Well, when I posted this entry a couple weeks ago, who would’ve thought that the correct answer would’ve been “a”? I know I certainly didn’t.




I mean, not to look a gift ceiling in the mouth, but I was kind of excited at the prospect of having the entire thing cave in before it would get fixed. But now, since I was so patient with my landlord, not only did he fix the ceiling, but he ran all over my apartment fixing other random things I wasn’t even worried about.

And plus, now how am I going to get rich if it doesn’t involve a lawsuit from being partially paralyzed by my upstairs neighbor when she and her bathtub came crashing down on top of me? This is a bunch of crap. Well, I guess I always have my 401k to fall back on. Oh wait…

That Thing You Do

“Hey, thanks for that thing the other day,” she says to me as I’m standing in the hallway.

I flash an uncomfortable smile as she follows me onto the elevator. I quickly pop in my headphones so I can buy myself some time.

Thanks for that thing? What thing? Which other day?

I have absolutely no idea what she’s talking about. This has been happening to me a lot lately. Absentmindedness. Disorganization. Conversations and events all becoming blurry outlines, like trying to recall the details of a dream.

Lately, I’ll leave people voicemails, and when they call me back a day later, I have no recollection of why I called them. So now, I mostly send emails to give me a written record of what I so desperately needed from them.

It started to worry me a bit, but then I read this article about brain decline, and I realized that it’s not my fault.

According to this study, my mental powers peaked at age 22, and now, only hours away from turning 38, apparently the only thing I have left to look forward to is being able to retain my vocabulary until I hit 60. After that, people should expect nothing more from me than rhythmic tongue clucking.

Back on the elevator, I pretend to busy myself with my iPod but really I’m racing through my mental archives to unearth some memory of what I possibly could have done for this woman.


It was something she needed. Something important enough for her to make a point of mentioning it again. I must have gone out of my way. Probably wasn’t even my responsibility.

For that thing.

A sales report maybe? An article on a competitor, perhaps. Did I do a research project for her? That’s what we have a research department for. I don’t report to her – why is she giving me busy work?

The other day.

So it couldn’t have been yesterday, or she would’ve said yesterday. That means it was probably last week. Maybe even longer. Was this from February? And she’s just now getting around to thanking me?
So I bust my ass to pull together a huge research project for her – which isn’t even part of my job description, by the way – and clearly must have gotten it to her in record time, or she wouldn’t have been smiling, and all it warrants is a hallway thanks? This is bullshit. Utter bullshit. I’m telling you right now – I know I’ve probably said it before, but this time I mean it – this is absolutely the last time I do a thing for her.


A few months ago:
Me: “Hey, it’s Jenny, from Apartment 1A. There’s a crack in the ceiling above my bathtub, and I saw some drips of water coming down from it. Seems like a potential problem.”

Landlord: “Hey, thanks for calling. I’ll send the guys over this week to check it out.”

Me: “Hello?”

Landlord: “Hey, so the guys checked it out and said it looks like an old crack.”

Me: “But I saw water dripping out of it a few days ago.”

Landlord: “Okay. Well, probably what we’ll need to do is tear out the ceiling, find the leak, fix it, replaster everything, and then repaint. Your bathroom will probably be out of commission for a couple weeks.”

Me: “Ugh. That sounds like a drag. I guess if you’re not worried about the crack, I’m not worried about it.”

Landlord: “Okay.”

A few weeks ago:
Me: “Hey, remember when I told you about that little crack in the bathroom ceiling? Well, now it’s huge, and I came home to about a quarter inch of sand and mud splattered all over my bathtub and shower walls. Seems like a real problem.”

Landlord: “Ugh. Thanks for calling. I’ll send the guys over this week to check it out.”


Me: “Hello?”

Landlord: “Hey, so the guys checked it out and said they can’t recreate the problem.”

Me: “But I had to sweep sand out of my bathtub.”

Landlord: “Okay. Well, probably what we’ll need to do is tear out the ceiling, find the leak, fix it, replaster everything, and then repaint. Your bathroom will probably be out of commission for a couple weeks.”

Me: “Okay, sounds like we need to take care of it.”


Which of the following will happen first?
a) My landlord’s guys will fix the ceiling
b) My upstairs neighbor and her bathtub will crash through my ceiling, killing me instantly
c) My upstairs neighbor and her bathtub will crash through my ceiling, but miraculously, no one will get hurt and we will have a really funny story to tell people, except for the fact that I will have seen her naked, which will make our rare encounters by the mailbox even more awkward than they already are
d) I will break my lease in order to take advantage of the buyers’ real estate market and finally get that condo with a huge patio I so often dream of
e) I will get a lung infection from whatever toxic mold is certainly seeping into my apartment
f) A nest of cockroaches will tumble down onto my head while I am in the shower, but I will be in the middle of conditioning my hair, so I will just have to deal with it
g) Jimmy Hoffa will tumble down onto my head while I am in the shower, killing me instantly

Place your bets now, folks!

