March 29, 2013


            You have never experienced trauma until you have tried to shave your legs in the head (that’s “bathroom” to you landlubbers) of a sailboat.  I usually try to put it off for as long as possible.  Luckily, being blonde, it’s fairly easy to get away with . . . plus, I wear jeans a lot.  But when it reached the point where I could no longer don a pair of shorts without looking like Chewbacca, the time had come.
Now for those of you who have never spent time in a head, it’s only slightly larger than the enclosure which worked its magic on Clark Kent.  Being 6’2” myself, it’s safe to assume that I didn’t exactly approach this exercise in feminine aesthetics with alacrity.
The main thing is balance.  If you are unable to ride a unicycle and juggle simultaneously, you are, as they say down south, “in a heap o’ trouble.”  Oh, and you also need vision rivaling that of a screech owl, because the lighting in a head is about as bright as Jesse Ventura.
There is no shower area curtained off, the way it is in houses.  You just shut the door and turn on the water.  Unfortunately, without the shower curtain and separate shower enclosure, one tends to develop permanent elbow bruises, for all the bouncing off the surrounding wood they do.
And that’s another thing.  It really takes the mental acumen of, say, Mike Tyson, to decide that putting wood in a place where bathing regularly occurs is a great idea.  It’s not . . . unless you enjoy exposing the bone marrow of your fingers by sanding and varnishing every other day to keep the wood rot away.
Fun is.
At any rate, after slamming my elbows a couple of dozen times and looking up to see the guy on the next dock peeking in my porthole (which has no curtains.  The head has wood, but no curtains . . . go figure), I have done everything but shave my legs.  Regretting that I neglected to first attend Confession that morning, and wondering if I would be given last rites anyway, I sighed, bent over, lathered up my legs, whacked my head a treat on the WOOD shampoo/conditioner holder, swore, backed into the WOOD cabinet under the sink, swore, caromed off the WOOD towel rack, swore, and grabbed the razor.
By now, I was completely blind from the shampoo that I hadn’t completely rinsed out of my hair and which had now found a home in my baby-blues – and if pain was any indication, was in the process of remodeling.
I’m now blind, bruised, concussed, and six of my toes are broken. 
And I haven’t even started to shave yet!
I usually try to get through it as fast as I can, but I had waited so long between shaves that I could only take one stroke before having to clear the blade in the sink.  Nevertheless, I pressed on.
By the time I got through and cleared the soap from my now baby-reds, the head looked like something that would have been edited from “Friday the 13th.”  There was gore glistening from every surface, and the coppery smell of blood hung in the air.   The bones of my kneecaps were completely exposed, with flaps of the skin that used to cover them waving in the steam.
I proceeded to disinfect the mess with straight peroxide.
When I came to, I was in the hospital being transfused.
“Good morning, Carson,” my nurse said.  “You waited a little longer this time.  I was expecting you three days ago.”
I don’t know what I hate more; hairy legs or smartass nurses!


March 22, 2013


            Smoking is hazardous to your health…in more ways than one.
I stopped and bought a pack of smokes this morning on the way to the office.  Driving again, I tried to light one up, and received a third-degree burn on my index finger.
Disgusted, I tossed the matches aside and fumbled in my handbag for my lighter.  Finding it at last, I flicked it on, while keeping my eyes on the road.  Unbeknownst to me, it was turned up to maximum flame height and not only did it light my cigarette, but my nose, as well. Making a mental note to figure skin grafting into this month’s budget, I drove on.
Unfortunately, I had dropped the lighter during the screaming, and had no idea where it landed until my seat caught fire.
Luckily, there was a doughnut shop across the street, so I leapt out of the car, ran into the shop, and bought both pots of coffee (regular AND decaf), ran back to the car, and extinguished the conflagration.
I returned the empty pots and turned to leave when the cashier stopped me.
“What is it?” 
She uneasily indicated my jeans.
The cuffs were smoldering.
Brand new jeans, and the damned cuffs were on fire!
I bought a cup of regular, black, no sugar, and put them out.
Now I had ragged cuffs that smelled really bad and were dyed brown with absolutely no regard for symmetry whatsoever.
I sloshed back to my car.
I sat down on what was left of my seat, which also sloshed.  My butt was now coffee-colored, too.
“OK,” I said.  “I’ll light up while I’m parked.”  I was able to do so uneventfully, and resumed my drive to the office.
Feeling that perhaps a little music would relax me, I flipped on the radio and twirled the dial, looking for something suitable.  While I was thus occupied, a live cigarette ash fell onto my leg and burned a huge hole in my jeans.  In my panic to put it out, I dropped my cigarette and it landed on my other leg, burning a hole there, too.
I pulled over, grabbed my lighter, matches, and cigarettes, and threw them out the window.
Walking into my office building, I was accosted by a group of teenagers.
“Hey, wow!  Where’d you get the cool jeans?”
“Hey, Skank!  Look at her nose!  Sick!  She looks just like a cat!  Who did that for you, lady?”
“Philip Morris,” I muttered.
“Was it expensive?”
 “Actually, no.  Only $5.50.”
Lately, I’ve been seeing a rather large cross section of the teen segment resplendent in burned, coffee-stained jeans and black noses.
I’m just really happy I didn’t have leprosy.
God knows what they would have done.


