Sunday, December 23, 2012
Merry Christmas! Today I have a guest blogger posting a very funny and, well, let's say unique holiday story. I hope you enjoy as much as I did! Enjoy!
I have to confess that I have a huge crush on Santa; I’ve always had a thing for older men. Working for his organization is a family thing. My mother still works for him. My father did too, before he deserted us shortly after I was born to run off with an elf with pointier ears than Mom. Last I heard, he had a gig acting in The Hobbit. No word on what became of Miss Pointy Ears, except rumor has it she dumped him for an elf from Lord of the Rings.
The weeks before Christmas are always wild and crazy in Santa’s workshop, and sightings of him are fleeting. However, today I am suddenly aware of The Man himself standing behind my chair, watching me work.
“Gah!” I say when I look up into his jolly face. I always considered his demeanor to be so—dare I say it?—gay.
Santa stroked his beard and looked down at my GI Joe. I could smell the scent of peppermint on his breath. For a moment, I got a whiff of mistletoe and frantically looked up, hoping someone had helpfully hung a sprig right above us.
“The sparkling pink pasties glued over his nipples are an interesting touch,” he finally said.
I held up my GI Joe masterpiece, pride washing through me. “Well, initially, they would be hidden by his uniform.”
Santa stroked his beard—such a sensuous caress—and nodded. “Ah, I see. Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
He looked me in the eye. Me! I felt the tips of my pointy ears grow hot. Then he glanced down at my name tag. “Spock, is it?”
“My mother was a Trekker.”
It was the first time I hadn’t been teased about it, which caused me to fall even deeper in love than before...if such a thing were possible.
Santa looked thoughtful for a few, timeless moments before he asked, “Are you romantically involved with someone right now?”
What? I shook my head to clear my brain. What did he ask me?
He grinned. “Great. Why don’t you come over to my place for dinner tonight?”
“Gah!” was my eloquent reply.
Omigod. Dinner with Santa!
He slapped me on the back, a hearty—but assuredly intimate—gesture. “See you at six, my boy.”
Twinkle, the pretty elf who worked next to me, stared at Santa as he walked away. “Seriously?” she asked. “Dinner with The Man? None of us ever get invited to have dinner with him.”
To boldly go where no elf has gone before.
* * *
As I knocked on the door to his house, I pushed the multitude of questions out of my mind. The big one that had been bothering me all day was: what about Mrs. Claus? Had Santa sent her off to test drive the reindeer? I struggled with the moral dilemma of having dinner with a married man. What would my mother say? What if Santa wanted to kiss me? Should I play hard to get? Would he think me easy if I planted myself under any and all mistletoe I could locate? As waves of angst coursed through me, Mrs. Claus swung open the door and greeted me with a toothy smile.
“Hello, Spock! So glad you could join us this evening.”
In a daze, I stumbled inside their warm cabin and melted into a soft chair near the roaring fireplace.
“Would you like some hot cider, dear?” Mrs. Claus asked.
Mutely, I nodded.
Santa’s hearty laugh snapped me out of my stupor, and I jumped to my feet. Walking into the room at his side was another, younger man. Not as soft and cuddly as Santa, he was nevertheless handsome. And he was bald, just like Jean Luc Picard. A sigh escaped me. I liked bald men—the look was so...dare I say...phallic?
Santa introduced him. “Spock, this is my baby brother, Sven. He’s visiting from Sweden where he works on the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee.”
I took note of the smart military uniform Sven wore. “You serve in one of the armed services?” I managed to somehow ask, proud of myself for being able to finally master a complete sentence.
Sven grinned and gave me a coy wink. “No, but my brother told me how much you like men in uniform.”
He flexed his muscles, a button flew from his shirt, and I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a...no...could it possibly be? A pink pastie!
I swooned as visions of sugar plum fairies danced in my head.
Note From Devin O'Branagan
Valentino DeMitri is the most popular character I have ever created, and critics labeled him "the best gay character in fiction." He woke me in the middle of the night recently and dictated this holiday story to me. We hope it made you laugh. If you would like to discover the beauty, wit, and charm of Val, please read The Red Hot Novels. You can learn more at www.RedHotNovel.com
Red Hot Property is available as an eBook and in print at Amazon
Copyright © 2012 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved
Wishing all our readers a joyful holiday season!
(Please note: All character representations associated with my stories are professional models.)
