These Penises Aren’t For Me

The following is a text message conversation that occurred this past week.

February 8th 10:17 AM The Great Unwashed to Sula

“Can you do me a favour?”

February 8th 10:17 AM The Great Unwashed to Sula

“Can I send you a whole bunch of pictures of animal penises to print off?”

~The Great Unwashed realizes how strange this request sounds and sends a text message explaining the situation.~

February 8th 10:25 AM The Great Unwashed to Sula

“They’re not for me, they’re for my Mom.”

Recognizing that this statement might need further clarification, The Great Unwashed sends off yet another text.

February 8th 10:32 AM The Great Unwashed to Sula

“For Valentine’s Day”

In a show of just how understanding a friend she is Sula replies;

February 8th 11:04 AM Sula to The Great Unwashed

“No problem. Only in black and white though.”

This is the Valentine I had intended to send my mother on February 14th.

On the cover:

“Dear Mom,

I know you hate flowers so I decided to send you images of the genitals of other animals instead.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, “written below a giant walrus stiffy

“I love you very much” written above an excited elephant.

And on the back “May you have a fun and unique day loving others “the text encircling a  picture of a seahorse about to get it on.

For everyone who isn’t a biologist, flowers are the fun bits of a plant. My mother is a scientist, so I thought she would get a kick out of my strange Valentine. That is until I saw a whole bunch of walrus stiffies. They’re totally awkward and not at all safe for work. Also the sight of them is enough to put anyone off love of any kind for a good, long time. Thus even I, in all my weirdness, could not send something so bizarre and pornographic to my mother. She got a nice email instead. And Sula got points for being an awesome friend who was willing to print out pictures of kangaroo goolies. Although I don’t think the strangeness of the request registered with her, seeing as Sula broke her boyfriend’s electric razor last week trying to clean up a mountain goat hide that she had skinned out herself. Apparently two foot long erection bones are just another day at the office for field biologists.

Romance Should Not Equal Dead Raccoons, But In This Case It Does

After I wrote “Facebook thinks I’m Fat and Lonely” because of the number of dating websites and weight loss ads that were appearing on my feed, Tex and I created the following comment thread.

Tex on February 11, 2015 at 11:40 AM said:

Does this mean we need to post those nauseating couple Facebook profile pictures? Where we’re holding hands in a wheat field? Or maybe holding guns? Dead raccoons? I’m not very good at this.

The Great Unwashedon February 11, 2015 at 2:40 PM said:

Please can we make holding dead raccoons a regular part of our date nights?

Tex on February 11, 2015 at 3:16 PM said:

The novelty might wear off. Maybe we could wear dead raccoons instead. Or turn it into a game. Raccoon Toss!

“Step right up, step right up. Throw a coon, win a prize.”

I didn’t continue the thread because tonight’s Valentine is my reply.

To : Tex

I love you. You are the only one I want to chuck deceased rodents with. Games never get old with you, and if they did, we could switch to lobbing ungulates.

From : The Great Unwashed

Oddly enough, I’m certain Tex is going to love this. We’re a match made in flying, dead raccoon heaven.

Valentine From a Random

Ok I’m not a random. But I might as well be; when push comes to shove, I haven’t spoken to these people in person in well over six years. That being said, the ability to stay abreast of events in peoples’ lives whom you haven’t spoken with in years is one of the few benefits of the internet. This Valentine is for a family who I know(ish). I worked with the husband quite a bit for a couple of months and worked one memorable evening with the woman who would become his wife. Together they are quite possibly the most adorable couple I’ve seen, at well over six feet the gentle smiling man towers over his four foot eleven wife. The only thing cuter than their appearance is the warmth they obviously have for one another. It comes across even in pictures and short updates.

To : The Smiths*

Happy Awkward Valentine’s Day. I know we haven’t spoken in eons and I know that it’s early but I just wanted to say that. Your happy little (soon to be bigger) family brings me joy so I wanted to give some of that back.

I wish good things for your family. On electronic screens, I’ve watched the two of you and then the three of you move about the country, trying to find a place to call home. Though I never “Liked” any of your triumphant updates about jobs and opportunities, inwardly I cheered you on, egging the universe to bring more and better doors for your family to walk through. Because you both deserve it.

