Betty Cooper: Cartoon Bachelorette

Well, it was bound to happen. In the tradition of sitcoms that have outstayed their welcome, forcing the introduction of a cute, precocious urchin who 70% of the audience would prefer to lock in a cold, dark well along with:
  • Jar-Jar Binks
  • Perez Hilton
  • That eyeballed stack of money from the GEICO ads...
In the tradition of long-running series' that claw desperately at dream sequence episodes and will-they-or-won't-they plot devices...

Or revelations that a main character has actually been a double-agent for the last ten seasons, apparently being Evil only in their off-hours...

Or babies born in elevators during Christmas episodes right at midnight...

This summer, CNN reports that Archie Andrews of the Archie comics series is finally asking the girl of his dreams to marry him...

And it's that mean, snooty chick Veronica.

Archie, Archie... You red-headed boob. You've completely run out of ideas and this is what it's come to, eh?

Well, having been one of those girls who'd once devoured a yearly Archie Digest, every vacation, like salt water taffy, I can safely say, this boy deserves what he gets.

If he really thinks he can support Veronica in the life she's become accustomed to...

If he really thinks he can listen 24/7 to her jealous rantings...

If he really thinks he can ever provide her with enough fawning and adoration to satisfy her need for narcissistic supply, well... He's welcome to it.

By 2030, Veronica will be working on her fifth facelift and be batty as Nora Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Every Saturday night, Archie, you'll stay home and watch videos of Veronica accepting that homecoming queen trophy, or winning a beauty contest, or making the cheerleading team. Again and again. Again and again.

And you'll look back, Archie-- yes you will-- and you'll wonder how you went so far astray.

But, really, this post isn't about Veronica, and the fact she'll inherit millions when her dad dies, but then blow it all on shoes and purses. This is about kind, trusting, good-egg-if-a-bit-obsessive Betty Cooper.

And that's why I've arranged a nice selection of eligible cartoon bachelors to take Betty's mind off that fickle flame-haired waffler, Archie.

Here are my suggestions:
  • Freddie of the Scooby-Doo gang. Good-natured, intelligent, and a careful driver even when being pursued by costumed evil-doers on ziplines. Things never really got going with Daphne, and Betty's not only about the same age, but she has no history of being danger-prone. Betty also is a good student, so should be an asset for solving crimes. Plus, just think of all the little blonde children.
  • Fat Albert. Okay, I know he's not your archetypal hunk, but Albert has a lot going for himself. He's funny, he has loads of leadership qualities, and he would treat Betty right. Plus, the Cosby Kids could use a sharp female in the group. Particularly one patient enough to tolerate Rudy.
  • He-Man/Prince Adam. Betty will completely forget about that scrawny, do-nothing Archie Andrews when she lays her eyes on our friend He-Man here. Together they can fight Skeletor, and then enjoy a nice home-cooked meal afterwards-- Betty baking a nice casserole and He-Man doing Ye Royal Dishes. Greyskull could use a few homey touches, couldn't it? Plus, I am also thinking Betty might be able to encourage him away from that tragic bob haircut of his.
  • Popeye. This match-up would solve a lot of problems, not just for Betty, but for Popeye. I mean, think about it. Olive Oyl has some of the same passive aggressive qualities Veronica has. She doesn't know whether she wants Popeye or Bluto/Brutus, her moods change like the ocean wind, and she never really treats Popeye right. Betty understand this sort of behavior, having received the same sort of treatment from Archie. I'd say they're kindred spirits.
  • Snoopy. Okay, yes, yes, I know Snoopy is a dog. But let's discuss this. Snoopy has many fine qualities. He's innovative, affectionate, has a great laugh, writes novels in his spare time, and is a true patriot, having fought many World War II missions from his flying doghouse. Betty could use a good solid companion who appreciates her. So does the inter-species thing really matter that much? Really? I think not.
Well, those are my suggestions. But I'd be happy to hear yours. Right now, Betty Cooper's sobbing her eyes out over that freckled, garage band Cassanova.

Let's buck up her self-esteem a bit and get her back into the dating scene again, shall we?


Service Engine Soon and the Little Red Light of Death

"Service Engine Soon." The blood-red light hung on the dashboard with electronic foreboding.

To unknowledgable eyes, that small warning light took on a demonic, ominous presence. A chill scuttled down my spine. A vulture squawked from somewhere in the backseat. The smell of brimstone, and thick oil well-over its 3,000 mile limit, filled the air. Ravens on the roof cawed, "Nevermore. Nevermore."

And the little red light transformed from:

"Service Engine Soon"


"Abandon Hope All Ye Who Sit Thine Posterior Upon Yon Seat of the Bucket."

It was a small font.

But alas, underneath this sense of impending, ugly, unwanted destiny, the daily commute still called me.

Responsibility superceded Conflagration.

"Soon," by necessity, had to become: "Not Now, Later: After I Yell at My Fellow Drivers Per the Daily Quota."

