Saturday, January 12, 2013
When we docked there, the sun was shining, birds were singing, the weather was sweet. We did a bit of shopping in the straw market, and then decided to hit the beach before getting back on the boat. And we needed a cab to get there. I looked around at our options. Now in the Bahamas, it’s not always obvious what’s a cab and what isn’t. They aren’t all yellow with a little piney air freshener dangling from the rearview mirror, or least of all branded with a company name … they’re all shapes and sizes and models … I swear I saw a Red Ryder wagon parked by the boat with Taxi painted on both sides being pulled by a toddler. Soon enough, though, a cab driver made the decision for us. This real smooth, sweet-talking (murderous?) man came up to us “beautiful girls” and told us to hop in his “cab”/vehicle he uses to lure innocent American girls into.
“I take you to da beach, my lovelies,” he said, giving us a big (murderous!) smile.
My three friends all sighed in relief and immediately began filing into his SUV that reeked of ciggy smoke and sweat (and not, I couldn't help but notice, of the now weirdly comforting odor of fake pine). I walked around to the other side of the car, as I was not seeing a Taxi marker on the side I was on, to loud cries of, “Amy, what are you doing? Just get in the car!” from my friends. Oh, no worries, I thought, just trying to make sure we don’t end up on the next episode of 48 Hours Mysteries is all! Don’t mind me! I didn’t see Taxi marked anywhere on the vehicle, but since my friends were now giving me the stink eye, and I do hate the stink eye, I decided to just hop in, despite my better judgment.
The “cab” driver began making small talk with us.
“So, you girls gonna have a fun time at da beach today?”
“Yes!” my girlfriends (marks!) all sang in chorus.
“Ah, dat’s right. I gonna make sure you all have a fun time!” he said in what had to be the creepiest voice ever. Yes, even creepier than any sound that could ever possibly come out of the creepiest person in the world (i.e., Carrot Top).
I started to sweat despite the A/C pumping at full blast. I tried to roll down the window, but found that I couldn’t. Dear Lord, he had locked the doors!! I began to panic. I need to be able to scream out the window so people will hear us in case he decides to not in fact take us to the beach but rather to a remote jungley part of the island where he robs us of all our money (I’m guessing we probably had a good $10, $20 among the four of us) and murder us all in cold blood … with a machete! And the whole time he's cackling, “You girls had a fun time at da beach! You girls had a fun time at da beach!” It’s possible I might watch too many 48 Hours Mysteries.
“Hey!” I screamed.
“Hey, lovely lady,” the psycho killer/cabbie returned.
“I need to open my window!”
“Ah, now, it’s such a hot day. You don’t want to sweat, do you? No … we keep da windows closed,” he said (with a crazy, murderous wink!)
I was in full-blown panic mode now. We had already driven a couple of blocks away from the boat. Where was he taking us? We stopped at a light, and I looked over to a van parked to our left. It had Taxi emblazoned in big black block letters on its side. Shit! I did a walk-around of the car we were in, and nothing on it had anything remotely resembling those letters. Except ... maybe ... AX!
“Hey!” I screamed again. “Let me out! I need to get out of this car!”
My friends turned and stared at me. The cab driver, ever so brightly, replied, “but dis is not da beach!”
“Oh, really?!" I began to furiously wave my hands around, to my friends' growing horror. "See these waves? That's all 'da beach' we need! Now let us out before I take you out!”
The cab driver, at this point probably scared for his life, quietly obeyed. The doors unlocked with a quick snap and I popped out of the SUV, raising my hands toward the sky, grateful I would live to see another day. I turned to the car. My friends were staring at me, slack-jawed. No one moved.
“That means everyone! Let’s go! Move 'em out!” I screamed hysterically. My friends all shot out of the car and watched sullenly as it sped away.
“Amy, what the hell was that all about??”
I looked at three very angry faces.
“We – we were all about to be mugged! And raped! And left for dead in the jungle! I think you mean thank you.”
