Category Archives: America

On that singular day

I saw Greg Louganis dive in St. Louis
in 1984. Oh, the way he folded and
unfolded in the air. We all gasped
when he split the surface and disappeared.
But he rose up in a shimmering swath
of bubbles, unbounded joy.

Seventeen years later, a man steps out
through the lattice of a skyscraper and
folds himself into a breathtaking pike.
An anonymous diver, abandoning his
day job. Maybe you’ve seen the
photograph? A single body falling, white
oxford full and fluttering, like a peony,
blowsy, on that singular day.

–“The Diver,” Christine Hartzler

Today I am in my late twenties again.

Today I am waking up early in my town in the American southwest to the sound of people shouting on my apartment complex balcony. It is a day I can sleep in. I am working the late shift. I am not pleased to wake up to people shouting this early in the morning. I go out on the balcony and glare at them. They don’t seem to notice. Or care. Even though I’m in my pajamas and my hair is quite fearsome.

Today I am realizing there’s no point in going back to sleep and I might as well run some errands since I have the morning free.

Today I get ready without turning on the television or the radio.

Today I run errands while listening to a tape I have in the car. It’s a Hole kind of day. Courtney Love screams me around town.

Today I still don’t turn on the radio.

Today I get to my old job to help out a little since I’m up early. It is a thing I do, sometimes.

Today I walk in the door and there are people in a tangled knot around the small television in the lobby. The sound is low. No one’s at the front desk.

Today I ask one of my old coworkers what was going on.

Today she turns to me and says, “Two planes flew into the World Trade Center” and her eyes are holes in her face.

Today I ask her, “An accident? There was an accident?”

Today she says, “No. No, Amy, I don’t think so. I think it was on purpose.”

Today I stand in a crowd of people, strangers and friends alike, and we are all as one. Today we watch the television in the lobby and it grows to the size of a movie screen. Today we watch the towers fall. Today we watch news reports come in about the Pentagon. Today we watch news reports come in about a field in Pennsylvania.

Today our hands are over our eyes and our mouths. Today we are sobbing but not making a sound. Today we are praying. Today we are smelling autumn coming in through the propped-open doors of the lobby and we are running through the list of people we know in New York City and we are wondering if they also smelled this autumn morning and we are thinking, were they there? Oh, please, oh, no, oh, God, were they there?

Today I go broken and empty to my afternoon shift at work. My coworker is from Pennsylvania. I am from New York. We are barely holding it together. We are inches from screaming. We are being held together with fraying rubber bands and sheer adrenaline.

Today our boss decides we are not paying enough attention to our job and makes us turn off the television that presides with its cold unfeeling stare over the lobby.

Today we take turns shaking and vomiting and weeping in the bathroom where the clients and our boss can’t see us.

Today I get home from work and turn on the television and watch the ticker of the dead crawl along the bottom of the screen. The channel I’m watching tells the ages of those on the planes. One of the dead is just a baby. I’m having trouble breathing. Functioning. I’m watching the towers fall on endless repeat. I’m watching men leap from windows with a sort of corrupted grace. I am watching survivors painted gray with ashes stream over and over from the city I love so much. I am shaking. I am curled upon myself like a lost child. I am trying to count the dead in the ticker and I keep losing count and it seems very important, somehow, that I know how many of them there were. That each of them are counted. That each of them get given a name; that each of them get given their due.

Today, when my next-door-neighbor comes home, she asks me how I am.

Today, I tell her, “I don’t want to live in this world right now. The good got lost today.”

Today I live all of this all over again. Today and next year and the year after that; every today, I am the person I was on that day.

Today the towers fall, and they fall, and they fall; every today they fall.

I hold these truths to be self-evident (even though I am on the wrong team)

I know that sometimes it’s very hard to love America.

I mean, sincerely. We have a war on women that’s putting us back to suffragette-times, and we have the government doing random nefarious things like listening to us telling our loved ones about our days (EVEN WHEN THEY’RE BORING, seriously, wouldn’t listening to these tapped calls be the WORST?), and we have so much religious shoutery you want to get earplugs permanently implanted, and we have so much insane hatred of the gay community it makes me want to attack someone with nunchucks and we have things like Twilight and Honey Boo Boo.

MERKA! We are the butt of INTERNATIONAL JOKERY! This is embarrassing, sincerely. People in other lands say things like “OMG, so happy I don’t live in America” and “WTH is happening in America” and “HA HA MERKA.”


