No arms, skinny legs, a giant diaper, and a blanket that scares me.

I am feeling a tab bit discombobulated today and stringing together coherent thoughts is quite beyond my capabilities.  Stupid, random sentences that have nothing to do with each other is much more within my reach.

Everyone seems to think birds have it made because they can fly.  But imagine going through life with no arms.  Seriously.  Getting peanut butter off your beak without hands or paws or anything remotely like that must be a pain in the ass.  And the “armed” creatures all make fun of the way you walk.  It’s hard to strut when you have no arms to swing.  Or hands to put in your pockets.  Speaking of pockets, birds have very skinny legs and no hips, so pants are out of the question.  And without arms, they can’t wear shirts.  They will never know the joy of having pockets.  Plus, they must get tired of eating the same old thing all the time.  How many ways can you serve a worm?

Which brings me to another question.  Why do we call pants “pants” in the plural?  And why does one “pant” constitute a pair?  Some say it’s because they have two legs in them.  A shirt has two sleeves, but it remains a lowly, singular item.  Is this because we place more value on legs than on arms?  Hm.  That should make the bird feel a bit better.

1)  Birds, like anyone else, need to have fun and I am sure that one of their favourite pastimes involves well-aimed poop and shiny, red cars.  I know.  I own one.  A shiny, red car that is.  Not a bird poop.  Although, I do occasionally have a few in my possession on said shiny, red car.

It turns out that someone has found a way to rob our feathered friends of this sport.  Yes, they have created diapers for birds.  How humiliating.

If you feel compelled to diaper your canary, you can find these babies at http://www.diapersforbirds.com/index.asp.  They have even included a how-to video for the first-time avian parent.

They could have at least included pockets.

2)  Even our insults seem to malign our feathered friends.  Take the term “bird brain.”  Humans have deemed the avian mind to be laughable–so small that even Dan Quayle (ironically named after a bird) could out-spell it.

But, perhaps, we have been wrong.  Turns out that a diet of caterpillars and crickets is the healthy way to go.  Ack.  There goes my cinnamon swirl peanut butter with raisins in it.  Never eat raisins before you compose a blog about bugs.

Scientists agree that insects are chalked full of protein, iron, and vitamins.  For every 100 grams of caterpillars you gnaw on, you are getting 28 grams of protein.  That’s impressive.  Unless you’re the caterpillar.  And if you prefer the finer things in life, perhaps steamed silk worm is more your style.  Sounds elegant, doesn’t it?

And here’s a useful little ditty for you to remember the next time you go digging for your dinner:

Red, orange, yellow, forget this fellow.

Black, green, or brown, wolf it down.

3)  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of crows.  And I finally have the chance to feature one of the coolest roadside attractions  that I had the thrill of discovering–three 11 foot tall metal crows in Upstate New York.  They’re on the I-81 just south of the Ivy Lea Bridge (aka Thousand Islands Bridge) to Canada and can be seen most easily from the southbound lane.  Don’t blink or you will miss them.  Seriously.

Sculptor, Will Salisbury, created 3 Crows in a Field from 1999-2001 as a “campaign to abolish boredom.”  I know it keeps me and my “bird brain” (actually referring to myself, not my husband) entertained.

Photo Credits:  bugs (www.ifood.tv), crows (www.roadsideamerica.com), Gary Larson Cartoon (www.thebirdforums.com).

Pass Me My Shark, Put Extra E Coli on my Burger, and Drown That Damn Toothbrush

In a previous installment, I told you that I have strange dreams.  This week, my nighttime forays have been particularly interesting.  A couple of nights ago “dream-me” was walking through a creek while Storage Wars‘ Barry Weiss defended me from sharks.  Tiny man-eating sharks.  In a creek.  “Dream-me” was so impressed with Barry’s heroic efforts that I let him make love to me right then and there.  In the creek.  Surrounded by little sharks.  Needless to say, watching Storage Wars is now like foreplay.

