Last week, I bought a footstool. It was dark cheap wood and had dark tapestry fabric on the top, but the lid lifted for storage and it was only 5 bucks, so I got to thinking that I would paint the wood grey and re-upholster the top. Which I did, and the paint looked lovely (aside from the transfer I may or may not have put on slightly off-centre—see picture at the end). The problem was that the fabric on the underside looked choppy and unprofessional no matter how much I tried to trim it, but then I had an idea. I rummaged through my basket of sewing notions—well, it’s not so much a basket as an empty tin of Quality Street—and found something that just might resolve the issue:
Me: Do you think this would work? Ken: What is it? Me: According to the packet, it’s Rick Rack. Ken: Maybe… Me: No, you’re right. The colour is all wrong. However, RickRack would make a great name for a James Bond villain.
Cue naughty fantasy sequence (and if you’re a little prudish, you might want to skip this one)…
M: Double-Oh-Seven, we need you. Apparently, RickRack has abducted Pussy Galore! Bond: Pussy Galore? Again?! Well, Pussy is delightful. I can see why he keeps coming back for more. M: Intercept RickRack before he gets to the Upper Holstery Islands and deliver Pussy to us, James. Bond: I’m shaken, not stirred by this turn of events.
Some time later, on a cargo ship off the coast of the Upper Holstery Islands…
RickRack: Ah, Mr. Bond, I’ve been expecting you. Bond: Release Pussy Galore, RickRack! There’s nowhere you can run. RickRack: I’m never gonna give her up. I’m never gonna let her down. Bond: Did—did you just Rickroll me? RickRack: No, I RickRACKED you, Mr. Bond. But you can have her. To be honest, I’m not particularly fond of Pussy. I only kidnapped her to lure you to the Upper Holsteries. Bond: But why, RickRack? RickRack: Because…because I’m in love with you, James. Is there a chance for us? Bond: Have you actually SEEN any of my movies? RickRack: Sigh. I’m never gonna give you up— Bond: Just stop. Come on, Pussy. Pussy Galore: Oh James, thank you for saving me! Bond: Enough of the small talk. We need to hurry—I have a date with Holly Goodhead later and no one misses a date with Goodhead!
And all I can do at this point is apologize for my giggly thirteen-year-old imagination, but in my defense: a) I was going to include a scene with Bond and Q discussing a missile launcher that was extremely euphemistic but even I know when enough is enough and b) I’m not the one who named the Bond girls things like Miss Goodthighs, Chew Me, Xenia Onatopp, Holly Goodhead, Plenty O’Toole, and Pussy Galore. That was a DIFFERENT giggly thirteen-year-old. Happy Boxing Day.
Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. Twinkly lights (which Ken calls “twerking lights”), home baking, holidays, and of course, presents–for those of you who know me well, you are well aware of my love of presents, both giving and receiving them. But the thing that really captures the spirit of the season for me is Christmas music. I start playing Christmas music on the first of December, and I drive Ken crazy by listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas almost continuously (and when the music for the party scene comes on, I always dance like Snoopy. It’s FUN and I also do it at the antique market where I work–they have the radio tuned to the Christmas station all day long, so I get to do my Snoopy dance several times a day. Great cardio.). We also have some beautiful traditional Celtic Christmas stylings, as well as some instrumental stuff we got years ago with cool sound effects in the background, like birds chirping, sleigh bells jingling, or the sound of skates on ice. So as you can tell, I love a lot of Christmas music. But on the other hand, there are some really creepy Christmas songs out there.
1) One of the songs that’s been playing on a loop at work is the version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé. And wow, this is one hella creepy song. It sounds perfectly pleasant and festive but if you listen carefully to the lyrics, you start to wonder how this EVER made it onto anyone’s Christmas playlist because it’s about a woman who wants to leave a man’s apartment, but he’s refusing to let her go. At one point, he convinces her to stay a little longer, and pours her a drink, prompting her soon after to ask, “Say, what’s in this drink?” I’ll tell you what’s in your drink—DRUGS. Here’s a newsflash, lady—if you have to ask that question, your next move should be running for the door. But no. As he takes off her hat, she tells him she really ought to say “No, No, No”, at which point he “moves in closer”. Then she explains that her mother will start to worry and father will be pacing the floor. DUDE, SHE LIVES WITH HER PARENTS—LET. HER. GO. HOME. This guy obviously doesn’t understand CONSENT. Then he tells her that she’s “hurting his pride”. Is this not the epitome of a man who is about to be involved in a major #MeToo scandal? How did this song even get to be a “Christmas carol”? It’s not about Christmas; it’s about a guy trying to get into a girl’s pants. I think Jesus would have a serious objection to a song like that being used to celebrate his birthday. (I was going to say, “because Jesus never tried to get into anyone’s pants”, but then Ken just reminded me that some people say that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and that’s why he appeared to her first when he was reincarnated or whatnot. Still, Jesus would never have been like, “C’mon baby, I’m not pushy, I’m just opportunistic”). But there are other carols which are actually more Christmas-y which, when you think about them, are equally ridiculous. Here are a few:
2) Jingle Bells: In what possible world is it FUN to dash around in an open sleigh? This song could not possibly have been written in Canada, where it’s regularly -30 degrees. If you’re dashing around without some kind of shield from the wind-chill, you’re going to get frostbite and your nose will fall off. This is only Christmas-y if you put a little bow on the nose and hang it on your Christmas tree. On second thought, that’s not actually festive, it’s just kind of gross.
3) Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart: This is a contemporary tune by George Michael. The first two lines are “Last Christmas I gave you my heart/The very next day, you gave it away.” Is this not the ultimate in regifting? I myself have been known to pass on a mug or something equally inconsequential, but even I wouldn’t stoop so low as to regift a human heart. This is the worst Secret Santa gift ever, like “It’s decomposing a little, but if you keep it on ice for a few days, you can hang it on the tree next to that piece of nose you’ve got there. It’s a nice theme.”
4) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, The Shark Version: I googled this one and I can’t even find it on the internet, but it was on a compilation of Christmas songs called Santa Jaws that my brother and I had when we were little. The only lyrics I remember are:
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen You’re not so merry now. The seaside signs said not to swim, But you swam anyhow...
Moral of that Christmas song–never ignore seaside signs.
5) Honorable Mention: Christmas Tree by Lady Gaga and Space Cowboy: This one doesn’t get a lot of airplay because it’s just a tad raunchy. Thanks to Gaga, the phrases “let’s fa-la-la-la-la” and “underneath my Christmas tree” are now sexual innuendo. If she got together with the guy from “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” I doubt there would be a lawsuit pending—there would just be one very merry gentleman.
At any rate, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays if you don’t celebrate Christmas. And if you’re looking for a last-minute gift (shameless plug coming as fast as a one-horse open sleigh), don’t forget that you can go to the Potters Grove Press website and download my short story collection Feasting Upon The Bones in either PDF or Kindle version and give it to someone you love. Tell them you know the author personally and that she’s weird, but nice.
Well folks, it’s that time again. No, not time for wine—that’s ALL the time. But I’ve been amassing some hilarious advertisements so get ready for Advanced Marketing Tips With Facebook Marketplace!
Tip Number One: Intrigue Your Potential Buyers
Up first is this great deal on the Invisible Man. Now, I didn’t know that the Invisible Man’s real name was Wilfred Shacket—I thought Jack Griffin was the Invisible Man, who debuted first in H.G. Wells’ novel and was played in the film of the same name by the inimitable Claude Rains. But I guess when you’re an evil scientist, you can call yourself anything you damn well want. My big question, though, is how exactly was he captured? I can only assume that he was caught unawares, this coat was thrown over him, and then he was restrained by coat hanger until the $100 ransom was paid. I have a feeling that there’s not much interest in Invisible Men these days, judging from the reduction in price after only 6 hours. Then again, I’m willing to bet he’s a little obnoxious, being see-through and all, and maybe the people who are holding him captive are just a tiny bit fed up, but I have to admit, I’m intrigued.
Tip Number Two: Appeal To The Sophisticates In The Crowd
Continuing on with the literary theme, we move from Wells to Shakespeare—Hamlet to be precise. Apparently, these chairs are a couple of depressive Danes covered in floral chintz. After having to put up with their “antic chair disposition” for so long, their owner is as desperate to be rid of them as Claudius was to “upholster” Hamlet. As for the description, all I have to say is “Seems, madam? Nay, it is. I know not seems.”
Tip Number Three: Sharks, Sharks, Sharks
For the low, low price of only $40, you can purchase this lovely Ascent Chair, which I assume will launch you into the air in case of a shark attack. (I don’t know why I said ‘shark attack’ but then again, I don’t know why more people don’t use spellcheck, and besides, everyone loves sharks. Or at least I do).
Me: How does it work? Seller: You push this little button hidden under the arm here. Me: And? Seller: And you ascend. Obviously. Me: And the sharks? Seller: Take a bucket of chum up with you and keep throwing pieces into the water from the lofty heights until they’re satiated. Me: Awesome. Sold!
Tip Number Four: Obfuscate And Confuse Your Audience
And then of course, there’s Jan. I stumbled across Jan one day when I saw an ad for a “Raining Boiler”. I was intrigued (see Tip Number One)—was this some kind of medieval torture device or a new-fangled way to have a shower? Then I got lost down a rabbithole of Jan’s mostly illiterate ads, including another one for a different rain barrel that was possibly named after one of her children, Rian Bellar. Poor Rian—according to the ad, “just the place that water comes broken” which I took to mean that he suffers from erectile dysfunction. At any rate, Jan has numerous incomprehensible postings including this one for a Red Nice Patty, which makes me think that Jan is originally from Boston (this is no slur on Bostonians, but seriously, say Red Nice Patty to yourself—do you hear it?)
