Category Archives: Humour

Cartoon Craziness Challenge – a Thing, redux

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I’m cheating again. I actually do have an idea for a mythical being, based off the comments on my last blog post, but I’d have to be a hell of a lot drunker than I am now. SuperVagina – yeah, you’d have to be wasted to draw that!

I know, I know, it’s Friday and I should be celebrating it! But I’m just too exhausted. So – cheater’s version of the Challenge!

Here’s a Thing I drew a while back, instead of SuperV.

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A Draining Morning

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Do you ever have so much going on that you want to share that you shut down entirely and say nothing? That’s been me, lately. I don’t know where to start so I … haven’t started. But there’s one thing I want to talk about, and I’ve been holding off because I don’t want to accidentally offend anyone. I’ve been put in that position recently on the blog, and now I have to write with my tiptoes. As you can imagine, those contortions aren’t comfortable.

A not-funny thing happened, that led to something funny, that led to a not-funny thing. I feel a rant of sorts coming on…

There was a clog in our big outside drain pipe. It was my fault. So of course I should be the one to fix it.

I have a plumbing snake, but it was too short to reach the clog. Being creative and not willing to either give up or pay someone, I electrical-taped an old shower hose to the snake, as an extension. It was still too short! So I electrical-taped a new shower hose to the old shower hose that was taped to the snake. Good thing I keep things like two unused shower hoses, eh? You just never know when random junk around the house might come in handy! Hoarder? Naw, just prepared for any eventuality. I choose to believe that. Nahnahnah I can’t hear you, Socks…

In any case, in the process of being shoulder deep in a big drain pipe, I got shit-water on me. I got it on my arms, on my hands (despite the gloves I changed about nine times in the course of my work), on my pants, on my shirt, and on my FACE. Yeppers: Poo-soup, on my face.

That’s funny, to me. I rather deserved poop all over me: I caused the problem. How, I will not detail. It was an attempt to save myself work that backfired badly. If it got in my eyes or mouth – maybe not so funny!

What really isn’t funny: someone saw me doing the work and asked about it. After I explained I was told, ‘That’s a man’s job. You tell your husband I said so!’

It wasn’t even physically challenging, unless you count kneeling on concrete for ages (ow). I didn’t explain why it was me doing the job beyond the simple answer that I’m plain-old-better at this sort of job. Hubby and I each have our talents, and this is one of mine, such as it is. I can deal with poop-soup on my face and clothes way better than he, and I deal with the frustrations of how long it takes to clear a big clog more calmly, too.

This is not to say that I don’t have a horrible temper that rockets off into incandescent rage for what seems like no reason (to anyone but me). Plumbing issues aren’t one of the things that piss me off – I don’t know why (or why not).

But this wasn’t a “man’s job”: it was a dirty, smelly, disgusting job. I have never believed that just because I don’t have a penis, I should be automatically exempted from doing dirty, smelly, disgusting work. I’m pretty sure every mom out there would back me up on that. Also: every female pet owner, every female carer for an elderly person, every female doctor or nurse – I could go on. How much excreta of various kinds and from various species do women deal with on a daily basis? I can’t imagine just because it was flushed it means it is less icky, can you? Hell, at least I knew who pooped the poop – a stranger’s poo would likely make me gag.

I’m not angry at the person who made the comment – he didn’t give me time to think about and explain why it was sexist. To be honest, I doubt I would have bothered, because I feel the comment was sexist toward men, too. I’m just as tired of hearing that men should be the ones to do all the physical work as I am at hearing that women shouldn’t do any of it.

Has anyone else had a moment like this? What did you do or say? I think next time it happens, I’ll say a lot more in response, myself.

Cartoon Craziness Challenge – Memories of a Childhood Vacation

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I have a funny vacation memory! Yay! Well, it’s not exactly funny. It’s something that probably should not have happened – it shouldn’t have been possible and it wasn’t technically legal – but it did teach me that my dad’s word was as good as gold.

We lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so we went to the mountains in North Carolina a couple years in a row on holiday vacation (back then a ‘holiday’ to me was a real one like Christmas). We rented a cabin on the lower slope of a mountain, and just chilled out. I loved it – the people who ran the cabin rentals lived at the bottom and had goats and sheep and let me interact with them. There were rocks and trees and giddy little rivers, and panning for gemstones. The panning was most likely seeded with stones, but it was fun for me anyway. I still have a chunk of flaky mica I found all on my own, too.

I was, I’m going to guess, between 9 and 11. So we’ll say I was 10 when this occurred. Not sure if it was raining out or what, but we were all inside the cabin. I also don’t know who came up with the idea, but I’m assuming it was me: I bet my dad that I could hold my eyes open without blinking for one whole hour, if I could have one whole can of beer all to myself! I always did like beer…

Dad agreed and timed me and made sure I didn’t blink. I wouldn’t have cheated, either – I wanted to see if I could do it.

Of course my eyes welled up and streamed tears. But after a good while, they tapered off. They got used to it. My eyes felt dry, but I didn’t have the urge to blink anymore.

I made it the whole hour. Mom might have protested a bit, maybe, but dad didn’t hesitate and popped the top on a can just for me. I can’t remember if I managed to drink the entire can of beer, but I can guess that I was just as stubborn about finishing it as I was at winning it. I do recall a sense of satisfaction at being able to kick back with a beer of my own, with my family. Maybe I was just a happy drunk!

So here is my cartoon – and it sure did need that explanation or you wouldn’t have a clue what it is meant to be.

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Day One of my Staycation

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Ghastly word, “staycation,” isn’t it?

But still. I have the week off and unless the weather turns fan-fucking-tasctic, I’ll be mostly cleaning and sorting out my messy-ass house.

Today: took a shower. Sad that I have to put that there, but I hate them. It’s an achievement like the rest.

Cleaned the poop from the cat boxes and picked the dog poop out of the yard.

Found the smelly thing in the fridge and gagged twice before taking it outside. Finally! It’s been driving me crazy, that stank. Cleaned the whole fridge on Saturday and missed the rotten chicken somehow.

Went through my underwear/sock drawer and tossed a bunch of stuff. Didn’t toss it very far. Into the rag pile, because I can’t throw anything away. But I have a fun and thrifty and generous idea of what to do with the rags, so it’s all good.

Cleared and cleaned the top of my dresser. Damn but that took a long time. Soooo dusty and cluttered.

Vacuumed the bedroom, and mopped most of it. Didn’t get into the piles of crap on my side of the bed – because said piles aren’t of my crap. How many computers need to live in the bedroom!?!?

Cleared out the bathroom in preparation to wash the dog. She’s shedding again so it will be a furry mess when I get around to bathing her. Vacuumed and mopped, too – figured I might as well only have her wads of hair to clean up (rather than hers, mine, two cats’ worth, and of course hubby with the long golden locks).

Piled up more crap on the upstairs landing for sorting later.

Took pictures of today’s tigridia blooms. Killed the caterpillars on my now three? four? year old purple sprouting broccoli plant.

Vacced and mopped the stairs, piling even more crap onto the landing that was ‘meant to go up’ but never quite made it.

Cleared and vacced and mopped the entryway and hallway – and discovered a disgusting nest of clothes-eating moths. Seriously, pupae cases and caterpillar poop and all. Put every last scarf and glove into the wash. Sterilised the weird wooden thing we keep all the scarves and gloves in and put it outside to dry. Recycled old phone books, unwrapped new ones. Ignored the pile of crap on top of the bookcase that still needs sorted, but at least the front door opens all the way now.

Scrubbed the icky floor mat that sits inside the front door. Ewwwwww. That took ages, too.

Laundry was done but a glove sprung a thread-leak and turned the whole load into a massive tangle which had to be unknotted and then put on another spin – the knot made the load uneven and everything was still sopping wet. Hung it out on the line to be smoked by hubby’s BBQ later on. Meh, it might have helped.

Gave up on getting anything more done, and quickly (and badly) vacuumed the living room and kitchen to get the tumble-dogs off the floor.

