Author Archives: justketchup

The “Build a Bear Experience” = Stuffed Animal Hell

I had to do something this week that made me cringe and which is against all of my principles:  I had to buy a Hannah Montana Build A Bear.  Shoot me in the frickin’ head now.  Miley Cyrus annoys the living daylights out of me.  But it’s what my niece wants for Christmas, so I sucked it up and went against everything I stand for in regards to celebrity marketing and bought it.  Have you done the Build A Bear thing?  It was embarrassing.  The sales girl loved her job WAAAY too much (her enthusiasm was just oozing through the store like syrup) and she decided that I, an almost 40 year old woman, absolutely HAD to enjoy the entire Build a Bear “experience”.  Experience?  I thought you just walked in, grabbed your damn bear out of the bin, said “Stuff it please” and left.  Nope.  Evidently there is an entire ritual to be performed when buying a stuffed animal these days.  First I had to push a pedal to fill my bear with fluffies while the sales girl encouraged me and cheered me on. You would have thought pedal pushing was some new Olympic sport the way she was whooping and hollering.  Then I had to stick my hand under this air duct of floating poofy hearts and grab one to put in the bear.  Okay.  Kinda cute in a corny way, I guess.  But then she had me hold the heart between my hands and rub it for warmth while making a wish, followed by pressing it up to my heart to send love along with the bear.  Getting silly now.  “Now rub it on your nose.”  WTF?  Keep in mind I was THE ONLY PERSON in the store except for a hot UPS guy who was watching this entire performance while he waited for Pollyanna Perkypants to finish with me.  So I touched the heart ever so slightly to my nose so as not to get make-up on it and assumed we were done.  Wrong.  “Okay, now kiss the heart to send your love.”  Didn’t I already place this now annoying little heart to my chest to send the love? Now I’m supposed to KISS it, too? I’m not exactly Mother Teresa.  I don’t have a whole lot of love to spare. By this point the UPS dude was glaring at me like “I don’t get paid to stand around watching middle aged women make out with stuffed trinkets, so let’s bust a nut and get on with this little display, shall we?”  So I gave the heart a little peck and stuffed it into the bear’s ass where it will remain for eternity, never to be seen again.  The sales girl was elated. I was mortified.  My niece better put this damn bear in a curio cabinet and bow to it in all it’s glory every night before bed.  I’m serious.


Me me, my me, mo me

So Mama has been begging me to do this “Meme” thing. Evidently I spend way too much time on Facebook and not enough time sharing my innovative musings with the world. But really, given the options of chatting up cute boys on Facebook or amusing the one person who will read this (my mother) in the outhouse, I’d consider it a no-brainer. PLUS… If I meet a cute boy, date him, get married, and have babies, think of all the great new stories I will have to tell! I am Facebooking for the sake of this blog!      


Anyhoo, the point of this Meme thing is to find the closest book to you, open it up to page 56, and share lines five through ten or so from that page with other readers. Why? Beats the hell out of me. But it gives me something to do. Now, to pre-empt any possible grammatical confusion, “Meme” is evidently pronounced “meem”. Why it isn’t just spelled that way is a mystery, but I’m guessing the “Hooked on Phonics” people are pissed. You give a shout out to the person who invited you to mime or meme or whatever (The Dolan Blog) and pass your own meming on to others.      


Since the rules state to find the CLOSEST book to you and not your favorite book or one that might be interesting or saucy, which is how I would play this game, I have no choice but to share with you the creative stylings of Webster’s Dictionary. Since there are no page numbers in a dictionary, I am having to count to page 56 by hand. (I didn’t realize math would be involved in this little project) and after scrolling to line five here is what I’ve found:         


appalling: adj. Causing consternation or dismay; frightful. Appalling working conditions. Used in a sentence: “I find it appalling that the word Meme is pronounced meeeeeeem.” (I swear that’s what it says. Don’t believe me? Look it up.)    


Wow. Riveting.     


I’m going to my bookshelf now, picking out one of my favorite reads, and putting it right on my keyboard so I can try this again tomorrow.

Condoms and Misdemeanors

So I just finished the last day of a 60 hour training course to become a P.I. here in the beautiful state of Virginia (Which if my dating history is any indicator is NOT for lovers, contrary to what all the t-shirts and bumper stickers profess.)  I decided that I enjoy snooping around in other people’s business so much, why not make it official and get paid for it? 


