Squirrels are jerks.

The chatter came from above, it wasn’t the normal squirrel dispute.  This was louder.  I don’t speak squirrel,  so I wasn’t able to translate.  I could tell they were panicked.   The warmth and fluff I felt at my feet let me know Betty was not involved, I was pleased with her show of restraint.  It doesn’t happen often, she’s normally the first to fight.  She gets that from me; apparently we’re both working to temper our impulsive nature.

I peered up to where the noise was coming from.  Squirrels move a lot, so it took a while to determine the location of the thing that triggered the melee.  They jumped, they squeaked, and they avoided a branch on the avocado tree.  It was where they weren’t going that was telling. There, basking in the hot Florida sun, was a small iguana.  He was a beautiful shade of chartreuse, and he knew it.

He moved slowly, robotically.  The size of the talons at the ends of his legs looked very large as he inched toward the open air and the conclusion of the thinning branch.  He was gingerly keeping his grip, even though it looked awkward.  The branch bounced wildly.  The movement wasn’t due to the tension of the added lizard weight, but the angry squirrel who bounced in protest near the protection of the trunk.  The iguana didn’t seem bothered.  I quietly admired his self control as I watched from below.  Betty did too, it seemed that she’d momentarily surrendered her position as backyard bouncer to join me in observing what would happen next.

The absence of yipping and growling was replaced by another loud, startling noise.  “Mom! Can you type in really cool, offroad truck driving games?” The boy was standing behind me.  I was so focused on the episode of Wild Kingdom unfolding in front of me that I hadn’t heard him open the sliding glass door when he exited the house.  I turned to him, trying to restore the quiet.  His attention was focused on his tablet.  Oversized green headphones were wrapped around his ears, he was unaware that he was yelling. “Can I have a juicebox and popcorn?” he bellowed, I thought for sure his voice would disrupt the creatures and their aerial turf war.

I gently lifted the speaker away from the side of his head,  “Look buddy, look in the tree,” I whispered.  

Whispering, like yawning, is a contagious human behavior.  I don’t really know why.  He removed his eyes from the glowing screen, and the Youtube video playing upon it.

Focusing on the tree he scanned the branches, “Why are we whispering?” he said quietly.  I held in a giggle.  This is normally the question that ends a hushed conversation, when there’s no reason for it.

“We’re whispering because we don’t want to startle the lizard,” I explained while diverting his eyes with my pointed index finger, and outstretched arm.  “Oh, it’s Godzillard,”  My brain, for a split second, pictured the head of Willard Scott on the body of a reptile.  Yes, the visual is as disturbing as it sounds.  “Godzilla,” I corrected.  “No, Godzilla is the big, dark one that lives on the telephone poll.  That’s Godzillard,” he corrected back, making sure to emphasize the “D” at the end.  “Why are we watching him? Can I have popcorn now?”

I wasn’t aware that we had more than one very large lizard patrolling our yard, and although I might have chosen different names, I was thankful for his observations.  I’m not exactly fearful of them, I just don’t want anything to do with them.

“I want to see what happens, he’s having issues with the squirrels.  Do you think he’ll jump in the pool to get away from them?” I was invested in watching this, I wasn’t going in the house.

“Shouldn’t we stop the squirrels?  It looks like they’re picking on him,” he’s very concerned with bullying these days.  “We don’t get involved when animals have disagreements, bud,” I explained.  “Yes we do, you have to stop Betty from trying to eat the kittens all the time.”

“Betty isn’t trying to eat the kittens,  she just doesn’t appreciate their presence.  Those animals live in our house, they have to get along.”

“Is it because they steal her toys?”


“I’ll have to talk to them about that.  These animals live in our yard, though.  Doesn’t that make them ours?  Why aren’t we supposed to stop them?”

“Godzillard isn’t coming in the house, if that’s what you’re getting at.  No, we aren’t supposed to stop them.  They’re wild animals, and if we get involved they won’t be wild anymore.”

He looked at me suspiciously, “It’s something I heard on Animal Planet.” Thankfully, this seemed to be a good enough source for him.

This was quite possibly the longest conversation I’d ever had while whispering.  As the boy, Betty, and I chatted…the squirrels became more brazen.  The most vocal of the group started to advance down the branch towards the iguana.  I don’t think squirrels are capable of much thought, but this one seemed to question whether it’s actions were a good idea.  It would retreat back to the trunk, then hop down the branch again, with every trip it got a little bit closer.  Godzillard did not react, he continued to calmly hold on while the branch bounced beneath him.

I had almost resigned myself to the idea that we had spent a very long time watching absolutely nothing when it happened, the squirrel had invaded Godzillard’s personal space for the last time.  This time possibly touching him with it’s grubby little paw.  Without even turning his head, he whipped his long, lime green tail in the air.  The boy cheered, as his tail collided with the side of the furry being, launching it out of the tree.  “Take that, squirrelface!”

