Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I'm A Handful

I admit it, I just am sometimes.

The Little Hunneydoo and I have just returned from a spectacular weekend in Jasper. Alberta, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It's like Banff, near Calgary, only without all the Japanese.

We spent three days shopping, eating, drinking, eating, shopping, hiking, walking around shopping and then stopping to eat and drink. And the best thing about Jasper is, it is so small, you can get absolutely shit-faced drunk anywhere in town and still be able to crawl back to your lodgings. You don't have to worry about driving! Ever!

Not that I speak from experience, mind you.

As it is, despite the non-stop beer and cider, I managed to behave myself for the most part. The only time I got up to any specific mischief was at LouLou's Breakfast and Pizzeria on Sunday morning. The Little Hunneydoo and I were seated side-by-side at the bar, as all the booths were taken up by vacationing families and these lean, earnest outdoorsy types. You know, the kind who think it's fun to cling to vertical rock walls or camp outdoors in the wintertime. That's crazy shit, yo.

Anyway, I was at the very end of the bar and happened to notice that one of the staff had started what appeared to be a grocery list. On it, in distinctive (easily forged) block letters was written


And to this list, I added


The Little Hunneydoo just rolled her eyes and shook her head. But I want you to know, adding "mushrooms" was her suggestion.

And you will be proud to note that I only had one outburst this weekend as well. I managed not to get into a fist fight with a member of the Ballcap Brotherhood, nor did I trip a child or smack a granola-crunching hippy, however sorely pressed.

No, in fact, my outburst was fairly appropriate. As we were leaving Jasper National Park, we pulled over so that the Little Hunneydoo could take some shots of the mountain sheep at the side of the road. Unfortunately, she found it hard to get decent ones because of all the FUCKING JERKS WHO LEFT THEIR VEHICLES TO STAND WITHIN METRES OF THESE MAGNIFICENT ANIMALS.

Yes, this despite very large signs written in bold letters advising visitors to the park that "IT IS UNLAWFUL TO APPROACH OR FEED WILDLIFE".

So, as we were very slowly pulling away, I hollered, "What you're doing is fucking illegal! Get back in your fucking cars!!"

One twat gave me the hairy eyeball, but fuck her; it would have been poetic fucking justice to see the ram of that flock put his big, curly horn in her fucking eyesocket. Douchenozzle. Ya don't get it, do ya? The more accustomed to stupid humans like you these animals become, the more danger they are in. But who cares, right? As long as you get that picture, what happens to one or even a flock of those beasts doesn't really matter, because by the time disaster occurs, you'll be at home burning the photos onto a cd.

You can lick my ass, bitch.

Oh, and before I forget (speaking of bitches)...

The recent departure of the Princess of Wales has left a very silent and obvious void in her former pod, made up of Yvette, the Cub (Wolf Woman's daughter, who says I remind her of Napoleon Dynamite, whatever that is) and a strangely silent man named Al. Today, Yvette went into see Springsteen and told her she was lonely without the Princess of Wales.

"Who do want to move in?" Springsteen asked.

Yvette said, "Sharon Needles," and so, after lunch, I moved to the new pod with such speed, I'm sure the dust is still settling in the old one.

I walked into the staff room to fill my water bottle while Teeth was taking her lunch and she said, "Shhhh! Don't say anything: it's Sharon Needles, the defector!"

It crossed my mind to drop trow and show her my gorrilla salad (thanks, Maven!), but confined myself to explaining to her that my presence had been specifically requested.

Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

kd Does Not Stand For Kraft Dinner...

..especially if you are a dyke.

It's official: kd lang is coming to the Edmonton Folk Fest in July and the Little Hunneydoo and I are going, if we have to sell off our impressive collection of marital aids from Dildo Junction to do it.

There are two reasons for this. One, although my taste typically runs to fembots and lipstick lesbians (or even chapstick lesbians like the delicious Ellen Degeneres--HI, ELLEN! CALL ME!!), and kd is a little handsome for my liking, she nevertheless has a Voice From the Gods. Also, she will just have to say something remotely flirty (i.e. "Good evening, Edmonton,") and flash that lopsided grin and the Little Hunneydoo will bust a rib flinging herself at the stage. And if kd ventures to sing "Hallelujah" or "Constant Craving" or "Miss Chatelaine", then people, just get out of the way, cuz there'll be no stopping her.

