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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2003-05-09 ... 3:52 p.m.

I am almost done with the business-trip tidbits that are swirling around in my brain. For real.


Signs in the pick-up area of O'Hare arrivals mention "dwell time." Areas in which you cannot linger say NO DWELL TIME. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may! Carpe diem! No dwell time!

Pittsburgh airport seems more overtly security-conscious than O'Hare. I had to take off my shoes, my messenger bag was sent through x-ray several times, and ultimately the flirtatious and jocular airport security guy searched my bag with dedicated thoroughness, including going through my wallet ("want to loan me ten bucks?"), opening and smelling my bag of dried fruit ("healthy snacks, cool!"), and commenting on my technical gadgets ("is that a Handspring?"). Someone should tell him that macking on girls who are on their way OUT of town is not too terribly productive. Finally he pulled out my keys, which are attached to a small plastic dinosaur key ring. "Ah, here's the trouble," he said. "T. Rex is a ferocious carnivore! You can't bring this creature on an airplane!" Ha ha. Oh Airport Security Guy, you crack me up. Sort of.

Also witnessed at Security was a cute small boy with a death-grip on a stuffed dog. The parentals were trying to convince him to put it through the x-ray machine, putting a positive spin on the idea: Look! Growly will get to go on a fun ride on this conveyer belt! Won’t that be great? However, the kid was having none of it, not crying yet but really really close, and the airport security guys were kind of clustered around with their arms folded, exchanging wry indulgent smiles but also giving the impression that they would not be above taking Growly for that x-ray ride by force, if necessary. Their cause is just. Growly's aggression will not stand.


Did you hear about this guy who cut off his own arm? To me, this story illustrates several things that I have been saying for years. (1) Never, ever, go out into Nature. What does Mother Nature want from us? The answer is obvious: She Wants Our Limbs. For instance: Frostbite. Giant crushing boulders. Wolverines that can rip off an arm with one clamp of their wolverine jaws. Muskrats that first incapacitate you with a tendon-severing ankle bite, then nibble and nibble until your leg is entirely gone. Go ahead, scream your lungs out during your Nibbling Ordeal, do you think Mother Nature cares? She is all like, Listen motherfucker, what exact part of "red in tooth and claw" don't you understand? Don't come to me singing your sad limb-losing song. You were warned.

Let me, Mimi Smartypants, be your Johnnie Cochran for one moment: If It Ain't Concrete, You Must Retreat. After this news story, I am hesitant to walk in the damn park. I am sticking to the city sidewalks and to the great indoors, or, if I have to walk in nature for any reason, I am considering wearing a straitjacket because it keeps the limbs nice and enclosed and away from dangers. Or maybe a giant hamster ball or John-Travolta-Boy-In-The-Plastic-Bubble contraption. I only have four limbs, and I need them all, and even though being known as That Person Who Severed His Or Her Own Arm With A Pocketknife pretty much assures you of buckets and buckets of bad-ass cred until the end of time (can you imagine?), I'd rather not, thank you. NO NATURE NO HIKING NO CAMPING NONE OF THAT FOOLISHNESS. NO.

(2) When I was in Pittsburgh and way too involved in television news every hotel-room morning, of course the Arm-Severing Guy was all over the networks, and, desperate for related stories so as not to let the arm-severing excitement die down for even one freaking minute, CNN spent some time telling the story of ANOTHER guy who went hiking and ended up having to cut something off. This guy had a boulder (see, the boulders have it in for us I'M TELLING YOU) fall on his leg, and after being unable to free himself he ended up cutting his leg off below the knee with a pocketknife and then somehow driving to the next town for help. Important difference, though: whereas Arm-Severing Guy was trapped for six days, this guy apparently waited only ONE DAY. Okay. He said that there was a snowstorm coming, and that his leg really hurt, and so on, but still: don't you wait a little longer than one day? I know that you can never really predict what you would do in a crisis, but I feel fairly comfortable in predicting that I would work on screaming for at least two solid days before I even started thinking about holding a do-it-yourself amputation party. I worry a bit about this one-day guy. Maybe if the pizza is a half-hour late he is already starting to toss names into a hat to decide who gets eaten. You lock your keys in the car and he smashes in the window immediately rather than try any coathanger or slim jim business. I don't know, maybe he is right, and it was his only option but still. One day of trapped. Hmmm.

Another television thing, not related to traumatic amputation. There are way too many sitcoms and other programs where the characters work "in publishing," and usually it is some sort of glamour thing like fashion or architecture or a big hard-hitting newsweekly. Oh, and also they don't seem to work too terribly hard, and have big open-plan offices where people can gather to trade witticisms and such. I know that is just a function of the way that shit needs to be staged and videotaped, but it still rankles a bit, because I work in publishing, and we are mostly freaked-out typing moles stuck in offices and cubicles, and I am one of the few purveyors of any witticisms at all in my office, which gives you an idea of how hard up this place must be for witticisms. Also, those glamour jobs at name-brand magazines are just about impossible to come by, being mostly reserved for either nepotism purposes or trust-fund babies who can afford a year or two of an unpaid internship, and the people I know professionally usually work on scientific or technical journals, or in various industry throwaways about computers or travel, or on in-flight magazines, or at hard-to-mention-socially publishing houses---like the acquaintance of mine who got a job at a publisher of third- or fourth-tier "men's magazines." One of the titles in their catalog was something called Forced Enema. Personally I would have taken great pride in being tapped as the editor of Forced Enema but he did not.


Gossip mag headline at checkout counter:


Shit. If that's all it takes, sign me up for the public stoning. And here I thought that lingering guilt was just my Catholic upbringing talking.

Before I go, you should check out the latest detourned road signs at Something Awful today. This is my favorite.

Oh, and in the immortal words of a long-ago Eddie Murphy (god bless his shemale-loving heart) novelty song: Put a telephone in your butt. Put a dinosaur bone in your butt. Put a tin can in your butt. Put a little tiny man in your butt. (This has been stuck in my head all day. Forced Enema, indeed.)

Have a nice weekend.

---mimi smartypants on a triple-word score.


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