Don’t Blame Mercury

Last week I postulated that Mercury was causing my recent communication failures, but I’m reconsidering.  I think there’s a more pervasive issue here – maybe it’s something in the air.  (Hmmm, wacky tobacky?  I’ve seen a few Skidmark lookalikes out here…)

Anyhow, here are some captions that made me think, “Wait, what?” this week:

An inexplicable popup ad (I think it was on Facebook):

Is there an Anti-Makeup League?

“Stop makeup?” As in “Eradicate cosmetics from the planet”?  Which twice-daily activities of 50+ ladies could singlehandedly stop makeup in its tracks?  And what does Dragon’s Den have to do with either of those captions?

But regardless of Facebook’s supposedly accurate demographic targeting, the ad clearly wasn’t aimed at me – it’s common knowledge that I ain’t no lady.

And then there was this:

If there are children ON the highway, shouldn’t I stop?

The big yellow sign makes perfect sense without any further explanation:  Be watchful and reduce your speed because there may be schoolkids in the area.  Duh.

But no; apparently somebody thought the pictogram needed clarification.  They should have considered their wording a little more carefully, ‘cause now it looks as though there’s an optimum speed for running over children; like the signs they post at speed bumps where anything over 20 km/hr will rip out your car’s undercarriage.  I guess children are softer, so you can hit them at a higher speed.

Another thing that always gives me a giggle is the Accuweather forecast:

Now we know who hires the English majors.

In Calgary, any forecast that includes water falling from the sky uses one of two words:  “Rain”, or “Showers”.  Here, the forecast is quite creative:  “a touch of rain”, “spotty showers”, “a little rain”, “drizzle”, “downpours”, “periods of rain”, “patchy clouds”, etc.

Only a few weeks after we’d arrived, one forecast really made me laugh.  Accuweather had predicted “Downpours amounting to 2 inches over the next 24 hours”.

I thought, “Oooh, downpours!” and waited for the sky to open in a deluge.

But nope; nada.  Just the usual soft gentle rain.

By the end of the day I was snickering.  On the prairies where I grew up, it ain’t a downpour until you get 2 inches of rain in half an hour.  Now that’s a frog-strangler.  (But Accuweather hasn’t discovered that particular description yet – shhh, don’t tell them.)

From the above forecasts, you may be getting the impression that we’ve had a wee bit of precipitation this winter.

Um, yeah.  It’s a record year.  Even the locals are whining and bitching about it.

But I don’t care.  Yesterday I went down to the ocean and stood in the morning silence, watching the mist shroud the mountaintops and the calm water ripple against the shore.  Everything was the colour of silver and pearls, and a loon’s haunting cry drifted across the water.

It was sublime – even a 180-degree panorama doesn’t do it justice. (And it’s not stinky anymore.)

And, on a more prosaic but just as important topic:   Even the pizza is a work of art here.

They named it “La Principessa”.

Truly we’ve found heaven. 😀

I Got Ten Inches Last Weekend

Like so many of my inappropriate stories, it all started in the pub with the usual suspects on Friday evening. The waitress had been by to collect our food orders and my friend Chris and I had each decided on pizza. I had ordered a 10” medium and he’d gone for the 12” large.

Okay, I can hear you starting to snicker already. Wait for it…

The food arrived and we all dug in with enthusiasm. Except Chris, who was eyeing his pizza with a puzzled look. “What size pizza did you order?” he asked.

“Medium. Ten-inch,” I mumbled around my mouthful.

“Mine doesn’t look any bigger than yours,” he said.

By then everybody had stopped eating to listen with widening grins on their faces.

I peered over at his pizza. “You’re right. They look the same. Hang on…” I pulled out my little measuring tape. (If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I always carry a measuring tape, along with a bunch of other obscure but useful stuff.)

I measured my pizza. “Ten inches.”

Somebody called out, “Now measure Chris’s!” just as the waitress arrived to see me reaching toward Chris with my measuring tape extended.

Everybody erupted in laughter while the waitress froze.

Chris salvaged the situation as best he could by gravely measuring his pizza. Then he said the words you’ll rarely hear from any guy: “Mine’s only ten inches.”

The waitress’s apology for the mistake was almost obscured by the shouts of laughter. Then she turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you have a measuring tape in your purse!”

That only increased the merriment because everybody at the table knew the story of how I used to lurk in men’s washrooms with my measuring tape. We didn’t enlighten our waitress, though. Some things are just too hard (yes, I said ‘hard’) to explain.

And speaking of questionable behaviours, Hubby and I had a chuckle over our Valentine’s Day meal, too. We avoid restaurants on Valentine’s Day because neither of us wants to eat in a crammed-full restaurant. So Hubby had picked up steaks, crab, and a lobster tail for our dinner, and I was making Eggs Benedict for our lunch.

We were out of back bacon. (I know you’re thinking, “How could Canadians run out of back bacon?” You’re right; the government will probably revoke our citizenship cards.)

