Elle Severe Presents

No Kids Allowed

In Bitch Please, Random, Rants, Uncategorized on May 3, 2013 by Elle Severe

To all the morons who think Vegas is a family destination: It’s NOT.

Not joking. Your children are not welcome here.

I’m moved to write this because every time I go to Vegas I see kids.  Everywhere.  I’m not sure why; absolutely NOTHING about Vegas screams “KIDS WELCOME”.    I apologize in advance for how judgmental this post will be, but the reality is that children do not belong everywhere and this is especially true of Vegas.  Before you get all over me about this, please note that I am both a parent and a Vegas lover.

I’m not saying you’re a terrible person if you bring your baby to Vegas, I’m just saying you’re a terrible parent if you bring your baby to Vegas.  Las Vegas is for adults, period.

In the early 90’s there was a push to make Las Vegas a family destination.  Three new hotel/casinos were built with  child-friendly themes: the pyramid shaped Luxor, the pirate-themed Treasure Island and the medieval castle, Excalibur.  The idea was to make it seem like children were welcome while drawing in the parents in the hopes that they would gamble, eat and drink.  It worked for a little while. Though both the Luxor and the Excalibur are still operating today, both have taken hard financial hits.  Because parents and children still flock there, they have lost out on other customers and clientele, so both hotels are suffering financially and are now a little more run-down than they should be.  This results in them charging lower prices and therefore attracting a lower economical class of hotel guest, thus ensuring the cycle of crappy hotel to continue.

You can hear The Sirens from a mile away…

Treasure Island threw in their cards pretty early and re-branded themselves as The TI.   They went from having a massive pirate show out front every hour, to having a Sirens of the Seas show.  The Sirens are scantily clad, obviously.  The only casino on the Strip that is full blown parent/ kid friendly that has survived long term is Circus Circus. I think this is because it’s further down the Strip away from the real action.  History lesson aside, the bottom line is that children of any and all ages do not belong in Las Vegas.  Ask yourself this, is it smart to take kids to a place known all over the world as the “Sin City”? At its most basic level, do you want your beloved progeny in place known for its debauchery? Las Vegas is called the City of Sin for a reason.  Several reasons.  Good reasons.

Believe it.

The first time I ever went to Vegas in the early 2000’s, 24 hours in I turned to my husband and said, “This is DisneyWorld for adults”.  Every vice you have, or want to have, or need to have satisfied, is at your fingertips.  Alcohol, drugs, gambling, food and sex are everywhere and for a price (both emotional and financial) you can have any of it, some of it, or all of it.  All you need to do is open up your wallet and you can eat at a buffet fit for kings, you can drink until you fall over, you can gamble until you are flat busted broke and you can watch naked girls dance on a pole until the sun comes up; in some cases you can do all of these things at once.  You can do this in moderation or in excess but believe me when I tell you it’s encouraged to do these things in excess.  Point blank:  Vegas is awesome – for adults.

Alaskan King Crab legs for days, son.

You will lose.

Personally I go to Vegas to get away from my kids.   I have found that there are times in my life when I need a break from them.  I love them, I want to be with them and pretty much everything I do in my life centers around them.  But sometimes I need a f*cking break.  I need to have adult time whether it’s alone with my husband or with a group of my girlfriends; the reality is that everybody needs a little time away, it’s that simple.  So when I see kids in Vegas I get annoyed for two reasons, number one, because they do not belong here and number two, because they are infringing on my grown-up time.  I will also be honest here and say that I am openly hostile to people with children in Vegas.  Yes I am.  Too bad.  Now if we’re at Storyland, I’m kind and patient and even try to pretend that other people’s kids are cute and charming (they aren’t), but in Vegas, you get the stink-eye.


This really happens; all day, everyday.


Let’s start at the very beginning: the flight to Vegas.

You’ll start out the evening classy, but you’ll end the evening a sloppy ho.

Since 2002 I have been to Vegas no less than 12 times, each and every time, without fail, no matter what time the flight is, there is always a gaggle of people, guys or girls, who already drunk or seriously buzzed before we even board the plane.  These people have already indulged and that’s fine by me because they’re adults and we’re on our way to Vegas.   I personally have been known to take a couple of happy pills on my way to Vegas, ostensibly to prevent anxiety or a migraine, so even myself, a responsible party-er, is under the influence.   And if people aren’t already drinking before boarding the plane, you bet your ass they’re getting drunk on the plane.  I have to believe that the flight attendants heading to Vegas know that they are going to be on their feet serving drinks pretty much the entire flight.  Now children on a flight to Vegas is unavoidable.  Maybe you have family out there, or friends you’re visiting.   I have friends in Vegas and at some point I will be bringing my children out to meet them, so kids on the plane to Vegas is fine, I get it.  But be warned, you may end up sandwiched between a group of awesome bros who just can’t wait to get their drink on if they haven’t started already.  So already the ride to Vegas is a dicey situation and once you arrive in Vegas, shit gets real, and fast.

This is just the beginning.

