A Most Intelligent Design

My son, Emmit, and I wrote this post together.  You know what they say, "A family that writes blog posts together, writes blog posts and they write them together, the posts that is, that they write and then they publish them on a blog, together."  Of course, they also say, "A family that writes blog posts together is destined for complete financial ruin."

So my son, Emmit, has formed a hypothesis.  His hypothesis states that there is a direct relationship between the lack of spork usage and evil. Emmit- this is an intriguing hypothosis, (Read intriguing as "bat-shit insane.")  I invite you to explain.

Humanity's unwillingness to adopt sporks as the alpha-eating implement is irrational. What other instrument makes it possible to impale savory chunks of chicken while slurping spoonfuls of residual poultry fluid?

Wait a minute, Emmit.  Residual poultry fluid?  Take my advice, Young Grasshopper; it might be best to take a simpler approach.  Like, how about just saying chicken broth?  

OK. Humanity's unwillingness to adopt sporks as the alpha-eating implement is irrational. What other instrument makes it possible to collect spoonfuls of chicken broth while simultaneously engaging in quadruple-pronged combat with my mother's outstretched hand as she reaches for the salt?

See how much better it reads with chicken broth?  Much better.

With a spork, the strawberries in your Cheerios are no longer ornamental obstacles; they become a gustatory reality.  

Makes sense.  But what does this have to do with evil?

Sporks are perfect.  An instrument so flawless in its design could not have been conceived by man.  Clearly the invention stemmed from a divine vision.  Humankind's unwillingness to accept sporks as prime-utensil is irrational. It can only be concluded that a omnipotent malevolent force is purposely discouraging the use of sporks. His motivation? Pure evil.

So, let me get this straight.  You are saying that sporks are a divine gift, from God Himself, and the reason we don't use them very much is because of...the Devil?

My time here is done.

Emmit!  What have I told you about chewing on the legs of the chairs?

P.S.  Do you know what the tines of the spork represent?  The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost and the Spork.

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Fun With the Internets Machine

Sick in bed. But don't feel sorry for me- I gots the internets machine right here in bed with me. Ask me a question. Go ahead. Any question. What was that? You want to know what Isadora Duncan's last words were? Just a moment. I will get that information for you.

Here it is:

Duncan was a passenger in the Amilcar[5] automobile of a handsome French-Italian mechanic, Benoît Falchetto, whom she had nicknamed 'Buggatti' [sic]. Before getting into the car, she said to a friend, Mary Desti, and some companions, "Adieu, mes amis. Je vais à la gloire!" ("Goodbye, my friends, I am off to glory!"); however, according to the diaries of the American novelist Glenway Wescott, who was in Nice at the time, Desti admitted that she had lied about Duncan's last words. Instead, she told Wescott, the dancer actually said, "Je vais à l'amour" ("I am off to love"), which Desti considered too embarrassing to go down in history as the legend's final utterance, especially since it suggested that Duncan hoped that she and Falchetto were going to her hotel for a sexual assignation. Whatever her actual last words, when Falchetto drove off, Duncan's immense handpainted silk scarf, which was a gift from Desti and was large enough to be wrapped around her body and neck and flutter out of the car, became entangled around one of the vehicle's open-spoked wheels and rear axle. As The New York Times noted in its obituary of the dancer on September 15, 1927, "Isadora Duncan, the American dancer, tonight met a tragic death at Nice on the Riviera. According to dispatches from Nice Miss Duncan was hurled in an extraordinary manner from an open automobile in which she was riding and instantly killed by the force of her fall to the stone pavement."[6] Other sources describe her death as resulting from strangulation, noting that she was almost decapitated by the sudden tightening of the scarf around her neck.[7]

Wow. Like how I answered your question with links and footnotes that really work and all? This is a result of the internets machine. Years ago, someone might ask, "What were Isadora Duncan's last words?" and be met with something like this, "I don't remember exactly. It was French and it was ironic and after she said it she drove off and was strangled by her scarf which got caught in the wheels of her roadster." And then someone would say, "I wish I could remember exactly what she said." And then someone else would say, "I used to know, but I forgot." This would be followed by someone else saying, "It was really cool though, and dramatic. I remember that." And then someone would say, "And it was ironic and French, but I can't remember the exact quote."

That is pretty much how the conversation would go. But now, we just google up our answers and that is that. So, pretty much we don't really need to know anything anymore. You can just take all that information you got taking up space in your frontal lobes and dump it in the recycle bin. In my case, it isn't a lot of information anyhow. The internets machine will tell you everything you need to know. Here is what I learned visiting Yahoo just now-

Monday is the best day to start a diet. (I would have guessed that the best day to start a diet would be "tomorrow." As in, "I will start that diet, tomorrow.")

Ladies, the slip is dead. (This makes me sad, although I don't own a slip, and I never liked wearing them when I did.)

Michael Jackson's life was full of emotional and health issues. (You don't say?)

Moms love pretty babies more than they love ugly ones. (Who the hell funded this study?)

