That Time I Wrote a Musical About Fetuses… Feti? (And There Are Puppets)

During the last election cycle, I happened to be taking a comedy sketch writing course. I know, right??

Thank you, Universe…

The satire assignment just happened to line up with Rick Santorum’s comments that sometimes God has terrible timing. He was referring, of course, to fetuses (feti?) conceived in rape.

So then I wrote a musical called “Fetus Schmetus.” A puppet musical, I should say.

As originally conceived (ha!), the puppets would be fetuses communicating with one another from the wombs of their various mothers, each with a different opinion on the matter.

But we had zero budget. Ok, we had $20. So I had to tweak the concept a bit. Ok, a lot.

A Word from The Author: I am pro-choice — a woman has dominion over the contents of her uterus. I use my uterus, mainly, for sarcasm.

What hit the stage was this:

Thank you to all the actors and writers of The Marshmallow Overthrow. Our next show should be called Toasted: The Return of The Marshmallow Overthrow.

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This is my friend Beth’s parody sketch of ‘Twilight’ called… DUNES. Way more watchable than ‘Twilight,’ trust me. Great job, Beth!

The Big Blue Mess

You’ve seen the Twilight saga (it’s ok, this s safe place and any snickering on my part will subside soon enough) and now I present to you “Dunes” – a parody of the beloved movie franchise written as part of The Institution Theater’s Sketch 201 class featuring the most underused supernatural love interest.  I do suspect that after this sketch we’ll see more of “them” as romantic leads.  Yes, I’m being vague. I can’t go around spoiling things for you.  (Thankfully, you can’t see the YouTube still below, so it really will be a surprise.  Right? Right?!?!)

This is my second sketch to be filmed and I want to thank all the cast and crew involved in making it happen.  Thank you for your time, your energy, for letting me pay you in sodas, coffee, breakfast tacos and sandwiches.

Some special thanks to:

April – for helping me make the…

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The Time I Met The Man Who Hates Peanut Butter

The first thing you need to know about me (and especially for this story) is that I love peanut butter.

It’s creamy.

It’s delicious.

It’s American.

We can argue the virtues of crunchy vs. creamy some other time (that deserves a post of its own and probably a debate panel and maybe local news coverage). What we cannot dispute is that peanut butter is the all-American treat that has no equal.

I met a guy at a café (again).

I should probably stop meeting guys at coffee shops. You’d think I’d learn…

Nice enough guy. Cute enough. We were having a lovely conversation, actually. It was both misogyny and racism free, which is always great, always a plus.

I’m scared of ghosts. Particularly ghosts who wear disturbing pointy hats…

Your guard is lowering, I can feel it. So was mine! Finally, a date that wasn’t going to end with me trying to escape the table like Steve McQueen!

And then he said: “I hate peanut butter.”

Without provocation, mind you. You can’t just put that out there without having to explain it. It’s like saying “The moon landing never happened.”

And, being me, I couldn’t help myself. I looked at him, obviously concerned for his mental health and stability. “Are you allergic?”

“No.”

“Is it the texture? I don’t like crunchy either…”

“No. I just don’t like it. I can’t have it in the house.”

“So, if you were in a relationship with a person…”

You see where I’m going, don’t you…

“… and that person loved peanut butter…”

“It wouldn’t work out. It’s the peanut butter or me.”

Silence.

“Well, that’s a dealbreaker then.”

We tried to talk around it for the next five minutes. He also stated, for the record, that he never goes north of 12th Street.

That’s ok. Everyone in Austin knows that everything north of 12th Street is PEANUT BUTTER COUNTRY.

The Time I Dated Mel Gibson’s (Older, Not As Good Looking) Brother

Ok, so Mel Gibson’s Older And Not As Good Looking Brother was probably not actually Mel Gibson’s brother. There would have been name-dropping to go with the misogyny and antisemitism, for starters, and a much better accent.

It started like this. I was in line for a “B Scene” event at The Blanton Museum. Happens every first Friday of the month. I’m in a cute pink skirt with a black top and black ruffle pumps. This particular “B Scene” event was for a 1950s – 1960s art and design exhibit, like ‘Mad Men’ without the cigarettes. And regret. (I thought, at the time.)

