Archive for the 'ay Dios mio' Category

Come for a visit, I swear I won’t pee on you! (Can’t make any promises about my neighbors, though.)

So, you know how most households have a junk drawer?  Well, this household has a junk-guest bedroom/office; it’s basically a 10’ X 10’ space full of random crap PLUS two years worth of items that had just been set there for a second.  Stuff that then decided to pop itself some popcorn, pull up a chair, kick up its feet, and hunker down to watch all the back episodes of Friday Night Lights.  Whenever we host a dinner party, we just gather up all the unsightly crap from the front rooms of the house (ie: stacks of unopened mail, The Brit’s laptop bag, any coats we couldn’t be bothered to hang up), throw it in a corner of that room, and close the door.  All gone!  Kick ball change aaaand jazz hands!!  Heaven forbid anyone actually spend the night; in that case we send our guests in with a clean set of sheets, a description of what the queen-sized guest bed looked like when it was last spotted, and fingers crossed for good luck.

Apparently, this propensity for stacking and storing is not a new habit.  We used to do it at the house we lived in before this one, such that, when it came time to move, we had piles of crap sitting around and our only recourse was to put those piles, as is, into boxes and move them with us.  THOSE boxes, still unpacked, were in the guest bedroom/office/junk-room closet.  Which made that whole room kind of like a Russian nesting doll of crap…a matryoshka of random items, if you will.  One look inside that room and any sane person would have thought we lived by the old adage:  Never get involved in a land war in Asia, never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never throw anything away.  I mean, shit, there might be something important in there and, furthermore, you never know when you’re going to need to cross-reference that scrapbook from 1992 (mine).  Or refer to that paystub from 2003 (mine).  Or…[wait for it]…zone out to the cassette-tape of Tim Wheater’s flute stylings (The Brit’s).

I walked in there the other day to mine for missing dishes and came to the cold, hard realization that we were one stuffed animal collection away from becoming the subject of a Dateline special on hoarders.  And since I haven’t started work yet, I made it my next home improvement project.  Little did I know it would lead to an archeological dig of mythical proportions…the sheer volume of things uncovered was appalling and probably met the criteria for consideration in the Guinness World Record.  Everything from the W-2 forms from my waitressing job in college to just about every patient list I ever printed out in my seven years of residency was in there, all mixed in with random and highly regrettable photographic evidence of some of the more ill-advised fashion decisions of my past.  So, there was a considerable need for some paper shredding is what I’m saying.

I shredded like a banshee, or at least how I imagine a banshee would if she were to engage in such a mundane task.  Before I knew it, I’d shredded my way into shallow papery grave.  Things started to go dark and quiet…peaceful; just like they all say it does right before the end.  But then I was overcome with the will to live (in other words, I got hungry) and clawed myself out by following the light from the window and the smell of carnitas from the taqueria behind our house.  After a snack break, I crammed all the paper shreddings into 5 full sized garbage bags and stacked them in the hallway for later composting.

After the paper was dealt with, I redirected my attention to purging the room of items that we were never likely to use but that someone else might enjoy.  Knick knacks, picture frames, clothes, movie posters, etc, etc, etc.

Now, I live in the kind of neighborhood where setting things outside the front door automatically means that it’s free to take.  True story:  The Brit and I were unloading stuff we’d bought from Costco one day and we’d used a huge package of toilet paper we’d just purchased to prop the front gate open to make the task easier.  We came outside to unload some more stuff from the trunk of the car to find a guy eyeing the toilet paper like it was a filet mignon in lobster sauce over a bed of sautéed spinach.  He bent down, presumably  to pick it up, when The Brit said, “uh…that’s ours.”   He looked at The Brit and said, cynically,  “I don’t believe you.”   A few more words were exchanged, a receipt (proof!) was brandished, and the gentleman was sent on his way.  We should have given him a roll for the road; he looked like he could use a quilted, double-plied wipe or two.

Anyway, I also live in the kind of neighborhood where every corner is The People’s Urinal.  So, I figured I’d set all of our extra, unneeded crap outside our front gate and it would either get peed on or taken.  Or both.  Sure enough, within minutes, the contents of the cardboard box I’d set out were as stripped as a carcass left out on the salty pans of Namibia.

I love my neighborhood.   Just think:  right about now, someone, somewhere in my barrio is rocking out to Tim Wheater while someone else is hanging up a urine-soaked Chicago movie poster on their wall.  And I can finally see my guest bedroom floor!  Win win!!


I take that back, the last line was the one for the bathroom & trust me when I say there was AT LEAST a liter in there.

So, because getting a misdemeanor is generally frowned upon by the medical board and my mother, I went to the DMV almost immediately after landing back in SF to deal with this driver’s license renewal business.  I drove myself simply because I wanted to see precisely how hard I could slap Fate across the face before she bitch-slapped me back.  For a good portion of the drive, there was a police car two vehicles behind me but since pedestrians refrained from flailing onto my hood melodramatically and one way traffic decided to flow in the same direction I was traveling, I avoided getting pulled over.  One can’t always depend on such favorable driving conditions!

Now, I was going in without an appointment, which I know is inadvisable.  Also, I was about five days out from the use of my straightening iron and my epidermis was sloughing off in large, flaky sheets after the same number of days spent under the Maui sun.  I like to call it my Braised Tina Turner Look.  So, as far as bargaining chips went, I wasn’t going to be able to use my looks.  I’d have to be charming.  A trying task when one is molting.

I walked in and was immediately relegated to a line 15 people deep.  That line was to determine which line I would stand in after that.  This was to be an exercise in patience and urinary bladder capacitance.  Free tip:  don’t drink coffee before going to the DMV without an appointment.

