Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Memorium: The Insects We Lost in 2011...

Love sappy slideshow tributes? Check out the one I made on the Welcome to Bethville fan page on Facebook!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frightening Friday: Choose Your Own Terrifying Contingency Plan

Drew Barrymore is all, "I hate customer service!"

Ring ring ring...

Ring ring ring...

Ring ring ring...

Ring ring ring...


Whew! He hung up. Good thing you didn't answer that. It was a guy who was planning to tell you that you have ten days to live. He asked me to let you know that you have ten days to live. And to get voicemail. He hates not being able to leave a message.

Hey, today is...Frightening Friday! Sadly, this brings an end to another October of me chilling you to your bones in the rudest manner. But don't worry. Unless I meet my untimely demise sometime between now and October 2012, I shall be back with more terrifying tales of terrifying terror. Until then, read this and enjoy...if you dare.

Choose Your Own Terrifying Contingency Plan

It is a spooky Halloween night. You're home alone eating peanut butter cups and not sharing a single one with trick-or-treaters.

If your phone rings suddenly, startling you, go to 1A.

If you hear a spooky noise outside and decide to go investigate, go to 1B.

If you prefer nothing spooky to happen in this story because your bowels can't handle it, then go to 1C.

Ring ring ring!
Who could that be? you wonder.
You pick up the phone and say, "Hello?"
"Greetings!" says on the voice on the other end. "I am a murderer, and I am conducting a survey. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?"

If you don't mind if the murderer asks you a few questions, go to 2A
If you quickly hang up, go to 2B.

Is that the sound ax, scythe, or other sharp tool slowly being sharpened on a rock? Better go check it out!

If you take your trusty musket, go to 3A.
If you oil up your muscles and go outside with only your fists and a lot of gumption, go to 3B.

Fine, you big baby. Just watch this. It will all be over soon.


"Not at all, Mr...Murderer, did you say it was?"
"Please, just call me Murderer," he replies, very politely. "Now, here is my first question. 'What is your favorite scary movie?'"
"Why, that's a good question. And I thank you for asking it," you say. "I would have to say..."

If you say, "Friday the 13th," go to 4A.
If you say, "Halloween," go to 4B.
If you say nothing at all because he has already slaughtered you, go to 4C.

"AAAAAAAAA!" you scream and quickly hang up the phone. You've seen this movie before and know how this shit will go down. First, he asks you what your favorite movie is, then, you realize he's calling from inside your house. Then, you run upstairs as quickly as you can and close yourself into an easily accessible room and cry and cry as he breaks down the door with an ax. Soon, all that's left of you is a head frozen into a permanent scream face.

If you run upstairs as quickly as you can and close yourself into an easily accessible room and cry and cry, go to 5A.

If you run to your panic room in the basement and close yourself in with a month's worth of food and other supplies, go to 5B.

You and your trusty musket head outside to investigate the strange noise. Following the spooky sound, you find yourself face to face with....George Washington! The rumors were true. Your cherry tree is in shambles.

Living out some kind of Predator fantasy? Well, you're in the wrong movie, bucko. This is fucking Terminator.

"Oh, me too!" the polite murderer gushes unabashedly. "It's my favorite! You know what, I like you. This is the funnest time I've ever had being a murderer."
"I feel the same way!" you say. "Usually murderers call my house and they are so impolite. You are a real treat, sir."
"That is a terrific compliment. I'm touched," says the murderer.
When he sneaks into your house 15 minutes later and kills you, he does it with the utmost respect for you as a person.

"Oh, me as well!" the polite murderer sputters unashamedly. "It's my number 1! You know what, I adore you. This is the most amusing time I've ever had being a slaughterer."
"I feel the same way!" you say. "Usually murderers call my house and they are so rude. You are a real jolly soul, sir."
"That is wonderful praise. I'm fondled," says the murderer.
"Did you just say you're fondled?" you query.
"Yes," says the murderer. "I looked the word 'touched' up in the thesaurus for some variety, and that was the first listing."
You immediately hang up the phone and dial 911. There is something terribly wrong with people who don't know how to use thesauruses correctly!



Really? This is the option you chose?
Okay, fine.
You look around the bathroom in which you've trapped yourself to wait for certain death. What a mess! Well, there's no time like the present to do a bit of tidying up. You've just finished scrubbing the toilet when the murderer finds you and hacks you to bits. "Will you look at the shine on that shower wall? She must use Scrubbing Bubbles!" he thinks as he stuffs your body into garbage bags.

Too bad the only food you thought to stockpile was candy corn! Mwahahahahaha!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Message from Vlad the Impaler

Hello, people of the world. Vlad the Impaler here. Scourge of Romania. He who impales and bathes in the blood of his enemies. Good times.

So, I've been doing a lot of thinking since the 1400s, and I want to make it clear that the days of impaling are behind me. That whole thing was just a bad idea. I want to change my image and make a clean start.

"How do you intend to do that, Vlad?" you ask. "I mean, it's hard to just forget between 40,0000 and 100,000 deaths by impaling. All that blood! All those pointed sticks! And the smell. The smell!" Well, in response to that question, I plan to make many, many apologies to the families of those I impaled. So, here goes.

