When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon-Scented Garbage

I was watching TLC the other night and saw several commercials for “Craft Wars”.  For those of you who have enough of a life to have avoided seeing the commercials or TLC itself, allow me to describe what this craft competition show will apparently be about.

“Hi Tori! By the way, I’m a big fan of your work. Oh…Okay, well anyway, this piece is my interpretation of a happy jack-o-lantern. It will make a great door hanging or as seasonal decoration. The crooked grin gives it a touch of whimsy!” (Image from blog.craftzine.com)

Three contestants are given crafting supplies including all the hot-glue sticks and glitter they could ever hope for.  Then, the host says “Your time starts…NOW!”  The crafter-contestants, who by their very existence make me feel like a superior life form, all scramble across the set to get to the bins of crap that they’ll be making “crafts” out of.  This is essentially the same format that’s used on shows like “Top Chef”, “Design Star”, “Chopped”, “The White Room Challenge” and countless others.  As if watching these scrap-booking, swatch-pasting zealots isn’t bad enough in and of itself, the whole thing is hosted by massive has-been mega-talent, Tori Spelling!  The description above was gleaned from my having viewed a 30 second commercial several times, while I was busy watching some other inane offering on TLC.

It’s truly effortless to sit here and complain about what passes for entertainment these days.  I mean, they make it so easy.  So I sat down to write my rants about just that, but then a deeper thought occurred to me.  With the recent celebration of Father’s Day, I was reminded of what my Dad used to say;

“Turn off that damn idiot box and go cut the grass, dammit!”

Oh wait, wrong Dad quote.  He also used to say;

“If you’ve got a problem with it, then come up with something better or shut the hell up!”

Good point, Dad (My Dad didn’t actually curse that much, but I sure as shit do).  I put on my thinking cap and came up with some programming  ideas of my own.  I’m going to email these ideas to TLC, NatGeo, HGTV, Bravo and A&E.  They’ll be welcome to use any and all of my ideas without having to pay me a dime, but I do want the title “Creative Consultant” and a link to my blog in the opening and closing credits.  Here we go:

The Rolls Royce of Eternal Rest – this baby is a serious upgrade.(Image from Jawdrops.com)

America’s Next Top Mortician – Three morticians are given a challenging stiff to prepare for a viewing and funeral.  They will each have a fixed number of hours to fully prepare the corpse for interment.  Some of the challenges will include pushy, unrealistic family members who want Aunt Bessie to look “more life-like”, ill-fitting clothes for the deceased, and convincing the family they should pay for the up-graded casket.  Finally, what final-rest competition would be complete without the hearse-obstacle course?

Janitors Got Talent – Everyone knows at least one janitor who insists on singing or telling jokes while pushing brooms and emptying trash cans.  Here’s a chance for janitors to shine like freshly scrubbed porcelain!  Each contestant will have to demonstrate their unique talent while brushing toilets, running a floor buffer and refilling the soap dispensers in the women’s bathroom.

Cryo-Bank Tellers  24/7 – This gritty, up-close slice of reality will follow the challenges of round-the-clock employees at a St. Louis sperm bank as they deal with the crazy demands of such a bizarre work environment.  Hand held cameras will follow them throughout the facility with copious amounts of digitized blurring of clients faces, specimen jars and more!  At least once every episode, one of the tellers will lament “The sign on the door said ‘Unoccupied’, Geez I hate when that happens!”  Hilarity meets revulsion when new staff members are pranked and directed to put their lunches in the wrong refrigerator!

Bus Wars – Broad Street Local – Parking Wars meets Cash Cab as Philadelphia’s public transportation passengers are asked impossibly difficult trivia questions.  Contestants are frustrated, angered and embarrassed to realize they can’t possibly win any money.  Tempers flare when the contestants realize that the host/driver has ignored their stops while waiting for one of them to answer the question!

You turbo-charge this thing, put a chain guard on it and go to work. (Image from social.kidspot.com.au)

American Baby-Nose Pickers – Poor little Tyler and Brittany can’t do it themselves with their little bitty fingers!  Whether they use the squeeze ball, a Q-Tip or their own massive adult fingers, Moms and even Dads just can’t rest until that little hanger is out of their babies’ honkers.  The contestants will have to face tough challenges like booger-eating older siblings and the nausea of onlookers.  Tension builds as we close in on the final weigh-in!

My Biggest Fat Gypsy Rose Lee Loser – Theatrical directors and personal trainers team up to direct a community theater production of “Gypsy”, starring the morbidly obese who compete to lose the most weight while dancing and singing the hit numbers from 1959’s Broadway smash!  Wardrobe issues and self-esteem are on a collision course in this emotional competition!  Contestants are pushed to the brink when they have to keep their appetites and salivary glands in check while singing the lyric “..have an egg roll, Mr. Goldstone..”

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m going to go ahead and send the link for this blog to all those networks.  Keep your eyes peeled in the months to come, I think I’ve got a few winners here.  Listen up network execs, as promised, these ideas are there for the taking, and all I ask is the “Creative Consultant” tag and a plug for my blog.  Be warned though, my next batch won’t come so cheap!

Forty-Seven Shades of Pink

Now that the author of the “Shades of Gray” books is likely swimming in a jacuzzi filled with C-notes and caviar, I thought I’d take a stab at some of this erotica stuff myself.  Rather than waste valuable energy developing a plot, I’ve opted to just rehash a classic- inserting juicy parts as I go.  I’ll just slip them in slowly, but with urgent determination, again and again.

