My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

The Scariest Kind Of Stranger

2006-11-20

Let’s see. Where was I? Damned if I know. We rented “The Aristocrats” this weekend so I could get my fill of vulgarity before the holidays. It really does warm the cockles of my heart to hear Lewis Black say, “F*cking and s*cking” over and over until the phrase becomes meaningless. And again, there were not enough women giving their version of the joke. Sarah Silverman probably told the best story because she turned it on herself. The world needs fewer male comedians, in my humble opinion.

The retaining wall is finally (FINALLY) finished. Dusty hung out with me while I slopped cement down with my mouse-eaten gardening gloves (goddamn rodents! Is nothing sacred? These were the best gloves EVER! Fortunately they were only $5 so I’ll have to order another pair in the spring. And not keep them in the shed) and stacked rocks.

She made a house out of bricks and two pieces of wood. She found two enormous deck building nails (well, “nails” doesn’t really describe very well an object as thick as your thumb and a foot long), called them knitting needles (stand back, Margaret Sanger!), and began to poke holes in the clay dirt so she could "rescue worms". She’d drill a hole, gather up two or three worms that had popped up to say hello, shove them down the hole and cover it up. I can only hope this didn’t kill them. I heart worms.

Yesterday, we went to the town holiday parade. My ultimate boss, president of the college, was the Grand Marshall. Santa came at the end. Dusty is pretty sure he’s not the real Santa because his beard wasn’t long enough and he wasn’t fat enough. Plus, we all agreed it was a bit too early in the season for him to be showing up.

The parade was amusing and enjoyable. It had everything a small town parade should have: lots of horses high-stepping in unison; Jesus is The Reason floats; floats by local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops; excellent music by the Gospel Chickenhouse band; beauty pageant winners; Shriners driving their clown cars; llamas; car clubs: Mustangs, Corvettes, old timey Fords and Chevrolets; representative vehicles from local businesses; dogs on leashes with reindeer horn “hairbands”; the high school band and majorettes; marching soldier-type folks; and a Scottish Highland band with a million bagpipes. It was right out of a Jean Shepherd book. The girls had fun (Red shouted “Neigh-neighs!” at top volume five hundred and twenty seven times) but we all agreed that there was too much noise from the rescue vehicles. Why they ALL have to turn the sirens on and beep the horn at the same time is beyond me.

Scary clown women handed out candy canes and Red was covered in sticky goo by the end. On a day I'd ran out of wipes, of course. An even scarier Christian knelt down by Dusty with a furry animal puppet of unknown species (part ferret, part raccoon, part god only knows) jammed over his fist and tried to get her to talk and pet the creature. Dusty shook her head “no” and the man said, as he left, “You know God loves you!” Dusty and I looked at each other in disgust. “What the fuck?” she seemed to be saying. My husband said, “You were right to say no – he’s what we’d call a stranger.”

“And a Christian fundamentalist at that,” I replied, “The scariest kind of stranger.”

And now I get ready for my least favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. I'm bringing a squash/sweet potato/apple soup and pumpkin pie. Perhaps I’ll go into reasons why I don't like Thanksgiving later this week but for now I’ll just say that I don’t like tradition for tradition’s sake nor traditions that outlive their usefulness.

My ultimate Thanksgiving would be one in which friends got together and made a different meal each year, rotating hosts. It could have a culinary theme: Chinese, Japanese, Indian, whatever; but wouldn’t necessarily have to. We could sit around and eat, watch movies, let the kids turn feral as we ignored the fact that they were all suddenly naked and wielding Sharpies. It wouldn’t matter at that point, no sense breaking up the party when a little paint (and a lot of sleep) can fix most things.

Instead, I have to look at a butchered turkey – a meat I hated even when I ate meat – and make small talk with my mother who thinks Hugh Laurie’s characters Bertie Wooster and Dr. House are eerily similar. Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.

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9:44 a.m. ::
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