I just want to say I'm really sorry for all of the impaling. I got a little carried away. I mean, you make a guy the prince of Wallachia and give him an unlimited supply of sticks, and what do you expect is going to happen? But that is no excuse. I impaled many people with those sticks and allowed their lifeless corpses to rot and fester in the sun for my own amusement, and for that I am very, very sorry. It was a bad thing to do. And you can trust me when I say that it will never happen again.

And just to show how sincere I am about the apologies I'm making today, I have purchased several thousand Hallmark cards. So, check your mail. If I impaled your ancestor, you'll be getting a very special message from me quite soon. The cards have a little puppy on the cover. He's got this sad expression on his face, and at the bottom it says, "I'm sowwy." I think you'll all really like it. I apologize in advance for impaling each card on the end of a tiny stick. Old habits, you know?

Now that we've cleared that up, I have a little request. We've been calling me Vlad the Impaler for the last 500 years or so. Would it be a nuisance at all for everyone to start calling me by my given name, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia? I just feel like the old name has such a nasty vibe. And it's not doing me any favors. I applied for a job the other day, and despite my credentials as the ruler of a nation, I was told that my credentials as a maniac outweighed those. I've been able to pick up work poking toothpicks through sandwiches at the deli, but it doesn't pay much, and bills at the manse are piling up.

So, if you hear anyone using my old name, please just let them know that I'm going by Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia now. I mean, I definitely won't impale you for calling me just Vlad or Prince Vlad or Scourge of Romania. I may poke you with a sharp stick. But that's it. I won't go any further. I've learned my lesson.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Frightening Friday: Dr. Frankenstein: Dead Body Hoarder

This is the best idea I've ever had. --Dr. Frankenstein


Oh, it's you. Sorry, you really shouldn't sneak up on me like that. I was just reading this super scary book called Black Beauty. It's all about this talking horse who terrorizes people all over the English countryside with his clip-clopping hoof noises and bloodcurdling whinny.

But you didn't come here to hear about the book I'm reading. "Save it for book club," am I right? You came here for your weekly dose of terror. And, don't worry, I won't let you down. I hope you are as terrified reading this story as I was writing it. It's called...

Dr. Frankenstein: Dead Body Hoarder

If you visit a mall during store hours, there is plenty of people-watching to do. The only problem is that those people will be doing a lot of uninteresting things, like eating stale pretzels and deciding whether or not to return those towels to Macy's. If you sit there too long, you will get really, really bored and wonder why you decided on a boring hobby like people-watching. 

However, if you visit a cemetery late at night, you will find a much better quality of people-watching. Particularly if those people are carrying shovels.

Dr. Frankenstein was one of those people, as he was at the cemetery with a shovel most nights. He had gotten very bored with his original hobby of people-watching and decided to take up people-dismembering. And since live people mind being dismembered, Dr. Frankenstein sought out only dead people--by digging them up.

Now, you're probably asking yourself what Dr. Frankenstein did with the dead bodies once he dug them up and dismembered them properly. And the answer is that he took them home and hoarded them. And if you're wondering if that made his castle smell bad, the answer is yes.

It was lucky he lived in a castle, really. If he'd lived somewhere smaller, like a trailer house or a tent, the bodies really would have stacked up quickly. But because Dr. Frankenstein lived in such a large domicile, he had really only filled one room with his collection so far. And it was the library, and no one ever went in there anyway because the only books Dr. Frankenstein owned were vegan cookbooks.

"Hey," say my vegan readers. "I would have gone in there for vegan cookbooks."

To which I say, "No, you wouldn't have because, remember? Dead bodies."

Now, as you've likely guessed by now, Dr. Frankenstein's body collection really, really bothered his neighbors.

"Those bodies are bringing down the resale value on my house!" said Dr. Frankenstein's next door neighbor.

"I don't feel comfortable raising my children in a neighborhood with a man who only owns vegan cookbooks!" said his neighbor who lived across the street.

"Something must be done!" said a third neighbor, who was just really glad that the focus was off him being a peeping Tom.

"I have an idea," said the next door neighbor. "Let's get torches and pitchforks! And then we'll...tend Dr. Frankenstein's lawn under cover of darkness."

"But what about the bodies?" asked the second neighbor.

"You didn't let me finish," said the first neighbor. "Then, we'll hunt down that maniac...and make him clean his house!"

"Excellent idea," said the third neighbor. "And while you're doing that, I'll go get my binoculars and make sure all the neighborhood women are not in their showers and are, in fact, helping with the cleanup effort."

"And I," said the second neighbor, "will go in search of a clinical psychologist who specializes in hoarding to help Dr. Frankenstein cope."

And so the neighbors went their separate ways in search of torches, pitchforks, cleaning supplies, clinical psychologists, and binoculars.

Three days later, the house was cleaned, the bodies were all safely incinerated at the town morgue, and everyone was happy. Everyone except Dr. Frankenstein, who really missed those dead bodies.

But eventually, with the help of the clinical psychologist, Dr. Frankenstein came to understand that the reason for his hoarding stemmed from bad early childhood memories of his parents selling several of his toys at garage sales. After many months of therapy, he was able to stop hoarding bodies in his library. Instead, he moved them to the basement and began to experiment on them.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Frightening Friday: The Shirtless Werewolf and Vampire Epidemic

Hey, werewolf. Why so sad?

 Oh, hey, everybody. I'm just hanging out here all casual. Nothing's going on. I'm absolutely not going to...VAMPIRE!

Did I scare you?

