The Final Curtain

 

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This is a true story that happened over 13 years ago.

 

“Say your goodbye,” the emergency room doctor suggested, his eyes brimming with compassion. But the deep wrinkles etched across his brow revealed the weariness of all the pain and death they had witnessed behind the hastily drawn curtain.

Say your goodbye.

The beeping of machines dissolved into the background. The relentless ticktock of the clock on the ER wall paused as if waiting for my response. I felt myself sinking into black nothingness. My fingers shook as I clasped her limp hand and traced her wedding ring, its sharp edges jolting me awake. The abyss beckoned me: Don’t be afraid! Lean in! Peer into the darkness!

Say your goodbye.

I leaned over to kiss her pale cheek for one last time. I knew my mother was minutes away from leaving her body, but never expected the stark coldness, the unforgiving finality, the emptiness lying beneath my lips.

I wasn’t sure what to do next. I never had the chance to say goodbye to my dying dad. How do you say goodbye? What do I say? Thanks? Thanks for raising me? For teaching me hard lessons? I’ll see you again someday? Catch you on the flip side? Don’t go? Don’t leave me here all alone? Fear gripped my heart, squeezing the air out of my lungs. I was suffocating right along with my mother. A torrent of tears spilled down from my eyes onto her face. My entire body shook as I held onto her hand.  I can’t do this alone. I can’t do this. I can’t say goodbye. I’m not ready.

“Mom…I love you,” I sputtered into the abyss.

“I’m…..fine….don’t….worry,” my mother gasped, her breath gurgling between each word. “I love you…tell….your brothers…I love them.” She closed her eyes.

This was it. I can’t believe she’s dying. My mom! Dying! It’s just not real. It can’t be real. An ER nurse gently ushered me away from my mother as the doctor closed the curtain around the stretcher once again. She walked me to a small windowless waiting room separate from the larger waiting room outside the ER. This must be the private room for family members waiting for someone to die? Will they move me to an even smaller room when they tell me she’s dead? “We will try and get her stable,” the nurse said. “For now just wait in here. I’ll come get you if anything happens.”

It was midnight. Only bad things happen at midnight.

Only a few hours before I was drifting off to sleep next to my snoring husband and one-year-old son in our upstairs bedroom. A heavy rain pounded on the roof of our house. Without warning, I felt the atmosphere shift; the particles in the air pulsing and bright. Something is off, the universe whispered. Something big is happening.  Electricity surged through my body. The only other time I’ve felt this way was the night my dad suddenly died in a hospital bed 3,000 miles away.

I sat up, listening intently to the steady thrumming of the rain above our heads. I nudged my husband awake. “What was that? Do you hear that?”

“What? I don’t hear anything,” my husband whispered. “It’s just the rain. It’s nothing.” He rolled over to snore again.

But the rain wasn’t right; the wind urgent. Something was wrong.

I crept down the hallway and stairs into the dark kitchen. I wasn’t sure why I was checking, but I knew I had to check. An unseen force propelled me to walk through the kitchen to the door leading to our attached garage. I slowly opened the door, the wind howling outside in response. A low grown escaped from the shadows on the floor. There was my mom, lying on the bottom steps below her in-law apartment above the garage.

“I…can’t…breathe,” she whispered, her tiny frail body wrapped in her nightgown and bathrobe. She was still clutching her phone in one hand. She had managed to make her way down the steps to get help, but didn’t have the energy to remain standing long enough to knock on my door.

Now I was in a hospital, with my mother and The Abyss hiding a few feet away behind a thin white curtain. Soon two of my older brothers arrived and we waited, the foggy early morning hours bleeding into each other. Finally, a nurse entered the “Waiting For Death” room where we had sat for hours like stone statues. “She’s turned a corner! She’s stable!” she informed us.

We were stunned. The ER doctor suggested many times to me that she would probably die that night as she was drowning in her own fluids, her lungs almost completely filled from the congestive heart failure. But now she was suddenly stable. “If you hadn’t found her when you did…” he said to me, his voice trailing off.

