I’ve got mushrooms in my ears, a flowery bag of vomit, and a Cheap Trick album.

I have had swimmer’s ear for over thirty years now–no swimming required. If you aren’t sure what swimmer’s ear –a.k.a “otitis externa”–entails, here’s the best way I can describe it.  Grab the vomit bags that you stole from KLM the last time you flied. (Holy crap. Did I just type the word “flied?” Swimmer’s Ear, by the way, does not impair one’s ability to tense verbs. I wish I could say it does and provide myself with an excuse for my sudden lapse in literacy skills. Did I tell you that I am an unemployed high school English Teacher? The “unemployed” part is no longer a mystery.)

when-english-teachers-party1

Okay, back to the barf bags. Have you got them in the open position? Hold on tight, because you’re going to need them.

Seriously, it's going to be this gross.  (Image courtesy of: http://www.cherrybombed.com/)

Seriously, it’s going to be this gross.
(Image courtesy of: http://www.cherrybombed.com/)

Swimmer’s Ear is like having an ear-hole filled with clumps of flaky dead skin that makes you itch profusely. The itch makes you want to dig in your ears and pull out the clumps, which, inevitably fall on your shoulder. Now, if you have the misfortune of wearing something black, people will think you have the largest dandruff flakes known to man. Seriously, Guinness Record worthy. And, Swimmer’s Ear, smells like your head is full of sewer water. Now, I don’t know what you get up to at night, but I have never been anywhere near a sewer. Or its water. And surely, my ears have never been dunked in one.

Here it comes.

Here it comes.

But I have spent several fleeting moments over the years wondering if my boyfriends could get swimmer’s tongue. Ack.

I told you not to stick your tongue in her ear.

I told you not to stick your tongue in her ear. (Image courtesy of: http://www.an-mag.com/weird-taste/)

The truly wretch-inducing fact is that the clumps are not dead skin at all. They are, in fact, fungus. Yup, I have a regular mushroom farm growing in the very orifices that I am supposed to hear with. And this raises another question. If I am allergic to mould, does that make me allergic to my ears?

Holy crap! Fungus that looks like an ear!

Holy crap! Fungus that looks like an ear!

By the way, if you want to learn more about the fungus that looks like an ear–not the fungus that lives in an ear–check out this http://esticadinhonature.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/tophill-fungi-list-hits-300/.

1) Speaking of barf bags, there are times when a plain brown paper sack just won’t do–particularly if you have a penchant for hyperventilating. The last thing you want to do is engage in some rapid inhaling using a recently used barf bag. Double ack.

barf bag 1

In fact, it turns out that a fashionable tote for your vomit can be the perfect accessory for any outfit. “Morning Chicness Bags” makes leak-proof (that is important), stylish bags in a plethora of patterns. They’re almost too pretty to ralph in.

2) If you are going to steal a barf bag for strictly “souvenir” purposes, you should definitely opt for a Virgin Atlantic flight. No one does barf bags better. Seriously. Who else would run a contest entitled “Design for Chunks“–inviting artists everywhere to create masterful sick sacks for puking passengers.  If that wasn’t enough, they followed this with a series of Star Wars-themed holdalls for hurls. Nothing worse than a motion sick wookie.

And, then, they rolled out the Granddaddy of Barf Bags. The Bagophile’s dream–yes, there are people who actually collect these things. The gigantic “How Did Air Travel Become So Bloody Awful” bag was Virgin’s clever way of poking fun at discount airlines–and collecting record-breaking regurgitations.

3) Here are a collection of  barf bags  from the Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum.  I told you…people actually collect these things. And I thought the belly-button lint collection was weird. Okay, it’s still weird. Vomit valise-worthy weird.

I’m not sure why Cheap Trick felt that their fans would require a barf bag while listening to “I Want You to Want Me.” Hm. Repetitive lyrics, perhaps. And Hello Kitty does evoke the urge to heave.

Aero Rudolpho
Aero Rudolpho
Amoszonas Smiley
Amoszonas Smiley
Ansett Australia Photo Order
Ansett Australia Photo Order
Cheap Trick from "In Color"
Cheap Trick from “In Color”
Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper
Eva Air Hello Kitty
Eva Air’s Hello Kitty

Which bag would you most like to upchuck into?

4) And just when you thought you’d seen everything, you come across this….

BARF-pet-food

Lucky, Fido. A big bowl of kibbles & barf.

My ears are itchy.

Phlegm is not festive.

I have spent Christmas nursing some life-sucking virus that entered my body when an intellectually sub-par primate with a leaking face approached my cash register. He was the perfect poster child for the power of influenza–bloodshot eyes that oozed green globules of snot, a crimson clown-like nose, and so many cold sores around his mouth that he looked like he had been bobbing for apples with razor blades in them.

"Here, take this money out of my hand. It's right between my used Kleenex and my half-sucked cough drop."