Good. You should be scared. Because vampires are TOTALLY SCARY. They drink blood. They sleep in coffins. They sit by your bed and watch you sleep all night. They make sweet, sweet love to you within the bonds of matrimony. Terrifying!

You know what else is scary? WEREWOLVES! They turn into animals with an uncontrollable appetite during the full moon, or whenever. They flex their muscles. They wear jorts.

I know that right now you're getting really, really scared and want me to just stop writing this and do something more wholesome for Halloween, like bake sugar cookies shaped like bats. But I won't. Why? Because it's Frightening Friday. So, put on one of those Poise pads to prevent "terror leakage," and let's do this thing.

The Shirtless Werewolf and Vampire Epidemic

The people of Los Spatulas, New Mexico, had a terrible problem. The town was overrun with werewolves. And worse, the werewolves were handsome. Very, very handsome. And they walked around without shirts on, and they were sweaty. So sweaty.

Even worse than that, the town was also overpopulated by vampires. Sexy vampires, who wanted nothing more than to drive around the town recklessly without shirts on and violate that rule about only coming out at night.

As you can imagine, everyone in the town of Los Spatulas was distracted by all that sweaty, shirtless sexiness, and it caused a lot of problems. The mayor spent afternoons locked in his office with binoculars and an economy-sized tub of Vaseline, not signing a single bill into law. The town religious leaders had slumber parties every night at which the rabbi frequently dared the Lutheran minister to totally make out with a picture of one of the town's more attractive werewolves, rather than concentrating on sermon writing and helping the poor. The principal at the high school gave lots and lots of spankings to naughty teenage vampires and werewolves as often as he could. In fact, that's what he was doing when a disgruntled former shop teacher broke into the cafeteria and mowed everyone down with a nail gun.

"What was that noise?" said the vampire the principal was spanking at the time. "And why does the school suddenly smell so delicious?"

"Shut up and grab those ankles, you sparkly bloodsucking hunk of man!" said the principal.

Needless to say, Los Spatulas was in a bad situation. And it wasn't helped by the overpopulation of fairies, who were also very sexy.

Did I forget to mention the fairies? Sorry about that. Oh, and the werepanthers. Hot, shirtless, sexual fairies and werepanthers. It was all so sexy and hot that I need to take a five minute break from writing this to take an ice bath.


Ahhh, that's better. Now, where was I? Yes, fairies and werepanthers.

"Hey, you forgot about the Maenads," you remind me. And, yes, thank you, there were also Maenads. And shifters. And Hobbits. And ghouls...

I think that covers all of the sexy supernatural creatures in the  town...

Oh, wait, no. And wood elves. And ents. And orcs. And centaurs. And not a shirt among any of them to hide their delicious, supernatural pec muscles.

"Good lord," you're saying, "How many super attractive supernatural creatures could possibly live in this town?" And let me tell you, lots. And they thrived on the wildlife in the woods surrounding Los Spatulas because all of them were far too respectful of human life to ever try to consume a human. Of course, this meant that eventually all of the bears, cougars, uni-kittens, ferrets, deer, bats, penguins, wolves, otters, badgers, beavers, and skunks who lived in the woods were all extinct.

But that's not important, unless you are some kind of environmentalist type who doesn't care at all about the well-being of hot, sexy supernatural creatures who need to eat.

"Bethany, are you ever going to get to the point?" you interrupt.

"Of course," I reply. "Don't be ridiculous. The point is in the next sentence."

The only person in Los Spatulas who was even concerned at all about the sudden overpopulation of supernatural creatures and sudden underpopulation of woodland animals was the protagonist of the story, who really should have been introduced in the first paragraph, but I was too busy describing hot, sweaty supernatural bodies to notice that tiny oversight. And because it's now so late in the story, I will simply call her "Protagonist." Just know that she's just moved to town, she's totally emo, and her blood is delicious.

"Oh, I don't even get a name now?" asks Protagonist.

"Shut up, or I'll kill you off in the next paragraph," I reply.

"Well, here's what I--" Protagonist started to say, but then she died.

I guess we're just going to have to end the story here, as we no longer have a protagonist. Just know that the ending was going to be awesome, complete with a fundraiser for the Los Spatulas Wildlife Conservancy. And several-paragraph-long graphic descriptions of vampire sex.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Everyone Is Hitler!

Hitler, on the finger phone with Ann Coulter.

What a terrible week I'm having!

Last night, on my way home from work, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription, and the lady at the counter said I would have to wait 15 minutes for the pharmacist to come back. And I said, "Hey, I don't think so, Hitler. This is America, and if I want my prescription now, I'm going to get it."

She said, "Hey, you don't have to be such a Hitler. I said the pharmacist would be back soon."

But I'm super busy and important, and simply did not have time to wait 15 minutes. So, I walked out. And on my way out the door, this little kid got in my way. So I yelled at him, "Get out of the way, you stupid Hitler!" And the kid started to cry, and his mom called me a Hitler for yelling at him.

So, I got home, and my cat was waiting for me in the doorway, meowing to be fed. "Okay, Hitler. I get it. You're hungry. Can't you even wait two minutes for me to put my stuff down?" But she continued meowing at me in the most oppressive way possible, completely aware of how Hitler-ish she was being. So I finally broke down and fed her just to shut her up. Stupid cat Hitler.

Then, things went from bad to worse.

