Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanknesses II.

Those who clear a space for Thanksgiving.*

Steel drums.

The cranky squirrel who lives in the tree outside my window.

Living in a place where being overnourished is a problem.

Summer thunderstorms.

Conan in the ascendant (happy shuffleboardin', Jay!)

All my bishops ever.

The families who donated them.

Thrift store victories.

Patient people who listen to me boast about my thrift store victories.

Kind people who laugh at my unfunny jokes.

Dead people who let me snoop around in the corners of their lives.

Hopeful people who think I'll remember to call them back this time.


Postcards, and those who send them.

Crow's feet, and those who craft them.

The ghost of Madeline Kahn.

Free public schools.

Free public libraries.

Free public restrooms.

Stacks of clean laundry that didn't require a whole day and a vat of boiling water to produce.


The person who invented broccoli.

The Person who invented the person who invented broccoli.

[Re-read previous three lines, substituting "cheesecake" and/or "Reuben sandwiches" for "broccoli."]


Space heaters.

You, who apparently give a d*** what I'm thankful for.

* In their hearts, Lena. There's nothing unthankful** about passing on the pumpkin pie -- more for the rest of us gluttons.
** However, it
is unAmerican. Ya socialist.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

For my newlywed cousin.

I drag her to witness double marital meltdown, and still she dares to plunge! For her and her groom and for all my other wedded dear ones, a pocket-sized marriage poem by my (dead) backup fiancé, Gerard.

God with honour hang your head,
Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed
With lissome scions, sweet scions,
Out of hallowed bodies bred.

Each be other’s comfort kind:
Déep, déeper than divined,
Divine charity, dear charity,
Fast you ever, fast bind.

Then let the March tread our ears:
I to him turn with tears
Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock,
Déals tríumph and immortal years.

(Pretty lovely for a single gentleman, eh?)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Gone postal (or: reliving the gory days).

It's a hard time of year. The slime creatures have returned to the mothership, all zombie limbs have retreated beneath the sod, and you've stuffed your ex-boyfriend's earthly remains back in the hopechest. You've got that old familiar affliction: the post-Halloween blues.

But you've forgotten one dismal delight that never brightens: the U.S. Postal Service. Your neighbors may be the blandest of Boy Scouts, your workplace may be annoyingly free of horror, but you never know what alarming wonders the mailman might bring, any day of the year.

Particularly if the return address is that of Sharon or Wynne.

Sharon sent me a book that reminds us that there was a time when terror wasn't kept just for October; there was a time when all kitchens were laboratories and all human beings were trembling guinea pigs. And that time was the 70s. I laughed! My dad laughed! My brother laughed! My sister-in-law laughed, dry-heaved, and then went into labor! It's like Mystery Science Theater for your coffee table. All captions are those of the book's author, though these pictures are plenty horrifying without them. Witness:

Once upon a time the world was young and the words mackerel and pudding existed far, far, away from one another. One day, that all changed. And then, whoever was responsible somehow thought the word fluffy would help. Oh, and eggs, too.

Surprise chowder? Oh, goody, because nothing livens up a thick, translucent soup like a sense of uncertainty!

Some freedom-hating soups want to take our spoons away and would have us slurp at the edge of our bowls like dirty foreigners. But these soups don't run! You want them to taste good? What are you, a Communist?

The Soup is Inspiration. The Soup is Love. Smell the Soup. When one first arrives here, one may believe the soup tastes like a**. That is not so, my child. The Soup is Inspiration and the Soup is Love. Your name is now "Harmonia." The Soup is Inspiration, and you do not want to leave. The Soup is Love, and we have an electrified fence. The Soup is Inspiration. And the Soup is Love.

Yes, let's have these in brandy snifters. Let's just tip our heads back and let the chunks slide in. The time you spend eating these is time you'll want back at the very end of your life. That's why they're served with a clock.

Sometimes quotation marks aren't enough. Not when "pie" means "a crust made of toasted bread crumbs, an egg-and-gelatin filling with green and red food coloring, and meringue made with Sweet 'n Low." Seriously, our current system of punctuation can't even begin to convey how NOT AT ALL PIE this "pie" is.

Little is known about the People's Republic of Orienta, only that its people like Chinese knickknacks and canned food.

Sometimes mere adjectives for mackerel are not enough. Sometimes mackerel is mackerel unto itself. Sometimes you just have to let go. Mackerelease yourself. Embrace mackereality.

It was very hard choosing just eight. You must order the book. Let Mister Mailman bring you the Halloween gift that keeps on giving (nausea)!

More horrors the postman dragged in, this time courtesy of Wynne....

Orange argyle skull-and-crossbones socks. They will keep me hideously happy until spring. (And hide my rather advanced leprosy.)

Mr. Metrosexual Happy Skull Pin now lives on the lapel of my Kermit-green jacket. He has won me many compliments in just the last few weeks -- dare me to leave him there through Christmas? He's a pro-aging inspration, so tickled to be dead. "Low-maintenance living!" sez Mr. Metrosexual Happy Skull. "No moisturizing, no plucking -- just Magic Marker some pretty designs 'round your eyesockets and GO!"

This one looked so benign when it emerged from the box.

But it gave birth to THIS. I have dubbed it The Audrey III. In the words of Wynne:

“Have you ever sat down with a glue gun and gone into a trance for an hour or so and then, when you came to, you looked at what was in front of you and thought, 'WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?'”

No, Wynne. No, I haven't. Nor has anyone else here. Please limit it just to glue guns, dearie -- I need you to stay on this side of the iron bars, so you can keep sending out boxes full of....

....Japanese monster pets! Named Domo! Domo's tag tells me that he likes to daydream and watch television. I think Domo and I will get along just fine, as long as he doesn't try to eat my kitty while I'm at work. I'm confident that he will wreak just enough havoc to tide me over until next Halloween.

Or until the next shrieking, oozing package appears on my doorstep.....
lunges for my jugular......

Monday, November 03, 2008

A big bowl of ice cream on every table.

If you live in Utah House District 51, tomorrow you must vote for Lisa Johnson for the State House of Representatives.

Besides being exceedingly intelligent (fluent in Russian and Korean), populist (down with vouchers, says Lisa!), and level-headed, she's my former babysitter.

She was a fantastic babysitter. She never exercised unrighteous dominion. She never invited her boyfriend over to watch movies. She played with us until bedtime and when our parents told her we could have ice cream she pulled out the big cereal bowls and heaped them up.

So vote for Lisa! Even if she's too ethical to serve up heaping bowls of your tax dollars to every last wailing cause, she's nice enough to really really wish she could. And she'll be happy to read you a bedtime story in exchange for your vote. A short one, of course. She's very busy these days.