random things I do not understand

by Toni McGee Causey


Random things I do not understand, but will somehow make it into a book:

Two men decided to move a meth lab through Baton Rouge. In their moment of brilliance, one of them must have turned to the other and said, "Hey, let’s move this highly flammable lab that can blow up." Wherein the other thought, "Why do it half-way? Let’s take the bumpiest interstate on the planet! I know! Let’s go through Louisiana!"

Saving spiders. I do not understand this. A friend of mine wrote a funny blog about the spider that was sort of taking over her bathroom, and I responded:

I had one in the kitchen once and I felt sort of bad (poor, lost spider, didn’t
mean to come inside) and I caught him in a glass jar. He wasn’t huge,
but was quite fuzzy-looking and I was curious so I got my trusty field
guide on spiders out (what do you mean, what field guide? you all don’t
have field guides? geez. I have a field guide for every critter around
here that can possibly slither in and/or eat me. I’d like to be able to
leave a coherent description of the culprit if I’m dying, thank you).
Anyway, so I check the trusty field guide and find its photo and the spider on there is
kinda fuzzy, but not as fuzzy as my spider, and
then I realize… my spider’s fuzziness is… moving. As in, separating. It
was like the Borg. There were more than 100 (I am not exaggerating)
baby spiders stacked up on Mom or Dad or Uncle Walt there and they
started leaping off and investigating the glass, which then made me
realize… if that spider hadn’t been under glass, all of those babies
would have been in my kitchen.

Now? I kill the damned spiders. I have a rule: you stay outside? you live. You cross that line? you die.

When they start paying they mortgage, they can make the rules.

I do not understand relationships where the women "let" the men do certain things as a reward for doing everything else they’re told to do, nor the men who let them. This particularly applies to those loud, well dressed reality based housewives shows where I think the point is to not only out bitch each other, but out maneuver their husbands, more than anyone else has done at the same time. But then I realized, I just must not have known the rules for using my Glittery Hooha (technical literary term there, as defined by Lani Diane Rich and explained by Jennifer Crusie). (For the romance world, that blog explains it best… and I want to know why two people fall for each other, no matter what genre.) (I love that blog and term.) (I know. I wrote about glittery hoohas.) (My mom has probably had a heart attack just now and when she wakes up, I am going to be in big trouble.)(Because this is the deep south and we do not admit in public that there are hoohas, no matter how glittery.) (There was a sale on parentheses.)

So, what do you not understand? Wide open, anything goes.

And starting today, every Sunday until my book release, end of this month, as in May 27th, I’ll be giving away two signed copies of both books — Bobbie Faye’s Very (very, very, very) Bad Day and book 2Bobbie Faye’s (kinda, sorta, not exactly) Family Jewels — to one of the commenters  (US/Canada), 18 years old and up. (Hey, there is cursing and murder and mayhem and sex, almost all at the same time. I am not getting in trouble here.) So post anything you do not understand in the comments and next Sunday, I’ll announce a winner… each Sunday for four weeks.

46 thoughts on “random things I do not understand

  1. Debra Guyette

    Here is something I have never understood. When many men watchthe children for the wives, they consider it babysitting. Why do women never consider it that?

  2. Margie Lawson

    Toni – I don’t understand how most men are clueless regarding their body language. They say X, but their nonverbals scream YZYZY. The bonus: women know what the men are truly thinking. ;-)))

  3. billie

    I don’t understand why my husband never has the tools he needs when he starts a project. Every project requires a trip to Lowe’s Depot to buy the right tool. These mysterious tools never seem to be around for the next project.

    Yesterday he installed a gate that I’ve been wanting installed ever since we bought this place. It is beautiful. I love it. But there was a little bit of drama about getting it done this weekend. Then there was a little bit of drama about how to get this huge gate home from the feed store. Then once he got it home there was the required drama about tools and the trip to Lowe’s.