Cracked a beer and sat down to relax before doing the dishes and bringing in the laundry off the line, and *sniff* – realised that I forgot to put on deodorant after my shower.

Ah well, I’ll probably need another shower after washing the dog anyway.

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The boys were NO HELP AT ALL.

Cartoon Craziness Challenge – Self Portrait with Spots

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My contribution to the Cartoon Craziness Challenge – this week’s theme is a self portrait. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t making fun of myself, so the original post is about talking in my sleep, Lokii being evil, and finally my getting yet another zit, or spot, at the age of 40. Yes I’m fucking well older than that now and I still get them, so I repeat: what the hell?
Anyhoo, I’ve re-read it, and it’s kinda funny so please do have a look!

So I’m kinda cheating on the challenge, as I already had this drawn years ago. Tough noogies.

Moi, for real (I drew my features from a photo) with a Giant Irish Talking Spot/Zit from Hell.

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Scaranoctupus

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My summer-fruiting raspberries are now enjoying their second year in my garden, and we are enjoying them, too.

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I’ve been picking at least this many every morning. They don’t last past noon, so no chance of me having enough to cook with. We don’t care – they are too tasty to resist!

The birds can’t resist them either. The wee finches and sparrows and tits leave them alone. As do the giant crows and rooks and ravens. It’s the middle sized birds that found my bounty – starlings.

Luckily for me, the day they started to ripen I was asleep on the couch downstairs, just a few meters from the back door (sliding glass type). Spottie cat the mighty hunter saw the robbers and set up the alarum. Okay, actually? He went ‘mehmehmehmeh! ikikikikik!’ at them, and that woke me up. He did sound a bit different though, so I got up to see.

Dammit! I never thought I’d have bird troubles, and had no netting or anything else handy at 4:30 am to keep them away.

But I’m a quick thinker, and came up with a solution instantly. All I had to do was get my bare feet wet in the dew, and the problem was solved!

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Neko will just have to live without her huge octopus until the growing season is over.

Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

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Slimy… Check. Kinda cute? Check!

I have potatoes growing in a pot. First time I’ve tried it this way, but I’m sick to death of the taters I never planted coming up year after year in my small vegetable patch. Said patch is nothing but sage and oregano now – with the never-ending, never-able to fully dig out potatoes growing up amongst the uncountable stems and roots.

The ones in the pots were started from the eyes from store-bought spuds that I let get go to long before eating. I chopped those eyes out, left maybe a centimetre or quarter inch of potato ‘meat’ for sustenance, and put them on top of about an inch of compost. Once they started making leaves, I dumped in more compost. Repeat. The idea behind this is that potato plants will grow spuds all up their stem if the stems are buried as they grow taller. Supposedly. I’ll let you know in the autumn if it worked…

I rather slacked off on the ‘repeat’ part in the last two weeks, so this afternoon when I spotted the rounded side of a nice, fat, baby ‘tater emerging from the compost I figured it was past time for a dirt top-up. Then I looked again. It wasn’t a ‘tater!

A big snail had snuggled down into the dirt and under the shade of the leaves (probably to wait for darkness to start its evil plant-munching duties). I plucked it out of the dirt, meaning to toss it over the wall, safely away from my plants.

Something stopped my good right throwing arm; I held the snail, looking at the perfect camouflage sworls and swirls and zigzags on its shell. I removed the encrusted soil from its tightly-pulled-in foot. Then I set it on my hand, to see what would happen.

What happened is that I made a friend.
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The damn thing seemed to have a personality!

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It had no fear of me, or of cat, or of dog. Indeed, it seemed to be looking at me and saying “Hi!”

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“Howr’ye?”

How odd that I want to spend a little more time with this invertebrate. It was really fascinating to watch, and the slime wasn’t a thing like what a slug leaves behind: it washed off right away. What is odder, perhaps, is that I’m pretty sure I would eat this critter. If I had a few dozen of its friends to make it worth my while. Maybe I’ll start an escargot farm! I only had escargot once, but I sure did love it. I like chewy, garlicky food.

