The Long-Awaited Return of the SpySistah Chronicles
It is true! She is back. Sit down and read a spell, for another chapter (number 10, I believe) is ready for your approval.
For those not aware, The SpySistah Chronicles are a series of stories all about the same characters that were borne out of Ms. Silk's Fictional Friday series. In those days, I was limited to 1,000 words and drew inspiration from three pictures provided by Silk. Silk again provided the inspiration, but I chose not to limit myself to 1,000 words. I figure, why bother? Nobody else is going to do this, so you can spend a few more minutes reading the end. Also, I'm having trouble getting the pictures to load, so you'll just have to imagine them for yourself, okay?
I do hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave a comment. Oh - if you aren't up on the tale of SpySistah, links to the other chapters can be found in the sidebar.
Joan clung to the cliff face, her hands turning red and her arms and legs nearly buckling under the exertion. Samantha had already reached the top and was spotting her. This was Samantha’s idea of a “girls vacation” but Joan had been thinking spa retreat. You can take the girl out of the CIA, but you can’t take the CIA out of the girl, apparently. Next time, she told herself, she’d do the planning of the girls getaway, or else she might find herself running the Boston Marathon next!
She pulled herself to the top and noticed that Sam was talking into her Sat phone. If she was lucky, this call would put her out of her misery.
Sam ended the call as Joan brushed herself off. “So…?” she asked.
“We have positive confirmation on Enrique’s intel. We fly out in two hours. We will rendezvous with the guys in Amman.”
Joan was secretly grateful, but wisely didn’t let Samantha see that she was happy to escape the vacation.
“What’s the mission, boys?”
The four of them, Joan, Samantha, Mark, and John Cutter were safely ensconced in the safehouse in Amman. The boys had arrived first and had prepped the mission with headquarters by videolink.
“We are going into Iraq, but quietly.” Mark said. He leaned in closer, pointing to the map. “We will rendezvous with Spec Ops at a camp here,” he slid his finger across the border, “and they will provide us with on-site intel, weapons, and backup.”
“And we think the Vx has made it’s way to Iraq?” Samantha asked.
“That’s what John managed to find out. He tracked down some associates of our friend Enrique.” Mark nodded and John, being the ham he was, faked a bow.
They had arrived at the camp under cover of darkness, the headlights of the Jeep having been extinguished when they crossed over the border. The girls had been led to one tent and the boys another in the center of the camp.
Early the next morning, they were all rousted out of their beds for a briefing and breakfast.
“MREs for breakfast?” Joan grumbled. “So much for the glamorous side of the spy biz.”
“Buck up, camper!” Samantha grinned, loving to tease Joan as much as possible, “You are seeing the world!”
When they arrived in the tent, they were introduced to the Camp’s Commander, a Major Tom Cavanaugh. “I’m glad you made it safely and hope you got some sleep last night. Now, let’s talk about what we can do to make your mission a success.”
The four agents then spent the bulk of the morning planning a foray into the nearest village with the Major and two of his aides.
“The ladies will set the explosives. They will need disguises. Jeremy,” the Major nodded to the youngest of the group, “you see to that. The rest of us will go in, also in disguise, but there we can expect less scrutiny. Cutter will need some self-tanning lotion and hair dye. That lily white is a dead give-away. Jeremy, add that to your list.”
“What about backup?” Samantha asked.
“I’ll have a secondary Delta team on the perimeter, but it is best if we don’t need them. Our job here is difficult enough as it is. This is going to be a precision strike. Now, ladies, do either of you have any questions about the charges?”
Samantha smiled at the Major. “No sir, I believe we can handle the C-4 just fine.”
“Good. Then, while you and Jeremy and Nick tie up any loose ends and check tech, I’ll take Mark and John on a little recon. Nick, we’ll need a few camels.”
Later that same day, as the sun began to wane and they knew local families would soon be taking to the streets, the group of seven made their way into the little village. The men scattered in the crowd, drawing no notice as they blended into the bustling activity at tea shops and other markets.
Joan and Samantha chatted quietly, feigning the proper modesty of a woman of that region, and made their way to the target. They strolled slowly, waiting for Nick to complete the thermal scan of the building and join them.
He strolled over casually, looking every bit the young cocky Iraqi in his disguise. “It’s clean. You can go.”
Samantha seized the opportunity. Her wide hips swung toward the rear of the building and she meandered toward the entrance. Her usually sleek hips were wide under the burqa, hiding the cache of C-4 strapped to her hips and thighs.
She noticed the noisome smell of goat inside the building from the moment her foot entered inside. It made her want to gag. She choked down the bile and surreptitiously made her way to the back room off of the kitchen. Why anyone would store chemical weapons so close to where they prepared food would remain a mystery to her. Not the brightest of terrorists, she supposed.
She set five charges around the Vx and then clambered up the stairs to set two more on the second story. As she came back down, she thought she heard something, but investigation proved otherwise. She set the last charge in the front of the house and quickly made her way back out the rear.
As she approached Nick and Joan, she noticed that Nick had a panicked look on his face. She activated her coms and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“I think there is a child playing in the rear of the house!”
“Do nothing. I’ll go!” She whispered into her coms, turning and retreating back into the area behind the house.
Samantha knew her time was running out. She had to find the child and get back out in less than two minutes. She searched the rear of the house and found nothing. She made her way back to the front rooms and again came up with nothing.
“There’s nobody here.” She communicated to Nick via her earpiece.
“Look again. There is a heat signature right behind you, 10 or 12 feet.”
She looked again. Under the table she found her quarry and threw it under her arm. “Goddam Fucking Goats!” She gritted into her com unit. She heard Joan and Nick laughing as she made her way out of the house. She heard her watch beep and then darkness fell.
Joan and Nick leaned over Samantha, slapping her face.
“Yeah! Yeah! Stop that,” Samantha bitched, “I’m awake. What time is the briefing?”
“What?” Joan asked.
“This morning’s briefing. Can we eat first? And you should take a shower. You smell like goat.”
Joan laughed. “You are the one who smells like goat, or is that guy you are cuddling your date for the night?”
Samantha was confused. Where was the tent? “What’s going on?”
“You barely escaped with your life, that’s what!”
“We just went to bed, what are you talking about?”
“Honey, you just planted the charges. The Vx has been incinerated, as planned. You, however, seem to have been hit in the head by flying debris.”
“I don’t remember anything after arriving in Iraq.”
“Well,” Joan smiled, “I’ll tell you all about it.” She and Nick helped Samantha regain her feet. “We had MREs for breakfast and met the most delicious Major. Then, you saved the day… again. Just another day in the fabulous life of the super spy.” “How weird is it that I don’t remember any of this?”
