I’m sitting here, weepy and alone, on the eve of my oldest daughter’s high school graduation. Normally, I am not a terribly sentimental person, but tonight I am feeling weepy. Possibly it’s my better nature emerging, the nature most mothers tend to possess, those mothers who cry at every milestone, weeping copious tears at kindergarten graduations and dance recitals, while I stare at them in disbelief because FOR GOD’S SAKE, IT’S JUST A DANCE RECITAL!!! More likely, then, it’s the over-abundance of hormones produced by my forty-year-old-plus body. Whatever the reason, I am sad tonight.
I’m not sad because she’s graduating and growing up. You raise your children with the expectation, the hope even, that one day they will grow up and go away, and NOT come back and live in the basement. You definitely want them to go away. And by this age, they are more than ready to go. The world is waiting with open arms and they are dying to pitch themselves headlong into adulthood with all its promised glamor. Because it all seems soooo glamorous when you’re 18! Does anyone REALLY have the heart to explain mortgages and dental insurance and escrow accounts to a wide-eyed 18 year old ready to embark on the great adventure that is life? It’s like kicking a kitten, or telling Dora there is no magic in the backpack and that no one really gives a crap whether or not the big red rooster ever gets found. Why was she looking for that rooster anyway??
It’s not so much the child I will miss, although I will miss her terribly. It’s the day-to-day, mind numbing, soul sucking minutiae of parenting that I will miss. I will seriously miss the daily job of motherhood. It’s a hard job, for sure, and it’s one you can’t train for. No book published anywhere in the world prepares you for the shock of parenthood. No one prepares you for the transformation from self-indulgent, semi-adult, to selfless keeper of happiness for one small person in the world. With that final labor pain and that final push, you become an adult. And your own needs never matter again; at least, not if you’re doing it right. Have a baby and you are never the same.
And honestly, I don’t even like babies. At all. I think they’re disgusting. They smell bad and white junk constantly foams up out of their mouths; it looks like that puffy insulation stuff and smells like gorgonzola cheese that’s been in the trunk of your car for fourteen days. Babies are sub-human and squishy and red and they poop too much. To me, babies are what you have to endure to get to the good part of parenting.
I recognize that this makes me weird, but I’m just not a fan. I don’t like babies, but I learned to tolerate mine. However, I ADORE toddlers!! Unless they are screaming in a crowded grocery store or drawing on the dog with a Sharpie. Toddlers are delightful and funny and force you to stay on your toes at all times because they are always one step away from a tragic death. And school-age kids are awesome! They can converse! They can tie their own shoes! They can wipe their own butts! They are almost fully human.
But what I really love is teenagers, which again, makes me weird. But I have loved mothering my teenagers! I have loved watching first my son, and now my daughter, grow from timid toddlers, afraid of their own shadows, to competent almost-adults, fearless and ready to take on the world. Knowing that I have been a part of the process is probably the greatest high I can imagine. There is no substance on earth that can duplicate the pride and joy of watching my children emerge from adolescent angst into the first flush of young adulthood. I am giddy with delight whenever I am with them; they truly represent the best part of me.
Lest it sound as if we have existed in a black and white sitcom for the last twenty years, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth! There were plenty of times when I loathed being a parent. Times when I wanted nothing more than to walk away from it all, to simply disappear into the world and start over again, just me with no encumbrances. There were many times when I resented the constant demands upon me, particularly if the demands involved cleaning vomit out of someone’s hair at three o’clock in the morning. I was young when I had my children and they were close in age; that all of us survived is one of the great miracles for the ages.
But on this eve, as another of my chicks prepares to fly away from the nest, all those years are sepia-toned and bathed in the hazy, joyous glow of memory. And I miss it. I miss tucking in children, saying prayers with them, singing them to sleep which, considering my singing voice, makes me wonder why they didn’t have nightmares! I miss Disney cartoons and character printed pajamas. I miss Santa Claus. I have a letter my ten-year old son wrote to Santa, telling him “I tried so hard to be good, but it’s hard to do when you have 8 and 2 year old sisters!” True story. I miss finding those gems, because they belong to childhood and childhood flies so quickly.
As summer approaches, I miss buying tiny bikinis, and the way toddler girl tummies pooch out and quiver like jello. I miss buying slip and slides that never quite seem to work as efficiently as they did when I was a child. I miss buying sidewalk chalk and bubbles and water guns. I miss the stubbed toes, the mosquito bites, the skinned knees, the smell of a child who comes in sweaty after a long day of playing so hard he or she almost falls asleep standing up.
Mostly, I will miss how being a mother to children defined the seasons: Buy your valentines in late January or they are picked through by the time you get to Wal-Mart and all that’s left are the stupid X-Men ones that say “Wolverine my Valentine?” which doesn’t even make sense! Spring break in March and we stay home and see movies or go to the park. April and May are the birthday months and the death-seeking party ritual known as the piñata. Then summer, endless, glorious days of children trooping inside and outside, trips to the pool, free movies, sleepovers. Then it’s fall, and school starts again, and then Halloween, the most excellent holiday of the year. Thanksgiving and handprint turkeys. Christmas and all its rituals. Pretty much gone in the blink of an eye. I miss my children’s childhood.
And I wonder, as I sit here, just what in the world will replace this lifestyle I’ve lived for the last twenty years? I know people find other ways to occupy their time. I’ve been told, and I believe, that you come to embrace your new, post-child life, as fully as you did the old one. But tonight, I don’t want to hear it. Tonight is for me to mourn the passing of time, even as I prepare to watch this absolutely amazing young woman cross the stage tomorrow night to receive her diploma. Tomorrow night, my tears will be of joy as I watch her celebrate the final milestone of childhood. But tonight, I mourn the end of that childhood and I wonder just how on earth something that seemed so endless and sometimes wretched when I was in the middle of it, could have slipped through my grasp so quickly? As I write this, I can barely see the screen through my tears and honking as I blow my nose is making the dog bark.
But I have one small consolation, which is known to faithful readers as the blonde goddess. So as my second chick flies the nest, I can console myself with the thought that there is still one left. And God help her, she is about to get a WHOLE LOT OF ATTENTION!!
