Yuletide Stench Fruit

May 25, 2011

It was 2009, Christmas Night. All was calm, and nearly bright (we had a string of icicle lights go out a few hours previous). The stockings were hung and waiting for loot, and we all sat at the table ’round the durian fruit.

By now, you’ve probably stopped singing along with me and are exchanging confused glances with each other. That’s perfectly all right, I was a little puzzled myself. I was at a Christmas party on Treasure Island with my friends, and we were about to kick off our brand new tradition of cracking open the Christmas durian fruit. And later throwing it on the barbecue along with the Christmas tree and getting the fire department called on us while I wrapped myself in garland and proclaimed I was the replacement Christmas tree, but…well, my recollection of that part is a little fuzzy.

Up until this, all I knew of this strange fruit was that it was supposed to smell like, for lack of a better term, foot rot. Many a Travel Channel host could barely stomach it. The smell is supposedly so foul that it’s been banned from public places in certain parts of Asia. I held my breath as it was split open before my eyes, partly out of excitement and partly because I wanted to ready myself for any nostril damage I might experience.

It certainly didn’t disappoint. Even after being frozen, the odor of caramelized armpits filled the room like a swarm of invisible stink bees. I was handed a fork and told to dig in. After an internal pep-talk with both my nose and mouth, I scooped at the gooey innards and heaved it onto my tongue.

The taste was as much a shock as the smell, but in a completely different direction. Durian fruit tastes like a delicate French onion custard. If that’s still an unsettling description, then let me try this: it tastes like potato chip dip. I immediately dove in for more. We all did up until the smell of post-concert Dee Snider back sweat got a little too overpowering. We then took the next logical step: The Christmas durian was thrown onto the barbecue, so that our holiday cheer may spread to the neighbors.

How Heidi watches “Man vs. Food”

May 20, 2011
First, Heidi usually gets a little drunk. This is so she feels nice and fighty for the next half hour, and can properly hurl insults at her television. “I can eat two of those in half the time, you sissy” does not come out half as bitterly (or loud) when one is sober. Next, Heidi likes to assert her dominance on something. This is simply a reaction to watching a husky Brooklynite pile loads and loads of meat into his mouth. Her preferred method is bench-pressing the cat.Halfway through an episode, Heidi goes into “phase three”; wherein she mutes the television, puts her favorite German death metal cd in the nearest player, and attempts to eat every last piece of food in the fridge while screaming/grunting “I CHOOSE YOU, ADAM RICHMAN” and removing her shoes (it’s primal. Don’t ask). At the end of each episode, she is face down in a pool of what was once a bowl of Cup O’ Noodles, cursing the darkness and feebly calling for her cat to come back out from under the fainting couch.

She is fairly sure that the above method of watching “Man vs. Food” should itself be turned into a Travel Channel original program. It will be called “Heidi vs. Man vs. Food vs. Her Cat”. It will probably instead turn out to be the title of a court case.

I Review an App

February 5, 2011

You owe me, Hipstamatic.

A few days ago, I was sitting on the couch and watching television when there came a knock on my side door. “That’s funny…” I thought to myself, “I could have sworn I just had a front door.”

I got up, somewhat irritated that somebody had the gall to interrupt my nightly “Sanford and Son” by attempting entry into a door I wasn’t even sure I had, and peered into the peep-hole. Outside stood my entire family and friends. All three hundred of them. They looked antsy. I opened the door as far as it took to shout “What the Hell do you want?”, and shouted “What the Hell do you want?”

“It’s, uh, your surprise party,” some relative of some sort offered. “Surprise! Let us in.”

I opened the door, and the mob stormed in just as I was remembering my birthday had been months ago and usually, people who throw a surprise party for you don’t make the point of telling you they’re throwing you a surprise party.

Everybody sat down in front of my TV immediately. It was suddenly very cramped in my livingroom. My mother spoke first. “Heidi…this isn’t your surprise party at all. This is an intervention.”

I about dropped the four martinis and 40 of Steel Reserve I had been drinking simultaneously but hadn’t felt the need to mention previously. “If this is about my drinking ‘problem’, you guys…”

“What? Drinking problem? No,” my mother continued, ignoring the crying 5 year old cousin I’d just spilled a quart of alcohol all over. “No. Nothing like that. It’s just that…well, it’s your Hipstamatic app. We…we think you’re abusing it.”

