An Open Letter to My Landscapers

Living in an apartment comes with a couple of major benefits.

Benefit #1: I don’t have to do yard work.

Benefit #2: My yard work is done by a bunch of hot, sweaty, shirtless, muscular Hispanic men who have provided me with enough masturbation fodder to keep me aroused well into my 90s.

sexy gardner

As much as I enjoy looking at them, I have to say, it’s pretty clear they have no idea what they’re doing. Not that I have a problem with stupid men. Hell, young, dumb and handsome is exactly how I like them. But I think a few tweaks to their work plan are in order, before my entire complex is consumed in dandelions and rose bushes that are nothing but thorns.

#1 – That thing your weed wacking is a sprinkler head.

No joke, I just watched a guy go to town on a sprinkler head with a high powered weed wacker for twenty minutes before realizing that the ‘weed’ was made of green plastic. On the upside, I now have a pretty new mini-fountain in my front yard. Hey, silver lining, right?

#2 – You just spent $40 in gas trying to move ONE leaf.

I know the term ‘leaf blower’ is confusing, because it indicates a singular leaf. However, the leaf blower is actually meant to be used on large quantities of leaves. Now, look around. What kind of trees do we have here? Palm trees. You know, the kind of tree that doesn’t drop leaves. Why the hell do you even have a leaf blower? I haven’t seen a leaf on the ground since 2009.

#3 – Just leaving the lawnmower on isn’t a clever tactic for hiding from work.

Trust me, I am the queen of avoiding doing work, and I know a thing or two about pretending to be busy when I’m not. When you sit in the shade for half an hour, with your lawnmower running but not moving while you play with your iPhone, everyone can tell you’re not doing anything.

A lawnmower makes a shitty prop, because it makes it clear to people that you aren’t working as soon as it’s not in motion. Here are some ideas for better props.

  • The weed wacker – One of my friends used to do this one when he was assigned yard work in the military. He would get a weed wacker, and then he would just walk around with it. Whenever anyone looked suspicious, he pretended he was cleaning it. In the entire 6 months he was on the yard work detail, he never turned the weed wacker on once…and Fort Huachuca was nearly overrun with weeds.
  • The clipboard – This was another tip from my friend. When you carry a clipboard, you always look like you’re doing something important. There is just something about a clipboard that gives you an air of authority. Plus, it’s lighter than a weed wacker.
  • The ‘arms crossed while watching another group of guys who are actually working’ pose – This one is good too, because again it gives you an air of authority, without you having to do one single thing. As an added bonus, most people will just assume you’re with the government, due to the lack of efficiency in 6 supervisors watching two guys do all the work.

Look, I want you guys to stay forever. You’re fun to look at and I don’t understand what you’re calling me when you yell at me in Spanish. But it’s only a matter of time before my landlord realizes you are all nothing but very dirty eye candy. When that happens, you’re going to get shown the door and I’m going to get a new crew of significantly less attractive rednecks.

Please don’t let that happen. What we have is special and I’d hate to lose it.


I’m Better When I’m Drunk – Boozehound for Hire

Recently, I decided to run my stats, because that sounds like something successful business people do. With the exception of my ‘How to Pass a Drug Test‘ article, every one of the top articles I’ve written have been written while I was at least mildly buzzed, to heavily intoxicated.

Of course, I didn’t post when I was hammered. I never allow myself to post while drinking. I made that rule after an unfortunate occurrence where I wrote something suspiciously similar to a communist manifesto. To this day, I still have a huge socialist following…

marxist feminie dialect

My blog posts can be classified into three categories. The first category is my standard jokey posts, usually written sober, that skim the surface of a current complaint. The next category occurs when I’ve been drinking. The articles I write then are emotionally charged and usually cover controversial topics in an extremely controversial way.

The third category occurs when I’m really stoned. Those articles are mainly about how much I love Funyuns.

Funyuns_Original

Here’s why I’m bringing this up. There is a double standard when it comes to addiction. The best you can get when you have a drinking or drug problem is to be called ‘functioning’. But what if your problem isn’t with booze or pills? What if your personal vice is betting at the track or hitting the craps tables in Vegas?