My neighbors spent today putting up a display of lights that is bright enough to be seen from the Space Station. From where I sit at my computer, I am forced to wear sunglasses because the light output is brighter than the sun. I sent them the following letter, hoping to frighten them into compliance; I want to be a member of the neighborhood SS when I grow up:
Mr. And Mrs. Smith,
As you know, we in the HHA (H Homeowner’s Association) strive to serve our neighbors by making decisions that benefit the neighborhood collectively. We rely upon the covenants for governance, and by enforcing them, we make our subdivision a pleasant place for everyone.
Perhaps you remember those restrictive covenants you signed when you purchased your house? Specifically, Covenant number 412, section 28, subheading 3, paragraph 7? Regarding Christmas decorations? If not, please allow us to refresh your memory:
Homeowners shall be restricted to Christmas lights not exceeding 3 strands per bush with a maximum of 12 strands per house, or a total luminous flux of exactly 4π lumens. Visible lights shall be white (polychromatic, or broad spectrum) light, and shall not exceed standard 3 mm dome-shaped LEDs. Furthermore, no colored bulbs shall be visible from the street, as colored bulbs have been linked to seizure activity in young children and shih-tzus. This restriction applies to visible lights within the home as well as those on the exterior. In addition, twinkling lights are strictly forbidden as their relentless twinkling is decidedly annoying to those homeowners who choose to be less merry in their celebration of the holiday season.
We have received multiple complaints regarding your lights, as their intensity is disrupting the natural circadian rhythms of those over the age of 40, causing sleeplessness, shortness of breath, and hives. The Birmingham airport authority has also recorded numerous complaints of pilots mistaking your lights for runway lights, and at least two small aircraft have attempted to land in the subdivision. Therefore, we ask that you immediately remove all lights that are in violation of the restrictive covenants or we will be forced to take action.
We at the HHA wish you a pleasant holiday!!
This post is going to be somewhat indelicate in nature. If you are squeamish, or easily offended, you might want to pop over and read a blog about disemboweling squirrels or maybe surf some porn. Because this post is about poo.
Yes, that’s right, this is a post about the evacuation of the human bowels. It’s a topic that has been on my mind this week because I chaperoned the fifth grade field trip to Camp Cosby. It’s not because Camp Cosby was crappy (haha); I had a great time there and the food was surprisingly good for camp food. I’m not sure if it’s because the staff has a real knack for heating up frozen chicken fingers, or if it’s because, by the time we were done tromping 37 miles through the woods while trying to prevent the tragic deaths of 100 10 year olds, I was hungry enough to eat a decomposing caribou. Whatever the case, I ate heartily at every meal and partook readily of every snack offered to me. I was first in line at every meal, and I always had seconds! By Friday this was something of a problem because sharing a cabin with 31 people affords one very little privacy and I do not poo in the presence of others.
I suspect that many of you are now nodding sagely, agreeing with this baring of my innermost soul because hardly anyone likes to poo in a public bathroom. It’s stupid, because all of us poo, including George Clooney, although I suspect he manages to be sexy even while making a poo. It’s a basic human function, one that is essential to life and living. To eat is human, to poo is divine, right? And yet…to poo is disgusting. It smells bad. It’s messy. Sometimes there are noises associated with the act of making a poo. In short, pooing is embarrassing and I HATE to be embarrassed. It’s bad enough to be short and brown and clumsy; do we have to add smelly and loud to the package?
I will do anything to avoid making a poo in public. I would, in fact, prefer being burned alive at the stake or being submerged in a vat of moldy pickle juice to being forced to poo in a public place. Try and force me to poo in public and I will rat out my own children. I’ll tell you where the money and the guns are, just PLEASE give me some privacy!!! Because pooing is an intensely private experience and for me, conditions have to be just right. I MUST have quilted Northern toilet paper (I like the little bear mascot); toilet paper MUST be hanging UNDER and not OVER; I MUST have a vent fan to disguise any bodily noises that might occur; and I MUST have a selection of back issues of Reader’s Digest at my disposal. Obviously, these conditions only exist in the privacy of my own home. They are not going to be found in the bathroom of the local Wal-Green’s, and they certainly aren’t going to be available at camp.
My aversion to public pooing is so strong that by Friday, my colon was roughly the size of the Lincoln Tunnel. Even I, with my limited understanding of science and scientific theory, understand that if you continue to input matter with no corresponding output of matter, eventually things will come to a bad end…no pun….Hell, yes the pun was intended!! As we prepared to take part in the Underground Railroad activity, I recognized that I was in trouble. I had reached the point where walking was only possible by standing very erect and keeping my muscles very tightly clenched. I was engaged in that most classic struggle of ‘man versus self’ and I was determined to win. I felt like the protagonist in that classic Jack London story “To Build a Fire,” engaged in that same type of struggle against the elements. (I’m sorry, you mean you DIDN’T need confirmation that I am amazingly shallow???)
But Reader, I did win. I made it home to my own bathroom without having soiled either myself or the sacred loos at Camp Cosby. Once home, I staggered gratefully to my own bathroom, grabbed the March issue of Reader’s Digest, and let nature take it’s course. Friday afternoon was kind of a bust as I caught up on Word Power, Life in These United States, and Drama in Real Life. I made a dent in our supply of Quilted Northern. And I was feeling much better. Such intense relief defies description, and I won’t even try to desecrate the blessed event with my lame adjectives. Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful afternoon, and by the end of it, I was five pounds lighter and felt like a new person. So why am I telling you all this? Aside from the fact that there is absolutely nothing more interesting in my life than bowel movements? Is it because I have reached the age where nothing is more fascinating than bowel movements?
Well, yes, I am so boring that all I can talk about is crap!! And in this case, it’s a lot of crap. Once you’ve loaded as much crap into your colon as I did, it takes a few days for the system to regulate. I don’t know if that’s an explicit medical fact, but it certainly sounds sensible. So Fast Forward to today, Sunday. We went to church, then went out to breakfast while the girls were at Sunday school. I ordered a small and sensible meal, determined to get back into my good eating habits, having eaten way too many starchy foods at Camp Cosby. I demurely ate my meal, talking happily with the friends we were dining with, enjoying the lazy pace of a Sunday morning. Then without warning, it hit. I was overcome with a sudden urge to make a poo. This sometimes happens after I’ve eaten, especially when I have abused my colon by not evacuating it properly.
Well, I was feeling a little giddy this morning, a little like doing something edgy and daring, so I thought ‘Why not make a poo RIGHT HERE IN PUBLIC?’ I knew I was going to be terribly uncomfortable if I didn’t go, and I knew we were about to leave the restaurant anyway. Filled with wild elation, I decided to do it. I would make the poo. I swaggered into the bathroom like I owned the place, prepared to do my business like a real woman. What an idiot I had been, worrying about pooing in public. There was no reason NOT to poo in public. When you have to go, you have to go!!