“Pretty weird. But don’t worry, we’ll have you checked out. They can fly you to Germany for medical attention if it is serious.”
“I saved a goat?”
“Honey, that was probably somebody’s dowry!”
“Oh, shut up, Joan.”
"Hey! I'm not the one who woke up with a goat, here."
Political Correctness has gone way too far when you have to start referring to a Christmas Tree as a Holiday Tree.
Holiday Tree. Could that be a Maple in the front lawn that has a yellow ribbon tied round it on the Fourth of July? I think so. I also think that the way some people hang plastic eggs in their trees in the yard around Easter also qualify as "holiday trees."
If you don't like Christmas or Christmas Trees, guess what! You are not legally required to observe the holiday. I, for example, don't celebrate Arbor Day. However, I'm not running around suggesting that we put an end to Arbor Day celebrations or claiming that it is offensive, now am I? Why should I need to ruin your Arbor Day fun? I don't have that right.
Political Correctness has reached the point where it actually defeats multiculturalism. Multiculturalism celebrates all of the cultures, not just the ones that don't offend someone. If that were the case, we'd have to get rid of nearly every holiday, for fear of offending someone.
St. Patrick's Day? Gone. Martin Luther King Day? Gone. Valentine's Day? Clearly offensive to single women everywhere. Gone!
So my point is this: If I say "Merry Christmas" to you, know that I am not trying to enslave you to my outlook or preferences. I am merely wishing you joy of the season, without so many syllables. Get Over It.
In case you haven't heard, 4 peace activists have recently been kidnapped in Iraq. Among the group of victims are 2 Canadians, 1 Brit, and an American. They all belong to some group called "Christian Peacemaker Teams."
Their abductors do not believe them to be innocent peace activists, but spies. As though the CIA or any intelligence agency for that matter would be so dumb as to claim as cover a group with the word "Christian" in it. Why don't they draw a big red taget on their asses, eh?
Anyway, the news this morning is that the larger group of "Christian Peacemaker Teams" is laying the blame for the kidnappings on the US and the UK, not on the actual kidnappers. So. Fucking. Stupid.
As if the American Government somehow convinced these terrorists to abduct peace activists who were working against the so-called illegal occupation. Yeah. Right. Sure.
If you want to blame somebody, blame the actual kidnappers. You know, the ones who videotaped the victims and sent the footage to Al-Terrorist-Jazeera. Or, you could blame the damn victims themselves. They knew the risks. They went to Iraq anyway. It rests on their shoulders. So now, we should send the "evil" "baby-killing" "jack-booted" "thugs" of our "illegal" "occupation" to rescue their asses? I think not.
I still maintain my innocence. I did not dismember Ernie. There is no proof, real or imagined, that links me to this heinous act. In fact, I vehemently denounce the perpetrator of this misdeed as a coward.
I want everyone to know that Ernie was eventually reunited with his arm after some very careful and extremely tense emergency surgery.
This morning when my alarm clock rang I woke to the television tuned to Bravo.
This, for the unaware, is the channel that made famous "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
Here's what I know. Some idiocy was ongoing and one of those Queer Eyes was talking about how "Of course Bert and Ernie were gay. Two guys living together, sleeping in separate beds in the same bedroom...."
That's when I changed the channel.
Of course, I fumed about it in the shower for 20 minutes and it still hasn't left my brain.
This is what is wrong with people today. They take something completely innocent and make it dirty or suggestive of something. This is just like the UN making that movie of the cartoon Smurfs getting carpet bombed. It is ridiculous for us, as adults, to attribute adult themes to our children's playtime friends. Doing so leads to our children learning about the nasty side of life way too early. Don't kids have enough to be getting on with these days that worrying and wondering about the sexuality of Sesame Street characters?
The Smurfs, as you may recall, were not weak. They were not losers. They frequently outsmarted the larger and stronger Gargamel and Azriel. Portraying them as the victims of a stray daisy cutter is ludicrous in the extreme.
Bert and Ernie, for the record, were not gay. Bert is the yellow one with the unibrow and Ernie is the orange one with the round head. These two characters teach a valuable lesson to tots about dealing with siblings. You see, Bert is almost always portrayed as the older and wiser of the two. He is constantly frustrated by Ernie's ridiculous schemes and plans. Bert rolls his eyes, but Ernie always gets them into trouble anyway. They were like siblings, teaching us that little brothers and sisters can be fun, even if they do sometimes get us into trouble and don't know everything. The next thing you know, certain people will be casting aspersions on Ernie's relationship with his rubber duck.
Get this straight, people: Bert and Ernie didn't leave the Sesame Street set and head off to some gay bar for a night of unbridled debauchery of the gay kind.
Furthermore, Barbie and her friends were not hookers to Ken's pimping. Strawberry Shortcake was not a transexual. Snoopy is not a hermaphrodite. Polly Pocket is not a lesbian. GI Joe was not a murdering rapist for the Empire, but a hero. Holly Hobby was not a crack head, doing blowjobs for smack. Sea Monkeys have nothing to do with condoms or kinky sex. Mr. Potato Head was not into S&M. The Shirt Tales were not a group of like-minded animals that participated in orgies. Stretch Armstrong was not a pron star.
I hope this clears things up for the unenlightened who seem content to find smut everywhere.
I'm in bad mood. And everytime I turn around, someone does something else to vex me. For example:
1. Hey, fella, there is not a separate rule book just for you! You aren't special. You are just another nameless member of the masses. And, from the looks of you, you belong to that subgroup "The Great Unwashed."
2. It is too damn cold out there.
3. My hands are tingling again.
4. Imbeciles. Too many to count.
5. People who somehow believe that I have a magic wand that will fix all of their problems. Do I look like your mother? Do I have fairy wings and a wand? NO. Take your problem to somebody who gives a shit, 'kay?
6. It is getting absolutely impossible to tie my own shoes. Soon I will be roughly the size of a strip mall.
7. Tell me! Why the f*** would I shop at a store online that isn't offering free shipping? ASSHOLES! Me and my credit card are going elsewhere.
The baby responds as a newborn with its eyes open while awake and closed while sleeping. S/he is developing immunities to fight mild infection. Those sharp little fingernails are at the ends of the fingertips already, and you might need to clip them during the first few days after birth.
I hope we are getting down to the wire. I'm tired all of the time, it seems. My waistline is a figment of my imagination. I'm never comfortable. My back aches, my hips ache, my neck aches, my feet ache. On the positive side, though, my knees have stopped aching. Hurray for small miracles. I constantly have to pee. And then, sometimes I can only pee a teaspoon full, despite the feeling being much more desperate.
We have another visit with the doctor today where they will swab us for Strep B and attempt to take blood again.
