Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tori Spelling's People Will Clean Up Marshmallows

Another jolly thing to do when hopped up on pills and writhing in pain is to read about what Tori Spelling thinks is fun. No, I swear.15mg of oxycodone and a fentanyl patch can make Tori Spelling almost fascinating. I’m sure I read about Tori’s gift suggestions in People magazine, but apparently it was such a quality report that no trace of it can be found online. Anyway, Tori Spelling thinks marshmallow shooters are a “super fun” gift idea for kids. On amazon.com you can find one that boasts its “pump-action rapid fire shoots mini marshmallows over 30 feet. The easy-to-refill magazine holds 25 marshmallows for non-stop action.” Doesn’t that sound fun and easy? Easy to load… possibly (but not likely), but what about clean up? I bet these sadistic toy developers are also responsible for that barrel of laughs, Elefun. Spend several minutes aggravating your lumbago in search of dozens of wispy butterflies, stuff them down an elephant’s snoot, then turn it on and watch all the butterflies explode out of the trunk, and then… you guessed it. Pick them up and stuff them back in. Oh the kids love that game. So much fun for them.

Anyway, I looked through some customer reviews of marshmallow shooters on Amazon, and was bemused to find complaint after complaint from despairing parents lamenting warm, sticky marshmallows stuck in barrels, but almost nothing about the aftermath of said rapid-fire action. I read elaborate descriptions of how to dry out moist marshmallows, advice on administering corn starch and removing jams with pencils. Complaints that the magazines don’t hold ENOUGH marshmallows or that it is, in fact, NOT easy to load, despite the toy sadists’ claim. Eventually, a person named Julie noted that “they turn to mush in your yard and then your kids will drag sticky spots all over your house. Oh yes – the dog will throw them up.” But hey, 3 out of 5 stars for the fun factor, right? Another far-sighted person bought it thinking her dog would clean up the mess. She ought to have read Julie’s review first. Somebody else bought it to shoot the neighbors from his apartment balcony (the only sensible use I came across.) Finally, a couple of reviews from sniggering grandparents suggested that with age does indeed come wisdom. And a certain degree of malice.

I was left wondering why Tori thought marshmallow shooters were such fun, and it seems pretty clear it must be one of two reasons: Either Tori has several paid personnel to prime the barrels and dislodge half-melted marshmallows from designer sofa cushions, vintage Persian rugs, professionally landscaped lawns, etc., or she somehow incorporates clean up into a workout regime. Could the novelty of picking up something from the floor be a huge part of the fun factor? Is it a refreshing break from master cleansing, in-home mani pedis and restylane touch ups? Frankly, at least some of that sounds like more fun.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Body Gospel

During my two months with Saint Jesus Malverde and prescription medication, I spent a lot of time watching television. Bad television, at all hours. Splendaville’s NBC affiliate happily broadcasts paid Christian programming at various interludes, including The 700 Club, which comes on right after The Today Show. You can limp out of the room to Kathie Lee and Hoda doing shots and making over dowdy audience members and return to a seemingly normal news broadcaster who will then confuse you by announcing with a straight face that in Ohio two thousand teenagers declared their virginity for Jesus.

One of the finest programming options I came across was Jack Van Impe Presents. This quality Christian showcase has the primetime slot of midnight on Sunday, and stars Doctors Jack and Rexella Van Impe. Dr. Rexella, a breathy, hair-sprayed, pointy-chinned blonde, starts things off by reading a headline from the week with wide-eyed bewilderment. Then Dr. Jack, silver-haired and squinting with prophetic visions, applies an apocalyptic Biblical filter that will lead the faithful to the conclusion that the End of Days is near and that one must acquire a $24.95 DVD about recognizing the Mark of the Beast or how the European Union is developing a new world order that will track the earth’s six billion people with skin implants.

Since presumably at this point your wallet is out and you’re doing some spiritual push-ups, the natural segue is a paid infomercial (the NBC affiliate must be raking it in) for the Body Gospel workout DVD. It’s not just workouts set to Christian music; it’s a fellowship of fitness where you can breathe new life into your healthy temple, decreasing your waistline while expanding your faith. (One ecstatic reviewer on Amazon deemed it “Perspiration with a Purpose”. I think she’s confusing it with Bible-sanctioned procreation.) The infomercial offers an array of faith-based fitness for only $79, including Stretch in the Spirit, Gospel Glory, Power and Praise (they’re fools for alliteration, aren’t they?), and Core Revelation. Plus for 80 bucks you get extras like the Total Transformation Guide with workout calendar and daily scripture.

