Category Archives: stuff better left unpublished

Mama Paquita: “Why would a baby need a sombrero?” and other problematic questions.

This isn’t a real post.  It was a rambling email I was writing to my sister and then it sort of got away from me and so I decided to flesh it out and share it here because maybe we weren’t the only ones who were taught this song in school.  You can ignore it if you want.

When I was little there was this song called “Mama Paquita” that we’d have to sing in music class.  According to our music books, it was a 1930’s Brazilian Carnivale song but it was kinda fucked up.  It was about some salesman trying to convince a mom to buy her baby a banana, a papaya, some pajamas and a sombrero, but she was like “Who has infant-sombrero money in this economy?  Let’s go dancing!” (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly) and I remember thinking, “Why would a baby need a sombrero?

(Side-note: I just googled” “Why would you buy a baby a sombrero?” and I got a lot of vaguely racist pictures, and also a link to a poem, which includes the lines “He had heard stories of a baby sombrero wrestler who would one day rule the world, but he had never thought that it would be his son” and “Hey, do you want to go get some soup, and maybe have a baby?” {Which might be the best pick-up line ever.  Or worst.  Depends on who you’re trying to pick up, I guess.})

Anyway, when I was in third grade I asked the music teacher why we didn’t just  sing the original Brazilian song, Mamãe eu Quero, (which I’d memorized from Carmen Miranda movies and old Tom & Jerry cartoons) but she shook her head disdainfully, saying only that there were “too many nipples in that song”.

I was confused about that for years, but in high school I told a friend that I knew the words to a risqué Brazilian nipple song, which I then sang.  She knew a little Portuguese, and she told me my song was about breastfeeding and that my pronunciation was atrocious.  Then I said, “Oh wait.  It gets worse” and I sang her the bastardized English version from my childhood music classes, and she was like, “What kind of racist bullshit is that?” and I said, “The extremely problematic kind taught to small children in the 70’s?”

Then she looked at me in confused bewilderment and I nodded in embarrassed agreement and said, “Honestly, I don’t understand it either.  I apologize on the behalf of white people.”  (Which is a phrase I should just put on a t-shirt because that shit needs to be said A LOT).  She gracefully accepted my apology and offered to teach me how to curse convincingly in Spanish if I agreed to never sing that song again.  Our cultural bridge was built on a shared love of profanity, and although I never mastered the accent to her satisfaction, I will forever treasure the phrase: “I SHIT ON EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!” which is easily the best thing to scream when you are stuck in traffic, or when the copier eats your overdue report, or when life is just being an asshole in general.

ishitoneverythingthatmoves

This was all before the internet existed so I had to take my friend’s word on the translation, but then my sister reminded me of that song again and so I decided to go online to try to translate the Portuguese version.

And here is the (probably horribly butchered) translation:

Mommy I want, mommy I want,
Mommy I want to suckle!
Give the nipple, give the nipple, give the nipple
Give the nipple so your baby won’t cry!

Sleep, son of my heart.
Take the bottle and join my dance party.
I have a sister, she’s called Anna.
She blinked so much she lost her eyelashes.

I look at the little ones, but this way
I’m sorry I’m not suckling.
I have a sister, she’s phenomenal.
She’s the boss and her husband’s an imbecile.

And now I’m even more confused, and I can’t get the fucked-up English version out of my head.  And (if you were also taught it as a small kid) it’s probably stuck in yours too now.

Awesome.

I am part of the problem.

PS.  Again, I would like to apologize on the behalf of white people.  Seriously.  White people fuck shit up for all of us.  Including white people.  It’s baffling.  I’m so sorry.  Let’s go get some soup and maybe have a baby.

I have an orange thumb.

I just found this in my pantry:

sam i yam2

I can’t keep a houseplant alive to save my life but I can make my sweet potatoes grow into unwanted plants with literally no effort at all.  I can only imagine this means I have some sort of super power which allows me to drain the life of fern and transfer it’s leaves onto a yam.

This is a terrible superpower.

Unless yam plants are a good thing.  Are they?  Could I just put a yam-growth in a vase and use that as my new houseplant?  If they’re so hardy why don’t we grow them instead of the more easily murderable plants?  I’m pretty sure the only difference between a yam-growth and a lily is that one has a better name.  I just need to find a better name and then I can sell my accidental yam-growths and live off the proceeds.  Something like  “YaMandrake” or “Potato-Pansy”.  Maybe if I keep letting it grow it’ll get really enormous and then I can create a portable yam hedge that you can bring with you to use when you’re stalking someone in the desert.  BYOB.  (Bring Your Own Bush.)

I just tried to look up “Can I keep a sprouted potato” but after I typed in “Can I keep a” google auto-suggested “Can I keep a wild rabbit, a gun in a car, a wild turtle or a fox as a pet“.

google1

WTF, google.  I just want to keep a potato.

