Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shopping Cart Suicide

Oh heartless fate! The cart that I had so recently deemed a killer was actually a bereft mate. Which means (and the heart does quail) that the TRUE killer is still on the loose, somewhere in Mamaroneck. First I saw her seeking her lost life partner down by the river. She lurked near the Honda dealership in the rain.

The very picture of misery, the cart (wrongly framed by this unjust reporter) weeps hot tears in the unforgiving rain.

I drew closer and tried attract her attention, but she spurned me. I thought I heard the whisper of "fie, fie upon you," as her wheels spun softly in the winter rain.
But a day or so later, this is how it ended. Joining "Big Red" in the snow, its mate (I have named her Tawny Kitaen) commits shopping cart suicide. I watched as she fell over in the snow, her wheels spinning with a faint and plaintive "whirr." I tried tossing a few empties and candy wrappers at her to bring her back to life, but it was too late.
Meanwhile, in town, madness ensues! The carts have been domesticated, and are now ordering Chinese food at Little Kitchen. The employee behind the counter is frantically calling 911, but you know how this ends, don't you? That's right, a bloodbath! If this cart doesn't get its order in quick time, it will rear up and crush all the fortune cookies within sight!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shopping Cart Savagery! Mamaroneck, NY

When we moved from New Rochelle to Mamaroneck I was sad to leave the gamboling herds of wild shopping carts that had captivated the attention of my inner naturalist. No more would I stalk and catalog these free and magnificent beasts. Mamaroneck was a tame place...or so I had heard.

Not so. Perhaps the carts of New Rochelle have now been driven northward by relentless gentrification, their habitat threatened, growing smaller...ever smaller. And they have become more fierce and feral in their movements. Two days ago, I came upon a cruel sight at the corner of Dubois and Tompkins.

Once magnificent, this downed cart (whom I dubbed "Big Red") was brought down in its prime. Its red pelt still gleamed in the sunlight. "Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!" I whispered. But it was too late. Who or what could have wrought such a tragedy?
Then down the block I spied it. It saw me, too. No doubt this was the savage killer of "Big Red." It gazed at me with such ferocity, such savagery, that my blood turned cold. Perhaps the two carts had been battling over a female, and "Big Red" had fallen to the other one's dominance?

The killer drew closer. It was a stand-off. Its wheels turned with an ominous "creak, creak, creak." I confess that at this moment my heart failed me and I fled down Tompkins, where I immersed myself in the icy waters of the Mamaroneck River (only my eyes visible) while the cart sought me out. I could hear it rolling back and forth for several minutes. Finally, I was able to clamber up the bank and bushwhack my way overland to the safety of home.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ponies Ain't Porny

 Someone asked me the other day where I got the moniker "The Party Pony."

"Is it like a porn name?" she said tactfully. "Cos' it sounds a little porny."

Party Porny? Anyway, no! No, not at all! My sainted mother's curly hair would go straight as a pin if she heard such slanderous suggestions.

Me love you, dirty martini.
The story of how I came up with the name Party Pony is so drenched in innocence that you will be sorry you ever thought porny thoughts about that little My Pretty Pony (at right), and her sparkling wicked eyes, and her tail extensions and glam tats.

At age 14, I was so scrawny and friendless that I made friends through the mail system. I had a whole bunch of pen pals, and they were all hopelessly horse-mad. One called herself "Dream Rider" and another called herself "Blackie." We traded something called "Slam Books," which were little homemade stapled books—made by girls for other girls, or sometimes greedily for oneself—that would ask questions such as:

Favorite band?
Who is the dreamiest?
Favorite horse breed?
Best friend's name?
Finish this sentence: Horses are____.
Put your fave sticker here!

Slam Books were invented to "slam" other kids with mean statements, but ours were totally innocent. They would get passed around through the mail system and each girl would add her responses to the questions (for the participants were always girls, except for the occasional pervy man who entered the system, much like today's cyber-stalkers, by posing as a teenage girl). The answers were gushy: Duran-Duran! Nick! Appaloosa! and were studded with screamers (!!!) and heart symbols and stickers of plump spangly ponies. If all went well, the Slam Book would get returned to the girl for whom it was created--but often one's Slam Book, like a modern recipe chain email, never came home.