So, my downstairs neighbor knocked on my door. She's this little old lady who hardly speaks a word of English. Lo and behold, she was having a heart attack, and in a very Hitler-like way, insisted that I call 911 for her.

"What?" I said. "But this is my personal phone. Why can't we use your phone to call 911, Hitler? I don't want to waste my minutes on that."

But my neighbor didn't have a chance to respond because she turned blue and passed out right on my rug. If she had been awake, I'm sure she would have called me a complete and utter Hitler. So, I went downstairs to her apartment and jimmied the lock and used her phone to call 911.

"911. Hitler speaking. How may I help you?" the voice on the other end said.

"My neighbor is having a heart attack or something," I replied.

"Well, what do you want us to do about it, Hitler?" the voice said.

"I dunno. I thought maybe you could come by and save her life or something," I said.

"You can't tell me what to do, Hitler!" And then the 911 operator hung up.

When I went back upstairs, my neighbor was still oppressing my rug with her unconsciousness, so I pulled her out into the hallway to wait for the EMTs to arrive.

And because my day had been so difficult, I decided to just order a pizza for dinner because if there is anything I hate doing, it's dishes. When my arms are elbow deep in suds, all I can think is how oppressing it is to have to do dishes. Like my dishes are Hitler or something.

Ring ring! went the phone at the pizza place.
"Hitler!" said the pizza man.

"And a Hitler to you too," I said. "I would like to order a pizza with extra cheese."

"Do you want a side of cheesy bread?" he asked.

"Stop trying to sell me things I don't want, Hitler!" I retorted.

"Fine, Hitler," he said. Twenty minutes later I had a delicious pizza, even though the delivery man was rude. I told him to stop oppressing me with his tip expectations like Hitler would if Hitler had been a delivery man and not a dictator. He glared at me, and all I could think was that he looked like Hitler right then, his hairy upper lip trembling. "HITLER!" he shouted and ran away, careful to step over my neighbor who was still hanging out in the hallway, Hitlering up the place.

Finally, with a slice of pizza in my hand, I was able to sit down and relax from my long, Hitlerous day and take in some World War II documentaries. That Mussolini guy was such a dick!                                                   

Monday, September 26, 2011

Frightening Fridays: Brace Yourselves...FOR TERROR!

11 days...

"AAAAAAAA! 11 days until what?" you ask.

"TERROR!" I reply in the spookiest manner.

But until October 7, which will officially kick off Frightening Fridays 2011, I know you will want to tickle your spooky bone by revisiting some of these spine-tingling tales of terror from Frightening Fridays past.

Who could forget Terrifying Evil Clowns of Terror?
Or the Gourmet Zombie Brain Eater?
And what about The Impolitely Accused Witches of Salem?
I know you still like awake at night fearing The Babysitters Who Go Check Out That Mysterious Noise Alone Club.
If that's not enough terror, maybe try out A Very Depressing Tale of Lost Hopes and Dreams.
Definitely don't read The Flying Dutchman in 2010 right before bed.
And if you value your sanity and un-peed pants, definitely avoid Hotel Room Showers Are Scary.
AAAAAAAAA! I just got really scared thinking about Dracula's Terrible Houseguests.
And, oh my god, what was that noise? I sure hope it wasn't the Camp of Questionable Safety Standards!

See you in 11 days.... Mwahahahahahahaha!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg Decides to Make Changes to Facebook and Everybody's Totally Mad at Him

I feel like everyone in the world is up in arms today, whether it be about the very sad situation in Georgia or the very unimportant situation on Facebook.

I think it's time for a story, and I have a perfect one for today. It's called "Mark Zuckerberg Decides to Make Changes to Facebook and Everybody's Totally Mad at Him."And I was going to illustrate it using Lego people, but I cannot because of my computer situation. So, just know that the part of Mark Zuckerberg was going to be played by Lego Lucius Malfoy (pictured above).

Mark Zuckerberg Decides to Make Changes to Facebook and Everybody's Totally Mad at Him

One night Mark Zuckerberg was sitting in his solid gold ergonomic office chair at Facebook headquarters, thinking about what mean things he could do to people. And after he thought about it for a while and decided that it would be virtually impossible to leave flaming bags of poop on every doorstep in the world, he thought, "Maybe I'll just do what I always do and make some miniscule changes to Facebook again. And then I'll get to spend the rest of the day reading irate statuses and giggling with glee."

"Bad idea, Mark Zuckerberg," said some guy who works at Facebook, who would have been played by a Lego man who looks a bit like my dad. "Facebook users will totally threaten to leave again."

"Don't question my authority!" said Mark Zuckerberg, and suddenly the Lego man who looks like my dad was no longer able to access his Farmville.

"Nooooooo!" said the Lego man who looks like my dad.

"That's what you get," said Mark Zuckerberg. "Good luck harvesting those virtual crops tonight. Mwahahahahaha!"

And with that, Mark Zuckerberg escaped to the secret laboratory under Facebook headquarters where he carried out his evil plan to change Facebook once again. Of course, the description of what happened next involves lots and lots of coding and that's boring for us laypeople, so let us skip ahead to what happened the next morning.

On September 21, 2011, President Barack Obama, who would have been played by Lego Harry Potter, turned on his computer and immediately went to his Facebook to post an amusing cat video.

"What's this?" said President Barack Obama. "Changes to Facebook again? Get me Mark Zuckerberg on the phone!" And almost immediately, President Barack Obama was on the phone with Mark Zuckerberg.

