My kids and I were reading what has to be List of X’s funniest post yet. It’s about Ebola of course. Yes, even my ten and fourteen- year-olds hear about this stuff constantly, because it’s never too early to scare the crap out of children.
You might be wondering what Ebola is, since we never hear about it or anything. Except for every five minutes on the news. Nope, otherwise, not a PEEP. Thing is, the Ebola virus is not new. It’s been around a long time. But it didn’t affect a handful of Americans earlier so NOW IT IS IMPORTANT. We must ask, though, that people keep this in perspective and remain calm and OMG RUN IN TERROR SCREAM AND SHOUT! Fumigate! Don’t go anywhere! Certainly not Texas! (Good rule anyway, and I even live in Texas).
But since I do live in Texas, it’s even worse here. I’m about 6 hours away from Dallas, where an American recently died of Ebola and two nurses were infected. People are so panicked that they shut down the emergency room of one of hospitals here for hours because someone came in with flu symptoms. No, seriously. Turned out it was – wait for it – the flu.
Now, normally I avoid the regular news (and certainly Fox News) like the plague. I prefer to get my news from more reputable sources such as the Daily Show and blogs like List of X. They are a lot more accurate, and funnier too, in a slap yourself in the head and laugh cause otherwise you’ll be planning a mission to the moon with no helmet sort of way. But I was recently sick and had to get antibiotics then had reactions to the antibiotics that made me sicker causing me to need new antibiotics and nausea pills to counteract what they “cured” earlier, before finally they decided to take me off of all medicines because maybe it wasn’t a bacterial throat infection to begin with (I love our medical system). This necessitated going to several doctors at one clinic several times. And of course, they play Fox News. And on Fox News was info about the Ebola virus!
What better thing for sick people to watch, am I right?
At least Fox isn’t like, a fear mongering kind of news. With rabid weasel reporters who get extremely angry when the people they interview don’t get angry also. Nope, they are always fair and balanced and totally calm.
Here’s an example of one blond female reporter (shock!), who might have been pretty if her face weren’t twisted up like a Pitbull’s, interviewing a scientist they clearly didn’t screen properly before letting on the show. I’m paraphrasing some, but honestly, this is how it went.
Reporter: So I guess the government and “Big Pharma” are going to try to block new vaccines for Ebola.
Scientist: Uh, I don’t think so. I mean, they want this cured also.
Reporter: (madface – did he not read the script?) But don’t you think Obama and his people are not doing a good enough job of protecting us from the Ebola virus?
Scientist: (looks a little scared and confused) I, uh, don’t really get into politics but it seems like they’re doing everything they can at this point.
Reporter: (even more madface, foaming at the mouth possible soon) So when do you think there will be a cure? Like, say, if you started today, how long would it take for you to have a vaccine?
Scientist: (now he’s just realized she’s insane and is looking for any exit) I don’t work directly with the vaccine itself – I mean there’s no way to tell for sure anyway . .
Those scientists -what a bunch of maroons. Can’t tell you exactly how long to find a cure for Ebola? What is WITH them? Jesus turned water into wine in seconds. He totally would NOT have a problem at all solving this, if it weren’t for the liberals and gays. I’m sure this atheist, communist scientist is in cahoots with Big Pharma, Obama, and possibly the virus itself.
Obviously I don’t want to get Ebola. I also don’t want to get Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, or get smushed by a semi-truck, all of which are much more likely to happen. At least the U.S. is finally doing more to help Africa, because while starving people and evil dictators who keep food from their own people are not likely to affect us Americans, a disease from the starving people can, so we better get over there and help these people by closing all their airports, ships, and any other form of transportation. Get the jet skis too, just in case. Oh, and uh, maybe do a little doctoring while you’re at it.
And, most importantly, keep your eyes and ears on the news stations so you can lie awake in fear every night. This will cause bonding with your elders who lay awake at night years earlier waiting for the nuclear bomb. So you know, it’s not all bad.
* Note: this post is chock full of satire, sarcasm, and probably multiple inaccuracies. At least I’m being honest about it. Oh and you’re probably not going to die of Ebola unless you like sharing spit. It will probably be a heart attack from all your worry about Ebola. You’re welcome. Also: don’t share spit.
