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Remedial Martha

Drooling, feeble-minded domestic goddesses take note

Cantaloupe

There is NOT more than one way to cut a melon.

If the latest missive from Martha to land in my inbox is any indication, the marketing gurus at Big Mama Stewart’s domestic juggernaut have located a new and potentially-lucrative market segment to exploit enlighten. For those of you not on the mailing list, I’m referring to mentally-underpowered domestic engineers. Of course, one might assert that this demographic has long been Martha’s bread and butter, and further, that captivating the attention of dim bulbs with too much time on their hands is the foundation on which her housekeeping house of horrors is built. No argument from me.

In any case, by now you’re probably all agog to hear about the latest cross-selling initiative, and really, who am I to keep you in the dark? So without further ado (and now that that third martini has finally worked its magic on my cerebral cortex), here’s a summary of what Martha is currently flogging:

 Martha Stewart’s top five videos for 2013

1. How to frost a cupcake
If you need help with this extremely challenging task, I suggest grabbing the first two-handed four-year-old you find and shoving a butter knife into his/her sticky little mitt. Watch and learn.

2. How to cut a melon
Are you kidding? No need for the preschooler, just get the knife — and stab yourself with it to be sure your nervous system is still functioning. Then cut the frickin’ cantaloupe already.

3. Bartending basics
This may be the most offensive video on offer, and I’ll tell you why. When I’m at the bar or hanging
around the punchbowl, the last goddamned thing I want is a drink that was mixed during amateur hour. If you need a basics course, skip the video, strap on your helmet and pilot your Segway on over to your loser cousin’s house for a Partridge Family marathon where you can sip a festive glass of Gatorade and ginger instead of a properly made Sazerac. For your sins.

4. How to can and jam
Unless this is the first release in Martha’s new series of porn videos, I’m not interested. Actually, I’m not even interested then.

5. How to cut a mango
I’ll admit it, these can be a bit of a challenge, but here’s an easy solution: Go to the bodega and buy a container of cut-up mango. Then throw it in the blender with a fifth of vodka,
rum, gin or similar. Congratulations, you now have a life worth living. Well done, Sweetie.

Boli-Stoli!  Well done, Sweetie!

Boli-Stoli?
Well done, Sweetie!

Happy Holidays from the Slatterns!

kazakhstan winter

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. On the coldest street in hell.

Greetings Slattern friends and family members!

Surprise, surprise, 2013 was (yet another) thrill-packed year for your favorite all-American family, the Slatterns! Although anyone who tunes in to HLN will already be familiar with some of the more sensational chapters of our story (where would Nancy Grace be without US this year?!), there’s more than that silly extradition business to fill you in on.

Street legal after all these years!

Street legal after all these years!

First the good news — and couldn’t we all use a little more of that? Owing to this year’s “recreational use” decriminalization statute, Grandma’s case was dismissed back in April before it ever went to trial. To tell you the truth, I think the Legal Aid lawyer was a little disappointed at not being able to try out the innovative “oldfluenza” defense he came up with, especially since this was going to be his first real case, but he perked right back up when Mr. Slattern pointed out that with all the “zero tolerance” policies at the assisted living facility, sooner or later the old girl is bound to run afoul of the law again. Next time she ends up in a holding cell, Grandma has promised that Counselor Schenkman will be her first call.

"Gall durn it, they said the ropin' and wranglin' was INCLUDED!"

“I thought you said the Twins was INCLUDED!”

And speaking of involuntary confinement, Uncle Fred is finally back in the bosom of his family after that little misunderstanding at The Mustang Ranch in Nevada. Last summer, thinking he was headed for the dude ranch vacation he’d always dreamed of, our favorite “cowpoke” was more than a little surprised to find himself in a cathouse instead of a horse barn. Still, it was the work of a minute for him to rally the old Slattern spirit and go with the flow. By checkout time they had to use a crowbar to get him out of there. Literally, they chased him out the front door with one. Unfortunately, there was some additional unpleasantness about the bill, which included a long list of expensive “extras” that weren’t part of his package, but in the end management agreed to garnish his Social Security for the next fifteen years in exchange for his prompt and permanent departure. Thanks for all those get well soon wishes! We’re pleased to report that the doctors did finally find an antibiotic that worked. They say that the lesions should heal up eventually, and when they do, Uncle Fred’ll be as good as new.

They had no right to issue a "gag order" just because this filthy traitor is a thirteen year-old kid. Guilty, I say, guilty, guilty, guilty.