Apparently, we were all on team lizard.  Betty stopped watching him and bounded into the yard to inspect the point of impact.  I imagine she was disappointed to discover that this was not her chance to further make an example out of one of them for their endless taunting and chatter.  It’s ego might have been damaged, but it hurried back up into the canopy to avoid being a chewtoy.

Godzillard turned around and made his way back through the tree without further incident.  He was only passing through, he meant them no harm.

“See, they worked it out on their own,” I said confidently, pretending that I had any idea on how this confrontation might end.  I contemplated which life lesson I would parlay this into. I don’t know, I always have to have a lesson.  It’s an annoying thing I do.

“Yeah, squirrels are jerks.  I didn’t know that a lizard could play baseball, and..I don’t think I want to try to catch them anymore.”

I decided his take on the situation was sufficient.  There wasn’t anything more I could add, we retreated into the house having had enough nature for the day.

I’ll never be a Sock Monkey, and I’m okay with that

There’s this stuff that pops up in my newsfeed all the time, it’s the same story, written by six different news outlets.  Sometimes the information is life altering, and I can understand why it’s getting so much attention…but most of the time it’s really not.

Last week I couldn’t get away from the dog that takes the bus to the dog park.  She was everywhere.  I bet she’s buckled from the pressure of being in the limelight, and now takes herself to regular appointments with her therapist.  I get it, it’s a dog…there’s a bus,  enough already.

The thing that keeps being shoved in my face, this week, is the woman that’s giving Bratz Dolls radical makeunders.  She’s an artist or something,  her idea was to remove the copious amounts of plastic cosmetics from the faces of these playthings, and then repaint them to look more natural.  That, in and of itself, I thought was a pretty neat idea.  It’s been done before with Barbie, but it was interesting to see it…again…I guess.

The neat factor quickly wore off when I started to read the comments.  Comments will do that to you. People were getting really heated about these dolls and the message they think they send to girls.  They were harping on their clothing.  I believe the general consensus was that these dolls are packaged to look like little strippers.  I kept myself from commenting.   No need to be attacked by a stranger for pointing out that strippers and over application of makeup has been around since before the days of Holly Hobbie.  Yep, people will argue about anything…just a bunch of adults yelling at other adults…about toys.

Now, to be fair, the genetic lottery did not award me with a female human…so, I’m not exactly in the struggle.  I have a son, my living room floor is covered in a layer of plastic superheroes with impressive pectoral muscles.  I have never once stopped to wonder if Spiderman’s washboard abs are negatively effecting his psyche.  I’m not publishing the letters I’ve written to Mattel demanding that they introduce an action figure with a receding hairline and love handles.    This is an area of his life that I’m okay with not over-thinking…because they’re toys, people.  They’re used for play and fantasy.

I know it’s hard to believe but I, at one point in time, was a little girl.  I may not have been the most feminine of womanlings, I didn’t really play with Barbie’s…unless you count cutting off all of their hair…and melting their faces with a magnifying glass as play.  But that’s not the point.  It never crossed my mind that the thing I was destroying had an unattainable physique.  Not once.  I never felt inferior to a hunk of plastic and cried myself to sleep knowing I would never look like her.  Any ill-feelings I had about my body came long after I stopped playing with dolls.

It’s highly unlikely that your daughter is thinking about the fact that she might not grow up to resemble her doll, unless you’ve said that to her…which is kind of a douche move.  If you have pointed this out to her, I hope you also gave her a complete list of things she will not grow up to resemble: Buicks, waffle irons, lamp posts…just to name a few.   While you’re arguing the very adult topics of sexuality and objectification keep in mind your daughter is probably thinking, “I want to play with something brightly colored and sparkly, and it might be a bonus if the thing that is brightly colored and sparkly has a face.”

It just seems to me that this is a thing manufactured by adults that need something to argue about.

I grew up in the 80’s, when we wax nostalgic about this particular period in time we bring up the big hair and hideous clothing.  It was the decade of excess…and orphans…lot’s of orphans.  Sometimes they sang,  sometimes they grew in cabbage patches, sometimes they wore mismatched clothes, sometimes they were adopted by old white men of varying income levels, but they were all somehow abandoned by their parents for entertainment purposes.

No one worried ad nauseum that I would grow up to develop severe separation anxiety and a sceptical outlook on produce. I’m not the most well adjusted woman on the planet, but I can’t blame that on anything I played with.

It irritates me that people assume little girls are this impressionable,  the argument as a whole is ludicrous.  It’s rooted in feminism, sort of, but it really makes women sound stupid. Like we’re incapable of thinking and reasoning.

Not one female I know ever expressed interest in voluntarily becoming a quadriplegic, because they were gifted a sock monkey at a tender age.  “I just want to flop around like Mr. Pickles,” wasn’t a slumber party confession.