    And, god help us, there’s another gate being installed today. The question is, do different sized gates being put in different locations require different tools? I’ll find out later!

  4. Kaye Barley

    Oh Billie, the “Tool Thing!” This is too funny. (I’ll bet your new gates look beautiful – enjoy!) This has been a standing joke at our house our entire married life. It reached an all time high when we moved to the North Carolina mountains and, as is the case with every move, lots of things needed to be done, most of them unexpected. Each of them needing a trip to Lowe’s for that “gotta have” tool. But I was just as bad, I’m afraid. All of a sudden, the things we brought here with us that I had been perfectly happy with in Atlanta, just weren’t right. Know what I mean? “That chair? – ugh! that is one tired ol’ ugly chair! We need to replace it, don’t you think?”I still don’t understand the how and why of all that – 48 hours before, I had really liked that chair, that table and that lamp.

    Toni, great post!I don’t understand the “let You” do thing either. If I were EVER to tell Donald Barley I’d “let” him do something, the man would fall over laughing. And so would I. I don’t want to be the man’s mom, and I don’t need another daddy.

  5. Heather

    I don’t understand why I have four storage bins of yarn awaiting crochet and knit projects and yet can never find something I actually want to make.

    I also don’t understand how I can eat a quarter pound of chocolate at Easter and gain five pounds.

    And I don’t understand why, when the entire house save my bedroom has hardwood, the cat is required to barf on the bedroom carpet.

    (I LOVE the ‘sale on parentheses’ line… doesn’t matter how much those weasels cost, I’d still buy them! 🙂


  6. D.A. Davenport

    I nearly dampened my delicates when I read your mention of the Great Unmentionables. I immediately began Googling Glittery Hoohas…(Isn’t that what the kids are calling it these days?) and I was floored at how many selections appeared before my eyes! Then I called my sister and asked her how hers was doing. Big mistake, because her bladder is even worse than mine, poor kid.Thanks for a funny and enlightening Sunday Morning!

  7. JT Ellison

    I see your ( ) and raise you three …

    I don’t understand how it is that I have a glistening green lawn with perfect edging and grass that looks like it was cut with manicure scissors blade by blade for perfect uniformity, yet have no curtains, and wallpaper in my downstairs bath that is so hideous we call it the fish camp. I must need to do some polishing on my glittery hoohah.

    (And that is going to be the word of the day in the Ellison household. I particularly like the toss off potential.)

  8. jeanne Ketterer

    Billie, I think the drama is really look at me! I’m doing manly man things! Look at me! I give it five minutes and wander away. (He also makes the umpteen trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot, but also thinks I’m the resident general hardware store: do you have tape? do you have metal trays? do you have … )

    Jeanne(letting spouse do something is a control thing in a dead, boring marriage)(maybe we can have Jenny guest blog on Murderati?)(and since I’m sick to death of and will scream if I see one more set of quotes in a ms for every other phrase and/or excessive use of exclamation points [more than one per ms.], I’ll take the sale on paren’s.)It’s been a long morning.

  9. Kathy Sweeney

    BWAH! In the old days, the GHH was really the girl who would do the thing(s) the other girls wouldn’t do. Now, I hear that girls start practicing those other things starting at ages way too young for me to post without getting nauseous.

    That’s one thing I don’t understand.

    As far as the Lowe’s/Home Depot trips – why is it that you or your husband can go into those stores for one item that costs less than a buck, but you can never check out and spend less than $50?

  10. toni

    Debra, that is a very good point. Because it’s not really like they get to give the kids “back” when the mom shows up later. Still the parent.

  11. toni

    Oh, Margie, I love that one. My husband never know how it is I know when they’re really ticked off (but trying to act like they’re fine). Thank goodness. With a GHH that isn’t working up to Factory Specifications on How To Rule The Universe [TM], I need all of the advantages I can get.

