Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Part of "Stranger Danger" Do You Not Understand, Idiot?

We grow up in an environment where we are told not to talk to strangers. We hear stories about children who are snatched from their beds, from shopping carts, from playgrounds. We see Today Show reports every week about the new ploys child snatchers are using to lure children into their cars. No T-shirts with your name on them. No helping anyone look for his lost dog. No eating Halloween candy that looks like it's been tampered with. My parents did a good job. I was told about every single person who could potentially do me harm and how to avoid those people. My dad once handed me $10 and told me to put it in my pocket because, "If someone tries to take your money from your hand and you won't let go of it, he'll just take you instead." You know what? It worked. I was scared of strangers as a child, and I'm still scared of strangers as an adult.

I am terrified of vans with tinted windows. I'm scared of dark playgrounds and seedy bars. I'm afraid of men with so much facial hair, you probably wouldn't be able to identify them in a lineup if they shaved. So, why is it so hard for people who are strangers to me to understand why I prefer to not speak to them?

Yesterday afternoon, I was on my way back from the library and I passed this panhandler that I see probably every day. I've never spoken to him. And yet yesterday he decided was the day to get offended that I ignore him. As I walked by, he said, "So you're just not going to even look at me? Is that it?"

No, panhandler guy. I'm not. You know why? Because I don't know who you are. You could be a rapist or a murderer or someone who sleeps with his dead mother's corpse at night. Maybe you aren't any of those things. Maybe you really are just a guy who is down on his luck and needs some spare change to buy yourself some dinner. But I choose not to chance it. That doesn't make me a bad person. It makes me a safe person. It makes me self-aware. I don't feel sympathy when I look at you. I feel fear and distrust. And there is nothing wrong with that, so stop being an assface.

I once watched this Dateline special about keeping your children safe and talking to them about strangers. And there was this one kid who, when the stranger approached him, stood on top of the jungle gym and screamed his head off. The stranger didn't even speak to him first. This kid took no chances with this person who could potentially do him harm. As far as I'm concerned, he had the right idea. If having that attitude is wrong, I'm fine with being wrong. I'm okay with offending panhandlers and homeless people and guys who just give me a weird vibe. If it keeps me safe, then I will continue to be unfriendly to strangers.

If you have a problem with that, panhandler guy, maybe you would like to take it up with this can of pepper spray?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let's Celebrate 1/8 of Ireland

As I've surely mentioned in the past, I am, in fact, 1/8 Irish. Which means that on St. Patrick's Day, while my 100% Irish brethren are out getting crazy and drinking Guinness by the pint, I am at home with some chamomile tea and a book. Because we 1/8 Irish people are humble in our celebrations and only allowed to do 1/8 as much to celebrate our ancestry.

I used to lament being only 1/8 Irish because Irish people are so into the culture of being Irish. They get to wear T-shirts that say, "Kiss me, I'm Irish!" while I wear a T-shirt that says, "Budweiser." They build parade floats and paint the town green.

But then I realized that I'm also 1/2 English and therefore could freely oppress the 100% Irish people as much as I wished.

Here are some other things that are 1/8 Irish:

1. The first 16.1 minutes of the film The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

2. Just being friends with the Blarney Stone.

3. A severed limb of James Joyce.

4. My siblings.

5. A shamrock that was run over by a lawnmower.

6. A leprechaun who has only a sack filled with pennies.

7. Corned duckling and a single Brussels sprout.

8. A french fry famine.

9. "When Irish Eyes Are Amused."

10. Whatever is left of the Titanic at this point.

11. Angela's Dust Bunnies.

Have more 1/8 Irish things? Share them in comments. Do it quickly before you enrage the 1/8 German who also lives inside me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ruby, Stop Taking Your Love to Town Already. Jesus.

Ruby? Are you painting up your lips again? And are those rollers in your hair? Oh, Ruby. Didn't we talk about this? Didn't we talk about you not taking your love to town? No? You don't remember that conversation? Well, what about this one?

No? You don't recall that? How about this one?

I know for sure you'll remember this one.

Okay, you're asking for it, Ruby. The Pa Danby smackdown.

Fine, Ruby. Take your love to town. See if I care. God, you are such a whore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Advice in These Financially Difficult Times

In these financially difficult times, I feel that it's very important for women especially to begin to plan for the future. You may be financially secure at the moment. You may be unemployed and reading this as you update your resume. You may be spending your nights in a bed of shredded paper. I don't know your life. But I do know that it's always wise to plan ahead. Which is why I am encouraging other women to do as I have and become black widow murderers.

Black widow murderers marry wealthy men, live the sweet life for a few months, and then slaughter their husbands and abscond with everything in their bank accounts. Since taking up black widow murdering, I have a whole new lease on life. I get up earlier in the day, go to a refreshing aerobics class, and then head home to begin my plotting.

Now, the plotting part is pretty easy. You start out looking for a wealthy prospective husband. I like to go to the golf course in the middle of the day, wearing only my thong underwear and a stick of butter. A wealthy golfer approaches me, invites me back to his mansion to bathe in diamonds, and then the next day he asks for my hand in marriage because I am so awesome. I, of course, accept and a week later, we are married in a lavish ceremony where I receive many wonderful presents from the gift registry, including a pony, jewel encrusted nipple clamps, and a very large and very sharp Macedonian beheading device.

This is where it gets a little bit more complicated. Your husband is going to want certain things from you. Things like dinner, folded socks, and to play doctor on occasion. During this time, it is advisable to reveal that you are narcoleptic and unable to perform simple tasks without falling asleep. He will then likely purchase you a very comfortable pillow and hire a dashing but mysterious butler who enjoys folding socks to take care of the household chores. It's important that the butler be mysterious because you will later blame him for your husband's unfortunate death.

The most important tool while you are plotting is your plotting notebook. Write down everything. The last thing you want to do is mix up your last husband's bank account numbers with those of the current husband! What a mess! You might be tempted to create a spreadsheet, but I cannot stress enough just how bad that idea is. Keep your plotting simple and contained in a single notebook. You'll thank me later when you're burning the only piece of evidence they could use against you in court.

So, you've got the wealthy husband, you've got the mysterious butler, and the plotting notebook is coming along nicely. What now?

Well, now, ladies, it is time to buy a life insurance policy on your husband and encourage him to take up base jumping. Have the butler feed him lots of bacon sandwiches with mayonnaise every day. It's very important to remember that death by natural causes can be your friend.

But let's say you've been living with your husband for about 6 months. He hang glides every Saturday afternoon, tames lions, and handles pit vipers with his bare hands at your encouragement to try new things. And nothing. He doesn't die. Well, now is when the black widow murdering part comes in.

A lot of black widow murderers go straight for the poison. It's simple, it's deadly, it's hidden easily in a bowl of rice pudding. But it's just too easy. And if you don't use enough, they'll pump his stomach and you have to start all over again. The doctors start asking questions, and you end up having to flee to Mexico earlier than planned.

Personally, I like to get creative each time I slaughter my wealthy husband. Death by spork is a good one. I also like piranha that I just "happen to be storing in the hot tub." There's so little clean-up with that one. But my favorite has to be actually using a black widow spider to do your bidding. They're in and out before you can run to the neighbors' house and cry, "My wealthy husband is dead! Oh, woe is me!" And the irony! Oh, the irony!

So, now your husband is dead and you are a grieving widow. Well, you have two options at this point. You can pretend to be really sad, or you can immediately flee to a tropical island, taking all of his wealth with you. If you are a passable actress, the first option can be quite fun. Uncontrollable weeping and hurling yourself onto your dead husband's casket are always good for extra sympathy from lonely but handsome gravediggers. And let's not forget the fun fashion accessories, like oversized hats with black veils. Don't be afraid to go crazy with your funeral attire. I mean, how many times in life do you get to wear black for your dead husband? (Oh, I do make myself laugh sometimes.)

If you decide to take the second option and simply cut and run, don't be afraid to leave your individualized calling card. I like to leave a dead goldfish under the doormat and then escape dressed as Catwoman. It baffles the cops every time.

So, that's my advice. Become a black widow murderer. Take money from wealthy middle-aged men. Escape to tropical islands. Lay low for a few years, change your hair color, and then find love again. It's all very simple. And financially-sound advice. Happy murdering!