Then when I added the “s” for “sprouted” google was like “OH, I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!” and suggested “Can I keep a shotgun in my car” or “Can I keep a squirrel as a pet“.  Jesus, Google. I know I live in Texas but way to stereotype me.

When I got to “Can I keep a spr” google auto-changed the whole question to “Can you have a spray tan when pregnant?”  I don’t know, Google.  I guess?  Why are you asking me?  YOU ARE GOOGLE.

Remember when Google was there to answer questions instead of just raise more?  Me either.

Remember when Google was there to answer questions instead of just raise more? Me either.

Eventually I typed in the whole question but all the links told me how to keep my potatoes from sprouting, rather than how to grow my sprouted potatoes into a giant bush.  I considered googling “How to grow a giant bush from a potato” but I was afraid of what the auto-suggestion would be after I typed in the first part of that search, and so I decided to just give up and wait to see what happens with my potato.  It’s like a science experiment, but in laziness.

Also, I glued some googly eyes on the potato so it looks more life-like, and will be less likely to be thrown away by Victor if the potato can stare at him accusingly.  I was going to call him Mr. Potato Head but that seemed too obvious so instead his name is Samuel Ignacious.

Sam I. Yam.  Naturally smiley.

Introducing Sam I. Yam. He’s naturally smiley and high in vitamin C.

I’ll keep you posted on my big bush.

PS. Victor just found Sam and he claims that what I’m doing is a very common children’s science experiment and he was like “Seriously?  You never grew a potato plant when you were a kid?”  He says I’m supposed to cut the potato and add water and put toothpicks in it, but that sounds suspiciously like a recipe and I think he’s just trying to trick me into accidentally cooking. He insists that every child made potatoes sprout into plants and I was like, “Not us. We were poor. Some of us had to eat our potatoes, Victor.  We couldn’t all go around wasting toothpicks and putting googly eyes on our pet potatoes, Daddy Warbucks.” Then Victor countered that googly eyes aren’t supposed to be part of the science project but I’m pretty sure that just proves that he’s doing science wrong.

My cat is alive and makes me feel like an asshole

Conversation with the exterminator about my 16+ year old cat:

Exterminator: Ma’am? I’m afraid you have a dead cat in your living room.

me: Oh, he’s not dead. He’s just really old.

Exterminator: I’m sorry, ma’am, but this cat is dead.

me: He’s just fucking with you. He sleeps with his eyes open.

Posey: MEOW.

Exterminator: JESUS CHRIST!

me: Exactly.

…That was several months ago.  Since then, Posey has gotten thinner and wheezier and I felt selfish, so yesterday I took him to the vet to have him put to sleep.  But then the vet was like, “This cats thyroid’s fucked up.  I could probably save him.  I mean, unless you just WANT to kill him.”  Which is awesome.  So now I feel happy and like an asshole.

Also, the vet told me to take a picture of Posey today and then another one in 3 months so that I can see the difference in his appearance.  I assume he means if Posey responds to the meds, and not if he dies of a stroke in the next week.  Hard to tell.

My cat looks like Gollum.

I have no fucking idea what I’m doing (UPDATED: I still have no fucking idea what I’m doing, but I feel much better about it.)

I have no fucking idea what I’m doing.

Like, ever.

Last week I met with my shrink, and she told me I need to figure out who I am and what I want out of life.  I think this is excellent advice for people who are grown-ups, and who have 401ks, and clean, matching socks, and 5-year-plans.

I’m not one of those people.  I just do shit and then other shit happens.  Sometimes it’s good shit and sometimes it’s shitty shit, but none of it is planned.  And I sort of suspect that if I stopped to actually consider who I am, I’d stop being “me”.  “Me” never knows who I am.  And now I sound like an existential Tarzan.  Awesome.

It’s been eating at me for the last week, but I think I’ve finally figured it out.   My five-year-plan is to never be the kind of person who’s stable enough to have a five-year-plan.  It’s technically the same plan I had five years ago, and guess what?  I’m totally on track.

PS.  I just realized that always accomplishing the same five year plan of continued instability actually makes me pretty damn stable.  And now I’m just confused, and need more xanax.  I can only assume my psychiatrist did this on purpose to ensure her job security.  In fact, this whole scenario was probably all on her five year plan.  Nice one, Dr. Q.

Slow. Fucking. Clap.

UPDATED:  First off, thank you.  It’s nice (and somewhat terrifying) to know how many of us are just pretending to be grown-ups.  Also, my shrink is quite awesome, and when I tell her that I’ve decided to be perpetually and happily immature forever she’ll probably give me a high-five.  Or a look of confusion.  Maybe both.  But what’s nice is that instead of feeling like a failure for falling backward into life, I woke up this morning feeling better…for choosing to dive in – albeit backward, eyes closed, chaotically, and possibly into broken glass or hyenas.  I think that’s called “growth”.  Or denial.  Hard to tell.

