Why isn’t there a cheeseburger conveyor belt and ice tea well in my kitchen? Well, it’s obviously because THIS IS THE WORST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS! A-duh.
Today I’m going to tell you the story of the first (and so far only) time I’ve been on Nitrous in my adult life.
This story has A LOT of back story so be patient, we’ll get there…together (take my breath awaaaaayyyyyy).
I moved to the West Coast about six years ago and pretty much everyone here has extensive experience with drugs. I soon learned words like “bowl” and “wippets” and other totally rad things that only the cool kids get to know about. I didn’t know these things because I like my brain cells and never really did drugs and was all around a total lame-o even when I was a teenager and in my prime “cool” years. The most popular drug everyone still does is (duh) marijuana, but much to my surprise the one that seemed to be the most nostalgic for a lot of people was Nitrous Oxide (I use the scientific term because I’m still hopelessly lame). I was subjected to many speeches about how, “When you’re on it, you like, understand the whole universe, and you want to tell everyone what it, like, all totally means but you can’t speak and then when you CAN speak you’ve forgotten what you were going to say. I can’t describe it, it’s like everythingness maaaaaan.”
To which I reply, “You know, people that have been clinically dead report a similar experience. I think that was just the sensation of your brain being deprived of oxygen.”
“…you just don’t get it. You’re shackled by your senses.”
They say the “you just don’t get it because I totally did drugs for spiritual and intellectual purposes and not just to get high” thing about every drug (seriously guys, just own it. I don’t drink because it makes me a better person, I drink because whiskey tastes good and being drunk is (usually) fun)but the way they described being on Nitrous was slightly less terrifying then say acid. I still had no actual desire to do it.
This brings us to back story Volume II, I hate dentists. I.fucking.hate.dentists. “Fantasies of running them down with my car” level of hate. I am a rabid anti-dentite and not ashamed and have no desire to change. It is in no way wrong to hate and avoid a group of masochists that profit from the pain of others. Growing up, I was forced to go to a dentist that would tell my parents I needed painful and invasive procedures that I didn’t need, just because my parents could afford to pay too much for them. I had all but about three of my baby teeth pulled by the dentist over a 10 year period, which I’ve since found is completely useless unless the tooth is massively infected. Only one was infected.
He also decided I needed fillings every time I went in for a cleaning. He would drill and fill up to four baby teeth at a time. They were more silver than white by the time they fell or (more likely) were pulled out. I have again since found out that this is useless unless the kid is in pain (which I wasn’t) because they are baby teeth and will fucking fall out (cavity and all) eventually. I also had several adult teeth pulled (I have no canines) and braces put on when I was 10ish because my mouth was “too small” and that “might cause some cosmetic problems.” Or it might not have. They decided my sister needed braces too but my parents had wised up by then and she never got them and she has nicer teeth then me. Oh yeah, funny side story, if you straighten a kid’s teeth before the jaw finishes growing, they’ll just go crooked again when you take the braces off. GOOD IDEA, BRO! My childhood dentist was a total bro. He wore gold chains and never buttoned the top three buttons on his shirt (I wish I made that up).
Ok, so all this leads up to a couple years ago when my mom had one of her batshit crazy moments where she decides that everyone is going to do (x) and the world will suddenly stop being terrible and instead be puppy dogs and rainbows. This time it was that all of us would go to the dentist when we were home for Christmas. My brother got out of it somehow and my dad CLAIMED he had his own dentist that he totes goes to all the time (never confirmed but nice dodge dad) but my sister and I had no escape. Especially once my mom found out I hadn’t been since high school, the last time she thought this would be a great idea.
So my sister and I go and QUELLE SUPRISE! They find something wrong with both of us. I have a small cavity and my sister needs a root canal redone because they fucked it up the first time. The audacity of this was staggering to me. It’s like a mechanic saying, “I stole all your spark plugs so you need to pay me for new spark plugs and to install the spark plugs and also this fee I’ve decided you owe.”
For some stupid reason (probably whatever happy pills she was on that month) my mom agrees to let these butchers have at it again and makes an appointment for us both to come in and have our respective procedures done at the same time a few mornings later. I kept telling her that I’m a grown ass person and can make my own decisions and it doesn’t hurt but NO DICE! I was staying at her house, I didn’t have a flight out for something like a month, and my mom’s special talent is to make one’s life abject misery for no reason at all but especially if she doesn’t get her way. On top of the fact that having these butchers take a crack at her children’s faces (our meal tickets) was stupid, none of us had insurance so it was going to cost her over two grand for the privilege, taking the idea from “stupid” to “fucking terrible beyond all measure.”
