Weird Crimes: Pringles Wine and Face-Licking Edition

In a world full of horrible, violent crimes, I find myself seeking out and clinging to the weird crime stories. Luckily, this past month has given us two excellent examples to ponder. Even better, they both involve women perpetrators (#whorunstheworld #girlcrimebosses).

First, a woman in Wichita Falls, Texas was banned from the local Walmart. Her crime? Driving an electric shopping cart in the parking lot while drinking wine from a Pringles can between the hours of 6:30 to 9 in the morning.

There’s a lot to unpack there. First off, wait a hot second….you can drink wine out of Pringles can???? How did I not know this?

Writer Matt Pomanz at Food & Wine had the same thought, so he got scientific about it, and Pomanz conducted an experiment “testing the viability of Pringles’ packaging as a wine vessel.” He found that, if you can get past the chip smell, a Pringles can is actually a pretty inspired drinking vessel. It’s waterproof, the plastic top does a good job containing liquid inside and it can accommodate 750 milliliters of liquid, the equivalent of a whole bottle of wine.

That durability and adaptability might also be why Pringles cans seem to be the vessel of choice for smuggling things like Californian coral to Mexico or king cobras from Hong Kong or a live bird from Malaysia or the can inventors remains, or yes, even something as pedestrian and expected as drugs or money. It really is a surprisingly useful and ingenious container.

I actually agree with VICE’s take, which declared the incident as indicative of the national mood of 2019. I can actually relate to this. The idea of just riding around in circles in a parking lot drinking wine out of a Pringles can while watching the sun come up before heading off down the road for breakfast at a restaurant actually sounds sort of meditative—a form of self-care. Vice stated that the mystery wine drinker “is truly the hero that we, as a country, deserve right now.”

For true enlightenment, scratch out “cup” and replace with “Pringles container.”

And, unlike our next weird crime, nobody got hurt. (Besides, there are certainly much worse things that have happened in Walmart parking lots in Texas recently.)

The other story involved the resignation of a Florida city commissioner who was accused of sexually harassing a fellow city official by licking his face back in 2012.

You read that right: she licked his face.

Words fail. Unlike our previous weird crime story, I cannot relate. I cannot imagine the circumstances that would drive someone to lick a relative stranger’s face and neck. And I do not understand how one would derive sexual pleasure from performing such an act. But I will say, it is certainly invasive and would be incredibly off-putting for the victim.

The Washington Post had a very thorough, 1,144-word story on Madeira Beach City Commissioner Nancy Oakley’s assault on then-City Manager Shawn Crawford.

“…after the otherwise low-key meeting concluded, Oakley walked up to Crawford again. She allegedly licked his neck and the side of his face, slowly working her way up from his Adam’s apple, and groped him by grabbing at his crotch and buttocks.”

And apparently, it wasn’t the first time she had used her tongue as an assault weapon, according to at least three other men who testified before the Florida Commission on Ethics that Oakley had also licked their faces in public without their consent.

The Crawford face-licking incident occurred at a commission meeting that occurred at the King of the Beach fishing tournament, and at the time, I honestly thought that there might not be anything is more Florida redneck than a city commission meeting held on the beach with alcohol at a fishing tournament.

Then I read about one of the other incidents involving another male former Madeira Beach city employee, who

“told investigators that Oakley had licked him during the opening of a Bubba Gump’s restaurant. Maxemow said that Oakley had been intoxicated at the time, and licked his face and neck in the presence of her husband, who quickly escorted her from the building.”

Yup, an incident at a ribbon cutting for a Bubba Gump’s restaurant in front of her own husband. Not to get all Jeff Foxworthy, but Nancy, you might be a redneck.  

For the record, Oakley, who has resigned as city commissioner, admits she had been drinking the day of the King of the Beach fishing tournament (“some beer and possibly a cocktail,” according to Oakley. “A Tervis tumbler filled with alcohol,” according to another witness. To which I say, as one does.)

Nevertheless, the woman nicknamed “Nasty Nancy” maintains her innocence against all complaints and charges, and says she’s looking into avenues to clear her good name.

My favorite quote is towards the bottom of the Washington Post story, where one co-worker is being asked by the state ethics commission investigating the complaint if she ever told anyone else about the licking assault she had witnessed. “I mean, she licked a lot of people, sir. So everyone kind of talked about the fact that she licked people. That’s what she did when she got drunk.”

