December 29, 2010

Holidays and Hammock Sex

I'm still Christmasing in Austin where the weather's chilly and rainy. I've enjoyed the family and meet-ups with old friends, as well as lazing around with a glass of Bailey's and a remote in my hands (my version of a yuletide two-fer). I've hardly even cracked open the laptop except to peek at my erotica novella, which has me all blocked up at Chapter Two. I peek, I sigh, I get distracted. What can I say, I'm a virgin at this genre.

But people, I have a chapter to deliver before January 1 and, well, I've got a headache. Please, no cock-block jokes. It hurts my feelings on the same scale as vacuuming up tinsel—an exercise in futility if ever there was one. I once uncovered tinsel in my carpet ten years after I last threw it on a tree. Instead of dragging out the vacuum for the thousandth time, I curled into fetal position.

So today I figured if I got out of the house, some inspiration might hit. I stole away to the local B&N, sipped on a house brew, and reread the first line of Chapter Two where my horny characters discover a secluded hammock in the woods.

"So here we are, just you and me and nature."

Yes, I know. Lame. But it was merely a jumping-off point for the next time I opened the doc. Plus I think ten words in 30 days is real progress, don't you? Actually, my protag wrote it. That bitch was leading me down the path to outdoor nookie. Erotica, remember? It's serious shit that's supposed to make you all hot and bothery. Thing is, after your character discovers a hammock in the woods, the scene devolves into comedy.

A story so often writes itself, you see, and while I've resisted this turn of events, my character is insisting on a roll in the hammock. Probably a roll that reminds her it's not the fall that kills you, but the sudden stop. Peeps, I can't seem to stay away from the slap-schtick. Anybody who knows me will not question this. Is that bad? Perhaps humorous erotica is its own subgenre. Whatever. Hammock sex it is. Once I quit fighting it, I wrangled out another 500 words that renewed my faith in my compositional abilities, filled me with optimism about 2011, and gave me a good giggle (as erotica often does, even without a hammock).

I'm now back at my daughter's house, and here's my one and only Christmas pic, which is me actually keying in this blog post. Booyah! I really am a writer! I'd raise a glass of Bailey's to your happy, safe, and peaceful New Year, but they hid the bottle from me. Still, I send strong vibes that mean the same thing.

Don't forget your black-eyed peas, y'all!

December 18, 2010

Christmas Vacation and Some Bull

So remember when I said this would be the first Christmas ever that I didn't spend with at least one of my kids? Well, the Merry Christmas gods have reconsidered and shined their ever-lovin' redeeming pity grace upon me. I will be like shiny tinsel for the next two weeks, hanging on the evergreen boughs of my Austin family. I'll be flying high on Sunday, so please all you crazy people stay out of the airport.

Woot-woot! Texas, here I come!

In other news:
I'm happy to introduce my bro-in-law, The Bull, over at Udder Hysteria. It's his first foray into Bloggyville, and he's infusing a little testosterone into the herd (in an oratorial kind of way). Please, y'all, check him out and welcome him with a little comment luv.

Back next week!


December 11, 2010

Cappin' Off the Christmas Spirit

Wow. The spirit of the season is incredible, like sparkling snowflakes falling all over my head! Ho! Ho! Ho! See, yesterday morning I filled up with gas and went to work. Eight hours later . . .

I'm driving down 17th Street and pull into the left turn lane. I am six cars back from the red light, when what to my wondering eyes should appear? A blue minivan loaded with a mom and her passel of kids, my dear.

She stops beside me and points to my gas tank, mouthing: YOUR GAS CAP IS OFF!

I glance into my side mirror with Jingle Bells in my head. Sure enough, my gas cap is dangling and the tank door is wide open. See what I mean? The joyful holiday spirit even courses through the hustling, bustling air of traffic. It fills me like hot chocolate.

Good deed accomplished, the mama and her passel drive on up to the red light. Then another car drives up and stops beside me.

YOUR GAS TANK, the guy mouths, pointing frantically toward my rear quarter panel.

I wassail in the key of candy canes and mistletoe. "Yes, I kno-o-o-ow, I kno-o-o-ow."

The driver moves forward to get in line at the red light. And then comes Car #3. The gangsta inside mouths: BEEOTCH, ROLL DOWN YO WINDOW! With his eyebrows pinched, I'm thinking he's cranky. Or he thinks I'm a dumbass.

"Yeah, no," I say, my holiday cheer gleaming like a silver tree bulb that's just cracked.

YOUR GAS CAP IS OFF THE HOOK! The gangsta is like Kanye. His mouth is moving, but all I'm getting is a steaming pile of reindeer pooh.

"Thanks for telling me what I already know!" I give him two thumbs up as he drives off but think, Did somebody put out an APB? Now you're just making me look bad, people!

Once again, another car stops beside me. It's a guy and his wife, both about 110. The geezer jabs at the air with big-knuckled, crooked fingers. His unnatural fish lips seem to gulp air as he mouths: YOUR GAS CAP! CHRIST-A-MIGHTY, HOW DID YOU EVEN GET A LICENSE?!

"Joy to the world, old people! Okay?"

Finally the light changes to green, and I follow the six cars in front of me through the intersection. I speed past everybody for about two miles. One car tries to pass me, and I look straight ahead when he honks three times.

Jingle Bells, Santa smells, Rudolph ran away.

I stop at another red light to make a left turn into Wally World, and a ponytailed 20-elfin-something stops beside me, even though she has a bright Christmasy green light. She rolls down her window and shouts, "Your gas cap!"

I can't believe the world is paying this much attention to me, and I shake my head at the absurdity. It's like I'm driving naked.

"Yes it is!" Elfin yells. "It's off!" She curls her lip, a gift that indicates I truly am a classic dumbass.

Bah, humbug.

Elfin hits the gas, just as the light turns red.

And then, surprise. A Jeep pulls up beside me. The driver turns his head toward me, and I scream, "I KNOW my gas cap is off! I GET IT already! O holy-fucking-night!"

The guy looks aghast. I realize it's because he hasn't noticed my gas cap at all. He stares at me like I'm Scrooge's Grim Reaper. Which I am. That, and a dumbass. I have just killed Christmas.

Schwetty Balls
Schwetty Balls
It's Christmas ti-i-i-ime to get petty.
Ring-a-ling . . .

Yeah, the spirit is glopping all over my head, like cold turkey gravy. How's yours going?