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Maybe I’ll just keep it around a bit longer, for more photo shoots, and try not to think about garlic butter sauce.

I Annoyed my Cat and I Laughed Like Hell.

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Spot loves to be cuddled under my right arm when we (rarely) settle in front of the TV. His place, every time, is to be squished under my body and covered by my couch-blanket, head and all.

Well. Couch-blankie (crocheted by Socks and much beloved) has good-sized holes in it. Holes that just happen to be the perfect size to poke kitty-ears through.

So I did.

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I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Poor Spotty-Cakes.

My Slimy Nemesis!

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I rarely dislike any critter. Be it vertebrate or invertebrate, warm- or cold-blooded, furred or scaled, no legs at all or a hundred legs.

However. Since I’ve lived in Ireland and discovered my love of plants, I now have an extreme dislike for a certain invertebrate.

The filthy nasty disgusting destroying slug!

Holes in my hostas, strawberries with caverns eaten into the lovely red pulp, seedlings arbitrarily chewed off at the base of the stem. Augh!!!

I have an Irish Wildlife book. It has exactly six pages of mammals for a total of 43, which includes whales (and the bastard American mink an ecological group released from a fur farm and now has overrun the country, due to well-meaning dammed idiots). Rather an astoundingly tiny number of mammals, but it is a small island after all.

The ‘Terrestrial molluscs’ section, on the other hand, has 21 types of slugs and snails. What the HELL, Ireland?!? I know it’s wet and green, but really?

I’m not squeamish when it comes to easily-squished things. I have been known to flail about like a Whirling Dervish when I’ve walked into a large spiderweb in the dark, but who wouldn’t? I have a dislike of ants when they surprise me, and maggots are just disgusting. I have stories to explain both the ants and the maggots. Not today. Today is when I admit to a shudder, a step back and maybe an involuntary sound of horror when a giant-ass-slug surprises me.

They do, they do. After nine years here I still can’t get used to seeing slugs the size of my thumb in my compost bin. Yeeuch! Even better, at the bottom of a pot I want to use. Which is where I found monsters.

I had an olive tree that didn’t survive (not surprised) but I kept it as I could grow snow peas up its dead trunk. Well, I’ve not done that in a few years, so I moved the dead tree, soil and all, into another pot it didn’t quite fit into. It was a nice pot and I wanted it for a more permanent planting. Anyhoo, the tree has been in the temporary pot for a year, and I decided to move it. Picked it up by the trunk, and damn if it didn’t just pull right out of the pot, dirt and all.

And there were huge slugs in the gap at the bottom.

I put the tree back in the pot and moved the whole thing from the bottom, leaving it alone until I could face the slimy suckers.

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That’s them. One big sumbitch and one younger version, both Limax flavus, or yellow slug. They look more green to me. It must be because of all the lovely tender plants I feed them! Just look. Nasty nasty nasty.

Me being me, I got over myself and knocked them onto cardboard so I could take pictures. I also wanted to know just how big they are, so I got out the tape measure.

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That’s the smaller one – the juvenile. It woke up first and tried to get away as fast as slug-ly possible. I didn’t let it, of course.

While trying to get the older one to wake up and stretch out, I found something even more disgusting. Slugs have mites. My camera wasn’t good enough to get them, but both yellow slugs had tiny cream-coloured mites running over them. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww. They must be pretty specific to slugs, these mites, because how the hell didn’t they get stuck in the slime? I know more about slugs than I ever wanted to know.

Swift had it right:
“The vermin only teaze and pinch
Their foes superior by an inch.
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ‘em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.”

I don’t feel that superior. These slugs are unstoppable!

I finally got the older one to unfurl, and it gave me a perfect measure.

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An inch, Mr Swift? How about four? Gaaaah!

The book says that is maximum size for this species. But. There is another one that can get up to 25mm in length – almost ten inches long. The ashy-grey slug, Limax cinereoniger. At least this Limax doesn’t come into gardens, otherwise I might actually faint away if I am surprised by one of those.

Oh: I killed them all. With glee, and table salt.