Supermodel Spotted Without Makeup

I was working checkout on Monday, ringing up a woman with an unbelievable amount of makeup in her grocery basket.

“Who is this for?” I said, as I scanned item after item.

“Who do you think?” she said.

This was a skinny young woman of nondescript mien.

“When do you use it?” I said.

Opportunities for socialization are limited out here in South Potlatch.

“I don’t live here,” she said. “I’m here on a photo shoot. I’m a supermodel.”

“Good Lord!” I said. “I’ve never met a supermodel before. What’s your name, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“Princessa,” the supermodel said.

“I would think you’d bring your own cosmetics,” I said. “I never pictured you buying them at Walmart.”

“The makeup bus missed the turnoff and kept right on going to East Gravy Stain or somewhere,” Princessa said.

“Well, welcome to South Potlatch,” I said. “What tales you could tell, huh? What adventures you’ve had. And the funny thing is, you look a lot like Daisy over at the Dairy Queen. If you put on a little weight… Burt! Price check on this exfolient scrub with rice bran, please.”

Princessa was clicking her gum, which surprised me. You don’t see that on Project Runway. She was drumming her fingers, the nails sans polish and trimmed rather blunt.

“Are you looking at my hands?” she said.

I focused on the remaining items to be checked and shook my head.

“I don’t like people looking at my hands,” she said. She sounded like she meant it.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m not used to being around stars. I saw Phil Donahue from a distance once, but he was seventy-five at the time. Someone said he was approachable but I was too shy to try.”

Princessa also reminded me of Albert Chroner. He’s fourteen, Elmer Chroner’s boy. Just the slightest bit light on his feet.

I bagged everything up.

“Well,” I said. “Have a good shoot.”

Princessa didn’t answer. She was leafing through People Magazine with a jealous look on her plain little face.

Woman with Longest Legs Has Surprise Neighbor

(Huffington Post headline]

“Just don’t ask me if they go all the way up,” says Lona Calvesouvo.

Lona has the longest legs in the world. The longest female legs, anyway. A number of men have longer legs, but nobody cares about them, other than a few basketball enthusiasts. Nobody ogles those legs. Lona’s legs have been ogled since she turned thirteen and began wearing heels, short skirts, and nylons.

As a teenager, she had the legs of a twenty- or thirty-year old woman with the longest legs in the world.

The Rockettes sought her out but Lona wanted to go it alone. She didn’t want to be just one more dancer in a line, even if her legs would kick out twice as far as everybody else’s.

Instead, she signed on with Acme Razor Blades. Acme claimed in its advertisements that a single Acme blade was sturdy enough to shave both of Lona’s legs without losing its edge. Perhaps this was an exaggeration; Lona would help things along with a little pre-shave waxing. Nevertheless, the world came to know and love the sight of those lengthy gams getting lathered up on-camera.

Of course there were soreheads – there always are – who pointed out that Lona’s arms were normal in length. That her fingers were not particularly gracile. Such complaints were overwhelmed by the steady stream of marriage proposals she received.

And now, ironically, who moves in next door? (Lona still lives at home with her folks.) A double amputee? Ha ha. That would be funny. But no.

Somebody with a long nose or long earlobes or suchlike? Or three legs. Hah! But no.

Lona’s Aunt Mary and Uncle John moved in next door. It was a total surprise, as they always said that they would never leave their farm. But one day they just got sick of it out there in the country, especially the rooster crowing before dawn every morning, so they snapped up the foreclosed three-bedroom, two-bath colonial that the Smorda family had owned for so long next to Lona and her folks.

The Tragedy of Baby Chen

Chen Xitong (not the ex-mayor of Beijing) is a multi-billionaire who took up residence in lawless Somalia fifteen years ago. An eccentric who was constantly running into trouble with Asian authorities in spite of his great wealth, Chen elected to find a spot in the world where he could build a personal enclave subject to his own personal rule and the rule of no others.

Once there, he married his long-time love, a female chimpanzee he had named Zhang Manyu, after the beautiful Hong Kong actress.

In due course, Zhang became pregnant, presumably at the hands (so to speak) of her chimpanzee manservant Bo Xilai (not the mayor of Chongqing). Chen Xitong, we know now, then traveled to a rogue state in northern Asia and there arranged to pay one billion dollars to the government to have portions of his DNA spiced into Zhang’s blastocyst.

