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The Case for Granny Panties

Oh, the weird fashion trends throughout history, from foot binding and colonial wigs to torpedo bras and sagging trousers. But there’s one trend that has wedged itself so firmly into our mainstream culture, nobody stops to think how weird it really is.

I’m talking about the thong. A descendant of the loincloth, it’s been a leader in fabric conservation and ass revelation for thousands of years. But it soared to new, butt-flossing heights in the 1990s along with Baywatch ratings (and boners for Pamela Anderson’s bright-orange thong swimsuit). By the end of the nineties, the thong was a top-selling undergarment and even had its own Grammy-nominated anthem with profound lyrics like “Dat dress so scandalous…see ya shakin’ that thang like who’s da ish…she had dumps like a truck truck truck.”

I don’t wear thongs, for the same reason I don’t wear a hand mixer between my whoopie cakes. But I know why many women do: to hide unsightly panty lines. I mean, god forbid anyone know you’re wearing underwear under there. DISGUSTING. You must give the illusion of being completely naked beneath those pants at all times. Unless you’re a teenager flashing a “whale tail” – a g-string peeking out of low-rise jeans, popular in the mid 2000s – which is less hiding the panty line and more of a 3D billboard on your backside: HEY LOOK EVERYONE I’M WEARING A THONG TH THONG THONG THONG.

Some women say thongs are more comfortable than regular underwear, that it’s the fuller style that actually ride up the bunghole, necessitating the frequent “pants-up-me-ass pluck-down.” So, what, skip all the maintenance and get undies that are already halfway to your colon?

Admit it, hooker. Thongs are not about comfort. They’re about selling your ass to the world. Just like high heel shoes and lower back tattoos and those jeans that give you yeast infections but HOT DAMN LOOK AT THAT SWEET ASS. Once again, we women sacrifice comfort in the name of beauty, and booty.

Besides, it’s a couple inches of fabric. Why bother? Why not go commando and get that authentic naked-under-there look you so crave? Because you need something to create a barrier between your slacks and your ooze station. But your thong ain’t protecting nobody except stockholders at Victoria’s Secret. Do you even realize how close together your love tunnel and your chocolate channel are? Try two inches or less. That thin strip of fabric is a germ highway paving the way for poopy particles to get to your panty hamster. And that’s not very sexy.

I get the appeal of concealed panty lines, but there’s got to be a better way that leaves my asshole out of it. Personally, I’m a fan of the seamless panty. It’s a granny panty to hard-core thongers, I suppose. To them, I may as well be wearing my mother’s satin fullbacks. But I don’t hear any visitors complaining up in here. The seamless panty hides panty lines pretty well, and it’s still a comfortable, full panty. Because I have a full ass. I don’t do anything half-assed, thank you very much.

This article appeared in the March edition of The Overcast, Newfoundland’s arts and culture newspaper. http://www.theovercast.ca

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Not So Good Housekeeping

My mother once found a shriveled-up carcass, about the size of a golf ball, in my fridge. After a few befuddled moments, we realized: It was a turnip.

I’m not the greatest housekeeper in the world. Or even in these pants. Thing is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about it. (Oh look, a rat!) I don’t want to be good at housework. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a clean, tidy home. I do. I just don’t want to be the one to make it that way. Not when there are so many other delightful things to do with my time like getting boinked in the bunghole. (No, I don’t love anal; I hate cleaning THAT MUCH.)

So I got myself a housekeeper. Now before you peg me for the Duchess of Douchenozzle, she only comes biweekly for a couple of hours. “Must be nice,” a friend of mine huffed. “Yes, it’s quite splendid actually,” I replied in an English accent, because that’s how snobs sound, obviously. “But not as nice as that bucket of chicken you’re holding in your hands with those new acrylic nails” which cost more than two visits from lovely, lemon-fresh Angela.

Sorry, June Cleaver, there’ll be no housework for this beaver. The percentage of breadwinning women has quadrupled in the last forty years. In 1976, women made up 8% of breadwinners among Canadian couples. In 2010, that number was over 31%. We bitches be making more paper, yo, and our fellas be making more PB&J sandwiches. There is finally some balance between the sexes in the working and parenting departments. When it comes to bringing home the bacon, frying said bacon, and stogging it into our youngsters’ gobs, it’s a fifty-fifty gig. High fives all around.

But somehow, the housework still largely falls to the penisless. You know it’s true. A New York Times article, “The Case for Filth,” said so too: “…in America, as well as in several other countries in the developed world, men’s time investment in housework has not significantly altered in nearly 30 years.” Some dudes just don’t care if the house is clean or dirty. Some think dishwater is absorbed directly through the skin, poisoning their manly virility. Others sigh heavily at the sight of unwashed dishes in the sink. Oh my apologies, my manly prince, shall I scrub the pots squeaky clean while polishing your knob?

Maybe it’s only fair that men expect us to clean the house. After all, haven’t we traditionally expected them to pump the gas, mow the lawn, shovel the snow, take out the trash, whack the weeds, and slay the spiders? Guilty as charged right here.

And I know it’s not just the dudes. Our mothers think housework is our job too, still subscribing to that old-school division of labour when women cared for the home, and men built muscles from actually working instead of gazing adoringly at their form in the mirror at the gym three days a week.

And, frankly, we gals think the chores are on us too. Or at least we did until we woke up and smelled the bullshit. Ever catch yourself apologizing for the state of the house? Unless you’re conducting some bizarre fungal experiment in your kitchen, there’s nothing to be sorry about. That guilt you feel when your baby grabs hold of a dust bunny during tummy time…. We can thank our mothers for that, and their mothers before them. It was a part of being a woman. Remember that rattle you had when you were a baby? Yeah, that was practice for your feather duster.

But hey, we modern families can work it out. Guys: do what you do best. Fix the toaster, saddle the horses, choke the chicken, whatever. We really appreciate it. And we’ll do what we’re good at: fill the toybox, pack the lunchbox, groom the love box, and practice our kegels to reverse the damage done to the ol’ bat cave when the bambinos came barreling out (which no amount of snow shoveled or grass cut can ever trump, by the way).

And together, we’ll fight the necessary evils of housekeeping. By just not fucking doing it. Oh it will get done…by a hired professional. It’ll save our time, our sanity, maybe even our marriage. If you think you can’t afford it, stop dropping coin on spray tans and decals for your ginormous pick-up truck. And psssssst: have a look under the cushions of your couch for loose change, dirtbag. We’ll have to maintain things between visits, of course. Like the laundry, unless you plan on growing spuds in your skivvies. But pay a pro to take care of the big stuff: the floors, the bathroom, the beds. (Scouring the fridge for fossilized rutabaga is prolly gonna cost extra.)

