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Friday, April 17, 2009

Believe Me When I Tell You -- A Little Sister Can't Be Trusted

And so it is, on this long-awaited and hallowed Friday that we again approach the iPod and query: What up, dawg?

I'm so sorry. I apologize for that. My saying “dawg” is right up there with my saying “you go, girl” – it's stilted and wrong and is the verbal equivalent of me going to the grocery store in sweat pants.

It's just not done.

So let me rephrase: O iPod, how’s it hangin’?

Atmosphere by Joy Division
You the Man by the Sensational Joint Chiefs
Lucretia MacEvil by Blood Sweat and Tears
Apple Tree by Wolfmother
Scratch by Morphine
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
The Mob Rules by Black Sabbath
Going Underground by The Jam

Looks like I better go to Kathy’s tonight and drink her beer.

And no, that doesn't really seem to be what the iPod is telling me, but why take chances?

So do you have time for a quick story?

I grew up in a trailer, and because my father believed that “it’s harder to hit a moving target” we moved.

A lot.

If you’ve ever lived in a trailer, you are familiar with the siding that goes around the bottom of it, yes? The procedure, once the trailer’s been “dropped” is that you anchor it (thus making it harder for the inevitable tornado to suck you up and deposit you in Wisconsin) and then “skirt” it (thus making it harder for woodland creatures and/or trailer park cretins to burrow underneath and chew through wires/exposed pipes).

Some people don’t bother to skirt their trailers. This looks trashy, frankly, and bodes ill for its inhabitants, for reasons that shall become clear soon.

Some people skirt their trailers with wood. Affordable but prone to rot and the need to be repainted every couple of years.

And some people, like my family, skirt the trailer with aluminum siding. Won’t rot and doesn’t necessarily need to be painted. (As a quick aside, I was once accosted by someone who accused me of thinking my family was “high and mighty” for flaunting our aluminum siding…)

Siding is a good idea beyond just keeping out raccoons and drunks, though. It’s also handy for keeping the wind from screaming through the underside of your trailer and freezing your pipes.

Sometimes, though, despite the siding, despite having wrapped your pipes in whatever it was that Dad wrapped them in, you just can’t fight winter.

Was it roughly January or February that the Native Americans called The Moon of Popping Trees? Because that’s the kind of month that will freeze your pipes solid.

And so it was on a day where the ambient temperature was perhaps 30, 40 degrees below zero that my mother announced that the pipes were frozen.

You know what this means, don’t you?

That’s right. The toilet no longer flushes.

There is a collective groan from my brother, sister and I.

Need to use the toilet? You now have the option of running to The Building, seven blocks away and chock full o’freaks, or using an ice cream bucket.

It’s a toss-up. Go outside in the sub-zero or pee in the same bucket your father has just used.

We are all grossed-out, except for my father.

“Think of it as a new kind of camping!” he chortles.

My mother points out that it’s just going to get colder as night falls, Paul, and would he kindly just get his butt out there and thaw it out?

My father good-naturedly dons every article of clothing he owns and shimmies under the trailer with a hair dryer where he has, at least, the skirting to block the wind.

Do you know how long it takes to unfreeze plumbing with a hair dryer?

No; me, neither.

But Dad knows.

I am on the bed, playing Barbies, when my sister enters the room. She is two years young than I am and has dedicated her life up to that point to sticking her fingers in my ribs, both literally and figuratively.

“Did you know if you look down the toilet you can see Dad?”

“You can? You cannot!”

“No, really! You really can! Come see.”

In a move that will haunt me for the rest of my life, I follow her into the bathroom, where she lifts the lid on the toilet and I peer into the water; and for just a moment, I expect to see my father, lying on his back under the trailer…

“AHHHHHHHH! Kevin! Kevin! Come look! Pearl’s looking in the toilet for Dad!!!”

It’s one of her cherished memories.

Happy Friday.


OH! And could you please do me a favor? If you go to the top of the page there? Look to the right – you see that Blogger’s Choice Awards gadget? Would you please click there and vote for me? I would really like to win!



Come back when you can. I’ll be here, thinking of you. :-)

35 comments:

Eskimo Bob said...

No Comments Yet . .. I beat Darsden?!?!?! Woo-Hoo -Now I have to read your blog.

darsden said...

I am gonna slapp the eskimo right out you bob...I read the blog first ...and I am one to compose novels as my comment unlike a wooo hooo.

on that note.. YUCK PEARL

darsden said...

rotflmfao...bob...!!!!

Oh yea..pearl YCUK!

darsden said...

Were you flauting your siding?

darsden said...

translated...YUCK...my dex. kicked in... or my mississippi take ya pick

darsden said...

where is everybody?

Eskimo Bob said...

