True Story or Urban Legend? 

I woke up this morning remembering a story I heard about in high school. I can’t remember if it was a news story or just an urban legend. I was about to google it to find out, but I decided not to. I feel like thinking about it instead, and reaching out to other people who might have heard about it too. Without looking it up, this is what I remember:

A popular teenage girl goes to a tanning salon to get a nice tan before her senior prom. She talks the people who work at the salon into letting her do multiple sessions in a row. She spends hours in a tanning bed and literally cooks herself to death. I don’t remember if she dies in the bed or later on that day. I feel like I read about this in the newspaper- I can almost picture the girl, but my mind could also be playing tricks on me. There is also an episode of Bones where a woman is murdered by being locked in a tanning bed, so obviously it’s possible.

Does anyone else remember this story?! What do you think- true story or urban legend?


Just A Guy Looking for Love

“Just A Guy Looking for Love”

Hello ladies,

The title says it all…but it doesn’t say everything.

This guy right here is not one that can be easily defined.

I love crime, war and fighting movies, but I’m 100% against all types of violence. Even necessary violence.

I’m curious and filled with wonder and I’m looking to explore you. I know all about geography if you know what I mean.

I weigh between 150-200 lbs. or so and I am one of the most balanced people around.

This guy right here is hard working. I’m not kidding. You should see me chop vegetables. I think people get scared away because of how much I’ve got going for me. They think I’m too good to be true.

So luckily… I’m still not taken! But I am a limited edition one-time offer. If you think you’re not good enough for me… well, you might not be.

Let’s get caught in a snowstorm together and find out!

Full disclosure: I love breasts. I think it’s because to me, they’re so feminine. They always make me think of women.

I’m manly, but full of surprises. Do you know how open I am? I bet you can’t wait to find out!

You’d better hurry.

True happiness awaits!


The Undergroundhog

Lorelai was the most beautiful undergroundhog in all the underground. She had big puffy lips and her hair was so long she almost tripped on it all the time. She had no muffin tops or pimples at all. Not even one.

All the hot undergroundhog guys were totally into her. They carried her books and gave her gum. Everyone wanted to date her because she looked so much like Beyonce. That is everyone except for Pretzel.

Pretzel was Lorelai’s best friend. She really tried to like Lorelai, but like all best friends, she secretly hated her. Pretzel’s hair was chunky and short and she barely had any lips at all. No one ever gave Pretzel any gum. She wanted Lorelai gone.

One day, Prezel convinced Lorelai that she could be a model, but in order to do so, she’d have to run away and leave the underground.

Pretzel and Lorelai came out of the underground and walked over to the main road to New York City. Lorelai hugged Pretzel goodbye and started off down the road. A few seconds later, a big 18 wheeler truck came by and squashed Lorelai into the ground.

Pretzel cut the long hair from Lorelai’s smushed up body and made herself some realistic looking extensions. That night, she got pregnant for the first time.

Kids: If you want to be happy, you have to work for it. No one will love you for who you are unless you’re better than you are.

And remember, if you’re pretty, don’t ever leave your hole.

The end.

Oscar Taladopia

My best friend is Oscar Taladopia because his house has a swimming pool covered with leaves and sometimes even floating cockroaches. Crunch! Sometimes we play shipwreck and dive for treasure at the bottom of the pool. Oscar’s dad throws in all sorts of great stuff for us to find. Yesterday we found 3 bottles from alcohol, some DVDs and a book. He said if we could find his hunting knife he would give us each a dollar. We are still looking. I love swimming at Oscar’s- we don’t even have to get out to pee.

Oscar’s dad is totally cool. He never makes us stop playing to eat dinner. He doesn’t even care if we eat! He wears a moustache and a bathrobe and he never makes us wash our hands. One time, we found a dead rat in Oscar’s kitchen and his dad let him keep it! My dad would never let me have a rat. Not even a dead one.

There is so much fun stuff to do at Oscar’s. Our favorite game is peeling the yellow paint off all the walls in Oscar’s room. Under the yellow it is blue and then under the blue it’s yellow again. My favorites are the big pieces of paint. I’m saving them to throw into the fire. Oscar’s dad makes giant fires in the backyard and we get to throw stuff inside of it. Last time we threw in a photo album and some lady clothes and Oscar’s dad cried. It was fun, but my favorite is when we throw popcorn seeds into the fire and popcorn flies out. Oscar’s dad says, “If you can catch ‘em you can eat ‘em!” I love that game.

