Category Archives: humor

As Explosive as a Dog Sneeze

“As explosive as a dog sneeze.”

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There’s a phrase you don’t hear every day, and here’s another: I am no stranger to being sneezed upon by dogs.

I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m haunted by the thought that this could be my epitaph:

Here lies Mickey, no stranger to being sneezed upon by dogs. 

I suppose there are worse ways to be remembered.

Anyway, earlier today I decided to make a smoothie. Shiloh, Mischief Dog can tell when I’m getting ready to make a smoothie.

Can he tell because I get the blender out? No, because I’ve learned to get the blender out LAST and throw everything in willy-nilly and turn it on quickly to drown out his barking. This has led to the smoothie-on-the-kitchen-ceiling and spoons-don’t-blend scenarios, but that’s not the point.

The point is this: now he can tell I’m getting ready to make a smoothie when I get the oats out of the pantry.

Yes, the dog who gazes at you in gentle bafflement when you say, “Shiloh, want a treat?” has figured out the recipe for a smoothie. There are people in this house who can’t make scrambled eggs, but one of the dogs now knows how to whip up a tasty frozen treat.

Today seemed like a good day to begin training Shiloh out of his driving need to bark whenever the oats appear. I called him into the kitchen and took the lid off the tin. I knelt down and let him sniff – he’s a very curious dog. I’m not sure which of us was more surprised when he plunged his nose through the opening, but I’m here to tell you that steel-cut oats stick to a dog nose like jimmies on soft-serve ice cream. He sucked in his breath, and I had just enough presence of mind to cover the top of the can with my shirt before he sneezed.

And boy, did that dog sneeze.photo (30)

I got oats on my shirt, on my face, in my hair. There were oats in my eyelashes, there were oats in my EARS. When I went upstairs to shower and change, oats fell from my clothes. They sat there on the bathroom floor in sad, abandoned little drifts.

Unlike regular oats, which I suspect have greater drag due to design, steel-cut oats appear to be quite aerodynamic. In direct defiance of the laws of physics, I found oats in the dining room around the corner from the kitchen. Maybe the explosive nature of the sneeze launched them with such velocity that they banked around the dining room wall and ended up in our neighbor’s living room. It really wouldn’t surprise me.

It took a good ten minutes to clean poor Shiloh off before I even started on me or the house – getting oats out of a dog nose is a delicate business, fraught with peril. Having experienced the wordless joy of having simple WATER stuck up my nose, I certainly didn’t want to risk having oats stuck up Shiloh’s. And it’s not like you can hold a Kleenex up to a dog’s nose and say, “Blow.”

Well, you could. I suspect that this is in the advanced dog training course, though. We’re still working on “Stay.”

All in all, it was an interesting day.

Also? You might be tempted to think a dog sneeze is funny, but it’s snot.

<muffled snorts of laughter>

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Filed under dogs, humor, laughter, Shiloh, writing

The Perils of Doggie Bath Day

“Someone smells like a dog.”

“Why are you looking at me?”

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Our dogs are pretty clean, overall. They don’t have many chances to get dirty, although in our old house Sophie managed to find stinkbugs in the basement with alarming regularity. She’s smart, though, and soon made the connection between rolling in the latest Eau de Canine perfume and going straight into the tub, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Our philosophy behind having clean dogs is pretty simple. We like petting them without getting grime on our hands, and we prefer that the house not smell like dogs.

So today was Doggie Bath Day. As soon as I said the word “bath,” Sophie went stone-still and tried to melt into the couch. She knows what that word means – she can even spell it – and she wants no parts of it.

Shiloh followed me right upstairs and into the bathroom, because he doesn’t know what ANY words mean. He watched me hook up the spray hose to the shower head. He observed me getting out a stack of towels. Being a good sport with a bad memory, he even jumped into the tub, wagging his tail.