"Mark Zuckerberg, I'm totally mad at you!" said President Barack Obama. "There's some thing on Facebook now that forces me to read about every photo liking and every friending of two people. And I just read that Kathleen Sebelius likes Hootie and the Blowfish. Why would I want to read that?"

"Mwahahahahaha!" cackled Mark Zuckerberg. "Not even you can stop me from forcing every Facebook user in the world to read that one person is now friends with another."

"I'll get you for this if it's the last thing I do!" said President Barack Obama and quickly hung up the phone, updated his status to say that he was mad at Mark Zuckerberg, and then got back to work on fixing the economy.

Meanwhile, people all over the world were logging in to their Facebook accounts and exploding with irritation.

"I have to click here instead of there to look at friends' photos. I'm so mad right now!" said an average female Facebook user who would have been played by my Lego zookeeper.

"Honey, I heard you shout in irritation!" said her husband, who would have been played by a Lego palace guard.

"Facebook is different now!" his wife replied. "I'm so upset I'm going to write a long Note and tag all of our Facebook acquaintances so they can read about how mad I am."

"Yes, honey," said the palace guard. "That will definitely get Mark Zuckerberg to change Facebook back to the way it was."

And so the Facebook user who would have been played by my Lego zookeeper wrote out a long manifesto about how if Facebook didn't change back to how it was, she was totally going back to MySpace. She tagged her seven friends. All of them responded with comments like, "Totally agree!" and "Do you hear this, Mark Zuckerberg?"

Of course, Mark Zuckerberg heard them. He was sitting in the atrium of Facebook headquarters, the place where he always sat to bask in the irritation he had caused. But he was not swayed by the irritation of the user who would have been played by a Lego zookeeper. "Nobody tells me what to do!" And from that moment until the end of the day, every time that user tried to post a YouTube video, she got some spinning circle that gave her the impression the video was loading when it really wasn't.

Mark Zuckerberg was very pleased with his day. "My work here is done," he giggled to himself.

And not to be left out, his very agreeable butler, who would have been played by Lego Dobby the House Elf said, "Yeah, you sure showed them."


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Eulogy for My Late Computer

And so, early this morning at 12:21 AM, my PC, She-Ra, Princess of Power III, perished from this earth and went to the big electronics discount store in the sky. She was five.

Let us mourn her now by remembering what she gave us.

Who could forget how She-Ra, Princess of Power III sometimes smelled like melting plastic? How her charger made that buzzing sound that was either a swarm of angry gnats or a short of some kind? She-Ra, Princess of Power III, if you are out there listening, just know that whenever I smell burning plastic from now on, I shall think of you and quickly get my fire extinguisher.

I'll never forget how you liked to shut down without warning, sometimes losing all evidence of anything I had written. You taught me to hit Command+S with the diligence of a person with OCD shutting off the stove knobs. For that, you are a hero, I suppose.

Let us also remember how She-Ra, Princess of Power III was sometimes completely un-usable for several hours because of "software updates" and "virus scans" and how that taught me the value of patience and many, many colorful swear words.

She-Ra, Princess of Power III, we were together for a long time. A very long time for a computer and the user who grew to hate it. And now I like to think that you're up in heaven, annoying the shit out of the angels.

Monday, September 12, 2011

If It's Called "Mono" Then Why Are There So Many of Them?

The other day, my doctor told me that I have mono. And that I've probably had it off and on for more than a year, which explains why all I have wanted to do for longer than I can remember is lie on my sofa under a pile of blankets and pretend I'm a cicada nymph. Before that diagnosis, I firmly believed in three things: 1) that once you've had mono, you can never have it again, 2) it lasts a few terrible weeks at most and then is gone, and 3) that when you're sick, fairies come down from the sky and cure all your illnesses while you sleep with fairy dust poultices applied to your chest area. Therefore, going to the doctor is always optional, unless you lose a limb and can't manage to cauterize the wound on your own.

Apparently I've been wrong about all three things for my entire life.

I had mono in high school, and I was gone for an entire week, and the only awesome thing about that was that I didn't have to stand up for those mortifying perfect attendance awards we had at the end of the school year where everyone would look at you like you were some kind of never-sick goody-two-shoes.

My doctor told me that I have "old mono" and "new mono." And I don't know what that means, but I like to imagine the old mono walking around the golf course in my spleen remarking, "Neville, old bean, have you seen all this new mono walking around? How gauche." Meanwhile the new mono are all out on their yacht with a lot of topless bacteria, screaming, "Woo! Partay!"

Long story short, mono is an asshole. So, don't get mono. Unless your goal in life is to hibernate through your 30s.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Your Personal Account of Where You Were and What You Were Doing on September 11 Is Really Boring

You can't tell by looking at him, but this bald eagle is bored out of his mind.


Hey, over here.

Yeah, you.

Come here.

I don't know how to tell you this, so I'm just going to come right out and say it.

Your personal account of the events of September 11, 2001, wherein you were watering your lawn and "...ran inside real quick to turn on the TV" is seriously...SERIOUSLY boring.

You need to stop telling it.

No, don't argue with me.

I think we both know this is for the best.

When people ask the question, "Where were you?" they are actually hoping you'll say, "I was a firefighter. I ran into the first tower and personally saved the lives of 27 people" so they can tell everyone they know that they met a real life hero and got to buy him a drink.

