Smile Politely

Just keep swimming…

If you ever owned fish as a kid, you’re likely familiar with a common ailment known as, “the ick.” You remember: you’re about seven years old, and suddenly three of your aquatic friends — outta nowhere — start sporting little white spots, and the next thing you know sizable pieces of their tails are falling off.

The antidote, according to our fish doctor, was to drop medicine into the tank a few times a day. That’s right. The vet instructed us to put some shit in their drank.

I remember many of my fish actually recovering from what all too often ended in a toilet flush. The message I took from this experience was to spike the drinks of my dear gilled buddies during the troubling times, and they will likely be okay in six to eight weeks. I think you know where this is going.

It’s been a rough winter, but hang in there, everyone. We’re all growing our tails back and I can already hear us this summer saying, “Dude, the end of winter was messed up.” But by then we’ll all be messed up together; we will be warmer, and we will be stronger.


Spring Break, bitches

While America’s youth plans its fabulous spring break vacations, I have been working on a glamorous list of fabulous things to do during my week off:

  1. Eat dinner at Mike ‘N Molly’s on St. Patrick’s Day. This has become a family tradition and annual highlight for us. Seven dollars includes all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage, horseradish mashed potatoes, and bread pudding. Sipping on a Guinness poured by one of M&M’s superb bartenders while indulging in some quality, cured meat makes me one happy Irish lass.*

  1. Rearrange my sock drawer. This doesn’t come close to being as fabulous or satisfying as number one on my list, and I know it’s cliché, but I haven’t been able to open this gem more than a few inches in several months. And believe it or not, I will find satisfaction in completing this long-overdue task — I know there are more of you out there who feel the same way.

  1. Plan a birthday party for a four year old. Tom and Jerry will be the theme of this year’s birthday bash. I’m pretty sure the violent duo comes with a warning that it’s not for kids under seven, so it seems pretty appropriate that my four year old is such a fan. Makes me proud.

  1. Take back the basement. Now that the younger child in my house has come of age, it’s time to get rid of the train table and reinstate the pool table. I’ve sacrificed one of my favorite pastimes for six years on behalf of that damn Thomas the Tank, and think it’s only fair to take back what was really always mine. The kids will understand. Besides, the coolest boys in school were usually the ones with pool tables in their basements … literally and metaphorically. They’ll thank me someday.

  1. Listen to more new vinyl. With The Flaming Lips’ new album out in a few weeks, David Bowie’s new record out this week, and the newly released Atoms for Peace, our turntable is busy these days. Records, we’ve recently (and scientifically) concluded, allow for sessions of intensely listening to new music — not just merely hearing it. It’s true. Trust me.


If I have any extra time on my hands, I might practice putting my left shoe on before my right. When the universe explodes, you’ll know why.


*Murph kindly responded to my inquiry with the following details: “1/3 of the total arrives at 1:00 p.m. and the rest between 5:30 and 6:00. Once the food is gone, the cover will come down, BUT the cover is the cover … whether you eat or not.”

Related Articles