This article was previously published in The Overcast, Newfoundland’s arts and culture newspaper in which I write a monthly column called The Motherload.

Sometimes when Fred was flat out doing housework he felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest.
David Blackwell. / Foter / CC BY-ND

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Why “Girly” is Worse Than the F Word

Reporting on the Golden Globes last month, NY film critic Kyle Smith said they should have called the whole thing “Girls.” There was just “too much estrogen,” he said. I mean, imagine: a major awards show, televised around the world, hosted by two…oh my dear god…WOMEN. EW! And who did they think they were being all loud and opinionated and…kill me now…FUNNY.

Hold onto your tiny little testicles, Kyle, because guess who’s hosting the Oscars? ELLEN. Yes, run for cover because all of Hollywood is being overtaken by VAGINAS.

Some men seem to have a hard time sharing the spotlight. They just want women to stick a sock in it. Or maybe something that rhymes with sock.

Like, seriously guys? After hundreds of years of running the world, can’t you just wiggle the fuck over a little bit and give us some room to, oh I don’t know, tell a few jokes? Do something other than cook and clean and look pretty and give birth to your noble sons?

If my son Max grows up with this misogynist attitude, I’m putting him up for adoption. I don’t care if he’s thirty, he’s going to live with the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Luckily, it appears my suggestive feminist parenting is working. I got a note last week from the mom of a little girl who goes to Max’s daycare. She told me her daughter, Amelia, is supah pumped about her blossoming friendship with mister Max. And I’m pretty stoked that Max’s buddy circle is not exclusive to Spanky and Alfalfa. Here’s how Sara’s conversation with Amelia went:

Amelia: Mom! Max spoke to me today!
Sara: Oh, he doesn’t normally speak to you?
Amelia: No, he just pretends like he doesn’t know me but I know he really does ‘cause he’s always been at my daycare.
Sara: Yes, you guys have been in the same class since you started going to daycare. Well that’s really nice that now you guys are talking. So what do you talk about?
Amelia: Oh he just said, “I had a fun Christmas.”

Max. What a stud muffin.

Sara said when she picks Amelia up from daycare, she often finds her playing with Legos or trucks with Max. If you’ve read my book, you know how happy this makes me. (Page 96.) See, I’m well aware of the tendency of parents to separate the girls from the boys, using words like “girly” and “boyish” to classify certain behaviours and activities and even toys. They don’t mean any harm. They’re probably not even aware of the harm it’s doing. Because it’s all we’ve ever known. When we grew up, and especially when our parents (who taught us everything) grew up, the big, strong men went off to work (or war) and the women baked pies in the kitchen and buns in their abdominal ovens.

And marketers have made it even worse, completely immersing us in the “boys over here, girls over there” bullshit. Toy giants separate the blue from the pink like the other side is cyanide, suggesting that venturing “over there” — a girl playing with a fire truck or a boy pushing a toy stroller – is just CRAZY CAKES. Surely it will alter their DNA and make the boys sprout breasts and the girls grow giant wieners. And OBVIOUSLY it will make all of them as queer as three-dollar bills. Basic science.

Until we start talking about how ridiculous all this is, it will stay the same ridiculous way. And it all starts with our kids AND WHAT WE TEACH THEM.

The gender stereotyping foolishness only perpetuates the natural tendency of our little towers of testosterone to form “no girls allowed” cliques, swinging their swords and lightsabres, leaving out the (supposedly) gentler subspecies. Sure, some boys are naturally more aggressive and gravitate to certain types of play. But there are many exceptions. Girls like sports. Boys play house. We need to encourage different types of play to show our kids that everything is available to everybody, and it’s all perfectly okay. And most importantly, just because we often like different things does not mean we get to treat anyone else with contempt. Just because girls are usually the ones playing dress-up instead of smash-up doesn’t mean they’re somehow weaker. Just because boys are usually the ones zooming around in the superhero capes does not make them the sex that’s super. They are all just kids, playing.

What you’re saying to your son when you say “that’s girly” is: Stop acting like a girl, because being a girl is bad. You’re also saying: You’re a boy, and boys are supposed to act a certain way. (That’s a whole other can of worms.)

Max came home last week and told me that one of the boys at daycare called another boy “girlish.” “That’s not a nice word, is it Mom?” he said.

This made me chuckle inside, of course. Clearly I’ve managed to put “girly” and “girlish” right up there with the F word. But I kept a straight face and replied: “Well Max. It’s not a nice thing to say because it makes it sound like being a girl is bad, which it certainly is not. Being a girl is awesome! Look at your mom, for example. Am I awesome?” Max nodded his head. We both smiled. “So really, when someone calls you girlish, it’s a compliment.”

BAM.

Then I had to explain what a compliment is.

It can get complicated. For now, all I’m teaching him is that girls are great, boys are great, we are all freaking great. It doesn’t mean we are all exactly the same. We’re all different, and that’s a wonderful thing. Nobody is better than anybody else. What I’m doing is setting the groundwork for him to think before he speaks. To think before he goes along with the crowd that invariably tends toward boy-girl blue-pink segregation. To make him realize that we are not “boys” or “girls” but people who are more alike than different. I am setting him up to be Patrick Stewart.

I don’t drill it into him. I’m a feminist (hopefully everyone is), but I’m not burning my bra in the back of his Tonka truck. I simply seize opportunities to continue the conversation. The day he said he wanted to be a fireman, I said great – and casually reminded him that even though people usually say “fireman”, girls can be firemen too. The truth, of course, is that only 3% of firemen are female. But at least my son won’t have an attitude that discourages that number to grow, if I can help it. Same thing goes for nurses. I’ve made sure he knows boys can be nurses too. I have to point this out, because 99% of the nurses he’s seen in books, on TV, and in real life have been female. If I don’t tell him these things, who will? How will he know being a nurse is an option if nobody tells him? And if little boys don’t know they can be nurses (and girls can be doctors!), how will we ever change the status quo? How will we ever make the world a better place for our grandchildren (especially our granddaughters)?

