Captain Agro’s Pre-tween Soccer School

The following is the tale of Hubs’s brief and bittersweet side career as the soccer coach of eight to ten-year old girls. That’s right, pre-tweens. The age group before the age group that terrifies intelligent adults and drives Disney Channel marketing. The names have not been changed because nobody is innocent.

This year Riley decided that she was a little bored with gymnastics and wanted to try something new. Riley’s BFF plays soccer, so Riley decided that she’d like to give soccer a try too, despite the fact that she and her BFF couldn’t play on the same team. You see, Riley’s birthday is in April, which puts her in the eight-ten age group, while her BFF’s birthday is in August, putting her in a younger category.

You’d never know it by looking at them, but Riley is older by three months. A veritable old lady by comparison. She could break a hip at any moment.

Old lady on the right. As you can see, osteoporosis is already curving her spine.

However, as it turned out, the soccer organization was desperate for coaches, so they offered to put Riley and her BFF on the same team if Hubs agreed to coach.

Now Hubs knows a thing or two about a thing or two; cycling, wrestling, pond hockey, and all manner of combat and law enforcement lie within his areas of expertise. But he knows absolutely bupkis about soccer. He could effectively train an elite squad of pre-tween crime fighting assassins. But he has no idea what to do with a soccer ball, unless of course you tell him to kill someone with it.

Despite his lack of expertise and extra time, Hubs saw coaching as an opportunity to ease our introverted daughter’s entry into the sport by providing her with the security of her BFF. And as an added bonus, he could be a part of Riley’s pre-Olympic sports career. He figured that teaching pre-tween girls was only marginally more intimidating than kicking down the doors of armed criminals, which he considers just a fun way to spend a Monday morning.

Hubs told Riley. She was ecstatic and declared Hubs a hero. He purchased a book on coaching giggly girls. All was right with the world. A rainbow hung over our house every day and unicorns crapped on our front lawn.

Unicorn poop may be rainbow-colored and sprinkled with stars but it will still kill your grass. (image via themarysue)

Then at the first coaches’ meeting, Hubs got his team roster and discovered (gasp!) there was no BFF on the list.

Whaaaaaa??

When he brought it to the attention of the powers-that-be he was told that he must have misinterpreted the offer because the organization would never mix such vastly different ages as eight and eight-plus-three-months together on the same team. That was crazy talk! They meant that they would sometimes put two girls of EXACTLY the same age on the same team even if they were friends. Then they told him to have a nice day and enjoy coaching.

“Sir, may I suggest what you can do with your ‘nice day’, sir?”

Hubs was not pleased. He’d been hoodwinked. To his credit, he didn’t pull his weapon and administer a body cavity search at the meeting, but he did come home and draft a lengthy email, which then needed to be edited heavily to delete foul language and implications of violence. Then he tossed and turned all night. For the next three nights. And wore down his molars.

Despite his carefully crafted, non-threatening arguments, the soccer organization refused to put the girls on the same team. In and of itself this would have been frustrating but not disastrous if Hubs had not shared this plan with Riley. But he had.

Have you ever destroyed the dream of an eight-year old girl? It resembles a scene from a Telenovela but in English.

“Sin mi amigo yo me morir√© sin duda!” Translation: “without my friend I will surely die!” (image via jahpeaceful666)

Riley decided that soccer was the devil’s sport, run by terrible ogres bent on breaking the hearts of small girls. She requested that the man in charge be flogged or at least arrested for deliberate meanness. I tried but could not sway her opinion and Hubs, who was on-board with the flogging idea, decided that he would not use soccer as an opportunity for the two of them to bond in misery, so he gave the organization the one fingered salute tactfully resigned and we enrolled Riley in swimming class.

And that was it. Hubs’s brief and bittersweet side career as a pre-tween soccer coach was over before it began. Riley will never rip off her soccer jersey to display her sports bra after winning the Olympic gold. We will never have David Beckham or Mia Hamm over for dinner. All we’re left with is a front lawn full of unicorn crap.

The soccer organization had better hope that Hubs doesn’t figure out a way to weaponize unicorn crap.

Animal Magnetism

 

 

Warren Michael III: animal lover (image via firstcoastnews)

Warren Michael III was pulled over in Clay County Florida after a sheriff witnessed Warren’s car cross a grass shoulder and nearly hit another car head on. Warren blamed his erratic driving on a pet squirrel in his shirt that was “eating him.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard the “squirrel in my shirt” excuse, am I right?

However, further investigation revealed that there was indeed a squirrel in Warren’s shirt. One might automatically assume that this would’ve given Warren a pass. I mean once you’ve been gnawed on by a rodent, aren’t you pretty much excused from any resulting erratic behavior? Apparently not. The sheriff gave Warren a field sobriety test despite the squirrel attack because Warren reeked of alcohol, had glassy, bloodshot eyes, was very talkative and using a lot of profanity.

