Friday, June 24, 2011

The Short Cut

It was like something Lucy Ricardo would have done.

Before kids, Dave and I played a lot of squash at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. We typically played in the evening, and the courts on the 7th floor of the distinguished historic building were pretty busy when we got there. We usually played in Court 4.

As you can see, to get to Court 4 we would have to leave the elevator, go through a door, down a short hallway and through another door into the squash court hall (see the dotted orange line on the architectural schematic I obtained from the engineering staff of the M.A.C.)

Although the courts were hopping when we started, there was never anyone around when we finished playing. So, understandably, we would take the shortcut to the elevator through the Mens' room (along the dotted green line).

You know where I’m going with this. It had to happen.

One night I opened the door to my short cut and there was a man using the urinal. He looked over his shoulder at me and I said something very intelligent like, “Oops… hi… shortcut…… elevator … sorry”.  I nearly ran over Dave as I bolted down the orange path back to the elevator. "HURRY," I shouted.

It took me about 9 seconds of waiting in front of the elevator when I realized that the urinating guy (let's call him Pete) was probably going to leave the Mens' room and catch me red-handed (make that red-faced) in front of the elevator!

“Crap!  I’m taking the stairs,” I hollered over my shoulder to Dave, as I bounded for stairwell completely unnerved.

I ran down one flight, getting out on the 6th floor. I stood in front of the elevators and analyzed the situation. Pete was probably going to leave the 7th floor via the elevator.   I’d decided it would be best to wait about 3-4 minutes before pushing the elevator button.

So I stood still motionless, listening for the elevator to go down the shaft. 

I hardly noticed the din. 

Then some guy came up to me and said hi. He was wearing a towel, which was more than some of the other guys were wearing.  (Well, maybe they didn't look exactly like this but you get the point.)

I was right smack in the middle of the Mens' Locker Room. How had I forgotten that the Mens' Locker Room was on the 6th floor?

I turned around and ran down 6 flights of stairs.

I was doubled over in laughter by the time I got to the lobby. I found Dave and pulled him out a side door of the building. I could hardly get the words out I was laughing so hard. “You will NOT BELIEVE what I just did!” 

“I heard.”

Apparently it took a while for Dave to get the elevator after I bolted- - long enough for Pete to join him. The elevator stopped on 7 and a couple other guys got on. They were talking about some woman wandering around the Mens' locker room in a trance.

“A redhead in sweat pants?” asked Pete.
“Yep," said one of the guys."How'd you know?"
“She just walked in on me in the 8th floor john!” Pete reported.
“Weird.  She must have been stoned,” the other guy concluded.

"Or mentally ill", added Dave helpfully.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Accidental Pageant

One of the fundamental guidelines for my blog is that I can't be mean.  I only make fun of people who don't read my blog.

Miss South Carolina, please don't read this blog.

On Sunday night I accidentally watched the Miss U.S.A. pageant. I didn't mean to. I know this is no excuse, but I was drinking wine. I turned on the TV after the baseball game, and the pageant was on.

I tried to make myself change the channel.  Oh, how I tried. But I couldn't bring myself to do it.

There were 12 Barbie Dolls remaining in the competition when I started watching it. I caught the end of the swim suit competition. 


Things have changed since the last time I'd seen a beauty pageant.  Viewers could score the contestants using their smart phones. So while the Barbies were walking down the runway, real-time viewer ratings appeared on the screen, like a stock market ticker going up and down...up and down....up and down, until settling on a score. It was fascinating.
And then there were the play by play commentators (let's call them Gigi and Fifi). I’m assuming Gigi and Fifi were former beauty queens from several decades past. And their diplomacy left a bit to be desired.

OMG- look at that gown! The top half is okay but the bottom half looks like an 80s prom dress. And she's such a beautiful girl. What was she thinking?” Gigi asked, shaking her head.
“Well, Gigi, I’m not sure the audience agrees with you," observed Fifi. "The viewers gave her a 9.8!”  

Honestly.  It was more entertaining than an episode of Jerry Springer.

Again, Miss South Carolina, if you are reading this blog stop here. I think you're wanted on the phone.

