Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Washroom wonder women

The other day, my ever-fertile friend Terra and I decided to stop at the women's washroom before we left work for lunch. As we entered the washroom we realized something wasn't quite right. The person in the first stall seemed to be frantically fighting to get the stall door open.

On our floor the women's washroom has 3 stalls to choose from. As anyone who has ever been in an on-going multiple stall situation knows, over time you tend to pick your favourite stall based on the various factors I'm about to explain.

The third stall toilet has a tendency to overflow.

As a result, the walls of this stall have been covered in signage indicating the tricks to flushing this particular toilet while avoiding overflow. One sign instructs you to flush once, then wait 30 seconds and follow-up with a half flush. A second sign advises you to hold the handle down for the duration of the flush and then jiggle the handle until the water stops running. While a third sign (which I'll admit I put up just to mess with people) asks that you do two brisk half-flushes and simultaneously lift the seat up and down three times while using your foot to spin the toilet paper roll in a counter clock-wise motion. Now I'm not sure if what any of these signs suggest actually prevents overflow, but I think we can all agree that what these signs are really saying is, unless you're desperate, use another stall.

This brings us to the second stall. I've never been a fan of the second stall since, as the middle stall, it seems to lend itself to the least amount of privacy. As well, the seat of the toilet makes an odd noise when you sit down on it. And I don't know about you, but in a stall type of situation, the last thing I want is a weird noise coming from my stall's general direction.

And so, we're left with the first stall, which, up until this incident, was always my favourite. It was my favourite mainly because it didn't have the undesirable traits of the other stalls. But as we learned this day, no stall is perfect. This stall, it seems, has a faulty lock on it. So back to the story...

Terra and I knew that there was a person stuck in stall number one and it was up to us to free her.

As I approached the stall I could see one of the victim's shoes from under the door. It was a black studded Michael Kors ballet flat.

"Jasmine?" I shouted. "is that you?"

"Yes." Jasmine mumbled sheepishly. "How did you know?"

"I have those shoes," I said pleasantly, "in silver, remember?"

"Um, yeah," Jasmine pleaded, "can you help me out of here?"

"Oh. Right. How long have to been in there?".

"Since yesterday" said Terra, doing her best Jasmine impersonation. I snorted out a laugh. Of course this was all it took for Terra and I to lose focus and start yelling things like "should we call your husband at work?", "who's your next of kin?" and "don't go towards the light!".

Once we'd composed ourselves I got to work on closely inspecting the lock on the stall that had imprisoned Jasmine. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that Terra was frantically pulling huge pieces of toilet paper off the roll from the third stall and tying it in knots.

"Uh... what are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm making a rope ladder out of TP", Terra replied.

Realizing that this was likely the best plan her "rescuers" were capable of reduced Jasmine to tears and she sobbed "am I going to have to crawl out of here?".

We all looked down at the tile floor of the washroom with distain and I heard Terra throw up in her mouth a little. We knew that if Jasmine had to slink under the door with both hands and the majority of her outfit touching the superficially sanitized floor that the three of us would have that image permanently burned in our memories.

I shuddered and looked at Terra. "Do you have a credit card and a coat hanger?" I asked.

"Meghan", she sighed, "this is not the time to be thinking about shopping".

"Not for shopping. For picking the lock." I looked down at her toilet paper rope ladder and shook my head. "You'd have a better chance of saving her by throwing one of your fallopian tubes over the stall to rescue her. Now let's break her out."

Remembering that I had thrown some tweezers in my purse that morning when I had noticed that my eyebrows had taken on the distinct appearance of two hamsters super-glued to my forehead, I began to rummage through my purse until I found the tweezers, as well as a hair pin. Silently thanking the Surrey School District for adding that breaking and entering class to our ninth grade curriculum, I began my handy work on the lock.

Jasmine was still sniffling and sobbing from within the stall and Terra was covering the floor with paper towel. Clearly, neither of them had much faith in me.

"What's the paper towel for? Are you about to give birth again?" I whispered at Terra.

"No," she hissed, "this is in case she has to crawl out". The thought of this caused Jasmine to wail again and I could tell she was near hysterics.

I flicked the hair pin around and slid the tweezers between the door and the lock and the stall door magically swung open. Jasmine jumped up and down and bolted out of the stall. We all cheered and dodged hug attempts from Jasmine as we waited for her to wash her hands.