If I could trust that all the other parents and teachers and coaches out there were as mindful of our systemic sexism as I am, maybe I wouldn’t need to be so diligent. But alas…

Sara and I are going to keep tabs on our kids’ friendship. Apparently a couple days ago Max taught Amelia about lightsabres and told her “girls can have boy powers too.” He’s on the right track. I’m hoping one day Sara tells me she walked into daycare to see the two of them having a tea party, with Amelia dressed as a fireman and Max as a nurse. Now THAT would be progress. I’m working on it…

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More Weird Shit I Saw at the Store

1. HOLY SWEET CHEESES, BATMAN

BIG CHEESE PLEASE
CHEDDAR IS BETTER AND ALSO BIGGER

Give your eyeballs about 30 seconds to realize what they’re seeing. Yes, it’s a cheese grater. But check out the regular-sized whisk at the base of it, which I strategically placed there for your comprehension. Now look back at the grater. And now you know. You’re looking at the Jupiter…the blue whale…the DIRK DIGGLER OF CHEESE GRATERS. For people who really, really, really love cheese, I guess. (I curd make so many cheesy puns right now but I digress.) Or maybe it was custom-made for the rodent crew of the Lyubov Orlova. Or for sickos looking to innovate their torture chambers with everyday instruments. Ugh, this cattle prod is such a snore, how about a nifty hand mixer in your butthole? Gawd, marching the enemy to the gallows is so 1892, how about I just flip the lid off your skull with this handy can opener? Now that I’ve maimed, whipped and disfigured you with these 18th century torture devices, I’m going to GRATE YOUR FACE LIKE IT’S MOZZARELLA, BITCH.

2. CAILLOU DOWN ON THE BAYOU. NO. JUST NO.

bathtub Caillou
NO AGAIN.

Oh Caillou. You whiny little baldy. Everywhere I look, you’re there. On Treehouse. On NTV News (Hi, David Cochrane.) And now you’re trying to whine your way into my bathtub with your snorkel and patch-eyed pussy? Naw-uh. The only bald dudes entering my bathtub are Patrick Stewart (“Make it so!”) and my husband in about four to six years.

3. IRONING BOREDZZZZ

blue iron
WHO WANTS TO PLAY “LET’S MAKE STUFF FLAT”? ME ME ME

Just an ordinary toy iron, right? The only thing weird about this toy is the fact that IT EXISTS. I know kids like to pretend they’re grownups and play house and all that, but do they seriously want to IRON? Do they really want to take a fake, plastic iron and run it back and forth over a pair of doll pants FOR FUN? Oh yeah baby, I’m gonna make these slacks so PRETEND FLAT. I’m gonna IMAGINE the wrinkles right out of these puppies. And right after that I’m going to watch some paint dry, followed by The English Patient. I mean, at least a toy blender makes some funny noises. A toy vacuum requires some sweet cha-cha-cha legwork. But this…This is the worst. I’m all for kids – boys as well as girls – emulating the mundane tasks of adulthood. The faster Max wants to take over the laundry the better. Here’s the fabric softener; just don’t drink it, k? At least the iron ain’t pink, I’ll give ‘em that. But it needs a little something extra, something clever. Have it belt out some Iron Maiden when you press the button, or maybe a little Under Pressure by Queen.

4. OH NO YOU DIDN’T

sexist cards
NOT SO BRILLIANT.

Oh yes you did and I’m going to smack your face. Are you shitting me? At first glance: super cute illustrations. Upon closer examination (or just basic level reading): super yucky gender stereotyping. Could they not use “brilliant” twice? Could they not mix it up for once, maybe call the boy beautiful and the girl brilliant? You bore me, card people. You put the dick in predictable. You put the asso in Picasso. My friend’s five-year-old daughter knows more than you twits. Alise, in the usual pink shirt, asked her mom: “What does my shirt say?” Her mom replied, “It says Princess.” “Next time,” Alise said, “I want a blue shirt that says Smart.” Well great Odin’s raven, there is hope for us yet. I’m voting for Alise in the next election.

5. CHAIRS TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY!

kid reclinerIMG_4418Is your lil’ gamer working his thumbs into a sweat on the X-Box controller? Aw poor widdle guy, he must be so pooped. Great news, kids! Now you can kick up your fat feet in your very own mini recliner! Comes with free case of Root Beer, a colossal sack of cheese doodles, and a big girl diaper so you don’t even need to get up to go to the bathroom. Just pretend you’re an old lady at a lucky slot machine. And remember, just because you’re relaxed doesn’t mean you’re lazy. You might be a lard ass in the living room, but you’re a sniper in the virtual world. Just look at the box it comes in for god’s sake. The people who make the little la-z-boy are so lazy themselves, they don’t even bother trying to deny the fact that the chair was invented to make your lazy kids even lazier. The kid in the main picture is reclining with an iPod! Oh but look, there’s a smaller inset shot of a kid reading a book. So it’s also a READING chair. Nice try. The kid’s probably reading the instruction manual for the iPod. All they’re missing is a picture of a kid with a pipe and a floor-ashtray.

6. FOX NEWS

foxy hatNo foxes were harmed in the taking of this photograph of me in an all-in-one fox “scat” (that’s a scarf and a hat in one, not fox poop). Although I did trip over the threshold exiting the store. (What does the fox say?)

 

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My Dead Dad’s Big Balls

I remember Dad’s hands even better than his face. They were stiff and leathery. But they were not the hands of a working man; he could scarcely drive a nail. He made a nightstand for me once. It was so wobbly, my glass of orange juice was always leaning for Florida.

In his forties, he mowed the top off his index finger. Yes, mowed. As in, avec lawnmower. The grass finally had its revenge. Beyond the old Smith Corona, machinery was not his forte.

He fished with his stepfather as a boy, and did some rabbit snaring when I was a child, but most of the calluses on his hands were the marks of a Callaway pitching wedge. If there were lumps or bumps on those sausage fingers, they were from holding a pen, or picking his nose.

Dad was a teacher, a writer, a lay minister, a volunteer, a voracious reader. He cried at his nieces’ weddings. He loved his mother. He called his sisters every other night. He grew strawberries. He had a rock garden. He fed the birds. He wrote poetry. Not exactly the kind of person you associate with fighting, but that’s what Dad was to me. A fighter. He had gentle hands and gigantic balls.

He didn’t fight with his fists. (Thank goodness; that reattached index finger would have been his Achilles heel.) He didn’t use a weapon either, though he swung a sword around his classroom like Hamlet in a mismatched shirt and tie. As long as I can remember, he was always quietly fighting for or against something – with radio commentary, with articles, with letters. With words glorious words.

