My friend Lee, who will actually be thrilled that I am documenting her paranoid trauma,  is the most sheltered city girl I know. There are Nebraskans who are more worldly (and otherworldly too, they could teach you tons on the UFO).  Lee changed her mind about a guy she met briefly and then dissuaded him from calling her anymore. Fair enough. He calls her 3 weeks later and she's in a frantic panic that he's dangerous. No threats, nothing of the sort, just a card-carrying member of the lonely hearts club. I finally snapped and put an end to her melodramatic rant, though I'm sure there'll be a revival. She ran through every scenario from every stalker movie she's ever seen and then seriously asked me about getting a restraining order. All the time contending that this guy was the one who was mental. The guy probably is mental but there's no fine line between mental and mental patient. Aside from the fact that she was being completely irrational I took the statements as an affront to all the poor women who are truly terrorized by dyslexic men who think "no" means "on." The police dept is far too unsympathetic until such time that there is a need for chalk. The law should postulate that if you're going to follow anyone around, you should be required to carry a parasol over their head. If there was really any justice, stalkers would only hook up with other stalkers.  It'd be like  two people clamoring to find the light switch inside a pitch black room.

Dialogue Excerpts
"Deb, what would I do if he came to my door?"
"Tell him to leave."
"And what if he doesn't leave?"
"Tell him you're calling the police."
"But he's not going to stay there if I call the police."

"Deb, what would I do if he was just like there when I opened the door and he pushed me inside the apartment."
"oh, like the neighbors would hear me."
"Lisa, dead people hear you when you scream. If this guy killed you and you screamed, you'd hear you."

OK I didn't say that, but I was thinking it. I'm not the one who was morbid. Every other Lisa line was "Well Debs, when you have to go my funeral, you'll know who did it."  If you have any interest in avoiding sarcasm, you don't want to bring up your own funeral and murder when you're clearly irritating the person on the other end of the phone.

My favorite clip:
Lee: Debs, when I met him he said he wanted to do this and this and that* to me.
Debs: Actually Lee, you told me he said he could "do things to you" and then you asked him "Like what?"
Lee: Yeah but still. What kind of guy would answer like he did?
Debs: Yes, Lisa, what kind of guy indeed!
*think 'large lollipop'

There are some men who don't even need a segue to talk about large lollipops. Right now I'm going to talk about large lollipops, but you see, I'm segueing. The reason that till this day I don't give out my phone number to strangers, I take them instead, is because I once gave my number to a clean cut (on the exterior anyway) guy I met during my hour-long train ride into the city. Can't recall what our first phone conversation comprised but it was innocuous.
"What's going on with you?"
"So what color are your nipples?"
Now I'm the kind of chick who likes to roll with the punches. Admittedly I was unprepared for the question and just drew a blank (yeh, I know what color my own nipples are thank you very much. I meant to say that I was in slight shock and went silent) (for future reference, this is not a way to get me to shutup). So then he starts guessing of all things, which fortunately didn't last long as they aren't too many color choices. I maintained my composure, set him straight quite diplomatically and told him point blank he'd get a purple nurple everytime he slouched with my parasol.

12-31-00 (kiss the googly eyes goodbye!)

