The Lonely Broken Road That Led You Straight To Me

Google-search

I’ve surpassed 2,000 followers. That’s like the population of a Manhattan apartment building! And judging by the search engine terms that brought you to my site, you guys are even edgier and more eclectic. Here are the strangest of the search terms, excluding the ones that are too strange (disturbing) to publicize. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Mouth pedicure slave: I think the phrase you’re searching for, sir, is dental hygienist.

Guy doing pedicures + slave: Now, is the guy ALSO a slave, or do you want a male to do your pedicure BESIDE your slave? Weirdo.

Stripper body odor: You’re into some strange stuff.

Adult bathing in a bucket: REALLY strange stuff.

Sexy elephant: REALLY, REALLY strange stuff.

Female without clothing: What an articulate and precise way to search for porn.

Order strippers to the Waldorf Astoria: Sounds like one classy bachelor party. Hopefully you figured out the whole stripper body odor dilemma.

What to do with my beauty: I suggest you use it for good, not for evil.

I knew I shouldn’t have shown off on the dance floor: Why?? What happened???

How to be fat and look good in a one-piece: I might be able to help you figure out the first part. The solution to the second part still eludes me.

Pee in the ocean today?: Eh, I don’t feel like it today. Maybe tomorrow.

Abandoned Warehouse: Hopefully you’re a contractor searching for a place to renovate into lofts, and not a serial killer looking for a place to dump bodies.

If buying a vibrator from Groupon, will it be in discrete packaging: Groupon will be discrete. I will not. You are outed, you fiscal pleasure seeker!

Count Munch and the Wicked Witch: What the hell kind of fairytales are you reading, and where can we find them?

Terrifying feathered dinosaurs: Yes! “Bird” is a euphemism. This is accurate.

Celebrities doing chores: I, too, would like to see this.

No pants subway ride tighty whities: Sounds like you were ready for some interesting images. I fear I disappointed you.

Authentic brawd: I’m flattered that I was the result of this search term. So flattered, maybe it’ll be the title of my next book!

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For you longtime followers, allow me to draw your attention to an added tab on the site: my Merchandise Shop! Here you’ll find T’s and mugs with quotes from my book. If you have a quote you’d like made into an item, feel free to submit a request!

Finding Myself On Buzzfeed

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We’ve learned so much in 2014. We learned that Russia has a city that sounds like the name of a blonde telepathic waitress and vampire lover. We learned that Patrick Stewart is gay, and then we learned he isn’t. We learned that Ron and Hermione need marriage counseling, and we’re heartbroken about it. We learned that Alec Baldwin has feelings too. But most importantly, we’ve learned about ourselves.

Take me, for example. Before 2014, I never knew I should live in West Virginia, or that if I were reincarnated as a dog, I’d be a Corgi. I never knew if I fell asleep and woke up in King’s Landing, it would be as Arya Stark. These are critical, life-altering lessons that deserve to be shared with my 508 Facebook friends, both so that they can see me for who I truly am, and so they have the opportunity to become acquainted with themselves for the very first time. The shadowy corners of my identity that before were dark, are now lit with blinding fluorescent bulbs.

Remember back when there was no clear way to determine which member of Destiny’s Child you are? (I might have Beyonce’s booty, but I have Kelly’s quiet sparkle. So, who am I? Keyonce? Belly??) Remember when you spent hours wracking your brain over which European city you should live in? When you wondered which Thanksgiving fixing best represents the essence of you? (Cranberry sauce?? Am I cranberry sauce??) Remember when nobody could tell if you most closely resemble Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, Joey or–god forbid– Gunther?

Maybe you don’t remember. Maybe you’ve repressed the chilling realities of before Buzzfeed. Allow me to reminisce. Before, when we were met with existential questions like, “What Muppet are you?”, we couldn’t simply choose a song, a facial expression, a board game, a pizza topping, a baby’s face, and click! Answer: You’re Animal. And all doubts were quelled. No, we struggled. We conducted surveys. We receded into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. We fasted. We meditated. We climbed mountains and sought counsel with monks. It was the only choice we had. Do you think Gandhi knew which Charlie Chaplin character he was? No. He could wager a guess, ask his friends, but he’d never know for sure. You could never know for sure.

But now we know. All Buzzfeed needs are a few significant bits of information– your favorite movie, fast food joint, word, color, and weekend activity– and it can see through the screen and into your heart. It takes your uncertainty into its omniscient arms and whispers: Don’t worry, you’d win the Hunger Games.

The difficulties of self-discovery are over. You find yourself on Buzzfeed.

