Sometimes my “Imagination” is Staggering

I’m a pretty rational person. But I also like to over-think things, roll them over and over like a crocodile. I tend to think of every scenario, every possibility, and still end up knowing and realizing that the most rational conclusion is the right one, but my mind still likes to go through the motions.

Sometimes, though, the wires get crossed and my brain starts at the furthest, “most imaginative” (i.e. stupidest) conclusion. And it usually happens for things that wouldn’t cause me to start the obsessive mulling process because the answer should be entirely obvious.

Yesterday, I was putting away laundry (yes, my life is exciting), and in my dimly lit bedroom, I saw two marks on the inside of my arm. Two nice, lined up marks about a half inch apart. The very first thought that entered my mind was:

“Oh my God, I’ve been bitten by a vampire.”

Not, “huh, what is that.” Not, “are those bug bites?” Not, “let me go to a well lit area and see what that is.” Nope, I had been bitten by a vampire.

Now, mind you, a split second after that thought, my thought was “are you fucking kidding me, brain?” But, still, that is the first thing it offered up and that’s frightening to me.

And it turned out, it was ONE puncture and ONE freckle. I’m pretty certain the puncture is from the cat, who scratches me so much I rarely even stop to register it.

And now you see, that if a vampire would to have bitten me, it would have been a one-fanged, tiny, incompetent vampire, who goes for the inner arm and not the neck, nor anywhere near any veins. And, on top of all of that – I didn’t notice it.

Thanks a lot, brain. And, I’ve even been pretty good to my brain – rarely any drinking, no drugs, etc. So there’s really no excuse.

Another example is way back when the movie Hook came out. The night after I saw that movie, I was roused from my slumber and noticed a small pinpoint of light on my pillow. My first thought was that it was Tinkerbell. And no, I’m not so young that it was adorable. I was like, 15. It was light coming in through the blinds. Like it always fucking does.

I suppose literal sleep and putting away laundry could make my brain go into sleep mode and these thoughts are the moment when one moves the mouse and the screen saver goes away. But, still, I can’t help but shake my head in disappointment.

Has anyone else not been bitten by a vampire?

Conversation Piece Conversation: Brass Telescope

I used to write these for a website way back in the mid 2000s. The website shut down but the listings for conversation pieces never stopped. In order to save you money, I create conversations for the conversation pieces so that you can enjoy them, move on, and spend your hard earned money on hot dogs or socks.

Brass Telescope

Conversation Piece: Small Brass Telescope Unique Nice Conversation Piece

Setting: Suburbia

The doorbell rings. Mr. John Hodges walks to the door, instantly recognizing his lovely neighbor, Ms. Jane Grover.

John: Why hello! Do, come in. What a pleasant surprise!
Jane: Hi, Mr. Hodges.
John: Would you care for some lemonade?
Jane: No.

Jane walks over to a small table by a window in the living room.

John: Oh! You noticed my brass telescope! I got that off of Ebay, I thought it would be a perfect companion to my antique brass compa-
Jane: Stop using it to watch me take a shower.
John: Yes, ma’am.


Don’t Stick Your Fingers in the Crates – Warning Sign Blindness (or, Wizards)

For the past 6-ish years, I’ve worked with a local dog rescue. The first thing to understand about most people who work with dog rescue is the emphasis on the dog part of all of it. People don’t go into dog rescue to interact with other people. That is key. There are endless stories on the mad mad mad world of dog rescue, but today, I’d like to type about warning signs.

There are lots of movies and People Magazine articles about man’s indomitable spirit. There aren’t as many about man’s indomitable ability to not see something in front of his face. And I mean people who can see, not blind people – they have lots of movies and articles.

Every Saturday, our dog rescue fills a van full of adoptable dogs and sets them up at a Petco about 25 minutes away. So, these dogs, who have already lost their homes at least once, get carted off to a weird place with tons of strangers, have to ride in a crate in a van both ways and get jostled around all day long. It’s loud, messy, and chaotic. Almost all of the dogs are friendly, and really have no major issue with the madness.

"Hi, I’m happy, goofy, and ready for anything."

There are some dogs who get overwhelmed by the whole ordeal, mostly, because it’s completely overwhelming, and, because sometimes they may not have had the best life up to this point. Personally, I have had to keep myself from biting other people several times, so I empathize. And, the thing is, for the most part, they DO NOT bite, ever. But, for the sake of liability, fair warning, and to be sure all bases are covered – every crate gets at least one warning sign on the front door. Usually, two – one on the top, too.

Even the invisible dogs shouldn't be touched.

The options were the signs, or try to reason with the dogs, and I now believe we made an error in not trying to reason with the dogs, first. Our adoption event lasts 4 hours every week. And, we try to be polite and “customer service-y.” If you stick your hand in a crate, you will get different reactions, depending on the hour you do it:

First hour: “Hi, please be careful, these dogs are a little overwhelmed so for safety’s sake we ask that you not stick your fingers in there. They may even nip because they think you have a treat or something. I’d be happy to get any dog out that you’d like to meet.”

Second hour: “Please don’t put your fingers in the crates.”

Third hour: “No fingers.”

Fourth hour: Most likely a grunting sound.

Why the deterioration of friendliness? Remember, most of us aren’t people-people. And, secondly, the staggering amount of people who have Warning Sign Blindness. I estimate that nearly 80% of the population is afflicted with it.*

Fingers in Crate
Teach, your children well...
Finger in Crate plus a bob and weave
This lady is ducking under a literal barrier created to keep people from finger sticking.

The only other thing I can come up with is that a wizard cast a spell on all of our warning signs, with the one of two spells:

Crate Spell
The neon and capitalization don’t matter a whit, for no one who needs to will see this shit.