December 5, 2010

News You Can't Live Without

First up: There's a reason I've chosen younger men all these years. Rephrase: there are MANY reasons I prefer younger men. Though I'm trying to "go older", those guys aren't making it easy, and I'm about out of Cougar-Be-Gone.

Two: Fragrant Liar made Amazon's Kindle's Top-rated 100 Humor Blogs list. I think I'm #61. Lots of faves on this list with me. If you wanna get Fragrant Liar on your Kindle, click here. Leaving a review will help me move up the rankings too. I mean, if ya wanna.

Three: I got a new J.O.B. Yay. My full-time writing gig has been temporarily chopped to part-time. But whew! Just in time for Christmas, which I will spend, for the first time in history, without even one of my kids. Merry fucking holidays.

But I do get mini-rugrat updates, which I relish. See, youngest nanababy Shaboobka turned one. To celebrate, here she is doing a little extracurricular excavation work. How could anyone get mad at this face? Besides, that's a pitiful palm. You ask me, all Shaboobka's missing is a few Hot Wheels. That's my girl, tear it up.

Four: On December 4th, my parents celebrated 56 years of marital piss and vinegar. Nobody does it better than those two. I'm serious. Look who they raised. Me: Piss and Vinaigrette. And I'm a great catch. Depending on how old you are . . . obviously.

Five: I saw Leap Year on HBO. Twice. Despite what the critics said, I liked it a lot. Makes me want to hit Ireland and let a feisty Irish lad sweep me off my feet. Slainté. On that note, why do people who go to Ireland always stand on cliffs and look down at the cold, deep, violent waves a bazillion feet below? Don't they know they could fall off? I mean, you're just tempting the universe when you stand that close to an edge. I make it a policy never to go near something that could kill me. It's why I look at the Grand Canyon from as far away as photos.

Six: I WON! Debbie from Suburb Sanity held a contest for questions to ask tweens about texting, in conjunction with TextEd with Jane Lynch. Being the deeply critical thinker I am, I came up with real posers for the kiddos; and somebody, in his/her infinite wisdom, crowned me the winning recipient of a $25 gift card. Woo-hoo! Disposable income!

If you're not already a regular Suburb Sanity reader, go here and see what you're missing. Thanks, Debbie!

Happy December, y'all. Hope you're staying warm.

November 25, 2010


Especially grateful all week long here for the people I love who are still with us, and I remember those who already passed but whose light remains strong and ever-present in my heart.

Seven-year-old, mega-talented Rhema Marvanne, who lost her mother to ovarian cancer, brings it all home for me. Her mama's light burns brightly. You'll be grateful if you have good speakers for this one. I promise.

Want more Rhema Marvanne?  Click here.

November 22, 2010

Fraiku Monday

It will come as a surprise, I'm sure, that I don't follow rules very well--unless I make them, and in that case, if I make them, I can break them. See how that works? Anyway, I'm homesick today, so I'm dragging out the Haiku of my starlit nights on the lake.

It's important to understand that my Haiku is all kinds of bastardized. I mean, since it will never realize its true parentage, I've named it Fraiku. Naturally, it's pretty deep stuff--a soothing salve for your blue Monday.

Watch out
ducks paddle to the docks
to poop.

May on LBJ
the hills have eyes and

Moonlight and tipsy,
Walking the plank with Heinies.

Fan overhead
circulates the air and
the bullshit.


November 19, 2010

A Stranger in My Shower

People, someone has been watching me while I take a shower. I didn't even know it at first, and then one day, I stopped with the shower karaoke long enough to see that I had a captive audience. I couldn't believe it. She was right there in front of me! While I was naked!

To be honest, I kind of like knowing she's there. Still, I wanted to expose her for the interloper she is, so I snapped a picture for you. See her?

Click to enlarge.
No, I haven't lost my marbles; there's a face in my shower marble! It's a chick with big Princess Leia Cinnabon hair!

At first, I heard Darth Vader sucking air in and out, and he said gravely, "Liar, she is your sister."

Then my profound thoughts were interrupted with Yoda's throaty falsetto: "Stupid you are."

But now I've accepted it.

I guess if you can't see her, it's because The Force is not strong with you. Or you have to be there. So I'll help you. I've sketched her in below.

Click to enlarge.
See her now? I think here she's saying, "Help me, Obi-Wan." Because obviously she'd rather not be preserved for eternity in the equivalent of shower-stall carbonite, listening to me croon "Party in the USA" with a can of Flirty Mango Skintimate as a microphone.

Nodding my head like yeah, moving my hips like yeah. Yeah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah! It's a party in the USA!

Okay, if you can't see her now, you have a black hole of imagination. I'm telling you, it's Princess Leia, and she showers with me. Every. Single. Time.

Or wait. Could it be? Jesus? Nah.

November 15, 2010

Let Me Motivate You

Peeps, in this, the most glorious month of the year for crazy writers (NaNoWriMo), I am reminded of the motto I live by. I throw it down to you now, with deepest love and affection:


Yes. Glorious indeed, eh? Simple and to the point, but so incredibly, excruciatingly deep in meaning. If you need real motivation, people, this is it.

I like to keep this little nugget on my desk to remind me that I don’t have to write perfectly, that it’s more important to get my imagination on the page, one sentence, one paragraph, one provocative sex scene at a time. THEN, I can go back to leisurely edit and rewrite — again and again, ad nauseum — only better. NaNoWriMo is built on this foundation.

But these words don't apply only to writers. Trust me when I say that giving yourself permission to do anything badly is liberating. I'm, like, a pro at it. Your apexual (Suck it, Colbert!) expectations drop way down and your skillz amp way up when you loosen the iron chains of perfection that bind you — reminiscent of the way a stool softener can set you free. When you dare to suck, you bravely spit in the eye of self-doubt. You cast aside all fear of your peers snickering, jeering, and flipping you the bird.

Seriously, do not let them see you cry. Press onward! Think of the poster child for The Ultimate Suck. Babe Ruth had far more strike-outs than he did home runs. He dared to swing away! Who's laughing at the Babe now? Hmmm?

You want to be a better driver? Dare to suck at it. You want to be a better parent? Dare to suck, mamasan. You want to be a better football team? Do like the Cowboys. They're sucking bigtime so next season they'll figure out they've got to do more than just look baffled on the field without Romo. [D'oh! They finally fingered it out on Sunday! But I'm pretty sure they have elevated The Ultimate Suck to new levels. Sorry, TG.]

