What is this list that I just found?
Today is my last day at work, at the job I have held for a little over 16 years. I have been telling people that it’s time for me to move on, find a new path, follow my muse, blah blah. But to be honest, the real reason I am leaving is that I’m scared for my safety. Where there were once funny faces on Post-Its and mysterious creatures made of fruit abandoned in the break room and messages on the garbage cans inspired by Magritte, now there is only violence and mayhem. To wit:
There is a theory that these signs inspired so much rage because our company has been employing a huge number of temps who are not considered fully “employees,” but this is just a theory. Sometimes people just hate being told to wash their own dishes. And then there are more lunchroom hijinks (please click on all photos for larger versions; it is well worth it):
I am supposing he preferred his lunch meat to the free Chinese food, which is perfectly understandable. It should be noted that this email was sent to all US offices as well as the head office in Berlin.
Here is a goodbye note when the author of the above email had finally had enough:
Now, I think this would have made sense if it had been sent to the head office in Berlin, as the photo appears to depict some Pennsylvania Dutch versions of Krampus and maybe the head office would have looked at the photo and wondered, “Have we been so naughty as to deserve switches to our bottoms this year?” and been frightened. However, this goodbye note was photocopied and deposited in physical form on certain employees’ desks solely in the LA office, so we recipients were merely frightened in a vague way without understanding the Krampus tie-in. Krampus isn’t really big in LA yet.
Oh, here is a Post-It that my perhaps-too-dedicated assistant affixed to some paperwork after trying to make some sense of something that would never make sense:
That’s never the answer, kid. Especially not for something as dumb as that pile of paperwork. And then finally, here we come to the grandaddy of something that would never make sense:
I suppose it’s neat to know that you can send an anonymous fax; I never knew that before. I just don’t know why I got this fax, and I don’t think I’ll ever know, and I think if I stick around in the hopes of finding out, something pretty bad might happen.
So off I go to a new, safer career as a roller derby queen or a war correspondent or something. Wish me luck.
Something happened when I was driving to work. A light turned red and I found myself behind this truck that somebody had drawn on with their finger on a dirty part of the truck. You know how people do that – they usually write “Please wash me”? I never understand why people write that. This was better than that.
Three kangaroos. Wallabys, perhaps? Let’s adjust the contrast so we can see that a little better.
There they are. I started thinking about how it kind of looked like something from an ancient Sumerian tomb wall:
And then I started thinking that it might be better as a neon sign in a marsupial red light district:
And then the light turned green.
And that’s what happened on my way to work.
Wow – I can’t believe it’s Labor Day already. Time for me to put on some white shoes and organize the rest of the vacation photos. Pardon my rushing through these, but I need to put on some white shoes and drink a mint julep in the backyard before summer is all gone.
The merman – El Paso.
At the same pawn shop in El Paso, we saw Pancho Villa’s trigger finger:
as well as the heart of a baby vampire. None of the photos of the baby vampire heart came out (proving it was really a vampire), so here’s a picture of the sign:
Further down the road, we ran into a little trouble.
Merely a scratch. Time to move on. Behold the Enigma of Safety Town. Fifty percent of us got injured in Safety Town, so it’s possible that we didn’t properly pay our respects to the Enigma.
Then, of course, there was the Spaceship for rich people:
a for-real ghost town:
and the well-fed residents of Prairie Dog Town:
before arriving at our final destination – Okie Ma and Grumps’ swimming pool.
Thanks for the great summer, Summer. See you next year.
The first night of our vacation we stayed in Tucson, where two aunts and a cousin of mine live. I love Tucson. It’s pretty and has a lot of character, and the music is good there too. Benny’s kids seemed to think we were in Mexico and kept asking us if the water was safe to drink.
My Aunt Mo arranged with my Aunt Ellie to let us stay in this really beautiful Spanish Revival-style house of Ellie’s friend Marlene that nobody was living in because… well, it’s sort of complicated. I guess you could imagine an early short story by Truman Capote, but set in the Southwest, and that’s what the deal was with the house. I had called my mother to let her know that we were staying at this house and she told me not to worry if we heard a loud thump in the kitchen in the middle of the night, because it was just Salvatore. Well, then.
We received many more warnings about Salvatore, the kids especially. Salvatore might climb up on the kids in the middle of the night, but if he did that, they shouldn’t touch him. Under no circumstances were any of us supposed to touch Salvatore, in fact, no matter what. The kids didn’t get a very good sleep that night, but Salvatore never appeared.
The next morning, Mo and Ellie and Marlene came by. We thanked Marlene for the use of the house, and she said it was absolutely no problem as long as Salvatore was still alive. This gave me pause, as I had clearly seen a legal pad on the kitchen counter with daily journal-type entries that read, “8/3/12 – No sign of Salvatore today…. 8/6/12 – Did not see Salvatore…”. I am a little afraid that Salvatore is dead and we are going to be held accountable somehow.