My mom almost died that night back in 2003. I said my final goodbye, but the universe had other ideas. They transferred her to Maine Medical Center in Portland and a week later she underwent a quintuple bypass and valve replacement surgery at the age of 69. After the ten hour operation, she emerged feeling like a new woman. “I have a new heart now!” she told me in recovery. The surgeon informed us the average lifespan after such a surgery was 10 years.

Of course, her Mainer stubbornness proved him wrong. I’m thankful to have spent an additional 13 years with my mother and counting. She’s 83 now and enjoys relatively excellent health. I’ve let a lot of things go since she almost died. Peering into the abyss will do that to you. Our once stormy relationship has softened over the years to one of forgiveness, respect, and love.

Often we talk about those final moments; the time she was almost pulled over the edge. I’ve asked her more than once if it hurt to not be able to breathe, or if she was scared to die.

“Oh no, not at all,” she insists. “There was no pain. It was very peaceful. I saw your dad, you know. He was standing at the foot of my bed with two really big angels on either side of him. I knew I would be okay. Not scared at all. I was ready to go.”

I’ve seen death up close before when I was 21 and viewed my dad’s lifeless body lying in a coffin. I’ve carried the burden of not being present when he left us. I felt cheated out of saying goodbye to him. Yet the years of guilt, anger and sadness gradually faded away, transforming into acceptance and gratitude.

I don’t know why I went out to the garage that night. But the universe has a way of balancing things out. Saying my last goodbye to my mom that rainy October night prepared me again for the final curtain. I know when the time truly comes for my mom or me, I’ll be ready to jump into that abyss with less fear and more love.

Top Eleven Things I Hate About Being President

Hey, losers! It’s me, the President of the United States.

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Yes, I am still here.

No, I don’t want to be here anymore.

So please enjoy my top 11 Reasons Why Being Prez Sucks Bigly Time:

11) Thought it would be more like that movie where the bratty kid gets all the ice cream in the world served to him in a king-sized bed.

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10) No hookers.

9) No p*****s worth grabbing anywhere, let me tell you.

8) White House staff didn’t like my idea of putting Sean Spicer and James Comey inside a massive hedge maze with one bag of Doritos, an ax, and no way out.

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7) All these meetings with all the talk-talk-talk and blah-blah-blah and this-n-that and poopie-doopie-doo. Just shut the hell up and let me nap.

6) Me no likey thinking! Thinking hard!

5) I miss my spectacular view of all the numbnuts protesting outside Trump Tower. White House is not high enough! How am I supposed to look down on people? SAD!

4) No gold-plated anything.

3) NO SPRINKLES FOR MY ICE CREAM!

2) NO SPRINKLES FOR MY ICE CREAM!

1) I ask you–how am I supposed to live without sprinkles? OUTRAGEOUS!

So that’s my list and it’s amazing.

Stay tuned for more hijinks and mayhem as I continue my spectacular quest to get impeached — including hiring a skywriter to fly over the White House every hour with the words: GET ME OUT OF HERE! I WANT MY MOMMY! and a photo op of me having a “Bed-In” with Putin and Kim Jong-Un I like to call, “Give Dictators a Chance”.

Bigly News!

I’ve been coughing up posts for this blog for almost seven years now — for free and with absolutely zero chance of ever gaining any real success or exposure beyond the 200 pathetic cats that read my drivel.

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Well, that’s about to change.

I’ve just received news through my agent that Melissa McCarthy has signed on to produce a TV Land series based on my blog. Remember the failed TV show, Sh*t My Dad Says starring William Shatner that was based on some guy’s twitter feed? Yeah — this one will actually be good.

The tentative title: The Bad Blogger

The synopsis: The show will follow the life and times of WordPress blogger Marla — a middle-aged, bitter, grade-A crank who is doomed to live in a frozen tundra teeming with Maineiac assholes. She longs to make it as a successful writer, only to be served a big, fat, steaming pile of failure time and again. After much soul-searching, coffee brandy, and the occasional cigar, she finally finds her purpose by posting funny cat videos to her blog followers.