So I entered the stall gleefully, like I was about to do something really bad and wicked…and I did it. I made a poo. Then…alas….DISASTER!!! I reached back to perform the courtesy flush and nothing happened. I mean NOTHING HAPPENED. No comforting roar of water gushing forth like a life force to spirit my poo away into the nether regions of the earth. I panicked for a minute, then decided I just needed to jiggle the handle a little. So I jiggled it, then wiggled it, then yanked on it, my panic increasing as my worst fears were realized: I had made a poo in a public potty and I COULD NOT FLUSH IT!!
There are no words to describe the anguish of the human soul when faced with this situation. The anguish of a soul who has bravely abandoned the strictures of a lifetime, when one has dared to step outside the box and do the unthinkable, only to find that the universe has played a sick, cosmic joke by breaking the damn flusher. Really, no words. I mean, there I sat, my poo in the toilet, my pants around my knees, me yanking and cursing, sweat pouring down my face, and the toilet stubbornly refusing to flush or to do anything at all. It was all so surreal, so unbearably horrible as I faced the knowledge that I was going to have to cut and run. Really, if I could’ve scooped it out and hidden it like a cat, I would have. But I wasn’t quite that desperate. I wasted a good five minutes, before I finally faced the reality of my situation. So I stood up, dropped heaps of toilet paper on it, and ran away. I’m not proud, but what else was there to do? Go tell the manager: “Sir, I have made a poo in your lovely porcelain tank back yonder, and much to my chagrin and mortification, I was unable to vamoose it, so be a love and go plunge it for me!” Right, not happening.
I grabbed Stalin, and we left. In the car, I confessed the entire thing to him. Stalin served three years in the army and is a career boy scout; he does not share my phobia about pooing, having pooed in all kinds of less than favorable conditions, but he was at least sympathetic. “You don’t need to be so embarrassed,” he said. “It’s not like they can trace it back to you! What are they gonna do, run a DNA test?” Good point. But my stubborn imagination persisted in envisioning the manager, the same one who will be forced to deal with the dirty toilet, taking a picture and posting it in the post office: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS POO?? So the moral of the story is that, God as my witness, I will NEVER POO IN PUBLIC AGAIN!!!
Sadly, this post is going to be about raisins. Yes, that’s how low I’ve sunk, I can’t even diatribe about anything proper like taxes or global warming. All I’ve got right now is raisins.
Last night, I was flipping through a women’s magazine, admiring the pictures, reading the advice columns, skimming the headlines of the weightier articles on how to clean the grout in your shower. I skip over anything that might be intellectually stimulating, but I carefully read the fashion articles. I read these primarily because if there is an actual gene for fashion, I am lacking it. I can’t put outfits together. I don’t know which prints work together and which ones don’t. I do get that checks and plaids don’t work, but that’s about the extent of my fashion knowledge. I certainly don’t understand the art and science of accessorizing. I wish I did. I wish I was one of those women who can take a blue scarf and twist it into an exotic fashion statement that elevates my polyester pantsuit to new heights, but alas, it’s a skill I lack.
Because I lack this essential accessorizing gene, I read fashion articles so I can marvel at those who have it. The articles in these magazines are all about accessorizing. The editors take a picture of a woman who is wearing a fairly straightforward outfit. She looks nice, a bit like the woman down the street maybe, the one who always puts on a full coat of make-up to pick up her child from pre-school. The kind of woman who would NEVER wear an over-sized, bleach-stained t-shirt over a pair of ratty sweat pants, clip back her dirty hair, and go grocery shopping. The kind of woman who would make sure she was wearing two shoes that matched each other before she left the house. The kind of woman who would probably NEVER speak to me!
So the editors take this picture, then, in case you want to duplicate the outfit, they break down everything she’s wearing, tell you how much it costs and where you can buy it. This is the part I read carefully because I am HORRIFIED by how much things like “bangles” cost: Blouse…$85 at Le Shack; Skirt…$275 at Skirt World; Scarf…$125 at Scarf Store; Shoes…$174 at The Shoe Place; Cardigan…$125 at The Sweater Barn; Faux Gold Metallic necklace…$380 at The Jewelry Shack; Earrings…$85 at Earring Emporium; Bangle…$250 at Bangle Bazaar. Basically, by the time you buy everything the PTO Princess is wearing, you’ve spent $1000!! For ONE PTO outfit!! Who does this??? Seriously, I own sweatpants in four different colors, and that’s fancy enough for me. I have a special pair made of some shiny material that I wear when I want to dress up. And the nice thing about sweatpants is they don’t need accessories. They make a statement on their own, the statement being: “I am wearing clothes simply to cover up my body because I don’t wish to frighten small children or cause ducks to fall over dead; I do NOT wear scarves or bangles EVER!” Fashion…sheesh!!!
Oh, but this was about RAISINS…sorry. Right, so as I’m flipping through the magazine, ogling the accessories, I see an ad for raisins, which sends me off in a whole different direction. Because I find raisins repulsive. They belong to the “sticky” food category, and I do not eat sticky foods. There are four basic food categories: Crunchy; Creamy; Chewy; and Sticky. Crunchy and Creamy equal DELICIOUS!! Crunchy is tortilla chips and popcorn. Creamy is ice cream and chocolate mousse. Chewy is also divine, like a really good steak. Sticky, however, has no redeeming qualities…unless it’s cotton candy, which actually melts in your mouth, so even though it’s terribly sticky, I include it in the creamy category. Well, and then you have foods that have overlapping qualities, like Taco Bell burritos, which are creamy and chewy, but overlap is mostly a good thing.
Raisins, however, have no redeeming qualities. They disturb my palate. They taste strange and they stick to my back teeth in an unpleasant manner. I mean, Tootsie rolls stick to my back teeth, but Tootsie rolls are like poo-shaped morsels of chocolatey goodness, even if their shape is somewhat disturbing. But Tootsie rolls are delicious and raisins, well, they are far from delicious. And the advertising campaign for raisins is an egregious misrepresentation of what they actually are. The reason the ad caught my eye was because it screamed in bold letters: PLUMP, JUICY RAISINS and I take issue with the adjectives. Because raisins are NOT plump. Obviously, in their original incarnation as GRAPES, they were plump. When they became raisins, however, the plump was sucked right out of them and they became dried up, mummified, sticky things that resemble mouse turds. And juicy??? Really??? Juicy implies that a raisin is ‘full of juice,’ but when was the last time you bit into a raisin and had raisin juice drip down your chin? That’s right….NEVER!! Raisins aren’t juicy, they’re dried grapes. They are has-been grapes. There is no juice because the makers of raisins have sucked the juice of life right out of them!!