Yes. America has problems. We yell a lot about a lot of things. We can’t seem to agree on ANYTHING. Everyone seems to really, really enjoy being angry. Like, ALL THE DAMN TIME. Just drive around a little, even if you’re in a good mood, and you’ll catch some good old American anger. I think we might hand it out to new citizens along with their certificates or something. “Here you go! ALL THE ANGER YOU WILL EVER NEED! WELCOME TO MERKA!” The haves are always yelling at the have nots for being lazy teat-suckers, and the have nots are trying REALLY HARD to make ends meet and ignore the yelling. And we’re not very trusting. And why should we be? Our government seems to be kind of like the villain in one those old cartoons that ties the ingenue to the train tracks. Snidely Whiplash. Our government, lately, is like Snidely Whiplash.

I’m more than willing to point out that the Emperor has come out of the palace in his birthday suit. Anyone who reads my blog is aware that I’m not all rah, rah America. Mostly because I like to call it Merka. And pick on it for doing very stupid things. And muse about how it might be nicer to go live in Finland, where they have Midsummer poles (which are most definitely a euphemism.)

However, I’ll tell you something that might surprise some of you.

I love the hell out of my country.

I think it is an amazing place. Sometimes I love it so much it makes me have tears. Sometimes I get so stupidly proud of this sprawling piece of dirt I get GOOSEBUMPS. I know. You’re totally shocked right now. Dad finds it amazing. “No one on the wrong team loves their country as much as you do,” he marvels on a regular basis. “I think there might be something wrong with you.”

(“The wrong team” = Democrats, in case that needed explanation.)

I believe, despite all the problems, America is an amazing place. It is a country full of potential, and beauty, and power, and majesty. It’s a country that, were it to live up to its potential, would be so good. So FINE. A country that other countries could look up to and a country that we could be proud to live in ALL the time, not just some of the time, not just when we get it right, but ALL the time.

Dad says we’re not allowed to say “Happy Fourth of July” today because that’s liberal propaganda. “If you say ‘Happy Fourth of July,” Dad said, because Fox News told him to, “you are shitting on everything our forefathers worked so hard for. It’s not just a DAY. It is INDEPENDENCE DAY.”

“What if I say Happy Birthday Merka?” I asked.

Dad grumbled. “I don’t know. The Real News didn’t say what to do if someone called it America’s Birthday.”

“Because that’s what I like to say. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERKA! Because you know what everyone likes. BIRTHDAYS!”

Dad grumbled some more. “Well, it’s really Independence Day. That’s what The Real News says.”


“You’re insane.”

“I love birthdays. Also Merka.”

“Fine. Just remember it’s also Independence Day. And don’t bake America a cake because I don’t think America has a mouth.”

“It DOES. Probably the mouth would be the Grand Canyon. I could throw the cake in the Grand Canyon.”

“You. Are. Insane.”

Happy birthday, America.

Happy birthday to the country that brings us Wendy Davis, who knew what was right, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for it, even though the amount of hatred for her in that room would have scared away almost anyone else in the world.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us E. E. Cummings.

Happy birthday to the country that was founded on giving us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Katelyn Campbell, who said, “you know what? I might be only a high school senior, but this abstinence-only education is factually incorrect, and I’m going to protest it” even though the school’s principal threatened to make sure she wouldn’t get accepted to college if she did so.

(P.S. - it didn't work. Kick some ass at Wellesley, Kate.)

(P.S. – It didn’t work. Kick some ass at Wellesley, Katelyn.)

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Edward Hopper, who understood what it was to be very, very alone.

Happy birthday to the country that was founded by a bunch of rebellious yahoos who wanted things to be better than where they came from (and who, I’m quite sure, would be horrified with what we’ve done with what they left us; they would, very likely, tell us we’re the reason we can’t have nice things.)

Rebellious yahoos with really humorous hair.

Rebellious yahoos with really humorous hair.

Happy birthday to the country that brought us Rosa Parks, who’d just had enough, and who just wanted to sit the hell down, and didn’t want to have to walk all the way to the back of the bus to do it;

Alice Paul, who asked Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty, even when they put her in jail, even when they force-fed her when she wouldn’t eat, even when it seemed everyone had turned against her;

and Harriet Tubman, who risked her life time and time again to bring others to freedom.

Happy birthday to the country that has beautiful large things…

…and beautiful small things…

…and things that are ridiculous, and wonderful, and beautiful just because they exist, and are filled with whimsy.

Happy birthday to the country that allows me to be as loud as I want, and as wild as I want, and to speak up against what it’s doing…and not go to jail for it, because for all of our faults, we do still have free speech here. We have the Bill of Rights. Which, when I read it, when I read it out loud, I weep. Because it’s beautiful. There are all different types of poetry. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s poetry. That’s a group of people who’d had enough, who didn’t want anyone after them to go through what they’d been through; enough so that they made it one of our inalienable rights as Americans.