The class itself was very educational, as we discussed all sorts of civil and criminal law, compared surveillance techniques, and watched a great movie explaining why one should NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES talk to a cop when pulled over.  (There goes that method of finding a date.)  We spent a day talking about computers (Really… Someone should’ve told me that I need to defrag my hard drive more than once every four years!) and I just couldn’t stifle my chuckle when I saw that someone had mistyped the letter “c” instead of “s” in the word disk on the PowerPoint slide and in giant letters on the screen we were told to ALWAYS find time for “DICK CLEANUP”.  Makes you wonder what staff meetings are like at I.B.M.  Had I known such pertinent information was part of the curriculum I would have taken computer science instead of band in high school. 


The crème de la crème of investigative subjects just begging for sarcastic remarks and witty repartee came under the guise of a lesson simply called “Adultery”.  For starters, I learned that it is a class four misdemeanor (read: ILLEGAL) to have pre-marital sex in the state of Virginia.  Uh oh.  Is it pre-marital sex if I have no intention of getting married?  I think I need to write my Congressman.


Next was a lesson in how to “prove” adultery based on evidence found in the hotel room where the alleged Dance of the Bumping Fuzzies took place.  For starters:  P.I protocol says that if a used condom is found in the man’s room, it is not adultery.  However, if the liquid-love filled prophylactic is found in the woman’s room, DING DING DING!  We’ve got us some cheatin’! (I assume we trust a visual only inspection of said condom for this sort of thing.  And sixteen layers of latex gloves.)  I guess it is to be assumed that if the protection is found in the man’s domain, he is simply a practitioner of unusually cautionary self indulgence. (Tube socks are soooo passé.)  If found in the woman’s room, she is a whore and adultery is assumed. 


But how, as a non-involved party (unless you’re into that sort of thing) does an Investigator get his/her hands on such evidence.  Well, apparently it is good M.O. to attempt entry into said hotel room where extra-marital love doodling occurred by getting the maid to allow you in under the guise of having left something in the room.  For example, “Excuse me, Molly Maid?  It seems I left a baby-batter filled condom here in the room.  Might I retrieve it?”  And in you go.  Or, if too shy for straight talk, tell the cleaning crew that you left something important in the room and need to get in.  When after a thorough inspection of the love nest you walk out dangling a pubic hair between your thumb and pointer finger in a death pinch, simply exclaim, “Oh thank God!  I thought I’d lost it forever!” Chances are you’ll end up on some weird sex registry after such a display, but HEY!  You’ve got your evidence.


We learned many more interesting facts throughout the course, but honestly… It only goes downhill from here.  Let’s just say it’s safe to assume that out in this big wide world of ours, there’s a lot of freaky shit going on.  And where’s there’s freak, you’ll find me, a magnifying glass, fingerprint dust, and a briefcase full of pubic hairs.

Dumb kids, dumber bumper stickers

Okay.  I have a beef that all you mothers and fathers who are insanely proud of your children’s accomplishments will probably hate and berate me for, but here goes.  What is up with those stupid, obnoxious “My kid is on the Honor Roll at Blah Blah Blah Middle School” bumper stickers?  Is making the Honor Roll really THAT huge a deal in this day and age that we have to read about your spawn of Einstein while sitting in rush hour traffic?  How grand an accomplishment can it be when half the minivans in the country are driving around sporting the same bumper braggers?  And with the continuing decline of education in America, is it really that difficult to be on the Honor Roll?  Hell, I was on the honor roll my entire life and look at me now: I just got back to work after being unemployed for a year and I spend my spare time ranting to the two people who read this blog (Hi Mom) about what irks me.  Wow… That was worth twelve years of busting my ass for good grades.  I saw a bumper sticker a few weeks ago that took the whole wonderchild thing up a notch.  It said, “Every kid deserves to be honored at Yadda Yadda Yadda Middle school.”  So just how effing stupid is your kid that you have to resort to THAT one!?  Why not just put a sticker in the back window of your Dodge Caravan that reads, “My kid is a major dumbass at the Too Lazy to Study School for Morons”?  And the “My child is a Presidential Fitness Award WInner” is a personal favorite.  I was a Presidential Fitness Award winner in high school.  Now I’m a single, overweight woman pushing 40 who sits at a computer all day and runs out of breath just walking the dog to the mailbox.  Your kid would be better off with the honor roll sticker.  But my all-time favorite, and the entire motivation for creating this rant, was a bumper sticker I saw on the back of a Honda Odyssey yesterday.  It read, “Parents are special at B**** R**  Middle School”.  Yeah… I bet they are.

