Two houses ago, when we moved into our first house in Georgia, after we’d been there a while, we found a couple of odd things in the backyard. Mainly, it was the occasional discarded Almond Joy wrapper.
Seeing as how I do not like coconut and there’s no reason Tom would be secretly eating coconut candy in the backyard (I’m not a candy dictator), the only logical conclusion to make was that we were being stalked. Stalked by someone who like to eat Almond Joys while he watches people watch TV, apparently.
The Almond Joy Killer, we called him (or her, don’t want to make assumptions).
We were never murdered (I guess they only “kill” Almond Joys), and we eventually moved. We moved on with our lives. And we moved AGAIN, to a different state.
We lived in our naive little bubble, thinking ourselves safe from a chocolate-smeared Peeping Tom (not my Tom, a different, peeping, Tom).
All that changed last weekend when Tom came inside after mowing the lawn. What did he bring with him? THIS:
DEAR GOD! He or she is back! I wonder if they went through a Mounds phase in the years between, and then they went back to feeling like a nut, and fell into their old ways.
Anyway, welcome back Almond Joy Killer, we’ll try and be more entertaining this time. Please don’t murder us.
A couple of weeks ago my sister and I went to the local biannual kid’s clothes consignment sale. I bought a bunch of clothes for a baby I haven’t met or seen yet – so I don’t know how big she’ll be or get. That’s kind of weird, which means buying a lot of clothes of varying sizes and hoping for the best.
This consignment sale is a monster – racks and racks of clothes. You kind of go nutty after a while. Late in the afternoon, I found this monstrosity:
The babyfication of popular animation characters perhaps hit it’s stride with Muppet Babies and then through the nineties everyone became a baby for baby and young child-related merchandise. For instance, Elmo, who’s already supposed be like three years old anyway, is mysteriously babyfied further for baby clothes and toys. Why? I DON’T KNOW. The only logical conclusion of this trend is little sperms with popular character faces.
But, seriously, Betty Boop? Really? Just a little reminder from Wikipedia about this cartoon character developed in the 1930’s:
“Betty Boop is regarded as one of the first and most famous sex symbols on the animated screen; she is a symbol of the Depression era, and a reminder of the more carefree days of Jazz Age flappers. Her popularity was drawn largely from adult audiences, and the cartoons, while seemingly surreal, contained many sexual and psychological elements…”
Kids LOVE 1930s sex symbol black and white cartoon characters! Especially ones with either their lips on their chin or their chin completely missing. Informal poll: which do you think it is?
So, I find this thing, it’s marketed under the name “Baby Boop.” I have the following conversation with my sister:
Me: Look at this, it’s horrible. Should I buy it? It’s three dollars.
Sister: Uh, well, it has a matching bib?
She meant this as the best reason she could come up with to justify my suggesting I buy this thing because I thought it was so awful.
I ended up buying it, thinking at the very least I’ll blog about it. I showed it to Tom:
Me: Look at this, isn’t it horrible?
Tom: Why did you buy that?
Me: It’s terrible, it’s baby Betty Boop.
Tom: We’re not putting that on our child.
Me: I thought I would blog about it.
Tom: You could have just taken a picture of it.
Me: At least it’s off the streets now.
So, for the past few weeks the outfit has been hanging off or our fireplace screen, on display like some two headed pig in a jar at an oddity museum. Tom’s been throwing things like “I want that out of our house” into the ether, hoping it will come true.
Now I’m blogging about it. So there.
While at the consignment sale, I actually also saw a onesie that Baby Boop herself would probably wear, but this one I just took a picture of because I couldn’t even bring myself to have this in the house:
I guess nobody had bought it yet because all their babies were taken.
A couple of weeks ago, on Tom’s birthday, we thought we’d go to The North Carolina Zoo. We love this zoo. You have to do a lot of walking because the animals have such large areas to live. That’s a good reason to have to walk a lot. While you may not see every animal, there’s always something fun to see, depending on who’s out and about. If I lived in a zoo I would be a very boring exhibit. I would wander out for orange slices and frozen fruit treats and then go back to my far corner. I base this on my behavior in office environments and at parties.
When we woke up that day, it was pouring rain. We took a risk and decided to go anyway because the zoo is an hour and a half away and we hoped maybe the weather would be a little different by the time we got there. Also, we don’t really like other people and thought perhaps there would be less of them there on a rainy day.
It turned out to be a very nice visit. There weren’t many people and the rain was manageable. Here’s what we saw:
I do not believe that the alligators in zoos are the same alligators in the wild. This is all I’ve ever seen an alligator do in real life. I know I’m lucky that I haven’t seen one do anything else outside of a zoo, I do understand that. I think I saw one move a leg once and it was a big event for me.
I’m surprised at how dominant turtle DNA is.
I love silverback gorillas. They are just the best. The thing I particularly love about them is that they love to do this – sit in plain view with their back to everyone. There’s just something about that particular approach to being stared at all day I truly respect.