Somebody needs to get Nancy this $57 Face Licker lollipop. 

At least she wasn’t operating an electric shopping cart.

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This Town Might Have a Dead Body Problem

Hey, who likes to hear about dead bodies? Or maybe I should say, “near misses with floating dead bodies?”

I mean, who doesn’t, amiright?

I realize this is a pretty abrupt manner in which to get started back into blogging. BUT, as a die-hard murderino (SSDGM, MFM crew), I have to post about this crazy, possible (but probably not?) hometown murder.

So, on the work front, things have been pretty busy since the beginning of the year, which isn’t a shocker – that is usually my busy period. But most of my really big yearly projects are slowly winding down (last big convention for the year is next week), so it’s been a nice quiet week here at Poe Communications/ National Detective/Sleuthing Services Agency, LLC.

cat detective

(Sidebar: Here’s a Buzzfeed list of 13 Signs Your Cat is Secretly a Detective).

And when my non-husband, XFE mentioned going to the gym at 6 am, I checked my pajama pockets for excuses and finding none, gamely agreed to go along with him. However, when we got to the gym, we saw construction crews tearing up the street to get to the water pipes and all the lights in the gym were off. After seeing other would-be gym goers leaving the scene, we surmised that our gym was probably not open. Yet, here we were, all dressed in spandex and ready to sweat.

Now, we live in Old Town, Alexandria, just a few blocks from the Potomac River. And along this stretch of Old Town, we have a lovely collection of waterfront parks, most of which are connected by a biking/walking trail that runs all along the Potomac. It’s pretty dang nice and its definitely one of my preferred running paths.

alexandria_waterfront
Pretty typical waterfront park view. Notice no dead bodies clogging up the river.

Since the gym was closed, we decided to take advantage of the cool morning and go for a walk along the Old Town Waterfront, which will now be known as Scenic River Murder Path (SRMP).

We headed south. Because I’m a curious, snoopy sort of person, I spent a good portion of my time checking out all the various bits of debris that had washed up along the shoreline after the many heavy storms we’ve had over the last couple of days. I’m always surprised how many logs and just huge splinters of logs, along with just tons of trash end up stuck in all the various nooks and crannies along the SRMP’s otherwise well-manicured trails.

OT Waterfront
We walked along this lovely area. Keep it in mind.

This morning, as I was gawking at all the debris, I didn’t see too much of note, except for one foam-pontoon-looking thing that had washed up into a pile of logs and trash near the Potomac Riverboat Company office. At first glance, it’s large, concave white shape reminded me of a dead, belly-up shark, which caused me to do a double take and then laugh at myself over the idea of a shark in the Potomac River.

But then, this afternoon, XFE sent me this story:

How the body of a man ended up in the Potomac River in Alexandria is under investigation by the Virginia city’s police department.

The body was found Wednesday morning in the river not far from the marina in Old Town, not far from the Torpedo Factory, according to the Alexandria Fire Department.

Police will investigate how the man ended up in the water and how he died.

The man’s identity has not been released.

Holy Torpedo Factory, that was right where we were! How could we not have seen it? I was literally gawking at every bit of flotsam and jetsam and yet, somehow I had managed to not see a body bouncing around???

OT body
Look familiar? Yeah. I know. Image from reporter Victoria Sanchez’s Twitter feed.

I immediately started looking for more information and found this:

A body was recovered from the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday morning, Alexandria Fire Department said.

Around 9:15 a.m., fire crews responded to the scene just off the Old Town Waterfront for a report of a person in the water.

The fire crew has handed off the incident to the Alexandria Police Department. The PIO does have much information that can be confirmed at this time, but it has been reported as death on arrival.

Wait a minute, 9:15??? We were right there! We were walking along the marina area at like, 6:30!! How did we not see anything??

But then, my Internet sleuthing got even spookier:

 A man’s body was found in the Potomac River Tuesday evening in D.C.

Metropolitan Police say the unidentified man was unconscious and not breathing when he was located. His body floated approximately 10 feet off the shoreline of Dangerfield Island in the Potomac.

According to investigators, there does not appear to be signs of foul play.

So, another, different body was found in the same river the night before. Oh, and guess where Daingerfield Island is? Just north of us, along that same hike/bike trail! Basically, (well, not basically, but literally), the two bodies washed up two miles and about 12 hours apart.

