Showering at the Hobbitday Inn

Normally, I get very jazzed about hotel showers. I love the fresh towels that I have not had to personally launder... the teeny shampoo bottles... the courtesy shower gels with words like "butter" in them (they could only be better if they read "bacon," too)... and the gusty jets of water that can both massage aching, travel-worn shoulders and shoot you straight into a holiday destination several states over if you set it just right.

But I had no idea that in the last year my favorite hotel had turned into the Hobbitday Inn.

At least, as was proven by the bathroom improvements.

Oh, sure, at first glance the photo above looks like a normal shower stall. Just one of those newfangled jobbies with the detachable shower heads, so you can, I don't know, go spelunking in your personal nooks and crannies.

(Meaning, ya hesitate to touch the thing due to its lengthy and somewhat nebulous public spelunker heritage.)

But this shower head seemed to be at the default setting for the non-elf-or-human cast of Lord of the Rings. So without touching it much, I slid the shower head clamp up as high as it would go on its pole. Which at my five-foot eight, it came roughly shoulder height.

Not super for rinsing out tiny shampoo, granted, but it guaranteed me a very squeaky-clean shoulder-neckish region. Sometimes in travel, we must make concessions.

So I turned on the water. I grabbed tiny shampoo and...


A rush of water goosed me like I was a torpedo-bosomed 50s secretary at a used car salesman's convention.

I leapt sideways and turned, accusingly. The shower head looked guilty.

Also possibly like it had been drinking.

"Naughty boy," I scolded it, and moved it back up to shoulder height. I pushed the little black button on the bottom of it, to lock it in place. I stepped back in anticipation of further unruliness. It quivered slightly at my admonition, but held.

"Good." I reached down to pick up the tiny shampoo, which was circling in the water like a life raft for mini-Gilligan and...



I reeled two feet forward from the trauma of a second fixtural assault.

"Okay. We need to talk," I told the faucet head firmly.

It gushed out a shower of apologies, as these repeat offenders tend to do. And I moved the shower head up two feet once more.

The shower head stayed but looked away, turning its head with feigned guilt to the wall. The bastard.

"You've lost my trust," I said, and decided I'd better keep an eye on this bad boy. I fumbled for the tiny shampoo without taking my eyes off my assailant. I seized the bottle, and lathered the stuff through my hair. All seemed well.

Suspiciously well.

It was as I began the rinsing routine that I started to realize...

Was I getting... taller?

No, the shower head was slowly, quietly, stealthily sinking, millimeter, by millimeter, back to its lecherous agenda.

Reluctant to turn away, I bent to follow it. Soon I was crouching. Then kneeling. Down, down, down we both slid, until BUMP! I was washing my hair while sitting on the bottom of the tub.

Cleanliness is next to Hobbitness, apparently.

And it's all good unless you mind going soapy to Second Breakfast.

Easter Wreath Spelling Fail

When you're a humor blogger, sometimes the humor just comes to ewe. This photo of a metal Easter sheep door hanging was taken by me in the dollar store out by Century III mall in Pittsburgh this weekend.
"'Ewe' ready for Eastet?" our wooly friend asks.
And I think:
"Not teally, I haven't enjoyed St. Pattick's Day yet."

Proof-readers, manufacturing people, proof-readers! Embrace them. They're more than just people who condescend to you in paid hourly increments.

My Top Incongruous Yet Mysteriously Forgivable Movie Accents

They are out of place, out of time, or out of a method acting class... They're the foreign accents that infiltrate our favorite films where these accents should not go. And whether it's because it's a riveting actor or a film too fun to care, they become a part of the film's tone so much we may not even question.

These are my nominees for those films...
  • Sean Connery in the Hunt for Red October. He's a Russian, with a Scottish accent and a Humphrey Bogart lisp. But shhomehow ash Captain Ramiashh, Sean Connery ish shtill shenshayshional.
  • John Malkovich in, well, every European period movie he's ever done using an American accent-- but particularly Mary Reilly. I've heard the man do accents. But every now and then, he just gets in a film and it's like he figures, "What this character needs is a little more... Malkovich." And suddenly we're in Victorian England and he's speaking with his very own American twang. But of course, he's right. Lots of mediocre films benefit from Malkovichization.
  • Drew Barrymore in Ever After. Our likable little Cinderella is French. Our surly Prince Charming is French. They're all French people living in France. Medieval France. With le poisson and le mouton and, um, la baguette. And virtually each and every one of them have a British accent. The French would SO not be heureuse about it.
  • The Entire Cast of The Count of Monte Cristo. Like the folks in Ever After, Guy Pearce's Mondego wouldn't know a croissant from a crumpet. And as the Count, James Caviezel finds his inner Jonathan-Pryce-in-creepy-English-bloke mode-- if he were a Frenchman. Still, the film is almost as enjoyable as the sandwich, and a lot less fattening.
  • Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Speaking of English accents-- yeah, Van Dyke's Cockney chimney sweep accent accidentally channels a bit of of Disney's Goofy, but it's legendary among movie-goers. And still a jolly 'olliday.
  • Marge Gunderson in Fargo. Fargoians... Fargoites... Fargoists... er... North Dakotans say that the accents used in the Coens' film are not at all accurate to their region. But anyone who loves the Coens knows, most of us also don't talk in snappy film noir dialogue and repeat key phrases for humor and literary emphasis. Oh yaaah, you betchaaaa!
  • Christopher Lambert in Highlander. He's an American-born Switzerland-educated expat playing a Scotsman, and the effect is an immortal Highland warrior who sounds oddly like Peter Lorre. Then there's Sean Connery, an actual Scotsman, playing a Spaniard with a Scottish accent and a Humphrey Bogart lisp. (Where have we heard that before?) The mind boggles. But hey-- there's the Queen soundtrack and Clancy Brown being evil with safety pins in his neck. So, still campily cool.
  • Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park. Okay, so he's speaking English, yes, but half of what he's saying is so mumbled, it qualifies for a foreign language. That's how we know his character is really scientific.
So tell me, what Accents Incongruous have you forgiven in your favorite films?

I Will Not Write About Charlie Sheen

It's a humor blogger's dream. And it's got everything...




And Men (2.5, to be specific).

But today I will not write about the very public mental implosion of Charlie Sheen-- thespian, comedian and, um, vengeance-filled warlock.

See, that would be just so easy. And here at Of Cabbages and Kings, the Cabbage likes to take the road less traveled.

(I mean, it kinda has to take the road less traveled. It's a leaf vegetable. It has no legs. And rolling in the center of a busy highway is just asking for trouble.)

So today I will not talk about Charlie Sheen.

I will not make jokes about how "Two and a Half Men" wasn't meant to refer to the total number of people starring in the sitcom...

It's the number of distinct personalities in Charlie Sheen's head. (I think of it like the Three Faces of Eve" but downsized.)

I will not make cracks about how if Mr. Sheen does, indeed, have "tiger blood" as he states then perhaps he's right-- he doesn't need AA...

Just a good vet.

I will not suggest that because of his "Adonis DNA," this living god simply cannot OD or die of liver cancer or venereal disease, as so many of us have predicted.

Charlie is immortal. So long as he gets a restraining order on all wild boars, and doesn't piss off Artemis, he's golden.

Because I won't write about Charlie Sheen, I will not point out that if Charlie Sheen has "always had a plan and have always executed it perfectly" as he suggests, then how does he account for this choice of haircut?

Or The Three Musketeers?

I will not say any of these things. Because my non-rockstar-warlock mind simply cannot process the wonder properly.

Plus, I can't afford a curse on the blog. I have to think of you, the safety of my nice readers, first.