If you have a telephone interview, you should dress up for it. (I can imagine taking a couple of hours frantically changing outfits trying to find the perfect outfit for my telephone interview and trashing my bedroom with discarded items of clothing, because this is what I do for a real interview. But for a TELEPHONE interview? I guess that, if the interview doesn't go well however, one could just blame it on the outfit.)

If you are a real jerk to the waitstaff, someone might just spit in your food. (I was kinda hoping that wasn't true, although I am always pleasant to the waitstaff.)

Here are my cyberstroll takeaways-

As soon as I feel better, I am going to go out to buy a slip- just to be a rebel. I am going to wear said slip under everything, even pants.

Mark my word, tomorrow I am starting a diet. Tomorrow is Monday, so it works.

There is money to be made- someone should invent saliva test strips so that jerks can go ahead and be jerky to the waitstaff. They can be as jerky as they want and then just test the food for spit. I think that jerky people would like a product like this.

My child was the prettiest baby on earth, which was fortunate for him, otherwise I couldn't possibly have loved him. He should totally count his blessings.

I really took nothing away about the dressing up for the telephone interview advice, except I think it is stupid. What better excuse to get naked, than having a telephone job interview? Then, when you get the job, you can will always have that awesome inside joke with yourself about the great interview suit you wore.

About Michael Jackson- I think it is heartening that we all seem united in our thoughts about him. A man of absolutely enormous talent, his continual bizarre metamorphosis throughout his career was at the same time, interesting and disturbing. The untimely death of this icon probably shouldn't strike us as surprising, given his self destructive tendencies, but none-the-less it has been a shock. His loss feels tragic.

And finally, speaking of icons, regardless of Isadora's last words, she was really, really super-cool. I have always had a bit of a crush on her.

Adieu, mes amis. Je vais à la gloire!

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A Call To Undorkify the Bicycle Helmet

My teenaged son, Ewin, is about to go out for the night on his bike. No lights, no safety vest, reflectors or helmet even. This makes me more than a little nervous. But, the sad truth of it is, I really have very little influence over him. Everything is progressing according to the rules of mother/teenaged son relationship convention.

This is the way the mother/teenage son relationship convention works- I worry about possible brain injury resulting in Ewin's being in a semi-vegetative state in which all he can do is drool and blink his eyes once for no and two times for yes. And Ewin, on the other hand, worries about looking dorky.  Hence, no safety measures whatsoever.

And that is why there is a great deal of money to be made in marketing bicycle helmets that look cool and dangerous, or in the case of this example from the Flight of the Concords, like what you might expect to find on a human head in the first place- hair.

This is a great solution.  It protects your head and looks cool too.

There must be something commercially available.  Some company must have thought of a cool bike helmet design.  Google imaging "cool bike helmet" yielded an attempt by a good hearted and forward thinking company that really cares about the safety of our youth. Take a look at helmet toppers pictured below.

Good intentions.  Very well meaning.  E for Effort guys.  But, these helmets are not cool.  They are cute. Cool and cute are not the same.  These helmets are for little kids.   And little kids, because they are little, can be made to wear the regular kind of helmet.  They don't need to be humiliated by having a stuffed mouse strapped to their head.  In fact, although this headgear might provide protection from a fall onto concrete, it increases the dork-factor of the wearer, providing the perfect rallying cry for neighborhood bullies to unite and beat the living piss out of the poor kid who has the misfortune to be wearing it.

It isn't little kids that I worry about.  If made to wear a regular dorky helmet, they wear it; it prevents injury and isn't in-your-face dorky enough to guarantee bully action.  It is the teenagers that have me concerned.  In an age where even the sweetest baby faced young adults have metal rods sticking through their faces, something more edgy is needed.  Something like the one pictured below, except not as tame.  Picture way more spikes and longer spikes and sharper spikes.  Wearing a helmet like this would scream "Don't mess with me mofo, for I am a bad-ass, helmet wearing, scary bicycle dude of the most undorky variety.  And if you aren't sure about that, why don't you come over here so I can drive my helmet into your baby-maker? Jerk."

Remember- more spikes, longer spikes, sharper spikes.

Or better yet, this:

This would scare the crap out of anyone.

And protect the head nicely.

I have a little extra time, what with summer vacation and all.  I think that I will get out the glue gun and un-dorkify a helmet for Ewin.  Send me your ideas.  I think I am feeling a fit of "crafty" coming on.

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My Commencement Address

Dear Dedicated Callithump Thunderblog Readers,

I, Sondra Stinglash, not my real name, graduated from massage school a few days ago. We had a lovely closure ceremony at school and then our graduation took place at a nearby auditorium later that evening. All lovely. Wouldn't have done anything differently, except...

For some reason, I wasn't elected to speak. It must have been an oversight, a miscount of the ballots...for surely my classmates would want Sondra Stinglash, queen of the humor blog, voted "Best Sense of Humor" (OK, I had to share that honor with two others, but still...), to give an entertaining graduation address. Had my fellow students not been totally whacked on crack the day we voted for our representative, here is the gist of what I would have said-

1. First I would respectfully address my audience- acknowledging my fellow classmates, their families and faculty and staff of our esteemed school. I would thank my classmates for electing me as their representative and I would publicly commend them for not giving into the temptation of crack cocaine.