SRMT

That’s suspicious, right?

I have just so many questions, but I think the main one is: what was the deal with the water pipes outside of our gym this morning?

And, in slightly more upbeat neighborhood news, we’re getting a Taco Bell (free Nacho Cheese Doritos® Locos Tacos Supreme® for every murder mystery solved)! But also, it will serve alcohol (Margarita Bell Grande?).

Old Town is so weird. And apparently, dangerous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weird Crimes: Colorado’s Serial Sidewalk Pooper Makes My Day

Every once in a while, a new story breaks through all the worry and malaise burdening the national consciousness, (and myself, in particular, which is really the only worry and malaise I can actually, honestly attest to).

This bright, glittery meteor of a human interest (?) story somehow—someway—against all news judgement and journalistic standards manages to rise above all the reporting on hurricanes, earthquakes, Fed rate machinations, GOP “healthcare” bills, and America’s slow, inexorable crawl towards mutually assured nuclear annihilation.

That shining beacon of story is the Mad Pooper story.

colorado springs serial pooper_1505857866909_66768450_ver1.0_640_480

Perhaps you’ve heard of it? If not, let me enlighten you.

There is a woman—a jogger, even—in Colorado Springs who has chosen to defecate on a sidewalk in front of the same house on approximately seven occasions thus far. I say approximately, because honestly—who can say with absolute certainty? We just have the family-in-question’s version. It could have been more and they just didn’t notice it.

But they did eventually notice and even confronted the woman, who seemed oddly unrepentant and not at all slowed down by the discovery.

I actually have some experience with both jogging (barely) and people pooping in my yard. But in my case, the mystery of who pooped by the shed was never solved.

sweaty beast

The press are, quite understandably having a field day with this poop-and-run story. Check out this USA Today story. My favorite bits:

Then the woman jogged away. She leaves only confusion, and also the paper towels that she wipes with.

Even in a world wrought with senseless violence, the Mad Pooper’s antics astonish. There’s a portable toilet at nearby John Venezia Community Park.  A gas station not far from that.

BET had some funny nuggets (PUN: INTENDED)

However, for one Colorado Springs household, a human, exercising, pooping, bandit has been leaving her trace for weeks, and they are tired of her crap… literally.

Mediaite was feeling funny:

There’s a 99 percent chance that this will be the shittiest news story you read today.

And, crossing the finish line, Huffington Post, which has a photo of the Mad Pooper:

This runner keeps coming in turd place.

All I know is that the Mad Pooper has definitely got the Colorado Springs police on the run(s) (AGAIN: PUN: INTENDED).

innauguration porta potties.jpg

Friday Links: Snow Art and Snatched Crowns Edition

snow penis
Nobody said this was a family-friendly blog.

  • Airline workers kill time by drawing a giant dick next to one of their planes. This actually sums up perfectly how I feel about winter. Plus it reminds me of the infamous “Below Deck” episode where the chief steward made blanket art in the shape of a penis but insisted it was a misinterpreted rocket ship. Man, I miss that show.
  • But guess what IS coming back!! Get your sweet tea iced and set your Tivo’s for March 9 for a preview episode, and March 16 for the full “Southern Charm” assault on the senses, y’all.
  • The Chief Jefe of Poe Communications and Mattress Merchandising Inc., and my personal-boss-for-life XFE has always wanted to stay at an ice hotel. I prefer not to sleep with my teeth chattering throughout the night. So just for him and his thwarted dreams, here’s a roundup of ice hotels by OMGFacts.
  • It’s hard to drag yourself out of bed when it’s 6 a.m. and 17 degrees. It’s even harder when you’re bed is heavenly. The ladies at Cardigans and Couture know: It’s all about the bed. We actually have the same mattress (Westin’s Heavenly mattress) and it is pretty awesome.
  • Following up on the Christmas break wine heist at the French Laundry, Central Texas has a brisket bandit on the loose. No word on if they prefer the “packer” or the “flat” cut.
  • Required reading for our cat, Petunia: Neurotic people probably make pretty great pet owners, according to a new study on overbearing pet parents. Now get over here and let me smother you with hugs and kisses.
  • My favorite story of the week: A Brazilian beauty pageant runner-up snatched the crown right off the winner’s head. (Oh yes, there’s a video. Things get catty around the 1:50 mark. The crowd goes wild). And she’s not sorry about it at all, as you can tell by this amazingly awesome quote in a Brazilian newspaper: “What I did was not on impulse, [it] was to show Manaus, Brazil and the world, that money cannot buy everything. I didn’t do it for me but for other candidates … She didn’t deserve the title.”