When I see a little girl dragging around a teddy bear, I don’t feel overcome by concerns.  There’s no wondering if she’ll grow up, wander into the woods only to get her throat ripped open by a 500 pound Grizzly, because she was trying to put a t-shirt on it and get it to take a nap.

Why is it we can trust that a girl is smart enough to work through unrealistic ideas about the congeniality of woodland creatures, but we suggest she isn’t smart enough to figure out the truth about a doll?

So what if she plays with a toy that slightly resembles your slutty neighbor, Carol.  You’ve got more important things to worry about and fight for.


I sat in the living room, the babble of the television filling the space. I wasn’t really listening. I watched her chest, making sure it was rising and falling as it should. Her hands were folded softly on her lap as she slept.

“You’ve got a huge decision to make,” some overly coiffed handy-man said from the screen. Immediately I was filled with anger. That happens a lot. The anger, it’s my least favorite emotion. I suppose it’s necessary.   The people on the T.V., their huge decision: picking out drapes.  My huge decision: I may have to pick out a dress for my mother to be buried in.

I haven’t allowed myself to fully accept that there is a very real possibility that I may lose my mother until this week. It’s debilitating. I really haven’t been myself. The waves of nausea that come and go as they please make it difficult to concentrate.

This isn’t fair.

Tears welled in my eyes, making everything look like a watery kaleidoscope. I cursed myself.  All I wanted to do was look at my beautiful, sleeping mother through clear eyes.  I was trying to mentally photograph her and my body was sabotaging me.

I wanted to look at her hands.

Her favorite story to tell me is how she knew she was having a girl.  I was born before a time when expectant mothers had sonograms.  And way before a time when expectant mothers had 3-D sonograms at baby showers.  Stop it, you weirdos. It’s creepy.  It’s like looking at a vacuum bagged frog. Really.

She’d look at me lovingly and say, “Your brothers bounced around in there like they were playing basketball; you played the harp.” She’d flutter her fingers to demonstrate my in utero musical skills.  “Your Grandma Carpenter was really worried about me” she’d always pause to laugh.  “I was so sick of blue, I told her I wasn’t bringing home another boy!”

“Then we brought you home, in a lace dress so stiff you couldn’t move.  And we looked at your hands,”  If my father is in the room when the story is being told, she will always turn to him and say, “Joe, remember how beautiful her hands were? How long her fingers were?”

My mother has beautiful hands too.  They are soft and full of love, I am not ready to let them go.

She is little. She is mighty. She is stupid.

“Hi, I’d like to make an appointment to get my dog groomed.”

“I’m sorry, what?” The voice on the other end sounded annoyed.

I repeated myself. This time she heard me.

“Please hold,” the woman said tersely.

“I don’t think I like this broad’s attitude,” I mumbled to Betty.  As I sat on hold I wondered what other people said when they called there.  Even if she didn’t hear me, there’s probably a 90% chance that most of the people that call are asking to get their dog cleaned.

It is after all…a dog grooming place.  Linda’s Classy Canines or something.  The name of the establishment isn’t the slightest bit misleading. I didn’t call there under the assumption that they were going prepare my taxes or refinish my kitchen cabinets.  “If they’re gonna be rude we can take our business elsewhere,”  Betty didn’t seem to care.

It’s not like there are a lot of words in the English language that sound like “appointment”.  Sure, maybe “anointment”…but Linda isn’t the high priestess of clean dog butts. I was really reading too far into what the tone of her voice meant.

Maybe I’m doing it wrong?  Maybe there’s some kind of lingo I’m supposed to be using?  I’m not so good at industry inspeak. Should I have asked her to pimp my puppy?  Did I just expose myself as some kind of fledgling nuevo-yuppie?  I’m not used to paying for services I should do myself.

I realized I had been on hold for a very long time after that last thought barreled through my brain.  My phone tallied my call time as 5:15.  But, I call bullshit.  It was way longer.

I ended the call, thoroughly convinced that Linda has abandoned us and I have issues with asking for help.  Betty was asleep on the pile of dirty clothes in the living room, blissfully unaware that the state of her fur is causing me such inner-turmoil.

I come from a long line of dog lovers.  It pains me to see her go from Betty White to Betty Bathwater Grey with Black Spots.  I know I must stop the metamorphosis before she goes full on Barry White.

I come from a long line of Do-it-yourself-ers.  It pains me to know I am paying someone to do something I can do myself.  I’m the same way when it comes to oil changes, lawn maintenance, and cleaning people.  If I can do it myself, I should. My brain can’t grab hold of the concept.

I come from a long line of people that do not like to be bitten by little, fluffy dogs.  It pains me…to uh, be in pain. Therein lies the problem.  She never breaks the skin, but she makes it clear that she is displeased.  No one likes to be growled at through the whole lathering process or given the silent treatment.