He endured the first round of water and soap with equanimity. “Hmmm,” I could see him thinking, weighing his options as I lathered up his back. “This doesn’t seem TOO bad. It’s kind of like getting petted, only with bubbles. Odd but strangely compelling.”

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When I moved on to his head and neck, however, the situation deteriorated rapidly. He went from gentle and amiable to panic-stricken in seconds, even though – and here’s the interesting part – nothing unusual happened. I did not spray gallons of water directly into his eyes or ears. I failed to squirt dog shampoo up his nose. We were not suddenly menaced by a gigantic wall of water. There was no gelatinous ooze monster with teeth like razor blades emerging  from the drain. 

“Good boy, Shiloh! Good, good boy. That’s right, you’re a good HEY STOP! NO! STAY IN THE TUB! No no no no Shiloh what are you OUCH! NO! NO CLIMBING ON MY HEAD! COME ON, BOY, GOOD DOG AIIIIGGGGHHHHHH!”

Afterwards, I dried him off, mildly stunned. He even gave me his paws, probably out of sheer embarrassment. I squelched downstairs, dripping, to inform my husband that he was on deck to wash Sophie. I was done.

There were two spots – one on my shoulder, one on the side of my shorts – that weren’t soaked. Muscles I didn’t even know I had ached from keeping Shiloh in the tub. In direct defiance of basic anatomy, I somehow got water in my spleen.

Doggie bath time isn’t fun for ANYONE.

Sure, there are local places that wash dogs, but Shiloh hates them. Despite the attentions of caring, gentle staff who genuinely love dogs, he struggles and wheezes and sounds like Darth Dog to the point that even Sophie feels sorry for him. Last time we took him, she toddled into the washing area and laid down on the rubber floor mat in a surprising show of solidarity.

It didn’t help, of course, but it was still cute.

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So I’ll wash Shiloh at the house, and he’ll remember halfway through every bath that he hates getting baths, and I’ll get soaked, and he’ll get embarrassed. And Sophie will hope against hope that Shiloh continues to go first, and that we’ll somehow be distracted into forgetting that we have two dogs. At least as far as bath-time is concerned. Dinner time? That’s a whole different story.

And we’ll ALL keep our eyes open for a gelatinous ooze monster with teeth like razor blades emerging from ANY drain.

You know, just in case.

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Filed under dogs, humor, laughter, Shiloh, sophie, Uncategorized, writing

Will Exercise for Food

I don’t exercise because I love exercise. I exercise because I love food.

I like fitness in theory, but to me it’s more of a means to an end. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life flailing around in my living room to the most recent exercise video. And trust me when I say I FLAIL. If there were an intergalactic award for “Most Likely to Flail,” I’d be ALL OVER it. That’s why, for the sake of humanity, I tend to keep my exercising limited to my house.

You’re welcome, world.

Also? I’m easily distracted. By the time I get in a car to drive someplace to exercise, the feeling has passed and I’m just as likely to end up wandering into a conveniently located cupcake place. Or an inconveniently located cupcake place, depending on how good the cupcakes are.

“How was your workout?
“Hmmm? It was cookie dough with vanilla frosting.”The wrong way to run.
“What?”

I’m also not a racer. I completely understand the motivation of signing up for a race in order to get in shape. I also have the deepest of respect for my friends who do this. It simply doesn’t work for me. I get resentful.  “Stupid race. Who do you think you are? I don’t owe you ANYTHING. Not one thing, you hear me?” I find myself shaking my fist and yelling. At A RACE. That’s just crazy.

Then I panic – why did I wait until the last minute to start training? A race isn’t like an exam you can cram for the night before.  “Okay, I only have to remember to move my legs quickly until about 10am. Let’s go, legs!” Nope. Doesn’t work. As a former runner, I’m almost constitutionally incapable of walking during a race. That means I’ll keep running until I collapse, and even then my legs will probably just keep on going, dragging my lifeless torso behind them like some horrifying mash-up of Forrest Gump meets The Walking Dead.

