I now have this thing called a waist. I know; I had to look it up, too. Apparently, this phenomena occurs when deposits of fat suddenly disappear like Christians before Armageddon, leaving you with two curved dents between your lower ribs and hip bones. Having only observed this waist thingie from afar, I’ve always likened it to a mythical creature captured only on blurry video. A Yeti. The Lochness Monster. J.D. Salinger.
And thanks to the miracle that are high-waisted, skinny jeans – the moment I tried on my first pair, I believed in Jesus all over again – my muffin top, if not completely gone, is tucked snugly into my waistband.
A few friends have noticed my new, slimmer figure, but many have been distracted by my hair, which is growing at an alarming rate for someone who isn’t imprisoned in a tower. Combine that with my new waist, and I now have two whole things in common with Gisele Bundchen.
Yesterday, I was donning one of my standard chubby girl dresses to wear to my husband’s office cocktail party…and it was too big. Everywhere. I knew I’d lost some weight. My tees were begin to hang away from my body, rather than cling to my muffin top like cinnamon glaze. Each week, I’ve had to bore a new hole into my belt so that I don’t look like a lank-haired, wanna-be rapper, holding up my jeans with one hand as I lope down the sidewalk. That realization began what I call The Dress Frenzy. Which dresses fit me now? Which ones are too big? Which ones can I donate to Sea World? I slipped on one after the other and, at no point, did I feel like a sausage. It was like Christmas in July…mostly because it is, in fact, July.
For the past two years, my packed dress closet has been virtually ignored, with the exception of a few frocks towards the front, all of which are stretchy, Empire-waisted numbers that have each garnered me myriad versions of the question: So when are you due? When I stepped out in a coral and white, fitted, sleeveless dress last night, I felt fierce. Sasha Fierce fierce. All I needed was a wind machine and some blonde hair extensions, and I was ready to march on stage and rip Jay Z a new asshole.
At one point during the evening, one of my husband’s co-workers asked me what I was doing to lose weight. “Nothing,” I answered truthfully. Hubby and I did move ourselves – and our 17,000 books – into a new place a month ago, so I did engage in quite a bit of exercise for a few weeks, but the weight continues to creep off, pound by pound, day by day. In retrospect, I should have answered, “Cancer.” Or maybe, “Tapeworms.”
“Have you been watching what you eat?” the co-worker asked. Yes, I’ve been watching what I eat. In fact, I stare at my food quite intently as it leaves the plate, balanced on a fork, heading for my mouth. For example, this week I’ve seen beef and potatoes, macaroni and cheese, nachos, freezer pizzas, brownies and candied bacon. Last night, as I was pouring myself a glass of milk before bed, I noticed the brownies, stacked like chocolate bricks of poo in a plastic storage container in the fridge. I told myself, “I’m going to pass on that brownie,” as I closed the refrigerator door. About fifteen minutes later, I decided to make good on that promise – and I passed on that brownie. I passed it on to my stomach and it’s currently lodged somewhere in my intestinal tract.
The other night, my husband asked, “What’s that dark stuff on your face?” I figured it must have been that crappy mascara I’ve been using or maybe stray brownie crumbs.
“Where?” I asked. “Under my eyes or around my mouth?”
“Neither,” Hubby replied. “Under your cheeks.”
I rubbed both cheeks vigorously with the heels of my palms. “Is it gone?”
“Nope, it’s still there.” Hubby’s forehead furrowed with concern.
I dashed to the bathroom, curious about what could possibly cause my husband to look serious, and ogled my reflection in the mirror. After a moment, I figured out what merited Hubby’s worry. Returning to the living room, I flopped down on the sofa.
“The dark stuff is still there,” Hubby said.
“I know,” I answered. “They’re called shadows. I have cheekbones now.”
Yes, I have THREE things in common with Gisele. And one thing in common with actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, now that I think of it. No, wait. We’re all tall. FOUR things in common with the Brazilian supermodel and TWO with the best Sherlock since ever.
Granted, Gisele’s waist is tinier, her hair is lusher and longer, and her cheekbones could be used to saw all the lumber necessary to build a log cabin McMansion, but I can already see myself on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Married to a football player. Smug about an effortless beauty I did nothing to earn. Smugger about all things motherhood even though I’ve only been one for five hot minutes.
Whaaaat? Wait a sec. I hate football. I dig for my lingerie in the 70% off sale bin at Macy’s; if any of it matches, it’s by coincidence, not by design. Certainly, I don’t stand around posing in it. I’m no breeder and I don’t aspire to rank just below Gwyneth Paltrow on the Most-Out-of-Touch-Celebrity-Ever Meter. I’d rather have four things in common with John Green or Elizabeth Warren or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Harper Lee. C’mon, Tom Brady has got to be the most boring slice of white bread on earth. Just thinking about him makes me nod off.
Still…I have a waist, cheekbones and two things in common with Benedict Cumberbatch.
And, probably, not a tumor.
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A Stupid Butterfly Poem
Clipped between the window pane
and the screen,
two monarch wings
lay at wicked angles,
dusted with the world that passed
since they last beat
beat beat beat beat beat beat beat.
Against the scraping mesh.
Against the July-baked glass.
Against the sun.
I wondered how it happened,
how this fluttering wisp was trapped,
a cage on one side,
an impenetrable wall on the other.