“No, Amy,” my friend May said calmly, “we were all about to go to the beach! And get out of this fucking intense sun! Jesus Christ! You just had a total freak out!”
“He wouldn’t let me open the window,” I said quietly, lowering my head. "He wouldn't ... let me ..."
“Oh for …” my friends all said in unison, throwing up their hands.
I had to make it up to them, so I quietly scoured the street and walked up to who I thought looked like a nice guy. And so we all hauled into an even sketchier looking white minivan—you know, like the type of car that police are always "on the lookout for" that just might happen to be linked to some horrendous crime. My friends all looked at me skeptically.
“Amy, are you sure this is any better?” May asked.
“Absolutely!” I said in the most convincing voice I could muster, which granted at this point, sounded something like a psychotic squeak that would surely register an 11 on the amplifier.
“He has a star tattooed on the back of his shoulder. I mean, how bad can a guy with a big shining star on his back be?”
“Amy!” May snapped. “That’s a pentagram!”
“Open the window!” I screamed, as we all sped off to our almost certain demise ... into the great unknown/totally safe popular tourist destination that sees probably millions, billions of visitors a year.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
I quickly deduced, as the master Clue player that I am (like a chessmaster, only smarter, ahem), that it had to be my boyfriend, Chris, in the kitchen, with a bowl of pasta. How heating up a small bowl of spaghetti with a little sauce turns into a crime scene to rival any that I've ever seen in my 48 Hours Mystery shows is beyond me, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's my boyfriend's ingenious way of getting out of ever having to make a meal again. Call me crazy but I really don't feel like being the "cleaner" every time he gets in the mood for a midnight snack.
After documenting the evidence, I shook Chris awake and immediately started the interrogation, which didn't last long, seeing as he was the only suspect. Also, I was beginning to get a sneaking suspicion he wasn't taking the allegations very seriously, since he was casually trolling the Internet on his phone while I was giving him his sentence: A lifetime of never being able to go in the kitchen to cook again (which was his master plan all along, I'm sure).
"So did you see this? It's a picture of a flying minivan!"
"Really? Let me see." I am so easily distracted. Plus I felt like I had punished him enough with my endless spiel about the benefits of using a sponge over a dish towel when your bowl of spaghetti has been viciously slaughtered.
Sure enough, he had found a picture of a minivan with wings. I wasn't buying it, though, as it wasn't actually in the air.
"I really don't think it actually flies. If we had the potential to fly around a la The Jetsons (which, by the way, I'm really not sure why we're not at this point. It's 2012, people!), don't you think we'd all have a flying car?"
"I'm telling you, they exist! Here, I'll find a picture of a car that's actually in the air."
As I was wondering aloud at whether a flying car, if one really did exist, actually is more just a regular airplane that is shaped as a car and not actually a "flying car," per se, Chris, playing an impromptu game of our beloved popular perverted Google searches, shouts, "flying spaghetti monster!"
"I was typing in 'fly' into Google, and the fourth most popular search for that? Flying spaghetti monster."
I grabbed his phone, convinced he was punking me to distract me from the fact that he was dead wrong and that there are no such things as flying cars because really who would choose to deal with gridlock traffic and stop signs and crosswalks over being able to fly over all the road ragers with your middle finger high and proud and a big ol' F-you grin on your face? No one, that's who. But, sure enough:
Michaelangelo's first draft.
This might have just replaced chupacabra in the #1 spot on my list of shit I've never seen but totally exist and really want to see before I die. Hopefully not as a direct result at having finally seen them. I was now beginning to think that maybe my boyfriend had been framed. Maybe it was the flying spaghetti monster* all along. Holy crap. I felt horrible.
"I'm so sorry hun. I didn't mean to falsely accuse you like that. It's clear to me that what actually happened was that you were innocently heating up your pasta and sauce and being really clean about it, when the flying spaghetti monster swooped in, grabbed your bowl, and murdered your pasta in cold blood."