So with one eye on the road, and one eye alert for signs of sudden spontaneous combustion and an explosion worthy of four different camera angles, I drove white-knuckled to work.

That's when I made the call to my garage. This was our conversation.

Me: I need to make an appointment to have my car serviced.

Garage: What seems to be the problem?

Me: It's asking for you. It says Service Engine Soon.

Garage: Is the car losing power?

Me: No.

Garage: Is it stalling out in traffic?

Me: Er, no...

Garage: Don't worry about it. It's probably fine.

Me: But the red light... But the Service. And the Soon.

Garage: It's been raining a lot. It could be that.

Me: What, it doesn't like getting its tires wet? Does it know these are all-weather and not Jimmy Choos'?

Garage: Or did you get gas lately?

Me: (hesitantly).... Two days ago.

I am now thinking that for two days, perhaps the gas has been bubbling up in my engine in some quiet volcanic-like inferno, waiting for its one big moment to shower a city block with steaming hot magma and Unleaded Regular.

Garage: The gas cap might be loose.

Me: Service Engine Soon is a loose gas cap?

Garage: Or a wet engine. Unless it's losing power. Or stalling. Or steaming. But it should almost probably maybe be fine. Can I help you with anything else?

Me: But the light is still on...

It was taunting me with its insidious redness and vagaries.

Me: ...And I kinda want it to be Not On.

Garage: Wait a week or so and see if it doesn't dry out and go off. Check your gas cap. It'll be fine. Thank you for calling The Explaining Automotive Non-Sequiturs Help Center.

In a week, the Service Engine Soon light vanished. Along with my copilot the vulture, and those pesky roof-ravens. The brimstone scent required an airfreshener to really get it out.

So for all you folks out there who have yet to encounter the "Service Engine Soon" light, I share with you this advice: "Don't panic." Apparently the manufacturers of today's cars like a little wiggle-room in their dashboard warnings.

In fact, I hear the 2010 models, in addition to having the "Service Engine Soon" sign, also are being installed with the following alerts:

Objects in Your Dashboard May Be Less Helpful Than They Appear.

Keep Out of Reach of Children

WARNING: Deer Collisions May Dent Car Frame. Also Deer.

May Contain Nuts.

Friends, they're looking out for us. What more could we ask?


Shelf-Awareness and Shelf-Shabotage

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Laugh at yourself because you discover you contain the brains of an academically-challenged fruit fly, and you have the makings of blog post.

Truly, it is only for We of the Grand Blogosphere that incidents of personal confusion, clumsiness, and monumental stupidity lead to-- not appropriate shame and self-loathing-- but the phrase, "Crikey-Moses, I must blog about about one!"

The setting? Saturday afternoon.

I am in my dining room, evaluating the placement of a four-foot wide, three-foot tall shelf, designed to sit on a mantle or sideboard.

It isn't heavy, as much as large and unwieldy. And having determined that it won't work properly on my fireplace mantle, I set my sights on the only other wide surface in the room.

On top of a six-foot-tall cabinet.

Note, I do not care for heights.

So I get a small ladder. (So far so good!)

Then I butt the steps right up to the cabinet. (Nice and close!)

I jiggle it a few times to ensure its grippy stairs are locked properly in place. (Safety first, donchaknow!)

Then I grab the giant shelf and begin my ascent.

Step... step... step... Almost there!

Only... erm.... not so much.

I am out of steps. I barely peer over the top of the cabinet. And as I try to lift this shelfish monstrosity up and onto its top, I realize I failed to take into account one more important thing.

Lifting requires bent arms to unbend themselves. The shelf is more than a foot wide.

I am about a foot from the cabinet. My arms are pinned.

Physics says 'no.'

I am, in fact, so close to this cabinet--- my nose taking in its lemony-fresh furniture polish scent-- that I am ever-so-slightly off-balance now. Meaning, I could try to take a step backward, off the stair I'm on, but I can't see where the step below it is, and the angle is off.

And I can't lift the shelf up because there's no room to unbend my arms, because I am physically in my own way with things like boobs and noses and chins, all of which I feel I'll need for later.

I stand there blinking, wondering exactly how I got into this position and whether I would, quite possibly, be spending the remainder of my life here.

I could get a different hand-hold on the shelf, but there's nowhere to rest it.

I try balancing it with one hand, but the shelf is too wide, and it keeps slipping.

I try jogging my hands into place, inch-by-inch, but it is wood and I am scraping off skin which-- like chins, noses and whatnot-- I think I'll need for later.

I decide, in my infinite brilliance, that I might be able to temporarily wedge the shelf between my stomach and the cabinet. In a rudimentary vise grip. You know: just so I can move my hands.

So here I am, hoping Mighty Iron Stomach (which is more like Mighty Jell-O Stomach), will support all the weight of a four-foot-by-three-foot shelf.

I apply stomach to shelf.

I let go with one hand.

The cabinet rattles and sways. I rattle and sway. The china inside the cabinet contemplates life as a mosaic.

In a moment, one side of the shelf slips. My stomach learns that splinters are like acupuncture but less therapeutic.