Anyway. Mo and Ellie and my cousin Caitlin’s family went to breakfast with us. We briefly discussed the fact that kids still hit mailboxes with baseball bats; this has been happening a lot to Mo lately. Also, Mo and Ellie and Caitlin told us not to miss, or maybe definitely miss, the ridiculous garish Paul Bunyan statue in town – a Paul Bunyan statue with a Mr. Sardonicus grin that was kept behind a fence for safe-keeping. Between Crazed Paul Bunyan and the mailbox marauders and Salvatore, Tucson was seeming much more dangerous than I had remembered it from previous visits. We finished our breakfasts and said our goodbyes.
Thankfully, Crazed Paul Bunyan was only a modified Muffler Man with an axe in his hand instead of a muffler. I’m still not sure what Paul Bunyan has to do with Arizona, but there is a similarly modified Bunyan/Muffler Man in Phoenix. This guy was strange, but nothing to be scared of. We continued through town toward the freeway, and somehow wound up back in my Aunt Mo’s neighborhood. And in the yard of one of the houses in this neighborhood, there were monsters everywhere.
I know that last one looks pretty scary, but overall these seemed like really nice monsters. One even tried to give us a mailbox.
P.S.: We really have no idea what happened to Salvatore.
What’s the problem now?
Real ballons at car dealerships are missing? I think I might need more information. Do you have more details?
All right then. This helps somewhat. What else?
This is helping. Anything further?
Thank you; I appreciate your cooperation. We’ll get on this right away.
My Spanish is bad. Does this mean this white horsie has been found, or is someone entreating us to find the white horsie?
That’s a horsie, right?
Thank you for finding this, Amy Darling!
It’s probably unwise for me to post another unfavorable review of a beloved cultural food item. Yeah, well…
I have to do it. I have to talk about the Disneyland Turkey Leg. Forgive me. Please don’t call me names like you called me after the Jollibee review. That is all I ask.
It started out simply enough, you know. My friend Tori and I went to the Happiest Place On Earth™ last Tuesday, and the weather forecast said it was going to be cloudy with highs in the high 60s to low 70s. Of course, the day before the forecast had been for sunny weather with zero percent chance of rain and it had turned out cold and rainy, so I figured I would play it safe and wear a long-sleeved shirt and pack a sweater. But when we got to Disneyland, it was sunny. And sort of warm.
By about 11 am, I was pretty uncomfortable and wished I had worn a short-sleeved shirt. Thankfully, Disneyland is the right sort of place to be if you want to be wearing a short-sleeved shirt but don’t have one. I very quickly found a t-shirt that amused me:
And I guess that’s when the trouble started. Tori asked the cashier, “Does she get a free turkey leg if she wears this around now?” and the cashier said rather sourly, “I guess you could try that… if you wanna make ‘em laugh at the turkey leg stand.” Now that’s another thing. This visit to Disneyland, most of the employees (oh, sorry; CAST MEMBERS) were really grouchy or they were extremely obese. In some instances they were both. But more on that later.
So I had my turkey leg t-shirt, and I promptly changed into it, and what do you know? Tori and I decided that it was about lunchtime. Where do you suppose we went? Yes, we went to the turkey leg stand. It was like I had been hypnotized by the shirt. And yes, I asked if I got a free turkey leg for wearing my shirt. And no, the kid didn’t even laugh. He just said, “Nine dollars, please,” and thumped a rather heavy thing wrapped in paper on the counter.
I picked up the package, was surprised by the weight of it, and went with Tori to our favorite little picnic spot by the river. There was a family with a laughing baby there, both Tori and I had frozen lemonades, and here I was with a giant smoked turkey leg. It was time to unwrap it.
Several layers of paper, an insulated hot bag, several more layers of paper, and then…
Hm. Well, there was meat, and it was wrapped around a bone, but there was really something wrong here. It looked like several different layers of meat had been stuck together somehow and held in place with the glazed “skin.” The meat was very pink. The skin didn’t look like delicious smoked poultry skin is supposed to look. There was a hank of cartilage near the bottom that I couldn’t quite pull off. And there was lots of fluid.
“What do I do?” I asked Tori.
“Just pick it up and eat it like a caveman,” she suggested.
“It’s really heavy.”
“Maybe they have forks or something.” Tori ran off.
I frowned and fretted as I tried to pull off the skin and that cartilage knob, and then wiped my hands with the paper napkins I already had. And then something very strange happened: the napkins stuck to my fingers. Like really stuck. Like when you get superglue on your fingertips stuck. I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed my fingers, and the napkin stayed stuck.
Tori came back with a pile of napkins. “They only have utensils at the restaurants,” she said. “Look at this,” I said, and I showed her my napkinny fingers. “It’s not like it’s grease, it’s glue or something. They glued this thing together.”
“Just eat it.”
