“Normal?” – Not My Relatives! Wanna Pet My Kid’s Skunk?

steve-o and astro

Yes.  It’s a skunk. Yes. It is sleeping atop my offspring.

I am more of a dog person than anything.  I like cats too, and I have cats, but to me there is nothing like the relationship one can have with a dog.

I have no idea what got the POMC started in on skunks, other than he really doesn’t connect with cats, and he’s somewhat freaky about dogs. He was dog bit rather severely when he was nine.  His right hand might look normal now, but that dog chewed it up like burger meat and he has permanent nerve damage.  Dogs have pretty much given him the creeps ever since, which really sucks.

ferret

He had ferrets in high school, much to my mother’s disgust, because ferrets have a funk.  Even I can smell ferret funk, which means they must smell pretty nasty to most people.  Odor aside, they just never really thrilled me much.  I’ve heard them described as “cat snakes,” which is about right.  Dinky, sneaky little bastards as far as I’m concerned.

skunk

In the skunk’s defense, he is de-scented and the only thing about him that really smells is his shit.  Skunk shit is nasty, nasty, nasty.  The skunk himself, however, is very clean and doesn’t really have a smell to him.

Even so, I’d rather deal with a dog or a cat.  Skunks have sensitive digestive systems and special nutritional needs. They have to have their food specially prepared (sort of like feeding a toddler) unlike a dog or cat who can eat prepackaged dog or cat food and be cool with it.  It’s also a real pain in the hiney to find a vet who will deal with skunks.  Their anatomy and physiology is nothing like dogs or cats, so the vets that will work with them generally cost up the wazoo.

exotic vet

Most vets don’t want to see anything that isn’t a cat or a dog.  I can’t say I blame them.

Skunks are a vector for rabies in the wild, which is enough to scare off most people from owning them.  However, the truth is that the only way for any mammal to get rabies is to be bitten by something with rabies.   Domestic, captive born skunks don’t have rabies, and won’t get rabies unless something with rabies bites them.  Captive born and kept indoors, skunks are just as safe to keep as a pet (and not a rabies risk!) as an indoor cat.

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Harmless as Jezebel? I don’t give my indoor cats rabies shots because there’s no way for them to get bitten by something that’s rabid.

Lucy

The dogs do get rabies shots because a.) they go outside and therefore in theory can be bitten by something rabid, and b.) state law requires it.

I am one of those weird people who can really go off on bizarre tangents at times.  I bought – and read with fascination-  this book some while back- Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus..  It’s a compelling read on a rather off the wall subject.  I will have to let the illustrious offspring borrow this one if he’s in the mood for some enlightening late night reading. Of course my tastes in literature are mostly non-fiction (science and history) and often tend to gravitate toward the macabre.

I don’t think I have one “normal” relative.  Not one.  My son passes for normal most of the time, but they are all certifiable.

Mom is probably the one that’s the closest to the cuckoo’s nest- she’s bi-polar with a heaping helping of anxiety, OCD, and extreme naïveté to go along with it.  Jerry is a laundry list of fun beginning with adult ADHD, Helpless Man syndrome, and ending with a rip roaring case of what I call “functional drunk.”

Dad’s gotten a lot more fun since he’s gotten old. It wouldn’t surprise me that like his own father he decides now that he’s 70 years old that, “I’m not old. I’m middle aged.” Nobody had the heart to tell Grandpa when he turned 70 that it was highly unlikely he’d see 140, but he did live to be 91.   I guess it’s all about your attitude.

There’s a phenomenon with some older people where their frontal lobe (the “traffic cop” of the brain) sort of wears out and doesn’t screen one’s conversation as thoroughly as it once did, or probably should.

So Dad, who used to be rather tight-lipped and taciturn, has gotten rather cheeky as he ages.  His oh-so scathing commentary is starting to remind me of my grandmother and great-grandmother (ironically my mother’s mother and grandmother, go figure) and it’s a hoot. It drives Mom nuts, on the rare occasion she actually gets the reference and/or the double entendre. I’m glad that most of the time it goes over her head, for her own sanity and well being.

Mom has her own special brand of near-senility which is even more creepy than my Dad flipping off traffic.  She has always gravitated to the mega-weird parts of Catholicism which is downright scary, but the older she gets the more she watches EWTN, goes to Mass and Confession, and is grabbing on that rosary.  Normally I would say religious disciplines would be a good thing, but she gets Really Weird with it.  She thought that if she left EWTN on all the time full blast that the POMC would see the Catholic light and become a priest.  Never mind that he’s pretty much agnostic and really creeped by “men in dresses.”

