Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Virtual Balderdash! (aka "Dictionary" before some smarthead decided to make a boardgame out of an old after-dinner favorite).

The definition of the above title is:

A. A dish made with sandalflower root and the flesh of three canids.
B. Four new elf-like creatures in the Chinese knock-off pre-publication version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
C. Various squiggles used to denote cussing in comic books.
D. The four stages of Delirium Tremens (the "shakes"), also known as the Jim-Jams.

Post your answer in comments and I will declare a winner for all the world to adore.

Today I promised to tell the story of The Dual-Diaper Poo-Mergency. But even better is the tale of the Bathtub Blueberry Poo. My older child had eaten what amounted to a crate of blueberries when I placed him in the tub. I was bathing the sweet urchin when suddenly he let out some piercing howls. Rising the the surface of the water--ping! ping! ping!--came the blueberries. Desperately I lunged for my son, scrabbling amidst the watery landmines to rescue him. We looked down into the tub. The only resort was to use a kitchen sieve to extract the fruit. As I played "fish for the poo" my son reached into the water, extracted a berry, and...HE ATE IT. Yes, friends, he ate it.

Aww, that last little snackie part didn't really happen. But it made for a better story, didn't it? This speaks to the event I attended last night, a Story Slam (theme: Rivalry) at the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe in the East Village. The last time I was there was to hear spoken-rant performer Maggie Estep scream "I am not a normal girl!" as she poetically described rising from a toilet bowl to bite someone's privates. Last night was much more civilized. 10 people got up and told true stories ranging from meeting her husband's first love to losing 80 pounds. Ordinary judges from the audience voted on each reader. All enjoyable stories, some more than others. A couple of times the punchlines seemed vaguely suspect, as in the case of the winner whose story of the first love ended with her greeting a "10,000 pound woman." If true, satisfying. But if fictionalized, how much less so! It's too bad that the ravings of the closure-seeking, imaginative human mind are easy to dismiss, while the "true story" is deeply satisfying. If it really happened, there must be some intrinsic comic underpinning to the universe. If you made it up, you've fucked with us for the last time.

I was loath to participate, since my taste for public humilation has decreased significantly. I can only imagine how my wan little story of my deep rivalry with Anne Ishler and our quests to get a Baby Alive doll would have gone over. If given time, I would embellish the tale. I guess I'm a liar by nature. Can I tell the story? I shall. Not embellished. Not a word.

So Anne Ishler and I both wanted a Baby Alive doll. It was sometime in the 70s. Anne had everything, it seemed. She was pretty and petite and had experimented with makeup and seemed more together than I did, who wore raggedy cut-off shorts and dressed my dogs in tutus. We asked for the doll from Santa, each crafting a detailed and pleading letter. (Mine was better.) Lo! Our wishes were granted. We both received the doll that year for Christmas, and we would sit and feed the creatures together while chatting as we imagined moms would do. Baby Alive was a nasty little blonde thug of a doll, who would eat soupy powdered baby food with battery-powered jaws and drink from bottles until she peed/pooed in her little diaper (there's that theme again). She had vapid blue eyes and her hair was curly. Anne and I would dutifully change the diaper, vying to be the best mommy and take care of our babies even better than the other. Then we would feed, change, and repeat the whole disgusting process. Baby Alive did little but ingest and expel. Baby Worm would have been more apt.

I decided one day that I would better Anne. My Baby Alive was better than hers, because mine was real. Yes, a real baby! And as such, she could eat real, human food. I fed her cream of tomato soup. She gulped it down with those pulsating, horrible baby jaws of hers. I put her in the basement for a nap and went off to do something else.

When I came back, I realized I had sorely neglected Baby Alive. Her diaper had not been changed! So I went to remove it and...horror of horrors, her diaper was filled with ants! And not only that, SHE was filled with ants. The ants had decided they liked cream of tomato soup, very much. Baby Alive's every orifi was filled with nasty ants, all sated to the gunnels with tomato soup. (I wonder why I later had anxiety issues.) I screamed and hurled her from me, much as I do when one of my sons has a particularly nasty poo. It was traumatic. I don't remember what became of her, that Baby Alive. When Anne came over, all smug with HER pretty Baby Alive dressed in a new frock and ready to eat her powdered goop, I suggested we play forts and soldiers instead. Anne, not a tomboy, declined, so I took her sister Molly (much more boyish) under my wing and we sallied forth. Baby Alive was no more. (I just checked and they still sell this thing on eBay. I guess it did not fall under the "evil dolls that eat hair and must be recalled" category.)

Next time, I will tell the story of My Evil Midget Boss Who Wanted to Share Hotel Rooms With Me (and wound up with an eye patch). True story! For real!


Tk said...

I was going to say B, but then remembered that one of my developers (of Chinese ethnicity, and with connex in China still) discussed the Chinese HP versions once and the creatures were a little more prosaic. More Tolkien-ish. So I'll vote for C instead. Those wacky comix writers!

Anonymous said...

More More. Your stories are like a perfect recipe: a dash of embittered americana, two heaping tablespoons of wit, one teaspoon of creativity and words that sparkle. Keep them coming.