Well, then you don’t have to be an addict. Instead, you can be a professional gambler. You ever notice that gambling is a very specific addiction? It only affects those who are bad at it. If you are an incredibly good gambler, who is really lucky, you are a professional gambler. If you suck, you’re addicted to gambling.

Here’s the deal; I’m actually good at being drunk. I’m not an angry drunk or weepy drunk. I’m just a bit happier and a little less inhibited. Apparently, I’m also a better writer when I’ve had a few. I’m much more likely to break past that old “New Englanders don’t have feelings’ mentality. With a buzz, I can talk about something I’m truly passionate about, rather than waxing on for 2000 words about how different the Bible would be if it was written by Alpacas.

Anyway, I’m annoyed. If gamblers can do it, why not me? So I am taking the opportunity now to announce, I am not an alcoholic or drunk.

I am a Professional Boozehound.

***Oh, and concerned readers, resist the urge to send me pamphlets about AA. I would rather be full on sucking-my-dealers-dick-for-my-next-fix addicted than paste one of those obnoxious ‘take it easy’ bumper stickers on my car. Recognize artistic license when you see it, people.

 

 

 


I Can’t Wait Until My Funeral

You are never more popular than you are when you die. You get more flowers, more visitors, and more nice things said about you at one time than in your entire life combined. No matter how much of a dirt bag you were, people will stay up for hours, writing a eulogy where they try to find something nice to say about you.

God damn it, I can’t wait! I have an outfit picked out and everything! The only thing that sucks is I won’t be alive to enjoy it.

I can only imagine the crazy shit people would come up with in order to make me sound like a good person.

  • Essa had a real thirst for life! (technically true, when you consider my drinking problem)
  • Essa was really consistent at being inconsistent.
  • Essa had great oral hygiene and flossed regularly.

People will come up with something nice to say, because it most cases, death makes you a saint.

I used to live in a small town in Maine, near Bowdoin College. While I was there, there was a homeless man that everyone called ‘CatDog”. CatDog was well into his 60s, most likely mentally ill, and had some serious drug problems.

Then CatDog died. Suddenly, CatDog was the wisest man who ever existed. He wasn’t a homeless man; he was a ‘street philosopher’. He didn’t sleep in an alley because he was addicted to huffing paint. He slept in the alley because of his ‘minimalist beliefs’. CatDog was no longer the homeless man everyone avoided. He was wise. Newspapers wrote extensive profiles on him, going into his life in detail and talking about how he’d managed to ‘survive 40 years on the streets’.

He lived so long because he was in Brunswick fucking Maine. The biggest daily danger he faced was getting patronized to death by some Liberal Arts white kid with dreadlocks.

They said all these wonderful things about this guy, with no irony at all, despite how he died. As I recall, his death was a result of passing out in a plastic bag filled with paint. When he was found, his pants were down around his ankles and he was in viewing distance of a grade school.

To me, that’s the exact opposite of wisdom. You know who never gets hired as a life coach? The guy with an addiction to paint huffing and kid diddling.

If death made CatDog a saint, imagine what it’s going to do for me! So, I’ve wanted to let you all know that I’ve decided to do something special. You know how some chicks get sick of waiting to get married and marry themselves? Well, I’m sick of waiting to get buried so I’m going to bury myself.

I present to you the Essa Alroc Pre Mortem Funeral

invitation

The itinerary is as follows. You will arrive at the funeral home. I will arrive by a horse drawn hearse in a silk lined casket made of glass so everyone can admire how pretty I am. Then, I will take a nap while every takes turns saying nice things about me and giving me flowers. I will be taken back to the hearse and we will begin the procession to the graveyard. We will take the long route, stopping as much traffic as possible along the way. We will arrive at the cemetery.

Then, as I believe the Catholic Church requires, we will all do the chicken dance. I will be brought into a Mausoleum that is a large scale replica of my face. You will all go home. Well, except one of you.

I’m gonna need someone to let me out of the Mausoleum.

