Category: Silly

The Last (Bloody, Dangerous) Straw

“Who can hope to be safe?  Who sufficiently cautious?
Guard himself as he may, every moment is an ambush.”

Small Dog struggles.

For the past almost-two years that I’ve worked here, there has been a large plastic mat residing beneath my chair and the corners of various desks and cabinets.  This mat is clear, studded on the bottom, a quarter of and inch thick, sharp edged, and slippery.  As you may imagine, this mat has been a sore trial for many office staff, but myself in particular as I am A) a sad klutz, and B) the person who practically lives on top of this thing.

We, meaning mostly I, have slipped, tripped, slid, glided, skidded, twisted ankles, and face planted because of this contraption without complaint or word until today.

Hennessy and I were walking back from the Administration Building when a perfect storm of un-coordination happened.  First her heel caught the edge of the mat.  Then she started to fall forward which both lifted the mat and tore her shoe off.  Then behind her I stuttered my step trying not to collide with my flailing friend.  And THEN the sharp corner of the plastic peril bit into my foot.  When we managed to right ourselves and glance down to survey damages, I was bleeding.

That was it!  We grabbed Susie, one of the officers to move heavy furniture, and dragged the whole thing back to the custodians closet (it weighed about as much as Brazil, was filthy underneath, and smelled horrid to boot).  Good riddance.

My foot hurts.

When the Tres Leches Rose Up Against The People

“‘Tis pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures; And all are to be sold, if you consider Their passions, and are dext’rous; some by features Are brought up, others by a warlike leader; Some by a place–as tend their years or natures; The most by ready cash–but all have prices, From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.”
– Lord Byron,
Don Juan canto V, st. 27

Holidays are fun, regardless of nationality.  Take today: Cindo de Mayo.  Some people celebrate with chips and salsa, some with a fiesta, some with mariachi bands.  And some with bribery.

A certain student is banned from driving on campus.  This is due in large part to him accumulating up to four tickets in one day, parking in service/handicapped stalls, trying to fight our student officers, and claiming that he never received information that three people all told him (at the same time, in the same room together).  He was informed he had the ability to appeal the ban but would not be able to bring his car onto campus until a final decision had been made.  He said he understood and left.

Pictured: the filthy tool of corruption!

Today he came into our office, and asked for Red.
“You know about Cinco de Mayo, right?” he asked.  “It’s today.  So I brought you this.”
He held out a small packaged piece of tres leches cake with a meaningful expression.
“K, bye” he said quickly and hurried out.

Five minutes later we found his car in a non-student parking lot.

The real mystery here is, if he were trying to circumvent parking rules, why did he draw attention to himself by 1) attempted bribery and, 2) (and this is more perplexing) leaving his emergency lights flashing merrily away for over an hour?

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  Or any holiday for that matter?

Lifestyles of the Poor and Obscure

“It’s an area of Dublin that still has lots of character.  It hasn’t been yuppified to ****.”
Lisa’s spirits started a slow slither.  She was
desperate to live in a place that had been yuppified to ****.
– Marian Keys,
Sushi for Beginners

Every once and a while a strange urge takes hold of me, shakes me around a bit as I struggle to be free of its grasp, and and is finally, forcibly thrown off while I stagger around gasping and trying to reorient myself.  It’s the (understandable but currently impractical) desire to have an upwardly-mobile-ish change to our lifestyle.

Nothing desperate, you understand.  But maybe…an in-house dishwasher (that isn’t J., I mean).  Or a newer flat that doesn’t have creaky floors (or my Lord and Lady Stompington above us).  A second car, one that can manage the highways without 4000 rpms or a using half a tank of gas to get to the city (45 minutes away).

Now, I’m aware that I’m in one of the best phases of my life.  Newly (relatively) married, no kids, no mortgages, the ability to do nearly whatever J. and I want.  And yet…sometimes I have this strange desire to be just a bit further on.  First house together and past renting creaky flats.  First pet, instead of surreptitiously googling local breeders and the Human Society at work.  First real double income paycheck, instead of single-and-very-small checks on paydays.

Again, I feel as if this an understandable feeling, but I’m constantly shocked by what will trigger the flood of longing.  Today Wise and I headed out to get a cake for our monthly department birthday party.  The venue was Costco, wherein I have not spent previous quality time.  Oh dear.

Back, temptress!

There were boxes of strawberries that had not yet succumbed to slime and decay.  There were bags of frozen chicken that contained more than two or three breasts.  There were quality diamonds, iPods, lawn chairs, massive bags of chips, huge bales of toilet paper…yes, it was all very impressive.  But, above all, there were SAMPLES.

Wise and I wandered the store sucking down granola, salad, juice, and finally this.

And now, suddenly, I am wrestling the desire for a Costco membership, something I will probably not need until there are more than two of us…solely because I now crave a bottle of Roasted Blackberry Chipotle Sauce.  Aren’t I supposed to be craving babies or something?  Why do I want a dog and fancy fruit/chili sauce instead?

