Y’all, just typing the word ‘vacation’ has made me feel so much better that I think that’s just what I need. I start thinking about taking two weeks off in March and I feel like this big weight has just been lifted off my shoulders.

Who the fuck cares what I do? Maybe the dog and I just spend all our days at the park, then we come home and tell you all about the shit we saw.

Maybe I mop the kitchen floor or watch shit-loads of TV or throw eggs at the passing trains. Does it matter?

Whatever it is, it’ll be different. And lord knows I need some “different” right about now.

My Problems are Obvious

Tonight, when my co-worker drove me home, she said, “B., this isn’t my business, but I’ve got to tell you, I think you need to take a vacation, like right away. Just take two weeks and go someplace away from here and away from your family and pull yourself together. You are a mess.”

“You can tell?”

“You’re not hiding it very well.”

I’ve got no money to go any place. I’ve got no place to go. I’ve got no way to get there if I did. But I’m thinking of taking some time when I get back from Puerto Rico, anyway.

The Professor’s Bean Soup and Other Stories

The Professor served me delicious bean soup for lunch–spicy and thick. The Professor is always worried that her food is not very good, and yet, when she opens up the crock pot, it’s always something fabulous. She has a real gift for layering flavors.

She also showed me her cute ankle corsets, which she uses to keep her ankles braced and herself upright.

Now, I’m ready for a nap.

It’s a beautiful Friday and I should be enjoying it, but I have to work tomorrow, so it’s more like Thursday and a half for me today. Not that I’m complaining. Thursdays are nice in their own ways as well.

I did have a question for you engineer-y types, though, regarding the last post about Mrs. Wigglebottom. The “mmmmmrraawrrllmmmm” sound of the trucks. What’s that called? Is that the Doppler effect? I looked on wikipedia, but I’m sad to say that I still can’t quite tell if it’s the same thing or not.

I passed Physics by copying off of the Man from GM. What can I say?

Speaking of him, I talked to him the other night and he was asking about y’all. He said, “So there’s a large number of people who know me as the Man from GM? You don’t tell them embarrassing stories about me, do you?”

I had no idea the Man from GM could be embarrassed.

But, since I have nothing else to write about and I have to end this post some way, I will tell you this story about the Man from GM.

He was in my calculus class in high school. I loathed that class. There were nine of us in there–six boys and three girls. The three girls were required to sit in the front row, since “girls can’t learn math as well as boys, your brains just don’t work that way,” but really it was so that the teacher could be a big letch. Fucker.

Once we figured out that he had no interest in teaching us math and that he was really just waiting for a chance to sit at his desk and stare down our shirts, we’d often just announce, “Well, if all you’re going to do is stare at our tits, we’re leaving” and we’d wander down to the cafeteria and steal chocolate milk.

Obviously, he didn’t have a lot of control over the classroom.

And, he sucked at math. So, he’d write out these long equations that covered all six blackboards in the room and just when he’d get to the end, the Man from GM would get up, grab another piece of chalk and start correcting the errors of the teacher.

Man, that dude hated the Man from GM.

He wasn’t the only one. Our English teacher once duct taped the Man from GM into his desk and taped his desk to the floor and then taped his mouth shut. After class, she just left him there. I don’t know who cut him loose eventually; he says it was me but I doubt it. I wasn’t always very nice to him.

But anyway, here’s how the Man from GM got his job at GM.

He was a freshman in college when GM was working on the big overhaul of the Corvette and GM had invited all these baby engineers up to Michigan to start wooing them. So, all these kids are touring the facilities and the guy giving the tour asks if they want to see the new Corvette and they all say “Sure” and he takes them and shows it to them.

And, bless his heart, the Man from GM gets down under the car and starts shouting out potential problems. Then, he springs up and pops the hood and starts rifling around in the engine and asking more questions.

Can you imagine?

And the guy giving the tour is just standing there dumbfounded.

“What?” The Man from GM asks in his smart-ass annoying manner.

“You’re touching the car.” One of the other students says.

“How else am I supposed to see how it works?”

The guy giving the tour says, “I’ve shown this car to every group of students who’s come through here this semester and you’re the first kid to get under the car to take a look. When you graduate, you come work for me.”

And so he did.