Donations can be made directly to me, because it is going to be expensive as hell to pay for all this shit.

 


Dear Science, we’ve waited long enough…

Marty McFly will return on October 21, 2015. He was expecting to land in a world filled with hover boards, flying cars and rampant gambling and prostitution.

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At least the producers got the last two right.

Science, I know you try. I know you’re constantly covered in bureaucratic red tape, thanks to companies who would rather pay to treat a disease for years, rather than cure it once. I know what a bitch it is to have to apply for grant money to try out some wacky idea.

I understand how depressing it is to be an aspiring mad scientist in a world where giant lasers don’t exist.

But I’m going to need you all to up your game. Marty McFly will be returning soon and we at least want to show him we did some things right (besides the gambling and prostitution). Here are some projects I’m going to need you to start working on ASAP.

Food in pill form – and the Mexican diet pills I’m taking don’t count. As a human being who might also be part cyberborg, I find the task of eating annoying and time consuming. I live on a diet of mainly processed items in small packages, that require no cooking. When I do cook, I’m so exhausted by the time I’m done, I don’t have the energy to eat.

Unless I’m taking those Mexican diet pills. Then I cook, clean the bathroom for 6 hours and mow the lawn.

Holograms – Do you guys remember Jem and the Holograms? It’s mainly about a girl, her pet supercomputer, and a band of crime solving musicians. I loved that show and I wanted to be Jem. Unfortunately, as the use of holograms isn’t as widespread as we would expect it to be, I haven’t had the opportunity yet.

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Rest assured, as soon as I can buy a hologram throwing supercomputer at Kinkos, I will be starting my own band which also solve crimes. FYI: I’m looking for a good keytar player, if anyone knows one.

Dictation software that actually works – Here’s an example of the current dictation software I have available to me.

Watch as I type this ambiance with store taught diction software.

Really? Come on Science. We can do better than that. It’s 2014. I was expecting to be able to type novels with my mind by now, and instead, you’re sticking me with software that can’t tell the difference between ‘ambiance’ and ‘sentence’. It doesn’t help that I have a slight New England drawl, which leads the computer to believe that I don’t use the letter R.

Robots – Do you guys realize the closest thing we have to artificial intelligence is Google? Seriously, we have that kind of power at our fingertips, and we use it to search for fetish porn. Where’s my maid robot, my sex robot and my gas station robot? Hell, if people who made movies based in the future want to be accurate, they shouldn’t have robots doing all the menial jobs. They have all the jobs outsourced to India.

Science, I have to say you’re doing ok. Sure, you haven’t found a cure for AIDS or cancer, but at least you can get a 90 year old’s penis hard. You might not have found a way to end pollution but you did create PooVak, the Pet Waste Vacuum Pooper Scooper. Seeing you guys really like to focus your energy on frivolous crap, I’m sure all my requests should be easy to manage.

Happy sciencing.

 


A Brief (and Incredibly Inaccurate) Explanation of Easter

I love holidays. I love every last one of them, right down to Arbor Day and the Jewish New Year. I just like any day that is special, and gives me an excuse to day drink.

Of course, whenever a religious holiday comes along, as a parent, it is my duty to explain these holidays to my son. While I’m great with the biggies, Christmas, Halloween, etc., I kind of blow once the story gets involved. And Easter is a bit of a convoluted story in the Catholic Church.

So I do what any good parent would do when their kid asks them questions they don’t know the answer to. I fucking wing it.

Son: Mom, what do we celebrate Easter?

Me: Because Jesus comes back.

Son: Doesn’t that mean Armageddon?

Me: No, Armageddon would only happen if Jesus came back at the same time as his evil twin, the Anti-Christ.

Son: Jesus has an evil twin?

Me: Sure, deep down, everyone has an evil twin. That’s what Easter is all about.

Son: So what’s with the eggs?

