Friday, May 31, 2013
You turned my wailing into Dancing; and clothed me with Joy. O Lord my God, I will give Thanks unto thee Forever.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Is it Liar's Day again ALREADY?! (Checks calendar on Smartalec Phone.)
Yep, it's that one cuh-razy day out of the year when everybody pretends their mothers fart rainbows and shit skittles.
I bet you're glad you bought that Official Arson Kit during the pre-Mother's Day Sale Extravaganza. That investment will pay for itself today, and you should consider carrying it around full-time. I am NOT planning to MAKE arson, Silly! Stop dialing 911 RIGHT NOW, or I will take away your cell phone AND give you something to call 911 ABOUT!
Calm down. The fire extinguisher makes it easier to put out the spontaneous pants fires that will be erupting near you all day long. And perhaps ON you.
*The Semi-Mythical History of the Conspiracy to Invent and Commit Mother's Day Upon the American People*
As the popular story goes, William H. Hallmark Jr. is credited with creating a holiday he called Mother's Day as a way to increase sales at his floundering gift shop. This is partially true, but it was in fact William's MOTHER who suggested it as a way to unload some of the thousands of greeting cards made for her by the obsessive compulsive William Jr. over the years. Fingers crossed behind her back (for luck and to cover the teensy untruth), she convinced the original Mama's Boy that she hated to part with the cards, but they might be just the thing to jump-start his business, and it would be a VERY GOOD thing if he could start making enough money to support himself and finally move OUT of her house. The apron strings were pretty darned stretched and frayed by this time, but she figured they were still strong enough to strangle him, if the urge became uncontrollable.
In preparation for the eventual freedom of Empty Nestdom, she told him the following simple bedtime story every single night, from the day he was born until the day he moved out.
Baby birds gotta eat.
Mama birds gotta feed.
Baby birds gotta learn.
Mama birds gotta teach.
Baby birds gotta fly,
Sooner than later,
Or they'll just go SPLAT
when Mama birds push'em out!
*THE END of the bedtime story and the history lesson, but not the end of the blog post*
If your mother is alive, there's a 95+% chance that you will tell her today, in writing, that she was and is the very BEST Mother in the Whole World. If you have children of your own, chances are high that you will be on the receiving end of the same sentiment today, assuming they are old enough to understand how white lies work.
Since it's literally impossible for us ALL to be the best, let's agree that most of us are at least trying, and many of us are doing the best we can with the information and tools we possess.
If you're old enough to be reading this, and YOU suck, it's on you, Pal. Stop blaming your Mama! If you're old enough to JUDGE her, you're old enough to accept responsibility for your own behavior and level of suckiness. I call this the Age of Accountability (or the Age of Accounting, depending on whether you turned out to be a CPA or just a regular old SOB like the rest of us).
It's been scientifically proven that even babies can be AHs, if their AH trait is strong enough. So, if you are one, you'd be one no matter what. Your Mama could've hired Mary freaking Poppins, and you'd still suck.
So take time today to think about how much of an AH you've been your whole life. Think about all those nights your poor old Mama KNEW you'd always be an AH, and could've smothered you in your sleep, but she DIDN'T, did she? No. Because she loved you anyway, Jerk Face! AND because smothering children (even if they were total AHs) was illegal in most states, even back then.
Send her a thoughtful card with a very large, and even more thoughtful, Gift Card enclosed. Apologize for being such an AH for forty odd (VERY odd-WHAT is wrong with you?) years. Pretend you don't remember the worst parts of your childhood. Those are to be saved and identified as fictitious in the books and screenplays you will eventually write, and in whose dedications you will probably (truthfully) acknowledge your own Dear Mama for being your Inspiration. Don't forget to thank her for all the times she didn't smother you in your sleep when she had the chance.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Disclaimer: Dave Barry is NOT my Daddy! But his weekly newspaper column never failed to make me laugh out loud. Laughing out loud was what we had to do before lol-ing was enforced. He taught me that maybe being different and silly could be socially acceptable, and (dare Dave and me say?) fun and entertaining (to me and him, and a handful of other people)!
I spent some time (my entire childhood, in fact), trying to grow up in the extremely rural, waaaaay down Soufth-est (Redneck Ghetto) part of our great country.
In those days, Dave Barry was like a father to me. An absentee father, but a father just the same.
There were certain constants that defined that era of pretend innocence. We were not entirely without luxury, understand, but our one "luxury" was that we always maintained local home delivery of the daily local newspaper.
I use the term "home delivery" lightly. Not because of the word HOME, mind you. It's an undeniable truth that no building daring to house NINE blood-related human beings at one time can run or hide from being called a home.
This was not a city street, subdivision, trailer park, or anything else that might be mistaken for a "neighborhood" such as might sustain the kind of paper routes imagined and portrayed in the many books we would read, but not yet see on television, which, despite having been invented for quite some time, was given and taken away, for religious reasons that escape me now. "Home" was a small, yet crowded, structure, situated smack dab in the middle of fifteen acres of prime Mississippi Pine.
Back to topic, which was, I believe, Luxury.
Let's just agree that there weren't any kids on bicycles slinging papers at porches where WE lived.