March 15, 2013


Step 1.  Prepare the Soil

This is done by turning it over, much the same way your Great Aunt Fudd turns over your Great Uncle Fudd to get him to knock off the snoring.  Next, you must break up the clods to that the soil is a more consistent texture—calling for an action similar to the punches Great Uncle Fudd receives in both eyes when he rolls over and tells Great Aunt Fudd to get stuffed. 

Step 2.  Fertilize the Soil

Do this by first stopping in at the nearest nursery, relinquishing your wallet, signing a promissory note against your soul, and then loading up your car with bag after bag of the same product you could get for free if you stood out in a cow pasture long enough.  (Remember, I never said any of this made sense – especially since I’ve yet to see even one flower growing in a cow pasture.)

Next, you go home and, using a rake, a hoe, and other implements of destruction; you work the truckload of manure that you just spend all your children’s college money on, into the flowerbed soil.  You will accomplish two things by doing this.  First, you will have wonderfully fertile soil.  Second, the god-awful smell will keep the Jehovah’s Witnesses away for most of the summer . . . also anyone else who inhales.  Your garden will be perfect – there just won’t be anyone but you and the swarming colony of flies to appreciate it. 

Step 3.  Plant your seedlings

Starting your plants indoors in February and raising your own seedlings will fill you with pride and give you a special feeling of accomplishment.  By the time they are large enough to plant in your flowerbeds, you will have come to regard them as your children.  And, since it is a well-known fact that talking to your plants improves their health, you are encouraged to do so.  If you are unsure of what to talk about, try to find subjects that might be of interest to them.  Have a discussion about sewing with a cactus.  Try a debate about the situation in the Middle East with a Wandering Jew.  Or how about a rousing conversation about the FBI with your Virginia Creeper?  After a while, it will become second nature to you, and with any luck at all, you may actually stay out of the lunatic asylum long enough to see them all bloom!

Mr. F. Dostoyevsky, of Pottsylvania, felt so fatherly toward his prize geraniums that he went so far as to fashion tiny outfits for them.  However, being a rather depressed personage who had no access to Prozac at the time, he dressed them all in black.  Since they were a deep red variety, when the geraniums bloomed, his front flowerbed took on the somewhat appalling aspect of a group of Lilliputian, recently beheaded mourners.  He was summarily arrested and charged with unnecessary strangeness and intent to attract the attention of the National Enquirer.  These offenses carried the stiff penalty of having to read six Tolstoy novels right in a row, without stopping.  Three days later, Mr. Dostoyevsky committed suicide.

There is such a thing as getting too involved with your plants. 

Step 4.  Garden pests and how to deal with them

Okay.  You’ve rid yourself of the bothersome human factor that would spoil your newly planted garden.  Now you’ll have to deal with the pests.  No, no!  I’m not talking about your Great Aunt Fudd!  I’m talking about pests with six legs!


No wonder she spends so much on shoes.

Actually, I’m referring to insect-type pests, and I don’t want to hear any mother-in-law jokes.

To continue.  The best thing to use to discourage insects is insecticide.  If killing the little fuckers doesn’t discourage them, I don’t know what will.

Some environmentally-conscious folks take issue with the use of chemicals to off one’s aphids.  They prefer a more natural, environmentally responsible way of eliminating insects.

They eat them.

These are the same people who make ant sandwiches, then go on a picnic, thereby saving oodles of time.

Once your plants are established, you may have to deal with larger pests, such as rabbits and deer and that weird little kid down the block.  To repel rabbits and deer, I recommend sprinkling a little dried blood at the edges of your flowerbeds.  You can get this from the weird little kid down the block immediately after you remove him from the microwave. 

Step 5.  Watering

Next, we must choose the best time of day to water the seedlings.  I opt for first thing in the morning; my cousin swears by early evening; and my dog will water them anytime no one is looking.

In conclusion, just let me point out that gardening should be relaxing.  If your neighbor is also a gardener, it can be fun to engage in a friendly competition.  For instance, who gets the first bloom, who has the most interesting color scheme, who has the most creative design, etc.  If you begin to fall behind your neighbor, don’t get grumpy; use it as a opportunity to learn from him or her…how to correctly fertilize the soil in your area, how to maximize a small space, how to fill his watering can with gasoline, how to landscape his flowerbed with a burning log…

After all, the best way to learn effective watering is from the pros – the fire department!