I will grudgingly admit that, occasionally, a raisin that has been baked into another food might actually have some redeeming qualities. However, all my admission proves is that if you cover something with enough sugar, it can be rendered palatable. Hence the reason that I can choke down an oatmeal raisin cookie without too much distress. It’s the very LAST cookie I would choose, but at the end of the day, a cookie is a cookie. You can always eat around the raisins and spit them out at passersby.
What is the point of this pointless diatribe? I am calling for truth in advertising!! We are being misled by Madison Avenue and I refuse to stand for it!! Raisins are NOT plump and they are NOT juicy!! I demand a retraction!!! I understand that no one is going to buy DRY WRINKLY HAS-BEEN FRUIT, but that’s not my problem. Call a spade a spade and a raisin a dried up grape with no liquid in it. If raisins really need an image adjustment, let the fashion editors take a stab at them. Wrinkled and desiccated they may be, but add a really nice bangle and a couple of scarves, and even the ugliest raisin can hold its head high!!
For those who were not on the distribution list for my forwarded email, let me announce here that I am officially a college graduate…again. There was no commencement ceremony, but I did get an email from the graduate school congratulating me for completing my degree and telling me that they would mail my diploma in four to six weeks. And, if I was one of the first fifty people to respond to the email, they would throw in a set of Ginsu knives ABSOLUTELY FREE!!
So what does it all mean dear? Well, I have a Master’s Degree in Education now. According to Wikipedia: A master’s degree is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. Within the area studied, graduates are posited to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation and/or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.
Well I don’t know about all that. I don’t posit that I possess any advanced knowledge about anything in particular, although I am definitely an independent thinker. I did graduate summa cum laude, not that I care much about those things; I’m just glad I graduated! I know that I am now considered a ‘highly qualified teacher,’ despite being unable to successfully differentiate between lie and lay. I know I am now nearly $20,000 in debt, much to the joy of CitiBank’s shareholders. And I know that I am unemployed. Because there are NO JOBS OUT THERE!! It’s not that I didn’t apply for jobs. I applied for twelve jobs, sent numerous emails and resumes, and hounded every education professional I have ever met. All to no avail. I remain unemployed.
But I do have a Master’s Degree and I am definitely smarter. At least, I feel much smarter. And I don’t let the lack of employment stop me from being a productive citizen. Here are some of the ways that I am reaping the rewards of my higher education:
1. When I clean the toilets, I think intelligent thoughts. I had to fire my cleaning service because I can’t afford to pay them anymore, so I am back to cleaning my own toilets. But I am so much smarter than I was two years ago and I hold amazing conversations with myself and the Tidy Bowl Man as I clean. Between us, we have already fixed the economy, eliminated famine, implemented world peace, and provided a free goat to every household. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you are wielding a toilet brush. Give every member of the Congress and the Cabinet a toilet brush, and they will get so much more done. If nothing else, they can save the country money by cleaning the Capitol toilets themselves.
2. I read the entire paper all the way through. Throughout my adult life, I have always subscribed to the local newspaper, even if our financial straits were dire. I cannot live without my newspaper. Newspapers are the number one way to keep your finger on the pulse of local news. You get more insight into the concerns of your immediate community by reading the newspaper than you do from any other source. And you get the Jumble puzzle. I have always loved the Jumble and I am better at the Jumble than anyone else I know. I can open the paper and unscramble four words in less than twenty seconds. Within a minute I have solved the whole puzzle. I should get a job based solely on this skill. I also do the crossword puzzle and the Sudoku. Now that I have a Master’s Degree, these are much easier for me. My mental muscles barely ripple as I work my way through the crossword puzzle. I reassure myself that I am not wasting time, I am merely keeping my brain from getting flabby in case someone should want to offer me a job.
3. I clean out closets. But as I clean them, I make connections that might have eluded me before I received my degree. For example, a few weeks ago I was shoveling out the goddess’s closet in preparation for a yard sale. I realized as donned my hard hat with the miner’s lamp that perhaps our family did not need to own 357 Barbies, even if they each sported a slightly different shade of platinum blonde hair. This was a huge epiphany for me: the realization that giving away a Barbie doll was not the same as giving away one of my children, mostly because I can find someone to take a Barbie doll, but no one on earth would be willing to take on one of my offspring. During the cleaning, I found many ways to entertain myself. Some of you might consider this wasting time, but I spent a very entertaining hour lining up the various Barbie extremities I found in the closet and photographing each one individually. As I arranged the severed heads, arms, and legs for photographs, I mentally plotted out a pictorial blog post I was going to write about how one of my children was a serial killer in the making, and that it would only be a matter of time before said child moved from dismembering Barbie dolls to dismembering the family, but I never actually wrote it. Took the pictures though. I’m not sure which part of this is the most disturbing. I’ll leave that to the reader.
4. I eat lunch out A LOT! I have a different lunch date nearly every day. Now some readers might consider this to be a waste of time. I, however, consider that I am single-handedly bailing the US out of its economic difficulties. By eating lunch out every day, I am keeping the wheels of commerce turning. What I am, in fact, is a patriot, selflessly sacrificing myself at various fine dining establishments in order to keep this country financially solvent. I am expecting to receive a Medal of Honor any day now.
5. I take long, hot baths several times a week. We all know cleanliness is next to godliness and what could be more godly than filling up my garden tub with hot water and spending an hour reading? I clean the tub before I get in, so that’s productive. And I am usually reading something intellectually stimulating, which is good for my brain. Last week, I read an enlightening piece of scholarship entitled “DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend” which was all about a high school girl who had a lot of sex with a guy she didn’t like. You may call it trash, but I consider it to be research into the habits of modern day adolescents. In fact, if I don’t get a job soon, I will probably go back to school again, and use my findings from the book as the central points in my doctoral dissertation.
So as you can see, while I may be an unemployed college graduate, I manage to fill the days with useful activity. In fact, I am going to update my resume right now and list these things in the “Activities” section. With credentials like these, I should have a job in no time!!
