Tag Archives: humor

The Week in My World 5-26-11

What a week. I’m tired and discouraged. I’m no longer able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like roofing or unclogging drains.

BUT…Find an Outlet scores a double! The two dogs my friend Janice rescued from a foreclosed house (see Collateral Damage) got adopted! A lovely woman from Tucson saw the pictures on my blog and drove up here three times. She was only going to take the hound, but when she brought her 11-year-old overweight dog and watched the three dogs romp in the yard that did it. She adopted both dogs and they are living happily ever after in Tucson. I couldn’t be there to see them off so I begged Janice to take a few pictures of the dogs getting in the car and leaving. She promised she would. This is what I got:

Janice doesn't get electronics. She gets dogs. I was so excited when she gave me her camera to take the pictures off...until I saw them—this and two more just like it. My disappointment soon turned to hysterics.

Thank you Janice for all you do. She did all the work, all I did was photograph the dogs. Thank you to Border Animal Rescue for funding the spays.

ARIZONA IS so weird. Every liquor store has a drive-thru window, but I have to park my car and walk to the bank and have meaningful interaction with the tellers to cash a check.

I’M TAKING A BREAK from fiction because the sheer amount of it on the blogosphere is overwhelming me, but here’s an idea for a story:

A Pile for Charlie: About a man who develops an itch in an unmentionable region but becomes intolerable to his family because he refuses to purchase the ointment.

I have a fish story…

It was just a fluke that I met Marlin at the sand bar. He wore his hair in a mullet, but it smelt like scrod. He claimed to be a sturgeon but I never saw him operate on anything but a blowfish. He was such an angler—he reeled me in when he said I was as cute as a sea urchin. He tried to get me to perch on top of him but I told him I had a haddock and he accused me of playing koi. We smoked a salmon and floundered around for a while but he insisted on showing me his pike. I started laughing, you mean your minnow? Good thing he was hard of herring—but he tackled me, got a little roughy and wouldn’t leave my dorsal fin alone. “Don’t clam up on me baby!” he snappered, then told me I was a crappie date. What a crab. What did I expect from bottom fishing? I’m not going to be a grouper to some backwater slippery eel with no sole. Basshole. Give me a tuna-casserole type guy who knows the meaning of the word chum.


Border Animal Rescue is one of the saving graces of our town. They often take in more animals than they adopt. They don’t have a physical shelter and it’s almost impossible to find foster homes, so most of the animals end up at a few devoted volunteers’ homes. These puppies are at Dee's house, the heart and soul of BAR. She fosters many cats, kittens, and dogs. It's extremely hard to say no to people who are about to dump their animals.

The Mexican bird of paradise shrubs are blooming along roadsides everywhere.

The cholla (pronounced (choy' a) bloom in May and they're everywhere. The flowers then turn into those yellow pods.

Cholla buds about to burst.

The top of a century agave that looks like a giant asparagus in the spring. They don't really live 100 years, more like 25. After the stalk grows and dies, the plant dies. But the base sends out runners called "pups," so they have a chance at immortality.

The ocotillo (pronounced oco tee' yo) are in bloom too. They're about 20 ft. tall, I had to stand on top of my car to get this pic!

Yuccas are very common here. This plant has last year's stalk and a brand new one beside it.

The other day I was craving water. All we have is the San Pedro River, which only swells during monsoon. An earthquake 100 years ago turned this once serious river into a trickle. To think there used to be barges on it during the mining days!

I could barely wait to wade in the "river." I'm trying to catch tadpoles, there were thousands of them. It only takes a small amount of water to bring profuse life to the desert.

Tadpoles, which turn into frogs, aren't that easy to catch! Most will be eaten though before they reach adulthood.

Saw these perfectly preserved set of raccoon (I think) prints in some mud.

The Week in My World 5-10-11

I feel at odds with myself and the world, like an alien creature sent to live among humans to collect information but unable to send anything back but corrupt data. I despair at the state of the planet and of my personal life. And, I’m out of coffee filters.

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We’ve been streaming episodes of the TV show Lost. First season, well who doesn’t like a plane crash? Second season broached turbulence when we began to realize how unlikable the characters are. Last night we were midway through the third season when we were cast adrift. The characters bicker dully and can’t answer a simple question without some snotty witless remark. Who’d I rather? None of them. And nobody’s fracking, what’s up with that? I don’t care about any of them, and aren’t you supposed to care? The episodes crawl tediously, without a hint of insight why these weird things are happening, it’s just one mystery piled on top of another with no relief. One of the most annoying motifs throughout the show is that though each survivor experiences nightmares, hallucinations, and visions, whenever they relate their incident to another character, it’s met with “oh it was just a dream” or “you’re under a lot of stress” or “get some sleep.” Wouldn’t ya think they’d want to share these dangerous and scary visions, like maybe they’re related? We read the rest of the plot outlines and saw no need to suffer this wreckage to the end. The island is beautiful but the plot and dialogue are stagnant.