I may not have said this in so many words before, but Betty isn’t exactly a Rhodes Scholar and she’s…an asshole.  She’s the only dog I’ve ever owned that has her own slogan, “She is little. She is mighty. She is stupid.”  What she lacks in brains, she makes up for in cute.  She’s very, very cute. Like, seriously…she might be the cutest dog on the planet.



It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this.  I used to defend her zest for life, now I find myself apologizing for it.  She’s not extra zesty, she’s a jerk.  Our last walk confirms this.  First, on the way downstairs she walked into the neighbors apartment and barked at her.  After that she picked a fight with a dog twice her size.  When I’d finally had enough of her crap, we came back upstairs and she proceeded to shit on the floor while making eye contact with me.  Who does that? The size of the chip she’s got on her shoulder should crush her tiny frame.  Kanye West probably would have been a much better name for her.

You really don’t have to do anything to become the target of her ire, you basically just have to be a creature that doesn’t reside with her and be within barking distance.  Dogs, cats, ducks, squirrels, alligators…they all trigger an eruption of aggression.  She snorts and paws at the ground, raucous yipping quickly follows.  Whatever she’s barking at is initially stunned, but that doesn’t last long…I imagine it’s a lot like being yelled at by disgruntled, tumbling bag of cotton balls.

Since she is such a problem child, I was apprehensive about taking her to the groomers.  But, we took her anyway.  Surprisingly when we picked her up, she was very clean…and also not dead.  Why is that surprising? Well, she’s my dog…and there are times when I’ve wanted to strangle her during a bath.  They didn’t utter the words, “Don’t come back.” In fact, they said she was “Hilarious”.  I’ve never found having something angrily gnaw on my pinky to be the least bit humorous, but to each their own.

“Let’s face it Betty, Linda…or whatever her name is…is our only hope!  Everyone else thinks you’re obnoxious,” I said as she provided a chorus of sleepy puppy sounds. I put my tail between my legs and called back. This time Linda wasn’t such a bitch, so I didn’t say anything about being left on hold long enough to question my ability to be an effective human being.  It’s a small price to pay for a fabulous looking and undead dog.


“If we ever go to war with Russia, I’m aligning myself with the Cephalopods.”

His face was hidden in the shadows. “Um, what?” she said, because…well…anyone would say that.

As a whisper of smoke spun before her left eye, a human figure emerged from behind the dumpster. His eyes said, “I really trust Cephalopods.” His pants said, “I just pissed myself.”

The orange rind stuck on his cheek indicated he slept on his left side. She showed no fear as he approached her, mainly because she was still trying to remember what the fuck a Cephalopod was.

“Who will you follow?” he asked. She looked around. She was at the end of a driveway that lead to a very busy hospital. There were people everywhere; deciding he was harmless, she spoke. “Um, yeah…Communism isn’t my thing…so I’m on Team Cephalopod. You have some shit on your face, Dude.”

She, being the kind of broad who feels people should know when they have shit on themselves, didn’t hold back. She made the international “you have shit on you” rotating hand/pointed index finger gesture around the perimeter of her face.

He didn’t acknowledge her, but never took his lifeless eyes of off her. She thought he might need a smoke. She opened a white and gold box adorned with the Philip Morris family crest, and removed one of her remaining 20 Class A Cigarettes.

Her arm was outstretched in front of her…she held the cigarette. She posed like a runner preparing to pass the baton. He shuffled towards her. It was the slowest, and most pointless, reversed relay race known to man. There would be no winner.

She admired his shuffling skills. She could not recall a time where she’d ever seen someone move so fast without lifting their feet from the ground. The air temperature was nearly 85 degrees. He wore a sweatshirt and long pants, she wondered why…but who was she to question.

He moved past her, grabbing the cigarette. She thought of Arlo Guthrie, she had no reason for doing so…except for Arlo Guthrie has evoked the stench of urine in her mind since she was a child. No offense meant, Arlo.

They would never cross paths again. Slowly wandering away from her, his inner soldier prepared for war…while she Googled cephalopod.

Can I help you?

There’s something about me.  Something about my face or the way I carry myself. Something about my clothes.  There’s just something…always has been.

I guess we all have a certain je ne sais quoi that dictates how other humans interact with us. My “I don’t know what” says, “I work here”.  Moreover, my “I don’t know what” says, “I work here, and I’m not doing my job”.

Even when my mouth says, “I don’t work here,” the “I don’t know what” always finds a way to scramble the message.

It happens all the time, even in places where the employees wear uniforms. A few weeks ago I was shopping sans small child. Shopping without the constant chorus of “I want that” is like a vacation. I was wearing my favorite green t-shirt and green cargo pants. This particular shirt has a picture of a moose and bear on it, and says “Nature and shit” below the picture. Definitely not the red and khaki garb of the staff.