Yes, dare to do something sucky enough for long enough, and you eventually learn not to do it quite like that again. Why, I'm sucking right now at composing this post. But I'm committed to teaching you stuff, so my motives for motivating you to be a better person are nestled in the spirit of demonstrating precisely how to suck at something. Plus, the joy I take in that is just, well, I can't describe it.

So what are you waiting for? Go on, whatever you want to be good at, I dare you first to suck!

November 11, 2010

Tweet Talkin' Woman

Y'all, I tweeted.

Wow, saying I tweeted is like admitting I farted. I always want to say, "Oops." Although, in real life, if I fart, I point to other people and say, "Dude!" It's a gift.

But this is not a post about flatulence (itself a ridiculous word). Rather, it's an announcement that the Invasion of the Tweeter Snatchers has occurred, and I am now a bona fide member of the most insidious time-sucking machine since Earth was invented. Yes, I realize that when I say Tweeter Snatcher, it sounds like my virginity was totally stripped from my body. Y'all, it was.

So I'm in it now, and already the learning curve for my Twitter notoriety is steeped in uncertainty. I don't understand such concepts as the @[Twitter User], the hashtag (#), mentions, the RT (retweets), and the "D". But I'm determined to figure it all out.

Because Suzy Soro told me to, I downloaded a primo Tweet Deck to keep all this networking stuff straight. So big thanks to Suzy at Hollywood: Where Hot Comes to Die and also Christine at That Gal Kiki (Christine McDonald) for getting me off to a good start by announcing to Tweeterville that Fragrant Liar has arrived.


If you are on Twitter, tweet me right and follow me! My handle is @FragrantLiar Since it's Follow Friday in Tweeterville (#FF), it's perfect timing. Or, click on my red Twitter birdie in the right-hand column to get me all a-twitter, eh?

And now for today's blast from the past, just because, the incomparable Electric Light Orchestra.

November 8, 2010

When Good Women Get Pissy

You know how you spend your whole adult life trying to be cool-headed and thoughtful and role-model-y for your kids? You might be all angelfishy in the tanky-poo, but then something royally hinky happens to screw up your day, like your lawyer forgets you exist and your case languishes in some dusty file room, and you feel landlocked cuz you wanna swim with the sharks, or better still, be the shark. Uh-oh.

Yeah, suddenly you're transformed. You spit the serenity prayer. You burst your spongy stress ball. You gnash on cheery rainbows. You roll up your sleeves and dare your foe to "Bring it." You huff and puff and lather yourself into a white-hot frenzy that can only be cured by excoriating your victim with a serrated-edged tongue, after which you must shove your overheated body into the freezer. Naked.

Family Safety Hint: During this time? Do not approach your supreme leader. She must cool down, and you cannot facilitate this process with tepid apologies. Plus, she wants to revel in her righteous indignation because it's liberating and empowering and all kinds of orgasmic to be the firing squad for a change. But because she's not normally a sprayer of evil, she is out of practice and you will likely get some on you. Run.

Losing it is not a moment that the kind-hearted, compassionate woman is going to feel proud about afterward. But she will damn-well feel sensational after clearing her head of the nice-girl clutter, the pretentious civility, and the ridiculosity of trying to look at asshattery from someone else's viewpoint. Allow her space. And ice cream. Amen.

You probably didn't know that storming and stomping around is healthy, but the pissy woman gets all aerobic in the venting process. Plus, she will get a blog post out of it. And if a man is involved, he may get take-it-out-on-you sex. Not making promises, but there's anecdotal evidence that it's happened at least once in recorded history. Google.

Thing is, I live alone. There are no witnesses to any gratifying tirades. So if nobody within 10,000 square feet hears me bitch, does that mean it didn't happen? Crap.

Woot-woot! Hillary gifted me with this!

November 4, 2010

Boy Watching

I need to get out more. I spend a good portion of my time on freelance gigs at la casa, tap-tap-tapping on my keyboard, encouraging my imagination to run away with me (stuff that embarrasses my children—oh wait, no, they're used to it), and the always entertaining naked sing-song and dance-pong when the mood strikes ('kay, they're not really used to that part). It's solitary time, y'all, so I have to make myself get out before I start imagining I'm Omega Woman and, holy hell, when are the flesh-eating mutants coming for me?

Uh-oh. Did you hear something? I swear I saw movement outside my window.

So today, my outing consisted of boy watching, my favorite pastime, right after boy kissing—a totally underrated activity. I went down to Retirement Central and watched the senior* guys play softball.

Now you younguns might picture old farts limping to the batter's box and, barely able to raise the bat past their man boobs and diabetes bellies, they'd bunt it two feet and hobble to first base where they'd be tagged out ten minutes before they actually arrived. Or, if it's like Kindergarten and everybody wins, the old farts get helpsies and do-overs. They'd make snail-mail rounds to home plate, all the while pushed by more old codgers, hunching, hacking, and hocking loogies that you just know you're going to step in. Right? Wrong. O-o-o-oh so wrong, people.

Wait. Did you hear that? In the attic? Sounded kinda scratchy?

Um, anyway. Y'all, these guys might be past their proverbial prime, but I'm telling you, they're in it to win it. I've seen it with my own eyes! For reals. Hardcore. Listen, this is how it goes: from the dugout, they bound into position on deck; crouch at the ready in the batter's box; swing it like it's hot—like athletes half their age; and blast it deep into the outfield or line-drive that sucker to the infield. And then? They sprint their aging asses around the bases. The fielders are in the same shape: beatin' feet to make spectacular catches and fire the ball infield for the out. Yeah, if you think Retirement Central is for frailies who need help wiping the dribble off their chins or their asses, think again. Of course, they still hock loogies and scratch their balls in public, but that is the prime directive of men, no?

Hhhhh! I know I heard something that time! There's no such thing as flesh-eating mutants, there's no such thing as flesh-eating mutants . . . Breathe. Okay. I'm okay. Really. It's nothing. I'm perfectly safe here. Alone . . .

Where was I? Believe it or not, some fine specimens of manhood are at play out there, albeit not the hotties of yesteryear. But I go for the love of the game. Plus, I love the smell of field chalk in the morning. Plus, the bleachers are primo, with shade and everything. Plus, I never saw a concession stand that served breakfast.