When I was still in elementary school, I remember having a letter sent home from the principal. Myself and a couple other girls had hid one of our friend’s sneakers in the garbage can. It never crossed our minds that the janitor would be taking out the trash that night. We all lied about the sneaker’s whereabouts, of course, trying to escape the principal’s wrath. (Seventh grade was not my finest hour.) Once the truth came out, the principal sent home an especially harsh letter. Dad felt it was unjust and wrote a letter in reply, defending my character and those of my friends. We made a stupid mistake, but we weren’t criminals. Dad would have made a good judge.

Dad was also the guy you went to if you were having trouble getting your EI fixed up. He’d make the phone calls and write the letters until hard-working Joe Blow got what he deserved. Dad would have made an excellent lawyer.

He was always advocating for rural Newfoundland. His obsession with CBC news was a major cause of my teenage angst. If Dad ever came close to beating me as a child, it was when I was singing Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go during the Fisheries Broadcast. He had to know everything that was going on in the province, especially if it affected the outports he held so dear. He had a fierce interest in politics and frequently called into CBC Radio. (Ted Blades remembers him well.) A few years back, just before Danny Williams was reelected, Dad made a brazen comment at a Liberal rally, calling Williams a “Fuhrer”.  Liberal candidate Gerry Reid took the heat, but it was Dad who uttered the words. It made headlines and inspired a skit on 22 Minutes starring Mark Critch as “der Fuhrer” Danny. Dad was not afraid to stand up to the big guy, or the rich guy. He was smart and sharp-tongued. He provoked. He would have made a great blogger.

Just before Williams became Premier, Dad was President of the (would-be) Windmill Bight Golf Course. He was THIS CLOSE to seeing it to fruition. But the ecology people and the new PC government shut ‘er down. The blueprints of fairways were soon pushing up daisies. Dad knew when to fight, and when to concede. He scarcely mentioned the golf course again. Instead, he put his energy into his short game on the links in Gander, where his name would one day be on the “In Memoriam” plaque and an annual tournament held in his memory. And lest we forget all the loonies spent on custard cones at Vonnie Lee’s in Gambo. Those things didn’t have a chance in a duel with Dad’s gob.

His last fight was with cancer. But he fought so cheerfully, it was hard to believe there was a battle going on at all. He golfed more that last summer than ever before. He even wrote a book. A BOOK. Pecking away at the computer for hours on end, the tubes of his chemo apparatus dangled into his lap. He fought off all negativity. He had an incurable optimism. Save those last three weeks of life, he was hopeful, productive and strong.

There is a poem by William Wordsworth that reminds me of Dad. The poetry scholars of the world would probably tell me I’m an idiot, that this poem is about actual soldiers, or hookers, or platypuses, or something. But there’s just something about it that sounds like him.

Who is the happy warrior? Who is he
What every man in arms should wish to be?
It is the generous spirit, who, when brought
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
Upon the plan that pleased his childish thought.
Whose high endeavours are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright;
Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn.

Read the rest here if you wanna.

I have a little warrior in the house now. A Jedi knight, to be precise. He has an arsenal of weapons, which is why we can’t have nice things. I remind him that this is just make-believe, that in real life fighting is never the answer. Not with weapons and fists, at least. As Mr. Miyagi would say, “Max-san, fighting always last answer to problem.”

I do believe in fighting, but the kind my father practiced. Challenging authority and the status quo with questions, criticism, even satire. We need opposition – in government, in the workplace, maybe even in the home. It’s what keeps us talking and thinking, exploring and progressing. Without challenging each other, we are mindless droids marching along in the Imperial Army.

If you have two eyes, a heart and a brain, there will always be something to fight for, and against. Because the world can be a cruel place sometimes. How can we make it better if we don’t politely point out all the bullshit that history and politics and religion have plopped in our laps?

Eventually, we all lose the big game of life, I know. But while we’re here, we do what we can, and hope our kids pick up a thing or two to carry the torch in our absence. I don’t want to a raise a bull, but I also don’t want to raise a sheep.

Dad has been gone four years to the day. Time flies when you’re having fun? Fuck. It still hurts when I think about it, especially when this song comes on the radio. (Dad had a Byrds cassette tape when I was a kid.) When I listen to CBC news, I think about the comments he would have been compelled to share. When I drive past Windmill Bight, I think of the golf course that was almost there. And when I look at my Max, I think of all the things he’s missed, and will never see. But time has dulled the ache and allows me to remember him with a lighter heart now. Which is why I can title this post “My Dead Dad’s Big Balls” and not feel bad about it. (I guess I inherited his balls.)

It’s funny how the significance of a lost loved one shifts. Maybe the flaws fall away over time, your mind elevating them to someone impossibly perfect. Maybe it just takes time for you to realize their true worth, once the sorrow and anger subside to let you see things more clearly. Over the last four years, I’ve gone from missing a parent to being proud of a person. I’ve gone from mourning my father to being inspired by a pretty cool guy. A guy with true grit, and the guts to speak his mind. A lifelong fighter…who just happens to be my dad. So these days, when someone asks me what I remember most about him, I say his hands, his face, his laugh, his terrible penmanship, his golf swing, and HIS BIG GIGANTIC BALLS.

IMG_5028
Balls: Letting your little girl turn you into a princess.

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Maybe we’re doing just fine.

Happy 2014. A little late, I know. But my period wasn’t late, so that’s good. As a self-declared leader in the war on traditional motherhood, I should probably say something profound to inspire you in this new year upon us. Maybe I should tell you to go burn your apron. Or maybe I should say “this is your year, mama”, “go big or go home”, “rock that vagina”, “work it, work it”, “you go girl”, etc. But truth is, you don’t have to do any of those things. You just need to keep on keepin’ it real, shawty. And maybe floss a little more.

What I mean is: instead of reinventing yourself, maybe it’s time to stop being so hard on yourself. Maybe it’s time to consider you might be doing just fine. Instead of making one grandiose resolution to change in some epic way (which is probably doomed to fail), maybe you could just pursue a handful of small things to nudge things along in a positive direction (and make succeeding way more likely). That’s my plan. I have an exciting year ahead, thanks to that there book I writ – literary events, a parenting column in Newfoundland’s new arts and culture paper, and some other things I can’t mention because then I’d have to kill you. But my plan for 2014 is not to be rich and famous with an apartment of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books. I just want to eat more kale, walk the dog more, and feel less stabby. And 40 or so other little things. You know, if I get around to it, whatever.

