Sometimes, a post fails. Miscarries, really; you try to develop it, but it falls apart in your hands into a pile of incoherence. It’s frustrating, but a hazard of the trade. The worst part is when there’s a line or a paragraph that really works, like a gold tooth in a leper’s mouth. The rest of it may be crap, but you have to give up that one phrase. Here, I’ve tried to cobble together the good lines out of some failed posts into a kind of Frankenstein. “Thoughts I Couldn’t Flesh Out into Full Entries” instead of “Thoughts I Didn’t Honestly Try to Flesh Out into Full Entries.” I almost ditched the one about ovarian cancer, but at least it’s not about
I Spent The Last Seven Years Drinking Beer and All I Got Was This Lousy Paunch:
Also, given my choice between “being sexually attractive” and “eating and drinking whatever I damn well please,” I really don’t know what to choose. Sex is fun, but meatball sandwiches never want to know how you’re feeling.
God Almighty, There Were Some Freaks in My Old Neighborhood:
Last week, I passed a man on the street with a White Power tattoo on his chest… and a Phillies tattoo on his back. Has he watched a baseball game since, oh, 1970?
There’s an “anarchist” bookstore down the street. They don’t seem to see why that’s funny: they’re anarchists who took out a small business loan. Nothing is less anarchic than checking your credit score and then meeting with a loan officer. Do they not know that money is a thing the government does? I’ll bet anything that if you robbed them at gunpoint, they’d call the police.
Mom: I think I have ovarian cancer.
Mom: I’m losing weight, I have a sharp pain in my stomach and blood in my stool.
Me: That sounds like an ulcer. Your mother tends to form ulcers, and I had one last year.
Mom: No, it’s ovarian cancer. Come to the doctor with me.
Doctor: Well, I don’t think it’s ovarian cancer. Your ovary isn’t swollen. It sounds like an ulcer.
Mom: No, I think it’s ovarian cancer.
Guy Reading the MRI Results: See, here’s your ovary, over here. It’s small like a post-menopausal ovary should be. No cancer. Have you checked for an ulcer?
Mom: I bet that ovary turned cancerous.
Other Doctor: No, no cancer on the X-Ray. Sounds like an ulcer to me.
Mom: No one believes that I have ovarian cancer.
Guy Looking in Her Stomach through a Tube: Yeah, here’s the ulcer right here.
Mom: But what about my ovary?
If you say “ovary” enough times, it starts to sound exotic, even glamorous: “Hear you this! I am an Ovary, as were my father and grandfather before me! An Ovary stood by Lee at Appommattox and by Washington at Valley Forge! Ovaries crusaded with Richard the Lionhearted and crossed the Channel with William the Conqueror! As long as one Ovary stands, we shall never submit to a tyrant’s rule!” Or maybe a French village. “Ovary is a village near Bordeaux, notable for its well-preserved Roman sewers and foul-mouthed prostitutes.” Ovary. Ovary. Ovary.
Were You Raised in a Motherfucking Barn?
In retrospect, I want to know who the hell brought fake flowers to a funeral. At that point, why observe any rules, anywhere, ever? Wear hot pink to the graveside ceremony. Show up in your bathrobe with a Scotch in one hand and rustle magazines all through the service. Fart during the eulogy. Leave the men’s room door open. Draw a mustache on the corpse. Why not? There are fake flowers, anything goes! Who does things like that, and what do they do at weddings? I bet it’s the same guy who gives a racy toast about the bride’s sexual past at the rehearsal dinner. During the ceremony, he clears his throat during the “…or forever hold your peace” bit and afterward throws the flower girl to the ground so he can be “wacky” and catch the bouquet. Fake flowers at a funeral. “Though your life has faded, these plastic daffodils never will.” If someone brings fake flowers to my funeral, I will haunt you to death.
I Was Making a List of People I Like and It Turned Into a Rant about Princess Diana:
First of all, that “Cinderella” crap pisses me off. As an earl’s daughter, she was “Lady Diana” from birth. Under formal British court etiquette, she preceded people with earned honors, like Dame Judi Dench, even before her marriage. She got a lot of credit for her beauty, but really she was simply a moderately pretty woman surrounded by a lot of horse-faced duchesses and duchess-faced horses. Anyone looks good standing next to a ninety-year-old baroness who’s her own cousin six times over.
Eve Ensler is Hard to Parody:
My vagina is like…
The Green Party: possessed of a foul odor and increasingly irrelevant.
“The Vagina Monologues,” a respectable achievement at first, but now overrated and with a bizarre momentum of its own.
A hospital waiting room coffee machine, barely functional and sticky around the edges.
Our Elders Are a Bottomless Font of Wisdom, Feces*:
Me: I don’t feel very well.
Mom: What does your stool look like?
Me: Like stool, presumably. I don’t look at it.
Mom: What!? Chris, you have to. It’s an important marker of health.
Me: Oh, shit.
Mom: Exactly. If you don’t look at your feces, you could miss an important symptom. You could fall over dead, just like that (snap) from an intestinal bleed or something and you’d never know!
Me: Well, and if so, I won’t have wasted any of the precious time I have left looking at my own feces, trying to read the future in the bowl like it’s full of tea leaves!
Mom: Oh, Chris. You’re a prude, just like your grandmother. She won’t look at her feces either.
*This last one was brought up during an editorial conference:
Me: Meg, I’m almost done with a post, but I need to know if you’ve run the one about my mother ordering me to look at my feces.
Meg: Uh. I… no, I think that would stick out in the mind.
Me: Oh, bum. I’ll have to edit this whole constipation section.
Meg: God, we’re low-class. Ace Ventura IX: The Locally Recognized Blog Years.