Like Belly Buttons

27 Jul

I’ve been thinking about arguments lately. Mostly I’ve been thinking about how horribly, tremendously, comically bad we are at arguing. Americans, I mean. We do so many things so well. The moon? Yeah, let’s go there. Coca Cola? Take that, communists! Adirondack chairs? Those are awesome. Then we are so magnificently, grandly, explosively bad at other things. Overstuffed camouflage furniture comes to mind. Why did that need to happen? My brother-in-law lives in The Hague. I can just about promise none of his neighbors have a camouflage recliner that holds beer, four remote controls, and a deep freeze. Although that’s probably because it’s really hard to ride a bike from Trendhopper back home with a giant microfiber marshmallow strapped to your back fender.

I did a really stupid thing last night. I read comments on a piece that my hometown news station ran about a candidate for county clerk pulling out of the race because he doesn’t want to give marriage licences to the LGBT community. One comment caught my eye because it started, “Is it just me, or…” True fact: anytime a sentence starts with that line, yes. It’s just you. I’m not excluding myself. “Is it just me, or does my kitchen look spotless?” Yup. Just me. Me and my delusions. We’re a happy family. 

One of my favorite chestnuts has always been the slippery slope fallacy. It’s like that book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. If you give a mouse a cookie, he will burn down your house, rape your dog, and steal your identity. Or something like that. I haven’t read the book in a long time. The “No REAL Christian” argument is just getting pathetic. No REAL Christian could believe that gay folks marrying each other, having equal rights, raising families, paying taxes, getting life insurance, and generally behaving like normal people could be what God wants. That then begs the question don’t we know God says being gay is wrong because God said so in the Bible and that’s the word of God? BUT if I say something like, oh, you get to believe whatever you want, but we’re talking about policy not religion, I am a sinner. Ergo, forthwith, and heretofore, I cannot POSSIBLY have a valid argument because I don’t go to church regularly/take the Lord’s name in vain/occasionally speed/insert other infraction here. AND FURTHER, you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. Ad hominem…aaaand…scene.

Irrational arguments are a thing. We all make them. But we need to keep them among friends, not when deciding policy. There’s a scene in the classic movie Legally Blonde where Holland Taylor discusses Aristotle’s maxim, “The law is reason, free from passion.” Y’all it’s hard not to get all riled up about something you believe in passionately. You should hear Himself talk about his favorite hat. I can give you 492 reason pants are evil. And while I want to tell people who rally against GMOs that they are poopy heads, I go with, “First, tell me what you mean by GMO,” because insulin is a GMO and I don’t think you want to take away a diabetic’s medicine. Or maybe you do. In which case you ARE a poopy head.

We are starting to confuse shutting down an argument with winning one. Well, that’s just my opinion. I would like that phrase stricken from our collective discourse. You didn’t make a point by saying it’s your opinion. And opinions are different than facts.

*Blue is a color. That is fact.

*Blue is the best color. That is opinion.

*Blue sports drinks are a conspiracy between Monsanto and Proctor and Gamble to get us addicted to trimonosodiumglyotholateiseum which then makes our babies autistic and is responsible for the popularity of the Kardashians. That right there is some made-up bullshit. And while it’s nice to have something to blame for the Kardashians, that’s not it. And following that up with WELL, THAT’S MY OPINION does not make it any less bullshitty.

*Navy pumps for women are declining in popularity. Global temperatures are rising. The decline in navy footwear is causing global warming. THAT’S MY OPINION. ARE YOU SAYING MY OPINION IS WRONG?? I GET TO HAVE MY OWN OPINIONS. YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

I also am really over the whole this <insert product here> is full of chemicals! It will kill you! You need something natural! You know what’s natural? Sharks, bears, poison ivy, puffer fish, nightshade, and poke berries. They can all kill you. Just because something was grown out of dirt doesn’t make it safe anymore than creating something in a lab makes it dangerous.

Opinions are not fact. Legalizing marijuana will not make us all heroin addicts. Pharmaceuticals aren’t bad because they are made in labs. Just because I once answered a math question wrong doesn’t mean I can’t do math at all. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t make it false. I don’t understand Javascript, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powering this very website right now. (I do not know if it is powering this very website right now. I just said I don’t understand Java.)

Now, you must excuse me. I’m feeling a little tired so I’m going to ingest some coffea liberica mixed with dihyrdogen monoxide and possibly a prunus persica. I have to be careful because the pit of the prunus persica contains cyanide. In fact, I better eat two before they get banned.