Once we had finished celebrating, we all agreed to never speak a word of this to anyone again.

Luckily no one mentioned anything about not documenting it in the form of a blog.


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Admire attire, pants on fire.

Every once in a while the universe sends you little tests. Sometimes it is a test of morality. Sometimes it is a test of loyalty. And sometimes, much like the case in story you’re about to read, it is test of survival.

I had just snuggled into bed and was drifting off to sleep, when suddenly I heard the loudest, most awful noise of my life.

What was that?

Were my retired neighbours hosting another rave with siren-themed house music? Had some of the rhinestones on my heavily be-dazzled eye shade come loose and fallen into my ear causing some sort of severe cochlea nerve impulse?

No. It was actually a fire alarm in my building.

Appreciating the seriousness of a fire alarm, I immediately did a back handspring out of bed and landed it in star formation.

My first thought (as it is in all emergency scenarios) was:

What would Miley Cyrus do?

And the obvious answer was:

Pick an outfit.

Clearly I couldn’t go outside in the tank top and pink Paul Frank shorts covered in cartoon monkey faces that I was currently sporting. So I racked my brain for the most appropriate fire emergency outfit. I did, after all, have many issues to consider. Is it cold out? Are jeans too casual? Is my new wrap sweater fire retardant?

This was proving to be a very stressful situation. I finally decided on my black Juicy hoodie, a white tank top, my favourite jeans and my white pumps with the kitten heel. I felt like the pumps were a responsible choice because the kitten heel was just high enough that my jeans wouldn’t drag on the ground, yet the heel was low enough that I could stand outside for an extended period of time and still maintain a level of shoe comfort that enabled local fire fighters to put out the blaze without being interrupted by me having to run back in to change my footwear.

With my outfit planned I was ready to move towards phase two of my fire emergency evacuation plan:

Wrangle and rescue all dependents. AKA: the cat.

In my rush to assemble an outfit I had lost track of the little guy, but I had a pretty good idea of where he would be given that the alarm bells were still screaming.

I crouched on the floor and peered under my bed to find my dear little Sugey-monster cowering in the depths. As I extended my arm to try to grab hold of a furry little leg, Suge slinked further away. After trying this several times I realized that he had crept so far away from me that he was actually closer to the edge of the other side of the bed. So I stood up and leapt over top of the bed with the skill of an Olympic hurdler. As soon as Suge saw me coming at him from this new angle he scurried back to the other side again.

Sigh. This wasn’t working.

Retrieving my pink giraffe print broom from the laundry room I began to try to flush Suge out from under the bed with some light broom nudging. This seemed to be successful until he ran out from under the bed and a foot chase ensued. He zig-zagged around me, faked me out and then shot back under the bed as though he was executing some sort of well thought out football manoeuvre. I broomed him out once again only to watch him bolt into the living room and under the couch. Still determined to rescue my fuzzy little friend, I too dove under the couch where I finally managed to grab a leg and haul him out. There were paws and claws flailing everywhere as I finally got him into his cat carrier.

It briefly crossed my mind to put Suge's bow tie on him in case the blaze was serious enough to attract the attention of a news crew, but based on the non-verbal disagreement we'd already had leading up to his capture I thought it might be best just to leave him alone.

With the alarm still wailing, I start to feel a little panicky. But as I pass the hall mirror I catch a glimpse of myself and am taken aback by the site of my well thought out fire emergency outfit covered in cat fur.

Good lord. I can’t go outside looking like this. I pause to retrieve my lint roller and remove the fur from my entire outfit, then gather up my coat, my cell phone, my purse, my keys and the cat carrier. Juggling all these items, I reach for the door knob and…

The alarm stops going off.

It’s over. And we didn’t make it out.

I freeze and press my ear against the door.

I certainly can’t go out there now. Everyone would know that I spent all that evacuation time lint rolling and playing tag with my cat.

I hear people file back into the building and grumblings of “false alarm” and “faulty system”. Then I hear the elderly lady two doors down open her door and squawk “what was that?” and someone reply loudly “it was a fire alarm” to which she responded “oh” and slammed her door shut again.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t make it out in time.

Sure, it was probably the fact that she was nearly deaf that prevented her from fleeing but I still believe there was a possibility that maybe she too had been trying to pick an outfit the whole time.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vehicular Rejection

What if your vehicle doesn't like you? Or maybe it just doesn't like your outfit? How would a car tell you this?

