A Ferry Tale

Last week we had a big adventure: We took the ferry over to Denman Island!

Why are you laughing?

Okay, fine; you’re right. Before COVID, a ten-minute ferry ride would have been a mere footnote in our lives. But we’ve been cooped up for so long that it felt like an exotic vacation. It was a glorious sunny day with a fresh breeze, and it was a joy to be out on the water. Heart-palpitating excitement, I tell you!

I admit, though, some of the heart palpitations were due to unresolved trauma left over from my last trip to Denman Island. That was the time Hubby marooned me, sailing off into the sunset (or at least to the opposite shore) without me.

I’ve never let him forget it; but to be fair, it wasn’t really his fault. We were new to ferry travel then. We didn’t realize that when the operators load cars onto a small ferry, it means they’re going to depart within minutes. We also didn’t realize that schedules for the smaller ferries change without notice if there’s a mechanical problem or any other hiccup.

So we went over to Denman and spent a few hours roaming around, taking in some spectacular views and some ever-so-tasty food. After a lovely day, we took our place in the ferry lineup with forty-five minutes to spare.

That meant there was enough time for me to hike over and check out a nearby artisan’s studio, so Hubby waited with the car while I headed out. I kept an eye on my wristwatch, planning to be back at the car fifteen minutes before the ferry was due to sail. I was right on time.

But our car was gone.

In fact, all the cars were gone. I was nonplussed, but not overly concerned. I hiked down the hill to the ferry terminal, expecting Hubby to be waiting for me there. He wasn’t.

He didn’t have his cell phone, but I had mine with me. Against logic, I checked to see if I’d missed any calls. Nope.

“Okay…” I thought. “Maybe he’s driving around looking for me.”

He wasn’t. I retraced my steps, but there was no sign of our car.

I knew that if he’d been on the ferry he would have reached the other shore by then. There was a ferry terminal, gas station, and restaurant there; and they all had phones.

But he didn’t call me. I began to wonder if he was not-so-subtly trying to tell me something.

With no other choices available, I waited an hour until the next ferry came. When I disembarked on the opposite shore, Hubby was waiting for me. “I didn’t realize they were going leave right after we loaded,” he explained. “I thought it was like air travel, where you just sit there until your flight is scheduled to leave.”

“Why didn’t you phone me?” I demanded.

He rolled out some Husband Logic: “I knew you’d be on the next ferry. Where else would you go?”

I didn’t kill him.

But this trip, I stayed in the driver’s seat. Just in case.

Please tell me I’m not the only one whose spouse has marooned them on an island…

Book 17 update: I’m on Chapter 33, and a man wearing nothing but tighty-whiteys and a blanket has just given Aydan some vital information. Will Captain Underpants save the day?

Denman Island shoreline

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Research shows that 87% of quoted statistics are made up on the spot.  (Yes, I just made that up.)

I’m also guessing that a good 92% of readers believe the title of this post was borrowed from Mark Twain, but according to Wikipedia nobody really knows where it originated.  (Which is good; because thanks to that Wikipedia article, I now estimate that my chances of being accused of improper citation are approximately 0.003%.)

So… it’s that time of the year again.  Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you probably suffer the fallout of the season anyway.  So just for fun, I’m going to make up some Christmas statistics.

Of the people who deal with Christmas in some way, I guesstimate that:

  • 23% actually like fruitcake;
  • 15% will pretend to enjoy it if sweet little 90-year-old Aunt Martha offers it to them; and
  • 52% consider it appropriate only for use as a doorstop.


  • 56% love Christmas songs;
  • 35% can take them or leave them; and
  • 9% are quivering on the edge of violently gutting the next radio that plays ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ just one… more… time…


  • 12% are finished their Christmas shopping;
  • 59% have ‘just a few things left to pick up’;
  • 21% are freaking out;
  • 16% will ignore the whole thing until December 24th; and
  • 2% celebrate Christmas without gifts.


  • 11% mail out actual paper cards or letters;
  • 24% email greetings;
  • 38% intend to send greetings but will run out of time and resolve to do it next year instead; and
  • 27% don’t bother.