Retirement Central totally has their shit together. I'm getting in shape now, so when I retire, I can compete in softball. And for kicks, I'm installing a perimeter zap-o-meter for flesh-eating mutants. Just, you know, for kicks.

* Note, "senior" at Retirement Central begins at age 55.

October 27, 2010

Use Me If You Must, Eye-talians

Did you hear about the town of Castellammare di Stabia in southern Italy? They're banning "very scanty clothing". Their definition of very scanty includes mini-skirts, low-slung jeans, and plunging necklines. This is to guard against anti-social behavior.


Let me assure you, Castle o' mama de Stubble (whatever), people parading around in very scanty clothing are begging for PRO-social behavior. I should know. I'm very social, and I certainly do my share of begging. Besides, and let this be a lesson to you, nobody needs to get all anti-scanty cuz everybody knows that when you go anti-scanty you invite scanty right to your doorstep. Geez.

I totally know what I'm talking about.

Because I'm single, social clothing is part of my dating arsenal. Oh please, you can't get a date if you don't get noticed! Case in point, I once wore a mini-skirt to an Austin bar, and a guy who wanted to be all social jerked his head around to watch me walk by, when he ran smack into a support beam. I hurried over to help him up and see how big that knot on his head was gonna get. See? Totally social behavior. And altruistic, I might add.

Social Behavior Alert! Just FYI, plunging necklines can get a guy real social in a hurry. You just have to keep pointing out that you like eye contact from time to time, and you're good.

Of course, I'm not an advocate for revealing your butt crack in low-slung jeans to total strangers. I really must draw a line in the sand there. Though I'm totally anti-crack, expressing it to the universe just invites it to me, so I'm going with, "I'm totally pro-crack." See how that works? Anyway, showing your butt crack around the trailer park is okay, sure. But to the grocery store? How can I buy produce with a crevasse winking at me? That's a little too social. I do have morals. Obviously.

Disclaimer: Since I'm an Independent, I don't biologically have as many morals as the Republicans—but definitely way more than the Dems. What a bunch of debauchery sluts they are, eh?

The city council from Calemari de Stabya . . . ville (whatever) has determined that banning scanty clothing makes their city more civilized. I say that's blasphemous! But listen up, they are also banning blaspheming, sunbathing in public, and playing football in public areas.


Okay, now that's absurd, right? Blaspheming and sunbathing in public are quite social behaviors, and you can even do both at the same time. This is how some people breed, and how social is that? But come on! No football in public areas? Is there anything more UNcivilized?

(Psst! Eye-talian football = soccer. Never forget, these people are primitive.)

So Cast a lamb in de Stables (whatever), I'm begging you to hire me to fix your anti-social problem. Since I'm currently unemployed and nearly destitute—and fractionally moral—I can fix your anti-social behavior problem. I am highly qualified in pro-social behavior. Why, I even write very social smut from time to time—and get paid for it! Though not lately. Still, you could use me. Because I'm so social, I'd let you.

October 15, 2010


My peeps, I screwed up. In a hurry to get to where I eventually did not even get close to (so, so sorry I missed you, Nanner! I was ready for those Buttery Nipple shots!), I swung into the BP station and did the unthinkable. Something absent-minded and assinine.

Totally. Screwed. Up.

My big campaign to boycott BP dissipated in the fumes I filled up my tank with. Ugh. I realized I screwed up while waiting at the pump for my receipt. I know. Completely filled myself up with disgust. Talk about feeling dirty. Should have sent myself through the car wash. So much for personal activism.

But I do have good intentions, y'all. I sleep this stuff. No, really. I do. Need proof? Here ya go. One of the lovely things to come out of my recent trips to New Orleans and Bourbon Street was this baby:

Had to have it, dontcha know, especially after the crazy fun I had in the piano bar. (Dude, I can't believe I had to actually sing YOU that song request! Brazen pianists all over the country, or on 6th Street, know that classic!)

Anyway, this keepsake is now a lovely sleepshirt that I hold near and dear to my heart and other stuff. It makes me happy to wear it. Too revealing to model though. Sorry. If I had me some 501 button-flies (raise your hand if you miss those, the best, sexiest jeans in the world) I might consider it. Only magical things happen when you're wearing 501s. Trust me on that.

So to make up for filling my tank with BP gas, I'm now giving back with a public photo of this dee-lightfully fun t-shirt. Hey, it's the least I can do so people never forget the heinous damage BP did.

F. U. B. P.

And, she's back! Who's going to the Rally to Restore Sanity, eh?

As an aside, I haven't eaten at Wendy's in five years. They still buy chickens from disreputable breeders who raise hens inhumanely by piling too many in a battery-cage the size of a breadbox and make them spend their whole lives that way. What would that be like, I wonder? Your WHOLE LIFE in an itty bitty cage you can hardly turn around in, not to mention everybody sees you laying eggs. What's wrong with a little humanity, freedom, and right to privacy? That's American, Wendy's. Quit buying from those jerks. So there, I'm back to actively giving you guys the finger. FU, Wendy's. And from the chickens, Cluck You.

I'm a little cranky. Did you notice? I'm going to go put on my shirt.

October 11, 2010

Wee Wisdom #11

This post was chosen by Hilary over at The Smitten Image as "A Good Laugh" Post of the Week.

Thanks Hilary!

Poignant Pearls of the Week

First up, from Miss America, age 6:

"I want to be a vegetarian when I grow up, so I can help animals."

Next up, my sweet boy Destructo, age 4:

"Nah, you got big knockers?"

I reply, "Uh . . . uh . . . Yes?"

Destructo smiles. "I got big knockers too."


The boy grins and runs off.

What the . . . some man put him up to that. Unless . . .

A short while later, it all becomes clear:

Destructo:  Look, Nah. I got big knockers!

Me:  Ooooooohhhhhhh!
My, you DO have some
big knockers.


October 8, 2010

Is Your Blog Real?

When I started this blog, it was purely for entertainment value. An outlet for me to express myself about what it's like to wake up every day with the lightning bolt realization that I had tripped into midlife, that nebulous galaxy where Cosmo no longer speaks to you—or you just quit listening.

Midlife is a journey to another solar system where your center of gravity has shifted, your gas dust has expanded, and your dark matter is black-holing your gray matter. You can never time-travel back. You have to find ways to adjust to a new orbit and live the best days of your life, a life which is now impossibly shorter. (Though more liberating cuz there's that "why the hell not?" attitude you acquire after about 45.)