Happy birthday, and happy independence, Merka. I love you, even though you frustrate me. You’re like a beloved child; no matter how angry I get at you, no matter how much you upset me, no matter HOW MUCH I disagree with your choices, I still love you. I love you furiously. I love you so much it makes me crazy. I love you so much I’d defend you with my life. I love you so damn much I want the absolute best for you.

You are my country, and sometimes you’re a big old weirdo, and yet I still adore you.

(Even though right now I think you’re in that awkward adolescent phase where you’re smoking too much pot and drinking too much and sleeping with questionable partners who are just bound to give you the herp.)

Happy Independence Day, my fellow Merkans. Give your country a hug today, yeah? It’s trying really hard not to be a jerk, sometimes. There’s still some of that glory in there. There’s still wonder. There’s still beauty. There’s still magic.

You just have to look a little harder to find it.

The world’s gonna wake up and see Baltimore and me

Well, this is only March 10 and this has  already been a very exciting month, hasn’t it? Trips to New York to meet the most wonderful friend, and a new cat? Well! Let’s not let the excitement end, I mean, where’s the fun in THAT, I ask you?

Yes! It is true! We have one more exciting thing to discuss!

First, before we start, it’s a very important day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AMY’S DAD! He is grumbly about his birthday and I sent him a sappy card and he was all, “THAT CARD WAS SAPPY” and I said, “Oh, ok” and he said, “IT MADE ME HAVE SEASONAL ALLERGIES OF THE EYES” and I said, “Well, that’s ok then, I love you, you dork” and he said, “You’re not supposed to call your father a dork, RUDE” and so there you have it. Happy birthday, dork, you make me laugh. I love you.

So one of my oldest friends (in TIME, not in AGE, she’s not like 90, come on) is friend R. Friend R. and I met one of the first days of college. We were both seventeen. SEVENTEEN! Can you even imagine being that young and optimistic about life? My goodness, that seems like a million billion years ago. Back then, I used to wear skirts. On PURPOSE! And think I was going to conquer the WORLD! (Fine, I still sort of think I could do that, but I don’t wear skirts now unless I really, really have to.)

I wore a lot of these in college. I was trying to be a hippie, I guess.

I wore a lot of these in college. I was trying to be a hippie, I guess.

Friend R. and I worked in the college dining hall together. Listen, that was like being in military service together. You bonded over that job. Because it was NASTY. You can’t even imagine the disgusting shenanigans kids away from home for the first time got up to when eating food. Imagine pigs at a trough, only with opposable thumbs and minds set on mass destruction. Also, they were rude. And demanding. And snotty. And we had to wear shirts that never really got clean, no matter how much you washed them, so you always smelled like sweat and rotting food, so as you can imagine, you totally had a lot of hookups happening in that dining hall. (It sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but there actually WERE a lot of hookups happening. Ooh, the dining hall gossip and irresponsible late-night assignations!)

Friend R. and I bonded right away. She was fun and totally got my insane sense of humor and we used to make each other laugh and laugh so much that sometimes we had to duck into the kitchen so we didn’t get in trouble for laughing in front of the customers.

Friend R. and I went on to be roommates, both in college, then in grad school, and then went our separate ways, as people do. But we remained friends, and still talked and wrote and made each other laugh long-distance. And when, a few years ago, I went to visit her in the town where she grew up, and I got to meet her then-boyfriend A., I thought to myself, “yes, this is the guy for friend R. He makes her eyes light up.” And he did. (It didn’t hurt that one of the very first interactions I had with him was him doing a Muppet impression for me. He won me over right there. I do so love someone who’s not afraid to potentially make a fool out of themselves and still totally goes for it. That takes guts. I so admire that.)

Friend R. went on to MARRY A. and now they are R. and A.! They are a happy couple and could NOT be more adorable.

And THEN, late in 2011, friend R. called me. “I have news!” she said. I have known this woman since back in the DAY. I immediately knew what that news was. Without even a doubt. “YOU ARE PREGNANT!!!” I said gleefully. AND SHE WAS!

And last April, Baby CeeVee was born! And I know I am BIASED and I think the children of the people I love are the most beautiful, but she really is. This kid is all smiles. And the most beautiful eyes. And OBVIOUSLY brilliant, because I totally saw a video of her saying a WORD the other day so I’m pretty sure she’s going to grow up to run the planet or something.

Well, last year, R. and A. said, “When will you come and visit us?” and I had plans to visit them in September. Well, you all know what happened last September. UNEMPLOYMENT, is what. Unemployment doesn’t lead to visiting. Unemployment leads to working a billion hours at your part-time job and not having enough time to breathe and when you DO, the breathing is SCARY because you are having a PANIC ATTACK.