Sometimes you would see a kindred spirit in the pages of a Slam Book, and you'd seek her out by writing a letter. Some of them discouraged friendships: NNP (No New Pals), they'd write at the base of their signature page. I was drawn to various girls by their handwriting: Jennie's curled, perfect script; Erika's blocky, confident pen marks. The girls who claimed to own horses were my frenemies, for I had no horse. I didn't even have a pony. All I had were about 18 Breyer horse models and a list of names for my future steed. I read their letters with a thin thread of jealousy souring the breath in my mouth. But I loved them all the same.

At one point I had a whole crew of pen pals, and I decided to band them together. We needed a name. Hence was born THE PONY CLUB and I, now self-named Pony, would be its leader. Perhaps we would have a face-to-face meeting one day. We would call each other by our Club Names: Pony, Blackie, Starlight, Mystique. We would ride together through the fields!

(Ponies must be a little porny because all those names are dirty, dawg!)

Anyway, lots of letters came to our house addressed to THE PONY CLUB by more girls who wanted to be a part of the cult. (I was pretty puffed with self-importance at this stage, because I had such a slew of friends...who had never met me.) The best of the letters would have a horse drawn on the envelope in such a way that the return address would be written in the tendrils of a flowing mane and the recipient's address within the horse's saddle. Every time a letter came my brothers taunted me remorselessly, calling out "Pony Club delivery!" with a giddy lilt.

For years whenever someone wanted to give me a poke, they would call me "Pony." Those who knew the tale, that is. One day a few friends and I were driving in NH and we saw a big sign that said "Party Ponies! .5 Miles."

"Party ponies! Gosh, I'd like to see them," I said. I thought they might have pink ribbons in their manes. Maybe their saddles would be in Lilly Pulitzer patterns. No doubt they would frolic a great deal. We never came upon them (wily creatures). But I have always longed to find them... sort of like mythical unicorns. Maybe they would lead me back to the day when I sat alone in my room and gazed beyond a fly, beating itself lifeless on the ice-starred window, and into the fields beyond.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Poopless Puppy

Why is the dog made out of BALLOONS? Maybe that guy in the black ski mask is going to pop him with that shiv! But look--the dog has a secret poison spray that shoots out of its neck and makes the villain's arm swell up to twice its normal size!
Not too long ago, when the weather was mild and all the world was young and green (my love), someone left a dog poop on the lawn of our neighbor. Let's call him St. John Smith. Now St. John keeps his lawn looking like someone is about to play croquet upon it at any moment. It is perfect in every way. But then there was that poop.

"How dare!" shouted St. John. He grasped the poop in a baggie and tied it to a sharp stick, which he then thrust into the emerald green bosom of his immaculate lawn. On the stick there was a note that read: "Pick up your shit." The poop inside the baggie was very large and solid. It could be seen from a great distance, twisting gently in the breeze.

It dangled there for days and no one came to claim it. Finally, it disappeared. Then, last week, we discovered that someone had left a baggie of liquid dog doo at the bottom of our empty garbage can, which was sitting at the end of the driveway.

"Who would do such a thing!"cried my husband, pulling the foul thing out and holding it aloft. Of course, we could not fling it away. It was ours to keep now. We must dispose of it, or face the consequences.

My background as an amateur spy led me to connect the two incidents and deduce: "Aha! An evil perpetrator is at work! Someone is walking a beast about. A beast that drops things out of its anus, and doth not claim them, and wanders off leaving bad things that smell and are loathsome and cause unfortunate comment."

I like dogs. They are joyous creatures, with happy faces. Why must they poo? I have a mental difficulty with the idea of carrying a baggie with me, and grasping a hot, steaming pile of faeces through the plastic. Pawing my fingers through someone's grass, trying to "remove" a poo that cannot be fully removed by its very nature as a semi-liquid substance. And then walking jauntily along, swinging the baggie like it's a sack of posies or an aptly-named "doggie bag"  from the steak house. A lovely walk! A walk with a sack of doo!

One might have this exchange:

"Oh, hello, Mrs. St. John Smith!"
"Hello. Is that a sack of shit in your hand?"
"Why yes, it is a sack of shit! I am carrying it now!"
"I can see the poo, gleaming through the plastic. It is quite brown, and liquid. I can see its many details!"
"Indeed! Boomer, my animal, deposited it from his anus! And then I grabbed it with my hand, through the plastic!"

