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I don’t make lists.

Or, I should say, I don’t make GOOD lists. Every time I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of dancing cactus videos on YouTube, I tell one of my Type-A friends that I am overwhelmed by the volume of dancing cactus videos. Rather than simply GO THROUGH THEM ALL AND TELL ME WHICH ONES ARE GOOD (in spreadsheet form, natch), they say the same words. ALWAYS the same words.

“Make a list.”

And every time, I’m all, “these are Type A people – they have color-coding and highlighters – they MUST know what they’re talking about.”

So I start a list:

  • Watch dancing cactus video
  • Drink Diet Coke
  • Fantasize about owning boxing nun
  • Google directions to nearest nunnery
  • Pour cup of coffee
  • Realize I’ll probably spontaneously combust should I step onto the sacred soil
  • Wonder what nuns do all day
  • Assume it’s not watch dancing cactus videos
  • Go onto next dancing cactus video

Then I realize that I’ve spent 46 minutes making a list that’s now stressing me out because, well, THAT’S A LOT OF SHIT TO DO, I’D RATHER JUST DO IT AND NOT HAVE TO STOP AND WRITE IT DOWN, THANK YOU TYPE-A PEOPLE.

I rip up my lame-ass list and roll my eyes any time anyone says the words “Type” and “A” together in a sentence. Because who wants to make lists? The same people who thrive off Post-It Notes. NOT SANE PEOPLE.

I woke up this morning and realized I wanted to make a list. Not a “life list,” (life list is apparently pretentious hipster-speak for being able to write things like, “climb the summit of a tall mountain wearing my Northface Jacket” and “drink fine wine on the backs of starving children.”) because those are lame, but a list of things I’d like to do someday, but, through the actual act of living a life in which every time I make a “plan,” things go horribly awry, so I’ll probably never get to do. Ever.

(Unfair Jab at Pretentious Hipsters: But hey, at least I’m good with straight-up iodized salt rather than sea salt carefully culled from the bottom of the dead sea, then breathed upon by unicorns until it made it’s way onto my $145 dollar entree.)

Return a movie on time to Blockbuster

Eat chocolate cake in the bath in a poufy dress

Figure out how many licks it takes to beat someone to death with a Tootsie Pop

Give up on the idea that Jen and Brad are EVER going to get back together

Get over my unresolved anger at Angelina Jolie and her sanctimonious pillowy lips

Find and purchase 2 smaller, angrier birds (the Winklevoss Twins!) to set deliberately behind Mark Zuckerberg

Use a Post-It note successfully – not just for lobbing insults in adorable wee form.

Buy all items on this screen AT ONCE


Especially the testicles. Because obviously.

Figure out why the hell someone made a testicle self-exam kit.

Figure out why a testicle self-exam kit costs $114

Inform everyone I know that this, in fact, is what I want for my birthday

Buy a cell phone that actually makes calls.

Become BFF with Tom from Myspace. That dude was EVERYBODY’S friend.

Immortalize Tom from Myspace in tacky lawn ornament form.

Figure out what happened to Justin Timberlake, you know, the guy who started Napster?

Punch someone while they’re in the middle of their “If you can dream it, you can DO it,” speech. BECAUSE I HAD A DREAM TOO, MOTHERFUCKER, AND IT’S BEEN RUINED.

Admit that I haven’t actually HAD a dream to ruin, so there’s that.

Get three stars on an Angry Birds level so that I can do a victory dance, tell The Twitter, then realize how lame I’ve become.

Meet someone from Delaware IN THE FLESH.

Become a real-life troll, and stand in the middle of The Target yelling “You’re fat!” and “You’re ugly!” until I am arrested.

Take the Route 66 road-trip through the States. With or without Mark Zuckerberg as my copilot.

Get raptured.

Get UN-raptured because Heaven is Bullshit.

Wear my Shut Your Whore Mouth to a Middle School Function.

Figure out what the hell Stumble Upon actually does.

Punch John C. Mayer in the ‘nads. Alternately, immortalize him in tacky lawn-ornament form.

—————-

What do YOU want to do, Pranksters? Alternately, what do you think *I* should do?

Pranksters,

Meet Mark Zuckerberg:

He’s dating The Bloggesses Beyonce.

He’s also the culmination of approximately 291,727 years of work on my house.

Some people, they get stressed and eat a cake. Others drink a bottle of wine. Still others go on mad shopping sprees until they’ve amassed a houseful of garbage and appear on Hoarders so that I may watch and then go clean my house obsessively.

When my kids were little and I got stressed, I’d vacuum. My formerly white carpets were spotless* whenever I had a particularly bad week (read: year). They were too small for me to bundle up and take out back so I could do what I really wanted: to get into my garden.

I know there are babies out there (reportedly) who sit in things like “strollers” and “hang out calmly,” but I’m telling you Pranksters, THOSE BABIES WERE NOT MINE. I got more snide comments from people – “well, I didn’t GIVE my child the option to NOT ride in the stroller,” during those years. I never responded with – but should’ve – “wanna give it a shot with them? How far can you take ‘em before DCFS gets called due to reports of child abuse?”

I’ve owned three strollers. One was a shitty Graco stroller that made an uncanny clicking noise when we walked. Ben – as a baby – screamed whenever he got near it**. The second was an umbrella stroller I could occasionally coax my then-five year old son Ben into. The third was the Cadillac of Strollers (some overpriced Bumbleride), which I bought for Alex. That fucker is still sitting in my garage like an albatross, reminding me that I could’ve WAITED to see if my child would actually allow me to put him down.

(answer: no. Not ever)

Anyway, when they were small, gardening went like this:

Aunt Becky: “I’m going outside to garden.”

Daver: “Can you take the kids?”

Aunt Becky: “No, I’m working in thorny roses.”

Daver: “Okay.”

Then the kids would stand sadly at the window, like a pile of weeping puppies, pointing at me until I let them outside.

I got nothing done unless it was naptime or bedtime (for babies).

That’s a fucking shame: the previous occupants of my home had let the landscaping done by the previous PREVIOUS occupants go to shit – the house was shrouded in bushes. My house, overgrown with bushes, looked remarkably like a serial killer lived here.

This was AFTER I’d removed a couple of bushes.

Turns out the seventies bush wasn’t just for pubic hair.

I was super embarrassed. Like, you can only claim, “it’s from the previous occupants” for so long before people start rolling their eyes.

So my front yard was full of bushes. My backyard was full of patchy grass and fake flowers.

Yes. Those are fake flowers. In the middle of February. It took a long fucking time to get rid of all that shit.

Luckily, I have. My house, while still a horrifying shade of yellow (the insurance quote only noted hail damage on TWO of the four sides = fuckers), is finally becoming something I’m not entirely horrified to show off.

I planted a rose garden. The gutter guy totally knocked one over and I am thinking about paying him a “visit” with my “shovel.”

I planted more roses. And gardened in a swim suit.

(don’t judge – I had the stomach flu)

So thank YOU, to the stress of the last few months, for allowing me to whip my yard into shape.

I think it’s time for a Prankster-Only Encased Meat Festival. Who wants in?

*yet still dingy – I need new carpeting. Terribly.

**He also, I should report, screamed when the sun shifted to a forty-five degree angle, any time anyone said the word, “the” and from 4-10PM on every day that ended in “day.”

First, go here. Read this. It made me cry.

Then write your story over there

Or here.

ALL of them.

————

Okay back? Good. Here goes:

I owe you a bit of an explanation, Pranksters. Without warning I stopped writing my Go Ask Aunt Becky column, which, as someone with a high degree of anal retentiveness (*waves*), drove me crazy.

I’d started my lame advice column as a joke, intended to write up dumb answers to such things as “why do I have so much sausage in the fridge?” and “where are my pants?”

Instead, you guys sent me real questions with real problems and I? Well, I got…overwhelmed? I guess that’s the word. My life has been a roller coaster of weird lately and I, well, I wouldn’t take any of my own advice. Ever. You don’t want to be like me.

The other non-serious questions had to do with blogging, mostly of the “how do I get famous?” variety. And while I’ve written my Blogging for Dummies Guide, I’m not sure how to answer that sort of question without getting all, “with fame comes great responsibility,” or whatever.

My own blog grew organically because I hit the right segment of the population at the right time, not because I had an excessively awesome theme or anything. Like anything else, blogging is a hit-or-miss kinda thing and some people make it and you’ll totally get why while others (*waves*) confound you – how could someone be so dumb?

Anyway.

I’ll get back into my advice column. Feel free to submit questions up at the top of my screen – and, as always, feel free to give your advice in the comments.

—————-

Dear Aunt Becky,

Why should I ask your advice if you’re not a real professional?

Dear Prankster:

You get what you pay for.

——————–

Hey Aunt Becky,

Recently I found out a friend I had lost contact with had been a victim of, carjacking, kidnapping, and sexual assault. She is almost a year survived from the attack, but having terrible ptsd, Keeping her from working and enjoying her young life. I no longer live near hear and wanted to send a care package to her to show her my love. Any ideas for this package? I thought spa, but really think that might not be the best idea, with the physical contact. Any ideas would be wonderful. (btw man was caught and charged for all these awful things he has done to her)
Love your niece,
Kay

Hello my darling Kay!

What happened to your friend is fucking hideous and you? Are full of the awesome for wanting to help her.

I’d suggest sending her a package of random stuff to make her smile – I agree that the spa thing is probably a bad idea. I’d fill a box with random things – some chocolate, some goofy craft stuff, a tiara, whatever – cute stuff she can go through and giggle at. And write her a nice letter telling her you’re thinking of her.

I’ve made you THIS for helping someone heal from sexual assault, and I hope it helps.

Send your friend all my love. And you too, for being such a kickass friend. We could all be so lucky.

Love,

AB

—————

Dear Aunt Becky,

I feel really awkward calling you that but hey it’s whatever. One simple question I’m a mom and I want to start a mommy blog but I don’t want it to be traditional like the ones you read while you’re bored surfing the internet and the first sentence is … kat took her first poop in the big girl toilet.

haha big FUCKING woop.

Do you have any advice not to be that mom and where do I start?

Dear Prankster,

I love the awkward – assumed familiarity is beyond hilarious. And you don’t want to write about your kid taking a shit? THANK YOU, on behalf of the Internet, THANK YOU.

I wrote up this Blogging for Dummies Guide – let me know if it helps.

Love you,

AB

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