The fateful morning comes and, I ain’t gonna lie, I was a wreck. My sister went in first because her procedure was way more involved and I start pacing the waiting room. My mother, compassionate saint that she is, laughs and points.
“You really are crazy aren’t you Toasty?”
“SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! I SHOULD MAKE A RUN FOR IT AND RIDE THE RAILS BACK TO THE WEST COAST!”
“Ok ok. Don’t you have some of those panic pills of yours?”
“TOO SCARED TO TAKE THEM!”
“OMFG! Ok, hold on.”
She walks up to the receptionist and points at me with one of those “get a load for this one” looks and says,
“My offspring seems to be having a freak-out problem. Is there anything you can give her?”
“Well, all we can really do is give her Nitrous during the procedure. It’ll be an extra $80.”
“Let me ask. Toasty, do you want -”
“NUMB MY SUFFERING AND MY MIND SO I NEVER REMEMBER THAT WHICH I AM ABOUT TO ENDURE!”
“Yeah, we’ll take the Nitrous.”
They finally take me back and I see my sister is in the chair next to me, separated by a sheet. Oh man, I totally forgot this part of the story: my sister was sick. She woke up at about 2:00 that morning with a fever. I, of course, proceeded to nurse her efficiently and with utmost compassion as I had always done since her infancy which is to say doted on her insufferably with food and Tylenol and a chorus of, “How are you feeling now?” repeated every 15 minutes.
We told my mom that my sister was sick and really shouldn’t have a root canal today, but she could not have cared less and yelled something about how we don’t appreciate what she does for us and we’re the reason she can’t have nice things and my sister was all, “It’s alright Toasty, LET’S DO THIS!” because she is a fucking badass and one tough cookie.
Back to the dentist’s office. The nurse sits me in the chair and they have one of those TVs on a swing arm and she turns on the Today Show and puts and blanket on me and asks (in a cooing voice) “How’s that, need anything else dear?” and I start to think MAYBE I’m being kind of a baby. She brings in the tank and puts the mask on and turns the tank on. The air smells sweet. I start to feel dizzy.
“How do you feel dear?”
“Haha, yeah that’s kind of the point.”
I keep breathing and feel dizzier. Then it feels like I can’t keep my head on my body. Then I start to notice how threatening Al Roker looks. His face is all twisty and distorted and I’m relatively sure he’s reading my thoughts.
“Ok, no, I feel really weird.”
“Like what kind of-”
“LIKE I’M FREAKING THE FUCK OUT MAN!”
“Ok ok, I’ll take the mask off.”
Thankfully, Nitrous starts to wear off as soon as oxygen gets to your brain so I didn’t have to deal with several hours of “I don’t want to feel like this anymore!” like the one time I ate weed…story for another time.
The dentist finally comes in and the nurse and he have a conversation about how I requested Nitrous but I don’t want it anymore and he tells her not to charge us for it (the only cool thing a dentist has ever done) and he takes a look at my tooth.
“GUUUUURL [he calls everyone gurl], this cavity ain’t nothin’. We can fill this shit without Novocaine even.”
“The hell you can you fucking shameless torture-monger!” (totally a real word)
“No seriously, just let me start and if it hurts I’ll bring out the big guns.”
“…sure whatever, gurl.”
Side story: the dentist I had growing up tried to drill a tooth without Novocaine and I jumped out of the chair, ripped that stupid spit sink out of the floor, and fended him off like an old school lion tamer. No doubt. So needless to say I didn’t believe any of the jive this fool was shoveling.
He starts drilling and then does some other stuff and about 10 minutes later he’s taking his gloves off.
“Wait, that’s it?”
“Yup all done. And you were such a good patient you get a lollipop!” which pretty much cements that I’ve been a total baby about this whole thing.
As I’m walking out, I peek in at my sister who has three people working machinery straight out of Akira over her head, which is burning at a comfortable 102 degrees, and she’s staring at the ceiling with a look of “I can do this time standing on my head” on her adorable monkey face. That’s when I knew, absolutely and without question, that I was a whiny little bitch.
I called my SO back on the West Coast later.
“So how’d the cavity go?”
“They gave me Nitrous.”
“I hated it.”
“…you would. Only you would.”
