Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wearing a Dickie is Not the Only Thing You Can Do to Be Uncool

You know that kid in your grade school class that had to wear those big black clodhopper shoes? Orthopedic shoes. Corrective shoes. There was no way in hell he had any chance of being cool. Perhaps if "Young Frankenstein" had come out way back then, that kid could have gotten the chicks by clomping across a stage while moaning "Puttin' on the Ritz."

But no, that poor little simp got bludgeoned at recess, and was ejected from every white-hot game of "Mother May I." He was an outcast.

In Candy Rant's world, there is an orthopedic-shoe-equivalent snack. While her friends are sinking their spiteful teeth down into the luscious waxy chocolate of Snickers Bars and Reese Cups, Candy is shamefully tearing open the wrapper of her Glucerna Bar, made especially for diabetics. If this bland, bitter fake candy bar were to appear in an episode of the Brady Bunch, playing Marcia's ugly awkward glasses-wearing nerdy friend, no amount of Marcia's makeover magic could turn the Glucerna bar into someone who, suddenly beautiful, could be elected Homecoming Princess. No. Glucerna, a distant cousin of the wart-nosed Splenda, would alienate Marcia, wreck Greg's convertible, and end up whoring out behind Sam's Butcher Shop.

My kingdom for a dickie.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And Then Sometimes People Practically Volunteer to Be Obliterated From the Earth

They come forth and proclaim themselves too stupid to be alive. Or certainly too stupid to be at a big giant university that prides itself on taking only the best and the brightest. The top-five-percenters of their classes.

Case in point: A freshman walked into the main office of the English Department today and asked, "If my composition class is held in the Speech and Hearing Building, does that mean it'll be taught in sign language?"

This is what we're up against, people. This is our future. (Cue Whitney Houston "I believe the children are the future..." song here.)

Do you know what this means? It means that when people my age are in nursing homes 40 years from now, those running it, the youth of today, will be putting catheters in our mouths, feeding us ground up Barbie dolls, filling our bedpans with poker chips, and spending their free time speaking earnestly to slinkies and Chia pets.

We are doomed. We need to drink the purple Koolaid now.

Gulp. Gulp.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

It Is Time to Thin the Herd and Sorority Girls Must Be the First to Go

This was not an easy decision. Since there are many groups of people who simply need to be booted off the planet, I have had to spend considerable time deliberating. You understand.

Groups I Perused:

1. People who go to buffets and sneeze over the food.
2. People who still use the phrase "thinking outside the box."
3. People who flip me off after I honk after they pull in front of me like the inbred vermin they are.
4. People who start conversations with "I got so wasted last night."
5. NASCAR fans
6. All those who ever loved the song "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo. (Admittedly, I would have had to off myself with this group.)

I came to my decision yesterday, when, while on campus and walking past a dreaded sorority house on the way to my building, I saw a sorority chicklet come out the front door of the house, talking on a cell phone. As she came down the front walk, she said this: "I have to go now because I have to concentrate on walking."

Before that moment, I was willing to hold back on the obliteration of all sorority girls. I was willing to bite the bullet when, in my classes, one of them speaks up with such brilliant questions as "Does this class, like, have a color theme?" I was willing to allow the Heathers and Tiffanys and Ambers and Brittanys chew their gum and drag their lazy flip-flop-clad bitch-heels down the sidewalks of our hallowed university. No more. I must now blow them to tiny specks of smithereens. I will no longer be forced to encounter the Jennifers who say their name is "Junn-ifer." They can mispronounce their own names in the great Wet Seal store in the sky. Don't be sad for them. They'll never notice the difference.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Road to Hell is Paved With No-Bake Cookies

I got together with 5 women I went to college with. Last Saturday we holed up in a suite in an Indianapolis hotel and talked till our tongues fell out of our mouths and slithered off into a corner to sleep like a pile of contented slugs.

Wait. I forgot the exciting part. Just as we were really winding down around 1 a.m., there was the loudest fire alarm in the history of the middle ear. We got to go stand outside in our various styles of pajamas for 45 minutes. Well, mostly we were in Suzanne's Jeep. I rammed a seat belt into my butt cheek so hard that it made my nose run. (That was Saturday night. Even now I still have a deep purple plum-sized bruise on my right cheek that looks like I've been on a date with Mike Tyson and a wallaby.)