I’ve watched the above video about 152 times and laugh harder each time. What kills me is the look on the white cat’s face when she realizes she didn’t ring the bell hard enough, and the other cat is getting the food but she’s getting bupkis. That look? That’s my face. Every day of my life. Where’s my damn kibble?!

All pissed-off cats and nobody-bloggers-like-me-who-will-never-have-any-real-success-thanks-for-nothing-Melissa-McCarthy aside…I love April Fools’ Day. Two of my favorite pranks I’ve pulled over the years include:

  • Wrapping a huge spool of twine around my brother’s friend’s car, encasing it completely. Took him hours to unwind it. During a blizzard. After he  had just finished a brutal 10 hour shift at work. Hilarious.
  • Telling my boss my husband and my co-worker’s husband were both caught cheating on us — with each other. This was an elaborate prank that involved several people and we managed to keep it going all day long — and my boss believed every bit of it. Hysterical.

So, in the spirit of being mean for a cheap laugh, so far today I gave my kids a spoon in a bowl of milk and cereal…that I froze solid the night before. Later, I’m swapping out the mayonnaise for vanilla pudding.

My husband told me this morning right after I woke up that he got an email stating our health insurance premium is going up to 852 bucks a month. Then he let out a cackle and said “APRIL FOOLS!”

I didn’t think it was funny.

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What sort of devilish pranks have you pulled? Let me know so I can use them next year.

All Snow and No Play Makes Darla Cray Cray

Okay, enough’s enough. I can’t take the news anymore. I’m just gonna come right out and say what we’ve all been thinking:

I don’t give a shit that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins.

Whew! Oh, god! I feel so much better now! The tension has left my body!

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Cue the angel choir

And man, if only I had a nickel for every time I announced my pregnancy wearing a diamond-encrusted G-string and a solid gold porcupine crown.

So this winter’s been particularly…uh…challenging for us Maineiacs. We’ve had about 25 Nor’eastahs in a span of one week. Roughly 5,000 inches of snow. But it’s the powdery fluffy kind, so it’s all good…

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…for them — 7 snow days and counting

Three days ago, we sent Pa Ingalls out with a shovel and a pair of snowshoes to go fetch us some Dunkin Donut’s coffee and he never returned. The wimpy-ass bastard. All snow and no coffee makes Darla a dull girl. And super bitchy.

But like I said — the snow is plentiful. Great for skiers! Yeah! Hit the slopes! The skiing will be FANTASTIC. Hooray!

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Fuck the skiers and fuck all your stupid snow.

Don’t you hate that? Seeing those people with the goofy grins plastered on their faces. All happy and jazzed about winter.  Getting exercise. Enjoying life. It’s unnatural! Everyone knows you’re supposed to stay inside and chug Dunkin coffee while bitching about how rich everyone is at the Grammys.

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CeeLo Green after his Liquid Gold Diet went awry.

This week we also had that annoying “made-up” holiday, Valentine’s Day. You know what other holidays are made-up? Pretty much all of them.

slide1I’m sorry I’m hating on Beyoncé, skiing, and that guy in the top hat holding a pissed off giant rat. I blame the 12-foot wall of snow that has me trapped here on my couch. If only there were something else to get steamed about…something in the news on TV that really burned my britches enough so that I could jump on Facebook and shove my unsolicited opinion in everyone’s faces.

I got nuthin.

Meanwhile, tell me how your winter’s going so I can live vicariously through you.

The Cat Who Thinks She’s a Dog

…A Cautionary Tail…

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I love cats. Always have, always will. Why?

  • They don’t talk.
  • They don’t have political views.
  • They don’t talk about politics.
  • They don’t talk.

I consider their personalities sort of like mine: introverted, opinionated, always critical of others — but in that endearing, almost imperceptibly smug way.

slide1I also equally adore dogs, so please, no hate mail.