**Note from Keith: Please go to Devin's website and check out her books. They are wonderful. If you like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, you will love Molly O'Malley! Trust me, Devin has authored a book to please every type of reader.
Monday, November 26, 2012
And suddenly the season is upon us. How quickly we go from eating our sun-ripened tomatoes while trying to give away the excess basil we have grown in the garden and spending our weekends swimming in the pool or at the lake to roasting turkeys, decorating trees, and desperately searching for gifts to please our loved ones.
And before you say it, you are welcome.
2012 Inappropriate (or Awesomely Cool) Gifts
1. Dog Snuggies
Click to Purchase
|(This dog is saying, "Please someone call the ASPCA.")|
2. Diva Dish Sponges & Punk Rocker Scrubbers
Click to purchase
3. The Santa Dreidel
Click to purchase
4. Gangsta Rap Coloring Book
|(See? The flower makes it fun!)|
Christmas is for kids. Coloring books have been used by baby-mamas far and wide to keep their precious little ones busy while they tend to other business. Now, there is something to color other than tired ol' Dora the Explorer or Winnie the Pooh, yo. Nothing says I love you quite like a coloring book full of thugs. After all, Junior didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose him.
Click to purchase
5. Dress Pant Sweats
That's right, ladies. You have had a lock on getting away with wearing "leggings" and "yoga pants" to work, BUT NO MORE! This one is for the fellas! Holla! Sorry, I am still in Gangsta Rap mode, let me compose myself.
Click to purchase
6. Can Be Global
|(These are steeping in the essence of Big Ben.)|
Click to purchase
7. Subtle Butt Excessive Gas Neutralizers
Click to purchase
8. Images You Should Not Masturbate To by Graham Johnson
Everyone needs a good coffee table book. Ideally the book should not be controversial or sexual in nature. Images You Should Not Masturbate To fulfills both those requirements making it perfect. However, if you find a guest (or yourself) locked in the bathroom with this tome, then you may have a problem. On the bright side it could lead to another gift. Perhaps Groupon will have a deal on discounted therapy sessions.
One review from a reader of the book: "I love a challenge but this book is the ultimate."
Click to purchase
9. i-Tattoo Electronic Tattoo Pen (for ages 6 and up)
Want to help your children get over their fear of needles while training them for a career at the same time? Then this educational toy is right up your alley!
Oh sure the product contains toluene, a chemical that "reportedly" do severe neurological harm, but if it is still on the market, it has to be safe.
There is nothing more heart-warming than seeing your eight-year old niece inking up her granny while the glow of the Christmas tree lights reflect off the tattoo gun. Good times.
Click to purchase
10. Squirrel Feet Earrings
There is nothing a lady hates more than walking into a holiday party and having the same dress or jewelry on as someone else there. Worry no more, fair lady. I venture to say not many others will have these pieces of taxidermy glamor. Even if she does, hers will be from an entirely different squirrel and completely different from yours. It's a win, win. Show the world how you do with this rodent bling. They see you rollin,' they be hatin.' Let 'em, because you're worth it.
Click to purchase
There you have it! If you have any more to share, I would love to see them. Share it with us below!
I am working on a literary version of the gift list for my book-loving friends, so keep an eye out for that this week. Happy Shopping.
|(Shut up, James Vanderbeek. I did not.)|
Link to last year's Inappropriate Gift List:
2011 Inappropriate Gift List
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Elections bring out both the best and the worst in America. We are an example to the world of how democracy works. We argue, debate, and fight our way to election day, then accept the results without violence or civil unrest. We prove to other nations that our system, while flawed, is still the best method for government. On the flip side, the ugliness of the campaigns, the unchecked amount of money that is now spent on running for office, and the in-your-face-24-hours-a-day-news that we are privy to makes us all bat shit crazy by the time November rolls around.
Because this election was so very close, there are inevitably a lot of people who are now upset their candidate or issue or amendment didn't win on the ballot. That is understandable. Having to live through the relentless campaign season only to see your vote lose sucks eggs. It makes you feel bitter. I know. I lose a lot.
One great thing Americans always do after tense elections is come back together. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually we get there. The political pundits say it often takes a "national scare or threat" to do it, but I don't think that is necessary. I believe that just good, old-fashioned shared misery does the trick just as well.
This weekend I started thinking of things that I hated more than the election, and was surprised to find a good number of items. I narrowed down my list to the top seven and thought I would share them with you. After reading these maybe you will think, "Hey, things aren't so bad after all. At least I don't have to suffer through #4 on the list."
