If it's Friday this must be San Francisco

I’m still on tour and I’m in San Francisco today so come see me if you can!  (Tour details are right here.)  If not, you can just read the continuing chronicles of my best-of series.  This post was from back in 2009…

I was just telling my friend (Kregg) that they should sell clarifying toilet paper. Because (just like how once a year you’re supposed to use a clarifying shampoo to strip all the excess conditioner and shit out of your hair) there should be some kind of gritty toilet paper you use once a year to strip all your junk of all the lotions and chemicals in toilet paper and then Kregg was all “Yeah, I don’t think I’d use anything that would ‘strip my junk’ but maybe that’s something that would be appealing for you girls since you have to use toilet paper so much. I mean, I can’t even fathom how much you girls have to wipe because we men only have to wipe when we poop” and he said it in this condescending way like he was totally better than me just because he didn’t have to wipe as much and I was all “”Well, just imagine what bears must think of you” and he was all “Um…what?” and I explained that it’s just a matter of perspective because if bears could talk they’d be all “Really?  You wipe your butt every time you poop?! That’s fucked up.” And Kregg was all “Yeah…that is fucked up” but I’m not sure he was talking about the bears.

I also came up with another idea to re-purpose used breast-pumps to suck dead kittens inside out because then…TA DA!…fur-lined mittens for homeless people.  I told Kregg about it and he was all “That’s…weird” and I’m all “It’s weird that no one’s ever thought of it before.  Because no one wants dead kittens or used breast-pumps so this way we’d be keeping them both out of the landfills and helping the homeless.  I’m like the Thomas Edison of dead cats.  It’s practically carbon zero!”  Then Kregg mentioned something about PETA and firebombs and I was all “I’d only use kittens that were already dead from non-communicable diseases, Kregg.  I wouldn’t just go around haphazardly turning live kittens inside out.  I’m not a monster, for God’s sake” and frankly I’m a little insulted I even had to clarify that.  I’m doing this to help the homeless.  Not for my own personal kitten-mitten collection.  We live in Texas, y’all.  I don’t even need mittens.

Comment of the day: I wouldn’t exactly call you the Thomas Edison because he invented lots of shit and you really only came up with one use for a dead cat. You’re more like a George Edward Alcorn of dead cats. ~ ShallowGal


94 thoughts on “If it's Friday this must be San Francisco

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  1. That made me think of my little brother…his worst insult to me was…”Well…..you have to sit down to pee!” It used to piss me off when he would say that….but alas he is right! lol

  2. The real question here is not about men wiping, but it’s about why men don’t wash their hands after peeing. YOU JUST TOUCHED YOUR JUNK!


  3. Happy to see that the age old argument about peeing technique differences between men and women never goes away as you get older 🙂

  4. I would totally buy kitten mittens and would brag to everyone that I had them. Of course I am allergic to cats, so I would need to have a puppy liner to protect me from the kitten fur.

  5. Good lord, that was a disturbing image!

    Although it totally is a practical suggestion. Because, while I’m pretty open and easygoing about most things, the thought of using someone else’s used breast pump for anything other than dead kitten mittens for the homeless kind of skeeves me out.

  6. First off @Casey – It’s my junk, I should know where it’s been. It’s not like I’m a sailor. D’oh, I was a sailor. Never mine. I don’t know where my junk has been.

    Secondly, another use for breast pump – Why pay for a bug vacuum when you can simply attach a breast pump to the end of the breast pump and snag a bug (also the name of the product). Snag-A-Bug

    Also good for babysitting.

    Have fun in San Fran and remember your heart. We wouldn’t want you to leave that behind. That’s gross and painful. But mostly gross.

  7. A story I used to love to read as a child involved kittens losing their mittens. I’m beginning to see it as an existential metaphor for kittens losing themselves. Yes, it worries me too.

  8. DH and I were talking about toilet paper commercials and how dreadful they are. They never talk about what the product does. I suggested they should illustrate the product using food, like 2 sticky buns. Wipe off the chocolate syrup oozing out.

    At least it’s a real product demonstration.

  9. You don’t know how much I wish I could go to San Francisco!! You are only a few hours away….. I am however over halfway through the book!!! I would be done but they keep wanting me to do things like work.. 😛

  10. Clarifying toilet paper sounds terrifying. Seriously. I’m cringing with my legs crossed right now.

  11. Jenny, you must be feeling like a zombie on tour…like, what day is this ? Where am I ? or just Huh ? You are the Thomas Edison of booking signings by turning on the crowd with the filaments of your imagination.
    @The Extrovert, Jenny travels without her heart, she leaves it deep in Texas.