One, we visited a friend who had two small dogs. She also had a kiddie pool, and her kids stripped down to their suits to have a swim. But before they ran out barefoot onto the grass, she went ahead and swept the area with a poo-grabber, which looked a little like salad tongs. She came back in and announced the scene to be poop-free. But I thought: ONE CAN NEVER GUARANTEE COMPLETE REMOVAL OF THE POO! I quailed inside.

My husband says we will get a dog when they invent one that does not poop. I said that this kind of dog is called a "robot," but he says it is called a "poopless puppy." I think it is a fine idea, and I await its invention! In the meantime, I might have to shop at, so I can fit in with the neighbors who have large animals that drop things out of their anuses. I can carry my own Grande in a plastic bag and smirk at those with tinier, lesser poos.

Monday, February 7, 2011

All the Beautiful Ways to Say I Love You

Dearest one: This anthropomorphic, whorish piece of candy, seated on a bed of what appear to be torn-out organs (possibly spleens?) is wearing go-go boots, which I have mentioned are of particular interest to me in the bedroom. And she is beckoning me (me!) to come to her, and receive possible delightful pleasures at her hands (which shall not be soiled with chocolate, no, never). Note the look in her eye. I beg you to consider the many entreaties I have made to you—some mentioning marriage—and think about sharing a life with me. And my bed. Oh, my bed!

To my fat, porcine devil-baby. Words fail me. They fail me because you are beating me about the head and private parts with that trident you always carry in your trotter. Hand! I said hand!

Dear Valentine: My eye has falled off!

Dear Heart: You should not have left me at this untimely juncture. Do you not see how I will now kill you?

To My Valentine: The last 50 years with you has crushed my manhood like an old peanut shell.

Valentine: Your continued molestation has caused my nethers to shrink inward unto myself.

Sweetie: I bought you this "singing animated friend" because you have no "real friends" and therefore an "animated friend" is about the best you gonna get. At least it sings a damned song! Let it be a companion to you when you feeling all dark and dank and scratching your nads and eating Cap'n Crunch and shit (like you tend to do).
Baby: When I saw this robe I thought of you, staggering through the fog with a bellyful of gin and shattered fingers, and that old shotgun slung over your shoulder. Our lovemaking that night was sumptuous, as the bombs fell and you whispered: "Jimmy! If I only had a robe with a smattering of blue flowers, and a red pillow that bespoke 'love' on which to lay my head." So I bought it for you, dear heart. Sweet thing, why do you stare at me with such strange eyes?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Apples! Apples! Eat them night and day!

I have had a couple of phone calls lately from those of you who read the non-comedic horrors of Document 12 and are worried I am lying out on the cold ice like a haddock, gazing sightlessly at the forbidding sky. Nay, friends, I am alive!

In fact, the revelation that I am about to share with you is that I feel weird almost ALL THE TIME. At least during the month of February. I just don't talk about it much. So you needn't worry; I'm just as mentally savaged by the cruelties of waking life as I ever was. I still want to be in the Little Crawl Hole under the basement stairs, stroking the last remnants of fur off Fuzzy Bunny. Yet you see me walking about, wearing this nice frock and with my hair all brushed and such. (Well, since I had that Brazilian Blowout treatment it seems like I brushed it, even though I sat and stared listlessly into the mirror, the brush lying in my slack hand.)

I even eat food and go about my business and have conference calls with important people. I still know how to tie my shoes. I can uncork a bottle of wine with all the pep and verve of a mentally well individual! And when I play Checkers or Chess with my seven-year-old, I scheme endlessly as to how I will defeat the evil child at his own game. So do not worry a lick about me.

I recently had a talk with a nice and marvelous doctor who explained that my dizziness and shakiness were caused by some problems with blood sugar, and a few simple imbalances that can be corrected by supplements...and the right foods.

"What kind of foods?" says I. "I need more pork products, perhaps?"

"No, vegetable products."

"Not bacon? I do not feel I get enough bacon, and I might be suffering as a result."

"I mean Swiss Chard, Kale, those kind of things. Veggies that are dark and rich in color."