Do you remember that 2007 Miss Teen South Carolina interview disaster that became viral on YouTube? The one that made a laughing stock out of South Carolina? ("I personally believe ...such as people don't have, such as South Africa...and should help the Iraq....blah-blah-blah")

Don't worry. It wasn't that bad for South Carolina on Sunday.  

Not quite.

Sunday night's pageant included videos of the 8 semi-finalists "so the judges and viewers can get to know them better". They were prerecorded (which would suggest that contestants could have put some thought into their responses).

Videos of 7 of the contestants included comments like:
  • “I volunteer 80 hours a week helping homeless disabled veterans learn how to read” or
  • “My mother died of breast cancer when I was 14 so I grew up fast and understand the importance of responsibility”
Here's what Miss South Carolina said in her video: “I think it’s important that people have hope. I mean, just the other day I told someone, ‘I like your earrings’ and she said ‘Thanks. My husband gave them to me.’ And that’s what’s important to me. Hopefulness.”

Somehow, Miss South Carolina did not make it to the final 4.  Shocking.

Now don’t get me wrong. If I were asked a question in front of 6 bazillion people in a beauty pageant, (Stop laughing!! I said IF. Bear with me here. This is hypothetical!)

If I were asked a question in front of 6 bazillion people in a beauty pageant, I would probably make Miss Teen South Carolina sound like a Rhodes scholar.

“Mary Louise, what do you think is the biggest problem facing the educational system today?”
“Um… could you repeat the question?”
“Certainly. What do you think is the biggest problem facing the educational system today?”
“Can I phone a friend?”
“No. I repeat: What do you think is the biggest problem facing the educational system today?”
“Um. There’s this show called Glee and I never made cheer leading and, such as my home ec teacher could smell my periods. Final answer.”

And based on what I learned last night, I might add.

"I like your earrings"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Overly Sensitive

Now that I think about it, my 7th grade Home Economics teacher was a bit like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She was one of those adults who was a bit too perfect....and impossible to unnerve.

She taught me and the other 7th grade girls in my class at Edward Town Junior High how to measure flour (don’t pack it) and brown sugar (pack it). We also learned how to use the water displacement method to measure shortening.  By the end of the semester made our own biscuits, which were nearly edible.

Mrs. Foster also taught us about physical hygiene.

Let me describe Mrs. Foster. She had brown curly hair, excellent posture, and red lipstick. And she had the nose of a bloodhound.

It was early in the semester, when she dropped the bomb.
"I know when you have your periods."

I looked at my friend Nancy and shrugged my shoulders. What the heck? Does she have a hidden camera in the bathroom?

"I can smell it on you."

I sat up straighter in my seat (demonstrating my excellent lady-like posture).

Then she slowly walked around the room, stopping in front of each of us, inhaling deeply and seemingly savoring our hygienes (or lack thereof). It was amazing to watch as she was attempting to distinguish between the numerous adolescent scents: sweat, dirty hair, too much perfume, bad breath and MENSTRUATION).

Please forgive me as I take a short detour into nerd world.  What Mrs. Foster was able to do with her nose was the equivalent of a multivariate discriminate analysis confounded by a high degree of multicollinearity between the adolescent scents!

And her R-squared was nearly 100!

Mrs. Foster didn't actually announce if someone had her period. She was subtle.  Her perfectly lipsticked mouth would turn up ever so slightly and she would give an imperceptible nod. The poor menstruating girl would look to the floor in shame.

By the time she got to me I was so scared, I didn't even know if I had my period.

I was waiting for her to tell me.

Mrs. Foster stood above me, closed her eyes and inhaled. She paused for a minute, looked at me with furrowed eyebrows and took another deep breath.

My heart was racing.  

Finally, she shook her head and moved on.

I think she may have been thrown off by my Wine Rack.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Barbie Doll Experiment

It wasn’t the Barbie doll itself that was unusual. It was what she was wearing on her feet. Rollerblade Barbie was wearing rollerblades that shot out sparks when she skated. 

In fact they had a flint on the bottom that looked remarkably like a cigarette lighter. That’s what prompted me to call Mattel’s 1-800 number in the summer of 1991.