Just so you know, that description implicates most of the people I worked with while living in New England and the entire town of Lowell Massachusetts. Shoot, I’d swear like a trucker if a rodent had mistaken me for a McRib sandwich.

However, in this instance, the sheriff made a good call when he asked Warren to secure the squirrel and exit the vehicle because Warren performed the sobriety test about as well as Amanda Bynes in a Home Depot parking lot.

“I don’t drink, I just get really disoriented in Home Depot.”

The report states that Warren appeared unsteady, leaning and swaying during the walk and grabbing the side of the truck to keep from falling over. He placed his foot down twice while trying to stand on one leg. He also forgot the directions, neglecting to count out loud while he performed each exercise.

Warren was charged with a DUI and not wearing a seat belt.

Hello! You can’t wear a seat belt when you have a squirrel in your shirt. You’d squish the squirrel! Duh. People don’t understand the complexities of inter-attire rodent transportation.

The squirrel was not charged with malicious nibbling or eating to endanger, which might demonstrate favoritism on the part of the sheriff, but I don’t like to cast stones at law enforcement. Casting stones can get you tazed.

I don’t think I have to tell you how disastrous this could have been. Thank God Warren didn’t stick the squirrel in his pants. I don’t know a man alive who wouldn’t have driven through a crowded playground to save his tree nuts.

In addition to dressing like Punky Brewster, this man clearly has a squirrel in his pants.

Warren and his girlfriend named the squirrel DUI (Dewie) in honor of Warren’s arrest, which sounds sweet until you realize that if the squirrel didn’t already have a name, it wasn’t actually a pet. Did Warren just pick up a random squirrel and shove it in his shirt? That hardly seems wise. What if the squirrel was claustrophobic or hypoglycemic or allergic to stupid humans? You’ve got to get to know a squirrel before you wear it.

You should also feed the thing before dropping it into your clothes and going for a drive. Or at least share your drinks. Then you’d have a really relaxed squirrel that would enjoy the drive a lot more.

Everyone knows that squirrels love to party. (image via dailypicksandflicks)

But then again, maybe you shouldn’t get your pets from your front yard. We’ve got some really cute raccoons that like to hang out in our yard but I’m not going to shove one in my shirt. I’ve seen what they can do to a garbage bag.

So Warren, if you’re reading this, please don’t take any more neighborhood wild animals for joy rides in your shirt. I’d hate for you to end up with a pet named Vehicular Homicide.

 

Bozo Motley

I’m vain. I’ll admit it. Sure, I might wander around in unattractive workout clothes without makeup for most of the day. Or week. And I’m more than willing to humiliate myself in any number of ways in the name of comedy. But despite my goofiness and sometimes slovenly exterior I still like to look presentable when the time calls. And the time is about to call.

I’m going to be on stage for the first time since Jesus had acne and to commemorate that fact I decided to get my hair freshly done. My hair didn’t really need to be done. It looked fine. But I was shooting for fabulous. I wanted to feel special.

“Do not blaspheme, my child. I had a couple of pimples at best, but a little Proactiv cleared it right up.” (image via dreamstime)

I made an appointment with my hairdresser, the one in Hollywood who has guns tattooed on her hips and is so cool that she really shouldn’t even be cutting the hair of a housewife from the Valley, except that she’s too cool to even care. She is so cool that the space shuttle flew by three times just trying to get an appointment. She is so cool that I always walk out of the salon ten shades cooler than when I walked in just because she talked to me. Yeah, that cool.

And I did what you never do right before a big occasion. I asked for a change. I asked for more red in my hair. Because I wanted to make an impression.

Well she gave me what I asked for. She most certainly did. Lots of red. In my hair. Enough red to really make an impression. And also burn some retinas. I didn’t notice how bright it was in the salon, because I was intoxicated by the coolness, but I think I caused some accidents on the way home.

“Oops, my bad.”

When the shelf life of my cool status had expired and I looked in my own mirror, I thought, Whoa! followed by, Oh sh!t, WTF, sweet baby Jesus, am I supposed to do with this?

A friend of mine tried to assure me that my hair would look great on stage. I appreciated her effort considering that she had to squint through the glare to talk to me. And I think she was probably right. My hair would look good on stage. At the circus.

Am I the only one who thinks this clown looks drunk and terrified? (image via dreamstime)

After putting on two pairs of sunglasses, my friend also mentioned that I could tint my hair with coffee. This sounded like a brilliant idea. I wouldn’t have to spend another day traipsing through Hollywood to correct my hair, layer my head with more chemicals or (ahem) admit to my hairdresser that I wasn’t cool enough to carry off my edgy new hair color. And Hubs always leaves at least a cup’s worth in the pot.

