Now you’re speaking my language!

Corner Store (film)

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I wasn’t going to post today because I’m a little nervous about how my last post has taken on a life of its own in the comments section and, apparently, real life (read the comments to that post, it’s a weird old world out there), but I just had to post about this.

There’s a convenience store across the street from my apartment and, as I’m inordinately fond of both Red Bull and strawberry soda and have cravings for both at odd hours, the store plays a fairly regular part in my life.  It’s run by a family, not just a bunch of random clerks, and they’ve gotten to know me somewhat over the years.  They like to guess what I’m going to buy each time–is it Fanta?  Is it Doritos?  Why do I not weigh 300 pounds?  Yeah, my doctor would like to know that one as well.

I went in there tonight pretty late, actually expecting that they might be closed at that point, but they were open.  When I went in, two of the family were working and they were having what I’ll describe as an animated discussion–affectionate, but certainly lively.  I don’t know what it was about, exactly, because it was in a different language.  But as I walked in, they switched their argument into English for my benefit!  Now that’s what I call customer service.  You just don’t get that at 7-11.  Well, actually, the clerks at 7-11 know me as well, but that’s a whole different story.

National Don’t Bother Me Day

Jerry is frustrated by Tom who believes that h...

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I’ve decided that everyone should get a Don’t Bother Me day.  A Don’t Bother Me day is one day a week when you deal with all your regularly scheduled crap, but no one gets to dump unscheduled crap on you.  Your boss can’t fire you, the IRS can’t give you notice of an audit, you can’t get served with divorce papers, the bank can’t foreclose on your house.  The postal service has to hold back any mail marked DBM-unsafe (wouldn’t that be a fun job, DBM Inspector?)  You pick one regular weekly Don’t Bother Me day, and we’ll keep track of it all in a National Don’t Bother Me Day Registry.  We’ll have to have exceptions for medical emergencies for you or your immediate family, but no other exceptions, period.  Don’t Bother Me means Don’t Bother Me.

If anyone tries to bother you on your Don’t Bother Me day, it’s a defense to whatever they’re bothering you with that they tried it on a Don’t Bother Me day.  The IRS can’t proceed with the audit, the divorcing spouse can’t get alimony.  For violators of Don’t Bother Me day, a civil penalty will be assessed and will go toward the maintenance of the national registry.  After a certain number of violations, that person’s own Don’t Bother Me day rights will be revoked.  It seems only fair.  They can petition to have them restored after they demonstrate sufficient consideration for the rights of others.

This goes for private and personal stuff, too, and I think a certain amount of social stigma should attach to those who violate someone’s Don’t Bother Me day by dumping on them emotionally on that day.  Those who break up with their significant others on their Don’t Bother Me days should expect their cars to get egged, or to find their pictures on websites detailing the gruesome exploits of those dregs of society, the Don’t Bother Me day violators.  Or, ooh!  A tabloid devoted to their exploits, published regularly and available at every supermarket.  DBM Violators Weekly; I’d subscribe.

For me, I’m going to start things rolling by declaring my Don’t Bother Me day as Tuesday.  Many would go with Monday, and I respect that choice, but for me every Tuesday is a day I just want to get through with work, hurry home, read trashy books and drink strawberry soda that tastes nothing like strawberries.  Anyone who tries to bother me on this day can expect to have his or her head handed to him.  Making this my Don’t Bother Me day really just gives people fair warning of this.  I’m only trying to make the world a better place.  Don’t we all deserve a day off from dealing with life’s crap?

We’ll fly through the blogosphere with the greatest of ease

Trapeze artists in circus, lithograph by Calve...

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That’s it, I’m running away and joining the circus!  I’ve had it with suits and pantyhose and alarm clocks and paperwork and deadlines.  Give me the roar of the crowd!  The ringmaster’s intonations booming above the applause, the cotton candy, the fire-eaters, the elephants and the lions–no clowns, though.  I believe I’ve previously made myself clear on this subject.