Many cats have owned me over the years.  As a kid, my first cat was Fluffy (aka Lint), then Cujo (aka The Old Man), followed by my fat orange tabby, Conan O’Brien (that I once regrettably used as a crampon), and now we are graced with Miss Maggie the Magnificent’s presence.

And apparently, she’s a dog.

Me: You are not a dog.

Maggie: Ruff.

Me: You are not a dog.

Maggie: Arf.

Me: You are not a dog!

Maggie: Bow wow?

Me: YOU ARE NOT A DOG!

Maggie [blank stare]: D’oh! [licks own ass, tries to eat an invisible bug, farts]

Me: Hmm….maybe you are a dog…

So our 8-month-old puppy almost died last week. Not to bring this post down from the previous high of an ass-licking farting cat, but yeah it’s true. She suddenly projectile vomited out of the blue. (I suppose that’s really the only way one can projectile vomit as there’s usually not much of a warning.)

I was the only one home when it happened. She let out this sound only dying cats make. I immediately flipped out and started sobbing. I’m known for being emotional. I’m ridiculously sensitive to other’s pain and suffering. I feel it as if it were my own. And pets? To me, they are pretty much the only pure goodness that’s left in this godforsaken world.

I started crying when we brought her to the vet and didn’t stop crying until about 3 days later.

“It’s just a cat!” you sneer. I weep for your soul.

To make an excruciatingly long story short, she was hooked up to an IV due to being severely dehydrated and lethargic. Blood tests ruled out pancreatitis and kidney disease (rare for a kitten).

Yet she was clearly dying. Her ears were cold as ice and she wasn’t responding to my touch or voice or the flood of tears falling onto her face. They did X-rays and saw something “suspicious” in her stomach, but they weren’t sure. It looked like her intestine was bunching up “like a curtain on a curtain rod,” the vet suggested.

They couldn’t immediately do exploratory surgery because it seemed her organs were rapidly shutting down and the stress might put her over the edge and kill her. We put her in an emergency clinic overnight and I cried some more.

Finally, the next morning she was brighter and I had to make the decision to do surgery. There was a chance they would find nothing. I told them to do it as soon as possible. The very idea that I might have to tell my kids she died (the world’s sweetest kitten!) just about killed me.

There was something special about Maggie. When we saw her at the animal shelter she was sitting with another kitten. The other kitten spent his time clawing at her and sitting on her head. She just calmly sat there, all sweetness and light. I said, “That’s the cat. She’s the one.” You just know these things. It’s fate. All my pets came from the pound and all of them were the most loving gentle souls. (Except for Fluffy. We referred to him as Psycho Cat.)

From the minute Maggie got sick, I had this feeling she ate something bad. She was always getting into things. It’s like having a hyper toddler in the house all over again. Maybe it was a little piece of string? My son has tiny elastic bands on his braces that are constantly breaking and popping off, maybe she ate one of those? The vet did the surgery and called me when it was over.

“She’s doing great,” said the vet. “We found something.”

And boy howdy, did they find something. When we arrived, the vet held up a Ziploc bag filled with this large mass of string, carpet, ribbon, yarn, and a plastic straw. Yes, she had swallowed almost half of a straw. Part of it was inside her intestine and the glob of string was blocking the pylorus region. We were lucky the straw didn’t perforate her intestine and lead to sepsis.

Apparently, she had spent the better part of her young life eating things she shouldn’t eat. Such as her scratching post, the living room rug, the feathers and ribbons from a cat toy…a straw.

As we were checking out at the vet, the receptionist said, “Oh, you’ve got the foreign body removal cat! Don’t feel bad — we just surgically removed a wire hanger out of a dog last week!”

A man behind us in line said, “And my dog once had a rope yanked from his stomach! I think he also ate half a shoe once!”

For some reason, their cheerfulness when describing possible future foreign body horrors didn’t make me feel any better.