Anyway, we improvised with regular side bacon, but we’d gotten some mutant package that was either the product of a novice butcher’s first day on the job, or else they’d swept up all the bits that had fallen on the floor. Or both.

But we slapped the bacon on the Bennies (no, that’s not a euphemism) and dug in regardless. A few minutes later a bacon fragment escaped my fork and Hubby looked over in time to see me groping down the front of my T-shirt.

I quipped, “Most women would spritz themselves with cologne for a Valentine’s Day lunch with their sweetie. I drop bacon down my cleavage.”

He shrugged, grinning. “Works for me.”

Ah, bacon. The universal male attractant. Or maybe that’s cleavage. Or bacon-flavoured cleavage…?

So how was your Valentine’s weekend?


Food Fetishes

The dictionary tells me a fetish can be an object that  elicits reverence and devotion, or an object that causes an erotic response.  For me, food falls neatly into both categories.  Sometimes I love food.  Sometimes I looooove food.  (Not literally.  Don’t worry, it’s still safe to eat the cucumbers at my house.)

I do, however, admit to a peculiar food-related habit that can be safely discussed in polite company.  And no, I’m not going to talk about the time I nearly suffered le petit mort over a hazelnut crème brulée and a flight of ice wine.

But it was really, really good.

‘Scuse me while a take a deep breath.

Anyway, what I meant to discuss is the fact that I’m a picky eater.  Not in the sense of having a limited range of foods I’ll eat – quite the contrary.  I’ll eat just about anything except black licorice.  I’m talking about the way I eat.

I always hold corn on the cob with the big end at the left.  I eat left to right in a clean, straight pattern.  The cob, when returned to my plate, is placed horizontally at the 12:00 position.  I contend this is simple logic.  If the cob’s at the front, it’s hard to reach over it to get at the rest of your food.

Pie and pizza are to be eaten point-first.  I’ve seen others eat it crust-first, and while that appeals to my logical side (eat the dry crust first and finish up with the good stuff), I don’t seem to be able to adopt that system.

I once knew a guy who preferred to dig randomly into the middle of a pie without cutting slices, but I consider that to be a sign of a deranged mind.  He ate his corn randomly, too.  And he was more than a little deranged.  ‘Nuff said.

Meat, potatoes, and veggies get laid out in specific locations on the plate.  Meat at 10:00, potatoes at 2:00, veggies at 6:00.  But I’m flexible.  Sometimes I swap the potato/veggie positions.  And sometimes the meat moves up to 12:00 or down as far as 8:00.

I didn’t realize how entrenched this habit was until I caught myself rotating my plate and feeling vague discomfort when the food came arranged differently in a restaurant.  I’ll deny actually rearranging food on my plate at a restaurant, but you probably already know I’m lying.  And I always eat clockwise around the plate, one bite of meat, then one of potatoes, etc.

Toast, I bite off the bottom left corner first.  Then the bottom right corner, then the middle.  I repeat in rows until the entire slice is gone.  It’s simple logic.  I like peanut butter and honey, and this configuration minimizes the probability of smearing sticky stuff on my cheeks.

Speaking of peanut butter, I scoop it from around the edges of the jar. Systematically, scraping it tidily off the inside and gradually working my way around counter-clockwise.  I never stick a knife in the middle of the jar.  Freud would probably have a heyday with that one.

And don’t even get me started about buttering toast and then scooping up more goodies on the knife, leaving toast crumbs in the butter/honey/jam.  That’s just plain wrong.

Is it because I’m a geek and my brain is naturally happy with linear patterns?  Or is it because I’m a control-loving, slightly obsessive freak?  (Don’t answer that).

Anybody else have freakish food fetishes?  Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Evil Pizza

The other day, my husband came to the table with some startling news:  research has shown that potato chips are the world’s most fattening food.

He assured me that this conclusion was the result of a highly reputable study, conducted with a very large number of participants, over a number of years, and their data was carefully recorded and analyzed and normalized and blah, blah, blah.

It’s official.  Potato chips are the devil.

I greeted this revelation with the awe and respect that it deserved:  “No shit, Sherlock.  Take a highly porous substance of dubious nutritional value, slice it thinly to maximize its surface area, and immerse it in pure fat.  Eat.  Gain weight.  Duh.”

But after reflection, I’ve changed my mind.  I don’t think potato chips are the true culprit in the epidemic of obesity.

Personally, I blame pizza.

Why?  Well, potato chips haven’t changed much over the course of my lifetime.  Except for some new flavours, they’re still pretty much what they always were.

Pizza, on the other hand, has been mutating like a malevolent virus, with the clear intention of fattening us all up.  I’m not sure who’s behind this vicious plot.  Maybe the pizza joints are all secretly owned by big pharmaceutical companies.

Here’s how I see it:

That’s it.  Pizza is evil.

But so, so tasty…


Must eat pizza now…

Update:  Yes, I drew the cartoon myself.  Yay, stick people!