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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wherein I Defend How I Define “Fun”

You know how people say “well, it’s the little things…” and somewhere in the back of your head you find yourself thinking, “Sheesh. That phrase is so old…”?

You know why it’s old?

Because it’s true, dagnabit! It is the little things; and by golly if I have to defend that cliché, I will!

Why, I came across some little things just the other day.

My leg-warmers, for example. I’ve been encasing my legs from ankle to mid-thigh in a pair of gray, cable-knit leggings since October now and will no doubt keep them on until all threat of frost has passed, sometime in June.

I keed! I keed! We should be safe from hypothermia by May…

Think of it! Mother Nature wants to kill me. Why, at this very moment, not only am I wearing the foundation garments you would expect on any female, but also leggings, socks, pants – er, trousers – a camisole, a shirt, a scarf, and a jacket.

And frankly, I feel a little under-dressed, as the jacket’s sleeves are only three-quarters’ length.

The best part about wearing leg warmers, though?

When you finally take them off, wearing only – gasp! – pants, you feel scandalously naked.

Hee! Hee! Hee! No one knows that under my pants my legs are naked!

Oh, and that snickering you hear right now? It’s my readers from across the pond. Apparently the word “pants” to them means “underwear”.

Hee! Hee!


But you know what’s even better than cable-knit leg-warmers?

Are you familiar with driving in the winter, the massive amounts of salty snow and ice that collect within a car’s wheel wells?

Why is the snow salty? Oh, it’s a little service provided by the State of Minnesota. The salt ensures that the ice will melt and that your car will rust properly. No, no, no! No need to thank them. It’s part of what a full-service state will do.

But back to the slush.

When you drive in the snow, loads and loads of it ends up in your wheel wells where it freezes into clumps.

And those clumps, my friends, once you’ve pulled into a parking lot, are an absolute delight to kick from the car. A couple of good kicks and there it goes, hills of filthy ice and snow fall with a satisfying splat.

All across the Great State of Minnesota, parking lots fill with dirty piles of kicked-off car droppings.

So the next time you’re wondering, why in the world do people even bother living in states where the weather tries to kill them with the cold?

Now you know.

Because we love the feeling of kicking large clumps of ice off our cars.

And in the summer, we feel like we’re naked.

40 comments:

GregoryJ said...

In just two paragraphs you had me chuckling.
I almost got my face slapped once when saying the word pants to an English woman that I met in an Irish pub in Munich, Germany when I was there in the Army. She was a nanny to a well to do German family.
My car, a Hyundia Elantra is hard to kick the wheel well clumps out of. It doesn't want to give them up.
Thanks,
GregoryJ

Lana Banana said...

it's not even 8am in southern california and it's already a glorious 72 degrees.

i guess it's different here, pearl, sweetie.

we have to get our kicks sunbathing, surfing and cycling along the coast.

sure it's not as fun as freezing my ass and car off, but i guess we'll just have to learn to deal with it.

Douglas said...

We are all naked underneath our clothes. An ancient saying from the `60s.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Pearl, its the tiniest details that get me everytime: "...and that your car rusts properly." Love it!

powdergirl said...

I wear the husbands rugby socks under my 'pants', (pants pants pants, haha)

They make great leg warmers, they hit high in the thigh after a few stretches and tugs. Love em'.
And now that I made him burn his rugby boots for Ms Banana, he won't be needing them.

Kicking the ice out of the wheel wells? Yeah baby!

Ms Sparrow said...

The worst thing about car-plop is that it tends to fall off in the garage. It makes for a really ugly mess. Come spring when it all melts, we can sweep up the piles of sand left over.

CatLadyLarew said...

After a hard day at work it's wonderful to get out all your frustration by kicking the shit out of the icy clumps of slush attached to your car! Bring it!

Irish Gumbo said...

Trousers does sound really proper, doesn't it? Thank you for the tip, I'll remember that when chatting with my English pals. Although it could be used to great comedic effect, I suppose.

And kicking off the car droppings is one of the most satisfying things about winter! Woot!

Jeanne said...

Hoping it warms up enough for you to drop a layer soon....

Molly Potter said...

Wow the culture shock has hit me hard with this post. In Britain, when it snows we simply shut down the whole country and drink hot chocolate. Driving, clumping and kicking would NEVER occur to us. Our country tries to kill us by attempting to dissolve us with water from the sky. So when the Salvation Army gives away free pants, it's not actually disgusting? If we wore leg warmers outside a dance studio people would point. Why - it's like a whole different country.

Linda said...

I have a word for you- Cud-dle-duds. Lovely long underwear that is not bulky; pants, camisoles or long sleeved tops. Mine get out of the drawer in October and back in oh, March, April. And the best part is when you stop wearing that layer, it's like losing weight instantly -that 'naked' pants feel you love.

And the important part of kicking the ice off the car- It is always in a public place- never, never in your own driveway.

sage said...

Thanks for reminding me, during this lull in winter, to wash the salt off my truck...

SparkleFarkle said...

Layer Weather Rule: Go to the bathroom FIRST! (This rule also rings for ancients who are about to become mummies.)

Cloudia said...

"And in the Summer..."