Maybe I Should Play the Lottery Next

Sometimes you do something so stupid and potentially dangerous it puts a pit in your stomach and lingers around you for a whole day.

I-SEE-DUMB-PEOPLE

I’m not talking about something irresponsible, like, say, for example, staying far too long at a happy hour and not eating anything except a couple of chips and a teaspoon of guacamole, which, as everyone knows is not a sufficient anti-hangover base for 3 top shelf margaritas and a sickly sweet shot. Just as an example.

No, I’m talking about some stupid mistake that makes you question whether you should even be allowed to walk by yourself to the metro.

And every time you start to feel comfortable or safe or push the incident out of your mind, there it is again, sending a cold sheen of sweat over your upper lip.

My guardian-boyfriend XFE is out of town for work this week, so of course, when I went to bed last night, I checked every door and window and made absolutely certain they were locked before I went to bed.

I have recurring bouts of insomnia. I’m currently in one of those bouts, I’d say for going on about 2 weeks now. My insomnia is kinda interesting. To me, at least. I fall asleep easily, then wake up around 3 or 4 in the morning and cannot get back to sleep until about 20 minutes before my alarm goes off. So….super restful, that. If there’s anything worse than waking up for no reason, it’s finally being able to drift back to sleep only to be jolted awake again. It is exhausting, and frustrating, and mystifying.

So, last night, per usual, I woke up around 4 am and tried to lie still in the hopes that I could somehow quiet my mind enough to get back to sleep. I finally started to slowly sink back into sleep after an indeterminate amount of time when I heard the very distinct sound of our front door. Our door has a pretty unmistakable sound. It has a rubber weathering seal around it that makes it sound a little bit like a suction noise. That’s the best way I can describe it, and it’s totally inefficient.

apocalypse bird

Anyway, I know I heard something because even Petunia jumped up from her favorite sleeping spot — ie: between my legs (I also have a theory that perhaps my insomnia stems from the fact that I am physically trapped by a 13 pound cat and can’t roll over to a more comfortable position — I have a lot of theories about my insomnia. You think a lot during those extra 2-3 hours of wakefulness every night).

what was that

I stayed very, very still, holding my breathe and listening; watching the cat to see if she was hearing anything. Nothing. No footsteps on the wood floor. No sound of the door closing. It must have been our collective imaginations. Time to get up and get the day going.

I went through my normal morning routine – brew coffee, feed the cat, pet the cat while she eats, pour cup of coffee plus to-go mug, pet the cat while she eats some more, escape the cat-petting session and get showered and dressed.

Finally, it was time to leave. I open the door and hear the distinct tinkle of my keys still in the lock of the front door, left there from the evening before. Just hanging there vulnerable and exposed. Tempting evil doers of all shapes and stripes to gently turn them and come in our house. I immediately felt sick to my stomach.

defencedoormat

I’ve done this before. XFE has found my keys still in the door lock on at least 2 occasions that I can think of.

I immediately put down my raincoat, my purse, my to-go mug of coffee. I grabbed my phone and a very lethal looking butcher knife and began looking in every closet, behind every door, just waiting for my opportunistic murderer to jump out. I went out back and checked the shed, and behind the shed, my heart caught in my throat.

The scariest moment was the downstairs powder room. That door was completely closed. Was someone in there? What would I do? Also, I’m right handed. So, should I hold my phone in my right hand in case I need to call 911, or should I hold my knife in my right hand, so I can swipe and stab with premium skill?

armed

Luckily, my stabbing versus dialing skills were never put to the test. No one was in the house. But could I be sure? I mean, really, really sure? It worried me all the way to work, all day at work, on the way home, and especially while approaching my front door.

Obviously, everything was fine and normal and as it should be.

But I’m not out of the woods yet. I still have to get some sleep tonight and who knows how that’s going to go with the state of my nerves. What fills me with most dread though, (besides the possibility of making that mistake again and not having as much luck the next time around) is how much trouble I’m going to get in when XFE reads this. He hates these kind of stories, quite naturally. He’ll be worried and exasperated and it will come out as harsh and I’ll get defensive and teary-eyed.