They don't want to know that you were, " your hotel room ironing your pants for the big software conference and saw the tragedy unfolding on the news."

I know it was a big, scary, sad, angry day for you. It was a terrible day for everyone. But I think we can all agree that since you were 700 miles from Ground Zero and "heading to the garage to get your oil changed" at the time of the attacks, it's safe to say that your account is not worth hearing more than once. It's been 10 years, and you don't even own that car anymore.

And now you're thinking, "But, Bethany, how do I know if my personal account of 9/11 is really interesting or if people are just nodding and smiling when I tell it?"

I'm so glad you asked. Here's how you know.

1. If your story includes the words "I ran in and turned on the TV," it's boring. Did anyone but the Amish NOT turn on their TVs that day? Answer: no.

2. If part of your account includes calling everyone you know to verify that they are all fine and still living at least 500 miles from New York, DC, and Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, it's not worth hearing.

"But, Bethany," you quickly chime in, "Can I tell that part where I took off my shirt, painted my chest red, white, and blue, went on a three-day bender, and woke up on Lee Greenwood's front lawn with the lyrics of "Proud to Be An American" tattooed across my chest?"

Yes. That one you can tell. But if it drifts into where you like to shop for post-tragedy snow globes, I'm going to stop you.

Disclaimer: The author reserves the right to say these mean things because her 9/11 account starts, "I was asleep..." and she admits openly that it is pretty boring.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Letter to My Poor, Neglected Blog


Dear Blog (or as I like to call you, Admiral Blogworthy),

No, I haven't abandoned you, despite how it may feel every time I click over here and then click quickly away without typing a single word. I've been working on other projects. Projects that could potentially put my silly internet typing out to more people than just the 28 wonderful people who admit to following this page, and my mom. Because, for me, the important thing is to have my work read by other people, and not just me when I go back and read something and giggle over it when I'm alone and drunk on my couch at night.

But there is good news. There will be Frightening Friday posts in October, unless I die before then. So, keep your widgets peeled, Blog, because it will happen. Of course you should keep in mind that I am the queen of empty blog promises, so there is a 45% chance that it won't happen. But, still, I will be attempting to make the effort. And if I don't, know that I will have a cinder block of guilt sitting on my chest making things very uncomfortable throughout November.

Anyway, farewell for now, Blog.

Your friend,


Friday, May 13, 2011

The Very Short Conclusion of Harold the Town Sober

And he won! Because he voted for himself, and everyone else in town forgot about election day. And he declared the town a dictatorship. And no one noticed until years later when everyone in town went to AA.


Do you ever just write something and then get utterly bored and decide to euthanize it quickly and forget about it? Yeah, me too. Hence, the short conclusion of Harold the Town Sober. I'm going to blame it on the juice-wine.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

President Trump Takes Credit for Everything Ever

**I'm sick of looking up pictures of Donald Trump, so here is a picture of Voldemort instead.

"I am very proud of myself today," said President Trump in a press conference held on the roof of the newly-opened Washington Monument Hotel and Casino. "I, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, hereby take credit for everything ever." This was met with the applause of the gathered attendees including his children, First Lady Dakota Fanning Trump, and various former Apprentice participants.

He went on, "I am a patriot, having drafted and signed the very document that freed us from British control over 200 years ago. I am the smartest man alive, as I once wrote a little book called A Brief History of Time about the origin of the universe. Among other things, I also wrote and directed the movie Citizen Kane. And I just want everyone to know how proud I am of myself for doing all of these things. I'll now turn it over to the Speaker of the Hairdo to wrap up the alphabetical list of things I've decided to take credit for."

Trump then flew to Camp Ivanka aboard the helicopter that he invented.

Juice-Wine is Fine

This morning, my boyfriend said, "Hey, what do you want to drink for breakfast? Juice? Milk? Wine?" And I said, "How about some wine, but with juice in it...because it's breakfast?" Two minutes later, he brought me the juice-wine concoction I had requested, even though I was joking, and I drank it right down. And I can safely say that juice-wine is awesome and put me in such a good mood that not even the most annoying subway commute could bring me down today. And then I wrote this story about drinking at odd hours.

Harold, the Town Sober

"Once upon a time" is the best way for any story to start. It makes you go, "Oh, boy! A story that will surely take place in a kingdom far away. And it will have a beautiful princess and an evil queen and something sharp, pointed, and deadly." And then you want to read on to hear more about their hilarious shenanigans in which someone (the queen) eventually gets impaled upon the sharp, pointed, and deadly object and dies because she lives in a time and place where stitches weren't invented.

Unfortunately, this story does not start with "Once upon a time." Nor does it start "On a dark and stormy night." Or even with "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Instead, it starts with "Drunken buffoonery was not only tolerated in the village of Beerington, it was required." And then it goes on from there. You'll see if you read on.

Drunken buffoonery was not only tolerated in the village of Beerington, it was required. If you were born there, when you sprang from your mother's womb, you were not brought to her to suckle; instead, you were handed a bottle of tequila, a shaker of salt, several limes, and a very sharp knife with which to cut them. Then, the doctor who delivered you left for the pub. You learned very quickly how to mix your own cocktails, change your own diapers, and prepare your own hot wings, as that was the only food substance consumed by the people of Beerington.