One possibility is what happened to my dear little cousin Jenna last week. Aside from the lack of a side mirror and the tendency to forget to wash the car, she and her 1995 Toyota Tercel had always seen eye to eye.

Until that day.

My punky and pierced protege hopped into her car for work at a Calgarian call centre dressed in an Emily Strange hoodie and some very "well loved" jeans. These jeans were in fact so well loved that, due to a lack of proper alterations, the heel of her left shoe had worn a large hole just above the hem creating a loop similar to that of the “stirrup pants” of the mid 80's.

Despite her punky-posh persona, Jenna had secretly been starring in her own car concert featuring selections from Swedish pop sensation "ABBA" during this particular drive. As she pulled into a parking stall she sang farewell to Fernando before she put her car in park and looked up at her window covered office building, wondering if the 100 or so coworkers that had desks near the windows were looking at her car at that moment.

Slinging her purse, her lunch bag and her work bag over both shoulders, Jenna had an load of baggage strewn over her comparable to what some people might take on an 8 month hiking excursion through an Arctic Tundra. Realizing that the sheer girth of her luggage was not going to make it out the car door by way of a conventional exit strategy, Jenna decided she could still manoeuvre out with a little creativity.

Jenna opened the door wide into the empty stall next to her. She swung her right leg over her left, planted her right foot on the ground and used it as a push off point to launch herself forward like a bullet in the direction of the back end of the car.

Logistically speaking, this move may have worked and kept all of her bags in tact… but let's not forget the loop at the hem of her jeans...

That's right.

Somehow, during her drive to work the loop at the bottom of her jeans had become wrapped around both the trunk release and the gas cap lever located on the floor next to the driver's door. Now imagine this combined with the momentum she used to launch herself out the door in a twisted forward motion.


There was poor Jenna flat on the pavement in front of the building with 100 other call centre employees pressing their faces against the glass. And as if her landing on the pavement in her parking stall with 3 bags in tow wasn't enough of an attention getter...

The gas cap and trunk popped open.

Oh yes. You read that right. It was as though her car spat her out like some bad-tasting tater tots and then shouted to the world "Ha! Take that!"

The extreme denim distress her jeans endured as they were being both held inside the car by the loose hem, and propelled out of the car by Jenna's exit momentum, caused her waist button to angrily pop off as if to protest the abuse.

But perhaps the worst injury was to dear little Jenna’s self-esteem.

When asked what she learned from this experience the answer was concise: Treat your car right. You never know what it’s been plotting.


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Monday, July 14, 2008

Dangers in the Workplace

The other day I was perched at my desk deeply engrossed in a search engine strategy webinar, when out of the corner of my eye I see my co-worker Val coming towards my desk.

Since Val only visits my desk when she has something cute to show me, like a picture of a chipmunk or a newspaper article about kittens, I was not prepared for the dramatic events that were about to unfold.

I swivelled around in my chair, greeting Val with a big smile, only to see that she was pointing at the floor under my chair.

Oh, I thought to myself, she's noticed my new shoes. They were, after all, the adorable dark purple kitten-heel slides that Steve Madden had mailed to me the day before.

Looking down so that I could join in on the admiration and adoration of the newest addition to my shoe family, I was startled to discover that Val was actually pointing at the world’s largest spider loitering under my chair.

Weighing in at a size similar to that of an adult ferret, it was clear to me that this was no ordinary spider. This was one of those ferret-spider hybrids genetically engineered by the government to increase the cost of fuel.

I lunged out of my chair avoiding the 3 foot radius around its base. Maintaining a safe distance, I managed to edge my thick spiral notebook off of my desk while formulating a plan.

“Stand back!” I shouted gallantly as I threw my arm in front of Val to shield her from the unpleasantness that was about to ensue.

Val shrunk against the wall behind her, frozen in a timid pose of sheer terror.

Clutching the spiral notebook with both hands, I lifted it high over my head and swung down it on top of the spider with such a momentous force that fatal arachnid injuries had surely resulted.

I carefully peeled the notebook off the floor preparing to see carnage. But instead of guts, I was faced with a live spider - and he was madder than ever.

I shrieked and reeled backward. Val cried out and started to claw at the wall in an apparent attempt to scale it.

Val and I looked at each other helplessly. Then it hit me. (An idea hit me, the spider didn’t hit me).