So who’s with me?  Lori Franks, you can be ringmaster!  The Waiting can be liontamer!  Onwindydays can be the fire-eater!  Toadsandwich, you’ll be in charge of concessions.  And what will I be, you ask?  I shall be the tightrope walker, or perhaps the trapeze artist, the one who launches herself into the air with no safety net and only her own skill to help her land safely on the other side.  Not that far off from what I do already.

Little Blind Girl’s Traveling Blog Circus begins tonight!  Lose yourself in the glamor, the spectacle, the death-defying feats, and all with no cover charge!  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, absolutely free.  All we ask is a willingness to be awed and amazed. Now, step up and come inside the Blog Circus, where all are welcome, anything is possible, and the elephants may break free at any moment!  Guaranteed 100% clown free.

How to succeed in politics without really trying

English: President Barack Obama and sec. of St...

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This is what I imagine conversation is like behind closed doors in the Oval Office:

President Obama:  This election season is so much more relaxing than the last one.  It’s almost like I don’t have to do anything at all; I can just sit back and watch the Republican party tear itself to pieces.

Interchangeable Flunkie #1:  Have you seen the latest attack ads?  Gingrich’s campaign is threatening to sue over one that claims that he co-sponsored a bill with Nancy Pelosi to give $60 million a year to a U.N. program supporting China’s one-child policy.

President Obama:  Oh, that’s priceless!  I should throw out a hint at the next press conference about potential action against China’s human rights atrocities, really get them going.  Out of curiosity, is there any basis to that ad?

Interchangeable Flunkie #2:  There was a bill introduced in the House in 1989 called the Global Warming Prevention Act to develop plans to reduce carbon emissions.  It included support for the United Nations Population Fund, but specifically disallowed funding for the performance of involuntary sterilization or abortion or to coerce any person to accept family planning.  Gingrich and Pelosi were co-sponsors of the bill along with 142 other House members. The bill never became law.

President Obama:  So, no truth whatsoever.

Interchangeable Flunkie #2:  No, sir.

President Obama:  Fantastic.  I love being the incumbent.

Interchangeable Flunkie #3:  Romney’s PACs are targeting Santorum, now.  An ad ran the other day on his voting record in Washington:  “Would you have voted to let convicted violent felons regain the right to vote? Rick Santorum voted yes, joining Hillary Clinton.”

President Obama:  My God, not Hillary!  You know, it seems like only yesterday that I was being crucified alongside Hillary.  She’s not bad, actually, once you get to know her.

Interchangeable Flunkie #1:  I thought you said she was a demon in human form.

President Obama:  Well, yes, but now she’s a demon in human form that’s on our side.

Interchangeable Flunkie #1:  Yes, sir.

President Obama:  You know, after I’ve had a long day at work apologizing to Afghanistan and bailing out people who took on mortgages they knew they couldn’t afford, I like to switch on the television and watch my opponents take each other out, one by one, leaving behind one battered, weakened, exhausted candidate to go up against me in the fall.  After I watch Mitt attack Newt and Rick attack Mitt, I get to watch Newt come off like a crazed egghead philanderer.  I almost miss Michelle Bachmann.  I could listen to her all day long.  I would have loved to have debated her in the general election.

Interchangeable Flunkie #4:  There’s always Sarah Palin.  You never know about her.

President Obama:  Stop, you’re making me giddy.  Now, where’s the head of JSOC?  I need to kill another high-ranking terrorist right after the Republican primaries.

Interchangeable Flunkie #5:  Right away, sir.

President Obama:  God, I love this job.

Me vs. the office cold

I've been sick for a couple of weeks now. I we...

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Office cold/flu:  You know, Little Blind Girl, I’m really liking it here in your respiratory system.  I was thinking of setting up shop for a while, maybe get a little sinus infection going… something for the little viruses, you know?

Little Blind Girl:  I hate you.

Office cold/flu:  Oh, you don’t mean that.  I can tell!  You’ve made it so cushy in here, with your malnourishment and your lowered immune system from eating all that junk.  Clearly, your subconscious longed for this.

Little Blind Girl:  I hate you more every hour.

Office cold/flu:  Now, now, if that were true, you would have gone to the doctor by now.  I know you like to blame it on work and say you don’t have time, but I think we both know what’s really going on here, don’t we?

Little Blind Girl:  I hope you die.