Once off the plane and in the airport, which is very clean and welcoming, there are slot machines and bars.  That’s fine.  That’s not an issue.  However, once you leave the confines of the terminal and are in your cab heading toward your hotel, the billboards start.  These billboards advertise everything from Vegas shows to the hottest strip clubs to the raciest lounges.  There are ads for magic shows and buffets too.  But if you’re a kid, guess which ones are going to catch your eye? This can’t be helped, human nature is such that we are naturally drawn to the naughty.   In the back of the cabs there are free booklets that advertise these same things and inevitably there is always an ad for the latest Vegas showgirl cabaret with a picture of the lead dancer in the least amount of clothing possible.  And that’s just the ride to the hotel.

I typically order two of these upon arrival.

Check in areas areas at the hotels are clean and classy and smell nice, everyone is cheerful and happy to help you out.  Once you’re checked in, it’s time to head to your room.  Because Vegas wants you to gamble, it’s a foregone conclusion that in order to get to your room, you must pass through the casino, and once in the casino area, all bets are off:

Just a regular Tuesday on the casino floor.

1. Vegas still allows smoking in the casinos.   You cannot smoke in restaurants or clubs, but smoking is still allowed in bars and designated sections of the casino floor.  The casinos do their best to combat the smoke and the smell, and most do a great job, but the bottom line is that people are still smoking; smoke floats and lingers and hovers in the air and swirls around….so is it a good idea to walk your brand new baby, toddler, 7 year old, 12 year old or 15 year old through that? Simply put, no.  It’s not 1972 people,  smoking around kids is not okay.  Sorry.  We are better informed about the dangers of second hand smoke and more importantly, do you want your kids reeking of that? I don’t.  It’s gross.  If YOU want to walk through a smokey casino, by all means, please do so.  But since your sweet little baby can’t voice his or her opinion, don’t you think it would be best to make a good parenting decision for them and just not do that? Do you really need to be in Vegas so badly that you’re willing to have your infant’s brand new pink lungs exposed to that garbage? And I’ll be perfectly honest with you, when I’m in Vegas, I’m part of the problem; I will absolutely indulge in a cigarette or two or 50.  Hey, I’m in Vegas, in keeping with the “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mantra, my rule is that whatever damage you do to your body in Vegas stays in Vegas and doesn’t count in the real world.

Go Go dancers be dancin’.

2.  In the casinos, in an effort to draw you in, there are scantily clad women everywhere.  These women are cocktail waitresses serving drinks to the masses, go-go dancers dancing on the bars, showgirls and Cirque performers and regular women of all ages wearing less clothing than they should.  The fact is, most of Vegas is scantily women.  Vegas is built on scantily clad women and that’s fine, for adults.  I’m old enough to know that the objectification of women is wrong and inappropriate, but if you think it’s okay for your 7 year old son to see that shit, then fine, but please don’t act surprised when he becomes a hyper-sexual 12 year old, a perverted 15 year old and a date-raping 22 year old.  I have no evidence or back-up, but my parental instinct and my gut tell me that it’s not okay for little boys and little girls to see sexual imagery coming directly at them for prolonged periods of time.  I have to believe that won’t end well.

Drinking is sport.

3.  Other than war zones and South Central, Vegas is the most volatile place in the world.  Think about it, you have  thousands upon thousands of people in a condensed, overly populated area drinking and gambling and LOSING.  They are getting drunker and broker by the second.  I don’t know about you, but when I lose money, I get really mad, really quickly.  And if I’m drunk, forget it.  I will lose my mind.  Let me take a moment to tell you a quick side story: My first trip to Vegas I saved up a tidy little sum to gamble, I drank like a fish all day and at 2am decided it was time to gamble.  I got my quarters, settled into a slot machine and proceeded to lose every penny.  I was so angry and frustrated I hadn’t hit it big that I began crying so hard and for so long that security came over and asked my husband to immediately remove me or risk me being arrested.  My husband manhandled me back to my room where I continued to sob uncontrollably for two hours.  Then I ordered room service, ate a burger like I was David Hasselhoff and passed out in my own filth.  And I’m a nice, decent, fairly normal human being.  So imagine how everyone else is behaving.  I mean, you are relying on complete strangers to behave around your children.  That’s an awful big leap of faith.  I don’t even trust certain family members to behave around my children so if you think I’m going to chance it that people in Vegas are going to be mindful of them, guess again.  It’s about protecting your children, which is your duty.  Sure there is tons of security in the casinos, every corner and crevice of the casino is on camera and monitored, but anything can happen in a split second.  Think how good you’ll feel about yourself if your kid is hurt in a Vegas casino.  That will be a story for the ages…or DCF.

Ask yourself this, is everyone really getting out to pee? You already NO the answer.

You will get lost. And no one will give a crap.