Me: Jesus is allergic. I think it’s passage Luke 24: 35, where the angel announces Jesus has risen. Right before everyone starts singing “Jesus Christ; Superstar”, the angel announces to the women at the tomb that Jesus he isn’t in the tomb anymore and gives them instructions for his return. “He is risen, just as he said…Now hide those damn eggs. Jesus can be a real diva and if he sees any eggs in his green room, we’ll hear about it from his agent.” Then, everyone does a big dance number.

http___makeagif.com__media_3-27-2014_4wrVWx

Son: (a look of pure skepticism)

Me: What?

Son: Fine, whatever. What’s with all the flat bread?

Me: Yeast makes Jesus gassy. He actually has a large list of dietary restrictions.

Son: I should probably Google this so I don’t sound like an idiot, huh?

Me: I think that would be a wise decision.

 


Classifying Asshole Neighbors

About 40% of the people in the US live in apartments. I am one of those apartment dwellers. Through the years, I have lived in about 10 different apartments in different cities, with different socioeconomic backgrounds and different amenities. But there is one thing I have noticed that is common in all of them.

Asshole neighbors.

In order to help classify them, I’ve created this handy list of definitions, laying out their specific genus and species. You’re welcome.

Shrill Teenagers

Shrill Teenagers can be spotted at around 3 am, usually directly underneath your bedroom window. They can be identified by the unique noise they emit. It is a combination of text speak and all caps.

OMG, DID YOU SEE TOMMY! I WAS TOTES ROFL AND LMFAO!! DO YOU THINK HE SAW ME! I HATE HIM SO MUCH. THAT’S WHY I TALK ABOUT HIM ALL THE TIME!!!

The following statement will be followed by shrill (hence the name) giggles that will cut into your very soul.

The Angry Elderly

This type of neighbor isn’t so much of an asshole as they are a pain in the ass. They can be spotted by the sound of a broomstick banging on your bedroom floor from below, because you are being too loud. You are being too loud despite wearing slippers stuffed with feathers on a carpeted floor while tiptoeing.

These types are very skittish about noise and much like squirrels, can be found in droves in the early morning, but disappear come about 5 pm. They are ritualistic and must return home every evening in time for viewings of Wheel of Fortune followed by Jeopardy.

Dysfunctional Duos

Dysfunctional Duos have a special place in my heart, because I was once part of a dysfunctional duo. (Side note: if you don’t know who the crazy neighbor is, you are the crazy neighbor). Keep in mind that these types do not have to be boy/girl pairings. In fact, they are most often seen when you pair two females together. Much like Japanese fighting fish, it will only be a matter of time before one rips the others fins off.

These Dysfunctional Duos will have long periods of dormancy, where they are perfectly happy together.  Then, they will display the warning signs of an impending attack. This starts by drinking large of amounts of alcohol and displaying ‘crazy eyes’, followed by loudly asking “Seriously?” in response to an argument. The argument will end with a minimum of a physical assault, or a maximum of a night in jail.

Foreclosed Trailer Dwellers

Foreclosed trailer dwellers are just what they sound like (yes, I am fully aware you can’t foreclose on a trailer). They are rednecks who move in with 16 broken down cars, an RV, and 75 of their closest relatives. They are easily spotted by the cars they drive, none of which will be made later than 1994. The cars might be held together with glue, random scraps of wood, and coat hangers. They will all have tinted windows.

These apartment rednecks will be extremely loud, drink large quantities of cheep beer and spend a significant amount of time screaming at the television, when they aren’t pounding on each other. Aside from Dysfunctional Duos, Foreclosed Trailer Dwellers get the most amount of police visits.

Criminally Insane

Whether they’re setting up a meth lab or walking around the neighborhood in nothing but a baseball hat and a smile, there is always one. Weirdly, they can often be the hardest to find. See, you won’t know about the criminally insane until the police are pulling up to dig some dead hookers out of your neighbor’s garden.

These people might appear to be perfectly normal. Then, one day they will snap. They are the people that interviewees on the news are talking about when they say ‘but he was such a nice guy…’ You might think you don’t have any in your neighborhood. But rest assured, there is always one.


Hey Target, I Have Some Ideas for Your Bags

Let me start this off by saying I love Target. I love their clean floors and bathrooms, their sales associates that are actually polite and pleasant and the fact that you can get a cart through their isles without running into piles and piles of impulse buys.