Now that I am equipped with this new insight, I can more accurately and more confidently enter into situations. I know that since I’m a Corgi, I couldn’t take a German Shepherd on my own, but would be fine with the help of my direwolf, although things are awkward with him since the pet I should REALLY have is a monkey, which might be a problem since I should be moving to London to be an athlete. But who am I to question the great all-powerful Buzzfeed? I’m going to be an athlete!

Here I come, Sookie!

Alena Dillon is the author of the humor collection I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean.

Satirical Commercial for Drug Now Known As Flaccidone

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Erectile dysfunction is no joke. The commercials for its treatment, however, are:

You’ve reached the age when you know a thing or two. You know how to be a silver fox. Just look at you. You’re wearing a fleece, so it must be chilly out, yet somehow your skin is tanned. And your pearly white teeth match your hair. Was that intentional? It doesn’t matter—it works. You know how to stare off at the horizon, and look damn good doing it. You know how to stand in front of the Washington Monument, and now the Eiffel Tower, and now the Space Needle, and now the Old Faithful Geyser. You, obviously, know how to travel fast. You know how to wield a variety of power tools: drill, grinder, and that buzzing chainsaw. You know how to hold that baseball bat by your waist. What you don’t know, is how to get an erection.

Is it because your wife doesn’t look like she used to? Or is she just not trying anymore? Is your own biology to blame? Hard to say. What isn’t hard, is you.

Flaccidone is here to help. It’ll help you rise above Mount O-limp-us. It’ll help your Willy Wonk her. It’ll give your floppy some drive.

Five out of six doctors deny ever needing to take Flaccidone, but that’s because two out of six doctors are women, two out of six doctors are below the age of fifty, and one out of six doctors are liars.

Do not take Flaccidone if you take any other medication or if you expect you might have surgery in the next decade. Do not take Flaccidone if you’ve ever had a headache. Do not take Flaccidone if you are over the age of 85, because that’s just gross, or if you were born during any month with fewer than 31 days. Do not take it if you didn’t get at least seven hours of restful sleep the night before.

If your erection persists for more than four hours, my god, roll over and seek medical attention. But three and a half hours is normal. If one of your fantasies includes lasting through the entirety of James Cameron’s Titanic, this is good news for you (bad news for her). But if you have errands to run, you might find yourself between a rock and your hard place.

Common side effects include nausea, loss of vision, fatigue, heart attack, flatulence, breast growth, divorce, Benjamin Button syndrome, pant ripping, creepiness, and death—but you’re old and probably about to die anyway. Could there be a better way to go?

(Flaccidone is endorsed by Shawn Konnery, Jack Nickelson, Bobby Dinero, and, obviously, Clint Westwood.)

Valentine’s Day Book Giveaway!

This Valentine’s Day, cupid will load his bow with a signed copy of I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean and aim it at some lucky reader out there.

3D-layout1The humor collection was called, “Fiercely entertaining. A fun and funny read with heart and smarts,” by author Regina Barreca, and, “As funny as a joke you’re hearing for the second time,” by my mom.

How can you get yourself into that naked baby’s scope? Just follow these steps:

1) Share this Amazon link on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, or Instagram.

2) Comment on this post with how many places you shared, and I’ll submit you into the drawing with that many entries. (If you’ve read the book, review it on Amazon/Goodreads for additional entries!)

3) On noon on Valentine’s Day (this Friday, for you forgetful boyfriends out there) I’ll contact the winner for his/her address.

So, who want’s to be my Valentine??

…..

Anyone?

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The 10 Best Valentine’s Day Ideas To Lower Expectations For Next Year

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Have you found the one? Or at least the one for now? Then you must recognize your worst enemy this Valentine’s Day: Hope.

Hope is that glimmer in your girl’s eye when she sees a deliveryman appear in her office doorway with two dozen long stemmed roses and for a second thinks they could be for her, when really they’re for her coworker—the coworker whose fiancé hid a pearl engagement ring inside an actual oyster and proposed to her while they were scuba diving (when she accepted, her entire family floated up from behind a nearby coral reef). Hope is when a package arrives on the morning of February 14th and instead of finding that scarf whose website page she emailed you, and then printed out and taped to the fridge, she opens the next razor in your Dollar Shave Club subscription. Hope is the Spring in her step. But on February 15th, you’ll know Winter is coming.

Maybe you’re planning a little something. But know this: Russell Stover will only show your sweetie that life is like a box of chocolates—sometimes you pay more for something than it’s actually worth. Instead of letting her endure years of lackluster romantic gestures—the generic card, candy hearts, or yet another stuffed teddy bear—don’t gesture at all. Cross your arms over your chest. Stomp your foot from the start—all over her dreams.