Because I Got High

“A cigarette is a pipe with a fire at one end, and a fool at the other.”
– Unknown

And in continuing odd phone call news…

“Hello, I have a problem.  I’m a landlady for a condo rented by students and some of them are reporting that one of them has a…hoooo-cah…?  I think that has something to do with drugs and I don’t know what to do.  I called the university’s housing department and they refered me to the city police, but they said they couldn’t help me.”
“Did they tell you why, ma’am?”
“Well, my tenants said he was smoking tobacco and the police said that that’s all right!”
“Er, yes, ma’am.  If they are violating your landlord/tenant agreement though, as long as you uphold your end of it in the time you give him to remove himself from your property, you will be able to evict him.”
“But the university forbids drugs!”
“Yes, ma’am, but tobacco is legal as long as you are of age.  The university does have certain behavioral requirements of all its’ attendees but that is not the same thing as someone breaking a state or federal law.  The university may take action against him, you may take action against him as his landlord, but though he’s forming a bad and unhealthy habit, he isn’t doing anything criminal.”
“But he has a…hooo-cah!  And I don’t even know what that is!”
“It’s a sort Middle Eastern pipe that uses water-“
“I’m sure he’s using it for heroin or something!”
“I doubt that, ma’am.”
“But what is it?”

WHO are you?

This is the only cultural reference I could come up with that she recognized:

Note: I never knew I knew so much about hookahs!  As a non smoker/drinker or druggie of any kind, the only hookah’s I’ve ever come across were on a family trip to Turkey, decor in some Middle Eastern restaraunts…and children’s films.

Elf Mode, Activated!

“You’re making a mess.”
“I’m spreading holiday goodness!”
– J. and C.

Saturday (which was spent almost entirely at Catriona and Bear’s wedding) ended in a mad dash around town to pick up last minute gifts, travel sized shampoo and toothpaste, wrapping paper, and ribbon.  Then I threw on a movie and dove into my holiday vortex!  

Artistic rendering of my face/our carpet.
Artistic rendering of our carpet/my face.

Three hours later, a fine coating of glitter had fallen over everything (the wrapping paper was a gorgeous mash of crimson damask pattern and gold glitter swirls…that might not have been as securely fastened to the paper as could be hoped).  My face and hair were coated with sparkling cheer which was starting to snow all over the couch and carpet.  I tracked it back into the office at some point.  Somehow, it managed to get into the tape (as in inexplicably underneath the various layers) which upped the stickiness factor exponentially. 

Admittedly I probably didn’t help matters by skipping about the house dusting off my hands over everything trilling, “La la la la la, la la la LA!”   However, out of respect to the dignity of J.’s very masculine suitcase, I stuffed all the presents into a plastic bag before packing everything up tightly.  

We fly out to London in two days!  We’re set to leave the country via Dallas, the logic of which I originally questioned as it tacks on extra hours to an already excruciating flight, but since that huge storm slapped the east coast, I’m not grudging the extra time.

8 Puppets Blaspheming

 “Twelve monkey mating,  ‘leven donkeys dancing, ten pygmies farming, nine socks a-swimming…FIVE GOLD RINGS!”
– Eddie Izzard

For some reason, our productions did not receive nearly as much acclaim. Can't imagine why...

As promised, here is one of our favorite and probably most quirky/embarassing family traditions.  Long ago, my mother made some hand puppets for a group Christmas project.  Nothing fancy, just felt oven mitt sorts of things.  We used them for years at Christmastime to act out the Nativity Story, without incident or indiscretion until one year, Dad had the brilliant idea to turn on the video recorder.

The footage of this historic event is long departed into the void of computer-crashing-moving-technical-kablooey, but mutual stored memory among the siblings suggests a potential fist-fight behind the stage (sofa) and much arguing and some sacrilegious name-calling.

In subsequent years our quiet family puppet show devolved from its auspicious starting point.  It didn’t take too long for it to hit the point of parody. 

The next year King Herod breathed like Darth Vadar (complete with asthma inhaler), and the Holy Virgin did lamaze breathing to calm her nerves while Saint Joseph (who was captain of the football team at Nazareth High) stumbled about flexing uselessly.  The cap and crown to our we-will-go-to-Hell-for-this performance was the angel Gabriel as played by Yoda as played by Dad.  “Annunciating I am!  Have a baby you willll…”  His voice cracked on the last word and has become holiday tradition ever since to impersonate Dad (as Yoda as Gabriel) choking.  Somehow, I misremember, the cow featured prominently leading Gio to exclaim, “It’s a holy cow!” which immediately became our production company name.

A subsequent year featured a lampooning of Monty Python: the taunting Frenchman as the inn-keeper, Mika as the Dreaded Black Beast of Augh, an improvised kick-line (performed by the intrepid puppeteers) and, naturally, the falling cow of catapult fame.

You're destroying cultural and literary icons, you barbarians!