I’m beyond thrilled to say Maggie is 99% healed. I think her image as a cool cat might never recover, though. But she wears that Cone of Shame with doofus dog pride.

Woof.

 

 

It’s the End of the World as I Know It (And I Feel Slightly Uneasy)

As some of you are well aware, there are certain undeniable signs the End Times are near:

  • Oceans turn blood red.
  • Locusts! It’s raining locusts!
  • Leggings are a thing now.
  • Leggings! It’s raining leggings!

But recently I’ve witnessed another sign that it’s time to make peace with my maker.

My mom is on Facebook.

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Just to give you some perspective — she has never used a computer, doesn’t know what the Internet is, and once had a lengthy conversation with a robocaller about her bowel issues.

It all started when my extremely misguided brother bought her a Kindle for Christmas. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he installed the Facebook app and set up her account. Then — here’s what sent chills down my spine — SHE SENT ME A FRIEND REQUEST.

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Darla? ARE YOU THERE, DARLA?! I KNOW YOU’RE THERE! Hurry up! I could die waiting for you to friend me! Do you want me to die friendless, Darla?

My 83-year-old mother. The one who talks my ear off nonstop about gluten and loves Garth Brooks but thinks his wife’s chest is “too chesty and probably full of gluten”.

Now she can see all my stuff on Facebook. (gasp) She might even notice I have a blog. And that I’ve shamelessly used her as blog fodder for a few cheap laughs. Like this post. (ahem)

OH GOOD GOD! It’s like when the two worlds of George collided on Seinfeld. I need to keep things separate, people! Separate! Jeezum crow!

My husband tried to calm me down. “She won’t go on Facebook, trust me. She doesn’t even know how to turn on the Kindle yet!”

That night the phone rang. It was my mom. She wanted me to come over right away and help her “get on that page with all the people on it.”

Later, as I sat in her kitchen looking down at her Kindle, the smell of rice cakes burning in the toaster wafting through the 85-degree air, things got tense right away.

“Oh god! This Facebook is too much for my brain! I just don’t get it! And they keep changing the pictures on me! First there was a dog wearing a tie and now there’s a stupid video on how to make cereal! And they keep showing me a friend of a friend I don’t give a rat’s ass about! I mean, who in the hell IS THIS?! I wish I could get rid of them but I don’t know how!”

Then my mom entered the room.

“Did ya get me on that face thing yet?” she asked, biting into a blackened rice cake.

So this is how it all ends. With my mom leaving messages on my wall for everyone to see.

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slide1The next day I was sitting in my car waiting for my son when it happened. A Facebook notification. My mom had “liked” a photo I put up on my wall years ago. Great — not only is my mom “liking” all my personal stuff — she’s a stalker.

Time to erase my entire blog after this post.

Oh, What a Year!

Well, ho ho ho and shut the front door!

It’s that time once again to look at my Saved By The Bell: “Slater Wears Tiny Tank Tops” desk calendar and say to my cat, “Hold up — another year’s gone in the blink of Screech’s lazy eye? What the hell? Is this how time works? Yeah, well screw you, Einstein!”

And for god’s sake, shut the front door.  It’s pretty friggin’ cold out.

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2016 has proven to be quite the stellar year! And by “stellar” I mean an absolute shit show from start to finish! You too?! Come join me as I zip down memory lane at lightning speed on my greased-up sled and crash land into a Wal-Mart parking lot!

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WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Here’s a quick rundown of the Maineiac family’s year. We’ll start with our 10-year-old daughter.

She spent five solid months of 2016 begging for one gift from Santa. It’s something every hellion in this country wants to get their grubby little hands on Christmas Day.

No, not a Cabbage Patch doll. Not a Tickle-Me-Elmo. Not even a Tickle-Me-Cabbage (I wish). But a stupidly overpriced mutant Furby inside a plastic egg, aka the Hatchimal.

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There’d better be a Faberge Egg inside this goddamned egg.