Did its heart pound with more ferocity
than the slamming of its body –
its spindly, black legs as useless as dangling threads,
against its invisible warden.
Was it an unintended kidnapping,
or did some brute chortle,
watching the aching wings slam against the hot screen?
My disappointment in Humanity hung
thick and heavy as the humidity.
It was then that I noticed the screen
gaping away from the window.
Only inches of freedom to me, but acres to one
who fits in my palm.
– Miss Snarky Pants
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Copyright 2014 by C.C.L. and Miss Snarky Pants. All rights reserved. This is my poem. I wrote it. It is my property. Do not reproduce without my written consent or I will write a stupid poem about you and how you steal stupid poems.
First, it was women. Children. Now kittens?
Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher whose armed protesters recently forced U.S. Bureau of Land Management agents to withdraw during an attempt to herd and impound Bundy’s cattle, which are illegally grazing on federally-protected lands, has come up with a new tactic to deter future attempts by agents: newborn kittens.
Former Arizona sheriff, Richard Mack was, reportedly, the mastermind behind decision to put women on the front lines, in the event that a “rogue” federal agent opened fire at last weekend’s Bundy protest, which involved close to 1,000 people, including armed members of Operation Mutual Aid, a non-government sanctioned militia.
“We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front,” Mack told Fox News. “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”*
“If they’re going to start killing people,” Mack told radio host, Ben Swann, “I’m sorry, but to show the world how ruthless these people are, women needed to be the first ones shot. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible. I would have put my own wife or daughters there, and I would have been screaming bloody murder to watch them die.”**
When Mack was asked if he thinks putting women on the front lines would deter federal agents in the future, he responded, “No, we’ve played that card. We’ve asked Bundy’s supporters to bring kittens next time.” He explained that the plan is to attach cameras – connected to live YouTube feeds – to the newborns’ heads. The kittens will then be placed on the front lines, with the children and women behind them. “If a rogue agent takes a shot,” Mack said, “America will be watching kitten heads explode on the Internet.”
Mack further revealed that discussions originally included: playful otters in a tank, cute pandas, baby chicks and bunny rabbits.
In a related story, Richard Mack’s wife, Barbara, hastily filed for divorce this morning in Arizona, citing “irreconcilable differences.” She is seeking sole custody of the couple’s daughters.
**Also, an actual quote.
Miss Snarky Pants is a humor and satire blog for horrible people.
Miss Snarky Pants loves kittens. You should share this post because everyone loves kittens. Or photos of kittens. Or those really short videos of kittens that repeat over and over again. I don’t know what those are called, but, sometimes, they’re funny. Anyway, share this on FB and Twitter or on all those hipster sites I’m not cool enough to know about. If people like the post, they’ll remember that it was YOU who shared it.
And you get points for that.
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FT. LEE, NJ – Copies of personal emails between Chris Christie and his former Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, were released to several media outlets today, in which the Governor directs Kelly to “f*ck [sic] with that black kid, the one from the rally,” now identified as Ft. Lee second grader, Nate Hoffman. “Plant some pot in his locker or something,” Christie directed Kelly.
Kelly’s immediate email response: “Governor, he’s eight. He doesn’t have a locker.”
“I don’t care. No calls me Christie Pisstie, anymore, and gets away with it,” Christie replied minutes later. “Aren’t his parents those D-word, organic farmers who refused to let us put a billboard on their property? F*ckin’ hippies.”
“I’m not going to stash marijuana in his [Nate Hoffman’s] desk,” Kelly wrote back, explaining that buying pot would be “illegal, and I’m just not willing to do that.”
After Christie asked Kelly what she proposed, Kelly replied that their investigation into the Hoffman family indicated that Nate is “autistic and attends a private, special needs school in the city. He can become agitated when trapped in a car or any small, enclosed space for long periods of time.”
After Kelly rejected Christie’s suggestion that “someone rig the elevator at Hoffman’s school” as too dangerous to other students, she proposed, via email, “Why don’t we just conduct a traffic study and close a few lanes of the George Washington Bridge all next week?”
Christie responded, “During the first week of school? On 9/11? I love it when you talk dirty like that. Make it happen.”
The boy’s mother, Diane Hoffman, confirmed that “some Christie thug” visited their farm and questioned her about an incident that had occurred a week prior at a Barbara Buono rally. “I explained that my son is autistic. He wasn’t shouting, Christie Pisstie; he was hollering, Kristy Pisstie, because his little sister is named Kristy and she had just wet her pants.” When the man asked if her son had a vendetta against Governor Christie, Hoffman said, ” I told him that my son thinks the President is DJ Lance Rock. Unless Chris Christie is on Yo Gabba Gabba!, he’s not on my son’s radar.”
Hoffman’s father, Marcus, who drives his son to school every morning, is “infuriated” that the Governor would exact this kind of revenge upon a young, innocent child – all because of perceived name-calling. “Nate screamed for nearly three hours straight that morning,” he said. “Three hours in a Prius. My right ear has been ringing non-stop since September 11th.”
In an ironic twist, the Hoffmans decided to keep their son home until the lane closures ended, so Christie’s target “got the week off of school, and spent most of his free time watching Nickelodeon and playing games on his Xbox,” while thousands of drivers were forced to sit in traffic for hours each day, and local emergency services were severely impacted.