Chris looked at me with sad puppy dog eyes and even conjured up a little tear. "I don't know how you're going to make this up to me." Sniff, sniff.
"I'm so sorry. You know what, though? I totally revoke your sentence. I'm actually feeling a little hungry. You should go in the kitchen and whip us up some eggs and bacon and coffee. That'll make you feel much better."
Thank you, flying spaghetti monster. Thank you. You've done more for me than that useless chupacabra ever has. Lazy chupacabra.
*Deity for those who follow Pastafarianism. Of course.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Just whatever you do, do not bring this game up to your girlfriend's family (*cough*Chris*cough*)--who, by the way, you just happen to be meeting for the first time--using "How much does" as your first example--or any example for that matter--and then divulge that the #1 search for this little nugget of a question is "How much does an abortion cost?" during a previously innocent family game of poker in the game room with a nice roaring fire going, the dog curled up all cozy on your 12-year-old nephew's lap, and a frigging Linda Rondstadt song playing softly in the distance, because now everyone is thinking, "Why did he just tell us that? Is Amy one of the millions of people looking this up?" And then all of a sudden your sneaky instigator sister pipes up and says, "I heard that only what you yourself look up all the time pops up in the dropdown!" (And, by the way, said sister doesn't even have an email account so I don't even know where she even gets off acting like she's all Bill Gates all of a sudden.). And now my whole family definitely thinks at at some point I had resorted to looking up this question all because my boyfriend thought the price of baby removals was a topic of polite conversation. For the record, as far as I know, I've never been pregnant, unless you count that time where I ate a dozen chocolate chip cookies in one sitting my freshman year at college (it was more like the freshman 50 for me), and then a pan of brownies, and then maybe a squirt of whipped cream or two, but I'm pretty sure I only felt pregnant. Yeah. Definitely do not bring it up then.
*I actually had to Google whether or not dogs had vocal chords. Turns out, they do but they do not have "a well-developed speech center." If they did, they would for sure tell me what a nimnud I am.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I've also been getting into great shape (if I do say so myself, and I do) walking to work. And back. And then walking on my lunch break. I even take the long way to get to the bathroom. OK, so I might be a teensy bit crazy about it, but it allows me to eat cheeseburgers and fries dipped in mayo and bacon grease without much consequence (well, except for the obvious -- a stained shirt at the end of every lunch), so it's an insanity I can live with. Not like, say, OCD, which I used to have, where I was checking all the rooms and closets in my house and under the beds and then tapping the wall three times, that I cured myself of years ago. Not like that at all (one, two, three; one, two three). OK, to be honest it might have manifested itself in my blogs, but at least I can leave my house now without checking that the iron is off for the millionth time. I've never even owned an iron. Just kidding. I actually love to iron. So much so that I ironed my carpet. Total accident, but now I have a nice iron imprint on my bedroom floor, so I have this idea of maybe imprinting the whole damn thing so it'll look like I did it on purpose. Appliance decor. It's going to be huge, I'm telling you.
So my morning commute, probably not unlike most of your commutes, consists of walking past a short, chubby guy with John Lennon glasses and a medicated (psycho killer?) smile, who lets out a loud, piercing fart every time I walk in his direction, which unfortunately for me is every damn day. Thank you, work, for giving me a job that I can only get to by walking past psychopathic fart machine guys every morning. And it's not an organic toot, I might add. He has this electronic fart machine that he lets rip every time I get within a foot of him. I swear I am not making this up. Now I can't count on a lot of things in life, like that I'll get to work without bits of breakfast eggs on my face (thanks, all of Boston, for letting me walk four fricking miles without any of you giving me the heads up that I literally had egg on my face) but there is one thing I can count on: at 7:45am there's a crazy guy walking down Cambridge St. with a fart machine that he cranks up to 11 every time I have the audacity to walk his way.
