Right now I am living deep inside a real big chilly. It’s something like -42 C or whatever. When it’s that cold, does it matter any more? I don’t even check. It’s -40, yada yada.
Up until recently, it’s been fairly easy to live with.
But … there’s always something.
First, my truck wouldn’t start. It was plugged in, but despite heat shots and trickle chargers and a couple of boosts, it protested and said no, I’m not starting. Now leave me alone or put me in a warm garage!
There I was, my whatis sticking up in the wind chill factor while I fussed over an exposed engine, checking oil and fumbling around trying to determine if the the block heater was still working as I invented a totally new dialect composed entirely of vulgarities.
Then my bathtub drain froze.
Yup. My bathtub drain.
I was standing in the tub shower, soaping up and enjoying the warmth when I realised that the water was up to my ankles. It wasn’t a clog, because the day before, the water was draining normally.
But now? There’s no movement at all, not even a trickle.
I have a bathtub full of used water and an open drain. It just sits there, staring stupidly at me while I think about flamethrowers and other incendiary devices.
Then my house door wouldn’t lock. It was too cold for the tumblers to engage. I almost got down on my knees and begged. Really? You aren’t going to lock? Just hang on a sec, I have to go throw a minor tantrum. Waaahh! 🤣
And let’s not forget the head cold. Its onset blended seamlessly with the arrival of several days of major meetings that I had to attend, a tissue box under one arm and a Vicks inhaler lodged, unnoticed, in a nostril.
Of course, all of this happened while my M is away. (Is there a message in that?)
But, an update.
It got warmer. Right now, it’s about -12 C.
I got my truck towed. It got its wish and is in warm garage awaiting a new block heater.
I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of my bathtub draining. It turns out that all I had to do was wait. Scared the crap out of me though – there I was, creeping into the bathroom with my phone in one hand and a fly swatter in the other. If it had been an intruder, what was I going to do with the fly swatter??? (Oh look, there’s a mutant mosquito in the bathroom – hand me the swatter please.)
I got my hair dryer, pointed it at my door lock and warmed up all the parts.
My cold is almost gone. So is a lot of the other cold.
Things are looking up, especially the temperature. (Okay, I’ll stop with the cheesy comments.)
So how has this “polar vortex” (doesn’t that sound like the name of a disaster movie? Polar Vortex, starring Jennifer Aniston and Tom Cruise. Watch if you dare. Because you may never go outside again. 《Sound of loud chattering teeth.》) been treating you??? Among other places, it has hit the west coast of the continent pretty hard.
Are there “pet” names in your life? Names that are perhaps more sour than sweet? Names that make you roll your eyes? Or worse, make you want to hurl?
I mean, I’ve been called names that, well, I can’t repeat here. Like, you know, twitface and frackwit. I can take those.
But what I really can’t stand are a lot of those so-called endearments. Or names that suggest I’m twelve. Or impart a sense of intimacy that doesn’t exist.
Dear store employees, don’t call me dear or sweetie or hon or honey. I don’t know you from a can of paint, so stop pretending I’m your granny. The one with an advanced case of dementia.
Just because I’m of a certain age doesn’t mean you can take liberties.
Likewise, don’t call me petal. I hate that. Or other assorted plant parts. Like flower, blossom or daisy. It’s interesting how no one gets called stamen or pistil. Who in the world wants to be called by the names of plant reproductive organs anyway??
Then there’s animal names. Kitty, kittykins, bunny, fluffy and poodle leap to mind.
I wouldn’t want to be called a tart, either. But I almost choked when standing in line behind a man who, while talking loudly on his phone, kept calling his significant other tart and tarty.
Hummm. I’m feeling tarty today. I think I’ll visit Victoria’s Secret and stand on a corner.
There are lots of other food names. Muffin, cupcake, cookie, pudding, sugar and tootsie. And what about shrimp roll or pumpkin? If you call me one of those, I might get out my extra large roll of duct tape and find a place to stick it.
I guess my point (other than the one at the top of my head) is that most of the time, these “pet” names are unsolicited. They get hung on you whether you want them or not. And oftentimes by people who don’t know you very well, or perhaps not at all. A store clerk once called a friend of mine “cuddles.” They did not know each other and yes, she’s a bit overweight. She left the store and never went back. What was that clerk thinking? Clearly, not much.