Oscar’s house also has my favorite food. Spam. We eat it every time I come over. Oscar’s dad puts it on sticks for us to roast over the fire. It is the best food I have ever eaten. Sometimes when I am at school I think about eating Spam. I wish my mom knew how to make it. She just makes regular food. Oscar loves it. It’s funny because Oscar really likes coming to my house and I really like his. He says he likes that we have blankets and toilet paper and doors. He is my best friend but really, sometimes he is so weird.

Stella’s Revenge

It was 2:35pm and instead of going home like the rest of her classmates, Stella Werbler found herself sitting once again on that hard wooden bench outside Principal Heaving’s office. She could hear Tomino’s whiny voice coming from inside the office. She rolled her eyes. She knew she was about to get detention and Tomino would once again get a pad of multi colored neon post it notes or some other treasure. He always got off easy because he was such a good whiner and everyone felt sorry for him for being named Tomino. Everyone but Stella. She knew the truth about Tomino.

He was an ass. He tortured her. He would walk over to her smiling and acting all sweet and then grab all of her Hello Kitty erasers and wipe them on his sweaty neck. They didn’t erase right after that. They would slip out of her fingers and leave dark streaks on the page. Her whole pencil case stunk. He did this every day. This morning, for some reason, it upset her more than usual. So she waited until all the kids went out for recess and she peed in his backpack. Halfway through fourth period, Tomino started yelling that his dad’s ipad wouldn’t turn on and it smelled like pee. Stella felt a little bad because she didn’t know that the ipad had been inside the backpack.

Mrs. Frinkel made a big deal about it and yelled at the whole class. She said that the guilty party better confess or the cops would come cuff them and take them away. She said that there were ways of knowing whose pee it was. Stella started panicking and her face turned all red. She was afraid to make eye contact with anyone so she shut her eyes tight. Mrs. Frinkel asked her if she was okay and why her eyes were shut. Stella said “Shit.” A girl named Wynetta started yelling “It was her it was her- I know it was her!” Stella had been known to bite and steal a bit, so Mrs. Frinkel automatically believed Wynetta. She sent Tomino and Stella to Principal Heaving’s office to clear things up. Tomino of course got to tell his side of the story first.

Stella was plotting her next move. If she couldn’t convince Heaving of her innocence, she was going to really punish Tomino. She couldn’t get his stupid face out of her mind and every minute that went by she just got madder and madder. The door opened. Principal Heaving looked at Stella and said “Ms. Werbler you are free to go.” Stella looked up surprised. Tomino smiled at her. Together they walked back to class to pick up their things. Tomino whispered, “I know it was you, but don’t worry I won’t say anything. I don’t want to get my girlfriend in trouble.” Stella opened her mouth to object, but no words came out. She was confused and a little nervous, but after five more steps by Tomino’s side, she found that she was also kind of happy. She finally managed to say, “I’m sorry I peed on your ipad.”  Tomino shrugged, “That’s okay. Its not mine- its my dad’s.”

Hot Room Nap Dream

Ryan Reynolds, a male lion, and eight dogs (all different kinds) were lying out on the lawn in front of my dad’s house. Ryan was trying to take a selfie with his phone to put on facebook, but he couldn’t get enough of the animals in the picture. He asked me to take a picture of them. I tried, but he was moving around too much so it was hard to get a good shot. He kept fake-fighting the lion and then the lion really started mauling him. Ryan kept laughing like everything was fine. I felt bad because I knew he wasn’t going to like how the shots were coming out. They were all blurry and he was getting mauled for no reason. I gave him his phone back. Then he and all the animals went inside to help my dad get ready for his audition. There were so many of them and they really wanted to help my dad. It was a sweet gesture, but all I could think about was that my dad was not going to be happy about all those dogs in his house.