So last time, I spoke to you guys about my first few days back at Camp Loopy which is not that fun cause they don’t even give you t-shirts. I think unit t-shirts would be awesome, you know, like in Harry Potter. I could have been in Schizoloren if the magic hat I talk to daily said okay. I’m getting off topic already.
Anyhoo, last I left you they’d just decided to transfer me from the geriatric unit to a new unit (bye bye Huffledafts) because clearly my anxiety was getting better too fast. One thing I’ll give them – the head nurse fought for me to stay. They like to hoard the “good patients”. I didn’t fully understand what that meant until I got to the new unit.
I know a lot about mania. My brother has bipolar depression, which can cause a person to swing from lows to wayyy too highs. Not that he can’t be annoying (he is a brother), but he does take his meds so he’s usually okay. I hadn’t actually witnessed a person in full blown mania who did NOT need meds thanks so much. Then I met Mandy (names changed to protect the looney). Or rather I heard her before I even got there.
Oh. My. God.
Mandy talked. And talked. And talked. I don’t think she ever shut up except for the rare times her entire body gave out and she slept for a few precious minutes while we tiptoed around her and said “She’s kinda cute when she’s sleeping.” But otherwise, she was talking – loudly. Yell-speak I call it. Every single word was shouted. Try to imagine this for a few minutes. Now imagine it for 2 days. Yeah. They don’t usually send you somewhere with the apparent intention to drive you even MORE insane.
She was also very active, like a child who had just downed 5,000 pixie sticks and a few dozen Monster drinks. She danced, she sang, she ran around the room, she swung her head around like a head banger. And if that wasn’t enough, Mandy was religious, so we also got mixed-up Bible thrown at us every few seconds. “Amen,” she said. “No Ah-men. No, A-men. AMEN!!!”
Mandy was a pretty young woman. She reminded me of this ice skater who was so beautiful, graceful, and mercifully silent. But not Mandy. She was as active as a speed skater on speed, if said speed skater yelled Bible verses. Come to think of it, some of those street corner preachers could have picked up some tips from her.
I’m pretty sure I lost more hearing from her in those two days than I did from the infancy of my each of my two children. Occasionally a nurse would yell “Mandy! Shhh!” and she’d sit down, hold up two fingers in a peace sign, and yell “Sorry, sorry! Peace out!”
One might think I could have escaped from her by going to my room and closing the door. But nope, because I roomed with the Grinch. The Grinch was mad. Always. About absolutely nothing. And boy did she let you know. She slept with a glass of water in her hand, and both nights woke up cursing and howling, shocked that there was water in her bed! This usually happened around 1 AM. No sleep for YOU, Alice!
At least I didn’t room with Mandy. God have mercy on that poor woman’s soul. Her roomie seemed incredibly laid back. Maybe they dosed her with a lot of meds. I hope so. Mandy’s completely unidentical cousin was also in the same unit. She looked apologetic a lot. We felt sorry for her. I can only imagine the family reunions.
Now why didn’t they make Mandy take her meds? Cause they can’t. They can’t force you to take anything, nor can they restrain you unless you are an imminent threat to your life or someone else’s. No, for the real stuff you gotta go to a state facility. Our hospital is a holding pen for these people – for up to six months. Yup. Six months with psychotic people who can barely be controlled. She’d already been there a few weeks when I got there. How those nurses, techs, and counselors stayed in their jobs I will never, ever know. I think I’d be shoving pills down Mandy’s throat. After tying her to some railroad tracks.
But I digress. Group meetings were completely useless since she could not stay down for more than a few seconds and was constantly interrupting then saying sorry and interrupting again. Also the Grinch was always griping about all us annoying Whos and how she was HANDICAPPED and couldn’t walk (though she’d walked into the room) and that the staff were total jerks. She couldn’t figure out why no one leaped up to help her.
At one point, the Grinch and Mandy got into a shouting match and I shamefully admit I was waiting for them to duke it out so maybe we could call the police to take them away. Also it would have been entertaining. We had little entertainment since they never let us go outside or get exercise in spite of telling us in Group that this relieved depression. No fresh air for you!
I reached my breaking point about 1 AM the morning of my release day. I was up waiting for them to change Grinch’s sheets and dose her with enough stuff to make her go back to sleep. Mandy was shouting, as usual, and I turned and yelled “MANDY! BE QUIET! I NEED TO SLEEEEEEP!” She blinked at me, shocked. “Oh, I didn’t know I was being loud!”
