List Three


Beaver” by Lois Elling is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

My brain and I would be excellent contestants on Let’s Make a Deal. Remember that show? At the end of each episode, the polyester-suited host challenged crazily costumed women to produce random objects from their purses. Really random objects, like yo-yos wrapped in aluminum foil, a miniature rubber elephant wearing a top hat, one of those green, nose suction thingies hospitals send home with infants… that sort of thing. If the contestant could come up the object, she’d win a prize.

If Monty Hall were to walk into Starbucks this morning (my office du jour), and invite me to play a slightly modified version of his gameshow—one in which prizes were awarded for the most cluttered, random thoughts—I’d be sitting in a Brand! New! Caaaaar! in a hot minute.

Following are eight things that’ve crossed my mind in the past hour or so:

  1. I’m drinking a skinny vanilla latte, so I’m reminded to offer you my semi-annual PSA: Some vanilla flavoring is partially derived from beaver anal gland secretions. Yep. It’s true. It goes by another name, castoreum, because “Now with juice of anal glands!” isn’t the sort of thing you want to see on a package of “all natural” cookies at Whole Foods. Admittedly, each of us consumes less than a millionth of a pound per year, but is there such a thing as an acceptable amount when it comes to this sort of thing? And even if you’re not eating the stuff, you may be dabbing it behind your ears, because castoreum is used in perfumes. Have you any idea how many beavers were chased down and stripped of their dignity so we can smell like the contents of their anal glands? I may need to start a GoFundMe campaign: Justice for Beaver Butts. Or something.
  2. Have volleyball players always worn spanx as shorts? Or were spanx modeled after volleyball shorts?
  3. Speaking of sports, I don’t understand the appeal of watching two people beat the stuffing out of one another—let alone paying to watch it happen. How do we explain that to kids? “Never use violence to solve problems. At least not for free. Make sure you get paid to beat someone into a bloody pulp.” It’s a miracle we haven’t created an entire generation of professional hitmen.
  4. If your church does a “meet and greet” or “pass the peace” or “hold hands across the pews and sing kumbaya,” guests who are introverts hate you.
  5. I once stole a handful of candy from a Brach’s Pix-a-Mix display and stuffed it in my purse. We were at a Woolworth’s or something at the mall, and I tripped as we were walking out of the store. Every single piece of Neapolitan coconut and assorted flavors of Milkmaid caramels went skidding across the floor, landing at my mother’s feet. I don’t recall what happened next, but that was the last time I shoplifted.
  6. I cheated my way through my high school Government class. Our teacher used the same 10-question, multiple-choice tests every year, and that was back when I could actually memorize a list of ten things. This may or may not explain why I can’t recall who succeeds the Speaker of the House as POTUS and why I had to rely on School House Rock to explain how a bill becomes a law. (This is a world-premiere level confession; I’ve never said it out loud. I’m still afraid Mr. Barelman’s going to show up at my front door and strip me of my high school diploma, which would subsequently void both my BA and MA. I guess that doesn’t really matter, since I’m using neither of those degrees.) That was my one and only episode of cheating. My guilt is my consequence. Please don’t tell my dad.
  7. I should drink more water, but bathroom breaks are terribly inconvenient.
  8. I’m worried about how many of you are questioning my character because of #5 and #6. And I just remembered my dad reads my blog.

All right, that’s enough of that. Thanks for indulging me some random and a bit of silly. Sometimes it’s nice to pretend like all is well with the world and write pure drivel.