Salty Snacks

A couple weeks ago, I met my friends Natasha and Farnsworth at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. While I debated between a margarita or Negra Modelo, I heard Natasha say, “Ohmigod – did you see these appetizers?”


“This says it has grasshoppers in it!”

“What? Where? Ohmigod – we’re totally ordering that!”

Farnsworth was all for it, but Nat was less than enthusiastic. She called over the waiter to clarify if they really meant to say grasshoppers, or if it was perhaps a bad translation. Indeed, they meant grasshoppers.

“They’re very good. Crunchy, salty! You put some guacamole on them… very good!”

Since crunchy and salty are my two favorite food groups, I was immediately sold. When the appetizer arrived, it looked innocuous enough – just a flour tortilla folded in half, with some guacamole and salsa on the side. I was actually a bit disappointed, since this was hardly the exotic dish I was imagining.

But then I decided to add some guacamole like the waiter suggested, so I opened up the tortilla and for a moment, stared in disbelief at what was simply a giant pile of curled up dead bugs inside a tortilla. Nothing else. No cheese, no lettuce, nothing to disguise the fact that these were bugs we were about to eat.

I looked over at Natasha, and she just sat there shaking her head. I didn’t want to seem repulsed by the idea of eating bugs, even though that is entirely the appropriate reaction, so I grabbed one and handed it to Nat, then took another for myself, and Farnsworth selected one of his own as well.

“We have to eat one plain, first.”

I popped the bug into my mouth and was immediately surprised by how salty it was. It tasted kind of burnt, very crunchy, and overall, not bad. Aside from the legs. And the head. And the antennae.

Natasha made a slight grimace as she tossed her grasshopper into her mouth, chewed very quickly, and washed it down with a big sip of margarita.

“Hey! These grasshoppers are kind of good,” I said.

Nat raised her eyebrows, “Okay, I don’t think I’d go that far. And let’s be clear on something – grasshoppers, my ass. These are crickets. Crickets they probably caught behind the restaurant a couple hours ago. Or they got them from the snake food department at Petco.”
An inexperienced bug-eater might think, cricket, grasshopper… what’s the difference?

But as I looked down at the open tortilla filled with brownish black bugs, I realized that Nat was right. These were absolutely not grasshoppers, and most definitely crickets, as evidenced by their striking resemblance to cockroaches.

And she was also right about their country of origin. No way were these free-range Mexican grasshoppers. We were staring at a plateful of street crickets that were probably caught in the back alley using a net made out of some old pantyhose.

But crickets or not, we had paid $10 for some sort of bug taco, and damned if we weren’t going to eat it. I quickly folded the tortilla back over the bed of insects, and slathered some guacamole and salsa over the top. We cut it into three pieces, and quickly ate them.
Farnsworth was completely unfazed by the experience, and was actually disappointed when the waiter said they were all out of some worm appetizer they had on their specials menu.

The following week, Nat called me at work to tell me about an episode of Survivor Man she had just seen.

“So they drop him off in the middle of nowhere, and by the third day he’s totally starving because he only has a granola bar left.”
“Mmm hmm…” I said, as I tried to multi-task and update some PowerPoint slides.

“And then he finds a big grasshopper and gets all excited about having some protein. So then you know how he prepares them?”

“In a tortilla?”

“Nope. He twists the head and slowly pulls it off so it takes the whole stomach with it. Then he puts them on a stick and roasts them. Know why he roasts them?”

“Uh uh.”

“BECAUSE GRASSHOPPERS CARRY TAPEWORM! They have tapeworm, Jenny. Are you happy now? Are you satisfied? Now we’re all going to get tapeworm because you just HAD to have bug tacos.

“Guess it’s a good thing we were eating crickets, then, isn’t it?”


“Look, Nat. Your theme for 2009 is courage – you said so yourself. This was just a good opportunity for you to overcome your fear of eating giant piles of bugs. And my theme for the year is discovery, so I got to discover something new, too. We all win.”

“So basically what you’re telling me is that for all of 2009, you get to discover disgusting things that I have to be courageous enough to eat?”


“2010 can’t get here soon enough.”
As a side note, I just took this quiz below and, although there wasn’t a question relating to grasshopper consumption, I’m still not entirely thrilled with these odds. I guess as long as I keep up with my annual tapeworm shots and weekly self-exams, I should be fine.
What are your chances of getting a tapeworm?
[via Neatorama]