I guess I simply like doing things in my own time, and that really doesn’t work with exercise. I’ll start the P90X program and get distracted right around P6X. Then I’ll take a couple of days off and have to start all over again. I’ve done the first workout roughly 43 times, and there are two workouts I’ve never even seen because I haven’t made it that far.

Superman what?

I don’t particularly trust the people in those videos, anyway. They look suspiciously cheerful and happy while doing exercises called Crunchy Frog and Supreme Ab-Ripper Oblique Tricep Pain Extravaganza.  There’s one exercise with the amusing name of Superman Banana. Sounds fun, right? WRONG. I tried them once and my abdomen jumped right off of my body and ran screaming into the night. Rule number one of exercise? NEVER trust a routine with a cute name. Ever.

The other week I actually tried to trick myself. I was only allowed to watch episodes of Doctor Who WHILE exercising. I’m brilliant! Go, me! I’ve always meant to watch Doctor Who – here was the PERFECT plan. Only I ran into trouble when I was trying to watch the episodes while also watching P90X workouts. I ended up pausing a lot, and my foot is still bruised from dropping a weight on it during a particularly suspenseful scene. When I tried watching while using the recumbent bike, I couldn’t hear very well. I plugged in earbuds, which got caught in the pedals. Also, an hour of pedaling allegedly burned something like 400 calories, which is roughly equivalent to – in Mickey-speak – not-nearly-enough-damned-calories-for-an-hour-of-pedaling.

Also, I don’t know how I feel about trying to trick myself into working out. Am I brilliant for coming up with a plan that works, or am I stupid for falling for it?

But I do love eating. And my metabolism – once so mighty! – is letting me down. The truth of the matter is I don’t fear gaining weight nearly as much as I fear having to shop for new clothes. So there you have it: fitness through an intense fear of shopping.

Perhaps I’m on to something: “Will exercise to avoid shopping.”

Or, of course, the far more direct: “Will exercise for food.”

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Filed under humor, laughter, writing

Shiloh Happened

I’d meant to write an AMAZING end-of-the-year post, reflecting on my successes and failures of the past year while promising to do better in the next. Blah blah blah. You know the drill. Earth-shattering insights! Insanely simple yet profound suggestions!

And then, Shiloh happened.

261835_4382759214598_1064910113_nFor those of you who don’t know, Shiloh, Mischief Dog joined our family in April. He’s a rescue dog, somewhere between eight and ten (depending on which paperwork you believe). He spent most of his life chained to a doghouse outside in the mountains. After some initial setbacks that resulted in the death of all floor-based houseplants and new blinds for every window the living room, he settled in admirably.

The fact that you never really know what he’ll get into next adds an element of adventure to day-to-day life. He’s shredded toys (both his and Sophie the Wonder Dog’s), slippers, a paperback, two audiobook cases, tissue paper, cards and several bags. He’s eaten a stick of butter, a pound and a half of homemade Chex mix and a bag of gummy bears (including the bag).

One evening we returned home, opened the front door and were hit with the unmistakable and overwhelming smell of coffee. Shiloh discovered sealed bags of whole beans stored in a box stacked in a corner of the laundry room.

To clarify, the bags were not sitting out in plain view on a counter covered with bacon grease.

Evidence suggests that he enjoyed chewing through the box AND all three bags, cheerfully spreading the beans from one side of the living room to the other with the bulk of concentration focused damningly on his dog bed. Based on the fact that close to half a pound of it was missing, his personal favorite blend appeared to be Pumpkin Spice.

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Panicked, we called the vet. Meanwhile, Shiloh looked hugely uncomfortable, opened his mouth and out shot a stream of partially chewed coffee beans. This was good news – as long as he was throwing up on his own, no further treatment was necessary. That dog vomited coffee beans for HOURS, proving that his body is far smarter than his mind and stomach. I am certain that the laws of physics were broken that night, because WAY more beans came out than went in.