I used to watch the show “Ghost Hunters” religiously. I like the idea of the supernatural, even though I would probably soil myself if I ever had any sort of ghostly encounter. And the cast on the show has great chemistry; they are always entertaining. I especially identified with Steve Gonsalves, the tech guy, because he is infamous for his fear of flying. On one episode, the ghost hunters are heading to Europe and Steve is left behind. He regretfully watches them board the plane and then tells the camera, “I know they’re going to die.” I knew then that he and I were soul mates because I knew exactly what he was feeling. Stupid fools, trusting their lives to a skimpy piece of metal. Smart people stay on the ground!! Steve and I could live a full life together, earthbound, happy to drive across the country together in search of the paranormal, letting the other fools board those hunks of scrap metal that will plummet from the sky with no warning. Steve and I are clearly meant to be together.
How can Steve and I make the rest of you understand our very real terror of the airways? It has absolutely nothing to do with terrorists and terrorism. There are plenty of nut jobs right here on the ground, and if that were my fear, I would be having my groceries delivered to the house while I hunkered down in the basement, counting the rounds in my assault rifle. No, our fear is grounded in our absolute certainty that airplanes are prone to plummeting out of the sky for no apparent reason. Our fear is grounded in our absolute certainty that the pilot spent the evening before smoking his way through some really good dope, chasing it with a fifth of whiskey, while frolicking with strippers in the club. No disrespect intended, but clearly this is the type of behavior pilots probably indulge in before boarding the plane and taking my life into their hands. Except for Chesley Sullenberger. He would never gambol with a prostitute.
My own fear of flying is grounded in my absolute certainty that while I am sitting in my seat, flipping through the sky mall magazine and trying to figure out how I can charge a new set of Bose speakers to Stalin’s credit card, the bottom of the plane will abruptly rip open and I will find myself, strapped to the seat and plunging toward the earth at an alarming rate, all before I even have a chance to get his credit card number. Dammit. Unreasonable fear? Yes, but that’s why they call it a phobia. When I am flying, it’s all I can not to throw myself onto the floor and lie their spread-eagled, because I am convinced that if I spread myself out on the floor and distribute my weight, the floor might not rip open. These are the images that haunt me in an airplane.
When I am flying, I grip the armrests so hard that I leave marks. I pant like a dog, eyes rolling in my head, and I stare at the stewardess with crazy eyes because I figure is she’s moving around normally, the plane is probably not falling out of the sky. Yet. I repeatedly tighten the seatbelt as if that flimsy little strap will actually make a difference when I and my seat are sucked out of the plane into the roaring wind of the atmosphere, me still clutching my tiny cup of Diet Coke and trying to take one last sip of carbonated goodness before my untimely death. Why do they even put seatbelts in the damn plane??? They’re completely ineffective when the plane takes a nosedive. They might as well give me some silly string and a slinky. Stupid seatbelts; I would much rather have an EJECT button and a parachute.
And don’t even get me started on turbulence. Let the plane make an unexpected dip and I hit the deck, shaking and sobbing. The only reason I haven’t stopped flying completely is that I have never hit serious turbulence. There’s a reason I don’t ride rollercoasters: I HATE unexpected plunges!!! Why would anyone find that sensation enjoyable?? The sensation of impending death does not give me a thrill; it gives me a bowel movement.
I guess you can read between the lines of this diatribe and figure out that I HATE TO FLY!! And, even worse, I hate for my children to fly. Which is why I am currently hyperventilating because I just put Napoleon on an plane to New Mexico. Or let’s call it what it really is….Pre-meditated MURDER!!! How could I let my innocent boy board that death trap? How could I put him on a plane whose propeller is held together with Elmer’s Glue and Duck tape? A plane that is piloted by a hungover middle school dropout who spent the final minutes before take-off flipping through his (newly purchased) copy of “Piloting a Boeing 747 For Dummies”??? What in the HELL WAS I THINKING????
Needless to say, I am going to spend the rest of the morning in an advanced state of despair, refreshing the website every ten seconds to see if the plane has landed yet. I will not be like my friend Debbie who found a site that showed her daughter’s flight’s progress with a little cartoon plane. Because when I see the little plane suddenly send up a plume of smoke and take a nosedive, it will send me screaming into the night. Better for me to play out the final descent in my head over and over again versus seeing it happen via cartoon image. Right?? I think I will begin self-medicating now…isn’t Nyquil 80 proof??
Today, I wearily trudged to the copy room, to make yet another billion copies. Teaching consists mostly of making copies and then distributing copies. The students then lose the copies, thereby creating the need for even more copies. As far as I can tell, only the Xerox people win on this deal. However, I have become highly skilled in the art of copy-making. I can collate, staple, hole-punch, make double-sided copies and even make enlargements. I spent $25,000 to get a Master’s degree that qualifies me to work at Kinko’s. How would you like that document bound?
I don’t mind making copies, but I hate going to the teacher workroom. It is a place that fills me with dread, makes my insides curl up into themselves as I turn the handle on the door. Yes, this is a strange reaction, but I am about to share with you one of my darkest phobias, one that dates back to my early years in elementary school. Way back in those dark ages, I was considered a “gifted child.” All this means is that I taught myself to read when I was very young, read a lot of books, and I have been slacking off ever since. Child genius, that was me; see how far I’ve gone? I make copies now! Anyway, I was in some sort of student tutoring program, helping the unfortunate, non-gifted students, and as a very special member of the geek squad, I got to go to the teacher workroom for some reason I can’t recall. While we were there, a teacher showed us the paper cutter and warned diabolically, “NEVER touch this paper cutter; it’s very sharp and can cut your fingers off!!!” And dramatically, she held up her thumb and I was horrified to see that the tip of it was missing. She then laughed diabolically and her face began to melt….wait, maybe that was a movie. Regardless, this incident scarred me for life, because amputated thumbs are the stuff of nightmares.
At that particular time in my life, I was VERY impressionable, as highly gifted, slacker individuals frequently are. We were living on a military base outside of Washington D.C., and I had to walk to and from school by myself every day. Theoretically, my older brother was supposed to walk WITH me, but that seldom happened. And I remember vividly that I spent the entire year walking alone, in mortal terror, because I knew for a fact that the demon baby from the hit movie It’s Alive was lurking in a ditch, waiting to tear my throat out with its fangs. I mean, where else do demon babies hang out?? It made perfect sense to me. Fine, I had some issues. Don’t get me started on the novel “Audrey Rose”, which was another one of my terrors that year. So it’s really no great stretch to understand why I was horrified by the teacher with the thumb nubbin. And to this day, whenever I see a paper cutter, I instinctively, automatically, clench my fists shut tightly in order to avoid having them amputated by a rogue cutter.
