Pause for Tot

EXIT ONLY?

Orange or cranberry?

God how I wish I were talking about muffins.

The pharmacy tech offers me a choice of two flavours. This is the stuff I need to drink before “the procedure” tomorrow. No amount of orange or cranberry or pixie dust or unicorn pubes can save me from this ghastly concoction. Or this…

Max calls this an ass invader.

So this is precisely what I imagine being jammed up my Jello jigglers tomorrow during my… wait for it… wait for it… colonoscopy. Oh, the heiny horror.

Actually I am going for a sigmoidoscopy, which is Hebrew for “partway up your poop chute.”

So if you run someone partway over with a piece of heavy machinery, does it hurt less? The consensus seems to be… NO. To quote a family member who shall remain unnamed: “Trust me, get the full-on colonoscopy; it’s better than the half-assed version.”

Okay, so Peggy my SIL didn’t say those exact words; she’s not that punny. But that is what I heard. My ears may have been impaired by panic, but my anus was hearing just fine, despite being clenched together like an old woman’s toothless gob.

Ever since I squeezed Max out of my magic muckle, I have been having some “issues” in certain nether regions. It also seems I’m struggling with discretion; any reluctance to share private information with the world (i.e. my humble following of 423 and those poor souls who happen to stumble upon this site by googling “saggy vagina”) has gone the way of Max’s placenta. Oh well, maybe my full disclosure will save a life.

Colorectal screenings are usually reserved for those 50 and over. But since my dad died of colorectal cancer just shy of two years ago, I want to make sure that my “issues” are not being mistakenly chocked up to childbirth.

Yes, every able-bodied and healthy adult should have a booty check at the age of 50. (Some, earlier, if you have suspicious activity near your whoopie cakes.) But I am astounded at how many 50+ adults have not been screened, who don’t think they need to be screened because they don’t have any “issues.”

Don’t make an arse of yourself. And, in particular, don’t make a corpse of yourself.

Think it’s all good because you got a cast-iron stomach, a pristine asshole and not a complaint in the world? That’s what my dad would have said too. And we all know how that turned out.

Newsflash: cancers like those of the colon and stomach often don’t show any symptoms until they have their own postal code.

Luckily, there’s a screening process: to detect problems in the early stages, before it’s too late. Problems that you couldn’t possibly know about without a tiny camera mounted to the wall of your fudge factory.

Here’s the hard truth and a sentence I always find difficult to compose without shaking: If my dad had had a colonoscopy at age 50 or thereabouts, he might be reading this blog right now. Well, not likely, because I wouldn’t be blogging about this in the first place. Let me rephrase. If dad had been screened at age 50 or thereabouts, he’d be working on his second – maybe third – novel right now. Or a silly poem for the grandson who’ll never truly remember him.

It doesn’t matter how perfectly cylindrical your turds are or how much salt meat you don’t eat. You could be dying of cancer right this second and not even know it. That is a fact.

And by the way, it is not your doctor’s responsibility to tell you to get screened once you turn 50. He or she is not going call you on your 50th birthday and send you a fiber-filled cupcake with “time for a colonoscopy” written in icing on the top. (Even though that would be a great and delicious idea.)

It’s your rear. It’s your responsibility. Turn a blind cheek if you want. It’s your life to lose.

But know this: Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, colorectal cancer is rampant. In fact, Eastern Health has assembled a task force of health care professionals and genetic experts to try and figure out why. It’s probably some combo of too much meat, not enough exercise, and inbreeding, but I digress.

We can’t change our fucked-up DNA. Our poor diets are not easily curbed. (Pea soup is just not the same without salt meat, am I right?) But we can take action – a very simple step – to catch the son-of-a-bitch early. We can get screened and intervene when it’s a blueberry and not a grapefruit being harvested from our lower bowels.

The disease is widespread here, and so is the ignorance.

In some places, places with way less bum cancer, they’re getting the message out. Check out this campaign developed pro bono by Ogilvy Montreal.

The “butt bus” shows a series of people “mooning”, with the all-important call to action: get your butt seen. It directs people to the website, getyourbuttseen.ca, where you can find all the information, including the recommendation to get screened when you’re 50, regardless of complications with your keister, or lack thereof.

It’s a risqué campaign (by North American standards), but that’s what makes it so smart. It makes you stop and look and, hopefully, listen. Anything less risky risks getting ignored in the onslaught of messages in today’s busy marketplace.