This older gentlemen, older than I am anyway — I’ll be kind and say somewhere in the mid-50s started chatting me up about the exhibit, how someone of my youth could be familiar with Eames, et cetera. I should have known then. So this goes on while I’m in line and he’s in line. Eventually this somewhat professorial gentleman lets it be known that he’s a WRITER. And he’d like to meet me for coffee. Oh, and bring along a snippet of your favorite poem.

Is that like an artist saying to a girl: hey, baby, come and see my etchings?

So I’m a “nothing ventured, nothing gained” sort of girl. I’ll give it a go, you know? So I said sure. I accepted.

I’m an idiot.

I met him at this small cafe on West Lynne. I had my poem in my head. I had another one just in case this actually turned out to be an interesting evening.

Oh, it was interesting alright…

Inside of half an hour, he professed the following:

  1. Women belong in the kitchen, not in the workplace.
  2. Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.
  3. He’s only a “writer” if you count writing hate mail messages to a science fiction author.

Oh my God, I said to myself: I am on a date with Mel Gibson’s older, poorer, not half as good looking brother.

I was half on, half off my chair, trying to slide out of it and right on out the door. It took me another fifteen minutes or so to get free. And this was after my phone “alarm” went off.

…Thank my conniving little brain that I always set an alarm on my phone to go off within the first thirty minutes of a date (or first hour if I really dug you), to give me an escape hatch…

Which I, of course, took.

And the poem I chose? A translation of Catullus:
“I don’t care to have dinner with you, Caesar. I don’t care to learn the very first thing about you.”

I should have played the lottery that night.

Cup holders, Y’all. CUP HOLDERS.

I just met THE ONE at Pier 1.

I was wandering the aisles, looking for nothing in specific just wanting to get out of the drizzle. I walked around a gathering of shelves and nested tables and BAM! Love.

Go ahead; have a seat, he said. I knew it was a mistake. I told him: Oh, you are evil. But just like Eve couldn’t help taking the last Lunchable apple slice snack pack, I had to try it. I sat in the hanging chair, and fell right down in love.

Hanging Chair

The One True Comfort

This isn’t my first time, you know. I’ve been in love before and gone broke for love before. But this one is 10% off, y’all. And it has CUP HOLDERS. And it comes in peacock blue.

Think of all the books I could read, the margaritas I could drink, the lazy days just rocking back and forth, just being awesome. Awesome, broke, but happy.

When does Pier 1 close?

Do Cats Dream of Tender Vittles?

Gilda Radner talks in her sleep. Her ears jerk in crazy trembles and she smacks about like heaven is one big bag of Tender Vittles.

I’m not getting a kick-back from Friskies. I don’t owe Morris a thing.

Cats

I picture them dreaming of flying fish.

I wonder what cat dreams look like? Or anyone’s dreams, really, other than my own. Does Gilda dream of floating bowls of cream or mice with wings? Or lizards on roller skates zipping past the crack of the door?

Sometimes she shoves her sister-cat, and it reminds me of being a kid and having to share a bed with my younger sister and her flying elbows.

I used to dream about boxing matches and wake up with my sister’s elbow in my ribs.

But they purr and snore on, never minding the occasional elbow. For the most part, neither did I.

Do they still make Tender Vittles?

Saturday Morning: Good Day Sunshine

Alamo DawnI miss the walkability —
(walkability is a ridiculous word) —
of Hawthorne Boulevard,
of things being in easy, strolling reach.
I took it for granted —
the fresh fruit, fresh bread, fresh coffee, and the brownstone stoop.
But I live within a mile or two
of everything I could want or need.
If I had a bicycle
(and a Xanax)
I could get there without having to drive.

 

Sunrise in Allandale

Sunrise Over The Goodnight

I love this part of town,
my part of town —
Highland,
Brentwood,
Allandale.
And even though I’m a Brentwood bungalow shy of perfect contentment,
there’s just no place I’d rather be.
Not even Hawthorne Boulevard.
Ok, Paris and London.
You have to spot me that.