March 8, 2013


I don’t know about you, but I think sex toys are getting pretty scary.
I mean, at a bachelorette party I once had, someone gave me a piece of plastic that had more appendages than any deep sea dwelling creature you’d care to name.  This was something that you could (apparently) use in bed while simultaneously snaking out your toilet, cleaning your car’s exhaust system, unclogging your sink, and dialing 911.
“Have fun,” she said.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
“Oh, I will.” Say-no-more, say-no-more.
I gave it to my six-year-old nephew.  I think he uses it to attack his Star Wars action figures.  Darth  Vader doesn’t stand a chance!
My next experience with things of this nature occurred when a guy I had been dating for a while took me back to his apartment.  There was romantic music on the CD player, wine in the glasses, and lights turned down low.
He excused himself and came back with . . .ta da . . .a vibrating egg!
“Did you get that from a robotic chicken?” I asked, taken aback.
“Oh, that’s one of those Japanese mechanical pets, then?”
When he told me what he intended to do with it, I politely declined.  I have enough eggs inside me already, thank you SO much.
Then there are the inflatable dolls.  I tried one of these out once, and it worked pretty well until, after it was over, I gave him a lighted cigarette.
He should have told me he was a non-smoker.
Butt plugs are really freaky, but I’ve come to love them.  I make my husband wear his all the time.  He has had no gaseous explosions in years, but he’s getting REALLY big . . .


March 1, 2013


          Now that it is, once again, safe to leave one’s brass monkey out all night, it’s time to begin serious consideration of the type of garden to put in this year.  Last year, I successfully planted Lobelia and Iris in my front garden, and so far, their relatives haven’t caught on.
I don’t know how many of you are aware of it, but there are even celebrities who make time to enjoy gardening.  Here are a few gardening tips from some of the rich and famous.
Politicians:  “We have flowers beyond compare, and the trick is to use the best fertilizer available.  We just stand in the middle of the flowerbed and read any one of our speeches. It never fails.”
Arnold Swartz…Scwarz…Schwar…The Big Guy with the Muscles Who Talks Funny:  “My flowers always grow tall and strong because I water them with Gatorade.”
Joan Rivers:  “I tell them that if they don’t grow, they’re going to look just like me.” 
Now doesn’t that make you want to rush out, join the local Garden Club and plant evil-smelling geraniums, marigolds, and chrysanthemums as far as the eye can see; then go back to one of the members’ houses for last year’s iced tea and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off?  They will call this “refreshment.”  You will call this “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Oh, the excitement of it all.
I do have to admit that the Darwin Club…I mean, the Garden Club, does wonderful, well-thought-out projects throughout my area.  For instance, the hillsides along the highway were so drab, littered with nothing but endangered wildflowers.  But the Garden Club swept to the rescue by mowing down every last Trillium and Jack-in-the-Pulpit, and replacing them with, you guessed it, Crown Vetch.  This is a small creeping flower that is the color of Pepto Bismol and has that je ne sais quoi fragrance that never fails to remind one of an outhouse on a hot August afternoon.  It’s the stuff of Wyeth scenes, l tell you!
And the malls!  Oh, my!  I can’t begin to describe the fabulous container gardens the club plants in those large round concrete planters that are such a funeral home-esque decorative statement.  At a mall nearby, they’ve put in Dusty Miller, White Pansies, and a dark gray something-or-other that I think eats things.  This club is the only one of its kind that can plant an entire living, growing garden that looks dead when they’ve finished with it.  No one knows whether to water it or give it last rites.
Have you also noticed that Garden Club members always plant things that grow low to the ground?  This is because they are low to the ground.  You can’t be a member of the Garden Club in my town if you are taller than 3’7”.  They really ought to call themselves the Garden Gnomes.  I only got in because I lied about my height.  However, I shant (I’ve always wanted to use that word) be a member much longer because of a gaffe (I’ve never wanted to use that word, and I’m sorry I did) I committed last week.
I couldn’t help it.
I ran amok and used club funds to purchase…gasp…trellises!  I trained Morning Glories, climbing roses, Wisteria, and grape vines all over them.
When the club members found out what I had done, they formed a mob and cornered me after a meeting.  It really got ugly – they bit my knees and threw bucket after bucket of water on me, shrieking, “She’s a bad witch!  Melt her!  Melt her!”  Well, as you may guess, all they succeeded in doing was causing me to get drenched and develop a grudge against little people who hide in the tall grass and giggle a lot.
Don’t worry, though.  I’ll have my revenge.  They’re all getting warts.
So drop what you’re doing and join the Garden Club in your town.  Run out now and buy a thick pair of gardening gloves and a huge, floppy-brimmed hat.
The gloves are to protect your hands.
The hat is to protect your identity.