Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

I Am Not F. Scott Fitzgerald

…as my writing professor at Mizzou told me. He had been saying bad things about one of my stories. I said, “But F. Scott Fitzgerald used an uninvolved narrator in The Great Gatsby,” and he said, “You’re not F. Scott Fitzgerald.” He went on to give me a B+ in the class. (Note: The story did suck.) Maybe I should have “I Am Not F. Scott Fitzgerald” put on a t-shirt.

Thank you to the hardy soul who read 14 posts the other day.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING….

Mask/vaccination requirements are not equivalent to the Holocaust. The one saves lives, the other destroyed them. You shouldn’t need to have this explained. And let’s just agree that nothing is equivalent to Hitler except Hitler. We will save ourselves a great deal of time.

ADVERTISING NEWS

In case you think I do nothing but complain, I approve of the commercial comparing yeast infections to a revolving door. See, you can address that topic without resorting to a talking vagina. Speaking of which, YouTube is currently plaguing me with a commercial in which Amy Schumer says, “It has come to my attention that I have a vagina about which I know very little.” If anything sounds like a personal problem, that does. (Try asking your vagina! Maybe it’ll answer!) She then goes on to ask another woman, “Did you know that–” but I don’t know what vagina-related question she was about to ask, because I cannot hit SKIP ADS fast enough on that one.

HOWEVER, what I mostly do is, indeed, complain. After all, the subtitle of this blog is “Observations for the Easily Irritated.” (Just check the tiny writing under the title.) AND SO…

I must issue a World Leader Edict (remember those?):

NO MORE CUTE SLOGANS TO MAKE YOU THINK OF CUSS WORDS

like,

“Fish, yeah!”

“Life happens!” “Pain happens!” etc.

“Give a shot, get a shot!”

“The new Mother Cruncher sandwich!” (That one was from Rally’s. Their slogan used to be “You gotta eat!” Rom suggests they should start saying, “It’s technically food!”)

The Charmin’ bear mom (you know I’d have to involve them somehow) saying “Holy soft!”

Oh, and speaking of YouTube, WordPress is suggesting “Try turning your blog into a podcast!” Yeah, that’ll work. I even shrink from video calling. (I remember that for years–decades!–They were telling us that video phone calls were THE FUTURE, but they had trouble getting people interested. Wonder what changed.) {Disclaimer: I do, in fact, know what changed. The Internet occurred.} I am, however, amused by the idea, and am considering a transcript/screenplay post about a fictional podcast of this blog. (This may be the most meta idea I have ever had–right up there with wrapping paper with pictures of wrapped presents on it.)

And speaking of inspiration, I saw a quote on Facebook, “Creative people don’t have a mess–they have ideas lying around everywhere!” The ideas currently lying on my desk are: forms I didn’t need for my taxes and which the wind keeps blowing onto the floor, perfume samples, and an appointment card from the dentist’s office which I have yet to transfer to my calendar.

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Write What I Want To

I almost forgot I’d promised to do this, which should surprise no one. It will add to the length of my tax preparation time, but it will help keep me focused! Well, if the threat of prosecution can’t keep me focused….Speaking of which, I also received a Notice of Eligibility For Jury Service in the mail today (my first!), so I’m beside myself with excitement. Perhaps I will post about that as well.

I was actually, in spite of what I told you previously, going to live-blog when I paid my property taxes, because I thought, Can I *make* me writing a check interesting? Apparently the answer was No, since I forgot to do it. Forgot to blog, that is. I did remember to write the check.

My tax booklet has a cover illustration of a compass pointing almost north. I hope this means “almost right is good enough.”

“If you owe AMT, you may need to file a separate schedule.” I will adhere to my guiding principle (like a compass pointing almost north) of, “If I don’t know what AMT or whatever is, I must not owe it.” Yeah, it is surprising that I’ve never been audited.

OK, got name/address/SSN down. A good start. I am encouraged to go on.

OK, now they want to know if I deal in digital currency. I could only hope to be that cool.

“Does anyone qualify as your dependent?” I guess not, since I have no children that I know of and don’t know very many other people.

“This form shows taxable interest paid to you by the IRS. List it as interest income on your 1040.” So you’re just snatching it back again? And don’t you already know how much it is, since you sent me this form?