It's gotten so bad that I've resorted to walking in the street when I get within about twenty feet of him. I have discovered that I will risk certain death to avoid hearing obnoxious electronic farting noises. I guess in a way I should be thankful I know what my thresholds are. My coworkers say to count my blessings they're not real. But I think the fact that they're fake is even more disconcerting. I mean, I can understand a guy with a gas problem, but a guy who intentionally and premeditatively commits an act of flatulence every damn day he sees me walking by is right up there with axe murderers and Carrot Top, if you ask me.*
One morning, I was just about to pass a girl to my right, when fart machine guy totally ambushed me and started walking toward me, on my left. It was too late to retreat, so as I was sandwiched between fart machine guy and this girl, he lets it rip, speakers blasting. The girl turns and looks at me right at this moment, with a look of disgust I haven't seen since I was caught drinking out of a used punch cup at a frat party that may or may not have had a discarded cigarette butt floating in it. (They were out of punch, people! Which, by the way, they had been serving to everyone at the party out of a garbage can, so I don't know why anyone had the right to be so judgmental.)
As if this daily situation isn't traumatic enough, one morning last winter, after my encounter with fart machine guy (a label I don't wish on anyone to be forced to use in their daily life, by the way), consisted of walking down Longfellow Bridge behind a guy who refused to let me pass him. He didn't outright say "I refuse to let you pass, mofo," but at the rate I was going (like somewhere between Mach 1 and Mach 2--maybe Mach 1 and a half?) I should've been able to pass him without a problem, but as I approached him, he kind of turned his head to the side, so I know he saw me, at least partially, and then started walking faster. I know he was walking faster because before he was walking normally on a really slushy bridge, and then all of a sudden, his feet were pumping and slipping out from under him at the same time. It was actually kind of funny to watch, like Wile E. Coyote pumping his little coyote feet really fast and not getting anywhere, so I just hung back and enjoyed the show until we were just stepping off the bridge. And that's when things got a little f'ed up.
He started slowing down again, so I thought I'd make my move to finally pass him. Just as I was approaching him, and I mean, I was just about to step around him, without even so much as a glance in my direction, he suddenly jets off like he's being chased by, well, let's go with Wile E. Coyote. I was stunned. I love to make good time, but I actually stopped dead in my tracks and just watched him race/slip away on the crowded Cambridge sidewalk. Once he was a few blocks away, he finally slowed down again into a walk and looked behind him, searching for me in the crowd. I waved. With one finger. What more could I do? I still don't know if he was annoyed I was maybe trailing him too close or whether he actually thought I was a Warner Brothers cartoon coming to eat him. I guess I'll never know. But I do know that not even fart machine loonies and mad morning sprinters even come close to my experiences on the 441, so for now I'll just invest in some good earplugs and pray to Jesus I just don't bump into Carrot Top. I hate that guy.
*And if you don't believe me that Carrot Top compares to an axe murderer, then I know you must have no idea what Carrot Top looks like. Say if the Joker had a baby with the creepiest clown you've ever seen and that baby had red hair a shade I'm pretty sure exists only in Hell and Carrot Top's head ... that's your man.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Five minutes later, a sudden gust of wind seemed to come to life beneath me for the sole purpose of lifting my skirt for all the men in suits walking toward me to see. And to make matters worse, I was wearing my most egregious pair of granny panties. I hadn’t done laundry in weeks, so I had no choice but to grab my old yellowed pair of panties, the cloth holding on to the waist band for dear life, the ones that could just possibly save my life if I were ever unfortunate enough to be hurtling toward the earth at a great speed, as they would surely fan out like a parachute, floating me safely to the ground.
I slammed my skirt down, making sure to grab it firmly by the sides so no sudden back wind could rush up and expose my booty. I silently congratulated myself on my quick reaction time, then froze as I caught a glance of myself in a store window: My poor choice of t-shirt selection that morning had resulted in a case of visible nipples. Instinctively, I reached up to cover my nips, which of course led to my skirt giving way. The wind lifted my skirt so high it grazed my chin, and the guys walking toward me hooted and hollered and gave thanks to the wind gods for blessing them that day ... until they saw the state of my panties. They quickly averted their eyes and put a little more gas in their step to get past me and my genormous panties that no doubt are still causing them to wake up at night in a cold sweat.