Ahh the days of the Honey Bucket. It was 1982 when my family was the second in the neighborhood to get a flush toilet. Until then - we had the honey bucket. . . why didn't we have outhouses? Well - no one did, we preferred to keep our crap in the house with us.

And by the way Pearl - it IS all high'n'mighty of you to continually point out that you had the 'aluminum siding' only because we had that too. . . gotten in 1986 - and all of a sudden we were too fancy for the neighborhood because we didn't have the plywood siding for the house. (Which proves that you can take the people out of the trailer park - but you can't . . . )

So keep it real home girl [throws a gang sign] {Goes for a fist bump - but ends up punching your boob a-la SuperBad}

Eskimo Bob said...

What Dars doesn't make up for in content, she does with quantity. You go Dars. . .

IB said...

Joy Division Rocks!

You do too, Pearl

IB

Ankit said...

The idea of ice cream bucket doesn't seem that bad especially when its freezing cold.

What difference does it make? everything would be rock solid

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Frozen pipes and Pearl looking for her Dad in the toilet....that's the way to start the weekend...that and a little Blood, Sweat and Tears plus Black Sabbath.U

Pearl said...

EB/Dar, don't make me come back there!!!!
p.s. The fact that you prefered "to keep the crap in the house" is hilarious.

IB, have you seen the new Joy Division movie? Trying to remember what it was called -- perhaps it was just called "Joy Division"... Anyway, the guy in the lead role looks and sounds exactly like Ian Curtis.

Ankit, the bucket was actually in the house -- dropping your pants in 30 below weather is really not do-able. Flesh freezes pretty quickly at that temperature!

U, early BS and Ts were great (I'm a sucker for a horn section) and Black Sabbath is just so delightfully old school (even if Mob Rules wasn't Ozzy on vocals!).

♥ Braja said...

Beer? Wait. Er....right...sisters. Damn. It's late.

Pearl said...

Braja, it's so late over there it's next week! Honey, go to bed!

IB said...

The movie is: "Control"

Stars Sam Riley as Ian Curtis.

I haven't seen it yet...gotta get on that!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Awesome.

I mean, seriously...I might use that on my kids.

Jess said...

Trailer life is quite exciting! I have never lived in an Antarctic area before, so the freezing was never an issue, but we too had fancy aluminum skirting. It went well with our green shag carpet and velvet-esk couch.

darsden said...

he started it!!!

Blicky Kitty said...

Ooo I'll vote for you. You're hysterical!

Suldog said...

First, nice selection of tunes.

Second, great story! This earned you a vote, for sure. Here I go, voting!

ladyfi said...

That's is hilarious! I have three siblings so am well aware of such tricks - used to conduct a few myself!

I'll try to get that voting wizard to work.. have tried and tried but it doesn't like me... It's just got no taste! ;-)

Greenfingers said...

Joy Division....pearl, you are a diamond!!

Emerson Marks said...

Are you saying you had to drip off the kids (Dump) in an ice cream bucket?

If so, no chocalate ice cream for me.

From the selected tracks I choose Joy Division.

Emerson Marks said...

Drip? I meant to say drop - drop off the kids.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

heheheheeh!! Siblings are just soooo great!!!
Hey! I voted and hope you win. I also hope you send me part of the prize money! ;)

Joanie M said...

That sounds like something my brother, Michael would do.

lizspin said...

And I thought my mother's powdered milk was roughing it. . .

citizen of the world said...

Those are moments sisters live for.

powdergirl said...

ROFL!
Buckets of poop, aluminum skirts,trailer park cretins..
Your google searches ought to be quite interesting after that one.
You got my vote : )

Under the Influence said...

Ok, I just went and voted!

Do you still flaunt your aluminum siding or have you moved on to something else?

Sweet Cheeks said...

Damn siblings anyways....

:D

I'm sure you got her back a time or two...

Kate Coveny Hood said...

My brother and I never played pranks on each other! Unless you count the time that I convinced him that he had a tiny bald spot on the crown of his head. And then forgot to tell him the truth - letting him believe that he had premature hair loss (at age 7) for YEARS.

And of course I voted for you! Want to be on my Underdogs site? I kind of let it go for a week, but I am going to start adding people again this week.

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I just wanna know which grocery store...

[And local sales days...]
And...

Douglas said...

I am so sorry I didn't read this yesterday. Or 33 comments ago. By the time I finish reading the comments, I have to go back and reread the blog post because I have forgotten half of it. As a younger sibling (youngest, actually), I am suspicious that you deserved all the rib-poking you got. I am also made doubly happy that my parents decided to move to Florida rather than further north.

Our mobile home sat next to a lake in a park situated west of the dairy farm and east of the pig farm and a stones throw (no, I didn't) south of the Interstate.

We had the lattice work.

The Retired One said...

Just think of the therapy you would have needed if you really DID see your dad's face in the toilet!
Incontinence would be your only answer.
The Retirement Chronicles