Well, Day 1 in the Amazon is off to a good start. I did leave a bit late because of the little matter of killing the HVAC technician. I festooned the house with his entrails, and left him nailed to the front door as a warning to other service professionals. After a dab of Purell, I was off to the races. I had a little trouble finding the Amazon campsite. No, no, your directions were great, really, I just wasn’t paying attention. Silly me! But now that I’m here, the friendly natives have packed me in mud, and I showed them how to get satellite internet access with a magnifying glass and a tin can and some vines. So they are all crowded around PartyPoker.com on the spare computer. I hope I can tear them away so they can show me which toads are best to lick. I think I will like my new home in the Amazon.
Well, it’s Day 5 of the book deal! So far, so good. After Lambchop’s brief but eventful hospitalization, we filled her narcotics prescription and shopped for Lip Smackers. I purchased Martian Mallow and Gum Job Galaxy, er, Gum Ball Galaxy. I let my sister the moose choose one, and she opted to coat her pie hole with marshmallow flavor. I also purchased another note pad featuring a horse on the cover. After some bubble tea, we determined that Lambchop is on her way to health once again.
I am feeling a bit confessional, which will make for a lovely Chapter 3. In my time, I have done some terrible, meddlesome things. Just last week, I convinced a dieting acquaintance to eat an ice cream bar, citing the need for “you time.” I also told this individual to consider keeping “emergency chocolate” in his or her desk. Why? I don’t know! If someone asks me if he should do something patently destructive and contrary to previously disclosed goals, I am probably going to give permission out of sheer perversity. In other words, don’t come whining to me.
When I worked at Starbucks, I would frequently prepare drinks for substantially overweight people using skim milk whether they asked for it or not. I would only dispense low-fat cream cheese. Another time a woman insisted on sending her drink back for more whipped cream, and I pointed out that her Maple-Oatmeal Scone already contained over 700 calories, and that she had even requested butter packets to go with it, so maybe we should just check ourselves? This might qualify as public service, but it probably violates some civil rights statute somewhere.
I’m not even going to mention all the times I’ve tried to kill annoying roommates. That could be a chapter in itself. Let’s just say one should never leave their toothbrush out if I am around. If I have taken a dislike to you, it is a short trip to brushing your teeth with toilet water and having all your food removed from the fridge as soon as you leave, only to be replaced shortly before your return.
Finally, last week I attended a concert with Lambchop, and we were bothered by a beer-selling slattern jawing away during quiet moments in the performance. She wandered off to give her David Spade lookalike manager a chance to look at her lower back tattoos, and I ticked off a bunch of extra marks on her scratch pad where she kept track of what she’d sold. Later, she came up short on the till and no doubt had to go to the back office with David Spade.
Also, I lie on the internet.
I am going to be run over by a bus any minute now.
Already today I have been provoked to the brink of madness. As I wandered into the train station at the start of my morning journey, I thought I heard the strains of “The Star Spangled Banner,” but in a manner so devoid of musical talent that I thought a wee child must be having his way with a recorder. As I descended the stairs, I saw that it was in fact a gentleman of competent mental age wielding a fife.
He gamely struck up an off-key attempt at “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” I clenched my fist and rolled my eyes heavenward, debating what to do. Should I club him dead where he stood with my umbrella? Should I offer him money to stop playing until the train came? I feared that either approach would lead to an unpleasant discussion on the nature and quality of my patriotism, so I slunk away. I may indeed be a patriot, but I am no nationalist, and there is nothing inherent in the meaning of patriotism about suffering through the abuse of the Western musical scale. Just try telling this to the Ashcrofts among us.
Then he lurched into an utterly tuneless rendition of “Greensleeves,” followed by a dissonant take on Pachelbel’s Canon. All bets are off, I thought, I owe it to myself and the rest of the populus to strike him dead. The train was approaching at long last, and the hapless fool began to tweet his way through “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” I lunged viciously, but was restrained at the last second by a burly buffoon wearing a fleece vest that read “Pro Player.”
And you sir, you are a professional at what endeavor? Balding? Overeating? The wearing of stone washed DENIM? I hissed and narrowed the pupils of my eyes like a lizard, and he released me from his grasp as if burned. I dove into a waiting car and stalked to a seat, only to be displaced by an immensely fat woman.
I sulked all the way to the terminus of my route. I wasnâ€™t even able to delight myself with my favorite game of imagination, wherein I script little cards bearing grooming and sartorial advice to be handed to the other passengers.
Fresh from a relaxing sojourn in more troubled parts of the world, say hello once again to your favorite unwholesome helpmate, the Miss Manners of the massacre, Stella Nuance.
Listen up, ya mugs, I’ve been busy. I scored a pretty sweet consulting gig with Idi Amin. Crazy coot was trying to make a “comeback,” as his people put it. Comeback, what, now he’s Jamie Lee Curtis? What a piece of work. Couldn’t complain about the service at the villa, but try making a suggestion to that guy! I was nice as pie, “Aw, Idi, baby, you hired me for MY expertise, right? And my expertise says you should wear an ascot. NO, it doesn’t make you look chubby.” That sonofabitch wouldn’t know “avuncular” if it bit him on the ass. Needless to say, I had to extricate myself from my contract a bit early. Stella doesn’t take any guff.