Then I am lying in bed and my mom is rubbing some white goo on my cuticles. She says its good stuff she stole from the hospital, but she only has enough for one of my hands. She then tells me I should think about getting out of bed and giving Ryan his phone back. His lawyers are calling. They want to delete all of the pictures. I told her I had given the phone back, but she was right, I had it in my hand. We decided to look through his contacts to see if there was anyone cool we wanted to talk to before we gave the phone back. We tried a few numbers, but all of Ryan’s friends had really bad speech impediments. We couldn’t understand any of them. Then my mom said, “ I don’t understand why Ryan Gosling is friends with these people.” I said, “he’s not. These are Ryan Reynolds’s friends.” “Oh,” she said looking relieved, “Okay. Well, make sure you give the phone back.”

Another Trip

Today I figured out why I’m not a drug addict. It’s because I associate all the best highs of my life with being at the dentist. I went back today for part two of my cleaning. Part one consisted mostly of me laughing uncontrollably due to the Nitrus gas. So naturally when the hygienist asked me if I would be needing the Nitrus again today, I said yes. There was no laughing today- I came prepared. I decided earlier in the day that I would take the opportunity to just relax and let myself fall into it.

Within minutes, my mind was flooded with memories. I remembered playing at my friend Rachel’s house, on the floor next to her bed. I remembered her flowered bedspread with matching pillowcases and the bed skirt that would brush up against my leg as we played with our Barbies. My bed at home didn’t have a bed skirt and I was fascinated by it. I wondered if I put one of Rachel’s Barbies under her bed if she would ever find it.

I remembered swimming in her pool and how the water seemed darker than the water in our pool. Somehow it seemed much deeper and almost like an adventure to swim at her house. I remembered getting out of the water and the feeling of my swimsuit slowly drying on my skin, lightly scratching me as it returned to its original shape. I thought I looked better in my swimsuit than I did in my clothes. I wished I could wear it to school. I felt that the people who weren’t nice to me would be nicer if they saw me in my swimsuit. A voice called me out of my memory and asked me to open my mouth a little wider.

As I drifted away again, I thought about how I ended up at this dentist in the first place. I was eating popcorn and it pulled out my crown. I then remembered being very small and watching movies with my parents. I worried that we would run out of popcorn. I wished there was infinite popcorn. I would watch my parents almost as much as I watched the movie- to make sure I laughed when they laughed. I remembered my dad noticing this and telling me to enjoy the movie and to laugh at what I thought was funny. I said I understood, but I lied. It was so important to me to laugh when he laughed.

This happens to me at the daycare all the time. If I laugh, even if it is at something I have just read on my phone, at least one kid near me will catch my eye and laugh too. I think it’s about feeling like they are part of something with me. Maybe it makes them feel closer to me. Or maybe they just like to laugh.

The chair moved me into a more upright position. She started cleaning my lower teeth. There was more poking and scraping, but not enough to keep me out of my memories. I remembered lying on my bed, drawing with my mom. I wanted her to be there and watch me. I remember needing help drawing the arms of a girl, but not wanting to need help. I remember getting angry with my mom for how she drew the arms. She added the crease of the girl’s elbows, and I didn’t want it there. I erased it furiously and shook off all the eraser bits. My mom asked me if I knew where all those bits went when I blew them. I looked up at her in wonder, and asked “where?”- Anticipating some magical answer. “The floor,” she said, smiling.

Remembering this made me laugh out loud, startling the dental hygienist. I had been so quiet up until that point. She asked how I was doing and told me it was time for my polish. She said I could pick my flavor. I had the choice of mint or a whole bunch of disgusting flavors, so I chose mint. Because of the noise, I couldn’t really escape. When she finished, she went to find out if my insurance covered fluoride treatments and she left me alone with my gas. I started to miss Rodrigo. I wished he were in the chair next to me with a gas mask on as well. I imagined us holding hands and talking about how each of our days had gone. I told Rodrigo I had to pee and asked him if I should even bother getting up and going to the bathroom or if I should just go in the chair. He said he wouldn’t judge me if I went in the chair, but I’d probably be happier if I went to the bathroom. I was smiling when the hygienist came back and told me my insurance did not cover fluoride treatments. She turned off the gas and turned up the oxygen. Within moments I was completely clear and back in the present.