I catch the shelf and stop.

I stand holding the shelf for a long, long time, thinking about life and how it has come to this, me being trapped in mid-air in my dining room with only woodgrain for a view.

And that, my friends, is when I begin to scream for help.

"Heeeellp! Oh, heeeeeeelllp!"

My housemate soon heard my dire pleas for assistance and came rushing to my aid. It is not terribly easy to explain how I got into this predicament, I discover. But she's been my friend for years and recalls me hydroplaning without a car. And the time I Wile E. Coyoted off a stepladder while hanging curtains. Oh, and the time I crippled myself in Cape May.

She has seen the wonders of my overly-ambitious yet rubbish brain. Yet still hangs out with me.

That's friendship.

Only, folks, she's in the process of purchasing her own house. Meaning soon, yours truly will be left solely to her own devices with no one to call for aid.

So if there's a week I suddenly don't post? Do me a favor. Please have the cops stop by my house and check on me.

My hands may not be free to make the 911 call myself.


Doctor Who and the Retail Time Warp

Step through the threshold of department stores like Target or Wal-Mart and you find yourself transported to a time that is not your own.

When snow slicks the parking lot, frost glazes the windshields, and little kids turn into wobbling, wind-resistant cocoons with eyes-- inside these capsules of consumerism you will discover a land of bright bikinis... beach bags... charcoal grills and swizzle sticks.

Or in the steamy days of summer, when sweat runs in rivulets and the bra-straps of the populace get a good public airing-- inside the realm of retail, school supplies remind us darkly that freedom is fleeting... hairy sweaters smother standing displays... and, wait-- is that a faint jingle of sleigh bells we hear underlying the Muzak?

How is this possible?

Well, yes, of course you could say that it's corporate greed, plain and simple.

But do these manufacturing giants really believe that we will stand shivering in a changing room, swimsuit pressed against pasty-white, with the taste of Christmas fruitcake still lingering on our hips... er, lips?

Do they really believe we'll have an itch to shrug into that 100% wool sweater while the chlorine from Sandcastle Water Park still scents our skin?

I think it's proof of the existence of Doctor Who.

Yep. The way I see it, Target's mysterious seasonal shift forward is actually an unfortunate residue resulting from repeated alien invasion of the planet and resetting of the space-time continuum, to protect our human minds!...

Months of oppression under evil extra-terrestrial overlords!...

And the good Doctor, putting things right for all of us and wiping our minds clean of the terrors once more.

Ever feel like you've been working at the same stupid stuff for months, even though you know it couldn't possibly be that long?

Ever feel like you're life's at a complete stand-still, and you're going nowhere, and you don't know where your motivation went?

Well, there you go! That's the effects of Repeated Earthling Enslavement and Time-Foolery!

And while the Doctor is clearly very, very good at what he does... Unfortunately, he just hasn't figured out how to set shop inventory back to the correct season.

It's truly the only decent theory that explains why stores would believe I'd be interested in snow boots and a shovel for the Fourth of July.

Still unconvinced? Well, just you walk around your favorite department store this weekend, and see if there isn't something to this.

Resistance is futile, you know. Time for a nice big cup of hot cocoa. And pass me that gingerbread man, would you?


Today's questions: What's the most surprising off-season item you spotted in stores? And have you ever bought something totally off-season for later?

Also-- is it me, or is Christmas now starting somewhere in September? Didn't it used to be after Thanksgiving?


Ad Ki$$ers, Keyword Infesters and Other Spamiliciousness

Spammers are getting crafty. And not in a "Let's Weave Baskets Together Kumbaya" sort of way.

No, this is an "Every Day We're Devising New Methods to Force-Feed Your Quality Blog with Our Virtual Pork Snouts and Hooves and Clog its Arteries Like Those of an Obese Comedian on Big Macs and Speed" sort of way.

My patience is thinning.

The Spam's about to hit the fan.

Yep, these purveyors of processed pig parts are increasingly determined to make their messaging mine, and in any way they can. So instead of using robot messages, which get filtered out, they've found exciting new tricks to give their Spam a more individualized, hand-crafted, personalized touch.

Well, thanks for the thought, Spammers, but I don't take well to other people trying to foist crappy marketing on me, thinking I won't notice. I mean, I'm in marketing. I can add crappy content of my own, thankyouverymuch.

Yesterday, some yahoo who called himself "Phillip" decided my If Top Gear Tested Heelys Shoe Skates post-- in order to be 105% more Spamilicious-- needed the following comment:

"Sneaker Skates by Surfer being sold on ebay size 8"

Oh, really, Phillip? REALLY, PHILLIP?! My GOD, thank you for letting me know!

See, now, months after I'd posted that post which was NOT AT ALL about my need for sneaker skates unless I could get Richard Hammond to wear them, and maybe roll up and down the track for me just a little but that wasn't the point so where was I?...

Oh yes-- months later I see you, Phillip, do a Google search on "shoe skate comments" and decide to inject your little Ebay ad into the fun.

