Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He's Just Not My Typo

And now it's time to play one of my favorite games of all time . . . type the beginning of a question into a web browser and see what's tippity-top on the minds of people searching for answers.

Today's initial phrase: Why can't I have

The first result: Why can't I have an organism

This was followed by a link with the title "Why can't some women have an organism? And what is the cause?"

Ah, yes, the elusive organism. Never around when you need one. Unless, of course, you're blessed with multiple organisms, in which case you may need to get a bigger apartment.

I was going to respond to this astute query on Yahoo Answers, but I was laughing too hard.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: spelling matters. Sometimes it matters BIG. Sometimes it's the difference between a moment of exquisite pleasure and mitochondria. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part X

When my sister was in her teens, she and a friend decided to hit the library one afternoon. On their way, they stopped to buy some snacks. This was especially daring, since there was no food or drink allowed in the building, but being the rebels they were, they decided to risk it. 

They settled in at a table and felt like downright villains as they snuck clandestine treats from their backpacks while reading. It was a small town ... you took your thrills where you could find them. I'm still shocked and amazed at a friend of mine who once stuck a piece of used chewing gum between the pages of a book. Shocked because she'd dare to do it, and amazed because nobody hauled her away in handcuffs. She left that library unshackled and continues to walk among us a free woman to this day.

Anyway, my sister's friend had chosen for one of her treats a pack of candy cigarettes, and sometime between The Babysitter's Club and the latest Sweet Valley High volume, she decided to bust those bad boys out. Still trying to be secretive, she slipped her hand into her bag, located the small box, brought a thin stick quickly to her lips and bit into it with a satisfying crunch.

A pause, then a horrified whisper.

"Meghan! . . . . . I just ate chalk!"

What's the lesson here? Maybe that cigarettes are bad in all forms. Or maybe that you shouldn't break the rules. Or maybe that you should just look before you bite, lest you ingest your own school supplies. Take your pick, America.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crying Fowl

As I walked to the bus this morning, I couldn't help noticing a duck waddling across the icy surface of the nursing home pond. He was walking back and forth quacking angrily, like, "What the ... when we left, this was water, right? Yeah, I took a quick dip right before takeoff. Shit! Well, now what am I supposed to do?"

I don't blame him. I'd be pissed, too, if I flew back from vacation and my home was frozen over. But, since I doubted I could adequately explain the concept of water having three forms and the related effects of temperature, I simply urged him to do as the Romans (and especially Minnesotans) do at this time of year:  "Have patience, my friend. Patience."

In response, I'm pretty sure he did as the ducks do (and many frustrated Minnesotans). He flipped me the bird.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Minor Details

Woman to her friend on the bus:

"We was crazy for each other. And my aunt, she was like, you ain't even known each other that long, but boy, I tell you, I prolly woulda married him. But we fell out. I can't even remember why, exactly, but somethin' happened, and we fell out."

Ten minutes later, during a lull in their conversation about an unrelated topic:

"You know what . . . I think he mighta went to prison or something!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

MPAA Anonymous

Last Saturday, at 10:52 a.m., I received the following text from an unknown number:

"Hey its olivia can I watch let me in? Kelsys mom says its not scary n she thinks its ok?"

Now, I don't know an Olivia, but I do happen to know that "Let Me In" is a remake of "Let the Right One In," which is a fantastic movie about a child vampire that contains several pretty horrifying scenes involving murder, bullying, and various supernatural phenomena. And though there's no way of telling how old Olivia is, the fact that she's asking for permission suggests that she might not be ready for such a viewing experience. So it was everything I could do not to text back:

"Sure. Just put Kelsy's mom on speed dial for when you wake up with nightmares. Love, Mom."

On second thought, maybe I should have written back. She probably took the lack of response as permission and may be traumatized because I was reluctant to virtually parent a stranger. Nah ... Kelsy's mom seems like she's got everything under control.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part IX

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine embarked on a quest to find some new jeans. She walked into the department store dressing room with an armful of items and proceeded to the first available empty stall. Once inside, she went to lock the door behind her, not realizing that there was a full-length mirror attached to the back. As she turned, she mistook herself for another person, thinking that she'd mistakenly entered a dressing room that was already occupied and ... this is the best part ... apologized to her own reflection.

Let me just say that again, in case you missed it. This friend glanced at herself in a mirror, didn't recognize her reflection, frightened herself, and said to her image, "Oh! I'm sorry!"

It should come as no surprise that the person staring back at her simply stood there bewildered for a moment before bursting into embarrassed laughter.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Drop Me a Note II (or Halls Well that Ends Well)

Okay, how about these for motivational blurbs:

1.  Call in sick.  Unlike "Keep your chin up," hearing this advice might actually make you smile.

2.  Just get through today.  Far more realistic a goal than "conquering" the day.

3.  Puke and rally!  Let's be honest, it's the best you can hope for.

4.  Cover your mouth, jackass.  Because nobody wants to envy you ... they just don't want to catch whatever knocked you on your ass.

5.  Fuck you, flu!  I realize this one comes with a host of censorship problems, but it expresses everything so completely.

6.  Feeling sucky? Suck on this. This could also be dirty, even dirtier than "You got it in you." But it's more relevant to the product in particular. In fact, I think it should be the company's new slogan. I would buy cough drops with an attitude.

Your move, Halls.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Drop Me a Note

Today I bought a pack of Halls cough drops, due to the fact that my body just finished doing battle with a flu bug the likes of which it had never before seen. I'm pretty sure that its legend will be passed down through generations of white blood cells, whispered in a tone of reverence and awe. In short, I spent the entire weekend splayed out on my couch, aching to the tips of my eyelashes and grateful (as always) for the invention of Imodium and ibuprofen.

However, now that I'm fully rehydrated and have once again graduated to solid foods, I have a lingering head cold and cough that demand soothing. As I opened my pack of honey/lemon-flavored drops, I noticed a peculiar branding effort. On the wrapper, in addition to the Halls logo, were printed several short messages, presumably intended to be inspirational.

I've seen this trend on individually wrapped items before, most notably on Dove chocolates. I find the little notes a tad redundant for that product. I don't need a pep talk, Dove. I already have your chocolate. In fact, if a pep talk was enough, I wouldn't even need the chocolate. But for the moment, I feel just peachy with this slab of fat melting in my mouth.

Anyway, here's what the Halls wrapper said, with my reactions:

1.  Keep your chin up. This I understand. It's motivating, and it implies that you feel my pain.
2.  Conquer today.  A little more vague, but generally uplifting.
3.  Dust off and get up.  All right, already. We get it. You're not taking any excuses. You're our middle school gym teacher. So quit yer hackin' and climb that effin' rope already!
4.  Inspire envy.  I'm not so sure about this one. What exactly are people supposed to envy? My inflamed nostrils?  My watery eyes?  My general lack of focus due to sinus pressure?
5.  Don't try harder, do harder!  Yoda-esque this is. And maybe kind of dirty.
6.  You got it in you.  I don't know what "it" means. The cough drop? Courage? Mucus? Plus, in addition to being grammatically incorrect, it's way dirtier than #5.

Halls, I see what you're going for here. You've got so much wrapper space, and you're using it to try to make me feel even better than your lovely mentholyptus has already accomplished. But I think you could improve.

Tune in to the next entry for phrases that might actually ring truer with someone who's ill.