But I’ll try to nod and agree and understand that he’s not mad at me, he’s mad at the situation. That I’ve put myself in. He’s far away and completely helpless. He’s only concerned and sad that he can’t do anything to help me or save me from my idiocy.

At least this time I didn’t need a locksmith.

Friday Links: Don’t Clip Your Nails at Home Depot

Little bit late on the links this morning. But there’s some pretty good one’s in this week’s edition, so pull up a chair, put on a fancy dress, grab some foreign cheese and get your dubstep on.

subway-etiquette-poster-082713-400x470

  • I am quite unfortunate to have not one, but by my count, at least two co-workers who think it is appropriate to engage in clipping their nails at the office. The metallic “ting” of each clip wafts over the walls of our cubicle farm and puts my teeth on edge. I think I’ll print this fake subway sign and post it in a few common areas.
  • True story: I worked at a 24-hour Home Depot for a summer in college, and I was always disturbed by the fact that we sold machetes at a 24-hour Home Depot. I thought that was just asking for late-night trouble. I also noticed during that summer, that Home Depot was a place where a lot of couples went to argue. But apparently, not this couple. Blech.
  • I just finished Michael Paterniti’s “The Telling Room,” a book about love, betrayal, perception, storytelling, Castilian culture, and, most importantly, the creation of a beautiful Spanish cheese. This CNNMoney story about an Italian bank that takes cheese as collateral on loans fits in quite nicely.
  • I could see XFE doing this. This guy has gifted his wife 55,000 dresses over the course of their 56-year marriage. Now, I wonder: do they fight over which dresses she packs when they go on vacation?
  • I know that by now everyone in the world has seen this, but I don’t care. I love Dubstep cat. Plus, the cat is dancing to one of mine and XFE’s favorite parody songs: “Cinnabon.” OK, it’s not, but that’s what we’ve turned it into — an ode to a warm, yeasty treat found in airports and malls.

Friday Links: Russian Cat Portraits and Dolly Parton

Welp, I made it through another week as a single pet parent and house caretaker. I’ve only peed my pants imagining someone was breaking in to murder me about 25 times this week, including one very terrifying instance where I was woken up at 5 a.m. by the sound of XFE’s shower mirror falling in his shower. There were some tense minutes while I crept around the house, wielding a high heel as a weapon, until I finally pinpointed the source of the clatter.

Needless to say, my nerves are a bit thin. Every the dutiful boyfriend, even from thousands of miles away, XFE has bought me a nice, long massage tomorrow. And I’m very much looking forward to that.

While it wasn’t a good week for rest, it was a good week for random stories on the Internet. Enjoy!

hermitage-cat-portraits-5

  • Since I dug around and learned about my heritage, it only seemed fitting that I would do the same for Princess Petunia. Turns out that she’s Russian royalty, of course. We’ll be commissioning one of these cat portraits to hang in the Hermitage any day now.
  • XFE was in Japan for work last week, and well, I love bunnies, so a story about a Japanese island that used to be testing grounds for chemical warfare and has now been left to be overrun by the former lab bunnies suits my weird sense of humor.
  • First Subway footlongs are not actually a foot long and now this? Oh, I smell a future class action lawsuit, by the way, which I will join and from which I expect to be paid in mounds of insufficiently stuffed Oreos. I’ll make it a work. I’m a survivor.
  • According to people who were there, members of this Peruvian “uncontacted” tribe asked for bananas, rope and a machete (ummm, quick tip: don’t give the strange angry people machetes). I think they were asking for Double Stuffed Oreos.  They obviously got worked up and hostile because they couldn’t make themselves understood.
  • Travel is so exhausting. This kid has the right idea.
  • Dolly Parton is my spiritual guru. I decided this while walking quite tipsily in the middle of the day in London in 1997. Me, and my older and way cooler British friend decided right then and there that Dolly was an absolute genius and we bonded over our love for her. Suddenly, the American Revolution seemed ridiculous and the key to British-American relations swas so clear: Dolly. Parton. This video sums up that day pretty damn perfectly.
  • Being blunt is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, insults just bounce off of you (slide 1) and you’re the life of the party because of your honesty and big mouth (slide 14). On the other, people are just so damn sensitive (slide 2 and 7). Here’s hoping you think I’m an ironic genius anyway (slide 20).