Unfortunately, St. John’s was one of a handful of cities who refused to use the bus wraps because they felt it was too brazen. http://www.marketingmag.ca/news/marketer-news/new-colorectal-cancer-awareness-transit-ads-hit-roadblocks-25099

What a bunch of pussies. Stupid pussies, too. I mean, it’s not like we’re the colorectal capital of the universe or anything. (There really should be a Sarcasm font.)

“Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest incidence of familial colorectal cancers in the world, and the highest incidence of all types of colorectal cancers in Canada.” (Source: Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada)

No need to make us look naughty as well as disease-ridden, right?

17 cities embraced the cheeky humour, but Vancouver, Saint John and St. John’s did not. And of all cities to reject the mass mooning bus boards – Montreal!? The bus boards could be seen off the island in Laval, but not in the uber conservative (as if!) metropolis of Montreal.

St. John’s chose to run billboards instead, featuring this cheeky creative:

Decent exposure.

Butt still, why not put the mass mooning on the buses, where people can see it for considerable periods of time, as opposed to whizzing by a billboard on hemorrhoid-inducing Kenmount Road. The choice of media is critical and probably accounts for the fact that I could scarcely get anyone here at the office to recall the campaign.

There was no muff to be seen on these bus boards, no scrotums to be spied, no ghetto booty all up in your grill. It was just underwear! Risqué my pasty white ass.

What’s risky is NOT doing anything at all. What’s risky is doing something so unrisky, it blends into the sidewalk and makes no impact whatsoever while moms and dads and nans and pops are dropping like flies because they didn’t know any better, because the message didn’t reach them in time. What’s risky is people sticking their heads up their asses, so to speak, and pretending all is honky-dory.

One of the comments on the linked article above sums it up well:

What is wrong with North America? We have no issue showing death, destruction, and sex on TV for entertainment. But, when it comes to catching attention for the betterment of health and society we need to keep it clean?

Totally dumb, says my bum.

And what about all the salt meat junkies beyond the overpass? There were no buses or billboards in Badger’s Quay last time I checked, unless you count the bulletin board down at the Foodland. Were there any keisters on the community channel? Was there a fanny on a brochure that came in the mail that got the girls gabbing at the grocery store? I doubt it. If I’m wrong, I’d be happy to hear about it.

I hope there will be another campaign soon. One that reaches out and grabs people all over the province. Because from my own personal research, there is much work to be done.

So. Because I have cancer gyrating through my double-helix, and because I know early detection is the key to survival, I will resist the urge to cancel my appointment tomorrow.

And by the way, if you’re apprehensive about the procedure like me – guess what? You can be sedated! The pamphlet said so. I am so getting royally fucked up. Hey, I deserve it! Last time I had any World War Two action down below, I was robbed. Robbed, I say!

“Fully dilated. No epidural for you.”

The voice of Nurse Bitch-Tits still haunts my dreams.

I spewed a human being out of my secret eyelid without so much as an Aspirin, and I am still suffering the after effects. (Hence tomorrow’s appointment.) NEVER AGAIN. Bring on the narcotics, Conrad Murray!

If there’s anything going in my pooper, I don’t want to know or remember it, spank you very much.

Ah, the joys of modern medicine: screening to detect cancer before it kills you, and the sweet mercy of anesthetics. I will avail of both, because I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dude, I ate all your candy.

I busted a gut last night when I saw this video from Jimmy Kimmel Live. The host had issued a challenge to parents on Monday night. He dared them to tell their kids that they ate all the Halloween candy, and then videotape their kids’ reactions.

There was a lot of crying. Watch ’til the end because the last two boys are pure gold: “Jimmy Kimmel Live”

So today I decided to try it on my boy. He’s a little too young to understand all this Halloween hoopla, but he gave me something worth posting nonetheless: Where’s the candy?

If nothing else, it seems I have taught him forgiveness. Success.

 

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Out of the mouths of babes.

Today, I bid a bon voyage to my colleague and friend, Kim, who is, right this second, gasping at the discovery of being the subject of today’s blog post. Hopefully she is also, right this second, showing the good people of St. Petersburg, Florida how to rock a two-piece bikini in your forties. Holla.

To look fabulous after the age of 30 is no small feat, and our feet are not the half of it. Every year brings a new blemish, a new chin whisker, a new dimple of ass lard, a new wrinkle. And there’s nothing ‘new’ about any of it. I expect full bulldog status by age 65, with extra crinkly cleavage. Not even the low-hanging boobs will stretch it smooth. Fuck.

Having children compounds the effects of aging tenfold. The sleep deprivation. The excess stomach skin that should be donated to burn victims. The lack of actual exercise. (No, ladies, watching your kid at the pool does not mean you are swimming.)