That’s right–it’s an egg! With a toy inside! What will these crazy toy manufacturers think of next?

My bet is more useless plastic.

My husband and I stopped at Target last week to find a long line of Hatchimal-less losers standing outside in sub-zero temps. They sold out of 38 of the things in 8 seconds. And no, we did not stand outside for them. I wouldn’t stand in line for hours on a warm summer day for two tickets to a “Back from the Dead” Beatles reunion.

But as luck would have it, some 38-year-old man living in his mom’s basement is selling them on eBay for 300 bucks a pop. Why, just take out a hefty loan or sell your soul to the devil and this little gem could be collecting dust at the bottom of your child’s closet in no time!

After we informed our daughter that Santa might not deliver a Hatchimal this Christmas, this is the following conversation we had with her:

Her: But I really really really really really really really really REALLY want one!

Mr. Maineiac: Really?

Me: Hey, know what I got for Christmas when I was your age?

Her: What?

Me: A Nancy Drew book. Then my brother sat on my head and farted.

Mr. Maineiac: You know what I got one year?

Her: What?

Mr. Maineiac: A penny. And I had to share it with my two sisters. We all took turns holding it. Then they both sat on my head and farted.

Her (pouting): But I want a Hatchimal!

Us (pouting): Where’s that wine?

Next up, my teenage son. Let’s check in and see how his year’s been going!

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[absolute silence for a good 15 minutes]
Ooooookay! That’s all I could get out of him.
(And that really isn’t my son. …but y’know what though? It could be. I haven’t seen his face in about 2 years.)

Finally, let’s check in with my dear ol’ Ma. She spent the better part of 2016 telling me how much she detests Trump. I was talking with her on the phone and tried to change the subject of his upcoming presidency by bringing up other horrible reality TV shows.

Me: Hey, have you seen Naked and Afraid lately?

Mom: No, too icky! I get enough nausea from seeing Trump on the news every damn day.  Did ya see that other show?

Me: Which one?

Mom: Y’know the one! That SHOW!

Me: Oh, yeah! Sure! THAT one!

Mom: Where the guy is married to all those crazy women?

Me: Sister Wives?

Mom: It’s ridiculous! First off, that man is not attractive AT ALL. And secondly, he’s ugly. What is wrong with all those women? I wanna see a woman married to four men! Let’s see that! Brother Husbands!

Me: Good idea!

Mom: Jeezum crow, did you see what Trump the Dump did now?

Me: Oops, gotta go! Time for more Hatchimal hunting!
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And how was your year? Let me know so I can be totes jealz!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Mom for President 2020

 

 

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My 82-year-old mother is running for POTUS. She figured she’d kick off her campaign immediately because, as she put it, “I might die in my sleep tonight.”

Also, The View is on at 2 pm.

I think she’ll win in a landslide. After all, she came up with a pretty sweet slogan:

Nagging We Can Believe In!

(It was either that or Well, I Guess The World Is Pumping A Handcart To Hell, Now Eat Your Damned Veggies Or You’ll Get Buttlogged)

Some of the things she promises to do once in office (and only if I take her shopping at the Christmas Tree Shop later this week):

  • Redecorate. The more doilies, cat knickknacks, and miniature Elvis figurines the better.
  • Require all thermostats to be set at 80 degrees. If the temperature falls to 79 degrees — Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock get blown up.
  • All state dinners will be gluten-free and served at 3:30 sharp.
  • Deport all of the “Karbuncles” unless they “for god’s sake, cover up!” Same goes for anyone else showing even a hint of “chest crack” in public.

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    Kim doing her part for a kinder, gentler, less chest-cracky nation.
  • Make sure every vending machine in the nation carries rice cakes, prune juice and Sanka.
  • Vice President: Oprah.
  • Surgeon General: Dr. Oz
  • Secretary of State: Tony Bennett
  • Supreme Court justice: Betty White
  • Foreign policy: Sit up straight.
  • Domestic policy: Get a real job.
  • New national holiday celebrated from January 1st through December 31st: Happy Call Your Mother, Because You Never Know She Might Be Choking On A Rice Cake And Lying On The Floor Unable To Turn Up The Heat And You Don’t Want That On Your Conscience, Now Do You? Day
  • At every meeting, all world leaders will be required to wear a cat sweater. Because how could you possibly argue about climate change with someone who is wearing a cat sweater?

