Monthly Archives: May 2012

Pushing the Rambettes

When exactly did the humble baby stroller become a Humvee?

Outta my way shitbirds, or I’ll light you up like Sesame Street on a Saturday night.

Damned if I know. For the past fifteen years, I’ve been out of the stroller game and otherwise occupied with the usual assortment of science fair crises, bake sale scrambles, emergency room visits (not all mine), tween angst and teen drama. Lately, however, I find I spend a lot of time thinking about prams and the like, more often than not because I am either tripping over one, cleaning a gaping wound on my extremeties caused by one, or popping some totally legitimate prescription pain medication to treat the back strain caused by helping some poor babysitter hump a fully loaded carriage up the subway stairs. Apparently boss mamas are not overly concerned about the portability of their perambulators as it’s just the help who have to hoist them; Mama drives to Fairway.

Also keeping the stroller top-of-mind is the recent phenomenon of sidewalk shrinkage in my neighborhood and the metropolis generally. How else to explain the daily barked shins, crushed toes and human gridlock I experience virtually everywhere I go? Now I’m willing to admit that I may take up just a tad more space than I once did, but my expanded girth cannot be solely to blame for the constant squeeze play that a stroll on a city street has become.

It’s not me, you see; it’s the baby strollers. Not only are there more than I can ever remember seeing, but they have  become larger, heavier and far more pimped out than in my day. Here’s what the little Slattern rode in way back when:

Elegantly minimal. $20 and weighing roughly as much as a large bag of Peanut M&Ms.

These days coffee cup holders, running boards, back seats, iPod jacks, cargo holds, satellite uplinks and monthly detailing all appear to come standard. As far as I can tell, modern carriages do not push themselves, which would be an upgrade worth paying for, yet they clearly cost an arm and a leg. Curious to find out exactly what kind of prices these things currently fetch, I took a sniff around Baby Depot, where I had to slog through over 100 models to find anything priced below $200. The top of the line: $1,099.99 for the Switch Four Modular System, which is probably what Jonny Quest rode in. This of course begs the question, Who pushed it, Race Banon or Dr Quest? Also, where did Hadji sit or did he have to walk behind the stroller? Was there a place for Bandit?

But I digress.

Horrified as I was at the stickers on these things, I was all afire to find out how high they went. You would not believe what I found. The highest priced one I saw was a $4,500 model called the Roddler from Kid Kustoms.  That’s right, five large by the time you pay tax and shipping. Check it out:

Baby Vader’s wheels courtesy Kid

Look at the front end of that thing. Get within two inches of it and it’ll peel your shin like an apple. Of course the afterburn from the rear thrusters could conceivably have a cauterizing effect, so maybe it really is worth the cost of a semester at one of our finer state universities.

Now, in fairness, it must be pointed out that the Roddler is fully customizable and comes in a variety of fun colors and finishes, including ostrich leather. At least I think it does. According to the website, a substance that looks remarkably like ostrich hide is listed as “Ostridge Skin.” See?

I couldn’t make this stuff up, folks.

Déclassé as I apparently am, I don’t see the appeal of Ostridge products or, mayhaps I am not completely up to date with the luxury market. (I did look up Ostridge, but the definition I found in the Urban Dictionary was so disgusting I can’t bring myself to link to it. In any case, spelled that way it’s a VERB.) What I probably need is to have a Kardashian ‘splain it all to me. Apparently one of them – Klamydia I think – pushes her little bundle of joy around in a Roddler, though whether his ride is tricked out in quilted leather or Ostridge is anybody’s guess. Clearly, though, the Roddler is a must-have for hot moms in the dough.

You’d think that this might be the end of it, but all this research, in addition to giving me a vicious thirst that only a double vodka can slake, has led me to ask one final question, namely “What next?” A little more internet digging, and I think I’ve found out. Soon to dent your shins, obstruct your path and break your nanny on a sidewalk near you, behold the Rambette…

The next evolution of the baby stroller, the Rambette, courtesy designbuzz and NATO.

I’m going to have to start taking my broomstick everywhere.

The Bitch is Back

Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen

Capsule Review: Oh God, make it stop!


