Snark Scribe

Not all of us can meet people of quality

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Co-Workers Have a Weird Sense of Humor

One of the students in my lab is pre-med. He hasn't decided what his specialty in medicine will be, but everyone is trying to convince him to become a gynecologist.

Why? Because his initials are VAG.

At lunch today, people gave him helpful suggestions such as:

"Wouldn't it be cool to have a name tag that says Dr. Vag?"

"You could open up a women's clinic and call it 'The Vag Center.'"

"You can get a license plate for your car that says VAG MAN."

This is what happens when geeks get bored.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Infertility and Infidelity

My co-worker Jane always has stories about her crazy, dysfunctional family. Today she told us one about her uncle.

Uncle and his wife had trouble conceiving a child, due to some fertility problems. The whole family knew the particulars of that particular problem because during Thanksgiving dinner, Uncle announced to everyone that he had a low sperm count.

Some time afterwards, he and his wife adopted a baby girl. A month later, his wife got pregnant. Some people thought, "Gee, doesn't it always happen that way?" However, Grandpa (Uncle's father) was suspicious. (Jane described Grandpa as "having a little more sense" and "being heavily armed.")

While his son was at work, Grandpa took his guns over to his daughter-in-law's home, and caught her with two men from the truck stop.

Grandpa chased off the other men, and wasted no time telling everyone that the bun in the oven did not belong to his son.

Poor Uncle now had two kids that he was not biologically related to. He divorced his wife, gave his adopted daughter to his mother to raise, then proceeded to "shack up with a succession of truck stop waitresses," according to Jane.

At the current time, Uncle plans to marry a nice woman who wants a Catholic wedding. This means Uncle is trying to get his first marriage annulled by the Church.

As part of the application for annulment, 7 family members have to fill out a 8-10 page questionnaire that asks for very personal details of Uncle's relationship(s).

Jane's mother is filling out one of the questionnaires, and keeps calling her to say, "You won't believe what they're asking now!"

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

61st Carnival of The Feminists

A new blog carnival is up at Diary of a Freak Magnet, hosted by Ginger.

There are lots of interesting posts, so take a look!

(By the way, I haven't gotten any inappropriate spam comments in a while, so I've disabled the word verification in the comments. Don't make me reinstate it. You know who you are).

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Greek House

My co-worker Jane used to share an apartment with 5-6 Greek men who were recent immigrants to the US. All of them (and their friends) were extremely comfortable with their bodies, and spent much of their time in the nude.

Jane described living in that apartment as, "It was like being on the set of Caligula."

It was not unusual for Jane to come home and find about a dozen naked, or near-naked men in the living room, chain-smoking cigarettes. Because of this, if she brought her own friends over, she would enter the apartment first to "do a naked check."

One day, during a naked check she ran into Stavros, who asked, "What are you doing?" Jane explained she had a friend outside the door, and she wanted to make sure there were no nude men wandering about.

Stavros was appalled. "Why don't she want to see me naked?"

He was genuinely offended. "I look good naked." He could not understand that some people did not like to look at his naughty bits.

However, the men were very nice, and they did occasionally put on clothes. At night, they greased up their hair, donned cowboy boots, put on garishly neon clothing that exposed their chest hair, and went clubbing. Jane told me they looked like "radioactive gay cowboys."

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Mothers Have a Special Language

I was having lunch with some female friends and the topic turned to our mothers and what they think of us, our reputations and our relationships. The common theme seemed to be that our mothers are terrified other people will view us as "damaged merchandise."


Friend #1, prior to meeting her husband, was subjected to motherly comments such as, "Why are you still single? Your sister is fatter and uglier but she still found a man. You're getting old!" (Translation: Hurry before your ovaries shrivel up and turn into dust).

When Friend #2 announced her engagement to a man her mother didn't adore, the admonishments changed to, "You're still young! Why do you need to settle down? Take your time." (Translation: Find someone else).