The Great Sh*t Transfer

I had to laugh imagining Mama’s chubby-baby in the toilet, splashing herself like she was trying on perfume at Macy’s.  It also reminded me of a toilet-related story from my college days that until now I haven’t shared with anyone but family and the people involved.  This little anecdote is a tale I affectionately call my “S**t Transfer story”, and it goes a little something like this:

When I was a freshman in college I lived in a two-bedroom apartment with three other girls since on-campus housing was limited.  This meant that instead of a dorm super, we had to pay for any plumbing problems that arose out of our own pockets (or the pockets of our daddies.)  One day after doing what people do when sitting on a toilet (i.e “dropping mud”) I went to flush and stared as the water rose ominously close to the edge of the bowl.  Of course, being the member of Mensa that I am, instead of being smart enough to turn off the valve in the back of the toilet to stop the water from rising, I just sat and stared in horror as my little turdballs slowly made their escape from liquid captivity, gliding so gracefully from the depths of the crapper over the edge of the bowl and onto the bathroom floor.  It was like watching little brown fish tumble down a waterfall.  After it finally occurred to me to shut off the water I realized that I had a problem:  I was standing in a puddle in the middle of my bathroom floor staring at drenched dookies, some that managed to stay in the toilet bowl, and some that managed to find freedom on the linoleum floor.  Having never taken plumbing as a high school elective and left with no other recourse for action, I called the plumber.  Porto-Potty Paul was on his way.  But wait a minute:  I couldn’t have some strange MAN eyeballing my wayward poo poos!  That would be a lesson in humiliation that would require years of therapy to erase from my subconscious!  So I did what any 18 year old blond female with poop anxiety would do:  I hatched a plan to transfer the turdlettes from the overflowing toilet and floor into the secondary bathroom so it would never have to be seen by male eyeballs.  The Poop Relocation Plan was in effect.  Picking up the dookies from the floor was easy… Scoop it up with a paper towel  (almost like cleaning up after a dog), walk it to the other bathroom, and toss it into the other commode.  Simple enough. But the shit floating around like little Fat Alberts in a swimming pool inside the toilet would require a more innovative transfer technique.  How was I going to scoop the poop from one toilet and walk it across the living room to the other bathroom?  I didn’t want to use a ladle…we used those for food service.  Forget a shovel … too big to fit through the toilet rim.  Then I saw it out of the corner of my eye… The toilet brush!  What a no-brainer!  It was MEANT to touch poopies.  I grabbed the brush and ever-so-gently slid it into the toilet, sneaking up behind the biggest turd like a covert poopie operative and scooping it up!  Success!  Mr. Dookiepoo was cradled in the toilet brush like a baby in a crib.  I gingerly walked my little brown masterpiece over to the receiving toilet, much like a child carrying an egg in a spoon during the annual Easter Egg race.  That’s when it dawned on me:  There is one very significant difference between a spoon and a toilet brush, which I ruefully discovered just feet from a successful transfer.  A toilet brush has a hole in it.  Why this didn’t occur to me sooner, I don’t know.  But before I even had a chance to process the kink in my masterful plan… PLOP!  The poop slid through the hole in the brush and landed in a little brown pile on the beige carpet. SHIT!!  Now there was a Dookie Trail throughout the house leading from one bathroom to the other! I tried to clean it up, I swear I did, but as I was on my hands and knees scrubbing all remaining evidence, the doorbell rang.  It was the plumber.  As he walked over the dark spot on the floor he glanced my way with an all knowing grin on his face.  And I know what he was thinking: “Haha.  Another embarrassed college girl and a failed attempt at the Great Shit Transfer.”

The Cardboard Man in the Passenger Seat

I went over to a friend’s house to play darts last night.  I’m fairly new at the game, and have only thrown a couple times before at the local pool hall. I’m still in the learning phases, so when my friend Kristine invited me to come over and throw a few rounds in her basement, I was thrilled at the opportunity to practice. I was going to learn so much!  I’m just going to make a long story short here and say I sucked.  Bad.