And, you know, the thing that annoyed me even more was-- it doesn't even try to be chatty!

Go take your shoe skates and enjoy a long roll off a short pier, Phillip.

Of course, this is on the heels of my battle with the Keyword Infesters.

These are businesses who-- either through bad SEO advice or by wholly uncaring intent-- have started showing up in the comments section of a blog like a cloud of locusts.

There they leave comments where their usernames are not legit business or blog names. No. They're all SEO keywords to lead to their own blogs when people do Google searches. That means, if left untouched, the comment section gets littered with commentary from "readers" like:
Good Plumbers, MA


Comfortable Socks


Electricians in Georgia


Excellent Quality Shorts

Not only is it extremely irritating to be used so cheaply and blatantly for keyword traffic, but it's impossible to have a rational discussion about anything with someone called Excellent Quality Shorts.

Into the bin with you all! Be gone, Ye Spammy Offenders!

And lastly, while I'm giving my blood pressure meds a nice workout, I want to talk about "Ad Ki$$ers."

People on social networking sites like BlogCatalog are probably well-familiar with these folks.

These are the people who leave you private shout messages telling you that they've "ki$$ed" your ads (meaning, purposefully clicked site sponsor ads with no intent to purchase, thus earning the blogger money but cheating advertisers) and that you should do the same for them.

These folks are the least intelligent of the bunch because they tend to neglect certain details. Like the fact that we have tracking software and can actually see they never visited the blog.

And having not visited the blog, they don't realize some of us actually don't have ads fer ki$$in'.

My response to this has been to report them. But not before I leave them a nice non-private message saying I, unlike them, will not engage in click fraud as they had requested.

Better pucker up those Ad Ki$$ing lips to smooch the rosy rear-end of the Google-meister, Spammers! Because you're going to have to do some serious sucking-up to retain your Adwords privileges.

So, there you have it. The battle is on. The eternal fight of good against evil. White hat versus black hat. Spaminator versus Spammer. Shaun of the Dead versus Umbrella Corporation--

Oh. Sorry. That's a different post.

Be careful out there, folks!

Question: What fun with spammers have you had lately?


Stalking, Constipation, Pointy, Pointy Bras and More!

Because the mighty and all-powerful Deadline Gods in BurghTown deem it that great, highly-effective creative content must, of myself, be born and born possibly last week if not two weeks prior to actual assignment, I would like to direct your attention today to some humor posts from my other blog, The Thrift Shop Romantic.

(Translation: I am freaking out and thereby have no time to write anything here that won't make me cringe later, and you guys deserve so much better, so I am I cheating a bit.)

Anyway, to my groovy male readers-- I hope you'll summon your vast testosteroney courage and click at least one of the links. Don't worry-- it's not girly humor covered in frills and causing you to sing falsetto when you finish reading. There's all sorts of good stuff like stalking and constipation, and hitting kids with shoes, and pictures of terrifying retro foods that look like they'd already been eaten once.

How can you resist?

  • Visit the Funny Farm. Farmers who Walk Like an Egyptian? Boobs that could put an eye out? Tyrone Power trying to seduce you while smoking Camels in cartoon form? 1950s Farm Journal ads had it all! Check out the madness here.

  • Gently Needling 60s Fashion with Spinnerin Knits. The 60s drug culture seems to have extended to the photography, directing and modeling in what would have otherwise been a normal knitting instruction book. See the many faces of horror, Fatal Attraction brand stalking, the need for quality mood-balancing meds, and much unavoidable chafing. Click here.

  • The Road to Regularity. Not exactly one of Bob Hope's better known "Road To" musical comedies, we take a look at this 1930s Kellogg's booklet, which apparently has all the answers to finding "The Sunny Side of Life..." And all of which seem to include alleviating constipation. C'mon, you're curiosity's piqued, isn't it? It is. No, really. You know you wanna click here.

Wednesday, things should be back to normal again here at Cabbages. Or as abnormal as it usually is, anyway. Which is all we can hope for.


Would Ya Believe... Nuts?

They have a secret life, you know: squirrels do. It's a highly-involved battle between evil greed and the common good, being fought in our backyards, our parks, along our telephone lines.

And as with other epic clashes of ideology, it absorbs much of their attention. That's why, when we humans come along, they always seem so incredibly surprised to see us.

They've gone on like this for years. And I suspect they could have sustained it for years more. Only one of them in particular has blown his cover.

See, day after day, one squirrel has stood alone, sentinel, watching, waiting... Unfortunately, it's in my driveway during the morning and evening commute.

Picture him here now:

A slim, natty little gray squirrel. And hop, hop, hop, not a care in the world-- or so it would seem...

Until this giant suburban fire-breathing creature with the round feet comes barreling down on him like that stone ball rolling after a fluffy-tailed Indiana Jones.


Instead of leaping to the side per Indy protocol, though, Harry Acorn continues on this path-- the straight path with the round-footed, steam-snorting monster in hot pursuit-- all the way down the drive and into the street.