One of the nurses must have seen the deranged look in my eye so she sat down with me. She asked me the usual questions.
Nurse: Do you feel suicidal?
Nurse: Do you feel homicidal?
I looked right at Mandy.
Nurse: Moving on . . .
She finished her checklist and helpfully talked me down from my tree. Mandy was headed for state lockup – they’d luckily found her a spot. Maybe because the staff threatened to quit in mass? I would have. I still don’t know why they couldn’t have found her a nice padded room of her own somewhere far, far away from the rest of us. But then, her presence did tell me that there is no real escape from life. The crazies are everywhere.
So Mandy left at 4 AM the same day as my departure. Hello, Silence, my old friend. So that gave me about five or six hours of actually enjoying myself a little before being unceremoniously booted out of the ward. But I did make friends. They say in wartime, soldiers become very close. It’s the same in the crazy ward. I met one woman in particular that I still text. We and a few others laughed a lot while we were there as we talked about all the patients and their quirks. One of them pointed out:
“Hey – I just realized we’re the mean girls of the mental unit.”
Why not? You take your perks where you can. This crazy story has a happy ending. I got a pill – a teeny, tiny little pill that has been an absolute miracle. I also experienced a little bit of the old Jewish tale “It could always be worse.” I have true compassion for those with mental illness, even Mandy (when she’s far away from me) and frustration at the lack of decent care for them. I hope one day we can build more and better facilities around the country, because it’s not just a few of us out here. There are more than you know, living day to day, undercover.
It’s time for us all to be able to come out into the light.
“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
SHOW ME HOW BIG YOUR BRAVE IS!!”
- Sara Bareilles
What is brave? Is it the firefighter who rescues the child from the burning building? Is it the soldier who fights in a foreign country? Is it the policeman who takes a risk every time she responds to a call?
But it’s so much more too. Brave is anybody who has overcome adversity, who hasn’t let it turn them to the dark side, who takes one step forward every day despite chronic pain, sick children and relatives, mental anguish, abuse, or even just the stress of everyday life.
Brave is me.
I didn’t used to think this, and sometimes I still scoff at it. I’d never climb a burning building, or volunteer to fight a war, or try to bust a drug ring. When scared, I tend to run in terror, scream and shout. But then, so would many people. But all of us, deep down, have bravery. It’s just not the exciting kind found in the movies. I think Sara Bareilles says it so well in her song “Brave”.
“Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue”
Brave is the kid who goes to public school, who struggles with subjects that are hard, with teachers that are sometimes cold and harder, with fellow students who unleash cruelty at anyone who is different. Who do these things even home life gets tough as well.
Brave is the husband who goes to work everyday even when he hates his job. Who does his work even when his boss does nothing, and does his best. Who fixes his wife’s car, goes to get her prescriptions, and takes care of their children, his job, and everything else when she has to be gone. Who supports her when she cannot support herself.
Brave is the mom who recognizes when she can’t do it by herself anymore. Who risks the stigma of mental illness by admitting it. Who leaves the husband and children and goes into a scary hospital to get medicine and counseling, though it breaks her heart and her wallet to do so. Brave is the mom who writes about it on a public blog.
I am that mom.
“And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?”
When I got home from the hospital, Thing Two and I talked.
Me: I only went away so I could be a better Mom.
Thing Two: You already were.
Maybe so, because my kids sure are amazing. But now I hope to be even better. I have another chance. I’m giving it all I have.
And if I can, so can you.
“Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”
So I had a problem with my meds. Again. Let’s just say Fetzima (new depression drug that sounds like Princess Jasmine’s pal) and Xanax (no, not the Scientology god) and I are not pals.
Back to camp! I wasn’t so scared this time cause like I’d totally done it before and I was in there with a bunch of grumpy people but no one all that bad. Relaxation! No responsibility! Someone monitoring my meds so I don’t have major meltdowns at dinner parties! What could go wrong?
I went through the tedious process of getting admitted. It took so long getting admitted I started to cry but the guy talking to himself stopped long enough to go get me a kleenex box (honest to God truth). They told me I was going to be in the geriatric wing cause they were all full up everywhere else. Full moon brings out the crazies. And I was like, hey, kindly old people. No problem!
