Tag Archives: farts

When Neurons Misfire

So, the good news is that Book 14: “Friends In Spy Places” is finished and is now available for pre-order at all retailers, hooray! (Click here for retailer links.)

The bad news is that my brain has been sucked dry, wrung out, sent through a vigorous spin-cycle, and finally pinned onto a sagging clothesline in my cranium, where’s flapping uselessly in the breeze that’s whistling through my ears.

And it’s still in better shape than Hubby’s.

Unfortunately, that’s not a joke. He slipped and fell on some ice Sunday afternoon and is now the not-so-proud owner of a concussion, some bruises and sore muscles, and a nasty scalp laceration. Fortunately his CT scan was clear and he’ll be fine, but that little adventure wasn’t kind to his brain or mine.

Spending a tense 23 hours in the emergency room would have been enough excitement for  me, but I also volunteer as the webmaster for our local Rhododendron Society.  So on top of my usual post-book-release brain drain, ER stress, and sleep deprivation, I had a gruelling 4-hour meeting yesterday afternoon.  My poor little neurons aren’t even capable of firing anymore — at this point they’re only twitching feebly.

You’d think that might cause some creative (or at least unusual) thoughts, but the only thing that occurs to me is this:

There must have been a big sale on beans around here, because I’ve never before been subjected to so much of other people’s flatulence. The last four days have been a veritable fartnado.  My nose has been assailed at a lecture, at the hospital, in a grocery store lineup, you name it. It’s been so frequent that I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m actually the culprit and I’ve just been too distracted to notice that I’m doing the dastardly deed.

Also, I learned a new technical term this week.  I had attended a lecture on mosses which included a field trip at the park, and someone asked our expert about the finely-textured bright green stuff growing on the trees from about 18″ on down.  When he began, “We call that the ‘DPZ’”, we all leaned in to hear his explanation. “Yes,” he went on sagely. “That’s the Dog Pee Zone, and the green stuff is algae, not moss.”

So apparently toilet humour is the best I can do for this week. Maybe next week will be better…

*strums lips and rocks back and forth, humming quietly*

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Shower Growlers And Barking Spiders

Depictions of the literary Muse always show some dreamy ethereal woman draped in a classical Greek robe, with brilliant ideas swirling like rainbows around her perfectly coiffed head.

Ha.  I wish.  Here’s the conversation I had with my Muse this week:

Me, strolling up to the Muse’s door on Monday:  *knock, knock*  Hey, there…

Muse:  What’s the matter with you?  Can’t you read the “Do Not Disturb” sign?  Get lost!

Me:  Oops.  It’s just that, well, I usually write my blog drafts today, and…

Muse:  Scram!

Me:  Okay, sorry.  Um… maybe tomorrow…?

Muse:  Yeah, whatever.

Me, shuffling bashfully up to the muse’s door on Tuesday:  *knock, knock*  Hi.  Um…

Muse:  You again?  Whaddaya want?

Me:  Um… a blog post…?

Muse:  You gotta be shitting me!  Didn’t I just bust my ass for you all morning on Book 13?

Me:  Well, yeah; and I was really happy with your ideas.  I appreciate it… but… you know I do a blog post once a week…

Muse:  Oh, for…  Okay, FINE!  Check out the Urban Dictionary for “shower growler”:  “When you’re showering you press your butt against the wall and fart, making a rumbling growl and vibrating the walls of the shower.”*

(*Note:  This was not even the Muse’s own idea – my friend Chris emailed it to me last week.)

Me:  Come on, I need more than that.

Muse, glowering dangerously:  Oh yeah?

Me, finding a backbone at last and glowering in return:  Yeah!

Muse, emitting a martyred sigh:  Fine.  Write a whole post about farts.  How about a page of euphemisms?  I got a million of ‘em!  Blow the butt trumpet, strangle the stank monkey, play the colonic calliope, roast your Jockeys…”

Me, snickering in spite of myself:  Well… I dunno…

Muse:  …Do the one-cheek sneak; drop a barking spider; hit 7.4 on the Rectum scale; a turd honking for the right of way…

Me, stifling giggles:  Stop!  I’ve been trying to behave lately.