Not surprisingly I was up when the snow began to lay itself out. I did what any normal snow bunny would do.  I dove right in. A stunning sight, like someone poured out the entire bottle of liquid white-out on the earth (that constitutes a poetic thought in the 21st century) Shoveling was a bit of a moot labor as it was coming down faster than I could move it. I blame the Charlie Brown shovel my mother left me in my car. Looks like the shovel kids take to the beach.  I had oodles of fun, it wasn't that cold and the snow was fluffy like a pom-pom (Suddenly I drew a blank on fluffy things). The only thing is I left all my boots in the Hamptons and it didn't take very long before my feet were immersed in water. But even that didn't deter me. As I was shoveling, it started to come down heavier. I distinctly heard a voice from the heavens say "give it up!" Tomorrow might be terrible if the temperature warms enough to melt some of the snow. I'm no Peggy Fleming. I did once show a big block of ice a thing or two. My parents are fortunate enough to live at the bottom of an incline, however subtle and the drainage is awful, namely because the concrete begins to slope upwards after their house. If the letter "U" was a "V" we'd be the point.  Following one major storm of yesteryear, there was a huge block of ice along our driveway. "I can clear it," I chimed confidently (I just said that to break the ice) (laugh at my pun. I'm a woman holding a sharp tool). Apparently my depth perception is far worse than I thought, it wasn't quite in the same category as what took down the Titanic, but it was a challenge that was probably beyond me.  I'm not exactly what you would call athletic. I volunteer to sit on the bench. In fact, I try to get other people off the bench so I can lay down. In the end, I cleared about 90% of the street igloo. But unfortunately not without enduring certain casualties. I made the mistake of removing my gloves at one point only to find that my hands were badly cut. I guess it was cold enough that I didn't feel it, sort of the Solarcaine effect. You know that stuff you put on to anesthetize sunburns but it's like freezing. I can assure you ice cracking isn't all its cracked up to be. For weeks after I wouldn't so much as order a drink on the rocks. I came through the ordeal empathizing with Jesus. Of course I don't imagine there was much need for snow and ice removal in Bethlehem. I can't reconcile the idea of Jews as desert people, cabana people maybe but not desert people.

My New Years is not off to an auspicious beginning. I didn't have sweet dreams even though the last thing I remember watching on TV was the second half of a comedy. I guess it depended on the target audience. The basis of the film was a 10 year old kid who aged 4 times faster than normal (think Keith Richards). This amounted to a 40 year old acting like he was 10. This is supposed to be amusing to women who have to deal with this kind of thing daily? The movie would've done itself better to stay light instead of attempting a shallow examination of the depression that a mutant aging process would induce(think infomercial for anti-wrinkle cream, specifically the segment of the life changing story. "My husband left me because of my crow's feet. But this cream gave me enough confidence to sue his sorry ass for back alimony!") Though young and restless, I was feeling perfectly cozy in bed which could only mean one thing, I had to get up. I go to make coffee and in walks my dad with 100 bags of artery clog. Chopped liver, egg salad, cheese, every mayonnaise-y salad in the book (no you're not invited even though we have plenty). Even the bagels were enormous, if you were doing a diorama of the solar system, these bagels would be Jupiter. I made a few comments to this effect and my father responded in an incensed tone, which is preferable to him telling me he's going on a diet while he has Chan from the Chinese takeout on hold (if fortune cookies were legit, every message would read "you eat food very bad for you. Enjoy!") Now I am not a health nut, I think the only thing keeping vegans from passing out is all the plant starch in their laundry… but I disapprove of people eating anything they want in whatever quantity. What do you think childhood is for?!  My dad grumbles at me not to tell him what to eat but then the tables turn at the table when he's picking the food for other peoples plates. I'm actually not a big believer in radical change, but anyone can moderate any behavior.

That was me shutting up for two whole lines, it can be done!
Live and let live, eat and let eat, you say. But you know what? The same folks who bitch back that you shouldn't be concerned with their diet will eventually end up in the hospital begging you to sneak them in a corned beef sandwich. They don't care if you can get into a lot of trouble putting chocolate milkshake into the I.V.  Y'know I don't pray regularly, and that's hardly a point of pride, but if I did affirm any kind of gratitude daily it'd go something like "Thank you G-d for ten toes, ten fingers, two eyes, two ears, a lot of bones (I always forget the exact figure), lungs that work, a small intestine, a large intestine, a medium intestine (oh, just skip over that why don't you), a pancreas, an appendix (I'm sure it has summmmm purpose), a brain, a heart that's in the right place, etc etc etc." Stop thanking G-d for Doritos, cupcakes and fried chicken you ring ding! No don't thank him for those either. Have a happy and a healthy New Year.