But! New job! Time off! Money to travel with!

Guess what?


(PS, when Baby CeeVee saw this photo she did happy flapping like a penguin; I think this is a good sign we will get along like PEAS and CARROTS, don’t you?)

I’m there from a Thursday to a Monday; I’m taking the train (it takes about 6 hours – well, 5, with an hour layover in New York City, which is unfortunately not long enough to have an adventure!) because the train ended up being about as much as I’d pay for gas, and plus I can kick back and read and not have to worry about driving through big cities or potentially breaking down somewhere or something worrisome like that; I got my time off approved at work (YAY MY WORK!) and it’s now less than two months away.

And guess where we’re going?


Where there are…










A large cat that might be a cheetah putting its HEAD in a BOX!

A large cat that might be a cheetah putting its HEAD in a BOX!

Oh, this is VERY exciting! R. and A. have a MEMBERSHIP to the zoo so we get to flounce in like FANCY people! I would assume that means we get to the gate and they say, “OMGGGG! It is R. and A. and Baby CeeVee and you have brought a FRIEND! Which animals would you like to pet today?” I mean, that’s what membership gets you, right? RIGHT?

(I’m going to choose to touch a penguin, of course. I’ve already touched a giraffe and that cheetah would eat my face off. Andreas told me that penguins are cool with humans so they would let me touch them.)

Also, listen, I have never been to Baltimore! Or even to Maryland! There are many things we could do!

We could see…




The National Aquarium! THE WHOLE NATION, you guys!

The National Aquarium! THE WHOLE NATION’S aquarium, you guys!


Oriole Park! If you build it, they will totally come.

Oriole Park! If you build it, they will totally come. (Not a euphemism.)


The Baltimore Museum of Art! It looks like a TEMPLE!

The Baltimore Museum of Art! It looks like a TEMPLE!


The Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum! Ooh, maybe I'll find the lost Lenore there!

The Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum! Ooh, maybe I’ll find the lost Lenore there!


The USS Torsk! Hee, Torsk. Also, this SHIP looks like a SHARK. We're gonna need a bigger boat.

The USS Torsk! Hee, Torsk. Also, this SHIP looks like a SHARK. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.


R. asked me what I wanted to do while I was there and I told her, “ZOO!” because you know me and zoos. And then I said, “Also I would like to eat some seafood. And maybe see the Poe House.” Then I thought and said, “Or, you know, if I ended up staying in the house the whole weekend and playing with baby CeeVee and seeing you guys, that would be ok, too.”

And it totally would. I’m fairly sure I could make an adventure out of a trip to the grocery store. It’s one of my more endearing qualities, truly. Unless you’re annoyed by such things.

Also, can I just say? I never in my life thought I’d get to travel. I feel like I’m living someone else’s life right now. Well, if I’ve tricked my way into someone else’s life, I’m going to make the most of it, dammit. TRAVEL TO ALL THE PLACES!!!

So, in less than two months? Totally going on an adventure. This time to a place I have never been to see someone who’s known me for longer than most people have. (And she and A. totally read. HI R. AND A.!!! Thank you for the invitation, I promise to behave and to try not to spill anything on your couch and/or tablecloth! And to be the best unofficial aunt to Baby CeeVee! AND BRING MANY PRESENTS!!!)

Are we ready for an adventure, loyal blog readers? What shenanigans will I get up to in a whole new STATE, I wonder?

YAY FOR ADVENTURES! This year is totally trying to suck, but I am kicking its ass. No year gets to misbehave on my watch, yo.

Killing the beautiful people: it’s the American way

We’ve talked about these things in the past, but I am fascinated by folk sayings. I think this is possibly because my grandmother (and by extension, my mother) had one of these things for every occasion. Well, not really FOR every occasion. They would just throw them in there whenever they felt like it, even when it didn’t match up to what was being said, sometimes, which was very confusing. But it was like being a linguistic archaeologist, listening to them talk. Or maybe anthropologist? Either one, maybe, I don’t know. I liked to figure out where they got these things. And I grew up pretty sure that NO ONE’S FAMILY had these weird sayings. Well, maybe families in the deep south. People down south have weird sayings. I know this from book larnin’. Don’t let anyone tell you books don’t teach you anything, kiddos. I’ve totally learned things from books, like how down south, people have as many weird country sayings as my mom and grandmother do.