And eventually, the little friggers also learn to speak — so they not only cause aging, they also casually remind us that we’re fossils. This is where Ryan, Kim’s ever curious seven-year-old son, comes in.

Kim has managed to slide into her forties with the firmness of a Bartlett pear, and without being shaped like one. But she can always count on Ryan to keep her humble… and at least partially clothed.

A few years back when he was just a toddler, Kim had taken him with her to the restroom at Zellers. The bathroom was full. With Ryan by the hand, she squeezed into a free stall and proceeded to sit down to pee.

“Mommy, where is your pee coming from?” Ryan inquired.

Kim pointed in the general direction of her urine factory. “Here.” Then she began to change the subject, knowing the bathroom was full and this conversation could get tangly.

But quicker than lightning (and louder than thunder), Ryan exclaimed “You mean that big, black, furry spot?”

Old ladies who had just indulged in the $2.99 Zellers breakfast collectively gasped.

At age seven, Ryan’s curiosity is fully intact. Just a few weeks ago when Kim was changing, Ryan asked her why he didn’t have boobs like she did. Kim explained that he did have boobs, but because he was a boy his were different than hers. Ah yes, now he understood, as his reply clearly indicates:

“Yeah mom, yours are much longer.”

For KIm’s sake, I will resist the urge to sketch her with the visuals Ryan’s words so vividly paint. Picture a stick woman with two pepperoni sticks on her chest that lead the eye down down down to a big, black furry spot.

Enjoy your vacation, Kim, Bruce and Ryan. Make memories while swinging your mammaries. And if at any time Ryan makes you feel old and decrepit, just look around: St. Pete is where old, rich people go to die. You’re babies. Smell that? That’s not suntan lotion, honey. That’s Bengay.

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iMmortality

Some things we simply can’t control, like how it all will end.

The greatest of technologies often fail us.

We sent a man to the moon more than 50 years ago. Today, we live our lives through the touch of a screen. And yet there is no iCure for cancer.

What we can control is what we do right now. (Pardon the cheesiness, but some things require a little fromage.) We must use our gifts and share them with others – from a brilliant mind that changes how we experience the world, to a coconut cream pie that makes us realize: cake is way overrated.

We must use the little time we have to create — art, science, children, magic. So that when our time is up, we leave something behind. Our contribution to a place from which we took and took and took some more. Our footprint on a world we no longer walk.

Some things are out of our hands.

Some things remain in the hands of others long after we are gone, and we achieve the impossible: immortality.

Thanks for the gifts, Steve Jobs. Rest in peace. Job well done.

Sent from my iPhone.

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

 

 

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Take your sperm and shove it!

I pulled a few heartstrings last week when I shared an article about a ginger seal in Russia. Shunned by his own mother and rejected by the seal colony for his unusual colour, a photographer spotted him hiding under some logs – blind, frightened and all alone.

I’m happy to report this ginger mammal has found a new home at a dolphinarium. Now, if only we could stop the discrimination of ginger humans…

According to the Globe & Mail yesterday, nobody wants redhead babies anymore. Cryos International, the world’s largest sperm bank, is now rejecting donations from redheads on account of low demand. Spread your seed elsewhere, Ginger Joe. Take your scarlet sperm and shove it (anywhere but in these women, and preferably not in Octomom.) These would-be babymakers don’t want none of your red-hot lava love.

I know I’m not a dude, but I am a ginger. And frankly, this rejection hurts. In the words of Ron Burgundy, I’m too hurt. I’m shocked and offended – and hurt.

Not really.

Cryos is just giving the market what they want in order to remain the world’s biggest, awesomest turkey baster. The company has impregnated 18,731 women since 1991 and hope to knock up hundreds of thousands more. Cryos is also the Greek word for Arnold Schwartzenagger.

Nobody wants your lil’ swimmers, generous gingers. Try the food bank. Or the bank bank. Or maybe a dolphinarium? Oh wait, Ireland wants you! Yay, Ireland! Redhead sperm sells in the Emerald Isle “like hotcakes”, the director of Cryos says. I knew I should have been born to an Irish family. Instead of a freak, I’d have been a star, frolicking through the clovers while people threw Lucky Charms at my freckles. Shag the Blarney Stone; people would want to bend over and kiss my sweet snow-white ass.

Then again, maybe the Irish are so drunk, they don’t even know what they’re asking for! They probably think they’re ordering… (oh my God what a kickass invention)… Ginger Ale! (I hereby trademark that.) Beer, made from the golden locks of gingers. No, the SPERM of gingers, yeah yeah. Dragon’s Den Ireland, here I come. You can cut my cheque in advance.