The Neighbor Who Said HELLO
Last weekend my mother and I were exiting our house, entering our car when a passerby said Hello. My mother returned the hello, and I, a smile.
Me: "That was nice."
Mom: "Yep."
Me: "Who says hello here?"
Mom: "I don't know who that was."
Me: "He must not live here."
Mom laughs. The training wheels spin in Me's cranium. Short story entitled "The neighbor who said HELLO". Subtitled "only we haven't established that it's a neighbor."

The Neighbor Who Wants To Spread TRUTH
I return to home in the Hamptons, to a stack of mail that includes a handwritten letter from one of my neighbors, from a neighboring town anyway.  Witness for Jehovah, who apparently believes truth is something you can spread like a hot knife through room temperature butter (the hot knife doesn't work well on frozen butter). Call me impious but I call me practical (ps don't call me on the phone). I will become a Jehovah's witness when Jehovah is produced. Barring that, what kind of witness would I make?  If you want results, get over to a costuming store, get a George Burns costume, and start knocking. I actually am not against people trying to draw other people into religion; I truly believe man is a spiritual beast (yes beast. Isn't 'spiritual Jehovah" a bit redundant!)  I am very much against the kind of proselytizing that has one person confiscating another person's belongings and threatening them with death if they don't convert (is that nice?) I 100% support freedom of expression which categorically has to include the freedom of others to waste my time.
But I do think it's nothing short of tacky and misguided to solicit the neighbor with the conspicuous menorah in the window. You have to know what that means. I believe in eight gods and as the old TV drama title warned us, "Eight Is Enough!"
I'd probably end up in hell for standing down a Jehovah's Witness. Picture me iron faced, with arms crossed, "My G-d walks me through the valley of the shadow of death, yay! What does yours do!"
Pssst. I am planning to buy a new computer so I can finally centralize my data and take over the world. I'm not looking to spend heavily and I'm thrilled that I was able to go over my 'absolute ceiling price, I am not going over this price, there is nothing you can do to make me go over this price, I mean it, wild horses couldn't make me go over this price' price by only 20%. Hopefully I can work out the kinks (For every 5 daily questions of mine, customer service has one answer per week.  Either I have to stop asking or they have to start answering or my machine is going to be drastically outdated by the time I get it).  Once I do that, my email response time will be more consistent. Until then, I'm only able to email people whose addresses I know by heart. So if you're one of the folks who had to think "@ what? @ what?" or  "Man, how did I spell 'superherothrasher_Z'"? during the first week of using your email address, please send it to me, along with a HELLO, at untamedshrew@hotmail.com
I have some TRUTH that I desperately want to share with you. Starting with "Everything I say is a lie." (don't you just love that one.)

I came across this word today:
COULROPHOBIA- fear of clowns.
Why they couldn't just call it 'clownophobia' is beyond me.
I'm not clowing around, I hate clowns. I had nightmares after I saw "Attack of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space." The heroine in the film was named Debbie and I don't think it was a coincidence. Of course Debbie didn't save the world, her boyfriend and the ice cream vendors did. Now don't go thinking Debbie's squeeze and his crew were all that sharp. When Debbie was trapped inside of a big filmy bubble the guys had to think about how to get her out. The clown agenda was to spin people into cotton candy and then eat them.  I'd originally thought they came down, big feet and all, to mate with earth women. I admit, I was a little excited. Ultimately, the heroes had to lure all the killer klowns into the same tent. And if you've ever observed how many clowns can pack into a car, well you can only imagine how many more can pack into a space ship! Fortunately they weren't invulnerable.   You could kill a killer klown by popping its nose. They figured this out in two seconds but were scratching their heads about how to get poor Debbie out of the bubble.  The killer klowns all had pointed teeth which is completely unrealistic given their diet. Everything else, completely believable. I caution you to wonder what lies beneath that painted on joy and baggy gangsta outfit. Before you dismiss their little spray bottle antics with the rationalization that "it's just water," remember that it's a little chilly outside and you could catch a cold.  I'm telling you folks, clowns are hiding something and it's sinister. Unlike the bearded lady who goes au natural. That's someone you can trust.


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