours as I rushed past the windows, just in case they needed some more evidence that I’m disorganized and a little white-trash.

Ten minutes later, I woke Mini Tex up, sped towards where I thought the class was, parked, got him out of the car seat, popped him into the carrier and sprinted towards the doors into the church/school/nunnery/all purpose building downtown. Breathless, I bounded towards the security guard and asked where the change rooms were. “You want the Aquatic Center” she told me “it’s on the other end of the building, it’s a ways away. You have to go outside and walk over a block”. Because putting an infant into a car seat takes almost as long, if not longer, than walking any place in town, I ran out the doors and down the street. I entered the Aquatic Center panting and said “Swimming?” to the woman at the desk. “Boots” replied the woman looking pointedly at my snowy footwear. “I need to pay for the class” I added, while removing my rubber boots, which were an inappropriate choice for the weather but I can jump into them, so more often than not I appear at places looking like I’ve been splashing in mud puddles.

“I’m sorry, I meant to get here early to register but we visited the nuns” I explained. “You know the nuns?” the woman at the desk asked. It seemed like an inopportune time to share the story of my accidentally breaking into a nun’s bedroom the day before so I answered succinctly “We got lost”.

The visibly irritated instructor informed me that I was late so we would complete my registration after the class. I bounded into the change room as all of the other moms were exiting to the pool. I pulled out a swim diaper that I had purchased months ago. It was too small and wouldn’t stay on. “It’s fine” I reassured myself aloud, “I’ll just put his bathing onesie over it and it will fit” except that his bathing onesie, size 3-Toddler was too small despite my son being only 9 months old. So doing up the zipper was like closing an overstuffed suitcase, minus putting my knee on my son’s chest to zip it up the last little way. However he was dressed and the swim diaper was in the onesie, so that was all that mattered.

I had put on my suit at the house, so I threw off my clothes like a stripper about to be yanked off stage. Holding Mini Tex like a football, I charged like a running back towards the showers, it was only by virtue of good luck that he was away from the spray and not scalded by the boiling water coming out of the heads as I doused myself. We then sprinted to the pool where the surly instructor told me “Other side” as I attempted to climb down the ladder holding my son.

I had pictured something like mom and baby yoga where moms stand in the pool jiggling their babies talking about jumping jacks. Instead I was met with an unexpected sight of twenty babies in tiny baby boats. They were all bobbing around their moms, sitting in oversized flutter boards with holes cut in the middle to accommodate a fabric baby seat.

I waded over to the instructor, who dropped Mini-Tex into a boat and then started the class. The babies were each given two toys and moms were to hold on to the rope attached to the boat and tow their babies about while they played. Mini-Tex didn’t get the memo about this process, and preferred to chew on the rope, tossing his toys off the side so the instructor had to fish them out of the water while shooting me an annoyed look. So Mini-Tex gnawed on the rope, while riding the waves of the women’s movements and I did aquafit and intermittently chased after the boat when he drifted too far away.

It was awesome, and I loved it. I have grand plans of arriving early to talk with the other moms next week. We’ll see whether that happens or whether I take a wrong turn and pay a visit to the local bait and tackle shop for directions and end up being late, running around like my hot, buoyant mess self.

What’s In My Bag?

Celebrities are always upending their totes and clutches to share with the world the all-important items they can’t live without: La Montagne cream made from the buttocks of Himalayan llamas to give their skin that bouncy, mountain-kissed glow; photosynthesizing wipes because using pure chlorophyll to wash your hands is the greenest alternative of all and of course drugstore sunglasses to make them seem down to earth. Being that I am a big time blogger known the next street over (Hi Mrs. Kasnicki!), I decided it was high time I share what’s in my bag.

A plain metal credit card case – At one point a decade ago it had metal designs on it, those got rubbed/chipped off. Just as well- who can commit to a design they liked ten years ago?

A blobby keychain that measures the UV index – These come free with every order of my UV shirts although it’s always sunburn o’clock for me. Other non vampires might find this gadget useful but they’re probably not the ones ordering UV protective clothing.

Reusable diapers – Being a card carrying hippie, this is my billboard to the world that I believe in saving the environment by handling my son’s waste as much is humanly possible while making sure his butt is GIANT. Others may toss their offspring’s urine into the trash with disposable diapers, but I carry it around with me so the pee can ferment in my bag until I remember to throw it in the wash two weeks later. This is how much I love trees.

Something brown, gooey and squishy – Oh good grief, it smells too! I’m fairly sure this was my son’s snack at one point, regardless; it’s going in the compost.

Huggies diaper wipes – There are reusable wipes at home, but packing the spray bottle to wet them seems a bit much.