 

 

Yup, Still Married

26 Jun

Forget gay marriageThe past two weeks have been so amazingly crappy. And then today, my Facebook feed starts lighting up. It’s just happy in my corner of social media world. Wedding announcements are starting to pop up from my friends. I’m seeing pictures of happy couples holding up marriage licences. And you know what? I’m still married to a person of the opposite sex. Neither of us exploded this morning around 9:30 Washington time. Chuck is edging his parents’ lawn and I’m here paying bills and exercising a few basic rights. I do not see four horsemen clopping down the street, although it IS a curvy street, so maybe they just haven’t come round the bend yet. I have yet to see anyone proposing marriage to a pig or hamster. I guess “gay” really DOES mean happy.

Marriage, in my mind, is a civil rights issue. If we are all equal under the law, then we should all have an equal opportunity to marry the one person we want to annoy the rest of our lives. You might have lived with someone for 20 years, but it changes when you’re married. Mostly for better. That worse part kind of sucks. Looking into someone’s eyes and forming a legal contract that you will not bolt when you realize your Netflix queue is full of Jennifer Anniston movies or that you have married your father is a very humbling experience. As my mother reminded me this morning, it’s not for the faint of heart.

I know that many conservative leaders who don’t want big government interfering in our lives or making unnecessary expenditures will now start spending all sorts of time and money to stop these homo shenanigans like registering for china and getting life insurance policies. I’m really pissed about that part. But for right now, for right this second, I’m enjoying the celebrations.

In fact, the ruling today has actually reminded my WHY we got married in the first place. Our lives are better together than apart.

It is so ordered.

it is so ordered

My Theory Of Some Of It

18 Jun

I have this theory that if I spend a few hours a day thinking really hard, concentrating like orange juice, I can reduce the size of my butt. I figure that I’ll be expending energy with all that thinking and that it will be like exercise. Further, my theory states the fat will melt off my prodigious posterior and not, say, my delicate wrists, because I’m concentrating (like orange juice) specifically on my Buttfatt™.

Now, when I say “theory”, I mean like how your Uncle Merle has a theory about the gubment controlling the weather with contrails. I mean it in an idiomatic sense. I do not mean it scientifically. A scientific theory is different–vastly–from my grandmother’s theory that all weekend operators were bitter spinsters otherwise they wouldn’t be working the weekend. 

I also start many sentences with, “theoretically”. Like I’ll say to my beloved, “Theoretically, if you were going to poison me, where would you hide my body?” Or, “Theoretically, if a bear and a fox played rock paper scissors, would the bear always play paper and the fox always play scissors?”

Each time I use “theory” in those contexts, a scientist’s head explodes. In theory.

Here are two things I know about scientists:

  1. They don’t like girls.
  2. They hate it when you use “theory” to describe things like how you think Obama created Ebola in his bathroom lab.

Okay, so maybe only half that list is true for most scientists. The ones I know, anyway. Admittedly, I don’t know many because they tend to leave my presence when I say things like, “Have you ever wanted to mate a cockroach with a racoon?” Or, “Do you ever get really baked and play with mercury?”

In science, a theory is the interpretation of facts. Evidence is presented to support a hypothesis. It is tested and debated. It takes years, decades even. It’s not like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew wakes up, thinks, “Wow! I bet that if you bury a bunch of half-full [scientists are always optimists] paint cans in the earth, it might be bad!” Then he goes and fires off a paper to Important Science Stuff Monthly. And then everyone reads it and is all, OOOH! Yes, let’s make this the law of the land! THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS!!

No one denies the sun shines on the earth at different times. That’s because of rotation and revolution and whatnot. Guess what? That whole business is a scientific theory. JUST LIKE EVOLUTION. JUST LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE.

And? Further? The Pope doesn’t need to be a scientist (even though the argument could be made he is) to advance the theory of climate change. Christians are supposed to be stewards of the earth. Dude gets it, I’ll give him that. At the end of the day, do you really believe releasing massive amounts of carbon monoxide into the air or burying petroleum-based products in the soil won’t harm our earth? Saying that Pope Francis shouldn’t have an opinion on global warming is ridiculous. What is the line that says it’s fine for him to interfere in a decision my doctor (a scientist) and I make about my reproductive health, but not about climate change?

People make me crazy. I have a theory they do it on purpose. Excuse me now. I seem to have misplaced my tinfoil hat.

Problems Sister and Stella-Rondo Never Had

26 Mar

I would like to take this day behind the barn and dispatch with it swiftly. I had to go to the post office. TWO post offices (posts office?), in fact. The first one was to pick up a package.