OK, the above was an attempt at live-blogging which was aborted, since I was boring myself. I do have a couple new post ideas contributed by FanBasers, but first I want to warn you–

DO NOT GET YOUR MEDICAL ADVICE FROM PEOPLE ON THE BUS

You know, the plague-ravaged populations through history (or, for that matter, in some other countries now) are saying, “So you have a way to avoid getting a deadly disease? And it’s free? But you’ve decided not to get the shot? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

The whole front half of the bus (which did not include me) was announcing they weren’t going to get the vaccine, as if that was (were? Fans of the subjunctive, help me out here) something to be proud of. So let me just set the record straight–

–There have not been “many people who died” from getting the vaccine. There have, however, been many people who died from getting the disease it prevents.

–If you already had COVID, and then get the vaccine, the vaccine will not “make you sick.” I guess these are the same people who think the flu shot gives you the flu.

Oh, by the way, one thing I did learn from doing my taxes this year–you can claim a deduction, or an exemption, or a credit, or ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY AS MUCH, if you won an Olympic medal. I am not making this up. I kind of thought I *was* making it up, since I was getting glassy-eyed by then, but I re-read it and it’s true. I’m not sure why that would be–surely Olympic medalists are not a big lobbying group. It doesn’t even have to be a gold medal–it could be silver or bronze. I will keep this in mind for future fiscal years.

I Got No Expectations

…to quote the Rolling Stones, but thanks anyway to all those who have stopped by here recently.

MY CURRENT LEAST FAVORITE COMMERCIALS

A list subject to change at any time, like life itself.

–The guy singing a duet with his hood ornament about which one of them is smarter.

–The one with that soccer player with purple hair who’s kicking balls at people’s heads to get them to eat veggies at Subway instead of burgers somewhere else. I take no diet advice from people with purple hair, even under threat of violence. When I do go to Subway, I tell them to leave the veggies off. I bet she wouldn’t approve of my Cheetos, either.

The one with the woman’s vagina singing because of its successful conquest of a yeast infection. Seriously.

Metamucil saying you will feel “lighter and more energetic.” Yeah, because you’re running for the bathroom.

And the Charmin bears complaining about their itchy butts. “Not getting completely clean?” I don’t want to know about it. “Enjoy the go,” by the way, may be my least favorite butchering of the English language to date.

Speaking of which, there are a few small victories on the abuse-of-the-language front. Triscuits did not persuade us to just call them “-scuits,” and “a whole new way to cottage” never caught on as a substitute for “eating cottage cheese.”

Speaking of itchy butts, Nick is getting restless because I haven’t mentioned him yet, so I will merely note that the time for him to get me leggings as a birthday gift is running out. I will, however, accept a Mustang belatedly, but from now on I will insist on the electric model.

OK, I somehow told WordPress I wanted to skip a line every time I hit Enter, so this post may look a bit overly spacious. I did tell it I wanted the section header to be boldface, but apparently we had a misunderstanding.

It Feels So Empty Without Me

…or so a few people have implied, once I started posting again. And I’m pretty sure I stole this title from Eminem once before, but if *I* can’t remember for sure if I did, I’m sure no one else will either.

THIS SPACE UNINTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK, BUT WORDPRESS WON’T LET ME MOVE THE PARAGRAPH UP.

Speaking of forgetting, I forgot to mention it was Nick’s birthday yesterday, but since today is Foxy’s birthday, there’s no use going back. Time marches on.

Note from eBay–“Thanks for another purchase!” That sounds suspiciously like, “You buy too much!”

DEATH AND TAXES PREVIEW

Of course, the postponing of the tax deadline only gives me another month to procrastinate. But the property taxes are due before that, which leads me to wonder, Why isn’t income tax like property tax? Just send me a bill and I’ll pay it. Don’t make me jump through hoops to figure out what I owe, ESPECIALLY if it’s pre-withheld. JUST TAKE IT AND LEAVE ME ALONE! That being said, I promise to do the usual live-blogging when the occasion arises. The income taxes, I mean. The property tax is just me writing a check, and even I don’t expect anyone to find that entertaining, although I can hear Nick scoffing, “Who writes checks anymore?!,” millennial that he is.

THE UNENDING WAR ON PARTS OF SPEECH

Hey, it’s all random, or THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE. Before they prevail and everything becomes void of meaning, I offer:

“Hardee’s! Feed your happy!” “Happiness!” It’s “happiness!”

“Beauty responsibly.” “Beauty” is not a verb. I also saw “family” used as a verb, though I don’t remember the context.

I was about to say I will never give up this struggle, but since I gave up the leggings-aren’t-pants struggle, who knows what the future will be.