Another thing I like about Target is they are socially conscious. I noticed that today as I was examining my Target bag and saw a helpful listing of ways to ‘recycle’ the bag and save the planet.

Target bag

Now, I’m all for saving the planet, but I have to say Target, your ideas are a little vanilla. I mean, ‘reuse it as a lunch bag?” Come on, only the poor kids bring their lunches to school in grocery bags.

So, because I love you so very much Target, I came up with a few more…less suckish ideas for how to reuse your bag.

The Target Blanket Party

Got a bunk mate in the military who just isn’t pulling his weight and keeps getting your whole platoon in trouble? Don’t stretch out your socks filling them with bars of soap and quarters for that midnight sneak attack. Use a Target bag! It even has that handy handle for extra swing, ensuring accuracy when you’re swinging that homemade weapon at your lazy battle buddies testicles.

As an added bonus, that subpar soldier will flinch whenever he hears the crinkle of plastic for the rest of his life.

Autoerotic Asphyxiation

Did you know that 1000 people a year die during autoerotic asphyxiation incidents? Don’t make your family a statistic, by being yet another corpse found dressed in lace panties, hanging from a noose of silk stockings while clenching your rigor mortis stiff penis. Instead, use a Target bag to gently smother yourself while you masturbate! It has less risk than a homemade noose of woman’s lingerie, because if you pass out, the bag will loosen and allow you to start breathing normally again. Safety first perverts. Safety first. 

The Garbage Buffer

Are you tired of your garbage man judging you because your garbage is 98% beer bottles and 2% feminine hygiene products? Shoving some additional Target bags in your garbage will make it look like you do more with your time than drink and insert tampons. Because god forbid an 11th grade drop out garbage man thinks you’re an alcoholic with an exceptionally heavy menstrual flow.

The Shitty Filmmaker

Are you tired of no one thinking you’re deep, no matter how many videos you post of yourself on YouTube talking about your feelings? Get yourself a camera, a Target bag and a windy day. Film it for a few minutes and tell everyone how ‘it’s the most beautiful thing’ you’ve ever seen.

Your friends are sure realize how deep and profound you are then.

The Paint Huffer

Are you sick of wasting valuable paint fumes with those ridiculously porous paper bags? Get with the new millennium and start using plastic instead! As an added bonus, if you buy your huffing paint at Target, you have a fully ready paint huffing kit.

Target, because I love you, you can use all of those ideas free of charge. You don’t even have to credit me with them. I really just want to see the look on some trophy wife’s face when her Target bag tells her “this bag is certified for safe use by the autoerotic asphyxiation society.”


No, You Don’t Need Magnum Condoms

The last time I had sex, back in the day where we would work ourselves up into a lather during a dinosaur back joust, and foreplay consisted of pulling each others powdered wigs off, I noticed a common phenomenon.

Every dude on the planet seems to think he needs Magnum condoms.

t_magnum_l_12box2

The average length of the adult male penis, while fully erect, is approximately 5.5 inches. I’ll be honest and say that is more than enough for me. The only time penis size would seem to be a problem is when someone is hung like a Tic Tac. For the most part, as long as you actually have a penis and you’re not pulling some kind of weird “Boys Don’t Cry” thing, I’m satisfied. I’ve never been with a guy who I felt would benefit from penis enhancement.

Though I’ve known a few who should have considered a reduction.

But I’ve noticed a common trend. Dudes who have no need for Magnum sized condoms carrying around Magnum sized condoms. It serves no purpose. It’s like a chick with a B cup buying double D bras to make herself feel better about her small tits.

You know what specs the Magnum condom was designed for? A minimum of 8 inches while fully erect. Here’s the deal; if you’re 8 inches while fully erect, you don’t need a condom, because there is no way in hell that I’m letting you touch me with that thing. Go find yourself a 50 year old porn star with a cavern of a vagina. I’m a little bit more compact than that.