As I was driving back to my own place of dwelling after my night of utter dart embarrassment, I decided to give my folks a jingle and say hi, cuz that’s just the kind of daughter I am.  After an in-depth discussion about their annual dentist appointments (no cavities) and a rundown of the entire menu from the most recent community potluck dinner (the potato casserole was a bit dry, but the chicken kabobs were out of this world!), I mentioned that I was returning home after a rather uneventful dart lesson.


“Darts? Darts!?  How did a suit-wearing, Lexus-driving, white bread girl like you get involved in darts?  I didn’t raise you to hang out in smoke-filled bars with men who drink Shlitz and have Skoal rings permanently imbedded in the back pocket of their Wranglers! And the women!  I bet the women chain-smoke Marlboros!  You haven’t taken up smoking, have you?! Oh God, where did I do wrong?”


Now, I have had previous ventures into the world of the “sorta-sports” without so much as a flinch from the folks.  My brief immersion into the bowling arena was greeted with chuckles about my disdain for ugly shoes and jokes about how the ball would lash unspeakable horrors upon my freshly manicured acrylic nails. When I told Mom and Dad I felt I had the brain power to learn more about the mentally grueling challenges of chess, they just laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed.  I wasn’t even brave enough to broach the subject when I got the twitch to try my hand at curling…


In order to understand the unpredictable reaction from the folks to my latest attempt at a hobby that doesn’t require lifting, running, or sweating of any kind, I’d have to lay down a little information regarding my unfortunate history with fast-moving projectiles.  Bullets, darts, javelins, tennis balls, raindrops… Anything that moves expeditiously in one direction has proven, in my experience, to be bad juju.

 For example, several years ago when Mama (the better half of this blog) asked me if I would be interested in talking a class with her to get our “Concealed Carry” permits (which would allow us to legally hide 9 mm automatics in our underwear when shopping for Froot Loops at the local Piggly Wiggly), I responded with an enthusiastic “Abso-bloomin-lutely!” It had nothing to do with an actual desire to carry a gun.  Guns scare me.  My weapon of choice is a nineteen pound attack Shih Tzu names Brewster.  Failing his inability to scare off any machete wielding wanna-be rapist who has managed to enter my abode, I keep a rubber flashlight next to my bed as back-up. I figure if I can’t knock ‘em out with a good swing, I can try to frighten him away by using the old Girl Scout Camp scare tactic of holding the light under my chin and saying “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…”  No, my desire to attend a gun class was much more simplistic.  There might be hot men there.  Damn, was I way off on that one.


When the night of the gun class rolled around, (a mere three hours of lectures and I would be able to carry an AK47 in my purse!), I was actually afraid of what embarrassing situation I might get myself into. I have had several law-enforcement jobs in the past in which I had to qualify with various scary weapons in order to remain employed.  The running joke has always been that I can’t hit an elephant’s ass with a 12 gauge if it were two feet in front of my face.  I think the only reason I ever passed my qualifiers is because I’m blond and single, and it’s amazing how willing an old married fart is to show up at the range to coddle a chick half his age.  I had no doubt that my lack of gun-firing expertise would turn me into the laughing stock of the classroom and that this lesson would be for naught. “Concealed Carry” permit…HAH; I’d be lucky if they let me walk out of there with permission to handle a SuperSoaker, much less a document making it legal for me to covertly carry something that can actually maim another living creature. My worries about the course proved to be unfounded, however, as in the span of a half hour I actually hit my limbless, cardboard target FOUR TIMES, a personal record!  In fact, I was so proud of this monumental breakthrough in my shooting abilities that when all was said and done I strapped the cardboard torso (nicknamed “Bob”) into the passenger seat of my Corvette convertible and drove him around for the next week, showing him off like an Olympic gold medal.


It’s been years since I took that gun class.  But when Mom and Dad shutter at the thought of me playing darts, I know it’s simply because they don’t want to see me driving around town with a shot up dart board buckled proudly and prominently to my passenger seat.  I still don’t own a gun, and to this day the only things I carry in my purse are my wallet, merry-mango lip gloss, and a few pieces of Double Bubble. Oh…and a set of darts.