Mrs. Wigglebottom’s Love for Trucks

As has been mentioned over and over, Mrs. Wigglebottom loves trucks. Pick-up trucks, semi-trucks, whatever, if it’s got a cab, she wants to climb in it.

Mrs. Wigglebottom is not a howling dog. Sure, sometimes she’ll kind of purse her lips and let out a hooh-hooh, but really, only when she’s trying to make fun of the Butcher and me. “This is what you sound like to me,” she says, “ha, ha, you funny apes.”

Mostly, she likes to bark. She likes to bark if I’m on the phone with the Professor (Rup, rup, rup–Come over right now and let me stand on you!) or when other dogs are peeing in our side yard (yack yack yack ack ack ack ack–Hey, hey, hey, don’t be peeing… shit, are you looking me? B., there’s a dog peeing right there and he’s looking at me! Look, look, aw, damn, don’t shut the door.) or when the cats need in (ooorghll–I hear the orange cat outside. Open the door for him.).

Last night, though, as I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, I could hear the semis on the interstate–mmmmmrraawrrllmmmm as they went by. Mmmmmrrraaawwrlllmmmm. They make this noise all night long, a drive-by lullaby for those of us who live along I-440.

And after a bit, I hear, softly from the floor next to me–ggggrrraaawwwlllgggg–Mrs. Wigglebottom singing along with the passing trucks.

Karin Agness is So Cute I Could Just Eat Her Up (after stewing her in my cauldron!!!!)

Before we get started, let’s just review why we here at Tiny Cat Pants love libertarians. In order of importance:

1. They give us rides home when we need them and let us see their large construction equipment.

2. They call us up and pretend not to notice that we’re crying and say things like “You need to stand up for yourself, B. Don’t let those fuckers patronize you.” in such a way that we feel like maybe we can kick a little ass.

3. They send us photos titled “Naked Under the Afghan” which still makes us laugh so hard we about can’t stand it.

4. Though they seem to be atheist, they give awesome Christmas presents, including ping pong balls and The Triplets of Belleville.

5. They’re on the side of right in the whole pitbull debate.

6. They are fun to fight with, because they have well-thought-out, though obviously usually wrong, positions.

7. They often buy us beer.

8. They threaten to beat people up for us and they mean it. Etc.

And today, one of them sent me a link to this darling little article by Karin Agness over at

Really, all you need to know about Agness for this to be funny, even without my commentary, is that she’s the president of the Network of Enlightened Women (leading me to not be able to refrain from saying that everything old is NeW again) at the University of Virginia, where ladies can go to hear talks on such ground-breaking and controversial subjects as “Sex, Lies and the Vagina Monologues” (“explaining how the Vagina Monologues has hijacked a romantic holiday with a poorly written play that is vehemently anti-male and degrading to women”) and “Taking Sex Differences Seriously” (“Examining the real biological disparities between men and women, he explains how contemporary society’s denial of sex differences has shaped the sexual revolution, fatherless families, and flawed social policy”).

This is so close to shooting fish in a barrel that I almost suspect a libertarian plot to pull me out of my doldrums by showing me that each generation will bring forth new fools who need my attention.

Just to switch topics here for a second, the Professor and I went to hear this awesome speaker whose name now utterly escapes me, who was talking about how the media constructed our ideas about feminism back in the 70s. It was amazing, and she (the speaker, not the Professor) brought up this really crucial point about how there was a real difference between the liberal feminists, who started NOW, and believed in ending blatant discrimination against women and the radical feminists who weren’t interested in having the media spotlight and who didn’t give a shit about what outsiders thought of them, but were interested in raising women’s consciousness about what it means to be a woman and how to work towards freeing themselves from oppressive gender roles–the ones who protested the Miss America pageant.

I bring this up because I think what we see with Agness is so fascinating in this historical light. These “NeW” women are clearly for some forms of equality–Agness goes to college, she writes in a public forum, she’s president of an organization–so they’ve clearly adopted and internalized some feminist goals as being appropriate goals for them to have. But they’re the goals of the liberal feminists of the 2nd wave.

And then it becomes clear that her problems with The Vagina Monologues are, in part, that Ensler’s goals are for the piece are more clearly aligned with the goals of the radical feminists of the 2nd wave. Ensler in The Vagina Monologues isn’t concerned with social justice for women; she’s concerned with consciousness raising through art.


