So I was telling the rest of the Firepants family about a recent post by The Bloggess about “The Elf on the Shelf”. I cleaned up the language a bit for the sake of my daughter, Dimples. I said, “It’s weird. The same day one of my students told me all about how he had woken up to find out his elf on the shelf had gotten in the pantry and thrown flour all over the kitchen floor, The Bloggess wrote about the same exact phenomenon. And her reaction was the same as mine. “Who the heck wants to clean that up? Why would I deliberately mess up my own home in the name of a creepy pixie when I already have a family that does that for me?” (That was my reaction. Hers was slightly more colorful, but definitely in the same vein.)
Dimples then said, “You should do a post about that, Mom.”
And I said, “Well, that wouldn’t be very original since I just read about it on The Bloggess, and she pretty much said everything I would say – only about 433 times better.”
And Dimples thought for a moment.
“You could have a Wonderbutt on the Shelf,” she suggested.
Now this could never happen. Because Wonderbutt would break the shelf.
But it did get me thinking.
“You know, I think I could get parents to buy into that,” I said. “Listen to this, ‘Forget the imp that makes a mess; you need a Butt to ease your stress. All the old toys you want to throw out? You don’t need to scream and shout. Hide the Butt under their bed, and blame his appetite instead.'”
Actually, I just thought of that while I was typing. What I really said was, “What can we call him?”
And this is what we’ve come up with so far: Fool on the Stool, Messer on the Dresser, Destroyer in the Foyer, the Devourer in the Shower, the Puppy who Just Wants to Clean it Uppy, Jaws for a Cause (or Jaws for Claus), and the Evil Dog who Eats the Toys of Kids Who Don’t Listen to their Parents.
Personally, the last one is my favorite.
I’m thinking of putting it on Kickstarter. You know you want to invest…
My 365th post is just around the corner, and I am starting to analyze how much I’ve accomplished. I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit disappointed. I haven’t achieved one single item on my bucket list in the last year. I have not:
- gotten one billion subscribers
- gotten invited to spend a week with the writers of The Daily Show
- gotten a million dollar advance on my book
- lost 5 pounds
In fact, I’ve gained 10 pounds, which is somewhat distressing.
It’s not for lack of effort, I must point out. I mean, I did a three day pledge drive – which resulted in the least number of new subscribers daily that I’ve ever received. I mention Jon Stewart every moment I can, barely avoiding being labeled a stalker. And I think I would have gotten the million dollar advance if The Bloggess had not beaten me to a publishing contract by a couple of years.
I can’t really explain the 10 pounds, but I’m just going to blame it on my “inefficient colon”. Obviously, everything I eat is being immediately converted to fat instead of, uh, doing what it’s supposed to do.
Now, I always tell my students that the most important part of achieving their dreams is perseverance, so I would be a hypocrite if I gave up on everything now. That is what normal, easily discouraged people, would do. So, I am going to stick to my mantra, which is, “Do what you want to do or prove that it can’t be done by killing
everyone in your way yourself trying to do it.” You are welcome to borrow that quote if you like.
Plus, it’s a bucket list. Which, I am assuming means that I have until the point that I kick the bucket to finish it up. I have to check the official rules of bucket lists, but I think that, if you start going in the opposite direction of the items on your list, that means you hold off death a bit longer. But, you can’t make that your goal, because then you have really changed your bucket list, and you will just speed things up.
I do feel like it is time to revise my bucket list, though, so here is the new, improved list:
- get 2 billion subscribers who are not relatives, but could conceivably be bribed to type their email address into the little box on my right margin (oops, just realized it’s in my left margin – that explains a lot)
- spend 2 weeks with the writers of The Daily Show. In their writing room. Contributing to their writing. (I thought I should clarify this, because my last goal was a bit too vague, and could have been misconstrued.)
- write the book for which I will get my million dollar contract
- lose 1 pound
I know. That last one is a bit unrealistic. But I’m thinking of removing the inefficient colon, by force, if necessary, and surely it weighs at least a pound.
Oh, and I’m not calling it a bucket list anymore. There is pretty much not one thing that I find motivating about buckets, much less kicking the bucket. So, it is now my Nantucket List. As soon as I get it all done, I will give myself a relaxing trip to Nantucket.
And, what the heck, my heart is just as big as Oprah’s, I’ll take my 2 billion subscribers with me.
(P.S. For the BEST Bucket List EVER, click here. (Thanks, Guapolawesomest, for this reference. I’ll let you come to Nantucket, too. Unless that’s where you live. In which case, why haven’t you invited me, yet?)
“I hate Jenny Lawson.”
“You hate your Maid of Honor?” my husband, the Honorable Cap’n Firepants asked.
“O.K. Wrong Lawson, dude. Don’t you even remember my Maid of Honor’s first name?”
Quickly sidestepping that land mine, the Cap’n said, “Well, who is this Lawson you hate?”
“She is a writer. And I hate her.”
“I think we’ve established that. Care to explain why?”
“First of all, she had a crazy childhood.”
“So did you.”
“But hers was a happy, crazy childhood. And funny. And she lives in Texas.”
“In the Hill Country.” This will make the Cap’n hate her, too. He has always wanted to move to the Hill Country. “Where vultures try to resurrect your buried dead pets and scorpions invade your attic.”
“That doesn’t sound so good.” Although he did kind of perk up at the dead pet part. There are moments when he does not have kind thoughts toward Wonderbutt, our Bulldog who Ate the World.
“It’s funny! Well, the pet dying part was not funny. I cried. But she made it funny. That’s why I hate her. And she uses profanity indiscriminately.”
“Well I’m glad she does not use discriminating profanity.”
“Haha. Seriously. She is hysterical.”
“So, what I’m getting here is that she wrote a book that made you laugh and so you now hate her.”
“Exactly. Plus she collects taxidermied animals that are dressed up. How am I supposed to compete with that?” Again, Cap’n Firepants seems to brighten with a thought.
“It sounds like you’re jealous,” he says after a moment, perhaps thinking that is a better thing to say than, “Wonderbutt would make a fine tuxedoed and taxidermied collectible.”
And this is where the conversation ended. Not because I threw a deadly scorpion at Cap’n Firepants and a starving vulture ate his carcass. Though I seriously thought about it.
Only because this conversation did not really happen, except in my head. And I really hate it when I can’t even control the conversations in my head enough to make myself look good.
If you are interested in hating Jenny Lawson, too, I highly recommend her book, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened.
(And by the way, Crash, thanks for texting me today that I should read this book – which I finished this weekend, laughing so hard that I was crying – and then not saying anything like, “She’s just as funny as you” or “You could totally write a book like that”. Instead, you just said, “We thought r life was crazy.”)
(And by the way, Parents-in-New-Jersey, you are not the crazy set of childhood memories to which we are referring. Thank you for reading my blog and not being crazy. Although, if you were crazy, I might be able to make a lot of money off of the stories. Now I just have to do it the hard way and make up my own stories. Don’t worry, though. I’ll just make them up about Crash and Cap’n Firepants – not you.)
(And by the way, People Who Might Read Jenny Lawson’s Book, I would probably advise you not to read the iBook edition on your iPad while you are sitting in the middle of a group of parents at your daughter’s dance class. Particularly if it is the chapter entitled, “My Vagina is Fine. Thanks for Asking.” People look at you funny. And not in a good way.)