1.  Wash hair less.
2.  Stop biting nails.
3.  Continue to shun the thong.
4.  Be more spontaneous.
5.  Go fuck yourself. (Sorry I was being spontaneous.)
6.  Spend less time online and more time skipping through the enchanted woodlands.
7.  Ask more often: What would Yoda do?
8.  Back up photos and video before I lose everything and have to kill myself.
9.  Print Dad’s book of poems before he starts haunting my house.
10.  Delete failed selfies from phone so I won’t look like an idiot if I die suddenly.
11.  Drink more water and also booze.
12.  Reduce bitchiness by 20%
13.  Have more lightsaber fights.
14. Become a champion for gingers everywhere.

photo[2]
A snap of my ginger avec ginger snaps.

15.  Adopt something: kid, dog, highway, etc.
16.  Start composting.
17.  Slay this tentacled beast living under my desk at the office.

photo
SHUDDER

18.  Create something remotely resembling a budget. Establish cheese fund.
19.  Update spam plugin on website before I choke a bitch.
20.  Do more nice shit for people.
21.  Ignore the Internet trolls.
22.  Organize sock drawer. (Have less pity for orphaned socks. THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE.)
23.  Continue to not be a sheep.
24.  Continue to give zero fucks. Mostly.
25.  Make people laugh.
26.  Spend more time with funny people.
27.  Be more patient with ass-hats.
28.  Support the arts community.
29.  Support other women, even those not like me.
30.  Invent jeans that feel like sweatpants for skeety toddlers who refuse to wear jeans because “they’re cold and crispy”.
31.  Listen to more music.
32.  Gyrate more, with or without music.
33.  Read more books.
34.  Remember who matters most: Batman, Luke and Chewbacca.

May the candy be with you.
Mah heroes.

35.  Be diligent with sunblock.
36.  Use more expensive bubble bath. YOLO.
37.  Do more body combat so I can kick a dude’s face in if he tries to get on me unless he’s Benedict Cumberbatch.
38.  Continue hunt for world’s best macaroni and cheese.
39.  Get pregnant maybe?

photo[1]
Christmas Eve 2013 fortune cookie.

40.  Do more self-exams. Protect the girls.
41.  Look for Loch Ness Monster.
42.  Make killer ads.
43.  Start second book.
44.  Screw the naysayers.
45.  Stir the pot.
46.  Increase the peace.
47.  Open mind to all possibilities.

48.  LIVE LIKE I MEAN IT.

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New Year’s Resolution: Stop Being a Crack Whore

I don’t actually smoke crack, or turn tricks to score it. I don’t do meth either, although for a while there, being a huge Breaking Bad fan, I did start to warm up to the idea of cooking it. And I have a total hard-on for crappy old winnebagos.

I’m not a junkie parent, but I totally acted like one this Christmas. I don’t mean literally. I didn’t cut coke with a Toys R Us gift card, or scream things like “Watch out for the goddamn bats!” I didn’t have itchy sores on my face, except for the cluster of chin-zits I developed with the usual holiday chocolate overdose. I certainly wasn’t wasting away to nothing; pretty sure my pants are restricting blood flow to my lady garden right now.

Let me explain.

Max would get up at 8 a.m. and walk into our bedroom to see two pale, groggy, drooling creatures flaked out in bed. Say hello to the Mother of Year and her hairy prince.

“Mommy, Daddy, can I go play the X-Box?”
“Go for it.”

One hour later…

“Mommy, Daddy, are you guys getting up?”
“Not yet, go play with your toys.”

One hour later…

“Mommy, Daddy, I’m hungry…”

Annnnnnnnnnd OH GOD I AM A HORRIBLE MOTHER I’LL GO PACK MY BAGS FOR PRISON NOW.

The Mommy Guilt. It’s a thing.

“I’ll be right there, buddy. Cheerios or French toast?”
“Cheerios.”
“Oh thank GAWD.”

I was off for ten days. On almost every one of those days, Max got up and played by himself for anywhere between one to three hours. Alone. While Mommy and Daddy — and even the dog — slept in, or at least lounged around in bed checking facebook and playing Candy Crush. I am a crack whore. I am a meth head mommy, without the meth. And Max is this kid right here, with a 30% cleaner face:

Photo stolen from the Interwebs. That's what tweakers do. They steal.
Photo stolen from the Interwebs. That’s what tweakers do. They steal.

I hate myself so hard. I had ten days to do all the things the usual crazy workweek doesn’t allow: Walk the dog, organize the house, spend quality time with my son who I ship off to daycare five days a week. But instead, I chose to be a gigantic, lazy asshole with all the makings of a fabulous smackhead.

Today, the first Saturday since returning to work, it was a familiar scene. Max got up around 8 a.m. and skipped out to the living room to play on the X-Box. And we douchenozzles lay in bed, trying to block out the sound of Lego Luke Skywalker decapitating stormtroopers. But then…BAM! Actually, it was the opposite of BAM! It was a lowercase bam, with no exclamation mark. Bam. Everything went quiet. No Jedi sound effects. No dull hum of the air exchanger. Only the sound of small, flat feet approaching our bedroom. “Mommy, the X-Box is not working.”

Holy sith-spawn! The power was gone.

With no X-Box, iPad or TV, Turbo Ginger had to kick it old school for the rest of the day. Puzzles. Books. Action figures. Even bubble wrap.

1509234_754006081296271_1270787716_n
This tweet was shown on CBC News Network today. Max’s official national television debut. (Yes, Mommy still had Twitter. Shut up.)

And, since Max can’t read, or assemble a 100-piece puzzle solo, or have a lightsaber fight with himself, Mommy had to be an active participant.

A sincere thank-you to the power company people. No really, thanks for the intervention. Now, if you could just restore our power so I can cook some french toast. And maybe a little crystal.

(I’m kidding. Put down the phone.)

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BAYGIRL.

My husband gave me a t-shirt for Christmas that says BAYGIRL. I should have worn it to my book event on Saturday night at Norton’s Cove Studio, in the bay from whence I came. (I wore a raggedy denim shirt instead to give the appearance of not giving a fuck, like a real artistic rebel. I’m kidding. I forgot the baygirl shirt because I’m very unorganized and forgetful. I once boarded the wrong plane at the airport and didn’t realize it until the actual seat-holder of 22B told me to fly the frig out of her seat. I argued with her for five minutes before exiting the plane like the world’s shittiest terrorist.)