But when I was looking for something else a while ago (what was I looking for? Don’t know. Can’t remember. SOMETHING. I look for a lot of things online, then I get distracted by shiny and find something ELSE, and then I bookmark that other thing so I’ll remember to talk about it with you all later. My list of bookmarks is LONG. And someday when I die, someone’s going to find it, and they’re going to be all “what is this utterly fascinating yet terrifying look into the mind of AMY” and then they’re going to be scared of me, I think) I found a website which is called “American Folk Sayings” and I was all, “huh, MERKAN folk sayings, this ought to be good! Because I’M Merkan!” but then I started reading it and ZOMG YOU GUYS. There were SUCH WEIRDO THINGS ON IT.

When I looked up American Folk Sayings THIS came up. It has nothing to do with this post, but CATS IN DRESSES!!!

When I looked up American Folk Sayings THIS came up. It has nothing to do with this post, but CATS IN DRESSES!!!

Now I’m not 100% sure if the person who set up this site made some of these up, or if they’re real things, or people sent them in to him and he was being trolled, or WHAT is HAPPENING, but I was seriously reading these and just giggling and then saying “what? no” and then giggling again and more and again. And also thinking, “oh, Ken will love these because EUPHEMISMS” and also “huh, I think old-timey Merkans hated women.”

This woman looks OVERJOYED with her old-time Merkan wedding, right? Right.

This woman looks OVERJOYED with her old-time Merkan wedding, right? Right.

WELCOME TO MERKA! Where we say stupid shit, apparently, for a LIVING!*

(*may not actually be true, I’m not sure)

A friend to everyone is a friend to nobody. I think this one wants us to have enemies. I kind of get this – I mean, who trusts someone who likes EVERYONE? Not me, that’s for sure – but I find it odd there’s a whole saying advocating enemy-ing people. Well, these are MERKAN sayings, after all. And we’re really good at hating over here. I guess if you look at it this way, this is a very good Merkan saying.

A man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once. I think this refers to something with money. Isn’t stealing or cheating someone called skinning them? But also I think this is about Buffalo Bill and his skin-suit. I’m pretty sure a serial killer wrote this one.

I'd skin you twice. PUT THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN!

I’d skin you twice. PUT THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN!

A living dog is better than a dead lion. What? OF COURSE IT IS! Who wants a dead lion? Who even wants a LIVE lion? LIONS ARE NOT PETS. Dogs are pets. Why do we even have a saying about this? Is it because we might forget the distinction? OK, well, if that’s the case, here, let me make it easier for you. Dogs: pets. Lions (dead OR alive): NOT PETS. There. You don’t even need this saying, it is extraneous.

Aw, well, this is so adorable my whole face kind of melted off. BEBEH WRITER LION CUB!

Aw, well, this is so adorable my whole face kind of melted off. BEBEH WRITER LION CUB!

A man without guts lives on his knees. I think this one is about crawling to Old Man Potter like in It’s a Wonderful Life. Or maybe about blow jobs. Yes, with further reflection, I’ve decided it’s about blow jobs.

A man who marries twice is a two-time loser. Oh. Um. This is…negative. Do you think it means you should stay with your first wife? Or do you think the old-time Merkans just hated marriage so so much? A TWO TIME LOSER! Whoa. Very crankity.

A good wife is the best household furniture. Now wives are like a dresser or maybe a chiffarobe? I don’t like the direction this is going. I don’t think I like women being compared to bookcases. BAD BAD BAD MERKANS.

These are nice enough, but a wife is the BEST furniture. I think she'd make a lovely ottoman.

These are nice enough, but a wife is the BEST furniture. I think she’d make a lovely ottoman.

A handsome husband is common property. So…if your husband is handsome he is also a whore? I don’t get this exactly. I would assume most women would think the man they marry is handsome? Because who marries someone they think is ugly? You have to think someone’s attractive. I mean, you don’t hear too many people saying “Yeah, he’s really homely, but he’s got a good heart, so I fell in love with him.” I guess that happens in fairy tales or whatever, but in the real world, not really. Also, Handsome Manwhores, you should probably not be whoring it up. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. I don’t take kindly to cheating.

Better weak beer than lemonade. …what if you hate beer? And/or have a drinking problem? And really like lemonade?

Beware of a door that has too many keys. What the hell? What is this a euphemism for, exactly? Too many people can get in and out of this place? I don’t get this at all. Wait, is this about sex again? SIDE NOTE: I have a weird thing for keys. I like them a lot. Especially old skeleton keys. I find them evocative and romantic.

Ooh! Listen, just a tip: a man could totally woo me with a bouquet of keys.

Ooh! Listen, just a tip: a man could totally woo me with a bouquet of keys.