4.  The pools.  At most hotels there are multiple pools with all kinds of people standing around either hungover or already drinking in the hot sun.  Do you know what it would take to set off a full scale bro brawl? I’ll tell you, not much.  Now clearly in the nicer, more upscale hotels that attract a high level clientele, your children will be more protected in the casino and pool areas, but they’re not anyone else’s responsibility.  No one is going to save your kid if he/she begins to drown while you’re off getting yourself a third Miami Vice (pina colada and strawberry daiquiri in one drink, delicious).  I’m a strong and avid swimmer, but if I’m drunk I’m not saving anyone.  Why the hell should I put myself at risk for your kid? I got my own, so no thanks.  Furthermore, don’t ruin my buzz, I’ve paid way too much for it. This past summer I celebrated my birthday in Vegas.  At the MGM pool with my husband and friends, two kids about 10 and 11, brother and sister, began fighting in the deep end.  At first everyone ignored them because we’re all too self-involved to give a shit, but as the screams got louder and louder, people started to take notice and get this, ready? Not one single solitary soul did anything.  Including myself.  On purpose.  Why you ask? Because those weren’t my f*cking kids and they don’t belong in Vegas.  More importantly, their mother was nowhere to be found.  When she returned, with her bikini top askew and carrying drinks, I had a brief thought that I should be calling some sort of protective services, then I remembered that I didn’t give a f*ck.  And that, my friends, is pretty much how everyone in Vegas feels. I should probably apologize for that but I’m not going to.

“I’ll trade you my TIffani for your Sabrina”

5.  The Strip.  On the Strip there are people hired to hand out what are essentially trading cards of hookers.  People grab them, look at them and either pocket them or drop them.  Take a second to think how cool that would be when little Timmy looks down at the ground and realizes that he can collect a full set of Vegas hookers to trade with his friends back home.  I’m not even going to expound on that.

Just because it’s a “dry” heat doesn’t make it less hot.

6.  The weather.  I’ve been to Vegas at all times of the year.  Here’s a real shocker for you, it’s hot most of the time.  And in August, it’s hot as Hell, as in actual Hell, as in Hades.  So no, I don’t think you should be carrying around your 3 month old baby up and down the Strip when it’s 110 degrees.  Last August my friend Claire and I saw a man holding his little baby in his arms, when I tell you that I couldn’t tell if the child was dead or sleeping I’m not exaggerating – the sight of that limp, sweaty little baby in his arms as he obliviously strolled down the Strip in the beating sun made my stomach sick.  Claire and I couldn’t even believe it.  What parent does that? There is NOTHING on the Strip so awesome that you need to have an infant with you.  That was not the only time we saw that.  We saw kids passed out in strollers and flung over shoulders and crying and hungry and tired.  It was sad.  All I could think of was, for what? I just don’t get it.  Is a visit to the M&M store worth the risk of of sun stroke?  All those poor kids needed rest, how about going back to your cool room and letting that baby sleep in comfort? I assure you that the cheap t-shirt vendors are not going anywhere.  I’m also not saying that you need to work your sightseeing around nap time, put the kid in a comfy stroller and just tour the hotels, inside,  where it’s cool and comfortable.  How about at least keep it off the Strip during the hottest part of the day?

All day long…

One one of my last trips there I was walking through the new Cosmopolitan at around 11pm when I noticed three young women dressed to the nines walking through the casino pushing a carriage.  These young ladies were decked out in club gear; 6 inch stilettos, full make up, coiffed hair… these girls were workin’ it.  The only thing throwing off their ferocious game was that pesky stroller with the infant in it.  So where the hell were they going with that baby?? Da club?  I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assign them the following back story: they, and the rest of their family and friends were in Vegas for a family wedding.  One of the girls just had a baby but still wanted to attend the wedding so she brought her baby with her.  This works out because her parents are also there for the wedding.  Having not drank or otherwise misbehaved for the last 11 months, New Mommy decides she just needs a night out with her girls.  She and her sister and girlfriend got all dolled up and were walking through the casino heading to Mom’s room to drop the baby for the night while she and the girls had some good old fashioned clean Vegas fun (which is an oxymoron).  That’s the story I have assigned her because nothing else is acceptable, nothing.

I have a friend who wants to bring her children to Vegas because she heard they have a nice aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  I had to gently tell her that firstly, that aquarium is busted and secondly, no.  You want a good aquarium especially for kids? SEA WORLD.

I allow for the fact there are times and situations where your child might have to be in Vegas.  The family wedding I mentioned up above, or maybe you’re there on a day trip as you head to the Hoover Dam, or you’re in town visiting friends and just wanted to bring the kids over to the see the pyramid or the Eiffel Tower…fine, so be it, that’s cool.  But anything longer than a day in Vegas and you are asking for trouble.  Not only will you not have a good time, but neither will they, and neither will I.  And be prepared to have to answer questions you had hoped to not hear until they were in their teens.  Kids grow up fast enough these days, I’d prefer they don’t do it on the Vegas Strip.

I’m sure you have your own opinion on this, and it may differ from mine, but I will tell you right now that I will not be swayed.  While I was writing and researching for this piece I came across an article that said “Vegas as a Fun Family Vacation!”, I didn’t even spend 2 seconds reading that nonsense; I stand firm in my belief that children do not belong in Vegas.  Bring them to DisneyWorld, that’s where children belong.