So I set out to write here in my natural voice. But if the fragrant truth be told, it's actually my natural wild child voice. The writing is definitely a reflection of me, but truly more the caricature of me. No apologies. Just saying. In real life, I might think something crass but never say it in mixed company. In real life, I might never expose a vulnerability but to a trusted friend. In real life, I'm the most honest person I know and, well, I actually have class.

Shut up.

Sometimes I'm filled with trepidation when my finger hovers over the PUBLISH button, as if I'm being bad. As if I'm getting away with something.

I guess I just want to know if I'm the only one. Is your blog a candid reflection of the real you? Is it a caricature of the real you for entertainment value? Or are you just blowing stuff out your butt?

October 6, 2010

Something Really Bugs Me

The fuckbuddies are out.

Oh yeah, they are landing at my feet, walking up my legs, tickling my neck and ears. There is no way to avoid them—believe me, I've tried. All I have to do is walk outside and they're all over me, like Sarah Palin at an "Obama is a Socialist Muslim Illegal Immigrant" rally.

I know! Right? He's totally not a socialist.

So yeah, Florida is full of fuckbuddies. They cruise around until they spy somebody unattached and then hook up and drag each other around in active coitus, like they were born to do just this one thing forever. For god's sake, get a room, fuckbuddies! It's not like there aren't a gazillion bushes you could sneak behind for a little privacy. I see you coming and I recoil in disgust. "My eyes! My eyes!"

I give you an inside look at this immodest Central Florida couple I encountered recently outside my house, Fanny and Fred. The bigass one is, of course, the female. Nature is cruel.

So lusty clutchers, I beg you! When you're done doing that . . . thing you're doing . . . STOP! Honestly, you're so needy and clingy and—I'm going out on a limb here—co-dependent. It's pathetic. Words of advice:  relax and let go!

What. You thought I was talking about dating? Not even!

Although . . .


September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

Happy birthday to me! I'm 29—AGAIN!

And happy birthday to my sister! You know her as Udder Hysteria. And if you don't know her, go check her out! She's way sweeter than me, but she can't help it. It's that birth order thing. I am number one of the Brady Bunch and she is number four. Yes, I'm Marsha Marsha Marsha and she's Jan. We miss number six, our little Cindy, who is sadly, sadly no longer with us.

Though we were born on the same day, my middle sister popped out four years later, and there were two brothers in between us. Yeah, if you do the math, mom was busier than a stripper at a frat party. Guess she was practicing to be Catholic. How she managed to pull off a second birth on this most sacred of days is a testament to how well she had honed her baby-birthin' skillz. That, or Dad only practiced his religion on a certain day of the year.

So my sister and I are both 29 again, though obviously I've been 29 four years more than she has. This is why she comes to me for my expert advice, because my four hard-knocked years ahead of her really mean something of incomprehensible value and teach her all the things NOT to do. You're welcome, sis.

Circa 1970:  Marsha and Jan
Speaking of hard-knocked, I had my four daughters within five years, and I wasn't even practicing to be Catholic. See, Mom, I did learn stuff from you. I'd have had a fifth kid, but I got tired of not being able to see my feet. Plus, it was either divorce or kill the sperm donor. So there's that.

Though we're not twins, my sister and I have so many moments of unspoken twin-like communication, it's scary. Our gut responses to the same stimuli (you know how I like to get all scientific) are incredibly similar if not identical. The notable difference is, she thinks things through before she reacts and then makes a plan for action. I, on the other hand, do not. Obviously, this is because I'm too busy leading the way, being the windshield that deflects the bugs. For her. Obviously.

The important thing is that nobody knows my bullshit better than she does. Nobody supports me more staunchly; nobody reads me more accurately; and nobody could make me prouder as a sister—though she's way too far away!

Happy birthday, Jan!

September 26, 2010

Kung Fu Fighting

Y'all, everybody's Kung Fu Fighting. Including Destructo.

Talk amongst yourselves.

September 23, 2010

Dating Debacle #1,242

I marched into the SW baggage office because my suitcase hadn't appeared on the conveyor. I'd just quit the guy I'd gone on a trip with, and he'd just delivered a last litany of stupid, compounding my outrage to the point of tears. Big titty baby, I know. I needed to vent like a live grenade, but the pin was stuck.

To the woman behind the lost baggage counter, I sniveled, "My bag . . . didn't . . . come through." Whimper, whimper. "I'm sorry. [gasp, blubber] I hate a man right now."

She gave me the solidarity grimace. You know, the one that says, Oh girl, I hear ya. Want me to kick his ass? This is what I love about women when you're feeling vulnerable; they get the entire picture in six words. If her coworker hadn't been there (a guy), we'd have pow-wowed with chocolate, a bottle of wine, and a cheese block we could carve into a voodoo doll. Helpful hint: Frilly foil toothpicks make the occasion more festive.

What, you've never done that?

Dating, you take your chances with complete strangers and, at minimum, hope for chemistry and enough things in common to keep things lively. Let's amp that up with the hope that your date's not that guy with the core belief that all women are sneaky and out to get him, cuz that's the guy who'll plant you in a no-win scenario where he can prove that his core belief is true. That's the guy who'll negate everything fabulous and wonderful and fun he did for you because of a single lame-ass assumption about your character.

And just so you don't feel too in the dark, here's a visual for you about how the weekend went:

Click to enlarge.
Here's what I came away with: a renewed appreciation for waterproof mascara and a deep crevice between my eyebrows. Like I need another reason for that.

And now I choose NEXT!, a nice Malbec, and Bridget Jones. Why BJ? Because when it comes to men, I am Bridget, looking for someone to like me just the way I am and holding out for something extraordinary. Someone extraordinary. Dude, where are you?

I leave you with my fave song from the movie, a sexy number you'll want to listen to while you're doing . . . stuff.

Now where are those toothpicks?

P.S. Yes, y'all. I found my luggage. It got to the office before I did. So weird.


September 14, 2010

How I Ended My Summer Vacation

The summer of 2010 will go down in Fragrant Liar history as one of the greats. I set out on a new adventure and accomplished some things I'd been working on for a long time. Saw most of my kids on my June road trip and since then my Atlanta girl, TG and her family.

Fragrant Liar and Lisa from That's Why
Atlanta jaunts will always be fun. One of the coolest things that happened this last trip is meeting this fabulous blogger, Lisa at That's Why. She and her hubs, the infamous MathMan, drove 45 minutes to visit me. If you're not yet a fan of Lisa's, head on over there and revel in her coolness.