I’m an idiot.
There are a lot of rocking chairs in the geriatric wing. There are also a lot of people OFF their rockers. Really off. And not all of them were that old. There were a few like me that they were like, eh, put her here, whatevs, kindly old people. But mostly they were old. And nuts.
First person I met was Lulu (names changed to protect the looney). When they tried to get her vitals, she decided to lie on the floor and do the backstroke. Lulu was a very large old lady, and they were already short staffed with more patients being assigned all the time (one nurse basically threatened the life of whoever tried to dump another one on her without going through the proper channels, before politely introducing herself to me). Anyway, they just let her hang out on the floor most of the day. This was apparently not the first time.
But they had help! Enter Dr. Patient, who decided she would help Lulu by talking to her about how they used to know each other (no idea if this was true) and she could just stand and walk. Sadly Dr. Patient was not Jesus, so Lulu stayed on the floor, though she did add in some jazz hands to her act. Dr. Patient gave up, turned to us all and announced “Just ignore her everyone! She only wants attention.” I wanted to know where her stolen clipboard was, because I was pretty sure I was in the middle of the movie Dream Team.
I got assigned to a room with a sweet lady named Ruth. She pulled me over to whisper some important information.
“Hello, I’m Ruth. What’s your name?”
“You should know, Alice, that there are people who are not right in the head here. I don’t know what’s wrong with them.”
“Uh, mental illness?” I guessed.
“I don’t know where their brains are. You seem like a sweet girl. I like you.”
So at least my roomie was okay. And I was pretty popular. I wasn’t there fifteen minutes before another elderly lady told the staff “My roommate is violent. I want to room with her.” She pointed at me. Because clearly one look at me said I wasn’t violent. By the end of my stay this would change.
At first I felt really awkward here. All my fellow inmates were – well I’m not really sure where they were, though the bodies were taking up all the good rocking chairs. Because I concentrate on what’s most important.
I found out that they give meals to the old people last, which was odd. I mean these guys get senior discounts and everything, so shouldn’t they go first? What do I know? When we finally got to supper I was excited. I don’t know why so many of the healthy patients don’t go to supper. This is your only chance for freedom here. I had a cold corn dog, but the rest of the food during my stay was fantastic. That’s one thing I can give them. Food: A+
I found out there wasn’t a whole lot of structure here. Not even a written schedule that wasn’t followed. On the plus side, they helped you with your laundry while saying you really don’t need help with your laundry, and there were hospital beds you could move up and down. Whee. At bedtime I headed for my room and Ruth asked, “Is this where the women sleep?” Well, uh, this was where these two women slept, but whatever. Then she smiled at me pleasantly.
“Hello, I’m Ruth. What’s your name?”
My first night I had a hard time sleeping even with extra meds. I really wish I had slept that night, because that was the ONLY night I would not get interrupted.
The days sort of blurred together. I saw my shrink who is notorious for not looking or listening to people and he was sympathetic and patted me on the back and said “Hello Sunshine” while I was there and WTF did my shrink get new meds? Who cares, I liked it. He put me on a very small dose of abilify to activate the lazy meds. I tried this before, but he wanted to try it again and monitor it closer so I didn’t gain weight. I was willing to be a very fat happy person at this point. Like Santa.
I did meet another younger person I’ll call Susan. She had a walker with a cushy chair because of MS and we clicked right away. I can’t remember exactly when we started talking – it might have been around the time of the rumble. No, really. We got this new older lady who was like part Wolverine cause she bit the heads off of all the staff for losing – something. And wow did she shout about it. And shout. And shout. Oh, and if you didn’t catch it, she was in pain. PAIN!!! Not sure if she really was or not, but way to go motivating the nurses to help, lady.
She took off on her walker and another patient was in her way and I didn’t see the good part, but next thing I knew Miss Manners was on the floor howling that she’d been pushed and insisting on cops and lawyers and possibly Satan himself to punish the other patient. The other patient mentioned the “f” word and the nurses had to break it up. And here I was ready to get the popcorn.
Ruth left that day. Guess who they made my new roommate?