When Friend #1 and her fiancé bought a house, her mom said, "Oh that's so nice!" (I can remind all of my friends that my child is more successful than theirs).

After they signed the papers her mother suddenly realized, "Oh my god! You're going to be living in sin!" (I have to tone down the bragging about the house to our relatives!)


Friend #2, who is currently living with her fiancé, was recently introduced to his mother's relatives. Prior to the visit, she begged her, "Please don't let them know you're living together! Please don't tell them!" (I want my family to think my son is marrying a pure, virtuous girl).


Friend #3 remarked her boyfriend's parents didn't know they were sharing living quarters until they came to visit. She decided that surprising people instead of telling them in advance gives them no time to object.


My own mother likes to remind me, "You're looking really old and tired." (Eat more, and take your vitamins).

She's also asked, "Do you think your boyfriend will dump you for someone younger and prettier in a couple of years?" (Take more vitamins, so you'll stay young longer).

My mom has told me more than once, "After he finishes medical school, he'll have money and lots of women will try to steal him." (I told you to take your vitamins).


We shared the stories and then laughed it off. When we were 13, we would have probably thought, "Your mom is a crazy woman trying to destroy your self-esteem, too!?"

Fortunately, we're old enough to realize they say awful things, not because they're awful people who want to ruin our lives, but because they genuinely believe that it is helpful. I doubt that I and my friends would be as opinionated and independent if our mothers kept their mouths shut.

Thanks Mom for being a loud, irrational worrywort.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mummy Man

I have a friend that works in a coroner's office. One of the bodies that recently came in was a man who died in his chair at home, and was not discovered for 6 months.

They know he died during the winter, since there were two heat lamps aimed towards him, which dessicated his body.

His power didn't get shut off because he had own propane-powered generator. Apparently, he was a very reclusive individual, hell-bent on self-reliance, because his propane tank had enough gas to run two heat lamps 24 hours a day for half a year.

He was finally discovered, not by family, but by someone who came to serve him papers because he hadn't paid his mortgage. (I don't think the process server realized finding dead bodies was part of the job description).

I think the moral of the story is if you don't have any friends that will miss you if you disappear for 6 months, have some method of preserving your body. I hear heat lamps are excellent for making human jerky.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm Still Melting

I woke up at 2 AM last night and realized I was not sweating, despite the intense heat. I was that dehydrated. I made myself drink 3 glasses of water before trying to go back to sleep. Instead, I kept thinking, "Even if the portable cooling unit worked (which it doesn't), it roars too loudly to allow sweet sweet slumber."

My landlord has yet to call me back regarding my air conditioning situation. When I agreed it was okay for him to buy a new AC system, instead of repairing the old one, I did not mean "Hey, drop a glorified fan at my door and drive off."

The cooling unit and the fans he left for my roommate look new, like he just bought them. I hope he is having trouble obtaining equipment, and bought these for us to use temporarily, out of the goodness of his heart (which I am deeply cynical about). I am paranoid that the actual motive is, "Here's your damn AC. Now shut up."

Dude, at least call me back and tell me if this is your idea of a permanent "fix" or not.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm Melting

I am miserable. There is a heat wave in my town this week. It's been 110 degrees for the past two days, and my air conditioner is broken.

Yesterday, my landlord sent an AC repairman to my house. Apparently, the AC guy is very busy, because he couldn't even give me a 2-hour window. I was told "We'll call you right before we come over." I had to sit at home in the sweltering heat, NOT making money at work, waiting for him to show up.

The AC guy examined the central air conditioning system, and said it needed over $2000 worth of repairs. He called my landlord to make sure he would pay for it, and got a big fat "No."

The AC is very old, and has been fixed before, so the landlord was afraid he would pay for repairs, only to have it break down again. The landlord called me and said he would put in a brand new system instead.

I thought this was reasonable, as long as he came the very next day (today). I was nervous about him cheaping out, and trying to install it himself, but I was desperate for the ability to wear clothing indoors, especially since I live on the second floor.