He's missing the point of things, Harry Acorn is. And he's learned nothing from our repeated encounters.

Which got me to thinking. Any species that has managed to make it as long as squirrels have by burying their food and then going on piratical adventures to get it back cannot be as stupid as this particular squirrel.

I mean, they balance on powerlines like the Flying Wallendas. They pester us at picnics for food, leveraging their seductive fluffy-bummed cuteness. They act in major Tim Burton films.

No. See, there's more going on than meets the eye. This squirrel isn't just a squirrel.

So I did a little digging. Applied a little pressure in the right places. Leveraged a few peanut and suet-ball bribes. Even busted out the honey-roasted. Whatever it took.

And finally, I got the real 4-1-1. It confirmed what I should have suspected all along--

Harry Acorn is the squirrel version of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86.

Yes, he's got a super-secret spy job to do, in his work for his super-secret squirrel organization, and he sucks at it.

The agency? It's SCWEEK. That is, "Squirrel Covert Workers Empowering Equitable Konduct." (They took some liberties with their acronym but always seem to get distracted by hibernation when they set out to fix it.)

SCWEEK is working against the evil GNAW-- "Gathering Nuts Against Wimps." While SCWEEK's mission is to ensure there are enough nuts for everyone, GNAW has a plan for Squirreled Domination through resource hoarding.

A little like OPEC.

Agent Acorn has been hired to guard Sector Q, a major nut transport route, thus ensuring plenty for all squirrelkind.

This, coincidentally, also happens to be my driveway.

I understand from sources which only agreed to speak under anonymity that the Chief at SCWEEK is having second thoughts about putting Acorn on such an important task.

"Remember what happened to Agent MacAdamia in Honolulu?" the Chief reminded him.

"He was a terrific guy, but a dreamer with uncontrolled ADHD. And eventually, in his pursuit of a shipment of Mauna Loa dry roasted, he was flattened by a Tiny Bubbles Tour Bus.

"There wasn't enough of him left to put in a Clusters cereal box... Single-serving size.

"That could be you, Harry."

Yet I know that today when I come home from a long day of work, Agent Acorn will be there in the drive. I will head up that concrete path and he will leap miles in the air in squirrel spasms, scrambling the length of the route with trembling paws, as if for the very first time, to ultimate safety.

And I bet I know what he says to himself, breathless, each and every day.

"Missed it by that much."

But for how long, Harry Acorn? How long...?

So tell me, folks-- what does your local wildlife get up to?

Forbidden Love and Leprehchauns

We always want what we cannot have... the age-old tale. And growing up, my mother's quest toward health and familial happiness involved a distinct separation of me from all that tantalized and teased the tastebuds.

Yes, for 360 days a year, it parted me from my one ultimate and blindingly-beautiful true love....

Lucky Charms cereal.

Lucky Charms... it was the Arnold Schwartzenegger of Cheerios. A crispy oaty shape, yes.... But on steroids-- pumped up with a mouth-wateringly sweet coating and paired with a rainbow of marshmallow magic that captivated the eyes as well as the salivary glands...

It was kiddie crack.

I suppose if I had never known its power, its magnetic lure... If it had never passed my lips in quiet, stolen moments, then I never would have felt the bittersweet longing for it in its absence.

But once a year on vacation to Cape May, I was allowed to partake of the joy that was artificial flavors and colors. I could pop open that box and inhale the sweet dextrose, honeyed methylcellulose and heart-jolting corn syrup... Feast my eyes on the playful Yellow #5, warm Red #40 and soothing Blue #1.

Nirvana in a bowl! How I did adore thee!

But then, time too soon slipped through the fingers, like quarters into that claw game nobody actually wins.

And as our Dodge Family Wagon would wend its way from campground trails and skee-ball paradise, back to the bustle and traffic of north Jersey strip-mall-land... I would see the pink hearts and blue diamonds, green clovers, yellow stars and purple horseshoes melt before my tear-stained eyes for yet another year. As if they never were.

Back to the dim, gray world of Wheaties and Grape Nuts... A return to the colder place of Kix, that tasteless impostor of kid cereals, made predominantly of styrofoam and recycled cardboard boxes.

It was like being ripped back from heavenly bliss to join the cruel Earthly plane once more.

Yes, Lucky and I were too-soon parted, with only wistful memories between us. This marshmallow heart I hold today is for you, my playful Irish imp. I will keep it close to my own heart and cherish it as long as the beauty of true passion survives.

Or at least until my shirt pocket gets sticky.

So-- let's hear it, gang: what item did you love growing up that you weren't allowed to have?

(This post was inspired by JD of I Do Things So You Don't Have To's recent discussion of Quisp. Thanks for the memories, JD!)


The Beauty of Boudreaux's Butt Paste

Boudreaux's Butt Paste... Just once in my life, I would like to work on marketing a product with a name like that.

Imagine going to a family reunion or visiting relatives at the holidays.

"So, Jenn, what clients are you writing for now?"