Apparently he had to verbally spar with the judge in his case and at one point, chastised the man because Saddam had been required to walk up 4 flights of stairs under foreign guard because the elevator was broken.
Wow. The old guy has balls, doesn't he? This is a man who ordered the torture of thousands, murdered hundreds of thousands, and probably worse, yet he gets bitchy over walking up a few flights of stairs?
Big. Brass. Balls.
I feel for him, really. I mean, that's just like torture for a pampered prince like him. I mean, that is the same thing as sending him through the wood chipper or gassing him. For heaven's sake! Can't anyone see how the poor suffering bastard is being mistreated? For God's sake, he's not a Kurd, he deserves better treatment. (For the record, I'm being sarcastic here. I think the bugger deserves a lot worse than a broken elevator - unless we are talking about him getting shafted in the Soap Opera way).
Does he not realize that those "foreign" guards are protecting him? Regular Iraqis might not have any problem giving him the shaft or killing his sorry ass with a paper clip on the way to the courtroom.
Bruce, if I can be so bold as to refer to Mr. Willis with such familiarity, wants to bring the good news of the War in Iraq to a theater near you. Bruce discovered while on a USO visit that the good news wasn't making it to your "intrepid reporters" and discovered that Michael Yon was the lone voice in that vast wilderness. If you haven't read Michael Yon's dispatches, you should. They are a fitting tribute to the sort of regular-guy heroes that make up our armed forces.
Anyway, Bruce and his pal recently attended the Deuce Four Welcome Home Ball. Read about it here.
For the record, I think it is a great idea to make this movie. I'd go see it! And, there's no one better to do it respectfully than Bruce Willis. Yippy-kai-ay!
To make the news of the Alias cancelation even worse, comes the news that a major character is likely to be killed off on Desperate Housewives during May sweeps.
The rumble indicates that it is the Marcia Cross character, Bree Van de Kamp.
If this happens, I will stop watching. I swear it! She is the only reason I really watch. I mean, the Nicollette Sherridan character Edie is such a tramp she's unbearable to watch. Get rid of her! Or, the Teri Hatcher character is such a weepy smarmy wimp - Get rid of her!
Don't get rid of the only real guts on the show! Bree Van de Kamp is the woman who, just last night, shot the speaker off of her stalker's car when he wouldn't stop serenading her and interrupting her dinner party. Damn! I'd love to do that! That's just good television!
I heard that Alias, the Jennifer Garner vehicle, has been canceled. This May the final episode will air.
This just pisses me off. I can't believe it! I have watched every episode from the very beginning. It is my favorite show. It is what makes my week. I love to watch Jennifer Garner kick ass! It feeds my need to see men get what they've got coming. Now what am I going to do?
I guess I'll just have to write more SpySistah stories. To be fair, I have been working on a new one. The Fabulous Ms. Silk provided me with some inspiration. However, what with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas Cookies, and Baby, I've been a bit busy.
But, I'll get it up one of these days.
In the meantime, I'm just going to be pissed that my show has been canceled.
I love this time of year, I really do. This year is turning out to be something of a bust, though.
I'm not hosting Thanksgiving for the masses, even though I really wanted to, because of family complications. Instead, my littlest sister is coming up and sharing the holiday with Prince Charming and I. She didn't seem distressed that the menu might be a bit non-traditional because of the small group, so I asked her what would make it "Thanksgiving" for her. She said that the only thing that she really wanted was pumpkin pie.
So we are having homemade pizza and pumpkin pie.
It just doesn't make any sense to cook the turkey, the dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, spinach salad, fresh bread, sweet potatoes, corn, and apple and pumpkin pies just for 3 people.
So, we aren't doing it.
We decided early on that we weren't traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. This is due in large part to the fact that I have to work the days after these holidays (an arrangement I made to bargain for maternity leave). Another reason was simply my fear that we would get to our destination (or far down the road toward it) and I'd go into labor. The last thing I want to do is deliver in some emergency room or on the backseat, ya know? Call me crazy. The final reason? I have a low bullshit tolerance this year.
Now that seems uncharitable, doesn't it? Please, forgive me. It is just that my idea of the holidays done right is a cozy thing where you can hear music playing in the background, board games played in small groups, excellent food served in style, and love and comfort.
This is not the scene when there are 80 people jostling for chairs, eating standing up off of paper plates, dishing food out of fucking crock pots, food that is over-cooked or poorly seasoned, I might add, all to be followed by a mad spree of flying wrapping paper and quick exits so that everyone can make it to the next stop on the Christmas Trainride to Hell. There is nothing special, soothing, or particularly satisfying about this. Conversation is nearly impossible when you stuff that many people into a tiny venue. And, as we all know, children get a little crazy at Christmas anyway. You put that energy into a pressure cooker and things are bound to get ugly. Bah! It's not my scene.
So the baby is our excuse for missing the "fun" this year. Glorious!
I saw the new Harry Potter film on Friday night. I thought I would post a few thoughts and reactions.
First, Hollywood has had its way with the text. You can't read the book and see this as a faithful interpretation. I mean, it is essentially correct in spirit, but it has definitely been fancied up for the box office.
One might even retitle the film to be "Daniel Radcliffe and the Amazing Special Effects."
The movie began, as one might suspect, with the dream. This was accurate except for the glaring addition of Barty Crouch, Jr. to the scene. This addition, to me, absolutely foils the suspense and surprise of the denoument. For cripe's sake! This alteration, I think, is the one which most pisses me off because it serves no purpose except to spoil the fun. The World Cup sequence is interesting, if brief. Quite a spectacle there, but no real quidditch to watch. Moreover, they completely lifted Winky out of the plot, the Weasley's and friends did not appear to be in the top box, and so no explanation is given as to just how Barty Crouch, Jr. was able to conjure the Dark Mark without a wand. No explanation is given on how he managed to not die in Azkaban either. Lots of holes in the plot.
When we get to Hogwarts, the other school's representatives show up right away. It was great watching the Durmstrang ship ascend from out of the Lake, and the Beauxbaton's couch was quite impressive (though I thought they were supposed to be horses not pegasus). Very little is done in the way of plot development or dramatic building to explain the threat that Harry faces. I mean, he is really and truly in danger - someone is trying to kill him - and yet, only token mention of this is made. This threat is what leads the book along. Sure, Harry has to survive the tasks, but more than that, he has to survive the unknown aspect too. The screenplay fails on this point.
The lesson on unforgivable curses with Mad Eye Moody was good, as was the scene where Malfoy becomes the Amazing Bouncing Ferret. Laughed my ass off, just like I did in the book.