I took the coffee left in the pot (which judging by the smell had been made in the 1990s) mixed it with some conditioner, slathered it on my hair, wrapped it in a towel and let it sit for an hour before shampooing.

“Your head smells like the good old days when we mixed coffee with dirt and drank it in a bunker.” (image via dreamstime)

Let me tell you what stale coffee can do for your hair. Not much in the color department. Evidently coffee cannot magically take the clown out of your hair. It can however, make your hair reek like a burnt cup a joe in a roadside diner. And who doesn’t love bad road coffee? I’ve donated several layers of stomach lining to the stuff myself. When the process was complete, my head smelled like it had been sitting in the cup of a fat, unwashed truck driver with a giant belt buckle and sallow skin.

(I don’t know why I’m so down on truck drivers. I’m sure many of them are lithe and rosy and smell like honeysuckle.)

Even after washing and conditioning, my hair smelled like a 1970s teachers’ lounge. If Bozo the Clown taught high school algebra, he would smell like me. He would also make me wet my pants. Because he’s evil.

Anyway, I’m excited to take my new train wreck coiffure on stage. I think it’s going to add an edge to my performance. I mean there will be lots of normal looking women on stage but only one with stinky clown hair. And when you think about it, that’s pretty special. Right?

Conor painted a picture of me. I think he really captured the intensity of my new hair.

The Intellectual Apocalypse

There has been a lot of media focus of late on the zombie apocalypse. They’re in the news. They have their own books and movies. It’s only a matter of time before a zombie has a star on the walk of fame. I understand it. Naked face eaters are sexy.

Green, anorexic zombies serving brain Jello–also sexy. (image via dreamstime)

But I’m here to tell you that western civilization faces another threat, a threat more subtle and less reliant on bath salts, but just as dangerous. I’ve seen the signs: signs that western civilization is declining from intellectual atrophy as we speak.

The following all happened in one day in the space of an hour, a sure sign that disaster is upon us. I present these events to you with the advice that you take them seriously and start working on your family bunkers.

Last week on September 11th I felt strangely sad and full of foreboding but I couldn’t figure out why. The date didn’t occur to me until I logged on to Twitter and saw the Arby’s retweet “May we never forget #9/11” on my feed. That’s right, motherf***ing Arby’s, the makers of the roast beef sandwich (which, by the way, I ate by the ton in the fifth grade when my mom was sick in the hospital) remembered 9/11 but I did not.

Keep in mind that on the day of the original tragedy Hubs and I were living just outside of Boston (where two of the flights originated) and that Hubs is a cop and a marine with a background in anti-terrorism. I’ve seen more footage of the attack and terrorist attacks in general than your average housewife and I hear about the subject. Every. Day. Whether I want to or not. September 11th is a big freaking deal in our house. And yet a fast food restaurant had to take the time between batches of curly fries to remind me of the day’s significance via Twitter.

It’s official, Paris Hilton and I get our news from the same source. Yay. I’m so hot right now.

“Terrorism makes me so sad. Like flying coach. Not a coach bag. But coach in an airplane. With the poor people.” (image via dreamstime)

A short time later I heard someone use the word “ludicrous” in a sentence. The sentence didn’t make sense to me because I automatically assumed they were referring to the hip hop artist Ludacris. It took me a disturbing amount of time before I realized that they were using the actual word “ludicrous” as it was originally intended. Sure I have major street cred because I know the coolest hip hop artists, but I’ve forgotten the original meaning of words and that is bad. Not bad as in cool, but bad as in…bad. Word.

“I might be Ludacris but you are ridiculous.”

Not ten minutes later, I heard on the radio that though most of the television stations had observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of 9/11, NBC chose instead to run an interview with Kris Jenner regarding her boob job. Because that’s important. The boobs of a reality television mother. I’m sure that NBC was worried the Kardashians might suffer from media under-exposure. And they just wanted to continue the reign of excellence they enjoyed during their coverage of the Olympics.

Remember the promo for the new comedy Animal Practice that featured a monkey doing gymnastics, which they ran right after discussing gold medal winner Gabby Douglas? It’s hard to match those standards every day. You’ve got to throw down with some Kardashian mammaries during a 9/11 memorial to make that happen.

“Don’t forget that my @ss was on CNN.” (image via dreamstime)

That’s Ludacris…I mean ludicrous.

Come to think of it, maybe NBC just missed the Arby’s tweet on their Twitter feed and forgot what day it was. Or maybe I’m secretly the president of NBC. I should give myself a raise and then fire myself, but with a nice severance package to tide me over until I get hired by another classy station…like MTV…or at least so I have enough money to stockpile water and toilet paper before I completely lose all brain function and forget what those items are and then end up thirsty and dirty-@ssed during the intellectual apocalypse when we all become cannibalistic and start eating Kardashians…

Judging by my sentence structure it may already be happening.