“The universe didn’t make sense, it was not some transcendental experience, and it wasn’t even a fun high. I’m pretty sure the whole west coast is full of shit and also that someone should look into that Al Roker character.”
“Have I told you today how much I love how unique you are? Because I might have some statements I need to recant.”
ABC Family’s new show Baby Daddy has the cheesiest theme song since My Two Dads. I guess with a name like Baby Daddy I shouldn’t be surprised by cheese.
That is all.
Still working on the name, but nonetheless the bit continues.
Today we will not be starting on a positive note (gotta ration out the positivity, since there is so little in the world) and instead I’m gonna dive right in and talk about that stupid Nutrigrain commercial with the mom where the narrator says “you take a meeting” and shows her like talking to her kids “you take a run” and she’s running to catch the school bus “you take it up the butt” …no wait, then she wouldn’t have kids and also this commercial would be less annoying. This commercial is the advertising equivalent to nails on a chalkboard for me. I physically wince whenever I hear it.
There are two main factors that make this commercial maddeningly irritating. First, it does that stupid thing where it analogizes parenthood to business. I hate this shit. Your kitchen table is not a boardroom, your kids are not employees, and your home is not traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s the same as when over-entitled douchebags say that their companies are their “babies” and taxing them is the same as murdering their children. Directly likening facets of the home with facets of business is a lazy metaphor only used by people trying to sell you something you probably don’t need. The commercial is saying, “Being a parent is hard! This is a super secret that we know you live with and we can relate. Only us at Nutrigrain understand how hard you work and that you should be a million bajillionaire for loving your kids so since we’re in this together you should buy our product” even though Nutrigrain is an actual company and really does make a million bajillion dollars (based on SEC filings) and wants to make sure companies keep making the money and families keep spending it.
The second reason this commercial is so deserving of public ridicule and ire is by far the more egregious. This line actually happens,
“Take a nap? L-O-L.”
No, the narrator didn’t laugh out loud, she actually said “LOL.” The first time I heard this I literally could not believe it. I thought maybe it was a joke, like “PSYCHE! That’s not a real commercial. Real people don’t get paid real money for writing commercials that lazy and insulting to the intelligence of it’s audience. Also, Nutrigrain doesn’t really want to destroy the English language. This was all some big joke because Kids in the Hall is coming back to TV or something.” Yes, it was so bad that I had to believe the best of all things, a Kids in the Hall reunion, was actually happening and not the terrible thing that was really happening.
This one line encompasses so much suck, I can barely mock it properly. There’s the obvious, “They actually said L-O-L?! On like television? And it wasn’t an interview with a 15 year old? Fuck the world.” Every time I hear “L-O-L!” spouting out of the TV in that condescending “fuck you for living” voice I want to punch the TV, fully knowing that it’s a TV and not the woman talking. I want to feel glass break under my knuckles and the weight of the plastic body topple behind the force of my fist. In short, it fills me with a desire for destruction. I have to consciously remind myself that at some point the commercial will end and I’ll be really pissed if I don’t have a TV anymore. I need something to watch my Gilmore Girls DVDs on (no commercials FTW!) Side note: I actually suggested to my SO the other day that I should just DVR all the channels at all the times so that I can watch everything without commercials. They seemed to support the idea but I don’t think the technology does. I should just wait for everything to be on DVD and guess at what I’ll like. It’d be better than putting up with these brain-dead marketers who have the intelligence of krill and seem to think everyone else is even stupider./ End side note.
The other thing that pisses me off about this one fucking line is that it capitalizes on that stupid, played out cliche of “OMG being a mom is so hard right?! I mean it’s like totes hard and we never get to sleep which is hilarious HAHAHA! My nipples are chapped and I can’t remember what sex feels like HAHAHA! Am I laughing or crying HAHAHAHA? Laughing? Good.” This has always been a stupid thing that lazy marketers do but it’s so overused that I was hoping they’d find something new to play out. Of course that would take imagination, which no one with the words “marketing” or “media” in their job titles has to even the smallest degree. As someone without kids (and who thanks to modern medicine never will STERILIZATION FTW!) this is just such a weird concept to me. It’s basically saying that having kids is nothing but heartache and sorrow and that your life is about as easy as a shit after eating four dozen eggs but isn’t it great and funny at totally worth it? “I got pregnant and ruined my life AIN’T IT GREAT?!”
It’s like if someone had a really crappy job that they complain about all the time, but it pays pretty well so they think everyone in the world should have the same job. And I don’t know who they’re trying to convince because pretty much everyone does have kids. Are they trying to convince themselves they didn’t make a mistake? Because they did. Unequivocal, intractable mistake. Maybe they’re just trying to make the best out of their mistake? Through laughter?
