Archive | September, 2010

I’m Sorry, What?

30 Sep

I had a friend who used to say that the more times you used “fine” to describe your day, the less fine it was. I find that to be true only about half the time. Generally, if my husband asks how I am or how my day was and I answer FINE with no other information, he takes a deep breath, turns on his heel, and burrows into this little space he’s made in the back of the linen closet where he proceeds to curse The Gods for ever putting him in the path of the crazy woman throwing crockery around the kitchen rather than just getting in there and MAKING HIM A DAMN PIE.  But, you know, everyone’s experience is different and special.

 This morning another friend commented that when, “Oh, that's hilarious,” is said in conversations between people who are not close friends, it usually means, "Oh, that is really not hilarious at all."

  Being from The South, I am well aware of this phenomenon. For example, someone–Fanny Flagg? If not, it should have been–once said that bless your heart is actually Southern for go to hell.  I don’t really go that far, but bless your/his/her/their heart is not, indeed, usually meant as the sincere desire for your heart to be touched with the special dew and unicorn tears of a true blessing. I often find it to mean something more along the lines of, Get on with your story, Myrtle, it’s terrible Wayne fell off the barn into that vat of hog innards, but I’ve got a roast in the oven.  


In the Southern U.S., emphasis is everything. Sort of like Mandarin Chinese. The whole meaning changes with a shift of stress or arch of an eyebrow.  BLESS.  YOUR.  HEART.   is often super-secret-double-probation code for Jesus, God, if I have to hear about that damn weenie dog of hers piddling on the new rug ONE MORE TIME, I’m gonna stick hot pokers in my eyes and rip my ears off with Lloyd’s pipe wrench. You know, or something close to that.

 Occasionally, like at bridge club, talk among my grandmothers’ friends would turn to things like how the new preacher at the Methodist church had a wife who wore diamond cocktail rings before 5 o’clock and that she had also been heard to order a double vodka rocks with extra lime at the Country Club—for lunch. My grandmothers, both of them, tended to respond to such talk by saying, I don’t know her very well (Ah don’t no huh verah well, in the case of my paternal grandmother). This was understood to mean that it might be true the new preacher’s wife was an alcoholic, social climbing tramp, but they would reserve judgment until they witnessed an event such as her falling face-first into the punch bowl at Wednesday tea after having been spied sucking back bottles of vanilla extract in the church kitchen.

 I just stopped by for a second is a tricky one. It can either mean, I want it to seem like I just happened to pop over with this recipe for stuffed peppers, but I really want to corner you for two hours about that family that just moved in down the street who keep a camper shell in their front yard, and could we get Code Enforcement out here to fine them? Or it could mean, I’m not going to stand here any longer than I have to, but it would be rude of me not to give you some of this squash that you know I’ve been growing because you spend all afternoon at your window watching every move we make, you crusty old biddy.

 I think I speak pretty clearly when I need to. Were my husband here, he would be jumping up and down and trying not to start screaming about my rather elastic use of the word “clearly”. I’ll tell you this, I’d rather read between the lines of Southern politesse than to try to decode my father who likes to drop such gems as ugly as a turkey turd on a pump handle. What the hell is that?



Sex Gets A Brand Guru

29 Sep

The other day I noticed an odd add on my Facebook page. Between the FOODS NEVER TO EAT and OBAMA WANTS MOMS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL ads was one that featured a picture of a pregnant belly. The ad read, “GET PREGNANT NATURALLY! NO PILLS! NO DRUGS!”

So when did Sex get an ad campaign? When did Sex realize it needed a brand marketing guru?


Sex: So, I’m thinking I need my name out there a little more. I want to make sure I stay relevant.

Account Manager: Ah, okay, but you’re Sex. Sex is pretty much on everyone’s lips, so to speak.

Sex: Well, in a way. I mean, Hooking Up’s so hot right now. There’s Quickie, Gettin’ It On, The Nasty, Knockin’ Boots. They’d be nowhere without me, of course. But they’re getting all the attention.