See, what had happened was I wasn’t wearing pants and I was on the phone with my bank. As one does. I couldn’t get to the door in time and didn’t get my package. My lovely postman rang several times because he’s obviously been there before and knows I’m often wiping Nutella off my face before I answer the door. Now, my friend Desi was a bit stumped at this because don’t all Southern ladies have bathrobes? Well, yeah, I reckon. But that never occurred to me, honestly.  Probably because my bank was calling to verify two very legitimate charges, which I appreciated since last year I had THREE different debit cards due to security breeches. Note to self, find another bank. Anyway, I was so stunned that they were actually like monitoring stuff that all I could do was kind of freeze in place, my phone in one hand, and my precious cargo being loaded back up and taken away.

Taken away to the depths of the Mendenhall Post Office. Where it could not be found. So. That should have been a sign, BUT OH NO! Did I heed said sign? No. No, I did not. For I am an idiot of the highest caliber. For various reasons, I needed a mailbox. So I’d gotten one online at a post office location that I preferred. I printed out everything the site told me, got all my ID (strangely, no one accepts one’s belly button as proof of birth), and trekked to Southern Avenue. BIG mistake. Let me just cut to the chase. By the time I got back in my car, I had no post office box and I was in tears.

By Billy Hathorn (National Portrait Gallery, public domain.) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Me. IN TEARS.

This is why EVERYTHING at the post office should be done by machines. Machines do not tell you things like it does not have to do what the website says. Machines do not tell you, “Y’all just don’t know. Y’all don’t know how to fill out a form. Y’all can’t come in here with stuff ain’t doing you no good.” This woman was the most heinous individual I have ever encountered, and I once got stuck in a KKK rally in Brandon, Mississippi. Truth. So I went and finished my errands, got home, canceled my mailbox online, and wrote a complaint that was, as my friend Dean says, pointed yet poignant. I know USPS doesn’t care.  I know nothing will be said to this woman, and even if it were, it wouldn’t matter. Some people are just toxic.

Over the years, I interviewed many people for many jobs, most of which dealt with the public in some form. There are a few guidelines I had when interviewing candidates.

  1.  Did the person smile? You honestly have NO IDEA how many people go into an interview for a customer service job and never smile. WHY would I want you as the face of my business? FAKE IT! If you aren’t looking at me like I’m Gary Collins and you’re Miss Alabama, this ain’t working.
  2. “The customer is always right” is a phrase that will NEVER get you hired. One, the customer is rarely right. Two, it doesn’t matter. Three, put a little elbow into your answers. Don’t give me trite crap I know isn’t true. Such as
  3. “I’m a people person.” Here’s who says that. People who hate people. I’m a people person. Never said I like people. Now, unless you truly are like Frankenstein’s monster and are MADE OF PEOPLE, leave that shit at home.
  4. “I love helping people.” Go work for Red Cross. We’re here to make money. People who say they love helping people are the ones who get busted shoveling extra bras into their friends’ shopping bags.
  5. “I’d just love to play in clothes/shoes/makeup/tablecloths/small appliances all day.” This ain’t Ronald’s playground. I’m paying you to work. If you happen to like it, great, but it’s NOT play. Unless you are telling me that you play the tuba in your spare time (which you fully understand will be nonexistent if you take this job), “play” should not be used in an interview.
  6. A customer service job is not the place to take out your revenge on the world. The customer is not your enemy, no matter what you may feel, think, and what your loss prevention manager tells you. If you’re telling me nothing but horror stories about service, I’m going to start to think YOU’RE the problem.
  7. A smooth transaction can change a person’s day. This is the honest to God truth. You can be having the worst day ever. Run in your hose. Zayn left One Direction. There’s a black fly in your chardonnay. But one joke from the woman at Freds about how those select-a-size towels probably have a Napoleon complex, and it looks a lot better.
  8. A terrible transaction can change a person’s day. This is the honest to God truth. You can be having the best day ever. You don’t have to wear pants. Black Sabbath decide to play your favorite neighborhood bar. Someone gives you something besides chardonnay. But one “I don’t have to do ANYTHING the website says,” and you are suspended between hopelessness and rage to the extant you both clutch your pearls AND say screw everything, go to Taco Bell, and binge on Netflix and remorse the rest of the day. Because
  9. PEOPLE SUCK. We all suck. We’re all egotistical, shallow, self-aggrandizing assholes. You know why Ghandi was a pacifist? He never had to stand on line at the DMV. He never had a toddler who decided to eat nothing but Gummi Bears for two weeks straight only to suddenly THROW A FIT AND FALL INTO IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WINN-DIXIE because HOW DARE YOU??? Did you not intuit that three seconds ago your toddler decided to HATE Gummi Bears and now only wants hot dogs with ketchup, in a bun, but the crust taken off, served on the YELLOW PLATE while you sing “The Bing Bong Song” from Peppa Pig???!!!