And since I can’t think of anything more to say, I guess it’s time to stop saying it. OH WAIT, WordPress now offers the ability to change text and background colors! So don’t give me any grief, or I’ll turn this thing purple. Don’t think I won’t.

What the World Needs Now Is Gnomes

I was alerted by Stephen Colbert that there is now a world shortage of garden gnomes. This was partially caused by that ship blocking the Suez Canal. Must have been stuffed with gnomes.

I became concerned–in case I ever needed such a thing, could gnomes still be found on Amazon? Well, this depends on how picky you are. I’m not sure if I can comment meaningfully on the situation, not knowing what Gnomeworld looked like pre-shortage, but there is certainly no shortage of:

–naked gnomes, male and female

–mooning gnomes

–gnomes giving passersby the finger

There was, however, a shortage of just your common garden-variety gnome, if you weren’t in the mood for Edgy Transgressive Gnomes That Push the Envelope of What’s Acceptable. Since I’ve become tired of the Edgy and Transgressive, I was attracted by the statue of T-Rex Eating a Large Number of Gnomes.

Accepting Correction and Admitting Defeat

CORRECTION: The new Taco John’s exterior is not, as I previously reported, red, green and black. It is red, green and white.

ADMISSION: You probably remember (sure you do! just try!) my repeated assertion that leggings are not, in fact, pants. And I once told Rom, “At this rate, wearing actual pants is going to become the mark of an old lady.” Well, the other day a bunch of old ladies got on the bus, and EVERY ONE was wearing leggings. Now these weren’t trying-too-hard-to-look-young old ladies. They were ordinary old ladies. At least they all wore long tops, so I will allow it on a technicality. So, wearing pants is not the sign of an old lady. I don’t know what it’s the sign of. A weirdo, I guess. Someone who doesn’t think the world needs to know the exact contours of my legs.

MORE STUFF I DISAPPROVE OF: An ad with a model in shiny makeup, saying, “Look Like a Cute Little Glazed Donut!” WHY?

Navigating the Afterscape

I stand before you, fully vaccinated. For the past, oh, forever, I felt like any attempt to post would involve Making Light of a Serious Subject, so I refrained. And of course, WordPress has done the usual “improvements” in my absence that I can’t understand, including removing the “leave it as it was” option, so let’s just hope I can muddle through. I wanted to find an apt photograph to add, and perhaps someday I’ll discover where they’ve hidden those.

“Start with the building block of all narrative–the paragraph,” they advise me, as if I don’t know what a paragraph is. Then, when I try to start *another* paragraph (AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY PUT THE ITALIC/BOLDFACE BUTTONS, SO YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO DO WITHOUT), a prompt says, “Start writing or choose a block.” Well, I read about that whole “block” stuff back when they introduced it in, oh, 2019 or so, and didn’t understand it then, but “start writing” I do understand. In fact, I already did it. WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME? Oh, to be one of the *young* autistic people who grew up with technology and have a gift for it, rather than the other kind.

For instance, the assumption that everyone will have a car and a smartphone. “Vaccine passports? We’ll just design an app for that.” “The fast food restaurant of the FUTURE will have more emphasis on the drive-thru!” Yes, I know I am a tiny minority that no one should be expected to cater to.

BUT ENOUGH WHINING! HOW ABOUT A REVIEW OF THAT FAST FOOD RESTAURANT OF THE FUTURE?

I bring you the new Taco John’s on St Joe. The old one was tiny and carpeted, for a deceptively homey atmosphere. For some reason, they took advantage of the pandemic to tear it down and build again. It’s still tiny, but now has a weird red/green/white-tiled exterior that looks like what we thought was futuristic in the 50’s. {OK, now a bar popped up on the screen offering the option of boldface or italic, but when I clicked on it, nothing happened. Maybe this will all be boldface when I publish it. Life is strange.} But inside, it’s what *actually* is futuristic–cold gray cement that can be cleaned with a fire hose, and to which no germs can stick, including on the hard, slick red chairs. Kind of like *1984,* but less shabby.

OK, that was more a decorating review, since the food remains unchanged. But the fact that they will let you in to eat is news enough.

Yeah, this is a pitiful excuse for a post, but I have to build my strength back up gradually. Time to find out what this will look like! Who knows what settings I accidentally chose?

Scratchy Glitter’s Answer to QAnon

egg corn kiwi with bowls

Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

Now that conspiracy theorists are winning Actual Political Primaries, it only makes sense, insofar as such things ever make sense, to reiterate that this site also has a long-dormant conspiracy theory.