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Sorry, can’t resist another boyfriend story…

When Don Lenz first zoomed in on me and flashed me his smile, we really clicked. He said I was a cute little pixel but he must have been looking at me through a diffuser. I shutter to think how overexposed I was, and had to F-stop him quite a bit at first.

But as time went on, the contrast between us sharpened. All he wanted to do was download me with his inkjet. I wasn’t the first either, his memory stick had a long history. Well he can stuff it up his aperture for all I care. Next time I see that self-focused bastard I’m going to point and shoot.

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An acquaintance said to me the other day, Debra, all you do is rant. I said that’s a boldfaced lie, can’t you at least put it in italic? He said, well you’re still weird. I said, me weird? You oughta try blogging.

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Some recent pics…

I think my favorite tree here is the ruggedly beautiful alligator juniper. Such character, such spirit.

Alligator juniper berries

Alligator juniper roots

Bottom half of ancient palo verde (“green stick”) tree, another exotic beauty and state tree of Arizona.

Various woodpeckers, flickers, and owls make their nests in saguaros (pronounced suh-wahr’-oh) They don’t grow up here at 5,000 feet, this was taken on a recent trip to Tucson, where they flourish.

Spring and fall are the busiest times for the border patrol. Our house is situated on a corridor, which I did not know when we moved here. USBP trucks, ATVs, horses, and helicopters are a daily event in my backyard. I snapped this picture the other day in front of my house. 

Here an agent is giving one of the men IV fluids. There are so many coming through.

My Alleged Life and Loves

My father owned a hotdog stand—but he had a footlong chip on his shoulder. At Christmas we would garnish the house with mustard greens, something us kids didn’t relish. Sometimes he would lock me out of the house—he was a deadbolt dad. One day he hurt his back coming out of a record shop, turned out he had a slipped disk—every time he moved Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood would play. It didn’t help that he also had digestive problems and ended up with a semicolon.

Only my parents could make a spectator sport out of a card game, they played contact bridge. Whenever my father won a hand, my mother would deck him.

I needed work so I took a position as an artist’s model, but the arrangement was very tiring. I tried to tell the artist I was just a prototype. I cleaned the large homes of wealthy people, even the toilets were commodious. I worked in a butcher shop for a while but had a visceral reaction. Trying to stay employed was frutal, even the car I drove was a lemon but at least it smelled good.

I’ve always had trouble sleeping. When I finally fall asleep the dream team of Ayatollah Khomeini and Satan are nightly visitors. Another dream I have involves a three-eyed monster who demands a pair of trifocals. I try to exorcise but realized I was on a treadmill to hell. Why go through the hassle of body-building when you can just stay home and masticate? I’m a terrible cook though, my deviled eggs are evil, which may explain a lot. I stay powered by transgressed fats and Miracle Whip.

I like to get dolled up now and then but never should have let that hairdresser talk me into the salmon mousse, now every cat in the neighborhood is after me. She lent me a book on skincare and pockmarked the page she wanted me to read. My boyfriend has male pattern baldness, I think it’s argyle.

I had a string of boyfriends in my younger days but could never get the knots out. One eggbeater who was part of the illiterati once decomposed a sonnet for me which I had to throw out. He got mad and left. I scoured the earth for him and went through a lot of sponges which I think he should reimburse me for. He still harbored a grudge, but mooring me with the OED was uncalled for. I said thanks for dredging up the same old shit. He said muck you, I said my sediments exactly. Later he sent me a bouquet of listeria from which I’ve never fully recovered.

An accountant I dated made a killing by filing fraudulent IRS returns for wealthy clients. He was sentenced to life in prison where he gave taxonomy lessons to other classless crooks. I was an accessory, they suspected my velvet choker. When the cops came to arrest him at his office, he tried to pretend he was on the phone, but they insisted on just the fax. We tried to keep the whole thing quiet, but everyone had just returned from a liquid lunch so there were a lot of media leaks. Everything went wrong—figures I’d end up a fugitive from Murphy’s Law.

I dated a black guy back in the ’70s. I loved his hair, it was a real afrodisiac.

In high school I went out with this dyslexic guy. One day he reached for his gnu and got expelled, I think it was through a third floor window.

Another chump who was religious asked me if I was an atheist, I said I’m really more of a diagnostic. He also liked guns—it wasn’t easy to come to grips with the fact that he was a smoothbore skinflint.

I’m done with men, though I still enjoy boys…and raw recruits, when properly prepared, are pretty tasty.

Husband No. 3.5, a Typographical Terror

I wasn’t big on the institution of marriage, especially since I had just been released from some crackpot’s idea of an asylum. I wasn’t ready for the holy state of acrimony, but he was sick of being my insignificant other. He really wanted to integrate—on my nerves. He talked me into it when he installed a built-in closet with me in it. When he finally let me off the hook, we sealed it with a hiss and became officially engaged—in a brawl. He had a nice smile though and I was quite enameled with him, and a cute pencil mustache which I would sharpen every night.