We have much in common, Lisa and I, most notably our love of writing. She's a talented and fun blogger and an interesting and smart woman. Plus, she's about as tall as me, so she is naturally a super-awesome individual that glows from the inside out. Heh.

I hope to see Lisa on return trips to Atlanta where we can talk about things that always get up people's ire:  sex, politics, and novels in progress.

I am the Corona Extra (emphasis on the crown, yo).
Y'all, the kids were determined we play games. I do love games, but I confess, I never once played Candyland with my daughters when they were young. I know. That's equivalent to depriving them of jelly. So I had some making up to do with Destructo and Miss America. Unfortunately, all their game pawns were either jammed beneath a sofa cushion, ground up in the disposal, or sucked down a toilet chute. So I improvised. Can you guess which bottle-cap-turned-game-pawn led me to victory?

Hey, just cuz they're kids doesn't mean I have to roll over. Winning is everything, people. I know you know that.

Mmmmm, chunky salsa!
I made this scrumptious salsa. Rachel Ray, eat your heart out. Of course, making salsa means you have to eat the carby tortilla chips. Ours were shaped like footballs. Getting drunk on salsa is not easy, but I totally did it, as evidenced by the not-so-pleasing hangover around my waistband. There was a Corona involved as well. Obviously. Go Saints!

Udder Hysteria, this one's for you too!
So I went to Atlanta this time for my daughter TG's birthday. This plaque was the coolest gift she got (besides moi) from her sister, Coco. High-sterical and so appropriate for their relationship.

But, Coco, who actually showed up for the partay? Yeah, that's right. Mama rules.

Miss America and Destructo giving me a tour.

Miss America and Destructo showed me around their neighborhood, which is hilly and lush with trees. What a gorgeous area. During the trek, Miss America was indulging in her usual chattery (where does she get it?), and I was paying close attention for her special brand of wee wisdom. (See, I work for you people nonstop.) So it was particularly noticeable when Miss America stopped, covered her mouth and made the gag face, and pointed to this (look down):

The sad remains of an inattentive squirrel.
Y'all, that's what remains of an inattentive squirrel. Estimated time of death: last spring.

Note the blue chalk line, which is an arrow pointing toward the street. Forensically speaking, this marker probably misled the little guy into thinking all the nuts were on the other side of the road. This once happened to a chicken.

TG, you'll be happy to know that the kids don't need anymore education, because I personally schooled them in the basics of road kill, decomposition, and where that nasty smell comes from (my creative juices really flowed for that one), and I think maggots. Yeah, there was some talk of bugs that live inside you and only come out when there's no more oxygen or something like that. Whatever. They believed it.

You're welcome.

No story of Atlanta would be complete without the requisite bragging over Shaboobka, who at nine months is on the verge of walking.

Foxy, check out that hat! Y'all this is a hat my good Hoo-Ha buddy Foxy made. She's all Etsy over there, and definitely worth a look.

People, I can't wait to take Shaboobka around the 'hood with the other kids. Think of all the wisdom I can impart.

September 8, 2010

Flight Lessons Everyone Should Know (Especially You, 32A)

People, I think it's important you learn from my mistakes.

On my way to Atlanta, I plunk into Delta seat 32B—because who doesn't love being wedged between two total strangers? 32C, on the aisle, immediately hides under her hoodie and eases into a classic leave-me-alone slump, which I totally expect since girls just getting over teenitis are really still full of "Ew, old people!" attitude. When 32A shows up, he makes me get up so he can squeeze his skinny ass into his coveted window seat—the seat I should have if I hadn't screwed up my online seat selection. Why the airline didn't immediately call me afterward and say, Dude, you SURE you want to sit between total strangers? is frankly beyond my comprehension. Why does no one question my sanity? No wonder the airlines are losing money.

So 32A buckles in and spreads open his newspaper like he's home at his breakfast table. He is infringing on my space and his right arm occupies the armrest between us. Dude! At LEAST give me the armrest! I'm sure that is a rule!

Lesson One:  "B" seaters get the armrests!

Lesson Two:  Don't touch strangers sitting next to you, cuz they flinch like you just lit them up with a case of ebola via transmission of your personal cooties.

I'm too fragile for that kind of rejection, as you know, so stuck between 32A and 32C I read my "More" magazine, elbows glued to my sides. For all of about two minutes. Since 32A is blatantly violating Lesson One etiquette, I fan out my left elbow and ease it onto a sliver of the real estate between us, deliberately violating Lesson Two. People, he is asking for it!

You see where I'm going? Oh yes, I'm commandeering the island. Pretty soon my arm is flush with 32A's. If I had a flag, I'd knock him off and jam it into the armrest. This land is mine! But he's not giving ground either, so we total strangers share the armrest. Let me repeat:  we are sharing. The guy's not even worried about cooties, and I'm like, Cooties be damned!

He looks at me, inches away from my face. "Think we're above 10,000 feet?"

Like I'm an altimeter. "I don't know," I say, as he looks through his brown-rimmed glasses into my eyes.

Whoa. Hold up! Re-eval. 32A is muy caliente. Man, I'm so off my game. How did I not notice this earlier? He mutters something about giving it a shot and turns on his iPhone. I think, Cute or not, if your phone causes us to crash, I will kill you dead.

I continue reading "More," my arm warmed by 32A's; but it's hard to concentrate on 150 Best Fall Looks Under $250 and Why the Recession is Good for Women when my brain is vacillating between images of death by sudden impact and the boggling perks of life as a B-seater.

Pretty soon 32A is talking to me again. He makes me smile, and I end up laughing, kind of like a hyena—you know that kind of nervous flirty laugh? Yeah, that's mine. I can't help it. That's what I do with strangers who are cute and interesting and coveting my real estate. Okay, maybe I'm the one who's coveting, but I am totally welcoming his cooties, y'all. Pretty soon, 32A scrawls his mobile on the back of his biz card and my number on a napkin that he tucks into . . . somewhere, I don't know. Perhaps his billetera. When the pilot says something about Atlanta, I realize I completely missed the landing. WTF?

Lesson Three:  Screw Go for the B seat, just in case.
Pop Quiz:  Can you find the Tom Cruise quote above and name the movie it's from?
Answer:  "This land is mine!" from Far and Away.