  12. toni

    Billie, I completely empathize. My husband is a contractor, so he buys really big tools. Which sometimes sit and take up warehouse space for years, but we have to keep it because we might need it one day. I’ve concluded it’s really a magical portal or something, because it never, ever moves, and yet, engenders reverence beyond the normal level of awe.

    Kaye, yep. I have that chair, too. (sigh)

  13. Dana King

    Wow. This quickly turned into a “here’s all the things men either can’t do at all, or take way too much credit for doing” post.

    Me, I was just going to stick up for the spiders. I like to keep a few discretely spread around the house, mainly near windows and doors. Amazing how many pests far more mobile and intrusive than they find their way into those webs. So long as Boris picks his spots and doesn’t do something like spread a web completely across my front stairs, I’ll make room for him.

    Of course, that’s probably because I’m a guy.

  14. Bill Cameron

    Two things I don’t understand. One, why when women talk about men, it’s like they’re talking about an alien species and yet when men talk about women, it’s like they’re talking about an alien species. Our respective behaviors aren’t that mysterious, and so why we don’t, collectively speaking, recognize that our lack of understanding is something that happens inside ourselves and is not imposed upon us from without by some kind of “mysterioso beam” from our mates is something I don’t understand.

    And, two, I totally do not understand youth sports parents. Talk about alien species…

  15. toni

    Heather, I hear you on the yarn thing (although my downfall is buying new software that I’m going to learn, and even buying tutorials for it, and then staring at them and not actually getting into the learning process. I want to be able to hover a hand over the things and learn by osmosis.)

    My cat is currently tormenting me by sneaking onto the *one* chair I don’t want her on, and it doesn’t seem to matter what I do to block that chair at night short of putting some sort of zapper on it.

  16. toni

    reversing order for a moment here…

    Dana, you’re cracking me up about the spiders. I would just know that they were spreading that web across the bedroom door at night.

    And guys, I don’t think this is aimed at men, really. We’ve talked about spiders and cats and yarn and exercise machines and chocolate. It’s just that you’re so much cuter! And sexy! And sometimes confusing! So there’s got to be something your sexy confusing selves don’t understand about women. 😉 or the power of the Glittery Hooha. (Word of the day.)

  17. Bill Cameron

    I dunno, Toni, I was detecting another one of those “hey, look at what a great oaf my man is, do you hear me, ladies?” “yes, we do!” conversations. Which, speaking as a great oaf, gets a little old.

  18. toni

    Dusty, best line. Ever. Imagine the PR campaign for that band.

    Pari, man, you’re right. 30 minutes should count. I’ve had exercise experts tell me that you can break an hour’s worth of exercise into 15 minute segments and still get most of the benefits. I think maybe not quite the same as one long sustained session, but it’s gotta be better than nothing.

    Kathy, I am sooooo guilty, though, of going into the bookstore with a gift card, swearing I was just going to get one book and then ended up getting waaaaay more than the balance on the gift card. I know I confuse the hell out of my husband when I do, so we just call it evens when he goes into Lowe’s.

  19. toni

    Pari, LOL.

    (I wonder… in dryer climates, do y’all just not have that many spiders? Because seriously? They are the Borg.)

  20. Angelle

    Dana: My buddy Robb names his house spider “Boris” as well – what’re the odds?

    As for things I don’t understand, these days they mostly hae to do with being a recent immigrant from the heartland to Los Angeles (which I love like a long-lost brother, but still baffles me). To wit:

    How is a high speed chase news worth breaking in for and watching in its entirety? I mean, I get that traffic is the new weather out here, but this place is BIG and the odds that any of us need to know about this chase for our own safety are mathematically nil. Those who do are in their cars and don’t have television reception anyhow.

    Also, on the plastic surgery front, if you’re a woman of a certain age and you’re going to have a boob job, then spend the extra cash and get the loose skin on your upper arms pulled in. It’s a very confusing juxtaposition of physical manifestations of youth and age that just end up making you look alien. Not, I imagine, quite what you were going for.