Well, I have had to learn to live with this fear of copy rooms and paper cutters, given the profession I’ve chosen, because making copies is essential to the practice of teaching. So I gamely entered the copy room and pointedly ignored the paper cutter. Fortunately, this particular trip to make copies was a bit more exciting than usual, which kept my mind off the paper cutter. Instead of the same, tired, black and white copies usually required, I was going to be printing documents on green paper!! Really, it’s the little things that get you through the day. Now those who don’t possess my advanced copy machine skills might quiver in fear at the prospect of making copies on green paper instead of white, but for me, with my unique skill set, it was going to be a walk in the park. Because I knew that to print on green paper, all I had to do was replace the white paper in drawer 1 with the green paper, and then change the setting on the copy machine. No problem at all.
Boldly, I strode up to the machine, pulled open the drawer, and replaced the paper. To my astonishment and delight, when I closed the drawer, a message popped up on the screen advising me that I had changed to GREEN PAPER!!! ‘Holy Crap, how cool is that?’ I thought to myself, and abruptly, my cynical disdain of copying evaporated. The copy machine KNEW what color paper I was using. It was a miracle, and I was appropriately impressed. I competently tapped the touch screen, choosing the number of copies and changing the drawer settings, and then pressed START. Immediately, the machine sprang to life, and began spitting out my perfectly printed green copies.
Satisfied that things were humming along, I headed for the restroom, taking care to skirt around the paper cutter which sat on the counter, taunting me malevolently. I could almost hear it whispering, “Come and play with me little girl…I LOVE thumbs” and a cold chill ran up my spine. (The ultimate nightmare would be the It’s Alive baby armed with a paper cutter.) I made it to the bathroom safely, shut the door, only to immediately hear the copy machine grind to a stop. “Great,” I thought, “a paper jam.” I finished quickly, and went back out to see what was happening, taking care to give the paper cutter a wide berth.
Copy machines these days are computerized, and there is a display screen that advises you exactly where the problem is located. As directed, I opened Door Number One, and cleared a single sheet of green paper. Then I opened the front and found that there were five pieces jammed beneath the rollers. Well, as a graduate of the Advanced School of Copy Machine Maintenance, I didn’t flinch; I simply rolled up my sleeves, turned lever A counter-clockwise, lifted levers B and C, and jiggled lever D. In no time, I had extracted the problem copies, chortling in amazement at my own competence and superiority. I closed the door, reset the machine, and stood back to wait for my copies.
Only it printed two copies and jammed again. With a bit less enthusiasm, I performed the above procedures, and added the step of removing the green paper from the drawer and then re-inserting it to ensure that it was loaded correctly. I closed everything up and tried again. And again, it printed two copies and jammed. Snarling, I ripped open the doors and performed the same procedure. And it jammed again.
By this time, I was covered in ink, I was sweating, and I had wasted about ten sheets of the fabulous green paper. The paper cutter on the counter was smirking at my distress, offering to help me out by amputating all of my fingers, which would entitle me to a lifetime of compensation from the school system and get me out of the teaching profession for good…NO MORE COPIES it seemed to say. I WILL END YOUR COPY WOES FOR GOOD IF YOU JUST COME TO ME….
I closed my eyes tightly and willed the voice to stop. I opened my eyes, and went through the paper jam clearing ritual again. I shut the doors, the machine whirred to life, printed a copy and jammed again. My knees were aching. My fingers were ink-stained and sore from digging under the rollers. I was reaching the breaking point. Furiously, I cleared the jam again and hit START. And it jammed again.
Reader, I persevered and got the copies made, but it was a hard fought battle. It was as if the copy machine had joined forces with the malevolent paper cutter in order to beat me down, to break my spirit, but I was strong. I fought the good fight and I emerged victorious. Somewhat. When I returned to the classroom, I had 42 green copies. I originally left the room with sixty sheets of green paper. Unfortunately, the casualty rate was high; I hope the media doesn’t hear about this skirmish because I will lose my rank of General Copier.
This poor little blog. Just like my family and everything else in my life, it’s been neglected.
I have a major, grade-A case of writer’s block. My mind is clogged with educational theories (which contradict each other), research paper writing techniques (which contradict each other), and all sorts of lint and dust bunnies. I haven’t had the spare brain cells to write, which is sad, because I have lots to say. So I’m gonna do one of my Colonic blogs, where I spill out my mental bowels onto the page and hope to unclog the drainpipe!
Let’s start with the family. Last week, I went downstairs to leave for work and I noticed my car was sitting in a puddle of water. Since I park in the garage, this was somewhat troubling, especially since water was dripping steadily from the ceiling onto the car. The forecast in the garage is usually sunny and clear, and I was distressed by apparent rain shower. So I called Stalin at work as I backed out of the garage.
“Hey,” I said when he answered, “it’s raining in the garage.”
“What?” he said intelligently (he’s a bit slow in the mornings).
“My car was sitting in a puddle of water in the garage and there’s water dripping from the ceiling. You need to come home and figure out why it’s raining in our garage.”
“Can’t you go look at it?” he asked huffily.
“No dear,” I said patiently, “I’m on my way to work.”
“You can take minute to go upstairs?” he asked in an irritated tone.
“No, I can’t,” I told him. “I’ll be late if I don’t leave now.”
“Whatever,” he said. “I’ll get around to it,” and hung up the phone as if this were all my fault.
Two things about Stalin: he says “whatever” in the EXACT same tone as our teenage daughter and he does NOT understand my job. You see, Stalin is self-employed. This is a beautiful thing because it means he OWNS his place of employment. He is a veterinarian and has a staff of highly trained, loyal employees. He can leave whenever he wants. Granted, it’s not always convenient, but the dogs and cats will still be in their cages when he returns.
