The Great Peeps Wars

Happy day after Christmas! Did anyone get Peeps in their stocking this year? You know the ones–the sticky yellow marshmallow chicks covered in so much sugar that they crunch? Usually they come six to a pack. When I was a kid, I loved them. Now I just see them as a major trip to the dentist.

Anyhow, a few years ago, Mom discovered “Peeps wars.” She found them hilarious, and of course, being Mom, she wanted all her friends to know about them.

First, this is how Peeps wars happen: you buy a package of Peeps, then separate them into pairs. Put each pair on a paper plate; the Peeps should face each other, and have a distance of at least one to one-and-a-half inches between them. Next, you “arm” each Peep with a toothpick. Put them in the microwave for a minute or so. The “war” ends when one Peep successfully stabs the other. At this point, laugh your head off, and either eat them (ick) or toss them.

Mom thought that this was so funny that she wanted her friends to have the opportunity to play “Peeps wars,” too. So she packaged up the Peeps two by two with two toothpicks enclosed in a ziplock bag, and passed them out to her friends. Some of them must have thought she was off her rocker–until they actually staged and completed the Peeps wars.

Fads come and go, but her friends still talk about the time they had warring Peeps in their microwaves. Try it and see for yourself–it’s what the Crankee Yankee and I call “savage amusement.”

May the Force be with you.

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

I think that we all have seen or known of at least one certifiably crazy person in our lives. If we are lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view), there may be more of them. So what defines “crazy?”

I’ll tell you this–if you have a ton of money, your kind of crazy is re-labeled as “eccentric.” Eccentric people may do things like leave 2 trillion dollars to their cat, Ponce de Leon Fluffington the First. Eccentric people may fill their 20 million dollar outside pool with raspberry jello just for the fun of it. They may also invite 2,000 total strangers to a mystery boat cruise, and end the evening by setting the ship on fire, forcing all to jump over the side, where several rescue boats have quietly gathered. That’s the fun of being eccentric.

But if you’re poor and do crazy things, you’re just, well–crazy. You may not be able to afford the kind of big show the eccentric can put on, but you can still do stuff that’s bat crap crazy. Some examples I’ve heard about are these:

  • A man fell in love with a woman who was already engaged. He showed up at their apartment (yup, she and her fiance were already living together), ring in hand, begging her to leave her intended and marry him instead. She listened politely (the fiance even left the room to let them have their moment), thanked him for his offer and kindly turned him down. Big surprise.
  • Just this past weekend, two tourists walked downtown in the little (and quite conservative) town in which I grew up on Lake Winnipesaukee. Which would have been just fine if they hadn’t been wearing thong bathing suits. Yep, I mean jiggling bum cheeks hanging right out there out in the wind. While this would not be a big deal on the Riviera or Malibu, it would brand you forever as a social pariah in NH. (But if you’re a tourist, it doesn’t count; you can just take your bum cheeks back home.)
  • I used to work with a woman in TX who had a few “out there” friends. One of them was, to put it kindly, nuttier than squirrel poo. She had a cat who had had a gum disease, causing it to have to have a number of teeth removed by the vet. The cat managed quite well with its remaining teeth, but the owner (Squirrel Poo) felt that the cat would look better with–wait for it–false teeth. I wish I were kidding about this. The good news is that the vet flatly refused to do it. The bad news is that the owner couldn’t see a thing wrong with asking.
  • When I was in college in the early ’70s, the hippie movement was still alive and well. Although I majored in English, I sang in several choirs, so I was friends with a lot of music majors. A few people I knew got married and had children. It being the “summer of love,” some couples really got into the movement and came up with some unusual names for their offspring. The one that still sticks in my mind is “Wolf Starblanket,” I kid you not. I have to wonder how that child made it through grade school, never mind LIFE, with a handle like that.

So there you have it, and call it what you will. You can be “nutty” or “crazy” or “loony” or “barking mad,” as the Brits say. But in my way of thinking, as long as someone else’s crazy doesn’t spill over on me, and they’re not armed, just walk away. Let them go on the Crazy Train without me. Heaven knows there’s plenty of company for them!