    I just knew there was a good reason for kittens, besides catgut tugging at my heart strings.
    Luv reading the comments, y’awl.

  12. I used to work at a hair salon that provided “clarifying treatments”. As in someone else does it for you. And that was the image in my mind. Guess I’ll have that to deal with all weekend. Sigh.

  13. Well I am coming tonight, but I just can’t come up w/a way to bring you nacho’s that aren’t soggy and cold. So I just have to invite you to dinner. I make amazing nacho’s! We have it for Christmas Dinner. I make my own tortillas then into chips, make my own pulled pork b/c pork products are amazing! You know stuff like that.

    If you do come to dinner you totally have to bring your own hookers. I mean, I am a mom of two small kids-they need money for ice cream n shit, not mommy paying for hookers. That would be wrong.

  14. Don’t you think we should use rats? Then we would be using adults and it would be less emotional. We can send the stuff that comes out with the breast pump we can send to Bear Grills he wont buy food any more.

  15. Hope your tour’s going well! I hope you manage to avoid both bears and dead kittens as you traverse the country.

  16. So, its clear to me that you have no intention whatsoever of coming to Canada, which is totally ridiculous because we have maple syrup and tourtiere (which is a fancy way of saying ground-meat pie). Anyway, since you are systematically making your way geographically AWAY from Ontario, I will only assume that you are planning some enormous surprise for me…like showing up at Chapters and just being a super-celebrity and the paparazzi will be like “Jenny! Jenny! Over here! Jenny!”

    If that doesn’t make you want to come to Peterborough, I give up!

  17. Dear Jenny, this isn’t an email or a letter so I have no idea why I am starting it this way. Sorry. Anyway, my copy of your book arrived yesterday and I LOVE it. The end papers are adorable and hysterical so much so that I couldn’t stick the little signed book-plate-thingy there because, as I told my husband, “they are too beautiful to cover up.” He said they absolutely were NOT beautiful and then it devolved into a; “yes they are!” “No they aren’t.” thing until I told him he has no idea what he’s talking about and he sighed and probably thought about how much divorce lawyers cost or something. So I stuck the bookplate on the title page… but that is not what I wanted to say at all.

    I wanted to say that I am reading the chapter about getting stabbed in the face by a serial killer and I read the corrected/censored email exchange with the coworker named Jon and I was thinking; I totally understand what she means about being exhausted just from trying to appear sane and normal! The only person who thinks I have an anxiety disorder is my husband, well, actually I believe it too because I have to live here inside my head and it’s hella-obvious, so the only two people who think I have an anxiety disorder are me and my husband. Even my therapist doesn’t think I have one because even though I started therapy in order to try to get help with depression and anxiety I am too paranoid to let any of that show in front of my therapist because therapists are just the kind of people who can arrange to have one sent to a psychiatric hospital and I really don’t have time to deal with that right now.

    What I mean by all of the above is: You are not alone, as I am sure you know, in your anxiety and exhaustion and weird, inappropriate blurting at dinner parties. (or on the bus, at the pediatrician’s office, PTA meeting or child’s school play etc.) Thank you so much for sharing so much in your book and on this wonderful blog. You make me feel less alone in being weird.


  18. I just bought THE VERY LAST COPY of your book in the bookstore. So excited to read it!

  19. By an amazing coincidence, I am going to pick up two new kittens after work today. I was a bit worried getting kittens I saw on Kijiji (our Craigslist equivalent) but we had no choice having been rejected by the rescue nazis by failing to promise that we would hand-grind raw chicken for them or something. Anyway, I said to my husband, “What if they’re not healthy? They could have some horrible disease and drop dead and it would traumatize our daughter!” But here you are, saving the day. If they die, I just pull out the old breast pump and my daughter has a fashionable set of mittens!

    Well, maybe not fashionable, since the pretty fur would be on the inside and the outside would be poorly-scraped kitten innards, but … Oh my god, what were are you recommending we inflict on the homeless??!?!!!

  20. I never understood why adults don’t use wet wipes like babies. I mean, after a late night Taco Bell craving, there’s no way you can get your ass all clean with dry gritty paper.

  21. Kitten Mittens is still one of the best darn ideas you’ve ever had. Until that niece of yours stole it, of course. How is the lawsuit going?

  22. I’m sure the people who arrange your book tour are, like, supersmart and know what they’re doing but the last time I was in San Francisco my son and I went to Alcatraz and at the end of the tour there was this old, scary looking guy set up in the Alcatraz store selling his book about how he was once a prisoner in Alcatraz. He wouldn’t take a picture with my son because we didn’t buy the book. I’m pretty sure he had a shiv.