The first task (dragons) was a bit drawn out for my tastes. No where in the book do Harry and the Horntail range all over the Hogwarts grounds, so that perturbed me. Also, the way Harry outsmarts the dragon and gets the egg was better in the book. This scene was fun to watch, but kind of flat.
Not enough screen time was given to Rita Skeeter, and the whole mystery of how she got her information was missing. This seems like a critical omission to me, since it plays such a huge part in the next book, but whatever.
The second task was slightly better well-done, but only just. Very little is made of Harry's turnmoil of who to save from the Lake.
The Yule Ball was really enjoyable. I thought the actors did a good job portraying teenage angst and jealousy. However, Emma Watson gives the best performance by far. I totally knew what she was feeling. Again, though, missing from this episode is Hagrid's embarrassing display and confession. (Leaving this out, again, omits any possibility of explaining Hagrid's & Olympia's secret mission.)
The third task in the maze was even more of a stretch from the text. Harry doesn't use his four point spell, amazingly the walls of the hedge move (they don't do this in the book) and there was a significant absence of trials. What the heck was that thing where the hedge roots try to suck you up, anyway? There was no riddle, no sphinx, no blast-ended skrewts. All in all, kind of a let down.
The scene where Voldemort is reborn was very well done, though. This was just as the book portrayed, though more could have been done with the chastisement of the Death Eaters. The priori incantatum was abbreviated (because of all of the plot changes) and might have been more dramatic if left as the original. Even so, you got the gist.
Where the movie really falls flat though, is in the final sequences. Mad Eye Moody's unveiling is not quite as sinister as one could hope. Harry's shock is not as deep and profoundly painful as we have come to expect. But the worst part is Dumbledore. We do not get to see the Warrior Leader Dumbledore in action. His remarks at the end of term fall tepid and fail to build the uncertainty of the War to Come. Nothing is done to organize efforts immediately to begin the fight. Nothing is done to signal Fudge's failure to believe the truth about Voldemort's return.
So, I am at a loss as to how this movie sets up the plot points for the next.
Even so, I enjoyed it. But, the books are still better by a long shot.
Egad. The time is dwindling down to nothing. It feels like the panic is starting to set in. Anyhoo, according to the experts, this week's development is characterized:
At this point, the amniotic fluid is at the highest level in the pregnancy. The amount will remain constant until delivery. Rapid brain growth has increased the baby's head size approximately 3/8 of an inch this week. Fat continues to accumulate which turns the baby's skin color from red to pink.
I'm feeling the nervous excitement. Our little one seems to kick constantly these days. I talk to her of course, but I don't always know what to say. It is a bit weird to talk to the thing that is jumping in your abdomen. She doesn't understand what I say, but perhaps she is learning to recognize my voice. Sometimes, when she kicks, I will push back and talk to her at the same time. It makes me really excited when she kicks back in response. It is sort of weird, yeah.
The weird dreams are starting up. Even Prince Charming is having weird dreams. Wacky.
I've just about had enough of the Demorats whining.
I suspect that one more episode of Harry Reid, the morally and intellectually superior, blathering on television about deceit and weapons of mass blah, blah, blah, may make me go postal.
Not. Even. Kidding.
Does Harry Reid actually think I'm that stupid? Does he really think that I can't see through his political tap dance? He's pulling the ol' Wizard of Oz mumbo jumbo, me thinks. Too bad I've seen enough crap in my life to recognize the smell coming from him and his shovel.
For the record, this American does not believe that President Bush or his administration cherry-picked intelligence in the run-up to the war. I don't think Bush lied. I don't even think the other schmucks (like Kerry) lied. I believe they all acted in good faith based on what they believed to be true. Just because some of them are now limper than great grandpa's noodle, though, is no reason for me to believe there was some grand deception perpetrated on the American public.
Furthermore, I am damn glad that Saddam Hussein is behind bars and will soon be facing the charges of the fruits of his labor. I am extremely comfortable with the way our President and the armed forces are executing this war and trust them completely. I like the safety that their sacrifices provide, and as such, don't really feel it is my place to criticize the manner in which they provide it. I would sooner trust my Child's life to a member of the US Armed Forces than any of the SOBs in the UN. And that's a fact.
I don't give a fig about Valerie Plame. I seriously doubt if she was undercover when she was or was not inadvertently outed as an employee of the CIA. I figure if she's comfortable doing a photo spread in Vanity Fair, she's not all that concerned with maintaining her own cover. And that Joe Wilson? He's the liar. And the truth of that is well documented.
I don't give a rat's fat ass where Michael Jackson chooses to live. I'm delighted that he appears to be done with the USA, though.
Last night's episode of Law & Order was disgusting. The writers of that show ought to be ripped from their jobs seeing as how their "ripped from the headlines" thingy is so bankrupt.
Thursday. Again. Where has the week gone? I am soooo behind. Nevertheless, I needs must stretch the ol' diva muscles and tackle a new topic.
Today's topic: What men/women say and what they really mean and why men grunt instead of speaking.
I shall tackle the grunt first. I believe that men grunt out of laziness. That's right. You heard me! They grunt out of laziness. Now, this laziness is not necessarily about using oxygen or lips or vocal cords. No, no, no. This laziness is about not wanting to make a decision. For example:
"What do you want for supper?" I ask. He grunts in reply.
"What do you want to do this weekend?" I ask. He grunts in reply.
"Which sweater should I wear - the red or the black?" He grunts in reply.
Now, ask another type of question and you'll note that you never get a grunt in reply.
"Jamie offered me free season box tickets to the Badger home games, but I told him you wouldn't want them. That's right, isn't it?" Insert manly tirade here that is noticeably absent of grunts.
"My boss wanted to know if you wanted the spare ticket and seat on the company jet to the Super Bowl. Isn't that the weekend of your boy's weekend at the casino?" Again, no grunts will color the response.
"What if instead of going out for steak tonight, we give that new sushi place a try?" The wailing and gnashing of teeth will be heard for miles, but there will be no grunts.
Men grunt when they don't want to be bothered with your mundane questions. They don't want to be involved in the decision, so they abdicate responsibility for the subject, leaving you to interpret the grunt as you see fit. This can come in very handy if you learn to broach your topics correctly.
Now, the bigger issue of what women say and what they really mean. (I, as a woman, can't answer the other side of the question with as much authority, so will leave that to the fellas.)
Generally speaking, I mean exactly what I say. It may be convoluted and you may not understand it, but that is not my fault. Of course, there are a few things that have hidden meanings. I am, afterall, a woman of mystery.
If I say that I am "fine", I want you to change the subject and leave my state of happiness alone.
If I say that I "don't care", I want you to make a suggestion, which I reserve the right to blow out of the water.
If I say that I "am hungry", it means we need to eat now, not 3 hours from now when you have finally emerged from your couch cocoon.