Last night, I dreamt that I discovered that I had a two-year-old.  I guess that up until that point it had been very quiet and invisible.  Well, it turned out that this kid was like a walking Webster’s Dictionary.  Its vocabulary made for great entertainment at parties.  Hey, if you’re going to have an imaginary toddler in your forties, you might as well have some perks.  And, yes.  I realize that I have been referring to the kid as “it,” but it’s okay.  It’s not real.  I much preferred the Barry Weiss dream.

Barry Weiss…no creek-dwelling shark is too much for him

I had a beef sandwich the other day.  You’re probably scratching your head and thinking, “I know this chick has the thought-process of a red squirrel, but what does that have to do with anything?”  Bear with me.  Right now, eating cow in Canada is like playing a deli version of Russian Roulette.  A huge beef processing plant in Alberta has been shut down due to an e coli outbreak.  Can ingesting e coli cause strange dreams?  If I eat more, can I pick up the Barry Weiss dream where I left off?  I think I’ll go out and get myself a big steak.  With a side order of bacteria.

1) Let’s face it.  Humans are strange.  And some humans are stranger than others.  I couldn’t possibly bring up Russian Roulette without checking to see if our friends from the Far East have tried re-inventing it.  Sure enough, they have.  From the nation that has brought us the girlfriend lap pillow, the plunger helmet, tomato chocolate, the remote control toilet, and square watermelons, I now bring you Japanese Russian Roulette.  

This kind of makes me want to dust off the old Nerf guns.  Kind of.

I would rather use this toothbrush after the pig than buy one of these.

2)And trust me, the Japanese do not have a monopoly on bizarre products.  I was in the local Walmart the other day and saw something that horrified me.  Justin Bieber toothbrushes.  They actually sing.  Four different colours are available and each one plays a different Bieber hit.  Yikes!  Waking up and having to endure the Biebs singing.  In my mouth.  Is it just me or does that seem dirty?  And not in a pleasant “dreaming-about-Barry-Weiss” way.

This clip pretty much sums up the reaction I had at Walmart.  Except in my head.  I didn’t think I should exclaim my disbelief out loud.  By myself.  To no one in particular.

 

3)  So, what kind of shallow-water dwelling shark could Barry Weiss have been rescuing me from in my dream?  I think we can safely say it wouldn’t be Bruce from Jaws.  Yes, that was the shark’s name.

Apparently, the world’s smallest shark is smaller than a human hand.  Well, not mine.  Mine are freakishly small.  Like Minnie Mouse‘s hands.  But with four fingers and a thumb.

This harmless little shark is the Dwarf Lanternshark, believed to be found only in Columbia and Venezuela.  The Chihuahua of sharks, it doesn’t exactly instill fear.  So, it would appear that my dream took place in a South American creek.  And the only danger I faced was having my heels over-exfoliated by Snickers-sized sharks.  Perhaps, Barry wasn’t being heroic after all.  He just really wanted to touch my smooth feet.

No small sharks were harmed during the filming of my dream.

Related Links:  Searching For Barry Weiss

I was driving in my furry car to see the Captain of Beans when my arm fell off.

Last night, I made the mistake of saying aloud, “I like wind.”

My husband, who never passes up a chance to be funny, quickly responded “Is that why you fart so much?”

I’m a bit of an attention hog, myself, so I deftly replied, “Yes.  And I’m really upset that I can’t put my ass in front of my face.”

This is the sort of banter that takes place in my house all the time.  But that’s not where I was going with this post.  The fact is that I LOVE wind.  The type created by Mother Nature, not Libby’s brown beans.

I so wish I could pretend to be a dog and stick my head out the car window, but let’s face it–I’d probably get my head lopped off by a mailbox or something.  Instead, I play it safe by sleeping in front of a fan.  Yes, we have central air, so it’s not because I’m hot.  In fact, sometimes I’m downright cold.  But the wind feels damn good.  Even if it is frigid.

