Corn, computers, and polite conversation

By Mir
September 5, 2007

Wow, you people have a lot to say about corn. And eggs! Yes, I agree that my eggs didn’t peel well because they were too fresh. I actually KNOW that you’re supposed to let them rest in the fridge for a week or so before you boil them (and I love that, because what’s the alternative? You put them to work scrubbing the inside of the fridge? You throw a wild egg party where they overexert themselves?), but that would require knowing an entire week in advance that I want to make deviled eggs. I cannot commit to that sort of advance planning.

Thanks for all the corn recipes, though. I have determined that I shall use corn in tonight’s dinner. Somehow. But that’s as far as I got. I’ll figure it out later. Maybe. If I remember. What were we talking about, again? Also, has anyone seen my watch today?

I keep taking my watch off and leaving it places, so the children have taken to bringing it to me whenever they come across it. This morning Chickadee gave it to me, and the only problem was that I actually KNEW where it was before she did, but then I put it… somewhere… and now I can’t find it.

(Is it becoming clearer, now, why I cannot plan ahead for my deviled eggs? Honestly, my family is lucky I remember to brush my teeth every morning.)

* * * * *

I will be spending the day sitting here at my desk, which is about ten feet from the door, waiting to pounce on the FedEx guy. He had the nerve to try to make a delivery yesterday while I was in the shower, and when I discovered the “sorry we missed you” hang tag on the door I was a very sad woman indeed. You see, I finally ordered myself a new computer.

(If you have a burning need to know more about the whys and hows, I wrote a bit about this already, but the Cliff Notes version is that I currently own two computers, one of which is dying slowly and the other of which is dying quickly.)

Anyway, after checking the online tracking it became clear that I had missed delivery of my new IPOD, not of my new COMPUTER. So I was less upset, after that. Plus I was then disinclined to drive out to FedEx myself to pick it up.

BUT I think the iPod AND the computer might be coming today. So I will sit RIGHT HERE until the FedEx man returns.

[Digression: I am not even sure what to do with an iPod, except maybe I could use it to ignore the children more efficiently? But there was this whole back-to-school deal thing where I bought a new computer and then they insisted I take a free iPod and a free printer and maybe a puppy as well. I’m not sure, because by then I was overwhelmed and huddled in the corner telling Otto to just “figure it out” because there were TOO MANY CHOICES. But I am still rather put out that the black Macs cost more than the white ones, too, so believe you me I’ll be giving that MacPuppy a stern talking to about color discrimination when it arrives.]

I’m a bit nervous about switching over to Macdom, but the Blue Screen of Death drove me to it.

* * * * *

Last week the children and I made an emergency grocery run to Walmart. Now, I hate Walmart with a fiery passion, but we happened to be right near it and it was close to dinner and Otto was working late and so I succumbed to the big yellow smiley face. I regretted it instantly, you understand, when I ended up standing at the deli for over thirty minutes just to buy some cheese. This isn’t SUCH a big deal, I guess, except that THERE WAS NO ONE AHEAD OF ME. I just got the slowest deli person on the planet.

Otto has NEVER been to this Walmart, because he also hates Walmart, but has better courage of his convictions than I do. And has never had two really hungry children in his car when he was near it. Anyway, he’s not been there, is my point.

So the next night at dinner, the children started talking about the GIANT DOG at Walmart, and Otto had no idea what they were talking about. Well, there’s a display of Coca-Cola products there topped by a ginormous ceramic Uga which is disturbingly life-like other than the fact that it was about 15 feet long. I found myself trying to describe it:

“Oh, it was incredibly ugly. And REALISTIC! I mean, it was ANATOMICALLY CORRECT!”

Otto blanched, and the kids immediately started asking what “anatomically correct” means. I explained and they still looked confused, so finally I said “He had a giant scrotum!”

The children claimed to have forgotten what a scrotum was, so I found myself deep in a discussion with them about testicles, and happened to glance over at Otto just in time to see his head explode. And then he suggested that perhaps this was not appropriate dinner conversation.

(Hey, I was keeping it clean. I didn’t even mention that the giant Uga is not ENTIRELY anatomically correct. He has an impressive ball sac but NO PENIS. Because giving him a penis, THAT WOULD BE WEIRD. But no problem giving him the world’s largest ceramic balls. Right.)