  21. Tom

    Dusty wrote: “I don’t understand why no one has ever named a rock band “Glittery Hoohah.”

    I think the job is up to us, Dusty. Maybe maybe mixed jazz, though, with rock, since there’s a long history of jazz meaning “interaction with hoohah.”

  22. toni

    Angelle, I’m with ya there on the high speed chase. And I never thought about the arms vs. boob job. Yikes. I’d be afraid that once I started, the whole damned body would need an overhaul. Too much work.

    Tom, I would soooo love that band.

    Louise, thank you — I wish I had been the imaginative Lani who’d created it. 😉

  23. Angelle

    “Boris the Spider” – Ahhh, so many things make sense now. And I feel, as ever, like a pop culture idiot.

  24. max

    Okay what I really want to know is why do people in movies who have to cross a chasm on one tiny thin spindly little tree always do it standing up? Wouldn’t it be smarter to just plop down on their butts and scootch?

    Pride be damned. What are all these people balance bar drops out?

  25. toni

    Excellent example, Max. I also don’t understand the whole running-away-from-bad-guys-in-high-heels thing. I can barely walk around in high heels without face planting.

    I don’t understand how we got to the point as a society that a handful of fashion magazines and movies have managed to make millions of women hate their bodies and want to be something else. (This is something Angelle’s plastic surgery answer reminded me of.) Do we reflect that bias in our books? or perpetuate it? hmmmmm.

  26. Pammy D

    Random Things… Hmm.

    1. I too had that same spider fiasco. ‘Oh – let it stay – it’s just a little thing in the corner of the room’ – until it sprung a million babies down my walls. KILL. Same goes for ANTS.

    2. Why does the container for a Marie Callendar’s pot pie say a serving is 1/2 a pie – at 562 or thereabouts calories. Who eats 1/2 a pot pie? And what’s in that stuff to make it so addictive. Oxycodone? Crack?

    3. Angelle – Please let me know if you need a guide to LA. I’ve been here now for 15 years, also from the Midwest. TV news coverage of high/low speed chases is because Angelenos don’t have a lot of exciting weather to report. Wait till you see ‘Stormwatch 2008’. It’s pathetic.

    4. And last for now – I am 49 years old and basically a B cup my entire life. How fair is it that an 86 year old man recently made the crack that my tatas are sagging. Excuse me? If my tatas were on my stomach and the Old Man was wearing his super duper Power Ranger glasses I’d let that one pass. Not right I say.

  27. Pari Noskin Taichert

    Toni,We have brown recluses, black widows and some tarantulas AND I still love spiders. Maybe that’s because I married a closet naturalist.

    Pammy . . . re: your tatasHave you ever heard of the psychological term “Transference?” heh heh heh

  28. J.D. Rhoades

    Funny you should bring up spiders. I’m usually live and let live as far as those things go, but I had to kill on Friday night that had a legspan as wide as my hand (and I do not have small hands). It jumped on Lynn just as she was going to sleep, so, ya know, it had to die.

    Sumbitch should have known better than to break bad while I was in the middle of watching BEOWULF.

    The downside for everyone is that they had to put up with me for the next two hours yelling “I am Ripper… Tearer… Slasher…I am the Teeth in the Darkness, the Talons in the Night! I AM BEOWULF!”

    Incredibly silly movie, BTW.

  29. Zoë Sharp

    Gosh, I’ve come late to this again (so what else is new) and there are so many topics I don’t know where to start!

    Speaking as half of a couple who self-built their own house, I have my own tools, thank you very much!

    I’m also the one who suggested that, since the current UK building regulations demanded we have a gently sloping ‘whole of life access’ ramp up to our front door, and no step of more than 15mm (roughly half an inch) into the house, that this would be ideal for keeping a motorcycle in the hallway.

    We have spiders round here that stride across the living room dragging the cat after them. What else can you call one but Webster?

    And Dusty, the best thing about Beowulf was Ray Winstone doing the voice, although I can’t get over just having seen/heard him doing the voice of the talking beaver in Narnia.

