Apparently You Can’t Sew A Snake’s Mouth Shut. Anymore


When we started dating I was working crappy sales jobs and Mr. G was working crappy production jobs. One of his production jobs was walking through a snake pit, but he was delighted to keep the pants and boots. He wore those pants until they were threadbare. They did look good on him.

*0:50 in is Mr. G’s feet

When I went to Mr. G’s apartment for the first time his mother called. Of course he didn’t answer the phone, and we giggled like children listening to her leaving a message on the answering machine.

Robert. Raaaahhhhbert. Your sister tells me you’re standing in a snake pit all day. Raaaahhhbert I don’t like this Robert. This is not a career. (she punctuated This and Not)

And it was fabulous, because I’d never heard a Long Island accent quite like it before.

So now we fast forward fifteen years and Mr. G is casting for something he’s directing. At dinner he tells us he’s cast a monkey, a rattlesnake and a hundred random snakes. He’s irritated that he can’t get a hundred rattlers.

“Why can’t you get a hundred rattlers?” I asked him.

And then he started talking with his hands, “I don’t know. Some regulations say that you can’t sew their mouths shut anymore. I told the producers that I needed a hundred rattle snakes and they kept coming back to me saying that they could only get one. I explained to them that it’s really easy, all you have to do is milk their venom and sew their mouths shut, it’s one little stitch so they can strike but they can’t bite. I’ve done it. Those snakes launched at me for days.”

I shook my head and lowered my gaze. “So what did you do?”

The kids were rapt as Mr G continued, “I got on the phone with the snake guy and said, ‘listen man, I know you can get me a hundred rattlers. You just milk the venom into this little drum and add a stitch. I don’t need them to bite, but I do need them to strike.’ and he told me that he used to do that but some damn law was passed where you’re not allowed to sew animal’s mouths shut anymore.”

“Even snakes?” I asked.

“Even snakes.” He sadly replied.

We chewed our local free range organic chicken breast in silence, hoping the shot would still be good with non venomous snakes.


Overheard: Processed Food


Last night I was opening a box from Kenmore.

ALEXANDER: What’s in the box Mom?

ME: I don’t know why don’t you help me open it?

[We open the box and it’s a Food processor]

ALEXANDER: Mom it says food processor. Does this mean we finally get processed food? Will it make us McDonalds at home? Finally!

Overheard: But You Don’t Want to Sleep With Me


Last Sunday night I went to a screening of Burlesque with my friend Heather. It was a charity event that benefited Project Angel Food, and it’s quite possible that Heather and I were two of the only straight people in the theater.

I wasn’t particularly dressed up, good jeans and a cashmere sweater. I wasn’t wearing any makeup, but I felt good.

When I saw Heather she, of course, looked amazing, and she told me I looked good too. It’s what girlfriends do.

After the movie Heather ran into the ladies room and I sat on the benches outside waiting for her. A nice lady sat down next to me and started talking to me about my boots, and then she complimented my hair, and then she asked me who I came here with and then I realized she was hitting on me.

And then I felt pretty.

Because I’m shallow.

I was giggling with Heather, “Oh my gawd I think a lesbian was hitting on me.” and because I’m shallow I added, “do you think it’s because my boots are not super feminine or because I’m having a good hair day.”

“You look beautiful. I told you that when I saw you tonight.” Heather said, “Why don’t you listen to me?”

“Because you don’t want to sleep with me, so it doesn’t count.”

Out of the Mouths of Babes


I picked Jane up from school a few moments ago and had the following conversation:

ME: How was school?

JANE: [in one big breath] Wonderful, we’re learning algebra and it isn’t even hard and in art class I’m making a disco/nerd Picasso guy and my muse is the Simpsons comics and mom how come you haven’t showered?

ME: Oh I’ve been busy teaching myself Drupal and I got really excited about it and ran out of time.

JANE: Mom that’s what nerds do who live in their Mom’s basement.

ME: You’re grounded.

I win?

Overheard: On Single Sex Schools


At the dinner table:

ME: Jane, I’m going to start looking at some schools, should we look at Immaculate Heart?

JANE: Ooh, Joe’s sisters go there don’t they play hockey?

ME: Yeah, it’s a great school for sports, but you’d have to apply for 6th grade, there’s a few other girls schools we can look at if you want.

HUSBAND: Girls schools?

ME: Immaculate Heart is an all girls school, there’s also Archer, and Marlborough and…

HUSBAND: Why don’t we just buy a pole now and a pair of dancing shoes?

ALEXANDER: What’s the pole for?

And for once, I wasn’t the bad parent.

For the record, I think single sex educations can be terrific for the right kid.