By candlelight, every country wench is handsome. UGH OLD TIMEY MERKANS! You are very sexist. This is very much like a MODERN saying, which my brother taught me: “Put a bag over her head and do your business.” Then I slapped my brother. Hard. On the arm where it would sting him all bad and leave a welt. Because who SAYS something like that? Grump grumble grump says I. I think the handsome country wench should burn down this person’s house with the candle. And laugh as she leaves with her handsome, handsome face as this person screams burningly.

Don’t dare kiss an ugly girl, she’ll tell the world about it. WTF OLD TIMEY MERKANS! First, why are you kissing people you aren’t attracted to? Second, if you kiss someone and you are SO EMBARRASSED that someone’s going to find out, you are a douchebag and keep your lips to yourself. Third, who walks around all “I KISSED JIMMY MCDOUCHEBAGGERY?” Maybe back in the old days. Actually, back in the old days, I’m pretty sure if you kissed someone you were halfway on your way to married or something, right?

This reminds me of this song, which always made me bop all around, until I really listened to the words and then I was like, wait, this is kind of offensive and now makes me grimace.

Don’t taste every man’s soup, you’ll burn your mouth. Why are you walking around tasting strangers’ soup? Is this a euphemism for being a whore? Is the burning a euphemism for STDs? Ken’s going to have to give the final answer on this one, but I’m thinking yes.

Due to all that soup-tasting, odds are good this chick has the clap.

Due to all that soup-tasting, odds are good this chick has the clap.

First deserve it, then desire it. Shit, I desire things all the time I don’t deserve. Doesn’t everyone? That’s stupid. Of course we’re not going to only desire things we DESERVE. If that’s the case, I’d probably only desire…what, life in a trailer park and chicken fingers? Ha! WELL! Taught YOU a lesson, I DON’T live in a trailer park! Now where are my chicken fingers.

He who has no enemy has no friend. Why does this list want you to make so many enemies? What is this saying? Your enemy is your friend? Or you know who your true friends are if you make enemies? I find this list suspect. It’s like that one terrible friend that everyone has that wants you to hate everyone but him. “YOU WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND!” says your one terrible friend. “YOU WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE NO OTHER FRIENDS!”

If the stone hits you, I threw it. Now you’re throwing shit at me? Why are you doing that? What if the stone DIDN’T hit me? By your logic, that means you DIDN’T throw it? I repeat: what the hell did I do that you’re hucking projectiles at me?



It’s easier to go down than up. Blowjobs. They’re talking about blowjobs. Also maybe success and failure, but mostly blowjobs.

If you want a neat wife, choose her on a Saturday. What hoodoo is this? If you meet the woman you’re going to marry on a Saturday, she’s…going to be good at housekeeping? I guess? That’s dumb. What’s she good at if you meet her on a Tuesday? Oh. Probably going down, which is easier than going up. Gotcha.

Let thy maidservant be faithful, strong and homely. SO YOU AREN’T TEMPTED TO HAVE SEX WITH THE HELP AM I RIGHT FELLAS HYUCK HYUCK! This list is obsessed with ugly women and also sex.

Nothing is gained by having one donkey call another, “Long Ears!” THERE ARE TALKING DONKEYS??? Well. That’s exciting. They’re insulting talking donkeys, but talking animals are always fairy-tale-esque, aren’t they? So I think this is about the pot calling the kettle black or something, but mostly what I take away from this is TALKING EFFING DONKEYS.

I don't know what this is but it made me laugh so hard I snorted.

I don’t know what this is but it made me laugh so hard I snorted. And, of COURSE he would. Don’t touch the donkey. BAD TOUCH.

One does not put beauty in a kettle. WHAAAAT? Of COURSE you don’t! Don’t put lovely people in kettles. How big is this kettle, anyway? Like a witches’ kettle? Are you cooking people? What does this MEAN? What is UP with the KETTLE?

I don't know about you, but this is where I keep my beautiful people.

I don’t know about you, but this is where I keep my beautiful people.

She that is born a beauty is half married. Oh, NICE. That’s helpful. Because all you need to hook you a man is the looks, darlin’. This doesn’t make us plain girls depressed at all. Don’t worry about the brains or any of that other nonsense. Look out for his kettle collection, though, because I think he might be wanting to cook you up and make a nice roast out of you.

The ugliest girls make the best housewives. FOR THE LOVE OF PETE. We’re putting people in kettles. We’re screwing ugly girls by candlelight and at the same time we’re refusing to kiss them because they might blabber. And NOW, we’re marrying women SO THEY WILL DO OUR LAUNDRY. And possibly our dishes. Good grief old-timey Merkans, I want to punch you in the schnozzle.

Wedlock is a padlock. But a padlock that does your dishes and gets your dainties Rinso white, am I right?