To top that off, she’s also blithely ignorant that it’s really, really gauche to ask someone who is a confessional Lutheran and who has done a lot of theological and spiritual soul searching to come on down to the Catholic cathedral to venerate some dead saint’s bones.  Apparently the Catholic school she went to didn’t teach too much about Martin Luther, the 95 Theses, and the Reformation.

I had to decline the bone-gazing and necromancy out of conscience, but as far as she knows I declined because I had to do laundry.  I’d rather tell a little white lie – though I really did do laundry- than go through a detailed theological dissertation on why I don’t venerate saints’ bones.  I don’t need to hurt her feelings.

Even the POMC is borderline OCD. His car and motorcycle both are testament to that.

Both of my sisters could be called “castrating bitches,” due to the fact that they both can run a man like a railroad.

And here I sit with my own frailties and funky wiring.

The Unsung Delights of Middle Age, and No One Sends Me Flowers (Just Send Cash Instead ;))

backward swimsuit

 

Middle age has its distinct disadvantages, but there are some distinct advantages to be had for the cougar/geezer set that most people don’t think about.

 

1. No one asks (begs, coerces, etc.) you to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  This is a very beautiful thing, considering the last time I had to do that was in 1993 , and I’m still pissed at my oldest sister for that outlay of cash and aggravation.

fugly dress

No, I’m NOT wearing that- or any other dress without sleeves.  Ever.

At my advanced age I don’t have to worry about it. Nobody in her right mind wants my freaky ass in her wedding pictures. My sisters are the only ones who didn’t let me decline the bridesmaid thing graciously. One has been married since 1993 (thank God because there is no amount of coercion that will make me do the bridesmaid thing again- ever) and the other is happily divorced.  Anyone else who makes that request, I can and will tell to go blow with impunity, but my friends pretty much know better than to ask.  I’ll gladly attend your wedding and even buy you crap, (or get you a Target gift card,) but that’s the extent of my involvement.

2. Aunt Flo doesn’t visit any more.  Not since the hysterectomy.  I couldn’t be more delighted with that.

 

coffee and boobs

Hot flashes suck- but I can wear white pants any time I want!

3. Older people have a certain amount of gravitas in dealings with the young and inexperienced.  I also have buff young college boys asking me if I need help with my groceries.  I don’t need help with my groceries, though it would be nice when I get home with them if Jerry didn’t disappear every time I’m unloading the car.

Young woman unpacking shopping bag in kitchen

I already brought in the cat litter, dog food, beer, (which I don’t drink) and 12 packs of pop.

Come to think of it, I don’t shit in the cat litter or eat the dog food either, but they don’t have thumbs.

Granted, nobody bothers to send me flowers but I have no idea what to do with them.  They sit on my desk for a few days, die, and then I throw them out.

ugly flowers

Just give me the cash.

Back in the day there was no such thing as political correctness in the clothing industry. We can all remember when fat boys’ clothes were called “Husky.”  I don’t think they have “Husky” sizes any more.

chubbies

Even Lane Bryant doesn’t use the “Chubby” word anymore, even when referring to size Extreme Lard Ass.

Imagine the politically correct furor that would ensue should any clothier use an ad like the one pictured above.  Stand back and watch the fireworks.  However, in the 1950’s virtually nobody was fat, so this ad would only apply to a handful of girls rather than most of them.

I say just make everything a one-size-fits-all mu-muu if your ass is that huge.

The Cold Comforts of Cougardom, and a Kingdom for a Jug of Pennzoil

I love being “middle-aged,”  or as I put it, in my cougardom.  There.  I said it.  Why am I so excited about life, knowing that at least half of it is over? In a lot of things I am one of those people who see the glass as being half-empty, but as far as the rest of my life goes, the glass is half-full.  I’m not getting my ass kicked on a daily basis, I’m not driving a shitty car,  and nobody calls me to locate my sisters.  I can look at hot younger men with impunity, and without fear of having some uncouth redneck wench spit Skoal in my hair.  Cougar life is good.