Instead, these jobs went to adults, independently contracted newspaper deliverypersons who drove their privately owned, maintained, and insured vehicles to the newspaper factory in the dark, wee hours each morning to obtain their product, which they would then deliver to each of their paid-up customers, usually by the time the sun got all the way up. I'm sorry, but I don't have any further details on what-all else went on in the mysterious, syndicatish world of the newspaper industry in the 1980's.
Delivery is, of course, the word in question. Either our succession of newspaper guys through the years considered the risk of damage to their vehicles too great to consider our satisfaction, or maybe they were too drunk to navigate without the guidance of the mandatory, brightly reflective, painted borders that even the most pitiful paved roads had.
At any rate, unless it was time to demand payment, they all chose NOT to drive down the one-tenth of a mile of carefully maintained (hahaha! I couldn't even TYPE that with a straight face!) driveway composed primarily of indigenous red clay dirt, plus seemingly random, and constantly changing, combinations and amounts of "other."
"Other" included dirt and sand of every natural color, assorted rocks, oyster shells, something called gravel, and bits of our own blood and skin. Gravel was that stuff put down to cushion your falls when you crashed your bicycle. Gravel was the externally scarring shrapnel of childhood. Not even the threat of possible death due to "blood poisoning" made the pain and suffering of cleaning scrapes filled with gravel out of your legs and arms seem worthwhile. We had plenty of that iodine stuff, but our parents were either too poor or too sadistic to buy any of the numbing stuff we'd heard about on the streets (meaning: from library books).
If I had to guess, I'd say most of our net worth was tied up in that driveway. When in need of some fast cash, we would sift through the driveway like stereotypical gold prospectors of another time. A pretty or unusual rock or shell, or even a colorful piece of a broken bottle could get you a quick dime or a quarter, once cleaned and displayed attractively. Daddy was usually good for a little change, and you never knew when Papaw and Mamaw might stop by, either.
Our driveway was bordered by two ditches, non-ironically called The Big Ditch and The Little Ditch. While The Little Ditch spent its time being small and unremarkable, with significant rain, The Big Ditch became our one other luxury: a wading or semi-fishing hole.
Hordes of tadpoles swam around in The Big Ditch like the sperms we would eventually see on educational videos at rural public school. Watching tadpoles never got boring, though. Once you know about tadpoles, it takes a whole lot more than a bunch of nameless, untalented sperms on a screen to impress you.
The superiority of tadpoles was obvious even then. Tadpoles aren't IN a cutthroat race against time and each other to reach some mysterious holy ovum grail and then "fertilize" it!
If they were celebrities, Tadpoles would be Bono and Sperms would be New Kids on the Block, or Wile E. Coyote.
Chapter Two: The Beginning of our collective Blue Period
One year it was so hot in the waaaaay down Soufth that even tears would evaporate before they could reach the ground.
When Mister Sun dried up all the water in The Big Ditch before the tadpoles finished turning all the way into frogs, we were upset and tried desperately to save them. We formed kind of a makeshift Bucket Brigade, filling all the milk jugs, pots, and bowls we could, hauling little red wagons back and forth, hell-bent on saving as many tiny lives as we possibly could.
Sadly, the "foundation" and building materials of The Big Ditch turned out to be just plain regular dirt, and the dry earth quickly absorbed all that water, and THAT's what broke our hearts.
I'm gonna go cry now. Survivors of the Failed Frog Saving Brigade will meet first Friday of each month at my house as usual. See y'all then.
Remember to bring a covered dish, enough Kleenex for yourself, and plenty of hugs and encouragement.I'll have the ice and drinks. We CAN get through this, but not without each other...
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
(sing the title for a more enjoyable experience) I Believe in Miracles- Where ya From, You Sexy Thang?
I finally bought a cheap full-length mirror last week. It's been a while since I was forced to take the full inventory, y'know?
It was labeled DOOR MIRROR, but it didn't come with any way to hang it or anything, so I propped it in the most convenient corner in the bathroom.
And that's when I started to believe in miracles again, because in that mirror, at that angle, I look freaking fantastic! I know it's an illusion, but I don't care. As long as I stand in front of it, I am thinner, taller, and leggier then I've ever been in my life!
I look so good in this mirror that I force others to come to my bathroom so they can see how good I look, too. I'm tempted to have photo sessions in there, and wonder if I should paint the room first.
This mirror makes me look so good that Underwear Model seems like a reasonable career option. It's done more for my self-esteem in a few days than any self-help book ever did.
Unless you are already completely satisfied with your body's proportions, I highly recommend you rush out immediately and purchase the cheapest door mirror at Target like I did. Don't run with it, though. For safety, you should treat all forms of glass like scissors. Except, don't try to use shards of it for arts and crafts or sewing. That would be both just plain stoopid, and financially irresponsible. Unless you land the modeling contract first, you can't afford the Bandaids and Bactine that you'd need. Scissors are TWO DOLLARS. If you don't have any, I recommend you get scissors before buying a mirror, thus removing the temptation to cut your own bangs with mirror shards.
Anyways, don't be surprised if you see some very attractive pictures of me in my new mirror soon!
P.S. THIS is the only disclaimer. The photos will not contain separate disclaimers. If you miss it, it's on you.