You may even have better items than I listed that make us all more miserable. If so, please share with everyone in the comments. The more things we find in common to be mad at, the more alike we will become in each others eyes. Right? Am I right? I'm right. Right?
SEVEN ITEMS THAT I HATE MORE THAN THE ELECTION
- WHEN YOU OPEN A NEW BAG OF GRIPPO'S & THEY ARE NOT HEAVILY COATED WITH GRIPPO'S GOODNESS
When I see this, though, it instantly causes rage to course through my body. I think bad thoughts of revenge and havoc-wreaking on the Grippo's factory and/or the person who bought the bag of chips at the grocery store (read: Andy):
For those of you who do not live where Grippo's are available and do not know what I am talking about I can say only two things: (a) Bless your heart, and (b) you may want to consider moving to an area where Grippo's are available.
2. ANY BOOK, TELEVISION SHOW OR MOVIE THAT ENDS WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER WAKING UP AND REALIZING THE WHOLE THING WAS A DREAM
The one time this was successful was with the Wizard of Oz, exactly 348 years ago. Since then, it has been used to end countless stories of all kinds. And each time it has pissed me off.
3. ANY RESTAURANT OR FOOD CLAIMING TO BE AS GOOD AS OR BETTER THAN "MOM'S"
Ask anyone who makes the best meatloaf, fried chicken, lasagna, or potato salad and he will likely say his mother. It doesn't matter if the meatloaf is actually the best or not. If mom made it, then it is great. Some of us are fortunate enough to not have to lie about this sort of thing. My mother really is the best cook I know. She can whip up a dinner in no time and it will be a culinary delight, and if she does fry chicken? Watch yourself. So when I see items on menus that say "Better than Mom's Liver and Onions," I know it isn't true because it is impossible. But if I were craving liver and onions anyway, I may go ahead and order it. When it arrives at my table, I would instantly start comparing it my mothers and it would start losing. This process of shaming my liver and onions would continue until I was finished with the meal and called my mother to tell her about it.
Another example of this is restaurants who are so cocky they name the entire joint after mom, not just a menu item. No, this is not Mom's Kitchen. If it were Mom's kitchen, there would not be tablecloths, fabric napkins, and choices of what to eat. There would be a stack of plates, a roll of paper towels, and a refrigerator overflowing with condiments of every sort and a sign attached to the front with a 1998 UK Wildcat Basketball magnetic schedule that says "This ain't Burger King. You Can't Have It Your Way. You Can Have It My Way. Or You Can Have None At All."
4. THE OCTOMOM
5. If Like _____, You'll Love ______ Products
If you love a designer fragrance, save up and buy it, because if truth be known, every single one of those imposters have the exact same smell, and it's the scent of sadness and regret.
I also want to go a step further and say that it angers me when people buy imposter brands of purses, wallets, bags, and totes. If it is being sold in a flea market, out of the trunk of a car, or on a side street in Chinatown, it ain't Louis Vuitton. I learned this, as I did with PRIMO!, the hard way:
|The strap broke the first time I used the stupid fake imposter bag.|
Please do not mistake "If you love _____, then you will like _______" products with "As Seen On TV" items. ASOTV items are remarkable and golden. They would never make me angry. They bring joy, laughter, and time-saving new ideas into the world.
6. HOW NASTY MY IPHONE LOOKS AT THE END OF THE DAY
7. THAT WOMAN WHO TANS SO MUCH
So there you have my list of the seven items that anger me more than the election. I think all of us can agree these are some pretty universal miseries. What about you? What angers you more than the election? Leave a comment or picture below. And someone, anyone, please say that #6 happens to you as well.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
I woke up the morning after Ronald Reagan won the 1980 Presidential election with an excitement usually reserved for Christmas morning or my own birthday. I'd concluded by listening to my parents talk at dinner and watching the evening news that the price of everything we bought had been extremely too high for way too long. In the world of a ten-year old boy in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, that meant your weekly allowance (minus what you had used for school lunch and snacks) didn't buy you much at the Magic Mart on your Saturday trip to Hazard. The proof of this inflation, though, hit home in September of 1980 when the laundromat located on Main Street in Hyden raised the price of their Coca-Cola vending machine from a quarter to thirty-cents. I was outraged. A quarter was one thing, but now having to scrape up a nickel as well for a can of pop? It was too much for me. Something had to be done, and from what I could gather, Ronald Reagan was going to fix it. According to my parents, and apparently most of the nation, he was going to usher in good times and lower prices for us all.
