I am easily outwitted by vandalized Magic Eraser boxes and hip bathroom doors

You know what’s never a good sign? When you have slept so little, and your days have run together so completely, that you resort to checking your leg hair in order to figure out when you most likely last showered (and shaved, in case that connection wasn’t clear).

Also not good? Relying entirely on caffeine and sugar as a way to reanimate your pathetically worn out body. I’m like an extra from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, only scarier because I can fly and everything is pissing me off. It turns out that going to Target in this state is particularly ill advised, as you just may arrive home with both gluten-free crackers and gluten-containing bagels, a daughter who isn’t speaking to you because you were singing in the store, a clearly vandalized and empty package of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and something called a Parrot Playground when you don’t even own a parrot.

(Okay, so I didn’t buy the Parrot Playground. The Magic Eraser box really is empty, though. And I suspect that the Laffy Taffy and ice cream I loaded into the cart after putting the Parrot Playground back are the reason my left pinky toe is now locked in a painful spasm. So, in hindsight, the Parrot Playground totally would have been the smarter purchase after all.)

The moral of this story: Kangaroos are not a realistic solution to the issue of states denying the existence of vaginas and uteruses, seeing as how they actually have two vaginas and two uteruses. Who knew, right? Even worse, if we were all to transition to marsupials – which, it turns out, is a lot more complicated than just sewing on a fanny pack made of skin – men would have to make the switch, too. And what I know now, after staying up way too late last night to research kangaroo sex, is that this would completely backfire, since male marsupials have two penises and it stands to reason that double the penises would equal double the douchebaggery from impotent, old, male legislators. (And NOW I’m done harping on that. I promise.)

So now we all know I’m not a doctor. Or a veterinarian. Which, frankly, I could have told you before, since I got the notice that the website I bought my degree from went belly up and I can’t even use their discount card to get cheap haircuts anymore. But it’s okay because I’ve decided to take it upon myself to make up for my lack of formal learning through extensive amounts of internet-based self-education. In fact, the reason I’m so far behind on sleep is because I’ve spent the last two days absolutely steeped in learning. I’m so learned now, I’m shocked I don’t have a long white beard; I’m like Dumbledore with boobs. And a nervous, blinking tic that seems to have developed out of nowhere. Huh. That’s weird. Maybe more coffee will make that go away.

Anyway, it is now my pleasure to share my list of Things I Learned This Weekend:

1. Having a post go viral is very, very cool.

We broke my stat counter. It was totally wild, in the best possible way. I really appreciate the kind emails and comments; thank you. I hope that my posts continue to make you laugh, and that you’ll all keep coming back.

2. Mormons? Not fans.

Do I need to explain why?


I didn’t think so.

3. Bruce Kahn? Is a fan.

I was still licking my wounds from my first hate mail (see #2) when a message came in labelled simply, “Your blog.” I was pretty leery, but opened it anyway. This is the message it contained:

I think I laughed for a solid five minutes. It was awesome and just what I needed at the moment I needed it. Thanks to Bruce, who was kind enough to give me permission to share this here. And do check out Bruce’s site at www.brucekahn.net, especially his photos and the funny “Graphics” page.

As an aside, I deleted the hate mail because I was stunned by it, and also pretty sure it would infect my computer with evil spirits. Now I wish I’d saved it and written something obnoxiously condescending about what it means to demean people and insult their families, in the context of delivering a lecture about how we’re all supposed to live more like Christ. Lesson learned – I will henceforth save all hate mail and openly mock it here. Stay tuned.

Oh, and, as a final note? I bet you anything that Christ himself says “un-Christ-like words” when He sees people acting like total assholes in His name.

Stay doubly tuned.

4. I am years removed from being, in any way, a person who would appear in a music video.

For Father’s Day dinner we decided to check out a very edgy, modern tavern/restaurant; it had couches instead of chairs around the tables, and everyone who worked there looked like they’d just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue. They had a dizzying array of brews on tap, the wood was all glossy and dark, and the lights were low. The clientele was young and sophisticated.

I hated every second of it.

First of all, it was LOUD. Have taverns always played music so loudly? It was like having a swarm of bees trapped inside my head. If I’d had something to throw, I would have tried to take out the speakers, but this place was so ultra hip that the service sucked donkey balls and there was no silverware on the table. And it was so dark inside, I’m not sure how anyone managed to find their plates; I came to the conclusion that the lights and music had to be related, as to have music that loud under normal light would surely overwhelm our simple human senses and cause our brains to melt.

