Rascal Fatts.

Talking to untitledmother this morning, I find out that she has signed up for Meals on Wheels (elderly nutrition program designed to feed anyone over 60 of limited financial needs or physical/mental capacity). She pays them $2.50 per meal, and they deliver lunch to her work every day. “So what are the qualifications for a program like this?” I ask, a bit puzzled by this revelation. When I think of Meals on Wheels, I imagine a malnourished 80 year-old woman opening her home’s front door. She balances her lunch tray on the top of her scooter as she makes her way back to her kitchen table. She says grace, thanking god for the food. She’s happy she won’t have to eat cat food for the second time today, for it gives her the wicked shits and hemorrhoids that drape like jungle vines.

“You just need to be a senior citizen,” untitledmother replies, chomping on her kill, chicken ala king, in between sentences. She’s 64 years old, so you’d better believe that she’s card-carrying and ready for her discounts. “This way, I get one good meal each day during the week.”

One good meal each day? I’m trying to recall here… when has untitledmother EVER been a stranger to a good meal? She eats breakfast, lunch and dinner out every single day. She keeps a can of Spanish peanuts in the drawer of her living room end table and a Snickers bar in her purse, you know, just in case. She’s not even five feet tall, and she’s about 130 pounds overweight. Take a moment and visualize that, people.

She hires someone to mow her lawn and scoop her snow. She hires someone to clean her house. The only thing she has to do is her own laundry (which isn’t often, due to the sheer volume of her wardrobe) and bathe herself (which again, isn’t often). When your hair is so greasy that it stands up like a row of soldiers at the nape of your neck, it’s time to wash. She is clueless as to what’s going on in the back 40, because that would require using a hand mirror. Again, extra effort.

I said to her, “Mom, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” But I don’t think she cares. My perception of Meals on Wheels was food for homebound people who would otherwise starve. I had no idea it was intended to be a crutch for those too lazy to lift a butter knife or nuke a bag of popcorn.

I think the true motivation for untitledmother is 1) Meals on Wheels is cheap, so it frees up money for her shopping and fake nails addictions, and 2) it’s easier to sit on your ass and wait for your food to magically appear than it is to walk a half a block and a flight of stairs to the nearest greasy spoon.

I am just beside myself with shame over this woman. Her selfishness. Her laziness. Her greed. Her gluttony. untitledhusband tells me that I need to work on seeing the good points in people, and quit dwelling on the things I cannot change. I suppose he’s right. But every time I reach a more zen-like state, someone in the family has to go and do something stupid. I suppose eventually, untitledmother will install a pneumatic tube in her house, so she can poop without leaving couch.

Weenie roast.

We went to a friend’s house this past weekend for a grill-out. It was our first date, so to speak. In lieu of the Whitman’s Sampler, we brought $20 worth of kebabs, lips and assholes for the kids (hot dogs), cut fruit, pasta salad and my famous crack dessert bars. Boo-ya, instant BBQ.

Both untitledhusband and I know the wife quite well through work and whatnot. We hadn’t spent much time with her husband, though. When we arrived, he was cutting his grass with his new lawn mower. I didn’t think much of it, for I assumed he would put it away once we got out of the car. But oh contraire. He did not stop until one hour later, when he had finished his yard.

In all, we were at their home for, oh, four hours. Except for the short time we spent together eating at the dinner table, he was constantly doing something else – mowing the grass, playing with the kids outside, masturbating to the table saw spread in the Lowe’s circular. It was clear that he preferred tinkering around in his garage to spending time with us. In addition, their kids wanted nothing to do with untitledson. This did not bother him. He just took the opportunity to raid their toy room and fart on the heads of all their stuffed animals. I was tempted to have him poop in the pink Barbie Hummer, but even I see how that might be crossing a line (especially with how common DNA testing has become).