Muse:  You?  Behave?!?  As if.  How about this:  “Shit a brick and fart a crowbar”.  Or hey; how about some definitions?  Like “Fartabout”:  Walking away from everybody to ease out a fart so nobody notices.  It’s like a walkabout, only you’re farting…

Me:  There’s already a word for walking around and spreading the stink.  It’s called ‘cropdusting’.

Muse, huffily:  Well, fine, you obviously don’t need me, then. *slams the door in my face*

Me:  Wait, I didn’t mean it that way! *knock, knock*  C’mon, open up!  I need you, really I do.

Muse:  Get lost!

Me:  *sigh*

So there you have it.  I would have prepared a literary masterpiece for today, but my Muse had a bad case of brain flatulence.

Everybody else gets the classy chick with rainbows and perfect hair.  I get this:

Diane’s Muse

So how was your week?

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Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Writing

Of Mice, Men, And Smellograms

Ever since we moved into our new house I’ve been waging war against mice.

Some men might be worried if they woke in the middle of the night to find their wife sneaking around the bed with a flashlight, but Hubby greeted the sight with his usual resigned tolerance:

Him:  “What are you doing?”

Me:  “There’s a mouse in here.”

Him:  “Can’t be.”

Me:  “There is.  I heard it.  It woke me up.”

He knows I’m a light sleeper, but he didn’t really believe there were mice in the house; and even if there were, he doubted that I could be woken by the pitter-patter of their tiny feet.  So he observed with skepticism while I bought mousetraps and set them under our bed.

Imagine the scene:

We’re lying in bed in the dark.  He’s snoozing.  I’m staring tensely at the ceiling, clutching a flashlight under the covers.

And then… I hear the little bastard skittering across the floor.

I bolt up in bed, yanking the covers off Hubby and jabbing my flashlight in the direction of the sound.

Hubby:  “What the…?”

Me:  “I saw him!  I saw the little shit!  He ran under the bed!”

Hubby:  “Yes, dear.  Please turn off the flashlight and lie down.  And give back my blanket.”

So we settled down again…

SNAP!

I rocketed out of bed, flashlight blazing.  “I got him!  Ha!”

When I held up the trap containing the still-twitching body, Hubby had to admit that there actually had been a mouse in the bedroom.  But he thought the excitement was over and he’d finally get some sleep.  Poor deluded man.

I got up and disposed of the body (the mouse’s, not Hubby’s); then reset the trap and went back to bed to stare at the ceiling some more.

SNAP!

Once more Hubby jolts awake to find his wife doing a pagan victory dance around the bed, stark naked and waving a dead mouse.

Did I mention he’s a very tolerant guy?

After I’d caught several mice, the traps on the main floor remained untouched.  I still caught one in the crawl space every day or two, but after a while my catch dwindled and I stopped checking the traps every day… until I got my first whiff of rotting mouse and went down to find a bloated corpse leaking malodorous body fluids.

Eeuwww!

Needless to say, I check my trap lines daily now; and I’m working at closing every tiny aperture around the foundation to stop the invaders.

So when Hubby suggested mice for today’s topic, he added, “Make sure you mention the swollen one.  Maybe you could include a smellogram.”

Me (laughing):  “Is that even a thing?  ‘Cause if it’s not, it should be!  Imagine a knock at your door, and some uniformed guy holds out a jar and says, ‘Smellogram for you.  Please sniff here.”

I did find the word listed in Urban Dictionary, but the definition insists it’s specifically related to farts.  So no smellograms for you today, dear readers.

But if you’re haunted by the recurring image of a naked middle-aged woman dancing around brandishing a dead mouse in the middle of the night, then my work here is done.

Have a good week, and sleep tight…

P.S. I finished the draft of Book 12, woohoo!  It’s with the beta readers now.  Stay tuned for a title announcement and a release date!