Office cold/flu:  Is that a nice thing to say to your new life partner?

Little Blind Girl:  Oh, God, why?  What did I do that was so bad that I deserve this?

Office cold/flu:  I was thinking of setting up my office in your left sinus cavity.  The right cavity is bigger, but the left cavity has such a lovely view of your optic nerve.

Little Blind Girl:  Leave my optic nerve alone!  Sweet Jesus, am I talking to a virus?  I’ve gone round the twist at last.

Office cold/flu:  I’m so glad I’ve finally found a place I can call home.

Little Blind Girl:  You.  Me.  Doctor’s office.  Tomorrow morning.  Antibiotics at twenty paces.  To the death!

They say you can’t take it with you when you go

In the news today is an article about how Russian scientists took a flower from the Ice Age, perfectly preserved for thirty thousand years, and brought it back to life.  It’s called the Silene stenophylla blossom, and it’s beautiful and improbable and astonishing.  Naturally, upon hearing this uplifting news I immediately thought about how I could use it in my blog.  I’ve come up with this:  a list of what I do and don’t want future scientists to bring back from today’s civilization.  I’ve divided it into categories:

Entertainment

Do bring back:  Adele.  Her voice is like fire, sometimes low and smoky, sometimes warm and comforting, then suddenly it engulfs the entire room.  It will burn the pain right out of you if you let it.  Leave out Britney (sorry, Britney), those kids who sang “MmmBop” (please leave them out) and the entire cast of High School Musical, but bring back Adele.

Clown.

Don’t bring back:  Clowns.  They’re evil, they’re just evil.  Man, they creep me out.  They just stare at you, grinning, and for all you know they’re actually frowning or making kissy faces or plotting carnage.  You just can’t tell.  Never trust a clown.  Don’t turn your back on them, don’t let them around your kids, and don’t bring them back!

 

Guys

This Year's Model

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Do bring back:  the quirky, dorky genius.  This guy can take many forms, and they’re all knee-wobblers.  I’m partial to the scientist myself, but he could be a musician or a writer or a computer guy or a statistician.  You can always tell this guy by how his eyes get really big and start shining when he gets onto his subject.  It’s like the brilliance of the universe is locked inside him and he’s trying so hard to let it out.  The best part is, unlike the annoying jerks detailed below, this guy only gets more awesome and knee-wobbling as time goes on.  Totally worth bringing back.

Don’t bring back:  the obnoxious frat boy.  I usually end up getting hit on by these guys while I’m looking around for the quirky, dorky genius.  They can be preppy, sporty, slacker, emo, or anything else.  It’s not the style; the dorky geniuses can be any of those, too.  It’s that asinine approach to the world, of arrogance, entitlement, and most of all, that ‘whatever’ attitude.  That attitude just needs to die out.  On the upside, you do get to watch them degenerate into washed-up shoulda-coulda-woulda’s later in life.  Not enough to make up for it, though, and they’re still obnoxious even then.  Don’t bring them back.

Locations

Français : Paysage d'Amazonie à l'ouest de Manaus

Do bring back:  The Amazon rainforest.  I’m sure the world will continue to change as dramatically in the future as it has in the past.  We can’t quite seem to get it together enough to keep this massively awesome place around at the present juncture, but maybe if the scientists of tomorrow want to bring back more than just a flower, they could try for this.  Maybe leave out the electric eels, poison dart frogs, and vampire bats.  No, let’s keep the vampire bats.  And the eels, they’re pretty cool.  Oh, all right, bring back the poison dart frogs, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Don’t bring back:  New Jersey.  I know this one is going to cause some controversy, so I want to propose a compromise.  I’m fully aware that Bruce Springsteen is from New Jersey, and so I’m willing to allow that perhaps we don’t need to wall off the state altogether.  I’m even willing to celebrate Bon Jovi in a retro kind of way.  But let’s agree not to bring back the Jersey Shore.  We can all get together on that one, right?

