Date Archives July 2007

Weekly World News is dead…undead, undead, undead

And just like that, one of my few remaining dreams has died. I loved the Weekly World News more than it’s probably healthy for any one person to love outlandish news.

Once upon a time, many years ago, my family was on a road trip going to visit my great aunt in Colby, WI. No one really liked this aunt, even my parents, so why exactly we were visiting remains a mystery to this day; HOWEVER, given that my dad knew exactly how awful, boring, and summer-wasting this trip was for the kids, he was feeling particularly indulgent when my brother and I raided the gas station for small entertainments. It was then that I picked up my first-ever copy of the Weekly World News. The issue focused on alien abductions, and the small, sadistic tortures they would inflict on abductees. I was simultaneously enthralled and terrified; so much so, that the mere thought of having the PICTURE in the room with me when the lights went out at the motel was unbearable. What if it was looking at me in my sleep? What if the newsprint was a beacon to aliens, who only search out those who know the truth? I locked it in the bathroom all night and prayed that they would take my brother instead.

My mother was rather unhappy with this development.

Still, once I had the bug, there was very little she could do to stop it. I put the ‘good luck’ dot in my shoe before the spelling bee (in case you were wondering, I still lost). I bought the Ed Anger column compilation book, ‘Let’s pave the stupid rainforests and give school teachers stun guns: and other ways to save America’, and dutifully memorized each one of its pages. I reveled in Dear Dottie’s venomous wit.

As I grew older, I came to understand that the whole thing was filled with entertaining lies, and, this revelation, instead of ending our love, only served to increase it. I appreciated the effort it took to print news of this variety week after week, and when I learned Photoshop, I swore that one day I would work in those hallowed, Bigfoot-adorned walls. They needed me. I knew this, because I caught them recycling articles time and time again. I could take them to the next level, one day, I was sure of it.

The years went by, and still the Weekly World News persisted. I can’t say I was happy about the way it had changed. No more Ed Anger, no more Dear Dottie, and in their places, a fiercely pro-american, anti-‘towelhead’ vibe that felt reactionary, out-of-place, and a little sad. It felt like they were desperately trying to get a foothold in the market, any market, to survive. I had no interest in anything with Osama or Saddam on the cover, so I stopped buying. I missed the old days, with dinosaurs being found in a remote part of Brazil, sharks with razor sharp teeth sticking out of every available surface, and Elvis riding off into the sunset on a Chupacabra’s back.

So the Weekly World News is now dead. Even though, much like Elvis, they took some missteps towards the end, they will still be sorely missed. Whenever I buy groceries, I expect to feel a black-and-white weekly-sized hole in my heart.

Hey ma, look at me! I’m Internet Famous!

Today, as I was talking Napoleon out for a walk, someone shouted at me across the complex “HEY, RENO 911 SEATTLE!!!”

I did a double-take. Then a triple-take.

Surely, I had heard wrong.

Someone had shouted something else entirely, and not at me, but at random. There are kids playing all around in the sunshine. All sorts of people are yelling things.

SURELY, I had heard wrong.

A few seconds later…

“HEY, RENO 911 SEATTLE!!! DEPUTY MELISSA!”

Holy shit, you guys. Someone recognized me from the youtube video. From the youtube video that has had less than 35,000 views, TOTAL. Although I still enjoy it when some stranger approaches me and says “Hey, you’re that robot chick!”, *this* is alltogether on a different level.

I ended up going and chatting with this woman for a while, she said she had stumbled across the video randomly and thought she had recognized me from the apartment complex. We drank some coffee and ended up talking and laughing for a few hours–who would have thought that this little 10 minute video my friends and I made in February would still be getting hits and attention this long?

Internet Famous, people. Internet Famous.

Forget the things you thought you knew, we’ll make a very good girl of you!

Last night, my grandparents flew in, and my grandma was bearing all sorts of those strange, grandma-y gifts. Things like deodorant and toothpaste, which, crazily enough they actually sell locally, hummingbird coasters, a second Superbowl XXXI Green Bay Packers watch to match the one she gave me in 1996 (I think she stockpiled them or something!), and a set of four hors-devours-cheese-spreaders, each topped by a different bird (oriole, bluejay, cardinal, and one I can’t identify) because I do SO much entertaining with snacks in my home.

I think, in total, I’ve managed to convince about a dozen people to come over to my apartment since I moved to Kent over a year ago, and two of that dozen was simply because they were picking up my dog, and one of the others was required to show up as he was my boyfriend. People just don’t want to drive to Kent. I wonder how many years those bird spreaders are going to sit in a drawer or a box before I have occasion to use them?