I call dibs on Kim!

“Actually in the intellectual apocalypse, I will dine on that perfect b!tch.” (image via dreamstime)

A Coalition For The Criminally Inclined And Intellectually Challenged

I’ve been working on a theory. You see I hear a lot of stupid criminal stories, as a cop’s wife and occasional web surfer. They’re often amusing. However, being an empathetic and logical (don’t laugh) individual, I’ve also noticed a common tragic thread in these stories which has led me to a hypothesis.

Perhaps if some of these less than intelligent, criminally inclined, but relatively harmless individuals kept each other company, they wouldn’t be out on the street making bad decisions and executing the kinds of half-baked ideas that lead them to end up with extremely unflattering mug shots.

Alone they are unfortunate, but together they might be more than the sum of their parts. I’ll use three recent stories as an example.

First let’s take Chad William Forber.

Officially the only tweaker I’ve ever seen with a double chin. (image via sflchronicle.com)

Chad was arrested while running around naked. He was carrying his shorts and a can of Crisco cooking spray with which he’d thoroughly greased himself. Chad told police that he was just looking for a place to party.

Just looking for a place to party.

It breaks your heart a little bit, doesn’t it? There he was feeling restless and alone with just a can of cooking spray for company. Aside from being naked and unattractive, Chad has done nothing wrong…if you don’t count the meth in his shorts and his resistance to being arrested. In Chad’s defense, the police rarely seem ready to party. If I were all greased up and ready to go, I might want to take my party elsewhere too.

Like to a firehouse. Now those guys know how to party and cook a pot of chili. And Chad looks like a man who can appreciate a pot of chili.

Next we have James Crittendon.

James isn’t good with math but a genius with constitutional law and theology. (image via wave3)

James had a small mathematical problem at a local supermarket when he opened $23.90 worth of Reddi Whip, but only had $7 in his pants. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that Mr. Crittendon was a little light in his whipped cream funds. He was also huffing the Reddi Whip in the store, which they frown upon. However, he informed the authorities that he was huffing the cans to wake up, which the US Constitution gave him the authority to do.

I applaud his knowledge of the Constitution.

Later, James was arrested for lighting a toilet on fire at a convenience store. I would have assumed that he lit the toilet on fire because it’s the only way to adequately sanitize a convenience store bathroom, but James stated that it was actually due to religious reasons. My bad.

Unfortunately attendance is in the sh!tter and services at the Church of the Flaming Toilet have been suspended.

Now I wish I’d gotten around to taking theological studies in college. Is it the Jehovah’s Witnesses that believe in hell fire and brimstone in a commode or is that a Seventh Day Adventist thing?

Finally I present Andrew Toothman.

Nearly six feet of Reese’s peanut butter cup. (image via thesmokinggun.com)

Police found Andrew face down and completely covered in chocolate and peanut butter in a supermarket. He had apparently smashed through the glass door wearing nothing but boots. He then emptied all of the fire extinguishers and wrote “sorry” on the floor in NyQuil, which was thoughtful. And while breaking windows should generally be avoided, there is nothing wrong with covering yourself in chocolate and peanut butter…well unless you’re at my son’s preschool and that’s only because there are nut allergies and you should be considerate of other people’s food restrictions. But you could totally cover yourself in chocolate and be okay.

So I read these stories and it’s glaringly apparent to me that these men need each other.

Together these items promise better times and friendship. The same is true for unfortunate people.

For instance, if Andrew Toothman and his appropriated fire extinguishers had been present at the convenience store bathroom at the time of Mr. Crittendon’s religious service, he would have been extremely useful. Perhaps Mr. Crittendon could have even absolved Mr. Toothman of whatever he was feeling “sorry” about before the toilet service was extinguished.

Now add Chad Forber to the mix. You give Chad two friends who also carry food, one of whom understands the draw of traveling in the buff, add in Mr. Crittendon’s bonfire-building capabilities and you have yourself a cookout. In the event that they get into trouble again or catch a cold, they could all benefit from Mr. Crittendon’s knowledge of constitutional law and Mr. Toothman’s NyQuil.

All they need is each other. And a couple of items from the local supermarket.

But isn’t that what we all need? Like-minded individuals who understand us? Maybe that’s all that stands between us and an unflattering mug shot.

We’re so lucky we found each other.

Plan B

I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend. Ours was packed full of laughter, tears, head colds and injuries (all the things that make a family vacation special) even though our initial Labor Day plans fell through.

We had intended to do a little camping this weekend, but so did the rest of the world and unlike us, the rest of the world made reservations. I tell you, it ain’t easy being a slacker in a Type-A world. In order to distract the children from the fact that we weren’t sleeping in the woods, we came up with a Plan B and scheduled some camping-esque activities.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, kids, you are actually having fun in the wild because your parents would never drop the ball and disappoint you. (image via MGM)

First we distracted Riley, who is old enough to ask the wrong kinds of questions, with a sleepover at her BFF’s house. Riley wouldn’t care if the zombie apocalypse arrived as long as she had her stuffed animals and her BFF. Conor had a cold anyway, so we just loaded him up on cold meds and made wild animal noises. He never knew the difference.