If I say that I "need to pee", it means pull over at the first clean facilities or clean up is on you.
If I say that "I love you", it means I need to hear you say it back.
If I say that "I missed you", it means don't stay away so long next time.
If I say that "I'm tired", it means let's go to bed, not necessarily to sleep.
If I describe some other woman as being "nice", it means she's blander than toast and not worth my time.
If I describe some man as being "nice", it means he's a pushover whose life is run by his wife.
Well, that ought to give you a bit of insight. I hope it was helpful. For more scintillating discourse on this subject, check out what the others have to say.
I, on the other hand, see him as just another has-been, lingering too long at the party.
He is lower B-list. He has no power that hasn't been granted to him by someone else.
And honestly, I find those who would continue to treat him as "the most influential man" as nothing so much as a bunch of Monicas, ready to bend over and assume the position of "most influential humidor" and then provide his ridiculousness with a handy towel to wipe away the smudge.
If he's the most influential, then why isn't he brokering peace in the Middle East? Why didn't he do it when he actually did have the influence to make change?
Bah! This is just a public blow. And equally disgusting.
Much as this post may have lead some (mainly our Maximum Leader) to hope for the deliverance of one jiggly semi-talented actress into his arms to serve as, no doubt, a Page in the Noble Villainschloss, I regret to inform our Maximum Leader that this may be a bit much to ask for.
It isn't that I would deny our Maximum Leader a full bevy of young tartlets, but rather that, noble and loyal minion that I am, I do not yet have that sort of power.
I am still working on my Evil Themesong and choosing animal minions of my own. (Flying monkeys are so passé, Darling.) So, mind-control of young jiggly tartlets, while still significantly easier than most humans, is still outside of my skill set. This shall soon be remedied.
In the meantime, I fear I must disappoint. The original post referred to the return of SpySistah to a blog near you.
We humbly beseech Our Maximum Leader to practice some patience until our mind-control skills are fully formed.
This is a 3-D ultrasound picture of our little one. She was asleep at the time and had her hand up next to her face. She just wouldn't wake up. The umbilical cord is in the way of her lower face, but you still get the idea.
Measurement of the femur suggests that she currently weighs 5.5 pounds. Based on this, the doctors expect her to be 8.5 pounds at birth. That doesn't sound so bad. She's in the 90th percentile for growth and the regular ultrasound pictures suggest that she already has a full head of hair.
I'm in love. I think she is beautiful and I can't wait for her arrival.
Week 32 is here. I have no new complaints to register. We have our final ultrasound this afternoon. I am hoping that they will have the 3-D capability again. That was just so cool. Anyway, the experts say:
The baby is up to four pounds now and all five senses are functional. The toenails are completely formed and the hair on the head continues to grow.
Today's ultrasound should give us a benchmark as to just how big our little girl is to date, and how big she likely will be at term. She kicks so often now that it has become commonplace. Every once in a while she'll give a big kick, nearly knocking me out of my chair, but most of the time it is more subtle.
The lower back is aching more frequently, but we got 11 hours of sleep on Saturday night. Of course, much of Saturday was spent cleaning, so I suspect that was what wore me out.
I'm beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment.
I am looking forward and noticing that it is only 6 weeks until Christmas. More alarmingly, Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away. I have not begun my Christmas shopping. Ordinarily, I am done by Thanksgiving, but not this year. I guess I've been busy with other things.
So, I need to do some serious cleaning, cooking, and decorating for the holidays. I have 18 cookie tins to get out. This means that I have approximately 40 batches of cookies to bake by Dec. 5. You will suggest that I pare this down a bit, I know. The thing is, I already have. Previously I was expected to have 25 cookie tins to get out. Egads.
But this is not the end of my angst. Oh no. I also am trying to plan a dinner party. I have Christmas Cards to get out, but am considering not doing these. The way I figure it, I'll just end up sending birth announcements to the same list a few weeks later.
Another Thursday means another scintillating installment from the Demystifying Divas and the Gallant Men's Club. This week's topic queries that elusive something: What constitutes 'Sexy' in a member of the opposite sex? Naturally, I shall be waxing poetic on what gives men that certain je ne sais quoi.
Sexy Men. Hmmm. My bottom hurts just thinkin' about it. (10 points if you can identify the source of that quote.)
Personally, I have to tackle this from two points of view. The first being fantasy and the second being reality.
So, fantasy first. If I had to point out in actors or television personalities what I view as sexy, it would come as no surprise to regular readers that three men make the list: Colin Firth, Mark Harmon, and Brit Hume. Anyone who has seen the BBC's production of Pride and Prejudice knows what I'm talking about. Colin Firth's portrayal of Mr. Darcy is perfect. He is mysterious and intelligent. Aloof and available. Gentle and rigid. Polite and not quite. Yes. Colin Firth is sexy. It is the way he walks and the way he talks.
Mark Harmon is even more sexy. He has this smile that could turn me into quivering goo if it was ever turned on me without the filter of television. You know the smile. It says, somehow, everything a woman wants to hear at the same time it thrills the teenager in her. It says, "I'm dangerous, yeah,...but you'll like it." Mark Harmon is also sexy, though, when he is stern and in control. Here is a man you can trust. Here is a man who will save the day. He is like the modern day cowboy, sans horse. Dangerous but trustworthy. Good with a gun, better in bed. His eyes are like magic meant to enslave.
Brit Hume? He's sexy too, just not in a conventional way. He is sexy in a geeky way. You come to love him because you can tell he's thinking about something and is just about to smack down somebody. His weapons are thoughts and words, and he's gonna call you on your bullshit. This, too, is sexy.
In reality? In reality I want the intelligent man. I do not require him to know everything, but I am interested with men who can think for themselves. I want a man who can make a logical argument. I want a man who will intrigue me intellectually, who will challenge my mind. I find it sexy when a man is thinking. The brain is a sexual organ, after all. Yes. I am attracted first with my mind. Don't get me wrong, though, his mind is not enough.
His sexiness is only confirmed when he also proves himself to be respectful and polite as well as clever and intriguing. He needs to put some effort into his appearance, but even here less is more. A man who is too well groomed comes off kinda girly. I'm in need of a man, not a sister, you know? I want him to look deep into my eyes and treat me like I'm the only one. Now that is sexy.
So, send me a clever man who can think his way out of the box, handle a gun, is sweet to his mother and children, polite to the neighbors, and has a slightly dirty mind.
Week 31. We are sliding down hill pretty fast now.
The experts weigh in with the following information about this week:
Growth begins to slow a teeny bit, and the brain goes through a period of rapid development. The only major organ left to fully develop is the lungs. If your baby is a boy, his testes begin to descend from the body cavity to the scrotum.