You can’t tell the depth of the well by the length of the handle on the pump. I laughed so hard when I read this I totally choked on dinner. KEN KEN KEN. There is no WAY this one’s not a euphemism. Right? I totally win euphemism right now. Also, what the hell does this mean? Of course you don’t know how deep a well is by how long the pumphandle is. That doesn’t even make SENSE. If you’re going to write one of these, you could at least write one that isn’t total NONSENSE. But as a euphemism, it’s really kind of the best. How deep is YOUR well? How long is YOUR handle? (SIDE NOTE! I asked Dad about this one? And he knew it IMMEDIATELY. I was all, “DAD! That’s about sex, right?” and he said, “Well, I think it’s about a lot of things. But mostly pumphandles.” He SWEARS that there are pumps with all different length handles and this makes sense. But he also thinks it’s about how you can’t judge a book by its cover, and also – grudgingly – probably sex.)

Hey, that's a nice handle you got there, mister. Very lengthy.

Hey, that’s a nice handle you got there, mister. Very lengthy.

The beard does not make the philosopher. I hope you liked that last one, Ken, because I think this one’s insulting you and your most prestigious beard. I want to argue with this one. Ken has a LOVELY beard. And also is very philosophical. BAD MERKAN FOLK SAYING BAD. Don’t you insult my friend’s beard. I’ll cut you, yo.

I'd like to see you insult THIS guy's facial hair. Look how cheery he is!

I’d like to see you insult THIS guy’s facial hair. Look how cheery he is!

One had better have no dealings with girls with fat legs. Hee! Are fat-bottomed girls still ok, though, do you think? I mean, if I’m remembering correctly, don’t they make the world go ’round, or something? And why are fat-legged girls SO SO BAD? Like, “NO DEALINGS.” None. You can’t even TALK to them. Or let them do your laundry and dishes. Or buy coffee from them at the Starbucks. What if they’re wearing pants? How would you know exactly how chubby those legs are? This one raises a lot of questions for me.

A big wife and a big barn will never do a man any harm. This seems to be advocating fat wives and large outbuildings. I’m a little confused about that. Because the last one didn’t want you to have a wife with fat legs? So this one’s contradicting the last one, so does that mean they render each other null and void? CONFUSING CONFUSING!!!

What have we learned today, chickadees?

  • Old-timey Merkans hated women and also marriage
  • However, old-timey Merkans put up with marriage so someone would scrub their toilets for free
  • Old-timey Merkans wanted you to have enemies
  • Old-timey Merkans insulted Ken’s beard (UNACCEPTABLE)
  • Old-timey Merkans were good at euphemisms
  • There seemed to be a lot of blow-job and sex related sayings in old-timey Merka, which is curious to me
  • Old-timey Merkans may or may not have been cannibalizing their beautiful people (using kettles) and killing lions

So now I feel a little better that my mom’s side of the family is filled with these things, because there’s no WAY my mom and grandmother have ANYTHING as weird as these sayings. None none none. WE ARE NORMAL.*

(*”Normal” compared this list of craziness. We’re FAR from what you people would consider normal. I promise.)

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone…your vote is never lost.

Well, here we are. Election day. After today, will all the shouting stop? Or just get worse? At least all those political flyers will stop getting stuffed into my mailbox, right? That’ll be nice. There’s not enough room in there for all those flyers and I just have to throw them away anyway. Such a waste of treeeees.

Stop wasting us for GARBAGE!

I guess I don’t have to tell you I’m petrified about what’s going to happen today. Well, today/tomorrow. It might be tomorrow until we know who wins, I suppose. I didn’t know who won in 2008 until I woke up the next morning. Then I collapsed on the couch and wept and was almost late for work and then everyone I worked with was SO PISSED ALL DAY LONG because I worked with a billion conservatives. So I had to pretend I wasn’t in the throes of the biggest relief ever and maybe just coming down with the flu or something.

This year is WORSE. So, so much worse. If I thought I was scared of the what-might-be 4 years ago, I’m utterly petrified this year. I know I’m all jokey about going to live with Andreas in Finland but I can’t even imagine living in a country run by a Romney/Ryan White House right now. I don’t want to think about it. I do everything I can to NOT think about it. If I think about it too much, I start crying in strange places like the car or the shower and one time on the cat. So I’m not ALLOWED to think about it. If I start I have to tell myself NO NO NO. Please do NOT bring that PARTICULAR badness down upon yourself right now, you’ll have plenty of time to freak right the fuck out in a few days if things take a very dark turn. Well, what I think is a dark turn. I suppose some of you reading this might well think that the OPPOSITE outcome would be a very dark turn, and I suppose that’s what’s nice about opinions and assholes, isn’t it. How they’re so all-inclusive.