A Little Taste of Masshole

In Bitch Please, Life, Musings, Random, Rants on April 6, 2013 by Elle Severe

There’s a writer on Gawker.com named Hamilton Nolan who absolutely hates Boston.  He hates Boston like I hate rats – with the passion and fury of a thousand suns.  He hates Boston the way I hated the Yankees prior to October of 2004.  He hates Boston so much that every time he writes about Boston it’s so angry that it borders on the absurd.  It’s become comical.  I can’t even begin to try to understand having so much hatred for a city that has done nothing to you.  I’m trying to think if there is a city I hate…I do hate Providence a little bit.  But that’s more my fault than Providence’s fault.  I mistakenly bought a home across the street from drug dealers.  I have to believe if I had bought a home elsewhere I wouldn’t have such terrible memories of Providence.  And in fairness, Providence has fantastic food. And Pauly D.  So Providence isn’t all bad.  I certainly don’t hate it enough that if I were a blogger I would devote more than maybe passing mention of my dislike for Providence, unlike Mr. Nolan who spends wayyyyy too much time badmouthing my beloved little seaside city.  HamNo’s hatred of Boston leads me to believe that at some point in life Boston somehow broke his little heart.  Maybe he and Boston were dating and Boston slept with his best friend? It’s certainly possible, Boston IS a sassy little minx.  Whatever the issue, he claims that all people from Boston are jerks.  Obviously I disagree.  I’m from Boston and I’m not a jerk.  My friends are from Boston and I’m not typically friends with jerks, so again, I have to disagree.  Also worth noting is that Mr. Nolan is from the Florida panhandle.  I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means but it sounds poor.  I could take 10 minutes and Wiki it, gain some knowledge, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered.  Maybe that makes me a Boston jerk.  All I know for certain is that anyone from the Florida panhandle (is panhandle supposed to be capitalized?) needs to relax a little bit about Boston.  Moreover, HamNo lives in NYC and writes for Gawker now, so congrats! Leave Boston alone and enjoy your hipster self.  Why am I writing about this you ask? I’ll tell ya why: because last Sunday I had a little taste of Nolan’s Boston Jerks.  And it really bummed me out.

Splish Splash I’m costing you a shit-ton!

My four year old son is obsessed with the Duckboats.  We actually live in Boston so whenever we’re out and about, we see them and he goes bananas.  We’ve been wanting to take him on a Duckboat for a while now, but those bitches are pricey.  $33 for adults, $22 for kids 3 to 11 and $10 for 3 and under.  These people are not kidding around.  For my family, that’s going to cost $98 for 80 minutes of entertainment.  That’s a lot.  We’re in a recession.  And sure I spend $98 on stuff all the time.  You could argue that I can drop $98 inside of 8 minutes, nevermind 80, in a Christmas Tree Shop.  You would be right.  But I would respond to your argument by politely explaining that I will be using those frames and plastic flowers and paper goods and candles and mason jars to make fun things for the family.  Thus my dropping $98 on crap is entertainment far beyond an 80 minute history lesson that I can repeat verbatim in my sleep at this point.  When you live in the city of Boston, the cheapest, easiest “field trip” your grammar school can afford is putting you on the Red Line, trotting you downtown and taking you on the Freedom Trail.

5th grade field trip. Hahahahaha, you don’t know which one I am!

Therefore I know my Boston history already, thanks.  Combine that with my innate cheapness, the Duckboats are not happening.  That is until last Friday when Living Social offered a sweet little deal that I quickly snapped up.  I was so excited.  I couldn’t wait to tell this kid that we were going on the Duckboats,  I just knew he was going to shit his little pants.  As an aside, my kids make me nuts, but there is nothing more satisfying in the world than making them happy.   I love when they get excited, it gets me excited.  So I bought the reduced tickets (take that Duckboat mafia),  and then I pulled two rookie parenting maneuvers back to back:  that Saturday after baking cupcakes and decorating eggs, I told the kids we had a surprise for them (wrong number 1) BEFORE reading the fine print on the tickets (wrong number 2).  Parents are already groaning because they know exactly what I did wrong.  For those of you who are not parents yet, allow me to explain this major parenting faux pas:


1.  I told the kids that we had a surprise for them. When pressed, I caved and told them it was the Duckboats.  This got them excited.  The first rule of Parent Club is that you do NOT EVER, UNDER any circumstance, EVER, tell your kids about an event until you’re pulling up in the parking lot of said event.  Even DisneyWorld.  Don’t tell those kids you’re going to DisneyWorld until you have your  new sneakers on and your fannypack strapped tight and it’s chock full of Magic Kingdom passes and Mickey dollars.  Seriously.  Tell them you’re going to visit a sick relative or something.  It’s too long to get into the ‘why nots’ of it, just please trust me on this one, for the love of God.

2.  I didn’t read the fine print.  Every idiot on the planet knows that when you get something on Groupon or Living Social or Eversave, you need to read the flippin’ fine print.  Chances are your 72% reduced mani/pedi/laser bikini line hair removal is good only on Tuesdays at midnight when the moon is full.  And yet, I didn’t read the fine print.  The fine print where it said “…excluding Saturdays…”.  I am what the French call Les Incompetent.  Or what my mother would call a moron.

