Friday, June 25, 2010

Potty Humor of the Visual Kind

Ah, the bathroom. The facilities. The toilet. The restroom. The head. The can. The loo. The john.

It's the place most of us faced as toddlers in our first struggle for self-control, and the place many of us will face again as seniors in the same struggle.

It's also, supposedly, the birthplace of humor.

The world's oldest known joke, an ancient Sumerian ha-ha that dates back to about 1900 BC, belongs squarely in the realm of potty humor:

"Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."

Ain't that a knee-slapper?

Today, folks are taking potty humor to entirely new levels. Case in point? These very funny (in my humble opinion, of course) real-life bathrooms.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Florida Kitsch

Ah, the wonders of Florida - the multi-billion dollar themeparks with their state-of-the-art animatronics, cutting edge technology, and rides, the orange groves, the beaches, the twenty-foot cement dinosaurs on the side of Interstate 4...

Wait...what was that?

Oh, yes. Dinosaur World, a mini-theme park dedicated to all things saurian, sits right smack dab in Central Florida, a half-spit away from its more technologically advanced cousins at Disney and Universal (and for about a quarter of the price of admission). Dinosaur World is one of the premiere examples of Florida Kitsch, in my humble opinion. Well, maybe not so unique...there are Dinosaur Worlds in Kentucky and Texas, too. Oh, and well-behaved pets on leashes are welcome, too.

Especially, evidently, at feeding time.

Did you know Florida has its own version of Big Foot? It's called the Skunk Ape (Floridians are just so darned descriptive in naming their crypto-beasties!), a big, smelly, bipedal creature that supposedly haunts the Everglades. You can learn all about it by visiting the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters in Ochopee. Honest.

We Floridians seem to be fond of oversized animals, as well as having a rather devious sense of black evidenced by the dinosaur gas station, located in Spring Hill. Fossil fuels, anyone?

Our taste runs to the macabre, as well, as indicated by the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum of Torture and Execution in Key West, and the grave of the original Flipper in Marathon.

Some of the best Florida kitschy attractions have gone the way of...well, the dinosaurs. Never again will we walk through miniature versions of The Great Wall, or pagodas at Splendid China, or gasp with mock horror at the zombies of Skull Kingdom.

Still, for a taste of kitsch, Florida still holds an extra-large mouthful.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Did you know...?

I'm a lover of weird facts. Even though by the time I walk the twenty feet from the living room into the kitchen, I might forget what I went in there for, I'll remember that, for example, the dot over the letter "i" is called a "dittle."

Go figure.

Maybe my fascination with irrelevant and often useless trivia comes from growing up during the Golden Age of TV Game Shows. After all, as a child I learned that knowing an odd fact or two (Jeopardy), or having a fishing lure handy in your purse (Let's Make a Deal), or being able to guess the word "oyster" from a clue like "slimy things inside shells" (25,000 Pyramid), or knowing the manufacturer's retail price of a can of beans (The Price is Right) might someday make you pseudo-famous, and put a nice fat check in your pocket.

Or get you a goat, depending on whether you got greedy and eschewed the box for what was behind Curtain Number One.

Personally, I was always rooting for the goat.

Anyway, my brain virtually teems with useless information. Useless, I say, because really, how often in life do you need to know that, unless you're a contortionist, it's impossible to lick your elbow? Or that eating lobster before the twentieth century was a mark of poverty because they looked like insects, and their name in Latin means "locust." Or that polar bears are left-handed, and elephants are the only animals that can't jump?

You're trying to lick your elbow, aren't you? Stop that.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Killer Crawfish...a Fairy Tail

Once upon a time, an author moved to Central Florida from the Northeast. This author settled into her new house, happy to watch the squirrels and armadillos and occasional tree frogs cavort in her yard.

One day, the author's dog, a frisky puppy named "Nibbles," found something in her yard. The author went to investigate what was exciting the pup.

The thing was five inches long, had a black carapace, and pincers.

Was it a scorpion?

The author screamed. Her daughter jumped up on a chair.

The puppy barked and wagged her tail.

The author's husband, armed only with his trusty can of Raid, came running, but the terrible creature had disappeared into the grass that desperately needed cutting (the author lost no time in reminding her valiant husband of that fact).

The author relaxed.

The daughter climbed down off the chair.

The puppy continued to bark and wag her tail.

The husband retreated into the house grumbling about lawn mowers needing gas and not being the sole responsibility of the man of the house.

Time passed, and the author found herself alone in her Florida room. She heard a scratchy, skittering sound. Lo and behold, the horrible creature was back, crawling slowly over the floor!

The author screamed.

The daughter came running and promptly jumped up on a chair.

The puppy barked and wagged her tail, the sliding glass doors preventing her from jumping into the Florida room and possibly having her nose pinched by the terrible creature's pincers.

Or eating it.

Most likely the latter.

It was then that the author realized the terrible creature had a lobster-like tail.

All the screaming, and chair jumping, and shaking of Raid cans had been unnecessary. The creature was not a dreaded scorpion, but a crawfish.

A crawfish.

Seriously. In my backyard. In my Florida room.

The author's valiant husband relocated the crawfish to the undeveloped land behind the fence.

The daughter climbed down off the chair.

The author went back to writing.

And the puppy continued to bark and wag her tail.

The end.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No wonder I'm twisted...

Recently, someone was telling me cute anecdotes about their childhood, which encouraged me to think about mine. One of the memories that popped into my head was a yearly tradition the men in my family had -- deer hunting.

Now, as if filling poor Bambi's butt with buckshot wasn't bad enough, the adults thought it absolutely precious to have their children's photos taken with the carcass.

The eviscerated carcass.

I swear it's true. I have pictures of myself at about age five standing next to a dripping, gutted deer that had been hung from a tree in my grandpa's yard. Seriously.

Sometimes, they'd drive around from house to house with the carcass strapped to the front bumper. Oh joy. Some kids got to run outside to the ice cream truck. I got to run outside to look at large, dead mammals.

I'm not even going to start in on the bunnies, dozens of them, strung across my grandma's kitchen like Rob Zombie crepe paper

Now you know why I'm the way I am.

Nobody could survive that unscathed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Word of the Day?


You won't find the word in the dictionary - it hasn't caught on with the good folks at Merriam Webster yet. It's a word I use to describe that deliciously warm, tingling feeling you get when you read or write a really hot sex scene. You know the feeling I'm talking about...the one that makes everything below the belly button tighten up and your toes curl.

Yes, that feeling.

It needed it's own terminology. It really did.

I love that feeling. It lets me know I nailed it (no pun intended) when I finish writing a sex scene. If I wrap up a scene and my toes aren't curled like the Wicked Witch of the East's after Dorothy dropped the house on her, then it's definitely re-write time. It's sort of like a built-in alarm system that alerts me if my writing isn't quite on target.

That feeling is of incalculable value to a writer, which is why I felt it needed a name.


I may need to have it printed on a t-shirt.