Wednesday, May 16, 2018

When Cats ATTACK!

THE CHARACTERS
Steve  - An orange Tom cat - goofy, playful, more than a little             bit dumb

Lola   - A very petite black cat - nervous, silly, terrified if you           pick her up.

Minuit - A rotund, older black cat - crotchety, belligerent, sounds           like Edward G. Robinson

Heather & David - unsuspecting humans

***

INT. KITCHEN


STEVE
Hey guys! Guys! there's a cat in 
our back yard. Hey GUYS!!

LOLA
 Hmmmm?
(goes back to licking her stomach bald)

MINUIT
 "M...YEAH."

STEVE
Seriously, guys! Super cute cat in
the backyard - she's black and white
and kind of stripey...


LOLA sneaks a peek over STEVE'S shoulder at the window. She sees the outdoor cat, then looks at STEVE


LOLA
WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!?


STEVE
 Hunh?

LOLA (hissing) 
WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!?
HOW DID YOU GET IN MY HOUSE?!?

STEVE
Lola, it's me - Steve - your brother.

LOLA
(growling and hissing at Steve)
GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!!! 
HOME INVASION!!!  THERE'S A HOME 
INVASION HAPPENING RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!!!

LOLA hits STEVE on the head several times and runs away.






MINUIT
(now growling and hissing at Lola)
WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!?


STEVE
Hey guys?  Guys?

MINUIT & LOLA
HOME INVADER!!!!

Lola runs up the stairs, followed closely by a snarling, unexpectedly-nimble Minuit.

INT. HUMAN'S BEDROOM

MINUIT 
WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!?

LOLA
I'm your sister!

MINUIT
I'VE NEVER SEEN YOU IN MY 
FUCKING LIFE!!!

LOLA
 
(hiding under the bed)
Minuit, I'm your sister! 

MINUIT
GET OUT OF MY FUCKING HOUSE!! 
GET OUT!!!

HEATHER & DAVID
 (startled out of deep sleep)
What the fuck?

MINUIT
HOME INVADER!!!

LOLA
YOU'RE THE FUCKING HOME INVADER!!! 

STEVE
Hey guys! Guys? GUYS. It's all good.
We're good here.

MINUIT & LOLA
HOME INVADER!!!!

HEATHER
Minuit - STOP IT!!! Lola - get out from 
under the bed - jump up on something high. She can't
 follow you if you're up on something high
Minuit! It's Lola. Steve, just stay 
out of their way.


Snarling and hissing, all three cats leave the room.

DAVID
What just happened?


INT. CAT THERAPIST'S OFFICE

STEVE
It was like I was Captain America and they 
were both Bucky. They didn't know me. They 
could see me, but they didn't know me.











Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

The perils of activewear (ou les orteils de chameau)

I finally take the leap. After years of sewing and resewing, I toss my decade-old leggings with their worn, next-to-nonexistent inner thigh seams into the garbage. And just to be sure that I won't fish them out again when that bout of clothing nostalgia hits, I cover them in more garbage. Which means that I go from seven pairs of exercise pants down to... one.  A single pair of leggings for my weekly exercise needs.

Sure, there are probably people out there who hand wash their leggings everyday, but I ain't one of them. After sweating my ass off in Lycra-infused fabrics, the last thing I want to be doing is soaking and then squeezing Woolite through that sweaty-ass activewear in the kitchen sink.  Legging replenishment was now vital.

My daughter? She invests in Lulu Lemon leggings. She hoards birthday and Christmas money along with her gift cards and then makes a yearly pilgrimage to the White Omega-esque Icon (whatever the hell that is) so that she may add to her legging collection.  I can't do that. I just can't. Yes, they are well-made leggings, yes, they make most people's asses look fantastic, but they are $118.00! For a pair of fucking leggings. I firmly believe that leggings should be $20 or less, which is probably why all my inner thigh seams disintegrate. Now, if I were to do the math - Lulu Lemon leggings might actually be economical. Spending $118 on a pair of leggings which could potentially last for 10 years, at one wearing per week, 520 wearings... that's $118 divided by 520 that's only 22 cents per wearing - fairly reasonable, but to lay out $800 on leggings in one go? Sheer madness.

Instead, I go to Old Navy where they have leggings for $35 each, which still makes me gag at the cost but at least my ass would be covered for much, much less. So I squeeze that ass into a couple of different legging styles in the Old Navy change room, marvel at the fact that they retain their shape on and off and bring them home at a cost of only $237, which means I'll be wearing each pair at only a cost of 6 cents per wearing.  Margonomics ladies and germs. My old roommate, Margo, who has convinced me many, many times to buy clothing based on what I'd be willing to pay to wear it once.  "Yes, that designer velvet vest/shirt combo might be $278, but if you wear it 10 times that's only $27.80 per wearing. If you wear it 20 times? Only $13.90 per wearing." HUZZAH!!