He seems to have learned his lesson, though. “Shiloh, what’s this?” accompanied by the shake of a bag of coffee now sends him slinking into the next room, eyes averted.

After starting to write the end of year post the other day, I innocently left the house for two hours. Two. Hours.

I returned to Plush Toy Armageddon. Christmas was just days before. Both dogs enjoyed the kind of attention that comes from being the Wonder Dog and the Mischief Dog, respectively. Shiloh received several “indestructible” toys with multiple squeakers.

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I’d like to think they went quickly; the plush snake, the adorable alligator, the blue thing that I-don’t-know-what-it-was. Sophie’s duck and bear were collateral damage, simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The cookies – a gift from our neighbors – were stalked with the consummate skill of a dog smart enough to casually notice a pattern just before the appearance of the magical peanut butter cookies. I have no idea what he was trying to do with the sugar cookie mix, but he seemed to enjoy prancing through it after destroying the bag. His whiskers were coated in flour.

I stood there in the last light of day, stunned speechless. I dropped everything, sat on the steps and called my husband.

“You won’t believe what Shiloh did.”
“Bet I will.” He’s right – my husband has come home to this scene several times and counting.
As I described the sheer magnitude – the duck’s little foot was torn off, there were easily eighteen squeakers out and stuffing EVERYWHERE – he stopped me. “He ate the cookies?”
“Yes?”
“There were chocolate chips in there. And I think macadamia nuts.”
“Yes, but he’s eaten COFFEE BEANS before. I think he’ll be okay.” I offered this last part with a doubtful edge to my voice. “Okay, I’ll call the vet.”

I called our vet and explained the situation.
“Macadamia nuts? Those are toxic. You need to induce vomiting.”
“I’m sorry, I need to what?”
“Induce vomiting. Pour small amounts of hydrogen peroxide down his throat until he starts throwing up.”
“You’ve got to be kidding. He’ll barely let us give him a bath. It takes FIVE of you to hold him down to trim his nails. I’m supposed to get peroxide down his throat?!”
“If he ate macadamia nuts? Yes.”
“Okay.”

I hung up, thought for a minute, and picked up the phone.

“Hey there! Thanks so much for the cookies – we really enjoyed them. Quick question though – were there macadamia nuts in any of them? No? Thank goodness. Why? Um, well, we thought there might’ve been some in the remaining cookies, which Shiloh helped himself to while we were out. And it seems macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Hahaha, that crazy Shiloh. Now I won’t have to induce vomiting, which is a relief all around, let me tell you. Haha. Yep. Well you have a Happy New Year!”

Our neighbors are good sports, but this might have been too much information even for them.

549093_4143832041568_2045243554_nSo I cleaned (pro-tip: use a shop vac for flour), and Shiloh skulked, and Sophie remained hidden until the coast was clear. An hour later, I was relaxing on the couch and Shiloh crept up, curled into a tiny ball and was snoring within minutes.

430370_4224646301874_1199647589_nI admire his resilience. He hasn’t had the easiest life, this dog. He shies around strangers, and gets a little jumpy sometimes. He hates having his paws touched. He didn’t lay down in our line of sight for the first week we had him. He didn’t know what a toy was or how to play with one. He’d never seen a rawhide.

And yet, just months later, he’s settled in. He barks at the vacuum and paper-shredder and blender.  He follows me everywhere.  You can almost feel Sophie rolling her eyes at his exploits from time to time – when he runs into walls, for example, or stands in the middle of a room staring at nothing. For hours. Or when we find him gleefully shredding another toy, crazy tail wagging away.  He adores Sophie, though, and so they get along well. He is kind and gentle (unless you are a squeaky toy), and a very welcome addition to our home.

So that’s what happened to my epic end-of-year post: Shiloh. And honestly? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy New Year everyone! 

And thanks, as always, for reading.