If you are with someone you even remotely suspect you might still be with next Valentine’s Day, go ahead and arrange a bad date. Hurt her feelings. Maybe even outright insult her. The prudent Romeo plans ahead so that next year, the love of your life will anticipate nothing, and therefore won’t be disappointed.

Here are some awful Valentine’s Day ideas to inspire you:

1)     Sit down with a lawyer to prepare your living wills.  Till death do you part? Maybe sooner rather than later.

2)     Drill her expectations into submission with a couple’s dentist appointment.

3)     Go see 47 Ronin. It has a startlingly low Rotten Tomatoes rating—even for a Keanu Reeves movie.

4)     Swap gifts with the requirement that they have to be items found in your junk drawer.

5)     Over a glass of box wine, stare into each other’s eyes and share your best Valentine’s Day experience shared with a former partner.

6)     Light some candles and listen to Kevin Federline’s greatest hits. Perk: They’re all on one album. Because he only had one album.

7)     Present her with a slew of whatever scares her so that she may overcome her fears. Snakes? Ravens? Guns? The latter would be especially handy because you’d get to use the expression, “Stare down the barrel of a gun” literally, for what will most likely be the only time in your life—because you might spend the rest of it in jail.

8)     Slap a bow on your neighbor’s Mercedes and tell your girlfriend it’s your gift to her. Let her believe it for at least thirty minutes.

9)     Take in all of her pant waist’s by about one inch.

10)   Plan a beautiful evening—for your mother.

Despite what Hallmark and Patrick Dempsey movies would have us believe, Valentine’s Day is an inorganic, saccharine holiday that only sets us up for failure. So, if you’re going to fail anyway, why not fail like a champ?

Stomping My Ego: And Other Favorite Pastimes Of A Certain Bookstore Owner

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The bookstore was an unchartered trove of literature, old and new. From classics to contemporary picks, books were piled on tables, filed in a maze of shelves, and stuffed into enough nooks and crannies to humble the good people at Thomas’s English Muffins.

The ceilings were low– or maybe not. Maybe the aisles were so narrow and the lighting so deliciously dim it just gave the appearance of low ceilings. In any case, it provided this independent gem with the illusion that you had to stoop down and study its spread. Like a literary hobbit hole– in a good way. It was a space so intimate you couldn’t simply walk across it. You had to amble. Drift. Stroll. There were several hundred books in their collection. Some tattered, some gleaming. Some ragged, some whose covers had not yet been cracked. But all of them riches, just waiting for me, you, the reader, to excavate.

This was my first sales call. I hoped that since, “WE BUY BOOKS” flashed in big red letters on their website, they might consider buying one or two copies of mine. But I had brought four, just in case.

The woman at the front desk wore orange eyeshadow that matched her curly orange hair. It’s shade was vibrant enough to be named after that quality. Something like, “Bold!” Or maybe, “Orange You Glad I’m Orange, Orange.”

How spunky, I thought. I flashed her a winning smile and my book cover, and she smiled back and called for the owner.

Things are going my way, I thought.

I surveyed their nonfiction titles while I waited. Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell and David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed In Flames were displayed at the front of the table.

Imagine if I’m grouped between those two bestsellers? My book will hobnob it with the leading funny men of  irreverent titles. And you know what? Maybe, just maybe, it can hold its own.

The owner emerged from the back. He was tall and slim and wore perfectly round glasses with wire frames. He looked like a librarian or an academic. A bibliophile in his natural habitat.

I swallowed down a dry heave and rattled off a brief pitch. “I’m an author in the area for the weekend yadda yadda… My book came out in September yadda yadda… Collection of humor essays yadda yadda yadda.”

I pulled a copy of I Thought We Agreed to Pee in the Ocean from my purse and presented it, my greatest achievement, to this fellow lover of words. He accepted it with both hands and peered at the cover from over his glasses.

His nose wrinkled. He held the book out as far from his body as his arms would allow. He smacked his lips together the way you might after waking from a nap to find a horribly sour taste in your mouth. He shook his head. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The man would not stop shaking his head.

Before he said a word, it was painfully clear: not only would he not buy my book, he would not abide my book. But then he did say a word. One word, over and over again.

“No,” he said, and continued to shake his head. “No, no, no, no, no.”

I don’t know what it was about my book cover that he so adamantly objected to that a single “No,” wouldn’t have sufficed. The female figure crossing her legs? The word “pee”? Whatever it was, it caused this man an endless amount of disappointment and disgust. It was an insult to his predilection, his profession, and his very existence.