I’m Going to Recommend You Not Swat At That TNT-Coated Bee

Bees are crazy interesting creatures.

For example, did you know a honey bee can fly for up to six miles and as fast as 15 miles per hour.  And to make one pound of honey, a bee would have to fly around 90,000 miles, which comes out to about 3 times around the globe, and, which might explain why the average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

Also, they see all colors except for red. I wonder what the bee equivalent of the Ishihara test is.

bee
Can you see the red number in this flower?

Another thing about bees is that they can be trained to find bombs. No, really. They’re like that guy in the The Hurt Locker. Only, with 6 legs, 2 compound eyes made up of thousands of tiny lenses (one on each side of the head), 3 simple eyes on the top of the head, 2 pairs of wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach.

Some scientist is taking advantage of honey bees’ ridiculously acute sense of smell and training them to detect the scent of explosives. In particular, the scent of TNT, according to the Associated Press.

“Our basic conclusion is that the bees can clearly detect this target, and we are very satisfied,” said Nikola Kezic, an expert on the behavior of honeybees who leads a part of a larger multimillion-euro program, called “Tiramisu,” sponsored by the EU to detect land mines on the continent.

Mmmm, Tiramisu. That does sound yummy.

bee thug

(And, why exactly does this project need a super-secret code name? Who’s gonna make off with a swarm of specially trained, black op bees?Actually…..I see your point. But if I were giving out super-secret code names, I would go with something James Bond-ish, like “You Only Live 40-50 Days,” or “Honeycombs Are Forever,” or “License to Sting.” What about, “Octo-Buzzy?”)

Anywho. According to the article:

Several feeding points were set up on the ground around the tent, but only a few have TNT particles in them. The method of training the bees by authenticating the scent of explosives with the food they eat appears to work: bees gather mainly at the pots containing a sugar solution mixed with TNT, and not the ones that have a different smell.

Kezic said the feeding points containing the TNT traces offer “a sugar solution as a reward, so they can find the food in the middle.”

“It is not a problem for a bee to learn the smell of an explosive, which it can then search,” Kezic said. “You can train a bee, but training their colony of thousands becomes a problem.”

Yikes, I can totally imagine. Just training one Petunia to not claw the furniture is difficult enough. I can’t imagine a colony of thousands.

bee army
I’m pretty sure this is exactly what a bee army looks like.

So, just where would one find lots of undetonated landmines with which to test this TNT/Tiramisu theory? Why, Poe’s next vacation destination, of course, Croatia!

Croatian officials estimate that since the beginning of the Balkan wars in 1991, about 2,500 people have died from land mine explosions. During the four-year war, around 90,000 land mines were placed across the entire country, mostly at random and without any plan or existing maps…

About 750 square kilometers (466 square miles) are still suspected to be filled with mines from the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

Well, that’s just great.  But surely by the time we get there in early July, this whole bomb-sniffing-bee thing will be up and running and we’ll have no worries, right?

It may be a while before the honeybees hit real minefields, Kezic said. First, they will conduct controlled tests, with real mines but which are marked…

Even after the de-miners have done their job in an area, some land mines are missed and remain in the soil, and they are most often the cause of deadly explosions. Once the experiment with bees proves scientifically reliable, the idea is to use them in the areas that have already been de-mined, where their movement would be followed with heat-seeking cameras, Kezic said.

“We are not saying that we will discover all the mines on a minefield, but the fact is that it should be checked if a minefield is really de-mined,” he said. “It has been scientifically proven that there are never zero mines on a de-mined field, and that’s where bees could come in.”

You’re killing me, Kezic. Why so cautious? There are lives to be saved here. Science to be proven. Don’t you want to hurry up and get a patent on that Kezic Effect, and put that Pavlov guy with his silly dogs out of the behavioral conditioning business?

bee with guns
Ready to rumble in the jungle.

Maybe in the meantime, you could just go ahead and train a few of these bees on how to detect potential waterborne parasites real quick and truly make them useful? We’ll be there in about a month.

How Do I Put This Delicately?

For someone who is not involved in the medical or porn industries, I’ve certainly seen more than my fair share of …ahem…lady bits lately.