Great post, Pearl


Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm with Linda...sartorially, that is. Cuddleduds come in both black and white, and with long or 3/4 sleeves. When necessary, you can even layer them. At the moment I'm wearing two black Cuddleduds tops beneath a sweatshirt. However, I could have used leg-warmers an hour ago while I was tromping around in knee-high snow filling bird feeders and rescuing small trees bent and frozen into the snow.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

You said it girl. Nothing better than kicking the chunks of snow off the wheelwells. Makes you feel mighty and strong like bull. Poor warm weather bitches have no idea the things we do in the frozen tundra to survive.

Fragrant Liar said...

Snow droppings? Sounds like you need to call an exslushinator, or you have just found a niche to fill! What if people, for their frigid hard cash, allowed you to go round their vehicles and slam the slush, so to speak? You could kick, kick, kick your way to wealth!

Plus, think of the tight buns you'd have by summer.

You're welcome.

My name is PJ. said...

Yeah. Those two things aren't enough to sway me.
But I'm all about the legwarmers. I haven't seen them on anyone since Olivia Newton John. Do you wear a headband around your head too? Carry a boombox? I keed. I keed.

Chris Mancini said...

Mother Nature wants to kill us all, mainly as a response to snuggies and 24 hour news channels. Can you blame her?

Joanna Jenkins said...

You're right, you really DO feel naked when you take your leg warmers off!
:-)

Jayne Martin said...

I bow to your hardiness... I am a California weather wienie. I wear leg warmers if it drops below 70. And yes, I am ashamed.

Debbie said...

well, now it all makes perfect sense..because as a Florida girl I have always wondered...:)

justsomethoughts... said...

dirty piles of kicked-off car droppings

love it
it kicks....ice.

and we have them in joizy too
but not in prodigious quantities you do
i save mine in the freezer to look at in july

justsomethoughts... said...

puns are disgusting
i'm shamed
as well as embarrassed

Dragonfly said...

Hi there - thanks for visiting! I'm in the sunny north of Oz and we have been sweltering for months! I can't imagine snow, and leg-warmers???!!! I don't think we have seen these in this land since Fame came on TV (the first time)!!! Pants for us are trousers, and underwear 'undies' - so no confusion!!
Have a great weekend - and nice to meet you!! :-)

Eternally Distracted said...

Originating from across the pond - yep, pants are underwear and without them you ARE naked! But living in the Middle east means that it is winter and the sun is still shining ;0))

SweetPeaSurry said...

Often I wear pants with my trousers. That's another post for another day though. That frozen slushy wheelwell CRAPPOLA completely jacked up my car this year. Something is now very wrong with the stearing, or something down underneath there. I do so love me some winter! Luckily I'm trading in this spring!

dave hambidge said...

Excellent post. For the first time in many years in britland we have had weather bad enough to produce the wheel arch clumps you so vividly describe. And yes, kicking them off is truly satisfying. As for pants, ummmm...

Tempo said...

Yup, pants are knickers here in Oz as well, and fanny is...well I guess you know that one too! It has always puzzled me why you guys actually want salt on your roads, crazy yanks! LOL

honeypiehorse said...

Interesting. I had not considered that positive aspect of freezing weather.

Secretia said...

Isn't it fun when you get inside to finally take everything off and take a nice hot shower, that dress lightly!

Secretia

Cbellabell said...

Say "fanny" to a Brit sometime and see where that gets you.

Gregory said...

why live in Minnesota? I do ask myself this question (thank god I don't live there) on with the comment...
Because it is there! so be it...
being a partial southerner, lived in Ga for 8 wonderful years where it never snows, ice storms, yes, but hardly what I would now call cold. moved to Cinci in 76 with in the next few years after, the Ohio river froze, temps were in the minus range and I just kept saying "when are we going back home?" cold and me just don't seem to agree... bring on the global warming, like I keep saying single digits on the thermometer should be against the law.

GregoryJ said...

Hi Pearl,
I just saw the photo at the bottom of your blog.
I'm giving you an award, because I have to give it to ten people or vast amounts of coal will fall on my head.
Please go Here for the details.
I'm anxious to see your submissions.
Thanks,
GregoryJ

Mandy's Kidding said...

I think we need a picture of aforementioned leg warmers. I'm also a Great Lakes Region resident and I have never seen such a thing, or at least not since '83-ish.

I'm always afraid to kick the clumps off because one time I did that maneuver and I broke part of my car. Now I just pay a few extra dollars for the underbody wash at the car wash. You get the same feeling of satisfaction.

What I hate is having to wash the dried salt off of my floors every week in front of the front and back doors. Ugh.

white rabbit said...

Pants do indeed mean underwear.

It is also inadvisable for American men to come to England and introduce themselves to ladies by saying 'Hi! I'm Randy'.

Even if that is their name.

Randy = Horny here...

Trust this helps ;)

Plus fags are cigarettes by the way.

Barbara Blundell said...

Bloomers and drawers to you !!

That Baldy Fella said...

Kicked-Off Car Droppings is a great album title

The Retired One said...

I heart wheel tumors! I kick them all the time and LOVE it too!
The leg warmers? Not so much...on my short fat legs they roll down like tootsie rolls. :-}

alpharat said...

Michigan too. I love the feeling of sneaking up and delivering a hefty karate kick to an unsuspecting chunk of car ice.