QAnon is a belief that an anonymous source, known as Q, posts stuff about Trump helping to quash a Deep State child sex ring.  I suspect that Q is just amusing him/herself by doing this, and I kind of wish I had thought of it. I am not Q, however. However, that’s just what Q would want you to think.

What I did come up with, however, with the indispensable help of my one-time co-worker the Foxy Lady, is a conspiracy theory whereby a Union Suit during the colder months, and an ear of Baby Corn (or is it all ears of baby corn?) during the warmer months, attempt to achieve world hegemony. This theory first caught hold as the result of a Rural King ad many years ago, which featured a union suit which appeared to be dancing, in spite of having no one inside it. And the Baby Corn was included, well, just because baby corn is creepy.

Questions arise:

–Are the U. S. and the B. C. allies, or just using each other? (I draw your attention to the South Park “Game of Thrones” parody–“This is really just about you and me getting an X-Box.”)

–Now, with the election approaching, are these two poised to TAKE OVER??

–Now, with the pandemic in progress, DITTO?

More to come, as soon as I think of it.

Looking at old blog posts (really old–2013, when this thing started), I see that a commenter referred to “your ever-hungry for more audience.” Long may they wave. And thanks to “the Onion’s Answer to QAnon,” which I couldn’t actually read, thanks to this computer dating back to the aforementioned 2013, but which inspired me to post this. If the Onion can do it, so can I. Theoretically.

 

 

Plague Journal

person in black coat and hat with plague doctor mask

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

I was hoping to get a Plague Doctor photo, but didn’t really expect one. But this was the first thing to pop up! I’m easily pleased by small things.

Isn’t a lockdown just the perfect thing for someone who’s always at home anyway? You’d think I’d have gotten started, like, a month ago or something.

WAYS IN WHICH I COME OUT AHEAD

I have even more to brag about than Donald Trump does.

–Ooh, I have to stay home and read and listen to music! Although my opportunities for unhealthy food are limited to the convenience store down the street. It’s “essential” because it’s a gas station, but they can’t keep me from buying fried fish. Although a police officer did stop me and ask if my fountain drink was essential, but that was mainly because he wanted to know if I’m retired by now.

–Not being able to get my hair done makes no difference in my appearance. My hair is long and graying regardless.

–Since I “suspended” my Presidential campaign, no one can blame me for my lack of response to the crisis.

DOWNSIDES TO THE PANDEMIC

–No one can appreciate my nail polish. And speaking of drugstores, WHEN WILL YOU PEOPLE THINK IT’S OK TO STOP HOARDING TOILET PAPER?

FIRE BAD!

Speaking of first responders, I got off the bus the other day, glanced down the street, and saw clouds of black smoke. This was distressing because it seemed to be coming from the direction of my house. But it blew away in a moment, so I figured that wasn’t it. Besides, I heard no sirens, and surely if something had been burning, someone would have called. So I felt reassured. Until I heard sirens.

You think of all kinds of evil stuff when you’re hoping your house is not on fire. Like, Maybe it’s one of my neighbors’ houses that’s on fire. That would be bad, but not as bad as if it were mine. But a cluster of firetrucks were…in front of my address. And as I got closer, I saw…a fire hose going back into my yard.

One of

WE INTERRUPT THIS BORING POST TO BRING YOU A MESSAGE FROM SATAN!

Well, not from him, exactly, just sponsored by him.

I actually started this post a week ago, then realized that if I was boring myself EVEN THOUGH I WAS WRITING ABOUT A FIRE, it would bore readers also. But I had to come back to the keyboard because THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT!

Yes, I was killing time on Facebook waiting for my laundry to be done (Wednesday is Laundry Day, because 3 years ago I wanted to have all my clothes washed to begin my New Life in Retirement, and my first retired day was a Thursday, so I’ve done the wash on Wednesday ever since) (see how boring that was? how can I be trusted to handle a fire? especially because I’m now preoccupied with whether I should have capitalized the beginnings of these parenthetical clauses?) (By the way, retired life so far is pretty much the same as life before, minus the job.), suddenly an ad popped up from some entity calling itself Satan Lovers. They were offering to sell me a t-shirt that said, in cool Gothic letters, ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT…AND THERE WAS LIGHT” with a picture of the Notre Dame steeple on fire. Is it any wonder that I clicked on Facebook’s query, “Why am I seeing this ad?” And the answer was, “Your interests matched that of Satan Lovers.” Um, what? Perhaps a subsequent post will list the interests I have in common with Satan. I’ll have to think about it.