If you’re like me, you probably wonder what would happen if Pee Wee Herman married Snookie, they had a baby and then they set up housekeeping. On Riker’s Island. Well tax your brain no further; I have the answer. They’d have named the offspring Nadia G and you’d be watching her on Bitchin’ Kitchen.

Now, I get it. She’s a comedienne and a chef, she cooks in stilettos (gasp!) and has a zany cast of characters. Sound familiar? But the show’s on the Cooking Channel, and holy good God, how can you even begin to pay attention to what she’s cooking (cookin’?) with all that adenoidal yammering, scenery chewing and gesticulating going on all at once? Makes me feel like I’m having a grand mal seizure after about forty seconds. And it’s not even funny.

My advice: mix yourself a margarita and stick with Pee Wee, the original and still the best.

Not even if you paid me

Well maybe if you paid me in Dom Perignon…Nah, not even then.

I’m not going to enable the attention-getting behavior of that rat’s-ass crazy chick who posed on the cover of Time with her three year old hanging off her left breast by reprinting the photo. I’m sure by now the image is forever seared on your consciousness, just as it is mine. I’m also certain I won’t be the first person to point out that breastfeeding a child who can pull up his own pants, conjugate verbs in the past tense, and program the TiVo has more in common with molestation than meal time, but if your primary goal for your kid is to end up on top of the library tower in 15 years with a hunting rifle in his hand and a clothespin on his penis, nursing him until he goes to middle school strikes me as a pretty effective way to start.

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Happy Mother’s Day! Screw cooking. Start sipping.

Those clever folks at Papyrus must have had me in mind!

As we enter the season of Hallmark holidays — those inauthentic, soulless, made-up occasions we all scoff at, but will curse our nearest and dearest for overlooking — please accept this gentle Mother’s Day reminder, and be sure to send a heartfelt card, a lovely plant or a case of champagne to all the deserving mothers, grandmothers, wives and daughters in your life.

If you don’t have any of the aforementioned, feel free to rouse yourself from your sofa-induced stupor and send the champagne to me.  One bottle per hour of labor seems appropriate. Mine went on for approximately 18, and I still recall every agonizing, nauseating, humiliating second as if it were yesterday — unflattering fluorescent lighting, insufficient quantities of narcotics and random interns in me to the elbow. What a day that was!

Astute reader Lora Robins sourced and sent along the lovely slattern-inspired Mother’s Day card pictured above, which features the touching inscription I lifted for the title of this post. Thanks, Lora! I was so moved, I went straight to the liquor cabinet, retrieved the ingredients for my favorite champagne cocktail, popped the bubbly and started the party early!

So without further ado, here’s my recipe of choice for this year’s day of recognition and relaxation. As I dislike excessively sweet drinks, I use far less sugar than is usual in a champagne cocktail. Most recipes call for a cube per drink, but I just use a suspicion of simple syrup instead, though sometimes I skip it altogether, as the Grand Marnier is quite sweet. You’ll do as you like.

The Slattern’s Champagne Cocktail

Into each flute, pour:

1 tsp simple syrup (more or less to taste)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters, or similar
1 ounce Grand Marnier

Slosh the ingredients around to mix, then fill each flute with the ice-cold, dry champagne of your choice. I like Gruet from New Mexico. It’s tasty enough to drink on its own, but not so expensive that it you feel guilty mixing it with something. Garnish with a festive orange slice, maraschino cherry or both.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

You’re from away, aren’t ya?

Your guide to vacationing in Maine this summer

Eat in or take out!

It was recently brought to my attention that in my last post, Welcome to New York! Now get out of my way, I may have come across as a bit, how shall I say, strident. Some might even say elitist or xenophobic. I don’t know, I’ll leave the choice of adjective to you. In any case, in the interest of fair play (and as part of my ongoing commitment to tourist safety), I’m taking the quite possibly unprecedented step of rebutting myself on this one with some advice for New Yorkers who plan to visit the great state of Maine this summer. Why? Well, for one thing Maine has fairly “relaxed” gun laws, and those objects you see bisecting the rear windows of pickup trucks are not golf-club racks.

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