His name was Bob Kaic and he was an old-fashioned guy. His email address was rkaic@ slomail.com. At my wedding I wore a queasy-colored dress infestooned with carbuncles and everybody got nauseous. It was a blustery day and it was hard for guests to hold down their food so I was glad we had opted for the bag lunch. For our honeymoon we went paraphrasing at Lacuna Beach, where he told me to jettison any big ideas I had. We tried swimming but I was so polluted I dissolved into brackish tears. Then we hiked through a petrified forest but I was more scared than the wood. I forgot to pack my camera and he sniped at me for being unfocused. Afterward we threw pennies in the soda fountain and watched them corrode, then ambled down the boardwalk but found it tedious. The hotel offered us the bridal suite but I bucked at that, just because I have saddle bags and was wearing a halter top is no reason to be mean. I should have paid more attention to my reservations, but it was spur of the moment.

Bob wouldn’t shut up though and gave me a communicative disease. His philosophy of life confused me, not surprising since he was born in Farrago, North Dakota. He lived up near the Indians in Mishmash for a while, then traveled overseas to Gallimaufry and Pastiche. His family came from all walks of life—his father limped, his mother waddled, and his brother had two left feet. His dad was a Doctor of Scatology down at the free clinic, where he was head of Janitorial Services. Bob had an Italian uncle who would never let him do anything—his name was Veto. He once smacked poor Bob with a waffle iron, it left quite an impression—he had hot cross buns for a month. His sister, Compass Rose, was a Girl Scout leader, and his grandfather, Mort, sat in front of the TV impersonating the living. Not his fault though, he had brain surgery by a doctor who was operating under the influence and accidentally installed a dinner plate in his head.

Bob claimed he was an upstanding guy but I usually saw him horizontal. He was a musician, he liked to play the strumpet and was a patron of the tarts. He was short and fat so I called him a jumbo shrimp and he yelled “don’t call me that you oxymoron!” I said come on, we’re all adulterous here. Sometimes I would get engrossed just looking at him.

When we were packing to move into a bigger apartment it turned into a boxing match. One night he came after me with an axiom but it was so illogical I laughed. He chased me outside in the rain where I lost a shoe in the mud. I was hopping mad. When I tried to get back inside he pierced me with his eyes but it was just an entry wound. Once we argued over who ate the last apple—but the core of the problem went deeper, I was a fruit loop. We had no money and lived on Ramen noodle soup, a low-viscosity solution. I told him I couldn’t live in a vacuum but when he showed me how roomy it was inside I said I’d try to pick up the pieces.

But he turned into a bitter man and the smell of vinegar was overpowering. We finally came to a fork in the road but realized we needed it for our potato salad. We labored under the delusion that things would improve, but it was a thankless job with no benefits. The union finally got busted and I’m back to being self-deployed. That seven-month itch really burns.

I Did it For the Laughs

I married two men who weren’t really suited for me because they could send me into fits of hysterics with a few words. I think back on them with affection because I could never be truly mad at someone who made me laugh that hard. Though the marriages didn’t survive, the friendships did, or would have if subsequent wives hadn’t been so bitchy. Nobody in the world could make me laugh like my second husband—but he is forbidden to have any contact with me. How ’bout that—laughter generating that kind of  jealousy because getting someone’s jokes can be more intimate than sex itself, yes?

I couldn’t live with a sourpuss for the fattest of checkbooks. No amount of comfort or luxury could take the place of shrieks of laughter—at least I’m assuming this since I’ve never had actual comfort or luxury for comparison. Boys without a sense of humor didn’t last long with me. They could be dirty, impoverished, have issues, be antisocial, have substance abuse problems—didn’t matter as long as they were funny. I made a lot of bad choices for the sake of yucks.

Wry, witty, and sarcastic are my favorite types, but lower forms are absolutely welcome. I like to have a laugh at someone else’s expense (it’s human nature) but not as much as I like to make fun of myself. I’m suspicious of people who do not appear to have a sense of humor.  Nobody in this world should take themselves so seriously that they can’t laugh at themselves. Laughter is the birthright of all human beings, and we are doomed without it—it’s cathartic, empowering, liberating. Laughter should be a universal language, and if I ruled the world, it would be mandatory, damnit.

The old saying about laughter being the best medicine has been tested by many new scientific appliances and the benefits well-documented. Laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, increases circulation, triggers release of painkilling endorphins, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting antibodies. And you don’t have to wait for results, they are immediate.

Think back to the worst times of your life. If you’re like me, you still had laughs, bitter and morbid though they might have been. The laughs at these times are often just in our own heads—maybe, like me, you don’t want to inflict your gallows humor on others—but it’s all OK. My sense of all that is weird and funny in our world beckons me to indulge it at the most awkward times. Cynicism and pessimism are good targets for some depressive humor. Life doesn’t stop being funny because bad things happen—that’s when we need humor the most.

Laughter is defiance, and we may as well make the best of this dark world, because as Woody Allen said, “life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering—and it’s all over much too soon.”