(Note: By “cold meds” I mean ice cream.)

“I see bears, Mommy.” “That’s right, sweetie. Now eat your campfire ice cream.”

The next night we hosted a cook out and garage door drive-in movie night. It was a wild success. Our neighbors in the back house especially enjoyed the fact that we blocked the whole driveway so that they had to run an obstacle course in order to come and go, which they managed to do a record amount of times in two hours. Hubs got out his special military cot that was designed to collapse under anyone but armed combatants, so all of the kids got the chance to be thrown to the ground before eating their weight in marshmallows. Great fun.

The next day we took the kids to the wilderness with some friends, raced up and down hills, climbed some trees and rocks, saw the local wildlife and managed to eat all of our picnic food within two minutes of turning off the car ignition.

The tree people of Los Angeles.

Things got ugly during the hill races. You have to watch yourself next to a competitive marine. They will do whatever is needed to take a hill, including pile-drive their eight-year old daughter into the dirt. In Hubs defense, Riley was running in his blind spot, he had a blind spot because he was carrying the smallest child up with him as a gesture of good will and, as his daughter, Riley should have known to give him a really wide birth. She’s seen him break windows and crush door knobs for God’s sake. He’s Conan the Barbarian in a medium-sized t-shirt.

I watched the tragedy unfold in slow motion. Riley tried valiantly to catch herself for what seemed like two miles, but ultimately went down face first in a blaze of glory. She started to cry and Hubs, baffled as to why she would choose that competitive moment to lie face down and cry in the dirt, gave her the sensitive and sage advice, “you should watch where you’re going,” to which she replied, “I did watch where I was going, which was face down into the dirt because you ran me over, ya big clumsy oaf!”

Or at least that’s what the look she shot him implied.

I delicately let him know that he had inadvertently flattened his baby girl and he tried to make it up to her by power washing her wound with iodine. I’m pretty sure she’s going to stick Hubs in a Home the first chance she gets, which will soften her psychological scars.

Hubs took this picture because it looks like a turtle peeing from a giant turtle penis. I love his sophisticated sense of humor. You really can’t stay mad at a man who takes pictures like this.

By the end of the day each child had earned their very own injury, which was nice. I hate for anyone to feel left out. I declared the weekend a success and Hubs and I parents of the year.

Next weekend will be a festival of sloth in order to effectively lower the kids’ standards again, because I can’t keep up that kind of pace every weekend. I’d suffer burnout or a groin pull.

Our motley crew. By the way, Riley is not waving at the camera–she’s displaying her wound to document her suffering.

Underpriviledged Teenage Cougars Vying For A Place In Society

Once again the news has caught my attention, Reno news to be exact. Reno isn’t just Las Vegas’s ugly cousin. Many interesting things happen there. It’s a hub of excitement. And also a hub of martinis and video poker.

And juvenile delinquent mountain lions.

Evidently an underage mountain lion was caught trying to slip into the Harrah’s casino in downtown Reno before the breakfast rush last Friday morning. Scandalous. Especially since Harrah’s doesn’t have a breakfast buffet and Peg’s is really where you want to go for a quality breakfast. It’s a Reno institution. Duh. Somebody needs to tell that cougar about Yelp.

A cougar’s eye view of the downtown Peg’s. (image via Yelp & Zack M.)

Then again maybe the mountain lion went to Harrah’s for the Beer Pong Tournament and a show. Master hypnotist Tyzen was appearing in a “suggestive adult revue,” which is a subtle way of saying that he was surrounded by girls with naked ta-tas. That seems like the type of thing an underage mountain lion would appreciate. Naked ta-tas look just like a breakfast buffet.

This guy Tyzen wears as much eyeliner as Criss Angel, has a cool Justin Beiber comb-over and does improv comedy to loud rock music. He also makes people bark like a dog which has got to be pretty hilarious for a wild cat fresh from the Beer Pong Tournament.

Is he trying to grab my naked ta-tas? It worries me. Someone should tell him I’m married and my husband is armed. (image via Tyzen.com)

Alas, the approximately two-years old, 100 pound cat will never know Tyzen’s genius, because when it tried to walk into the casino it couldn’t negotiate the revolving door, which may be a sign that it was already drinking and would also explain why it didn’t understand the absence of a buffet.

Someone needs to track down who’s been serving underage mountain lions. That’s how Drew Barrymore got into trouble and aside from making Poison Ivy, she was relatively harmless. A mountain lion is not. Ask any chihuahua.