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Slipping Through The Crack(s)

Every now and then when life gets too stressful, my friends and I head for the mountains.  Our day trips always include good food, window-shopping, a soak in the mineral hot springs, and, of course, gut-busting laughter.

A couple of weeks ago we made another jaunt to Banff, a day I cherished since I know I’ll miss my friends and our road trips after Hubby and I move to the coast.  We managed to complete the hour-and-a-half drive acting like actual adults:  Chatting and exclaiming over the scenery that remains spectacular no matter how often we visit.

But then (as it frequently seems to happen when I’m involved) we reverted to the mental age of thirteen.  To protect the guilty, I’ll identify my companions only as J, L, and Swamp Butt.  Yes, there’s a good reason for that nickname.

Here’s how it started:  In the restaurant at lunch, Swamp Butt and I claimed the banquette seat with our backs to the wall while J and L chose chairs across from us.  I had just settled in when a sudden movement made me glance over toward Swamp Butt… who was canted away from me at a steep angle, ass pointing in my direction while she muttered something about ‘the crack’.

Apparently the look on my face was priceless, because J and L burst into uproarious laughter.  By the time Swamp Butt managed to explain that she was only scooting over on the bench because she’d been sitting on ‘the crack’ between the banquette cushions, we were all in tears of hilarity.

Which primed us nicely for what happened later.

After a lunch of rich food and beer followed later by a gigantic dinner and more beer, Swamp Butt was living up to her nickname.  We managed to maintain a semblance of composure while she walked along crop dusting the streets of Banff, but just as we got into J’s vehicle for the drive home she cracked off another fart that clung like a vile cloak when she got into the vehicle.

Gasping, gagging, and giggling, we all powered down our windows and rode out the stink.

It was late, and we subsided into tired but happy silence on the drive home… until halfway back to Calgary when the quiet was broken by the sound of Swamp Butt’s window powering down.

In the next instant the rest of us simultaneously slammed our windows open, causing another paroxysm of laughter; especially when the sudden burst of highway-speed turbulence sucked an unsecured shopping bag up from the floor.  I snagged it just before it soared out the window, generating a volley of badinage about what a ‘crack’ team we are.

Swamp Butt didn’t let any more slip and we all made it home unscathed, but it’s a testament to the power of aversive conditioning how quickly our reflexes developed.

And it’s a testament to the power of friendship that our day will become yet another funny shared memory that binds us together regardless of geographic distance.

These precious friendships will never slip through the cracks… despite anything else that may slip through ‘the crack’!

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Butt Of The Joke

…Or maybe ‘joke of the butt’ would be a more appropriate title.  Yes, I had a colonoscopy last week, and an upper GI scope at the same time – I suspect they shook hands in the middle.  But at least the specialist was kind enough to reassure me that they did use different scopes in my butt and my mouth.  Small mercies.

I won’t get into the sordid details of the day-long preparation, partly because I don’t want to gross anybody out, but mostly because Billy Connolly has already gone there in graphic and hilarious detail and I could never compete:  https://vimeo.com/24340828

In any case, the prep didn’t bother me too much.  Mind you, I’m not saying I’d care to do it again in this lifetime, but for me the worst part was not consuming anything but clear fluids for an entire day.  I am not a happy camper when I’m hungry.

I wasn’t too worried about the procedure since I knew they would be giving me conscious sedation, and it worked – I don’t remember a thing between when they started the IV and when I became aware again in the recovery room.

And that creeped me out more than all the prep and procedure combined.

If I’d been fully anesthetized, I wouldn’t have worried; but when other patients returned from their procedures they were fully conscious and (apparently) coherent.  The guy in the bed across from me was acting completely normal – reading his chart and visiting with the nurse while she gave him the recovery-room fare of orange juice and cookies.

I don’t remember a thing until I had orange juice and cookies in my hand.  I don’t even remember the nurse handing them to me.  Suddenly, I was just… there.  Eating cookies.

Uh-oh.

I expend a lot of effort maintaining my verbal filters in public, and if I was sedated enough to eliminate those filters, there’s no telling what I might have said.

Probably something like, “Hey, Doc, if you’re gonna do that, you could at least kiss me first.”