As I stood in the aisle browsing, I was approached by an older guy. He was preppy looking, and wore clothing that indicated he was into golf. His outfit was wonderfully coordinated, right down to his stupid looking visor. He had a cocky, better than you, my wife picks out my clothes air about him.

I have no idea how long he was standing there, but was made aware of his presence when he rudely cleared his throat. “AHEMMM. Are these disposable?” he barked at me, clearly annoyed. He was holding a box, but it was an item I was not familiar with.

As he glared at me, he let out a sigh. It was a sigh that indicated he was unhappy. His attitude was interrupting my mini retail vacation, and I was briefly confused by his aggressive behavior. “Technically, everything is disposable. It just depends on how much you like it,” I responded, smiling.

I went back to my browsing. I could still feel his presence. His eyes were burning holes in the back of my head. From over my shoulder his voice boomed “All you damn kids think you’re so damn funny! Well, it won’t be so funny when I call your manager…WILL IT?

Normally, if a person is polite I offer assistance; even though I will not be compensated.  I could have just turned around and said, “Why don’t you ask someone who works here?” correcting the surly moron, but we all know that’s not what I did.

I turned and faced him, again smiling “May I?” I asked, as I took the box from him. “Oh, sure! NOOOW you’re going to help me???!!! You think I won’t report you!? You’re all the same. You only WORK when you think you’re going to get fired! Well, you’ve GOT another thing COMING, MISSY!!” Yes, he called me missy.

He went on for what seemed like an hour…talking about why people like me are the reason the country is in the state it’s in, and how I’ll work minimum wage my whole life because I have no work ethic.

I let him ramble, while humming “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in my head.  He kept getting louder…about the time I got to the “his truth is marching on” part, a woman in a red shirt, khaki pants, and a name tag appeared out of nowhere.  “Can I help you?” she asked the almost screaming jerk.

“YEAH, I’m glad SOMEONE who works here does their JOB! You need to have a little CHAT with your EMPLOYEE! It seems she missed the part about COURTESY when she did her training course!!! She’s a DISGRACE and should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY!” His visor was now visibly moving because the veins on the side of his head were pulsing.

I was still smiling, this displeased him even more. “Look at her, she’s just smiling at me like some kind of MORON!” The employee was confused, her expression showed she was trying to choose her words carefully. I handed her the box, and softly said, “He wants to know if these are disposable.”

“Yeah….that’s ALL I asked her…after I stood behind her for five minutes, waiting for her to acknowledge me! And do you know what she said!!???” he paused, I’m assuming for dramatic effect. “Everything is DISPOSABLE, it depends on HOW MUCH YOU LIKE IT!!!!”

“C’mon, you have to admit. That was hilarious,” I said to the bewildered employee. “This is what you call customer service?” he snorted, while throwing up his hands. It was at this point that the employee finally spoke again, “Uh, Sir. She doesn’t work here,” she half-mumbled.

“WHAT!!!??” the golf dork exclaimed. “Not even on the weekends,” I replied, laughing. “Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” He was speaking through a clenched jaw. “You didn’t ask me if I worked here. You sounded pretty passionate, I thought it’d be rude to interrupt you,” I continued.

“Well, that’s just not funny,” he stammered. Clearly this guy doesn’t know funny.  You would think he would have stopped there, but he didn’t.  Self-important jerks never know when to leave well enough alone.  “You know…I’m not here to entertain you. I’m a very busy man,”. There’s a lot of personality traits I despise, he seemed to have them all.  He couldn’t just sit there in his wrongness and be wrong.  “Well, Muffin. I’m not here to assist you, so I guess we’re even,” I replied almost singing.

I probably could have stood there in the dental care aisle and exchanged barbs with this dude all day.  But, I decided to excuse myself before he could say anything else…I had things to do. I’m a very busy woman.

This is what I think of you.

*In my world we say what’s on our mind.  This won’t change anything, but I feel a lot better for having written it.

Dear Asshole,

This is not an attempt to open up any lines of communication.  I want nothing to do with you.  I have made that very clear.  I am not looking for a response.  This is my way of getting closure. I know that you’re reading this.  I know that you ask about me.  You should stop.

You can defend yourself to the people that listen to you and still believe the bullshit that flows from your mouth like…well, the bullshit that flows from your mouth.

You are the scumbag.  You are the liar.  You are the philandering (that means cheating, you stupid fuck) piece of shit that you constantly accused me of being.    You went to great lengths to deceive me, why? Why didn’t you just leave me alone?  Why did you think I deserved this?

I already know the answer, because you’re mentally ill.   You play games with people’s emotions for your own entertainment. You get your jollies from deceiving people, it makes you feel superior. You aren’t, you are the lowest life form on the planet.  I’ve coughed-up mucus with more integrity than you.