For the record, “more than my fair share,” would be anything over the number one.

And, again, for the record and clarification, I’m talking about nether regions. Boxes. Muffs. Putangs. I’m talking about “down there.”

Man, I can’t wait to see the search term results that this post attracts.

When we were in Peru (yes, I’m still talking about that trip. Sorry, I’m not sorry), we saw a poor old soul sitting on a church step in one of Lima’s busiest squares. She was wearing a stained and threadbare skirt and was mumbling to herself and swaying. Her, um, “Sacred Valley” was on full display, but she was quite obviously not right in the head and totally oblivious to her lack of underwear. The proper thing to do was just to look away. Which I did.

steve-lambert-look-away

I hurried up to my travel-companion-for-life XFE and whisper/hissed, “Did you see that old woman back there? She didn’t have any underwear on!”  XFE answered in the negative and got on with his life. I, however, was sad and disturbed for the rest of the afternoon thinking about that poor woman. I should have said something, or covered her, or given her some money. Something.

When I was walking home from work the other day, I got another chance to do a solid for my fellow females. There, sitting on some steps alongside a busy sidewalk and an even busier, rush-hour clogged street, was a young German fraulein with her muschi (German slang. Look it up) saying hello to all the passersby.

I presumed that she was so engrossed in her phone conversation that she was not even remotely aware of her state of overexposure (it was unseasonably cold, so I’m not really sure how this could be. For context, I was wearing tights and a trench coat. That’s how cold it was. She too, was wearing a trench coat, so I know she wasn’t completely impervious to the wind chill).

I walked past, shocked that she couldn’t know. I mean, unlike the poor old lady in Lima, she seemed to be in full mastery of her sensibilities.

Then I stopped in my tracks and thought to myself, “If I had a big chunk of spinach lodged in my front tooth and was grinning like an idiot, I would want someone to do the right thing and give me a heads up. If my skirt were caught in my tights, I would want someone, anyone, to do me a favor and tell me.”

With that whole reciprocity thing floating in my head, I went back and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but I can see your vagina.” She glared at me and continued talking in German to the person on the phone.

In what had now become the single most awkward, one-sided conversation I’d ever attempted, I tried again. “Perhaps it would be best if you just lowered your legs a bit?” More glaring, but some shifting. “Ah, there you go. That’s better. Good job. You.”

Positive praise which, of course, was met with more glaring.

Angela Merkel is not impressed.
Angela Merkel is not impressed.

I walked off dumbfounded. Here I thought I was helping my fellow conspirator in the Sisterhood of the (Lack) of Pants. But I apparently had the entire situation completely wrong. Clearly she knew that the whole world could ascertain the color of her underwear and shaving preferences, and I was the one, in fact, who had crossed a societal line of proper etiquette by informing her that I did not want to know either of those facts. Obviously I was the one in the wrong here, a fact that I’m sure would have been supported by any one of the lecherous drivers stagnating in their cars at the stop light in front of us.

What would the Dowager Countess do?
What would the Dowager Countess do?

I should have taken off my tights and flung them at her.

How to be Completely Useless

This might be one of the most frustrating images I’ve ever come across in my many years of reading blogs.

 

I saw it on Sojourning Abroad and it claims to be a color coded map with a list of local emergency numbers. Hmmm, I think to myself, wouldn’t that be a nice, permanent addition to the Poe Travel Binders.

So I clicked on it. And this is what I saw. Is it me or are those numbers teensy-teeny tiny? I mean, seriously. You’d need a microscope to read those numbers! I can just imagine the scenario now:

Poe walks absently down some foreign street, distracted by many shiny things. Would-Be Robber (WBR) lurks stealthily several steps behind, waiting patiently, yet intently. Poe reaches down to pet some mangy stray cat, leaving her purse dangling. WBR seizes the opportunity and slices the purse strings. Poe pulls out her trusty travel binder with a map of foreign emergency numbers, but alas, her map-reading microscope was in the purse that just got snatched. Poe sits on dirty foreign curb and cries while mangy cat rubs around her legs and gives her foreign fleas. 

AND SCENE.

I tried opening the image in a separate tab, but that has not helped at all.

I’ve been looking around my browser for ways to blow it up, but frankly, I’m too bone-weary tired to worry about my safety anymore. Well played, WBR, well played.