5 Comments

December 30, 2012 · 5:17 pm

A Name By Any Other Name

nametag“You have a boy’s name.”
“Did your parents want a boy?”
“Your last name is spelled wrong.”

I have a unique name. I love it now, but I didn’t always.

“Michael-Anne Rubenstien, get in here this instant!”

For starters, I think we’re negatively conditioned as children to fear our full names. I don’t know about you, but getting called by my full name meant Significant Trouble. The kind with Consequences.

My name has a couple of other interesting complexities. First, it’s hyphenated. You have no idea how difficult this concept is for people to grasp.

“How do you spell that?”
“Michael hyphen Anne.”
“I’m sorry?”
“M-i-c-h-a-e-l hyphen A-n-n-e”
“Hyphen?”
“Dash.”
“Oh.”
I occasionally toy with the idea of throwing in an umlaut, just for laughs.

My nickname – Mickey – brings another layer of hilarity to the mix.

“Like the mouse?”
“Like the mouse.”
<muffled giggle>

“Oh Mickey, you’re so fine!”
“Yes, thank you. You’re very clever.”
“You’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey!”
“Please stop.”

I’ve gotten mail for Michael A., Michaelan, Michaela, Michelle and Nikki Riverstein, Rubenstein and Rubinstein. The best spelling ever still goes to Hallmark, who once sent me a xochiGold Crown card in the name of Xochiquetzal Rubenstitn. It’s like the person entering the information just gave up and started typing with their face.

I was accepted to one of my top college choices as a male. I appreciated their willingness to welcome me as a student even though they lacked confidence in my ability to specify my own gender on the intake forms. Whenever I call to get information about my accounts – banks, phone, insurance – I’m invariably told that my husband will need to call back himself. This happened long before I was married.

I had a language professor in college who insisted I was spelling and pronouncing my own name wrong. Both the first AND last name. Wrong wrong wrong.

“You are not a boy, therefore your first name is Michelle.”
“Okay. In French, it sounds like Michelle.”
“No, I mean it should be Michelle.”
“Well, I’m not sure what to tell you.”
“And you are either spelling or pronouncing your last name wrong.”
“My parents will be delighted to hear this.”
“You do not amuse me.”

When I married and changed my name to Gomez, I thought things would be easier. Forms with little boxes for first and last name would no longer run out of spaces. I wouldn’t have to debate people on the spelling of my last name.

“Name?”
“Mickey Gomez.”
“You do not look like a Gomez.”
“What does a Gomez look like?”

Now I receive mail written in Spanish, especially during election season. I’ve been invited to serve on a variety of boards seeking my cultural perspective. I’ve received mail for Mickey Goomes, Micket Gomer and M. Gonzalez.

I’ve been forced to the realization that I will never be free of name explanations, but such is life. In this age of babies named Hashtag and Apple, my name doesn’t seem quite as complicated anymore. But it is still unique. And you know what? I love it.

Sincerely,

Michael-Anne “Mickey” “Mickety” “Xochi” “Hey You” Rubenstien Gomez

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Filed under humor, laughter, Uncategorized, writing

Festive Seasonal Memories

photo (6)“Ladle ladle ladle, I made it out of clay!”

I’m seven years old. My elementary school decides to be respectful of other faiths by including a Jewish part in the annual Christmas play. By virtue of my last name – Rubenstien – I am selected to help celebrate Hanukkah.

“And when it’s dry and ready, with ladle I will play!”

My understanding of religion at this point in my life is pretty simple. I go to church on Sunday mornings, followed by a class. In a church. It doesn’t occur to me that anyone anywhere is doing anything different.

Those of you paying attention may find yourselves thinking, “Hmmm. A church. On Sundays. Probably not Jewish.” You’re right. And you’re light years ahead of my teachers, who become annoyed by my apparent unwillingness to sing a simple song about Dreidels.  They keep me inside for recess, allegedly to calm my natural exuberance but really to serve the second grade version of detention. “You want to sing about ladles? You just sit right there and think about it.”  So I do, with no discernible effect. I have no idea what a Dreidel is, but I see the ladle every Thanksgiving in the gravy. I conclude, not for the last time, that adults are weird.