You wasted my time.  You pretended to be someone you aren’t.  Did you think I wouldn’t find out?  Did you think you could threaten and intimidate the whole world into silence, like you did me?  If you wanted to snort cocaine and screw guttersnipes, you should have done that and left me out of it.  I bet it was great fun running around behind my back and making a fool of me, while trying to control my every action.

Do you realize who the fool is now? Did you use your food stamp card to cut your lines?  How do you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, or afternoon when you finally drag your worthless carcass out of bed, and not become nauseous?  I have never seen anyone so brazen (that means bold, numbnuts) and unapologetic for taking things they have no right to.

People tried to warn me about you, I should have listened. Maybe I would have spared myself the fantastic experience of being relentlessly stalked.  I saw you, you aren’t very good at it.  But, you should be used to hearing that by now…you aren’t very good at anything tangible (that means real, shit for brains).  You’re awesome at creating your own little world, where you are always the victim and everyone is out to get you.  You also excel at being selfish, dramatic, and violent.  Good job, buddy…those skills have gotten you where you are today.

Everything you said you aren’t, you are.  “I’m not a cheater,” lie.  “I wasn’t doing coke,” lie.  “I’m a good man,” lie.  You aren’t a good man, you are a waste of human flesh.  One seriously fucked-up individual.  The more time I spent with you, the more I became like you…boy, am I glad that’s over.

You moved in with me, and then lived off me like a parasite.  You played sick mind games, because it made you feel better about your pathetic existence.  You were jealous of my son, you didn’t love him like he was your own.  He was a nuisance to you.  He took the attention off of you.  He deserves my attention, you do not.  How dare you use him to make people feel bad for you, as you ranted like a lunatic about me on Facebook.  You didn’t care about him, why pretend you did? Did that get you laid?

How dare you tell people you had to leave Florida because of me.  You had to leave because you ran out of people to live off of, you exhausted your supply of trusting people of which to mooch.  I’m not on some committee that gets to decide who lives in the state and who doesn’t.   You make your own decisions.  I can’t make you do a damn thing.  If I had these magical powers you’d be reading this from under a rock in the Hudson River.

People like you are hatched, they aren’t born.

How many women have you done this to?  In case you were contemplating (that means thinking, jackwad) telling your next victim that you improved my life and helped me as a person, like you told me you did with all of your previous girlfriend’s…I recommend you don’t.  I am a better person now as opposed to when we met, but I did all that work on my own.  You deserve and will receive absolutely no credit.  You did nothing but try to break me.  You didn’t succeed.  Through your torture I learned what a strong, intelligent woman I am…and what a weak, miserable prick you are.

I hate your fucking haircut, you psychotic bastard.  Since you sent me about 900 text messages asking me if I liked it, I figured I’d give you the answer.

It’d be nice if you stopped trying to damage my character and reputation.  For someone that hated my blog, you sure read it a lot.  Did you start your own?  “The World According to Bullshit” wasn’t that what you were going to call it? At the time it was an insult, but now it seems like an appropriate name.  Maybe you could put offensive, horribly misspelled cartoons on it?

The demanding that people not associate with me, that was a nice touch.  Were you afraid I was going to tell them what you really are?  It’s hard to elicit (that means get, Mongo) sympathy from people when they find out what a giant douche you are.  Well played.

There’s a lot more I’d like to say to you, but I’m not going to.  I’m going to move on with my life and forget I ever met you.  I was going to say “knew you,” but I never actually did.  I just spent a lot of time with a monster.

I don’t burn bridges, fucker. I blow them up.

Drop dead,

Sara Carpenter

Cinco de Mayo.

My grandmother will have been gone for one year on Sunday, May 5th. It figures she’d have picked my second favorite designated drinking holiday to die. If you’re thinking “Gee, Scarp! That sounds heartlessy and bitch-tastic,” these are two qualities I learned from her. You really had to know the woman to appreciate the depths of her douchebaggery. Yes, she gave me a lot. I appreciate her contributions, but she didn’t do it because she loved me. She did it to control me.

Some people find control far more fulfilling than love. I’d like to invite all of those people to drop dead at the count of three. Ready? One…one-and-a-half, twoooooo…two-and-three- quarters…Three! Dammit, why aren’t you dead? Well, I suppose it’s just as gratifying knowing that your life is miserable; always has been, always will be. How do I know this? Because, I know things, lot’s of things…almost everything. I’m pretty smart.

My life has been a juggernaut (that means: an overwhelming, advancing force that crushes or seems to crush everything in its path, just in case you don’t understand words with more than two syllables. Yes, I’m being condescending (that means: I’m treating you like you’re stupid)) of activity that I have not been able to escape, since she passed. Recently, things have started to calm down. Calm is awesome.

My grandma spent her final years living in my apartment, with her nurse, and her nurse’s daughter. Several of my neighbors have approached me and said things to the effect of “I miss your grandmother, she was such a wonderful woman. So sweet…God rest her soul,” this always shocks the shit out of me…as I wasn’t aware she had a soul. The lady living in my apartment, I don’t know who in the hell she was….but she wasn’t my grandma.