"Boudreaux's Butt Paste."

"No, really. What clients are you writing for now?"

"Boudreaux's butt paste," I'd insist.

"Well, if you didn't want to talk about work, why don't you just say so?"

My heart fills with joy at the very thought of it.

A couple of years ago, I'd had to write a tagline for a company that manufactured tubes. Oh, sorry-- matter conveyance technology.

Do you have any idea how challenging it is to write something short, catchy and yet serious about tu-- er, matter conveyance technology?

I spent two days staring at my computer screen with the most absurd slogans running through my head. Finally, I had to write them down to get them out of my system.

"Just Tube It."

"It's Tube-tastic!"

"When Only a Tube Will Do."


"When Conveying Matter Matters."

Eventually, they decided to go without a slogan. Funny. I wonder why?

But with Boudreaux's Butt Paste, I wouldn't have to hold back at all. I mean, when you have a brand name like that, you tend to expect a certain amount of creative freedom with your marketing.

Getting to the Bottom of Your Baby's Rash

Pasting Butts since 1978

When You Think Butts, Think Boudreaux's

Superior for the Posterior

Baby's Bums for Boudreaux's

It's a whole world of possibilities! So, Boudreaux's folks, I'm here for ya! Just give the word, and I'll be happy to develop a whole Butt Paste Promo Plan!

Bottoms all over the country are crying out for your product! Plus, I bet I can come up with some alternate uses. A facial moisturizer! A hand cream! A squeaky hinge lubricant! A—

Hm. Do you think I gave away too much up front?

Call me.


Help Cabbages Get Inked!

Tomorrow's my annual adventure to the local amusement park, Kennywood. Where wooden roller coasters still clack onward... And Potato Patch fries are slathered in a delightful day-glo orange cheese that was only once vaguely acquainted with a cow.

How I love it!

But our discussion today will not entail just how many chili cheese dogs it's possible to eat before extending them in altered form to the coaster population as a whole...

Or about taking bets on how long the kid in the Garfield costume can stand 80% humidity before smothering in a pile of sweat, faux fur and chickenwire...

Or even predicting the Rorschach pattern of bruises I'll have after three rounds of jouncing around on the Exterminator. (Once I got an excellent seatbelt buckle-shaped bruise on my butt!... It kinda looked like Spongebob.)

But nope. Today, I want to talk to you about tattoos.

See, the one thing I've come to notice, as I wend my way through Kennywood's mouse-maze of ride queues, is that somehow I have come to be the only person in the entire tri-state region who isn't inked.

Grandmas sporting the barbed wire... Teens unveiling the disembodied heads of the Jonas Brothers... Hog-riders flapping Harley wings... Infants showing off that edgy Gerber logo, symbolizing their induction into those tough pre-school gangs...

Yes, one and all, they are branded with their interests... wearing their image on their sleeve. Or 48-inch waist. Or whatnot.

And then there's me.

But, see, the thing about tattoos is, they're pretty much forever. I'd want to really be certain about anything I put on myself until the end of time. I mean, I haven't even had the same shade of hair for more than six weeks sequentially...

How can I commit to something likely to hang around so much longer than that Spongebob seat buckle butt bruise?

So here's where you folks can help. If I were to get a tattoo and blend in with my fellow amusement enthusiasts, what should I choose?

Here are some of the things I was thinking about:

The Monroeville Zombies logo.

It says local. It says undead. And anyone who sees how pale I am would find it entirely believable. Plus, y'know, nobody wants to mess with someone who might, potentially, try to nibble your arm. I imagine I could get through those long concession and ride lines much quicker!

Old King Cole Slaw.

Marketing promotion meets body art! And it would end up being such a conversation piece!

Stranger: "So-- what's with the crown-wearing lettuce?"

Me: (sniff) Lettuce?! It's so clearly a cabbage! And what's with your Woody Woodpecker? I mean, he hardly had the charisma and talent of Bugs Bunny, did he?

See? I'd be destined to make all sorts of new friends!

The only drawback? Old King Cole Slaw becoming famous like this... well, he'd be likely to develop a big head. He'd be charging me for appearances here... Copping an attitude about the temperature in the crisper drawer... I don't know. I see trouble ahead.

Some Kind of Symbol I May Or May Not Know What It Means.

So often I see people with Chinese or Japanese characters, or swirls or Celtic knots, and I think it's so amazing and impressive how well-versed everyone seems to be in all these other cultures and languages.

I mean, how else could you guarantee that in Japanese it didn't say something like, "I'm an overweight, Japanese-illiterate American. Kick me"?

Now, me, unfortunately, I don't know Japanese or Chinese, or as much as I should about Celtic knots and ancient runes. So, to ensure the symbol I chose actually meant something-- even if I didn't know what it was-- I thought I would tap into the greatest, most extensive symbolic repository I knew--

The Wingdings font I have in Word.

There just seem to be so many options! I'm leaning toward one of those curlicue squigglies, or perhaps the file folder symbol. Either one of them could totally say "me."