Though I only had the opportunity to perform a lot with one of you, the experience left an impression on me. Each day with that gentle giant was a reminder to always put forth my best effort, no matter what and of course to smile and be courteous (that’s one that I definitely need a reminder about). The two of you are so lovely, that when you found each other I think the world smiled. I still smile when news is shared about your lives. So Happy Valentine’s Day, may your enjoyment of that day be as great as your enjoyment of one another.

The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of innocent bystanders from my work live’s past.

There’s So Much Cheese It’s Like a Wheel of Gouda

Life has been good lately, so I decided it was time to send some thanks to the cosmos.Welcome to Day Ten of the Great Unwashed’s fourteen days of love and Valentines month.

To : The Universe

Happy Valentine’s Day. I just wanted to send you a short note to remind you how awesome you are and to thank you.

Universe, your habit of making kittens that are always cute is purrrrfect. Also when I’m in the woods, I enjoy listening to hoots of nocturnal birds. As long as you create those night-time musicals Universe, owls be yours. While we’re on the topic of animals, whenever I visit petting farms, I adore the hogs and kisses I receive from the pigs. It’s so good of you to express your affection that way.

Moving away from the topic of animals, I just wanted to say that just like Saturn, you are out of this world! I’m sure that I’m not the only one telling you this, I imagine the forests are asking in their tree voices “Wood you be mine?” In this month of love and affection I could even see inanimate objects like cars expressing positive sentiments, their tires turning safely over the snowy roads humming “I wheelie like you Universe!”

I once ate a pound of brie in one sitting. It sat in my middle like a rock-hard chunk of abdominal pain for three days, so before I give you a stomachache, I’ll end my card here by asking you one last question. Orange you glad it’s almost Valentine’s Day?

Much fondness and far too much dairy,

The Great Unwashed

A Valentine to my Best Lady

Dear Sula*,

I love you. I love you in a way that is so fierce, passionate and big, that for a time my WASPy family expected that I would run away with you and we would live together in rapturous lesbian sin. If I was even a little bit into girls, I would have bought a house, married you, and happily eaten the questionable wild game labeled “STEAK” out of your freezer every night by now. For the record, our children would have been beautiful. Also you really need to inform the hunters who you taxidermy for that calling muskrat or coyote meat “steak” doesn’t make it so.

Each day, I grow more proud of you. Your love for your work and commitment to science is remarkable. Little wonder that so many companies want to associate you with their brand- it’s clear that you and your arctic research are going places. The only person who was surprised by your decision to go back to school was you. When you returned from your extremely successful field season, the only person who was amazed by your ability to lead a crew of five people to collect great data in a camp without running water or electricity again, was you.

Sula also didn't have electricity here. She had the gall to call her visit to this place "a vacation" despite driving on a road so rough that it blew a tire. (Photo Credit

Sula also didn’t have electricity here. She had the gall to call her visit to this place “a vacation” despite driving on a road so rough that it blew a tire. (Photo Credit

Sula, you have a shine, even when doing something as mundane as cooking bear pizza, which to date is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, you emit a radiance that people flock to. My most cherished memories of the past two years were the nights we spent together eating dinner then crafting by your fireplace.

Your friendship has meant so much to me. You offered your house as a place of respite when my own home became a sad, scary place to be. I can’t count the number of nights that I stopped there on my way home from work, just to spend a short time with you and Maddie, to gather enough courage to face my life. Our innate understanding of each other brought me such comfort when my whole life was in upheaval. You are my favourite person to talk about everything with because of that.

I supported and was delighted by your decision to pursue your PhD, but even still, your moving away broke my heart a little bit. Thank you so much for choosing to store your furniture at my house, sitting on your couch, in the living room of my new home consoled me. Though you yourself weren’t there, the memories we shared were; when you learned to crochet left-handed in order to teach me how, the hours you spent afterwards sitting next to me checking my growing blob of stitches, the time that I glued my hands together making a scrapbook tree out of found materials, or when I would munch on lettuce leaves ripped fresh from the huge potter that always sat in your living room.

I will hold those evenings, and all the other experiences we’ve had together, dear to me always. I can’t wait to hear of your new arctic adventures this coming spring and for our conversations and visits to come.

Love always,

The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed because I get grumpy when even one person crashes Sula and my time together let alone the whole internet. Back off interwebs, she’s mine.

Some of my family members have a weaker grasp of technology than me, which is to say, I occasionally arrive home to find them sitting in the dark because the contractor put in fancy light switches. The following instruction is for them. If you click on the picture below, it will take you to Sula’s website of science and wonder.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: