Monday, August 27, 2012

Say Hello to My Tasty Friend

I had the pleasure of going to the DMV last week to renew my driver's license. I'm pretty sure I took a picture that makes me look even more stoned than I looked four years ago, but at least this time I wasn't drawn into a fruitless argument with the woman behind the counter about which county I live in. For the record, lady, it's Ramsey, according to the laws of maps. But you go ahead and put Anoka on there if you wish. Also for the record, I was not actually stoned.

But it reminded me of a story from one of my friends, who found herself waiting at the DMV several months ago. One of her kids occupied the time by playing games with another little boy whose parents were also waiting in line.

At one point, my friend's son ran up to her and asked what the other boy's name was.

"I don't know, honey. Why don't you ask him?" she responded.

Her son ran back over to the boy, who happened to be black, and they appeared to exchange introductions.

Her son then turned, beaming, and yelled across the room for everyone to hear, "Chocolate Alex! His name is Chocolate Alex!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Outside the Lines

Last night I went to Culver's to get dessert with a friend. While waiting in line for my frozen custard, I happened to look over at some coloring contest entries hanging on the wall. It struck me that there was a considerable amount of attitude on display in addition to mad Crayola skills. Check out how the "Age" blank was filled in on three of them:

Fair enough, Lauren.

You know what happens when you assume, don't you, Sydney?

Nicki, I'm calling your parents.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In This Corner: Yahweh

It's been quite a while since I had an eventful bus ride. But the other morning, about twenty minutes into my trip, a man hopped on board and immediately began talking about Jesus. I'm not sure if only crazy people talk about the Lord in public, or if we automatically brand someone as crazy simply BECAUSE they talk about the Lord in public. It's probably a mix of both. In any case, I think it's great if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, but shouting about it typically makes everyone else uncomfortable.

Anyway, the driver had allowed this man to ride without paying, which was evidently a cause for great (and vocal) celebration. At the next stop, a middle-aged woman who looked like she had lived pretty damn hard stepped on. After listening to the man's high praise for his divine Metro Transit intervention, she said that she thought it was great to be thankful, and that she woke up every day with gratitude to Jesus.

This, I thought, was a very nice comment, and I'll admit I started feeling a little warm and fuzzy. Then the following exchange began.

MAN:  "Yep, the Lord has helped me through some tough times. Tough times."

WOMAN: "I hear you."

MAN:  "I mean really tough times."

WOMAN: "Oh, I know about tough times."

ME:  (Oh my God, they're going to try to one-up each other. Thank you, Jesus!)

MAN: "Yeah, I been through a lot."

WOMAN:  "I have, too."

MAN: "Lost a lot of people."

WOMAN: "Me, too."

MAN:  "I mean, I been to prison."

WOMAN:  "I been to prison, too."

At this point, I feel like the woman saw where this was going and decided the gloves were off.

WOMAN:  "I even been a prostitute!"

Complete silence on the bus for about ten long seconds.

WOMAN: (yelling to all passengers) "YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT! I DON'T CARE WHO HEARS IT!"

K.O., ma'am! Can I get an amen?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Bugs

To: Anything with more than two legs that lives in my apartment.
Re: The recent tiny murder.

A most unfortunate incident occurred this evening that necessitates me writing this letter in the middle of the night.

Look, you know me. We've been sharing this space for, let's face it, probably your entire life cycle. So you're likely aware that from midnight until 7:30 a.m., I'm not to be disturbed.

And yet here I am, wide awake at 4:00, after being forced not only out of sorely-needed slumber but also to drop the hammer on one of your members. Or the shoe, as the case may be.

I took no joy in this act, largely because it stemmed from a direct violation of Rule #1. Had it been a lesser infraction, the punishment may have been less severe. As you know, I'm on record as having ignored Rule #2 on occasion, which takes considerable restraint.

If, for some reason, the rules have not been made abundantly clear, let me reiterate.

Rule #2:  I can never see you.

Rule #1:  You can never be in my bed.

This is the only foundation upon which our two species can ever peacefully coexist.

Now, I want to be magnanimous. I really do. We've all got lives to live, and nobody's perfect. But I pay the rent up in this bitch. And that means, above all else, no spiders in my sheets.

The point is, when the rules are so flagrantly disregarded, you leave me no choice. It is imperative that you understand one thing. When Rule #1 is disobeyed, NO QUARTER WILL BE GIVEN.

For the sake of continued good relations, I will chalk this up to an isolated incident and assume that the recently deceased was a rogue agent acting alone, perhaps with suicidal rather than malicious intent.

I am also willing to overlook the bite I recently (and I don't think coincidentally) sustained on my left calf. Should this injury continue to worsen or result in lasting bodily harm, all future communications will be conducted through my exterminator.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


And now, the top three snippets of conversation I overheard while walking around an art fair today:

3. (woman) "Or you could just lick your toe."

2. (small child) "But I only threw up a little."

1. (woman) "Okay, Mr. Big Watch, what time is it, then?"