My grandma was the love-child of Hitler and Zsa Zsa Gabor, not literally, I’m giving you a visual here. She got Zsa Zsa’s looks and Hilter’s Canasta playing skills. I know there is no historical record of Hitler or my grandmother actually playing Canasta…but just work with me. In both of their reigns of terror, everything had to be “just so”. It didn’t matter who you were on the inside, as long as you were perfect on the outside. Had my grandmother had a larger oven, I’m pretty sure she would have been known for something other than baking a delicious ziti.

I watched her manipulate my mother my whole life. I watched her hold things over her head, I saw the enjoyment she got from giving and then taking things away. Recent (unrelated) events in my life have helped me identify just exactly what my grandmother was:  a narcissistic sociopath (Google it, if you identify with more than two of the characteristics…please follow the instructions written above in paragraph two.)

The strangers my grandmother encountered would describe her as warm and caring, that’s because they weren’t aware that underneath the expensive clothes, diamonds, and perfectly styled hair…lurked a giant asshole. She cared what the rest of the world thought of her, she didn’t really give a shit what we thought of her..because she was in a position of power. Anyone that defied her power was excommunicated and sent to live in New Jersey.

She had a lot of things, expensive things. She traveled. She bought enough anti-wrinkle cream to fill the Adriatic Sea. She was never happy. Nothing was ever good enough. Her life was a perpetual state of misery because she lacked the ability to give and receive love. Instead of people, she loved inanimate objects. She grew frustrated when the things wouldn’t return her affections.

I find it very hard to bite my tongue when people say nice things about her. I do it, but I don’t like it. I’d like to announce to the world how she went out of her way to make people unhappy and then played “helpless victim” when shit didn’t go her way.  When my neighbors say, “I miss her,” my first reaction is to laugh, really hard.  I say, “Me too,” but what I’m really thinking is “I miss her spaghetti sauce.”

Her last years of life were lonely, that’s what happens to jerks. They end up alone, because nobody likes them. The people they got so much pleasure out of torturing get to watch as they fade away. The problem is, another jerk is born every minute.

Why is water blue?

The boy and I had an interesting day of bonding. He was my lunch date on Saturday, although he didn’t really want to be. “I don’t like food anymore, can’t we just go to the toy store?” I had promised him a reward, he was determined to collect it. “You can’t toy shop on an empty stomach, dude. This is serious business,” I said, instead of trying to debunk the “I don’t like food” defense. “I guess you’re right,” he sighed, as we pulled off the road and into a restaurant parking lot.

As we got out of the car, he began to crawl on his hands and knees peering at the undercarriage. “Um, what are you doing?” I asked, as I think any reasonable person would. “There’s a can under there, I wanted to see if you crushed it when we pulled in. You didn’t, can you try to smash it when we leave?” “I’ll try my best,” I responded. I helped him up and led him into the restaurant. We sat outside on the patio, it’s starting to get ridiculously hot here, again. I knew it wouldn’t be crowded and we could quietly chat. He touched the table the way old ladies do when you take them someplace to eat they’ve never been before. “This is nice,” he said, smiling and inspecting the children’s menu.

“Hi, my name is Chris. I’ll be your server today,” the waiter was cheerful and eager to bring us things, I like those qualities in a waiter. “Hi, I’m five. I can ride my bike without training wheels,” my son said with the confidence and demeanor of a politician, while throwing his elbow over the back of his chair. “I don’t wet the bed anymore and… I have a Puffle named Willie. I’m just throwing that out there. What’s your Puffle’s name?” The waiter looked at me, I could see he was taken aback by the little dude. I waited for him to respond, when he didn’t, I wasn’t sure what to say.  I figured things couldn’t get anymore awkward than they were at that moment, so I went with, “Hi. I’m 34. I don’t wet the bed anymore either. I helped name the Puffle, and I’d love a rum and coke in the biggest glass you have”.

“What is a Puffle?” Chris asked. “The thing that makes me want a drink,” I responded, hoping he’d walk away without any further questioning. It didn’t work. My boy might have a future as a Jehovah’s Witness, as he insists on spreading the good word. “Willie is Jr. Flappers’ pet. Jr. Flappers is my Penguin. Willie is red and fluffy. He doesn’t have any arms or legs…but he still rides a skateboard pretty good. I play with them”.

For anyone keeping track, my little nugget of awesome is claiming we are harboring an arctic creature in the simmering heat of Florida, and are forcing a long-haired, quadriplegic, life form to entertain us by riding a skateboard. No, I haven’t replaced his nutritious breakfast with frosted LSD and please don’t call PETA.