In response to the release of these emails, Governor Christie issued a statement, which reads, in part, “I’m thrilled that the Hoffmans have confirmed what I’ve been saying all along: Mayor Sokolich wasn’t on my radar screen.”
While the Ft. Lee family haven’t, yet, contemplated legal action, when asked how he thought Governor Christie should be punished for his actions, Marcus Hoffman said, “I think Christie should have to spend a weekend with Nate. In a Smart car. In bumper-to-bumper traffic. Windows up, motherf*cker!”
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This is a real ad that appeared on my Facebook page today. Yes, that appears to be a turd. Specifically, the turd of someone who likes peanuts.
Upon seeing it, I immediately thought to myself, “I have to share this with my readers.” You’re probably wondering what that says about you, right about now.
Don’t say I never did anything for you.
Miss Snarky Pants
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Thanks to the across-the-board nightmare the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have been thus far, I realized there was a secondary irony in the rainbow-colored Olympic rings – one that didn’t exist until the games were held in a country that has recently restricted some of the most important aspects of the Russian LGBT people’s lives. In 2012, Russia passed legislation banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. Last year, another law forbidding homosexuality in literature and the rainbow flag symbol were passed.
What’s next? Adios, Crayolas. Ciao, prisms. Do svidaniya, unicorn shit. Sayonara, Skittles. Putin doesn’t want anyone to taste your rainbow.
More recently, the country has enacted a law prohibiting the LGBT community from holding parades in the capital city of Moscow for the next 100 years. Hold up, President Putin. Stalin called; he wants his homophobic laws back…along with the title of “Manliest Man in Moscow.”
By criminalizing the dissemination of LBGT information to minors, Putin has officially stigmatized members of the LGBT community – not just in Russia, but across the world. Moreover, this law makes it nearly impossible for gays and transgender people to hold protests on behalf of restoring these basic, human rights – because children are everywhere. The shirtless, dickless, cowboy president has, in one swift move, set human rights in Russia back at least 60 years. Pull out your crinolines and penny loafers, comrades; it’s about to get Iron-ic Curtain, in here.
While I observed the Sochi facade crumble – along with its hotels – over the last few weeks, I also realized that its failure is merely a sign of a sturdier, steel shade that has been pulled across Russia’s windows to the world. Enacted in a country notorious for its propaganda, this legislation is nothing more than a manner in which to legitimize the beliefs and acts of every homophobic hate group within Russia’s boundaries.
Hmmmm. Why does this sound so familiar? A country systematically stigmatizing a particular minority, enacting laws meant to separate that minority from the majority, blaming that minority for the country’s economic downturn, and gradually eliminating that minority’s rights – to live – altogether. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Oh, that’s it! Danka schoen.
Here we have the Russian President still in the dawn of his third term. Let’s face it – the dawn of his third and fourth, 12-year long term. When you’re a former KGB agent and sociopath, you don’t accept the legitimacy of silly things like laws that prevent you from being in charge. No, before you complete your first 8-year reign, you restructure the government so that Russian governors report to the Prime Minister, select and endorse your successor, step down, and immediately accept the title of, wait for it, Prime Minister – from your tag team member, the new President Dmitry Medvedev, who looks like what would happen if Colin Firth and James Bond made it. And enjoyed it.
Except you probably didn’t know that. Why? Because no one ever talks about former President Medvedev, who is, currently, Prime Minister Medvedev (seeing a pattern here?), unless they’re explaining Putin’s rise to power. Or how much taller he is than Medvedev. Or how Medvedev was a pawn and his presidency was a tiny, 4-year bone thrown to Russian liberals that accomplished nothing. Simply put, Dmitry Medvedev was to Russia what President John Tyler was to the United States.
Never heard of him either, have you? All you need to know is that Tyler’s opponents reportedly didn’t take him or his presidency seriously, and referred to him as “His Accidency” or “The Acting President.” He’s widely considered one of the United States’ worst Presidents. So don’t expect to see Firth onscreen, wearing one of Medvedev’s characteristic, fat Windsor knots, and stuttering his way through one of the invisible, former president’s speeches anytime soon.
But back to Putin’s rise to power. After ensuring that the presidential term length law is extended from four to six years, Medvedev conveniently declines to run again so that Putin is elected President of Mother Russia in 2012 for a third, non-consecutive term. Russia’s revolving political door circulates just one leader, a cycle seemingly limited only by Putin’s lifespan. Or is it? I’d bet my Stoli-packed linen closet* that Putin had himself cloned long ago, and, somewhere in a remote, Siberian laboratory, miniature Vlads are chasing one another around a playroom. With their shirts off.
So, while I appreciated and respected President Obama’s bold decision to not send any Cabinet members to Sochi and to, instead, appoint several openly gay athletes as U.S. Delegates to the Olympics, I think a brighter, louder message representing our antipathy for Russia’s homophobic stance would have been a change of costume – you know, rainbow-colored uniforms. We could ask Calvin Klein to design them. They could be partially-striped like a rainbow flag and —
What the f**k?
Wait, GERMANY beat us to it? The Germany? The Germany that nearly exterminated the Jews and, likely would have succeeded, had they not tried to beat the Soviet Union on its own turf. In winter. The Germany that allowed Hitler, possibly the most widely-despised man of the last century, to lead them into the heart of cruelty and evil, then abandon them – a scorched and scorned country – to pick up the pieces and apologize. To everyone.