They had no right to issue a gag order just because this filthy traitor is a thirteen year-old “kid.” Guilty, I say, guilty, guilty, guilty!

As our cable-news viewing friends will know by now, young Master Slattern has become a real computer wiz. Although we’ve been advised not to make statements about his case, I can say that the allegations of his CIA database hacking and downloading, however sensational, are nowhere near the truth, and we are one hundred percent certain he will be cleared and our return to the US approved any day now. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that Khazakhstan really is lovely during the winter holidays, with all the snow and ice out on the steppes, and in the parking lots, and the hallways. And our hotel room.

After two weeks in country, we’ve already mastered a few essential phrases in Kazakh, and boy, do they come in handy. Roughly translated: I’m sorry, but we ‘re not in the market for a camel today; We may look like Uzbeks, but I assure you we are not; and of course, No, my daughter is NOT for sale. With the help of these and several other little cultural tricks, we find that daily life goes on much as it did in the good old US of A with meals to prepare, housework to do and extended visits to the various embassies, consulates and police precincts to negotiate our legal status.

Supplies are a bit scarce over here, but in the outdoor market, I find I can trade my Klonopin and Valium for almost anything, and Mr. S has even developed a taste for the national drink, fermented mare’s milk, which he claims goes well with Russian vodka (it’s cheaper than tonic water!). Most days he can be found comfortably settled on his pony-skin floor mats with gallon jugs of both by his side, listening to the Voice of America. He almost never cries anymore. 

I’m finding the combination of a crushing load of stress plus the local goat-based diet has made it possible for me to lose that pesky twenty pounds, and owing to the lack of internet connectivity young Miss Slattern has traded her Facebook and BuzzFeed habits for daily instruction in kick-boxing at the local gimnasia. As an added bonus, she seems to be picking up some Russian from her trainer, Nikolai Nikolaiovich, who is also quite the fashion photographer and cossack-about-town!

And that, my friends, is all our news. We are looking forward to having the warrants lifted and returning home soon. In the meantime, all donations to the Slattern Family Legal Defense Fund are greatly appreciated. The good folks at WikiLeaks have assured us that, although donations are not tax deductible, they’re not remotely traceable either.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Get slatternly for Christmas!

kitchen_slattern_martha_t_shirt_2-rdc83c521a2ca4db486d653d97ce24583_8nhmi_324If you’re like me — not in the dipsomaniacal sense, but when it comes to holiday shopping, I mean — the annual ordeal of trolling overheated, overcrowded, over-illuminated shopping malls in an endless quest for that perfect gift for your nearest and dearest long ago lost its appeal. Especially since the authorities got all cranked up about people, and by that I mean me, driving after a cocktail or two.

So why not embrace the Slattern’s holiday strategy and click on over to Zazzle for slattern-themed gifts sure to please even the grouchiest, grinchiest folks on your gift list? Think about it! How much would your mother-in-law love a “Martha Stewart makes my ass ache” apron? Wouldn’t your Type A sister love sipping the morning jolt from a Kitchen Slattern mug or riding with pride courtesy of her Slattern bumpersticker? I thought so.

So save yourself a trip to hell and scoot on over to the Slattern gift shop. And have another Sazerac, why don’t you?

Tuesday Satire: Confessions on the Cronk

Why would you confess when you haven’t done anything wrong — or even interesting?

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Once again, my funny friends at The Cronk of Higher Education have seen fit to share my off-kilter take on university life, this time in a short satirical article, “Online Confessions Fuel Fraternity Alumni Discontent.” There’s lots of quality satire and snark over there, so take a peek, why don’t you?

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Punchnel’s also likes to swear

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The fine and clever folks over at Punchnel’s have seen fit to post a meditative little essay of mine entitled, I Like to Swear on their excellent site. Please do drop in and have a look. There’s lots of great stuff over there, including, but not limited to, rants about the Grateful Dead, Con Chapman’s Releasing Your Inner Big Foot, fiction, poetry and reviews. The site is chockablock with great reading material. And really, wouldn’t you rather be teasing your brain with lots of top drawer writing than staring at spreadsheets, slumping disconsolately at your desk or pretending to enjoy playing Barbies with your kids?

My piece even includes an explicit language warning and the teaser, “W.S. Winslow works blue.” So in addition to being amused and perhaps a bit scandalized — and really who doesn’t enjoy the illicit frisson of a good scandalizing, especially on a Monday morning? — you can share in the satisfaction of my little exercise in pushing the limits of the First Amendment.

Post a clever comment, reblog, send it viral. Have at it ferchrissakes.

Punchnels: I Like to Swear

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