7 Quick Takes: “Things that fell out of my poor suffering brain” Edition

I have taken up being sick and angry as a full-time job this week.  So this is what you get.


We got about as much snow as anyone did the other day, and now we can’t find our garbage cans.  Usually my husband shovels, but when his back is out and the rest of us are half dead with our post-strep throat cold which we picked up in the hospital when my son got his tonsils out – – well, then we call the plow guy.

Being a hard-working New England girl, I always feel guilty about hiring a plow until I see the work that he does, and how it takes approximately four-and-a-half minutes.  Then I think about how it would take us approximately four-and-a-half hours to do a much crappier job with a shovel, and I think, “That is what money is for.”  He’s cheap, too!  And nice.

In fact, after he plowed, he told me that if we ever wanted work done on the house (last summer he converted our old shower into a laundry area), he would be happy to do it at cost.

Why would someone do that?  I’m seriously wondering.  Does he just like being with us?  Or has he secretly spotted gold ore in the walls and wants a piece of it?  Or what?



was a huge part of my childhood, along with these things:

(On the flip side of the record was “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport.”  In this recording, they seem to have taken out the “Let me abos go loose, Bruce.”  I didn’t find out until much later that “abo” was offensive slang for “aboriginal.”  I always thought he was saying “elbow,” and thought it was an odd desire for a dying man.)


It’s funny enough when kids pronounce things oddly, but it’s even funnier when they used to say it right, but suddenly, for reasons of their own, start saying it in some new, strange, wrong way.  Every morning, the three-year-old asks for oatmeal.  About a week ago, though, she expressed a strong desire for “oitmeal,” and that’s what she’s been saying ever since.  And the baby, who is 21 months old, started saying “hyelp” instead of “help,” for some reason.  So we hear, in a suffering little voice, “Mama, mama, hyelp me!  You come hyelp my sock!”

She has gone back to asking to “nurse,” however, which is sad.  Originally, she said “nurse,” which transformed into “nurd,” which morphed, to my delight, into “nurdle.”  “Mama, I want to nurdle!”  And nurdle we would.


Relatedly, I’m still getting a huge kick out of having a baby who is still nursing, but can talk.  She is something of a comedian, and likes to think of punchlines while she is nursing.  Then she unplugs for a minute, makes sure I’m looking at her, and says, “Aaaa-OOOOO-gah!”  and then latches back on, grinning.  Or a couple of times, she was apparently thinking about Godzilla, because she took a break just long enough to say, “Grrrr. Aaaahhh!”


I think this machine has been around for years, but I guess it’s now smaller and available to the public?  It’s the Thing-o-matic, “a ‘factory in a box’ that claims to create any three-dimensional object out of plastic in a matter of minutes.”  You have to start with a 3-D schematic image, I guess, which apparently you can get with Google in some way.  This video seems to show an earlier version of the machine, making a model of the Statue of Liberty.

Astonishing machine, but the name needs some hyelp.


I was behind a car with so many enlightened bumper stickers, I expected the whole thing to start levitating on a cloud of self-righteousness.  The most egregious one said, “I’m already against the next war.”  Excellent!  I’ll be sure to notify the alien overlords, when they come to attack, that the occupants of that car are such fine, gentle, wise people that they do not wish to be defended.  I also wonder if they are against all past wars, as well as potential future ones?  Big fans of George III, slavery, and the Third Reich?  And whatever that French and Indian thing was about?  Bah.

I also saw another car that had the following decals lined up across the rear window:  Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Knights of Columbus, Rotary, and KISS.  I think I’d rather be friends with them.


Saw another bumper sticker yesterday:  “My other vehicle is my imagination.”  My kids asked me why I was throwing up all over the dashboard.  I guess I’m just sensitive to these things.  Anyway, my 8-year-old son offered that, when he grew up, he was going to have a bumper sticker that says, “VENGEANCE IS SWEET.”  His younger brother wholeheartedly agreed, and it turns out that the two of them were under the impression that personal and bloody vengeance is a thoroughly brilliant and moral career path.

It’s possible that our Bible readings have been a tad heavy on the Old Testament lately.



  1. I love #3.

    My 3 y.o. is very into superheroes and he tells me a bedtime story every night. I was getting a story about Batman and Robin beating up some archvillains like the Joker and his menus until my 12 y.o. son had to go and ruin it by telling him the proper pronunciation is minions.

    We still use a couple of words our 5 y.o. invented several years ago – “Lasterday” which can mean anything from a couple of hours to a few months ago, and “Bean-spit-it” which for some reason was how basement came out of his 2 y.o. mouth.

  2. “I have been in the revenge business so long…” I forget the rest of it. Mandy Patinken (spelling?) said it in the Princess Bride. You know what I mean.

