Monday, January 28, 2008

The Case for Carrying Garden Shears

The other day I pulled up to a stoplight behind one of those oversized trucks. The kind that’s built for hauling lumber or large boulders but that looks far too shiny to have ever seen that kind of hard labor. I felt sorry for the vehicle, which from commercials I knew should be freely roaming mountainsides and rolling in mud rather than idling at a suburban stoplight under three coats of turtle wax.

I studied the pristine truck bed, followed the chrome contours down to the wheels until finally my eye landed on something out of place, a dull something dangling grotesquely from the trailer hitch. It was purplish and a bit shriveled, droopy, as if a giant had seen this immaculate truck and conjured up a phlegm boomerang from the deepest recesses of his nostrils.

But it wasn’t a giant booger that had attached itself this poor truck, it was a scrotum.

It wasn’t the first time I’d seen this sort of thing and it always elicits the same reaction, a desire for a mechanical claw that could reach out and pull them right off, stretching the reddish rubber until it snaps and the sacs thud to the ground just before my car tire pops them like zits.

The light turned green and the balls sped away from me, but I couldn’t stop thinking about them. What is the purpose of this auto accessory? To say, my balls are too big to fit inside my vehicle so I’ve hung them out here for everyone’s enjoyment while we navigate the city together?

I realize that if I were to paste a representation of my genitals on the back of my car it would mean something entirely different, a proclamation of promiscuity. Some might even think of it as an invitation. Or nothing at all, as I’m willing to bet many more men than would admit it probably wouldn’t even know what it was. “Hey, what’s that shriveled purple thing on that lady’s car?”

But aside from that, I have more respect for my lady parts. They are precious cargo, and so I choose to transport them safely inside the vehicle and not mere inches from the asphalt where they can get scraped and dusty.

But so what? Why do I care if some guys want dusty balls on their car? It took me awhile to figure out my visceral reaction to these perverse pods.

It’s like this. I get it. We all get it. You’re a guy. You drive a truck that requires a ladder to climb into. The Y-chromosome fairy has granted you a pair of heavenly orbs thereby bequeathing to you the keys to the kingdom, an unwarranted sense of superiority over lesser beings, lisence to interrupt women when they’re talking, grab our asses in bars, pass judgement on the way we look, coin terms like “cankles” and “muffin top.” We already get it. The rubber scrotum swinging from your trailer hitch is just a slap in the face reminder.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start driving around with a pair of sharp garden shears dangling from my trailer hitch. It’s a simple message really, the general public is not interested in your balls. If given the opportunity, I’ll see to it they don’t have to look at them.

Good day to you sir.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday Morning Coupon Product Parade

I have so much fun with the Sunday paper coupon section that I'm thinking of making this a monthly blog installment. Every Sunday I leaf through the coupons with the very best of intentions. Why not get .35 cents off peanut butter the next time I go grocery shopping? Only I never do get the .35 cents off because the next time I go grocery shopping the coupons are still in a wrinkly pile on top of my microwave, where they stay until they float to the ground to be eaten by the dog.

But there's so much more than just savings in those pages. There are tons of amazing products, like fine china imprinted with a picture of your Yorkshire Terrier, Garfield checks (golly he's a funny cat) and much much more! So, just in case you don't read the coupon section, I want to make sure no one misses out on this fabulous merchandise.

This month's featured product:

Haband! Active Joe Comfort Pants
with zip fly (Yes! Real zip fly!)

Joe, as pictured, is a man on the move, a spry guy who likes to gad about using urinals without having to worry about pulling his comfort slacks all the way down.

Lucky for Joe, Haband! (located conveniently at 1 Bargain Place in Jessup, PA) has revolutionized the leisure wear market by adding "a feature the other guys don't have—an easy access zip fly!"

A quick trip to reveals even more revolutionary products. The party is your pants when you order Health Rite Boxer Block Party.

And, don't be a dummy! Order Ingenuity pants today!

Haband! Website on Ingenuity Pants:
"Not just Comfortable & Stylish, these pants are Safe too! There are 2 Pickpocket-Proof Hidden Zipper Pockets on either side of the waist that are easily accessible to YOU — perfect for stashing wads of cash!"

And Ladies, don't feel left out. I know many of you also have a wad to stash. Look no further than Haband!'s new (and I am not making this shit up) Bend Over Instant Flattery Slacks (available in solid or stripes). Round out the outfit with a Sweet and Sassy Embroidered Top or a Go-to-it blouse.

Why stop at just apparel? Haband! Offers a wide variety of products to make life easier. Such as the Lighted Magnavisor. No more squinting! This makes reading, fly fishing and coin collecting much easier (minor risk of retina scorching if worn in direct sunlight can be mitigated by not looking up when outdoors or keeping eyes closed when wearing the device.)