  • 69% currently own a Christmas-themed article of clothing;
  • 23% had a Christmas-themed garment at one time but got rid of it; and
  • 8% have never owned any Christmas-themed garment, no matter how briefly (or boxer-ly, if that’s your preference).


  • 19% actually enjoy travelling during the Christmas season;
  • 66% dislike the hassle but do it anyway; and
  • 15% flat-out refuse to travel anytime between mid-December and the first week of January.


  • 31% will hand-make at least one gift; and
  • 69% will buy all the gifts.


  • 99% will eat too much this holiday season; and
  • 1% won’t.  (The rest of us envy your self-control.)

So how did I do?  Take the poll below to prove how full of shit I am (or not)!

Here are my votes:

  • I love fruitcake!
  • I can take or leave Christmas songs.
  • I just have a few things left to buy…
  • I mail out paper cards and letters.
  • I used to have a turtleneck with holly printed on the collar, but I can’t find it, so I must have gotten rid of it.
  • I hate travelling over Christmas but I’ll do it anyway to see family.
  • I usually hand-make at least one gift.
  • I’ll pig out and feel guilty, but not guilty enough to stop.

Click on the survey to vote, and I’ll post the results next week!

This survey doesn’t collect or store personally identifiable information. It’s just for fun.

Book 14 update:  I’m starting Chapter 38, and I’ve finally figured out how the book will end, hooray!  (Yes, I have a very strange writing process.)  😉

“Random” Passenger

I used to love flying, back in the days when I could throw everything I needed into a carry-on bag and board the plane without getting hassled about my shampoo bottle or *gasp* my jackknife.  Back in the days when they still made airplane seats to fit normal adults instead of emaciated waifs with abnormally short legs.  Back in the days when they still served actual food on board.

Remember how we used to joke about airline food?  Well, the joke’s on us.  If we had known back then that today’s “airline food” would be ten mini-pretzels and half a cup of pop, we’d have shut up and reveled in our good fortune.

And don’t even get me started about security… oh, wait; I’m already started.  Hang on, ’cause here we go.

So you know how the security scanner automatically selects some poor schmuck random passenger for groping and harassment “additional screening measures”?  News flash:  It ain’t random.  It’s specially calibrated to go off like fireworks every… single… time… I pass through it.

Usually it’s not too big a deal, because I always strip to the point of marginal decency before I go through the scanner anyway.  When the inevitable lights and sirens start up, I assume the position, they search/swab/manhandle any luggage item and/or body part that catches their fancy, and then I get re-dressed and carry on.

But last week I got extra-special treatment.  The scanner went off and I assumed the position as usual.  The screening agent must have really liked me, because I received a particularly thorough pat-down – she should have given me flowers afterward; or at least a nice kiss.  I don’t know why it’s supposed to be less ‘sexual’ to get your PTA (pussy/tits/ass) squeezed and fondled by the backs of the agent’s hands instead of their palms; but maybe I’ve just been away from the dating scene for too long.

Anyhow, after my X-rated interlude I figured I’d be good to go… but I was wrong.  The explosives scanner picked up something on my suitcase, too.  That got everyone’s attention.

So in addition to getting publicly felt up, I also won the booby bonus prize:  Having every single item in my luggage removed and laid out so everyone could scrutinize it.  Mom really was right:  Always buy nice underwear.  Even if nobody ever sees you wearing it, at least it’ll look pretty when it’s spread out on the security conveyor in front of dozens of gawking bystanders.

By that point I was beginning to wonder whether I had actually packed some dynamite without noticing; but fortunately they didn’t find anything.

At last they allowed me to get re-packed and re-dressed, and I made it to the boarding lounge with everything but my dignity, privacy, and equanimity.  I left those behind at Security – I guess they had to confiscate something after all that kerfuffle.

Anybody else got “random passenger” tattooed on their forehead?

Book 14 update:  I hit Chapter 25 this week!  The middle of a book is always where I start to question my writing ability and sanity, but fortunately I know by now that it’s all part of the process.  Will… push… through…

Pickles, Peeves, And Daniel Craig

It’s been one of those weeks.  I’ve been trying to fit ten days of work into seven, and my brain has rebelled.  I knew I was in trouble a couple of nights ago when I dreamed of Daniel Craig.

That might sound like the quintessential female fantasy; but it wasn’t… because of the pickles.  Yes, I dreamed that Daniel Craig was plying me with a plethora of pickled cucumbers.

Freud would nod sagely and point out the phallic significance.  Normally I’d snicker and agree; but the truth is that I’ve been inundated with cucumbers lately, to the point where I’m even dreaming about them.  The garden is going crazy, and every second day I lug in a basket of strawberries, a basket of cucumbers, a basket of tomatoes, and a basket of corn.  And now the beans have found their second wind, too (no pun intended).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled that our garden is doing so well.  But I’m also a teensy bit overwhelmed, which means the chances of me writing a coherent blog post this week are somewhere between ‘Nil’ and ‘Not a chance in hell’.

So instead, here are a couple of random thoughts that flitted through my mind this week:

I love food, cooking, and eating; but some days the futility of it nearly brings me to my knees.  I spend SO MUCH TIME (and money and energy) acquiring food, preparing it, eating it, and cleaning up afterward… and four or five hours later I do it all again.  And again.  Repeat the next day, and the next, ad infinitum.  And it all ends up in the toilet anyway.  Wouldn’t you think we’d have found a better solution by now?

And one of my pet peeves:  Stinky soap in public washrooms.  Seriously, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, and MacDonald’s:  Can’t you buy hand soap that doesn’t reek like some unholy combination of burnt transmission fluid, old gym socks, and rotting flowers?  You post big signs reminding everyone to wash their hands, and then you provide hand soap that nobody wants anywhere near their skin.

But… kudos to the PetroCanada at the corner of 17th Street and Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay, BC – their soap smells nice.  And BIG props to the Flying J truck stop on Portage Avenue in Headingly, MB for providing GoJo mechanic’s hand cleaner in the women’s washroom – hooray!

Despite my pickles and peeves, I’ve had some wins this week, too:  Our bookshelves are finally finished, woohoo! It’s been nearly two years since I last saw my beloved books. Thanks for all your hard work, Hubby!


The tomatoes have been FABULOUS. That’s one sammich-worthy slice! (This is the heritage variety ‘Brandywine’ – definitely the flavour winner this year.)

Book 14 update:  It was a busy week, but I still managed to get to Chapter 13.  Poor Kane is discovering that fatherhood can be a dirty job…

“Thorough”. Yeah, That’s It.

Now that we’ve moved to Vancouver Island I’ll likely end up flying instead of driving to visit other provinces.  And that means… *cue ominous music* …I’ll have to rent a car when I arrive.

I hate renting cars.

Despite the fact that our vehicle insurance policy includes full coverage for rental cars, my hand always trembles when I initial the “I decline insurance” box on the rental contract.

I just know that if I crack up the rental car and submit a claim, my insurance company will smugly point out the microscopic print where it says, “Coverage only for green-and-purple polka-dotted vehicles rented on the second Tuesday of the sixth week of any month beginning with ‘Z’.”

And if that’s not enough to stress me out, there are the spine-chilling threats in the rental contract itself:  “If you fail to return the car within 72 hours of the return date you may be liable for criminal prosecution and fines up to $150,000.

I have nightmares about accidentally putting the wrong date on the contract.  I imagine a cadre of malevolent car-rental agents clustered around a large ticking clock:  “Seventy-one hours and fifty-eight minutes… fifty-nine… Seventy-two hours!  Send out the enforcers!  Muwahahahaha!!!!”

And don’t even get me started about the form that itemizes the existing damage on the rental car.  The agent always makes me sign it before I even see the car.  When I object, they wave a casual hand and say, “Oh, don’t worry.  Check over the car before you drive away and if you need to add anything to the form, just bring it back and we’ll update it.”

I always find more damage on the car than what’s shown on the form.

So I make the long hike back to the office.  Car rental agents are trained to flee the area as soon as they’ve handed over the keys, so when I get back the desk is abandoned.  After a lengthy wait and a few calls on the “courtesy phone” (a complete misnomer), an agent grudgingly returns to the counter.

Then they walk with me to the car, eyeball the long scratches on the roof, and say, “Oh, don’t worry about those.  We know those are from the car wash so we don’t need to mark them on the form.”

I argue that the form shows all damage, not just the damage they feel like reporting; they argue that “everybody knows” they never worry about “those” scratches.

At last I prevail and they sullenly update the form and stalk away, leaving me to slide into a car that reeks like a 30-year-old ashtray despite being designated “non-smoking”.  Though I guess technically the car is non-smoking; it’s just that its drivers weren’t.

Then I spend the whole trip worrying that somebody will hit/steal/vandalize the damn thing and/or I’ll run afoul of some other fine-print wording that “everybody” but me knows.

At last I return the car with immense relief, and then spend the next month watching my credit card statement for damage charges in case somebody vandalized the car in their lot after I parked it but before they inspected it.  I can’t decide whether I’m freakishly paranoid or only extremely thorough…

Okay, never mind; I know the answer to that.

But I still hate renting cars.

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’!

Highway Thru Hell

Hubby and I are on the road again in the first part of our adventure in moving to the west coast.  It’s been, um… eventful.  (And I’m writing this very late on Tuesday night, so please forgive any mistakes.)

Our property purchase closes this week, so we decided to come and spend some time wandering our new place and deciding where the house will go.  And some brilliant person who shall remain nameless… (Hint: She has long red hair) …said, “Hey, this is a perfect opportunity to put my ’53 Chevy on the car-hauler trailer and pull it out to the Island before the roads get bad in winter!”

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

So we loaded the Chevy onto the car hauler and packed the truck with the oddments the moving companies wouldn’t take (including our giant houseplants) and set out to drive the whole shebang over multiple mountain passes to the coast, where we’d catch the ferry to Vancouver Island.

Easy-peasy, right?

Naively, we considered:  Should we drive it in one day, or break it into two?  Well, let’s break it into two, just to be on the safe side.


We immediately discovered, much to our chagrin, that our car-hauler is an old long-necked U-Haul type for which stabilizer bars were never made.  If we exceeded 90 km/hr (55 mph), it developed an oscillation that required an instant slow-down or it threatened to fling us off the road.

Okay, fine.  Two days.  Not exceeding 90 km/hr.  We could do this.

The first day it took us 9 hours to get to Kamloops.  The second day it took us 15 hours to get from Kamloops to Qualicum Bay where we’re staying.  It’s supposed to be a 13-hour trip in total from Calgary.

I took the first shift as driver.  Let me just say, navigating an unstable 41-foot truck-and-trailer down hairpin curves on an 8% grade is not something I’d care to do on a regular basis.  (Read NEVER AGAIN.)  Particularly with a 5-foot-tall flowering hibiscus tickling the back of my neck.

After the first 3½ hours (at Golden, BC), Hubby took his turn.  Of course, the road immediately became wider and flatter, and the next day even the infamous Coquihalla Highway (the location of the reality show Highway Thru Hell) only offered a few short stretches of 8.5% downgrade on nice wide sweeping turns.  But it didn’t matter – by that time we were so anxious about the possibility of more hairpin turns and steep grades that we were both vibrating by the time we made it to flat ground at Hope, BC.

Then we thought we’d make the 3:10 ferry over to Vancouver Island.

And we would have, except for the traffic accident that kept us parked on the TransCanada Highway for 30 minutes… allowing THE ENTIRE MIDWAY CREW OF THE PACIFIC NATIONAL EXHIBITION to get in front of us.  Which used up all the deck space not only on the 3:10 ferry, but also on the 5:20 ferry.  We finally got aboard the 7:30 ferry, which, after loading, unloading, and some more driving, got us to our destination around 11 PM.

Gee, maybe next time we’ll try to do it in one day.  Ya think?

But we’re finally safe and sound on the Island and looking forward to our bed tonight.  Thank God we’re flying back instead of driving.

And at least I got some pretty pictures:


A train tunnel near Salmon Arm, BC, from our truck window

A train tunnel near Salmon Arm, BC, from our truck window

Mara Lake

Mara Lake

Coming up on the Port Mann Bridge, Vancouver BC

Coming up on the Port Mann Bridge, Vancouver BC

On the Port Mann Bridge

On the Port Mann Bridge

The 5:20 ferry leaving... without us

The 5:20 ferry leaving… without us

On the ferry at last!

On the ferry at last!

Self-Driving Auto-Paranoia

A couple of days ago I discovered an article about how and when a self-driving car should be programmed to injure or kill its passengers.  It’s an alarming proposition, but it’s actually a valid point:  if the car has to choose between wiping out ten pedestrians or only its driver, simple logic says it should choose the lesser number of casualties.

But the realization that my future vehicle may be plotting to kill me makes me just a wee bit mistrustful of technology.

Or, in my case, more mistrustful of technology.  I’ve never been good at leaving my safety in the hands (circuits?) of inanimate objects.  (Or even animate objects, for that matter.  I’m a lousy passenger even with a human driver – I spend as much time watching the road as the driver does.  But that’s another story.)

My point is, I’m suspicious of any electronic device that wants to make decisions for me.

Take my GPS, for instance.  The lady inside my GPS can usually get me where I want to go, but she’s not always good at it.  When we’re in unfamiliar territory, Hubby usually drives while I navigate.  Theoretically the GPS should be all we need, but I never go anywhere without a paper map; partly because my GPS has a tendency to announce “Low battery!” and/or lose its satellite connection at critical moments, but mostly because I don’t trust it to choose the best route.

I can set it to ‘faster time’ (which is usually dog-slow) or ‘shortest distance’ (synonymous for ‘via goat-paths and dodgy neighbourhoods’), but there’s no setting for ‘common sense’.  So, after a few forays through dense forest on steep roads no wider than our car (though, as the GPS insisted, that road was technically ‘paved’) our trips have become a power struggle between the GPS and me.

The GPS lady says, “In… two hundred metres… turn left.”

And I say, “Ignore that.  It doesn’t know what it’s doing.  Keep going straight.”

Hubby, like all husbands with a modicum of self-preservation, silently follows my directions while the GPS says in snotty tones, “Recalculating.  In… one hundred metres… make a U-turn.”

Me:  “Ignore that.  Keep going.”

GPS (getting cranky):  “Recalculating.  In… three kilometres… TURN LEFT, IDIOT!”

Me:  “Ignore that…”

Given the choice, I’d rather have an up-to-date paper map and only use the GPS to pinpoint the location of the nearest Dairy Queen.  (And don’t get me wrong; that’s a critical function.  I need frequent ice cream breaks when I’m on the road.)

But antagonizing my GPS is probably a bad idea, because the new cars will have them built in.  And if a hostile GPS triggers the ‘kill-the-driver’ algorithm, I could be in serious trouble.

On the surface, the self-driving car seems utopian:  I could be snoozing or reading or snacking while my car takes me safely and efficiently to my destination.  But in reality I’d probably end up sitting in the driver’s seat with both hands on the wheel, simultaneously watching the road and keeping a wary eye on the car in case it tries to kill me.

But maybe I’m just paranoid.

Or maybe that’s not a ‘maybe’…

* * *

And speaking of technology… there’s a new discussion over at the Virtual Backyard Book Club:  Aydan’s Tech Gadgets – Love ‘Em Or Hate ‘Em?  Click here to have your say!

Zen, Shmen.

Sometimes a lifetime of voracious reading is an advantage; other times, not so much.  On the upside, as long as I have a book (or newspaper or magazine or propaganda pamphlet or even a shampoo bottle with text on the label) I’ll never be bored.

On the downside, having a bottomless well of trivia in one’s brain isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I know what to do in just about any situation, but it’s not always practicable to do it.

For example, I know how to make a gas mask out of an empty bleach bottle, a bulletproof vest out of Bibles, and a deadly weapon out of a newspaper.  I sincerely hope I’ll never be in a situation where I need these skills.  But if I were, I suspect that the chances of actually having an empty bleach bottle, a stack of Bibles, or a newspaper are slim to none.

In the non-lethal side of my reading, I’ve also absorbed a startling variety of random information:  Business and marketing and writing tips out the ying-yang, of course; but also fascinating factoids on everything from neuroplasticity, Buddhism, and quantum physics to Wicca, time management, and mindfulness meditation.

The latter two came to mind last weekend while I was broiling in my car at a dead stop in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  There’s something about a traffic jam that ratchets my blood pressure up to Vesuvius levels.  It’s part claustrophobia and part resentment over the waste of my all-too-scant ‘spare’ time.

The time management books tell me that sitting in traffic is an ideal time to plan to-do lists and so forth, but I think they underestimate my powers of concentration.  (Which is a polite way to say I’m incapable of driving and thinking at the same time.)  If I started plotting Book 12 while sitting in a traffic jam, I’d blink back to reality two hours later still parked in the same place while infuriated drivers honked and swerved around me, spewing invective and flipping me the universal gesture of fellowship and goodwill.

Or how about Zen and mindfulness?  I should ‘be in the moment’.  There was no emergency; I wasn’t late for any appointments; and there were absolutely no negative consequences that could result from my slowdown.  I should just breathe.  Relax and enjoy the downtime.

Zen, shmen.  I knew a detour that would take me to my destination via the back ways and save me oodles of time!

Or not.

In the traffic jam, I had noticed that the black minivan ahead of me had a distinctive set of those little family-caricature decals on the back.  When I finally made it to my destination half an hour after winding through a series of convoluted back streets, guess what I saw in front of me?  That same damn minivan.  Apparently it took precisely the same amount of time to inch through the traffic jam as it had taken me to follow my complicated detour.

That took a bit of the shine off my triumph, but not as much as you might think.  I’d rather be actively driving than sitting in traffic for the same amount of time.  And at least nobody yelled or flipped me off.

Zen traffic meditator or complex detour planner – which are you?  And what’s the most obscure thing you’ve learned lately?

* * *

New discussion over at the VBBC:  Blue Eddy:  Man of Mystery.  What do you really know about Eddy?  Click here to have your say!

The Spandex Menace

I just got back from another road trip, and I feel it’s my duty to warn everyone about the threat I discovered while travelling:  stretch pants.  They may feel comfy, but the truth is that those spandex tubes are plotting against our health and fitness.

Oh, they conceal their evil intentions well enough.  They call themselves ‘exercise wear’ and pretend to encourage us in a healthy lifestyle, but all the while they’re sabotaging our efforts.  In fact… (call the tabloids, ‘cause this is hot stuff) spandex actually nourishes fat cells.

How did I determine this, you ask?

Through rigorous scientific observation and testing, of course.  After all, have you ever known me to jump to a conclusion or engage in hyperbole?  Never in a million-zillion years!

Here’s how I figure it:

I’m normally a jeans girl.  Whether I’m digging in the garden or working on a car or banging together some ridiculously over-engineered carpentry project, jeans provide practicality, comfort, and protection.  But when I know I’m going to be sitting in the car for hours at a time, I change into stretch pants.  So last week I put on the spandex and hit the road.

Well.  Let me tell you.

After six days, I donned my jeans again only to discover that my butt runneth over.  My muffin-top has grown into a dinner roll.  And the only possible culprit is (you guessed it) stretch pants.

I mean, really, it couldn’t have been anything else.  I was eating my usual three meals a day plus one dessert.  Maybe the meals were approximately double my normal portion; but six days shouldn’t make that much difference, right?  I even skipped my four o’clock snack most days, so I’m sure I should’ve been losing weight.

And eating a giant ice cream cone every day couldn’t have been the cause.  Ice cream is a dairy product, which is healthful.  Health food couldn’t possibly make me gain weight.

Plus, all that time in the car was hard on my nerves, and everybody knows stress ratchets up your metabolism.  I should have been melting the pounds away.  It’s simple logic.

But I didn’t.  So it must have been the fault of the stretch pants.

Those bastards clung to my body for six straight days, whispering sweet nothings to my fat cells and feeding their egos until they swelled up like little pillows.  Then the fat cells invited all their friends over to my waistline and had themselves a party.  The friends invited more friends, and pretty soon the whole place was overflowing.

Now, like disapproving parents, my jeans have returned to the scene of the party to evict the interlopers.  So far they’ve only succeeded in squeezing them up and over my waistband, but I hope if I call the calorie police right away they’ll be able to banish the last of the stragglers.

But meanwhile, no more stretch pants.  Take it from me, those suckers are the enemy.

Remember, you heard it here first!

* * *

New discussion over at the VBBC:  Stemp Then And Now.  How has Stemp changed the series, and how has it changed him?  Click here to have your say!