I know her heart was in the right place; it just makes me giggle to think that the woman who re-uses ziploc bags, the woman who brought a coupon with her to Washington to buy coffee creamer to keep in their hotel room is the same woman who saw a bunch of bird cheese spreaders in a store and said “YES! Melissa needs those!”

She also brought me a small photo album with some pictures of me and some of my parents. So today is picture post day, presented in the order in which they appear in the book, with as much or as little smart-assed narration as I feel is necessary.

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Even when I was little, I was more than ready to rock the Chore Wars. 30XP and a chance of bounty freshness!

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It was about this point when I must have realized that my family had essentially dressed me in a quilt, and I started to approach the camera-person menacingly as even at the tender age of twenty months, I knew that quilts would never be flattering to the hips. I’d just finished punching the glow-worm in the face, and my tiny fist was clenched and ready for more action.

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As you can see, they quickly changed me out of the quilt outfit and promptly put me into something else with Jetsons sleeves. I pretended not to notice and played with my robot dog. My family liked photographing me in the exact same spot with different outfits and toys. I imagine if I compiled all of these photographs together, it would make for one hell of a funny flip-book.

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OH GOD NOEZ WHY ARE YOU TAKING PICTURES OF ME IN THE BATH!? The shame! The shame!

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I wasn’t about to let them take any more naked pictures, so I layered myself into an impressively thick snowsuit. Additionally, I now understand my sudden desire to dress in a snowsuit at Lesley’s wedding.

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Some sort of lamb…bunny…thing they put me in. It contrasts nicely with the brown carpet. Behind me in blue is my mom, and the woman in the striped shirt is my grandma (on my father’s side; the one that is currently visiting). Grandma, as you can see, is not so sure what to think of the lamb-bunny-bastardized hybrid.

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Apparently Grandma is even less certain about the front than she was about the back.

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This picture was the first one that told me WHICH house with ugly 70’s colors the photographs were being taken in–it’s my grandparents on my mom’s side. The Chinese characters on the wall were a dead giveaway, as they are the only relatives I have who have lived out of the country–China, Singapore, and Indonesia. They have those characters on their wall to this day, though the furniture is much more tasteful these days.

My mom likes blush.

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My mom and dad on their 5th wedding anniversary, in 1983. The stereo you see on the right, they had all the way up until their divorce in 2005, with the exception of the record player, which they got rid of in 2000 when the family moved to California. This is also one of the few pictures I’ve ever seen when my mom looks genuinely happy.

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Then, the photo album jumps into a time machine to grab a picture of me when I was a baby. HANDLESS BABY! I didn’t get the hook replacements until much later, when I was able to appreciate them.

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Then the time machine jumps four years into the future! I CRIED when my family got rid of that hideous orange couch. I told my parents that I wanted it for when I got my first apartment. No, even though they kept the stereo for over twenty years, this couch crying fit did NOT happen recently. When I picture a monstrosity like that in my place now, I shudder a little. It was velour. VELOUR!

I’m BACK, bitches.

If you were, perhaps, mourning the arrival of this newer, more graceful Mellzah, you will be relieved to know that my streak of non-klutzy activity ended just now when I managed to flip over my manicotti into my lap, soaking my jeans and office carpet with red sauce.

Go me!

Here comes the bride!

Saturday morning came all too soon. I once again reminded the bride that if she didn’t show up to the wedding, I would not be taking her place, and that we would be having words. After showering, she headed off to her hair and makeup appointments with her mom and the mother of the groom; I hung around the house, watching Family Guy, packing (since I would not be coming back there after the wedding), and putting on my own makeup. Nicki came and picked me up around noon, and to thank her for helping me out so much on this trip, I took her to lunch at Tenuta’s Deli, which is pretty much the most delicious Italian deli of all time, and as an added bonus, has outdoor tables where you can sit and bask in the sunshine and barbeque smells. 000s7cys After lunch, we went to get Nicki a manicure, and were promptly seduced by the pedicure massage chairs; this process took quite a bit longer than I anticipated, forcing a call to the hairstylist asking them to please, please, please push back my appointment a little. It took a couple of attempts to do so, as I didn’t have their phone number, and a call to 411 for ‘Ruffalos’ connected me to ‘Buffalo Wild Wings’. I NEED NOT YOUR SPICY MEAT PRODUCTS!