Or I might have recited one (or several) of the classic lines overheard during colonoscopies:

  • “Take it easy, Doc, you’re boldly going where no man has gone before.”
  • “Find Amelia Earhart yet?”
  • “Can you hear me NOW?”
  • “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
  • “You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.”
  • “Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?”
  • “Now I know how a Muppet feels!”
  • “Hey, Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.”
  • “You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?”
  • “Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not, in fact, up there?”

Worse, apparently you have to expel all the gas that they blow inside you, and I don’t remember doing that, either.  But I know far too many fart jokes and if my inhibitions were down, God only knows what I might have said.

They didn’t treat me any differently when they released me, so I’m hoping I kept my inappropriate sense of humour under control.

But I’ll never know whether I’m now the butt of their jokes…

* * *

New discussion over at the Virtual Backyard Book Club:  What do you think of Tom?  Click here to have your say!

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Beating The Bean Breeze

Sometimes I just don’t think things through the way I should.  For example, the other day I had beans for lunch… a few hours before going for a massage.

So the masseur is working on my lower back and hamstrings, and I’m thinking, “Uh-oh.  Those beans are kicking in.  What’s the etiquette here?”

I mean, the whole point of a massage is to relax.  Clenching one’s butt cheeks together kinda defeats the purpose.  And having somebody put pressure on the inflated area really doesn’t help, either.

But what do you do?

Just let ‘er rip and pretend nothing happened?  I don’t think so.  Even if I managed to squeak out a silent-but-deadly, there are only two of us in the room.  The masseur knows nothing came out of his ass, so the process of elimination (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) is fairly simple.  I’d know; he’d know; and each of us would know the other knew.

Or do I make up some polite lie?  “Excuse me, I need to stand up to stretch out for a few minutes.  Could you please leave the room and I’ll let you know when I’m back on the table?”

Seems like a good option at first, but if I really was just stretching and repositioning, it wouldn’t take that long.  What happens when he comes back into the room and his eyes start to water?  Then we’re right back to the painful process of pretending everything is fine while we both quietly asphyxiate and I melt into a puddle of sheer humiliation.

It might be better to get it all out in open (so to speak):  “Sorry, I had beans for lunch and I’ve just now realized the consequences of that.  If you value your hands you’ll take them away from the vicinity of my nether regions right now.  Go stand outside, and I’ll tell you when it’s safe to come back in here.”

But I’m thinking that might make things a little awkward.

The worst part was that it made me think about Chaucer, and trying to suppress both a giggle and a fart nearly did me in.

I know that last sentence has left you wondering ‘WTF?!?’, particularly since I revealed some time ago that I hated all the literary classics.

Thus my mother’s devious brilliance is revealed.  She was a teacher, and she found a foolproof way to interest recalcitrant teenagers in Middle English literature.  She didn’t go on about how Chaucer is considered the father of English literature and the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. Nope; one day she ever-so-casually mentioned that Chaucer had a dirty mind and wrote poems with farts in them.

Well, hello, “The Canterbury Tales”!

Which brings me full circle:  Lying on the massage table trying not to reenact The Summoner’s Tale and suppressing giggles and farts with equal determination.

Can anybody help me out with the correct etiquette for the situation?

* * *

New discussion over at the VBBC:  Aydan Then And Now.  How has Aydan changed, and how has your opinion of her changed?  Click here to have your say!

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Rude Awakenings

My husband deserves a medal.  Not just for putting up with me on a daily basis (which in itself is medal-worthy), but for daring to sleep in the same bed as me.  That’s an undertaking for none but a brave man.

I sleep well, but lightly.  Some little corner of my subconscious always has an ear open, and my entire body is ready to leap awake at the slightest provocation.  This is a problem, because there are lots of slight provocations during the night.