“I'm calling about the Rollerblade Barbie my 3-year old daughter got for her birthday.”
“Yes, is there a problem with her Rollerblade Barbie?”
“Barbie’s rollerblades shoot sparks when she skates.”
“They’re supposed to shoot sparks. She's Rollerblade Barbie.”
“And the rollerblades look like a cigarette lighter.”
“That’s because they have a flint. That's what makes Barbie's rollerblades shoot sparks!”
“Isn't Mattel concerned that Barbie's rollerblades might teach kids how to use lighters?"
“If you would like, I can send you a pair of rollerblades that don’t make sparks.”

I decided to take the Barbie rollerblades to work, where over the years they have made an outstanding conversation piece.  Whenever I needed an example of a bad marketing idea, I'd pull out my Barbie rollerblades and get on my nerdling soapbox. “Can you believe they actually SOLD these to children? They look like a damn cigarette lighter!”

Come to turn out, they were also a fire hazard.  About 15 years ago, Dave Barry discovered that if you sprayed men’s underwear with hairspray and rolled Rollerblade Barbie across it, the underwear will ignite. (In fact, he successfully demonstrated this trick on David Letterman.)

I often wondered if my Barbie rollerblades could start a fire.  So I decided to replicate the experiment. 

First I had to find a Barbie.

At one time we had dozens of Barbie’s in my house. Where had they gone? Had they gotten wind of my experiment and made a stealthy escape? I finally found one hidden under about 39 Beanie Babies in the attic.

“Gotcha!”  The rollerblades fit perfectly.

Now all I needed was some underwear.

Dave refused to donate a pair of underwear to the cause. Linda wouldn't cough up any and I'm way to shy to use mine.  So I decided to use an old training bra. 

Linda and I set up our experiment in the driveway.  We sprayed the bra with hairspray and raced Barbie over it, again and again.  Sparks, but no flames.

We tried all kinds of angles and impressive Barbie gymnastic moves.

We decided to pull out all the stops and add our secret ingredient: dryer lint.


I was beginning to feel like Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

Then we completely abandoned Barbie and raced the skates directly on the bra (sans high heeled feet).

Hey! Somebody give me back my skates!", Barbie pouted pathetically.   

"Shut up or you're going to be my next toothpick holder", I threatened.

Gradually the skates lost their spark.  I suspect all those years of my office demonstrations contributed to their demise.

But wait a minute.  I had an epiphany.  Barbie is the antithesis of women's lib.  She would never burn a bra.


So we burned it for her.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yet Another Nerdling Potty Blog

I know I'm taking a risk.  You are probably sick to death of Nerdling potty blogs, considering that I've written about the PooTrap (twice) and the GoGirl, not to mention The Stadium Gal (the catheter contraption with the collection device that straps to your calf).

But I can't resist. When I discover something this good, I have to share it with my readers.  It's my journalistic responsibility.

You're welcome.

I must tell you about a website dedicated to "selling soft cuddly toys that elegantly integrate form and function in a playful and disarming manner". 

It should be noted that Pee & Poo  is brought to you by the same country that developed the Nosefrida: Sweden.  (You may wonder how I discovered Don't ask.)

According to their website, "the idea of creating cuddly toys on the subject of pee and poo is not only truly unique, both historically and now, it's also neutral, and therefore widely applicable and acceptable, with regard to age, gender and nationality."


I don't know about you, but I'd be worried that playing with Pee & Poo might encourage a kid to play with...well...pee and poo.

In addition to the stuffed Pee & Poo dolls, they sell Pee &  Poo stationary. Just think!  You can write a letter to Grandma and when you're done, you can seal it with a pee or a poo sticker. 

Or both, if you're feeing especially generous! ("Spread the love and send the letter the old fashioned way with the Pee & Poo letter set.")

The best thing is that they have Pee &  Poo e-cards. I sent a couple to myself.  But they never came.  Don't worry, I took a screen shot:

(It's hard to read but the message says, "To the Nerdling: Happy Peeing and Pooing!".)