Eventually, Nicki was whisked off for her manicure, and the trashiest Kenosha-white-trash girl of all time plopped down in the chair next to me, replete with sweatpants and stringy hair, dunked her hobbit toes in the water, and dug into a bag of piping hot, delicious*, Arby’s. You were perhaps thinking it wasn’t so bad until I got to the Arby’s part, am I right? While the guy working on her manky toes dons a face mask, she pulls her sandwich out and indignantly cries “I’m going to kill someone! I ordered this with extra fucking cheddar, and do you see any cheddar on there? I’m going to kill someone. Not really.” It seemed like there was plenty of cheddar on there to me, especially since that unnatural, nuclear orange cheese found a way to ooze out and slide all the way down her left arm, which she lifted to her face and licked clean, all of which I watched out of the corner of my eye in abject horror. After this, she and her nearly equally trashy friend were having a discussion about how mean Kenosha Trash Girl was. This is her response, verbatim: “I’m not mean! Do you think I’m mean? (wiggles toes at unfortunate pedicurist) Well I am mean. I’m a witch. I’ll cast a spell on you. Not really.” At this point I was struggling to contain my mocking laughter so hard that I believe I injured some of my internal organs. I had to, though, for fear that she might cast a spell on me. Not really.

Soon enough, Nicki and I were both done, and we dashed over to Ruffalos where a girl with hair straight from the eighties hairsprayed me for ten minutes and charged me twenty bucks. Realistically, though, I probably could have used a bit more hairspray since it was nearly 95 degrees outside, and humid to boot, which practically spells ‘hair disaster’. Nicki and I walked to the back of the salon to see how Lesley was doing, and after a few hours in the chair, she was not in a happy mood. We promptly made our exit and drove to Nicki’s parent’s house in Racine, where Nicki got ready. When we walked in, her mom’s jaw dropped and she said “No one ever told me I had TWO daughters…” so it’s official. Nicki and I really do look like sisters. Creepy, incestuous, lesbian twin sisters.

After she was dressed and her hair was done, we didn’t have a lot of time to get to the Kemper Center. We attempted to book it down there, but were frustrated by the K-Town Slowdown at every turn. The K-Town Slowdown, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, is slang for the Kenosha drivers who drive ten to fifteen miles per hour under the speed limit, are oblivious to anyone behind them who might want to travel faster, refuse to yield, and generally are the cause of all obscenities screamed behind the wheel for the several mile stretch of highway between Racine and the Illinois border. We dashed into the chapel at 4:32, and I booked it into the bride’s room, apologizing for those two minutes of wasted time…and was wasting my breath, as well. The room was empty. Clearly, the discussion we had earlier about ‘I’m not taking your place in this wedding’ did not have an effect. No bride = uh oh! On the plus side, I wouldn’t have to give a toast, which was good, because at this point, I still hadn’t written anything down yet. I chalked her absence up to the K-Town Slowdown, and started to get dressed. Nicki was assisting with my zipper troubles, and in walked Lesley, gorgeous and angry. Apparently she had been in the stylist’s chair for an additional two hours after I saw her last, which significantly cut down on her time left to do anything else; namely, going home and grabbing the garter that she had forgotten. While she’s venting and getting dressed, and I’m struggling to breathe while Nicki struggled with my zipper, the photographer indicated she was coming in, because she ‘normally takes pictures of the girls getting ready’. “You’re not taking any pictures of MY girls, especially if we aren’t dating!” I cried in a panic, covered my bosom and ran across the hallway to the restroom. Seriously. What girl wants half naked pictures of her wearing a veil and a grimace and her jabba-like buddy getting ready for her wedding? Yes, that’s lovely! I’d like a picture of those gazongas in an 8×10, a 5×7, and plenty of wallet-size to send out with the thank-you cards. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go officiate at a pod race.

Fully dressed, I went back into the bride’s room to discover that the photographer was taking pictures of everything but the bride–the chairs, the flowers, even a rather myspace-y shot of herself in the mirror. After a few minutes of pacing around in the bride’s room, it was time to head out. Not only did I not trip or split a seam while carrying the bride’s veil, I also managed not to trip while walking down the aisle, effectively using 100% of the graceful moments I am allowed to have in a year in one fell swoop. The ceremony went off without a hitch, vows were exchanged, poems were read, rings were handed off, and it was all topped off with a spectacular kiss. We sent everyone along to the reception hall, and a different photographer proceeded to take more pictures of me than I’ve allowed taken in the last three years combined. During the reception, Lesley was concerned that someone would take a picture of her eating, and she’d look like a pig, so I sneaked my camera out and took the most unflattering photograph of all time while she was mid-bite, so she wouldn’t have anything to worry about, since the worst had already happened. After dinner, it was time for even more pictures, here by Lake Michigan, here by a flower garden, here on this bench…the female photographer again spent some time photographing these things which are not the bride and groom: rocks, seagulls, fishermen in wheelchairs… I can’t wait to see their prints. Really.