August 30, 2010

Knowing It All Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

I know it's hard to believe, and I hate to disappoint y'all, but the rumors are true. I'm not as smart as I seem. I hope you didn't just go into a tailspin on that illumination—like all my children—but the fact is smarty pants is the term that more accurately describes my I.Q. Mizz Smarty Pants if, as Miss Jackson says, you're nasty.

I'm sure you're asking right now: What sort of shenanigan is Fragrant Liar trying to pull? Everyone knows what a fountain of wisdom she is. Right?

It's just that I wonder when I will know everything there is to know so I can stop stumbling into walls, spinning around, and bouncing off the same walls again. If there's a date certain for this event, I'll ink it on my calendar and just keep hitting the snooze button till the day arrives. That way I can quit wearing the neon sign around my neck that reads, "I meant to do that."

See, if I knew everything, I could talk myself out of stuff and, therefore, never have to apologize. More importantly, people (you know who you are) would be compelled to speak these words to my face: "Yes, I was wrong and you were right." I'm giddy just thinking about that.

Lately I've considered that the roominess inside my noggin is akin to a three-car garage with a pink Barbie convertible in it, and nothing else. Of course, this makes my point that I'm absolutely NOT full of it. Cuz if my brain was truly chock full of wisdom and knowledge, I'd be my own personal Wiki. And I'm not—yet.

I confess. I rely on Wikis to fill in the gaps—pretty much a whole garage full of 'em. I'm talking about Wikipedia, Wiki.answers, Wikimedia, Wikibooks, Wiktionary, etc. Did you know you can create your own Wiki? Oh yeah! I could totally make my own Wiki. In fact, I aspire to it! I'd call it Wikishit. Or better yet, Fragrant-Wikishit. Imagine all the stuff I could put in there with the input of the masses. That's you, peeps. You are the masses and, together, we could feed the world our collective Fragrant-Wikishit. Images included.

People, now under construction:

Seriously. Check it out.

August 25, 2010

I Didn't Shave My Legs for Sex

I shaved my legs this morning. Sadly no, I'm not getting ready to have sex. Actually, my rule is I shave no leg before its time. When my Neanderthal roots start sprouting, I know it's time. I break out the quad-steel blades and puffy mango cream and get busy. Sadly no, not that busy.

What I want to know is who made up the rule that we Western babes weren't acceptably beautiful if we didn't depilatorize? Especially where sex is involved, since sex is such a primal act. What other creature in the animal kingdom de-hairs itself before coitus? I mean, is this really what we're using our superior brains for?

Let me help you make sense of this, people. You know you want me to.

Seems the earliest shavers were flint razors, way back in 30,000 B.C. Flint dulled fast, and since no one had yet invented the Mach 3 Turbo, flint stones became the first disposables. You ask me, it should have been more important for those cavepeeps to blend in; flint may be responsible for a lot of premature cavepeep deaths. Hungry maneaters get a whiff of all those razor cuts, they'll lunge in for the mauling. The perfect example of how pretty can be perilous, people. I'm guessing the next big invention after the wheel was that little box we call a bathroom, sparking the onset of civilized society. Everything calms down when you lock yourself behind that bathroom door. Am I right?

Then, in like 54-68 A.D.—Rome, of course—Nero's wife Poppaea used cream as an alternative to razors. Poppaea and her counterparts used inventive ingredients like resin, ass's fat, she-goat's gall, bat's blood, and powdered viper. Those crazy Eye-talians will try anything once, I'm telling you. If my own ass's fat performed such miracles, you can bet I'd be harvesting and selling it for fun and profit. Plus I'd be flaunting the chiseled mini-butt of a five-year-old by now.

I think it's clear. We can blame our ancient ancestors for having to shave our legs. If they were here today, I'd do the only civilized thing. I'd withhold sex.

August 22, 2010

Let's Get Reacquainted

I just finished my novel. Yay!

You'd think, right? But anybody who's ever written a novel in hopes of publication knows that I'm only at the halfway point. Kind of like laying an egg. Somebody still has to get it from nest to market, so you can buy it and get it on your breakfast plate. Yes, I just compared my writing to something I shoot out my ass. 

Bon appétit!

The writing of a novel is only the first part of the process—and I'm not sure it's even the hardest part, given the rigmarole yet to come my way, including agent hunting, contracts, publication, and marketing. Wait, what am I saying, of course writing is the hardest part! I birthed a romantic comedy, for god's sake, and the rewriting labor alone took three months with no numbing agents or mind-altering substances—though I do feel hung over and, frankly, I think I tore. 

The only cure is more hair of the dog, so while I'd like to celebrate my big finish, I have bigger eggs to fry. (Hey, poaching metaphors is my specialty.) I'll keep you posted on things. Meantime, let's get reacquainted. Leave me a comment and I'll pop by for a visit.

August 5, 2010

Go Leave Some Footprints

Y'all, I am over at my good friend Julie's, where I get to talk about leaving footprints--those we leave on others and those who leave their footprints on us. Please go visit Midlife Jobhunter, and say hey.

I'm also over at Bernie's place, Old? Who? Me?, divulging all--okay plenty--okay some vital life stuff I've learned the hard way. Go say hey to Bernie too!

We're talking good people here.

July 30, 2010

Effin' Black Cloud

Swear to god I have an effin' black cloud hanging over me. Effin' being my chosen focus today, since that black cloud part (heavy with vehicular and computer cumulonimbus) mostly just makes me cry crazy.

Quick interjection of disclaimer:  He-Who-Put-Effin'-in-the-Dictionary (my beloved pops), says I should refrain from using the "eff" word on my blog so as not to turn off my readers. But really, if my effin' language isn't controversial enough to turn off some of my readers, I'm probably not trying hard enough, right?
Wordle: Effin
So here is my Fragrant Liar take on this beloved of cuss words (usage here in deference to Daddy-O), including two valuable effin' rules that apply to all ages, but primarily those over 18 or who can run really fast from the 'rents brandishing bar soap (Good luck with that there deterrent, pappy):

Effin' is a word that, when used properly, makes me smile because I know the user is that passionate. But properly is the operative caveat, meaning (1) effin' must be used in its native form and (2) effin' must modify something of gravitas, like the aforementioned black cloud.

Effin', in its native form, foreshadows the really bad, messy, majorly serious shit to follow. It makes me get behind your cause/rant/hullaballoo and say, "YEAH! Oh hell to the yeah!"