Dreams, for example.  Depending on their content, it’s entirely possible that I might kick, punch, scream, or laugh myself awake.  The laughing dreams are the best – I dream of something so hilarious that I’m laughing my ass off in my dream, only to wake with a guffaw.  The kicking and punching dreams are another matter.  I haven’t made contact with Hubby yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

I’ve farted myself awake, too.  There’s nothing worse than bolting up in bed in the middle of the night thinking, “Ohmigod, something just came out of my ass!  Did I just shit the bed?”  (BTW, I never have.  Just sayin’.)

Back when I had cats, I frequently woke up already on my feet and halfway out the bedroom door, dashing toward a location pinpointed in my ever-alert brain by the sound of a cat horking up a hairball.

I wake at the slightest noise from our back alley, which is annoying because there’s a green space near us and people, especially teenagers coming back from parties in the wee hours, tend to walk and talk boisterously there.  I’d swear those voices are coming from just beyond the foot of the bed.

But the most dangerous situation for Hubby is this:  sometimes I snore.  That puts him in the unenviable position of trying to rouse me enough to make me stop snoring without actually waking me.  It’s a losing battle.

The other night I lurched up in bed with a yell, eyes wide and fists clenched.  Hubby recoiled.  “I just barely whispered your name,” he explained.  “I only wanted you to stop snoring.”

Clutching my chest over my hammering heart, I snapped, “Well, it worked!”

But the rudest awakening I’ve ever had was years ago when I was living alone.  I owned a little two-storey crackerbox of a house with no air conditioning.  There was a giant poplar tree in the back yard, which was great because I could leave the second-floor bedroom window and curtains open at night to get a breeze without worrying about privacy.

I was blissfully asleep one night when a hellish racket and a glare of brilliant light rocketed me out of bed to find the police helicopter hovering with its spotlight trained on my back yard.

That was seriously disturbing because it meant they were looking for a criminal and s/he was too close to my house for comfort; but equally disturbing was the fact that they were looking in my bedroom window with a spotlight bright enough to reveal every detail of my birthday suit.

I think that was around the time I started keeping a set of clothes within reach of the bed…

What was your rudest awakening?

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Code Phrases And Cauliflower

Before I begin, I’d like to note that I generally don’t criticize a man who’s washing dishes. I believe the correct response to a dishcloth-wielding male is a sincere ‘thank you’, possibly combined with hugs, kisses, ear-nibbling, and/or some friendly groping. (An aside to my dinner guests: This is why we turn down your offers to help with the dishes. It’s just one more little way we ensure we’ll still be friends when the evening’s over.)

But there are exceptions to every rule. (Okay, not to every rule. There are no exceptions to the “Don’t grope the guests” rule. It’s safe to visit us, I promise.)

Anyway…

A few evenings ago I watched the dishwater turn orange while Hubby scrubbed a pot with a steel-wool pad so rusty it looked like Ronald McDonald’s hair, and this conversation took place:

Me: “Maybe it’s time to either pull off the rusty part or throw the whole thing away.”

Hubby: “It looks okay to me.”

Me: “Let me put this another way: Don’t use that thing on my pots!”

And that got me thinking about the subtle little code phrases that develop in marriages. For example:

Me: “Do you want some of this (food item)?”

Hubby: “I’ll have some later.” Translation: “I will never eat that. I will continue to say I’ll eat it ‘later’ until it grows legs and walks itself to the garbage.”

Or

Me: “Were you using the (whatever tool I’m currently looking for)? Do you know where it might be?” Translation: “Goddammit, I can’t find the goddamn tool that I know I put away the last time I used it! Stop stealing my goddamn tools, goddammit!” (Yes, I’m a writer. You can tell by my extensive vocabulary.)

Or

Either of us: “What’s that smell?” Translation: “Did you fart, or is it time to search the fridge for rotting cauliflower again?”

Yes, there’s a story behind that.

One day Hubby and I were in the kitchen making lunch, and I smelled something.  Something vile.  Something remarkably reminiscent of gasses better released in other, more private areas of the house where food is not being prepared.

But I didn’t say anything. I mean, sooner or later we all let one slip, right?

But it happened again. Then again.  At last I demanded, “Did you fart?”

Hubby denied it. He thought I’d been dropping silent-but-deadlies the whole time.