But alas, the rest of the world sees things differently. They think we fugly. Nothing new, I suppose. There’s a Kick a Ginger Day for God sakes. This news is just another kick in the pants to those poor redhead pervs who only get their rocks off at the sperm bank.

So it’s true then – the ugly complex I had as a child was not all in my imagination. People – mothers! – don’t want redhead babies, because they think redheads are unattractive. Or, they think the chances of Adult Onset Ugliness are far greater when you’re born a redhead.

Piss poor logic, ladies! Granted, there are some unsightly redheads out there. But we’re such a small fragment of the population. You notice our imperfections more – because you notice us more! We’re unique! We stand out, good-looking and butt-fugly alike. What about all the blondes who have faces like boiled boots, and all the brunettes who look like leatherback turtles? Come on, they are evvvvvvverywhere! Your chances of an ugly kid are just as high, no matter what colour hair is on the noggin of your baby-daddy. Maybe you should worry about the hideous contents of that egg in your abdomen. Maybe that’s enough ugly for everybody, missus.

I blame the literature of yore for the bad rap. Little Orphan Annie. Anne of Green Gables. Pippy Longstocking. All poor, raggedy-ass rejects without parents, without an inkling of sexuality. I had more than one Halloween costume in the likeness of the aforementioned. One Halloween I didn’t dress up at all and people said, Oh, let me guess… Raggedy-Ann? Go f*ck yourself.

No wonder I hated my hair growing up. For two reasons:

1. Some people called me Carrot-top, to which I replied, without fail: Carrot tops are green, bee-otch! (Or whatever we said before bee-otch was invented by crossing a bitch with a crotch.) Idiots. Then the ridicule evolved into Fire Crotch. At least that was kind of clever. Kudos.

2. The haircuts inflicted upon me by my mother. She clearly hated me. Her weapon of choice? Scissors. I believe one time she also used a bowl.

The cruelty did not cut too deeply though, because it was also endured by my brother. Misery loves company. I had the mullet: business in the front, party in the back. But we both had the dreaded Danny Williams split. Our heads looked like furry, orange Muppet asses.

I can’t even talk about the wardrobe. Or Glenn’s freakishly gigantic hand.

I prayed to the gods to grant me a more magnetic mane. And then, somewhere in my teenage years, my prayers were answered…

[Insert really hot pic of me with hair of goddess.]

It’s all about the product, baby. I can tell you my secrets, for one millllllion dollars and your first-born child. As long as it’s not a redhead. Nice try; I ain’t taking that reject off your hands.

Okay I’ll stop being a crazy bitch now (it’s the savage ginge in me.) Truth is, I totally get it! You’re barren. Or you’re a lesbian. It’s all good. You and your spouse don’t have red hair (only 3% of the population does), so why would you select that trait in your male-order baby? Understood. I mean, if you’re a brunette/blonde lesbian couple and your kid is born with red hair, people will think a third party was involved. Gasp!

But hey, genetics is a bitch. You might wind up with a ginger out of sheer luck (or retribution), because your lil’ ol’ egg could be brimming with the nectar of the ginger gods. Muhahaha!

Come on redheads, let’s breed! Let’s not let the dwindling ginger population die of rejection! But don’t count on me – because of the whole vagina massacre thing. I already did my part. Check out the view from above:

Amazeballs. Old ladies pay big money for that which my boy has naturally. Dear old ladies: too bad, so sad. The only thing you can have from this photo is my purple slipper.

So breed on, gingers! Don’t let this sperm bank nonsense discourage you. Stay the course on Copperhead Road. Breed with other gingers (as long as they’re not your cousins). Squirt your scarlet juice into the wind until it sticks! Do whatever it takes to keep our kind alive and one day sweet victory shall be ours: total global ginger domination.

Tired of looking at pics of my boy because it makes your kid look even more ordinary by comparison? Fine. Then look at Christina Hendricks from Mad Men… Her hair, pervo!

Or Jessica Rabbit…

I said her hair!!! (Wow. And here I was thinking – with red hair comes pale skin and freckles. Apparently the big boob segment of my ginger gene package got lost in the mail, or ran down my mother’s leg. Robbed again.)

Or Carrot Top.

*Cringe*

Okay, forget Carrot Top. Also forget the Weazley dude from Harry Potter, Sally Jesse Raphael, that crazy chick from the Weakest Link, Danny Bonaduce, and Lindsay Lohan. (She’s pretty, but the beauty is trumped by the bat-shit crazy).

GINGERS FOREVER!!!