What do you think?

Well, I'm anxious to hear your opinions. I suppose if I don't make a decision in time for tomorrow's amusement park outing, I can always save it for next year...

Sure, I'll be the only woman under 50 without a giant Tweety-bird on my boob. But good art takes time.

Hmmm... I wonder how I'd look with a cartoon sheep?....


It's Okay, He's Dead Now

The recent Michael Jackson World Fellowship and Wiener Roast has made me question my memory. To the point I'd swear I need to see a medical professional.

I mean, wasn't it just a few weeks ago that ol' M.J. was the subject of running jest, with folks murmuring about everything from his putty nose and questionable court cases, to his mighty debts and his sidekick monkey?

But now he's no longer living, the monkey and money and putty noses seem to have been washed away in a great global tidal wave of nostalgia, revisionism and OxyClean.

I could swear the same thing happened to Nixon, but without the nose jokes.

At least, not the same ones.

So before I commit myself to in-depth brain probing and prodding at the hands of our eager health care system, I decided to compile a list of folks who, upon their ultimate demise, may also become buffed and polished by the great Media Soak-and-Spin.

This way, when the tragic eventually happens, I have a published record of the prediction. And I won't have to wonder whether it isn't just time for my 37-year, 30,000 mile brain change.

Here are my suggestions.

  • Pauly Shore: This goodwill ambassador, biodome environmentalist, and distinctive comedian drew on a rich family tradition of comedy club connections. A sequel to his sleeper hit film "Pauly Shore is Dead," tentatively titled "Pauly Shore is Dead. No. Seriously" is expected to hit theaters to record-breaking crowds this fall.
  • Paris Hilton: Philanthropist and inventor who prevented millions of dogs with hip dysplasia from enduring otherwise torturous physical movement due to innovative dog-purse trend. Up for canonization as St. Paris of the Walkies.
  • Jerry Springer: This wise counselor drew together people of diverse backgrounds and views for moments of unexpected unity. He helped them find the joy and emotional release through furniture aerodynamics. He is to be posthumously nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in physics.
  • Courtney Love: This independent songstress and fashionista gave us a new look at our perceptions on makeup precision and underwear usage. She also always took the time to give reporters a few words, even if they were random and unrelated.
  • Tom Cruise: A tireless advocate for mental wellness, this landmark actor demonstrated the power of portraying the same character throughout a life-long career. He was also a strong supporter of rigorous home furnishings testing. It is believed over 1 million people may have been saved from falling through otherwise unstable sofas due to his buoyant public stance.
  • Nadya Suleman (Octo-Mom): Changed the face of motherhood forever, largely in the direction of Angelina Jolie's. Her emphasis of quantity over quality in parenting brought an entire world back to a simpler time, reminding us of fond childhood memories, such as the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe.
  • Uri Geller. This ordinary man blessed with extraordinary telekinetic abilities demonstrated that a higher power can, in fact, talk through us to create miracles. And that higher power has a whole lot to say about the straightness of spoons.

So, folks-- how do you think history will remember some of our celebrity legends? Our media darlings are popping off at an alarming rate recently-- so get your predictions in now!


Wanted: Naked Man Answering to the Name of David

O, David, where art thou? Yes, this was a poster I passed by today in a local neighborhood. The statue of Michaelangelo's David has been a real fixture for a few years, nestled in the corner of someone's yard along with a Venus de Milo.

Now, David has hightailed it out of there, leaving Venus far behind. Without much of a wardrobe, packing was easy.

Below, you can see a closeup of the request from David's original family (the only editing done here is my removal of the address and telephone info)...

Exactly how far a three-foot-tall concrete David could get on his own over the course of a busy Fourth of July weekend, remains to be discovered.

Good luck, David. I hope you find what you're looking for.

At the very least, Pittsburgh has a pretty big Italian quarter. If he gets homesick, there are plenty of places for pasta.

Shirt and shoes, though, may be required.


Henry the Eighth Goes to Counseling- Now With Sound!

Well, we're gonna give this a shot and see if it works. Yesterday, I'd meant to have the Henry the Eighth Goes to Counseling post here done for you with a little sound file of "Mrs. Harker," Ye Olde Royal Therapist. But hadn't gotten it to work in time.

So let's see if this does the trick! Just click the Play arrow on the bottom left of the graphic below...

And I know. I need therapy myself. But at least I don't put heads on pikes or eat a whole boar at one sitting.

Not anymore.


Henry the Eighth Goes to Counseling

In the last few months, I've watched both The Tudors and The Other Boleyn girl. And if there's a lesson I've learned from it (other than they sure weren't burdened by underpants), it's:

Never, Ever Go to the King's Court. You'll live longer.

I also learned a little bit about Henry the Eighth's personal problems. And that got me thinking about what the discussion would be like if our boy Henry Tudor had had the chance to talk to a psychologist regularly.