So I got the kids all jacked up and then immediately deflated inside of 15 minutes.  That’s not good parenting.  Not because you’re torturing them, no…because you’re torturing yourself.  I now have to make good on that somehow, some way and immediately.  Kids are not stupid and they have nothing else to think about except what’s happening to them in that very moment so they are obsessive by nature.  Believe that.   To right this horrific wrong I perpetrated on my beloved children, I set it up for the next day, Easter Sunday.  We would have brunch with the family in Cambridge and then head to the Duckboats at the Museum of Science.  Win win.  Wrong wrong.

ROAR, you’re about to go on a nightmare ride, ROARRRR!

Even though we are literally down the street from the Museum of Science, we’re late to the Duckboats.  I guess they ask you to arrive 30 minutes before departure time.  Not sure why, but I’m sure it’s in the fine print.  My husband drops us off so he can go park and I take the kids and get in line.  We’re the last people in line.  This does not bode well.  A family arrives behind us.  I’m psyched because this means that we’re not going to get the bad seats up front.  Nope, these poor losers behind me are getting them.  And they are all tall so they are going to be cramped and miserable, yay! Just kidding, that’s Boston Jerky of me.

Here’s where I blow it AGAIN.  While in line, anxiously waiting for my husband and busy trying to keep my kids from doing something dangerous and/or stupid, I spy what I think is a check-in area.  I panic.  I proceed to have a full blown argument in my head with myself.  It goes like this:

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Ermagherd Errernds

In Life, Random, Rants, The Exchange on December 7, 2012 by Elle Severe

Elle: Who wants to run errands??!! First stop, UPS store that makes Pabby Crazy.  Second stop: CVS to spend ExtraBucks.  Third stop: Subway for cheap ass sub. Who’s in? I’ll buy treats!

Pabby: Ermagherd!  I hate that UPS store.   I hate everything about that store:  (Reminds me of the Henry Winkler scene in Waterboy where he’s wearing red high heels and talking on the phone that is not actually plugged in.  “I hate him Grandma. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!”

1)       Crossing the street at an angle in traffic and you get stuck in that big yellow no man’s land in the middle wondering if you’ve drawn your last breath and you have to fight the urge to grab the hand of the person you’re walking with like they’re your kids and you don’t want them to get smooshed like it was a game of frogger.

2)      The UPS store itself.  I object to any place that charges more for stamps than what they ordinarily cost.  Perhaps having stamps is a courtesy and saves people from having to go to the post office with all the people working there and waiting lines, just waiting to die.

3)      Someone is always up to some sh*t with a weird mailing situation.  I always assume at least one person is mailing out body parts.  (Perhaps someone they murdered and they don’t want all of the body parts in one place, maybe?)

4)      I hate the sh*tty board that has sh*tty advertisements on it.  “Need sowing?  Call 617-424-5542.”

5)      I hate how messy the store is.

6)      I hate that Elle gets constantly gets herself in this situations where she always has to spend a fortune at this place to the point where I consider her as someone who needs to be saved like the girl in the “Let her cry” Hootie song.  There are some times when she has a pre-paid shipping label and on these days, I consider it a Christmas came early situation.

And as far as CVS goes, using ExtraBucks is NOT extreme couponing no matter how much you “save”.

So ya.  I’ll go.

The End

There’s no such thing as a free Chinese Food Lunch.

In Musings, Random, Rants, Uncategorized on December 7, 2012 by Pabby MFNP


Hide yo ribs, hide yo rice, hide yo ribs, hide yo rice.
-Some unknown lyrical gangster

The first time a Chinese food injustice happened to us we were confused and depressed.  The second time it happened to us we got annoyed and a little angry. The third time it happened to us we were shocked and hurt and made rash public declarations; we swore it would never happen again.  We swore that we would never again be victimized.  Like so many promises in life, these were empty.  Once again, here we were smack dab in the middle of yet another Chinese Food Injustice.  So by the time the fourth and final time it happened to us, we were numb. Despite our many proclamations otherwise, being in this situation felt familiar, almost comfortable.  But how many times can people fall for the same mistake?  We had fallen into the very definition of insanity, being in the same situation but expecting a different result. In chronological order here is the detailed story of the Chinese food Injustices.