“No, no, no,” he said, and thrust the book back at me.

I thought of how, while packing, I’d turned to Phil and said, “How many copies of my book should I bring? Two? Three? Three is probably good. You know what, I better bring four.” I thought about how I’d carefully wrapped the copies in thick paper and stored them in my suitcase. I thought about how I’d dragged them across five states, only to arrive at this very moment.

I needed to get the hell out of that store. A store that felt like a literary hobbit hole– and not in a good way.

This place resembled a book lover’s indigestion. It was a space so stuffed with garbage, it would curl a hoarder’s lip. It was a dusty cave carved into civilization, and then stuffed with that civilization’s crap. It was a bad neighborhood’s tag sale, held in the basement of the shadiest guy on the block.

I needed to get away from the store owner that looked like a cornstalk after midnight and his assistant who was made up for a 1980′s prom.

“I totally get it,” I said to the owner, as if all along I’d expected him to despise the very notion of my publication. I shoved my book back in my purse beside its three equally revolting siblings and rushed out.

I’m not embarrassed to say that my eyes watered because, after that encounter, I’m not embarrassed of very much.

But the tears soon receded. It was a blue skyed afternoon. A 50 degree day in the middle of January. It was so warm, I unbuttoned my peacoat.

Hey, I thought. At least I didn’t pack five books.

On Losing My Starbucks Gold Card Status

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The news was delivered over email. Not face to face, or even by phone. Over email. They may as well have texted.

Starbucks demoted my Gold Card to a Green Badge.

I’d been a Gold Card Member for nearly five years. It saw me through my Master’s thesis, the writing of three manuscripts, and the release of my first book. It was in my wallet when my fiancee (now husband) proposed, and when we asked our limo driver to stop for a venti pike coffee on the way from the church to the wedding reception hall. (My guests wouldn’t have been surprised if I gripped the Starbucks cardboard cup as I walked down the aisle, rather than a peony bouquet.)

We grind Starbucks beans for home brewing. I suggest Starbucks runs when we’re away, and my web browser suggests Starbucks.com when I type “St”. (Sorry, Stubhub.)

But five years of commitment and devotion means about as much to Starbucks as it does to Timbaland’s wife.

They lowered me to the Green level two months ago, and took the stars I’d earned toward a free beverage or food item with them (I should have signed a prenup). I don’t know how many stars I had; I didn’t get to say goodbye. I submitted a customer service email in which I demanded the return of my stars, but it has so far been unanswered– the silent thieves.

The one thing they didn’t take from my trembling over-caffeinated hands is my physical gold card which, like a nouveau-broke who still wears family furs, I’ve used to disguise this recent demerit in social status. It still swipes. It still sparkles beside my driver’s license. But that just goes to show you: all that glitters is not gold.

Being degraded to the green level means, not only can’t I earn free items, but I also no longer receive special offers.

Last week, my coworker said, “Oh, look. Half-off espresso beverages now through Sunday.”

And across the office, my boss chirped, “Yup, I just got that too!”

I clicked to my inbox. Empty. “Weird,” I said. “I didn’t receive that coupon.”

“Huh. That’s odd,” my boss said. “Don’t worry, I’ll forward it to you.”

I approached the barista, carrying the forwarded coupon offer. “Grande skim latte, please.”

The barista punched in the order, and then extended his hand for the coupon and my gold card. He typed the code into the register and swiped the card. His forehead furrowed. He retyped the code and swiped my card again. His lips pursed. He retyped the code and–

“There might be a reason it isn’t working,” I said in a burst, unable to watch him struggle with my worthless gold card a third time. “Just charge me full price.”

Now when my coworkers announce their deals, I echo their delight, although my inbox is empty. I’m ashamed to admit I’m now a class below, that I’m a pauper dressed as a Starbucks princess.

My family used to call me a coffee snob. They would mock me in the morning as I brewed a separate pot of coffee in addition to the already steaming pot of Folgers. “I can’t drink that coffee,” they said in a sneer, because apparently cafe aficionados have high-pitched and whiney voices. “It isn’t freshly ground. And it isn’t my beloved Starbucks.”

Now they don’t say anything. They watch me grind my beans, their heads tilted in sympathy. And when I catch them staring, they avert their eyes.

They know it and I know it: I am a fraud. I’m no coffee connoisseur or Starbucks savant. Without my gold card status, I don’t know who I am anymore.

But Starbucks is quick to tell me. I’m a greenhorn. No, a Green Badge. When once I was java royalty, now I have the esteem and inexperience of a Girl Scout.

Anybody want a Peanut Butter Patty?