That I was not prepared for. Surely they couldn’t be serious. I, like a growing number of people out there, just really like making all my pictures look like I took them in the 60s. Maybe the frequency with with I post intentionally faded pictures of my dog napping with captions like “Woody’s personal bed-in for peace” is a bit much, but I can stop it whenever I want. I…just don’t want to. It’s fun. We all like fun, right?

My family read the above paragraph and shook their heads. “A few pictures of your dog on your facebook a day is fine. Even cute, some would argue,” said a few uncles at the same time. “But you…you take pictures of whatever you’re eating, use the ‘Ina’s 69’ film, and make stupid captions for it like ‘The lasagna I had back when I was protesting ‘Nam’. Or how about that entire photo stream where you used that blurry black and white film on your cat around 20 times and claimed it was his ‘pre-Beatles’ period? Honestly, Heidi, these aren’t the actions of a normal, sane person with hipster tendencies. This is the work of an addict. Are…are you even paying attention to me? What are you doing with your phone? Put that down! NO! NO!”

Long story short, no one’s spoken to me since I posted “The family drops by to watch the moon landing with me” to facebook.

Daniel Day Lewis and Sir Anthony Hopkins’ Sassy Country Fried Chicken Restaurant Adventures

May 31, 2010

(SCENE: Camera pans in on an adorably rustic country diner. The filthy sign out front reads “Cluckin’ Good Eats”. Half-naked children run amok out front, throwing clumps of weeds and aluminum siding at each other. An old hound dog lazes in the sun in front of the doorway. We follow the camera inside to find none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins scribbling furiously on a note pad while waiting on two local police officers in a cozy booth.)

Hopkins: Homefries or biscuits with your country fried chicken?

Officer #1: Oh, I don’t know. Don’t you have any…FAVA BEANS?

*canned laughter*

Hopkins: For the fifth time, NO.

Officer 2: I’ll have a chocolate milkshake.

Hopkins: Alright. (he scribbles on his pad)

Officer 2: Don’t let anybody…DRINK IT!

(Sir Anthony Hopkins makes a face, stalks off from the booth in a huff, and walks into the kitchen. Daniel Day Lewis is there, flipping up a griddle full of pancakes.)

Hopkins: You know, Daniel, some days I really regret leaving a wildly successful acting career to co-manage this tiny diner in middle America that a wealthy dowager you rescued from a bus full of Africanized bees with failing brakes left you in her will.

Lewis: Yeah, well, I’m not happy with who she appointed as head cook, but a promise is a promise. (He motions toward their head cook, a chimpanzee in a chef’s hat and an apron that reads “Kiss My Grits”. He’s licking the stove.)

Hopkins: Professor Chuckles, that isn’t sanitary!

(Professor Chuckles responds to this by giving Sir Anthony Hopkins a raspberry)

Hopkins: There goes your share of the tips.

*canned laughter*

(Suddenly, their wacky neighbor, Jimbo saunters in. [ed. note: can we get Randy Quaid?] At his side is a small boy of about ten.)

Jimbo: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat’s SHAKIN’, chili dawgs?

*wild canned applause, minimal whooping*

Hopkins: My career’s a memory, my life’s a joke, I smell like fried lard, and I’m fairly sure I’ve just witnessed the birth of a new zoonotic disease. (he glares at Professor Chuckles, who has now moved onto humping the oven)

Jimbo: Sounds kinky!

*canned laughter*

Jimbo: Say, guys, this here is Eddie. His working class family died in a fire, and the state awarded the both of you custody on account of how well you honored that wealthy dowager’s dying wish. Congratulations–you’re his TWO DADS! Hey, Eddie, show your new dads what I taught you in the car.

(Eddie sits down, pulls his knees up under his shirt, and starts groping them like a pair of boobs)

Eddie: I’m Dolly Parton!

Lewis: But…but we manage a restaurant! And we have to spend all the money we make on Professor Chuckles’ strict natural diet of fruits and beluga caviar! We can’t take on a child!

Jimbo: I’m afraid you have no choice. And also, he comes with his snooty English butler, Bedlington.