And in the car, I never use the a/c–which is a major accomplishment.  It gets pretty darn hot and sticky here in the summer.  (Yup, I’m Canadian.  And, yes, we do get heat.  Eh?)  My husband, however, loves air conditioning.  You might think this causes a dilemma.  Not at all.  Our car is the Switzerland of automobiles.  His half of the vehicle is like a chilly, sealed-off, tomb with all the artificial air-pushing vents pointed in his direction.  My side has the window wide open and my arm flapping in the fresh, “real air” breeze.

The only problem is that insects travelling at 85 kms an hour hurt.  My arm has seen–or rather “felt”–it all.  Errant beetles, fuzzy bees, and God knows what else has been smucked against my tender flesh.  I know.  You’re saying, “How do you think the poor bug felt?”  I’m not without a soul.  I also feel sorry for the bugs.  But I cannot stop.

On an unrelated topic, I heard this joke on Ellen the other day.  What did the zero say to the eight?  I like your belt.

1)  What do you get when you cross a beetle and a rhinoceros?  Apparently, the ugliest bug ever.  Seriously, look at that thing.  It’s name is the “rhinoceros beetle” and I must say that both I and my arm were relieved to learn that it resides in the Far East.  And I don’t mean East as in Newfoundland–I mean China and Japan.  My heart does go out to my Japanese and Chinese arm-flailing counterparts though.  Having one of these careen into your arm would probably leave you…well…armless.

If you’re a regular follower of my blog–and if you aren’t, what is wrong with you?–you will know what a fascinating place Japan is.  Well, the home of the girlfriend pillow, tomato chocolate, the suction cap helmet, and so much more has struck again.

While we wimpy North Americans play with our pet Labradoodles and listen to the Snuggle Bear sell us laundry products, the Japanese are seemingly immune to such soft and cuddly façades.  They appear to prefer sharp and crunchy, particularly when it comes in the form of the rhinoceros beetle.  Pet stores sell them for $5 to $10.  In some places in Japan, you can even get one in a vending machine.  Hopefully, not the same one that dispenses Coke and Doritos.

They are also popular cartoon characters.  This makes me wonder what we are missing out on.  Perhaps, we should also embrace the insect world.  Monty the Mosquito?   David Dung Beetle?  Maybe these should be the subjects of the next Pixar flick.

2) One Beetle that I am a HUGE fan of is the Volkswagen variety.  You’ve got to love a vehicle that gives you permission to punch people.

The clever folk at the Dallas Arboretum have discovered a way to create soft fuzzy, colourful Bugs.  Meet the VW topiary Westfalia and Beetle pair.  These former street vehicles have had their proverbial guts removed and some sort of plant-friendly caging or meshing attached and “voila”–look at how pretty they now are!

This would make Herbie proud.

3) Japan is not the only place where I find strange things.  The UK has its fair share.

Meet “Captain Beany”–yup, that is what he “officially” goes by–the Curator of the Baked Bean Museum of Excellence.  Mister Beany–I refuse to recognize his self-appointed ranking–has amassed over 200 artefacts in his Port Talbot, Wales museum.  Um, he refers to it as a “virtual haricot heaven.”

So, there you have it.  If you consider yourself to be a bean fiend, this just may be the place for you.  But I don’t see any Libby’s.

In honour of all you busy-bowelled bean eaters, here is a clip of the famous Blazing Saddles bean scene:  

And, course, I couldn’t have a blog that mentioned “beans” without at least one clip from Mr. Bean.  

Photo Credits:  Ugly bug (http://life-bite.blogspot.ca), VW topiaries (http://www.dallasplanttrials.org), Mister Beany (http://www.bakedbeanmuseumofexcellence.org.uk/).

Homer the Crow, Larry the Lobster, and the Zillion Dollar Omelette

“If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?”  Steven Wright.  