Anyway, I had to concede that this just MIGHT not be good table talk, and we moved on to something else. Later that night I found out that this piece I wrote on table manners was live, and the irony, oh my, it was delicious. I do loves me some irony.

Plus, I don’t have to decide to make it a week in advance.


  1. Leandra

    I have no courage of my convictions whatsoever so I shop at Wal Mart regularly and I know the giang bulldog of which you speak. Frankly, I have never noticed his giant scrotum (definitely not table talk, as my step dad says), but I have noticed how absolutely terrifying looking he is. He’s quite ferocious looking. In fact, both of my children have, at different times, been truly frightened of him.

    Actually, now that I think about it, the one in the Wal Mart that I frequent is wearing what appears to be a gigantic pair of boxers. Perhaps someone complained about the large bulldog scrotum that was hanging out in the dairy department?

  2. Ben

    Now, I need to work “giant bulldog scrotum” into a sentence today.

    Wish me luck.

  3. Genevieve

    Now it’s time for Chickadee to read last year’s Newbery winner, “The Higher Power of Lucky,” which elicited some controversy about the use of that very word
    (in the context of a dog) in its first couple of pages. An excellent book.

  4. Kimberly

    oh, the irony!

    Given our estrogen rich lifestyle, The Ladies have rarely been confronted with the reality of The Penis. So, when it does make an unexpected appearance a la giant ceramic balls or even wee wriggly puppy ones, there usual reaction is “ewww! What’s that THING on it???” Except for that one time in the family change room at the pool, where Regan burst into full belly giggles at the sight of a fellow swimmers tiny package.

  5. Jenn

    I try not to shop at the local giant-ass Walmart, not because it’s against my convictions, but because no matter what time of day you go in there, you will be guaranteed to wait in line for 30-45 minutes. Even in the express lane, where you will inevitably be behind someone who is trying to sneak through with 45 items.

    I’m impressed that the FedEx man leaves a tag if you don’t answer the door. Every time we’ve had a computer delivered, the delivery company just rings the bell and leaves the computer sitting at the door! Dopes.

  6. Burgh Baby's Mom

    Only a master of the English language could go from corn to eggs to Macs and end up at scrotums. AND it all somehow makes sense. Unusual talent you have there.

  7. Vanda

    I would love to hear how easy your new Mac is. When I get a new one next year that’s what I’m thinking of getting…..maybe.

  8. emery jo

    HAHAHA. Only at Walmart.

    Good choice on the Mac, by the way. They are a bajillion times better than PCs. NO ifs ands or buts.

    Oh! And you could use your iPod for ‘books on tape’, if you like that sort of thing. Yay!

  9. All Adither

    Macs rock. And Walmart kind of sucks. But you can buy really cheap kids clothes there, probably made by really cheap kids (by cheap I mean inexpensive and I realize this is a serious issue!)

  10. Jessica

    I got an iPod, too, basically because everyone has one and loves it. And now I think its in a box in my closet and has been since we moved in April. I keep thinking I will get it out and put more music on it and take it to work or something, but I never remember until I am actually at work. TONIGHT I will do it.

  11. Chewie

    I understand that some people stay away from WM because of the BIG BOX thing, but I’ve never understood people staying away because it was slow or dirty. Our WMs here are amazing. They are clean with wide aisles and fast service. I NEVER see more than 2 people in a check out line, and if things seem to be backing up a tiny bit, they call in back up forces and open 3 more lanes immediately. *grin* The deli can be a tiny bit slower, but even on a bad day I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes max.

    The local small store, otoh, is SLOW with lines for miles and no one in the special depts to help you. Prices are higher, the aisles are narrow, the lighting darker…*shrug*

    So I guess I’m a big box WM no scruples shopper. I can’t afford enough food for this family as it is, let alone paying half again as much at the smaller slower dirtier store.


  12. saucygrrl

    Weirdest sentence ever: “So I pulled into Walmart and stood at their deli for 30 minutes.” Ew. Walmart. And then they had to go and make it ickier by selling groceries and deli food.

    Um, sorry for beating the egg thing to death. ;)

  13. JayMonster

    You can use the iPod to keep your head from exploding as you wait for applications to load on that Mac, or to listen to some soothing music every time you find something that won’t load or doesn’t have a compatible application. ;)

    As for Wal-Mart… nothing surprises me there any longer. Nothing.