(A tall, smartly dressed butler walks in.)

Bedlington: The fire singed my belt, so it doesn’t work properly anymore.

(his pants fall down)

(Sir Anthony Hopkins and Daniel Day Lewis exchange pained glances. They both sigh and look over at their new charges. The scene fades into black, and a peppy, uplifting 80s song starts playing. We fade back in on a montage of snapshots of the two oscar winning actors, Randy Quaid (or, Hell, Jim Belushi if we run out of money), Eddie, Bedlington and Professor Chuckles all having fun making and frying up country fried chicken, riding in bumper cars at the carnival, eating cotton candy, getting matching tattoos and hookers, and burying Professor Chuckles in a ditch after an unfortunate outbreak of monkeypox. FADE.)

No, pretty sure your job IS better than mine.

May 5, 2010

Before we begin, “Brain-the-size-of-a-lima-bean assistant manager” is my newest enemy at work. She’s a micromanaging, passive-aggressive airhead who takes her job far too seriously and seems to have the personality of an incontinent chihuahua who who has just discovered the magic and mystery of a laser pointer.

As I was having a rough morning today (My lower back was hurting, and all my pregnant coworkers/coworkers with SOs wouldn’t shut up about their love lives. This is bothersome because I am an unlovable, Quasimodoesque troll who dwells in her pit all day and knows not of this “love” you humans keep blathering on about. Now, don’t try and say “No you’re not!”. I have pictures. But I digress), I decided I wanted to take a break. It wasn’t like, “Oh, hey, I’ve been here a half hour. I think I’ma go take my ten”, it was more like “Well, I currently hate my life, I have been standing for three hours and will probably die of a broken hip. Breaks are legally supposed to come every 2 hours. Perhaps I should go sit down for ten minutes.”)

So, I walked over to everyone’s favorite Brain-the-size-of-a-lima-bean assistant manager, and asked her for one. We were fairly well staffed, and the line was big but not too bad. And if I was to help one more customer, I would have barfed fiery stomach anger-lava all over them.

She said yes. So, I ran into the back room, possibly screeching “So long, suckers” behind me (it’s a blur), and sat around for a cool ten minutes.

About an hour after this well-deserved sit-down, assistant manager called me over for a little “private talk” (“private” somehow meaning in front of the customers).

Her: Okay, when you took your break this morning…
*At this point, the aforementioned anger-lava is threatening to leak out my spare orifices*
Her: Was there a customer who was being mean to you? Or making you uncomfortable?
Me: No.
Her: Okay….so did you notice that we were busy?
Me: I saw we had a line, and enough people on the floor to take care of it.
Her: Okay, (to experience the full effect of lima-brain, here, imagine a cross between Lumbergh from Office Space and Jessica Simpson) so we were swamped, and I wasn’t really thinking straight, and when I gave you that break, I didn’t really mean it.
Me: …
Her: You saw that we were busy. And that’s not usually the time you’re supposed to be taking your break.
Me: It was 9:30 am, and I had gotten here at 6:30 am.
Her: Well, and you DESERVED that break! But you shouldn’t have asked for it.

ed. note: Yeah, here’s where my brain hemorrhages, too.

Her: [shift lead] had gone to the bank, and he was technically in charge of *GIVING* breaks, and we were swamped…

This bizarre circular half-scolding went on for ten minutes. I’m still completely confused. And I might add, during my coworker’s break, Lima-Brain decided she had been gone for too long and interrupted her seven minutes in to tell the poor girl she needed to come back out ASAP.

The Continuous Crazy Customer Cavalcade

April 23, 2010

Woman: *points to the sticky buns in the pastry case.* I want that thing.
Me: The sticky bun?
Her: Yeah. That thing.
Me: Okay. *goes to grab it with the tongs*
Her: NO.
Me: No sticky bun?
Her: I want the one in the front.
Me: The…*studies completely uniform sticky buns in the pastry case* front one.
Her: Yeah. One in front.
Me: *muttering under breath* What difference does it make, you post-menopausal cu–
Her: *noticing me grabbing one of the back ones to move it out of the way for her precious front-bun* NO, I SAID THE ONE IN FRONT.
Me: *fiercely digs into skull with tongs in desperate suicide attempt*

Then..