I get them home, take off the tags and strip them of their sizing stickers. Then it's time to christen them in an exercise setting. I pull them on sans underwear, because they all have cotton gussets and why have to wash an extra pair of underwear if you don't have to?  My Go Dry Active Fitted leggings are snug. Snugger than they had felt in the change room. Pulling them on is more similar to wedging your way into a pair of tights, but after doing a little bit of the pantyhose dance, they are on.

I am now clad in fully formed leggings, not an open inner thigh seam to be seen anywhere. I know, because I have to look down and admire the hole-less leggings. I do a bit of a presentation in front of the mirror to enjoy my new purchases when I can't help but notice that I am sporting a very pronounced camel toe. The Go Dry Fitted quality to the leggings is proudly offering up my labia for the world at large. My womanly bits are plumped out as if they've just had a collagen treatment before Awards season.



I tug the crotch down a bit to make myself a little less porn.  Better, but still humped quadruped-y. I head downstairs. David is working on his computer as I enter the room.

"These," I announce, "are my new holeless leggings!" I do a little twirl. "What do you think?"

"Very nice," says David, briefly glancing up.

"They okay?" I ask.

He raises his head once more and actually looks this time. "They are..." His gaze zeroes in on the camel zone. "They're ah... They're... ah... form-fitting." He clears his throat.

"Oh," I say nonchalantly. "You mean this?" I tilt my hips forward.

That's when Rissa comes in. "What are you doing?"

"Just showing off my new..."

"Holy camel-toe Batman!"

"RIGHT?!? How am I supposed to wear these?"

"Are you wearing underwear?" Rissa asks, peering at me as discreetly as a daughter whose checking out her mother's junk can.

"No! They have a gusset-thingie, I shouldn't have to wear underwear."

"Uh... Mama? You have to wear underwear with those."

"What? Is this not a good look?" I hike up the waistband a little higher, to add to the visual joke, nearly doing myself an injury. "Oyeeeesh!"

"Simmer down there," from Rissa.

David still seems captivated.

"Maybe this is the look that they're hoping for?' I suggest.

"No," says Rissa. "No it isn't. Go put some underwear on!"

"But these are skin-tight, how can I...?"

"A thong! Put on a thong!" She points to the stairs and doesn't drop eye contact until I move.

"Fine. Fine."  I trudge back upstairs and struggle to pull off the left leg of the leggings wondering if I can maneuver my way into a cotton thong, without having to pull down the right leg completely.  I let out a small shout of triumph and I realize that through the power of transdimensional physics I totally can, "WHOO-HOO!!!"

"You all right up there?" yells David.

"Oh yeah! I have mad dressing skills!" I shimmy back into the other leg and check out my junk in the mirror before heading downstairs once more.

"All good?" I ask, presenting my pelvis again.

David and Rissa check me out.

"You're good," says David, sounding slightly disappointed.  Rissa shoots him a look.

"You're fine. Very Rated G. Good job."




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Do you qualify for our discount today?


"Do you qualify for our discount today?"

"What discount?" I asked. Even though, from the moment the word 'discount' left her lips, in the back of my head, I knew what she was going to say. But in that 1/4 of a second it took her to reply, I found myself silently begging...  Please don't say Senior, please don't say Senior please don't say Seniorplease don't say Seniorplease GOD don't say Senior.

"Our Senior Discount."

There it was. January 18, 2018. I was mistaken for someone 65 years of age. I am 49 and a half. My birthday's in July.

Instead of laughing out loud at the absurdity of it, I woodenly said "No," while vainly reeling from shock. As I swiped my debit card I justified the mistake. She's young(er), it was because I had asked for iron pills, she saw me limp up after my dance rehearsal as my arthritic hips gave me grief, she doesn't know that asking a middle-aged woman if she qualifies for the Senior Discount is the equivalent to asking a woman who carries a few extra pounds if she's pregnant.

Just a number. It's just a number. It's a number over a decade more than my actual number... but it's just a number. I drove home, my self-pity holding me in a near-hypnotic daze.

I walked into the house. David and Rissa shouted cheerful "Hellos."

"Would you please look up what the Shoppers Drug Mart Senior Discount age is?" I asked, my confidence pathetically crawling along on the floor beside me.  Just a number, it's just a number.

"Sure," said David. "Why are we looking up..."

"Because the girl at the Pharmacy counter asked if I qualified for the Senior Discount!"

There were quickly stifled snorts of laughter from the peanut gallery.

"Not cool guys.  Not. Cool."

When I entered the living room, David and Rissa were each racing on their laptops to find the information. "65 years," David winced. "But some stores, might lower it to 55"

"I am 49 fucking years old! At the least she thought I was 5.5 years older than I am and at the most 15.5 YEARS!! Oh my God! Unless she thought I was 70!! I was having such a good week!"