But when you’re getting on top of me, getting ready to do the deed, and you give me a sly smile while pulling out a Magnum condom to fit your fully average penis, know this. Not only do you look like a moron with low self esteem, you are also putting us both at risk. Wearing an ill fitting condom can lead to spillage, which leads to STDs or accidental pregnancy.

And I’m not willing to risk my health in order to give you a self esteem boost.

So boys, be honest when you head to the drug store. Stop slapping down that economy box of Magnum condoms that you really don’t need and get yourself regular ones that actually fit. It might be a cliché, but it’s true; size really doesn’t matter.

Unless you’re Asian. Then you might want to consider the slim fits…just saying.

 

 


Watching the Oscars Does Not Make You a Film Critic – The Ethical Side of Movie Reviewing

I saw a news article today that disturbed me. In summation, at least two of the judges for the Oscars voted for 12 Years a Slave without even watching it.

Am I saying 12 Years a Slave wasn’t a good movie? Hell no, in my opinion, it actually deserved to win. Of course, my opinion is more valid than those Oscar voters because I actually watched the fucking thing and developed an opinion.

best picture

What I’m saying is that to review a movie, call a movie good, and actually vote for the movie to win an award you should actually watch the damn thing.

I guess the reviewers decided not to view it, thinking that it might be a bit too violent for them. Here’s the deal, if you can’t handle violence, then you shouldn’t be reviewing movies in the first place. Movies should be reviewed based on an unbiased appraisal, regardless of their genre.

As one of the many hats I wear, I review films. In the past year or so, I’ve written 75 in depth reviews of various films, based on the actual merit of the movie.

I’m an action/documentary/comedy lover. Those are my preferred genres that I watch for my own entertainment. However, I don’t get to pick the movies I review. I might review a subtitled foreign film, an incredibly gory horror, or god fucking forbid, a romantic comedy.

Regardless of what genre I’m watching, I appraise five different points of the movie; plot, casting, effects, direction and musical score. I watch the movie, develop an opinion in all five areas, and then offer a review.

Here’s what I don’t do; I don’t give movies in genres I don’t like poor scores just because I don’t like the genre. On the flip side, not every action movie I watch gets a five out of five. Each film is reviewed based on its own merit, regardless of whether I would watch it for my own entertainment.

If I, as an incredibly low ranking movie reviewer, can do that, why the hell can’t someone who is responsible for awarding the biggest award in film do that?

Spewing out the same damn opinion as everyone else does not make you a film critic. Voting for 12 Years a Slave for best picture because you think it’s a ‘socially conscious’ move, does not make you a film critic. It just makes you a politically correct douchebag.

I work hard on my reviews, because I think that a valid, educated opinion matters. When I learn that someone has been given the incredible honor of having a voting share in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and then uses that power with the same enthusiasm as a bored tween being pressured to vote for the next American Idol, it makes me a little bit sick.  

I used to have a little bit of faith in the Oscars. I mean, it’s not the fucking Golden Globes, where you just buy your award. At the Oscars, you are supposed to earn your award. Nobody is earning an award when people toss out their votes because a hard hitting movie offends their delicate sensibilities. The Oscars aren’t about liberal guilt. They are about giving awards when people make good movies.

I’m very glad that 12 Years a Slave won, and not because I thinks it’s socially conscious, or even because  Chiwetel Ejiofor played “The Operative” in Serenity. It was just a good movie. I said so months ago, when I actually watched it the week it came out. Watch me quote myself like a douchebag;

If (Chiwetel Ejiofor) doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar for his performance, I can only assume someone in the nominations office has brain damage.

Yeah bitches, I called that shit months ago, before that Best Actor Oscar was even a twinkle in Matthew McConaughey’s eye (can’t argue that. Dallas Buyers Club was fantastic as well). You know how I created that amazing magic trick, to be able to predict who would be nominated and who was worthy of an award?

I actually watched the god damn movie and formulated an opinion based on Ejiofor’s performance…DESPITE the fact that this is a genre (drama) that I don’t usually watch. I didn’t flinch away because I was sure the movie would be violent and depressing. I watched it because it is my fucking job to watch the movies assigned to me and formulate real opinions on them.