We agreed that something must be rotting in the fridge, but we both dug through it and found nothing that should be emitting that stink. So I tore the fridge apart, washed the shelves and crisper drawers, and checked the drain pan underneath to make sure nothing hideous was growing in there.

Nada. But the smell persisted.

After several days of futile searching, Hubby finally traced the offending vapours to a glass container containing raw cauliflower. It had a locked-tight lid with a silicone seal and the cauliflower looked fine inside, which was why we’d missed it in our previous purges. But the stench was so fearsome it had come right through the sealed lid. Yikes.

The whole episode reminded me of a long-ago friend’s father when he encountered his wife’s er… effluvium. He sucked in a deep breath and then boomed in the heartiest of tones, “Well, hello, cabbage-ass!”

Yep, he was a master of subtle code.

Any code phrases or tales of festering cruciferae in your household?

* * *

P.S. Cool news:  I did a promo with Bookbub over the weekend, and Never Say Spy hit #1 on the Kindle Free Bestsellers list.  For a short time it was the best-selling book in the entire Kindle free store, fiction or non-fiction.  Of course, it was only my fifteen minutes of fame and it had dropped by the next day, but it’s still #1 in Women Sleuths. The best it had ever done before was #9, so I’m pumped!  Woohoo!  😀

NSS #1 in all Kindle ebooks

My fifteen minutes of fame

 

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Cow Farts And Doobies

Hubby and I were discussing cow farts the other day.

We didn’t suddenly turn to each other at the dinner table and exclaim, “Cow farts!”  No; our conversation actually began as a semi-serious discussion of global warming.  It’s just that whenever I’m present, the conversation tends to go rapidly sideways.  I blame this on my brain’s annoying tendency to latch onto useless but amusing bits of trivia.

In this case, the factoid in question was:  Cow farts are a major contributor to global warming gas emissions.  Because of the fermentation that takes place as organic matter moves through their four stomachs, large quantities of methane gas are produced.  The gas is, erm… expelled.  Human beings raise lots of cattle.  Lots of cattle equals lots of cow farts. (Update: Sadly, the Blog Fodder has pointed out below that this is only a factoid, not a true and useful fact.  But I still like the idea of farting bovine enviro-pirates.  It’s good to be a fiction writer.)

Anyway, that got me thinking about cows in general.  You know how some things are intrinsically funny?  For example, bananas are funnier than oranges.  Turnips are funnier than, say, lettuce or radishes.  And cows are funnier than horses or just about any other farmyard animal.

I think that’s partly because of another little piece of trivia that may or may not be true, but it sounds logical and I want to believe it:  Cows spend pretty much their entire lives intoxicated because alcohol is another by-product of the digestive fermentation process.  Maybe that explains why they’re so placid.  Whenever I see a cow I giggle at the thought that behind those big brown glassy eyes is an animal that might be completely snockered. (Update:  Nope, this one’s not true, either.  Bummer.)

And cattle are funny-looking.  They could have been designed by a six-year-old kid:  a big rectangular block supported by four knobby legs with a head stuck on the front.  Oh, and a tail on the back.

The tail always makes me laugh, too.  The skinny rope with a tassel on the end is funny in itself, but what truly amuses me is that cows and lions have exactly the same tail.  I don’t know whether to congratulate the cow on its badass likeness to the king of the beasts or offer my condolences to the lion for getting tagged with the same hair-handle as the ungulates.

And if you’ve ever seen a cow jump a fence (they are actually capable of jumping, though not very high), that in itself is giggle-worthy.  Unless the cattle in question are escaping your pasture, in which case it’s not very funny at all.

Anyway…

Fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause here comes a topic-swerve that’s only loosely linked to cow farts:  doobies.  (That’s a funny word in itself.)  Yes, I’m talking about bombers, joints, reefers; wacky tobaccy in general.

How is this related to cow farts?  Well, cow farts are funny.  And doobies are funny cigarettes.

Why am I making this extremely tenuous connection?