Sadly, they're sold out of the Pee & Poo tattoos. I really wanted to decorate myself with the traditional Pee & Poo, Pee & Poo skulls, or the classic sailor tattoos with Pee & Poo.

And check out the Pee & Poo underpants! Not surprisingly, they have Pee on the front, and Poo on the back.

I was especially excited when I saw this on their web site: "We are currently looking for distribution in the US and Europe. If you are interested, please contact us at"

OMG!  This could be bigger than Amazon and Boeing put together.

I'm going to have to talk to Nikki Haley about an incentive package.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PooTrap: The Sequel

I can’t get that damn PooTrap out of my mind! It’s been over a month since I blogged about it, and it still haunts me!

I have so many unanswered questions.

The first being is the PooTrap better for a dog than a Doggie Diaper?  I suppose I could  have Kevin test drive both, but that would potentially blow my blogging budget.

So I asked the question in the "contact us" section of the web site. Here’s the response I got:

A: “The diaper is different from the PooTrap, the PooTrap is for your dof to poop or for dierria.”

Oh. I see, no. I guess that answers THAT. 

But I also know that dogs like to sniff each other’s butts, and wondered if having a PooTrap full of poo might exacerbate the problem. So, again, I decided to pose the question to the “PooTrap contact us experts.”

A: “You don't need to worry about if your dog comfortable with him, in our experience, we have never seen a dog will sniff others tail region with the PooTrap.

Hmmm. I guess I'll believe that when I see it. But then again, maybe dogs in Taiwan are more refined than those in South Carolina.

I had one last question.  Actually, I'm kind of embarrassed to bring this up, but occasionally Kevin drags his butt on the ground (as uncouth as it sounds).  I mean, what happens if he drags his tail when he’s got a trap full of poo?  (Wouldn’t that be a bit messy?)

A: “This is a common habit to grag his tail if something on his tail region, but the PooTrap will not be dragged because the special magnetics can help with that.”

Oh yeah?!  I’ll bet Kevin can drag a PooTrap…with or without special magnets!

All in all, I’m still not convinced that a PooTrap is the right fit for Kevin. On the other hand, I have a friend who just got a new kitten. So I posed one final question to the contact us experts.

“Does the PooTrap work for cats?”

I’ll let you know when I get their answer.

It could make a very nice kitty shower gift.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stimulating Snot

Raise your hand if you've ever used a bulb syringe. For those uninformed about this diaper bag must, it's a cross between a turkey baster and an eye dropper. It is used to get nasty noogies out of newborn noses.

There are 3 simple steps to bulb syringing: squeeze syringe, insert into nostril, release pressure on syringe. Theoretically, the nasal mucus makes its way from the baby's nostril into the blue snot warehouse.

Of course, in my house the bulb syringe process was much more complicated, involving upwards of 5 steps and 2 adults. It's been a while, but I recall a few of the steps: hide the syringe from the baby, hold the baby's head still, remove your hair from the baby's fingers, sit on the baby's hands, remove your finger from the baby's mouth. You get the point.

I recently heard about a new tool, developed by the Swedes, which accomplishes the same objective, using a rather unique approach. They have developed a tool which allows parents to suck the snot out of their infants' noses...with a straw!

Yes, introducing the Nosefrida Snot Sucker Nose Nasal Aspirator. According to their web site, it is a "15 inch clear plastic tube that extends from a nasal nozzle, allowing the parent to use their own suction to draw mucus out of their child's nose."

I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing. What is stopping the snot from making it into my mouth? (I mean, there's an easier, more direct way to eat noogies, if that's your thing.) Apparently, the Nosefrida comes with a hygiene filter that prevents mucus transfer from child to user.

Wow! Not that's cool. I wanted a Nosefrida Snot Sucker of my own. So I bought one today at BuyBuyBaby on Harbison! All I needed was a baby to test it on.

But my baby (Linda) is 16 years old now. She said, "NO WAY, MOM! See you later".

I had to find a baby. I could go to the mall! I usually see a lot of babies in the mall. I should be able to find one with a runny nose in the food court. But I was a little nervous about that hygiene filter. (It's one thing using it on my flesh and blood, but a mall baby?)