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So please, vote for my mom in four years. And would it kill you to eat some broccoli? Jeez.

Woman Refuses to Live in the Moment

Live in the moment!

Be your best self!

Embrace bread!

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It’s been several years since Oprah retired from her “Be the Best You, You Can Be –Because I Sure As Hell Wouldn’t Wanna Be You” talk show. Among some of her more earth-shattering insights about life:

We need to live in the moment.

Not around or through the moment. Or even under-the-covers-nursing-a-glass-of-wine. But IN.

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“Are you living in the moment? How about now? No? Well, how about now? Are you? Are you really living in the moment? I don’t think you are, fool! You disgust me!”

It should be noted that immediately after she made these comments, she gazed dramatically off the deck of her 50-foot yacht, The Big O, that was floating in the Mediterranean next to As You Wish, a 10-foot dinghy filled with butlers, which was surrounded by a flock of housekeepers and hairdressers on jet skies. And a forlorn Stedman treading water and wearing pink arm floaties.

Yet there is no doubt that over the years her “live in the moment” mantra has managed to transform millions of ordinary people’s lives.

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“Before Oprah, I never lived in the moment. But now? Goddammit, I’ll live the shit out of this moment if it kills me! …Please kill me.”

Yes, it’s true! All of us — even butlers-in-dinghy-less and probes-in-butthole losers like you and me — can embrace every single bright and shiny effing moment of life because Oprah said we should.

All of us except for one 55-year-old woman named Marge from East Dingleberry, Maine. Baffling some of the world’s top Oprah experts, she has managed to live her entire life not in the moment at all. Not even once.

I sat down with Marge last week to get to the bottom of this mystery. And to ask her about her hometown’s name because, I mean, come on! That’s just ridic.

Me: Marge, I’ve been informed that you refuse to live in the moment. Why? Don’t you like Oprah? Is your yacht too small?

Marge: Look — I’ve tried okay! I just can’t do it! Last night, I wanted to live like Oprah, but I panicked from all the stress of my craptastic life. Then I frantically reached under my chair for a free gift, only there was nothing there! Just a huge goopy hairball my cat, Mr. Wankers, yorked up from the day before!

Me: Maybe this will help. Here’s a direct quote from Oprah: Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

Marge: …So I grabbed something to help clean up the mess and noticed it was the overdue electric bill.

Me: Here’s another Oprahism: The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail.

Marge [petting cat on her lap]: Then I started to cry, only I can’t produce any tears because I was diagnosed with chronically dry eye sockets. Why, just last week Mr. Wankers was diagnosed with excessive hairballs, sleep apnea and explosive flatulence. I wanted to weep when I saw the vet bill, but again, no tears!  Do you know how painful it is to cry dust? Or what it’s like to be trapped in an apartment with a cat that’s farting swamp gas nonstop? Well, do you?

Mr. Wankers [breathing heavily]:  Meow.

Me: Oprah says, The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.

Marge: In blind agony from my tearless crying, I grabbed the eye drops prescription I had to sell my left kidney to afford. But a couple of squirts in, I realized it was the sample size ghost pepper hot sauce my husband left on the kitchen counter next to all the other overdue bills.

Me: Turn your wounds into wisdom.

Marge: The hot sauce was all we had left to eat.

Me: You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.

Marge: Holy balls! I think those bastards just shut off my electricity! How will Mr. Wankers use his CPAP machine now? [tearless sobbing, wiping eyes] OH, IT BURNS! IT BURNS!

Mr. Wankers [farting nervously]: Meow.

Me: Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Marge: Get out.