Prince Charming and I got a good laugh out of the symmetry of the brain development and the descent of testicles. It points out the irony behind what organ women suspect drives male thought.
We have another ultrasound on Monday so that they can measure the baby. I spent some additional time organizing the nursery last night. Her little papasan chair now vibrates and plays music. The crib CD player now is loaded with lullabyes. All of the lotions, creams, baby wash, and powder is together. I picked out a little homecoming outfit for her big day. I still need to pack our bags, but all in all, things are good.
Prince Charming and I had the talk about worst case scenarios. No big deal. I just brought him up to speed on my concerns and wishes.
I enjoy Chicago. Michigan Avenue is great fun if you have the ability to overpay for everything. WaterTower Place is terrific shopping. Marshall Fields - ah! - I love it so. Personally, I find it insulting that they are changing the name since it has been acquired by Macy's. Chicago is a wonder, with the lake and the beach, the Sears Tower and the Hancock building, and all of the noise and bustle of the CBOT and the Merc.
But, Chicago is not my favorite. I wouldn't want to live there. It is filthy and smelly.
My favorite city has to be San Antonio. The history is just as rich as Chicago's, though in a different way. Where Chicago has Mrs. O'Leery's cow (and a few other things), San Antonio has the Alamo. The drivers in San Antonio are a million times more polite than those in Chicago. They actually will let you merge. They use blinkers. They are friendly. The shopping is just as excellent, without all of the pesky Michigan Avenue markups. The riverwalk is delightful and a great way to spend an afternoon. The food is amazing! You want steak? Done! You want Mexican? Done! Chicago's deep dish pie can't hold a candle to a good enchilada. The weather is astoundingly better than in Chicago.
Yeah, I could live there. If nothing else, I'd like to visit again soon.
About a month ago I started on a project for the neighborhood in which I live. I'm trying to extend the 35 mph speed limit on a state highway to the end of the edge of the subdivision. (Our subdivision is an expansion to the original boundaries of the village). Currently, the speed limit switches from 35 to 55 right as the houses come into view.
A large number of the homeowners had expressed this as a concern way back when I was volunteering to determine interest in a neighborhood association. And we all know how much fun I had with that nightmare. Nevertheless, I took it upon myself to look into the speed limit issue. The last thing I want to see is one of the neighborhood kids under the wheel of a semi, despite what the vicious gossips would have you believe.
So, with less than optimistic expectations, I contacted my state representative a month ago. I didn't ask him to fix it, just to tell me who to contact to find out how I might best go about getting this changed.
At the time, I expected my request for information would sit in cyberspace for 2 or 3 weeks before I got a response (this is government work, afterall). However, I got a response the very next day that my representative would take care of it for me and keep me informed. Fabulous!
But, I secretly wondered if this wasn't just a delaying tactic to make me shut up.
So on Wednesday (which was approximately 1 month after my initial inquiry) I sent a follow up email to my contact in the representative's office. And I got another immediate response.
The staffer told me he had contacted the DOT for an update but hadn't gotten a response yet. Later that same afternoon, he sent me another email informing me that the DOT had already begun work on my request.
Can you believe it?
Here is a quote from the DOT guy:
We have started on this and have completed the radar check (used to determine current traffic speed patterns). We need to look at a few more things related to existing geometrics, development in the area, existing access points, crash history. I do hope to wrap this up in the next week or two.
I feel all warm inside! It is like I am actually making something happen! I have regained my optimism when it comes to politicians. I realize I'm not exactly lobbying for tougher laws for pedophiles or anything, but I'm still doing something good. Right?
Not that it will matter to certain people in the neighborhood who've already tried and convicted me for crimes against humanity as a Nazi. I imagine that they'll even try to paint this as a bad thing. Now they'll find it easier to get onto the highway since oncoming traffic will be going more slowly. Won't that be a bitch!
Sorry. My optimism over getting through the bureaucracy is tempered by the nasty things that have been said to me and about me. Although, SpySistah had some interesting suggestions on how to deal with them. Yeah, she's not CIA. Riiiiiight.
If I actually get this change accomplished, I will feel so good.
That really would be a Villains Vanquished! moment.
At least, the suburbs are. They've had rioting and French "youths" running amok for several nights now. It is difficult to glean anything about these French "youths" from the media portrayals, but if you read the footnotes, you learn that these are Muslim immigrants from Africa. Apparently, France has the largest population of Muslim immigrants in Europe. More to the point, all of that socialism isn't doing enough to appease these groups. The brouhaha all began when police chased 2 boys in one of the suburbs. These two, I'm sure innocent, young fellows hid from the police in a substation of some sort and were, from what I've read, accidentally electrocuted.
And the mob lifted up to protest the murders.
Like a wild fire, these protests (if you can call dousing a disabled women in gasoline and setting her on fire a protest) are now spreading to other French cities. French authorities seem to be having some difficulties regaining control.
Excellent coverage of this by the Expat Yank. Just keep on scrolling down.
As regular readers will have noticed, there is no SpySistah Chapter this week. I've been busy and not had a lot of time to muse. Nevertheless, it is not my intention to let the series die.
In that vein, I am opening the comments to this post for you. Inspire me. Move me. You can use words, pictures, whatever you want. If I find it intriguing, I'll work it into the next chapter. Or don't. Eventually something will occur to me.
For example, just today I read something funny about a fishmonger....
It is Thursday again and you know what that means. Yes! Another installment of the delightful goodness that is the Demystifying Divas and The Men's Club - now with improved absorbency.
This week's topic returns us to the normal light-hearted topics we love so much. To wit: Who typically has the upper hand in different stages of a relationship, a man or a woman?
Now, I don't know what the other Divas will have to say about this, but I'm going to tell you the truth. I am sort of breaking the Pink Code here, but it needs to be said.
The fact of the matter is, a smart woman always has the upper hand. The beauty of this truth is, in firmly having the upper hand, she can let the man think he's really in control. It is delicious.
Now, this is a truth that women are born knowing. It is the same power that enables us to wrap our daddies around our pinkie fingers. But somewhere in adolescence and puberty, some young ladies forget the power they hold. I don't know if this is caused by the way women tend to tear each other down, or if it is a simple case of lack of self-confidence, but some women forget.
They buy into the notion that men have the upper hand and feel as though they are trapped, adrift in the sea of love like flotsam carried on the incidental wave. To these women who have forgotten their inherent power, I say, "Start Paddling, Girls!"
The power lies in the knowledge. You are woman! Roar! Men are well and truly mystified by you. It is the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you push your hair back, toss your golden locks, and smell. It is a realm so foreign to them...it turns them into jelly. Make them jiggle, girls! And then, back off ever so gently and let them have a degree of comfort. Let them adjust to this new environment. Let him believe he has finally cracked the code.