The second reason is that, as lesbos, the Missus and I are required to attend, especially as we missed Melissa Etheridge's concert earlier this year. It is time to check in with the Mothership, because if we miss this performance, the Dyke Mafia will come and demand to see our papers. (They don't carry guns, but wield a nasty pool cue).

Naturally, attendance is required for ALL the dykes in the province and that is what concerns me about attending. I don't generally hang out with a lot of my Sapphic sisters, and my fear is that I will get caught on this hill with thousands of stocky, short-haired braless women wearing hemp shirts, wool socks and Birkenstock sandals. I, naturally, will be down in front trying to pry the Little Woman from kd's ankles, but I'm worried that I will glance backward like Lot's wife and turn to salt when I see an entire hillside of mad fanny-bashers practicing their cunning linguistics as Ms. lang takes us to the crescendo of "Two Cigarettes In An Ashtray."

See, that's the thing: boys think girl-on-girl action is hawt, but the girls they're thinking of aren't generally lesbians. Most of the women *I* know who claim to be a dyke don't resemble Samantha Fox or Helen Hunt or even my own Little Chocolate Bunny. Most of them look like Linda Hunt. And no-one wants to see that. Not even Linda Hunt.

Anyway, Teeth was back at the office today, and she wasn't at her desk fifteen minutes before she started moaning about the mess Walter made and what the hell was he doing anyway to make such a mess and blah-blah-blah. She showed me the kleenex she was using to wipe up her desk and all I did was shrug as if to say, "Just quit yer whining and get on with it."

When really what I wanted to say was, "Fer Chrissakes, someone drop an anvil on this bitch!"

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Hot Seat

Things at work have been going quite well, Two Clowns and her bullshit aside. Much of this has to do with the fact that Teeth has been absent for a week: it seems that after the lumpectomy, Teeth's mother-in-law bought the farm, making it necessary for Teeth and her pig-dog husband and the child to fly east for the funeral.

Now, I want you to know that I am--and I acknowledge that I am--a small and petty person. I cannot claim to have the milk of human kindness flowing through my veins. Nope, not me. And I say this because, when Teeth emailed the office last week to tell us that she had landed safely, but the airline lost her luggage, I laughed. Quietly to myself, mind you, but I did laugh. It also crossed my mind to wonder if she had to book an extra seat for her teeth, or if the child had to share...

See? I'm just nasty. Seriously.

But I don't--as a rule--inflict my behaiour on other people. I used to, absolutely, but that was before counselling. Now, I can share my thoughts and feelings with an individual or a group with the intention not of manipulating social situations, but rather to share what might be a common experience.

Not so much Teeth, who still managed to drive me right out of my fucking mind, even from 5000 kms away. Here's how:

The day after Teeth left for the east coast, Walter came and sat at her desk. Walter is an older fellow who is doing some light duties around the office while he recovers from some injury or whatever. Everyone calls him "Walt", but I pointedly address him as "Walter" because "Walt" is too familiar, and I don't want to give the old guy any encouragement. Believe me, he doesn't need any. He already sits next to me at lunch so closely that Yvette mentioned that he might as well sit in my lap.

Anyhoo, Walter sits in Teeth's chair and everything is going just fine until The Boss comes along to talk to Sylvester and stops dead in her tracks.

"Are you sitting in Teeth's chair?" she asks Walter in a tone of hushed horror.

"I'm sittin' in the chair that was here, yeah," says Walter.

"Omigod, did you adjust that chair?" says the Boss. (I should just call her Springsteen and get it over with).

"Well, I raised one of the arms up..." he starts, and Springsteen flips out.

"Okay, you need to get out of that chair and get another one," she tells him and ushers him out of the office chair in which he has been productively ensconced for several hours.

"If Teeth comes back and finds that someone has messed with her chair, she'll freak out."

At this point, I turn around to see Springsteen in a flap, wheeling Teeth's chair into a nearby office and returning with another.

"Sylvester, don't let anyone else sit in Teeth's chair," says Springsteen, and goes back to her office.

By this time, I am having to vitually staple myself into my own chair to resist the temptation to get up and fuck with Teeth's chair so badly, she would never get it right again. Of course, Teeth's many chairs of entitlement are a Big Red Button for me, and Springsteen's reaction was pounding on said Big Red Button with a Gigantic Hammer.