Because it’s a cheap and sleazy segue into announcing that Book 9, SPY HIGH has cover art and a release date!  Woohoo!  My beta readers blasted through it during the Christmas holidays – thanks, guys, you ROCK!  Now I only have to do some final polishing and it’ll be ready to roll out the door.  The tentative release date is January 16, 2015 (to be confirmed next week).

And yes, that is a funny cigarette on the cover…

Spy High book 9 cover

After four uneventful months spent guarding her boss’s eccentric hippy parents on an isolated raincoast commune, bookkeeper-turned-secret-agent Aydan Kelly is beginning to hope mildewed undies will be the only hazard she’ll face.

But some of the blissed-out flower children are not what they seem.  Aydan discovers a plot to kill her lovable charges, and in her fight to protect them she unearths the commune’s deepest secret.  Suddenly she’s facing dozens of enemies who threaten the lives of all the innocent commune members as well as her own.

She’ll only survive with a little help from her friends…

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True Confessions

I just finished confessing to a complete lack of literary sophistication over on my blogging buddy Carrie Rubin’s latest post, and it got me thinking (always a dangerous thing).

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I lack taste in most areas.

I hide it well enough in public most of the time. During my lengthy and painful sojourn as an interior designer I managed to build a veneer of deceptive behaviours that masqueraded as good manners and (somewhat) refined taste:

  • About once a year I went to a nice mid-range clothing store and bought a few things in whatever colour/cut/style was purported to be ‘in fashion’ for the season so I could blend into the professional community.
  • I suppressed coughs, sneezes, burps, farts, and every hint of my dirty mind and twisted sense of humour.
  • I feigned fascination and deep concern over furniture and paint colours and carpets that were fundamentally the same and would be indistinguishable from the alternate choices within minutes of being installed.

While I was a computer geek the rules of taste were mercifully relaxed, but in my next incarnation as a business owner I forced myself to attend networking events and dinners and seminars in the hope of convincing other business owners that I was sufficiently socially aware not to be an embarrassment while providing them with computer training.

  • I sat through presentations on everything from team building to angel channeling to economics to unleashing the power of my femininity: straight-faced, asking pertinent questions, and nodding seriously at the replies.
  • I suppressed my natural urge to pig out at dinners and ate politely, nay, dare I say daintily.
  • I never, not even once, stood up and shouted, “All in favour of throwing on some jeans and pounding back some beers, follow me!”

Fortunately I’ve always had good friends who know the real me and therefore find my fakery hilarious, or my brain probably would have exploded.

These days I hire others far more qualified than I to interact with the normal human race (thank you, David and Sharon, for being the public faces of my computer training business), and I lurk happily in my sordid home-office lair, wearing comfortable clothes and writing things that make me laugh.

It’s far too late to impress anybody now. So, inspired by Carrie’s honesty, I hereby confess:

  • I hated the literary classics. All of them.
  • I cheerfully wear the same T-shirts, fleece jacket,  yoga pants, jeans, and sneakers week after month after year without ever desiring any newer or more fashionable clothes.  In my defense, I do wash them after each wearing.  I may not have fashion sense but at least I’m clean.
  • I enjoy poetry, but my true love is limericks.
  • Farts make me snicker.
  • I love fine food and wine, but I love burgers and beer just as much.
  • My liking for classical music might make me look as though I have taste, but the truth is I like rock and pop just as well. And blues and country and metal and reggae and ragtime and big band and just about everything else including polkas and accordion music. Sad but true.
  • I’ll choose a stupid sitcom over a serious drama every time. (Does anybody remember WKRP in Cincinnati? “…As God is my witness, Travis, I thought turkeys could fly.”)
  • In private, I lick my fingers instead of using a napkin.  Sometimes I lick the plate, too.  Especially if there’s rare-steak juice.

How about you?

  • Dress-up or jeans?
  • Haute cuisine or pub grub?
  • Comedy, drama, action, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or romance?
  • Classics or genre fiction?
  • Shakespeare or e e cummings or doggerel?
  • Adolescent humour or… wait, never mind. If you’ve stuck with me this far, there’s no hope for you.  (Sorry about that.)

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