Humor and Satire– Shmatire!

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Last night I had Cream of Wheat (remember Cream of Wheat?!? I did, when I got to the grocery store and shopped while starving), and 1/4 of a pomegranate for dinner.

Mmmmm, weird.

Oh, and a beer. So that I would also have something from the Hop food group. What? It’s a food group, if I remember correctly from that science class I took in college…or was that a party I went to in college? Either way.

Then Brian and I made the dog help put the laundry away. I would fold a towel, and put it on his back, and he would walk across the room to Brian, who would take the towel, put it away, pat Charlie and send him back to me.

I think I am almost ready to be a parent, guys. This is so exciting.


My boyfriend inherited a fish when one of his roommates moved out. He is in a huge tank in the bedroom which needs to be filled with water or the filter makes a splashing noise all night long which fills my nightmares. He is an impressively large white fish (about the size of a pot roast) with teeth, and he can see you from outside his tank and follows you as you walk along it, particularly when you have just gotten out of the shower and are groping for a towel and feel at your most vulnerable. In the mornings he likes to sound a gentle, loving wake-up call by banging against the filter in his tank which makes a noise like a gunshot. Sometimes he will do this a dozen times in the course of an hour if you have decided to sleep in because it’s a weekend. He doesn’t eat that much and he’s great otherwise. If we had more that just the bedroom of this shared house to put him in, i.e. if he could go in the livingroom or the basement or pretty much anywhere else, he would make an excellent and fascinating pet. But as it stands, he gots to go. Let’s make a deal.

Location: Medford


Four-thirty a.m.
Some New Hampshire interstate
GPS goes dead

Cell phone GPS
Your new destination is
My Garbage Can Street


“Molly.” My friend Rose explained patiently. “If you are over the age of 21 and no longer live at home, you need a double bed. Don’t even think about getting a twin.”

“But I’m the only one sleeping in it. I don’t need all that extra space. When I sleep in anything larger, I just take one side anyway! What’s the point?”

Rose would not be swayed. “Someday you’ll be glad you have it,” she insisted. “Besides, it’s not even like you’re buying a new bed. You’re taking one from home! Take the big one! God willing, it’ll come in handy.”

“See, that’s the thing. What if I jinx it? What if by bringing a larger bed I unwittingly guarantee that one side of it will always remain empty?” Or, worse, that it will be permanently cluttered, first with books and clothes, then with cats and recipes clipped from Women’s Day, and eventually with old bridesmaid dresses and moldy Hope Chest linens. It seems a little presumptuous somehow, starting out with a big bed like that.

Certainly, I have nothing much to live up to this time around, in terms of both my furniture and my living space. I arrived at my last apartment to find it unfurnished, with cinderblock walls and a kitchen so small you couldn’t fully inhale while standing at the stove (not that I ever wanted to, when I was cooking). I had brought with me no more than I could carry, having spent the last year traveling from New York to California and finally to Honolulu.

In Hawaii, the first piece of furniture my roommate and I managed to acquire was a mattress box spring from the street corner. We figured a mattress would eventually follow. Eight months later, it still hadn’t. We’d gone to a mattress store early on to discover that our idea of a cheap mattress was drastically different from anyone else’s. “All right,” the salesman had said finally. “I’ll give you those two twin mattresses for only $325. I’m being a huge pushover here. You can shop around, but I guarantee you’ll be back.” A pawn shop a few blocks away begged to differ. There we found two thin foam camping mattresses, one used, one new, for $28. I slept underneath a stolen airline blanket on that camping-mattress for the duration of my lease in that apartment. My desk was a broken television we’d retrieved from the curb across the street. Don’t ask me why my roommate and I assumed that someone would leave a perfectly good television on a street corner. We lugged it optimistically up three flights of stairs and plugged it into several different outlets before we finally accepted the fact that it didn’t work. The story of that broken television is an excellent example of the complete naiveté with which we entered the real world. Really, it’s a miracle we’re alive today.

It’s certainly a nice change of pace, moving somewhere a few hours away from home, rather than a few thousand miles and several time zones. For one thing, I get to raid the house, looking for things I’ll need in my new place; things my parents hopefully won’t miss until I’m far enough away. For another thing, I get to bring furniture with me. This is a whole new world. This time, my roommate (the same one as before) came equipped with a couch, a love seat, a bunch of lamps, and a whole mess of end tables. A few hours after moving into our apartment, the living room looked like the set of the Cosby show. It was almost too much for me to handle. Last Fall it was weeks before our living room stopped looking like the set of an off-off Broadway play whose set designer went for ‘severe’. There’s a little fun lost, having things fixed up right away. But there are also fewer used camping mattresses involved, and I can live with that.


Now that nearly a month has elapsed since February 14th, I’ll venture to say that I don’t know why anyone bothers to get worked up about Valentine’s Day. I measure holidays by the variety and amount of candy that you are encouraged to eat on them and the amount of work or school they get you out of. It’s a poor excuse for a holiday that fails you on both of those accounts. (Arbor Day, I’m looking in your direction.) I know Candy Conversation Hearts have their devotees, but I for one am not impressed by a candy that comes across as emotionally needy, although it is true that Conversation Hearts have become much less effusive in recent years. Hearts from not too long ago said things like “SWEET THANG” and “MARRY ME,” which are a far cry from “FAX ME,” which is what this latest, more guarded generation of Candy Hearts would prefer us to do. And as far as I can tell, no number is given, making even this impersonal, perfunctory contact impossible.
I don’t even know much about the origins of Valentine’s Day. The part of my brain which heard and remembered the tale of St. Valentine (and everyone has had the story explained to them at least once) now stores the lyrics to Fat Bottomed Girls. I thus find it impossible to reflect on the true meaning of Valentine’s Day and why it is important for us to show our devotion to loved ones and Hallmark executives.
I suppose that your feelings about Valentine’s Day often stem from your earliest encounters with it, and mine were always fairly innocuous. Until I reached the age where I was supposed to have found someone else to love me on February 14th, our parents gave my sister and me candy, taking advantage of an opportunity between Christmas and Easter to shower us with affection and chocolate that they would have to help us finish.
Then there were the Valentines. Since the Law of Kindergarten stated that you could not give something to one person unless you had “enough for the whole class,” I was generally forced to make Valentines not only for my very exclusive group of First Best Friends, but for the kids I hated as well. Not to mention the many children I felt nothing for. Sometimes I made them by hand, sometimes I bought them pre-packaged and signed my name at the bottom in cursive, but either way, my seemingly magnanimous gesture was often fraught with subtle details which indicated, in my judgement, the social status of the recipient. Mary, my spelling partner, got the heart trimmed with lace and covered with glitter that said, “Love,” while Lucas got the misprinted Care Bear card in which Tenderheart Bear looks as though he has a fishing-pole sticking out of his head and six eyes. Lucas was a mouth-breather.
My family did host a Valentine’s Day party one year when I was about seven, which was a glorified excuse for my mother to put me in patent-leather shoes and a party dress. She liked doing that. As usual, the entire class was invited. The only memory I have of that party is that George, one of the kids who wouldn’t have come had I been in charge of the guest list, showed up with his dad and an extravagant (at least in my mind) present for me. It was a small candy-filled mug with “I LOVE YOU” printed on the side. I assumed from it that George did in fact love me, and treated him with nothing but scorn from then on. I knew how to play the game.



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