And then he told me to eat a lot of apples. Apples! Those damned things are supposed to keep the doctor away! Or so I have been informed over the years.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Nuffink is Magic

9:15 pm

Second son (calls from bed): I have something special for you.

Me: What is it?

He pulls out a small, red jingle bell and places it in the palm of my hand.

Me: Thank you. Is it a magic bell?

Son: No. Nuffink is magic.

Me: Nothing at all?

Son: Nuffink! Magic is not real. And do you want to know why? (Whispers.) A balloon can't pop a fork. That's why!

Me: No, I guess a balloon can't pop a fork.

Son: And also, you can't pop a balloon with your brain, or your little finger. Neiver of these things will pop a balloon. I am telling you this.

Me: But a fork will pop a balloon! Eh?

Son: Mommy. Be serious now. Only one thing is magic.

Me: And what is that?

Son: People is magic.

Me: Thank you for the little bell.

Son: Aw, dude, it ain't yours. I am only loaning it to you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Document 12

I’m calling this Document 12.

Document 12 is being written in a Word document, because my Internet connection is poor and creaky. It’s the 12th document I appear to have opened within a certain period of time. It named itself, kind of like it has its own soul. I merely accepted. I said: “Yes, you may take the name of Document 12.”

Can a document have a soul? And what happens when I copy paste it into the InterWebs? Does a little of its soul leach away? Is it a clone, an ember, a scrap of white glare that says writeonmewriteonme you poor wretched wannabe something or other that you are not…yet.

See, the winter isn’t doing me so well. I think I’m going mad. I really do. I try to be funny because it’s the only way I can keep going, I think. It’s February 1, 2011. I will make it to March. I always have.

I haven’t been using my new SAD lightbox properly, even though bug-eyed bunnies with garlands of daisies fairly leapt out of it the first time I tried it. I don’t have time to sit in front of it. I’m supposed to sit there for half an hour, with a book or whatever, while it glares its shiny happy light of wonder at my stricken face, and heals me.

Could it heal me?

What about a vitamin, or a special pill that rattles in my purse like manna, knowing it will pull myself in tight, like a cloak? My legs and arms will be safe by my sides. The world will not devour me, at least not whole.

I sometimes walk along the street and think: I am going to fall, and no one will catch me. I don’t mean a clumsy-footed fall on the ice, while pedestrians laugh and throw eggs and offal at me. I mean, perhaps, that I will stay below, and the world will rise above like a balloon growing distant, with all its warm laughter and colors. So my falling will be more like being left behind.

Or maybe I will forget how to find myself, and where I am, and when I take my glasses off I will not see. Nothing belongs to me; my rings and necklaces are borrowed from the living. Someone might decide to turn off the lights. Someone else might simply close Document 12, and be done with it. Document 12 wants to live, though. It has a beating heart around its edges. Its borders are like the lake I once swam, where I thought I might drown when I had eaten too light a lunch and exercised too fiercely. Keep to the edges, and you will be safe.

I said to myself that day: “You must not panic here. You must put your head down into the water, and make it to the other side.” I put my head down, and I did. I was alone. I kept going.

I feel the flickerings of this sort of fear in the winter. The walls seem too far away, or too close. The ceiling seems lower than it usually does. Did it always meet the edge of the wall, just like that? One misstep and I could knock into a wall, or miss the doorframe. I never do. I never do, and I am strong. But I am also dizzy and weary and confused. I want to know what is wrong with me. Maybe what is wrong with me is also what is right with me. I have been dizzy since the age of three. I can no longer drive on the highway. I will win over this; I will not die.

Everything recedes away. I was talking to a friend the other day at the gym and the world lurched away from me until the edge of the weight machine seemed leagues distant and I felt faint, and I looked at his kind face, and I said: “I think I don’t feel so well.” So he walked me carefully over to the machine that dispenses the Powerade and other drinks, and I bought a Powerade with quarters and drank it.

“How will I get home?” I thought, sitting in a chair with my soft mittens pressed on my forehead. “I might as well be on the Moon.” I couldn’t see how my legs would move to get me there. I couldn’t see it at all. I could place a call, and ask for a ride. How weak would that seem!

But finally I got up, and walked, roughly, over the slurred ice and past the hulking snowdrifts and I don’t how I got there. I don’t know how, but I got home. Keep going.