What does any of this have to do with no-bake cookies? Nothing. Nothing at all. It has to do with brownies. Suzanne's brownies. Although she saved my pals and I from the elements by housing us in her Jeep (the only one smart enough to bring her keys outside), she tried to kill me with the brownies she brought to the reunion. I hadn't seen brownies in a very long time. Having done my best to avoid such things, I tranced out like a Scientologist when she opened the Tupperware with the delectable brownies inside. It was like I was a lifer in the big house, and suddenly I was getting a conjugal visit with the Rockettes.

Over the course of the evening, I ate five brownies. I knew that my blood sugar was crazy high. I knew that my behavior was not exactly aiming in the direction of self-preservation. I willingly jumped off the effing wagon and let the wheels roll over me.

I'm back on the wagon now, and fondly reminiscing about those 5 brownies. And about those 5 women. I love every one of them. You rarely make friends ever again like the chicks you brushed your teeth next to in the dorm bathroom.

One of us is getting married soon, one of us got married a year ago. One of us needs a hip replacement, one of us just adopted a Russian baby girl. One of us is a professional computer geek. One of us will retire in 2 years. All of us were talking about health problems and realized that we'd probably talk more about those every year. I don't want to be talking about high blood sugar this time next year. I want to be talking about the new acrobatically challenging sex acts in my life.

Gotta go string up the trapeze.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Beware the Evil Serpent Appearing in the Sweet Little Creek

Some days you try to do what you're supposed to do, and are dang near patting yourself on the back for doing it, and then the Serpent shows up anyway, fang-first.

Case in point: Yesterday I went to Gold's Gym, where I regularly endure the unholy, exaggerated grunting sounds of meat-necked roid-ragers in order to use a treadmill and a few Nautilus machines. The treadmill is quite boring, especially when you go as slowly as I do. I'm not a runner. I walk. And my walking is somewhere near the geriatric end of the spectrum, at least when compared to the wiry little skinny bitch next to me who puts the treadmill on Anorexic Death Pace and runs as fast and hard as she can, lest that half a kiwi she had for lunch catch up with her sexy ossified frame. But I digress.

There are 8 TV screens to watch while treadmilling. I saw that Oprah was on, and I jumped onto the treadmill nearest her. I loves me the Oprah. Of course, these TVs are muted, and there are captions. I put on my snazzy 19 dollar Sony Radio Headphones and listened to music and watched Oprah.

Her guests: The son and daughter of the man who created the Dove Bar. They told the story about how their dad had first owned a candy store, and each day his feelings were hurt when his kids ran outside the split second they heard the music from the Good Humor truck. So he came up with his own ice cream treat. The Dove Bar was born.

Nice story. Now let's move on, I thought. Let's not talk any more about the Dove Bar, which Oprah claimed is the "most decadent ice cream treat ever." Shut up, Oprah. Some of us are trying to treadmill here. Some of us are trying to lower our blood sugar. Some of us cannot afford to hire doctors to get into a fancy shrinking machine so they can be injected into our veins and then use microscopic shovels to scoop some glucose out of our blood. We have to do it the old fashioned way.

But Oprah wasn't done with me. Next on the screen was a lengthy, torturous tour of the effing Dove Bar factory, and endless, creamy, frozen, tear-drop shaped chunks of ice cream being dipped into their secret recipe chocolate, a recipe so secret that it is written down nowhere lest Al Quaida should get it. I watched the screen as though each of those naked Dove Bars on the production line were little benevolent dairy messiahs come to save me. Please Oprah, please shut yo' mouth, girl. Or your next "light bulb moment" will be the low-wattage bulb over your bed in the ICU, when you wake up post-surgery from having those Dove Bars pulled outta your ass.

She did not stop. Next, her flurry of gay backstage boys flittered out, each with a silver tray of Dove Bars held high, samples for the entire audience.

I was OK. I dealt with it. Hardly anyone said a word to me after I climbed up and balanced on the bars of the treadmill and grabbed both sides of the suspended TV and shattered the screen with my forehead.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

People Who Deserve to Be Bludgeoned

I'm thinking this title may recur at various times, as I am annoyed by a parade of humans.

This time, it's one of my future students that must be bludgeoned with a brick.

In 2 weeks I have to start teaching again. I teach at a big university where I am a tiny cog in the gargantuan machine. When I have the summer off, those three months are my sanctuary, my personal Candy Utopia. Away from the backbiting faculty, away from the hung-over, sniveling, whiny-ass, waste of human flesh undergrads. They are not all horrible of course. Some I actually like. Some I look forward to seeing.

Then you have students like the chick in one of my poetry classes, who, in mid-July wrote me this email:

Dear Professor:

My name is (blah blah) and I'll be in your fall semester poetry class. Could you please forward me your syllabus now?