I can’t decide if it’s good news that these conservative women who are anti-feminist assume, though, that the goals of liberal feminists of the 2nd wave are just well-established matters of fact or if it’s sad that they aren’t aware of the debt they owe to these women they now deride as having ruined society.

Anyway, onto Agness’s piece.

Let us look at the interesting nuances of the first paragraph:

While most people were celebrating or searching for love on Valentine’s Day, groups of women throughout the country decided to forego this lovely holiday to talk about their vaginas.

First, it’s obvious that Agness missed the Yahoo story about how most single people actually aren’t looking for love, but second, look how she unhooks “love” from vaginas. This is so fascinating, since it’s a commonly-held belief that one of the appropriate ways for a woman to show a man how much she loves him is to take him up inside her vagina. Flowers and candy are tools of seduction. That’s the underlying theme of Valentine’s day. Shoot, how many of you have October birthdays. Hmm. I wonder why that is? Anyway, my point is that, as long as Valentine’s Day is linked with romance and love, it will be linked with sex and as long as sex is still something girls have, it’s linked with vaginas.

But Agness has to neuter the holiday, take the fucking out of it, in order to claim it as something “pure” that the dirty,vulgar feminists ruin with all their pussy talk.

Then she goes on to do just what we talked about, making a bunch of statements about how the “good feminists” used to be.

And then, again, she does something interesting. She makes these claims about the accusations feminists made against men and then says “Now feminists have reversed the scenario, and women are exploiting themselves.” But that’s not a reversal of the scenario at all. A reversal would be for women to exploit men.

It would be interesting if she’d made this claim, because then it’d back up her earlier claim that feminists hate men. But, as it stands, she never actually talks about men or shows how she knows that feminists hate them.

But then, as I was reading, I got to the point where Agness talks about what’s going on in the play itself and suddenly I felt very bad for her. It’s right where she says

The woman in this monologue has clearly reduced herself to a body part. This is way worse than the supposed objectifying that feminists claimed men did in the 1970s. Can you imagine if a man then or today would say to a woman, “Your clitoris is you?” No, only a leftist woman can get away with saying this.

Do you see it? Maybe not.

So, let me spell it out for you. The woman in the monologue is not real. She is a character, voiced by a lot of different actors every year. It’s not always going to be a “leftist woman” who speaks those lines. But even if it was, these characters don’t carry the same weight as a real person.

Here, look at this, when she’s complaining about another piece in the Monologues.

The 24-year-old asks her to spend the night, feeds her vodka, slides into lingerie and then teaches the young girl how to play with herself.

If this is not abuse, I don’t know what is.

Still, this is not condemned in the play.

See that–“this is not condemned in the play.” Holy shit!

Y’all, clearly, she doesn’t understand art. Clearly, she thinks art is just propaganda–that it has a clear message that you are supposed to learn to adhere to. She thinks that, if something is not obviously condemned in the play then the play must be endorsing it.

The Butcher and I have this fight about what “art” is all the time. He wants some clear high-faluting definition. I say that art can be anything intentionally made by someone that causes you to pause to reconsider. And I think Ensler in this piece does that. You do pause to reconsider what is violent and what is not, what is appropriate and what is not. You pause to reconsider what you would have felt like under those circumstances.

That’s the luxury art gives you–time and space for consideration. It doesn’t matter if we think that character’s experience was moral or immoral or good or bad, because she’s just a character. Portraying her story is not an argument for behaving that way. It’s just a chance to consider what that story means to you.

Bless her heart, that Agness, who doesn’t know what art is for.

I don’t know that I’ve ever thought this before, but clearly she needs more help than feminism can give her.

–I can’t think where to add it, but Mephistophocles’s post fits in here somehow.
–Also, check out W.’s happy willingness to link cooters and Valentine’s Day.
–I alluded to man-hating lesbian feminist witch covens with my cauldron reference in the title, but then forgot to work it in. Here’s a little art to bring it all full circle. For good fun, read it out loud. I swear it’s as close as you’re going to get to having Shakespeare’s tongue in your mouth.


SCENE I A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

First Witch Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

Second Witch Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch Harpier cries ‘Tis time, ’tis time.

First Witch Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

ALL Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

ALL Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.