The number one advantage of being in the cougar set is that no one really cares what you wear as long as you cover the important stuff.  I don’t have a problem with coverage, because we have laws in this country against cruel and unusual punishment (yes, I have actually read the Constitution, unlike some of those currently holding elected offices.)   It would be cruel and unusual punishment to make anyone observe me in: a bikini, a mini-skirt, the nude, or in any other state of not-so-decent dress.  So I make sure all the important (i.e. stuff nobody wants to see) stuff is well-covered.  I can accept my frumpiness and run with it, with the delicious knowledge that many of the “beautiful people” I went to school with are twice my weight, with tanning-bed leathery skin.  I don’t look good and never did, but I look better than some people who used to look good.  Why that appeals to my sorry sense of vanity I will never know, but it does.  Shame on me.  My mother would drag me to Confession- were I still Catholic- for such an egregious sin.

There were a few girls I went to school with who managed to remain “beautiful people,” such as the Hall Twins, who are painfully identical (with identical bleach-blonde hair and usually identical clothes too) and have not changed one bit in appearance since 1984.  I have to wonder if they are either wax models or if they have been freeze dried or something.   There were a few really fugly people who managed to either lose weight or get their teeth fixed or have plastic surgery who are now “beautiful people,” but most of us are at right about the same level of “definitely not beautiful, but not exactly fugly.”  Entropy eventually wins out.  Gravity does too, which I am reminded of every time I take off my bra.

Now I know why Grandma preferred the long-line bras.  Unfortunately, I am unable to breathe while wearing one of these.

The other advantage of cougardom is one I noted many years ago whilst observing my grandmother and great-grandmother.  Not only did they wear bright colors and bold patterns, they also spoke their minds- loudly, consistently, and with no regard for political correctness.  I loved taking them shopping if only to see just how mortified Mom was at their commentary.  I learned that descriptives such as, “whore,” “floozy,” and “lard ass” must have been around a long time- and that according to both my grandmother and great-grandmother, such individuals can be found everywhere. 

It’s shocking when a twenty something is caught drooling over some fine young stud, but it’s somehow charming- or at least funny- when some old bitty does the very same thing.  I’m not dead and I’m not blind- so I’m going to look.  I may not comment like they did (and both of them seemed to enjoy the 80’s trend in tight jeans for men, which I wish would come back in style) but I’m still looking.

Some things in life are constant, such as my disdain for the local Walmart. It’s not so much a dislike of the store itself but of its Team Members, who are anything but a team.  Any place that calls its employees team members, associates, etc. rather than employees, is almost always a shitty place to work.  It seems to me that when an organization has to come up with fancy titles for its employees that they are trying to make them feel good about working a shitty job in an abysmal place.  Any place that makes its employees wear name tags is also almost always a really shitty place to work.  Walmart- at least the one I’m talking about down the road- is either a really shitty place to work, and/or they just can’t seem to come up with the hazard pay that sentient humans would require to work amongst the unwashed, illiterate and uncivilized masses that frequent this place.   The Team Members I’ve encountered in this particular Walmart are surly, largely unable to speak or understand the English language, and seem to resent my very presence.  

I did, however, need to find myself a jug of Pennzoil so I can get my oil changed.  Yes, I know brand loyalty is largely folly, but there are two brands I don’t waver on- Toyota is one, and Pennzoil is the other.  I’ve used Pennzoil in all of my vehicles, and have never in over a million miles driven in them have I had engine failure of any kind in any of them.   So I continue to use it, whether it really makes a difference or not. I think in the grand scheme of things changing the oil regularly matters more than what kind you use, but I’m not taking any chances.

Target isn’t open at 6AM, and I didn’t want to have to go into any store after work, so I figured I’d venture in to the Walmart before the crackheads and serial killers wake up.  I forgot that the employees Team Members at Walmart are every bit as deranged as their usual clientele. 

All I can say is, if you’re going to have the doors open 24/7, you’d better have at least one farking register open, even if it is 6AM.  When someone finally did locate a cashier (once I located someone who could understand rudimentary English,) I had been wandering around the Walmart for 20 minutes.  The cashier seemed to be quite pissed off about having to get off her ass and deal with me, but I smiled and kept my commentary to myself.  The only mitigating factor in this transaction is I paid $15.99 for a five quart jug of Pennzoil 5W30 that I normally pay $22.99 for, so I guess I get the shitty service discount.

The pisser is it costs me more to buy 4 quarts in quart bottles than it does to buy 5 quarts in the 5 quart jug.  I only need 4 quarts.  It’s a freaking Yaris, OK?

Laugh if you must, but 40MPG on the highway (NOT a hybrid) is nothing to scoff at!