And yes, I know that I just analogized a job to parenthood but what I did was a brief metaphor that got my point across without being too specific. What this commercial, and others like it, do is just beat a dead horse:
“And and ummmm the infant is like the receptionist because he’s really bad at taking messages and, yeah, and ummmm your spouse is the secretary? No wait, Vice President and ummmm, no now hold on, “metaphor” totally means take all things from the first concept and correspond to something in the second. I learned that in business school.”
Anyway, I grade this commercial so bad I refuse to buy Nutrigrain bars. I wasn’t their most loyal consumer before, admittedly, though I did buy them occasionally (especially for road trips or to placate my sister the monkey) but now every time I even pass them in the grocery store I recoil as to that of something damned; something Godless, and think “YOU! You defile the language I love so much and so must be shunned. Death is too good for you, instead you should be forced outside of society, to live a hard and uncomfortable life and eventually die alone and broken. Sort of like what I hear it’s like to have kids.”
I assume everyone knows the old saying that the three things you don’t talk about in “mixed” company are sex, politics, and religion (though all three together is the secret to the ultimate party explosion, or a terrible corrupt theocracy, EVS). I think we (society?) need to add another category: kids/pets. Now, I’m not talking about small groups of close friends or your Mommy and Me group, I’m talking about parties, dinners, bars, anywhere with a lot of people or people you don’t know very well.
I propose that from now on, the polite rule will be that you can state that you have kids/pets and what variety they are, AND THAT’S IT. Parents/pet owners have proven they can’t handle the pressure of being both parents/pet owners and members of polite society so we’re gonna have to shut it down. First of all, when someone starts prattling about their precious baby, kitty cat, shih tzu, it is fucking boring. Everyone else’s brain shuts down and they start playing old video games in their heads, which actually if you’re trying to rob the place is a pretty good Phase I, I guess. Start talking about how your precious princess is already sitting up which she shouldn’t be able to do for two more months and all the books say she is a fucking genius and you’ve called MENSA but they don’t test infants, which is ageist discrimination and you have written several letters and no one will notice your partners going through the crowd stealing jewelry, wallets, wall art, and whatever they can carry. See, this zlog is full of practical advice. I think I’ll start classifying it as “educational/instructional.”
Back to the point. Not only is talk of your precious baby/tabby/pomerdoodle boring, but inevitably it turns gross. I don’t know what happens to people when they have a kid, but the part of their brain that judges which topics are appropriate and which are completely fucking disgusting apparently just disintegrates. People who have pets because they want kids but are sterile/hopelessly alone seem to be missing this part of their brain too. Maybe the mental illness that makes having kids seem like a good idea comes with irreparable damage to the grossness identification lobe of your brain (totally scientific name for real body part). I sat in horror a few months ago as a woman described in vivid detail the different types of poop her dog shits depending on what it has eaten that day. Why? Why did I need to know this? And parents are even worse, they think stories like “I was laying with Sir Poopsalot (perfect name for a kid, if someone named their kid this I might actually respect someone with kids) on my chest and then he just blew orange shit spray all over my chest. HAHAHAHA isn’t that just precious HAHAHAHA!” are FUNNY! They are not funny. They are not even unfunny. They are disgusting and unnecessary. Do you believe if everyone laughs at your terrible, shit-filled life then it’s really not so bad? Well no one is laughing, and it is that bad. Actually, it’s worse but the sleep deprivation might make you crazy enough to want to carry on.
The only recourse to being stuck in a room with these people is copious drinking or drug use to try to forget everything they say and that you actually know anyone so oblivious. Which is why I recommend we make the list of things you don’t talk about in mixed company kids/pets (it should really be first), sex, politics, and religion. Actually, kids/pets should replace sex. How do you know who is DTF if you can’t ask what sort of freaky shit strangers are into?
Posting is haaaaard. I really don’t know what to talk about. Ummmmm, British Top Gear is on. This might be my favorite show that is currently being produced for television because it is awesome and also because everything else is terrible. I don’t want to sound all, “In my day shows had scripts and we walked up hill both ways in the snow with nothing but newspaper on our feet!” But seriously, TV these days makes me sad. Almost all of what’s on can be divided into three categories (in descending order of share of shows): reality shows that highlight how stupid, vain, and greedy people are; singing/dancing competitions (these are starting to make me angry with their ubiquity); or actually scripted shows that are written like ad copy from a less talented yet somehow more sexist, racist, and homophobic versions of Don Draper. I hear that the only place to find good shows are on the movie channels but I be broke so I wouldn’t know.