Unfortunately, I work for THE MAN, or if you prefer, the public school system. Actually, I’m currently a STUDENT teacher and I don’t even get paid, which makes my job even more restrictive. I’m an indentured servant of sorts; if I’m not at school from beginning to end, I fail student teaching. And the powers-that-be frown when you don’t show up on time, even if it is raining in your garage. Because whether or not I am there at 7:45, the bell still rings, and the students still appear in the classroom like freaking clockwork!! Idiot superintendents have cracked down on truancy, and those students show up EVERY DAY!!! Even worse, I supervise teenagers and unfortunately, federal law prohibits placing them in cages for long periods of time. Certainly, I disagree with this law and am working with activists to get it changed, but for the moment, the little monsters are allowed to roam freely and copulate at will. Being in a high school is a lot like being on the Serengeti, only the animals wear expensive clothing.
So it’s a bit frustrating when Stalin assumes that I can just drop everything to handle a domestic problem. In our “salad days”, in the “days of wine and roses”, in the “GOOD OLD DAYS,” this was certainly true, but that was then and this is now. Now, I have a job and shockingly enough, those people expect me to come on time EVERY DAY!!! This has caused me a great deal of distress, but I have resigned myself to the fact that I have to show up every single day, on time. It’s how it has to be. Unfortunately, this leaves Stalin in charge of the domestic issues and for this particular issue, I was happy to leave him in charge. I hung up and forgot about the entire thing.
Until that night, when I returned home and found all the baskets that usually reside on top of the refrigerator piled on our kitchen table.
“Um, what caused the rain shower?” I asked him when he got home.
“Oh, it was coming from the refrigerator,” he replied cheerfully. Mood swings, that one. “But I disconnected the water, so it’s not leaking anymore. Of course,” he looked a bit pensive, “that means we don’t have any ice, but I’ll get around to fixing it.”
Well dear reader, that was last week. We still have no ice. The goddess asked me last night why we didn’t have any ice and I told her the refrigerator was broken.
“But Daddy will fix it,” I told her.
She snickered. That’s right, the TEN YEAR old snickered and said “Mom, do you REALLY think he’s going to get around to fixing it?”
Sadly, she is wise beyond her years and speaks the truth. But there have been no more rain showers in the garage either. I guess I should take what I can get and be grateful!!!
I should’ve eaten my children when they were babies. Lots of mammals eat their young. Male lions find their offspring to be quite tasty. And it seems to me that if one were going to eat one’s children, infancy would be the best time to attempt it. After all, infants are mostly cartilage and fat, so they would be reasonably easy to chew and digest. And they aren’t big enough to fight back, so there would be no prolonged battle. Nope, just a couple of gulps and that would be the end. There would be no messy crime scene to explain to the police, no bodies to hide. And, best of all, there would be NO TEENAGERS!!!
Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me to eat them when they were babies. They were so cuddly and cute back then. They smelled really good, especially after a bath. But then they grew. And grew. And they became mouthy. And pimply. And mean. They began to fight among themselves, pulling hair and cursing each other, calling each other foul names. They generally began to comport themselves like animals, thereby leading me to fantasize about the above scenario. This is because they are now teenagers.
Normally, I quite like teenagers. Having never progressed very far beyond the age of 14 in terms of personality development, I get along with teenagers quite well. I think farts are hysterically funny. I snicker when someone says “BJ”. I think two dozen oreos and a Coke is a well-balanced meal. I understand the teenage mind. I actually love working in a high school all day and hanging out with teenagers. It thrills me that someday soon I might get paid to hang out with them all day, because I will be with my own kind and we can compose symphonies out of armpit farts.
But when it comes to the teenagers I birthed….well, that’s another story entirely! I do love them and I’m obscenely proud of them and their accomplishments. They are becoming remarkable people in their own right and normally, I am proud to be associated with them. And then there are times like this evening when, well, I wish I had eaten them in their infancy because morons such as themselves should not be allowed to roam the earth. It’s not fair to the rest of humanity.
Take this evening, for example. I was on my way home from my evening class when Stalin called. The older children were clamoring to be dropped off at the high school because they wanted to watch a soccer game. Stalin was not thrilled with the idea, but I told him I didn’t mind picking them up, so he agreed. Alas, if only I had known how it would all end!!! I would have ordered him to drive them, not to the soccer field, but to the nearest sweatshop to sell them into indentured servitude. A couple of 18 hour shifts of sticking the googly-eyes on plastic frogs would have done them a world of good.
But they went to the soccer game, not the sweatshop. And when they called me and asked me to come pick them up, I had no premonition of the disaster it would be. I pulled into the parking lot and saw them standing behind the fence. I also saw someone I knew, so I rolled down the window to speak with her. As we were talking, Dumb and Dumber came galumphing toward the car. They galloped around the front and slammed together into the passenger side door, screeching like baboons in heat. The woman I was talking with quickly made an excuse and hurried for her car. I could hardly blame her since my offspring were frantically ramming each other into the side of the car, each attempting to be the one to sit in the front seat. Yes, that’s right: they were battling to see who would ride “shotgun”.
There are so many reasons to condemn this battle and I hardly know where to begin. Let’s start with the fact that he is SEVENTEEN and she is FIFTEEN!!!! Far too old to be fighting over ‘shotgun’! In less than two months, my oldest child will be considered a ‘LEGAL ADULT’, may God have mercy on us all, yet he will fight to the death to be allowed to sit in the front seat. And we live approximately 1.7 miles from the school; it takes about five minutes to travel between home and school, so why does it matter which seat you’re in? And I don’t even have satellite radio!! It’s plain old broadband, or whatever you call regular radio. And I am MEAN at night, so no one in their right mind would want to sit next to me anyway. But did I say that either of them were in their right mind?? They continued to hurl themselves against the side of my car, and as other people passed, they stared in wonder at the sight of my children comporting themselves like a couple of rabid wombats strung out on bad cabbage. It was not a sight to make a mother proud.
I rolled down the window and screamed “STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” but they paid me absolutely no attention!!! I screamed again, “STOP IT,” and they continued to slam against the car. By now, I was beside myself with rage. It had been a long day, I had been generous enough to offer to come and pick them up, and they were behaving like mutants. I began to lose my grip on common sense.
Bear that last sentence in mind, because I decided the best course of action would be to drive away from them and let them finish beating the crap out of each other in the parking lot. So I put the car in drive and began to inch away. Only, the little bastards wouldn’t let go of the car. In fact, Napoleon threw himself onto the trunk, gripping the sides, and MA….well, MA held onto the front door as I drove, OPENED IT WHILE I WAS DRIVING and then flung herself into the car triumphantly.