Or, he changed what people see:

While I’m not willing to completely rule out wizardry, I’m pretty sure it’s Warning Sign Blindness. This is based on the reaction to being told that the little sign they are lifting up, to get a better angle at cramming their hand in the crate, has words on it telling them NOT to do exactly that.

  • “Oh, oops, sorry. Duh.” (My favorite)
  • “This dog is mean?” Yep, see the line of 20+ crates, all with warning signs? All of our dogs are rabid.
  • “Oh, it’s ok. I have a dog” (My least favorite.) Is it that dog? Cause if not, take the lotion out of the fucking basket.

I am writing this because diagnosis is key. If you suspect you may suffer from Warning Sign Blindness, err on the side of caution and assume you’re missing something. Find the nearest employee/authority figure and ask if there are any signs that say you shouldn’t do something. If there are, then at least you can make an informed decision as to whether to become a pain in the ass.**

* You may be thinking “oh, but that’s just a couple instances.” I kid you not, I got both of these pictures within 3 minutes of each other on the same day. It. Never. Ends.
**And, seriously, bless, bless, bless these people. They mean well, really. They are so moved by the sight of these dogs they can’t see anything else. I really do get that – when I’m not there and am thinking about it later.





The Gremlins Cost Us Disney Re-Releases

Tom asks me what I’m watching on TV. I was watching Gremlins, as any well-rounded person would be.

Me: Look, they’re showing Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the movie theater. Remember when they used to do that, re-release Snow White on a regular basis?

Tom: How do you know that Snow White was re-released in 1984?

Me: Nobody is acting like it’s odd that Snow White is the only movie playing there.

Tom: Yes, but the theater is also filled with Gremlins, who don’t exist.

Me: True. BUT, the Gremlins were given a chance to see a classic on the big screen and it’s a shame that it doesn’t happen nowadays.

Tom: Yes, because the Gremlins ruined it for the rest of us – look how poorly they’re behaving.

Me: Well, then they should re-release Gremlins to teach us all a valuable lesson about needing to be on our best behavior so that we can all see Snow White in movie theaters again. And while they may be showing it on TV, there are way too many options on cable for enough people to see it and really get to think about…

Tom walks into kitchen to re-heat pizza.

Saturday Morning Ridiculousness – Super Friends S1 Ep3

Season 1 – Episode 3: “Professor Goodfellow’s G.E.E.C.”

Airdate was September 22, 1973.

The Super Friends consist of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman, and Robin. Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog are the “Junior Super Friends.” They haven’t made partner yet. They also have no super powers other than Wonder Dog’s ability to almost speak.

Short Synopsis: Machines start operating on their own. It turns out a dude named Professor Goodfellow has invented the world’s biggest computer, whose purpose is to “free mankind of all physical labor, brainwork, and responsibility.” It’s called “G.E.E.C” – Goodfellow’s Effort Eliminating Computer. Mr. Huggins, some random guy representing the government turns down PG’s “gift” to America – so PG offers G.E.E.C.’s services to the world for free. Everyone becomes fat and lazy (this episode would work perfectly as a prequel to WALL-E). The whole thing falls apart because Goodfellow leaves a freakin’ sandwich in the mainframe and a mouse gets in there and ruins everything. For reals.

Shut Up, Batman
“We can guess why you’re here Mr. Huggins – weird things are happening.” – Batman, ever astute.

Is This Something to be Shocked About? I Dunno, Flip a Coin.
After the Batmobile starts driving itself, it takes Batman, Robin, Superman, and Amanda Hugginkiss to a large compound surrounded by humongous robots:
Giant Robots
Robin’s response: “That’s the biggest building I’ve ever seen!”

Wonder Woman-Hemingway
Wonder Woman calls robots “ro-butts.” She also looks eerily like Mariel Hemingway to me:

Superman is Keenly Aware of How Busy He is.
“This is probably the busiest day of my life.” – Superman

Yes, but he definitely takes his down time seriously:

Oh, no, Superman, don't get up.

WTF Screenshots
This is Wendy, Marvin, Batman, Mr. Huggins, Robin, Wonder Dog, Professor Goodfellow, and Superman on what looks like a pontoon boat on wheels, touring the giant computer. Professor Goodfellow explains that even actors and athletes won’t have to work, as they’ll be replaced with robots. This is the part of the computer that covers all of the world’s “theater” needs.

Attend the tale of Sweeny Bot.

Professor Goodfellow never has to lift a finger – he can have whatever he wants when he wants. When the Super Friends visit him, it’s his lunchtime. This is the contraption he uses to order his meal, which has 4 amazing options:

Deus ex Matrimony

Allegedly, all the Super Friends have communication rings so that they can constantly ask each other for help when they screw up. However, earlier in the episode Robin had to use a CB radio to contact Superman and the only two they actually SHOW with the rings (on their left hand ring fingers) are Batman and Superman.

Oh, no, I can’t be in The Justice League, but when someone needs to get a mouse out of the largest computer in the world, all of a sudden Plastic Man is everyone’s best friend.

Yes, that’s right – Plastic Man makes a cameo and saves the day because only he could get through the “tube” that leads to the mouse. I will say this about the episode: what would normally be a highly mock-able plot point for anyone else – complete concern for the safety and welfare of the mouse in the face of the entire world falling apart – gets nothing but kudos from me. All he wanted was a sandwich and some cheese, and isn’t that what we all want in this life?

It's your world and I'm just a mouse trying to get some cheese

So, Plastic Man saves the day, and Wendy decides to keep the mouse as a pet.

Everybody wins. Except for all the people involved in plane crashes and other G.E.E.C.-related mishaps, of course. But if they aren’t going to dwell on it, neither will I.

If you would like to witness these shenanigans in all their glory, the first season of Super Friends is available on DVD. This is an affiliate link.