Regional Distress

I make no secret of the fact that I desperately want to leave southern California.

I’m fairly certain that it’s killing me, Southern California that is. I don’t know what will get to me first, abject poverty (we can’t afford landscapers OR a housekeeper), cancer (I’ve lived by a lot of freeways and I heard it from someone’s friend whose doctor read it on the internet that that is pretty much a death sentence) or vanity (the pressure to look like an over developed ten-year old is dangerous), but I feel my mortality knocking at the front door and though the flier it left advertised a new pizza joint, I read between the lines and between the lines was a lot of white space and white space is what you see right before you get to the pearly gates, at least that’s the way it was in the movie Oh God, which starred George Burns, who was old enough to actually know what heaven looks like and would never have lied to me.

“The cigar I smoke now has angel wings.” (image via wikipedia)

I want to live!

And I want to do it surrounded by people who are not impossibly beautiful. I don’t begrudge regular beautiful people. Just the impossibly beautiful ones who’ve had so many expensive treatments and procedures done and then cleverly lied about it, so that 70 is the new 40 and silent screen movie stars look younger than I do. I can’t afford these treatments and procedures but I feel the pressure and it’s only a matter of time before I end up desperate in some alley behind a restaurant with Danny Bonaduce injecting discarded pork fat into my cheeks right before he runs back to Celebrity Rehab or into traffic…I mean he could go anywhere because he’s Danny Bonaduce and notoriously unstable, much like a face full of discarded pork fat.

Try Danny Bonaduce’s Back Alley Pork Fat Beauty Treatments and you too could look forever young like a troubled child star! (image via biography.com)

I want to live somewhere where people look their age, but still have all of their teeth. And know what an organic vegetable is. And don’t think that Budweiser is the only acceptable beer to drink. And say please and thank you. And know their neighbors. And don’t talk on the phone through dinner.

I’ve long thought that that somewhere lay in the South East. I’ve made no secret of this either. But lately there have been some headlines out of that region which are troubling my inner hypochondriac.

First, there has been an epidemic of Necrotizing Fascitis. I’ve read of three cases in and around Georgia. THREE. And that is three more than there should be. So it is obviously out of control. Nobody knows how these people contracted this terrible disease, which leaves me no way to obsessively avoid it. However, here’s what I do know: one of the victims was a mother, two of the victims were women and all three were human. I’m a mother, a woman and a human. Clearly I’m in a high risk group.

Then I read an article about tiny ticks in the area that are infecting people with Mammalian Meat Allergies. Now unsuspecting people in the South East are getting hives and even anaphylaxis after innocently eating a mammal, like a cow or a manatee. I’ve often eaten to the point of discomfort, but I’ve never stopped breathing and I’d like to keep it that way. And since, last I heard, they are still making burgers out of mammals and I have been known to periodically have a small but passionate love affair with a juicy burger, especially after a long day hiking in tick country, I am once again vulnerable.

(Note: I’m not advocating the eating of manatees. I personally think it’s a bad idea. However, a female manatee is referred to as a cow and so I can see how the mistake could be made. Don’t shoot the messenger, people.)

Manatees should be cherished, not eaten. I call this one, Maynard. (image via wikipedia)

Am I supposed to move someplace where my limbs will rot, so that I can’t even pick up the burger, which will bring me ecstasy and then make me stop breathing? Does anyone else see the inherent problems here? Where’s a run of the mill paranoid hypochondriac supposed to live anymore?

A Banner Day In A Public Loo

Yesterday was a banner day here in the Fathead household. My son, who until now has steadfastly held to his vow to only pee sitting down on his very own potty seat in his very own home, peed on a foreign potty. Not only that but he did it standing up. And without any coercion or anti-anxiety drugs.

There we were at a park we’ve never frequented in a questionable part of town when Conor decided that he needed to use the bathroom. Now I brought along a pull up for just this possibility because we have loads of experience with potty meltdowns–refusals to use a potty or bush, cries to go home, a full on meltdown followed by the inevitable wet pants, but Conor decided that he wanted to see the bathroom there at the park.

Each toilet was contained in a separate tiny, dark room, ostensibly to minimize sexual attacks and maximize germ distribution. The ambience reminded me of the first Saw movie and upon stepping inside my life immediately flashed before my eyes, but Conor stepped right up to that nasty, unflushed metal toilet, dropped his pants, leaned against the germ-infested surface and peed right inside. He had to wait a minute for the biological magic to happen and for a moment I thought that he had contaminated himself and would still end up with wet pants, but he did it. Then I let him flush with his foot because I’m pretty sure that his hand would have instantly dropped off from fast-acting necrotizing fascitis had he touched the button with his fingers and we were instantly encased in a microscopic mist of germs and fecal matter while I desperately tried to free us from our toilet tomb and find the nearest bucket of bleach. Yay, Conor! You did it!

Excuse me, sir, could you hurry up and saw off your foot? My son has to pee. (image via haro-online)

Did I mention that I have a teeny tiny hang up about children in dirty public bathrooms? Just a little one. Hardly worth mentioning, really. But I might go a little bit Howard Hughes when confronted with a questionable loo.

However, this was momentous and let’s be frank here, I’m desperate. Desperate to run errands or visit friends without a pull up. Desperate not to have to worry that said pull up might not last the whole visit. Desperate to avoid more phone calls from grandparents and the like asking what to do about Conor’s mental breakdown and refusal to go potty anywhere but home. Desperate to find an incentive that works, so that he can go on to the next year of preschool and eventually college without an adult diaper. Desperate enough to let him go pee anywhere this side of a genocidal body dump. D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E.

So you best believe I muttered words of encouragement through my gritted teeth and tried my best to go to my happy place (a place where everyone is potty trained and surfaces are well cleaned, by the way) while Conor and I stood in that nuclear waste dump of a bathroom. I didn’t throw up in my mouth or do the heebie jeebie dance when we exited either. We calmly washed our hands. Twice. And then we went and got the big boy a Happy Meal.

A proud boy with his happy meal

I will swab him down with disinfectant and burn his clothes later after my bleach bath.

Not a bleach bath!

Oh and did I mention that he also let a little girl go ahead of him on the slide, saying “Ladies before genamen?”  Hubs and I couldn’t be prouder of Conor if he speed assembled an M16. Well I guess I should only speak for myself there. The speed assembly would probably bring Hubs to tears. My standards are lower and less sanitary.