Oh gentle reader, how the profanity began to fly!!! I slammed on the brakes and shrieked at Napoleon to get his “)@#*$)#@U$ ASS in the )@#*$)@#*$)(#@(* car right now before I kicked his O@#*$)@#U$)@#(I$)(!!!!!” He got in, and I let forth such a stream of profanity so as to actually steam up the windows. They both blinked at me owlishly, then Napoleon said “MA, I dropped your wallet back there when you kneed me.” They both snickered.
“WHAT??????” I shrieked, and then issued forth an even more blistering stream of profanity, liberally laced with insults regarding the size of their pea heads. I whipped the car into a parking space, rammed it into reverse, and shot backward, cursing all the while. I roared back to where the battle had taken place and ordered Napoleon to get his )#*$)@#U$)(@#U$)(#@ ass out of the )@#$*)@#U$)(#@U car to find the wallet.
“Why do I HAVE TO DO IT?” he whined.
“Because YOU’RE THE MORON WHO DROPPED IT!!!!” I thundered. Just as I was about to launch into another hair-singeing blast of profanity, a man approached our car, waving MA’s wallet like a peace offering. I stopped short, an F-bomb hovering in the air, as he leaned in the window and handed the wallet to MA. “I see you won,” he snickered. “Good job!”
“Oh my God,” I said, “I am so embarrassed!!! I actually tried to drive away with my children hanging on to the car!! You must think I’m terrible!!!”
“Actually,” he said, “I was pretty impressed. Have a good night.” And he walked away, laughing.
Abruptly, I deflated. “You two are SO STUPID,” I said witheringly. “Fist-fighting like hooligans right here in the parking lot. I’m ASHAMED OF YOU!!”
MA looked at me and rolled her eyes. “God mom,” she said contemptuously, “we weren’t fist fighting, we were BUTT-FIGHTING!!!” Right, because I’m the idiot here!! Whether they were fighting with fists or butts, one thing is clear: I should have eaten them that first week of life, when they were still tender, and before they could grow up to embarrass me with their parking lot brawls. A little salt, a dash of Tabasco, and the little buggers would have been right tasty!!
I am notoriously phobic when it comes to cockroaches. I have written about my encounters with these vile and disgusting creatures many times. I don’t know why they frighten me so much–and frighten is the correct word. The sight of a shiny roach skittering around, flexing its nasty wings, and waving its roach legs at me is enough to send me shrieking into the night. They are horrible. I can’t even kill them because I KNOW that if I try to stomp on one, it will avoid my foot and then crawl up my leg, attempting to reach my head so it can eat my brain. It’s why I want to move to the South Pole.
My family is well aware of this phobia, and they frequently use it to torment me. One time, the children purchased a very realistic looking rubber cockroach and took turns planting it in various locations around the house. They took great delight in my screams of terror, and then ran like hell when I discovered it was fake. Or on those rare occasions when a roach invades our home, I will stand on a chair, screaming for them to kill it. Oh they kill it alright. But once it’s dead, they derive sadistic pleasure from scooping up the corpse in a napkin and chasing me around the house with it, laughing demonically at my tears and pleas for mercy. If I ever turn up on CNN for having murdered my children, there was probably a cockroach involved.
On Thursday night, Napoleon took this torture to a whole new level. In fact, he elevated it to the most exquisite heights of irony. I was at school until very late that night, helping with a fundraiser, and when I got home, I collapsed in an exhausted heap on my bed. And Napoleon came galumphing in to the bedroom like a Saint Bernard pumped up on Red Bull, threw himself on the bed, and said “Oh MY GOD MOM, I JUST GOT YOU THE BEST VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT EVER!!!!! Can I tell you what it is now, Please?? PLEASE PLEASE!!!”
Based on his extreme excitement, I knew it was going to be weird. He’s a weird kid. For Christmas, he kept asking for a Trojans™ Pleasure Pack assortment, the one with the different colored/flavored condoms. He asked for this, not because he is sexually active (HE BETTER NOT BE!!!), but for the sheer joy of watching the color drain out of my face when he asked. He’s that kind of child. So I knew I was in for trouble. Wearily I said “sure son, give me my Valentine,” and braced myself.
“It’s perfect mom!! I heard about it on the radio!!! I….are you ready???….you’re not going to believe this!!!!…..It’s the BEST ten dollars I’ve EVER spent!!!…..The BRONX ZOO IS NAMING A MADAGASCAR HISSING COCKROACH AFTER YOU!!!!!” He then collapsed upon my bed, overcome by his own genius.
When I finally managed to calm him down, I learned that he had heard an ad on the radio about the Bronx Zoo selling the naming rights of its cockroaches as a fundraiser. When he heard this, Napoleon knew immediately he had hit upon that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for me, the kind of gift that would give me great blog material. What could be better than that?? “Mom, it’s totally legit,” he gushed to me, “and they’re even going to send you a certificate!!!”
And sure enough, this morning, I received an email from the Bronx Zoo, informing me of its newest cockroach named “Jennifer”. My heart went pitter-pat, and my stomach turned as I beheld a picture of my new namesake. Wow. A roach the size of my palm, named after me. And I was hankering for a big diamond for Valentine’s Day; what the hell was I thinking?? Lots of girls get diamonds, but you almost never hear of one getting a roach. I’m a lucky, lucky girl…
But there are some questions I have that were NOT answered by the email. For instance, is there a guarantee that they are actually going to call the roach by its new name on a daily basis to help it learn its name?? How are they going to identify JENNIFER as herself, and pick her out from all the Susans and the Dianas?? I mean, don’t all roaches look alike? How are they going to keep up with Jennifer??? Will they paint a “J” on her back to help her stand out?
And is this going to be like one of those Feed The Children deals? Do I get pictures twice a year? Do I get progress updates? What assurance do I get that my namesake roach is getting the star treatment that Napoleon’s ten dollars was supposed to purchase? The information on the website merely states that the money will help save wildlife around the world. I don’t care about wildlife around the world, I care about Jennifer the Roach living in the Bronx Zoo? Is she getting the highest quality grubs that money can buy??
Fortunately, I have a nephew living in Manhattan. I am going to insist that he go to the Bronx Zoo (as soon as they find it underneath all the snow!!!) and visit Jennifer the Roach. And if they can’t produce her, then the zoo director will have to answer to me. She may be a roach, but she’s Jennifer the Roach, and I will defend her to the end!! By the way, if you would like to send your sweetie a Madagascar Hissing Roach just click the link and wow your honey with a roach!!