But what stunned and amazed most me was Springsteen's tolerance, and consequent tacit encouragement, of Teeth's childishness.

As a friend of mine has remarked, "Someone needs to grow a pair."

But it didn't end there, either.

The next day, Stretch (one of the dispatchers) and a driver sat at Teeth's desk to go over a routing issue or something. Somehow, Teeth's chair had migrated back into our pod, as if it couldn't bear to be separated from her desk a moment longer. Stretch sat in the alternate, and as the driver went to take the coveted Chair of Toothsomeness, Sylvester warned him away.

"You can't sit there," she said. "That's Teeth's seat."

The driver looked around for Teeth and didn't find her.

"She's not here," Sylvester said.

"And I can't sit in the chair?" he said.

I couldn't take this stupidity in silence any longer.

"No," I said, loudly enough for all three pods to overhear. "Apparently, we are held hostage by her behaviour."

This provoked much laughter, some of which I'm sure was inspired by uneasiness, but I don't care. She just has to try that kind of shit with me ONCE, and see what happens. As it is, I can't believe that Springsteen puts up with hysterics over a fucking chair from a supposed adult. Did someone adjust your chair? Then adjust it back, you fucking ditchpig. Get a fucking grip.

So, needless to say, I'm not looking forward to her return tomorrow. No doubt I will have to listen to dreary details about a funeral I care nothing about, over and over and over again. Because that's another thing Teeth does that makes me nuts: she repeats her stories endlessly. She will even call Springsteen over and read her emails that Teeth is exchanging with billers at other branches, because Teeth is convinced of her own brilliant wit as a god-given fact of life.

Anyway, that's all petty shit. I will say in my defense, however, that if Teeth returns to find the chair altered in anyway, it wasn't me who did it. I managed to maintain my dignity and self-respect.

But it doesn't stop me from hoping to Christ that someone else did it for me.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Incredible Story(ies) of Two Clowns

As previously mentioned in these electronic pages, Two Clowns is a compulsive liar.

She's not the first one I've met.

In the SCA, an organization that specializes in attracting personality disorders of the most dazzling variety (and then rewards their dysfunctionality with promotions and aggrandizement), I knew a fellow who insisted that he was a mercenary pilot who flew missions into these vague but dangerous hotspots and was shot at and even wounded. Very shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, I ran into him at a party. He told me that on the morning of the attack(s), "They" (presumably CISUS, Canada's intelligence agency) called him to ask if it was possible for amateur pilots to hijack commercial aircraft and fly them into very large, very tall stationary objects.

"Well," I said, slowly, "presumably, since it happened, it can."

I was polite, however, and did not confront him with the obvious question: does Ottawa have no-one more qualified than him to consult? Is there no-one currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces who can answer these questions?

This was only one of him many lies/exaggerations. Occasionally, when he has been caught in a lie, he admits to lying because the real truth is "classified" and "sensitive", so he has to obscure the big truth with many smaller ones.

I also knew this chick with whom I LARPed briefly, who lied all the fucking time about everything. When a friend of mine confronted her about her lying, she admitted to doing it. Her excuse, she said, was that my friend and I were such entertaining raconteurs and conversationalists that she felt compelled to lie so that she could "keep up".

(This is utter bullshit. I am not responsible for your rampant dishonesty; you are. Get the fuck out.)

Anyway, you'd think that my prior experience with compulsive liars would lend me some insight into the condition and how to deal with it. But I confess, I am at a loss. I simply do not understand the need to lie about everything all of the time.

Two Clowns is a prime example of the breed. It is very easy to see that her constant lying is a symptom of a much larger disorder, probably narcissistic personality disorder. I used to wonder why this woman chose to take her breaks and lunch hours with a bunch of billers instead of other managers; she didn't, in fact, seem to have any relationships with any of the other supervisory staff at the office. And now I know why: they don't play her reindeer games, and as mere billers, we are a captive and powerless audience.

Remember when I told you that, when we go for breaks, four of the seven women in our group pull out their phones and spend much of the fifteen minutes texting? It was revealed to me late last week that what they are doing is texting each other about Two Clowns's extraordinary bullshit. Apparently, a typical message from one of these girls to another, while Two Clowns is holding forth, is "OMG, STFU", or "Just kill me now."