Incident 1: The Investment Company Outrage

Elle and I were working at an investment company and we didn’t get paid much but there some weird little perks that when added up, almost made it all worth it.  One of those perks was an occasional catered lunch.  When you live paycheck to paycheck like we did (and sometimes still do, thanks stupid economy and inflation), free food was gold.  And when it was Chinese food, it was platinum, assuming that is better than gold.  One Friday, whispers went through the office about free Chinese food coming for lunch.   Automatically, everyone was reminded of the last time there was free Chinese food and what an amazing feast it was.  That lunch was so good that even just the memory of it provided some sustenance.  It was so perfect that we’d spend the rest of our lives, trying to chase the feelings brought about by that free lunch but we would never get there.  I believe that’s called Chasing the Dragon in some circles. But back to that Friday, smiles were formed.  Spirits were lifted.  Suddenly life at a low salary didn’t seem so bad and what a great way to start the weekend!  But then more whispers went through the office again, this time bearing bad and startling news:  The Chinese food was not going to be for everyone.  And by “not for everyone”, I mean not for our group, specifically.  Our director couldn’t be talked into sharing the cost, so the department right next to us was going to be the only one to partake in the free Chinese food.  Oh and did I mention there weren’t any walls separating us from the other department because yeah, there weren’t any walls separating us from the other department.  With the evident lack of physical boundaries I couldn’t believe we would not be allowed to share the free food. So I checked in with our Director and he confirmed my worst fear.  He said he wanted to show his appreciation in “a different way.”  He had the look of a man that was going to continue on the path he had chosen no matter what:  no matter what the detractors say, no matter what the consequences were, no matter if he knows he could be wrong.  I know this look now that I am a father.  I see it every time I’m with my kids and I happen to look in the mirror.  So that was it.  Done deal.  No Chinese food for Elle and I and the rest of our team.

At around 11:30am the other teams began setting up for the Chinese food.  Long folding tables were set up end to end and the air was electric, people were excited and rightfully so.  When the Chinese food came, there was a sound of unabashed joy in the air.  It smelled delicious and it looked amazing.  Our whole department had to watch while ALL the other teams formed lines giddy with anticipation….this was easily in the top ten most cruel things to ever happen to us in life.  And we grew up in Dorchester. Then Elle and I said that we were not going to be victimized like this so we high-tailed it out of there, went over to the mall and got our own damn Chinese food.  It was a poor substitute.  When you are expecting to have good Chinese food from a real restaurant and for free, no less, only to end up at the mall eating Chinese in the food court out of a Styrofoam container, it’s like expecting to get laid but then having to spend your night watching Skinemax; we were devastated.  At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it was one of the most traumatic food incidents of our lives, this is even counting Elle’s Ham and Cheese Sub Incident of the early 90’s which is not something I will go into right now because you can only deal with so much trauma in one day.  But I believe we changed that day.  Not unlike any of the attractive female leads in any given romantic comedy, we were burned and didn’t see it coming and from then on, we were scared to trust anything or anyone, pretty much ever again.

Incident 2: Schweta’d

Elle and I eventually moved on from the investment company.   We had healed from our previous Chinese Food Injustice and were enjoying a period of calm in our lives that can only be characterized by describing it as that innocent time right before something very bad happens to you.  That time you look back on and think “I was so happy, unafraid and carefree”.  And then in the blink of eye it happens again and you simply cannot believe you’re here in this place for a second time.

Now Elle and I were working for a large non-profit and enjoying decent paychecks and were finally at a point where if we wanted to, we could always buy our own Chinese food.  If health were not a concern, we could have Chinese at every meal.  But the idea of free Chinese food still really appealed to us.  We always wanted to recapture the glory of that first free Chinese food lunch but also overcome the emotional trauma over that other Chinese food lunch.  Almost like how you still drive by an old girlfriend’s house and look over at it, trying to remember what it felt like back then.  Then eventually you become a realtor and you have easy access to public record and you can see that her mother sold the house back in 1997 so maybe you should stop driving by there, you creep.

But anyway, even though we could afford our own Chinese food, we still liked free food and we still loved free Chinese food.  So when the idea was floated that this year’s holiday party would be catered by a coworker’s father and it turned out that he owned a Chinese food restaurant, it was icing on the cake.

On that day, a few coworkers went to get the food and bring it back to the conference room where we set up.  I remember being overwhelmed and delighted by the sheer number of trays and sternos being set up.  It was magical.  To this day, that Chinese food remains some of the most delicious Chinese food that any of us have ever had.  And there was so much of it.  People went back for seconds and thirds and still there were whole platters left over.  We all talked about it and then made a group decision to put it in the fridge and have it for lunch the next day.

The next day at work people were still cheerful and happy, basking in the afterglow of free delicious Chinese food from the day before and the promise of more that day for lunch. At 11:30am, promptly, the biggest guy in our group headed to the fridge to prep lunch for everyone.  He was graciously going to pull out all the Chinese food and set it up. Everyone was excited. Plates were grabbed, utensils distributed…and then disaster struck.  Our coworker opened the fridge, looked in, pulled out a massive tray of rice and one of lo mein…and that was it.  He yelled “Hey, uh, where’s the rest of it?”, ‘Where’s the rest of it? What does he mean? What does this mean? What’s going on? Where’s the rest of it?!’ Elle stepped up, took a look in the fridge and I could tell we were in trouble. “There’s nothing! It’s all gone! Oh my God! It’s all gone.” There was confusion and outrage.  Some were just saddened to the point of watery eyes.  What the hell happened to all of our leftovers?  Where were the crab rangoons?  Where was the General Gau’s?  Where were the chicken fingers?  What happened to our innocence?  Is that gone, too?

