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Back when I was a wee Aunt Becky, I loved animals. Okay, scratch that, I STILL love animals, but not with the same intense fervor I once did, mostly because picking up animal shit is gross. But back then, in the days of wine and roses, I didn’t have to think about Kitty Shitters or anything other than OMG CUDDLY SO CUTE.

So when my parents, always semi-closeted nerds, decided that what we REALLY needed to do that weekend was to go to Fermi Lab, a mere ten minutes from my home and look at all the smart people doing smart people things, I was all for it. Mostly because it meant a romp in the woods and the opportunity to see OMG CUDDLY ANIMALS OMG. I could’ve cared less about the smart people, although I do remember being fascinated by how many of them wore socks with sandals, which I’d been told was a fashion sin times four hundred basquillian. Apparently, THEY did not get that memo.

Fermi Lab has a whole range of wild buffalo and prairies and stuff, but for some reason, since my parents wanted to look at smart people doing smart people things, they simply sat by the big pond in the front of the main building and allowed me to run amok. So I did. Artfully dodging piles of goose poo so green and white that it’d have been pretty had it not been totally gross, I ran around, looking for OMG CUDDLY ANIMALS OMG.

What I found were not cuddly cute animals. No. They were geese. Of the aforementioned geese shit.

Oh well, I thought, I bet one of them WANTS A CUDDLE! I thought about telling my parents that the goose over there wanted me to take him home and live in my room and go to school with me like a pet goose. I wanted to name him Mr. Poopy Pants and have him cuddle me to sleep at night and go roller skating with me on the weekends. My parents were too engrossed by Smart People Watching (I’d swear they had binoculars) to pay any attention to my new pet, so I decided it was time to bring him over for a visit. Just y’know, so he could meet the fam.

It was time to grab Mr. Poopy Pants and bring him home.

The only problem was that every time I got close to him, he’d take a couple steps backward. “Oh,” I thought. “He’s playing hard to get. I CAN WIN AT THIS GAME.” Instead of backing off and feigning nonchalance, I decided that the best way to solve this problem was to march my way through it.

And so I did. For at least an hour, I chased Mr. Poopy Pants around the pond until, at long last, I’d backed Mr. Poopy Pants (who may or may not have ACTUALLY been the same Mr. Poopy Pants I’d set my star-crossed eyes upon, into a parkbench. I reached my wee arms out as far as I could so I could grab his neck and give him a big hug, when it happened.

Mr. Poopy Pants, my loving, rollerskating goose, well, he didn’t want a hug. At least, he didn’t want a hug from me. But I wasn’t going to let that deter me. No sir. I opened my arms, closed my eyes and moved forward until I was within arms reach of him.

Suddenly, my feelings of pink puffy hearts were gone and I felt a searing pain in my finger. I opened my star-crossed eyes and saw my beloved pet goose, Mr. Poopy Pants, gnawing on my finger.

I was crushed.

Tearfully, I returned back to my parents, still using their binoculars to look at Smart People, and held out my finger. “*sniff, sniff* Mom! I got bit by Mr. Poopy Pants. *sobs*”

My mom looked at my finger, then at me, then back at my finger and then finally at my dad.

“Well,” she said. “What did you expect, Rebecca? He’s a GOOSE and you’ve been chasing him for an hour and a half.”

“He was *sobs* my bestest friend,” I tearfully sputtered out.

My parents couldn’t contain their laughter.

“What?” I stomped indignantly. “HE WAS.”

“You go ahead and believe that, Rebecca, but there’s no way I’m allowing a goose into my home.”

I flung myself on the bench next to them, examining my war wound and pouted. I couldn’t BELIEVE my parents didn’t want a goose in their house.

Finally, I decided that they probably hadn’t considered that he might take me roller skating. But by that time, the geese had moved on to shit on another area of the wildlife preserve and I was left with the memories of my best friend, Mr. Poopy Pants.


While I was not left with memories of a rollerskating goose best friend, I was left with an intense hatred of geese. Cute? Sure. Cuddly-LOOKING? Sure. Things that shit every-fucking-where? Fucking SURE.

So I’ve made it my personal mission in life to give every goose I see the You’re Number One finger, in the vain hope that one day, I’ll manage to flick off Mr. Poopy Pants’ relative.

Which is why yesterday, when I stood outside basking in the 45 degree weather and debating the merits of putting on a tank top in January, when I heard a flock of geese squonking across the sky, I looked up, gave them the finger, then began to laugh.

Those motherfuckers were flying North, not South.

Fucking stupid fucking geese.

According to the website, if I ordered this “acupressure mat,” I’d be able to feel restored blood circulation and endorphins which are like the sex hormones, and WOAH, who doesn’t want more sex hormones? Also: increased blood circulation is probably good, although I admit that my back hasn’t felt particularly necrotic.

So I ordered one. I figured, “like sex but without condoms and conversation” + “increased blood circulation” would equal a whole lotta RADNESS.

When it arrived in the mail, I clapped with glee. My back blood was practically NOT circulating (lies) and I hadn’t had sex in forever. I just KNEW this mat would change my life. It’s like one of those As Seen On Television Products, where you’re all, I KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A LIFE CHANGING BOOGER CLEANER, and really, it’s just a bulb syringe they give new babies at the hospital, when they should be giving their MOTHER’S more pain meds.

Alas, I digress.

Carefully, deciding to take a break from The Job Hunt, I laid the mat on my bed, ready to get my endorphin on. Being the sort of idiot who hears “don’t do this,” which somehow translates into my three remaining brain cells as “you should totally do this. All the COOL kids are,” I touched one of the spiky things figuring, “hey, if Imma lay on this, I should know what I’m up against.”

The motherfucker totally scratched my hand.

Oh well, I said to my cat who was sitting on the other half of the bed, staring at me as though I’d suddenly turned into one of the Olsen twins, let’s get my endorphin on.

I stretched and squinched, trying to figure out the best way to mount such an obstacle without scraping the skin off my back entirely, eventually deciding that log rolling onto it was probably the best course of action. I was wrong. The acupressure mat, now covered in bits of my skin that were, moments before, minding their own business, won. But because I am not only annoying, but stupid too, I decided to lay there, shirt off, on the thing for the ten minutes the instruction book suggested that newbies try.

The pain wasn’t as immense or intolerable as I’d expected, considering how damn sharp the things were, and I was pleased that I hadn’t tried acupuncture – not because I’m afraid of needles (see also: large tattoos) – but because I was afraid that the ancient acupuncturist* would be all, “OH MY STARS – YOU HAVE NO QI! GET OUT DEVIL WOMAN!” I figured that since acupuncture and acupressure SOUND the same, it was probably similar results… minus the ancient man yelling about my Qi.

I laid there on a mat of plastic nails for awhile, waiting to feel the rush of endorphins. Instead of feeling all “I just had an orgasm,” my back began to feel as though it had turned to liquid. I half-expected the blood to begin seeping onto the sheets, especially once Basementless Kitty decided that now was a mighty fine time to splay his 35 pound body atop mine, pushing me further into the plastic nails.

When I finally peeled my warm back off the mat, I was particularly shocked to discover no blood.

Cools, I thought. I gotta use this motherfucker AGAIN. My back is NICE and toasty and even though I don’t feel as though I’ve had an orgasm, I bet it’s helping with my non-existent Qi.

And so I have. During the day, I’ll take a 15 minute rest on it while I meditate about cheeseburgers and before bed, I lay on it, waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in. I’ve yet to feel endorphins, but I’m hopeful.

A couple of days ago, after a particularly long and brutal day, I set up my mat, as always, and laid down upon it, day-dreaming about a particularly delicious cheeseburger. And like BAM, I was out. Down for the count. Fast asleep. Probably the deepest sleep I’ve had in years, which = rad.

….except for the part in which I’d forgotten to remove the mat from underneath my body.

Because four hours later, I woke up, my squirrel bladder tap-tap-tapping me to empty it, and realized I was still on the thing. When I sat up in bed, the mat sat up with me, clearly affixed to my back, which was now thudding a dangerous-sounding thud. I’d clearly over-circularized my blood, which is probably not even a real word. With great pain, I peeled the mat off my back, inch my inch, like the world’s most painful band-aid, and put my shirt back on.

It was all I could do not to shriek like someone had suggested that my boobs would make an excellent table-lamp. I limped to the bathroom, the blood clearly dripping from my back, and examined my back. I had a perfect representation of the mat done in black and blue and red. I’d have been more impressed if I’d seen the Virgin Mary, but still, it was pretty awesome. If I’d had my wits about me, I’d have taken a snap of it just because.

One should always attempt to capture their stupidity on camera. Or so America’s Funniest Home Videos tells me.

By now, most of the bruises have subsided, and the cuts have formed delightful looking scabs, so I look sorta like a recovering plague victim, which is why, from now on, I plan to keep my camera on and charged at all points in time. You can’t let an opportunity like that pass you by.

And I’ll continue hoping, in vain, that I’ll feel those “endorphin” thingies, because obviously.

*All acupuncturists are ancient and shriveled in my mind.


What was the dumbest thing YOU’VE done lately, Pranksters?

Dear Christopher Ashton Kutcher,

Did you know, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, that your name is not spelled “C-R-O-T-C-H,” but Christopher Ashton Kutcher? I do now. Wikipedia told me so, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and we all know that Wikipedia NEVER lies. When I Googled “Crotch,” Christopher Ashton Kutcher, the Wikipedia entry showed two pictures – one of you and one of me. THAT is how I know that Wikipedia – and the Internets – never lie, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

UNLIKE YOU, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

Anyway, I’m not here to discuss your name, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, although I do find it odd that you’d not go by your full name – Christopher is a FAR less douchey name than “Ashton,” which just makes me think of THAT GUY, you know, Christopher Ashton Kutcher? THAT GUY is who you’ve played in every movie, every television show. In fact, I couldn’t watch That 70’s Show without evoking night terrors because we all know THAT GUY, and *shudders* and you Christopher Ashton Kutcher, play him to a “t.”

(whatever “to a t” means)

Now, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I was willing to cut you a break on playing THAT GUY because we got married around the same time and I thought it was pretty rad, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, that you’d married an older foxy lady. Demi Moore – she’s quite the catch.

So I knew we’d gotten married around the same time, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, because I remember going to see a movie with my new husband, back when saying, “husband” was a total novelty because OMG I’m A MARRIED LADY. BEFORE the previews, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I recall that there were commercials and shit, which dismayed me, because then I had to wait through 47 minutes of commercials + previews to watch the movie. But in those commercials, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and you told me about a camera. A camera so fool-proof, even my dumb ass could use it. I mean, you even showed a BABY taking a picture.

If a BABY could do it, I could, too, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

I mean, photography is sorta in my blood, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and I figured you weren’t lying to me about my newly acquired Nikon D50. See, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, with my father, grandfather, and brother all fighting over the light to get the angle justright for every fucking family picture, I’d sorta thought that I’d be blessed with the photog gene. Like osmosis and shit. Okay, so it has nothing to do with excrement, but you know what I mean, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.

Turns out, for all the fancy doodads and whirlygigs on my new camera, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, I was still a shitty photog. Sure, I LOOKED radder when I was walking around with the camera, but I could pick up a smoking habit and look just as cool.

But then I had a baby of my own – not like the one in the commercial who was a fake baby – Christopher Ashton Kutcher, and I was all, I BET IF I TOOK MORE PICTURES OF HIM, I’D BE AN AWESOME PHOTOG, JUST LIKE MY DAD.

I clicked and whirred and adjusted buttons, always screaming about “the LIGHT HAS TO BE RIGHT,” even though the only beings nearby were a baby and a cat. I just wanted to “get in character,” and my character was “photog genius,” naturally, Christopher Ashton Kutcher.


THIS IS NOT THE WORK OF A PHOTOG GENIUS, Christopher Ashton Kutcher!

It was then that I realized how you’d lied to me, Christopher Ashton Kutcher. Not only were my pictures atrocious, but no one seemed to care if I screamed about the light or bought a fancy-pants camera bag. You know why, Christopher Ashton Kutcher? It’s because you can put lipstick on a pig but don’t just BECOME rad at photography.

My inability to be a photog was made worse by becoming a blogger, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, (blogging, Christopher Ashton Kutcher,  is just a fancy way of saying, “I write drivel on the Internets.”). Apparently when one becomes a blogger, they should also be a fabulous photog and take pictures of their perfect families doing perfect things, while I take pictures of my kid’s boogers.

WHO WANTS TO SEE UP MY BABY’S NOSE? Answer: NO ONE. See, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, the kid is not even flicking me off, which would’ve made the snap eminently more tolerable and handily proved maternity.

So, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, while I appreciate your role in such cinematic masterpieces as “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and that show about pranking rich people, I’m never going to believe you again, even if you DO tell me that next point-and-shoot is going to be life-altering. BECAUSE IT WON’T. PROBABLY. AT LEAST, I THINK IT WON’T.


Aunt Becky

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