Not long now.
It’s almost here.
Me? I’m armed and ready. Let’s fuckin’ do this.
Not long now.
It’s almost here.
Me? I’m armed and ready. Let’s fuckin’ do this.
I saw it coming.
I willed him to just keep walking; the man with the flannel shirt and shocking red beard and the joint perched jauntily in one hand. Move along, move along, nothing to see here. But he was slowing already, drifting over to where I stood with my camera and bringing with him the acrid stench of cheap weed and stale body odor.
I tried to ignore him. The sun had set and I was losing light fast. I adjusted my settings and snapped off a few more shots.
But when I pulled back from the viewfinder, he was at my shoulder, staring at me expectantly. “…Eez eet beauteeful?” he asked in a startlingly thick French accent.
When I didn’t respond, he gestured toward the rapidly dimming scene and then at my camera. “Eez eet beauteeful?” he repeated. I paused, weighing my options; I didn’t need a repeat of Angry Tree Lady. Eventually I shrugged noncommittally and said “I think so,” and returned my attention to the camera.
He nodded and turned away – I assumed to leave – but he only wandered a short distance before stopping again. I could see him in my peripheral vision standing some feet away, looking intently back and forth between my subject and I as if trying to solve some sort of advanced mathematical equation.
A few more shots and adjustments later, I finally arrived at an image I was happy with. Red Beard perked up visibly as I began packing up my gear. I could see the anticipation in his eyes before the question was out of his mouth.
“Eet eez beauteeful?” Such hope infused into the words.
This time I didn’t hesitate. “Yes,” I replied, smiling despite myself.
At that he grinned, and threw his arms outward as if to embrace the sky. And he strolled away down the darkening road, whistling into the evening air.
My best friend Katie and I used to love going into chatrooms back when those were all the rage. It was our third favorite winter pastime, right after hanging out in the hot tub drinking hot chocolate and playing the Nintendo 64.
We weren’t interested in the least in actually chatting about anything. Our sole intent was to see how quickly we could get one of the guys in any given room to ask us to cyber with them.
Granted, most of the time it wasn’t exactly the pinnacle of challenges. Sometimes all it took was answering “Female” to the “S” in “A/S/L?” and they were already tripping into a private room with their pants around their ankles.
Not to mention our screen name of choice, “Icegirl”, would inevitably provoke at least one instance of, “Hey Icegirl, I bet I can warm you up!” per session without fail.
But the more gentlemanly types, the ones who at least pretended not to have virtual booty on the brain – though we all of us knew better – provided much better sport. We would choose our mark carefully and then go to work batting him around like a cat playing with a stunned mouse. Flirt. Demur. Lead on. Rebuff. Pout. Forgive. Laugh.
Eventually either our prey’s temper or libido would win out. We were pleased with either outcome. Angry accusations that we were a “cold bitch” were met with the scornful response, “Well, what did you expect from someone called Icegirl?” Invitations to cyber resulted in our untimely “accidental” disappearance offline followed by peals of laughter, because clearly we were terrible people.
That was twenty years ago. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought any kind of “games” of that sort were fun. Truthfully, I can’t for the life of me understand why we thought being such little dipshits was so entertaining. And yet, for some reason, I still think back on those chilly winter evenings and chuckle at my time as half an Icegirl.
Memory is a strange thing.
I took these pictures five months apart. I hope they’re not related, but if they are then I guess now we know how long it takes to fuck yourself to death?
I have a little accordion folder of random bits of conversation that I either think up or overhear in passing and file away for later.
For some reason I always think they’re going to come in handy. Like I’ll be writing a story and be stuck on finding the right bit of dialogue for two characters, but *BOOM* my magic little accordion folder comes to the rescue with the absolute perfect one-liner for the situation.
This has yet to happen.
So around once a year I go through the thing, remove all the torn bits of paper with their random scrawlings, read them, toss out all the “Why the fuck did I think this was funny?” entries, and return the rest to the folder.
You know, just in case.
“WTF. My ex Tony became a fan of “Not being set on fire” on Facebook. How stupid can you be?”
“No kidding. I would never put my weaknesses on display like that.”
“…I have a lighter.”
“I have an alibi.”
“My IQ doesn’t know whether to go up or down right now.”
“What about her?”
“Nah, I slept with her back in college.”
“Wasn’t any good?”
“No, she was fine.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
“Do as I say, not who I’ve done.”
“Guess what? I’m in love!”
“Somebody get me a chair so I can fall off it.”
“I’ll have the fill-it mag-non.”
“You know, there’s a reason why the French hate you.”
“That’s a pretty stereotypical thing to say about Americans.”
“Not Americans, Bob. Just you.”
“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.”
“For god’s sake stop. You sound like a chicken with Tourette’s.”
“Yes, it’s malfunctioning correctly.”
“I’m sure you’re an intelligent and honest man.”
“Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.”
“Your Honour, I’d like my next remark stricken from the record.”