After this round of photography, the bride and groom cut the cake, and then it was toast time. And I still hadn’t written anything down. Crap in a handbasket. I bought a little time by requesting that the best man go first, and thought furiously, eyebrows furrowing like caterpillars in a wrestling match. Luckily for me, his speech was LONG so I had plenty of time. This is what I pulled out of my ass, more or less: Hi, I’m Melissa, and the best friend of the bride. Today is 07/07/07, and addition to the ‘lucky’ connotations we have with the number seven in our cuture, it’s additionally considered to be a very special number in many other cultures as well. For example, in Chinese culture, the number seven represents togetherness, and that has proved true here. How fortuitous that we are gathered here today on a day of togetherness for this wedding! I met Lesley during a summer gym class in 1997, and as that sweaty, skeezy gym teacher whirled her around the floor to teach us to do-si-do, I knew we’d be the best of friends. Who would have thought that a mere ten years later, I would have the honor of standing up and being a witness to her wedding to the other important person she came together with in 1997? I’m so happy to be here for them on their special day, and watching them move forward into the next step of their lives; a new home, children (not that I’m pushing you, there!) and everything that comes with being a married couple.     I’d like to end with a toast: To love, to life, and to luck–may you be as happy fifty years from now as you are today! I also managed not to spill anything down the front of my dress, split a seam, or have something obnoxious hanging from my nose while I gave the toast. I’m starting to get concerned–who is this person, and what have they done with Melissa? After dinner came the dancing, one round of which I was pulled into a dance with the best man, where although I managed not to trip or step on any shoes, I also displayed an utter lack of finesse on the dance floor. You can hardly blame me–the last time I slow danced, it was with an 80 year old who finished off by humping me, so you can see how I was nervous about the whole thing. Drinking and dancing commenced, and I managed to keep myself borderline sober most of the evening; I didn’t want to get sloppy in front of Lesley’s mom. Tim and Brett had no such qualms, and began pounding drinks in earnest. The DJ, in turn, played a selection of songs nearly identical to that of the last wedding in which I participated, where, if you’ll recall, I was five years old. The eighties will never die!Nicki and I requested ‘The Final Countdown’ so we could Gob Bluth our way around the dance floor, but to no avail. Sadness!

Eventually, it was time for the bouquet toss. In addition to Nicki, a twelve year old, and myself, there was perhaps one other single woman there. Lesley indicated that EVERY woman should participate to make it as lively as possible. The DJ blindfolded Lesley, and then had us circle around her. Eventually, she tossed it, and through a horrible chain reaction of Newtonian physics, bounced off the low-hanging chandelier, and hit me in the chest. I tried to pawn it off on other ladies before the blindfold came off, but they were very eager to make sure *I* kept it. The DJ ran over–“Who caught the bouquet?” “Melissa! Melissa did! She got it! MELISSA DID!” So I suppose if the ancient predictory art of flower-catching is to be believed, I don’t get to be a crazy old spinster cat-lady. Towards the end of the evening, people were getting very sloppy drunk; members of the groom’s party alternated between slow dancing with me while nuzzling and kissing my neck, and grabbing my ass like it was providing them with oxygen. Note: Although bag may not fully inflate, oxygen is flowing! My favorite drunk of the evening was a girl I don’t know, who got so simultaneously drunk and horny that she leaped into many a guy’s arms that evening, grinding against them with the power of a million suns. I’m pretty sure she arrived with someone; I’m not sure who she left with. The man in this picture hadn’t danced all night; all of a sudden, she grabbed him, pulled him on the dance floor, and started unbuttoning his shirt. After it was unbuttoned, she leaped up on him and I took this picture. Immediately AFTER I took this picture, she fell off of him, landed on her back on the floor, and her dress flew up well past her hoo-hoo. HOO. BOY.

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It’s a nice day to start again.