At night Miss Manners woke me up around 1 or 2 AM. She had wet the bed and needed new briefs. I got the nurses. I did feel some compassion for her – obviously we’ll all be there one day if we live long enough. But then I could not fall back asleep which meant it was hard for me to tell the docs how well I was sleeping. Um, well as you can with an incontinent woman?
We had some awkward times in Group after that, with both MM and her evil attacker there. Let’s just say Relaxation Therapy was a bit more difficult. Especially when the teacher shouted “GET OUT OF MY SPACE!” at me right before the lesson.
But mostly I was bored. I even went with my new normal pal Susan to the chemical dependency group because I figured I’d better know now what to do. We met with another unit. A girl tried to steal Susan’s walker by dragging it back to her unit. Twice.
But still, I got used to where I was. I started to enjoy most of the people, and the nurses were awesome. I had to stay extra time because of the weekend (no one is discharged on the weekend . . . because) and I cried a little (my shrink was like oh no, don’t cry! Really, wtf with this guy) but then I decided, hey, it’s not that bad. I can hack it with a little help from my friends.
So of course they decided to move me to another unit. Much like getting moved to the worst level of Dante’s Inferno.
To be continued . . .
The girls and I were playing with their Disney dolls and we started thinking about what came after the “Happily Ever After” stuff. You know, after the honeymoon, a few years of marriage, a few kids, a mortgage, fun stuff like that. (I’m sure even castles have mortgages). And they thought fighting dragons was tough!
The princesses of course try to be good mommies but sometimes the girls have to get out, and who better to watch the kids then the princes, right? Well we happened to install a camera, and the footage isn’t good. Observe:
Yeah, so the TV was on, and it was football, and what were they supposed to do? I mean, the kids were still alive right? Let’s take a closer look.
Oh, wow, Cinderella’s not gonna be happy about that. You know how hard it is to find slippers that shatter these days?
Yes, that’s our academic Belle’s daughter beating the tar out of Ariel’s kid. On the plus side, it was a disagreement on a book.
As usual, Rapunzel’s husband Flynn hands off his responsibility to a friend. Who is not much better. Oh, well, at least he’s not stealing the silverware again.
We’re having a lot of fun playing the Princesses of Disneyland County. What else would you like to see happen to our domestic princesses and their hubbies? Let me know in the comments below.
“Writing poetry is like making an awesome dessert. There’s a fine line between just enough sugar and diabetic coma.” – Mental Mama
I got a lot of interest in the Bad Poetry Society post, by which I mean more than three people responded! Woot! We even have two of our board positions filled. Queen: Me, Alice because I made it up and Grand Wizard: Goldfish cause she has it on her resume. Every poetry society needs a wizard. I would like to give Merbear a position as well for the inspiration, but I’ll have to let her choose. I’m thinking maybe Chief Unicorn or something. Note: As Queen of this society, I am also Chief Literary Critic which is even MORE pretentious than the most pretentious poet, so this should be great fun.
Several of you gave some awesome poetry entries. These are totally deserving of a badge, or possibly something even better like a shirt from ES’s shop!* Observe!
My dog likes to poo
I drink Mountain dew
Then I use the loo
Would you like fries with that?
-Merbear (future Chief Unicorn?)
The Queen speaks:
Merbear’s poem involves animal bodily functions, a toilet, a death defying drink, and McDonald’s. I think what she’s trying to say here is that life is poo, and then you work in food service.
I don’t like salad
But love the roughage
Kale is fine
But kind of toughage
The Queen speaks:
Ross’s poem is a passionate argument against vegetarianism, for man was not meant to eat plants because toughage.
How do I love thee?
Let me barf the ways
Your flaxen hair shines in the glow of the street lights
When we make out in the back of my Chevy
What do you mean it was my responsibility to get condoms?
The Queen speaks:
This poem is reminiscent of many of the Great Writers I was forced to read in English, like Hemingway and Faulkner, in that it is partially unintelligible yet misogynistic, and full of fantastical visuals (flaxen, glow, barf) yet based in gritty reality (condoms, bastard, Chevy).
Roses are red
Violets are blue
This poem’s so bad
I’m not even going to finish it.
The Queen Speaks:
One would call this poem “like so done before” but List of X turns it on its head by adding the irreverent “I’m not even going to finish it.” This shows he is above this stinking poetry, and should propel him to poetry fame in no time.