Guy: *wanders up to the register* I dunno if I want hot coffee or cold coffee.
Me: Well, it is warmish out–
Guy: Hot coffee makes me sweat real bad.
Me: …cold, then?
Guy: Gimmie a cappuccino.

Me: *just about to get off my shift*
Woman: Um, ma’am? Scuse me. Ma’am?
Me: Yes?
Woman: My son *indicating her baby* just got his wet diaper all over this chair here. I thought I should let you know. Maybe you could go get a rag.
Me: *stabs self through brain*

Regular customer with a budding beard on her face who always clomps in unenthusiastically, takes all of our free coffee samples for herself, and sounds uncannily like Eeyore: HI, Heidi…
Me: Hello. What can I get you?
Her: Juss some hot water.
Me: Alright..
Her: You look really pretty.
Me: Here’s your, uh, hot water.
Her: You…you married?

Regular guy who apparently suffers from massive OCD: Large coffee with caffeine. And Heidi, make sure it has caffeine.
Me: Here you go…
Guy: ‘sit have caffeine?
Me: It sure does.
Guy: Great. And it….it has caffeine, right? This coffee has caffeine in it? Did you get the caffeine coffee?
Me: Yes, I did. It’s caffeinated.
Guy: …and it has caffeine, right?
*at some point during the conversation, my head has exploded*

Woman: I’d like a pound of Italian roast.
Me: Okay, that’s $12.95, please.
Her: …did you get it for me yet?
Me: I did not.
Her: Do you expect me to pay for something when you haven’t even given it to me?
Me: *going over a plethora of possible ways to kill myself in as graphic a way as possible in front of everyone and sighing* Well, damn. And most people fall for my ruse. You are too smart for me.

Recovering (poorly) meth-head guy: Large coffee. And, uh, and ah, some hazelnut in there. Oh, god. Oh, god. Uh.
Me: Okay, what’s your name?
Guy: It’s [name omitted because it’s “Be Nice and Don’t Out Your Local Meth-Heads Day”]. OH GOD.
Me: Kay, with the syrup, it’s $2.35.
*Meth Head Guy starts having a weird fit in front of my register*
Me: …well, heck. I won’t charge you for the syrup.

Customer: *looking like she’s just had an enema and a stick thrust up her butt simultaneously, brings her cup of coffee up to my register* I want to complain!
Me: *readies self with my patented customer-complaining face, which I imagine resembles Mark McKinney’s face in this Kids in the Hall sketch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgi7QCu1qAo*
Customer: I want to know why you put these plastic lids on my coffee! I didn’t ASK for one! IT’S WASTEFUL! I don’t want one!
Me: …Kay. *takes lid off her cup of coffee, and throws it away in front of her* Problem solved.

As this is roughly 90% of my day every day, I have been transformed from this:

…to this:

Unfortunate Dealings with an Umbrella

April 12, 2010

I managed to nearly destroy Walgreens with an umbrella that wouldn’t close last night. And I think I impaled a guy.

I ducked in there, sopping wet, to see if they had any cheap umbrellas. They had a gigantic red and white one with a nice wooden handle for 10 bucks. I tried it out, it was huge and seemed solid, so I thought, “Hey! There’s nothing completely fishy about that price! I’ll take it!”

So, entirely too pleased with myself for sticking it to the weather, I continued on my walk. I went to my coffee shop to get a nice cup of hot chocolate. I was walking back home when the rain stopped, so I thought it’d be nice of me to fold up my new umbrella and stop bashing it into the other people on the sidewalk I passed.

Except, it failed to fold up. I tried again. Nothing. I started struggling with it. It detached from the pole and slid downward, bashing MY head and remaining stretched to its full 3-person glory. Then, a wind kicked up and it blew inside out, BUT STILL REMAINED FULLY STRETCHED.

So, muttering obscenities under my breath (and over it), I stomped back over to Walgreens. A nice man who was at the entrance first backed up a few steps and let me go ahead of him. Thanking him, I passed by him, momentarily forgetting that I did indeed still have one fully-extended very sharp POLE jutting out of my larger-than-reasonable rain gear, and only heard “AAAUUUGH!” as I hurried inside.