In the last couple of weeks, Two Clowns has explained to me (because I don't have a phone to take sanctuary in, but let me tell you, it's looking more appealing by the day) that she

a) designed the office building in which we work, actually worked on the architectural plans and oversaw the erection of the structure (she's in a completely unrelated position with our company);

b) had a grandmother married to James Bailey of Barnum and Bailey Circus, a grandmother who, upon Bailey's death, was adopted by gypsies who taught her to read playing cards. This grandmother consequently taught Two Clowns how to read tarot, because she was the only grandchild with "the Gift";

c) was the first person in Canada--no scratch that, in North America--to buy a particular model of Fiat;

d) has an aunt Florrie who was "The Queen's Dressmaker" (now in her eighties) who has been invited to William and Kate's wedding. This last one makes me fucking insane. First off, Her Majesty does not have "dressmakers", she has British designers. And she may very well have staff to help her dress, but the reality of it is that staff do not get invited to Royal Weddings;

e) was a member of the Canadian Navy, which trained her to be an "assassin". I think the Armed Forces call them "snipers" or "sharpshooters", but in Two Clowns's mind, she's an ASSASSIN.

That's just some of the continual shit that spews out of Two Clowns's mouth at every given opportunity. And I have successfully resisted the urge to take this personally (i.e. "How stupid does she think we are?"), because this is very clearly all about her. And I suspect that, like Teeth's bullying, it comes out of a place of crippling insecurity.

But I really don't get it. I mean, seriously: why would you lie about stuff, especially when someone in the room might know something on the subject that you're lying about and confront you on the lie? Do compulsive liars rely on the fact that women, especially in polite Canada, are reluctant to confront lies and just let it pass? Or are these people incapable of embarrassment?

I know that if I ever got caught telling a whopper like some of these, I would be mortified. But these people either don't care or their need to lie is greater than their fear of social embarrassment.

I did a very little bit of research on compulsive lying on the internet (not the best source, I know, but...) and was shocked to learn that compulsive liars take comfort in lying. It becomes second nature, because telling the truth about anything is uncomfortable.

I cannot fathom this. I'm not presenting myself as a paragon of virtue or unfailing honesty--we all of us lie from time to time, and if some of my stories are entertaining, it is because I know where to embellish and how much. But my stories are all true. I simply cannot wrap my head around lying so outrageously and consistently that you are shunned by your peers and ridiculed by everyone else.

But clearly, as mentioned before, the lying is a symptom of something much deeper. The way Two Clowns talks about her children makes me feel all icky inside. She told us without apparent embarrassment how she bought personalized condoms for her boys. And she talks about the oldest one in such a way that...well, let's just say that I thought he was her husband, and I was shocked to discover that there IS no Mr. Two Clowns.

"Overbonded" is a word that applies here, I should think. Blech.

Anyway, if any of you can offer any insight into this particular dynamic, I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say.

Let me just go on record as saying, however, that I am hardly comforted by the thought that one of my managers is a complete whack-job.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Rehabilitation of A Princess

A few weeks ago, I was bemoaning the fact that the Princess of Wales was happy to be excluded from the vote because she hates politics and isn't interested in learning about the issues.

Then, about a week later, I took the opportunity at the end of the day to write to my city councillor, advising him that I am absolutely opposed to the building of a new NHL arena in our city using taxpayer money.

I came back to work the next morning, about 16 hours later, to find that my city councillor had already responded to me (and not a form letter, or mass email, either), stating that he shares my views and will be opposing any motion Council introduces to build this arena with public money.

I was rather impressed and was talking about it at break. The one who was most interested? The Princess of Wales. She was so intrigued, in fact, that she asked if she could use my letter as a template for her letter to her own councillor. And then she wrote it that afternoon.

So it just goes to show, people can always surprise you.

I am sad to report, however, that the Princess of Wales has found a new position at another company, and we will be losing her shortly. I will miss her especially, as she has been a great support with regard to the ongoing bizarreness that is Two Clowns (stories to follow).

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Bad Teeth and Feet

So it's not like any of you, dear readers, need further evidence of Teeth's bitchiness and self-indulgence, but here it is anyway (with a medical update to follow, for something completely different).

Yesterday was Teeth's birthday. I can't tell you exactly how old she is (and I am currently refraining from making jokes about looking in the horse's mouth), but she's in her early forties, which I find appalling. Anyway, Sylvester went in early and printed up a whole bunch of signs saying, "Happy Birthday, Teeth!" and plastered them all over the reception area. That way, Teeth would be greeted by this cheerful and well-intentioned messeage when she came in shortly before 8:00.