So after hiding out for a few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how a good lair really is the foundation to most of villainy. It’s the seat of professionalism, after all. Who’s going to believe you’re worth the dough if you’re still using a cell phone the size of a brick and loitering in the back of a rusted out Suburban? No way, we’re doing it up right. You need business cards so thick you could use one to slit a man’s throat (I recommend a nice brushed metal), and enough furniture to convince the boys from the IRS that it’s an actual working office.
First stop: a new computer.
Now I fancy this one not just because it’s illegal to export it to certain countries. I’m a sucker for packaging, and this new G5 is clearly a product of an Evil industrial design team. It could also be camouflaged as a microwave oven if one were to be raided for one’s files. Either way, don’t put a cat in it.
I must turn my attention to dÃ©cor. Crate & Barrel really knows their stuff. Check out these keen desk accessories.
Form AND function! Never miss another message, and no more fumbling around for poultry shears when you really need them, during, say, negotiations with an independent contractor. And those clips have many a use “in a pinch.”
What could be more evil than Pottery Barn? Try keeping one these phones around for an air of legitimacy.
Never plug it in though, the feds will be on that like flies on pig shit. Yeah, I know, “80 clams for a phone, Stella?” It’s a bit steep, but have you ever tried cold-cocking someone with one of those receivers? Effective and unexpected. And the red one also keeps the Cold War excitement alive.
So now that I’ve covered the Do’s, let’s get to my favorite part: the Don’ts. Don’t work too hard. That’s what the help is for. And ergonomics are so very important. Experts recommend avoiding repetitive motions. To that end, for office discipline problems, choose a taser over a flail or a cat o’ nine tails. Don’t skimp on a good chair either. The help can make do with kneeling on the floor, after all, their childish bones are softer! But you should go ahead and spring for the Aeron for yourself. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Now, now, no need to thank me for this wealth of advice, I’ll have my assistant prepare an invoice. Pepito! Take dictation!
“It was sooooooo good,” as Lambchop said. I can’t possibly sum it up politely. It made a lot of people who were not me happy, so I guess that’s a super thing. Plus we now own half a Crate & Barrel. And I accidentally shoplifted thank you cards from the Crane’s store today. Don’t worry, Bloodhound Gang members, I brought them back and paid for them once I realized I still had them in my hand. Not that the clerk noticed me walking back IN with them either. Hey, I was carrying a lot of other bags for a friend while wandering listlessly around the store. It’s just so distracting when one must decide between the ones with the silver deckle edge or the illustration of the cunning little teapot. The monogram? Just the Right shade of blue? OH GOD WHY GOD WHY.
I am going to fondle my red Kitchen Aid mixer now. Them’s the breaks, man.
Lately we’ve been mulling over the fact that, for the foolish, crime just does not pay. Everywhere you look, there’s some poor chump getting hauled off to the pokey. People leave evidence in plain sight, canâ€™t seem to get their stories straight. From Makeshift Chambers of Horror to the obvious purloining of panties, we are awash in incompetence. Why, your lie is as plain as the nose on your face! Do you ever wonder “How’s a poor maroon like me supposed to make a dishonest living these days?”
Weâ€™re sick and tired of bungled dirty dealings, and we’ve enlisted a professional to help our readers: Enter Stella Nuance, the amoral Ann Landers, the deceitful Dear Abby, the Heloise of heinousness. Must we disturb the peace with our horrid proclivities? Stella says “No!”
An open letter to Heidi Erickson, Beacon Hill Cat Lady
Ok, doll, hereâ€™s the scoop. Your business, while admirably fiendish, is simply not sustainable. Did you really think you wouldnâ€™t get banned from Boston with a strategy that includes animals that expire so quickly? Bostonâ€™s a small town, and people have big yaps. Nothing better to do than flap their gums about your putrid pussies. The key is to move around. Try Reno, itâ€™s a dry heat.
You definitely went wrong with your choice of venue. Why pick a small apartment in a highly populated ritzy neighborhood? You could have rented a whole triple decker in Roxbury for that kind of scratch, installed bank vault doors, sound proofing, and spritzed the whole place up and down with Skin So Soft. No one would been the wiser, and the police donâ€™t even GO to that neighborhood. Hell, you could have even had a little shed out back.
So your choice for a lair was iffy. But you could have still pulled it off if you didnâ€™t get lazy and stack those frozen peas in front of Princess Patty Paw. The Charles River is mere blocks away. It works for disposing of the corpses of crack whores and show cats alike! Donâ€™t forget, weight them down! Failing that, you should have scored some embalming equipment and those pull-out morgue drawers if you really needed to keep those things around. No posh chamber of horrors is without such niceties. Or what about taxidermy? “That’s not a criminal mishap, thatâ€™s just Fluffy!”
Finally, when cornered by the authorities, donâ€™t ever represent yourself! If you canâ€™t get Johnnie Cochran, so what, even a public defender knows when to sit down and stand up. For cryinâ€™ out loud, go get a haircut, a smart suit, and shut your pie hole. Lose the pancake makeup, it makes you look like you have something to hide. No one likes a frumpy villainess. Didnâ€™t you see Chicago? Christ. I can see I have my work cut out.
Mum’s the word,