Like this tomfoolery? Go to my homepage http://www.motherblogger.ca and click the pink square to vote for Mother Blogger – a funniest mom blog nominee at Parents.com

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To breed or not to breed: reflections of a broken vagina.

I’m looking at Max lying in the bathtub, lying on his belly, his cute little arse cheeks nipped together like an angry muffin.

“Drink water,” he says as he takes a gulp and grins, his upper lip sporting a thick bubble-stash.

“Drink water, drink water…” He repeats it again and again until I warn, “Now Max, you know you’re not supposed to drink the bath water. It’s dirty.”

He looks at me for a long time, his orange eyebrows entwining to form a question mark. One day soon he will ask: But mom, if the water is dirty, why am I in it?

Touche, little dude, touche.

He is growing so fast. He’s the full length of the bathtub. He has a moustache for God sakes! Holy crap, it must be time to have another baby.

I feel a sudden ache in my uterus and a burning in my loins. Desire? Hells no. That’s just the lifelong repercussions of squeezing a human out of my magic muckle. Oh the horror.

So… do I spit out another youngster or not? I am torn. And oh how I wish that was not a play on words.

This calls for one of the things that my husband dreads more than penis-kabobs: A LIST. Don’t worry, honey. It’s not a honey-do list… unless it concludes with “do me”, in which case I’m confident you’ll have no problem following orders. It’s a list of pros and cons. To breed or not to breed: that is the question.

PRO: Max gets a brother or a sister.

CON: I have to grow said brother or sister inside my body and get it here via the Va-Jay-Jay Express.

PRO: The Bearded Oyster is already a dive, so why not close shop altogether and go home with a nice souvenir?

CON: I am well-healed and back to my pre-prego weight and pretty pleased with it, despite the extra stomach skin that makes me look like an accordion when I sit down. (Crop tops prohibited.) Why mang all that merchandise up again?

PRO: I get an extra human to produce grandchildren for me.

CON: I have to worry that said human will produce grandchildren at age 13. Coming up next on TLC… 13 and Pregnant! Followed at 10:30 by Nanny Nightmares: My Kid is a Little Tramp.

PRO: We get a baby to love and cuddle.

CON: The baby is a demon who keeps me up all night and ruins my shirts with puke and poop.

PRO: If it’s a boy, I get to reuse all Max’s perfectly unsoiled clothes.

CON: If it’s a girl, I have to buy a bunch of pink clothes so our daughter doesn’t look like K.D. Lang.

PRO: We get to make another living, breathing masterpiece. Max is way too cute to have just one of him. Exhibit A…

CON: Maybe Max used up all the good DNA and this one is doomed to get the leftovers: big nose, big ears, third nipple, and eye of Cyclops.

CON: Every time I do a jumping jack at the gym, I pee a little.

PRO: Once I’m pregnant, I can eat what I want, because I’m going to get fat anyways. My pet saying as a prego? “Quarter pounder with cheese combo, six nuggets on the side and an apple pie, si vous NOWWWW.”

CON: My ass will resemble the broad side of a barn for at least 6-9 months, with the possibility of permanent barnliness; even the barn will mistake me for one of the livestock.

Need proof? This was a full-size clydesdale…

CON: Bye-bye, MILF t-shirt. Hello, saddle. My career as a swimsuit model is so over.

PRO: Cha-ching! Another kid – another $1,000 from the Newfoundland Government.

CON: Cha-shit! The average cost of raising a child in Canada: 14 zillion dollars. And that’s just the Goldfish crackers.

PRO: Wayne and Rosena Murphy get grandbaby #10 for a nice even number. Shirley Combden gets grandkid #4… maybe a girl this time?

CON: Not gonna happen, sister. The walls of my uterus are painted blue. Last Thursday, I pooped a dump truck decal and a handful of gravel.

PRO: I get a year off.

CON: I get a year trapped in a time warp, relying on EI which doesn’t cover shit, not even shit catchers. Yesterday, I noticed the price of diapers has gone up: $41.99 for a box of 100. Shooooooot. Today, Max is wearing a dishcloth.

PRO: Andrew could take paternity leave, so I could go on working.

CON: I may be inclined to strangle Andrew with my rope-like boobs.

CON: Yes, breastfeeding deflated my boobs and now I have to wear a super-duper-push-up bra just to keep the suckers out of my pockets.

PRO: I get to go to Reel Baby movies at Empire Theatres on Thursday mornings.

CON: No I don’t, because I have another kid at home ruining my life.

PRO: I can get one of those kickass double strollers.

CON: I need one of these damn double strollers. Can I borrow 20 bucks? How much can I get for this MILF t-shirt?