On the 6th, I think wedding stress was beginning to come to a head for Lesley; the clock was ticking and there was still far too much stuff to do with too little time to do it. We spent the morning getting her some last-minute things for her wedding and honeymoon, and then at 5pm, everyone converged on the Kemper Center to decorate the reception hall. It only took twenty minutes of walking around, banging on various doors, for someone to let us in–and only then because another couple had an appointment to look at the building for their own wedding reception.

I’d only been inside the Kemper Center once before; I had a piano recital there when I was 12 years old. Lesley’s reception was in an area I hadn’t seen–the dinner itself was in the study hall, the dance floor was in an open area, and the bar was in the chemistry lab. Words cannot describe just how awesome a chemistry lab bar is, and it was only more appropriate given that both halves of the now-married couple are scientists. You know what this wedding could mean to science. It could mean actual advances in the field of science!

Wedding preparations, spats, and catfights under the cut.

It’s a bachelorette party! (hoot!)

After I essentially purged everything that had ever been in my body on the 5th, it was time for Lesley’s bachelorette party. Out of concern for my well being, but slightly more concern about what might happen at the party, she suggested that we could call the entire thing off. Queasy or not, I wasn’t going to allow THAT to happen.

Our first stop was at Superb Video, the self-same porn store at which I used to work. If my grandparents ask: That summer, I worked at a ‘video’ store.

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When I worked there, the building was grey (You can sort of see it in this picture that Felix took, three years ago.). Then, one night, the neon on the building started a small building fire, and I believe the pink paint job was to cover up the scorch marks. Lesley calls this color ‘titty pink’. I maintain that there is no paint chip name in existence that goes by that color.

Before we went inside, Lesley and I took little bets on who we thought still worked there.

I laid my monopoly money down on Steve and Fahri, since Harmony had married some guy from Russia for money so he could get a green card, and I imagined maintaining that sham takes more time and effort than she originally anticipated.

Lesley went with Steve and Ed, who could easily pass for Rob Zombie’s twin brother (the one with less ambition).

Steve (and I was just looking through my archives and I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T POST ABOUT THIS) and I once went to a strip club together; he has about 25 years on me, and, as I found out a bit too late, like his ladies YOUNG. I thought we were going as work buddies blowing off some steam. Apparently when some other guy started talking to me, he got super jealous and disappeared. He then gave me the silent treatment for weeks afterwards. Mature. And that’s why he’s still working at a porn store at nearly 50 years old.

That’s right. Lesley and I were BOTH right.

I was also right about Fahri.

I’d had the hots for Fahri the entire summer I worked there, and he completely ignored me. When we walked in the door, there he was, asking us for our IDs. I called him by name and asked him if he was really going to check MY ID. He did a double-take and said “…Melissa? Wow, you look great! What are you doing in town?”

I told him I was there for a wedding, and he asked me if I had a date, because he’d love to go with me, and asked me for a hug before I walked out the door because he was ‘not creepy like Steve’.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is validation.

Armed with a feathery penis boa, enough annoying paper noisemakers for everyone, and temporary tattoos for Lesley that suggested strange men might be able to touch some of her nether regions for the low purchase price of one dollar, we made our way to La Perla, where, as it turns out, you can ride a pepper.

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This man was very, very enthusiastic about riding the pepper; hollering wasn’t enough–he also felt the need to vigorously smack his own ass, repeatedly. We witnessed this event incredulously while waiting for bellachiara6 to show up. It would just be the three of us all night, and while I myself would have preferred something a little more insane and frenetic, I think that Lesley appreciated it being a bit more low-key.

After dinner, it was my turn to ride the pepper, which was an awful decision considering I’d spent the majority of the day throwing up. I stand by my choice.

Before you continue, please note the effect my pepper-grinding is having on Lesley. That look in her eyes? Desire. Oh yeah.

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After my pepper-riding adventure, we were off to the Safe House, where I had something special reserved for Lesley at 10pm–Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which is billed as ‘more than a drink, it’s an adventure!’. They only serve one per hour, thus, the reservation.

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In order to enter the Safe House, you need to know the password. If you do not know the password, they force you to participate in some humiliating ritual, which is broadcast throughout the rest of the bar, so when you finally are allowed inside, everyone cheers and your humiliation is complete.

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While we were waiting for Lesley to be whisked away, we drank and played ‘I never’; a drinking game in which everyone takes turns making statements such as ‘I never stole anything from a workplace’, etc. If you HAVE performed that activity, then you drink. We all learned some interesting things about one another in a very short time period. VERY interesting things. Additionally, every time someone mentioned ‘bachelorette’, we all simultaneously hollered ‘It’s a bachelorette party!’ and honked our noisemakers as loudly as possible. Seriously. All night long. To drunks, this never gets old or stops being funny.

