September 27, 2013


            Hello.  My name is Carson and I'm a pet addict.
Before I go into a pet store, my husband, Stij, now frisks me to be sure I have no money, no checkbook, and no credit cards.
I’m too dangerous with them.
But last week, I got a check from a friend as a birthday present, and, unbeknownst to Stij, I went to a pet shop and spent $300 on tarantulas.  I just love spiders!
Buying them was easy, but getting them into the house was another matter.  I decided to use the old “hide-`em-in-the-garage-and-sneak-`em-in-after-he-goes-to-bed” ploy.  It’s always worked well in the past.
“Easy,” I thought.  There were only twelve spiders, and the biggest one was barely seven inches.  No problem.  After Stij went to bed, I planned to move them into my studio (where he never goes, anyway – I think he’s afraid), and put them in the extra cages I bought the last time the pet store had a sale on them. They would all fit wonderfully on my bookshelf.  Perfect!
Unfortunately, Stij was planning to do some work on the car that afternoon and…
I pretended to read a magazine.
“CARSON!  Where are you!?”
“Behind the milk,” I muttered, feeding my six-foot iguana a piece of banana.  He’d never look for me there.
“Yes, sweetness?”
“Get the hell out here…NOW!”
My razor-sharp instincts told me that he wasn’t about to suggest fine dining followed by a moonlit drive along the beach, so I bid a fond farewell to my iguana, my cat, my parrot, my python, my boa constrictor, my hedgehog, my skunk, my rats, my frogs, my chinchilla, and my ferrets; and with a last sigh, I headed for the garage.
What I walked into looked like a scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  You know the one…where the guide is covered with spiders?
Stij had backed into the shelf that hid the flimsy plastic containers into which the pizza-faced kid at the store had put my new pets, and he jarred them just enough to loosen the lid so that the spiders, strong little creatures that they are, were able to push them aside and step out into the world to look for a warm place to hang out.  The nearest one turned out to be Stij, and he didn’t even know they were all over him until one crawled across his shoulder.
I carefully picked each spider off his shirt, put them back in their containers, packed them into a handy shopping bag, picked up the bag, and walked back into the house, quietly closing the garage door behind me.  No bloodshed, no frantic call to 911, no dodging auto repair tools flying through the air.  Amazing.
Stij is still in the garage.  I know because I keep leaving meals outside the door he’s locked, and they keep disappearing.  I haven’t seen him for two or three weeks now, and only hear from him when he picks up the phone out there and calls me.
He never says anything…just gibbers softly.


September 20, 2013


Does anyone see the point of tongue twisters?  Who thought this stuff up, Torquemada?  It’s enough to send any grade school student straight down the path to a life of crime:  “Why did you hang that entire family up by their toes?”  “Because I have Post Traumatic Peter Piper Syndrome.”  His mother visits him on Death Row every Thursday, and it’s all because of tongue twisters!
“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”
Who cares?  And what the hell is a woodchuck, anyway?  And does it chuck wood?  And if so, why?  If not, then there’s no point in speculating, is there?
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, a peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.”
Not only is this redundant, but how it is possible to pick peppers that are already pickled?  Peter Piper should lay off the sauce.
“She sells sea shells by the seashore.”
Then “she” must be an idiot.  Anyone can walk down the beach and pick them up for free.  “She” should get a real job, and stop annoying the sunbathers.
“Rubber baby buggy bumpers.”
Are we discussing rubber babies or rubber bumpers?  And are the bumpers on the pram or are they infested with insects?  Or is the baby full of bugs?  This makes about as much sense as the fortune cookie I got last week.
 “Moses supposes his toes-es are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously.  Moses, he knowses his toes-es aren’t roses, as Moses supposes his toes-es to be.”
And this is the guy God chose to deliver the Ten Commandments?  He sounds more like a pathetically confused gardener!  There should have been and 11th Commandment:  “Thou shalt not talk drivel!”
So, in conclusion, you can keep your woodchucks, sea shells, pickled peppers, bumpers, and roses.
I am now going to untie my tongue and put it to better use on an ice cream cone.