110 SPF sunscreen – Tex hides tubes of this stuff everywhere like he’s the Easter bunny of skin protection. He knows the only thing worse than a grumpy wife is a sunburned one.

Tiny nail clippers – Newborns and babies look so defenseless until they sink their ten miniatures daggers into the fleshy part of your neck. Supposedly daily trimming prevents this carnage. That hasn’t been my experience though.

A lone red silicone muffin cup – Because sometimes I like to bake on the go. In small batches. No, actually it’s Mini-Tex’s favourite toy. Who knew bake ware could be so versatile? It goes from being a hat to a Frisbee to a teether in under a minute.

Aside from the crumbs of a thousand smushed baby crackers, that’s everything in my bag. What can’t you live without?

On The Glory Of Shoving Oneself Into Flying Metal Tubes

Can we all just agree on one piece of information? No matter how you feel about Trump, gluten or labradoodles, I think that we as a species can decisively say that air travel sucks. Well more literally it squishes and compacts but the experience as a whole is a bit like ants at a picnic. If the ants were the size of tanks and trying to rip chunks out of you while stealing your lunch.

Regardless of descriptions, of which I have many, for example, flying is like having a mammogram of your entire body that lasts for hours and hours, airplanes are overrated. There are a limited number of places in the world whose beauty, amenities and people offer enough incentive to justify shoving myself into a flying metal tube for any length of time. In fact, I have more reasons to stay home than not.

A List of Countries and Reasons Why Sitting on the Couch With a Bag of Doritos Is Preferable To Forking Over Gobs of Money To United Airlines or Some Other Similar Company Hell Bent on Violating Your Rights in Ways that Only Airlines Can

Greece- People are always wetting their pants with excitement over the blue waters of this nation. Where I live, we have a big blue sky. Hanging upside down from a tree while my husband sprays me with water from the hose would probably have the same effect.

Australia – These people were once a British colony. Canada was a British colony. Why would I spend eighteen squillion hours on a plane to see what is most likely another version of Canada?

New Zealand – Is just Australia 2.0 as far as I’m concerned. New Zealand – The woolier version of Australia. Also they have an annoying habit of calling themselves “kiwis”, it would be like if all the Canucks decided to refer to one another as “orangillos”. Equally mystifying and ridiculous. By contrast, following the success of the Peter Jackson films, calling New Zealanders “hobbits” fits perfectly.

Mexico – A country that is losing the war on drugs. Nobody likes to hang around with a loser.

France – Historical, old buildings filled with dusty, aging furniture that no one is allowed to sit on. If I wanted to not sit on furniture, I’d visit my Grandma’s house circa 1980. Counterpoint- excellent wine but we can get that here.

Italy – France’s hairy, pizza making cousin.

Uzbekistan- Is this actually a real country? I thought this was made up for the Borat films. Also my jet setting Uncle had a policy that he never traveled anywhere that ended in “stan” for safety reasons.

Japan – I’m not a fan of being squashed into a small space for a short period of time, why in goodness’ name would I make a vacation of the experience? Also showering over the toilet is an experience I don’t wish to repeat, after living and bathing in an RV for a week, I can safely say I’m “over” this foreign country.

South Africa – My vampire skin makes this a bad idea from the get go. The fact that people are regularly mugged at gun point adds to the fire of my question of “But why?”

Greenland – This country is quite literally melting. Despite being a lifeguard, I’m not a great swimmer. Also my pale little legs just scream “eat me”. I’m not sure what kinds of human-munching sea creatures are up there, but they must be hardy and large to survive around a country made partially of ice.

Galapagos – It’s possible this isn’t a country. Or maybe it’s just a country for scientists. Regardless, I loathe regular air travel. Flying in teeny tiny planes is its own special ring of Hell that I never wish to experience. I’m told that’s a requirement of traveling to the Galapagos.

That’s an incomplete and abridged list of all the places that are not as good as a bag of Doritos and staring out my front window at home.  Please stay tuned for more whinging as my family convinces me to return home for Christmas.

Traveling Haikus

Squashed tight spaces

Though little I am crushed

In with a baby

 

Babies hate stillness

Discomfort, bedlam follows

Airborne Smarties, toys

 

At least he’s quiet

Quietly throwing objects

Hate me, I chose this

 

Babies shouldn’t fly

People shouldn’t fly period

But babies for sure

 

Even now, still flat

Air travel has crushed me

Junk food, wine, gossip

 

Only a Band-Aid

My two dimensional soul

Formerly 3-D

 

Tired drama queen

Say thanks for the right to fly

Travel is fun no?

 

Your regularly scheduled Unwashed shall return next week. Tragically, passage by plane has all but stolen her will to live.  In the meantime, you can find her convalescing on the couch while her son watches endless episodes of Peppa Pig. Sweet alcohol and pictures of high fashion can be shipped directly to her house. She will answer the door in pyjamas, with wild, unkempt Medusa hair.