You know, Germany. Junior. He’s that kid you picked on in school – the one who overcompensated for his father being a despised, homicidal dictator, by throwing keg parties, which everyone promptly vacated, as soon as the beer ran out and the house was trashed. Even though it wasn’t Junior’s fault that his dad murdered your grandparents, you’ve never really forgiven him. Sure, at reunions, you dismiss any ill will. “It’s all good,” you say, but, deep down, you’re not gonna have anything to do with Junior again unless free beer is involved. Craft beer. American craft beer.
Sure, President Obama gave Putin the finger with his LGBT-loaded U.S. Delegation. And, don’t get me wrong, I felt good about that. It was like a shot of testosterone surged through my estrogen-loaded body. I walked like I had balls. Buffalo balls. I was proud of my president. Proud to be an American. Shame those balls turned out to be hemorrhoids.
But then Junior comes along and, not only shoots the Russian President a huge, colorful BIRD at the internationally-aired, opening ceremonies of the most important event of his presidency, he then sticks that rainbow-wrapped middle finger up Putin’s ass – an act not yet illegal in Russia – and demonstrates that Germany has huden so big, they make Putin’s look like a mosquito’s eyeballs.
Holy comeback, Batman!
By the way, I feel it’s only appropriate that I share with you that I am one quarter German. Both my mother and grandmother were born there.
Until today, I’ve never been really proud of that fact.
Danke schoen, Germany.
Miss Snarky Pants
*As if I’d drink Stoli. Ketel One, please…
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NEW YORK CITY (The Snarky Pants Press) – A second pop star in as many months has secretly dropped a single on iTunes today. Cry for Help, is the first single to be released from Justin Bieber’s forthcoming album, Someone Reign Me In Before I Turn Into Leif Garrett.
When asked if Def Jam decided to covertly drop Cry for Help, in part, because of the label’s recent success secretly releasing Beyonce’s album, XO, which sold nearly a half million copies within the first twenty-four hours, Bieber’s publicist responded, “No, no. The song wasn’t ready. Justin was coming off of Xanax, and – between that and all the weed he smokes – his impulse control is pretty much non-existent. We just roll with it.” In fact, a source close to the Bieber camp, confirmed that, shortly after he surrendered to Toronto authorities, after being charged with criminally assaulting a limousine driver last month, Bieber used his sole phone call to contact his label – not his lawyer – to demand that Cry for Help be released the day after the Super Bowl, or he would take “drastic action.”
When pressed as to what Bieber meant by drastic action, a source close to the Bieber camp revealed that Bieber specifically threatened to “drag race a Lamborghini with bald tires on an Atlanta highway during an ice storm – while tweaking and having sex with a Brazilian prostitute” as soon as he was released from jail, if the record label refused to comply. “Naturally, Def Jam hung up on him,” the source said. “But then they thought about it and realized they should get a single out there before Biebs really f**ks up. You know, like tattoos a swastika on his forehead. Or tweets that he’s gay. Or gets married. He could lose his entire female fan base. That marriage shit is serious.”
On condition of anonymity, another source at Def Jam further confirmed that Bieber’s label tried to convince him that no one would hear his Cry for Help if he dropped it on Monday, as most news outlets would be reporting on the Super Bowl, the depth of the hole Chris Christie has dug for himself and, now, the sad passing of theatrical genius, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Unless Bieber were to get arrested or overdose on some hard drugs, the label insisted, his Cry for Help would be heard by no one. Def Jam’s decision to release the single on Tuesday prompted Bieber to tweet: “Do I have to DIE to get DEF JAM to HEAR me?” #Beliebers.”
It is noteworthy that Bieber paid tribute to Hoffman’s life by later tweeting: “Hope #PhilipSeymourHoffman was a #Belieber so he will get 2 Heaven. RIP Luv my fans.”
Music critics haven’t been kind when it comes to Bieber’s Cry for Help. “Raw, in a way that only Lorde can pull off, and partially-slurred…,” blogged Rolling Stone’s Mark Wonder, who further described it as “[a] whining diatribe about how Bieber wants to die because no one loves him enough to say no to him. Wah, wah, wah, Justin. Suddenly, you’re the exhaustingly maudlin Bella Swan of the music industry, but you were hired to be this generation’s Britney Spears. Now snort some cocaine and practice your high notes.”
Moreover, some critics have warned listeners not to read too much into Bieber’s morose lyrics in Cry for Help. Lyrics like: I wake and bake/naked girl at my side/Dad serves breakfast in bed/A blunt three inches wide, and This is a cry for help/Do I have to scream/I am so effed up/Better switch to Beam have drawn criticism from some in the rap community who believe that Bieber is in no real danger. “He’s smoking pot, man, ” Snoop Lion told an MTV reporter. “Do you think I’d smoke 81 blunts a day if the shit could kill you? I’ll worry when he starts hanging out with Keith Richards.”
One popular, Los Angeles-based DJ, JazzyJeff261, feels that if becoming a rapper is Bieber’s goal, he should consider referring to Selena Gomez as his “bitch” or “cock pocket,” in case recent photos of him canoodling a stripper’s breast weren’t enough to make the young actress and singer feel cheap and used. “If he was truly gangsta,” JazzyJeff261 said, “he woulda tweeted that pic himself. But he ain’t no playa.”