All of these things take place in the virtual seventh circle of hell known as “Club Penguin”. Disney thought it would be a great idea to create a social networking site, infused with games, and of course…Puffles. “I have a membership card, wanna see it?” Yes, they sell membership cards. Yes, he carries it with him. “Jr. Flappers has an igloo, you should stop by sometime.” Yes, he just invited someone over to his igloo.

“That’s awesome, I have a daughter. We haven’t reached the Puffle stage yet, I guess.” I was thankful that the waiter had experience wrangling small children and I didn’t have to try and explain. You can’t control what they say, resistance is futile. You can either be embarrassed or embrace it. I want him to be able to carry on a conversation. These are the things that are important to him, so this is what we talk about.

Sometimes, admittedly, he throws me a curveball. “Mommy? Why is the water blue?” he asked as he was getting ready for a bath. I tried to pull up all the long forgotten Earth Science information I still had stored in my head. I said something about reflection from the sun and depth of the water, but I was clearly just making it up as I went along.

He stared at me blankly for a minute, “No, I mean in the toilet…why is the water blue? Everyone knows why the sea is blue.” Apparently,  my long-winded explanation about the ocean bored the hell out of him. “Oh, I put stuff in there to help me keep the house clean,” he thought about my answer and then, “Does it help you concentrate?” I laughed and responded, “Uh, sure.” I still haven’t figured out where that one came from, I guess he must do most of his thinking on the potty.

The toilet cleaning tablets went in the tank on Sunday, but had they gone in on Saturday…I’m sure the waiter would have heard about that, too.

Where have all the lunch ladies gone?

“Brandy said she was praying to a book of matches or something,” he said in that slow, surfery Californian way. We were talking about Mary Ann. I wasn’t asking about her in gossipy, water cooler chatter way; I was concerned for her well-being. Up until a few weeks ago, Mary Ann ran the cafeteria in the Shipyard. Apparently, behind the smile and the friendly demeanor…Mary Ann was hiding something.

I’d seen her the day she allegedly started asking for forgiveness from the fire-making implements. She walked around the parking lot, with her arms raised towards the sky…mumbling something about God to herself. I didn’t really think much of it. Her boss is a dick; I thought maybe he’d insulted the Chicken Pot Pie or something, and she had stepped out for a breather. No, she was having a nervous breakdown.

Lucky her, it happened at work. Everyone got to watch as the cheese slid slowly off her crackers. Brandy had been given the assignment of running the cafeteria and making horribly transparent excuses for why Mary Ann was out. I found out today that she wasn’t coming back, I can’t say that I blame her. I wouldn’t want to come back either.

Everyone has their theories, like a giant game of Clue for the stupid and insensitive. “I think she’d been out with Mark, you know Mark? The chubby guy with the Mustang that the doors don’t open on…” I did know Mark. I also knew that the doors on his car didn’t open. It’s hard not to notice a 50 something year old man with plumbers crack, hoisting himself into a bucket of rust outside your office window…everyday. On rainy days I place a little wager with gravity, betting that his orthopedic sneakers would lose their grip on the peeling paint, and he’d take quite the tumble. He is strange, most boat Captains are. He’d been inviting me to Mexico to see his Yacht on a regular basis since mid October. I’m not special, he does this to all the young women. I’m also not going to Mexico to see his Yacht.

Mark’s being accused of taking the lunch lady out on the town and slipping her ‘shrooms. I don’t think this is true. Not because I don’t think Mark is capable of drugging someone without their consent or knowledge. Mostly, because the guy telling me this story is a moron. I had to stop him a few weeks ago from trapping and hugging a wild racoon. I don’t know why I felt the need to emphasize that the raccoon was not domesticated, there. It’s not like people have visions of throw pillows and carefully arranged furniture when you say the word “raccoon”.

I didn’t really want to talk about the wild and crazy personal life of Mary Ann. She was obviously under a great deal of stress and lacking the proper tools to deal with it. It doesn’t matter to me what caused it, it’s really none of my business. I was more or less asking because I thought she and the guy I was talking to are friendly. I guess I was wrong. He wasn’t speaking about her as if she was a friend. He was trying to distance himself from her, like the CDC recently released findings that insanity is spread mainly by droplets made when people with it cough, sneeze or talk. I found his behavior to be, for lack of a better term, shitty.

But, I guess human nature is shitty. Hell, it’s not just human nature…it’s nature in general. The British guy that does the voice overs on the nature shows where animals eat each other; you know, “As night falls on the Serengeti plain…”?  He always points out that, “the weakest members of the herd are stalked by the hungry Cheetah”. For all I know, racoons surreptitiously plot against the members of their um…(flock? gaggle? pride? Forgive me, I never learned the proper term for a group of raccoons. You never did either, so don’t try and get all intellectual on me ) for not having the best paw/eye coordination.

We naturally distance ourselves from people with ailments that we don’t understand. I guess we’re afraid or deep down inside we’re assholes.