A few other choice monikers are sweet cheeks, baby doll, snookums, pookie and peach. Aren’t those lovely?
Eureka! The next time someone I don’t know (or barely know) attempts to reduce me to a single ridiculous word, I’ll fight fire with fire.
Waiter/ess: And what would you like today dear?
Me: Awww. Look at you, you snookums muffin. Now be a baby doll and get me a steak and salad. And petal sweetie, don’t forget to fetch me some extra napkins and some ketchup. Run along now. There’s a good little poodle.
Would that work? I mean, you have to start somewhere. What do you think?
Trump has insulted our prime minister. Badly. He called PM Trudeau “weak,” “meek and mild” and “dishonest.” One of Trump’s advisers even went so far as to proclaim that there is a “special place in hell” for Trudeau.
Now, no matter what your political stripe, that kind of unregulated and moronic loudmouthery is something that will unite this country faster than you can say Jacques Robinson. That’s because, love him or hate him, Trudeau is ours. In other words, we can criticise him, but American political hypocrites who project their personality issues onto others can’t. That’s not allowed.
And then to tell us that we’ll pay??? Gall darnit, now you’ve really done it.
A riled Canadian is not a pretty sight. And although that whole “polite and nice” bit is mostly a stereotype, angry and pissed is not our natural setpoint either.
Just wait and see.
So, right now there’s a movement to boycott all American products and services.
Or, buy anyone else’s products but theirs.
I was thinking about this. We could do it. It would require some pretzelling, but we could.
And we’d probably be healthier and smarter.
Just think, no more Coke, Twinkies, or Doritos.
No more desperate housewives from? Hmmm. Not sure what city they’re from. But they’re desperate, they’re from the States, and watching them will make you want to lick your own eyeballs.
No more smarmy bachelors and bachelorettes who look like they have been built from a kit.
No more cross-border hockey.
Well, if all the Canadians left, many of the teams would collapse. But at least the season would be over before May. May hockey is just wrong.
No more internet.
Actually, we can calm down about that one. It was the result of a rather large, world-wide collaboration that was constructed, layer by layer, on the work and ideas of many, including Nicola Tesla. At various stages, American interests put money into it, but so did a number of other nationalities. However, what we think of as today’s internet was invented by a British guy named Tim Berners-Lee.
There. It’s okay. The internet is not “owned” by the US.
So yes. We could probably live without US products.
But the problem is, I don’t think we want to and that sentiment is about an awful lot more than just stuff.
We’re pissed because a good friend has done the equivalent of announce to the world that one of us farted a big one during dinner and that the bed we offered had bugs. Except these would be total lies. Actually, it was Donnie who peed in the soup – figuratively, that is.
We’re pissed because our veterans have been slighted.
We’re pissed because we’ve been deemed a security risk over the War of 1812.
Really??? Donnie, you baby brain, are you seriously serious?
We want things to go back to how they were. Yes, there was the occasional squabble, but there was never anything serious.
We got along, visited each other, intermarried, tried each other’s food and culture and books and watched each other’s sports, and yes, ridiculous tv shows.
For the most part, we’ve always been pretty chummy.
But now, everyone feels awkward and embarrassed. People are taking it upon themselves to apologise for a leader they probably never voted for and of whom they are ashamed.
A pretty great relationship has become an uncomfortable side hug.
But for as pissed as Canadians might be at the moment, please remember that we’re pissed at Trump and his entourage of peckerwoods. We’re not pissed at you.
We know that the majority of Americans didn’t vote for him. We know that many of those who did felt that they were doing the right thing.
I just hope that underneath the orange glow that’s emanating from your direction, we’re really still friends, and will continue to be friends, long after the Trumpian morass has been consigned to the past.
Having recently reblogged a post from Jill Dennison about the issues with Facebook, I was chuffed to find a similar one from Curmudgeon at Large. Wry and funny, I hope you enjoy it, even though you might find that it’s hitting awfully close to home…
FOAF has found another winner. It undoubtedly appears elsewhere but, like pizza, is too good to pass up. CALLER: Is this Gordon’s Pizza? GOOGLE: No sir, it’s Google Pizza. CALLER: I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry. GOOGLE: No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month. CALLER: OK. I would […]
I first published this post in 2012, not long after I started this blog. I was particularly annoyed about how pushed I felt to participate in the buying of stuff and produced this rant. I’ve made a few changes to it but otherwise, here it is again, in all its grinchy glory.