Cartoon characters

Do bring back:  Peanuts.  Charlie Brown is eternal.  Thirty thousand years from now, we can have specials like “It’s a Post-Nuclear-Apocalypse Wonderland, Charlie Brown!”  Charlie Brown will still, thirty thousand years from now, be trying to kick the football, and Lucy will still yank it away from him.  Snoopy will still live out back in his doghouse, although it may be a self-contained eco-pod canine unit, and children will still not understand a word their teachers say to them no matter how much technology advances.  I’m not convinced that the Peanuts characters will ever fade away, but if they do, these are the characters to bring back.

From left to right: Swiper (in background), Do...

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Don’t bring back:  Dora the Explorer.  My entire family is united in our disdain for all things Dora.  She’s a clueless idiot who tries to pass herself off as some sort of role model or educator for children, but her best friend is a monkey and she blinks in that creepy, vacant way while she’s waiting for a response.  Why this has caught on to the extent it has is beyond my comprehension.  Peanuts!  Calvin and Hobbes!  The Muppets!  Not Dora.  Let her empty-eyed oblivion drift into obscurity and eventual nonexistence, never to be resurrected.

Slang phrase

Do bring back:  Dude.  There are so many fabulous slang terms out there to put a particular nuance of meaning to your phrase, but I don’t think any is so versatile as “dude.”  It can be a question:  Dude?  It can be a pithy commentary:  Dude!  You can use it to refer to some random stranger, to your husband of fifty years, or just shorthand for a guy whose name you know but have forgotten.  We’re going to forget the attempt to feminize it by adding “ette” on the end, and focus instead on the fact that it’s been turned into a rock song by Aerosmith, features prominently in that bastion of awesome slang terms, South Park, and of course, denotes the protagonist in the coolest movie of all time, The Big Lebowski.  Even after 30,000 years, the dude will abide.

Don’t bring back:  Like.  There were so many runners up.  Dawg.  Junk.  Baby Daddy.  Gottsta.  You know.  Occupy the anything.  But none of them cause that twitch in my eyelid that “like” does.  I think I might hate it so much because it is so incredibly contagious.  If one person says it, ten more start saying it.  If a person says it once during a sentence, they say it five times during the next sentence.  Eventually, you end up with conversations in which over fifty percent of the conversation is the word “like.”  Don’t ever, ever bring this slang back.  If anyone tries, take all necessary measures to stop them, because once it comes back, it will grow and multiply and become a cancer on our language, and there is no chemo in the world that can take it on.

So how many people did I offend?  Are you offended because of what’s on the list or because of what I left off?  Contributions?  Castigation?  Tell me what you think.  Just don’t say it was, like, pretty good, or I’m sending you to New Jersey.

Grocery shopping, pirate-style

Captain Jack Sparrow

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This is what it’s like in my head when I drink way too much Red Bull and then go grocery shopping while trying to come up with a topic for a blog post:

Avast, ye scurvy internet dogs!  This be the dread Captain LBG.  The ship be low on vittles, and our mission be to plunder yon grocery store to replace our dwindling supplies.  We’ll fall on the unsuspectin’ townsfolk and carry off their produce, their women, and their doubloons.  Be not faint of heart, ye scallywags, but follow me to glory, treasure, and victuals!

Where be the salted beef?  I have no learnin’ meself, but me first mate says this label reads “Organic, Free Range.”  What be the meanin’ o’ this nonsense?  Must I be killin’ the cow meself?  Ahoy, here be eggs!  Aye, “farm fresh” indeed.  In all my world-wanderings under the Jolly Roger, I’ve yet to see a farm with the looks of this store.  But they’ll fry well enough, or I’ll come back and make the store clerk walk the plank!

What lily-livered, black-hearted trick is this?  “Cran-apple raspberry juice beverage”?  Shiver me timbers, this be only ten percent juice!  Even pirate scum such as meself would not be pulling something so mean as this.  Merciless attack on a naval vessel, naturally; ransoming a beautiful lass, of course; but even a pirate has his limits.  Down to the depths with the bottom-feeding landlubbers who make juice beverages!

Back to the ship, ye good-for-nothing sons of dogs!  It be serving us right for shopping at Davy Jones’ Groceries.  Just one more stop for a bottle of rum and we’re off.  Haul the anchor or I’ll keelhaul the lot of ye!  Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!