So I took a bite.
It was the saltiest thing I have ever tasted, and that includes Swedish licorice toads. I like salt. I like salt a lot. I could not eat this thing. “I can’t eat this,” I said. I stared at it for a while. Nine dollars. “It’s kind of stinky,” Tori observed. The baby at the next table started laughing at me. I kept picking at my fingers, and finally thought to put some frozen lemonade on my fingers, which worked to unstick the napkins. I had a couple of internal debates about wastefulness, stared at the turkey leg a little longer, and then I wrapped it up and threw it into the nearest trash can.
After that, Tori and I took to the iPhone to see what exactly I had just eaten. Searches for “turkey leg disneyland” came back with four-star Yelp reviews. “Turkey leg disneyland ingredients” resulted in an estimated calorie count of approximately 1,000 calories, but no clues about the actual makeup of the meat club in front of us.
Finally, a search for “turkey leg disneyland disgusting” took us to a brave soul who had also been sorely disappointed by the fowl shank. Of course there was a requisite U R STOOPID comment, but many people supported him. Tori and I finished our lemonades, happy to have found another sane person in the universe, and went to find some corn dogs. We had a fine day, all in all. We visited the live presidentially pardoned turkey in Frontierland and marvelled at his relatively small legs. We encountered more angry and obese cast members, but Tori said maybe they were like that because the Park only gave them turkey legs to eat.
The next day, Tori commenced her research about the turkey leg. Now, one thing I have not mentioned about Tori before is that she could be a detective if she wanted to. She is really good at research, and she is very tiny so she could hide in a dresser drawer or under a sink if she needed to spy on someone in their house. The last part is not necessary to the story at hand, but for some reason I feel compelled to bring it up.
Anyway, she found some people talking about turkey legs on some Disney discussion boards:
- “it is ham. My daughter is a chef for them and it isn’t turkey. Come on have you ever seen a turkey that big:secret:.”
- “It’s actually not turkey. It’s compressed ham in the shape of a turkey leg with a film on the outside then smoked. I found this out from a major supplier to sports (college/NFL) arenas. If you ask for the ingredients or ask if its kosher they will have to tell you no. Sorry to burst your bubble.”
It’s true that the meat was so pink and salty that it could have been anything. Okay, okay. Anonymous internet discussion boards. Not exactly irrefutable evidence. Disney supporters quickly dismiss the “it’s ham!” claim with a roll of the eyes and a “poor things don’t know what smoked, brined poultry tastes like.” But nobody is bringing up the fact that the napkins stuck to my hands like nobody’s business. It was not grease. Grease is not sticky like that. Grease is greasy. It was not “turkey juice.” The turkey juice that collected in the folds of the paper wrapping was not the cause of my glued-together fingers. It was something on the meat. What was it?
Tori sent me another link, to a news story about meat glue. According to Dan Noyes at KGO-TV in San Francisco, “Meat glue is a powder officially known as transglutaminase. Originally, the natural enzyme was harvested from animal blood. Now it’s primarily produced through the fermentation of bacteria. Added to meat, it forms a nearly invisible and permanent bond to any other meat you stick it to.”
Well, then. I think we need to stop our research here. I just don’t want to know any more. Tori, if you happen to find an ingredient list for the corn dogs, please don’t share it with me. Otherwise, I don’t know what we’re going to do for lunch when we go back to Disneyland next month.
Initially reported as a “girl attacks macaque” story, 8-year-old Tayce Nickel’s father gives Gawker his recollection of the ugly incident that took place last Friday in a Missouri Wal-Mart parking lot:
“We parked directly beside the vehicle the owner of the monkey was sitting in (Eugene Pully). A gentleman was standing by the vehicle when we pulled up [who was] talking to [the monkey], which drew our attention to the animal. As we got out of the minivan my daughter wanted to see the monkey, with her mother standing right beside her. Standing even with the driver window, and at what we thought was a safe distance from the animal, she waved and said, ‘Hi monkey’.
“The animal then lept from the driver door onto her, grasping her hair and biting her forehead.”
But wait. There’s something weird. In the initial story, Weeks says, “As we got out, Tayce, being 8 years old, wanted to see the monkey, so she got out, looked up at the monkey, said, ‘Hi,’ and he gave the animal just enough slack to where it could jump out, grab her by her hair, and bite her on the forehead.” But in the email to Gawker excerpted above, Weeks says that Pully was outside the vehicle. Charlie’s owner was outside the vehicle but holding him inside the vehicle with a leash?
If anybody can explain to me how this would work, I’d love to hear it. If you draw me a diagram of the incident as you understand it, I’ll use your rendering as an update to this post.
UPDATE: Oh, wait. I just read this again. The “gentleman” outside the vehicle was another person talking to the monkey, and not the monkey’s owner who was inside the car? Where was he when all this happened? SOMEBODY FIND THE GENTLEMAN.