September 13, 2013


Have you ever felt as if the world were slowly slipping beyond your grasp and that, if allowed to sit quietly in a corner to contemplate it all for about ten minutes, you will quietly go insane?
This is where I am now.  No, not sitting in the corner—just quietly going insane after having come to the conclusion that the world is completely out of control.
I’ll tell you how I know this.
I helped out a friend last weekend in her shop.  This is a business where people come to buy clothing and specialty items. . .for their dogs and cats.
You heard me.
At first, I was mildly amused, when a little old blue-haired lady dashed in and grabbed me by the sleeve as if I were a lifeguard on the Titanic.
“Will you help me, please?  I’m in a terrible hurry,” she said.  “I need a collar for my pussy—she likes blue.”
I looked at her crotch and asked, “How can you tell?” and she left before I could show her a single collar!
Well, it was easy to laugh off…at first.
But then things abruptly got worse.
The next customer to happen by was an older gent who was tethered to an English Bulldog.
“Nigel needs a dress coat,” he declared.
I glanced down at Nigel, who was slobbering so copiously that he looked as if he’d just chewed up a can of shaving cream.
“No, sir.  Nigel needs a raincoat…”
Nigel proceeded to prove this by shaking his head with such alacrity that he coated me, his owner, and the car across the street with more slime than Bill Murray could have ever imagined.
“…and so do I,” I said.
Nigel’s owner, dripping saliva that smelled like something FedEx’d from the bowels of hell, didn’t miss a beat.  “Nigel already has a raincoat.  Now he needs a dress coat, if you please.”
“Ah, a dress coat—of course,” I said, donning a scuba mask and snorkel.  “And would you like spats with that, as well?”
Up strode my friend.  “Good morning, sir.  Is Carson being of help?” she asked, shooting me a withering look.
I jumped in before the old baggage could dry his soggy handlebar mustache enough to reply.  “Oh, yes, Gail.  This gentleman is looking for a dress coat for Ninny, here…”
“That’s Nigel.”
“Of course, Nigel, pardon me.  At any rate, he may be interested in spats to go with it.  Do we have them?”
“Certainly we have spats.  What size?”
“I think a medium would do nicely,” Nigel’s owner said.
Good God!  Not only did we actually have spats for dogs, but this wacko knew his dog’s size!
“And I have a marvelous black camel hair Saville Row dress coat that would look wonderful on him,” Gail gushed.
Remember, we’re talking about a dog here.
So, Gail trotted out a size 20 hand-tailored coat and matching spats for this four-legged professional drooler and dressed him, wrapping a Burberry scarf around Nigel’s not inconsiderable neck for a peak fashion statement.
“What, no trilby?” I asked.
“I’m getting to that,” she whispered, skewering me with a filthy look.  “I’m on a roll.  Just step back, watch and learn.”
I must admit, when Gail got going, trying to stop her would have been as futile as holding a newspaper over your head during a monsoon and expecting to stay dry.  Before the fellow left, not only had he purchased the coat and spats, but he also opted for the trilby, a set of four Florsheim shoes and Yves Saint Laurent monogrammed socks, a trench coat, three pairs of silk jockey shorts, a smoking jacket, a pair of Egyptian cotton pajamas, and some erotic leatherwear for when he’s feeling frisky with the ladies.
Total bill?  $4500.00
He paid it without a blink.
I watched him walk out the door.  “Gail, I’ve been wondering—is this store near an asylum, by any chance?”
I received my third stink eye of the day in reply.
There followed a breeder of Corgis, whose pick of the litter was having a coming-out party and needed a blue taffeta gown with matching heels; a Basset Hound requiring a plaid cummerbund to complete his tuxedo for a New Year’s Eve celebration; and a Rhodesian Ridgeback, whose owner purchased two original Matisses because the dog house was looking so very drab.  Oh, and let’s not forget the French Poodle that absolutely had to have a hand-carved, solid mahogany Louis XIV dog bed.
And the food!  Cats choose from freeze-dried Komodo Dragon, Minced Mouse Mousse, Chinchilla Sushi, or Passenger Pigeon Pate.  Our little canine friends are offered Steve’s Raw Chateaubriand Diet, Elephant Loin, White Buffalo Brain, and (yum, yum) for those puppies that have been especially good, Braised Suckling Pig.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to lunch. Today I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple, which I share with the homeless gentleman down the block.

September 6, 2013


Have you ever noticed how much convenience is tied to age?
Age 10 female:  “Oooh, look Mommy—there’s a Baskin-Robbins right down the street!
Age 10 male:      “Oooh, look Mommy—there’s a Baskin-Robbins right down the street!       

Age 20 female:   “Oh, wow!  T.J Maxx is opening a new store only two streets over!”
Age 20 male:      “Oh, man, look!  There’s a liquor store like, thirty feet from my house.” 

Age 30 female:   “It will be easy to take those courses I need—there’s a community college just a block away.”
Age 30 male:      “Finally bought my dream car—and there’s a garage with a great mechanic right around the corner!” 

Age 40 female:   “One marriage down—who’s next?”
Age 40 male:      “One marriage down—never again!”

Age 50 female:   “How wonderful!  There’s a cosmetic surgeon opening a new practice nearby!”
Age 50 male:      “How wonderful!  They’re opening up the woods at the north end of town for hunting this year!” 

Age 60 female:   “Isn’t it nice that the kids come here for the holidays now?”
Age 60 male:      “I’m always worried one of them is going to move back in.”  

Age 70 female:   “Isn’t it lucky that we have a CVS at the end of the street?”
Age 70 male:      “And it’s open 24 hours!”  

Age 80 female:   “Thank goodness the hospital is so close by.”
Age 80 male:      “A discount lab opened up right next door.” 

Age 90 female:   “Oh, look, dear, there’s a hearing aid store opening downtown."
Age 90 male:      “What?”