    Anyway, the point being…I bet if you went and sat beside him you’d sell way more books than he does because you do things like smile and not look like you’re about to stab people. Plus, the table is already set up so there’s no overhead cost.

  23. I’m not sure Kregg should be so smug about not having to wipe after he pees. Obviously, the social norm dictates that men should just shake their excess urine off and saturate the surrounding area with germ-infested urine (including the toilet seat, the floor, possibly the tub and sink) or, alternately, let it drip into their underpants and then have go around all day with wet, then moist, then dry urine pressed up against their junk not to come off until the next shower, which could be DAYS away. Yeah, that’s WAY better than wiping. (Said the not-bitter mom of three boys and wife to one boy/man)

  24. Men DO need to wipe, they just don’t KNOW IT. their crotches are far enough away from their heads that they can’t smell the faint whiff of urine.

  25. I love the inside-out cats as mittens for homeless people idea. Although transforming them into puppets or stuffed toys for poor kids could also be a nice thing.

  26. I hope you’re getting to go to San Francisco proper. Corte Madera is in a different county. It’s like saying your going to Shelbyville but arriving in Springfield.

  27. @Casey…. Dude… If men washed their hands every time they touched their junk THEY WOULD HAVE PERMANENTLY WET HANDS, and that might be sort of inconvenient.. also creepy

  28. I am reading your book and was laughing like a hyena last night when I read the part about Victor’s proposal. You are the best. I hope there’s another book in you and that I won’t have to wait too long to get my hands on it. (I also read your blog religiously)

  29. @The Extrovert and @Casey – I totally agree with Casey on this one. As a public health person, I think about dudes touching their junk, then the restroom door handle, then the mass transit train pole. As a trans person, I went from going in the women’s room (where the occupants *talk* – what the fuck is that?!) to the men’s room (where 7 times out of 10, things are just disgusting). All things being equal, give me the disgusting one, because I’ve never understood the desire to talk to each other before, after (or worse of all – during) one’s bodily functions.

  30. Oh, forget all that stuffy SF stuff! You want to come up to Vallejo and visit the One Of A Kind Barbie gallery! http://www.ooakbarbies.com/

    I’m so looking forward to seeing you tonight! And even though Amazon failed me by not getting your book to me until (it is estimated) today, it’s all right because I’m almost finished with Operation Mincemeat about how the British used a corpse to fool the Nazis about the invasion of Sicily, so that all seems to flow naturally into a memoir about taxidermy. You know what else dead kittens could be used for? Espionage. Get on it.

  31. I saw you here in LA last night, and I have to say, if that was you facing your biggest fear, you did it very impressively. I know you were on all sorts of meds, but still, you handled yourself with aplomb, assuming aplomb means doing something in a very badass way. For all I know, aplomb might mean a combination apple/bomb, which would be badass too, in a sneaky way. Like, “Hear, mortal enemy, have a bite of this delicious, juicy apple. While you eat, I’m going to stand way over there, so as not to get any juice upon me.”

  32. Damn, I’ll be out of town! Okay, places to go: 826 Valencia, the pirate supply store. Next door is Paxton Gate, it’s your kind of place. And if you can, hop over to Oakland and go to Cafe Van Kleef, you’ll appreciate the decor.

  33. This is the entire entry on Wikipedia for George Edward Alcorn: George Edward Alcorn, Jr. (b. March 22, 1940) is a pioneer African American physicist and inventor for Rockwell International, who invented a method of fabricating an imaging X-ray spectrometer.

    I don’t even know what that IS, but I DO know what inside-out kitten mittens are, so clearly George Edward Alcorn aspires to be YOU. If he’s not dead, that is.

  34. Just picked up my weekly copy of People magazine and whose book review did I see?? Some guy named A.J Jacobs!! But that was only because I flipped too far cause YOUR book was being reviewed TOO! You just rule and stuff.

  35. no no no! you’re in corte madera and it’s not the same. i got all excited when i saw SF on the list but then i saw where it really was and i got sad. i can’t get up to corte madera. *sad face* oh but if you come back to the bay area, please come to alameda! there’s a great independent bookstore there and they host book signings a lot. 🙂

  36. I’m glad you’re posting re-treads, because otherwise I might miss this gold!

    Also, I finally bought your book yesterday and sat in the Barne & Noble cafe LAUGHING OUT LOUD! unapologetically, because that is some serious funny, dudes!