I know there isn’t anything nearly as trite as complaining about a government agency, but cliches are cliches because they’ve happened enough to be cliche. People with absolutely no power anywhere else in life will always try to create a superpower at work. When there are no consequences for actions, people do what we do. We act like jerks. I did cancel my order, I did write a complaint, and I know that nothing will change because I am the only one in this situation who was inconvenienced. No one else has a stake. It’s the post office, where else am I going to go? So I go get a mail drop. Still the USPS. What the woman wanted, she got. She wanted to tell someone no. She wanted to know–or act as if she knew–more than someone else because she has absolutely no power. People who throw fits and fall in them are no different from that toddler. And when we do that, we’re telling the other person, “YOU are responsible for my behavior,” rather than taking responsibility ourselves. Unfortunately, this woman today exercised her no-power with me. I don’t show emotion with this kind of deal. I don’t get loud. In fact, I get like Alec Baldwin quiet. I speak very distinctly. I ask how we’re going to fix this. Most of the time, it works and we all move on. Today? Not so much. Not only did we not fix the problem, she didn’t get to see me get upset. So we both lost.

Also? That package was missing two items.

In short, I hate everything. But you knew that.

Sweetness And Light

6 Mar

A few days ago I told my nephew I was going to change it up a bit with the blog. I decided to write about something I loved rather than document rampant asshattery. BUT THAT SAME DAY, as if The Universe was in a particularly jokey mood, Ben Carson informed me that prison turns people gay. So. He’s pulling back a bit now because hopefully someone he loves smacked him upside the head, BUT he’s not going to address “gay issues” anymore. This presidential candidate. In 2015. Won’t be talking LGBT rights. 

Yeah.

But whatever. I don’t have time for him because I’m still busy castigating my husband because he thought that dress was white. And there’s four inches of ice and snow in my yard and we’re still in danger of waking up speaking Russian and ISIS is destroying an entire culture and someone knifed our ambassador to South Korea and some moron thought a water taxi from Mud Island to Bass Pro Pyramid was a good idea and…

There’s this polar bear.

Memphis Zoo has a daddy polar bear named Payton. He’s from the Chicago area originally and, you know, a polar bear, so he’s not so much born for Memphis weather. The zoo was closed yesterday, but posted a video of Payton hanging out in the snow. LIKE A BOSS.

Payton is named for Walter Payton, also a Chicago Bear. Much like watching his namesake on the field back in the day, Payton will give you joy. That video? Fifty-two seconds of unadulterated bliss. My goal in life is to be as content as that bear. My parents were here for a couple of days and we’ve all watched that video a million times. It’s bookmarked so when we have a crappy day, we can go straight to Payton. If reincarnation is for real, I want to come back as that polar bear at that moment. Either that or one of Martha Stewart’s chow chows. Those dogs have it made.

I’ve just been getting zen with Sweetness for a few minutes because I looked in the mirror. It was either Payton The Polar Bear or Jim Beam The Bourbon. Sweet Gussie, I’m getting old. Natural light is not my friend. Not. My. Friend. Because I don’t get out much, I have, um…I’m not…I don’t dress…I look like hammered snot all the time. Okay, are you happy? I said it. My name is Susan and I haven’t worn pants with a zipper since mid-2013. Bra? Yeah, I used to sell them. I have drawers full of them. They are full because they are not on my body. Makeup? Used to sell that too. I just threw out some Chanel eyeshadow that I know had to be at least 11 years old. It hurt my soul to do it, but one should not keep makeup as one keeps wine.

