|April 16, 2014|
50,000 readers is a big deal. Especially since I don’t market this blog. Okay, I lied - I market a little in my typical ineffective way. So much for that MBA in International Marketing from 1981. Still, 50,000 readers despite poor marketing and inept promotions is nothing to belittle. It’s as if I challenge people to read my blog despite their misgivings.
I guess I’m doing something right. For once.
To commemorate this festive occasion, I sent out press releases - my typical half-ass ones. I’m under the impression that people don’t read past the first few lines of my press releases so I kinda lose it and get creative after the first paragraph. Which explains why I’m banned on quite a few press release sites. Before It’s News banished me for perpetuity due to a wonderful press release last year announcing my inclusion into the National Bathroom Readers’ Hall of Fame. It’s a year already, but they’re still peeved.
At any rate, this 50,000 reader milestone came at me during my annual ritual to celebrate the onset of spring. For the past five years around this time a group of people armed with knives, scissors and scythes cut me out of my parka. I don a parka at the end of October/beginning of November and never take it off until spring thaw.
By this time, the parka’s filled with holes with a broken zipper and stained beyond recognition. Not to mention its nice, fetid and pungent smell. That last touch was due to skunks living under my cottage. As luck would have it, the abandoned cottage a few properties away was purchased and torn down. All the varmints and critters ran for refuge.
That’s how they found my place.
I made this discovery in the traditional way: bolting straight up in my bed in the middle of the night choking and gasping from the stench of burnt rubber. I swung my legs out of bed, leant over and flicked the light switch. Then, I ran to the kitchen to see whether the battery to the carbon monoxide alarm malfunctioned.
In minutes I scoured the entire 400 square foot cottage for any indication of a fire, sniffing all the way. Finding nothing, I phoned 9-1-1 as there remained a very high possibility that local residents set my car on fire. Since I moved permanently to this tiny remote village, as you, my dear Readers are well aware, I write vitriolic blog and hub posts about the indignities faced on a daily basis with certain people here. What I didn’t take into account is the global and far-reaching tentacles of the internet. Even among people in this town who don’t have all their own teeth and fingers and resemble centuries of inbreeding.
Picking up my iPhone from my nightstand, I dialed 9-1-1. And received a pre-recorded message: “Sorry, please try your call in a few minutes.” Three times I phoned and three times I received that message. Then, I tried the Sheriff’s department. Same result.
That’s when I turned on my computer. I figured, the house hasn’t yet burnt down, so why not wait the extra 60 seconds until my Macbook Air 11” powers up.
Ten minutes later, one of the constables slid from the road down a steep icy hill for 200 feet and landed in a heap right in front of my cottage.
“What the hell?” he spluttered.
“I failed to mention that I didn’t shovel my path,” I responded while opening my front door wide. This past winter we had record snow. Since I was chronically worried about dying from a heart attack which accounts for my numerous cardiologist appointments, I didn’t shovel as much as I should’ve. That explains why my path was heavily iced and why I constantly slip and fall on a daily basis. It doesn’t bother or hurt me as I learned the secret to falling from taking judo for twenty years: it’s all in the landing. Besides, if I got a heart attack slipping and falling I can finally prove my cardiologist wrong.
Scrambling to his feet, the constable entered the cottage. “OH MY GOD!” he shrieked. “You got skunks!”
“Skunks?” I responded, puzzled. “I smell burnt rubber.”
Like a connoisseur, he sniffed the air. “With a touch of garlic overlaid with a pinch of musk.”
Right then, I heard another thunk. It was the other police officer. “Hey, lady, you got skunks,” he said while entering my cottage. “I can smell them all the way up at the road.”
“What do you do to get rid of them?” I asked.
“Not them. It’s a she. And it’s mating season. What you’re smelling is her way of rejecting male suitors by spraying them. Once she mates, she’ll leave, usually at the onset of spring,” responded the first officer. “Listen, I gotta get outta here. The odor’s getting me ill.”
I suffered for two months due to this extremely prudish and selective skunk. Again, just my luck to have a princess living underneath my bed. Then, suddenly, my place smelt good. It was because:
(1) The skunk got laid and relocated
(2) I became acclimated to the stench
(3) All of the above
Since I couldn’t rely on my auditory acumen, I invited a friend over to determine whether, indeed, my skunk got laid and left.
“Hey, your cottage smells very nice,” she said.
“Hey, your cottage smells very nice,” she said.
That’s when I wondered whether she, as well, spent the winter with a skunk living underneath her place. Or whether she was polite. Or whether the skunk truly left.
Outside of the skunk situation, one major indication that spring was around the corner was the gasman's annual visit. For the past five years, he comes sniffing over at the first telltale sign of spring to see whether I made it alive alone in the winter in an uninsulated and isolated cottage. He’s under the impression that I’d fall into his arms and succumb to his finite charms after a winter of celibacy. This year, I caught him skulking behind the summer cottage checking the full propane tank he delivered prior to the onset of winter.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I diplomatically shouted out the front door after spotting him from my kitchen table early one morning.
He lumbered over to my half-opened front door and tried to walk in, but I stopped him. I learned while living up here that men, squirrels and snakes will dash into my home uninvited if I don’t body block them first.
“I don’t get around here much...” he mumbled. “How was your winter?”
“I published a new author. Only $12. Wanna purchase?” I said, knowing all too well his cheapness. Yet, I watched him fumble trying to find his non-existent wallet. “Listen, I gotta go,” I said and slammed the door shut in his face. On second thought, perhaps the skunk under my bedroom had the right idea.
After his visit, I assembled the gang and we ritually cut the parka off in ribbons.
The next day, the temperature dropped below freezing and it snowed. 3” of snow.
To 50,000 and Spring!
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