Trees with Eyes, Tube-shaped Eggs, and Packages That I Haven’t Read Carefully

It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase ‘As pretty as an airport’ appear.”    Douglas Adams.

I hate wearing sunglasses.  I have an oddly shaped head or face or something, because they always make me look very strange.  Like a beetle on crack.  I’ve tried every type from teeny-weeny intellectual ones to motorcycle cop “you-can’t-see-my-eyes” styles to the ones with lenses the size of garage doors.  None of them give me that sophisticated Jackie-O look–no matter how many scarves I wear.

And they make my eyes sweat.  Well, not my actual eyes–that would probably land me a spot in some optical medical journal–but the space under my eyes.  All summer I look like Alice Cooper.  I realize that I could invest in some waterproof mascara, but that just opens up a whole new can of worms.

My husband’s glasses fog up a lot.  That must be frustrating.  One minute the world is a crisp vision of loveliness and “pwoff,” it is transformed into a chasm of blurriness (do you like my attempt at Mad Magazineish sound effects?)  Which raises another question?  Do contact lenses ever fog up?  Or worse, if they get cold can they stick to your nice, warm eyeballs? Think of Flick’s tongue and the flagpole in The Christmas Story.  

1)  I have recently discovered that I am an idiot.  Seriously, I am a total numpty-head.  I don’t know how many times I have endured the frustration of pulling out a sheet of Saran wrap, having the entire tube come with it, and struggling to hold on to my sheet of cellophane without allowing it to stick to itself, while I fight to return the roll to the box.  A box with a jagged metal “tearing strip” that usually winds up ripping my flesh during this battle.  It happens to me on a regular basis.  And I always blame the Saran wrap.  Or its equally frustrating cousin, tin foil.

It turns out that I am to blame.  Apparently, the thoughtful manufacturers of these products have gone to the trouble of creating a device to keep these rolls in place.  I’m just too stupid to read the packaging and make this discovery.

If you, too, are a moron–I’m in no position to judge your mental prowess–simply take a glance at the photo to your right.  See the little triangular-ish shape on the side of this (and all other) Reynolds Wrap boxes?  Well, apparently, if you push that puppy in, the roll will stay in place.  Who knew?  Okay, some of the world’s “smarty-panted” people probably knew.  But, surely I can’t be the only one who didn’t know.  Could I?  (Cue sound of crickets).

2)  I love trees.  My favourite is the weeping willow.  They’re great for climbing and their long, draping foliage is perfect for hiding in.  Maples are nice too.  Seriously, a tree that makes pretty colours in the fall AND gives us sweet sap for pouring on our pancakes.  Plus, I’m Canadian.  Maples are sort of our thing.  Check out our flag.  And our pennies.  Although you’ll have to check out the pennies soon since they have been put on the minting chopping block.

I recently discovered, however, that not all trees are pretty or stately or eager to provide us with shade.  Some are downright scary.

This “screaming tree” lives in Hither Hills State Park, NY.  I’m sorry, but if I ran in to this, I’d probably run the other way screaming.  Trees just simply aren’t supposed to look like this.  I am grateful that a very brave photographer managed to take this shot though.  Seriously.  Can you imagine seeing this through a camera lens?  Or taking your eyes off it long enough to take your camera out and turn it on?  I’d be far too worried about what its branches were up to.  Like, are they reaching around to grab me?  I mean look at the mouth!  Trees generally don’t have mouths.  I can only imagine what someone would find if they peered down inside this bark-covered beast.

But, as ugly as the American offering is, the UK has an even more horrific forest dweller.  Not only does it have teeth, but it appears to have actual eyeballs.  Or eye sockets, at the very least.

Does anyone remember the evil trees in H.R. Pufnstuf?  In case you don’t, you can catch them here….

I think I’ll go outside and hug my faceless oak.

3)  I have  simply got to go to Japan.  As you know, this is the land of square watermelons, the girlfriend pillow, and tomato chocolate bars.  And in case those aren’t enough to send you out for airline tickets to Tokyo, I have just found another draw. The Japanese egg roll.

How efficient is this?  Instead of taking the time to boil an egg and set the timer to ensure it’s hard-boiled, you simply take out your tube of egg and hack off a slice or two.  I wonder what type of bird lays cylindrical eggs?