Also, so many of you reminded me that I needed to listen to this song again.  And you were right.  Thank you:

I think I need some vampire blood for my cat.

Conversation I had with Victor about our ancient cat, who I’ve had for almost my entire adult life, and who I suspect might be immortal:

me:  There’s something on Posey’s leg.

Victor:  Hmm.  Is it Posey’s foot?

me:  It’s not a trick question.  It sort of looks like he’s trying to grow an extra toe.

Victor:  Why would the cat try to grow an extra toe?

me:  Well, probably because he just now noticed that the kitten was born with all those extra toes, and now he thinks he needs to keep up.

Victor:  That’s not a toe.

me:  I’m pretty sure it is.  And now he’s wasting all of his old man energy trying to grow extra toes BECAUSE FERRIS MEWLER IS A DAMN OVERACHIEVER.

Victor:  You know it’s a tumor.  The vet said we should start expecting this.  Posey’s 16.  He’s like the Keith Richards of cats.

me:  In that he’s a bad-ass.

Victor: In that he’s almost entirely sinew, and no one knows how he’s still alive.  In fact, I think he may already be dead.

me:  Keith Richards died?

Victor:  No.  Posey.  He’s not moving and his eyes are rolled back in his head.

me:  Yeah, he sleeps with his eyes open now.  It’s kind of creepy, but I think he does it to conserve the energy it takes to blink.

Victor:  I love you, but you and I both know he’s sleeping with his eyes open because he’s looking for the grim reaper.

me:  Posey will outlive us all.

Posey:  MMMMRREOWWWWCHHSNURF.

me:  See.  EXACTLY.

Victor:  What, “exactly”?  He can’t even meow properly anymore.

me:  He says he’s sick and tired of your doubt.

Victor:  No, he says he’s just about ready to take a one-way ride to the vets office.

me:  You don’t know what cats say.

Victor:  NEITHER DO YOU.

Then Posey jumped into Victor’s lap and purred so loudly that bits of cat juice flew out of his nose, and Victor rolled his eyes and sighed, grudgingly petting Posey.

Victor:  Alright, old man.  Prove me wrong.

Posey:  MERRRRRCH.

Victor:  What did he say that time?

me:  I think he wants to sell merchandise.  I don’t know.  It’s hard to tell with cats.

PS.  Posey is fine.  He’s not in any pain, and his tumor is adorable.  In fact, I’m tempted to draw a smiley face on it and give it a name and a tv show.  I suspect he’s probably sprouting a younger clone from his leg.  I might be in denial.

PPS.  I can’t tell if this post is funny or just really, really depressing.  Let’s change the subject.

It’s Sunday!  Which means it’s time for the weekly wrap-up.  Let’s get started, shall we?

What you missed on Ill-Advised:

What you missed on my sex column (which is satirical and vaguely safe for work if your boss isn’t a complete douche-canoe):

What you missed on Good Mom/Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle:

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week on Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up sponsored by Oh Crap Potty Training, a business devoted to getting your kid potty trained in a single week. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but my guess is that witch doctors are involved.   I couldn’t even potty train my cats in one week.  You should probably check it out.

 

 

An open letter to lots of people I’ve accidentally offended

You know when you’re on twitter and someone sends you a DM about zombie gnomes, and then the next day you DM them back, saying: “That’s fucking hysterical. You made my whole morning!”

And then you go to their actual public twitter stream and it’s all: “Thank you so much for all of your kind words and DM’s”, and you realize that ten minutes ago they posted that their beloved grandma just died unexpectedly?

Yeah. I am so sorry about that.

I’d like to think that God would laugh at these.

I decided not to post this yesterday because I thought it would be too offensive, and so instead I posted about sugar, which was apparently a terrible idea.  So instead I’m going to post the original post to distract people from my scandalous and heretical use of sugar limericks.

Email conversation between myself and my sister:

me:  Someone just sent me a spam message that says “Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. He’s just got something better in store for you.” I sent it back as “Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. It just means he doesn’t care.”

Lisa: Yeah. You’re probably going to hell.

me:  It also had kittens all over it and it said that if I didn’t pass it on I was “a bad Christian”.  I’m not falling for religious kitten blackmail.  How about “Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. It probably just means you’re boring. Maybe try incorporating car chases into your prayers. Or something with vampires. Vampires are really hot right now.”

Lisa: Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. It just means you aren’t as popular with him as the rich and pretty people he’s helping. Try to be richer or prettier, then maybe you can catch his eye.

me:  Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. He’s just really focused on helping wealthy athletes win sports. Also? Fuck cancer.  Apparently.

Lisa:  Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. He’s probably out watching the new Harry Potter movie. That shit’s entertaining.

me:  Just because God doesn’t answer your prayers it doesn’t mean he’s not listening. He’s probably just preoccupied with figuring out how to send a plague of rabid locusts to our homes because we’re not taking these God quotes seriously enough.

Lisa:  Touche.