    Er, when I say “beaver” I do, of course, mean the amphibious rodent, most noted for building dams, thank you very much.

    What with all this talk of glittery hoohahs – and that one I really don’t want to know – I thought I’d better be clear on that.

  30. Fran

    What I don’t get is how you can have the hammer because you JUST used it to hang a picture, and when you find the nails — which were RIGHT THERE a second ago but have now moved into a drawer (not the drawer they belong in, but a completely separate drawer, you understand) — and you get back to where the new picture is hanging, the hammer is GONE. Vanished. And it’s not in either the slot where it belongs NOR is it in any of the various drawers. It hasn’t fallen under something. It’s just gone.

    Can you tell I’m having picture-hanging problems?

    But at least we don’t have spiders! I’m with you, Toni. They’re the Borg and must be destroyed when they’re in the house. I have cats to keep out other kinds of pesty things inside.

    Okay, I’m off to find the bloody hammer. And then, probably, the nails. After that, maybe I’ll remember where the pictures went!

  31. cc

    I just popped in because Lani mentioned that the GHH was mentioned here, and since it is my favorite literary term…. (That would be an ellipsis followed by a period, not an over zealous ellipsis or a stuttering ellipsis)

    But since tool and building related questions are going around, I have one. Why when I go to a home show type thing with a male and talk to someone who wants me to spend thousands of dollars with them and am very clear that it is my house and I am the one wanting a new garage do they turn to the male and ask him questions about the new garage?

  32. toni

    Pari, I will send all of mine to you from now on. 😉 (Maybe I can promise them some southwest weather. Yeah, that’ll do it.)

    Pammy, I’m pretty sure that old guy was off his rocker anyway. And I don’t understand the serving size on most of those prepackaged meals. I’m convinced it’s some alternate universe thing.

    Dusty? I would have paid money to hear that Beowulf imitation. (I am strangely interested in watching that now. I am also strangely interested in seeing Iron Man. It’s a sickness. I’m hoping it’ll pass.)

  33. toni

    Zoë, I’m going to lure you to the dark side, yet. 😉 But that motorcycle ramp sounds very cool and practical, actually. But this is said by a woman who has a bunch of very weird stuff in her home, including a giant metal (antique) railroad switch box. (Gutted and antiqued by my husband, which really looks fantastic, and we use it as an armoire.)

    Fran, great to see you here, too. And man, I am right there with you on the putting it down and not knowing where, thing. I blame aliens.

    cc — welcome! Glad you stopped by. And since I’m a big fan of Lani’s, I’m thrilled to have her enjoy the GHH reference. 😉 As for them not asking you? I get the opposite one. My husband does all of the major cooking, and he’s pretty amazing. Whenever we have a big party, I have probably only made the salad (and organized and then do the cleanup), but the delicious meal? All him. And yet, everyone (even when they’ve arrived early and actually see him cooking), will turn to me and thank me for the meal or ask how it’s cooked. I use the fire alarm as a timer, so I’m the last person anyone should be asking.

  34. Terri Molina

    You’re too funny Toni, but the spider thing gave me the eebie-jeebies!! That happened to me once, but they weren’t under glass!! (ugh…that memory is making my skin crawl now…Thanks!) >:-/

    Things I don’t understand….too long a list, which my children top!

    Hey, I’m looking forward to getting my (your) books signed at RWA this year (and let’s find a pool table!) 😉

  35. kitty

    I will never understand why my hammer is never in the drawer where i keep it. Or why my husbands other hammers are never in his toolbox. I am always knocking picture hanging hardware with the handles of screwdrivers. Always.

  36. Bozoette Mary

    I do not understand the traffic in my area. On Monday, no traffic; I get to work in 40 minutes. On Tuesday, no traffic. Yesterday, so much traffic it take me an hour and a half to get to work. Today? Same thing. Weather seems to have no effect. It’s totally random!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *