1) Order sweet potato fries for the whole table, then, rather than share, grab the basket and lick each fry, claiming them as your own.
2) Order – and drink – Appletini’s. For real.
3) Inform everyone from the guy down the street selling papers to the barista at Stardollars how much better Breaking Bad is than The Wire. If they disagree, begin to speak in a loud voice using small words to provide a moment-by-moment breakdown of each scene for the past four seasons. When they finally agree, just to shut you the fuck up, then admit, “Hey, but it’s not as good as Lost.”
4) Whistle badly, tunelessly, at all points in which your mouth is not defending The Lost Conspiracy.*
5) Casually mention that you’ve “discovered” the most amazing (insert store/bar/restaurant here) even though all of them are easily found in the phone book or on Yelp.
6) End every conversation with, “Yes, but what would FREUD say about that?”
7) Insist upon chewing at least three pieces of gum at all points while away and rather than chew quietly, smack your mouth open and closed as loudly as possible so as to mimic a cow eating grass.
8) Quote Scarface often in the worst possible accent you can muster; inserting it into conversations in which it has no bearing.
9) Drink beverages with a straw and spend at least ten minutes after the liquid has been ingested making that horrifying sucking noise, trying to ensure that every single molecule is inside your mouth.
10) Brush off every single one of the accomplishments of other children by saying breezily, “Yeah, well, Little Jimmy was doing THAT at age four. Do you think something’s wrong with (insert name of other child here) to be doing this so BEHIND?”
11. Aimee says: Talk on the phone while in the bathroom. Loudly. And be sure to choose the only stall next to another person.
12. Stacey Says: Never let anyone finish a story. ALWAYS leap in with yours before they get to teh end. Bonus asshole points if it isn’t just a similar story but tops theirs significantly.
13) Luna Says: Ask them if they’ve found Jesus yet. If they say “Yes”, ask “Was he under the couch?” If they say no, invite them to read from the Bible with you.
14) Luna Says: Fart. Loudly. Then chide them loudly for farting.
15) Luna Says: Stand the wrong way in the elevator.
16) Luna Says: Start selling a MLM scheme.
17) Luna Says: Demand that you split the restaurant bill evenly (5 people, check split evenly 5 ways), but order 3 times as much as everyone else. Do not share under any circumstances.
18) Cindy Says: show them all the pictures of your kids/dogs/boat collection. (yes, I just had someone show me pictures of his boat collection.)
19) Sandy Says: Put an “Out of Order” sign on the door of the restroom at work and see how long it takes for maintenance to take it down.
20) Anonymous Says: Invite yourself to move in with your best friend, decide to stay indefinitely, talk about inappropriate subjects in front of their children, be late with rent, and just generally overstay your welcome.
21) Luna Says: TMI. Always tell people about your bowel movements and your menstrual flow. Words like “clots” and “squirt” are particularly useful.
22) Luna Says: Make a great big screaming deal out of your birthday. Refuse to acknowledge anyone else’s.
23) Luna Says: Make food for your friends with food allergies. INSIST that the food is safe. Refuse to let up until they try it. When they get sick, say, “Well, I tried my best! I didn’t think a LITTLE would hurt!”
24) Brenay Says: Call/ text/ email obsessively to confirm a date to spend time with your friend. Cancel five minutes before you are supposed to meet, using the worst excuse you can think of. For example, you can say you totally forgot about the lunch date because you had to go get a gallon of milk. (You are lactose intolerant.)
25) Lovelyn Says: Call your friends regularly at ungodly hours. When they answer ask, “Where you sleeping?” When they say yes, ignore them and start giving them a minute by minute account of your day.
26) Ryen Says: Step into a busy elevator, press every button, then turn around to face your now angry audience and clasp your hands together and say, “I’ve gathered you all here today to”……and then finish with the most awesome, bizarre thing you can think of.
27) Meg Says: Don’t flipping tell me to have a BLESSED day. I’ll go see a priest if I need to get fucking blessed.
*I do not know what this means either.
—————-Your turn, Pranksters! Leave me a comment with another way to make enemies and lose friends and I’ll add it to the list above with your name and a link to your blog or social media!
“Hey! Rebecca!” My father exclaimed in the gleeful way he does now that he’s retired and in the mood to fuck with me.
“Yeeeesss?” I looked up briefly from my phone, where I’d been frantically editing photos to make sure cats with freakin’ laser beams appeared in every snap.
“What do you say? Wanna talk about guys? I know guys. We can totally talk about guys,” he said, his eyes twinkling.
“UGH,” I replied. “Why don’t you go reorganize something?”
He laughed and left me alone with my mother.
“Have you thought about dating again?” she asked, in the same way that everyone from my mailman to the guy at Starbucks had begun.
“No… not really,” which was the truth. I’d been putting the pieces of my new life together, working a zillionty-hundred hours a week and trying to ensure that I made time to pee once in awhile.
“I don’t know if I’d get remarried – too much work,” she mused.
“I HEARD THAT!” My father yelled from the kitchen where he’d begun arranging glasses by color, size, clarity, and width. Retirement is not his OMGBBQBFF.
After a long day at Not-Chicago, I wearily climbed into bed for a brief nap before I tried to muster up the energy to make myself something to eat. The job; well, I loved it, but damn if it didn’t take the fuck out of me. Eventually, I pulled myself out of bed, intending to pop outside for some fresh air and to watch the sun set. The sunsets in Chicago, well, they’re amazing, and I try not to miss a single one, even if sleep is where I’m a viking.
Eyes filled with sleep, I opened my front door, immediately confronted by a large grey cat, who appeared to believe that he, too belonged there.
“Meeoooow,” he whined at me a long-drawn out moment, before sauntering back into the bush in front of my window.
“Hey buddy,” I said, rubbing sleep out of my eyes. Living on the river = you never know what sort of critter will be popping out to try and eat, maim, or love on you.
I rounded the bend out of my stoop and there stood a man who appeared as shocked as I was. Critters I was used to. A dude standing there? Not so much.
“Hi,” he said. “Sorry about my sister’s cat – he likes to hang out in front of other people’s doors. He’s a pervert, but he means well.”
I laughed. “Well, at least I’m wearing pants.”
Turning thirty-seven shades of red, he laughed awkwardly.
I walked out further to stand near him – I love my neighbors at the FBI Surveillance Van, and this one seemed friendly.
“Dan,” he said, formally holding out his hand.
“Becky,” I said, adding, “with a ‘y’ not an ‘i.'”
“Nice to meet you, Becky-with-a-y,” he smiled at me.
“Nice to meet YOU, Dan,” I smiled back, the way two people do when they know they’re sharing a special secret; that this is about to become something big; bigger than either of us could’ve imagined.
“Hey Baby,” Dan called over the sound of the vacuum. “You should SEE what I found behind the couches!”
I popped out of the bedroom, where I’d been purging all of the “maybe I’ll use this someday shit” that multiplies while I’m asleep. Or gnomes drag it in – I can’t be sure. Either room, I needed to make some room in my life.
“WOAH,” I took a step back. “That is GROSS!”
“No more eating in the living room, I’m thinking,” he replied.
“Okay, YOUR turn! Come and see what I’ve done with our bedroom!” I squeeed. I love purging like I love butter.
“HOLY SHITFUCK, Becky!” he exclaimed. “This is all my closet space?”
“Yep,” I said, beaming. “It’s almost like you live here or something.”
“Baby,” he snorted back laughter; a private joke between us. “I DO live here. I haven’t left since our first date.”
I smiled at him; that same knowing smile two people can share when they have a particularly delicious secret.
He grabbed me and spun me around as I squealed happily, until we both fell onto the bed, dizzy and smiling, knowing that indeed, this had indeed become bigger than either of us could’ve imagined.
“So,” he said. “THIS is what happiness feels like.”
I smiled again. “Yes, I believe it is.”
When most people consider moving from a house to an apartment, they see it as a step down. Like ordering creme brulee and getting a dish of plain vanilla soft-serve (WITHOUT the all-important sprinkles) or something.
I won’t lie: I felt the same way. In October I moved from a three-floor house with a yard full of my roses into the FBI Surveillance Van where I shared all walls with other individuals whom I figured were always up to some nefarious hijinks. I even thought of getting a black light to ascertain if there had been any semen stains on the walls from previous tenants.
(Lazy + too – even for Your Aunt Becky – creepy = not gonna happen)
But I didn’t know quite what to expect beyond dorm living, which had been my only real experience living outside of a single home, and we ALL know the hilarious hijinks that go on in those dorms.
It took a bit to warm to the idea – being reprimanded by the self-appointed friendly neighborhood garbage police for not properly breaking down my boxes after moving in did NOT help in any way to reduce my paranoia – (personal motto: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you) but slowly I did. And my neighbors? Well, they’re FULL of the awesome.
(pointless sidebar: not NEARLY as full of the awesome as YOU, Pranksters)
Kitchen sink busted? Call maintenance.
Car battery dead? Ask aforementioned maintenance guy to give you a jump.
Need counseling? Talk to The Twitter.
Slowly, I got into the groove of living life in the FBI Surveillance Van, even if it did mean I shared my bed with children who, despite their relatively diminutive size, managed to abscond with both space on the mattress and all of the covers. The mornings I’d wake up shivering cold and half on the floor I dubbed “cozy,” rather than “dude, where’s my sleep?”
Things took a turn for the better once the pool opened. The home previously known as mine didn’t have a pool, unless you counted the three inch plastic baby pool, which I, of course, did not. Even if I’d wanted a pool, I knew better than to actually have one constructed – growing up with an in-ground pool is enough to scare you out of your mind. I saw more dead animals each spring than I ever dissected in my biology classes, which is saying a LOT.
I’d not given the FBI Surveillance Van’s pool much thought at all – I hadn’t really wanted to take a dip on my own without my kids (who really wants to feel like the creep by the pool?), and as there was only one of me and three of them (two of whom couldn’t swim), I didn’t feel entirely safe bringing them, either. But once the weather warmed up, the chants of “MAMA, CAN WE GET SOME CANDY? IT’S CANDY DAY, MAMA!” turned into “MAMA, CAN WE GO TO THE POOL? I READ THE SIGN, IT’S OPEN.”
Then I cursed the public school system for teaching my child how to read and tried to recall where, exactly, one purchases a swimming suit and those floaty things for kids.
With great trepidation, I filled my ugly-ass beach bag (which has been around the world to various and sundry disgusting beaches) with towels, goggles, floaty things, and sunscreen and decided that it was high time to work on my tan and teach the kids to swim, which is no easy feat considering I’m not a swim instructor and I don’t even play one on television.
The kids bounded on ahead, ring things around their waists, trying to avoid the red-wing blackbirds dive-bombing their sweet heads while I trudged behind them, lugging approximately 847464 metric fucktons of pool shit.
It took them awhile to warm up to it – and by “them,” I mean “Alex,” who is ALWAYS hesitant to try new things – but slowly, they inched their way into the water with Dan and I keeping an obnoxiously close eye on them. Eventually, the sun decided that it was high time for me to take a rest on one of the germ-laden pool chairs and so I did.
It was then that I saw him.
Not an unattractive guy by any stretch of the imagination, somewhere in his mid-to-late sixties, he was simply sitting and drinking with his buddy on the other side of the pool fence, trying to catch some rays. Which wasn’t too far from what I was doing, excepting that I had a swimsuit on and wasn’t drinking alcohol.
The problem was, I couldn’t honestly ascertain whether or not he was wearing clothing or not. His shorts very nearly matched his torso, which meant that he could have easily been wearing a shirt. In fact, I figured he was. No one has skin quite that color. No one.
Or so I thought.
I was, I admit, intrigued by how closely his body resembled one of those brown body suits that fancy-pants surfers wear, and wondered why on earth he was wearing it not on the beach, but on the banks of the gnarly Fox River. I shrugged it off, thinking of sprinkles and cuppity-cakes and went back to resting quietly.
Just nearing that sort-of slumber brought on by intense sunbeams, it smacked me upside the face in a nice, neat mushroom print:
He had puffy nipples.
If he had puffy nipples hanging out, then he wasn’t wearing a bodysuit.
That was his skin.
“Dan,” I whispered frantically as I dipped my legs into the water. “I think that guy is wearing a skin shirt.”
“Where?” he asked.
“Over outside the pool area. DON’T BE OBVIOUS!” I replied.
He pretended to be checking out something in that general direction for a few moments before returning to face me.
“Babe,” Dan said. “I don’t think that’s a shirt.”
Half the pool turned around at the audible SMACK that my jaw made when it hit the concrete.
“That’s his… skin?” I asked.
Dan nodded and chuckled at my reaction.
“He’s like a walking poster boy for skin cancer,” I said, awed.
“When I grow up, I want to be JUST LIKE HIM.” I stated firmly.
“Tanned like a leather hide?” Dan asked, eyes still smiling.
“YES. I’ll be too old to give a fuck.”
“It’s good to have goals, Becky. I think you should put that on your bucket list, alongside “tango with Elvis impersonator,” Dan snorted.
“You’re so weird,” Dan laughed. “Now get in here so we can have a proper squirt gun fight.”