PRO: Max can use the baby as a pillow in the stroller. Bonus.

CON: Andrew and I will be so busy being parents, we’ll forget about being a couple.

PRO: We’ll be so busy being parents, we’ll forget about our relationship problems.

CON: I will miss football season, my only social life, unless I get real sneaky like last time. (Played ‘til I was 12 weeks preggers, throwing up in my mouth every time I bent over to snap the ball.)

CON: I set my career back a notch or two. Come on people, you know it’s true. One of the reasons there’ll never be a female President: we’re breeders.

CON: I’ll never find the time to write a book. *POUT*

CON: Andrew is not the doting type. So when I start getting fat and uncomfortable, I can look forward to NOT getting my feet massaged.

CON: My dad was sick when I was pregnant. He died when Max was nine months old. So I associate pregnancy with impending doom. Textbook psychiatry. I can diagnose myself because I am a doctor part-time.

CON: First trimester nausea. Once, on my way to work, I threw up in my hat.

CON: Second trimester semi-chubbiness when people aren’t sure if you are having a baby or if you just had a big lunch. Awkward.

CON: Third trimester bulbousness when people mistake you for the Penguin from Batman, followed by the awesome sensation of carrying a bowling ball in your underwear.

CON: Vagination Ruination: the Sequel.

CON: The Meat Curtain Massacre, Part Deux

CON: Hotdogs in Hallways: The Final Poke

CON: Wow, that’s a lot of cons. To top it off, maybe one of my kids will be a con. Max is already terrible at sharing, and goes ape-shit for toys at the store. Just steps away from kleptomania.

PRO: Kids keep us young, seeing the magic of the world as they discover it for the first time. My boobs may sag, but my spirit will soar.

CON: “Whatever, Trevor!” Yours truly, Broken Twat.

PRO: Max will have someone to help pick out my casket.

PRO: Max won’t be the only one humiliated by his mother’s maniacal musings.

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“The Lord made me but the devil raised me.”

We used to own a gun.

A little, plastic novelty gun that gave you a shock when you pulled the trigger. It was a source of entertainment for weeks as we tried to get unsuspecting visitors, even the kids, to pull the trigger.

Max was the last to fall for it. (Turbo Ginger ain’t no fool.) I expected him to drop the gun and do his trademark OWWWW with a couple crocodile tears for dramatic effect. To our surprise, he kept pulling the trigger again and again, flinching his eyes then grinning, enjoying the little charge of electricity coursing through his wee finger.

Mixed messages much? Here we were encouraging our kids to play with toy guns. In our next breath, we’re telling them guns are the devil.

Here Max, take this toy gun and shoot grandma. Good job, son! And now for your reward: a Popeye cigarette! Go ahead, pretend you’re having a draw. But remember, smoking is Satan. Hey, wanna play Call of Duty in a greasy white tank top?

Max still uses his pants as a toilet, so I don’t expect him to know the difference between a gun that’s a toy and one that can blow your fucken brains out. But hey, it’s not like he’ll ever have the chance to pull the trigger on a real gun before he knows the difference, right? If the husband ever buys a shotgun for moose hunting, it will be stored in a locked steel case, in a locked iron box, in a room with a force field around it, on Jupiter. Seriously though, there’s no 9mm semi-automatic lying around Chez Murphy. Except for the one I have discretely baked into a pie in the fridge, so when my would-be rapist asks for a snack, he’ll get his just desserts. (See what I did there?)

And besides, toy guns don’t make your kids grow up to be cowboys. Or criminals.

The batteries in the toy gun expired around the same time Nicholas Winsor did. Have you forgotten him already? I have not. His picture was all over the news. Tough guy, 120 pounds soaking wet, covered in tattoos. And oh yeah, he’s also dead, but in the press his death seems secondary to how he looked and how he lived. It all goes hand in hand in hand, I guess.

A couple weeks ago, the 20-year-old St. John’s man (who was barely a man at all) took a fatal gunshot to the neck, compliments of his friend. Two of his best buddies, Phil Pynn and Lyndon Butler, will now stand trial for second-degree murder after an altercation that went bad. If this were a big city, it’d be just one of many such incidents on the daily news. But this is not Toronto or LA or Baghdad. Around here, stuff like this makes headlines and shakes us to the core.

I have to admit – the tattoos made me roll my eyes and shake my head. I think there was one collective glare of disgust across the city when we saw their photos: the now deceased in his invincible gangster stance, with “Trust No One” inked on his forearms. One of the alleged shooters with teardrops etched onto his face. (Max could have done a better job with his jumbo crayons.) And on the neck of the other alleged perp, the words that inspired the title of this post: “The Lord made me but the devil raised me.” Wow. I doubt his parents put that artwork on the fridge.