Then pull the carpet out from under him. Just like that. It is best to keep a man slightly uncomfortable. They will treat you better for it.
Now, I caution you to not overdo it. Men aren't toys to be played with at will. They are more like engines. They need to be fueled and lubed regularly. They like to be warmed up on cold mornings and run hard at other times. Do not forget that preventive maintenance is key to the longevity of your relationship. It is a good thing to appreciate a good man. Proper displays of appreciation will ensure the continued goodness of your engine.
Now, some would suggest that this truth of women always holding the power would fall apart in matrimony. I will not lie to you, sometimes it does. But, I would stress that this only happens when ladies relinquish the power. It is yours! You own it! He can't take it from you, but you can give it away. Do not do this! It is a nightmare trying to get it back.
In matrimony, it can be easy to let your practice of the power get a bit rusty. I strongly advise against this. If you let your man get too comfortable, you too may get too comfortable. You will forget to keep him in thrall. He will then forget that his position is tenuous, and you won't be treated like the Princess you are.
I am not suggesting that you lord your power over him. This doesn't work any better in grade school than it does in matrimony. No. You have to play it smart. Think of it as high-stakes diplomacy. Here is a nation that intends to lay claim to your heart. The successful negotiator would make certain that she gets full value for the property, right? Tit for tat. If you enter into these sophisticated talks wearing a "Psycho Chick" t-shirt and treating everyone like crap, you will find they have little interest in your fruited valley.
Charm them. Enthrall them. Know your quiet power lies in the quiet, waiting. Do not let them solve the mystery. Who is more interesting and enthralling: Grace Kelley or Madonna? Let that be your guide. A man is not something to beat down anymore than you should allow yourself to be beat down by him. You should elevate your man to a loftier position. His treating of you as a Princess dictates his elevation to Prince. Treat him as such (even if you are perfectly aware of all his scratching places) and you will always have the power. Just remember: the first play in the book, never to be forgotten, is to let him think he has the power.
Now, anyone who tells you differently is either unwilling to break the code, lying, unschooled in the truth of the power, or... male.
Get thee gone and see what the other Divas and Gents have to say. You can always count on Kathy to add valuable content to the discussion, and Silk, too, will have much of importance to say on the matter. Guest posting for the Divas this week is Paula, see what she has to say. The Gentlemen, too, will have their say. Go see what Phin, Jamesyboy, Stigmata, The Maximum Leader, and their guest TeaFizz have to say.
1. A story right up SpySistah's alley, of course, it may not be news to her. The CIA has secret prisons for High Value Targets in the War on Terror. Or, I should say, not-so secret prisons now. Apparently some people are feeling a wee bit squeamish about how we are treating terrorists. Pussies!
2. News that may spike Democrat guns on the nomination of Samuel Alito. It seems that the oft-mentioned case involving husband notification of an abortion is not the only abortion case that Alito has ruled on. In fact, in three other cases, Alito ruled on the side of abortion rights. Now what can the Dems bitch about? The cases involved were:
• A 1995 challenge to a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking to use Medicaid funds to abort a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest to report the incident to law enforcement officials and identify the offender. Alito provided the decisive vote striking down the abortion restriction. • A 1997 challenge to a New Jersey law that prevents parents from suing for damages on behalf of the wrongful death of a fetus. Alito ruled that the Constitution does not afford protection to the unborn. • A 2000 challenge to New Jersey's ban on so-called partial-birth abortions. Alito struck down the law based on a recent Supreme Court decision.
So, it seems that one of two things is possible. Either a) Alito is a reasonable and responsible jurist who doesn't follow ideology but law or b) he isn't as pro-life as Demorats would have you believe. I, personally, tend to believe option a. It isn't like the guy knew in 1995 that he might someday be nominated by a Conservative Republican President to the Supreme Court in a time when Democrats were at full froth and foaming at the mouth. He can't have known the enmity and fury his nomination could bring, (seeing as how he was unanimously confirmed to his current position by a Democrat-controlled Senate), so it isn't like he made this ruling for political reasons. Nay. I suspect he is merely a good judge.
In the not-so-distant past, when I was an 8th grader, I was part of a mixed family. SpySistah and I lived with our mother, our stepfather, our stepbrother, and our half-sister. These "mine, his, and ours" families can be tricky under the best of circumstances. We did not have the best of circumstances.
SpySistah and I were straight-A students and very involved in school clubs and activities. The stepbrother was constantly in trouble, a poor student, and a general pain in the ass. I still don't like him to this day. But then, I tend to not like people who pull a knife on me and try to push me down the stairs. Whatever.
Just to put "times - they are a changin'" into perspective, here's a little anecdote. When I was in the 8th grade, I was a popular girl. I hung with the "it" crowd and had lots of friends. Many of my friends were boys, though the percentage of my friends boys to girls would become even more dramatically weighted to the boy's side in high school. Well, my stepbrother decided to get a little entrepreneurial.
He started shopping offers from his 6th and 7th grade friends for naked pictures of me coming out of the shower. He made the colossal mistake of mentioning his little future product to some guy friends of mine. (I should tell you that my friends all thought that stepbrother was a skeevy little twerp.) They, in short order, brought to me the tale of my stepbrother taking preorders for pictures of me coming out of the shower.
I was mortified! Appalled! I wanted skeevy stepbrother's head on a silver platter, so I could dance a jig around his severed brain. I wanted revenge.
I thought I would get it too. I mean, this was really reprehensible, right? My mom, though, saw instead the need to calm the waters in her marriage and give the kid a break for once. He was always getting into trouble, but I contended he deserved every minute of it! So, mom didn't do much. My grandmother suggested I give the market what it desired. I thought she was joking. She wasn't. She suggested that I take a naked picture of myself coming out of the shower to school and show it to all of the little perverts. She also suggested, however, that I use one of my baby pictures.
I did it, but as far as revenge goes, it was wholly unsatisfactory. It lacked righteousness. It lacked fury. It was kind of weak. And to this day I wish I had done more to get back at the skeevy little SOB.
However, were these events to take place in a public school today, do you have any idea where it might have gone? Today's similar case would likely end up with some parties being removed to protective custody, other parties being charged with attempted distribution of child pornography, or worse. School boards would have been involved...and it likely would have been splashed all over the Drudge Report.
Throughout this pregnancy, I have been very concerned with making sure that Prince Charming felt like a part of things. I didn't want him to feel like he finished his work at the big moment, ya know?
So I was beginning to stress over the fact that he hadn't yet been able to feel the baby kick. I can feel her move all of the time, from the slightest little quiver to the 50-yard field goal kicks. But he hadn't shared in any of this.