Randy Thurman with Entertainment Weekly panned Bieber’s Cry for Help as “predictable and stale.” Singling out some of the song’s most disturbing lyrics: Sometimes I think it’s not enough/The high lasts only hours/Sometimes I wish they’d just say no/Before I’m buried beneath flowers, Thurman blogged, “We’ve seen this desperate wail for attention before, but from artists like Kurt Cobain, who experienced genuine, personal pain in order to create his music. Bieber only experiences pain if his acne shows up in a selfie.”
“Bieber’s Cry for Help proves that he’s no Leif Garrett or Andy Gibb,” wrote Vibe blogger, Hannah Creed. “Perhaps The Bieb should consider acting; with any luck, he might end up like Corey Haim.”
Stars have reached out with advice. Miley Cyrus, who recently lit up a joint while accepting a music award in Amsterdam, suggested to People’s Cara Thandry that “Biebs should shoot the video for Cry for Help totally naked on top of, like, a wrecked train. And totally f**king high. Soaring, man. Just shoot it in, like, Denver, right?” She then stuck out her tongue and offered to French kiss Thandry, who declined.
While a guest on the TODAY show this morning, Kelly Osbourne suggested that Bieber, “Lose the bloody backwards caps. Makes him look like douchebag.”
Snoop Lion was similarly disappointed in Bieber, who rose to fame as a YouTube sensation. “I told him, ‘You don’t touch anyone. That’s why you got a posse. It’s the posse’s job to rough up f**king, limousine-driving, non-Beliebers. Not you, man. You’re the golden duck, you know?” When asked what he thought of Biebers’s alleged drug problem, Lion replied, “Is he out of drugs? Oh, man, I can hook him up.”
When asked what he thought of the 19-year old Bieber testing positive for Xanax, cannabis and alcohol while operating a motor vehicle, legendary musician, Keith Richards, laughed aloud and said, “Amateur. Let me know when he uses some real f**king drugs. Tell Bieber’s dad to call Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion or whatever the f**k he calls himself now. He can hook him up.”
Though Bieber could not be reached for comment, his father, Jeremy, who assisted in blocking the Miami street his son was later arrested on for drag-racing while under the influence, has his own theories about his son’s recent escalating, erratic behavior. “It’s all about street cred. My son’s, well…you know, he’s a pretty boy. And he wants to be Eminem. But you gotta earn street cred. If you don’t go to jail, it’s because you’re a pussy. You don’t kiss a stripper’s titty while being photographed and, suddenly, you’re gay. You don’t do drugs and you’re a Jonas Brother. I’m just lettin’ him be Da Man, you know.” Asked if he thought his son had a drug problem, Jeremy Bieber laughed and said, “He was only driving 65 m.p.h. – in a Lamborghini – when he was pulled over. Hell, the pot and Xanax slowed him way down. He doesn’t have a drug problem; he has a drug solution.”
What about studies that suggest that heavy marijuana usage before the age of 23 can permanently damage the brain’s frontal lobe, affecting the user’s ability to control impulses and make well-considered decisions? “Whatever. Justin’s frontal lobe is unBeliebable, you know what I’m sayin’?” Jeremy said. “He’s more popular than Jesus Christ. How many 13-year old girls want to lose their virginity to Jesus? Not enough to afford Christ a Lamborghini, I’ll tell you that. He’s obviously making good decisions.”
Critics are complaining that Bieber’s Cry for Help lacks the distinctive boppiness that the singer is known for; however, his management team is more concerned that his recent antics are serious enough to get him banned from tween’s playlists by parents, but not serious enough to garner him the artistic respect he needs if he’s going to successfully transition from bubble gum to Big League Chew, ostensibly a better, badder bubble gum. However, if early numbers are determinative, Bieber’s Cry for Help fell on deaf ears todays – particularly with his most revered audience: tween girls, gay boys, the tone deaf, and pedophiles – selling only a few thousand copies this morning.
While a few celebrities have already suggested that Justin Bieber’s Cry for Help might be the real deal, his father dismisses these comments as “rumors and jealousy. Justin’s fine. I travel with him, everywhere. He’s 19. What do you want me to do? I buy his pot for him to make sure it’s the good stuff. Hell, I got a call in to Snoop Lion, as we speak.”
Three years ago, Justin Bieber, himself, reassured The Mirror that “I’m not worried about a Lindsay Lohan situation. You know, getting into drugs because there’s no one to ground you. I have good people around me.”
Miss Snarky Pants is a humor and satire blog. MSP does not endorse the use of marijuana – or any drugs – by minors (except as medically-prescribed), but supports decriminalizing marijuana for adult usage.
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It’s true. I’ve denied it for years, not because I was ashamed of being a hypochondriac, but because I didn’t think the word applied to me. Why? Miss Snarky Pants, with all of her books, her degrees, her 4-year reign as FCS’s Spelling Bee Champion – don’t be a hater! – never bothered to look up the friggin’ word in a dictionary. Nope, I determined its meaning from overhearing its usage in every day speech. My parents, for example, used the word a lot, and, come to think of it, slewed their eyes towards me whenever they uttered it. For all these years, I’d been operating under the delusion that a hypochondriac was a person who believed they had many illnesses, when, in fact, they did not.
