[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
i don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation
in high school i had a pretty bad reputation. as a prankster. a practical joker extraordinaire.
i had two key rivals for the title of jokester supreme: two of my best pals -- b and w. we were great friends, and with my honorary one-of-the-guys status, i was just as often a co-conspirator as i was a victim of one of their gags.
they were typically just your run-of-the-mill pranks. when the senior class before us gave a large statue that was undeniably phallic to the school, we constructed a giant condom out of clear plastic sheeting and added our own artistic touch late one night.
when one of our friends passed out on a couch at a party, we constructed a web of twine and duct tape just inches above his body, and then threw water on him so he’d sit straight up. or at least try to sit straight up.
in a variation on a theme, another friend, t, had the grave misfortune to pass out at yet another party. we’d really never seen anyone so passed out before. nothing seemed to wake him. this unique opportunity could not be wasted. the three of us huddled together to formulate a plan.
in the morning, they woke t at the last possible minute.
“t! get up, man! you’ve got to go to work! holy shit, you’re late, man! get up!”
they hustled him into the shower, into some marginally clean clothes and sent him off to work. there, he came through the door and literally ran into his supervisor. who just happened to be my mom.
“so, t, did you have too much to drink at the party last night?” she asked.
“i know i’m a little late, i’m really sorry.”
“oh, no, that’s fine. um, just how much did you have to drink last night?” she continued with a straight face. you gotta love my mom.
“why? can you still smell it? i’m really sorry.”
“no, you can't smell it. have you looked at yourself in the mirror?”
“i’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you haven’t. looked in a mirror. go ahead, right over there.”
and there, under the hum of the fluorescent lights, t looked into the mirror and felt our sting.
we had shaved off half of his mustache.
we also pulled pranks on a grander scale. we were planning to bring a cow into the school one sunday evening, take it upstairs and leave it in the typing room. b knew people. he could get his hands on farm animals.
however, before we could pull off that one, a friend in ohio tried the same stunt. he learned a valuable lesson: turns out that getting a cow to go upstairs is not a problem. however, getting a cow to go downstairs is a different story altogether. who knew?
scratch the cow. enter the ducks. a lot of ducks. roaming the hallways of the school.
that was a good one.
w decided to get married while we were in college. he had met a very quiet, petite young thing who he adored and they were planning a beautiful spring wedding.
in a moment of what could have only been insanity, w asked b to be in his wedding. and then, in a moment of what could have only been something even more insane than insanity, they asked me to be a bridesmaid.
w’s bride-to-be wasn’t from west virginia. her family – a family of means, it should be said – had never stepped foot in our state. w warned us to be on our best behavior to give her family the best possible impression.
so, b and i rolled up to the rehearsal in a rusted-out truck, both of us wearing overalls and no shoes, with blacked-out teeth.
w couldn’t help but laugh. but his mother was not amused.
“the two of you, over here. now.”
we sat quietly in front of her, b twiddling the piece of hay he had in his mouth only moments earlier.
“i know all about you. both of you. there will be no funny business at this wedding. do you hear me? this wedding will go off without a hitch. and, if there is a hitch, i’m coming after the two of you.”
well, she said wedding. meaning the wedding ceremony. right? well, that’s how b and i chose to interpret it, anyway.
so, the reception was fair game.
we sketched out the plans and assigned tasks. we were nothing if not organized.
at the time, my sister was dating a very nice young man whose family owns a seafood market. my assignment was a piece of cake. and, what with b’s mysterious connections in the livestock sector, his task wasn’t much tougher. we agreed that this was going to be one of the easiest jobs we’d ever pulled.
boy, were we wrong.
the lobsters would not stay in the punch bowls. we tried everything we could think of, but they just were not cooperating. it was a bitch even keeping them on the table, let alone in the punch bowls. eventually, through the process of just putting them back in the punch bowl over and over and over again, i think we wore them down. which was good, because they were positioned “just so” when the guests arrived. of course, mere moments later, they got excited by all the attention and began trying to escape again. i’m sure you’ve heard the expression “herding cats”? well, that’s applesauce compared to herding lobsters.
b and i ducked out the back of the reception hall. not only to avoid w’s mother’s wrath...but also to begin phase ii.
when the happy couple left the reception, headed to their typically decorated car, draped in crepe paper and covered in “just married”, they stopped short.
that would be sheep. two of them. in the car.
and, in case you were wondering: you’ve heard the expression “herding lobsters”? well, that’s nothing compared to trying to convince two grown-ass sheep to get into a car. thank god i wasn’t going to wear that bridesmaid dress again anyway.
i think w’s mother had an aneurysm at that point.
w on the other hand, just laughed. he came over to b and me and gave us each a big hug.
“i love you guys. i knew you wouldn’t let me down. i would have been disappointed if you hadn’t done something. sheep. nice. very nice.”
we got the sheep back out of the car [much easier than getting them in, in case you were still wondering] and sat down on the curb.
“i’m glad he appreciated it.”
“think he’ll still appreciate it when they open up their luggage?”
“think they’ll get the smell out?”
“yeah, probably not. that was a whole lotta ramps* we put in those suitcases.”
“hell yeah it was.”
*okay, after the first comment and several emails, i shall now answer the burning question: "what the hell are ramps?" and i quote: "The flavor and odor of ramps is usually compared to a combination of onions and garlic, and the garlic odor is particularly strong. Strong enough, in fact, that even ramp-lovers will advise caution. If you sit down to a big meal of ramps, don't be surprised if people continue to keep their distance after a few days have passed!" dang. i bet that story wasn't funny at all if you didn't know what ramps were.
| [tell me about it] | [link to this entry]