To the reviewers who handed over the Oscar without watching the movie, shame on you. If you couldn’t handle reviewing the possible candidates, it was not your place to phone in your votes. It was your place to recuse yourself from the decision and pass it off to someone who could friggen handle it.

If you want to read a real review from someone who actually watched the film, you can find my review of 12 Years a Slave here. In addition, if you want a review from someone who actually pays attention to the movies she is reviewing, feel free to check out my reviews here.

 

  

 


Essa’s Adventures – The Molting Period

I arrive at the salon and Gina, the girl who does my hair, looks at me with fear in her eyes. “What the hell did you do?”

I reach a hand up to touch the tangled birds’ nest that is my hair. “Mostly just neglect, but I’ve also been using it for storage.”

“Storage?”

I push past her to the salon chair. “You’ll see.”

My hair can’t be washed because it’s tangled. Gina starts to brush it out and lets out a laugh. “You have like 8 ponytail holders back here.”

“My hair eats them.” I take the elastic bands, one by one, as she goes through the process of digging them out.

“And I just found a pen.” She passes it to me.

“Starting to get what I mean by ‘storage’?”

“Is this a roach clip?”

“Yeah, there should be half a dube in there to go with it.”

She passes it to me. “How does your hair get like this?”

“I blame an albino parakeet named Sheila.” I meet her perplexed look in the mirror. “When I was a kid, my mom got me this bird, Sheila.”

Gina pulls out a comb. “What does a bird with a stripper’s name have to do with your hair?”

“I’ll get there.” I flinch as Gina starts working on a knot the size of a baseball. “Sheila was an albino parakeet. She was really pretty. Pink eyes, beautiful white feathers. She was always preening,” another wince as Gina works out the knot. “You know, that shit that that all birds do with their feathers, where they rotate their head like 180 degrees. Creepy as fuck…”

“Focus.” Gina is used to my rambling.

“Anywho, for 9 months out of the year, Sheila was beautiful. Then, every January, she’d start to molt. Because she was white, you could see the skin underneath her feathers. She was real ugly then.” I squint as I try to describe it. “You know that retarded vulture from Looney Tunes?”

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“I think he was a buzzard.”

“Whatever,” I continue on, “by the end of her molting period, she looked a lot like that. But for the entire molting period, she never preened. Not once. She just sat there, eating her bird food, watching TV with me, looking content. It was like she knew that she looked terrible, couldn’t help it, and just decided to roll with it. Honestly, after all her regular preening, I think she just liked having the time off.” I shrug. “And I thought, ‘if a bird can do that, why not me?’”

Gina looks confused. “Why not what?”

“Why not molt!” Gina has brushed out most of my hair and I’m starting to look human again. “Why not take a few months out of every year, to look like shit, and not care about it? I’ve been doing it for a while and it has a ton of benefits.”

“Like what?” Gina squirts me with a spray bottle.

“The comparison alone is worth it.” I look down as Gina starts to trim off my ends. “You ever have a friend, who always looks perfect?”

“I am a hairdresser.”

“Good point. Anyway, that friend who always looks perfect gets a cold, stays out late, whatever. The point is the next day, she looks like shit. Everyone she knows points it out to her. ‘Hey, you ok? You aren’t looking so good’ or ‘what’s wrong? You look terrible.’ It’s like everyone in the world feels justified in telling her how ugly she is.”

Gina turns my chair sideways. “I’m following.”

“Ok, now flip it. Think about a friend who doesn’t make much of an appearance effort, and then have her get dressed up for just one day.That day, it’s like she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. All she hears all day, is ‘wow, you look amazing. Have you been working out?’” 

Gina spins me around as I finish off my theory. “When you really think about it, the girl who works really hard on her looks doesn’t get any credit for it. But the girl who’s lazy about her looks gets a parade for throwing in a token effort.”

She reaches for the hairdryer. “And this is the reason that I’m pulling pens and roach clips out of your hair every year at this time?”

“Yup, I just ended a molting period.” I smile. “I’m preening.”

“Then you might want to preen that eyebrow, because you only have one right now.”


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