  14. LadyBug Crossing

    Once you go mac you’ll never ever go back.. Trust me on this one! I love my mac!! No viruses.. no issues.. no crap.. no fuss.. no muss.. no blue screen of death…

  15. becky

    you already have a mac person in the house, so your transition will be much easier.

    i have a couple of software recommendations, too, that work especially well for writers. i’ll email you about it sometime soon.

  16. Fold My Laundry Please

    I use my iPod to load up audiobooks and podcasts (you can literally get millions of them free on iTunes)and I listen to them while I do housework or it I get stuck someplace where I’ll be waiting for a while.

    On an entirely different subject. There used to be a store near our house when I grew up that had an enormous statue of an anatomically correct clydesdale horse in it. Penis and all. Worse yet, it was mounted kind of high up (at least by kid standards) so you got a really good look at the horse’s stuff. I’m still scarred by the image.

  17. Karen

    Google is going get all giddy over this post. Have fun setting up the new computer but do yourself a HUGE favour if you haven’t already and buy a USB cable so you can transfer files bat-lightning fast.
    Also, I have not brushed my teeth yet today. Poor Thomas. It’s freaking NOON. Ew.

  18. Anne Glamore

    My in-laws (yes, the same ones who had a goat attend their wedding, and said goat had been fed a SHIT LOAD of Ex-Lax the night before by the groom’s “friends”) owned one of UGA’s offspring. She was female and thus had no scrotum (we have PLENTY of those here, thanks!) but the saliva and snuffling sounds were torture.

  19. Wendy

    I think that dog had some quack of a vet, he removed the wrong part when neutering your pet. I think Bob Barker was involved in the whole thing and you know how forgetful old people can be.

    And that dinner conversation is way better than the ones at my house which mainly consist of, “Please eat your food and don’t give it to the (fully intact) dog. or NO cake until you eat at least 4 bites of food.” Then there is much drama as the 5 year old rolls around on the floor because peas are just so disgusting and the 19 month old fights with me over taking him out of the highchair, because one piece of cake wasn’t enough. Then there is the hosing down ritual after dinner. I think I would take a conversation over giant dog balls, anyday.

  20. Not The Mama

    Ooh, I’m jealous of your deliveries. My computer is also dying slowly and needs to be serviced asap before my service plan runs out. But last time I sent it away, they LOST it for a month and I was scarred for life.

    And I thought I had no use for an ipod until I got one. Now I love it.

  21. Stephanie Chance

    Dog penises stick out only when they are excited. I had to explain this to a terrified friend who called to ask should she take her dog to the vet because something pink was coming out of it. Ok, I know, they still have a penis-shaped pocket of skin into which the actual penis is tucked, but how else could I bring up the friend who’d never seen an aroused male dog?

    Don’t put your mouth on those dog balls or you might get strep throat. :)

  22. kate

    You’ll LOVE your new Mac! There’s almost no learning curve and after you’ve devoted yourself you can tell Chris how good the Kool Aid is!

    And about the dog in the Made in China SuperStore? Ewww, comes to mind.

    Have a Happy Mac Day!

  23. janet

    oh, i loooooooooooooooooove my mac! it’s fast, it’s easy, it loves me long time!

  24. Bob

    no picture of the nearly anatomically correct UGA?

    (with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back)

  25. udge

    Congratulations on switching, you won’t regret it. I posted a list of useful tools and tricks here; feel free to mail me if you have any questions (not to tread on Otto’s esteemed toes, of course).

  26. udge

    Forgot to mention: in case you do need to run programs that are Windows-only, you can use Boot camp to run genuine Windows XP on your Mac. Works perfectly well, I wrote about that here. The only catch is that it needs a partition of its own on the built-in hard disk, so you need to decide right now whether you’re going to do this. (I would recommend creating a partition for Windows now just in case and leaving it empty; if you later decide you don’t need it, you can merge the partition back into the main Mac volume.)

  27. Therese

    If you have trouble finding uses for that I-pod, just send it my way. I use it when on the treadmill, hubby uses when he goes into the woods to slay large animals, we use it when we go in the car to listen to music WITHOUT commercials, son always wants it (but we never share it with him)….