Account Manager: I see.

Sex: Do you? I don’t know, I just, I feel like Blockbuster right now? Like, am I relevant? I don’t want to end up like the Yugo or something. I have this recurring nightmare that people come up to me like, oh, didn’t you used to be Sex? Wow, you’ve changed.

Account Manager: You’re saying that you’re Sex and that you’re not relevant right now? I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for you, dude.

Sex: I know, I know, Sex sells. But with all this online porn, and jeez, the sex toy business is huge…well, there you go, right there. Adult toys. Adult. Toys. Adult movies, adult bookstores, adult friends, for the love of Mike! People are just taking the Sex right out of it, and that milquetoast Adult gets all the press. Pregnancy? Oh, that’s the worst. There’s like no Sex left in getting knocked up. All these sperm banks and egg banks and in vitro fertilizations are taking me right out of the process. Right out. I was talking to Masturbation the other day, and…

Account Manager: Wait, you were talking to Masturbation?

Sex: Yeah, we’re pretty close. Anyway, he’s getting so much publicity right now. That crazy woman? That Tea Party gal? Jeez, I mean, she’s the best thing to happen to Masturbation in years. He says to me, you know what you need, Sex? You need a re-launch. And that’s why I’m here. I want to be re-branded! I want fresh, I want hip! I want a social network! Twitter, I want The Twitter! Oh, and a new website with hearts and flashing lights and lots of Comic Sans font, and…

Account Manager: Okay, let me stop you right there. I think we need to start by trademarking your name…

Sex: In Comic Sans?

Account Manager: …NO! Stop with the Comic Sans talk! We’ll do a casting call for The New Face of Sex!

Sex: Yeah! Like maybe with The Duggars!

Account Manager: What the hell, Sex?

Sex: Well, they have all those children using good, old-fashioned Sex, right?

Account Manager: I was thinking Christina Hendricks. Listen, Sex, I need you to trust me on this, okay? We’ve got to go with a what’s-old-is-new-again approach.

Sex: Retro? I like, I like. Martinis and Sex, am I right?

Account Manager: Something like that. But, look, Sex, if I’m going to run your campaign, I need you to do one very important thing.

Sex: Yeah, sure. Name it.

Account Manager: I need you to keep your mouth shut. We can’t have everyone complaining about that noisy Sex.


No Genius Grant…Again

28 Sep

As usual, I've heard nothing from the MacArthur folks. I did have two calls last night from unknown numbers, so I suppose they could have called and not left a message. You know, insipid, barely coherent crap of this caliber DOES NOT WRITE ITSELF, PEOPLE. Piles of Cheetos and gallons of Coke Zero are needed in the production of this blog.

You know what it's like? It's like, oh, here, take this money to continue fascinating and important research on Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, but when you write about holding your hair back with a thong, they're nowhere to be found.


A Letter to the Me Who Thinks I’ll Really Use That Thing I’m Putting in the Freezer

27 Sep

Hey there.

I see you’re making a pot roast today. Cutting up lots of celery, onion, and like such. Yeah, it could all go in the composter, but Thanksgiving is soon and some of those scraps could go in the pot to make stock. Stop right there. Take a deep breath. Step away from the celery tops. They don’t need to sit there in your Ziploc-sized freezer, taking up valuable real estate next to those fudge pops you got this summer thinking they would be as good as a Jello Pudding Pop (note: they aren’t).

See, you knew when you bought this house that the freezer was jacked up. You knew the people before you didn’t cook and that’s why it totally made sense to them to have fully three-quarters of the freezer devoted to an in-door ice maker. Because people who don’t cook and/or have kids have lots of time for the making of festive, fruity blender drinks which require lots and lots of ice. You are no longer one of those people, but your freezer doesn’t care.

I know how you get, you and that husband of yours. You channel your inner Great Depression Survivor (GDS). Like that time you got the spiral sliced ham because it was on sale so cheap. You remember? It came with a packet of glaze stuff. You were going to throw the glaze stuff away because you don’t like the glaze stuff and neither does your husband, but that night he was channeling his GDS, and GDS got all whoa, whoa there young whippersnapper, you might need that package of sodium erythorbate, brown sugar and sodium diacetate. Maybe one day you have a ham glaze emergency, yes?   And now, you often look kindly on your GDS because your husband HAS had a ham emergency or two in the meantime, and wow, who knew?

But that does not excuse the fact that you have let about 4 ounces of pulled pork become a grey, desiccated mess of ice crystals since that day two years ago when you decided it was too much to throw out, but you had to do something with it because it was about to Go Bad.

That does not excuse the FIFTEEN random popsicles scattered about, taking up valuable space that could be used for butter since The Kroger had it on special for $2.50 a pound last week. Did you get that butter? Did you buy butter, the building block of all that is delicious and creamy when it was about half the price it normally is? No, you did not. You didn’t get it because that would mean moving the mostly empty bags of peas and carrots and broccoli. The beer mugs chilling hopefully in the door of the freezer can’t be moved to make way for butter, no way. It would be a tacit admission that frosty, hoppy beverages are not on your radar right now.

It would mean throwing out a bag of what you believe to be shrimp and letting it sit outside in the garbage can, marinating in refuse, for three days until the garbage is picked up and every cat in the neighborhood will swarm to your yard– like the last time, after you had that crawfish boil– and then you’d be walking over squirrel carcasses the cats leave after they got all rowdy because of bellyfuls of crustaceans, but wait, you don’t like squirrels, so maybe that’s okay.

Your lack of freezer space now mocks you.  Its overloaded shelves and plastic containers full of Frozen Mystery Casseroles tell a story of conspicuous consumption like nothing else other than that bottom drawer in your bathroom where you keep all those partly used shampoos, conditioners, and disposable razors.

I beg you. Please stop with the I’ll Really Use This. You won’t. When in doubt, throw it out.



Your Rational Self




Blog Action Day 2010 Preview

24 Sep|Start Petition

Hey, Deacon, Do Me A Solid And Pick Up Some Beer

24 Sep

I sent this while he was in a meeting…

Screen01 copy 

…at his church.

That is all.



23 Sep

It is amazing how trivial things become GIGANTIC ISSUES when I’m trying to write something. Like the condensation on my Taco Bell cup. I just realized that for the past, oh, five minutes or so (I kid you negative. Five minutes.) I’ve been sitting at the desk gazing at the condensation on my cup and thinking, wow, those are some mad Illustrator skillz that designer threw down putting that arch into that “Fourthmeal” text.  But what do I know? I used to have a blog that involved my spending a large part of my day making cheesy graphics involving a flatulent feline.


There are some of you reading this because you took some random link when you were Googling an inspirational status for your Facebook page. I am deeply sorry to disappoint you. There is nothing inspiring here. I was making fun of The Facebook inspirational status. You may sigh and call me a meany now. On the off chance that you stay a while and read, I’ll tell you a little bit about me and this space.


My name is Susan. I occasionally write. I kept reading THE BLOG IS DEAD, so I knew it was time for me to have one. I live in Memphis-by-God, Tennessee. I have a wonderful husband who came pre-loaded with two children. His business—like the business of many others in the BBQ capital of the universe–involves pork. No, he is not in politics. I like cheese and long walks in the rain, but I rarely combine the two. I am not a Mommy Blogger. I have nothing against MB’s, mind you. I’m just not one of them. I had a blog before this, but it changed from the original idea I had. I came here because it’s a little smaller. Cozier, if you will. I have major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Occasionally I talk about it because it’s something that occasionally needs to be talked about. If you can’t deal, just put your money on the dresser and leave. It is because of a tiny little life altering bout of these two monsters that I recently stopped writing at all. When the day came that I no longer had any interest in calling out asshat-ish behavior, I knew I needed to be medicated. 


As for the name of the blog? Well, look over there on the left-hand side of your screen. Are those not a couple of surprised cabbages, or what?