Finally, someone came and escorted Lesley to the basement of the bar, where she was seated on a seat inside a bathtub. Nicki and I could watch her on closed-circuit TV (broadcast throughout the bar, again), and the bartender proceeded to interrogate her.

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After he felt that she had sufficiently answered his questions, he flipped a switch, and her chair rose up from the basement through the first floor of the bar, where Her Majesty was hailed by adoring bar patrons, presented with a 24oz cranberry vodka, and played a special video in her honor.

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At one point or another, I felt the urge, nay, the need to touch Nicki’s boobs. It’s a bachelorette party! (hoot!) 000r1pq2

Lesley, proudly displaying her drink now that the embarrassing part is over; or rather, now that she’s drunk enough that embarrassment ceased to matter. lesley

At one point, Lesley complained that the penis boa was too ‘goddamn itchy’, and that she wasn’t going to wear it anymore. *Someone* had to wear it, so I stepped up to the plate. 000r8c3a Miss Drunky McDrunkerson herself. This picture was taken shortly before we left. I commanded that she put that drink down before we went anywhere, and she did an admirable job. lesley2 After she finished her drink, it was around 1am, and she really didn’t want to go anywhere else. No strip clubs, no other bars, just home. Maybe to watch a movie. I demanded that she gave me the keys before we even left the bar, as there was no way in hell I’d let her drive after pounding an insane amount of alcohol into her system. She once again donned the penis boa, and stumbled down the street towards the parking garage. We made it back to the car, put our glassware into the trunk, and once we were inside, she leaned over and whispered urgently “Melissa? … MELISSA. I LOST THE PENIS BOA. I have to go get it, ok? I have to go get it. I’ll be back.” She then proceeded to go back to the elevator area, and even though we’d only ridden down on one car, opened up every single elevator (there were four of them) to make sure that the boa hadn’t, I don’t know, WARPED into a different car. We didn’t end up finding it, and she was not a happy camper.

She was also not a happy camper when we got onto the highway; I had to stop at the Pilot gas station on Ryan Road for her to expel the contents of her stomach. She may have even stood in front of the toilet, waved a wand and screamed ‘EXPELLIARMUS’ and pointed at her stomach. I don’t know. But I like imagining it.

That’s when I knew that (A) the evening was over, and (B)I’d done a good job. No matter how low-key someone wants their bachelorette party, unless the bride to be is throwing up two days prior to her wedding, someone really fucked up.

Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart? Let’s hurl a Brick-E-Mart! The Kwik-E-Mart is real…D’oh!

What better way to spend 7/11 than AT a 7/11 that has been transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart?

 

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I’m not too proud to admit that marketing works on me. If I watch an infomercial long enough, I will likely want to buy the product, even if it’s for something I could never, ever find a use for. Yes! I need a tomato massager! My tomatoes are, at this moment, going unmassaged! And sitting in a grocery store a few miles away because I don’t even buy tomatoes! THE HORROR! Only 2 low payments of $19.95!

Armed with that knowledge about myself, how could I resist what has got to be one of the greatest marketing ploys of all time?

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First, I went to the Simpsons Movie website and worked out what I’ll look like when I get my big comedy break and am drawn in on the show as ‘Chesty LaRue’. Note the kicky eyewear!

Then I picked up v1c1ous, whom I haven’t seen in approximately a year’s time (!!), and we headed across the water to become the people that P.T. Barnum was talking about. My minute was 5:04am on April 21st in 1982–however, the ‘sucker’ thing has lasted for an entire lifetime.

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We settled on orange cream squishees. Sean tried the Woohoo! Blue Vanilla, and wasn’t impressed, and frankly, I just didn’t want blue teeth. Are orange teeth acceptable? When compared to blue, I’m going to go ahead and say YES.

We loitered outside the Kwik-E-Mart for a few hours, playing the part of Springfield no-goodniks. Ne’er do wells. Crumbums.

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Oddly enough, before yesterday, I had never loitered anywhere before. However, standing out in the warm summer air with an ice cold squishee just felt…right, somehow.