Of course, because it was a functioning hamlet, the people of Beerington actually had to have town meetings. And because they were all drunk, they never got a thing resolved. Most of the time, the meetings would turn into brawls and the town's officers would have to arrest everyone, including themselves, and the entire population of Beerington would have to spend the night in lockup. In the morning, they would all bail themselves out just in time to head to head home for a breakfast of mimosas and hot wings.

There was one person who found this whole situation very stupid. And that was Harold, the town sober. Harold had never really liked the taste of alcohol. So when everyone else in town got up to drunken buffoonery, he would sip on a glass of non-alcoholic cranberry juice and say nonsensical things in a manner that convinced everyone that he was at the required levels of drunkenness.

Harold found it all very stupid because on the nights of town meetings, he would find himself just as locked up as all the drunks. But rather than passing out like everyone else did, he would have to sit awake in the dark and endure an entire town's bad breath and vomit puddles. Of course, he put this time to good use by going around and picking everyone's pockets. But before you think he did this out of villainy, it was actually to ensure that everyone paid their taxes. Thanks to Harold, there were perfectly paved roads going in and out of town (even though no one was allowed to drive on them), good schools for students to black out in, and a wonderful town square with a statue of Colonel Beerington, for whom the town was named. (He was a colonel who bravely founded the town's first saloon.) Long story short, Harold, the town sober, was the only reason the town hadn't fallen into a deep pit of disrepair years and years before. (And also just a regular old deep pit as the town was unwisely built on at the edge of an abandoned mine shaft, and Harold had wisely filled it in.)

During Harold's 27th year of living, he decided that he was tired of being the only responsible person in Beerington and never getting a bit of credit for it. So, he decided to run for political office.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

President Trump Signs Bill to Help Unwed Mothers

President Trump today signed a bill to help unwed mothers get up on their feet after spending years on welfare.

"Pushing this bill through has been difficult," said the President at a Gold House press conference this afternoon, "I've dropped at least 50 grand on everyone in Congress. Luckily, I have the cash because of all of the wise investments I made in the past. And the success of my hit show The Apprentice on NBC. Tune in Sundays at 9."

The new law will allow mothers who were previously on welfare to start their own businesses.

"Here's what these unwed mothers do under the new law," said the President. "They give me $100,000. I in turn give them the right to use the Trump name to open a daycare franchise. Trump's Daycares and Kiddie Spas. Luxury child care for babies and toddlers who appreciate the finer things in life."

The passage of the bill was met with skepticism in the form of an angry mob who gathered on the Gold House lawn.

"How, pray tell, do I get my hands on $100,000, President Trump?" asked one single mother who took part in the protest.

Trump lashed back, as he is wont to do when anyone criticizes him, with, "Maybe you should have made wiser investments in your past like I did. You really are not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are you?" He then had his butler turn on the sprinklers and was later seen departing for a month-long vacation to Majorca aboard Yacht Force One.

More on this story as it unfolds.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump Elected President

After telling the Electoral College to shut its fat mouth last night, Donald Trump was elected president in a landslide victory.

"See," said President-Elect Trump in his victory speech, "All you have to do is stand up for what you believe in, tell people to shut up, and throw some money at it, and your presidential dreams can come true."

"I don't know how this is possible," said Speaker of the House John Boehner. "But apparently there is a little-known loophole in the Constitution where presidential candidates can tell the Electoral College to shut its fat mouth and immediately be made president. How do you think Andrew Jackson got elected?"

Trump's run for the presidency has been interesting and often controversial. Last month he challenged incumbent Barack Obama to a "Presidential Staring Contest," rather than the traditional debate. Trump's ice cold stare was so intense that Obama developed a stutter and immediately went crying back to Kenya. No one has seen Obama since, leaving the country in the hands of Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump also selected his running mate, Jenna Jameson, through a nationally televised swimsuit competition and offered checks for $1,000 to anyone who vote for him.

"Now that I'm president," said Trump, "I can start getting this country back on track. No more men with ugly wives. No more lesbians. No more making reservations at the best hotel in Dubai only to have someone tell you that only the second best luxury suite is available because King Abdullah of Jordan decided to stay an extra night. We will rise above these challenges as a country."

Stay tuned for more presidential news as it unfolds...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dying Man Says, "Why Won't Anyone Tuesdays with Morrie Me?"

Terminally ill former college professor Geoffrey Grayburn likes to think that he spent his teaching years inspiring the students who took his classes. From behind his podium, he taught everything from Greek Mythology to Modern Lit.

"I like to think I shaped the minds of a few generations," Grayburn says with a laugh. Growing somber, he adds, "So why have none of my former students come forward since my diagnosis to Tuesdays with Morrie me?"

Day in and day out, Grayburn hangs out in his deathbed waiting for the phone to ring. Sometimes he reads a magazine. Sometimes he watches old episodes of Law & Order. But he has yet to spend any day with a former student talking about what a great teacher he used to be. He has yet to sit and listen while someone reads to him aloud from a Shakespeare collection, punctuating every somber moment with teary outbursts and the words, "Please don't die! You were the best teacher I ever had!"

"I stopped by for a visit once," said one former student who wanted to remain anonymous. "But he threw me out of the house when I refused to cry as I carried him up and down the stairs repeatedly while a photographer took touching photos of us spending his last days together."

"I brought him a casserole," said another former student. "But I refused to spoon feed it to him, so he had his videographer ask me to leave."