After failing to enter the revolving door, the cougar hid under an outdoor stage in a nearby plaza. I would guess that he was trying to drunk-dial an old girlfriend or eat Paris Hilton’s dog, Tinkerbell, which, though technically a mercy killing, is still disturbing.

“Help me. I taste like chicken and designer fabric.” (image via veanimals.com)

Authorities tranquilized the mountain lion and released it into the wild after tagging it for participation in a University of Nevada, Reno study. They didn’t mention the nature of the study. Maybe they’re checking on the effects of revolving doors on mountain lion self-esteem. Not that they need a whole study on that. The answer is obvious. Would you feel good about yourself if you couldn’t make it through a revolving door and then ended up passed out on the local news? Me neither.

Teenage mountain lions suffer from low self-esteem. (image via RPD)

Nevada Department of Wildlife Spokesman, Chris Healy, called the young male cat’s behavior “almost the equivalent of being a stupid teenager,” which I think is a little harsh. Let’s be honest here, if this cat were really a stupid teenager, he would have hot-wired a car and took it for a joy ride or peed off a tall building. At the very least he would have tried to play a game of craps with a fake ID and score free drinks from a roving cocktail waitress. Mr. Healy has evidently never seen a Hollywood teenager in action. When that cougar has a sex tape and has rolled its car on Mulholland Drive, give me a call.

Seriously though, this story brings up some pertinent issues, especially because this is an election year and the state of America’s youth is at the forefront of our candidates’ campaigns, right behind the economy and foreign policy and oil and religion and gay marriage and hurricanes and female reproductive organs…well it’s in there somewhere. Perhaps the importance is more implied than actually discussed.

Regardless, instead of pointing fingers and slinging insults we should be focused on creating constructive activities for these animals, so that they don’t waste their time hanging out in casinos. Or maybe we need more revolving doors in the wild. Or more job opportunities. Or better education. Or lower taxes for felines. Or smaller government for bigger cats…

I’m just brain storming here.

I certainly don’t claim to have all of the answers. But this mountain lion is an American and it deserves a future. An American future. For Americans. Who are cats.

(image via dreamstime)

 

Second Hand Candy And Ethanol Byproducts: The New Superfoods

 

 

I think I have a nose for investigative journalism. Some stories just jump right off the page and demand that I do some research. For instance, this morning I saw a story titled Cows Eating Candy During The Drought. I had visions of cows buying Snickers bars and Big Gulps down at the local 7-Eleven and cows trick or treating while dressed up as princesses and ninjas. The investigative journalist in me had to check it out.

See, trick or treating cows are adorable. By the way, she’s holding a fake severed finger.

I was somewhat disappointed to find no mention of trick or treating cows in the article. However, the story was still interesting.

Apparently the drought is sending corn prices off the charts, which is making it very expensive for ranchers to feed their livestock because cows are notoriously big eaters. That’s why they’re called “cows”. For the record, I’m not judging them for their appetite nor would I advocate making them buy two tickets on an airplane. Not every animal can be built like a cheetah, so let’s be a little more tolerant here, people. Besides, who wants to sit next to a cheetah on an airplane? It would eat your head. We need to be logical about this.

Anyway, according to the article, Joseph Watson over at Mayfield’s United Livestock Commodities couldn’t afford to feed his cattle corn anymore, so earlier this year, he started feeding them second-hand candy.

(Enrollment in animal dentistry is probably skyrocketing as I type.)

The packaged candy comes from various companies at a discounted rate because it is not fit for store shelves. I didn’t know that candy went bad and judging from the Halloween candy I got when I was younger, neither did any of the people in my neighborhood. I wish some thoughtful rancher had been around back then to take the stale chocolate and petrified Dum Dums off the hands of my neighbors, even if it meant that I would eat it later covered in A1 Steak Sauce at our local Sizzler.

“Old Lady Simmons gave me some junky lollipops again.” “Me too. I say we egg her house later.” (image via flickr & Martin Lindstrom)

Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol byproduct and a mineral nutrient. He says the cows have not shown any health problems from eating the candy, and are gaining weight as they should, which makes sense. I gain weight when I eat a steady supply of candy. I also find myself a little irritable. I wonder if Watson is having problems with grumpy cows. I wonder if his ranch looks like a school playground the day after Halloween.

I was a little concerned that if the cows are completely sedentary, eating candy and drinking Big Gulp’s full of ethanol byproducts, they aren’t living a healthy lifestyle. That’s no way to live. Unless you’re a computer programmer.

This angle of the story demanded further investigation.

I contacted my confidential source, Lindsay Lohan (and by “confidential” I mean completely fabricated), who seems to exist just fine on candy and ethanol. She suggested that the ranchers take the cows clubbing for exercise. I told her that the idea was ridiculous. Obviously the cows don’t have anything cute to wear. They’d never get into any quality Los Angeles nightclubs. Then Lindsay and I got in a fist fight and her parole officer had to break it up.