There were framed posters of “artistically” posed, half-naked people on the walls. I say “artistically” because the pictures were black and white, and not because of any inherent artistic value. When I took both kids to the bathroom and waited for them outside the stalls, I made the mistake of leaning back against the wall; when I happened to catch my reflection in the mirror, I discovered that I was framed within the massive black and white crotch of an almost entirely nude man. It was an alarmingly enormous and poorly-positioned photo, and so obviously trying to be sexy that when I was slightly repulsed by it I actually questioned my own sexuality for a second. (But only for a second, as the photo next to it was a bit more appealing.)

Right about then was when I heard Isabel’s panicked voice calling to me. The music was even louder in the bathroom than in the rest of the place, and I could barely hear her.

“What is it, Belle?”

“I can’t get out!”

The handle was rattling; it wouldn’t open.

I knocked on the door. “Isabel, turn the knob!”

“I can’t!”

“I can’t, either!” That was Aidan. His door was stuck, too.

I examined the doors. They were very glossy, steel-looking, and large – only about a foot of clearance on the bottom. Both kids were beginning to panic, yelling that they couldn’t get out and pounding on their doors. The music blared; I wanted to go hide in a quiet, dark corner and lick the walls, anything but troublehoot form-over-function locks in this torture chamber of noise and grotesque man parts.

“STAND BACK, ISABEL,” I barked, hoping she could hear me, and with all the overgrown, clog-dancing leg muscle I could muster, I kicked her door. It flew open and banged off the wall inside the stall; Isabel was wide-eyed, stunned, backed up against the toilet. “Let’s get your brother,” I said, feeling every bit an action movie star.

Taking a big step to the left, I repeated the sequence. Only this time, when my foot met metal, the metal won. The door was unmoved; shock waves of pain radiated through my leg. End movie star moment.

I couldn’t handle being in the bathroom anymore. “Aidan, crawl under the door!” I yelled, ignoring the fact that I was essentially telling my son to roll through a giant vat of dried urine. He crawled out, and we left the Rubik’s cube of doors locked, for the next person to figure out. We washed our hands and I told the kids to wipe them on their pants, because the roar of the Xcelerator super-dryer noise machine of death would have caused my brain to short circuit right then and there.

This is where it begins, I told myself. Next stop: 4 pm dinner at Denny’s. And the scary thing is? That doesn’t sound bad to me at all.

7 Responses to “I am easily outwitted by vandalized Magic Eraser boxes and hip bathroom doors”

  1. whiskypoet

    Mormons scare me. The fact that they can be so passive-aggressive and yet so evil at the same time really is a talent to avoid.

    • firstcityline

      Passive aggressive evilness is a miserable thing to be on the receiving end of. Just ask my kids. :)

      In seriousness, I probably should have been more careful not to use such a broad brush in describing my hate mail experience. I wouldn’t have brought religion into it at all, except that it was a centerpiece in the email (and also maybe because I still have strong feelings about the whole Prop 8 issue).

      But, yeah, I totally agree that there is something kind of scary about the lack of self-awareness that would lead someone to write hateful things in the name of religion.

      Thanks so much for your comment; I hope to see you again!

  2. Bruce Kahn

    Bruce Kahn is an evil, lecherous, dirty old man whose sole purpose is to lure you in with his seemingly humorous and empathetic comment while in reality hoping to personally legislate your vagina.
    Trust me.
    I’ve known him my entire life.

    • firstcityline

      See, I know that this cannot be true of my friend Bruce Kahn, because anyone who wants to legislate vaginas would NEVER actually write out the word “vagina”. We can only fight the things we don’t actually name, like in Harry Potter.

      Good to see you again, Bruce. :)

  3. Pam Nelson

    I’m loving your blog. Don’t let the hater’s win. I have never had to kick open a restroom door, and i had 3 kids and 6 grandkids, that is awesome.

    • firstcityline

      Thanks, Pam! You should take your grandkids to taverns. Just systematically go through all the local ones until you find one with impossible stall doors. Then you can kick them open and be the coolest grandma ever.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog; thanks for reading.

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