“Here, take this money out of my hand. It’s right between my used Kleenex and my half-sucked cough drop.”

What dragged this typhus-laden individual from the solitude of his eiderdown comforter out into the public oxygen space? Apparently, he was experiencing some sort of emergency that could only be solved by purchasing an…um…book. I didn’t see exactly what book he was buying as I was rather obsessively trying not to touch any part of said book that had come in contact with his sweat-drenched, bacteria-riddled hands.

And no, his snot rag was not nearly this pretty. And the green stuff was not hand-stitched writing.

And no, his snot rag was not nearly this pretty. And the green stuff was not hand-stitched writing.

Perhaps, his home was on fire and he wanted to read up on planning escape routes. I really don’t know. Hopefully, he did manage to go home and successfully escape the flames.

I'm pretty sure he didn't buy this book.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t buy this book.

Maybe, his illness had simply rendered him bored–in dire need of mental stimulation. Based on his apparent brain power, however, I am convinced that the tasks of putting on his pants and tying up his shoes should have proved mentally stimulating enough.

No caption required.

No caption required.

Thanks to this nitwit, I have forgone the fun that is Christmas. No Christmas Eve church service. No volunteering at the annual Christmas dinner for the lonely or destitute. And, damn it all, no trekking to Walmart to battle the masses for Boxing Day deals on cheap batteries, DVDs, and half-priced Lindt chocolates. I blame you Face Running Man. A pox upon your household.

One of the many fine titles that I am missing out on today.

One of the many fine titles that I am missing out on today.

But to everyone else, I wish you giggles, hugs, and good health!!

Photos courtesy of:

Sick man http://oystercardjunkie.co.uk/tag/office-life/

Snot rag: http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/snot-rag-handkerchief

Book: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/stop-drop-and-roll#cart/cleanup

Fun with Words ~ Word Play Masters Invitational

This is my first official “reblog,” but I couldn’t resist. This is, after all, about WORDS (one of my favourite things) and it’s FUNNY (my other favourite thing).

And, if I had to come up with my own, it would be :
DUSTBUNION. A foot condition caused by walking in filth.

Life Is Like That

Reading your post, there are so many humorous writers out there.  This is a challenge for you.  Start putting on your thinking cap and join the fun. 
The Washington Post’s Mensa invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.   Here are the 2009 winners: 
1.     Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time. 
2.     Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole. 
3.     Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. 
4.     Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly. 
5.     Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating…

View original post 184 more words

Why do people keep cutting me in half to see if my insides are green?

In my quest to find a daily topic to write about, I have decided to select the first thing that pops in to my mind–a rather risky method as evidenced by yesterday’s foray into the world of armpit hair.  Today, however, a more polite (although equally random) subject has emerged from my cranium.  Kiwi birds.

"Damn, I'm cute."

“Damn, I’m cute.”

First of all, I have to put this out there.  It sucks to be a kiwi. Forget feeling sorry for the IQ-challenged dodo.  And don’t waste your pity on the ostrich with his head in the sand.  The unfortunate kiwi is the feathered friend truly deserving of your sympathy. To begin with, he cannot fly.  His bones aren’t hollow like other bird bones and his wings are short and stubby–making him the T-Rex of birds.

Secondly, they lay the largest eggs in relation to their body size out of any bird in the world.  Mama Kiwi is the size of a chicken, but she lays eggs the size of an ostrich’s.  If you thought childbirth was a bitch, be glad you didn’t have to lay an egg the size of your pillow.  And that’s one of those big puffy pillows–not your old down-filled one that has been flattened to a crepe.  You know, the yellowed, drool-riddled Obusform that, as Jerry Seinfeld would say “looks more like a Civil War bandage.”

Kiwi egg

But, they do have nostrils on their beaks.  I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse.  It all depends on whether or not he’s planning on visiting my husband after bean night.

“Beak” the Kiwi Beanie Baby was produced for only one year and sadly can now be purchased for a cent online.  Yes, even the plush versions of our little New Zealander have it rough.  Ironically, New Zealanders of the human kind are referred to as “Kiwis.”  But what about the green fuzzy fruit?

Meet Beak.

Meet Beak.

The kiwi bird has had its name hijacked by that odd-looking furry fruit.  The fruit is actually called a “kiwifruit” and is not, in fact, a “kiwi” at all.  A kiwi smoothie, therefore, is not what you think it is.  Ack.

Kiwi_VS_Kiwi_Bird_by_shibbynempahcold

This little bird, however, has enjoyed fame thanks to a manufacturer of shoe polish.  Yes, since 1906, KIWI’s name and image has been splashed across the front of this product that is now available worldwide.  The company’s founder chose the name “KIWI” in honour of his New Zealand-born wife.  Plus, he thought the bird looked nice on his small round tins.

A retro Kiwi tin.

A retro Kiwi tin.

I’m not sure if being the star of the “laces and polishes” racks in stores across the world makes up for the stubby arms, giant egg-laying, and low value in the Beanie Baby trade.  If you see a kiwi, give it a hug.  Odds are that the poor bugger has been through a lot.

If it’s any consolation to the kiwi community, people are blogging about you:

Conservation blog: http://blog.doc.govt.nz/2013/08/27/kaipara-kiwi/

Factotum of Arts: http://factotum-of-arts.com/2013/08/12/weekend-finishes-12-08-2013/

Infinite Sadness…or Hope?  http://infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com/tag/kiwi-bird/

B (heart) D: http://baileyolivia.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/when-i-say-kiwi-you-think/

Do you call the kiwifruit a kiwi?  

kiwi prep

Images courtesy of:  cute kiwi (http://pinterest.com/pin/553168766700624424/), Kiwi egg (http://misswrightenglish.blogspot.ca/2012/09/kiwis.html), Beak (http://stuffedanimaltoys.guidestobuy.com/ty-beanie-baby-kiwi#chitika_close_button), kiwi vs kiwi (http://shibbynempahcold.deviantart.com/art/Kiwi-VS-Kiwi-Bird-21535732), polish (http://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/category/kiwi-boot-polish-co/), kiwi prep (http://kevinw.de/greenbird/2010/04/26/how-to-prepare-a-kiwi/).

My armpit and the hairs that call it “home”

I have been neglecting my baby, The Embiggens Projects, as of late, so I have decided to try an experiment.  I am going to see if I can examine a new topic every day, instead of intermittently tackling three.  Bear with me.  Each day will be very different from the previous one.  Don’t ask me why, but I have decided to kick this new idea off with armpit hair.  It’s something we all have, but rarely talk about.  So, here is my diatribe dedicated to the follicles that try to live in the pit at the base of my arm.

Armpits4August: 

In case you haven’t heard–which I hadn’t, but I live under a rather large slab of granite–women have taken to growing out their underarm hair for charity.  Yes, men have movember.  And women have Armpits4August.  Yes, luxurious locks are sprouting under an arm near you in support of the little known condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  One of the symptoms of this disease is excessive hair growth.

armpit hair

The Great Underarm Campaign:

North American women have only been shaving their armpits en masse for about 100 years.  Yup, Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, Catherine Earnshaw, and all of our other favorite literary heroines likely had armpits like brillo pads.  And they probably smelled like horse.

In 1915, Harper’s Bazaar featured a shocking photo of a woman wearing a sleeveless dress that revealed a smooth and silky underarm.  This was followed by an advertising campaign by Wilkinson Sword to convince women that it was non-hygienic to have hairy pits.  I’m sure that sword sales were waning.  The sales of razor blades doubled in less than  two years as women become self-conscious of having manly underarms–heaven forbid.  I wonder when mass-produced deodorant came onto the market?
gender-history-manipulating-women-into-shaving-under-their-arms

“Mum” was the word and Pens saved our armpits:

So, mystery solved.  The first deodorant was invented in 1888 and was called, Mum.  Strange name.  In the 1940’s an intelligent woman–is there any other kind?–joined the team and stole the roller-ball idea from the production of pens to create a roll-on.  This deodorant was called Ban.  Who knew?

Armpit juice of the 1950's.

Armpit juice of the 1950’s.

A 1933 armpit hair removal device.  Yikes.

A 1933 armpit hair removal device. Yikes.

laser hare

1065026110_0ba12e8fab_o

deodorant_1942435

Well, now you know a wee bit more about your armpits and the hairs that call them home.

Do you think long armpit hair on women is natural, sexy, or does it send you screaming in the opposite direction?  Inquiring minds want to know.  

And, in case you want to read more riveting armpit facts, here are some fellow  Wordpressers that have something to say on the topic.

A Kaur’s Thoughts:  http://kaurthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/part-1-to-shave-or-not-to-shave-a-history-of-shaving/

…Said the Blind Man http://semiblind.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/smooth/

Tanya’s Armpits4August 2013 http://tanyasarmpits4august2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/almost-there-all-the-hair/

Images:  arm pit hair (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2404374/Armpits4August-Did-YOU-grow-underarm-hair-charity-These-women-did-.html), Harper’s Bazaar (http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/05/24/anxiety-about-objectionable-hair-money-in-someones-pocket), BAN (http://www.flickriver.com/photos/roadsidepictures/7640666640/), 1933 device (http://www.the-beheld.com/2012/04/conundrum-of-body-hair.html),  laser “hare” removal (www.cartoonstock.com), deodorant misfits (http://fuffer.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/shipwrecked/), octopus (http://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/deodorant_194243).  
 
https://plus.google.com/117290101799547312394/posts

Help! I’m trapped in an El Camino wearing a Clown Suit with Mimi Bobeck

If you have never had the…um…pleasure of experiencing a full-blown panic attack, consider yourself lucky.  When I was in my early twenties–back in the days before compact discs and Pantene–I used to have a lot of them.  I worked in a bank and had what was, perhaps, the strangest job description a financial institution has ever concocted.  In the morning, I adopted the role of bubbly receptionist with an Osmond Family grin.  In the afternoon, however, I kissed my sunny disposition adieu and put on my snarly collection officer hat.  Ironically, my desk didn’t change.  Just my persona.  

Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas

I wonder how many customers wandered away thinking, “that little redheaded girl must suffer from a multiple personality disorder.”  Note to self:  stay away from former place of employment and men who drive large white vans with padded interiors.  

Anywho, I blame the sudden appearance of my panic attacks on my unusual job duties.  And on the fact that I was still living among cockroaches.  And I had just been chased down the street by a man in an electric wheelchair.  But you already know about all of that.  

And they thought I was deranged...

And they thought I was deranged…

Amazingly, I was not the lone sufferer of high anxiety.  It turned out that the soft-spoken, seemingly “had her shit together” loans officer–we’ll call her Wilma.  I don’t know why–spent a great deal of her time fighting heart palpitations, dizziness, and an irrepressible desire to flee with her hands up in the air yelling gibberish.  

panic attack

In fact, she introduced me to a sure-fire way to fight the panic.  And it involved lying on the floor.  Now, my fear of being stepped on–particularly by someone wearing golfing cleats–precluded me from flopping spread-eagle on the linoleum beside my desk, aka the Jekyll and Hyde district.

giant cleat

Giant cleats…they DO exist.

 “Wilma,” however had a carpeted office with a functioning door.  Here, we could both lie on our backs, engage in deep-breathing exercises, and imagine our “happy places.”  Hers involved meadows, songbirds, and sunshine.  Mine was Times Square on a July afternoon–which could explain why meditation has never worked for me.

happy place

Thankfully, once I shed the job, the panic attacks–and the need to find a carpeted spot in a low-traffic area–disappeared.  As did my antacid addiction.  And my fear of mental health professionals.

While I have been panic attack-free for twenty years, there are a few things that could potentially tip me over the edge.   

1.  creepy clownClowns freak me out.  Personally, I think there is something seriously wrong with someone who spends their day in big floppy shoes, an afro wig, and lipstick that looks like it was put on by a far-sighted centenarian with a tremor.  

Personally, I have never understood why people flock to circuses.  And I always give Ronald McDonald statues a wide berth.  But no amount of Zoloft could quell the anxiety that sleeping on an actual “clown pillow” would create.  

Seriously.  There are people that actually make clown pillows.  And, there are sick, twisted, individuals with way too much disposable income who buy them.  

Here is a horrifying glimpse of the many innocent pillows that have been defaced by clowns.   

clown pillow handstitchedclown pillow cheshire cat grinclown pillow 5 oclock shadowclown pillow hole in headclown pillow impressionistclown pillow pom pom fringe

Which one would deprive you of the most zzz’s?  Which one is the least horrific?  

imgElCamino

2.  This is a strange phobia, I know–especially for someone who loves cars as much as I do–but El Camino’s scare the crap out of me.  I don’t know why.  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Chevy’s version of the Ford Ranchero (another freak on wheels), it was basically a coupe with a truck box.  Yup, Dr. Frankenstein bred a Chevelle with a C1500 and this is the ugly baby.  

Forget the ’57 Fury.  Christine should have been an El Camino.  Definitely uglier.  And a whole lot scarier.  

troll-dolls-i-prefer-wishniks-but-dam-did-a-fine-troll-job-i-demotivational-poster-1276801094

3)  The ugliest toy known to man, without a doubt, is the troll doll.  Dolls, as you know, are high on my list of “things that freak me out,” but the worst of all are these rainbow-coloured freaks with bad hair and mongoloid monkey faces.  Their association with Mimi Bobeck does not help either.  She was just weird.  

Since I’m supposed to be regaling you with dendrite-enhancing knowledge, here are a few little known troll doll facts.  

It turns out that it is perfectly okay to refer to these plastic atrocities as “damn trolls” as you are not too far off the mark.  The first collectible troll dolls were created by the Dam family of Denmark in the ’50s and are officially known as “Dam Things.”  

The most collectible trolls are black trolls, 2-headed ones (yikes), those with real mohair, and ones that appear to be the result of an animal pairing.  

DreamWorks animation has acquired the film rights to the Damn Things troll dolls and, apparently, plans to use them in a feature film.  This would truly be a horror flick.

That’s enough about troll dolls.  I’m getting hives.   

What things freak you out?  

Photo credits:  Old folk on Rascals (http://www.kulfoto.com/funny-pictures/20153/riding-together), Panic attack (http://www.trollmania.org/it-was-just-a-little-panic-attack/), Happy Place (http://yenyoga.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/celebrating-summer-yoga-in-times-square/), Giant Cleat (http://www.flickr.com/photos/redlady_rike/), “Go To Bed” (http://www.meh.ro/tag/clowns/);clown pillows: handstitched (http://www.etsy.com/listing/117997398/vintage-needlepoint-clown-pillow-pale), Cheshire cat grin (http://www.migandtig.com/Circus-Clown-Pillow-Down-Filled_p_2612.html), 5 o’clock shadow clown (http://etsystalker.com/2010/04/22/scary-clowns-for-violet/), hole in head (http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/free-shipping-new-arrive-The-Horror-Clown-cushion-pillow-b0873/703275_421999360.html), impressionist clown (http://www.zazzle.com/funny+clowns+pillows), pompom fringe (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=34926.0#axzz2ajKJNvbP); El Camino (http://1969elcaminoforsale.com/), troll tattoo (http://pics3.this-pic.com/key/dam%20troll%20dolls).

Crispy, crunchy cockroaches–great neighbours, great food.

I am about to confess one of my darkest and deepest secrets.  I have lived among cockroaches.  And more than once.  Phew.  There.  I’ve said it.  One more skeleton freed from an overstuffed closet.

My very first apartment was home to so many of the crunchy critters that I had to flick on the kitchen light first with my eyes closed and not return until my raunchy little roommates had departed to crevices unknown.  In my next apartment, we learned to co-exist peacefully.  We were both aware of one another’s existence, but we respected each other’s boundaries.  They had free run of the place when I wasn’t home.  And, in return, they made themselves scarce when I returned.  My third apartment, however, dealt me a breed of cockroach that no amount of horror movie watching could have prepared me for.

Don't let these four-legged imposters fool you.  Cockroaches are not green.  Nor are they cute.

Don’t let these four-legged imposters fool you. Cockroaches are not green. Nor are they cute.

I knew we had cockroaches.  My human roommate and I had bug-proofed our food–which cost a fortune in Tupperware, I might add.  We had installed a miniature village of Roach Hotels.  And, we left the bathroom and kitchen lights on in hopes that they would move on to a less vigilant neighbour.  But these radiation resistant roamers are not easily deterred.  They opted, instead, to bring in the big guns.

Bearing the nickname "Cockroach" is not a compliment--no matter what Theo Huxtable tells you.

Bearing the nickname “Cockroach” is not a compliment–no matter what Theo Huxtable tells you.

As I lay in my bed, awakened by the sense that something was not right, I noticed a strangely shaped shadow in the hallway, just outside my bedroom door.  It had antennae and a number of spindly legs–anything with more than four is bad news.  Yes.  It was a cockroach large enough to cast a shadow.  Albeit, it was a small shadow.  But no insect should be big enough to have one at all.  Insects by their very nature should be shadowless.

Rendered immobilized by fear, I simply waited for him, the King of all Bugs, to make his way to his throne–somewhere in the bathroom (which, ironically, is where my throne resided also), and moved shortly after.  The cockroach population had showed their hand and mine was no match.  I folded.

And, yes.  The only time to befriend a cockroach is when every other living creature on the entire planet has died.

And, yes. The only time to befriend a cockroach is when every other living creature on the entire planet has died.

Here are a few factoids about this resilient little creature that even a brick dropped from a substantial height cannot kill.

1)  I am eternally grateful that my first apartment was not located in Queensland, Australia–nothing against the lovely Australian people.  I simply do not think I could handle their “giant burrowing cockroaches.”  Yes, these monsters–and expert shadow casters–can weigh up to 1.2 ounces.  Holy crap.  16 of those buggers weigh more than a pound.  Ack.

It appears to take TWO HANDS to carry a giant burrowing cockroach.  EW.

If it takes two hands to hold a bug, I sure as hell am not going to be picking it up.  Drop it and run, moron.

2) Cockroaches love to be snuggled.  Yes, these hideous, unhuggable creatures love to be touched and seek out surfaces such as walls, crevices, and household items to give them that warm and fuzzy feeling.  Whacking them with a shoe simply equates to a helping of tough love–a rough thwack of the contact that they desperately crave.

Excuse me,  You've got a bug on your chest.

Excuse me, You’ve got a bug on your chest.

3)  Decapitation is a minor setback.  Yes, cockroaches can survive a couple of weeks without their heads.  I guess it helps to be able to breathe through gaps in your body segments, to have an efficient wound-clotting system, and to be able to go for weeks without food.  Hm.  If I could breathe out my ass, I’m not sure I’d want to.  Talk about bad breath.  Furthermore, cockroaches are butt ugly, but a headless cockroach would be even worse.  Note to self: Giant, headless cockroach–possible lead character in next novel?  Great opportunity to examine self-loathing and hot topic of bullying.

Damn.  Who turned the lights out?

Damn. Who turned the lights out?

4)  Eat them in moderation.  Apparently, some people will eat anything.  But who in the hell can look at a plate of Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches and say, “Mm. Can’t wait to get me some of those.”  Six Flags has been hosting a seasonal Cockroach Eating Contest for years, but an incident in Florida has put these events on hold.  A pet store decided to hold one of their own.  The prize?  A python.  Yup, eat a plate of bugs and go home with a snake.  Well, in October of 2012, a 32-year-old man died from cockroach consumption during the contest.  He literally died of a bug.  Sorry.  I realize that this is a serious moment and I should not be making puns.

cockroach suicide

cockroach nose

cockroach exterminator

cockroach motel

 

Check out my latest musings at Searching for Barry Weiss…http://searchingforbarryweiss.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/barry-weiss-and-a-bunch-of-boobs/

If you’d like to read more about cockroaches, check out:

Cockroaches: More Than Just Pests

Finally, the cockroach gets some respect

Why do cockroaches exist at all?

Roaches with jet packs

Photo credits  Raid cockroaches (http://www.bogleech.com/blather-pests.html), Cosby Cockroach (http://bardfilm.blogspot.ca/2008/12/cosby-show-raps-julius-caesar.html), Wall.E cockroach (http://mattphipps.squarespace.com/home/2012/4/19/a-brief-history-of-cockroaches.html),  Giant burrowing roach (http://www.bugshop.com.au/pro4.html), roach tee (http://www.zazzle.com/madagascar_hissing_cockroach_t_shirt-235748507003678079), headless (http://espmblattodea.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/cockroaches-more-than-just-pests/), cockroach suicide http://misfit120.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/finally-the-cockroach-gets-some-respect-shades-of-rodney-dangerfield/, cockroach in nose (http://ecolocalizer.com/2011/09/01/lonnie-millsap-twisted-comic-genius-or-just-weird/), exterminator (http://laurencehunt.blogspot.ca/2011_04_01_archive.html), cockroach motel (http://www.zazzle.com/roach_infidelity_funny_gifts_tees_collectibles_card-137352208743158604).      

It’s Canada Day, eh? Part II

We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows.  According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.”  We’re not offended by these portrayals.  In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way.  Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies.  One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is  comedians.  And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift. But today our gigantic nation–second in size only to Russia–with the teeny tiny population of roughly 34 million people is celebrating its 146th birthday.  Yes, we are a young nation devoid of ancient man-made wonders, but filled with many wonders created with God’s hands.  The Rockies, Niagara Falls, the Cabot Trail, the icy Arctic, and the golden prairies.

Canada's equivalent to "huh."

Canada’s equivalent to “huh.”

We love "u"'s.  We add them to everything.

We love “u”‘s. We add them to everything.

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Timmy's.  Every town has at least one.

Timmy’s. Every town has at least one.

Mm.  Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Mm. Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Beaver Tails.  Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Beaver Tails. Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Yes, we Canadians are known for some pretty strange things.  But, then again, our nickels bear the likeness of a rodent–the beloved Canadian beaver.  Our flag boasts a big red leaf.  And we have adopted a bilingual version of our national anthem, which means that most of us haven’t got a clue what we are singing anymore.  Like I said, we don’t take many things seriously.  Except our hockey.

 
And we, Canadians, can be found everywhere–in your movies, on your TV sets, and in your iPods.  ryan-gosling-300James cameronchristopher plummersandra ohmichael bubleleslien.jpgmary pickfordPhil hartmandave thomasfay wraylorne michaelsjason priestleyeric maccormacknia vardalosrachelle lafevrebrendan-fraser-20070503-249440_largealex trebekellen pagetommy chong
Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Monty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Ryan Gosling, James Cameron, Christopher Plummer, Sandra Oh, Michael Buble, Leslie Nielsen, Mary Pickford, Phil Hartman, Dave Thomas, Fay Wray, Lorne Michaels, Jason Priestley, Eric McCormack, Nia Vardalos, Rachelle Lefevre, Brendan Fraser, Alex Trebek, Ellen Page, Tommy Chong, Catherine O’Hara.
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians!  Raise a cold brew and wish the best country in the world a Happy 146th! 

Photo Credits:  eh (https://twitter.com/filmeh), “U (http://www.takepart.com/photos/everything-you-need-know-you-learned-sesame-street), Bob & Doug (http://www.cbc.ca/75/2011/08/image-of-the-day-canadian-content-eh.html), Tim Hortons (http://screamingbeltloop.com/?tag=tim-hortons), Poutine (http://calgarypoutinecrawl2013.eventbrite.com/), beaver tails (http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/eat/fast-food/beavertails-niagara-falls-canada/).

A rodent shot me, I bit my ear, and my breath smells like baby powder.

I have often been told that I have a…um…unique way of looking at life.  I blame my parents.  My mother has accidentally brushed her teeth with squeeze-tubed deodorant.  She has also failed to notice that instead of applying lip gloss to her lips, she had actually smeared them with a generous helping of creamy blue eyeshadow.  Yes, my mother has experienced a huge number of cosmetic catastrophes over the years.  And, she is also a distracted walker.  If there is a groundhog hole within a five mile radius, she will find it, and her five-foot-zero frame will fall into it up to her chin.  She’s pissed off a lot of rodents.  Don’t even get me started on the time she cross-country skied into a parked car.

"Always with the legs in my hole.  Next time I shoot."

“Always with the legs in my hole. Next time I shoot.”

My father is equally entertaining, particularly when he is attempting to be a Mr. Fix-it–something that does not come naturally to him.  Or to any other member of my family.  He has drilled through the front of his t-shirt–while still wearing it, come within seconds of knocking a large sledgehammer onto his skull, and regularly displays his latest wounds with pride.  He never knows where or when he got them.  It would appear that I got my lack of sense–shut up–gene from him.  He has driven into my car, the side of his garage doorway–and probably other things that he hasn’t told us about.  Did I tell you that we’re not the most observant bunch?  And that we seem to lack spatial reasoning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77PymmxMLJM

I have no siblings to pick apart, but I’m sure they would have been equally strange.  Our pets were always neurotic.  Especially the French poodle.  He wasn’t actually French.  In fact, he came with a Mexican name.  I think I acquired my neurotic tendencies from him.  After all, what self-respecting dog demands that his ears get tied in a knot on top of his head every time he eats?  Neurotic.  Good thing I don’t have long floppy ears.  My husband would never take me out for supper–with all the ear-tying and stuff.

Is it me or does this water taste thick and creamy?

Is it me or does this water taste thick and creamy?

1)  In the year 2013, our deodorant is unlikely to come in a squeeze tube–perhaps due to a large number of tooth-brushing accidents in the late ’60s.  I don’t imagine that ingesting antiperspirant  is good for one’s health.  Namely because our guts don’t sweat.  I wonder if swallowing a large amount of deodorant would dry up your innards.  Maybe science should examine this as a possible way to do away with excess water weight.

My point is–and I do have one–that some products lend themselves to a certain type of packaging.  Deodorant belongs in those hard plastic containers that look like stubby people with no arms.

Milk belongs in cartons or jugs.  I would never think of drinking it from a fountain or a garden hose.  Water, however, should never come from a carton.  It seems unnatural–no matter what the folks at Boxed Water is Better tell me.  I need to see my water before I drink it.  Only yellow, lumpy water would hide itself in a carton.  And this girl doesn’t drink water with solids in it.  Ack.

Can you get me an extra large Q-tip please?

Can you get me an extra large Q-tip please?

2)  My dog had fairly ordinary ears, but he had one of those side-by-side water/food dish combos and he hated getting his ears wet.  This is understandable.  It must be annoying to have to drink ear water.

Now, the dog with the world’s longest ears has real problems.  This is Harbor, the Coonhound, from Boulder, Colorado.  He is a tad bit asymmetrical–sort of like a woman’s natural boobs–as he has one ear that measures 13.5 inches long, while the other is a demure 12.25 inches.  Ladies, very few of us have two breasts that are the exact same size.  And yes, I have just given men a new reason to grope their nearest and dearest.  But like Harbor the Dog’s ear, our disproportional mammaries give us character.  Even if we do list to one side.

I'm a little accident prone.  This makes me sad.

I’m a little accident prone. This makes me sad.

3) Due to my lack of spatial reasoning, my poorly honed observational skills, and my innate klutziness, I decided to conduct some research to find out what car I should never ever own.  It turns out that the internet is ripe with lists of the most accident-prone vehicles.  Here are few that I found.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that the top 3 wounded vehicles in 2012 were:

3) Chevrolet Aveo

2) Suzuki 4X4

1) Toyota Yaris

If you live in the UK, the Telegraph provides this top 3:

3) Lexus RX

2) Volvo XC90

1) Honda FR-V

Thankfully, my car is none of these.  I can, therefore, keep it.  And my ears can blow in the breeze.

Photo credits: renegade groundhog (http://www.personal.psu.edu/jac5682/fun.htm), boxed milk (http://www.eatdrinkdo.com/index.php/2010/11/bottled-water-fights-back/), Harbor the Dog (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/video-meet-harbor-the-new-dog-with-the-longest-ears-in-the-world/), Sad Car (http://toomuchfree-time.blogspot.ca/2011/02/sad-car-is-sad.html).

Sheepdogs and Sandals Don’t Mix.

I truly appreciate you, my loyal followers.  For this reason, I have decided to impart two very valuable life lessons that I learned at an early age.

Never wear sandals when playing within 100 feet of a large Sheepdog.  If you do not have access to a change of shoes, proceed with caution–and never, ever run.  You are likely shaking your head and thinking, ” this woman is an idiot.  I will wear sandals while playing with a Sheepdog if I want to.  Heck, I’ll play with a whole herd of Sheepdogs in my bare feet.”  I understand these thoughts.  After all, who am I to tell you how to dress your feet?  I can simply offer you the following cautionary tale.

You know they're shifty when they hide their eyes behind their fur.

You know they’re shifty when they hide their eyes behind their fur.

I was nine years old and the world was my oyster.  School was out for the summer and I looked forward to two whole months of stalking the cute neighbourhood teenage boys with my friends.  And the lady down the street had just bought a Sheepdog puppy.  I had never actually hung out with a Sheepdog–and my parents hadn’t yet given in to my whiny request for a canine of my own.  This wizened neighbour decided to form a saprophytic relationship with the local children.  We were blessed with the healthful benefits of walking her greatly coveted dog, while she had the luxury of remaining in front of her TV set, enjoying the latest episode of Three’s Company.

"Thank God I didn't have to miss this riveting episode in which Jack lands himself in quite the pickle."

“Thank God I didn’t have to miss this riveting episode in which Jack lands himself in quite the pickle.”

 

It seemed that the neighbourhood children all took the same root for these dog-walking excursions–the sidewalk in front of my house.  Keep this information in mind because it will be important later.

If my sidewalk had a sign, it would say this--without the Japanese characters.

If my sidewalk had a sign, it would say this–without the Japanese characters.

Now, this is where I must interrupt myself and present life lesson number two.  Never trust a slightly older childhood friend who offers you dried cherries from a zip-lock bag–no matter how well you think you know her.

Never trust anyone who offers you candy.

Never trust anyone who offers you candy.

I will now resume my tale.

It was a sunny day and my friends and I were sitting in the grass clump in the middle of our circle–we lived in garden home condominiums, in case our circle is confusing to you.  It actually wasn’t really a circle.  More of a rectangle with round corners.  Anyway, the slightly older and presumably wiser member of our clan offered everyone some of her cherry delicacies.  My fellow 9-year-olds exchanged nervous glances.  Unfortunately, I was the child who was usually willing to try almost anything–I like to think of myself as adventurous, but others may have said I was stupid.  The older girl recognized my stupidity   adventurous nature, and added, “They’re really good if you take a handful and let them melt in your mouth.”  I should have questioned the ability of a cherry to “melt” and, I definitely should have heeded the snicker of the other older kid–the mean one with the massive freckles and bowl-shaped hairdo.  But I am an idiot.

Okay, maybe I'm not a complete idiot.

It’s nice to know that there is someone dumber than I am.

I popped a generous helping of dehydrated “cherries” and proceeded to find out what it would feel like to have a grenade go off in your mouth.  The cherries were in fact some type of high grade pimento.  I was sure that my mouth skin was actually on fire.  Surely, my tongue had disintegrated.  I leapt to my feet and sprinted towards my kitchen–a reliable source of flame-dampening tap water.  That’s when it happened.  I heard a barely audible squishing sound and felt something soft and warm ooze between my toes.

I looked down at my feet and wiped the fire-induced tears from my eyes.  It was as I feared.  My foot was completely covered in fresh sheepdog poop.

This will teach him to poop on my sidewalk.

This will teach him to poop on my sidewalk.

Now, I was presented with an entirely new dilemma–run into the house to put out the inferno that was formerly my mouth, but leave a trail of poopy footprints in my wake.  Or look for a puddle or sprinkler to wash my shit-smeared appendage in, but lose several layers of mouth skin in the process.  I stood on my front lawn in a state of utter confusion and discomfort.  I must have been making some sort of noise–likely wailing–because suddenly my mother appeared.  She was here to save me…and my mouth…and my poop-covered foot.

Thankfully, the flesh in my mouth did survive and my foot is no longer brown.  But I learned two valuable lessons that day–never be the guinea pig when it comes to strange good.  And sandals and sheepdogs don’t mix.

 

I invite you to check out the latest post on my other blog:  http://searchingforbarryweiss.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/i-cheer-barry-cheers-we-all-cheer-for-thom-beers/

Photo credits:  Sheep dog lineup (http://www.nocaptionneeded.com/2008/02/madonna-and-the-santa-clones-at-the-dog-show/), Three’s Company (http://www.threescompany.com/tcompany/www/history.html), usual route (http://bethedos.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/the-challenge-of-change/usual-route/), Gene Wilder 9http://memegenerator.net/instance/35985519), idiot (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=idiot),  pelt (http://www.pointtrade.co.uk/191880/fancy-dress-old-english-sheep-dog),