Don’t worry, I gave her some candy and ethanol and we’re solid again. (image via dreamstime)

To be honest, I didn’t completely understand what an ethanol byproduct was. It sounded like something I might have produced after a night of collegiate drinking, but surely no one would feed that to cows.

In order to speak intelligently about it I did what any knowledgeable journalist would do and googled “ethanol byproduct”. There I discovered an article filled with somebody else’s investigative journalism that talked about how recent research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distiller’s grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli in their hindgut or, as I like to put it, poisonous junk in their trunk. In fact, the prevalence of E. coli was about twice as high in cattle fed distiller’s grain compared with those cattle that were on a diet lacking the ethanol byproduct.

They don’t know exactly why this is but they’re looking to find out why and then prevent it from happening because the relationship between cattle ranchers and ethanol producers is mutually beneficial. Distiller’s grain is a cheap food source and ethanol producers need an added source of income in case the world suddenly stops drinking heavily or Kentucky sinks into the ocean.

Don’t panic. We’re not getting rid of any state that gave us Johnny Depp. (image via dreamstime)

I think I’ve asked the important questions here.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go perfect my new cocktail. I’m mixing whiskey, old Halloween candy and a Flintstone’s chewable and calling it a Cattle Feed Martini. I’m on my second one and I’m about ready to throw myself on a grill right now.

 

Glamour Shots Confessional

Remember Glamour Shots, that 1990s trend of taking an otherwise attractive, dignified woman, making her look like Dolly Parton’s crack-riddled sister and then capturing it on film?

They were awesome. Though maybe not for the reason they were intended.

Have you ever wondered why a self-respecting women would indulge in this kind of celluloid chicanery? Did you assume that they received a concussion in the food court of a mall and wandered into the Glamour Shots studio, dazed and looking for help, only to find themselves topless and wrapped in a feather boa? I did.

This poor woman is still wondering what happened to her Wetzel’s pretzel. (image via dailymail)

But now I know better. And I’m here to tell you a story, a true story, of how I ended up with some Glamour Shots of my own.

It all began innocently enough. I needed a headshot for an upcoming show. I used to have a giant box of them hanging around but they became disturbingly outdated and now all 200 copies of my face are floating around a landfill, covered in dirty diapers and rotting food. I’ve heard that every time a seagull craps on my face, an angel gets its wings.

I needed another headshot but I didn’t want to shell out the cash for professional pictures when I only need one, so first I asked Hubs. He was a camera assistant when I met him, so he knows his way around a camera…box. Close enough. Now he often works surveillance and has taken many flattering photos of people violating parole. I figured he was the man for the job. And I think he would be…if I were stealing TVs from our neighbors and he was taking pictures from the inside of a utility van.

However making your tired wife look attractive in a giant leather recliner is a very different challenge.  Hubs made the artsy choice of shooting up from the floor, so that my legs look giant and my head looks teeny tiny. This may be the only time in the history of the world that my head has looked teeny tiny, so he does deserve an award for that feat, but the result was more of a kneeshot than a headshot.

Hire these knees! I also like the treadmill background setting and prop child. True artistry.

So I called a friend of mine for help. She teaches pole dancing and upon request she and her husband will take pictures of their students. I figured if she could make women look good while hanging upside down from a pole in their underwear, then she was up for the challenge. She brought out her black back drop and the fancy umbrella lights. Totally professional. You’d never know that the back drop is in front of camping gear, her dog is humping my leg and our kids are watching Dinosaur Train right behind her.

My eyes are sparkling with the joy of PBS theme songs and an amorous dog.

However, my friend has a twisted sense of humor (I don’t know how we became friends because I am so serious) and when she accidentally captured this image of me saying something obviously profound…

“I think the world needs more hugs and less drugs.”

…she immediately thought of those Glamour Shots. And she was right. I was almost here…

Yeah baby, work that bed sheet with your surgical glove! I’m going to wrap you up in your tinfoil blanket like a baked potato. (image via buzzfeed)

I tried to capture the “come hither” gaze but ended up looking more like a woman in an ADT Security Systems commercial.

“I’m so afraid that I’m going to clutch my imaginary collar.”

My friend was sure that I was simply missing the right props to emphasize my sex appeal. If you don’t have a leather jacket, a feather boa or a bedazzled collar to caress, it simply isn’t a Glamour shot.

Big Bird’s mother in a recumbent bike pose. (image via dailymail)

Luckily my friend had some of the needed items. It seemed like a really good idea to dig them out. And so our semi-professional photo shoot devolved into this.

This would be better if my collar was bedazzled and I was caressing it.

Just like her…

I bow before her mastery. (image via buzzfeed)

Perhaps what I need is a piece of furniture I can step on for no apparent reason.