“You stay here and watch where it goes! I’ll be back”.

I sprinted to the staff washroom to rummage through the toiletry basket. Arriving back at my desk, Val let me know that the spider hadn’t moved. I held up a large can of hairspray and smiled.

“Hairspray?” Val asked doubtfully.

“Yes.” I replied. “I read this in a magazine once. The hairspray makes it stick to itself." I crouched back under the desk and started spraying with the fury of an 80’s hairstylist.

I could hear Val coughing as a haze of hairspray enveloped us. “Is it dead?” she shouted. I popped my head out from under the desk.

“Um… no... but it has great hair?”

It was at that point that a male coworker, who wishes to remain anonymous, finally came around the corner to see what the commotion was.

Val and I stood sheepishly in the hairspray cloud and pointed at the sticky spider wobbling drunkenly around under the desk. The male coworker, who wishes to remain anonymous, sighed and shook his head disapprovingly. He plucked a tissue from my Kleenex box and crawled under the desk, returning moments later with the spider corpse in the tissue. He shook his head again and dropped the tissue in my garbage.

“Darren!” I exclaimed.

I mean...

“Male coworker, who wishes to remain anonymous!” I exclaimed. “It’s going to come back to life and attack me if you leave it in there!”

“No. It won’t.” He rolled his eyes and walked away.

"You can't be sure unless you flush it..." I pleaded. But he was already gone.

Now, I’m no expert on spider bites… and it could have been the two cans of Tab I shot-gunned after lunch… but I felt a little off after that.

I certainly hope, for the sake of my co-workers, that I don't turn into Spiderman.

His outfit is terrible.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crazy in love

I’d like to tell you the story of how I met my life partner.

Ok… it’s actually a pair of shoes, but who’s counting?

During a trip to Vegas with my friend Christine, I spotted my glamorous golden foot-goddesses through the window of the Steve Madden store in Planet Hollywood. The good news was that at 2 am the bar inside the mall was still open, enabling me to sample many of the 24 margarita flavor combinations offered… but the bad news was that all the retail stores were closed. This meant I was left to press my face up against the display window while I vowed to both a) return the moment the store opened the next day and b) start the paperwork to petition the State of Nevada to require that all stores, especially those of the footwear vending variety, remain open 24 hours a day.

The next morning I perched next to Christine’s bed and, in an attempt to gently ease her out of her slumber, I quietly chanted “wake up, it’s Vegas outside”.

When that didn’t work I used the fire extinguisher.

On our way back to Planet Hollywood I recall making pleasant conversation with the cab driver about all the things I could wear with the shoes I was about to buy. I'm not entirely sure he spoke english, but he seemed genuinely happy for me. I can't say the same for Christine, who was more interested in angrily trying to brush the fire extinguisher powder out of her hair than listening to me.

Once inside the Steve Madden store, I made a bee-line for my golden beauties and they were even more breathtaking than I had remembered. A salesperson walked by apparently oblivious to the fact that I was clutching a display shoe and salivating, so I politely got her attention by using a wrestling technique known as “the clothesline”. Fearing that I was also well versed in the figure-four leg lock, she scurried away to find the size 6½ that I had requested. She returned from the back room with an ice pack on her face and with the news that they only had the display shoe left and that it was a 5½.

I began to hyperventilate.

I’m not sure why, but in the movies when people hyperventilate someone hands them a paper bag to breathe into. I didn’t have a paper bag handy, so I made a grab for the only other available option.

Christine’s purse.

Apparently she was still upset about the fire extinguisher incident because she jerked her purse away from me, whipped out a tube of lip gloss and brandished it at my neck as though it was some sort of make-shift prison shiv. Clearly I was alone here, so I told myself to pull it together. Maybe the 5½’s would fit?

I squished and scrunched my feet until they wedged themselves into the peep-toed, sling-backed wonders I had been dreaming about all my life... (or at least since 2 am).

I stood up and started hobbling across the store with my head held high, as though maintaining a confident demeanour would convince passers by that these shoes were made for me.

“They’re too small” Christine said dryly.

“I don’t know, they seem alright to me” I replied through clenched teeth.

“Look at your toes” she said pointing. I looked down to see my poor toes turning purple and fighting each other to escape out the peep-toe. If you listened carefully enough I think you could actually hear them screaming.