All in all, the whole situation was quite awkward. Here we’d come with armfuls of carefully prepared food (hey, it was prepared by someone, somewhere). It was clear we’d gone to lengths, if not the deli section, for this one. Then the husband has to go and make us feel like over-anxious virgins at our first prom. It was as if we weren’t worth the effort.

By all other accounts, this guy seemed quite nice. When he did stop his chores long enough to talk, he was very cordial and engaged. He just didn’t seem to understand that abandoning your guests so you can play kick ball with the neighborhood kids was rude. In my mind, I kept making excuses for him – anything to deny the possibility that he just had better things to do that visit with the likes of us. I thought to myself, “Maybe he has ADD. Or maybe he has been working on home projects for so long, he just doesn’t know when to stop.” But there really is no good excuse, now is there.

I’d like to think that we’re not boring people. So maybe we play Scrabble on our Tivo and watch “Big Brother” when everyone else is outside, creating “Eight is Enough” family pyramids, waving flags and playing bocci ball. Does this make us boring? I mean, christ. We are certainly more entertaining than a gaggle of six year-olds that eat their own boogers. I mean, if it’s gross stuff that you’re into, I can tell you for a fact that I myself have an obsession for zit-popping. untitledhusband gets a sick joy out of playing with his own toenail clippings. untitledson will fart on demand, followed by what could only be termed the funky fart dance and a loud vocal declaration of “excuse mah BUTT!” If this isn’t excitement, hand me my nitro pills.

Three times a lady.

untitledmother-in-law has no faults, other than her unbridled lust for cheap vinyl shoes and her dogged desire to spoil her youngest son to the point where all life skills wither away and he’s forced to return to her bosom where he can quite literally spend the remainder of his days sucking the life out of her. Far be it from me to let a sweet, god-fearing woman escape my unforgiving death ray of judgment and criticism. So here goes.

Whenever the whole fam damnly gets together to go out to eat, shop, or watch “Gaither Homecoming” at the local titty bar, untitledmother-in-law’s mind starts a-working. No sooner do we burst out of the house and pour out into the front yard than she breaks out her abacus to see just how many adults can fit into the least amount of vehicles. “I’m sure we can get by with two cars if Uncle Charlie sticks his feet out the sunroof and if Aunt Tess sits on my head,” she cheerfully reports.

Good god. If I had a dime for every time she said the words “I’m sure we could get by with,” it just might equal the amount of money she has saved in her lifetime by buying Dr. Thunder and Toasty O’s and weaving rugs out of old plastic bread sacks. She finds special joy in shopping the clearance racks at Wal-Mart – all while lamenting about how sad it is that her husband’s factory is cutting back on raises and moving jobs overseas. This is a woman that not only pinches pennies, she puts them into an industrial compress, grinds them into dust and then peppers her ramen noodles with them. untitledhusband once asked her how it feels to steal milk money from the five year-old Cambodian child who made her $3 shirt. She pretended not to hear, even though she knew it was a valid point.

The fact that nothing gets her more wet than Crazy Days at the dollar store makes her habit of purchasing anything sold via a “party” perplexing. She recently dropped $235 on, of all things, stamping paraphernalia. To this day, it all sits unused in a box in her bedroom. For fuck’s sake. Imagine the amount of honest-to-goodness brand-name cereal you could’ve bought with that kind of money. You could’ve blown your colon to the moon and back with the amount of fiber contained in that much breakfast food.

Some may say that it’s selfish and wasteful to indulge in such frivolities as circulation and safety, but sweet Jesus, what’s the harm in taking three cars? I would gladly sell $5 hand jobs at my son’s lemonade stand if it meant the money earned would go towards taking a third car. She has this “make-do” mentality, where if we’re not all getting by with less than we need, we’re being wasteful. It’s the same line of thought that compels her to cut a 9 X 12 birthday cake into 60 pieces. And may I go on record as saying that as a fat chick, I find nothing fun about fun-sized food.