The Flamingo Enclosure

The Crankee Yankee has a wide streak of whimsey which manifests itself in our front yard raised bed gardens. He’s a pretty practical guy, but he does wax whimsical now and then, and has chosen our gardens as the “county seat” of his whimsicality.

Each bed has a beautiful wooden rail around each side, and in between the beds are stone walkways. Then he added polar lights at every corner of each bed. Very pretty, especially at night. In the one bed stands our faithful old garden gnome, Uncle Winkelbaum. Two beds over is a black and white resin cat, named “KitKat,” who presides over the cucumbers and zucchinis.

And then there are the four pink plastic flamingos, Lucy and Ricky, and Fred and Ethel. The Crankee Yankee built a wire pea fence (if you’ve never grown peas, they climb straight up, so you’d better be prepared with something for them to climb up on) on three sides, then put a half-size wire fence at the opening. Then he moved Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel into the middle of the fence, making it look like we now have a flamingo reserve. It was actually just a one-off; that is, just for an overnight double-take for people passing by. I’m guessing our neighbors either get a kick out of us or are ready to call the funny farm any day now.

Now that we had had our fun, we planted all the pea seeds in the ground (sugar snaps mainly), and the Crankee Yankee put the half-fence up so that the “pea plot” is now fenced in. I’m sure that any gardener reading this will be saying, “Idiots! You can’t plant peas this late; you should have planted them in JUNE!”

Well, you gardeners are probably right. But we, being the eternal hopefuls and rank garden rookies that we are, will take that chance and see what happens. I had suggested to the Crankee Yankee that we plant the peas in a big spiral. When he asked me why, I told him that I wanted to do it “for the good of the planet.” He scratched his head and asked how planting peas in a big spiral could possibly do our planet any good.

I replied (wait for it): “Because then we would have WHIRLED PEAS (world peace)!”

Peas on earth, folks!


The Minion Button and Other Tomfoolery

If you have seen the movie Despicable Me (1 and or 2), you will know about the strange-speaking little yellow creatures wearing miniature overalls and safety glasses called minions. I have seen both movies and have laughed my head off–mainly because of the minions. Like the old Alvin and the Chipmunks, the voices are sped up so that they sound hilarious. I’ve gotten so that no matter how bad a day I am having, just hearing minion voices crack me up.

Knowing my weakness, a few weeks ago the Crankee Yankee kindly brought home two toy minions, Bob and Stuart, which I am looking at right now because they sit on my speakers. But the other day he also brought home a big button that when pushed, squeals out any number of funny phrases and sounds from–you guessed it–the minions. Once I could stop laughing, I told him that this was almost as good as receiving jewelry AND it made me laugh.

Now we are just waiting for the next 800 call to come so that we can answer it with the minion button. Political surveys, robo calls, pollsters, telemarketers, police and fireman asking for donations–we plan to be equal opportunity jerks. I won’t lie–I am dying for that *phone to ring!

Now, the minion button is only ONE of things I find hilarious. Others are:

  • Eddie Izzard, British comic supreme
  • The Muppets (most especially the Swedish Chef)
  • Whoopee cushions (classic!)
  • The Fried Chicken Skin song, by Tom Faulkner
  • Monty Python
  • Fake puke
  • “Ah-OOOO-gah” horns
  • Anyone (but me, of course) getting a pie in the face or slipping on a banana peel
  • Bright pink plastic flamingos (we have four of them in our garden; Lucy and Ricky, and Fred and Ethel)
  • Nathan Lane – I swear, that man could read the phone book out loud and be funny
  • Grumpy Cat
  • Funny car races
  • Penguins
  • The “what if cats developed thumbs?” commercial

I say that, no matter how old you are, funny is funny, and it’s good for you.

And seriously, you just cannot be in a bad mood if you have a minion button.

*UPDATE: Since I began writing this post, we have had three 800 calls to come in. The Crankee Yankee has answered them all–with the minion button. I wish I could see the reaction on the other end!