Everyone needs a fleet of flying monkeys to rip the stuffing out of the annoying people in their lives
— Laura

Actually he said "It's cold as fuck here in the mornings." I don't know where he's picked that kind of language up from.

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I made the mistake of sharing a Netflix account with J. Well okay, not really “share”, but more like “know his password.” And because there’s no privacy setting for a moocher he gets to see my viewing history. And it’s not that I’m really ashamed of my viewing, it’s not like I watch midget porn, because there is no midget porn on Netflix. Believe me, if there was y’all know I’d be proud of watching that shit too. The thing is, I have to listen to him constantly ragging me about the type of shows I watch. You see, I watch mainly horror movies or shows about drug addicts or whores. And sometimes, if I’m really lucky, there might be two or even all three in one show. I call this either a double, because most addicts become whores, or a triple if there is a scary movie with an addict whore. A triple, of course, being like winning the trifecta. So anyway, he becomes all Movie Critic Nazi and is like “Oh my God Laura why do you watch such crap!” And I’m all “Shut the fuck up, ‘Whores’ Glory’ is on!”

What the motherfucker doesn’t realize is you learn shit from these shows. You learn survival skills. You learn what to avoid. You learn about life. Take this scene from the epic 1991 movie ”Whore” that I watched in my youth:

You see, life is that man in the hotdog shirt, always wanting to fuck you up the ass and you just gotta flip it off.

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A few weeks before Christmas I went with J over to his mother’s house to decorate her Christmas tree because she’s getting on in years and I told her earlier that I would. Anyway, I first put the lights on the tree and then started pulling out boxes of ornaments and placing them on. Then I came upon a box that were obviously children’s handmade ornaments. I held the box up to J and he wrinkled his nose and said “Oh, those are ones my brother and I made when we were kids. I don’t know why mom saved them, just put them back. They don’t need to go on the tree.” His mom overheard him from the next room and said she wanted them on the tree, so I opened the box and started pulling them out and placing them on the tree much to J’s chagrin. There were some made of paper, some glittered cones, painted seashells, you know, typical kid stuff. When I got to the bottom of the box though, I started pulling out some pretty horrifying ones made from sticks and yarn that stopped me in my tracks. They looked like these:

Me: “Dude. What. The. Fuck?”

J: “What? They’re ornaments we made at camp.”

Me: “Camp Blair Witch?”

J: “No, smartass. Hmm, we may have made them in Boy Scouts.”

Me: “Troop Blair Witch?”

J: “God, you’re weird.”

I hung them on the tree next to all the Baby Jesus’ and angels I could find. Just. In. Case.

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When I was a small child my mother had a friend named Lee. I can’t quite remember if Lee was a stewardess (this was back before they called them flight attendants) or if she had previously been a stewardess. Hell, she may not have been a stewardess at all. All I am sure about is that I thought Lee was absolutely fabulous. I remember just sitting and watching her, with her dark shiny hair up in a French twist or falling perfectly down her back, wearing red lipstick that seemed to never smear or smudge, her perfectly manicured fingers wrapped around a cigarette being held in a fancy cigarette holder (how exotic was that!).  She was tall and thin and in my child’s mind’s eye, she was just perfect. She was always talking about the different places she had visited or had just come back from. In hushed tones I’d hear her talking about her boyfriends to my mother. I would strain to listen, but sadly, never caught any of the really good details. When we’d go visit Lee, her house was perfection. Modern and immaculate with the first in-ground pool I had ever seen someone have that wasn’t in a park or a gym or at a recreation center. She drove a convertible two-seater sports car, of course, and the few times I remember having the privilege of riding with her, I’d just sit in the passenger seat, staring over at her in complete awe. She was my idol.

Now this story takes place when I was still very young. It was a week or two before Christmas, the only time my mom had parties to entertain a few of her friends at our house. My brothers and I were banned to the den or our rooms while the adults were in the living room and kitchen and partied. And even though I wanted, nay, needed to be in there with the adults so badly I could feel it in every fiber of my being, I didn’t dare go. It would had been child-suicide to even attempt to crash one of those parties. That’s what mom told us anyway.

On this particular night, I remember I was sitting on the floor, in my pink pajamas, cross-legged in front of the television. My three brothers were probably in their rooms, I don’t know, all I know is none of them was in the den with me. I had a large bowl of chocolate ice cream in my lap, a treat reserved for occasions when my mother wanted us to shut the fuck up because she wanted us distracted and occupied elsewhere (ie. The Party). I remember distinctly “The Nutcracker” being on the television. I was trying my best to stir my ice cream in the bowl on my lap so it’d turn into a gooey soup of goodness while I watched in wonder at the beautiful ladies up on the tips of their toes twirling about. Suddenly the door to the den opened and I looked up and saw Lee entering the room. She held a small glass of an amber liquid in one hand and a smoking cigarette in a long holder in the other. And even though her walk seemed a little off to me, her hair and makeup were perfect as usual and she was wearing a sparkling dress like the women I had only seen in magazines wear! I took my eyes off the perfect dancing ladies in tutus to watch my perfect idol in her shiny dress. She walked over and stood near me. I saw her focusing her eyes on the television and she said “What are you watching, kid? Ballet?” I looked up and said “Yes, Miss Lee.” because that’s how you properly address your adult idol. I then enthusiastically added “I’m going to be a ballerina one day!” and at that second I knew I really wanted to be a ballerina too. She chuckled, looked down at me, made a ‘tsk’ sound while shaking her head and said “Well that’s not going to ever happen. Ballerinas are thin AND they don’t eat ice cream.” With that she turned and was gone in a flash back to the party, not even caring about the wounded, deflated child left bobbing behind in her soul-crushing wake. I sat in front of the television staring down at the half-melted bowl of ice cream and then back up at the television before me.

And that’s the precise moment I knew. I knew what life held for me. It held ice cream, that’s what it held. Delicious, sweet, creamy ice cream. Because FUCK BEING A BALLERINA WHEN YOU CAN HAVE ICE CREAM!

Now here’s a rendering I made for y’all of that decisive moment in my childhood:

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