Sorry for the prejudice all you good Christian people with tats on your face and neck, but Max is never getting a tattoo. Unless it says “What would Jesus do?” Or, “Get your pet spayed or neutered.” Or, “I love my mom.”

My initial reaction? These boys are scum of the earth. Lost causes. I felt little more pity for the dead guy as I did for the shooters. A gun went off. It could have been any of the lot. There is no victim here. Just look at their facebook pics: hard tickets posing with homemade shanks in what looks like a jailhouse scene. What a waste of space. What a waste of life: the victim’s and the shooters’ alike.

But that was my fear talking.

What if Max were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Bang bang, you’re dead, beautiful little boy. And in an instant my whole world is snuffed out like a cheap candle.

What if Max grows into a shy, awkward kid and finds acceptance with “the wrong crowd”, with boys like these?

What if he has a darkness inside him? Something he was born with, a mental condition and a predisposition for trouble. What if some kids are just born bad? What if it’s more out of my hands than I realize?

Now, where’s that toddler-sized bubble I bought on e-bay?

I fear boys like Butler, Pynn and Winsor. (Well, the latter, not so much anymore.) It’s a fact: my Max is a little less safe in this city because of them and others like them. I despise them for poisoning the place I choose to make my home. But most of all, I pity them.

I think back to when Max was born. An eight-pound bundle of possibility. He didn’t ask to be born. He came to be, because of his father’s inability to resist my womanly form. And now his whole existence is in our hands. I remember walking out of the hospital with the car seat in our hands, thinking, Are they really going to just let us walk out of here with this person? Aren’t they going to stop us, give us a quiz or a skill-testing question or something?

We are his everything. The be-all and end-all. For a good portion of his life, we hold all the cards. We predetermine the outcome. It’s a lot of responsibility, and a lot of power.

Nick Winsor was somebody’s bundle once, too. He didn’t ask to be born. When he was a little boy and someone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he didn’t say a gun-slinging, drug-pushing gangster. He probably wanted to be a firefighter or a truck driver or – oh the irony – a police officer. I don’t blame his mother or his father because I don’t know the whole story. Maybe they did the best they knew how. Maybe Nick was born with a darkness that would have prevailed, no matter what anyone did. Nobody knows for sure. Frankly, as a mother myself, I have compassion for the woman who gave birth to him, no matter how she raised him. No mother wants to see her child pieced back together in a coffin, while she falls apart every day for the rest of her life.

Yes, someone failed that little boy. The damage was done long before that bullet lodged itself in his neck. And once the vengeance inside him took hold at an early age, it was probably too late; nobody was strong enough to save him from himself. But again, no need to point the finger at the woman who gave him life; the punishment has already been handed down, and it is severe.

Surely this case will make headlines again when the trial begins. So next time you see the face of Nick Winsor on your TV or computer screen, look beyond the tattoos and the tough guy bullshit. You’ll see a scared little boy, poorly equipped for a big world.

Granted, I want Max to stay the hell away from boys like him. But I also want Max to have compassion for boys like him. So I must have compassion too. Childhood is a critical time. It makes you or it breaks you. So all of us who have remained intact: let’s have a heart for the broken. Luck is never distributed evenly or fairly.

I look at Max and wonder what the future holds. To borrow a line from Mad Men’s Don Draper on the birth of his son, “We don’t know who he is yet or who he is going to be, and that is a wonderful thing.”  Indeed, I don’t know how Max will turn out, but I do know I will try my damnedest to keep him on the path of good. Because obviously the path of evil is just around the corner from our house. And if it ever rises up to meet my precious boy, I will beat the shit out of it with a shovel (which I keep under my bed. So I can bury would-be kidnappers right after I whack them. Efficiency is this mama’s middle name.)

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Sh*t that blows my mind.

I think I’m a pretty sharp lass. A mo’ in the know, if you will. Except for the time I saw the David Blackwood painting with the oilrig in the background and the whale in the foreground and said, So whales are really that big? Shut it.

Some things just leave me forever dumbfounded. I said dumbfounded, not speechless. So here is a short list of things that blow my freakin’ mind to smitherines.

YAWNS.
They’re contagious. Don’t deny it. Can someone please explain this to me in scientific (but not too scientific, I’m an English major) terms? I need answers. And I’m tired (yawn) of waiting (yawn). You’re yawning too now, aren’t you? Aren’t you???