Some pictures of beautiful Norton’s Cove Studio:

NCS shelves
Linocut prints by Janet Davis. Whales, lobsters, caplin, oh my!
NCS wide
Norton’s Cove Studio was once the general store of merchant Baxter Kean. When it was all barred up in the 90s, my friends and I broke in here to drink beer. I stole a phonebook.
I see my face back there.
I see my face back there. Spoooooky.
NCS scale
Old Bax left many things behind, including this scale. (MotherFumbler weighs 280 grams.)

For those of you not from The Rock (and especially for those of you thinking The Rock is Alcatraz right now), a “baygirl” is a female from one of Newfoundland’s rural, seaside communities. It is the opposite of a “townie” girl – she who hails from the capital city of St. John’s. I’m not sure what they call girls from Mount Pearl or Corner Brook, the other two cities on the island. And don’t even ask me about Labrador or my head will explode. As far as Newfoundlanders are concerned, there are only townies and baymen. If you don’t fall into one of those two categories, you’re probably a chair or a toaster.

So about eight weeks ago, this baygirl (who married a townie boy and now lives in the city) published a book, MotherFumbler. I’m not sure where it’s being filed away in bookstores in major cities like Montreal and Toronto and Vagina, Sasnatchewan. Maybe it’s in the “Parenting” section, or in the “Potty-Mouth” section located, appropriately, near the shitters. In Halifax a couple weeks ago, I found my second-born on a table with “Made in Canada” on the masthead.

Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 12.37.58 AMBut here in Newfoundland bookstores, MotherFumbler has dug her big red heel into the “Local” section, and I’m happy to be in such fabulous company. Check out the bookshelf at a local grocery store: Bill Rowe to my left, Bernice Morgan directly beneath me. (Oh Bernice, that feels good, don’t stop.)

Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 12.15.04 AMAnd look at me (well that’s not me, that’s Purna) at Chapters, among a seasonal display of local bestsellers.

photo[2]I confess, I propped that top one up next to The House of Wood In Vaginas (hi, Kevin Major) and coerced the lovely Chapters associate to pose. But still, there I was, stomping around among the heritage and poetry and Newfoundlandia.

Here in these larger stores, my father’s book, Fogo Island Boy, is also just a couple shelves away from mine. If I had published under my maiden name, we’d be Combden to Combden, cover to cover, spine to spine. But alas, the townie husband got his way. (I’m kidding. Changing my name was my choice. I don’t regret it.)

There’s nothing really local about my book though. My writing style is more saucy slang than local dialect. And the book has a truly universal theme: motherhood. It reads the same to a mom in Newfoundland as it does to a mom in Nantucket (where there was once a girl who…oh nevermind.) Truth be told, MotherFumbler probably belongs in the “Humour” section. A few weeks ago, it even spent a whooooole day at #2 on Amazon in the Humour/Parenting category, so there. But local is where they want me around here, so local is where I contentedly sit. One thing’s for sure, over here I stand out like a sore vagina, or thumb, whatever. Check out the titles around mine at the Gander Book Nook: Wooden Ships and Iron Men. Running the Whales’s Back. The Blackwood Schooner.

Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 12.14.48 AMI didn’t give my book a nautical title, but I do refer to childbirth as “passing the M.V. Homo Sapien through the Screwez Canal.” So technically I fit in here just fine.

Saturday night made me even more proud of my local label. No, Mom and I didn’t split the jackpot at bingo. And I didn’t spend a night of passion with artist David Blackwood (he’s from here, too. Don’t be jealous.) I went to a meet and greet at a local studio, where 30 people from my home community came out to say hello to me. I thought maybe a couple of them dropped by to buy a watercolour at the wrong damn time, or got lost on the way to the 50+ Club Potluck. But no, they all came to see me, to talk to me. The crowd included my grade-12 math teacher, two of my kindergarten classmates, a handful of people who knew me well, a punt-load of souls who knew me only by name, and two lovelies who didn’t know me from Oprah.

Some of them purchased a copy of my book from Janet, artist/owner of Norton’s Cove Studio and gracious host of the event. Some bought several copies, for peeps living away. Others came in with their copies to be autographed, the pages already disheveled from enthusiastic turning. I think I even saw a bookmark sticking out of one. Or maybe it was a joint, I can’t be sure. Book sales be damned, I was tickled pink to have this many people venture out into the frigid night, to cram inside this cozy little studio, to share the space with lil’ ol’ me. To hear what silliness I would  sputter. To support one of their own.

Now I’m extra glad my bio at the back of the book says where I’m from. Not where I live; where I’m from. I’m not from St. John’s. I’m from Badger’s Quay, in New-Wes-Valley, in Bonavista Bay. That’s right, I’m a BAYGIRL, motherfuckers. And don’t you forget it. I know I won’t. (The t-shirt wouldn’t let me if I tried.)

Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 12.38.18 AM

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Last-Minute Shopping Tips for Clueless Husbands

Tick tock, hubbies.

Less than 48 hours remain before Christmas Day. Ye men are finally taking your hands out of your pants and thinking, “Hmmm. Guess I should get out and do some shopping.” Gee, ya think? And for whom could you be doing this last-minute shopping? Let us guess. Your mom? No, can’t be her because we took care of that for you. (Act unsurprised when she opens the slippers.) How ’bout the kids? Nope, we did that too. Weeks ago. Before all the toys were gone, to ensure our sweet babies wouldn’t be disappointed on Christmas morning. (You’re welcome.) You have just one, measly name on your shopping list: OURS. And you’ve put it off till now, because who really gives a fuck if you can’t find the perfect gift; we’ll get over it, like we always do. No biggie. I mean, it’s not like we sacrificed our holes to give you a heir. It’s not like we produced a spare liver for when yours is thoroughly pickled.

Okay, okay, I kid, I kid. I’m not here to slap you around. I’m here to help you, to make sure the great gal in your life knows how much you appreciate her. Thing is, guys, we know you mean well; you just don’t quite know where to begin because, when it comes to us, you’re just not all that bright. And listen, we’re not perfect either. Half of us don’t even know where the windshield wash goes. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on us. (We’re spending all your money the other 364 days of the year anyway.) And you don’t need a lot of time. (Thank god, since it’s the 11th hour, buttmunch.) You need simple, solid ideas. Here are a few.