We ended up hanging out so long that we struck up a conversation with the security guard, and learned that (a) his name was Peter, (b) he’s attending the Art Institute for Industrial Design, and (c) security guards have many, many interesting stories to tell. He was a very cool guy, and was not only ok with our loitering, but actually encouraged us to come back today and chat longer. He also once made a to-scale 1/4 size model of Bender. Conclusion: Peter is awesome.

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The purple things in the upper-left corner of the picture is a part of the Experience Music Project.

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We ended up staying so long that it was pitch black by the time we left, carting home six-packs of Buzz cola and Radioactive Man comic books.

Stay tuned for my next post: The Bachelorette Party!

I love you like a rocket in the middle of the night

July 4th isn’t so much a celebration of our shared history as it is an excuse to recreate the Battle of Iowa Jima in 1/4th scale using gigatons of high-powered fireworks quasi-legally purchased at shady roadside stands along I-94.

Furthermore, you shouldn’t DARE leave the safety of the nearest fallout shelter once the sun has left the sky on the 4th, since that’s when beer and latent pyromania come together in spectacular fashion on every single block in Brew City and WOE be unto anyone in a vehicle or on foot once the festivities get underway.

hotshotrobot was kind enough to extend me an invitation to the celebration he was attending, and I, in turn, felt that I would be remiss as a guest to show up without a case of beer and the aforementioned fireworks.

Although my body trembled with desire upon spotting a firework for sale that was so large, I could have easily built a comfortable nest in its spent carcass, my pyrotechnics fund was on a tight budget this year, and I couldn’t quite justify spending $179 on sixty seconds of joy. starladear13 and I instead shopped around, picking up roman candles, shooting fountains, and evil little divebombing planes, wisely avoiding anything that made too much noise, as while the 4th is all about red, white, and blue, we didn’t want to draw any additional blue and red flashing lights to our location, as I’m fairly certain that cops don’t take checks as a form of bribery. Especially when the word ‘bribe’ is written in the memo field. ESPECIALLY when that check is going to bounce higher than a gymnast on speed hitting a trampoline at thirty miles per hour.

I’m used to buying my fireworks at the reservations now, where so long as you explode everything on property, there are no issues with Johnny Law, so when the woman at the register asked me if I had a permit, I didn’t know what to say or do. “N–” (nudge from Lesley) “Yes. Yes I do.” “Can I see it?” “….Noooooo. No. No, you can’t. It’s mine.”

The cashier gave me a look which clearly indicated, “You are an idiot and I hate you,” and made me purchase a fireworks permit, which is a total joke as it just gives permission to carry them, but not to light them.

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Everyone at the party was very friendly and welcoming, and we drank, chatted, and laughed until dusk, when the real festivities began. In a strange sort of ‘steps from Kevin Bacon’ interconnectedness, my friend Nicki (bellachiara6) used to work with Josh, who is in a band with hotshotrobot, who danced a cha-cha with Tricia Helfer, who has a caricature of Kevin Bacon framed on her wall. Spooky.

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America, FUCK YEAH.

We ended up lighting many a firework off of the porch, only venturing down to street level when it was absolutely necessary. Many bottle rocket fuses were twisted together in a spectacle that would have made Whitesnake proud.

Roman candles intitally proved problematic as the ground was too hard for them to be partially buried, and they clearly could not be laid flat. Eventually, we decided to risk the loss of appendages and held them while firing, chanting ‘USA! USA! USA!’ after each particularly awesome explosion. Someone (not me) suggested that we really ought to be shouting ‘China! China! China!’, which, while more accurate, is probably asking to be pelted with PBR cans.

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Of course, things eventually got out of hand when someone (also not me) aimed a roman candle directly at two sorority girls walking by. Now, I’m as much for shooting explosives at that sort of girl as anyone, but if you’re going to do it, you really need to make sure that they (a)can’t identify you and (b)don’t come up, asking to light explosives of their own afterwards. Someone (again, not me) screamed to stop shooting things at the ‘sweet honeys’, and this devolved into nearly everyone on the porch chanting ‘sweet honeys, sweet honeys’ in a pure moment of mob mentality.

These ‘sweet honeys’ came up onto the porch and asked to light off some fireworks. One of the lightings went off without incident. The other? Well…she was handed a beer cup with two bottle rockets inside, with their fuses twisted together. Someone lit it for her, and one of the rockets shot off into the night. In ecstatic glee, she pulled the cup back towards her body…with a bottle rocket fuse still burning inside the cup. This action caused her to light her hair on fire. She screamed and started waving the cup around, pointing the still-burning-bottle at several people. There was panic on the porch as everyone scattered like cockroaches when a light is flipped on. The rocket shot off into a nearby bush, the hair was extinguished, and the sweet honeys left for safer pastures.