An investigation ensued.  There was a whole lot of she said, she said and then someone, who asked not to be named, remembered seeing a very small coworker named Schweta with several Tupperware containers…word spread like wildfire and by 3pm, in the court of public opinion, our co-worker named Schweta was found guilty of helping herself to trays of leftovers of all of the best stuff.  The chicken fingers, rangoons, spring rolls and General Gau’s.  She left the rice and lo mein.  Wow, thanks Schweta.  Thanks for that.  Schweta, in one fell swoop, had severely, egregiously violated Work Lunch Leftover Protocol. We had previously made a group decision to not touch the remaining Chinese food. A group of over 20 people agreed. And one person, a very small tiny person, no less, stole our food.

Schweta soon moved on to another employer and presumably other food theft opportunities.  No one was sorry to see her go.  However, we were delighted that we could use “Schweta” as verb to indicate some kind of food theft, as in, “I’m going to Schweta that last piece of cake and bring it home.”   Then “To Schweta”  was further defined as not just to steal food because leftovers by and large are fair game in work situations, but to pick and choose the best leftovers, making whatever you leave obsolete since it is useless without the other parts there were taken, even though it was decided that the group would have it the next day for lunch and you were there when it was discussed.  The offense was even more devastating because not only had she stolen food from an entire group of over 20 people, but now all of those 20 people had to go purchase food…through no fault of their own, they now had to spend money on lunch. She stole  AND cost us money. Some people laughed it off and thought it was funny,  Elle and I were not one of those people.

Elle and I had been burned again, but this time by a tiny little girl named Schweta and again, we said “never again”.  Then we were Chef Chang’d.

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Bitch, Please: Memo to Miley

In Bitch Please, Rants on October 5, 2012 by K. Vargo

I know you think you are totes rebelling against the packaged piece of crap that Disney made you into with that new ‘do of yours but I have some shocking news for you: You look simply fucking ridiculous.

How edgy is a haircut that probably cost about $400 and is styled by a professional every time you step out in public? It is also a little hard to swallow your whole new found “screw the man” thing when you do it in designer clothes that cost what could feed a few poor families for a month.  Also, that new haircut and designer clothing money was provided to you by Disney, isn’t it weird to rebel against the very people who are financing you? And instead of rebelling against them, why don’t you rebel against your parents who allowed you to be bought and sold for large sums of money? If Disney did not tell you what to think, would you think at all? No, you would just be some dumb slutty teenager who sexts naked pics of herself to her boyfriend who then shows everyone at school.

Remember a few years back when you wanted to Party in the USA? And a Jay-Z song was on? And then you admitted that you’d never heard a Jay-Z song? Yeah. That was gross.  No self-respecting musician, or anyone involved in music on any level, for that matter, doesn’t know at least ONE Jay-Z song.  Even my 67 year old MOTHER knows 99 Problems…But that was wrong for two reasons: 1. You should have heard at least one f*cking Jay-Z song by now, you tool. And 2.  That just goes to show how deeply embedded you were in the Disney machine that you just sang whatever was thrust into your ugly little muge.  How you going to call yourself a singer and not even know ONE Jay-Z song?

I am going to need your 19 year old self to go away now.  But before you do, I have one more suggestion. Why don’t you take some of those millions and get your fucking tooth to gum ratio fixed up? Seriously.  Your gummy smile is revolting.

FYI, you wearing “cuh-razy” leggings and bleached hair will not give you a soul or a brain. That is all.  Dismissed.

PS. This new look of yours that you think is so hot and original? Yeah, well, Agyness Deyn’s been rocking this for years…and much better I might add.

Bitch, please.

Rant: Summer is NOT Over

In Life, Musings, Rants on September 7, 2012 by Elle Severe

On Saturday while driving home from Old Silver beach in Falmouth, we lost a boogie board.  I didn’t get too upset about this because I knew the Christmas Tree Shop would have a ton of them.  On Sunday I drove by the Christmas Tree Shop just to make sure; sure enough, that bin full of them that’s been out there since May is still there.  However, the very next day, Monday, Labor Day, September 3, in the early evening, approximately 6:00pm, guess what? They were gone.  Not ONE f*cking boogie board to be found.

FYI, Christmas Tree Shops, summer ends on September 21st.

In fact, not even the slightest vestige of summer was left…not a tube or spray can of cheap sunblock to lube up the kids with, not a bag of decorative seashells or sea glass that would make such a lovely centerpiece at your beach themed wedding in Falmouth later this month for only 99 cents a bag! No oversized nautical themed canvas tote just perfect for all your beach towels, no $40 beach carriage that everyone had this summer, not one piece of white Nantucket furniture that would look super cute in a guest room if you had a guest room, no 10 for $1.99 plastic lobster plates complete with bibs just perfect for a late summer lobster boil, not one bright, colorful, cheap beach towel or a plastic bucket sand castle playset for $4.99, no starfish candle holders…I mean, NOTHING! It was as if summer never happened!  It smelled of cinnamon and apples and I swear to you that it even felt a little crisp and cool in there – I was furious! This place was Fall from head to toe! Front to back! Top to bottom! Pumpkins, autumn wreaths, orange, black, maroon…as far as the eye could see.  WHAT. THE. F*CK.  It was still Labor Day – not even the day after Labor Day, but Labor Day itself! It was almost like the Grinch Who Stole Summer came in and wiped out Summer and left Fall in its place.  I’m thinking that they had the overnight crew come in at 7pm on Sunday and worked straight through until Monday morning putting up all the Fall stuff.  It was BEYOND disturbing.  But that’s okay, so fine, as far as the Christmas Tree Shop is concerned, summer is over around noon-ish on Labor Day, duly noted.