Mer’s dog likes to poo
that is so ewwww
I don’t like mountain dew
I think I’d like chicken broth
I’d have to think about the sloth
The Queen Speaks:
Clearly this poem is full of deep . . . meaning. It’s obvious that by referencing broth, mountain dew, sloth, and dog poo, he is referring to your average lazy American who sloths on the sofa ignoring the dog poo while eating heated Campbells soup, drinking Dew, and yelling at people on reality shows. It’s a slice of American life, like a literary Norman Rockwell. Or he’s just stoned.
Looks like we have an excellent group going for a possible Bad Poetry Slam. Now for more bad poetry tips (again feel free to add your own)
6. Forced Rhyme
Ross demonstrated the forced rhyme (roughage / toughage). It’s that word a poet is determined to fit in a poem even if it just kind of sounds like the other word, or is the same word, or is a made up word. Poetry is toughage, guys.
And one more I just thought of, that kind of goes along with twisty straw poems
7. Pretty colors, fonts, italics, wing-dings!
These always add to the poetry, especially if you also print it on a pretty meme or paper. It works for prose as well. I once had a student who printed his narrative about death and rape in blood red font. He sure made an impression on me!
Remember to continue to add your own poetry peeves and/or poetry samplings in the comments or a post of your own! I will post them for all to see! Also let me know if you want to be on the Poetry Board and what position.
* ES has no idea about his shirt give-a-way. But wouldn’t that be a nice gesture?
Yes, I know, most commercials are merely annoyances you have to wait through to get to your show. Unless you’re one of those people who knows how to work Netflix or something and then shut up cause I don’t. Anyway, every once in a while I take a break from the Internet and watch commercials. That is, watch commercials with a few minutes of actual programming (this episode of Secret Addictions, some lady puts hamsters in her mouth!) added in here and there.
So all are annoying but some are just . . . so so awful I cannot switch the remote fast enough because THERE IT IS and of course they repeat the worst ones over and over again. Why? Do they really think these commercials will make us want to buy their products? Have you ever bought anything based on a commercial? Like, say, those stupid bears talk about how the toilet paper totally doesn’t stick to their furry butts so you say “HEY, I must get toilet paper.” Whatever brand that was, because by now you’ve forgotten because you just saw cartoon bears merrily discussing bodily emissions.
I just picked ten of the worst ones I can think of off the top of my head. Get ready.
1. The Halos Oranges commercial
I actually like oranges, but this commercial makes me want to slap children. Specifically the ones who are snatching oranges away from their parents’ hands and mouthing off because these oranges are for KIDS, not parents. Well, by golly, Suzie, guess who bought those oranges? MOM. And Mom’s gonna lock you down in the basement for a little quality time with a wolverine while she eats every single one. Deal.
2. Blah blah insurance.
I hate insurance commercials. Like that one for State Farm where the guy pops in out of thin air to solve whatever problem the person has immediately? Even if it’s saving people from wild animals? If you think this insurance is so great, try calling these people when you’re being chased by a wild hyenas. They’ll get back to you, your call is very important.
Then there’s Flo. I know some people like her perky little psychotic smile, but I don’t. She is way, way too obsessed with insurance, and probably needs to be institutionalized before someone gets hurt for trying to buy State Farm instead of Progressive and call on the State Farm people to save them and she KILLS THEM ALL and wait, maybe that could end those commercials for good.
Just leave the Gecko. He’s the most tolerable, and I’m pretty sure I could smash him into the ground if he bugged me too much.
3. Lawyer commercials
Have you had bladder sling, pelvic mesh, gotten man boobies, had a child who didn’t make straight As, used any sort of medication, had any surgery, or even simply driven by a doctor’s office in the last year? Then you can sue! We’ll help by taking most of the settlement, saying it ever arrives. Also, have fun explaining to junior what pelvic mesh and E.D. mean.
4. Pill popping commercials
I am so freaking happy they let people advertise random drugs on TV, because your average viewer is totally qualified to go tell their doctors what drugs they need. No cigarette advertisements allowed except the ones with the people with voice boxes croaking about how their lives are over which will effect no one but people who don’t smoke anyway, but hey, why not advertise a product that directly says its possible side effect is DEATH while showing people merrily dancing around having fun. Try closing your eyes and listening to the side effects or just watching the commercial with no sound. One of these things is not like the other. I don’t care how happy that woman looks, she’s ten seconds away from possible cardiac arrest and explosive diarrhea.