Every so often Nutty Hubby remarks that he’s impressed by my willpower because he always goes through his frozen treats in a matter of days, whereas I manage to make mine last several weeks or more.
Yes. “Willpower.” Absolutely that and not “I totally forgot I bought myself a box of Double Caramel Magnums two (or was it three?) Fridays ago…”
Somebody tell me it’s not just Nutty Hubby and I that snicker like little children every time we see this Advent calendar at the drugstore.
I dare you to tell me Little Miss Jingle Bell Hat over there doesn’t look like she wants Little Mister Navel Tunic* to do things to her with his paintbrush that he’s only read about on 4chan.
Seriously, look at her. Girlfriend’s almost giving herself a case of the Exorcist neck cricks to shoot him those come-hither eyes. She’s bent over that dollhouse (or cabin or whatever the fuck it’s supposed to be) popping her booty with more enthusiasm than a Kardashian trying to break the internet. I swear she’s five seconds or less away from just breaking down and rearranging all the alphabet blocks in the workshop to read “JESUS CHRIST ARE YOU BLIND WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST FRIGGIN’ JUMP MY BONES ALREADY?”
That’s probably why the dollhouse/cabin monstrosity looks so sad and crappy. She’s spent all day fantasizing about Navel Boy in his little red tights instead of doing her stupid job.
So if you get a shitty gift this year, now you know who to blame.
Damn horny elves.
*I would really like to know why the artist felt it necessary to include that navel. It…haunts me.
Yep, ’bout sums it up.
Did you ever play Trouble with your friends as a kid? I fucking loved that game. I still love that game.
Can’t you just conjure up the satisfying feeling of popping that trademark Pop-O-Matic dome? Remember the frustration you felt when someone landed on your piece and sent you back to the beginning? The feeling of karmic glee when you got your revenge? The unbeatable satisfaction of pulling off the perfect die roll to get that last peg over the finish line?
And gosh, don’t you remember thinking how much better the game would be if, in place of the same old boring original version, you had an officially licensed Star Wars edition instead?
…yeah, me neither. But damned if they didn’t decide the world needed one anyway.
Not a Star Wars fan?
Good news! According to Wikipedia, they’ve already been cheapening this game with other unnecessary themed editions for years! Take your game pieces for a spin around the racetrack with Trouble: Cars 2, or just let them go, let them go! with Trouble: Frozen. There’s even Trouble: SpongeBob SquarePants for those times when you feel the irresistible urge to move pegs around a board while contemplating who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
Or maybe just stare out a window instead and lament what this world is coming to.
As Nutty Hubby remarked when I texted him this photo, “Out of hand, this has gotten.”
You know what’s super delicious?
You know what else is great?
You know what I have absolutely, positively, never once in my life felt I needed? A recipe for putting those two things together.
Yes, avocado on toast is crunchy, buttery, hole-in-your-soul-filling goodness; that’s not being disputed here. But it’s crunchy, buttery, hole-in-your-soul-filling goodness that is, oh, I don’t know, literally one of the easiest things to make in the world.
Yet for some unfathomable reason, I can’t seem to go anywhere on the internet without seeing yet another article on the apparently ever-trending topic of avocado toast.
Top 10 Hottest Locations To Get Avocado Toast In Your City.
32 No-Fail Avocado Toast Recipes That Are Sure To Be Crowd Pleasers.
Avophiles Must Read: We Blackmailed This Michelin Starred Chef Into Revealing His Top Secret Avocado Toast Tips And Tricks!
Really? Are we really so uninspired as a population that we need this much help getting an easily spreadable fruit onto slightly singed bread and into our mouth holes, or do I need to start a hotline?
It’s gonna be the hotline, isn’t it?
Operator: You’ve reached the Avocado Toast Helpline, how may I assist you today?
Caller: Um yeah hi, I’m trying to make avocado toast but the avocado won’t spread, it’s just fanning out into all these layers and now my eyes are red and teary.
Operator: Okay, so it sounds like you bought an onion, not an avocado. Rookie mistake. Just head back to the grocery store and make sure you get an actual avocado this time, okay?
Caller: OMG I’m an idiot. Back to the store I go. Thank you so much!
Operator: Good afternoon, Avocado Toast Helpline, what seems to be the problem?
Caller: So, um…like, my bread? It’s been in the toaster for, like, ten minutes and it’s still all cold and stuff.
Operator: Is the toaster plugged in?
Caller: Uh, of course…*nervous laugh, click*
Operator: Avocado Toast Helpline, I’m listening.
Caller: Is it a crime against nature to use both sun-dried AND smoked paprika on my avocado toast?
Operator: I thought I told you to stop calling this number, you sick fuck.
Operator: Hi there, thanks for holding, how may I help you?
Caller: OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD, I’ve created a rip in the space-time continuum!
Operator: …you added the avocado before toasting the bread, didn’t you?
Operator: Okay, I’m going to put you back on hold for a second while I go get Stephen Hawking on the line. Stay calm, and whatever you do, DON’T TOUCH THE PIT.