And then it struck me. "When I went up to the counter, I was wearing my fucking pink sock monkey hat!!"


"This same hat, 3 years ago, got me carded at the LCBO!! Which means that in the past 3 years I have apparently aged 40 years, because they ask anyone who looks 25 years or younger for their ID at the LCBO.  Bring me my hat - this needs to be documented."

"Oh Mama," said Rissa. "You don't look 65."

"It's not that I want to be mistaken for 35," I grumped, slamming the hat back on my head. "I don't even mind being mistaken for my actual age. I don't mind being 49. I LIKE being 49! I'm kicking ass at 49!! But Sixty-fucking-five?!?"

"You totally should have taken the discount," said Rissa.

"If I hadn't been so gutted, I would have," I said, as David grabbed his phone to take my picture.

"You do not look 65," said David. "You do not look 55. You don't look 49." He kissed me before shooting the photo above. "You are a stunning woman who put all other woman to shame. A Goddess. My Goddess."

Next time? I'm strutting up to that Pharmacy counter in all my Goddess glory and I'm taking the fucking discount.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Careful what you say over pancakes.

David, Rissa and I are enjoying our weekly Sunday pancake breakfast.

"These are great!" says Rissa. "The texture is magnificent!"

We've been trying to perfect gluten-free pancakes for the past several years. It's been hit or miss.

"Yeah," says David, chewing on his maple syrup-soaked pancake. "These are the ones. We've done it! Which is great, because these breakfasts are soon going to be a thing of the past."

I swallow my bite of pancake. My throat tightens. Moisture fill my eyes.

Rissa looks at my face. "Dude!" she says to David. "What did you just do?"

If someone were filming this moment, there would be a well-timed shot of a single tear sliding down my cheek.  Suddenly Rissa is no longer living at home with us. She's at university. She's graduated university. She's living in a different city. She's married and has kids but we only see her twice a year, because she's so busy and has so many commitments. "No more family breakfasts?"

David's eyes are wide. "No! I mean..." He shoots Rissa a panicked look. She shakes her and gives him a "you're the one who said this" eyebrow raise. He reaches over and takes my hand.  "No, we'll still have lots of Sunday breakfasts."

"No," I say. "We won't, actually. You're right. I've got The Cat's in the Cradle playing through my head. I know that it's not really completely appropriate to this situation, but the... end... of the song... that kid who now doesn't have time for his Dad...?" There is more than a single tear now.

"Awwww... Mama," says Rissa. "It's okay. We'll still do Sunday breakfasts."

"But not every Sunday! Not if we're living in different cities! And I know that life is like that. I know that. And I know that we don't see Mor-Mor and Far-Far all that often because we live far from them, but it's different because they had two kids and weren't as hands on and really didn't care when I left home, hell they wanted me to leave home, were wondering why I hadn't yet, but we really like you and like spending time with you and..." I can't continue speaking.

Rissa's taken my other hand. "Mama. It's okay. I promise we'll still have breakfasts. They won't be all the time, but we'll still have them. Just like we have them when we're at Mor-Mor and Far-Far's."

"Yeah?" I sniff, before wiping my eyes with my pajama sleeve.

"Yeah." She turns to David. "You can't just say shit like that. I mean, seriously! She's fragile!"

Turns out? I'm that Mom. If we had a problem child going through her teenage years in a funk of eye rolling with a side of whiny sarcasm, peppered with irrational outbursts, we'd be opening the door for her, we'd be packing her bags.

This is what you get for having a functional relationship with your daughter. Spontaneous fits of weeping over gluten-free pancakes.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

YouTube University



"Do you think there are videos on YouTube on how to do minor surgery?" I ask David.

"No," David says with a note of finality in his voice.

"No?"

"No, you may not do minor surgery on yourself."

"Don't be silly. I wouldn't do minor surgery on myself."

David's eyebrows rise as high as they possibly can on his forehead. "No?"

"No."

"Good," he says, obviously relieved.

"Of course I wouldn't do that. Well, really, couldn't do it, not well at least."

David closes his eyes and shakes his head.

I know that with logic, I can make a good argument. "You, though, YOU could totally learn how to do minor surgery and do it on me. It could be like those scenes in Travelers when David does home spinal taps for Marcy."

"No."

"It just doesn't make sense for me to do it."

"It doesn't make sense that you perform minor surgery on yourself?!?"

"Well not in this area, it doesn't," I explain patiently.

"What area? What could you possibly want to remove from your body?"

"My armpit pudge. Nay, verily, my armpit boobs," I say. "I have had armpit boobs ever since I've had breasts. And no matter how much I exercise, no matter how healthfully I eat, no matter how many pounds I lose..." I poke my left armpit boob.   "I still..."  I poke my right armpit boob. "Have..." I cross my body and poke both of them.  "Armpit boobs."