OK, this just made me snort-laugh. I like this chicken.

So, no. No, I’m not going to get more political than this, here. Other than, I’m going to vote today, and I hope you are, too, because I think it’s important everyone does. (Well, I suppose this is moot for those of you reading this in countries other than MERKA, but the sentiment still stands. When you can vote, please vote. It is something we here at Lucy’s Football feel very strongly about. And as always, by “we,” I mean me and Dumbcat, of course.) I will be schlepping on over to the local elementary school, even though I am very, very busy (which is, I think the huge excuse people use – “I’m way too busy!” – well, try being busier than I am, jellybeans, and I still get out the vote, you know?) and taking my sadly not-at-all fancy Scantron voting sheet into my foldy cardboard divider privacy booth and scribble in my bubbles for the correct people and then run it through the scanner and not even get an “I VOTED!” sticker because I guess my area doesn’t DO those. I’m going to do all that. Then I’m going to (depending on when I get time to vote, either in the wee small hours or right after work, because right after work I have to eat quick and then run to auditions) walk around all day worrying. You think I worry a lot on a NORMAL day? Well, wait til you see me until they announce who won the election.

These are our voting “booths” now. I know. QUITE fancy.

I have no idea who’s going to win. None. I don’t even have a prediction or a guess. I don’t know what way the national winds are blowing. Most of my people are liberals, so of course they’re all RAH RAH OBAMA. But there are a lot of people who just HATE the president. They blame him for everything from the lack of jobs in the country to their girlfriend breaking up with them to that stubborn nose-hair that keeps poking out all weird. The country’s very shouty and very divided. It makes me sad. Was it always this bad? Has it always been this bad, every election? I’m not old enough to remember them all, going so far back. I am the first to admit that I didn’t pay a lot of political attention until probably the last…oh, I don’t know, 12 years or so? Shh, I was busy. Doing what? THINGS, ok? ALL THE THINGS.

So, anyway. Go vote today. I will not attempt to bias you. You already know where my vote’s going and I would hope your mind is made up by now, anyway. I refuse to cast a vote for someone who thinks women and homosexuals (shit, not to mention people of color and anyone who’s on government assistance and probably people who don’t own a dressage horse) are lower-class citizens than straight white (rich) men. I know a lot of people are scared about the economy and are voting because they think the current government has royally dicked it over and anyone, ANYONE, would better fix it than Obama would; I get it. I do. I’m working, on average, 45-60 hours a week just to pay my bills and I’m still not doing great. It’s a scary, scary economy. But I don’t vote for the economy. What the hell do I care about the economy? Money’s been confusing me since I got my first allowance. (FIFTY CENTS, thank you very much.) I vote with my heart. I vote for social issues. Does that surprise you at all? I might pretend to be scary but I’m squishy as hell. I pay attention to which candidate most clearly aligns with me on the social issues, and then I give him (or her, please, her, before I die? Come on, Merka) my vote. I think you know which candidate that is.

Also, I enjoy the hell out of him. There. Hate me if you must, but I do.

Also, just in case: what does one need to pack, to move to Finland? Just in case. I like to have a contingency plan completely ready to go. I’m guessing…something warm? It seems like it would be chilly in Finland. Also, we’ll be on an island and I can’t swim so I think I’d need floaties. Andreas, is everyone blonde in your Finland? Am I going to stand out all weird? I don’t want to have to dye my hair blonde to fit in, Andreas. I make a terrible blonde. I tried to go there once and it was a disaster. I looked like a science experiment gone wrong. I am meant to be a wicked brunette. With a funny white streak near one temple, apparently. As if I saw a HAUNT and it MARKED me.

Also, Andreas, I am NOT going into a sauna. The internet seems to show a LOT of photos of saunas when I Google Finland. I AM NOT DOING THIS ANDREAS. And what is that last guy holding on this lap? It looks like a large hedgehog, or a holly bush. NO THAT’S NOT A EUPHEMISM.

Happy Election Day, my fellow Merkans. Whatever happens, please just vote, ok? We don’t get a lot of chances to get our voices heard; this is one of the ways you can shout. Go shout today, ok? Loudly. Shouting loudly is very, very Lucy’s Football approved.

Time for me to start worrying. I’ll be in the pots-and-pans-cupboard until tomorrow morning, if you need me. Send in some fruit punch every now and then so I don’t get dehydrated, ok? You’re the best, thanks so much.

(Title is a John Quincy Adams quote; it pretty much sums up how I vote every year. Nice one, JQ.)

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