The procedure was accomplished and the baby was born. At first Chen was delighted. Since he was hardly taller than Zhang, the child was born naturally, with no need for a Caesarian delivery. Chen named the little girl Zhange Ziyi, after one of the Four Young Dan actresses in the Chinese film industry.

The little one had a yellow cast to her monkey skin. Her eyes had the epicanthic fold. By the age of six months (maturing rapidly, chimp-fashion), she could speak like a disabled human three-year-old. She was pretty good with math and the violin, too.

Where is the tragedy in this? you ask. The trouble began when Chen suddenly realized that his daughter looked more Korean than Chinese. Could her DNA have come, in fact, from the frozen supply of Dear Leader sperm, or from one of the country’s 24 million starving denizens? Chen flew to Korea and demanded his billion back. He was given no satisfaction. In anger, he canceled his order for four hydrogen bombs.

The mother Zhang had no interest in any of this, of course, being an ape. (A “dirty ape,” according to her Somali maidservant, who was charged with picking up her dung around the house all day.)

When Chen got home, he canceled his daughter’s violin lessons, upsetting the professor who flew in from Paris three times a week. Chen fired the little girl’s math tutor, who, as a matter of fact, was getting rather too friendly with the little tyke anyway.

The child Zhang Ziyi is fourteen now. Rebellious. Has all the Planet of the Apes movies hidden under her bed. Fools around with a gibbon she met at the zoo. Has stated publicly that she’s black enough to be all ape. Her grandmother (the human one) has not given up on her. Gifts her with presents from Elsa Schiaparelli and Roy Halston Frowick at every opportunity. Visits the girl’s Facebook page and embarrasses her there with expressions of affection.

Chen Xitong, disillusioned, has divorced Zhang Manyu and impulsively married a spider monkey named  Gao Yuanyuan, formerly one of his many concubines. Her agility is unparallelled.

Boy Finds Live Grenade On Easter Egg Hunt

[Headline, CNN]

I was going to write a word or two here based on the followup CNN article, “Boy Tries to Open Easter Egg by Pulling Its Pin,” but I decided not to go dark. As of this post, then, we can imagine that the grenade is still nestled in the Easter basket.

The photo shows the boy with a big grin, because his frustrated buddy is still out in the field trying to dig up the Easter landmine he has found, and getting all muddy in the process. I was going to write a word or two here based on the followup CNN article, “Other Boy Stomps on Live Landmine in Frustration,” but again, why not capture the scene while the sun is still shining?

This is the first Easter egg hunt I can recall where the Easter Bunny is wearing a Nazi helmet. Hitler, at the age of five, found no eggs on a hunt, only some stale Chanuka gelt. When the difference between Chanuka and Easter was explained to him – that is, the difference between gelt and chocolate bunnies – he first conceived in his brain his most disturbing notion: that he would gain control of all the chocolate bunnies and eggs in the world, and rid the world of all stale gelt. Too bad he didn’t find that live grenade!

For more, see also “Boy Finds Blackbeard’s Treasure by Using Metal Detector on Easter Egg Hunt.”

WATCH: Amazing Teen Uses Piano To Detect Landmines

[Headline, Huffington Post]

Tell me about it. My kid? The piano lessons cost a fortune. Plus, I had to buy a piano. The gas it takes to get him to the conservatory? At today’s prices? Don’t ask.

Look, it’s an investment. The kid will need something like this on his college application in eight years. Pray God he doesn’t ask for drums.

The point is, this kid will do anything to get out of practicing. He’s supposed to be doing his scales? Silence. I hear nothing. He tells me he is tuning the piano. He’s leaning into it. I look in and he has his iPad in there. Later I still don’t hear anything and he has his iPad propped up in front of his Hanon exercises. He tells me he is looking for Beethoven sonata piano music online. Later I still don’t hear anything and he tells me he’s working on his pedeling. I look down and he’s got his iPad by his foot. Shoe off. Working the device with his toes.

When my kid hears about this teen and her landmines, who knows what ideas it will plant. We’ve got no landmines in the neighborhood, but there is dog “waste” on the lawns. Can my boy get his instrument out the sliding glass doors onto the patio and then around the house to the front yard? It’s a spinet on casters. Does he play something when he spots a pile on the lawn? Does that count as practice? Note to self: consult with his teacher.