THE SCOPE OF THE UNIVERSE.
Have you any idea just how insignificant we are? Imagine a microscopic particle on the hair on the pimple on an elephant’s ass on the elephant on the tree in the hole in the bog down in the valley-o, and then divide that by 87 gazillion trillion jajillion. That’s how un-big you are in the grand scope of things.

BABIES COMES FROM OUR VAGINAS.
What. The. Hell.

TERRIBLE SINGERS WHO THINK THEY ROCK.
Wow. How can someone who sounds so bad think they sound so great? Great enough, in fact, to try and compete on American damn Idol! Are their mouths, ears and brains not connected somehow? I am baffled (and amused) by this phenomenon.

ANIMAL INSTINCTS.
How does a baby horse just slide out of its mama and, within minutes, know how to walk? Did he take a tutorial in his mama’s uterus? How do salmon know their way back to their native rivers? That’s just flippin’ crazy. And how a common house pet can find its way home from great distances is truly astounding. My grandfather used to walk from Cape Freels to Gambo (a 75-minute drive by car today, a multi-day trek by foot back in the day) to catch the train to St. John’s with his trusty mutt by his side. When he arrived in Gambo, he traded the dog for some tobacco. When he returned in many weeks, the dog would be back in Cape Freels again, having left its new owner and ran all the way home. That ol’ dog was a gift that kept on giving.

LARGE LADIES WHO WEAR TEENY TINY TOPS AND SHORT SHORTS.
Nooooooooo. What is happening here? Is this a visual impairment? Is the Shallow Hal syndrome for real? Ladies, cover up that junk and tuck in that chunk. It’s bad enough we have to see these barely-there garments on skinny people.

BAD PERFUME.
Ever been south and notice the huge box stores and mall kiosks with signs exclaiming PERFUME! PERFUME! PERFUME!? Giant ass stores selling nothing but perfume. Is the demand really that great? Doesn’t a bottle last, like, half a lifetime? In a world where scents are increasingly prohibited, what is up with this repugnance? Okay, some of it smells kinda nice. But keep your distance from the old ladies, and for Christ sake don’t sit next to one on a four-hour bus trip. 16 ounces of Endless Poison, with a hint of mildew, moldy carpet, and grandma’s douche. Yup, sure got your money’s worth there, Beatrice. Ladies, if your perfume has the word “musk” in the name, please – abort. And fellow gals of the 80s and 90s, take note: Exclamation! went out with your virginity.

SMOKERS.
God love ya, you’re addicted. It’s a dog wrapped around your leg/lung and I feel for ya. But isn’t it just totally hilarious? Sticking little white tubes of chemicals into your mouth, lighting them on fire, and sucking in the smoke. HA!!! You gotta admit – it’s pretty silly. Oh, and it can kill you. What a riot!

SCROTUMS.
There are no words.

THE INUKTITUK LANGUAGE.
Huliniahuanngittunga. That means, “I am not going to do anything.” Wow. My guess would have been, “I am going to f*ck you up, white boy!” You should read the lyrics on a Susan Aglukark album. What. The. Fufckfucfkfck.

BIGOTRY.
It blows my mind that, in this day and age, there are still people who hate blacks and gays. Get over it already.

ALL ASIANS LOOK ALIKE.
What’s up with that? Why do they all have to have black hair? Why???

MIRRORS.
Think about it.

CASEY ANTHONY IS A FREE WOMAN.
How could 12 seemingly normal people be so completely and utterly dumb? The chloroform on the computer. The lies. The chloroform in the trunk. The smell of a dead body in the trunk. The lies. The corpse-eating insects in the trunk. The 31 days when she partied instead of reporting her “missing” child. The lies. The lies. The lies. The towering heap of evidence that said this mother was responsible for the death of her child. Oh, but she was sexually abused by her father and brother, so that’s why she competed in a hot body contest just days after her daughter started rotting in the woods. How convenient. Hey all you aspiring murderers out there, now you know what you need to do to get away with it. Play the molestation card. It’s your ace in the hole.

Was it possible that something else happened to Caylee? Oh sure, aliens could have swooped down and sucked the life out of the toddler and tossed her in the swamp with a heart-shaped sticker on her mouth. I mean aliens do that from time to time (aliens love stickers!), and they have so much to benefit from the death of a beautiful little girl.

Aliens. That would have been enough “reasonable doubt” for this dumbfuck dozen. Case closed. Casey Anthony is free to go. But… she killed her kid!

It blows my mind that we put all that power in the hands of 12 people who, by sheer luck of the draw, could be – and in this case clearly were – total Neanderthals.

It also blows my mind that I live in a world where Casey Anthony will make more money than me.

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