So, on Wednesday, November 5, 1980, as soon as school was over for the day I headed to the laundromat to see democracy and free trade in action. I was stunned to find the Coca-Cola machine still operating with a thirty-cent charge. Had no one told the manager of this place about the election? Maybe Coca-Cola had been for the other guy and was now refusing to lower the price of their product. Pepsi had not increased its price, yet. I contemplated my life as a Pepsi drinker, and to be honest, it was bleak. I watched other people causally walk over to the Coke machine, feed it both a quarter AND a nickel, and walk away with a beverage as if Ronald Reagan had not just won and promised us all lower Coke prices immediately.
I turned and left the obviously Communist-led laundromat in a huff. I stomped to my mother's office and told her the news. I wanted her to share in my outrage and disgust. I wanted her to call the newspaper and demand a story be written. I wanted her to get Ronald Reagan down here immediately if not sooner.
|(Me, ten-years old)|
I came away from that little civics lesson from mom with the following: Reagan hadn't taken office yet. This would be fixed in a couple of months.
|(The joke was on me, wasn't it, Mr. Reagan?)|
The price of Coca-cola never returned to a quarter. The letter I wrote to President Reagan fell on deaf ears. The grassroots campaign, "Citizens For Lower Pop Prices," never took off. It was my first experience in being disappointed by a politician. It would not, by a long shot, be the last but I didn't know that then. I decided to make the best of the situation. I certainly wasn't going to become a Pepsi drinker. I loved Coca-Cola and would stick with it no matter what. It was my drink.
Sometimes you don't always get what you want, but you learn to live with it and make the most of it.
My relationship with both Coca-Cola and President Reagan smoothed out over the years. I learned to live with them both in my life, and things were not nearly as bad as I had first imagined they would be. The Earth did not stop turning, and I adjusted to the new reality of living in a thirty-cent Coca-Cola world.
|(Oh, HELL NO!)|
Monday, November 5, 2012
'Twas the night 'fore the election, when all the through the nation,
Not a creature was stirring, not even news stations.
The voting machines were lined up with care,
In hopes an electric generator would soon be there.
The candidates were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of victory speeches danced in their heads;
And Ann in her 'kerchief and Michelle in her cap,
Had just settled down for an early November nap,
When out in Ohio there arose such a clatter,
Carl Rove sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to Columbus he flew like a flash,
Stopping first in Cincinnati for some much needed cash.
The moon on the crest of Ohio State U,
Gave enough luster to prove that something was askew,
When what to Rove's wondering eyes should appear,
But Dave Axelrod waving, holding a six-pack of beer.
Rove was older, more experienced, lively and quick,
He knew in a moment it must be some trick.
But Axelrod smiled and shook his head so,
And told Rove it was over, it was time to let go.
"Not Barack, not Mitt, not Biden or Ryan,
Not Warren or Brown, they've all stopped trying.
No more campaigning, no more at all!
The time has run out! We've hit the wall!"
As Rove looked at Dave he thought, "What's with this guy?"
Does he expect me to stop? To completely not try?
I've got millions of dollars left to spend
I'm not going to stop and drink a beer with him.
And then, in a twinkling, they both heard a noise,
Suddenly they were surrounded by several girls and boys.
The kids circled the two partisan men,
And one girl stepped forward to politely address them.
She was dressed in the flag, all red, white, and blues,
And her skin was multicolored, both light and dark hues.
The history of our country shined in her eyes,
She glared at the two as if she meant their demise.
"We are the future of leaders of this land.
We have endured your campaigns all we can stand!
You both play dirty, you both play crooked,
You neither tell the truth, and you both cook the books.
“We are tired of the lies and parties of tea,
We are tired of talking about women's bodies,
We are sick of talking about the 47 percent,
This will not happen when I am President.
"You’re both owned by PACs that should be put on a shelf."
Axelrod laughed when she said this, in spite of himself.
"Children, go home and stop this ruse,
Come back when you’re rich and we'll listen to your views."
The kids spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
Learning the issues; no response would be knee-jerk;
None of them leaning too far left or right,
They stayed in the middle, with common sense in sight.
This election is done and it was too ugly and hollow,
But it's not the same course future ones must follow.
We must meet in the middle, teach our children to trust,
America is still great, but it’s up to ALL of us.