According to the boy, there is an iPad Piano Teacher app. You pay to download each lesson, but the lessons are much cheaper than his current teacher. According to the boy, in addition to landmines and dog poo, there are lessons on cooking with the piano, improving your Scrabble game with the piano, and some unrated lessons that I might check out myself, after the boy has gone to bed.

Product endorsements

A Real Lifesaver

I love my husband but he does have some anger-management issues.  Most of the time he’s a real puppy dog, but when he loses it, he will clock me pretty good.  I know I should report him to the law or head for a women’s shelter or something, but gosh, I just love the big lug. Sure, I’m abused, but are a bunch of shiners too much to pay for marital bliss most of the time? He works like a dog and I lay on the couch all day eating bon bons.

Afterward he beats me up, he’ll be apologetic for days and he swears that he’ll never do it again. Of course I don’t believe him, but I think that he believes it himself. Then when he starts getting wound up again, he’ll say that I made him do it.

Anyway, I was down at the hardware store the other day and I bought a 12″ cast-iron skillet that I needed, as I do cook. The thing weighed a ton. A black beauty. You can’t hurt it. I accidentally left the fire on under it the other night after cooking dinner and although it got hot enough to melt lead, it was otherwise unscathed.

The other wonderful thing about the skillet is that I’m strong enough to take it by the handle and give my hubby a whack in the noggin with it that will send him into cuckoo-land on the kitchen-floor linoleum for a good ten minutes. When he comes to, he isn’t angry any more. His head hurts too much. You can also make an unbelievable omelette in it.

Classic Bug

I bought a classic ’67 VW bug from a guy relocating to Florida. I paid him fifty cents, which was all I had at the time, and moved in immediately.

The bug sat in an empty lot on 116th Street. No wheels, but the doors still locked. A good growth of tall weeds surrounded it and provided a rustic feel.

The seats were long gone and the floor was covered in layers of cardboard. Pretty ritzy! This was a movie up from an ancient Morris Minor for me. Luxurious.  I’ve got a buddy who lives in a Buick up on 125th by the river. He’s got room in there to invite some folks over, they smoke a J, drink a little Thunderbird; in other words, he entertains. He’s like that. Me, not so much.

It’s part of the American Dream, right? Own your own place. King in your castle. As far as I’m concerned, ’67 was the last good year for bugs. After that, they switched to those ugly new bumpers, which I hate.


You ask me, flame throwers don’t get the respect they deserve. Well, maybe they do if you’re facing some guy with one in your hands, all lit up and ready to barbeque him. But I mean from day to day, hanging around the office, bs-ing with your friends. Unless they’re into Call of Duty or suchlike, you’re lucky to find a guy who has built a flame thrower from a kit. As for women, forget about it!

To be clear, I’m not talking about these safer, commercial, gas-streaming models. I’m talking about manning up and throwing a good long stream of burning liquid out there onto a crowd or building.

Yes, I was a yellow, underweight weakling with thinning hair, cardboard lifts in my shoes, and a congenital fear of leafy vegetables. Yes, my mom forced the vegetables, either raw or cooked to a consistency of gray-green mush. Yes, I wouldn’t play outdoors.

But then my dad died and I was able to sneak down into the basement without him threatening to kill me, and it didn’t take long to find the heat. Two tanks of oil-based liquid fuel, a tank of compress butane, a gun housing, and an ignition valve. My first trip over to the playground where all those little rats from my class hung out, that was probably the best day of my life!

Walmart Evicts Workers Living In Store Parking Lot

[Headline, Huffington Post, 02/10/12]

All over America, there are husbands temporarily living in their car after a fight with their wife. Where do they wash up, shave, and brush their teeth every day? At work, of course. Many sleep under their desk rather than in the vehicle.

(In which other countries does this occur? There was a vogue in Finland, until a spate of hypothermic incidents led to a dramatic increase in widows; in Romania, husbands woke up sharing their automobile with a family of gypsies; in China, to find an iPad assembly line in the back seat; etc.)

In general, companies are comfortable with this situation. The employee stops asking to “work from home.” Commute time is zero. Employees purchase all their necessaries right there in the store, instead of letting their mate at home go cruising out to Safeway every day. So what went wrong at Walmart? All seemed copacetic. Right next door at Target, a husbands’ support group was meeting in an RV in the parking lot. On the other side, husbands were quietly dumpster-diving at Jack in the Box.