  37. Clarifying toilet paper! That is genius.Maybe they could develop a quick acting detoxifying mask for our butt cheeks too maybe call it Smoothy-Cheeks. I just ordered your book on Amazon am looking forward to a giggle!

  38. Will Wheaton wearing kitten mittens while collating paper would be an excellent addition to your collection. I’m just saying.

  39. My husband wipes when he pees. Well, maybe “dabs” is more accurate. But still. He also washes his hands. He does these things because, despite being male, he is actually not horribly disgusting.

  40. I can see the special instructions on the Re-Purposed Breast Pump now: “Do not use on LIVE kittens. Do not use on bears. Do not use on your junk.”

    And on Kitten Mittens: “Do not put on bears. Might be OK on your junk.”

  41. That’s the joy of a great writer- you can read their stuff over and over and it’ll still make you laugh inappropriately loud at work (and maybe slightly queasy too).

    Looking forward to the book signing tonight- it’s the carrot that got me through this week!

  42. Received my book a week ago; got the signed bookplate yesterday. I am now complete.

  43. I’m SO grateful I got to meet you last night (even if it was for 1 minute).

    How is it possible that you’re even FUNNIER in person? Cry laughing.

    I updated my blog post about your book with a picture of you and me. Alone with Cats and Humans are Funny couldn’t be there in person, so I did some magical shit to the photo.

    Thank you for a wonderful evening. Enjoy the rest of your tour!

  44. My great-grandfather worked for Thomas Edison. It’s what brought my family down from Canada to Massachusetts back in the day. I’m pretty sure my g-grandfather spent lots of time on the dead-cat/homeless-mitten/overflowing landfill problem, trying to get Edison on board. In fact, after reading your post, I think I understand why ol’ Tom got all famous for his lightbulb junk, and my g-grandfather’s brilliance was never recognized. Too bad you two couldn’t have joined forces. I’m seeing a cartoon emerging. . .

  45. Jenny, I got your book the other day and can’t. stop. laughing. My mascara is messed up. I am very disappointed that you aren’t coming to the Kansas City, Missouri area (NOT Kansas City, Kansas; do not make that mistake — Kansas City, KS is a horrible place to be). But I am so glad you are continuing to post something on your blog to keep us entertained while you are busy!

    Anyway, I love, love, love your book and I wish I could think of something funny to say here, like the rest of the posts.

  46. Was so excited….your book finally arrived yesterday!!!! (2 days late, thanks amazon) I know what my plans are for the weekend are now!

  47. Hoping you will come to Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA – your book is sitting in the window! As for posting oldies but goodies, are you allowed to post old Mama Drama stuff? You first captured my literary heart when you wrote Parasites & Popularity on Mama Drama. I wrote you to tell you how much I thought you should be published – that it struck me as very David Sedaris on This American Life. You wrote me back about how much that meant to you and now look at you..on your book tour. Awesomeness.

  48. I wish you were coming to Chicago for your tour. We’d love to see you here and you totally could wear dead kitten mittens today, it’s not even 50 outside.

  49. I got my book in the mail today and I am so super excited about it

  50. I’m actually laughing out loud at my desk and my co-workers are giving me the stink eye for distracting them!

  51. I’m bummed I missed you, as I live in the SF area, but really even if I went I wouldn’t be able to tell any of my friends about it because they’d be asking me why I follow a mommy blogger that turns cats inside out, and then they’d probably beat the crap out of me and then not invite me to the next mailbox baseball game, so you see the predicament I was in. Maybe next time.

    The RB

  52. Got the book and LOVING IT! Wish I could go tonight and get it signed. I’m not that far from SF, but not close enough to pull it off.

    :’0( So sad. :’0(

    I will spend my 7pm reading and pretending I’m there.

  53. It’s totally not true that women use more toilet paper. Whenever I’m living with a guy, the TP is always used up 10x faster than when I’m living alone…and it’s not like I skimp on toilet paper, so I want to know what the hell they’re doing with all of it; you know, since they only have one bit to wipe and all. Maybe they’re making papier maché boats to float in the toilet? I can totally see them facinated by the way their little boat goes around and around when they flush.

  54. Argh, I don’t have a way of getting to Corte Madera, where you’re going to be, which makes me sad. On the plus side, you can wave at the convicts at San Quentin. Also, we should probably warn Sonoma of your impending arrival. Y’know, just in case you feel like having a . . . little . . . wine.

    If you do make it to San Francisco city, I second the above poster who said you should visit Paxton Gate.