Photo credits:

Reynolds wrap:  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gJCMpC3I-ng/TAkYjt80sXI/AAAAAAAAGxc/-grfoaKwtvg/s320/foil.jpg

Egg tube:  Marci Wittwer Butterfield

Screaming tree:  brothergrimm

UK Tree: David Garnham/Newsteam/Getty Images

Bird Feet, Burger Beds, Bad Bites, and an English Lesson

If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.” – Robin Williams

The English language never ceases to fascinate me…must be the English Teacher in me.  Today, I have decided to be awed by words that sound like their meaning.  I know.  This linguistic phenomenon  has a name–onomatopoeia.  Good luck with pronouncing that one, by the way.

When I think of these types of words, my old MAD magazines come to mind.  Those babies were full of them.  Apparently, a knight being pierced by a sword goes “plortch.”  “Ack” is both the sound of people coughing and Native Americans being shot at.  And in a clever play on words, “Barroom” was the sound of a balloon being fired out of a gun in a saloon.

The old Batman TV show wasn’t as clever in its use of onomatopoeia, but it certainly offered quantity–regularly filling the entire screen with brightly coloured font bearing words like “kapow,” “splatt,” and “biff.”

Yes, inflicting bodily harm on someone makes funny noises and I appreciate these writers’ attempts to fully capture the moments.  I, however, am partial to words like mucous, phlegm, puke, or puss.  These words sound like the objects they are.  Fungus, sputum, diphtheria, diarrhoea, and louse are equally effective.

Some words, however, are far too cute for their meanings.  A bunion sounds like a cuddly, little, furry creature that everyone should want.  A carbuncle sounds like it should be fun.  And a dust bunny–well, you get the picture.  Words are weird.

1)  Nature shows disturb me.  Big animals are always chewing on smaller ones and, frankly, I just don’t see the entertainment value in watching that.  I know that it’s a big, bad, cruel world–particularly if you happen to be at the bottom of the food chain–but I prefer to pretend that the creatures in the wild live happily together.  Like the lions and zebras and penguins in Madagascar.  

So, when my husband began watching some big cat schmorgesborg of little furry things, I fled to the television in the bedroom and flicked on something benign like Third Rock from the Sun.  Turns out that I missed a scintillating little documentary about the life of a hummingbird.  Don’t worry though.  I received a complete synopsis over breakfast this morning.

Here are the highlights:

  • Hummingbirds, as we know, were built to fly–fast and furious.  In fact, 30% of a hummingbird’s weight is made up of flight muscles.  They can fly forwards, backwards, sideways and upside-down…upside-down?  Really?  I can’t even sit in the back seat of a car without throwing up.   And they can fly 25-30 mph.  Imagine doing that upside-down.
  • Hummingbirds, however, have very weak feet…an Achilles Heel of sorts.  These feet aren’t made for walkin’…perching, yes…walking, no.
  • And they have a metabolism that every woman would kill for–they can eat up to 8x their body weight every day!  I just look at a Glosette raisin and I gain ten pounds.  And, in order to meet their hefty caloric requirements, they visit an average of 1000 flowers per day.  This raises another question…who the hell is following these birds around and counting flora?  Furthermore, these little birds are FAST.  How do their stalkers keep up?  It all sounds a little fishy to me.

2)  Sometimes the Internet can turn up the most amazing things.  Well, this is not one of them.  But it is a story that sort of touched my heart.  It is the tale of a hamburger bed–a one of a kind–that spent its life in search of a friend.

Apparently, a young woman by the name of Kayla Kromer was a HUGE fan of hamburgers…so much so that she decided to create this hamburger bed. The 8′ in diameter, 3′ high, burger resided with her for 6 years and then, she did the unthinkable…she sold it on e-bay.  The burger moved to Chicago for a year and was put up for auction again.  It even achieved celebrity status thanks to Jay Leno.

Despite its beefcake appearance and fame, the burger bed was still alone in a world of king-sized squares.  And, then, along came Hamburger Harry and the Hamburger Museum.  Here, the Hamburger Bed has found true love in the form of the Cheeseburger Bed–a waterbed burger created by Harry, himself.  At last, Hamburger Bed has found a kindred spirit and he no longer sleeps alone.

3)  Okay, so the next time you are complaining about an onslaught of black flies or mosquitoes, I’d like you to think of this story that is fresh off the presses.

According to Canada.com’s The Province, a village in India has become the target of an attack by a herd (flock, swarm, or whatever it is called) of huge, hairy, venomous spiders.  Twelve people have been treated for bites and there are unconfirmed reports of two deaths.

Even scarier, specialists have no idea what type of spider this is.  It is tarantula-like, but is said to be very aggressive with powerful fangs.  Yikes. It’s not too often you hear “fangs” and “spider” in the same sentence.

Currently, they are fogging and spraying the area with insecticides.  I think I will go outside and hug a Daddy-Long-Legs.