Ahhh … Christmas. That time of the year when people bolt madly about the mall, foaming at the mouth, their eyeballs rolled back in their heads; I sometimes wonder if we’ve mixed up the seasons and I’m seeing a replay of last Halloween’s midnight showing of Night of the Living Dead.
There’s been a couple of different versions of this movie with slightly different names, but you know. The one where the good guys are all trapped in a mall and their numbers gradually dwindle until there’s only two or three of them left, and they’ve run out of ammunition and water and toilet paper and they have to decide which one of them is going to dash out among the monsters to get to the only working vehicle that’s left in a radius of 100 km. Why didn’t they think of that before they trapped themselves in the mall?
Anyway, I’m digressing. Or maybe not. I don’t think that glancing around at the mall decorations would be any indication of what month it is anyway. Back in October I found myself tripping over the jingle bells while hunting for the Halloween pumpkins.
Or maybe that was Peter Rabbit.
I can’t tell any more. The so-called special occasions are all starting to morph into each other. The only thing I do notice is the surge in mania that accompanies this time of year.
It starts with Christmas music that’s supposed to put us in a seasonal frame of mind and get us to start parting with our cash as early as possible. The earlier we start, the more we’ll spend! Or some such reasoning. All it does for me is to get me going on my seasonal vocabulary, as in “Oh fudge, it’s ‘deck the halls’ again.”
Really, you say? Well, not really. My language tends to be rather … er … spicier. The fact is, if I hear those piped in carollers fa la la-ing one more time I’m going to hunt them down and strangle them with their own holly out in the parking lot. Shouldn’t they be done with that whole decking the halls thing by now anyway? They’ve been at it since they chased the headless horseman out of town months ago.
Then we’re supposed to decorate anything that stands still for longer than two seconds. Since the stores start this at the end of September, the passive-aggressive suggestion to the rest of us is that if we don’t buy our lights and holly and tinsel and get them up soon, we’re all really the worst kind of lazy procrastinators who probably don’t even separate our whites and our colours when we do the laundry, if we do the laundry.
We’re supposed to have a theme, and mulled wine stewing on the stove, and our houses are supposed to reek of pine needles and fresh cookies.
At my house, it’s more like this: theme – getting the laundry done this week without having a nervous collapse; baking – finding that pair of dirty socks that has been baking under the bed for so long that they’ve started growling; Christmasy smells – getting out the PineSol and cleaning the bathroom; mulling – trying to remember all the stuff I have to do this week and why it is that I’m doing it; wine – falling upon any wine that I can find and drinking it straight from the bottle before collapsing into the recliner and falling asleep and snoring in front of the news.
The next step in this nightmare on Mistletoe Street is the shopping. I hate shopping at the best of times but during December it’s demented. People don’t even know what they’re doing. All they know is that they have to buy twenty presents and get them wrapped up or there’s going to be hell to pay.
Living dead, indeed.
One pair of silver-plated, self-cleaning, automatic nose hair pluckers. Just what Auntie Jo always wanted.
If you can lift it, get it. Drag it over to the till and wait for an hour in the line. Find out what it is when you get home. Cover it in two hundred dollars of paper and stick it under the tree.
Then there’s jolly old Saint Nickle Ass. Ho, ho, ho. Sitting there cringing, his knees covered in a sheet of clear plastic, hearing the supplications of the tiny teenagers toddlers, an example for sociologists everywhere of how greed can outweigh sheer terror.
The merchants are rubbing their hands with glee …er … delight, warmed through and through with the spirit of Christmas cash … er … past.
The kids are wound up so tight their eyeballs are bulging. The list of what they want is terrifying and you better hop to it because they’ve got Granny held hostage up in the attic. Who says that this generation suffers from entitlement?
Anyway, I’ve got to go. I’ve got to carve my jingle pumpkin and deck the halls with zombies. Fa la la la la la la la la la.
What is it about the season that makes you want to channel your inner Grinch?