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Wednesday, January 20, 2010



My friend Chris is an angler. He has acute angle for just about everything, since he used to be in sales. He and his girlfriend Caryn angle sometimes from a rowboat on a lake in upstate New York. Recently instead of a fish they angled a snail. This in itself is interesting, because snails are not very fast, and they are usually attached to a rock. A snail cannot go and chase your line with its bait on it. You pretty much have to catch a snail on its own terms, as he sits there on the rock. Which leads me to believe that Chris catches mostly rocks when he goes fishing.

I teased him and asked if he used a special line to catch the snail and he said, yes: “Do you come here often??”

So they get the snail home and foolishly put it in a tank with water. If it was me I would have done what I always did when I was a kid: put it in a shoebox with some grass and lettuce, and poke a couple holes in the top. Three hours later you have a shoebox with some grass, lettuce and a dead snail. But NO. It turns out snails are asexual, which means they dress well, get manicures and pedicures, spend a lot of time grooming fine lines into their facial hair, and vehemently refuse to discuss their sexual orientation. Unless I’m thinking of metrosexuals?

A snail doesn’t need a partner to have sex. It needs only a warm, comfortable environment and internet access. It saunters along the ground by the wall of the tank, in which it can see its own reflection, and goes, “Damn! I gotta hit dat.”

With my luck I would walk in on the snail having sex with itself, and we’d both be embarrassed, and I would have to explain that it’s perfectly normal, perfectly natural, all snails do it, blah, blah, blah. I dread having that talk.

So six days later there were 17 snails in the tank. They are smart enough to keep a quorum with an odd number so they can break any voting ties, unlike the New York legislature.

Two days after that, Chris asked me what he was going to do with 21 snails? Well, you could make a deal with a French restaurant. French people have a way of selling you for 37 dollars a plate of something you would normally pay $150 to have an exterminator get rid of. Come to think of it I wish he would go fishing in our pantry because I think we have a mouse.

Or he could sell them to a pet store. Someone told me that they sell snails there, but I don’t know if the snail is the pet or something you feed to another pet. I’m afraid to ask, because they know me at the pet store as someone who says weird things. I once burst into the pet store and yelled, “I want a TURTLE- and make it SNAPPY!”

Or he can use them to clean his car windshield. After 10 or 12 snails play touch football on your window, you can bet there will be not one speck of algae on it, although you might not be able to see through the dried slime.

Snails come with problems. Yes, they own their own homes, but like so many these days, they are underwater. And trying to run away from home presents a logistical nightmare.

Snails leave a trail. So you can ask, who took the last Dove Bar? And the snail will turn red and go, Not me, brother. But of course the oozy evidence leads right to the freezer….

Plus they move incredibly slowly. If you get into a checkout line at Home Depot that is not moving no way, no how, there is a snail working the register, guaranteed. And then it becomes tempting to finally learn how to use that Self-Checkout island where two people who could have been running registers tell you how to use it.

On the plus side they multiply really fast- I started taking one with me to the restaurant to calculate the tip. I look like a friggin’ genius now.

Incidentally, the snail’s antennae are not used for bringing in ESPN, as previously thought. The two large antennae are it’s eye stalks (it doesn’t see very well, even though its eyes get there a few minutes earlier than the rest of it), and the smaller ones are for feeling and smell. So if you punch a snail in the big antenna it will only be able to see half of you leave, but if you punch it in the small antenna, you will hurt its feelings.

Provided by website-hit-counters.com site.

Monday, January 11, 2010



Every year at around this time the inevitable happens: a New Year. Everyone gets excited, their expectations high, their mood buoyant. Then as the hour nears and reality sets in, they realize that there is no way they can face the New Year without more alcohol. Luckily there is plenty of champagne-related beverage available. It flows as fast as the staff can pour it into a plastic two-piece champagne-related-beverage-holding devices. And as with breasts, the saying also holds true for champagne: more than a champagne glass-ful is wasted.

Every one is dressed to the nines, the judges rarely awarding a perfect ten. They have had their nails done, even their toenails, although with a single-digit wind chill factor, no one is likely to see them. A brave few are willing to show that the toenail color matches the fingernail color, and even braver if they show that it matches the color of their panties. They have had their hair done. Someone with a one-word fake French name where you’re not sure if it’s their fake first name or fake last name charged $150 to color it, highlight it, curl it then straighten it. They use lots of product, but will not say which product they used. And that is just for the guys.

The girls look resplendent in an 800 dollar dress, with a .04 cent paper hat. Even less if it is the wrong year.

There is a lot of glitter. There will be glitter for weeks on end coming out of places that really could use a little sprucing up anyway.

But first there will be dinner. Shall we go Chinese? NO! Not upscale enough. What about Italian? NO! Too family-oriented. Mexican? Please. French! Ooh-la-la that’s perfect! We will finally go to that place that sounds like a poodle. We will take out another mortgage on our home, even though it is underwater. Soon we will be elbowing hermit crabs out of the way to live in a seashell. But it is New Years! Live a little for god’s sake. “Tonight we have Prixe fixie menu monsieur! Everything is included, even the mortgage application!” That sounds deLIGHTful, even though we will never finish it. A leaking doggie bag is the perfect accessory to an 800 dollar dress.

“Honey,” she muses, “what is your New Year’s Resolution?” Usually I try to have something ready for my New Year’s Resolution that will be meaningful and point me toward the future. Like getting involved with an illegal substance that will require me to resolve to get into rehab NEXT New Years. This year I said to myself (since everyone else has stopped listening to me), “Why should the New Year’s Resolution always be about me? Why shouldn’t it be about others?” And so this year My New Year’s Resolution is for others to be nicer to me.

And then we have to watch the Australians crow about how they are the very first to celebrate the New Year. Did they happen to go, “Check us out Down Under! The Real Estate bubble burst HERE FIRST!” They did not.

This year they let Dick Clark do the countdown, and I won’t make any jokes about the stroke of midnight, or anything like that, no matter how clever it would be. Suffice it to say that the last time I did a countdown like that, immediately afterward a doctor stuck a camera up my ass. And the time before that when I did a countdown like that, immediately afterward I was arrested for DWI. So obviously no good can come of it.

New Year’s Day, I am busy ringing in the New Year. Then I realize that the ringing is in my ear, and goes with a ballbuster of a hangover. When I go to the gym, there are about 40 fat people that I have never seen before. They wander around in an officious manner, with clipboards and pens, wearing brand new jogging outfits. After two or three weeks, the clipboards are gone, the jogging outfits are gone, and even the people are gone. I assume the fat is the one thing that remains. This could be due to hastily conceived New Year’s Resolutions that are lacking fine print. Peoples’ expectations are once again too high. Start low like this: “My New Year’s Resolution is to cut 50% of the fat out of my husband’s diet.” Stuff like that….

Incidentally, every New Year’s Eve a ball drops in Times Square signifying the passage of another year. The same thing also happens to me. The first ball dropped in 1907, but that was probably by accident. This year the ball is made of Waterford Crystal, and thanks to Dick Clark’s countdown, almost broke into a zillion pieces.

Provided by website-hit-counters.com site.