Color me red when I discovered the error of my ways. The cornerstone upon which the entire foundation of who I am and what I believe was crushed when I Googled hypochondriac, only to discover that Dictionary.com defines it as “an excessive preoccupation with one’s health, usually focusing on some particular symptom, [sic] as cardiac or gastric problems.” For a moment, I thought, That’s not me. I usually think I have cancer. I’m not worried about my heart…except for when I can feel its beat pulsing in my temples, and then I’m certain I’m suffering an aneurysm. Hey, it could happen. And my gastric problems are real. You can’t fake diarrhea.
I scrolled down to the second definition: a person who worries or talks excessively about his or her health. Crap! I couldn’t deny it. My health sneaks its way into every conversation I have these days. I get asked, “How are you feeling?” more often than Taylor Swift gets asked, “Who are you
going to write a nasty song about next week dating?” For example, today while I was warning my outdoorsy neighbor about the recent mosquito-borne pathogen outbreak in Florida, she blurted out, “What the hell is dengue fever?” However, her next question was “How’s your stomach feeling?” This woman has never even used my bathroom, but she’s knows that my bowel has been distressed lately.
And yes, I’m terrified that I’m going to contract dengue fever. Why?
(1) Eight cases have been reported in Florida in the last few weeks, in two counties: Martin and Miami-Dade. Granted, I don’t live in either of those counties, but mosquitoes can fly. Fly! They aren’t constrained by the nightmarish gridlock on I-4 as families squeeze in a pre-Labor Day Disney visit. No, mosquitoes view that arterial roadway as, well, an actual artery. Moreover, the Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquito that typically carries the virus, prefers human blood to that of other mammalians. Did I mention that only the breeding females transmit the disease? Mothersuckers!
(2) I know someone who contracted dengue fever while in Central America. Obviously, the disease isn’t all that rare. His case was so severe, he prayed to God for death. And he’s an atheist.
(3) When it comes to mosquitoes, my blood is a bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Jeroboam. No, make that a FREE bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Jeroboam. Yeah, I had to Google that, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Their lust for my blood culminates almost daily in a feeding frenzy that’s convinced me that no vampire could ever resist me. Take that, Bella Swan.
(4) I’m an unlucky person. Sort of. In my mind, most of the good things that have happened to me in life resulted from hard work and perky breasts, not good fortune.
The problem is that I’m a recovering attorney, and my mind operates in a very specific way. When I assess that there is a threat within a 500 mile or so radius, I scour the Internet for evidence to support or dismiss that threat. After reading dozens of articles, blogs, Wikipedia entries, and a couple of double-blind, random, placebo-controlled studies, and determining that the threat is valid, I then begin comparing the disease’s list of symptoms with my current ailments. Dengue fever sufferers, for example, may expect fevers as high as 106 F, severe headaches, body rash, joint and muscle pain so draconian it can cause contortions, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and minor bleeding from the gums and nose.
My gums bled this morning when I brushed my teeth. My lower back is killing me and I’ve had recurrent abdominal distress for over two weeks. Someone’s tap dancing on a nerve directly behind my left eye, as I write. I could be dying. But the only doctor I’ve seen in months is my chiropractor.
Why? Because I don’t really believe I have, or am going to catch, dengue fever, but the chance exists. In law, you might call it reasonable doubt or preponderance of the evidence. If there is any reasonable doubt that I could be bitten by an infected mosquito, then I have to take the necessary precautions to make sure that neither I, nor Hubby, my family, all my FB friends, all my Twitter friends, all the friends whom I’ve actually met, the lady in front of me in the checkout line who looks like she has a weak immune system, and each and every one of my adoring blog readers, contract dengue fever. Does that make me a hypochondriac or just a concerned citizen who believes that Benjamin Franklin was correct when he wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? C’mon, he nailed the whole electricity thing. The dude had mad smart skills.
Call me a hypochondriac, but it won’t stop me from hiding indoors after dusk for the next couple of months. After all, I live in one of the warmest, wettest places in the country, and that doesn’t take into account Tampa’s strip clubs, which are a hot mess all on their own. My yard breeds mosquitoes the way those Duggars spawn children. Our 1920’s bungalow rests on bricks stacked a foot high – and, based on the bites that pepper my calves and ankles – the dark, sweltering space below it is probably the largest Aedes aegypti neonatal unit in Florida.
Today, I’ll be calling our local mosquito control center and requesting that they do a drive by drenching. Likewise, thrice-daily DEET baths, and mesh body armor after dark are probably in order. I’ve considered sending Hubby outside 5 to 10 minutes ahead of me as a decoy of sorts, but that would involve stepping over a serious moral line. One I’d readily cross (hey, his immune system has my lymph nodes mounted on wooden plaque hanging on its wall), but those pesky, little bloodsuckers won’t touch him. It’s like his mother bottle-fed him a diet of Off! mixed with Skin So Soft. I thought spouses were supposed to have each other’s backs, but mine won’t even donate a pint of blood.
Prevention is the key to beating hypochondria. If I’m not bitten by a mosquito, I won’t worry that my headache is indicative of blistering fevers and aching muscles to come. Or, if I don’t leave the house until Thanksgiving. Or if I temporarily move to Antarctica.