Nothing is sexier than the Captain Morgan’s rum pose.

I only wish I had brought my crossbow.

He likes to kill a deer while caressing his girlfriend’s thigh. (image via dailymail)

And then we stopped our session because the kids needed to be fed. They have no respect for Glamour.

So that is how this unsuspecting mother ended up with Glamour Shots without so much as a cocktail or a head injury. Take this as a warning. It could happen to you.

And if it does you should remember to bring your crossbow.

I Am A Public Service Announcement Victim

A couple of days ago I was pulling into the grocery store parking lot when I was struck by a sudden sneeze. Not really a big deal, unless you happen to live in my head…

Which I do.

Because of that fact, I felt a moment of panic and immediately thought of a Public Service Announcement from my childhood, just as I do EVERY SINGLE TIME I sneeze while driving a car.

From the mid 70s to the mid 80s there was a political battle over the nationwide mandatory 55 mph law. Nobody, except the elderly and my father, wanted to drive 55 mph, but we were in the midst of an energy crisis. There were lines at the gas pump and people were desperate enough to siphon gas out of other people’s cars. (I know because I saw it on CHiPs in between the freeway car flips and the roller skating scenes.) The 70s were a good time to ride a bike but who wanted to do that when you could drive a Lincoln Continental and look like a pimp?

“Pimps are sexy.” (image via fanpix)

Anyway, they came out with a PSA wherein a woman was driving her stylish 70s vehicular tank on the freeway. But she wasn’t going 55 mph. Oh no. She was clearly exceeding the speed limit by at least 5 mph, careening along at a dangerous 60-61 mph. Suddenly she sneezed and there was a deadly car crash. The message was clear:

If you sneeze while driving, you will die!

Someone should have given this kid a Benadryl. (image via flickr & a adamant)

That’s the danger of PSAs. They impart a strong message, but not always the one they intended, especially when played for young, impressionable brains hopped up on Pixy Stix and waiting for an episode of The Muppets to come on.

For instance, the American Lung Association had an anti-smoking PSA with a dolphin taking a cigarette out of a man’s mouth, which rocked my world. Where did these sea mammals buy cigarettes? Where did they carry their money? And how did they keep their matches dry? I had disturbing visions of dolphins and seals sitting around smokey tables in seedy back rooms playing poker. It never occurred to me that these commercials were actually about humans.

Will someone get this dolphin some Nicorette? (image via Amercian Lung Association)

The famous This is your brain/This is your brain on drugs PSA contained vivid imagery which seemed to suggest that cracking your skull open and dumping your brain into a hot cast iron pan wouldn’t turn out well. Nor would frying your organs in butter. I made sure that my organs and narcotics were cold and butter-free.

Brains are high in cholesterol and Omega 3s.

Remember Iron Eyes Cody? He was the majestic Native American in the Keep America Beautiful PSA who paddled down an industrial river and then stood with a tear in his eye on the side of the highway, while people threw garbage out their car windows. I understood that message.

A Native American cries every time you throw a McDonald’s wrapper on the ground. And also Native Americans like to hang out on the side of freeways. Further more, Native Americans like to canoe near factories. It seemed to me that Native Americans were lacking in good hang outs and that concerned me. What if I sneezed while driving and crashed into a Native American hootenanny on the interstate? That PSA spurred my decades-long obsession with Native Americans and their need for places to socialize.

(Ironically, Iron Eyes Cody was actually the son of Italian immigrants, so he was Native American by way of Sicily, but let’s not quibble over details.)

Then I was crushed by the PSAs which informed me that Native Americans were alcoholics because the white man had taken everything away, which explained why Iron Eyes Cody had forgotten he was actually Italian and come to think of it, also why he was hanging out on the side of the freeway. Maybe he was crying because he wanted his stuff back and he was hoping someone would throw it out of their car window.

I was deeply ashamed that my Dad had taken everything away from the Native Americans, which, judging from my Dad’s closet, consisted of velour sweaters and Carlton cigarettes.

“I miss my sweaters.” (image via retroland)

I pledged to make it up to the Native American community by becoming a minority. I wore a lot of silver, got a perm and some parachute pants, learned to do the Running Man and tried my best not to be white, which as far as I know did nothing to improve the plight of the Native Americans, though for the record I haven’t seen any standing on the side of the freeway, so maybe I’m wrong.

PSAs are responsible for a whole slew of my misplaced anxieties. And the propaganda remains embedded in my brain like psychological herpes, just waiting for an opportunity to flare up while pulling in to the Trader Joe’s parking lot. I’m going to make my own PSA, warning about the danger of PSAs, so that the next generation can be spared this torment.

You’re welcome.

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This message was brought to you by a partnership for a PSA-free America. (And by partnership, I mean me.)