    Best of luck!!!

  55. Y’know the song “Devil with a Blue Dress On” (which may or may not be the title, and I don’t even care at this point)? Well, I have the lyric “Chicken with a red dress, red dress, red dress…chicken with a red dress on” stuck in my head.

    THIS IS YOUR DOING. You’ll understand after the signing tonight. 🙂 Sorry to miss you; hope you have fun.

  56. I’m not usually a big fan of flashback episodes – you know, the ones where you know the cast still got paid a million bucks to just sit around and go “oh yeah, and remember the time when…” and then show us some clip we’ve already see several times. However, in this instance I’m extremely grateful as I am a recent convert to the teachings of the Bloggess (no less devout for that though) and this way I get some back history without giving myself RSI from clicking the back button thousands of times (or stabbing at the screen, in the case of my iPad). So my hands, and my employer, thank you.

    Hope you’re having a fab time on tour – wish I could be there!

  57. All the animal shelters that kill off cats that no one wants would feel better about themselves because kitty murder would actually be for the homeless. It’d be a charity write off and everything, and they’d probably sell the kitty corpses for $5 each, except things like tortoiseshell cats would be more, and and the hairless ones would go for those thin skin, fingerless gloves for homeless skateboarders or something.

    There’s a whole niche market there ready to be born

  58. My daughter and I traveled many moons, ok 40 miles, to see you in Corte Madera last night. As expected, you were absolutely fabulous. While there I recognized a lesser known local blogger and knew something great would soon appear about last nights event. I woke to this in my inbox this morning and thought I would share. http://wakeupfamous.com/2012/04/21/support-your-local-bookseller/
    Best of luck with the rest of your tour and thank you for doing what you do.

  59. I think it’s fucked up his parents named him Kregg… Unless his parents were the founders of Kroger and hhgregg.

  60. I think this may be the first time I’ve cocked my head and eyebrow at the same time reading one of your posts. Although, I’m not sure which is more cock-worthy…the inside-out dead cat or the cleansing TP.

  61. Dude. Jenny. How much suction did your breast pump have? Like seriously, enough to suck a kitten inside out? No wonder pumping never worked for me. 🙂

  62. You’d have a steep PR/advertising hill to climb with that one! I can just picture the ASPCA protest ads, with Sarah McLachlan singing, etc. Lots of pathos to overcome there.

    Also, to a couple of commenters, a couple of things: 1. Urine is a sterile body fluid, unless you have a urinary-tract infection and up to the point that it makes contact with anything nonsterile. It’s still a smelly, staining fluid, but not germy. 2. Some of us adults do keep flushable butt-wipes in the bathroom, for times when TP alone isn’t getting the job done. (Cottonelle is the best in my unpaid-endorsement opinion.)

    Congrats on all your success and on your ability to keep it together with all of these public appearances. If you need to reschedule one for a bathroom, we’ll all understand.

  63. I’m thinking that every time I use the bathroom and reach for the toilet paper, I’m going to be thinking about a bear shitting in the woods.

  64. You are so much better than Thomas Edison– he was a giant, unbelievable asshole who did not invent most of the things he stole, and based on that, possibly did not invent anything at all. History will out this fraud, one day!

    On a lighter note, Casey, rest assured, I wash my hands whenever I go.

  65. OMG. I just “BAHH!!” loudly and crying at work. LMFAO!
    Dead kittens into mittens for homeless people.

    OMG I’m in tears laughing my tail off!!!

  66. Your dead kitten mittens reminds me of an invention my sister-in-law & I came up with last week…
    She had her first baby on 4/15 and early in the morning her water broke while at home. So being a nice person and all, I wash their bedding. But the washer decided to break right before the Spin cycle. Her & I decided that since people like to get all creative with their placentas, we would get all creative with her amniotic fluid-washer juice. We have a whole business plan to market amniotic tea, soup, bubble bath & body oils. We might become millionaires, just so you know.

  67. You know, you’re totally right… consumer-grade breast pumps aren’t supposed to be used by more than one person, so I bet there are millions of them out there needing to be repurposed as dead kitten turn-inside-outers. What else are we going to do with all of them? I think you need to come up with a similar idea using kids’ car seats, since they expire after five years and are just supposed to be tossed.

  68. You’re more the Nikola Tesla of awesome ideas. You come up with all kinds of awesome way before the world can even wrap their brains around it and then I bet some dickbag will come along and be all “let me use this” and you’ll be all “totes! for science?” and he’ll be like “yeah probably” and then make money and not give you any. Good thing we have this in writing now.

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