What does it mean when you hear a voice in your head and this voice sounds like Homer Simpson screaming?  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t usually hear voices.  It’s just that lately, whenever I step outside, I hear this piercing screech, much like the noise that the Simpson clan’s father figure made when he fell off the cliff.  And then out of the ambulance and off the cliff again.

I am comforted by the fact that my husband hears this voice too.  We both can’t be nuts.  Or can we?  They say that women who hang around together experience the synchronization of their menstrual cycles.  Maybe this is like that, but without the bloating and cramps.  Maybe my husband and I have concurrent periods of insanity.

This unsettling thought spurred us forward to seek out the source of this bizarre noise.  We soon realized that it seemed to be coming from the sky.  And it was not the sound of angels.  The noise seemed to pass over us intermittently.  Strange.

And then, we spotted it.  The source of our confusion.  We would not have to look in to the acquisition of a padded cell or his & her straight jackets, after all.

It was an everyday crow with a really strange caw.  Poor fellow.  What a horrible voice for a crow to be afflicted with.  I’m sure the other crows make fun of him.

Today, June 15th, is officially Lobster Day.  I had no idea that lobsters had their own day.  I guess it seems only fair.  We do dunk them into boiling hot water and listen to them scream.

In honour of this tasty crustacean, I think we should learn a few lobster facts.  So, here we go:

Lobsters taste with their feet.  So, this means their food all tastes like their feet.  Sorry, my feet may smell like parmesan, but they sure as heck don’t taste like it.  They taste like foot.  Or so I have concluded.  I haven’t actually tasted my feet.  And I don’t eat floor food–five second rule or not.  Floor food has been where my feet have been.

A lobster’s brain is in its throat.  That must be very uncomfortable.  Wouldn’t you experience a constant a-hem?  Would a hiccup cause a stroke?

Lobsters breathe through gills on their legs.  I’m glad my nose isn’t on my legs.  Too close to my farts.

You are already aware of my fascination for ordinary things made big, so it only makes sense that I feature a giant crustacean.  The photo above is Larry The Lobster, a 17 metre tall tourist attraction made of steel and fibreglass.   He stands proudly in Kingston SE, South Australia.

We are used to the traditional red lobster.  Heck, they even named a restaurant chain after them.  But in the cold waters that extend from England to Morocco, you can find the blue lobster.  This Smurfy lobster’s bright colouring makes him vulnerable to predators.  Plus, he is supposed to be even yummier than his North American counterparts, so humans are willing to pay big bucks to chew on his claws.  I would still never eat at a place called Blue Lobster.  A little too Green Eggs and Ham.

Okay.  This just goes to show that there are some people that have more money than brains.  Meet the “Zillion Dollar Omelette”–10 oz. of American Sturgeon Caviar, an entire lobster, a whole lot of egg, chives, cream, and more.  All this for a “mere” $1000. US.  Only available at Norma’s in Le Parker Meridien Hotel, Manhattan.

How am I ever going to face my boring PB on toast breaky tomorrow morning?  So pedestrian.

Apparently, about 12 people order this each year.  If you want to have a less expensive (and less decadent) version, you can have a scaled down, 1 oz of caviar omelette for $100.

And if a little lobster doesn’t have enough to worry about–being eaten by other sea creatures, being boiled in a pot, or winding up in a rich person’s omelette–they have incredibly horrible mating rituals.  They pee in each other’s faces–apparently, this is a turn-on.  It also allows the male to know that he has, indeed, found himself a female lobster.  If he is in the mood, he’ll flip her over and they’ll assume the missionary position.  Seriously.  But, if she isn’t in the mood–perhaps she has a headache (Would this be in the throat, where her brain is?  Or is it because he just pee’d on her head)–she will not allow herself to be flipped.  And the male will have to gulp down some liquid and pee on someone else’s head.

Photo Credits:  Larry the Lobster (TripAdvisor), blue lobster (justonemorepet.wordpress.com), omelette (dailymail.co.UK), BOB ( by Jeff Pert, Mike Lynch Cartoons), Stupid (Jeff Pert Cartoons).