This is that conversation, as read from the perspective of Henry's Ye Olde Royal Therapist, Mrs. Harker... (If you don't want to read the transcript, you can listen to the brand new version with sound here--

Mrs. Harker: So, Henry... how's the week treated you?...

Oh... You beheaded another one, huh? Catherine Howard... Um... (hesitant, trying to sound casual) Why'd ya do that, Henry?

Stepping out on you, you say?... With her secretary? Yeah, I know. Story as old as the Bible. Or, um, HR, right?

You know, I can't help but notice, Henry... Since you've been coming to me, this seems to be the, er, second wife you've beheaded.

And, frankly, your other three marriages really didn't go all that well, either. I mean, a couple of annulments, a banishment or two... Plus, last year, didn't you behead the guy who set you up with Anne of Cleves?

Oh-- you say you'd specifically told him 'no horse-faces' on your eMonarchy personality profile?

That's strange, Henry, I'd heard Anne had a really dishy miniature portrait. Heard that was some hot stuff! I mean everyone was saying, 'Lookit the wimple on that girl!' (laughs nervously)

No, huh?... (clears throat)...

Well, I could be just talking out of my hat, Henry, but it's looking like you might have some... um... intimacy issues here.

What's that? Well, it's just you've married three wives in eight years, and beheaded two of 'em. Plus, um... you offed your brother-in-law, your match-maker, and exiled your daughter to Scotland.

Well, it's just, see... that kind of behavior keeps people at arm's length, is what I'm saying.

Yes, when you kill them and put their heads on pikes outside your window, that tends to... distance people...

Yes, I know, it's a funny angle of the human psyche.

Well, maybe we'll touch on that again later; we don't have a lot of time today.

How have you been doing with the weight loss program you were starting last time we talked?...

Ah. You did okay through Thursday, but then binged out and ate an entire boar yourself, huh?

Yes, I know, those pig knuckles are addictive! Okay, Henry, well, we all make mistakes. Just remember what we said about moderation. You can have some ham, but just don't go whole-hog on it.

Do you think the guilt about binging might not have pushed you over the edge with Cathy and the secretary?..

Well, maybe consider that and we'll discuss it next session.

Now, one more thing I wanted to touch on before we go. We'd left off last time talking about how you were worried you didn't have a legitimate male heir, and you suspected all the courtiers were talking about you behind your back, calling you 'King Floppy-Arrow.'

Now, do you still think they're saying that?

Oh... Now you think they're also calling you His Royal Hugeness? And Fatty-Fat McThroney?

See, Henry, I think you might just be projecting, here. You're feeling overweight and impotent, and as a result, you think that everyone--

What? Um, yes. I can see the heads on pikes from here... No, I don't need to see them more closely.

Aw, Henry. I'm so disappointed in you. This is exactly what I was talking about regarding the intimacy issues. Threats? Deflecting? (sigh)

Look, we're just about out of time anyway. So I want you to take this week and think about your reaction back there.

You have to love yourself first, Henry. You ponder on that and I'll see you next week...

I hope.

The Internet's All-Purpose, Completely Generic Yet Pithy Tips Post

Tips posts... Everyone loves 'em. The whole Interwebby world is out there looking for advice! But the problem with other tips posts are, they've mistakenly tailored themselves to actual subject matter--

Ha! Can you believe that? Bloggers actually taking rehashed common sense and applying it to a specific situation... Making you have to search all over the Internet Highway for the mediocre advice from complete strangers that you require!

Well, no more! Now there's the Internet's only post that gives you invaluable, completely vague and cliched tips older than your grandmother's girdle, which you can apply to virtually any situation no matter what the topic!

Relationship problems? These are your tips! Blogging questions? These are your tips! Looking to learn how to milk a miniature goat?...

We got your tips right here!

Once you read these tips, you'll return to them again and again, for all your future non-specific, pseudo-wisdom needs!

Okay, do you have your problem topic in mind? Great! Then let's go!

  • Examine the situation from the point of view of the other party/s involved. If necessary, use mirrors or analytical tools. Either change, or don't change something, depending on what you discover.
  • Remember to be true to yourself. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. Unless you really, really have to. Or take a break and try again.
  • A little time and trouble up front will be appreciated later by you, or maybe someone else.
  • Connect with others who have faced your challenges. Find a group or organization and ask questions, unless it is a mime troupe. Because that is a waste of time.
  • Substitute olive oil.
  • Take it one step at a time. Break it into parts. (Unless breaking it into parts would turn it into kindling. In which case: don't.)
  • Don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away! Remember, anything worthwhile isn't instant. This includes both coffee and karma.
  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish. Then check it off, one by one as it's completed, unless the problem includes a lack of writing utensils.
  • Believe you can. Even if you'll never, ever, ever manage it because you're such a loser.
  • Always remember, practice makes perfect. And if it doesn't, just shut up about it. No one needs to know.

There! Don't you feel more informed? More enlightened? More On The Right Path?

I knew you would! Care to share what the Internet's All-Purpose, Completely Generic Yet Pithy Tips Post has helped you solve? We'd love to hear it!