  3. My personal favorite vomit-inducing bumper sticker is from a local elementary school: “EVERY student is an HONORED student at _____ School.” It always makes me think of Mrs. Incredible, wearily saying “*Everyone’s* special, Dash.”

    When our car gets back from its two weeks of torture at the body shop, we’re putting on a “Keep Calm and Carry On” sticker.

  4. We get ‘Hangurbers’ when we go out to eat, and sometime ‘locket’ milkshakes. It’s awesome and I hope the three-year-old never ever learnes to say those words correct.

    I love [i]I expected the whole thing to start levitating on a cloud of self-righteousness.[/i] We used to live in an area that was Yuppie and intensely self-righteous in a yoga organic fluffy Buddhism sort of way. When I worked in a bookstore there the staff noticed that the more woo and personal healing calm New Age the person’s requested book, the more cranky, intolerant, and snappish the person.

    • the staff noticed that the more woo and personal healing calm New Age the person’s requested book, the more cranky, intolerant, and snappish the person.

      Well, you’d be surprised if skinny scrawny people were buying diet books, wouldn’t you?

  5. The 2 1/2-year-old still says all of her “hard c/k” sounds like a “t”. So she sits on the “touch”. She drinks “milkt”. Her name is “Tatie”. Her sister’s name is “Pipar” (Piper). The thing I don’t understand is why she and Piper both seem to have more pronounced southern accents than their father and I have. They draw their one and two syllable words into five and six syllables. They were both born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. Maybe they’ve spending too much time with Granny…she says that someone is “tard” (tired), wears “painties” (panties), and calls smiling “spreadin’ your little mouth”. LOL

  6. Okay, Simcha, now that you’ve watched the Steve Carrell movie, go get you some Jeff Bridges. Ditch the kids and steal away, do a complete 180, and see True Grit. (It pertains to the last Take.) You’re brain will be spinning after all of the comedy vs. drama of the last couple of days—-you won’t know what to feel. Shake that mood up. Have a great (non-sick and angry!) weekend. 🙂

  7. I plan to make the bumper sticker, “Overpopulation and overconsumption: these are my core values”. However it won’t have quite the impact on my Siena minivan as it would have on my Suburban.

  8. In NH you must have lots of enlightened-bumper-stickered cause to induce vomiting…here in AZ we’re plum full of NRA bumper stickers and the like. It’s kinda awesome. Of course, then people think we’re all Neanderthal hunters with guns in our hands as we go talk to our congressPEOPLE and with the slightest twitch of disagreement or target sighting we LOSE IT BIG TIME. Or we’re all mentally ill and lacking treatment because of bad health care. Choose your poison.

  9. Re: #6 – these anti-war folks will be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes. i’m sure they’ll be against that, too.

  10. I confess to judging people by their bumper stickers- what I hate the most? A rosary and Obama combo (not that the alternative was that great) along with either a rainbow or ‘Blessed be’

    and WHAT is Pappas and Beer?

  11. The 4-yo loves loves loves to sing with Rock Band on the Wii. My favorite garbled titles: Wok Wobster and the Beatles’ classic, I Wanna Hobo Hand.

  12. Aren’t nursing toddlers sweet?

    In our house, nursing was and is (over the space of nearly 25 years!) referred to as “doe-doe” which ironically was my eldest’s mispronunciation of the word “bottle”.

    Somehow, the term managed to survive the 13-year nursing gap between my last two kids!

  13. Nurdles! So cute!

    Over hear it’s been milkies. But, recently the 2 1/2 year old un-weaned and he now calles them “mooties”.

    My favorite is all of us us “duke” for drink. As in, “I need a duke.”

  14. Rolf Harris repented of the verse “Let me Abos go loose, Bruce (they’re of no further use, Bruce)” and, as far as he could, withdrew all the versions containing this line.

    Re. Rolf Harris’ “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport”, around 1989 there was an Australian meat scandal whereby kangaroo meat was being sold in New Zealand as low-grade beef for prisons and pet food.

    This gave rise to the inspired graffito “Tie Me Casserole Down, Sport.”

  15. There is something that gets me every time I see a Kucinich sticker. I honestly don’t know what it is. I think it’s a combination of the name itself and the twitch I get when I see it.

    “It doesn’t take a war to power my bicycle.” No, but you put that on your car, you dummy.

    Any “Worst President Ever” for any president. I’m just sick of seeing them, & they’re far too superlative. Our lives have become far too superlative.

    Any “My pets are my children” ones. “My Kids Have Four Legs” etc. No, your pets do. Pets are not children. No one is disputing that you love them LIKE children, but they are not children, and never ever will be. Frankly, these just scare me b/c I see a future where pets are given equal rights as children under law.

  16. Is it alright if I point out that you don’t have to be a fan of slavery to support Southern independence? Either then or now?

    OK, I’ll shut up and go back to silent reading.

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