But alas, all these thoughts remain in my head. I have yet to say, “How about we live a little and take THREE cars!” Perhaps it’s because the propulsion expert in me knows that if we get into an accident, I would be safer with three people on each side of me. Since untitledmother-in-law was too cheap to spring for the side curtain airbags, each person would act as cushioning agent against the oncoming death blow. There now. I KNEW if I dug deep enough, I’d find some logic in taking two cars.

Size matters.

OK, I just have to put this out there, because it’s been bugging the shit out of me. Just cause it’s summer doesn’t mean your feet shrunk two sizes, people. Just because you can get size 7 flip-flops on your nasty-ass size 9s due to the lack of firm boundaries doesn’t make it right. And yes, I’m talking to YOU Pizza Hut girl and your high-heel flip-flops (the wrongness of which is another post entirely), and YOU untitledmother-in-law and your cheap hooker sandals of brown patchwork vinyl and unsightly grommets, for which the purpose is not clear, if not to tie those damn things to a concrete block and drown them in a river.

By wearing the wrong sandals in clearly the wrong way, you’re taking advantage of the system and ruining the art for the rest of us.

To add a little construction to my criticism, let’s review. When it comes to sandals, we all know that there is a unspoken line of demarkation. Sometimes it is indicated by decorative stitching or contrasting footbed fabric. Other times, there is foot-shaped contouring that can be used as a guide. But every now and then, the boundary is invisible. The cues can be confusing. But regardless of shoe design, toes should not dangle and heels should not protrude. Period.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Somewhere along the line, you’ve been taught that wearing a smaller shoe actually makes your foot smaller. Well, that’s an urban legend. A small shoe does not necessarily equal a small foot. A small brain, maybe. But not a small foot.

If anything, go a size bigger — that will announce to the world that you are brave enough to buy the right size. Like a balding man who wears his hair cropped short, it will announce to the world that you are one confident motherfucker. Plus, people will know that they are messing with a sonofabitch, one who recognizes that a size 11 Manolo can inflict some serious damage.

Child of God.

This last weekend was untitledhusband’s younger (adopted) sister’s confirmation. She is 16 and – I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this before – she is mentally challenged. As we were sitting there at the party, satisfied by the fact that we were able to pilfer a corner piece of cake and avoid the Brazil nuts amidst the bowl of cashews, I sensed an awkwardness in the air.

In many aspects, this was like any other party. People came from states away. Cakes were baked. Punch was made. Gifts were given. Yet I wasn’t the only one who noticed that at the center of it all was this girl – a child – who has trouble combing her own hair and still watches Arthur from time to time. Aside from Christmas and Easter, she has very little concept of God. And to her, this whole confirmation thing was more about getting an iPod than anything else (which makes her just like every other 16 year-old, I guess).

But still, I say shame on us for confirming someone who doesn’t really understand what confirmation is. I’ll even go one further – shame on us for baptizing or confirming anyone into any organization before the age of 18. What kind of cult wants you to sign on the dotted line before you can even drink a beer? I believe it’s the Amish who send their 18 year-olds out into the world to live independently before they decide if they’ll spend the rest of their days harvesting wheat with a machete or playing “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” with their homies and smoking hydroponic fatties. I expect as much wisdom from those who carve rocking chairs out of an Oak tree with little more than a pocket knife.

Certainly, it won’t hurt untitledsister-in-law to sit in church every Sunday and recite chants that she and probably half the church members don’t understand. But let’s just say I’m a little skeptical about any organization that would confirm a girl like her, at this point in her life. I’m all for her being part of a church if it brings her joy. But make no mistake – churches are businesses. They want members, because they want to grow. They want to grow, so they can bring in more money. They want more money, so they can keep the Pope in red velvet Armani slippers.

This girl isn’t going anywhere. And I doubt if she’ll be dropping a 20 in the offering plate anytime soon. So how about waiting to confirm her until she is a bit older, people. Like until she’s able to microwave a bean burrito or wash her own underwear.