1. Get her a really cool mug. I’m not kidding. It’s a caffeine-fueled world. The missus needs a cup of joe to keep her from strangling you and your precious sucklings before 7:30 am every day, so this ain’t no mug; it’s a hand-held escape pod from the motherfuckery that is her life. It is a vessel of tranquility. It’s a crack pipe that won’t land her in the clink. And it’s a constant reminder of the person who gave it to her. So make it a good one. Don’t be stupid and get her a mug from the dollar store, unless you want her to think what a cheapskate you are every time she wets her whistle. HELLS TO THE NO. Get her a mug that’s as beautiful as she is, from a local potter (like Dove Pottery here in St. John’s) or from a downtown boutique (like the Newfoundland Weavery on Water Street) or from a bookstore (like Chapters, where the mugs and candles and pillows are easier to find than the fucking books). Maybe it has her initial on it. Maybe it’s locally made. Maybe it’s a Meatloaf mug because that’s the concert where you first touched her boobs. Whatever. This is an easy, inexpensive gift (yes, $25 for a really nice mug is a good deal, Ebenezer) that tells her to sit back and relax, because she deserves it, damn it. (Note: Throw in her favourite coffee or tea, a bottle of Bailey’s, and some quality chocolate and you’re laughin’.)

2. You MUST MUST MUST buy her a book. And I’m not just saying that because I wrote one, I swear. Giving her a book lets her know you think she’s smart. She’s not all clothes and jewelry – oh no, your bitch can read, yo! It also says you are smart. Any asshole can buy his woman earrings. It takes a real man to buy something that enriches the space between her ears. Get her a book that’ll make her laugh and it’s a win-win for both of you. Admit it…you wish she’d lighten up a little. So the funnier the book, the better. Here are a few suggestions:

Oh what have we here…MotherFumbler, written by…oh looky here…ME. I’d post the link so you can order it from Amazon or Indigo but unless those companies have enlisted the Concorde for deliveries, you’re screwed.

MotherFumbler_FRCVRweb_FAGo find it at your local bookstore. It’s all over Atlantic Canada, and since it’s selling so well here, it’s also now in major cities across Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Vagina, Sasnatchewan.

Other funny books me likey that she might likey too:

Mindy Kaeling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, or Are Your There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.

Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman

Bobbi French’s Finding Me In France

Tina Fey’s Bossypants

Claire Wilkshire’s Maxine

3. Give her a gift certificate to a nice restaurant. If you’re thinking Jungle Jim’s right now, you should be ravaged by piranhas then swallowed whole by an anaconda. I’m talking about somewhere you wouldn’t take the kids because, frankly, kids are jackasses and this classy place rightfully hates them. If you’re in St. John’s, think Raymond’s, Bianca’s, Portobello’s, Oliver’s, The Reluctant Chef, The Gypsy Tearoom, Basho, you get the idea. Somewhere where, if she walked in wearing that Au Coton sweatshirt she’s been hanging onto since the nineties, they’d skewer her on the spot. Gift cards are usually cop-outs, I know, but this is a little different. See, guys, in case you missed this fact, we love to eat. Unfortunately for your widdle wang, we would rather eat than do anything else on earth. When we say we love meat, we mean the stuff that comes from a cow or a pig or a lobster, not your pants. So a fantastic meal that we don’t have to cook, sans children shouting “This tastes like poop from a toilet!”, is a gift from the gods. And later, when we loosen our belt, it’s so we can breathe, not because we want your peach cockler for dessert. Just shut up and feed us.

4. Throw in a bottle of suntan lotion. If you’re rich, you give her a trip to France. If you’re moderately wealthy, you give her a weekend getaway at a B&B. If you’re broke like the rest of us, you give her a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic. Something that says: “How ‘bout me and you get outta this one-horse town, little darlin’. Maybe next year or the year after that, when we save up our loonies and toonies.” You can’t afford it right now because you spent all your money on the ungrateful spawn, but next year, or the following year…oh yeah baby, some three-star resort on an island somewhere is gonna see your snow-white asses jiggling side by side. That’s not a bottle of sunblock, fool. That’s a can of hope.

5. No thigh masters. Please. Unless your lady is a fitness freak already, do not buy her exercise clothes or a gym membership. The only thigh master in her life should be you. Rub those juicy hams, bitch. Look, we ladies hate our bodies. It’s what we do. We don’t need overpriced Lululemon crap to remind us there’s room for improvement. So, especially at this time of year, just let us know you’re okay with us the way we are. (Please see tip #3: feed us.) When 2014 arrives, we’ll be dragging our fast asses to the gym on our own terms, not yours, zippy.

6. For the love of god NO VACUUMS. Also, no cleaning supplies, aprons, or feather dusters. If you give us a mop or a broom — first of all, good luck wrapping that thing. Second of all, it’s going straight into your rectum. It’s almost 2014, people; the housekeeping is a shared task. So unless you want a box of dishwasher pellets in your stocking, don’t give it to her either. HOWEVER! I highly recommend the gift of housekeeping services. My cleaning angel, Angela, completes me. So go get your own cleaning person, put a big bow on her (or his) head, and prepare to go down in history as the best giver of gifts (and receiver of blowjobs) of all time. But be careful. Since cleaning is not “her job”, this is really a gift for both of you. So you’re gonna need several other gifts from this list to compensate. Get crackin’.

7. Kitchen gadgets are good. (But some restrictions apply.) Only give her a kitchen gadget – you know, a fancy mixer, or a can opener that turns into a back scratching vibrator – if it makes her life easier. Or if it’s cool as fuck — like, invented in the last 10 minutes.

Like these onion goggles, to protect her eyes while slicing and dicing.

thIf she cries while cutting onions and wearing these onion goggles, it’s probably not the onions. It’s this terrible, terrible gift you just gave her. Which brings me to a very important point: It’s okay to give kitchen gadgets as long as it’s not the ONLY thing you give her.

Denise: Hey Cheryl, what’d Ron give you for Christmas?

Cheryl:  Earrings, a mixer, a gift certificate to Oliver’s, and a really cool mug. What’d Mike give you?

Denise: Onion goggles.

Cheryl: Ha ha, funny. And…?

Denise: Onion goggles.

8. Bubble bath is underestimated. If the missus like bubble baths, get her the good stuff. Maybe something organic, like Blueberry Vanilla Parfait from Tval on Water Street. No cheap shit like Mr. Bubble, unless you relish stabby glares from across the living room. See, bubble bath is not just soap in a bottle. It’s titillating tonic that says: I love your body and I want you to marinate like the delicious tenderloin you are. (Note: bubble bath is best accompanied by a gift certificate to the spa. Just sayin’.)