Effin', in its prettified-minimized-bastardized form, just leaves the concept that it's modifying, well, limp. Flaccid. Impotent. Frankly, it gives me enough pause to say, "Yeah . . . no, you may as well not even drag that effin' thing out cuz it shows you don't really mean it, you're not committed, or you respect total strangers way too much to say what you really feel."

Therefore, the real Fragrant Liar wishes to rephrase the earlier premise of this post:  I have a fucking black cloud with my name on it—all for another post, another day.

July 18, 2010

French Lick

I don't understand why it's important for a dog to kiss you (or more succinctly, lick you) right IN the mouth.

Yes, I do have a dog to keep me company. A 9-ish-year-old husky-shepherd mix named Max who gets quite amused at my commando romping. Or maybe he's just wagging that tail in anticipation of any ice cream that drops so he can slurp it up. He is definitely a fan of Rocky Road and Yanni, but frankly I think he prefers Pralines and Cream with a rockin' dose of Daughtry. So, just for Max, I switch off according to my mood. It's the difference between my affinity for flowing dark hair on a man versus completely bald and bad-boy sexy, both of which are integral to a man's do-ability quotient, and therefore infinitely important. There, I said it.

Max was my sister's dog. Since my sister passed 20 months ago, Max has been making the rounds with family. We all love him, though we all have very busy and sometimes chaotic lives that make living with a bigger dog more difficult. He is now my companion for awhile.

But Max likes me a little too much sometimes, as evidenced by his attempts to not only kiss me on the mouth French style, but also to climb his big ass onto the couch to sit on my lap, sniff at my heels from room to room, and, naturally, to shove his nose in my crotch.

Why? WHY do dogs do this? And do I want to know?

Sitting out by the pool this morning, Max came up beside me. As I turned and said hello, he stuck his tongue in my mouth.

Ick! Ew!

I have dumped guys—some I haven't even dated yet—for that very thing.

Max then let his tongue hang out, panted a few beats, and laid his head on my lap. Like, Ain't no thang, baby.

Suddenly it occurred to me that I may, in fact, have all the man I need—without those annoying fights over True Blood, jaunts with the boys to Hooters, and immature chuckling over farting in public. I admit, not many men like those traits in a girl. Max, he's just happy to be with me.

If only he could afford me.

July 12, 2010

Alone and Naked with Yanni

I just got home after five days in Hotlanta where I visited my daughter and her husband, my beloved Miss America, Destructo, and Baby Shaboobka (See pic to the right. Note how helpful Miss America is at getting a cranky Destructo to smile). On walking through the door in Florida, I was slammed in the face with the realization that I don't like living alone. In fact, other than the delicious freedom to run around naked with ice cream and listening to Yanni full blast, it sucks, yo.

So thank you very much, children of mine, for growing up and turning out all independent and well-adjusted and smart and wonderful, and replicatin' yer bad selves with angels. Apparently my efforts to make you clingy and dependent and servile have failed miserably, and now you've gone and left me ALONE. You know how I hate doing my own laundry. I didn't raise you to be so cruel!

Oh, I hear what you're thinking people (because you know the code of support among bloggers). "Wow, Fragrant Liar should be happy. After all, she was an astonishingly mind-blowing single mother who singlehandedly raised FOUR DAUGHTERS."

I know! The horrormones! The horrormones! Pity me.

And this, in keeping with the code of support, no doubt: "That Fragrant Liar, she is the maternal model of sainthood. Her kids actually still like her! Praise Prozac."

I know! Even my parents adore me (after the dog)! I totally can't help it.

Oh but please, I'm much too modest to take ALL the credit. The girls did, after all, have a sperm donor. I think he donated elsewhere, too, so he does have a smidge of generosity. Yes, it's in his pants. But you have to give him credit. His strategy for never paying child support or calling or sending birthday cards or showing up worked brilliantly.

I know! The girls lucked out and got the "Oh yeah?" snotty gene from me. In spite of being fatherless, they RAWK!

Alas, I am still here on my own, lamenting how far away my kids are and how living alone is not remotely part of my true calling. But until I meet someone who thinks I'm as extraordinary as I do (Shhh! Don't forget the code!), I guess I will just have to make due with Yanni.

Aw, it's okay. It's Rocky Road day.

July 6, 2010

Alive and Croaking

One of the coolest things about living in Florida, if you're a nature girl like me, are the frogs and toads. The croakers thrive in my 'hood, and I hear them, en masse, every evening and early morning. Because the sound can get so overwhelming--like millions of crickets quacking--I thought this cute "little" guy pictured to the left HAD to be one of many singing out in the woods behind my house. But he's not; this Goliath is in Cameroon or something, worrying about things that go grrrrr in the night, including the two-legged African plaidypuss. Heh. No, my house is situated among entire colonies of small-fries. They hop along beside me when I venture outside. It's kinda cool.

Recently, Mom and I went to brunch at the Speckled Butterbean, a really cute spot with all manner of rooster decor. The place offers home cooking and an all-you-can-eat buffet with the usual fare of potatoes, veggies, and frog legs.

Er, what?!

Yeah, frog legs. Lots of them. Just look at their little bodies, severed in half, muscular legs intact, dusted in cornmeal and deep fried and tossed into a vat with their little cracks staring up at you. Appetizing?

I could only imagine the ones in my back yard, calling to each other in their nightly revelry, ignorant of the dangers and just happy to be alive and croaking. Kind of like teenagers, warts and all.

I told myself, Be adventurous. Be brave. For god's sake, you eat chicken legs, don't you? You've eaten rattler and buffalo balls before. Just try it! So, I picked up the tongs and helped myself to amphibious dark meat.

As I set it on my plate, I recalled the frog legs Dad served up when I was a very young, impressionable kid. Back then, I only took a nibble, because after watching Dad swing the little froggy by its webbed feet and smacking its head on a boulder, my big girl panties dissolved into diapers. Yeah, thanks Dad. I'm only traumatized for the rest of my life, but, er, yum.

So here's the little guy on my plate with the brisket and peas and sweet potatoes, surrounded by gingham. His little legs look like they're in mid-jump, don't they? And his itty bitty hiney is staring up at me. Like the lower half of a Ken doll I once knew.

Perhaps I'm a closet vegetarian.

Anyway, I felt bad for the little guy's demise and that his sacrifice had been in vain. But I could not eat him, could not be the indiscriminate carnivore I was raised to be. People, my flesh-eating proclivities had been swamped by a small-fry that croaked.