Princess Anne and Wolf Woman were sitting at reception when the little ray of sunshine arrived. She walked in, took one look at the signs and said, "I am NOT in the mood for this today." Then she stomped back to her desk in our pod. A few minutes later, Sylvester emerged and removed all the signs.

Apparently, Teeth's mother-in-law in Eastern Canada was going in for a lumpectomy that morning, and Teeth was spraining her vagina with anxiety. Still, I think her reaction was rude, juvenile and self-indulgent.

I had to leave early yesterday for a doctor's appointment (see below), and I thought I would take a little bit of passive aggressive revenge by being nicer to her than she deserved. So as I was leaving, I said as geniuinely as I could, "I hope you hear good news about your mother-in-law soon."

But it didn't work. She didn't feel guilty, only justified, I think.

Oh well, live and learn.

So, the ongoing medical saga that is my life:

Okay, so I don't spend a lot of time looking at the bottom of my feet. Hell, up until relatively recently, I had trouble seeing the tops of them! So I was a little surprized when the Little Hunneydoo told me that I had really thick callouses, especially on my left foot. I wasn't worried or anything because I figured it was just a result of fencing. No biggie, but because I'm a diabetic now, and feet are a perennial concern for the insulin-challenged, I promised the Little Hunneydoo that I would bring it up to my GP next time I saw her.

In the past, this has been problematic for me, because when I tell my GP things, she takes action like a terrier on a rat. And it almost always results in unpleasantness for me, like pints of blood being extracted for tests, vaginal ultrasounds and barium milkshakes. It occasionally makes me long for the days when I had a GP who didn't ever lay a hand on me and wrote prescriptions with careless abandon (even if they were for medications I was allergic to and which didn't work).

But a deal is a deal, so when I saw Katherine Anne next, I said, "My wife wants you to look at my feet."

And when I showed her, she said, "Those aren't callouses. Those are warts. It's a viral, auto-immune thing, and we have to treat them very aggressively."

"Treat how and aggressive what?" I asked suspiciously.

"Every two weeks, you're going to come in and we're going to spray the warts with liquid nitrogen."

Fuck you, I thought, and then Katherine Anne went off to have a baby, and for a little while, her nefarious plan to cripple me was put on the back burner, so to speak.

But, as I mentioned, she's one of these good doctors that are concerned for the well-being of her patients, and rather than just abandon us to walk-in clinics and emergency rooms, she arranged to have a locum take her place during her maternity leave. And this guy is awesome. He's terrific. He's personable, has a sense of humour, answers your questions, never hurries you, is thorough...and he does exactly what Katherine Anne tells him to do.

The first or second time I saw this guy, he was all about treating the warts. He made me take off my shoes, and then he aimed somthing that looked like an aerosol can at the bottom of my feet.

"I heard this stings a little," I said, bracing myself.

"Yeah, a little, but if it's any consolation, little kids get this done."

Then he squeezed the trigger and there was a hissing sound. But no sensation. I was delighted.

Well, hell, I thought, if this is all it is I can handle OMYFUCKINGGODWHATTHE HELLISGOINGONONMYFEET????

The most incredible stinging was driving me out of my mind. It felt like thousands of fine, freezing cold needles were boring into the bottoms of my feet and they weren't going to stop until they touched bone.

He did five "cycles" on each area of my foot and said, "There. That's good for now. I'll have you come back in two weeks and do it again."

"What if I don't?" I asked, looking for blood.

"They can spread and be a real problem," he answered. "Best if you take care of them now before they get a lot worse."

So, dutifully, I showed up again two weeks later. This time, he examined my feet and jumped up saying, "Wait a second while I get a scalpel. I'm going to carve some of the callous off."

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but to my mind, letting someone at the bottom of your feet with a razor sharp surgical knife is counter-intuitive. Especially if the bastard has every intention of slicing up your tootsies and then spraying them with liquid nitrogen AGAIN. And yet, such is my trust in Katherine Anne and her locum that I surrendered up my feet with scarcely a groan. And to be perfectly honest, the scalpel didn't hurt at all. I hardly knew he was down there. Until the spraying part. That always leaves me limping for a few days.

Christ on a crutch, that's nasty. But on the plus side, they're definitely getting better and progress is being made.