In The Land Of Milk And Oprah

A cautionary tale of love in the time of methadone



You can make a bomb out of any old thing you’ve got lying around the house, really, so long as you’re bored enough and have the right teachers in school.  Like my ½ of 11th grade chemistry teacher, who was my older brother’s full-year grade 11 chemistry teacher, who actually was such an brilliant fucking genius that he was compelled to teach a depressed, bored, impoverished and abused adolescent how to make exactly such a kitchen-sink bomb, and that adolescent went on, ironically enough, to just about blow the entire damn kitchen up one day with a dollar bill, a splash of rubbing alcohol and some ovaltine.

That very teacher also supplied my brother with an impressive stash of contemporary art magazines, highlighting the wonders of the female form and calling into question everything we know about physics and the elasticity of the human ligaments.  That fact came to light after one over-zealous younger brother dared to traverse the dark abyss that was our attic, distracted only momentarily by the 'Red Hots Candies Trap' cleverly laid out at the entrance to said attic, and by Red Hots candy I, of course, mean 'Huge Fucking Pile Of Sudafed'.  Said little brother came to eventually and ratted his brother out.  Dirty, drugged out snitch.

This information is quite important to keep in the back of your head before you travel. Especially on a budget. Because you just never know when someone is going to give you credit for being a whole lot smarter than you are and totally fuck you in the process.

Like if, say, you're coming home from a long weekend away from the family and you decide to go with your two best friends in blog out sightseeing and to pick up some trinkets for the family.

There Was No Way We Could Have Resisted



And you get so lucky as to find your way into Trader Joe's for the first time in your life, and you see the Mecca of Wine Racks that you've waited five years to see, ever since one night on an apartment stoop with an unforgivably cute boy who first introduced you to Chuck and his $2 glory

And The Clouds Parted....



And so you pick up a bottle for old times sake and then grab a 6 pack of DogFish Head which is brewed in Milton, Delaware, so no one carries it but Trader Joe's does and then you stop at Walgreens to get your kids their snow-globes. Because every time you travel, you get your kids snow globes. It's an important tradition, like forcing unsuspecting men to take numerous photographs with you against their will. Or circumcision.

Oh, Wait, There He Is....



So you gather yea rosebuds and American booze and inexpensive tokens of your everlasting love and devotion and head to your airport of choice to fly home, this time bearing only photocopies of your immigration papers because Canada knew something you didn't and tried to tell you to stay home, but you never listen, even when it sends Donald Sutherland to tell you for it.

In Case There's Any Confusion



And then you get to the airport, late, because, well, nature called.

A Thing Of Beauty



That counts as nature, right? You get there late and the machine won't let you check in at the kiosk so the very tall and disinterested in you entirely airport attendant asks you to see the lady behind the desk, but the lady behind the desk doesn't want to see you, so she doesn't. For a really long time. Like, excessively long. And then she finally takes your $20 and lets you check in, and THEN she tells you your bag is overweight. And you're totally going to miss your flight. So you take out the fastest, heaviest items and she slides your bag through and as you try to re-pack them in your carry on you realize that Two Buck Chuck and DogFish head are both made of liquid and shit, you're hosed. So you give the attendant your booze and wish her a happy day. And then you cry.

But you still have your kids presents, right? Right. Until you go through security and you totally get The Dreaded Bag Inspection and the guy comes up to you and says, "Ma'am, we have a problem." And oh, how the tears begin to flow. Because he called you MA'AM and you're thirtyfuckingfour for Christ's sake, but whatever. He'd totally hit it. And that's when he tells you that
Snow globes cannot, for any reason, come through security, because we have no way of knowing what's in them.

And you think, um, well, Chicago is in those, moron, but you're so over it that you, between poorly suppressed sniffles, say, "Oh, just take them already." And then the security dude, thinking that maybe he has a chance or something, says,
I'll make you a deal. I'll keep the big ones, and you can have the little one.

Which does you a fat lot of good, seeing how you have THREE kids, but whatever, and what, are you saying I can blow something up a little bit? Grrr. So you take your one little non-threatening snow-globe and you go to replace the gifts. With $20. For two kids and a spouse. And you don't have more than $20 because in Canada, you can only withdraw so much currency in one day or they lock your account and you had to pay for a hotel room and a cab ride and lunch and makeup (because you totally thought you'd done so well budgeting and shit, yo) (also, NORDSTROMS) and you couldn't take out any more. At all. Period.

So you go home to your children with the 2 for $20 t-shirts they had at the Hudson News store that are not only hideous, they're the size of Shaq, and nothing more than empty promises of laundry folding and blow jobs for your spouse, when in reality you won't fold laundry for at least another month and as for the other thing, yeah, you're spent.

Getting Crazy With The Cheese Whiz



But the kids love the shirts anyway and your husband loves that you thought enough about his feelings to lie through your damn teeth about sex and housework just to make him feel better and even though you lost your phone and your really good makeup brushes on the airplane so you can't even use the new Trish McEvoy compact you've waited TWO YEARS to buy, you didn't lose your BlogHer swag bag and guess what? Fuck the naysayers; that shit saved my ASS.

Ms. Potato Head



Neener, neener, indeed.