As I was perusing the Interwebs today, I ran across this little gem of a news story. I’m thinking I’ll now have to go back and revise my funeral blog to include that I do NOT want this occurring after my untimely demise.
Get this folks, there is now a funeral home with a drive-thru window. So in those times when you’re in a hurry and you have a pesky funeral to attend, you can simply pull up, a la McDonald’s style, and pay your last respects without ever leaving the comfort of your own car! You may want to hit the Mickey D’s drive-thru first and grab a McLatté, just in case there’s a line. Drive-thru funeral attendees get THREE whole minutes to stare at the dead corpse and pay their last respects. I’m not clear on if a family member has to stand by the casket in the drive-thru window or not, but you’d think that would only be appropriate. And apparently there has to be someone standing there letting you know it’s time to drive away. WTF?!
Now of course, the asshole genius who invented the drive-thru funeral window is defending his practice by saying it’s mainly for people in wheelchairs who can’t get out of a car to attend a funeral. Apparently, he’s not aware that we have all kinds of neat inventions that allow wheelchair-bound people, or the otherwise physically impaired, to get around and such. He also wants us to know that the viewing window is bulletproof. You know, just in case some wayward soul, such as a bitter ex-wife, should try to shoot the dead body. Just to make sure that son-of-a-bitch is dead and whatnot. There’s also a guest book you can sign and a little drop box for sympathy cards. How sweet.
What in the frick is this world coming to? Is nothing sacred anymore? Listen, if you can’t get out of your fucking car to come to my funeral, then please, by all means, stay at home. My feelings won’t be hurt, mostly because I’ll be dead. And I’m not having an open casket, so there won’t be much to gawk at. Save yourself all the trouble and just spend the 49 cents to send a sympathy card. I mean the whole point of the matter of attending a funeral is to let the family members know you care and you’re sorry for their loss. Pulling up in a drive-thru window to look at a dead body when none of the family members are around is just the epitome of laziness, selfishness, and disrespect. And if you are truly unable to attend because of disability or sickness, I don’t think anyone is going to fault you for not being able to attend.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure I want to be a part of a society that devalues someone’s life to the point that when they’re gone, it’s acceptable to pull into a drive-thru to say good-bye. Call me old-fashioned, but it just seems so callous and cold.
My head about exploded today when I saw an article* from Salon.com reporting that Webster, Macmillan Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary, and Google have all decided to cave to morons all over Earth and add to the definition of “literally” to include that it also can mean “figuratively.”
NO NO NO!!! And NO!!! You just can’t arbitrarily decide that because people don’t know how to use a word properly, that we should just amend the definition to include the misuse of the word. This is literary blasphemy. Literally.
I’m pretty sure this is just the thing Michael Stipe was talking about when he sang of the end of the world. And I’m not fine with it. At all. What are these knuckleheads thinking? Or maybe the better question is, ARE they thinking? I mean the Webster’s didn’t even add “ain’t” into their publication until 1993, and people have been using that since the beginning of time. I wasn’t really happy about that either, but at least that is its own stand-alone word and not a modification of a definition of a word.
Sure, it’s been somewhat of a thing lately for the reference books to be more accepting of slang terms, but I don’t really consider altering the definition of the word literally to include a misuse of the word as a slang term. Maybe I’m wrong. It’s been known to happen, albeit rarely.
After a bit of research, it seems as though Webster’s Third is where things all started going downhill. Not only did they add “ain’t” into the mix, they also pretty much made it so you could use “infer” and “imply” interchangeably. You know, because people just weren’t using them right. I guess it’s the whole “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality. Even the American Bar Association called them out on that, stating Webster’s was “devaluing the verbal currency of the English language.”
Listen up kids. When you say something like “I’m dying laughing!” don’t add literally to the end of it. That statement is a hyperbole. A hyperbole is “an exaggerated statement or claim not to be taken literally.” See what happened there? There’s no need to add “literally” to your statement because there is already a concept in the English language that lets us know you are not really dying – it’s understood that you are exaggerating for effect! We get that! Embrace the hyperbole and quit saying literally unless something REALLY happened the way you say it happened.
I remember flipping through the pages of Webster’s Unabridged when I was a kid. That thing was bigger than I was. There are so many words we have; yet we use so little of them. There is no need to take a perfectly good word and add a definition to it because people are too lazy to figure out the right word to use. And frankly, that’s what it all boils down to – we are too lazy to find the proper word to use. It makes my heart weep.
By the way, my heart is not literally weeping, because hearts can’t weep. That, my friends, is a metaphor.
*In case you want to read about the stupidity:
So as I was perusing The Yahoo recently, I ran across an article purporting some unexpected and awesome hacks for vodka. Being the connoisseur that I am, natch I had to watch the little video. I was expecting to see seven new cocktail recipes or something to that effect. Boy, was I disappointed.