To ease my annoyance I headed over to Dunkin Donuts.  Guess What? HOT APPLE CIDER, that’s what.   Oh yeah.  Signs plastered all over the place talking about “Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall Flavors!”, hey Dunks, get effed.  How am I going to enjoy my my Hot Apple Cider or my orange Pumpkin Dunkachino when it’s almost 80 degrees out? Didja think of that Dunks? Sidebar: my two traitor kids absolutely love the new munchkin flavors, apple orchard and pumpkin.  Aholes.

Pumpkin struesel muffin my ass. (don’t be mad Muffin, I just said that to seem tough, I’ll see you on the 21st, wear something pretty, love you, shhhh)

After Dunks betrayed me I headed over to Shaw’s where I was promptly greeted with this sign:


I’m still tan! I do NOT get my flu shot until my summer color has faded, that’s my new rule! This is RIDICULOUS.

And you know what didn’t help my cause? The fact that it was rainy and gray on Tuesday when we all had to head back to work.  Thanks a lot.  It was like the weather was like “Alright guys, the Christmas Tree Shop and Dunks have decided that summer is over, so go get your flu shot, here’s some rain, peace out”.  Nothing like adding to the misery.

The thing is, we’re in New England, why are we in a rush to end summer? You know it’s going to be over soon enough.  As my friend Chelsea pointed out the other day, we only get about 8-9 weeks AT MOST of real summer weather! Now believe me, I get it, it’s hot, it’s muggy, it’s annoying.  And I’m overweight so in the summer I’m sticky and moist starting on or around May 28th right on up through September 30th, so I understand better than most.  To add to that, I have two September babies.  This means that I have been pregnant; really, really, really heavily pregnant two times in the dead of summer.  In 2010 when I was pregnant for the second time (cause apparently I didn’t learn my lesson the first time), we had the most God awful stretch of heat where it was like 10 days straight days of 98 degrees with 100% humidity.  I would go to my OB and beg and cry to be induced.  It was so bad and I was so uncomfortable that I contemplated coming up with some cockamamie story about how I was going to hurt myself if they didn’t do an emergency c-section.  But then I got scared they would do it but keep the baby because I was cuckoo.  Then I got even more scared that even thinking up this plan was cuckoo.  The combination of the pregnancy and the heat made me legitimately crazy.  My point is that I have been emotionally scarred and traumatized by summer, yet I cannot and will not let it go until it’s officially over and that my friends, is on September 21st.  Hell, I’m trying to figure out if I can still squeeze in another Cape visit.  If that doesn’t work I’m going to hit up Nan-trash-basket and ride some waves and maybe hit the damn carousel, get a hot dog, maybe some cotton candy.  You can sip on your pumpkin struedul half caf decaf nonsense, I’m drinking some more lemonade  because as far as I’m concerned, I’m going to goof off and act summer-y for 15 more days.  If you want to go apple-picking or some sh!t, call someone else.

Weight limit? No? Good.

Like I said, I get it, I really do,  it’s gross out and you just want to cool off for a bit.  But that’s why God made pools.  Or the ocean.  And remember this one very important truth I’m about to share with you, ready, here it is: the rest of the year sucks.  It usually rains from March 1st until June 30th, then we get sun for 8-9 weeks, then we get precisely 4 weeks of Fall and then it’s Winter.  For like 8 months.  So come on, will ya? And make no mistake, this winter is going to be ugly.  You remember last year how nice Winter was? How we had 60 degree days in December? Yeah, you liked that didn’t you? Guess what? That was a freak show.  That will NEVER happen again.  You really think God’s going to let us  get away with that two years in row? Remember the Winter 2010 into 2011? Snowmageddon ring a bell? Yeah, don’t get cocky.  Don’t sleep on the weather.  We only got a break this year because of that hellish 2010-2011 Winter and also God knew he was going to f*ck with us regarding the Sox so he decided to be nice to us.

There was nothing fun about this.

The irony of this is that I LOVE the Fall.  Yeah, I really do.  I love apple-picking, baking pies, burning Macintosh scented Yankee Candles, the smell of cinnamon and spices, drinking apple cider by the gallon, sweaters and boots, nice walks in the evening and the color brown…and I will enjoy all of those things…on September 21st.  I’m even planning to try out those pumpkin and apple munchkins, but not until September 21st.


If we were in Ireland, this rushing into Fall would be fine because summer ends on August 1 over there, but we’re NOT in Ireland.  We’re in Boston and we have until Setpember 21st.  So instead of groaning that summer is over, why don’t you go outside and enjoy these last 15 days.  Meet me at ‘Tasket, I’ll be the only freak in the water, join me so I’m not so lonely.

It’s not THAT cold…