Then the light bulb went off: Plan C! I could use it on myself! Only one problem. I had no noogies. And how do you stimulate snot?

Which gets me to the topic of this blog. I've tried all day to accumulate sufficient snot in my nose. The funny things is, I blow my nose ALL DAY LONG every day. You'd think if I stopped blowing it, I'd have some accumulation, right? 


But that didn't stop me from test driving it. (As you can see, Kevin was intrigued.)

And I believe it works.

When I first got home from BuyBuyBaby with my Nosefrida I ran in the house and screamed, "Dave!  Guess what!  I'm testing the most disgusting product ever!"

I gave him the box to see for himself.

"What's disgusting is that you spent $17 on this."

And he's right, of course. Now that I have a Nosefrieda, I realize how easy it would be to make my own.  I could use my Silly Straw Eyeglasses. 

And it would be a lot more fun to use. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dog Gone It!

Let me set the record straight. I am no Paris Hilton. Nor am I one of “those people” who go completely overboard on their pets. I am way too frugal. In fact, it amazes me to think that there are people who would spend $49.95 on these dog sneakers. That is 7 times more than I spent on the very cute pair of Ked's I bought for myself last week on sale at Belk.

And, please! Don’t get me started on the food! It costs $19.99 for this dog bone cake mix. I mean, I can get a Duncan Hines people cake mix for about $1.50 at Food Lion. What are these people thinking?

But I put my negative attitude behind me when I went in the Wet Nose Oasis a few weeks ago. It certainly didn’t look hoity-toity from the outside. In fact, it looked very un-hoity-toity. So Kevin and I gave it a try.

It turned out that the Wet Nose Oasis is a self-service dog wash spa. But they also had a had a (reasonably priced) dog bakery counter. There were very cute dog cookies with pastel frosting that made my non-canine mouth water. And there were bins containing other scrumptious looking doggie pastries all around the store.

Look, Kevin! They have cinnamon pretzel twist doggie donuts!” I said excitedly. I picked one out of the bin. “Here you go, boy!”

I wondered if it tasted as good as it looked. Kevin sure liked it. In fact he liked it so much I had to take it away from him before there was nothing left to pay for. (Kevin wasn't happy.)

I went up to the guy at the counter. “We’ll take this,” I said, showing him the pastry.

He asked, “Did you notice how much it was?  Where’d you find it?”

“I got it over there," I said. "It’s some kind of cinnamon pretzel doggie donut.”

“Oh!  The twisted intestine. That will be 89 cents.”

The what? I dropped the... the...the twisted intestine like it was a twisted intestine or something.

And I stifled back an involuntary gag.

Oh my God, I thought. I have just been holding a twisted my hands. I wanted to turn and run from the store as fast as I could, but I remembered that Kevin had licked the twisted intestine. (And nobody wants to buy a used twisted intestine!)

Of course, I could always pay for it and leave it on the counter.

Kevin, apparently reading my mind, barked at me.

I gave the guy a dollar and picked up the disgusting fake bakery item using the receipt as a pot holder.

 Before I left the store, I asked the guy if he sold any other unusual dog treats. "Oh sure," he said. "We sell bull penises, pig ears, and ox tails, just to name a few."

Then I got a little excited, in a Nerdling kind of way. "Do you mind if I take some pictures?"

I walked out of the car completely enlightened, albeit  nauseated. I threw the twisted intestine into the back seat of my car.

Kevin and I got in the front seats. But as I drove away, he hopped in the back and started consuming the twisted intestine. I glanced back and saw pieces of twisted intestine EVERYWHERE!

“Kevin, if you leave twisted intestine crumbs in my back seat I'm going to kill you!" I threatened.

He ignored me.  As usual.

As I pulled into the driveway, I mentally prepared myself for the disgusting cleanup project. I’d have to drag the 2-ton vacuum cleaner to the garage. I'd have to find an extension cord.  I'd most certainly break into a sweat.  What a pain. I should never have stepped foot in that store.

But when I turned off the car and looked in the back seat I saw only Kevin. There was not one twisted intestine crumb to be found.

I guess Kevin found the twisted instestine finger lickin' good.