First, I just detest the use of the word “hack” in place of “hint”. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the era when Heloise’s Helpful Hints was all the rage. To me “hack” suggests you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing, you know, like hacking into someone’s bank account and embezzling funds or breaking into a Facebook account to snoop around. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
Anyhoo, back to my disappointment over the obvious misuse of vodka around the house, the first of which was to clean dirty eyeglasses. Unless you’re drinking the cheap, watered down vodka they sell at The Krogers, I think it would be way cheaper to just use some regular old rubbing alcohol. Or spit. It’s free. You can also rinse your razor blade to keep it from rusting. You know, all two of you who don’t use disposable razors anymore. Vodka can also be used to make an ice pack flexible. However, if you get hurt, actually drinking the vodka might be a better use of your resources. Just sayin’.
Vodka just isn’t good for cleaning purposes, either folks. Apparently it can also be used a facial toner or added to shampoo to make your hair shiny. Again, I think unless you have vodka that’s not fit to drink, then by all means, rub it on your face and hair. For me, it would be more cost efficient to actually buy toner and shiny hair stuff because I don’t drink cheap vodka. The article also suggested vodka is great at eliminating foot odor. You know what else is great for that? Bathing.
Lastly, you can extend the life of cut flowers by adding vodka to the water in the vase. The flowers will be buzzed and you will not. Personally, I’d rather have a fine bottle of vodka than a bunch of flowers, but to each her own.
If Yahoo had asked me to write that article, I would have said the best seven uses for vodka are as follows:
3. Chocolate Martini
4. Dirty Martini
5. Lemon Drop
6. Vodka and Cranberry
7. Vodka and 7 Up, with or without a splash of cranberry
After using vodka my preferred seven ways, you wouldn’t care if your eyeglasses were dirty, your hair and skin were dull, and your feet were stinky. But wash your damn feet anyway.
Sometimes I wonder if people give any thought to the words that come out of their mouths. Especially when they are people who happen to be in the public eye and make gazillions of dollars. Surely such people can afford PR reps to help them craft a string of words to convey their messages to the public while preventing unfortunate mishaps with the spoken word.
Perhaps, Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t have a PR rep. If she does, indeed, have a PR rep, I would suggest she consciously uncouple fire the incompetent ass that lets her walk around spewing the pretentious, arrogant, narcissistic bullshit that comes from her mouth.
First we had to listen while she bemoaned how hard her life is and that she thought it would be much easier if she were just a regular ol’ working mom so she could do all her stuff in the mornings. Yeah, Gwynnie, the mornings are super easy on us working mothers. We can get all our stuff done while we are getting children ready for school and ourselves ready for jobs where we have to punch time clocks and risk losing those jobs if we’re late or God forbid we have to call in because of sick children. Now she’s bitching about how reading negative comments about herself on the World Wide Web is akin to going to war. It’s “bloody and dehumanizing,” she says.
I don’t know about you, but my heart is just pouring with sympathy for poor little Gwyneth. I can’t imagine the horrors her life must present her. I sure hope she never has to step foot in the real world because I am fairly certain she wouldn’t endure for more than 55 seconds. Wait, I just perused her Goop website, so let me amend that to 35 seconds. Because in the real world our recipes don’t include sea urchins and our closets aren’t filled with artisan crafted Guatemalan huaraches or $245 sweatshirts. I don’t even think I paid $245 for ALL the sweatshirts I’ve ever bought. Since I was 10.
Being called out for being the pretentious, arrogant ass you are is not bloody and dehumanizing. Losing your life because you are the wrong ethnicity is bloody and dehumanizing. A young girl undergoing female genital mutilation is bloody and dehumanizing. Getting your legs blown off by a roadside bomb is bloody and dehumanizing. Being physically assaulted because you are a woman, gay, black…is bloody and dehumanizing.
So, in other words, shut the fuck up, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Recently, I walked into the bathroom and saw this. My first thought was who cares if the roll is going over or under? At this point I just want it to be on the toilet paper holder. OK. I lie, I want the roll to go over. But how lazy do you have to be to not even put it on the holder?
I guess I should be thankful the holder wasn’t empty. I’d be far angrier sitting there with an empty toilet paper holder. Maybe this is a symbol that says, “Hey I was thinking about you. Not enough to actually take the time to change the roll so as not to inconvenience you, but at least you have something to wipe with.”
I know you’re busy and you have things to do. That’s probably why you couldn’t spare an extra 30 seconds to actually put the toilet paper on the toilet paper holder. It’s really not that hard. And if you want to really make your mom happy, all you have to do is put the toilet paper on the toilet paper holder. It’s not rocket science and really, it’s quite ridiculous how little one must do to make a woman happy. Or at least this woman. I guess I can’t speak for the other eleventy million of us out there.
A few days later, I found this. The roll was lying on the holder, so it functioned somewhat like it was on the holder. Granted it was rudimentary, but it felt like progress. I studied Darwin; I know evolution takes time. It made me somewhat happy.