5. Cleaning product commercials
You know what I love? How even in 2014 most cleaning product commercials not only appear during shows women supposedly watch, but they also primarily show women ecstatic about crap like a Swiffer sweeper. The only time I am excited about cleaning products is when someone else is using them. I especially love the one with the sweet old couple where the man says “I don’t clean” and grins and I want the old lady to shove the swiffer right up his . . . moving on.
6. Commercials for other “feminine” products
It’s really hard to advertise something like this without upping the gross factor. So better to show how they work by using blue liquid like they do in diaper commercials. Or simply ignoring the entire thing and showing women who are suddenly free and able to sky dive and stuff because of a certain tampon. I especially like the one where the mannequins come to life. So that’s what happened with Kim Cattrall in Mannequin!
7. That Fiat commercial
I dislike car commercials in general (sometimes it takes the entire commercial to realize a car is involved) but the latest Fiat one is the worst. Who thought employing Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer technique would be a good idea. When I see that car bounce back and forth from big to small and drive around that guys head to that quirky music I feel like I’m going to have a seizure. Thanks, Fiat.
This one does not have Mr. Crew Cut but it’s even stupider. It’s like an endlessly blinking gif, and you know how I love those.
8. Local yokel commercials
If regular commercials, designed my advertisers paid millions for their “expertise” often stink, then you can only imagine how wonderful the ones done with a home video camera and Bob “Corky” Johnson are. They often involve sickening camera angles, horrific acting, and the shameless exploitation of small children related to the owner. I mean, little Suzie says I should buy that car – who can’t trust an 8 year old eating oranges? I’m sold!
9. Political commercials
Hi, I’m Jim Everyman Esquire and I understand the needs of your average Joe. Why I once sent one of my servants to a grocery store! I love babies, animals, and wildlife unless any of these are in the way of new building projects. I think we should help the rich, who are at the mercy of the poor who demand stuff like living wages and fifteen minute breaks and birth control for their wild parties. I believe in Jesus who said follow me and carry a big automatic weapon. Oh, and by the way, my opponent, Bob Wimpwagon, is the Devil. This commercial approved by Jim Everyman Esquire.
And now I saved the worst for last.
10. Sad Puppy shelter commercials
You know the ones. The poor little dogs with those impossibly sad eyes staring at you through the bars of their cages while Sarah McLachlan plays in the background and just off screen, somebody holds a gun to the puppy’s head. What did they do to these dogs to make them so sad? Did they force them to watch that one scene in Old Yeller over and and over? And why, with all her money, doesn’t Sarah go save the puppies? She could do it. I don’t have enough room in my backyard for more than a dozen, which is over code (though you can have over a dozen children – go figure). But – for goodness sakes, don’t shoot the doggie!
Seriously, I cannot watch more than two seconds of that commercial without diving for the remote or heading for cover. Too many of these things, and I may just start buying all the drugs advertised on TV and popping them like candy.
The other day I was reading some bad poetry. In other words, like at least 80 percent of the poetry that’s out there right now. See, while there are many people who think they can write prose that can’t; there seem to be even more people who are not poets and do not know it. Prose and poetry aren’t the same. Poetry is much, much harder – if you do it right. I don’t, which I why I only write stupid poems. Thing is, I do it on purpose and other people . . . don’t.
Now there are some awesome poets out there, like Merbear for instance, and several others. Being a good poet does not disqualify you from being in the Society, though. Even good poets can be bad. All a person has to do to join is write the worst poetry they can. Or if you’re like me, just write poetry. For some ideas, I have collected a list of the most obnoxious (in my opinion) poetry faux pas.
1. Seuss-i-fying your poetry
I love Dr. Seuss. But there’s only one Dr. Seuss, and unless you are writing poetry for children, having it rhyme in a sing-song every other line sort of way makes your poetry sound juvenile no matter what your subject. For example:
I have a stalker
He is really strange
He follows me always
And has lots of mange
See? Serious topic = stalking. But I want to take that poem and add goofy drawings to it. Like Marmaduke creepily staring in someone’s window or something.