2. Then I would tell a really funny joke. No, scratch that. I would tell a hilarious joke. I know just the one. I would tell the joke where the priest, the rabbi and the massage therapist walk into a bar. I love that joke. Then, once the laughter and applause died down....

3. Next would come a really touching story. I would tell the story of Harvey Finklestein, the inspiring massage therapist who persevered despite the fact that he was born with no hands. Tears would roll down the faces of the audience as they listened to his tale of struggle and courage. Battling both physical adversity and overwhelming prejudice, the story of Harvey Finklestien would forever be a reminder of the power of believing in your dreams.

4. And I wouldn't stop there. You might think I would. After all, the audience has laughed and cried. My fellow students, each possessing two hands, have been inspired and humbled by the incredible story of Harvey Finklestien, but still I press on. After all, even though the audience is made up of friends and family of massage students, they really have no idea what massage school is really like. For this reason, I will do a demonstration of getting fully undressed and redressed again on a massage table under the sheets in less than a minute.

One of my fellow classmates said, on our last day, that massage school was a great experience and at the same time, a very, very bizarre one. I would have to agree. I loved it. I hated it. And now it is done. 1000 hours. It was a consuming experience, full of rigor and densely packed days. I dealt with the stress by writing. Thus this blog was born. And now, perhaps as a byproduct of the reduced demands in my life, I haven't felt as compelled to write. Or at least, I have not felt so compelled to write humor. As entertaining as these pieces can be, sometimes I wonder where they really come from. Sometimes joking feels compulsive, like a touretters tic; I just have to say that funny thing...I HAVE to say it. Once at school, I was standing in line to use the bathroom. I had to go badly and had been waiting for a while. I was finally next in line. Overhearing a couple of classmates talking, I left the line to walk over to them and make a joke and I lost my spot. I lost my spot in line, my immediate chance to relieve my thinly stretched bladder, in order to crack a joke. Seems a little addictive, does it not?

In all seriousness though, I will miss school. I will miss the people. One refrain that came up repeatedly was that we all had gotten close even though we got on each other's nerves. I suppose that there was some truth to that. How could we help but become close? How could we help but get on one another's nerves? It is a given, just part of the territory. What I will take away though, from the year, in regards to my fellow students, is that I have become quite fond of them, collectively and individually. We went through a program that the word "intense" does little to describe. And we helped one another through a journey that for each of us had both its bumps and its triumphs. We are good people. Guess it isn't surprising that the field of massage would attract warm, caring, generous people.

It was best that I wasn't elected to speak. I would have spoken for too long. And the preparation would have made me crazy nervous because I hate public speaking. And I would have cried during the whole thing, making the entire speech incomprehensible and embarrassing.

Anyway, lovely readers, thank you for supporting my stress inspired therapeutic blog for the past almost year. I am sure that the stress will pick up very soon and I will be back, churning out post after post.

And, if you are fellow classmate who has never visited this blog before, please check out the Palpation Slave piece. I still wish I had me one of those.


Sondra Singlash

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10 Lesser Known Works Of Art

The title of this post is misleading.  There are only three works of art listed here.  Sue me.

Nude Putting On Clothing At the Bottom of Staircase

Nude At Stove Frying Bacon

Nude Being Arrested For Public Nudity

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It Don't Write Itself

I haven't been here in a while. I have been very, very busy. Happily my blog hasn't gotten into any terrible trouble during my absence. She has not gotten arrested, gotten herself pregnant nor has she maxed out any credit cards. As it turns out, my blog has actually not been doing anything at all.

As a matter of fact, it seems that in my absence, my blog has been lying around the house all day on the couch, eating chocolate. She is suspiciously quiet when I come home and say, "Hey blog, how has your day been? What are you up to?" No reply when I ask, "What's going on here?" And when my anger escalates, my rant falls on deaf ears, "I have been out all day, working my fingers to the bone and I come home and nothing is done. Dinner isn't cooked and the house is a mess and nothing is written. Not one word. What exactly have you been doing all day?"

"Look blog, the jig is up. I found the wrappers."

I gave my blog plenty of good ideas to work with too...

What about the idea to start a charity that raises money for homeless people so that they can go to tanning salons? That was pretty funny. How about the idea to treat a ganglion cyst by downloading the Bible application for the iphone and then smacking the cyst with it? I find that particularly hysterical. (Funnier when you are aware that the folk cure for a ganglion cyst is to hit it with a Bible, of course. And now you know, so laugh away.)

All that good material and nothing...

Nothing at all...

It is clear then that my blog just don't write itself.

Fine. I will just have to do it then.

"You just stay there on the couch blog. Just keep eating those chocolates. Are they as delicious as they look? Can I get you something else? Something to drink perhaps? No, no...don't get up....I got it."

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