I was having similar glandular problems, as the 90-degree heat that day was causing me to sweat profusely. Salty sweat trickled into my eyes, rendering me virtually blind as I walked with one hand over my chest and one hand on my skirt. To make matters worse, the previous day I had gone into Macy's to buy a light foundation for my face. As I was making my purchase, the girl behind the counter alerted me to the fact that putting bronzing cream on my face was creating a shadow over my lip, causing me to look like I needed to set up shop next to the World’s Smallest Pony booth in the Albermarle Virginia County fair. To hide the faux 'stache, that morning I had put cover-up over my lip, which was dripping down my face and onto my nipple-exposing t-shirt.
By the time I finally got to my office, one look in the mirror had me almost turning back around. I had foundation and pit stains on my shirt, and the sweat from my walk had seeped through my skirt, exposing my granny panties. Luckily, I was the first one in; I grabbed the heating unit I keep under my desk that I run all throughout the summer and pumped it up to 11. For some reason unbeknownst to me, people in offices like to pretend they’re in the Arctic in July and August, so that when you finally step out into the sweltering summer heat after a long day of shivering and ice fishing, you develop pneumonia and die.
Luckily the heater saved the day. I was able to dry myself completely before anyone came in, so that the only embarrassments I had to deal with that day were the stains on my shirt and looking like a sideshow freak. To avoid being seen and exposing myself to any more innocent civilians, I stayed in for lunch and hailed a cab to take me home. About 5 minutes into the ride, the cabbie, a Russkie, suddenly turned around to face me and shouted, “Aunt Olga! I can't believe it's you! I thought you were still in Virginia!”
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It started out as a bright, beautiful sun-shiney day. My friends and I headed out to breakfast at Moogie's, a local eatery, in shorts and t-shirts, as it was an unusually hot day in late September.
I had just enough time to scarf down a muffin with my friends before I had to drive down to the Cape for the weekend. I was just about to head out the door, when there was an unearthly crash of thunder, followed by a torrential downpour. I looked down at my little white t-shirt.
Much laughter ensued. All of it coming from my so-called friends.
"This isn't funny, guys! My car is parked three blocks away and I need to go now! What the hell am I going to do?"
"Why don't you see if they have a trash bag?" my friend Mel suggested.
I walked back to the cashier and, after much smirking, the cashier went in back and returned carrying a humongous bright orange jack-o-lantern trash bag.
"It's all we have."
I returned to the table, carrying the trash bag like it actually had a load of trash in it.
"What the …"
"I know. It's all they have. Or say they say!" I turned to look at the cashier, who was still smirking at me.
"So what are you going to do?"
"What can I do? It's either this bag or being the only contestant in a wet t-shirt contest."
I ripped a hole in the bag, slipped it over my head gingerly--apparently forgetting I was putting on five feet of orange plastic and not, in fact, an expensive Christian Dior gown--and marched to the door.
"Remember to be back by midnight before the spell wears off!"
I banged the door closed to more sounds of my friends rolling on the floor with laughter. Outside, a complete storm was raging. To make matters worse, the wind was so strong, it was blowing up the trash bag so that I actually looked like the Great Pumpkin Linus has been looking for all his life.
I turned the corner and started walking down Commonwealth Avenue, a major Boston street, to the various sounds of car honks and screams of, "Look at that idiot!"
I was not more than five steps away from my car, which I had parked on a side street, when I heard a squealing of tires followed by a sickening crunch. I turned around to see the result of what could only have been a car, momentarily stupefied by the sight of a human pumpkin walking around in the light of day, crashing into the car ahead of him who was pulling out onto the street.
I hurriedly jumped in my car before I landed on the ten o'clock news.