In my opioid haze I wondered if God was telling me to get off my fat ass and heal myself. But then I wondered, do I really have time to Work Out for a Higher Purpose? Drs. Jack and Rexella are preparing for The Rapture and One World Government, so shouldn’t I be spending these last days buying informational DVDs, converting my currency into euros, and deciding where I want my EU tracking chip?


Friday, March 11, 2011

Sister Patsy Gets It Together, and Bails

Guess I’d better explain myself. I had a slow but spectacular collapse over the Christmas holiday and spent the next month and a half deteriorating in a recliner I now call Saint Jesus (hay-SOOS) Malverde, who is the patron saint of Mexican drug traffickers. Mind you, all my drugs were ethically prescribed by an orthopedic surgeon and a pain center that had all the hopeful ambiance of a methadone clinic. So that was a good time. A month ago I had spinal surgery with titanium implants and am now looking forward to a lifetime of enhanced airport security screenings, but Phartacus and Slappy are putting up with all my high-maintenanceness because they know I’ve got metal rods that may spring out like Wolverine if they piss me off. This kind of cred makes me almost as cool as my good friend who had cancer as a child and gets around on what the boys reverentially refer to as her “robot” leg. If you’re a small boy, forget plastic and silicone: upgraded metal body parts are the road to awesome.

Anyway, my not writing has more to do with the copious amounts of pain and medicine that flooded my system for the past two months than my riveting social calendar while hanging out on Saint JM. I’d taken enough prescription pain killers to set up house in the Bahamas with my lawyer and film crew, and while anyone who’s seen recent celebrity capers would no doubt vouch for the exciting thoughts that emanate from the chemically dependent, I hadn’t been able to form coherent sentences in quite some time. The good news is that I’m recovering and off the pills. The bad news is I have constant loud ringing in my ears as an apparently peculiar side effect of something or other I was on. I guess it’s better than hearing voices.

So now I’m getting back into the glamorous routine of getting children ready for school, driving them to and from school, volunteer teaching at an early-morning arts workshop at school, dropping off baked goods at school, making sure schoolwork is completed… wait, I’m sure there’s something else. Oh yes, laundry.

On the way home from school yesterday morning, I decided to investigate a local Flab Fighters meeting. I had tried it several years ago, when Phartacus was a toddler and Slappy just a squirmy carseat baby, and discovered a room full of doting retirees ready to play peek-a-boo and paddy cake. They also helped with the kids. Anyway, nice as they were, I didn’t feel connected to the conundrums of how to bake Horace’s favorite buttermilk biscuits at 5pm or how to fit dieting in with their health issues, so I stopped going.

But after a couple of months of recliner living and shoveling in candy as a pain coping mechanism, I thought checking it out wouldn’t be a completely crazy idea. I know you won’t be shocked to read that the local FF meeting is held in a church. Last time, the meeting room at Holier Than Thou was just a basement hall, but since then they’ve put in a sort of mini pulpit at one end. A little raised platform with a podium and quilted banners with squares of crosses, doves, and words like “Jesus”, “Peace”, and “Pray”. After receiving my name tag and sitting in one of the folding chairs facing the pulpit, I wondered if maybe The Lord was taking a personal interest in our muffin tops. Should I confess that I’d eaten cherry pie and Reddi Wip for breakfast? Oh wait, wrong church. 

Just as I started to worry that we might be called forward to witness about last night’s dessert transgressions, the meeting was called to order, and so began 45 minutes of more clapping than a preschool graduation. I clapped for Reba (I’m not making that name up), who reached her 10% goal, and Wenndy (that's right, two "N"s) who lost five pounds. I clapped for Dorothy’s husband Frank (really), who came to the meeting under duress. I clapped for several Carols (yes) who had started walking together and who were excited to spread the word about a recipe for microwaved cake in a mug. The Carol sitting next to me was also very excited about some FF lemon snack bars she’d just purchased after weigh-in, and got into an actual wrestling match with the Carol next to her, trying to cram a bite in her mouth despite the woman’s struggles. The meeting concluded with a discussion about Reba's adorable hat and boots. The Carols were excited about them.

By the time it was over my hands and brain were both numb and I had lemon crumbs embedded in my fleece. Not to mention all that talk about food had made me hungry. I escaped without joining, came home, and sprayed Reddi Wip directly into my mouth. Now what.