Me: What? But you’re not in the moment yet!

Marge: GET OUT!

Me: Hold on! I’m sensing you are almost in the actual moment now! This is a huge breakthrough! How do you feel? Are you angry? Do you feel rage? Feel it, don’t deny it! Live in the moment!

That’s when the interview abruptly ended. Oprah, you’ve done it again — Marge has learned to live in the moment! I’ll be sending your lawyers my hospital bill.

Dear Human

Dear Human,

It’s been one week since I graced you with my presence. In other words, seven long torturous days of needless suffering. It’s a wonder I didn’t bolt through the open door on the first day, never to return again to this pathetic excuse for lodging. Alas, I’ve been cursed with a stubborn laziness with no cure. I barely have the urge to bother finishing typing up this letter. What’s the point? You’ll never learn. Yet I press on with the ever-diminishing hope some of what I’m about to write will seep into that utterly minuscule brain of yours.

When I first arrived, I found the accommodations severely lacking in good taste. I assumed you’d get the hint when I turned up my nose at the shoddy basket you gleefully offered as my bedding. Everyone knows the only proper spot for slumbering is on top of your head. How can you not know that? Astounding.

Which brings me to my next plea: Stop touching me. From now on, I will be the sole instigator in all aspects of physical contact. If I want to crawl onto your lap, consider this a rare blessing. If I sit on top of your keyboard — trust me — it’s for your own good. (For once in your meaningless existence, stop going on the Internet! Can’t you see I’m only trying to prevent those last few brain cells from seeping out of your ears?)  As for spontaneous expressions of affection, I will only allow a few light strokes of my head per day and nothing more. If you insist on cuddling me like a two-bit stuffed animal, I will be forced to claw the stuffing our of you with my hind legs. Again, common sense.

Granted, I’ve only been here a week, but I’ve noticed another peculiar trend involving the endless parade of ridiculous “toys” you dangle in front of my face like the proverbial carrot. Honestly, I’m baffled. Fuzzy purple mice? Feathers on a stick? My apologies, I didn’t realize you hired me to be the lead act in your three-ring circus.

And the way you effortlessly demean yourself in your sad attempts to prompt me to play! Have you no self-respect at all? The more I have to endure the unnerving sight of your googly eyes and the sound of your voice squawking, “Wanna play? Wanna play?” the more my opinion of you sinks to new lows. What would I prefer to amuse myself with? Your shoelaces when you’re walking out the door to work. Your necklace when you’re trying to watch television. Your hair when you’re in a dead sleep. Pay attention! Stop wasting your time and money! Gah! I’m so exasperated I might not be able to continue this tirade. Perhaps another 18-hour nap might be in order so I might collect my thoughts again.

Now that we’ve covered sleep, touch, and play, the only other point of contention left is perhaps the biggest one: Food.

Forgive me for my savage bluntness, but the menu here should be featured on the upcoming Gordon Ramsey cooking show, Gorge & Puke. Purina Kitten Chow? Please. Herb-crusted sirloin tips with a creamy horseradish-chive sauce? Now we’re getting somewhere.

How many times can I wrinkle my nose, smugly close my eyes and slowly turn my head away from the gruel festering in my bowl? Still you repeatedly choose to misread my signals. I’m not rubbing up against your leg to say, “thank you”. I’m giving you a chance to redeem yourself before I leave you another “gift” outside of the litter box! Don’t you get it? I need a steady stream of the choicest cuts of beef! How else can I keep up with all the physical and mental demands you continuously swamp me with on a daily basis? And what do you mindlessly pour into my bowl? Seafood Sensations?! In pellet form! I weep for all of humanity.

It pains me to end my letter this way — especially when I have oodles of other things to complain about. But have no fear, I will write more letters to you in the future. My fervent wish is that my words will bring to light the tragedy that has befallen me; the callous way you have forced me to live in such deplorable conditions.

Until then, I promise you one thing– I shall prevail.

Best,

Maggie the Magnificent

maggie