“Fine” I muttered as I kicked the shoes off. Silently cursing my parents for choosing not to bind my feet during infancy, we left the store empty handed.

Then it hit me.

Maybe if I quit my job and dedicated 12 hours a day to googling gold shoes, I would be able to find them online!

Sure enough I found them right away on the Steve Madden website. A signature was required upon delivery, and since I had found the shoes before I hastily tendered my resignation, I had them sent to the admin office I was working in at the time.

When the package arrived my coworkers all gathered around as I tore through the shipping paper. I lifted the lid and it was as if the heavens were shining down into the box. The room was filled with the sound of a thousand cherubs singing. Butterflies fluttered out of the box with rainbow confetti unfolding from their wings. I think a unicorn even galloped by and shot sparkles out of its horn.

Sigh. It was magical.

Thanks for enjoying these deep thoughts with Meghan

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Overcoming Tanorexia: An adventure in self-tanning.

Hello. I am Meghan and I am Tanorexic.
I have been consistently going to fake n’ bake since I was 17.
I know what many of you are thinking… isn’t she only 18 now? Well... I'm no mathematician, but I'll support you in that belief.
Anyway, whether it's been 6 months or 11 years, it's time to quit tanning. So let's talk about my efforts to actively transition away from my UV infused lifestyle.

Step one. Find a self-tanner.

Who knew that in 1971 when someone decided to spray-paint a crate full of midgets on the set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, they were actually foreshadowing the future of faux tans?
Which leads to my first issue.
Turning orange.
I have tried to go the self-tanner route many a time and I always seem to end up looking like I’ve been lounging around in a kiddie pool full of Tang all day. But that’s not all. Not only does it look like a bag of baby carrots has thrown up on me, but most self-tanners smell bad. Like copper.
Mmmm… copper.
I definitely want to get the scent-sensation that I’ve rubbed a handful of pennies all over myself. Gross. And not only do you start smelling like a copper wire thief at the scrap metal exchange, you may also experience...
Now don't get me wrong. I like attention as much as the next girl. But I'd suggest a tube top rather than a skin inflammation if you're looking to turn heads.
Moving right along...
So, I seem to have found a self-tanner that does not cause me to turn completely orange, doesn't smell like copper and that doesn't give me hives. This isn't a public service announcement, so I'm not going to name brands here.
Unless they want to pay me.
The only down side so far is that it did turn the palms of my hands orange. Fortunately, I was able to lessen attention to this by omitting jazz-hands from my usual rotation of gestures. I'm only making note of this for the benefit of people who mentioned that I have been noticeably "less jazzy" this week.

Step two. Notify your tanning salon that you won't be back.
This is how I pictured it in my head:
I walk through the door and the girl who works there, who of course knows me by name, exclaims: "Meghan! How long would you like to tan today?"
Meghan: "um, I'm not tanning today. I want to quit."
I watch as her prematurely aged, abnormally brown, leather-like hands freeze over the drawer of protective eye wear as she says: "What? Noooooooo... You can't do this..."
She then bursts into tears. I look into her UV damaged eyes and say: "I know. This is hard for me too". And walk away. Never to return.
This is what really happened:
I walk through the door and the girl that works there says: "Meghan, how long would you like to tan for today?"
Meghan: "um, I'm not tanning today. I want to quit."
Salon employee: "Ok, then. Don't be a stranger."
I then notice how tanned her arms look and wonder if I should just keep tanning here... and maybe even step it up...
Maybe my arms could be that tanned if I really tried...


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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Today I begin a journey. A journey in the land of Blog.

You're asking yourself why. Or maybe you're asking yourself why I assume you're even reading this. Both questions are valid.

Either way, here are some possible answers:

a) Web 2.0. Get on the bus or get run over by the bus.

b) I'm bored and don't have any new outfits to try on.

c) Blogging will sharpen my mind. The power of my thoughts will one day parallel my lightning fast ninja reflexes.

d) all of the above.

Answer? In high school it was said that "when in doubt, always pick C". I seem to recall that it was also of popular opinion that rubbing chapstick over the bar code of your scantron would cause the grading machine to automatically assign a perfect score to your test.

Let's just say that I never got 100% on that math exam, but the fact that my test papers were returned to me smelling faintly of a Dr.Pepper lip smacker was comforting all the same.

But I digress. The answer is D.

Thanks for enjoying these deep thoughts with Meghan.