Practices continue. Now I’m in trouble for lighting a candle out of order on the Menorah. You see, once upon a time they let small children wander around public schools with lit candles. We also traveled in cars without seatbelts – at times laying IN the back window – and rode bikes without helmets. How we all made it to third grade is a mystery.

Faced with potential disaster, my teachers have no choice but to call my parents.

“Mr. Rubenstien?”
“Yes?”
“We’re calling about your daughter. We’ve been having a lot of trouble with her in this year’s Christmas play.”
“Oh? What’s been happening?”
“Well, we put her in the Jewish part of the play and she keeps messing everything up. We think it’s deliberate.”
Pause.
“Hello? Mr. Rubenstien?”
The beginnings of laughter, at first muffled but gaining steam. Mom grabs the phone.
“Hello? This is Mrs. Rubenstien. What’s going on?”
“We put your daughter in the Jewish part of the Christmas play and she is being extremely uncooperative.”
Pause.
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why did you put her in the Jewish part of the play?”
“To show the other children how Hanukkah is celebrated. Because she’s Jewish.”
“Actually, she’s Catholic.”
Pause.
“Oh.”
“Look, it’s fine for her to be in the Jewish part of the play, but you’re going to have to teach her what to do.”
“Oh.”
“She’s probably not messing things up on purpose. We’ve never had the opportunity to celebrate Hanukkah.”
“Oh.”
“So we’re all set?”
“Um. Yes. Thank you.”

The next day, I’m re-cast as one of Santa’s back-up reindeer. We mill uncertainly around the edge of the stage, wistfully watching the Main Reindeer prance around, pretending to fly. The teachers pull me aside and grill me.

“Why didn’t you tell us you aren’t Jewish?”
Blank look.
“Why didn’t you tell us you don’t celebrate Hanukkah?”
“You didn’t ask?”
“Is your mom Jewish?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Is your dad Jewish?”
“No.”
“Is your grandmother Jewish?”
“No.”
“What about your grandfather?”
I now understand that there are two religions in the world: Catholicism and Judaism. Grandfather didn’t attend church with us.
“I think he’s Jewish.”
He was Lutheran.

This episode taught me many things that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. The first: never make assumptions about religion based on someone’s name.  Second, it’s a bad photo (7)idea to make assumptions about religion based on someone’s religion. Third, learning about other religions is a good thing, and can lead to mutual respect and understanding. Fourth, religion is immensely complicated. And fifth, no matter your intentions, you will most likely end up offending someone at some point. All you can do is hope that they’ll be cool about it and help you learn.

And finally, back-up reindeer barely get any stage time at all, so if faced with a similar situation, my advice? Hold out for a speaking part.

And whatever you do, never mention ladles.

###

Wishing all friends, old and new, a jolly holiday season and a new year filled with joy and laughter. Thanks for reading!

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The Walking-Faster-Than-You-Think Dead

Three seasons into it, I just started watching The Walking Dead. I adore the films of Frank Darabont – you may know him as the director of The Shawshank Redemption, the one movie that makes almost every single person I’ve ever known’s top list of all-time favorite movies.

“What movies do you like?”

Princess Bride and Shawshank.”

Anchorman and Shawshank.”

Seven and Shawshank.”

The Manchurian Candidate and Shawshank.”

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo and Shawshank.”

It’s pretty remarkable. He also directed The Green Mile and The Mist. All three are adaptations of Stephen King stories, which is notable because King is one hell of a storyteller. Darabont’s extraordinary skill at bringing these tales to life lies not in the element of horror, but rather the element of humanity – strength, weakness, kindness, wit, nobility, frailty, good and evil – that he portrays so beautifully.