I am apparently speaking in a foreign language. There is no comprehension on David's face. I'm sure that I can get through to him.

"And I know that all it would take is a little 'zip-zop' underneath my pits, a little detail nozzle suck with the Shop Vac and BOOM! They'd be gone."

David opens his mouth to speak. He closes it. He opens it again. "What can I say to dissuade you of your commitment to this plan? Hey! Remember when you were learning to decorate gingerbread houses from YouTube videos? Can we go back to that? Please?"



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Squirrel Nurser

Steve and Lola are looking out the kitchen's east window. Staccato tails twitch back and forth in tandem - something is definitely up. I figure it's our resident chipmunk taunting them from below the window.

"What's going on guys?" I ask, giving them both a scritch behind their ears before looking down.

My hand cames up to my mouth. Not a taunting chipmunk. A dead squirrel. A dead little squirrel. Flat upon our gravel driveway.

"Oh no," I say.

"What? What is it?" David asks from the loveseat.

"There's a dead squirrel outside."

"Oh."

We allow a silent moment of commiseration to make its way through the room. I look back out the window.

"WOAH!"

"What?"

"Not dead. It's not dead!" I watch as the supposedly flattened squirrel struggles up before lurching to drag itself under our Honda Civic.  "Oh, buddy. Not there. Don't go under the car. It's not going to be safe under the car."

"Leave it be," says David. "Heather, do not touch that squirrel." (One episode with feral kittens and subsequent rabies shots and I'm no longer given a lot of leeway with wild animals.)

"I won't. Its mother might be around."

I wait. I wait an entire 17 minutes before I go out and lie on the driveway, feeling the gravel leave its imprint on my stomach. Squinting, I can see the squirrel tucked in by the front right tire. It is still, not making a sound. If it is dead I'm going to have to move it so that we don't inadvertently squish its little squirrelly corpse. I shudder at the thought.  I look around. No mother squirrel anywhere.  Our driveway is not close to any real foliage - no overhanging branches - just three car lengths of gravel. 100 feet to the south, the bottom of the yard has trees and then 100 feet to the north there are more trees.

I go back inside.  I sit. I try to read.  I play Scrabble on Facebook, comment on some posts before I walk nonchalantly towards the dishtowel drawer.

"Don't you even think about it," says David.

"If it is dead, I don't want it to get squished."

"If it's alive, you're going to get bitten."

Temporarily deaf, I grab a tea towel and head back outside. The squirrel has crawled out from under the car and is again lying flat on the driveway. It doesn't even twitch as I approach.  Using the dishtowel as a makeshift glove I scoop up the squirrel. It barely struggles. I cradle the towel against my chest. This is bad. Wild animals don't like to be touched - it's letting me touch it. This sucker is going to die and I'm going to see it happen.

"Uhhhhh... David? Can you, uh... would you grab another towel and maybe the cushions from the storage unit?"

David sticks his head outside, takes one look and rolls his eyes. He then disappears for a moment before coming back with a hand towel from the 1/2 bath.  He's shaking his head as he pulls the outdoor cushions out and places them on the outdoor sofa. I very gently wrap the second towel around the first one and lower myself onto the sofa. The squirrel doesn't move. I open the tea towel and look down.


I touch a finger to its head. Nothing. I contemplate asking David for a miniature hand mirror so that I can check that it's still breathing, when it shifts slightly. Still alive.

"Would you grab me a syringe with some water?" I ask. The squirrel opens its eyes, giving me a paralyzed look of horror. "It's okay buddy. We're just going to get you some water so that you don't become squirrel jerky." My suggestion doesn't seem to impress the critter. 

"If I were a syringe, where would I be?" David asks. 

"Maybe in the first aid kit?  Oh, or maybe above the stove where the pet pill crusher is."

He returns with the syringe.


The squirrel lets me drop water into its mouth before burrowing down into the tea towel, nuzzling into my cleavage and closing its eyes. I look down at him and I swear to God, my boobs start to tingle. 

"Oh, good God," I say.

"What?"

"You know how when I see a nursing Mom, my boobs get all tingly and I feel like I might actually have milk?"

"You're not."

"I am."

David winces. "Uhhhhh... You, uhhhh... You're not..."

"Dude, I'm not going to try and nurse a baby squirrel. I'm just saying that my boobs are going all maternal on me. Besides, if we're being 100% frank here, this sucker wouldn't get 1/8 of my nipple in its mouth. Plus... squirrel teeth."

"Just when I think you won't go past a line..."

I enjoy a squirrel nap in our backyard before Rissa and her boyfriend name the wee rodent Edwin Von Lichtenstein. We foster Edwin for the weekend before David transports him to a Wildlife Centre where he is placed with other adolescent squirrels. This was his last feeding before we said goodbye. Godspeed Edwin.