Our most memorable foray into the dark, iredeemable depths of nerdiness was a Lord of the Rings spoof.  Our three wisemen (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli) form the Fellowship of the King.  Galabriel annuciates.  The shepherds of Rohan ride sheep around energetically.  Mary, who looks wearily into the camera and whines and constantly about the terrible burden she is forced to carry alone, is saved when Joseph Gamgee (Gio) declares, “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry YOU!” and sweeps the other puppet gallantly off.  Then there is the memorable presentation of the gifts: gold, myrrh, “and my axe!”  There were random interjections of Buddy’s dragon puppet (which does not feature in the usual cast, but he wanted to use it), Gio stole one of Snickers’ lines which nearly brought on an actors’ strike, and most of the outtakes feature us alternatively arguing with one another or dissolving into giggles while Dad vainly demands, “Quiet on the set!”

We are hopless, helpless dorks.

After. Math.

“The Christmas season has come to mean the period that the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants.”
– John Andrew Holmes

Black Friday is not really something I participate in, I’ll occasionally venture out (closer to noon than midnight) but it’s no different for me than any other weekend shopping except the people are ruder and all have a look of unmasked panic flitting across their faces. 

But.  This year J. and I were tipped off early to’s sales.  BIG mistake!

I can quit any time I want!

– Five DVDs
-Eight books
– 80% of my inbox is shipping emails from Amazon
– Two packages received already
– One sore clicker finger
– Fourteen other books “Saved To Buy Later”
– Six squeals of excitement while clicking through site
– Nine heart-rending decision about what to buy and not buy
– Four times I’ve checked my shipping status since breakfast

Another Tale From The Front Desk

 “You can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”
– Queen Elizabeth II

All police officers and dispatchers are required to complete a certain amount of training hours per year to keep their certification, and it is one of my jobs to keep track of those hours and turn the total into the state every year.  So, as a good little secretary does, every few months or so I pull out all the training information I have on everyone and reconcile the spreadsheet and database we keep them in.  Then I give that info to Lt. Citrus who in turn sends it out to all the officers…

…five minutes after that email goes out, my inbox is flooded with angry missives and my phone lights up with the rabid snarls from officers accusing that I have “forgotten to log their hours,” “obviously didn’t get their many emails,” or passive aggressive suggestions that perhaps I “just misplaced them, dear.” 

After three days of checking, double checking, data entry, and getting yelled at, Small Dog is not inclined to be friendly towards officers who try to blame email for their problems.

I take a certain amount of dark pleasure in showing them my stack of training reports that I collect and my email archives (which I started saving for months for this very purpose) to show that I have logged all the hours they’ve given me, obviously have gotten all of their emails (their emails just don’t mention training hours as much as missing laundry), and have certainly not misplaced anything.  Dear.

It’s all for naught!  Three months from now I’ll go through the whole reconciling process again and then have to reconcile myself to the wrath of the officers!

(S)Crew(ed) Up


Unbelievable!  J. Crew was having a sale on shirts (which I needed a couple more of for winter to give my few work sweaters a break) and the skirt I was lusting after was also miraculously on sale as well.  PLUS I had a $50 gift certificate that I got from my health insurance company for completing a bunch of health challenges they do throughout the year so I could afford them.  Obviously I had to take advantage, n’est pas? 

An artist's rendering of a suspicious individual seen in the area about the same time as me. What a cooincidences, huh?

Not as easy as it first appeared!  This sale closed at midnight over the weekend and I (ridiculous creature that I am) of course forgot the gift certificate in my work desk.  Which meant a late night weekend gallop to the office, fetchingly attired in an old shirt, flannel pajama pants, mad hair, thick socks, and heeled shoes because they were the closest thing to hand as I rushed out the door.  Accompianied by J.’s fond head shakes and sighs of, “You’re a nuggins.”  His “adorable” nickname for me when I’m doing something particularly silly (I’m not so fond of it).

But apart from the slight craziness I exhibited, all was well!  I ordered my things happily and went to bed at peace.

This morning I woke up to a shiny online coupon in my inbox advertising 20% off one’s total order.  Which means had I waited 24 hours (and was psychic), I could have gotten my order for over half off.


Bite Me

Extemporized conversation with Margot post-Nosferatu viewing:

(Editor’s Note:  I stand by it.  Vampires ≠ sexy!)

C: I really liked the part when he comes into Lucy’s room and says, “Love me like you do your husband,” and she basically comes back with a quick, “Nope!” only classier and in German.  He actually looked confused that he wasn’t very persuasive!
M: Oh…I…I really thought that would work… I was really hoping you’d say ‘yes,’ this whole thing would be much less awkward.  Having just broken in your room and everything.
C:   I, um, don’t have a plan after this.  Ok…well look, I’ve stalked you all the way from Transylvania-“
M: Actually moved in next door, after almost killing your husband-
C: And wiping any memory of you he has. 
M: Did I mention I’m a harbringer of the Black Death?
C: And rats follow me everywhere in the countless millions.  I also seem to spark insanity in the masses.
M: And I also drink people’s blood.  Yes, suck them absolutely dry, poor devils.
C: ……….Why don’t you like me?

Ok, last chance to become my undead girlfriend...wait! Where are you going?