I decided a few weeks ago, as I’m looking to join the ranks of the employed before I’m legally able to draw Social Security, that I need to start getting dressed, putting on some makeup, not terrifying my husband when he comes home because I look like that girl from The Ring had a baby with Jonathan Winters. I need to start training, as it were. Now, here’s the thing. My friend Brandee used to make fun of me at lunch because after eating, I would line my lips, fill in with my base lipstick, then finish with a gloss or glaze. The process took a minute or two. Now? Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers are about the extent of my makeup wardrobe. Except for concealer. And you can pry my concealer from my cold, dead under-eye circles. I decided to do the makeup thing right and get what I wanted rather than what would make do. The foundation I got is a new formula from an old brand. I’d read good things about it and have always had luck with this particular line. So I ordered it in the color I wore the last time I bought that brand.

foundation

 As I said, I don’t get out much. But I soldiered on. I can make it work. It’s just too much drama to return it. So I did. I made it work. And I got this eyeliner that I’ve always loved. Some new mascara, because nothing breeds bacteria like old cheese and mascara. A lipstick or two. I put on my face Wednesday. And The Chuck came home and kept looking at me all

Not used to seeing me with makeup, he says. If you have known me for more than a few years, you know this is about the second to last thing anyone would ever say to me. Second to, “I think your exercise regime is too strenuous,” which is tied with, “You need to add more cheese to your diet.” I didn’t overdo the makeup, but I felt conspicuous. I felt I looked like this

sparkle

The truth was I really looked like this

realActually, now that I see the picture, I look a little washed out. But the point is, I do not look like a Vegas drag queen stripper after a bender.

And you know what? I don’t care that all anyone talked about this week was llamas and dresses and thank God Carson got off his duff and asked Mrs. Hughes The Question. You know why? I’ll tell you. We have a potential presidential candidate who believes you can convert to Gayism like you can convert a .doc to a .pdf and Alabama wants it to be okay for a Baptist not to perform a wedding ceremony for a Hindu couple. So, yes, while you read this 792 people died of toenail fungus, 201 sloths were forcibly declawed, 903,820 adult humans were denied the right to protest gravity in court, and my neighbor didn’t take his poop bag when he walked his dog.

We need a break, is what I’m saying.

Better With Llamas

26 Feb
  1. xanax for dinnerThrow Llama From The Train
  2. The Boy In The Striped Llama
  3. Llama Turner
  4. The Devil Wears Llama
  5. Sex, Lies, And Llama
  6. The Forsyte Llama
  7. Llama And Child Reunion
  8. Osama Bin Llama
  9. Wilbur Vanderllama
  10. Baby llama drama
  11. Hakuna mallama
  12. Llama Chameleon
  13. Oxford llama
  14. That’s My Llama
  15. I Remember Llama
  16. Llama, I just killed a man…
  17. Hats

 

The Ways Of Satin

19 Feb

satin

That silky, silky Satin. He will so vivid you to his lies. Satin will wrap you in luxurious sin. Satin knows. Satin doesn’t ask silly questions. Satin understands.  We all know wedded gays will take you down the path to Satin. In satin. It’s like a never-ending spiral of silkiness.  According to a site called Charismanews.com, Bell, a pastor, talked to Oprah about his new book co-written with his wife Kristen, The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage, about his feeling that Christianity is–commence pearl-clutching–evolving:

Explaining to Oprah why they included “gay marriage” in their book, Rob said, “One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness. Loneliness is not good for the world. Whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural and healthy to want someone to go through life with. It’s central to our humanity. We want someone to go on the journey with.”

The site continues with, “…what the Bells want to do is take God’s very specific, beautiful blueprint, and radically redesign it in the name of ‘love.'”

DOUBLE PEARL CLUTCH!!!

How DARE Christians redesign a social construct to fit with a modern definition of another social construct??!!

GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATIN! I CAST THEE OUT AND RENOUNCE ALL MY SATIN DRAWERS FOR ALL-COTTON BECAUSE LET’S FACE IT, THEY’RE MORE COMFORTABLE ANYWAY!

Just for kicks and giggles, read what this site has to say about the Franklin, Tennessee megachurch pastor Stan Mitchell who decided to take that whole love thy neighbor thing seriously and “allow” them gays to hold offices in the church and marry their homo selves there too.

Mitchell told his congregation—a congregation that includes superstar singer-songwriter Carrie Underwood—that practicing homosexuals can be card-carrying members of his Bible-believing protestant church and can even hold their gay weddings in the sanctuary.

Forget gay marriageNow, here’s where Pastor Stan (You know he makes them call him that. You know it.) and I part company. If you are a practicing homosexual, you’ve got no business being married. Until you turn pro, you just can’t make that kind of commitment. Practice makes perfect. Also? I want to see these membership cards. Is there a secret handshake? I love a secret handshake.

But that’s not the point. The point is DO NOT FALL FOR SATIN’S TRICKS OR YOU WILL SOON BE MARRYING A HOMOSEXICAL!