I think my apologies were lost on him.

Once inside, I managed to knock over a few bottles of shampoo while the other customers stared. I looked at the cashier who had rung me up not ten minutes ago and asked, “Do you do returns?” Speechless, she pointed me to the back of the store to the photo station. More things flying off the shelves, people jumping out of the way, and “Agh! Sorry! Sorry! Returning it! Sorry!”s as I clumsily made my way over to the manager at the photo desk and returned the offending, still sort of drippy mess.

The moral of this story is: Opening an umbrella inside is bad luck.

…I quit.

December 17, 2009

As I was getting off the phone with 911 to report that a customer was having a seizure in front of the store, a guy came stomping up to me.

“So, is anybody actually going to serve me coffee in here, or what?”

More Coffee and Dickery

November 6, 2009

Before I begin: A “con pana” is a shot of espresso with whipped cream on top.

Now then.

Guy comes up to me yesterday:

Guy: One coffee, one espresso, and two doppio con panas (read: “I’d say ‘double’, but I like to smell and savor my own farts. I find them to smell of my superiority. And old pistachios.'”)
Me: Alright, two double (note: I do not relish my own farts) con panas.
Guy: …No.
Me: I’m sorry?
Guy: TWO shots of espresso each.
Me: Con panas?
Guy: NO con panas! Two ESPRESSOS.
Me: (in my loud, “I’m going to hunt you down after my shift and force Michael Cera to rape you until you bleed anally and walk with a curious limp for a week” voice) OKAY. TWO DOUBLE ESPRESSOS.

Guy pays and walks over to the bar. The barista makes his espressos.

Guy: Where’s the whipped cream? I wanted two con panas!
Barista: (rather passive agressively) PLEASE READ BACK YOUR ORDERS, GUYS!
Me: GO SODOMIZE YOURSELF WITH THE MILK THERMOMETER.
…well, the last part was more in my head.

Then, we had:

Fairly regular girl who appears to operate sans brain: Medium peppermint mocha with whip.
Me: Sure thing.
Girl: And…and a gingerbread.
Me: Alright, that’ll be $6.30.
Her: Here. *gives me 6*
Me: Do you have 30 cents?
Her: No. There’s six. It’s usually 6.
Me: You added peppermint syrup, and that’s a little extra.
Her: Okay…so there’s six.
Me: You don’t have thirty cents?
Her: NO. THERE’S SIX.
Me: *sighs, pulls handy gun out of pocket, shoots self in face*

Being Human

October 1, 2009

A few friends and I got to talking about the new series “Being Human” the other day. If you don’t know what “Being Human” is, this link to its BBC page will tell you pretty well: http://www.bbc.co.uk/beinghuman/. It’s a series about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who all live together. Upon hearing that it was a drama-comedy, one friend said, “Wait. You can’t be serious–a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost live together and it’s part DRAMA?”

Maybe it was the fact that we were all starving out of our minds and giddy that led us to re-imagine the whole series into our own version. The conversation is pieced together here as accurately as I can remember it. We think OUR Being Human will be big. REALLY big. Possibly even huge. Ginormous. Gigantic. Levianthan…ish.

“For starters, the ghost girl has to just be someone under a sheet.”

“Yeah–and the werewolf should be a guy in a really bad furry suit.”

“…Who changes into a German Shepherd.”

“YES. And the vampire. Just some pale dude with a widow’s peak.”

“And they all live together and the werewolf is constantly clogging the toilet.”

“I don’t think he should even use the toilet. He should go on the floor.”

“‘Hey! Who left this giant pile on the livingroom carpet? WEREWOLF GUY…'”

“There could be entire episodes where he just gets swatted with a newspaper.”

“Can it have the Golden Girls theme song?”

“OOH, and I think they should have a nosey landlord who keeps popping in on them unexpectedly and seeing supernatural things.”

“It can be Don Knotts!”

“AND they need a dopey neighbor who comes over just to hang. …named Joey.”

“Who is completely blind to the fact that they are a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire.”

“‘Hey, gang, I just came over to borrow a cup of sugar and–WHOA! Use a toilet!'”

…And there you have it. “Being Human”. As reinvented by a car full of giggling girls.

beinghuman