So until next month, happy shopping!

Monday, January 14, 2008

An Ode to Mah Jong

My new computer finally arrived on Friday. I will miss my old machine, we spent so much time together over the years but she was starting to show her age, freezing up when I tried to open more than one window, randomly ending programs in the middle of use. She had a good run, but I had to put her down.

Though it's only been a couple days, I have already completely bonded to my new laptop. She's a refurbished model that Danny rescued from the pound, and I even have a nickname for her already. I like to call her, "My fancy little Mah Jong machine."

My new computer came with many bells, whistles, and new capabilities like a built in web cam. I have paid very little attention to those things. However, in the 72 hours since the computer has been in my possesion I have played Mah Jong no less than 150 times.

You see my former computer did not incude Mah Jong. And so my wonder was complete Saturday afternoon as I sat at the kitchen table exploring my new contraption and Mah Jong blossomed out of the Games list like an exotic oriental flower.

Mah Jong is delicate and beautiful. Each domino like tile is a work of art in itself. I simply adore the satisfying click-clack sounds the tiles make as they fall into place to begin a new game. I love the bamboo mat background on which the game pieces rest. I delight in the various sounds and visual effects that occur when two tiles disapear from the board. Flowers vanish into a delicate poof and sprinkle of bells while dragons erupt into crackles of sparks. It's exhilirating.

I look forward to the many years to come with my new computer. I look forward to discovering all her bells and whistles. But mostly, I'm looking forward to a game of MahJong…like right now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

America's Happiest Couple Take a Break

We had just eaten at Buddha Belly. When I chose the booth closest to the Diet Coke refills, Danny sighed and told me how much he loved me. Later, we both reveled in my triumph of finishing my pork sandwich even though the spice was so hot I felt like I'd just made out with a bonfire.

We drove home, laughing, wondering if the lights in the sky were aliens or a secret government plane and inventing tales, complete with funny voices and sound effects, to go with either story line. Danny cracked up at my rendition of a martian getting annoyed at the family dog for soiling the spacecraft controls.

"My god," I said catching my breath "We're like, America's happiest couple. Could we be any happier?"

I should know by now that statements like this cause the universe to prove me wrong. For example, every single time we are out and wistfully mention how great our dog is, we come home to disaster. She's ripped up the back of the couch, destroyed a shoe or figured her way into the closed bathroom garbage can and pulled out my nasties.

If we don't talk about her, we come home to a peacefully napping Kiddo, but if we dare speak the words "good dog" while not at home, we suffer the consequences of destroyed property.

Despite this lesson, we recklessly clapped ourselves on the back for our model relationship.

We arrived to a house in perfect order. The dog wagged her tail as Danny went to put away the few things we picked up at the grocery store; two matching pints of Ben and Jerry's (light) and a replacement block of Diet Cherry Coke.

Then, our bliss shattered. The instrument of destruction: a large bowl of cranberry sauce. It fell from the fridge with a heavy thud, sending large shards of glass and blood red goop to the furthest reaches of the kitchen.

"God Dammit Danny! Be Careful!" I scooped up the dog, who was already trying to eat the glass, and put her in the living room.

"Well, who put a big glass bowl on top of the empty Coke box?" Danny shot back.

(This is an exclamation heard often in our house. As in, "Who didn't put a new bag in the vacuum cleaner?!" or "Who left the stove on?!" There's only two of us. It's not a big mystery.)

I froze, he had a point. In my defense though, the full box of Coke cans was more than capable of supporting the weight of a large bowl of cranberry sauce.

"Well…." I stammered. "You could look…with your EYES!!!"

Danny stood over the mess in front of the fridge.

I huffed, "You know what? It's fine. It's an accident, no one's fault." But I didn't mean that. The foundation of long term relationships is that everything is the other person's fault. Even if said person isn't even home at the time. If I stub my toe, somehow, someway, Danny is responsible for that. He must have moved the table, left his shoe in a bad place. I'm sure he feels the same way about me, that's why it works in the long run.

As we sopped up juicy bits and pieces into a paper bag, I marveled at how quickly we'd crumbled from Happiest Couple USA to What the fuck is wrong with you? Danny doesn't outwardly snap, but I know he's thinking it, just as I am in the heat of the moment.

But almost as quickly as we crumbled, we recovered from (Danny) spilling the Cranberry sauce.

When we finished sopping, mopping and sweeping he stood there holding the bag of refuse, the broken glass inside crunched and the wet towel we'd used and stuffed in looked like it was soaked with blood.

"God, it looks like we murdered someone." Danny said.

"Yeah, we murdered that happy ass couple we drove home with." I said as I tipped the last of the glass slivers in.

We both started to laugh. "So did we get all of it?"
"I don't know," Danny smiled, "Why don't you look? With your EYES!"