  28. Lauren

    Lovely meeting you at Leandra’s party this weekend..still haven’t figured out a way to incorporate bacon salt into my blog, but Im working on it.

    At the risk of being redundant…I too have seen the big ugly scary bulldog atop the drink display at Walmart. Never looked at the scrotum…gonna have to secretly check that out though. Seriously I think we should petition to get him taken down..or have boxers put on him.

  29. Tiff

    Ha ha! Reminds me of that game we used to play on the bus to football games where everyone would try to say ‘scrotum!’ the loudest. Eventually you had a bunch of band nerds turning purple for shouting so loud and band teachers turning red but being too embarrassed to say anything.
    I can teach that game to your kids if you want.
    I think Otto would like that, don’t you?

  30. Jenny

    “World’s Largest Ceramic Balls” sounds like it should be on a map of things to see when driving cross-country. Like the giant ball of twine and such.

    Our Very Large Dog no longer has any balls to call his own, but that doesn’t keep him from becoming aroused. He’s a Redbone Coonhound mix, but we call him the Redboner Poonhound. And really, with that breed name, how could you not?

    Was that too much?

    (Also — Wal Mart = ugh. I’m twitching over here trying not to launch into my soapbox speech.)

  31. Mimipz5wjj

    LOL! I’m with you — I hate Walmart!

  32. Karin

    I was waiting impatiently for the FedEx guy today, too, but for my new cell phone, not the new iMac that I have my eye on and I’m totally getting as soon as I have enough money…lol! And I hate Walmart, too!

  33. Sarah

    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Mac!

    If you didn’t like the Blue Screen of Death, just wait until you experience the Swirling Pizza of Death! Or SPOD, if you like.

  34. Lisa

    OH my, but this was a funny post! And I so needed a laugh today!
    Last night at dinner we somehow got around to talking about poop…and we were eating out at KFC, so I finally had to say, “Wait a minute, kids…I’m not sure the other people in KFC appreciate this conversation.” because it’s impossible to have a quiet conversation about poop with a 4 and 7 year old.
    Thanks for the laugh. I love your blog!

  35. Amy-Go

    I despise Walmart. I will not go there except under great duress. And giant bulldog balls on display just proves me right on this one in my opinion.

  36. The Other Leanne

    Well I’m just flabbergasted. a) Walmart has a deli and 2) Walmart (ever so sensitive about offensive content) has a dog with visible Large Ceramic Balls. Now MY head is exploding!

  37. Carolyn

    I hate going to Walmart more than anything but, I may have to go to see the giant UGA and his equiptment.

  38. Cele

    I guess noticing that a 15 foot ceramic dog is partically anatomically correct is something you can’t help but notice. But think about it. eewwwwwwh

  39. BOSSY

    Bossy thinks ‘Table Manners’ are kind of chauvinistic. Maybe it should be Table Womanners.

  40. Suebob

    You are just ASKING for the weird google searches, aren’t you?

  41. Amy

    They teach them at WalmartU to be slow at the deli. It gives the customer time to impulse shop the flatbreads and what have you in the deli area.

  42. LyndaL

    Ah,scrotum conversations, my favourite (with two boys, they kind of come with the territory). I remember being out walking in the middle of the french market in Edinburgh and calling out to my older son, (then 7) to stop walking in such a weird way – he was kind of wiggling about in front of me. He stopped dead, turned round and shouted in a withering tone “My scrotum was stuck to my leg and I was just sorting it!” That told me. And the other 300 people in the market.

  43. Megan

    I’ve been pondering a Mac leap ever since Vista came out and I realized a new computer would HAVE to have Vista. Then MS Office 2007 came out and when I saw what they did to a perfectly fine user interface I got serious about the pondering. Then I realized I have no money and I could stop already with the pondering and life was much simpler!

  44. MsRebecca

    I walked into my parent’s house last night and observed an entire platter full of corn that had been roasted expertly on the grill, my mom was gnawing on a cob like there was no tomorrow [dentures almost flying out] while she was cutting all the kernels off with a knife for the genius boy, shouldn’t it have been the other way around? Very entertaining nevertheless… As I was leaving I witnessed half of a piece of chomped up corn fall from mom’s chin..
    I giggled all the way home..

  45. Suzanne

    Oh, I sooooo have computer envy now! You’re going to love the Mac, regardless of it’s racial status, er uh…color.

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