It turns out that Walmart experienced an uptick in husbands living in their cars, not due to domestic discord, but to avoid onerous chores and childcare duties at home. These men were telling their wives that Walmart was making them work around the clock. That to keep their job, they had to “work late.” Then they would party all night long in the lot, in Winnebagos tricked out as huge mancaves.

The bottom 80% of workers at Walmart are moms, many harried. When they found out what was going on, they threatened a Spartacus-like revolt. The parking-lot husbands, including many Walmart executives, were sent home.

Can Men Hear When You Have Your Period?

[Headline, Huffington Post, 1/27/12]

I broke down and called Arianna Huffington on this one. I know that she sold her periodical to some company or other, but she is still the managing news manager. She keeps her ear to the ground. I asked her what she had heard about this, period.

What would  her mother say, back in Greece, if she read this article? Or wait, are young women actually asking their mothers questions like this today? If I looked into a high-school classroom during third period – or any period – would I see teenage boys chatting with the girls and then impulsively resting their ears on the girls’ stomachs?

My hearing is none too good. I almost got run over by a truck this morning and I couldn’t make out one word that the driver was shouting at me. A woman at work cut her finger and I heard her squawk, but I didn’t hear the bleeding.

The other thing is that a gentleman does not acknowledge, or even notice, any sound that might emanate from a woman’s body – or any odor either, of course. You’re sitting at dinner in a fine restaurant, or in your loge at the opera, with Lady Betsy, and no matter how violently your senses are assaulted, no matter what mutters or actual cries of outrage are to be heard from those around you, you remain oblivious, the slightest smile on your lips, and you bend toward her and offer her a mint and your opera glasses, clouded though they may have become.

Whoa! A Sheer, Tassel-Covered Dress?

[Headline in the Huffington Post]

A lady down the block wore a dress with two tassels on the front when I was a kid. It was the start of my interest. I thought that there was a tassellated woodpecker; it was why I liked birds. But there wasn’t. Tessellated darter, tessellated moray, tessellated cheese, tessellated fundus. No good. I’m not interested in tesssels.

When my wife was planning the wedding was when she learned of my particular interest. I can be quite demanding and fussy and precise on the subject. Not just about tassels on the bridal gown, but on the underthings as well. There is a honeymoon, isn’t there?!?

If you bend over, the tassels hang out under you. See, they don’t change position; they were hanging down before and they’re still hanging down, only now you’re bending over. In the same way, if you bend to the right, the tassels sway to the left. No they don’t, though. They just keep hanging down; you’re bended, not them. You can learn from tassels. That’s how they do.

Get yourself some tassel earrings, a tassel necklace, some tassel Uggs. You are sending a message, making a statement: don’t tread on me! Question: How is a tassel like a snake? Answer: If you step on your shoe tassel, your shoe is upside down.

There is a tassel fern. If you come over, you’ll see a house full of them.

Saudi Report Claims Women Who Drive Will Have Sex

[headline, Huffington Post]

I was in a cab last night. The neighborhood convenience store is only four blocks away, but I have a sprained ankle so I couldn’t make it there on foot. All I wanted was a six pack of Tecate and a bottle of Tequila Don Julio Añejo to put in the beer, but when you can’t walk for free, you’ve got to pay for the ride (Life rule, which applies to women and gambling, as well as transportation). Otherwise, you’re dry all night, like in Saudi Arabia, where drinking and women drivers are banned.

The taxi driver was a woman. I gave her one block of small talk and then asked if she would have sex with me. “I’m driving, aren’t I?” she said.

So the question was, should I wait out the three remaining blocks, then hobble into the store and get my brew and tequila, and then hobble back out and have Trudi (for that was her name) drive me home, before we had sex? Or should I put off my purchase and just have her pull over in front of the Robinson’s house and join me in the back seat? In Saudi Arabia, Abdullah would be driving me to a chicken fight while I toked on Turkish hash in the back seat. No tough decisions necessary.

I believe in restraint, so I told Trudi I was going to buy my drinks first. I could tell she was disappointed by the way she gripped her gear shift. She told me that she had got behind the wheel for the first time at the age of fifteen, and had had her first child nine months later. When we got to my place, I asked her to come in and have a beer with me and then we’d retire to the bedroom. She looked at me like I was crazy. “Get out of the car?” she said.