Nick’s Belated Birthday Present Post

fire match smoke flame

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Disclaimer: I promised Nick I would do this, but a fire somehow erupted on my property and I found that too distracting to do it in a timely manner. So let’s see what kind of a story I come up with now.

Another disclaimer: It’s hard to find a picture of a dragon in the Free Photo Library, apparently because they don’t actually exist. So I had to settle for fire instead. I picked the one with blue in it!

I was sitting at home the other day, doing my heroic patriotic part by remaining on the couch (I am but a humble foot soldier against the Invisible Enemy, but I’m doing my part), when I heard a snuffling at the door.

“Hey! Are you home?” I heard Nick say.

“No,” I replied.

“OK,” he said, then, “Wait a minute. I know better than that!”

“Not much better, obviously.”

“Let me in!”

“I can’t. Governor’s orders. No beasts allowed.” This isn’t, strictly speaking, true, but Nick can’t read anyway, so it’s worth a try.

“They said I can’t get the disease. I’m cold-blooded.” He snorted. “Just because I can’t breathe fire.”

“Why do you want to come in anyway?”

“I’m bored.”

“Well, you’re out of luck here. I’m boring.”

He digests this silently, then, at a loss for a clever comeback, spreads his wings and takes off. Not, unfortunately, to fly away home. I hear a thud as he lands on the roof–like an oversized squirrel–then a mad scrabbling as he starts to slide down it. Then another thud as he lands on the ground, not having gotten his wings spread again in time.

I hear my neighbor yell–“Hey, that thing’s in the yard next door again!” His wife answers, “What thing?” and he says, “You know! The one with wings and a tail!”

“Go away, you’re annoying my neighbors,” I say. Without deigning to reply, and having failed at his aerial attack–and a good thing, too, since his attempts over the years are making my ceiling crack–he begins digging vigorously at the foundations of the house.

“Stop that!” I yell. Momentarily forgetting what he was there for, he begins rolling in the dirt he’s rucked up, which is quite a sight, I assure you.

“Look at that–is that thing in heat or something?” I hear my neighbor yell. Nick leaps to his feet, and a moment later I see his snaky tongue darting under the front door. My cat Glamour leaps on it.

“Hey, quit it!” Nick squawks. Laughing, I pick up the purring cat and open the door.

Nick is self-righteous and sullen. “Why do you keep those things, anyway?”

“To keep you away, obviously.”

“It won’t work forever,” he says darkly.

“It’s worked so far,” I point out. Glamour looks very pleased with herself.

“That one looks mighty meaty,” he observes. “Where’s the little skinny one?”

“Esmerelda? She…died last November.”

“She never liked me anyway,” he says dismissively, heading for the kitchen, where he begins crunching on Glamour’s food.

“Stop that! It’s…not a balanced diet for you.”

“You never want me to have fun.” He turns. “Hey, you have a new couch.” He pads over. “I can fit under this one–like this–” He squirms under it until the rump and tail stick out one end, and a wing tip out the side.  This gives me the opportunity to tickle the wing as he squirms and squawks, almost dumping me off the couch before he manages to scramble out.

“Are you still bored?”

“I–I’m existentially bored,” he answers loftily. I can always tell when he’s discovered a new word. “Anyway, you owe me a birthday present.”

“Do I now? And how old are you, exactly?”

“I..I–I’m existentially old. I’ve existed for eons.” That was his word of the week last week.

“I see,” I say, nodding wisely. “So you hatched from the egg–when, exactly?”

“I don’t know! Give me a present!” He lashes his tail frantically.

“So that’s what this is all about,” I muse. “I’m sorry, I’m kind of short on presents at the moment.”

“Not even candy? Candy is cheap!”

“Especially not candy.”

He looks at me grievously. “Not even one jelly bean?”

“Certainly not. Jelly beans are gross.”

“Not even…a single chocolate chip?” Drat. He must remember that I always have those on hand.

“Only…only if you sit up for it!”

“I suppose that’s OK,” he says glumly. Groaning as if with immense effort, he sits up on his back legs, bracing himself with his powerful tail and spreading out his wings for balance. Thanks to his snaky neck, he snatches it out of my hand with lightning speed, then drops down to all fours again. Then…”Hey! I shouldn’t have to sit up on my birthday!! No fair!”

“Life isn’t fair,” I observe.

“You’re…existential,” he growls, slinking away down my front walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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