Yeah. No problem. You rotten little overachieving, intrusive, pushy lump of biomass. I'm not enjoying my time off. What I really want to do is spoonfeed you my nonexistent syllabus, because I know that YOU will be the most important student in the class. By far.

One of my fabulous former students, who is now a close friend, told me that I should have responded this way:

"We will be reading the complete poetic works of Shakespeare, e.e. cummings, Robert Blake, Sylvia Plath, Shel Silverstein, Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, Longfellow, Henry Van Dyke, and several anthologies, including, at minimum, "The Doctorate Student's Guide to Understanding Marlowe's Poetic Soul" (We will most especially be emphasizing pages 879-1564 the first week of class) and "An Anthology of Poetry Commonly Found Hidden In Physics Text books." Furthermore, all students will be required to submit a pre-class portfolio so that I may see as to whether or not I should teach you this semester. All morons will be dismissed." Then on the first day of class, act like "Oh, I didn't write that. I must have had a virus. Yeah, we're going to start with coloring."

See why I love this woman? See why we sat at an Italian restaurant talking for 6 hours the first time we got together?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Baby Poodles Left in the Care of a Vulture

Last week the humidity here in the midwest made life feel like vicious hell in a waffle iron. Nothing new there. But one news story preoccupied Candy Rant in a way that made her feel like gnawing her own hand off.

There's this fantastically good local chocolatier (that there means somebody what makes choklit) who had to close up shop during the crazy-ass heat wave because even with air conditioning, they could not keep their chocolates from melting. They decided to lock up and wait out the heat.

So there I was, safe in my little house, in my cushy, cozy bed, and life was pretty good. Except for the knowledge that just a couple miles from me, there was a lonely gathering of hundreds of melty chunks of delectable chocolate. Behind one cruelly locked door. I could picture stealthily tip-toeing up to the plate glass window, and whipping my tongue out in a lewd and frightening way that would at first alarm the little candies. Already sweaty from their trial with humidity, they would gather together, circling their wagons to discuss the scary woman pressed against the door, her eyes spinning in her head like 2 K-tel Salad Shooters.

I imagined how I would coax them to the door, to talk them into forming a big gooey pile, tall enough to flip that pesky lock from horizontal to vertical. Just a simple click, you sweet little chocolates. I would direct my wooing toward the nougat first, the faux Three Musketeers. The nougats are not smart, as candies go. They can be talked into anything. And besides, I'd want them on the bottom of the pile, to keep the lovely caramels and chocolate truffles off the linoleum. Once I got the nougats in line, I could reason with the strawberry and raspberry-cream filled ones, neither of them having proven themselves to be the mensa members in the world of sweets. Soon I would be inside that chocolate shop, and eating myself into a sugarized Jimi-Hendrix-I-think-I-see-God-no-wait -that-was-just-the-shadow -of-my-own -heifer-ass-on-the-wall oblivion.

In the morning, it would be kind of like that childhood story about the poor humble cobbler who comes to his shop to find all the shoes already made. Except for instead of shoes, when the chocolatiers came to their shop they would find one big metal tray after another, empty. And tongue marks on the front door.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

When Even My Favorite Vice Doesn't Work

Some days, life sucks the big donkey schlong. Yesterday, my life sucked it. It not only sucked it, it ran back for a second helping of jackass knob. And a third. By the end of my day, my life had pleasured more four-legged mammals than that bitch Catherine the Great ever could have managed.

I won't go into detail, except to say that the completely unexpected hostile behavior of 2 total strangers knocked me into such a depression that I felt like I was zapped into a vacuum tube, Hoovered down to the core of the earth, dipped in rhino piss, then spit back out into a disorienting lostness. Like I was the last cold noodle in a Chinese food take-out carton.

I got the wind knocked out of me, and I had zero creativity working, and so I did the predictable asinine thing: I went to Baskin Robbins for a pint of peanut-butter chocolate ice cream. I ate it. I felt sick and full of sugary emptiness and empty of everything I really needed. Because what I really needed was the feeling that it was OK to have stood my ground with these two wretched vermin sphincters. And I needed to stop beating the shit out of myself for not handling it better, and for not being the person I want to be, and for not having been born the right person, and for being confused and hurt and outrageously pissed off and weary. Why is it that we sometimes seem to relish the feeling of baby-seal-clubbing ourselves to a bloody pulp when we need to stand firmly in our own corner? Excuse me. I think I just went into pronoun hell.

Anyway, the ice cream failed me, as I knew it would, and the blood sugar was high this morning. And I realize more than ever that I need to find out how to, when the wind is knocked out of me, slowly and insistently breathe it back in.