AND THAT’S ANOTHER THING! When did watching TV become so expensive? Does anyone but me remember why we started paying for cable? It was not just to get more channels, it was to get channels with no commercials. In “the good old days” the whole premise was that yes you were paying for something you could get for free but if you pay you get no ads, sorta like ad-free website subscriptions. And this was in a day when you had two commercials 15 minutes into a half hour show and four 30 second commercials between the end of one show and start of the next. I’m not making that up, my brother and I have a bunch of VHS tapes of old cartoons from when we were kids and that was the actual show-to-commercial ratio. There may have been more for prime time shows, but nothing near the 18 commercials for every 4 minutes of programming we have now. I realized how profound the difference when watching TV Land the other night, I had always wondered why their schedule had shows starting at 4:42 or 8:19 and I realized that scripts from the 80s and earlier for a 30 minute show were around 28 minutes and to accommodate the 20 minutes of commercials they sell for every 30 minutes of programming, the show run times become about 48 minutes. I also don’t really get why advertisers do this. My brother and I still remember the commercials we saw when we were kids; we can quote whole Lucky Charms commercials and recite the address to send our Kool-Aid points. But with 4,000 commercials inundating every viewer every hour, it just becomes a din of “ON SALE NOW” and promises of sex, success, and salvation. I tune most of it out and for shows I really like, I DVR it and skip the commercials. I think if I was given a survey on brands, I’d probably only know the ones I actually buy, but if I was given a survey of brands from 25ish years ago, I’d probably know any one that had a commercial on a channel I watched (so all of them).
I also blame that stupid digital conversion they (The Government? Corporations? The Free Masons? Same diff) foisted (didn’t know that was a real word until I typed it and spell check didn’t yell at me) on us. I remember this one time my brother and dad were at my parents’ house in Northern Virginia and the game they were showing on TV was the Redskins (LAAAAME foreskins BOOOOOO) game against someone else equally inconsequential, but by taking an old, small TV we had in the kitchen and putting it on a a ladder in the front yard, they managed to get the local broadcast from Baltimore, which was where the Giants (ALL HAIL THE WORLD CHAMPIONS) were playing. You can’t do that now. OH NO! If random dumbass rich local television guy decides we all have to watch the cricket finals instead of the Super Bowl, ain’t shit you can do thanks to the bullshit digital conversion. It was all a plot to keep information away from the common man and I’m pretty sure there was some classist bullshit there too(you need to buy new TVs if you want to get free channels because your TV doesn’t work anymore but if you want it to work you can also buy a converter, which costs money and you can buy from us, the ones who you would have to pay to get cable and doesn’t cable just make sense now? You should probably just pay us every month for cable and we’ll decide what you watch). The digital conversion still makes me so.fucking.angry. I just can’t even you guys, I swear I just can’t even anymore.
So to sum up: television is expensive, full of ads, and the programming is terrible (the internet without the anarchy). Yet I watch roughly 20 hours a day . So I’m dumb but I can recommend with full authority that everyone should watch British Top Gear on BBC America because I have sifted through all the crap to find this one shining gem of awesome. Now that I’ve endorsed it, it’ll totally get canceled. It’s also worth noting that BBC America has fewer commercials than most cable networks though FULL DISCLOSURE the BBC commercials are THE WORST. Oh and don’t get suckered into watching anything else produced by BBC because it is all terrible. If you don’t believe me, try to get through one episode of “No Kitchen Required” without wanting to re-declare the Revolutionary War so that you can go around punching brits and get a medal for it.
Oh and I don’t like to get too political on here, but it seems like a good opportunity to mention that if stuff like PIPA and SOPA become the law, then the internet will be the same as television: a million channels with nothing on, ads everywhere all the time, and a few rich guys deciding what watered-down drek we all get to view. I’d probably get sued for my “descriptive retelling” of the Super Bowl without the expressed written permission of the NFL. In other words, it would be bad m’kay so, you know, don’t encourage them (Law makers? Lobbyists? The Illuminati? Probably definitely the last one) or whatever.
Blahhhh. Not only is updating hard but talking about political issues that are six months old makes me feel dirty.
Need shower/nap/more British Top Gear. I always forever need more British Top Gear.