Today, I worked overtime at work to make up for yesterday's lack of hours, but also to linger in the cool building as long as I could. I imagined coming home to a nice, chilly house.

I was naive.

When I got home I found a portable air conditioning unit outside my bedroom door. Yes, the kind you plug into the wall.

I tried it out, only to find that it vented very hot air through the back, sides and top, thus negating the cool air flowing out the front. I realized it was the type that you put underneath a sliding window. Unfortunately, my window slides open left to right, not up and down.

I put it on my skinny window ledge, propping up the inside edge with a desk and 3 cardboard boxes. I used wall paper and duct tape to seal up the large exposed portion of the window above the AC unit.

Because I had a screen on the window, I could not push the unit out far enough. Hot air from the side and top vents was still blowing into my room. Plus, the AC started to leak large amounts of liquid from the bottom. When I tried to move the AC large amounts splashed out. I really hope my carpet is not soaked with Freon.

I've been running an electric fan that pushes the hot air around the room. I am not looking forward to my energy bill at the end of the month.

I've called the landlord's cell phone and home number 3 times and left 2 messages, telling him about the AC and asking if this was just a temporary measure. I have not received a response. I am horrified to think that he might consider this a good "fix" for my problem. I hope he doesn't say "you agreed I could put in a new AC unit not a new AC system that cools the whole house and not just your bedroom."

Snark is mad.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Kid for a Day

Happy 4th of July!

My workplace had an early celebration yesterday, with a picnic in the park. We decided to recreate our childhoods by going down slides, hanging on monkey bars and having a very vicious water balloon fight.

Instead of little, fist-sized water balloons, we used regular balloons. This meant we could make enormous melon and eggplant-shaped bombs of doom. Due to the thickness of the latex, a lot of the balloons did not explode on impact. Instead, they provided a painfully large smack before bouncing off. (This meant intended victims would scramble to get the lost balloon, and try to return the favor).

At one point the fight moved off the grass onto the basketball court. A girl tripped on a balloon that was aimed at her feet and scraped her knee. Two other people somehow managed to cut themselves on the water fountain while filling balloons.

3 people were bleeding by the time we were done.

Afterwards, we behaved like responsible adults and picked up all the broken balloon fragments and put them in the trash.

However, everyone regressed again when it was time to light the barbecue grill. People were entranced by the fire, and started feeding paper plates, receipts from our wallets, sticks from the playground and dinner napkins into the charcoal pit.

One staff member asked, "How many degrees does it take to light a fire?"

The answer is 2 bachelor's, 3 master's and a PhD. (Plus a few more degrees as silent observers).

I found it rather funny that the same men who signed up to bring sodas, forks and chips (to avoid cooking) insisted on "manning" the grill. Everyone else was nervous though. Several people said, "John's cooking the burgers? Um, I think I'll have a hot dog. Those are pre-cooked right?"

My burger patty was warm (not hot) straight off the grill, so I made them cook it again.

In the end, it was a very fun day, and no one died from food poisoning.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Errant BVD

Dear Roommate,

I learned this week that there is a very good reason for carefully checking what appears to be an empty washing machine, before putting in your own laundry.

Sometimes there is a stray sock from someone else. Sometimes it's something much worse.

The other day I found a pair of men's briefs with a brown stain on them. They were dry, and I have no idea if they had already gone through the wash or not.

I was about to dump in a load of whites (containing my own underwear), when I noticed the orphan BVDs. Thinking they were your socks, I took them out. When I realized what they were I freaked out and ran to wash my hands.

Please, if your man friend has skid-marked undies that he must wash in our machine, please tell him to be prompt about removing them. At the very least, could he please remember to turn on the machine after putting in his filthy undergarments?

Thank you.

The Girl Upstairs

P.S. From Wikipedia I found out BVD stands for Bradley Voorhies and Day. It is also an acronym for Bovine Virus Diarrhea. I hope the latter was not on the former.

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