The following Monday, I got an unexpected call from Mel at work.
"So one of my co-workers came up to me today. She was like, 'My boyfriend saw the strangest thing this weekend …' "
"Oh yes. Apparently her boyfriend got in to a fender bender because of you. I'm not going to say anything to her, but if I were you, I'd destroy all evidence and never speak of this again."
When I got home, I ran to my car and grabbed from my glove compartment the monstrous neon orange bag that now seemed to be smiling evilly at me, not unlike the small bestial-looking stone that that archeologist finds in the beginning of The Exorcist, I was now starting to notice. I quickly ran to the nearest trash bin, not realizing that my shoelace had come undone. I tripped, releasing the trash bag into the windy night. And in the distance, a loud scream followed by the distinct sound of tires squealing in the night ...
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Upon stepping through the door, I crossed myself, said a little prayer, and figured at least I'd have something to cook the veggies with if I spontaneously burst into flames, having only hours earlier scarfed down an egg sandwich with about four slices of bacon and two sausage patties.
We were quickly greeted by a young orange waitress. If it hadn't been for everyone's height, I would've sworn we'd inadvertently stumbled upon Oompa Loompa land. All the waiters had bright orange faces, no doubt as a result from downing too many carrot juice shots. Say what you will about my rum swilling, at least I don't get mistaken for the Harvest Moon when I go out at night. A pirate, maybe, but I think we can all agree that getting mistaken for a drunken pirate is way cooler than getting mistaken for the moon, even a great big orangey one that happens once every four years during the fall equinox.
Upon receiving our menus, one thing that stood out was how every entree was wrapped in quotes. Diners had the option of choosing between such scrumptious delights as Guac and "Chips," Quesadillas with Jack "Cheese," Squash "Ravioli," and Spaghetti and "Meetballs." I appreciated how "meetballs" was written not only in quotes but incorrectly as well. Just in case an errant carnivore such as myself should happen to wander in and miss the quotes, the misspelling of meat would quickly confirm that what you were about to eat would taste terrible and nothing like an actual meatball and would, in all probability, cause you much digestive distress after eating such a monstrous aberration to the sanctity of cooked cow. Worse yet, every entree was accompanied by Buddhist-like deep thoughts, such as "How do I Awaken?" and "How am I Sensational?" I was tempted to write, "By eating slaughtered cows" in the margins.
I ordered the mocha "frappe" with cashew milk, which was a little concerning, as I hadn't known that cashews had teats. But it was the least intimidating item on the menu as far as I could tell--I mean, how badly could a bunch of orange vegans screw up a coffee drink?
Pretty badly, as it turned out. At first I thought I'd been served the runs in a cup. It was a gruesome brown color, the likes of which I hope to never see again. Froth bubbled up to the top, like some sort of witch's brew that might just turn me into a frog, or worse, a raw-food vegan. I held my nose and took a sip. Cashews, as it turns out, pump out really shitty milk.
Seeing as it was my manager's birthday, however, I had to be a good sport and down the foul concoction. I was nervous and uncomfortable, though, and to break the tension, I started babbling about the one comfort and light of my life, that which I can depend on even in my darkest of days to make me happy again ... yes, I started talking about bacon. I talked about the different varieties, how I needed it every day and how when I went to bed, I dreamed about it at night and counted the hours until I would see it again in the morning, how I yearned to smother it in chocolate ... I was talking about it so passionately it became borderline kinky. The lone vegan sitting to the right of us who was reading a book called--I kid you not--Green for Life, kept looking at me like I was talking about killing all the puppies and rainbows in the world.
As filling as my cup of fake coffee was, a fellow meat-loving coworker and I hightailed it out of lunch and hit up the Wendy's across the street, where we relished its ingenious new invention: the Baconator. As we exited the fast food chain--or, as I call it, church--I could've sworn I saw that lone vegan--eating his alfalfa sprouts and "nausage" patty--staring out the window at us enviously, salivating ever so slightly.