So basically I’m a fan.

Which is why I have NO IDEA why I didn’t start watching the series when it first came out. Was I living under a rock?

I continued on, blithely ignoring season two. Yes, Frank Darabont left prior to that season’s beginning, but one has to imagine he left a great foundation to build upon. And it’s based upon a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

Also? It’s a series about zombies. Post-apocalyptic zombies.

While not a fan of zombies per se, I do appreciate creative premises. Something unique and different and intriguing. Something, let me be honest, that is the diametric opposite of Honey Boo Boo.

The other night, I watched Facebook EXPLODE (not literally, I hasten to add) with posts about the season 3 premier.

“Self,” I said to myself, “Could we be missing something here? It appears that an amazingly diverse array of people we know on Facebook are watching and enjoying this series that, for all intents and purposes, could have been written with us in mind. Also? We’re talking to ourselves again, and we’re doing it in the plural. We’re either royalty or should begin to get really worried.”

What can I say? I’m very honest when talking to myself.

So we got the first two seasons and started watching. Here is a picture of me 10 minutes into the first episode:

One of the stories I read about why Darabont left the series was struggles over the high costs of production. Based upon my reaction, he could’ve simply recorded the sound and released the whole thing as a radio series. My eyes were SEALED shut. I wasn’t even peeking through my fingers.

Okay, maybe I peeked a little.

We ended up watching episode after episode, spellbound, straight through to the end of season one.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers (and PLEASE don’t do so in the comments, thank you kindly). I did jot down several observations that I feel are general enough to squeak by without revealing the entire plot.

  • Don’t ever go to Atlanta. (Hey, look, I didn’t write the series.)
  • Pizza delivery builds mad tactical skills.
  • Life post-apocalypse features gorgeous skin, hair and a luminous natural beauty that can withstand extreme close-ups despite desperate living conditions and limited running water and soap (this phenomenon is also evident in the series Lost). I can’t manage to attain a luminous natural beauty with a cabinet full of lotions, soaps, make-up, hair products and running water. It seems sad that I’ll have to wait until after an apocalypse to finally achieve a clear complexion and shiny, lustrous hair, but I suppose it’s something to look forward to.
  • Never underestimate the power of a tiny little abuela.
  • If you are a horse, trust NO ONE.
  • While gross beyond all reason, a severed hand in a backpack can be a deceptively powerful negotiation tool. Strangely, this method is not mentioned by either Stephen Covey or Dale Carnegie.
  • The Walking Dead are like cockroaches. If you see one, you can be certain that thousands of others are just out of sight,  waiting for the first one to be noticed before they lurch into the open. This can happen in a city, a town, or a field in the middle of nowhere.
  • They are also sneaky. Despite having the motor skills of a diseased pumpkin, they can seemingly navigate a forest filled with fallen leaves and twigs without a single sound.
  • If you haven’t figured this out yet despite Avengers and The Hunger Games, LEARN TO USE A BOW.
  • When living in a post-apocalyptic world in which every second is fraught with danger and terror, if it’s important enough to post a lookout during the day, you might want to post one at night, too.
  • Keys are very important. Don’t leave them in a vehicle that you may need later. Hang onto them tightly, especially when running (and tripping, and falling). Don’t throw them, EVER.

And the most important lesson of them all? The dead can walk a LOT faster than you think. I know I’m not the sportiest of all Sporty Spices, but I do feel that I’m in decent physical condition. The thought that a creature missing half its face, part of an arm and several internal organs shuffling along on a BACKWARDS LEG fast enough to catch me and rip my face off is demoralizing, to say the very least. I’d argue that the show should be called the Walking-Faster-Than-You-Think Dead, or the Jogging Dead, or perhaps even the Eight-Minute-Mile Dead.

We started in on season two already, but I’ll save that for another post. Suffice to say, I’ll be watching the rest.

And quietly training to run a mile in under eight minutes. Just in case.

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