9. Grow some balls and buy her a sweater. You don’t have a damn clue what she likes or what’ll fit those bajongas, but give it a shot, big guy. Be bold. She’ll think your attempt is adorable, even if the sweater is hideous. But get a gift receipt for the love of god. And avoid things that look like this:
137500594844452440cRvwMCVBc10. Diamonds are not her only best friend. She also loves wine, chocolate, shoes, cheese, and wine. But back to jewelry for a sec. Gold and diamonds are not the only materials worthy of touching your luvva’s skin. In fact, some of those genuine (and genuinely pricey) jewels are downright HUGGLY. Fuck that gaudy shit at Bogart’s, my frugal brutha. This ain’t the set of Dynasty, eh b’y. Check out the work of jewelry-makers who use bronze, brass, pewter, even leather, to make one-of-a kind necklaces and bracelets and earrings. If you’re in St. John’s, try Johnny Ruth and Urban Planet on Water Street. Or drop by the jewelry counter of my second home, Winners, where special bling-a-lings pop up from time to time. But don’t buy anything posing as something else. Brass is good because it’s clearly brass and not posing as gold, but cubic zirconia is trying to fake it as a diamond. No cubic zirconia, dude. You don’t have to pay a fortune, but you gotta keep it real.

11. Put some lip-gloss in her stocking. Ask the cosmetics queen at Shoppers Drug Mart to help you. You want the good stuff — pale pink or coral. It’s like pre-lube for your beef whistle. Not really. Just get it. You know you like watching her glide her finger across her lips, even if she is just juicing them up so cookies slide down more easily.

12. Make her a card. Yes, I’m serious. You don’t have to be the love child of Shakespeare and Picasso to pull this off. It can be a piece of paper folded in half. Or buy a blank card — you know, one of those with a picture on the front but nothing on the inside — and personalize it. We don’t really give a fuck. Just knowing you put an ounce of thought into it means a lot, instead of buying a store-bought verse that thousands of other wives are reading right this second too. My dad once gave Mom a store-bought card that said “You’re just like a mother to me.” Not only did he not put any thought into the card; he didn’t even read it. Oh Dad.

Remember the second Bachelorette? I know, neither do I, that show is totes lame and so beneath me. But according to reports, Ryan, one of the contenders for Bachelorette Trista’s heart, wrote her poems. They were nothing to write home about, but they were sweet, funny, and helped him win her heart. Ryan and Trista got married and had two kids. They are the only couple from the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise to last. Now, if you can barely write your own name on a cheque let alone a goddamn poem, Google is here to help you. Search for “love poems” or “love quotes” or just “funny lines about marriage”. Pick something that feels right. Now, take a pen (remember what those are?) and write it down — on the piece of folded paper, or on the blank greeting card. Use your own handwriting. Put a heart next to it. Sign your name with love. Now go wash your junk because good things are coming to you, Romeo.

13. Make her laugh. If your card (see tip #12) is funny, you’re home-free already. Otherwise, do what my husband does every Christmas: once he has my stocking filled with the things he’s bought, he fills up the rest of the available space with things I already own, like underwear, socks, condoms, oranges from the fridge, and canned goods from the cupboard. Cracks me up every time. It’s amazing how laughter can make you forget all about the fact that he bought all this shit like five minutes ago.

Happy last-minute shopping, fellas. YOU CAN DO IT. And by the way, you’ll need an iPad mini to go with any or all of the above.

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Hilarity is everywhere, innit?

I went to Max’s prekindergarten assessment yesterday in hopes he would say something funny that I could write about here and continue to build my social media empire on the exploitation of my child. Of course I also wanted to make sure he was healthy and ready to go to school in September. But why not get two birds stoned at once, AMIRITE?

He was in the 97th percentile for height – BOOYAH. But he didn’t say anything remotely ridiculous — DAMN IT. He was insufferably cute and well-behaved and smart as a tack. I welled up with pride more than once and had to think of two cats swappin’ gravies in order to suck the tears back up into mes yeux. If your kid was asked “What do you do at the lake?” and he replied “Daddy throws a stick and my dog Splash swims out to get it”, you’d fucking bawl your eyes out too so shut it. Yes, even if you didn’t have a dog named Splash — that’s how sweet it was.

Plus, we had just picked him up from daycare and he was all pitifully adorable with his hair askew, his sweatpants dirty from “wiping soup in them” (not to mention tucked inside yellow rubber boots), and he had a little blob of blue something (blueberries? clay? Smurf shit?) on his cheek. The nurse asked him questions and my little skeet answered them like a champ. It was like watching the scene from Good Will Hunting where Will, the troubled, impoverished night janitor, solves equations on the Harvard chalkboard. That’s my scrappy little genius. Oooh, maybe the nice nurse lady will give us a pencil and a scribbler, or a slice of bread with some butta!

My child, formerly known as Turbo Ginger, is ruining my shtick with his wonderfulness. I have no choice but to seek twisted amusement elsewhere. So, while he was playing quietly with the toys in the waiting room at the clinic (we had to wait 15 minutes to make sure the booster shot didn’t turn him into a boy zombie), I started looking around at the books, brochures and posters. Ha ha. Jackpot, bitches.

1. So…apparently there’s a show on TV called Titch. And here’s a book about Titch, called “It’s Bedtime, Titch.” I’m sure it’s a lovely book. But all I can see is the literary love child of TITS and BITCH, with a little bit of ITCH thrown in for good measure. It may as well be called “Goodnight, Itchy Bitch Tits” because that is all I can see. The end.

it's tedtime bitch2. And check out this spectacular prego pamphlet. Oral health tips for expectant mothers. I say, forget about her teeth and gums — someone get this poor woman a full-size shirt. Jesus, missus, did that apple fall out of your belly button?

forget your gums fix that shirt3. Did you know second-hand smoke can turn your kid into a creepy bear? Now you do. And if you don’t quit smoking around him, that creepy bear will choke you out while you sleep.

will turn you into a creepy bear4. And holy crap, according to this poster my husband totally has diabetes in children. I totally knew it.

my husband has diabetes in children5. Seen this one before. The head lice pamphlet they send home from daycares and schools whenever there’s an outbreak of pediculus humanus capitis, better known (in my vernacular) as mop maggots. And that poor, curly-headed fuck on the front. What a role to play, wha? Not the lead in the school musical. Not a watchful shepherd in the Christmas pageant. THE POSTER CHILD FOR HEAD LICE. Based on the dated look of the photo, he’s probably 25 years old now, just heading (no pun intended) into the working world. I wonder if “head lice model” is on his resume. He’s sure to get ahead (sorry, couldn’t help it) with that. Better off than the guy on the syphilis poster, I guess.

poor little lice boy

 

 

 

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