The Overflow

It was lunchtime at the daycare and I was trying to get the kids into the dining room. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of the girls fascinated by something on the floor. She was poking at it and squishing it in her fingers. I asked her what it was and she said, “Chicken poop.” I told her it looked a little bit too big to be chicken poop. “Oh,” she said holding it closer to her face, “then it’s kid poop.” It sure was.

I picked her up fast and washed her hands before she could stick her fingers in her mouth. As I was washing her hands for the third time, she told me whose poop she thought it was and then she said “its okay. He’s like me. I poop too.” Inspired by her inclusive and non-judgmental attitude I said, “that’s right, everyone poops. I poop too.” She stared at me for a second and asked “But do you poop on the floor?” No. I guess I don’t.

After she was clean, I decided to go check on the possible culprit. He was sitting on the floor smashing two tractors into each other. I asked him if he had poop in his diaper. He nodded his head and kept on smashing. He seemed pretty indifferent about his poo filled diaper. I took this as a good sign. If he didn’t care, then maybe it wasn’t that bad. I was wrong.

There was so much poop in that diaper that for a moment I just stood there staring at it. I looked at the boy and then at the poop and then back at the boy. It just didn’t seem possible. I finally snapped out of it, and began to change my first diaper ever. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I mean, I got it in theory – take off the dirty diaper, clean the kid off, put on a clean diaper. It’s just that there are some in between steps that are not explained in that theory. I had seen regular pee diapers changed on the changing table, but this was a whole different story. I’m not even sure where I went wrong. I think it might have been how I grabbed the diaper. I underestimated its weight and it kind of flopped the other way. Poop fell all over the place. My forearms, the table, the floor. Again, I just stared at it.

Luckily the kid was in a really good mood. He was smiling at me and saying poop a lot. I cant imagine what it would have been like if he were crying.

I finally cleaned everything up and we made it to lunch. To my surprise, I had not lost my appetite. In fact, I was starving. Apparently so was the boy. He made his way through three bowls of rice and peas. I looked up at the clock and smiled. I only had five more minutes of work. He could eat as much as he wanted. The next diaper he filled would be for someone else.

Elementary Letter

Elementary Letter

Dear Julie,

Mrs. Sherman is making the whole class write you letters because you moved to Kenya Africa. I can’t believe you are IN Kenya! Did a giraffe really lick your face? That is what Caroline told everyone. I wish you were still at school, but don’t ever come back. Jessica told everyone you smell like Cup-O-Noodles and now everyone is laughing at you. Even me! I’m sorry but I can’t help it because it is true. Justin said you smell like that because you have a big booty. Then he said “Julie’s butt is so big you can see it from the front!” Is that true? I don’t remember your butt from the front.

I am sorry everyone is making fun of you, but you wouldn’t want to come back anyway because the classes are a lot harder this year and you know you are not really good at school. What is school like in Kenya? I think it is hard. Don’t be sad if you don’t have any friends. I will still be your friend even though you are so far away. I will write to you again even though I don’t have to. If you want to be my pen pal then write me back! Maybe you could send me something nice from Kenya.

PS: I really didn’t want you to go.

Sincerey, Olive

That Nasty Brew

We are living in an age where it is possible to clone human beings and regrow hands with magic science powder. We are obviously living in the future. So how is it possible that cough syrup tastes just as awful as it did when I was a kid? It makes me gag. It makes me shiver. It makes my right eye close up. It tastes like alcohol and sugar and rubber and gasoline. I would rather be sick for a few days than swallow a spoonful of NyQuil.  I would rather have a sore throat and a cough. I would rather suffer in silence and complain out loud than drink that nasty brew.

Rodrigo however, does not agree. He stares at me as I argue and whine and present really well thought out arguments as to why I don’t need the medicine. He stands next to me patiently, cough syrup in one hand, spoon in the other, as I lie right to his face and promise to take it later. He smiles at me and pours the syrup. I threaten him. I look at him through squinty eyes and a wrinkled brow. I tell him the only reason I am taking it is for him. He hands me the spoon. I take the medicine.

I gag and I shiver and my right eye closes a little bit. I run to the kitchen and stuff my mouth with blueberries and cheese and I drink Gatorade. Everything tastes like cough syrup. I glare at Rodrigo and tell him he just likes to see me suffer. “How does your throat feel now?” he asks.

Dammit! It feels better.