We saved the best for last. Something called the ‘Saturn Mega Ninja Orgasm Battery Rocketface MOTHERFUCKER 2000’…something like that. And it was, as promised, pretty damn awesome.

 

fireworks After the fireworks spectacles, cheeserock showed up, who was an absolute DELIGHT and I wish I could have spent more time with her. As it was, Lesley and I were in no position to drive anywhere, so I decided to go for gold and teach my liver who is the boss around these parts.

The problem, for me, with getting drunk is that no matter how much I drink, I NEVER FORGET the stupid things I say or do afterwards. So, the next morning, when I woke up in the fetal position on my beanbag chair bed, I all-too-clearly recalled slurring at hotshotrobot with a squinty eye like a surly, insane Clint Eastwood, that I thought he was very cute, and the ‘terrified animal caught in a trap’ face he made. These are the days of our lives!

It’s not that I don’t stand by my statement: He IS cute. It’s just…given the option of SAYING it and not saying it, why do I never, ever, err on the side of not saying it? Also, how is it that I can remember everything I said or did, but couldn’t remember to bring both my cell phone and my jacket back to Bristol with me? That mystery might be greater than that of the Sphinx or even the Face on Mars.

Still, the party was awesome sauce. If I had known Wisconsin could be fun a few years ago, I might have stayed.

See my vest! See my vest! Made from real Gorilla chest!

On the morning of the fourth, Lesley and I decided that the best way to celebrate our freedom whilst the sun was shining would be to poke fun at the captivity of others.

Thus, our course was determined, and we made our way to the Racine Zoo. The last time we were there, we were attacked by a tiger, and I was molested by a camel. If this experience was to live up to its predecessor, the animals had their work cut out for them. Luckily, they all had can-do attitudes.

The Racine Zoo is no longer free, but a big flashing smile at the entry gate and a suggestion made that perhaps I could appear to be under the age of 15 was enough to get me in for half price, saving myself a grand total of two dollars. Go ahead and mock me. It’s ok. The two dollars isn’t the point. The point is that I can bend retail workers to do my bidding. THAT is true power.

First stop was the Castle of Monkeys. Since today is Monkey Tuesday, it feels right and natural to talk about monkey antics today.

At night it turns into the Damn Spooky Castle of Monkeys, and I hear Skeletor takes up residence there.

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I’m fairly certain that this is the same monkey that looked so concerned a few years ago after Lesley made a face at him. This time, he kept waggling his eyebrows suggestively at her and clutching at the cage in a “Hello? Let me out, baby! I love you! Don’t you love me?” sort of way, and she kept waggling hers at him. While they were waging eyebrow wars, I wandered over and took pictures of the other monkey, who alternated munching on lettuce and sticking out his tongue at me.

Lesley snapped me out of my fascination by indignantly shouting “THAT GODDAMN MONKEY IS FLIPPING ME OFF. That nonchalant bastard!”

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Sure enough, the monkey had enough of Eyebrow Wars and was now very calmly sitting on a rock, flipping Lesley the bird.

Realistically, she had no choice but to retaliate.

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It was a hot enough day outside that many of the animals were hiding out in whatever shade they could find. We only got a glimpse of the lions, the tigers, and the andean bears, but the alligators  were out in full force.

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And when I say alligators,  I mean a shit-ton of tiny alligators. It’s as if they captured half of the hatchlings in the New York City sewer system and used them to populate this tiny pool, forgetting that these cute, foot long handbags will eventually grow into surly, 21-foot long cowboy boots.

After taking a picture of the peahen below, she hopped out of her enclosure and followed us around the park like a Peahen Lindsay Lohan, begging us to take more pictures, drinking everything in sight, and making pathetic noises when we stopped paying attention to her.

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WOODEN UMBRELLA HAS A FLAVOR. NOM NOM NOM!

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The giraffe then tried to intimidate me into not publishing the photograph of his secret rendezvous with with the umbrella, but ever since I discovered that being short places you at exactly the right height for a shockingly perfect nutkick, height no longer intimidates me.

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The fuzzy and cute, however, makes me powerless.

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Lesley desperately wanted to feed the giraffe some grass, and the giraffe desperately wanted to let her. How could the zoo stop a love this pure? We paid our two dollars! Can’t we feed a hungry animal?

The rest of the adventures of the 4th to be continued…