About a week later, I find the roll finally on the holder! And in the over position to boot! Hallelujah! I think I may have even heard angels singing on high when I walked into the bathroom. I want to thank my kids for paying attention to my Facebook posts and adjusting their behaviors accordingly. I can only imagine this is what it feels like to win an Oscar.
Three years ago, I moved about a mile down from where I used to live. Don’t ask why I’d move a mile down the road, it’s a long story and not really relevant to what I’m about to tell you. Anyway, I moved and immediately, my new neighbors all welcomed me in the same fashion you used to see on old TV shows like Leave it to Beaver. I had lived on this very road for 10 years, and only one person had even noticed my arrival. But I move a mile down the road, and I get adopted into a farm family by people who are technically my neighbors, but if I wanted to drop in and visit them, I’d have to drive because I’m too lazy to walk that far.
After years and years, I finally hit the neighbor jackpot. I was on the receiving end of home cooked food, party invites, and random friendly visits. I loved all the neighborly visits, but the ones I most enjoyed were from Joe. Joe was in his 80’s, I think, and he’d drive over in his Subaru. I knew he couldn’t get around all that great, so when I saw him pull in, I’d run out to the driveway and chat with him while he sat in his car. Joe always made me laugh and his visits were a welcome distraction from the mundane household chores that were usually occupying my time.
I’ll never forget that one morning in December, just a few days before Christmas. I was a stay at home mom at the time, the kids were all home on Christmas break and I was trying to enjoy a morning of sleeping in, when I felt the dog putting her paw on my head, telling me she wanted to go out. I tried to ignore her, but she kept pawing my head and whining. Grudgingly, I got out of bed, and for some odd reason, I just happened to look out the window before heading to the door to let her out.
As I looked out the window, I couldn’t believe what I saw. My first thought was that I was in some sort of dream state and I just thought I was awake. I turned my back from the window, waited a few seconds, and turned back around. They were still there – two very large buffalo* were just casually grazing on the dead grass right in my backyard. I didn’t know whether to pick up a phone or a camera. Luckily, I did both.
I grabbed my cell and snapped a few pictures from the window. Then I picked up the phone, but I wasn’t exactly sure whom I should call. After a minute of thinking, I dialed Joe’s number. He owned a farm; it seemed the most logical choice.
Joe answered and I told him who I was, and then I said, “Joe, by chance are you missing some buffalo?” I was met with dead silence on the other end of the phone. I felt the need to say something more. “Joe, there are some buffalo in my yard, and I know you have a farm, so I just wanted to check and see if some of your buffalo were missing, per chance.”
Joe remained silent for a few seconds more, and then said, “Are you sure they’re buffalo? I don’t have any buffalo. Maybe they are cows?”
“No, Joe, I’m sure they aren’t cows,” I replied.
“Oh, you know, Sharon has horses. I bet Sharon’s horses got loose,” he said, matter of factly.
“Joe,” I answered, “I know what horses and cows look like. These are buffalo. My third grade teacher took us on a field trip to the Litter Farm, so I’ve seen buffalo before and they are in my backyard right now.”
Until the day I die, I’ll never forget what he said to me next. “Michelle, this is the strangest phone call I have ever received in my entire life. Have you been drinking?”
“NO!” I exclaimed, “It’s 9 a.m.! I don’t drink until after 5 p.m. I swear!” Apparently, there’s a nasty rumor out there that I enjoy a cocktail or five every now and then. And quite frankly, after the week I’ve had, I may just very well start drinking at 9 a.m., but that’s neither here nor there, and I certainly wasn’t doing that on December 21, 2011.
Since Mr. Joe thought I was a stark raving alcoholic lunatic suffering from hallucinations, I did what any reasonable person would do and posted my buffalo pic to Facebook and asked if anyone had lost any buffalo. Later that day as I strolled the aisles of The Krog, doing my grocery shopping, I got 800 phone calls about the damn buffalo, including one from the local newspaper, who promptly did a story about the stray wildlife in my yard, complete with my photographic evidence, which eventually led to the owner of the missing buffalo.
Luckily, the buffalo owner was able to capture his two wayward half-ton babies and corral them safely into his new buffalo farm 1.5 miles down the road, and minus that one lapse in judgment I haven’t had any more dealings with stray buffalo.
However, I do think the next time I run into beasts in my yard, I’ll be shooting something other than pictures…
*Yes, I know they are technically bison, so spare me the know-it-all emails. I chose to use the term buffalo in exercising my creative liberty and as homage to my redneck roots.
So, I was waiting for one of my many children to come home from track practice to start making my very nutritious dinner of chicken nuggets and curly fries so it would be fairly hot and what-not, and I look at the clock and see it’s nearly 7 p.m. I thought it was really odd for track practice to last so long. Naturally, as any worried mother would do, I texted him to find out where in the hell he was.
Needless to say, I think I just knocked myself out of the running for the Mother of the Year trophy. Is there a trophy for Most Mediocre Mom Ever? Thanks to Mrs. H for bringing him home! Now there’s a lady who knows where her kid is…and mine too.