Plus, I have bigger concerns. Did you know that spices can carry salmonella? The FDA will be releasing a study that shows that 15% of coriander, 12% of both basil and oregano, and 4% of regular ol’ peppercorns imported to the United States are contaminated with the potentially-deadly virus. Americans are particularly at risk because we tend to add pepper to our food after it is cooked – and the heating process is what destroys the salmonella virus.
Now ask yourself, Have I sprinkled a little fresh, ground pepper to my food recently? When did the chef add that coriander to my curry? What about the basil I use in my homemade Italian vinaigrette?
Now who’s the hypochondriac?
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oh, Sheldon, stabs the meek heart
in this engineer
– Howard Wolowitz
Einstein bled physics,
Newton unlocked gravity,
Sheldon still can’t drive
– Leonard Hofstadter
Grasshopper of strength,
may your mint milk inspire words,
ones spoken aloud
– Raj Koothrappali
Howard went to space,
whining like a transmission
needing a tune-up
– Sheldon Cooper
Fuck haiku, Priya.
Come near Leonard again, bitch,
I’ll cut you like grass
Oh, Sheldon Cooper,
your chastity belt chafes raw
my unshaven loins
– Amy Farrah Fowler
Your MeMa may live,
my bearded Wesley Crusher.
Still, I scream, “Wheaton!”
– Sheldon Cooper
make space toilets work, but not
– Mrs. Gunderson (downstairs neighbor)
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The definition of wit arose in a discussion I had the other night over beer and hamburgers. As a general rule, I’m against wit when meat, cheese and hops are involved as the effort is rarely remembered the following day since the recipients of the wit are either still stewing in their cholesterol-induced brain swell or just hungover. I, personally, have yet to ponder someone’s witticism from the night before while my head is dangling over the porcelain throne, so I’m assuming no one else does either.
Truth be told, I’m rarely witty whether or not beef and Budweiser is being consumed. Why, you ask? Clearly, I’m a mammoth of intellectual funny-isms or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. The problem is that I’m slow to wit. I come up with clever epigrams approximately fifty-one minutes after the witty comment would have been appropriate. Granted, my observations are often much more adroit than the retorts made by my compatriots at the time, but they’re late. Way late. Running-out-to-the-24-hour-pharmacy-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-buy-a-pregnancy-test late. This is fine if you’re writing a column or posting on Facebook, but I suspect that my friends may wonder if I’ve hired a ghost writer exclusively for those purposes because in person, my comments often tend to invoke the nervous laughter that is only uttered when others are uncomfortable or feel obligated to do something other than stare. You know what I’m talking about. Pity laughter – the awkward chuckle often heard in funeral parlors as friends and loved ones discuss zany things the deceased used to do when they weren’t so…well, dead.
Until recently, however, I’d always thought I was witty. Like everyone, I would have, on occasion, a particularly good evening. During these rare events, droll observations would drip off my lips like drool off a St. Bernard’s muzzle. Strangers would contemplate inviting me to dinner parties in the future. I basked in the glow of my sheer cleverness. My friends, on the other hand, would shrug and finally credit the alcohol. When I was having an off night (which in reality was a typical night), I consoled myself with the knowledge that I would write something incredibly astute and hilarious at a later date. Something that would be published. Something that would one day appear in quote books or, alternatively, quote websites or quote clouds as physical books will probably be extinct by the time I’m dead – and everyone knows the most surefire way to be included in a collection of quotes is to be dead first.
But back to the other night. A typical night, I might add, made even more typical by the fact that I was dining with a woman who has more degrees than a thermometer and was educated in Britain, the Birthplace of Wit; a gay man (Oh, step off your PC soapbox – if a gay man could carry a child in the uterus he doesn’t have, he would also be the Birthplace of Wit!) and my husband, perhaps one of the funniest people on the planet. I didn’t have a chance in hell. And they were talking about France and things that are French. If I was Sarah Palin, I’d tell you that I’ve been to France. But the truth is that I had a two hour layover in the Charles de Gaulle airport on the way to London. I did buy a baguette with brie on it and some Loreal hair conditioner, but I don’t think that truly constitutes having experienced the City of Lights. Unless, as I pointed out, you’re Sarah Palin – and then you wouldn’t have to buy a sandwich or hair products. You’d just claim you could see the Eiffel Tower from your First Class seat and go back to reading your magazine, the name of which would escape you.
My gay friend lived in Paris for several years, and my uber-educated friend is one of those artsy-types with an obsession for obscure European facts. My sole comment during this portion of the conversation consisted of something like, “What do you expect? They’re French.” This is my go-to statement when chatter turns to things francais because it applies universally. Doesn’t matter if you’re discussing the French’s attitude towards their politicians’ mistresses, their penchant for smoking from the time they can sit upright in a pram, or their insistence upon putting mushrooms in absolutely everything they cook. The easiest response for one who can’t come up with something witty is to simply chime in, “What do you expect? They’re French.” Following said statement with a knowing chortle is completely optional.