Last night, just as he was getting ready to leave for work, I motioned for him to come quick and I laid his hand on my belly. Within 90 seconds, we both turned to each other and said, "Did you feel that?" Which I thought was funny, because I've been asking him that question for weeks and always got a "no" in response. It tickled me that he would question whether I had felt it if he could.
Anyway, it was a huge relief and a fabulous development. Yay!
Pertinent to the development highlighted in this post, I am now going to provide the following current events heads up to those who want to know.
1. In case you were not aware, President Bush skipped over my own meritorious service and instead chose to replace Harriet Miers as a nominee to the Supreme Court with Mr. Samuel Alito, a judge from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. He was confirmed unanimously to this position by a Democrat-controlled Senate back in 1990, or something, when President George H. W. Bush nominated him. He has served on this bench since that time and his views are of a decidedly conservative bent. (Go figure.) His positions and views have been called Scalia-esque for the way the two men seem to see eye to eye on many key issues. Two major positions of note include gun rights and abortion. In a landmark case, Alito dissented with the other justices of the 3rd Circuit (not uncommon as he was the one lone voice of conservatism) and felt that a woman should discuss an abortion with her husband prior to having one. The second issue is one sure to really piss off the Liberal Panty-Wringers. Justice Alito apparently has questioned the Constitutionality of such laws as the one that makes civilian ownership of machine guns illegal. He believes (or so I understand) that the 2nd Amendment moves this issue out of the hands of the Federal Government and places it with the people and the states. You should also know that Democrats are mad as hell about this nomination and are vowing to go to the mattresses.
2. Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Royal Whore/Wife are visiting the USA. In grand Euro tradition, he has a message. He feels that we Americans or Yanks are much too confrontational when it comes to Muslims and Islam. Yes! This man, whose sole claim to any right to speak has to do with who his mama is, and whose grandest aim is to become Camilla's tampon feels so morally superior as to provide the spanking we Yanks so desperately need. Charlie must have missed the details of the tragedy of September 11th or something. Maybe he thinks those jets were hijacked by Baptists, or something. I don't know. All I know is, the stupid fuckwit ought to do his preening at home. We feel justified in our feelings by the horrendous murder and visitation of violence upon civilians by an un-uniformed cadre of a group who would see us all exterminated. Prince Charlie may see a way for one people to become enslaved/exterminated by another group and like it, but I don't and neither do most Americans. You may want to kill me, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna go quietly.
It has been a banner day here in the dungeon where we call it a great day if we get to Vanquish a Villain or two.
You see, I have been informed that I am a veritable news outlet. Move over Tom, Dan, Shep, and that other guy, I'm a media maven.
I wouldn't lie to you.
There are people who actually keep up with current events based on the topics du jours at this site. Quelle Horreur! Oh, had I known I might have tried harder to inform and entertain you than entertain myself!
Seriously, I'm honored that you are such regular readers and devotees of All that Phoenix Thinks is Important.
What to do though? They informed me of this new change in status with an admonishment. They've apparently missed a few key moments in current events because I haven't commented. They actually asked that I try harder to hit the highlights and provide a link if I have nothing more to say.
This tickles me! So, I suppose I must supply where there exists demand. I'm still mulling possible titles for these regular posts, but certainly I will make an attempt to be more informative.
At least until I get bored and move onto something else.
SpySistah was recently on a mission and left her abode in the presumably safe hands of SpyBoyfriend and his buddies.
When she returned home, she discovered that in her 3-day absence, these gentlemen had used up an entire jug of vegetable oil, 2 and a 1/2 bottles of Olive Oil, and a big tub of margarine. All gone.
And she knows that they only ate pizza.
She wonders what they possibly could have done with all of that oil and margarine. I don't wonder quite as much. I have a pretty good idea what they did, and I assure you it isn't the sort of think you document photographically and send pictures of to grandma.
I must begin by expressing my dismay at Blogger's current state of down-ness. When I have something to say, I want to be able to do so. Dammit.
Anyhoo, last night was Halloween here, there, and just about everywhere. As such, I dutifully went home and turned on the porch light to beckon the little kiddies to my dungeon and candies filled with uncertain potions and poisons. And the little ones crawled right into my oven. No, wait...that was a different day.
I have a sign up all year round on my front porch that says "The Witch is in." It amuses me to have it up all year round because I imagine the kiddies thinking, "hey, maybe she really is a witch!" And, of course, because of my love of all things Harry Potter. Of course, it must also be said that many of the parents in the neighborhood probably see it as truth-in-advertising. Many have come to the conclusion that I'm the Wicked Bitch of the West for my attempts to prevent the neighborhood from sliding into some sort of 3rd-rate trailer park. Which is another long story. Back to Halloween...
For some reason, our little neighborhood is heavily trick-or-treated. I had to turn the lights off early last year when we ran out of candy. This year I was better prepared and rationed candy from the beginning. I had to be sure I had good stuff for when my favorite kids showed up! I still ended up closing up shop by 6:30 p.m. though. It isn't easy to make mashed potatoes and gravy to accompany the beef roast for supper if the door bell rings every 90 seconds.
The reason for this post is a young man who is studying for a life of crime, I think. Yes! I encountered a Halloween Scam Artist last night.
One time, early in the evening, a large group of trick-or-treaters came to the door. At the front of the group was a young man with no costume. Literally. He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and an unbuttoned button down shirt and carrying a pillow case. Despite is obvious lack of interest in anything but my candy bowl and his suspicious lack of spirit, I gave him his 2 pieces of candy. I then proceeded to give candy to the other 10 kids in the group. However, my young friend hadn't left with his candy, but rejoined the group at the end of the line and waited for a second helping of candy.
When he arrived back at the door, I scoffed at him. "Do you think I was born yesterday?" I asked him. He acted afronted, though very poorly. He knew the jig was up and went on his way.
But this is not the end of the story!
About an hour later, another large group arrived on my porch. Mr. No-Costume-Put-the-Candy-in-the-Bag-Lady was in the back of the group. I took one look at him and called him on his crap. "No more candy for you." I said.
"I'm pregnant, not stupid. You've been here before. Twice."
"No I haven't!"
"You aren't even wearing a costume! Do you think I don't recognize you?"
Whereupon he shuffled off to find some gullible fool who would reward his unimaginative stunt.
What is happening to kids these days? In my day, the young fools of this kid's ilk at least had the nerve to do it better. They did dress up. They just also carried an extra mask with them to change into for round two.
You know, if the kid had been dressed in a costume, I might have given him more candy just for his cheek. But he didn't even do me the courtesy of a good laugh for my candy donation. All he did was piss on my holiday spirit. I can't reward him for that.