Anybody who says I don’t sacrifice for my art should know that I bought this pound of bacon solely for this purpose. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to cook it and eat it, but my main reason was for the photo shoot.

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs, Francine, Gloria and Beulah.  All three of the pink, succulent porkers were mesmerized by thoughts of the new guy in town, the roguishly handsome Mr. B. B. Wolfe.  They nestled together in the comfort of Francine’s California king-sized bed, beneath the tangled sheets in a sea of eager, pink flesh and tightly coiled tails.  They whispered to one another about B.B. and his devilish good looks.  Each hot breath filling their pointy little ears, until they could hardly stay still from the excitement.

They’d heard that Wolfe had a fondness for tail.  He’d surely want theirs, and they quivered in a volatile mixture of fear and anticipation.  Each piggy had her own views on how best to build her house to keep him out.

Buelah set to work on her plans.  She set out from the comfort of the bed and hastily slipped into her work clothes, not even pausing to bother with her thong.   In truth, Buelah seldom wore a thong, she’d long ago grown tired of untangling her curly tail from the G-strings.

She got working on her new home, which would be an earth-friendly, straw design.  As she busily tied the bunches of straw together, her mind kept drifting to B.B.  There were rumors in the village that he had a penchant for ropes and hand-cuffs.  She found it hard to focus on tying the bundles as she imagined her own hooves being wrapped in twine, unable to move as B.B. helped himself to a wolf’s share of her fatback.  She imagined herself squealing in pain and pleasure, helpless as Wolfe did as he pleased.  Though she was a successful, self-sufficient young sow, she had to admit to herself that it made her pork loins tremble at the thought of being used by Wolfe for his every whim.

When at last her work was done, she sat back and regarded the fruits of her labor.  Her new home was quite stylish, and politically correct from a renewable resource standpoint.  The front door was hung in a flimsy frame made of bundled straw, and would take no effort for B.B. to blow it down.  She knew she should reinforce it, but deep inside, her inner bacon bits yearned to be ravaged by the lupine lothario.

Gloria left the giant bed and wiggled her little pork butt over to her own construction site, where her new home was being built with sticks.  Unlike Buelah’s hands-on style, Gloria favored having paid construction professionals doing her heavy lifting.  She sat in the shade of a nearby elm and watched the team from Seven Dwarfs Construction as they worked weaving the sticks together to make the walls. It was a hot day, and the little men glistened from their efforts in the afternoon sun.

Gloria tickled her cheek with a piece of grass and wondered if what they said about dwarfs was true.  She thought the one named “Dopey” looked especially virile.  She dozed off and dreamed of two or three of her hot little laborers and B.B. Wolfe, all together with her back in the giant bed.  Stubby little fingers pulled at her pink pigskin and a long hairy tail wagged in delight at the orgiastic scene.

When she awoke, the construction workers had left for the day.  The house was nearly finished, except for the thatching of the roof.  Gloria could plainly see that her money was not all that well spent.  The house would never hold up to B.B.’s hot, powerful breath.  Maybe Wolfe would show up at the exact moment she was meeting with Doc, the construction foreman.  The wee builder could see for himself how little protection the house provided.  One thing would lead to another, and Gloria would end up as the suckling pig centerpiece at the feast of their attentions.  She smiled to herself and her pork belly jiggled just a little as her mind went back to her naughty fantasies.

Francine was happy to finally have the giant bed to herself.  She rolled around in the cool sheets happy as a pig in poop.  Her brick villa was finally done, and she would most certainly have the safest house of the three.  She had a soft spot for both Beulah and Gloria, and they would be welcome to seek refuge in her home once theirs proved to be unsafe.  She thought of the three of them together and cozy in the bed again.  While their company was always welcome, Francine had a weakness for bad boys, like Wolfe.  The very thought of him made her hog jowls flush and her chitlins churn.  She put on her thigh-high stockings and her sexiest 12 cup Victoria’s Secret bra and waited as patiently as she could.

Beulah in waiting – Illustration by the author

Francine was roused from her fantasizing by the squeals of her two friends.  She thought that perhaps B.B. Wolfe had already chased them to her, but saw not a trace of him when she flung open the door.  Before her stood Gloria and Beulah, their tails still very much intact, but their faces streaked with tears.  She ushered her dear friends into the house to find out what was the matter.

Gloria started, “It’s that B.B. Wolfe!” she cried, “I was ready for him.  My house of sticks is nearly done, at no small expense, I might add, and there’s no sign of him.  I could have stayed in my old place and saved my money”

Beulah cut in, “My straw house was all set too.  I waited and waited, but B.B. never showed up.  When I spoke with Henny Penny in town, she told me what she had heard.”

“That B.B. is a kinkier rascal than we knew.  He got us all worked up and worried about our tails, then he went and shacked up with Little Red, over in the hood.”

Gloria sobbed,  “It turns out, B.B. is some kind of transvestite freak who’s into dressing up like Grandma and doing the whole role playing thing!”  She wailed in falsetto “Oooh, what big eyes you have!  I tell you it’s just sick!”

Francine knew there was no chance B.B. would be stopping by now.  She said, “Cmon girls, I’ll make us some slop, we can climb into my bed and watch some cable to get our minds off things.  Maybe there’s an old episode of  ‘Sex and the Sty’ on.”

The three pigs walked into the brick house and soon forgot their disappointment.  They lolled around on the satin sheets and watched the TV as Carnitas, Hamantha and the other characters negotiated the social world of the sty and vied for the attention of a guy named Mr. Pig.

The moral of the story: A wolf in sheep’s clothing may just be into that sort of thing -or- You can’t make a silk thong out of a sow’s ear.