Dr. Beads

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dancing in the Streets!

While walking around the city where I work, I was recently treated to the following performance art:

A rustbucket car, parked with all its doors open, the radio blasting…cool jazz!

A nondescript car, with curbside doors open, the radio blasting…rap lyrics performed over a 100%-stolen music track (the “Hill Street Blues” theme)!

A woman, walking in the opposite direction to me, wearing headphones, singing a pop song…loudly and off-key!

I’m going to put on a velvet cape and walk through the area, belting out old show tunes. With a nod to Trevor, everyone’s favorite hedgehog, I am one stylin’ musical artiste!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Car Wars -- Revenge of the Pithed

Long before I gave up on trying to find sense in the auto rental business, I made phone reservations for a car with manual transmission. (Feel free to throw popcorn at the screen now.)

I showed up at the rental agency, ready to roll up the highway. I went through the volumes of paperwork (declining the optional and overpriced collision insurance), then took the keys and went out to the lot, where I found – wait for it – a car with automatic transmission.

I returned to the rental office and objected. It turned out that all the agents thought that the location of the transmission control stick thingy (between the two front seats) meant that it was a manual transmission (as in “four on the floor”). In fact, the agency had no cars with manual transmission.

I objected again, with the rationale that I was not accustomed to driving an automatic, and that I’d be at higher risk for a collision with such a car.

The agent looked me in the eye and said, “Well, then, are you sure you don’t want the collision insurance?”

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Driving While Peering Through Beaded Curtains? Not Me!

It’s illegal to drive when your view out the windshield is obscured by crap, I mean paraphernalia, right? I have vague memories (what other kind do I have any more?) of a page in the DMV handbook, featuring a drawing of fuzzy dice with the circle-and-diagonal-line symbol (the universal “no”) printed over them.

Then why don’t drivers get pulled over when they’ve hampered their own ability to see outside the car by festooning their rearview mirrors with leis, graduation tassels, air fresheners, religious medallions, and even crystal dangles that can flash light right in their eyes (or the eyes of other drivers)?

Monday, May 23, 2005

You Want to Major in WHAT?!?

I recently heard part of a radio discussion whose participants included a woman identifying herself as an academic in hip-hop. That is, she isn’t just someone who enjoys hip-hop or feels that hip-hop is a valid form of art and communication, and, as far as I could tell, she isn't a musician or lyricist or singer. She studies hip-hop and teaches about hip-hop. (Don’t start on that “those who can’t, teach” canard, please.)

The discussion naturally touched on issues of exploitation and sexism, particularly in hip-hop videos. She started a sentence, veered off, stumbled, and finally said something along the lines of “Yes, not all the images are good, but we should be more accepting of ‘stripper culture.’”

People, what the hell is "stripper culture"?

Culture is a framework in which you live in the world, have dealings with other people, and raise your kids. It’s something you pass on to your kids for them to use and pass on. You could say that people are culture’s way of insuring the continued existence and development of culture, in the same way you could say that people are gametes’ way of insuring the continued existence and spread of gametes.

Arguments about safety and values aside, stripping is a job, and it may be a lifestyle, but it ain’t a culture.

Whatever that woman teaches, I don’t want anyone’s kids studying.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Pennsylvania Six, Five Refills

I almost dialed my pharmacy’s refill line instead of my spouse’s cell phone.

Does that mean my meds need adjusting?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

OK, I DO Need New Glasses

While waiting in the cashier's line at Trader Joe's, I looked over at a display of juices and juice drinks.

I read "Rum Paradise" on a bottle label. That couldn't be right. I blinked and pushed my glasses up my nose.

It was "Pink Lemonade."

OK, so the display was just a few feet from the hard liquor. Still.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Wait! I Didn't Sign the Informed Consent Form!

I dreamed that I was going undercover to blow the lid off a spa that specialized in bait-and-switch tactics. I entered the spa expecting to be pressured to buy expensive cosmetics, dietary supplements, and spa treatments in place of the advertised specials.

In the dream, I woke up two days later to find that they'd removed half of the ring finger on my right hand to harvest material for an unwanted nasal reconstruction. And no, I've never even considered a nose job.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Where's Francis, the Talking Mule, When You Need Him?

My son and husband were discussing mules. The always-humorous nicknames "ass" and "jackass" found their way into the conversation.

I offered my opinion that "ass" and "jackass" refer to a donkey, not to a mule, and mentioned that a mule is the offspring of a donkey and a horse.

Son David (alias) asked, "So, if a boy mule is a jackass, what do you call a girl mule?"

I replied, "'Ma'am.'"

Son David (alias) threw a pillow into my face. Repeatedly.

Friday, May 13, 2005

This Pope Business is Going Too Far

I drove my daughter to pubilc transit this morning. She put makeup on during the ride.

Lisa (alias): Thank God for concealer.

Dr. Beads (alias): You're going religious on me over cosmetics?!?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Mob's Greatest Hits!

Coming soon...to a nightmare near you!

GASP as bullets whistle past your ears!

THRILL as an intrepid undercover agent becomes the first female apprentice to the craftman who has a Mob contract...for fine, handcrafted furniture!

WRITHE as you try desperately to escape the awful dream that just won't let you go, even if you wake up and then go back to sleep!

GRIND YOUR TEETH in frustration as a television pseudojournalist interferes with your attempts to shoot at Mob murderers!

WHIMPER as you become an overheated mummy in the tangled blanket!

BLINK IN CONFUSION as you try to separate the vibrant, violent images of the night from the safe reality of the new day!

SIGH as your family members ask you, yet again, why you can't get the hell out of bed at a reasonable time on the weekend!