This is not to say that you can’t rhyme in a poem. One of my favorite poets, Edgar Allen Poe, does rhyme, but he has a flow to his poetry. Real rhyming poetry is every beautiful song you’ve ever heard. It has a melody. Which leads me to example two.
2. Speed-bump poetry
Poetry needs to flow. Even, actually especially, free verse poetry. Since there’s no set line length, or rhyming, it’s up to you to figure out how to make the words flow together. When reading a poem, I don’t like starting and stopping. I call it speed bumps. Each time the word doesn’t flow – there are way too many syllables, or the word somehow doesn’t fit, or the poem loses focus – I feel a bump. I’m shaken out of the reverie. An example:
She’s like the wind
Through a forest of tall tall trees
She rides the night train to Georgia
Next to Runaround Sue
Bump, Bump, BUUUUUMP
3. Emo Poetry
There’s only so much angst over that girl from high school that done did you wrong we can take. Keep it up and you’ll sound like a Taylor Swift song, and no one wants that.
4. Twisty-straw Poetry
It’s still a dumb song even when I make cute connect-the-dots pictures with it.
5. Pick a style, any style poetry
Whatever you choose to do, just stick with it. If you want Seuss, do Seuss. If you want speed-bump, throw out the speed bumps. But please don’t combine a half dozen styles in a single poem.
Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse reindeer whatever
Laughing all the way until we’re shot on sight
By that girl who’s like the wind
In the trees.
I’m sure you can name lots of other problem poetry. Let me know in the comments, or write your own bad poetry post. I’ll link to it and maybe we can make a horrible poetry book. We could call it Twilight Sexy Times Poetry Suck. It would be a bestseller for sure. Or I’ll just do it myself and rake in all the profits.
I’m also thinking of designing a badge. You know for me and my followers, or possibly just for me and all the invisible flying elves. What do you think should be the badge for a Bad Poet’s Society?
They have my house surrounded. Some of them have already infiltrated. It looks like this might be the end. But wait – there’s Indiana Jones! With that keen eye and sharp moves and cute little shell, surely I’ll be saved!
In case you didn’t pick up on it, I’m referring not to the Harrison Ford Indiana Jones, but to the turtle Indiana Jones. And the enemy surrounding me are not Nazis but crickets. Scoff all you want, these are no ordinary crickets – they are highly trained ninja crickets that torture you with this steady CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP that gets louder and louder until you get close and then bang, they vanish.
Luckily for me, Indiana is no ordinary turtle either. My husband assumed Indiana was a boy because like he can tell. So Thing Two named it Indiana Jones, cause what else would you name a turtle? Then one day I got home and Thing Two excitedly told me that Indiana Jones had laid an egg. You don’t hear that everyday. So Indiana’s a girl.
But that turtle’s no sissy. Sure she’s smaller than my shoe, but in her mind she’s like Gamera (that was a giant monster turtle in Japan – no seriously look it up). Put anything in front of her mouth and she will open those tiny freakish jaws impossibly wide and chomp. Frankly, she scares me just a little, but fascinates me at the same time. Her favorite meals are dandelions, worms (the massacre is NOT pretty but still cool), and those cherry tomatoes. She likes those so much she once mistook a little tomato shaped egg timer for one. Boy was she frustrated, and boy was I sorry I couldn’t find the camera.
But what does this have to do with the cricket scourge? One day Thing Two caught one of the crickets and dropped it in Indiana’s enclosure because I have twisted little children. Turns out, Indiana thought it was GREAT and ate it. I have new found love for this turtle, much more so than past pets like the guppies that chowed down on their babies or the hermit crab that escaped its shell and I just really don’t want to go into that one.
So this morning, after yelling pointlessly at the crickets to SHUT UP before I blew up the house just to kill them, I had an idea. You see, I’m terrified of crickets because once I was dropped in this giant vat of them. Not really. I just hate all bugs cause they’re creepy.
But Indiana’s not scared. So I sat her down by the refrigerator where the loudest noise was coming from. And for a minute that cricket shut up. Then Indy walked away. So I put her back. And she walked away again, after giving me her usual “Don’t make me bite your finger off” expression.
Still, I have hope. I’ve left her loose in the house in the hope that she will eventually get hungry and live up to her name as Indiana Jones: Adventurer and Nazi cricket eater. Let the Crusade begin.