This Isn’t A Post. It’s In Your Best Interest Not To Read It. Perhaps Try A Game Of Bocce Ball Instead.

Remember when you were a kid and had to travel somewhere, so your parents would be packing frantically while you laid face down on the stairs, pressing your forehead into the carpet, blocking everyone’s passage while groaning loudly? That’s how I’m feeling about writing this evening, like lying with my nose and cheeks squished against the keys would be preferable to typing out a post.

It’s not that I don’t have content. I’ve spent the past week and a half traveling about, alternating between terrorizing my sister and perfect strangers. It can be safely stated that I am a small town person. I’m meant for a slower, more familiar pace of life, where you know not only the cashier at the grocery store but two of their first cousins too.

The kind of behavior that is encouraged in a small town; skipping small talk and asking personal questions about another person’s family, might be viewed as rude or eccentric in the big smoke. So at home I am charming. When I visit the terrible metropolis empire, I am a weirdo that people ignore or move quickly away from.

To me cities are a soul strangling mix of noise and anonymity with a fierce underlying sense of competition. I suck at competing. It’s the primary reason why I chose to coach overgrown toddlers to ski. No one expects someone who recently looked kneecaps in the eye, to beat out other three year olds at whizzing down snow covered hills. The crowd just cheers if the little people make it to the bottom. Consequently in cities, when faced with the cold, indifferent looks of strangers as they bolt across loud, construction-congested streets, I start to question my life’s decisions. So I do what makes me feel good; I look for the bits of the world that make me happy and I comment on them.

I told a woman at the GO station that I didn’t think she was old enough to retire. As another lady passed me while boarding the train I commented that her dress was lovely. She ignored me. I chased down a woman wearing her toddler awkwardly in a poorly fitted carrier and offered to help adjust the straps. I smiled at the horrible skyscrapers even as they bared their metal and glass teeth at me. I sang my sweetest folk songs to comfort me and my son as the city’s desire to grow taller than the sky thundered around us in the form of bulldozers, cranes and drills as they erected endless series of towers.

When I tired of alarming passersby, I focused on my sister. Diana decided to accompany Mini-Tex and I on a visit to our grandmother’s assisted living home. “What is the food like?” my sister asked as we rode the subway there. “I’m not sure” I replied, “I’ve never eaten there”. After a second, Diana suggested that she thought the food would be soft. “Excellent” I replied, “Nothing beats a lunch of cream cheese, pudding and wet paper towels”.

Diana’s proclamation was correct. While tasty, everything in the dining room of the assisted living facility left one feeling as though their food had been pre-chewed. Mini-Tex didn’t mind in the least except for when I gave him what I thought were peaches. He spat them out forcefully and pulled a face. Surprised, I turned to my sister, “that’s strange, he likes peaches”. Diana then pointed out that Mini-Tex wasn’t a fan because the wobbly orange slices weren’t peaches but in fact apricots.

Sampling a piece, I realized the fruit was sour. “Let me try one” Diana asked. As my sister put an apricot half into her mouth, I looked at her deviously and said “Slimy, and you get the feeling they keep sliding all the way down”. The line hit its mark and my sister gave a small cough. “I just gagged” she exclaimed. “I don’t think I can eat this” Diana disdainfully held up the rest of the apricot. I was delighted and filled with the same satisfaction that a five year old has when they’ve bopped their sibling on the head with a particularly sturdy toy. Which is terrible, not the delight part, because there’s always some small part of a person, no matter their age which enjoys terrorizing their sibling, but because the line was stolen from Gilmore Girls– I take pride in coming up with my own material to disgust Diana.

As much fun as I had at my sister’s expense, some of the strangers I encountered didn’t get off scot-free either. On a late, late trip home on the GO train, the car was packed. I had a seat for most of the ride, but before disembarking at our stop, I stood in a crush of people all of whom were forced to stand for the trip. Next to me was a beautiful man. He was well dressed, immaculately manicured and very very handsome. And boy did he know it. In all of my life, I have never seen such preening. In the reflection of the window, he gazed at his perfect visage from this angle and that angle. As though he was asking himself  each time, “Am I gorgeous on this side? Oh yes. What about this side?” After I watched this for a couple of minutes, the man stopped. I thought the show was over. But then he started again. “Don’t worry” I reassured him “you’re still pretty”. He turned away from me after that and tragically stopped his preening. Pity that, I was looking forward to the bicep flexes, which I assumed were coming next.

That’s the nonsense I’ve been up to. This wasn’t actually a post. It was more a series of bizarre interactions which Diana would claim is the manner that I inflict myself upon the world.