Grateful as I was when the discussion turned away from French cinema, I was disturbed when it turned to the topic of wit, generating a lively debate surrounding the word’s definition. Now, I’ve always ascribed to what is generally considered to be the most common definition of the word – at least according to those silly books that collect such information, a.k.a. dictionaries – and they define wit as “the natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence.” As I have been perceiving and understanding things since I was knee-high to Tom Cruise, I was confident that I fit the bill. Hell, I possess a very expensive advanced degree and I’ve never failed a test in my life. Okay, that’s not completely true. I actually failed my first driver’s test, but I was set-up and, anyway, I totally aced the written portion. As I was saying, arbitrary tests that don’t involve operating something with a carburetor concede that I qualify as an intelligent human being. Then again, poop-throwing in chimps is considered a sign of intelligence, so the bar can’t be all that high.
Our dinner companions – my husband excluded as he does have to live with me – insisted that wit involves a timing component, and argued that if brilliance doesn’t strike as swiftly as lightning, it might as well not bother to strike at all. Granted, some dictionaries list “quickness of perception” or an ability for repartee or banter in their definitions of wit. But it’s never the first definition. It’s not the primary definition. Heck, on one website, it was subsection (d) of the third definition. Regardless, it was the meaning of choice for my friends. (And may I point out here and now that my gay friend is the same friend who once erroneously claimed that The Osmonds outsold Sonny and Cher in their heyday, so his perception is clearly warped). But, as former employer of mine used to say ad nauseum, “Perception is everything.” You can’t be witty in a vacuum. Wit requires an audience. In my case, I thought an audience of people with nothing better to do than read my meanderings was sufficient, but that evening I was informed that it was not the same. Apparently, in the Aesop fable, wit is the rabbit and the old adage of “slow and steady wins the race” doesn’t apply. My humor is the turtle and muddling along at a consistent pace just doesn’t cut it. Wit isn’t a marathon; it’s a sprint. If I can’t swiftly enunciate a zinger or amuse dinner guests with banter worthy of a Nora Ephron film, I might as well don a dunce cap and resign myself to eating Taco Bell in dark room by myself – maybe with with Carrot Top if I’m lucky. Actually, I think I’d rather eat alone. At least I’m funny on paper.
For days now, I’ve wallowed in this pit of dullard despair until someone recognized by millions as being remarkably witty – in fact, he’s paid quite a lot of money to be witty – appeared to take up my case. In a recent HBO special, comedian Ricky Gervais suggested that Oscar Wilde, the Godfather of Wit, also suffered from Dilatory Epigram Syndrome. When asked by a customs official if he had anything to declare, Wilde famously stated, “Only my intelligence.” Gervais suggested that the retort had probably occurred to Wilde sometime after an earlier encounter with a customs official. You know, one of those, “Damn! I should have said this!” moments. I know those moments well. Really well. Not on a first name basis well, but on a secret-birthmarks-that-no-one-else-knows-about well. According to Gervais, once Wilde had that moment, he stored it up and waited, crouched like a spider ready to attack. Please ask me if I’ve something to declare, he would think to himself. And finally, someone did. Wilde declared his genius. Then he died. Now he’s got entire books of quotes devoted entirely to things he allegedly said or wrote.
This may shatter many people’s perception of Wilde as the erudite dinner guest who spit out impromptu witticisms the way Americans spit out haggis into their napkins in a Scottish pub. If his initiation of a clever comment was machine gun rapid, I’ve always fantasized Wilde’s voice as luxuriously slow and languid. When he opened his mouth to speak, I imagine the guests’ forks would hover inches below their mouths because whatever choice bite was to emerge from Wilde’s lips was certainly tastier than anything on their plates. However, Gervais’ view suggests that the playwright and poet may have practiced his quips religiously in his state room, pacing the short length of the carpet reciting the verbal gems he would deliver should the appropriate question be offered. Perhaps he scribbled down all the things he wished he’d said at the previous evening’s dinner party into a little notebook, then rattled them off as soon as the opportunity arose again later in the week.
During the Victorian era, the issues of politics, English society, literature and the arts, and religion were popular topics in dining and drawing rooms all over Britain. It would have been easy for Wilde to anticipate future conversations and arm himself accordingly, loading his quips like bullets into a pistol and pulling the trigger whenever appropriate. When the subject of the Americas or politics was broached, he could rattle off, “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people,” a statement which would have signaled uproarious laughter and tittering at any Victorian table. If the topic turned to fellow playwright, critic and frequent dinner guest, George Bernard Shaw, Wilde may have been well-prepped when he slung this backhanded compliment: “Bernard Shaw is an excellent man; he has not an enemy in the world, and none of his friends like him.” In a closed society, self-described by Wilde as one in which one only “has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people…” in order to be admitted, amusing the cream of London society would have been a priority in order to ensure his continued success, both socially and financially.
So to those friends of mine whose synapses fire away quickly over appetizers, leaving the rest of us behind in a haze of smoke and clever diatribes, I say,” Erm…hold on second. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. Just give me a second. No, really. This is going to be hilarious.” Forget it, I’ll get back to you in about fifty-one minutes and when I do, prepare to die. Or maybe you’ll just blush or giggle or get a little embarrassed because I did it in print. Online. And everyone who knows me also knows who you are, so it kinda sucks for you, really. But I will do it. I’ll be witty and you’ll rue the day you ever said I wasn’t. The slow and steady spirit of Oscar Wilde inhabits me. Can I say that it’s a little uncomfortable because he was a large man? An awfully large man.
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