But Jan, despite your attempts to convince potential purchasers with your positive description of this household item, I have to be honest with you: this is NOT a nice red potty. In fact, it’s the most disgusting potty I’ve ever seen and even the rock bottom price of $5 won’t sell me. Jan seems to be the queen of irony, as proven by this ad of hers:
These “flowers” are about as lucky as that potty is nice.
Tip Number 5: Give The People What They Want
Speaking of nice, here’s a lovely offer from a completely normal young man who only wants to help.
Kiss my boots AND do my chores AND pay me for the pleasure?! Isn’t that sweet? Maybe I should introduce him to Jan—I bet she’d appreciate someone who could post comprehensible ads for her.
I haven’t been motivated to do much this week, because I’m still struggling with the same health issue as last week; in fact, I was at the hospital again on Friday, I’m exhausted, and I still haven’t seen the object of my disaffection. The only bright spot in the whole ordeal happened after I had seen the doctor. I was getting dressed and overheard this conversation with another patient. Apparently, half the population is having kidney issues as well, judging by this, and the two other women in the waiting room who were also there with suspected kidney stones:
Doctor: So what brings you in today? Patient: A few days ago, I peed in a snowbank and the pee looked really dark. Doctor: And… Patient: I got worried so yesterday I peed in the snowbank again. This time it was red. Doctor (completed unfazed): What shade of red? Dark red, bright red…? Patient: Pretty dark. At least it looked pretty dark against the white snow. Doctor: OK, I think we’ll need a sample.
I just hope the guy wasn’t freaked out by having to go in a cup instead of on his favourite snowbank. Aside from that, the only thing that really made me happy this week was my new clock. ANOTHER CLOCK? Yes, another clock and mind your own damn business, KEN. But this is a really nice clock and I couldn’t help myself, even though the circumstances of my acquisition were bizarre. I was at the side door just about to go in to work the other day, when a guy pulled up and started to unload a van. I didn’t know who the dude was, and I didn’t really care because my attention was IMMEDIATELY focused on the gorgeous clock on the top of the bin he had put on the ground:
Me: I like your clock. Dude: It’s for sale. Me: How much? Dude: Forty bucks. Me: Great! Can I buy it? Dude: If you want it, you need to take it NOW and put it in your car. GO. NOW. Before anyone sees you! RUN!! Me: How do I pay you for it? Dude (looking around wildly, for what I wasn’t sure): You can e-transfer me later—just go!!
And even though I had no idea who he was, or how I could e-transfer a paranoid stranger, I picked the very heavy, 2 foot high clock up in my arms and hightailed it across the parking lot like a middle-aged Nancy Drew. You would have thought I was buying cocaine rather than a 75-year-old timepiece, although to me, a 75-year-old timepiece is as good, if not better, than cocaine. I safely stowed the clock in the back of my car, covering it with a blanket just in case the clock detectives came by. I didn’t see the dude for the rest of the day and was wondering what to do about paying for my illicit purchase, when he suddenly appeared. He wrote something quickly on a piece of newspaper and handed it to me surreptitiously.
Me: Awesome. It was forty dollars, right? Dude (looks around to see if anyone is listening): SHHH. Don’t send the transfer until you get home, in case anyone sees you. Me: Uh…okay. Dude: By the way, the clock doesn’t work. Me: Do clocks ever really work? Time is a human construct… Dude: We can’t be seen talking!
But then I looked at the piece of paper and I couldn’t read his writing. I wasn’t sure what to do, but right before the end of the day, he appeared again:
Me: I’m having trouble reading your handwriting. So is your last name– Dude: SHHHH!! Come this way with me. Is anyone watching? Me: No…? Dude: Pretend you’re walking with me to the back to open the door. Me: Am I opening the door for you? Dude: That’s what we’ll tell people if they see us.
So I went with him to the back and he whisper-spelled the email address to me, then disappeared out the door. I never saw him again.
That night, while Ken watched TV, I lay in bed next to him staring at my new clock, which I’d placed on a table in our bedroom alcove, along with some of my other favourite things: a small Persian mat, a Paris painting, a lamp with a stained-glass shade, and some old poetry books.
Me: Sigh. I love you. Ken: I love you too. Me (confused because I wasn’t actually talking to Ken): Yes, right. Do you know what else I love? Ken: What? Me: That f*cking clock. But I love you, Kate, and Atlas more. Obviously. Ken (laughs): Obviously.
Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!