• DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    by Mary Beth Ellis
  • Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Random House Trade Paperbacks
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Sweet Talkin' Quote of the Week

"She's my f--king soulmate, dude."

-Alex Rodriguez, re: Madonna

Aw! That is exactly what Josh The Pilot said to the priest who married us when he asked him his thoughts about the sacrament of holy matrimony.

The f-bomb as an adjective of emphasis has very much found its way into common parlance, to the point where its original connotation has become lost, but here, in the context of Madonna, A-Rod has managed to find a way to make f--k mean what it actually does. On behalf of the English language, I say: Well done, Mr. Rod!

Therefore, this is officially my New Favorite Phrase. The versatilities are endless! It's applicable in nearly every situation in which we may find ourselves:

"Tell me, why did you support Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary?" "She's my f--king soulmate, dude."

"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? She's my f--king soulmate, dude."

"...And that's the evening news. This is Mary Beth Ellis, signing off, and remember, Cincinnati--'She's my f--king soulmate, dude.'"

society staggers forever... somewhere at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


The Sheer Awesomeness of Mass Transit 

Nick The NASA Poobah and I recently discussed piloting a bit, and due to time constraints--there were very serious discussions of barfing in microgravity to get to-- we didn't have a chance to touch on issues of modern air carriers, namely, the airlines' recent fuel price edict that multiple checked bags are subject to extra fees. U.S. Air is charging for the first checked bag.

You know who is loving this new development? Flight attendants. Because this means that every tool in America is going to cram eight weeks of clothes, his unicycle, and a portable anvil into one of those wheelie bags and try to shove it into an overhead bin. Bin Wars (open overhead, SHOVE, slam shut, watch door bounce back at ceiling) were bad enough before this went down, but now there's going to be bloodshed in the exit aisle.

And United charges a hundred bucks if your bag is over a certain weight. I found this out the horrible way en route to grading the Great Stack; the gate agent informed me that the bag was ten pounds too heavy, then wanted to know if I wished to rectify the situation with check, cash or credit card.

Ninety-five percent of the time, in that situation, I would back away quietly and collapse into a blonde little ball of inertness. But this was Great Stack Time, not vacation, which meant I had entered the airport pre-pissed, pissed enough to push me to the five percent of my personality in which I actually don't bow my head and thank the deli clerk for the slimy, incorrectly sliced pile of turkey in my hand.

I dropped my carry-on, unslung my purse, and placed my hands on my hips. "You," I said, "have got to be kidding me."

We had a five second eye-contact standoff while the check-in line built behind me. He broke first. "Go ahead," he said, waving me to the security line. "For you, just this once." It was a hollow victory; I'd pre-fussed my way out of a hundred dollar surcharge, but I'd also possibly angered The Envelope, and nobody wants that.

And then there's the pending humiliation of those who might find themselves kicked off of flights due to obesity. Holy crap, we've been dignity-stripped enough at the airport. I have to go unwatered into the terminal and put my socks in contact with the airport floor (People who fly in flip-flops? You are another post entirely.) I cannot imagine waving, or being waved, into the Fatty McFatser Rejection Chute, turboloaded wheely carry-on bouncing merrily behind.

This is already happening at Busch Gardens; signs near the coasters, both of the sane and "Oh hell no" variety, gently suggested that "guests with chest measurements greater than 54 inches may not safely experience this attraction." Fine. However, there's this mock-up of the coaster seat at the front of the line, which in and of itself isn't a bad idea... but then it's raised like a vomity throne above the general populace, affixed to a platform so that that one & all may ascertain the BMI of their fellow guests. I should have taken a picture, and nailed it to my fridge, and hunkered down for the pending lawsuit.

candy anyway at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


High as a Flag on the Fourth of July

If you're breathing free air this moment, then follow the lead of Abigail Adams and thank a Founding Father today.  And his horse.


90 Degrees

This Monday I did something which is entirely new to my adult existence: I looked at an amusement park ride, and I said "No, thank you." I stayed right there on the ground. I could not imagine why anybody would want to subject themselves to this thing. It hung the people in the front row straight down, and then dropped them 205 feet at seventy miles an hour. I can do multiple inversions and power hills and hypercoasters, but this business of the straight down... in the words of one woman I walked past as she watched the coaster do its 90 degree thing, "Oh hell no."

I turned to Carah The BFFE for confirmation on the matter, but she didn't answer. You know why? She wasn't there. She couldn't come to Busch Gardens, because she couldn't ride even any of the non-insane rides, because she was four and a half months pregnant. Not old! New day.

Then I started noticing non-young-person reactions to other rides, like the Escape from Pompeii. I wouldn't call myself an overly sensitive person, and maybe it's the vestigial archivist in me who flinches when humanity is removed from history, but... I... really? A theme park attraction based on the deaths of 20,000 people from toxic volcanic ash? Sign me up! And then I want a ride on the Flaming Hindenburg!

you'll shoot your eye out at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com



When I exited the ladies' room in Germany on my way to Scotland (you can do this, at Busch Gardens), I found Josh The Pilot contemplating this fountain, which initially caught our attention because it includes full-on public metal nipples, no bra or nothin'. I'll say this for Europe: They're OK with nipples over there, and I am OK with the OKness, because they're very artsy about it. What I have a problem with is American nipples, because often they're featured on Paris Hilton, and otherwise not respectfully presented. But cast 'em in bronze and stick a seal projectile vomiting water underneath 'em, and I am perfectly fine with the nipples.

So we made our way to Scotland, and my husband said, "That fountain reminds me of you."

"Be... cause I like to stand next to ice cream?"

"No, I mean the shape of her body is like yours, especially by the hips. See?"

You can find a rich man, or a tall man, or a man who can soulfully play the guitar, or you can find a man who looks at a sun-splashed moment of art and sees his very flawed wife in the graceful curves.

chose correctly at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com