Says Grayburn, "I would just like to hear the words 'Professor Grayburn! I just heard the news, and I want you to know how great of an influence you were on my life. Yes, I absolutely agree that James Garner would be perfect for the role of you in the movie you're making about your life.' Is it so much to ask for a former student to show up at my door, tape recorder in hand, prepared to write a bestselling book about the time we spend together before I die? One that can be easily adapted into a screenplay? I'm terminally ill, people!"

Until a former student comes forward to properly express sadness over his illness and impending death, Geoff Grayburn will continue to sit alone in his darkened living room reciting, to himself, Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" as he enjoys an evening Jell-o and practices his proud facial expressions for when his film goes to Sundance.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Very Pleasant Nap

Hello. How are you today? I am fine. It is very, very nice to see you. I'm so glad you're here.

I'm talking to you like I would a nursing home resident because I am trying to keep you from committing suicide as this is February, the worst month of the year, and I know you are likely in a delicate mental state. No, don't argue with me. We both know you aren't "fine." You're cold and unhappy and surrounded by the forces of darkness. But I'm here to help by telling you a jolly, cheerful story that will definitely make you feel less like hacking into your wrists with a bread knife to let the blood out and more like hacking into a rainbow with the sharp edge of a Hallmark card to let the sparkles out. Just don't do anything drastic until you've had a chance to read on.

The Very Pleasant Nap

Once upon a time, there was a happy and well-adjusted young person named Lulu. There was absolutely nothing wrong in Lulu's life. She had nice parents who were also very well-adjusted and wealthy. She had a dog, a cat, and a pony all in good health. At school, where she excelled in her classes, Lulu had many, many friends. Her teachers all thought she was bright and kind and positively giggled as they wrote A's on all of her papers. Lulu said no to drugs and yes to being nominated for class president, an honor that she went on to win in a landslide victory. All in all, Lulu was perfect in every way.

Now, right about now you are thinking that Lulu must be the boringest person of all time and I am the worst writer ever because my story doesn't even have any conflict. But you are wrong because I am getting ready to add some right now.

The only person who hated Lulu was the school principal, Mr. Baxter. He hated her because everyone liked Lulu and didn't like him, despite the cheesy jokes he told at every pep rally. Mr. Baxter had discovered that no one liked him because he had sent around a survey in homeroom one day that asked students to please mark YES or NO to the question, "Do you like Mr. Baxter?" And everyone marked no, including all of the teachers, the janitors, the students, and even Mr. Baxter's wife who was dropping off his lunch that day. Mr. Baxter, as a result, was very depressed.

One day, while Lulu was in the cafeteria petitioning to make Friday macaroni and cheese day, causing all the students to love and adore her all the more, Mr. Baxter sat in his office, which was the only air conditioned room in the entire building and picked his nose and wiped it under the rim of his desk, which every single person hates unless they are as disgusting as Mr. Baxter. Which, if you are, please cease and desist for the sake of us all.

Mr. Baxter should have been hard at work alphabetizing the list of students who had detention that week, but instead he was trying to decide how to destroy Lulu once and for all. But that was very challenging for him because it said right in the school handbook that destroying a student once and for all was against school policy and would result in suspension and a failing grade. So he had to figure out how to destroy Lulu without breaking any rules in the school handbook. He could ill afford a failing grade at principaling. They would kick him off the faculty softball team.

"Eureka!" he cried, but not because he had found an answer to his problems. Eureka was the name of the school secretary who preferred to be called an office assistant. Eureka immediately came to see what Mr. Baxter wanted.

"Eureka, I've been plotting all afternoon, and I can't think of a thing to do to that stupid Lulu to ruin her life once and for all," said Mr. Baxter, who was very distressed.

"Mr. Baxter. You're a school principal," said Eureka. "Maybe instead of plotting against students, you should work on sending out memos to the teachers and working on the budget proposal for the school board meeting on Monday."

"Nonsense!" said Mr. Baxter. "This is far more important" and made Eureka sit down and take notes while he dictated an angry letter to his mother for not holding him more as a baby.

It was then that Lulu arrived at his office with her petition in hand.

"654 signatures, Mr. Baxter. Every single student in school signed, even the ones who were home sick because I went to their houses to take them soup," said Lulu cheerily. "Macaroni and cheese Fridays is a go!"

"Not so fast!" said Mr. Baxter, who suddenly realized what he needed to do. With a flourish of his pen, Mr. Baxter scribbled "DENIED" in black ink on the petition. And with another flourish, he wrote a note to the school cooks ordering them to make meatloaf every Friday until eternity. No school rules were broken, and Mr. Baxter had his victory.

Lulu was completely destroyed and went home weeping, for which she received a week's suspension and was automatically disqualified for the perfect school attendance award, which she had previously won every year. Mr. Baxter laughed and laughed and went around after school that day wiping his nose pickings under the rim of every desk in some kind of deranged school victory lap. He realized that although no one liked him, he was still an authority figure. The realization made him very happy until the end of his days, which happened a week after he retired at the age of 65. He died of a heat stroke because his house wasn't air conditioned like his office had been, and his body couldn't take the adjustment.


Well? How was your nap? I wrote this story extremely boring on purpose so that you could get some much-needed shuteye. The answer to winter depression is hibernation. Have you ever seen a depressed bear? I didn't think so.