This sign says “BB&T Chimpanzee Reserve.” We couldn’t help but come up with related slogans – “Just as the majestic and mighty chimpanzee flings it’s poo, we fling the best rates around at you.”
YES. Someday, if I ever get to be the eccentric billionaire that I hope to be, I’m totally getting a dung beetle statue.
Our last stop for the day was the otters. Otters are wonderful. At first, when we walked up, we didn’t see them and figured they were snuggled up napping under some rock or something. But then they saw us and hopped right into the water and started swimming around as if it was their job to entertain us. Oh, it was adorable. And then they started doing it. And then things got kind of awkward. So, we bid the fornicating otters adieu and went on our way.
It was a great day. Then, we got home and I gave Tom a book he already had for his birthday because I’m awesome.
Online chat I just had with Tom, we were previously discussing him working from home (it helps if you know the plot of The Shining):
me: I’m not right in the head and I haven’t had coworkers for a while
Tom: I have been waiting for you to chase me and the dogs through the hedge maze. Swinging Elliott* at us.
me: I don’t have the energy. I’m a boring insane person
Tom: Ghosts constantly nagging you to kill us all. “Eh, maybe I’ll do it later.” There’s a post there somewhere.
me: “You want them dead so bad, you do it.”
Tom: On the other side, you wouldn’t survive if I flipped out, because you wouldn’t make the phone call to get Scatman Caruthers, and you wouldn’t want to run around outside.**
me: That’s true. “Eh, I’d rather die than have to make a phone call.” That’s why telepathy is such a convenient power to have, you don’t have to pick up the phone. And, I would never make it back out of that maze.***
Tom: Also true! So, the lesson is, you need to be the one to flip out, so we all survive.
me: And what did I do when I flipped out last night?**** I went to bed early, then couldn’t get to sleep, and then we watched VEEP. Everybody lived.
*Elliott is our jerk of a cat.
**I’m allergic to outside and also have no tolerance for weather that isn’t between 55-74 degrees.
***I have no sense of direction.
****Moving causes several breakdowns on my part. We’re at the point where I’d like to just set fire to all of our belongings (but don’t because of the previously mentioned laziness). This is not a pleasant moving phase for anyone involved.
There’s an endless amount of reasons why I’m happy I’m no longer a teenager. While packing and rifling through stuff, we found two of those reasons in a box of papers.
The first is a treasured relic from the Art Department of the high school Tom and I went to:
This is a Bathroom Buck. It was given to students by a teacher named Mr. Downing, who wanted total control and had a lot of rules in his class, but had no air of authority whatsoever. He was openly mocked and I’m not sure if he either knew it and pretended otherwise, or if he just really didn’t pick up on it. I’m sure the Bathroom Buck was developed because one too many teens blatantly wandered away from his class. He taught photography, and for photography projects, we were really only allowed in the small area right outside the classroom, which was a huge concrete-covered area with railings and stairs. The number of photographs of sullen introspective teenagers sitting on or standing under stairs is probably in the thousands.
I know this is Tom’s Bathroom Buck, because I’m sure I used all of mine. Notice that it says “void if presented at an inappropriate moment.” You see what I mean? Lots of rules with no air of authority.
As an adult who has grown accustomed to a certain level of being able to use the bathroom whenever she wants, the sight of this Bathroom Buck fills me with dread. While I’m sure plenty of high school students did plenty of bad and naughty stuff under the guise of a bathroom break, to teenagers like me, who actually had to use the bathroom, the constant outside control of my bladder was really nerve wracking.
This leads me to the second treasure. In the grand scheme of things, I was a pretty good teenager. I didn’t do drugs, didn’t drink, etc, probably 60% because I wasn’t interested and 40% because I was always grounded due to being a crappy student, which was my major teenager-y flaw. As I’ve written about before, my personality type is pretty straight-laced, so as far as getting into trouble, I wasn’t that bad. I was, however, moody (still am, unfortunately). Even girls who are Myers-Briggs Thinking (as opposed to Feeling) get the Teenage Mope. Here’s a picture of me at Christmas, I was probably 16 at the time:
This picture fills me with all sorts of feelings, but the the main one is hilarity, which I’m declaring a feeling for the purpose of this sentence. There I am, poor teenage Carrie, at my aunt and uncle’s house for Christmas, surrounded by family who love me after probably receiving a gift I asked for. And the thing that I really like about the whole thing is that I bet my dad took this picture because he thought it was funny. Why else would you take a picture of that pile of teenage self-pity?
When Tom found it, he held it up and said “awwwwww, look at sad Carrie.” And he did seem to genuinely feel bad for her. And a part of me does, too, because that Carrie really was sad at the time, but for the most part, it makes me laugh. This is why, if we develop time travel technology, I should never be allowed to visit my past selves.
Maybe she’s sad because she used all her Bathroom Bucks. And that’s how you tie together a blog post.