When I got to the front of that first line, I was greeted by a DMV employee sitting behind a desk.  Truth be told, to say I was “greeted” would be generous; there was an incomprehensible grunt projected in my general direction.  Put that together with the fact that she possessed two eyeballs and did appear to twitch on occasion and she scored about a 7 on the Glascow Coma Scale.   In a trauma setting, that would mean certain intubation.

“I need to renew my li…”

Impatiently, as if I was imposing on all of the important looking out the windows she was meant to be doing, “Fill out this form and wait in that line over there.”   She pointed limply to her right; this raised her GCS considerably.  At least she didn’t need to be intubated, I hadn’t brought my doctor bag with me.  Probably because I don’t have one.

So I filled out the form, waited in line #2 and, once at the front of THAT line, was given a number.  The number allowed me to enjoy a seat while I waited for MUCH longer.  I took the only open seat, wedged between a woman who was breastfeeding her baby and a man who, every once in a while, would mumble loud enough for the DMV staff to appreciate that “this is bullshit.”  Unclear whether he was referring to the prolonged waiting process or the fact that he wasn’t the one getting breastfed.  This led me to conclude that I should indeed put together a doctor bag and outfit it with a few spare foley catheters and a faux silicone breast.  You never know when you’re going to need to drain a full bladder or pacify a fully grown miscreant.

During the two hours I spent waiting, I permitted myself to get lost in the DMV literature which was printed, for my convenience, in Russian.  I don’t read or speak Russian, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty intuitive, especially if you use the pictures in the manual as benchmarks:

I’m pretty sure the take-home message on this one is:  She’s older than earth’s creation, missing the majority of her mental faculties, and most certainly shouldn’t be driving.  Neither should you if you’re this old.

Learning point to be gleaned from this one:  We don’t recommend sleeping while operating a vehicle.  But, hey, as long as you don’t get caught, no harm done!

I was totally going to nail the written exam.

My bladder counted the minutes and, finally, when I’d convinced myself that bladder perforation was going to be my only foreseeable way out of there, my number got called.  I was to present myself and what was left of my scaling flesh to Desk #21.  There, I was asked for my old license.  The woman behind Desk #21 looked at it, looked at me, looked at it again.  “You know this is over a year expired, right?”  She said that with the tone that she probably reserves only for those who’ve looked Potential Misdemeanor dead in the eyes and laughed:  Respect.

I paid the renewal fee.  And took a visual test; essentially proving to the DMV that I could, should the circumstance arise, see a small yeti 20 feet in front of my vehicle or, more likely, detect the vague, octagonal red shape of a stop sign.   Pass!  I was then told to wait in another line to have my picture taken.  Great.  My last license photo, thanks to a strange and inexplicable shadow, made me appear as though one could drive a small utility vehicle through my two front teeth.  Surely my Braised Tina Turner look wasn’t going to do me any favors to improve upon that.

I waited in the photo line.  When it was my turn I politely asked the photographer what Photoshop options were available and whether or not he would be able to do anything about my peeling nose or the size of my ass.  (I knew my ass wouldn’t be featured anywhere in the photo but, hey, two birds with one stone.)  He blinked at me, clearly bored, and shot the photo without warning.  It’s sure to be a winner.  The photographer pointed to yet another line, this one for the written test, and told me to wait in it.  Good thing I studied!

In that line, I found myself behind my previous seat-neighbor who turned to look at me and exclaimed, quite predictably at this point, “this is BULLSHIT.”  I thought about how badly I still needed to pee and how  I was going to look like a desquamating, cracked-out Tina Turner in-need-of-a-pit-stop for the next five to ten years on my license and I simply nodded in all-knowing, silent agreement.

I made it to the front of the line and was handed a test.  I had to answer 18 out of the 36 questions and I was only allowed to miss three. Considering the questions were at about this level of complexity:

If your cell phone rings while you are driving and you do not have a hands-free device, you should:

  1. Check the incoming number, and if it’s your mother, answer it.  She might need your help logging into her email.
  2. Put it on speaker and scream “OMG, I totally shouldn’t have answered the phone because I’m driving” into the speaker, regardless of who is calling.
  3. Let it go to voicemail

It was hardly rocket science.  (It wasn’t even rocket surgery.)  And, frankly, it restored my fear in my fellow drivers.  Seriously, if the DMV expects that little of us, essentially anyone with a 3rd grade education who meets the height/weight requirement and has the moral aptitude of a squirrel can drive.  Let’s take a road trip!

The sixth and final line in which I waited was the one in which I got my test score.  I missed one question.  That’s what I get for studying the Russian manual.  I was handed a temporary license and told I was free to go!  WTF?  Really?  No more lines?  By that time, I’d lost all sensation in my urethra and was prepared to push it to the limit…you know, risk life and bladder to see just how much unbelievable pain I could tolerate.  A testing of the corporeal limits, if you will, not unlike those athletes who bicycle race across America for days on end without any sleep.   Perhaps I could be a urinary savant and not even know it yet?

But, alas, I am no pee champion.  Just a regular girl who managed to escape a misdemeanor and who will pay better attention in the future to expiration dates.  And bladder signals.

And I STILL got a letter of recommendation out of that guy!

Days left in residency:  7 (if you count today), 4 (if you don’t count today or the weekend), (but who’s counting?)


7:43 PM, Operating Room 3

It’s been one of those days.  The surgeons should be done with their cases for the day but, for reasons that don’t just border but full-on straddle the ridiculous, they are only just starting their second, a laparascopic partial colectomy.  Who starts a lap colon at 8 PM?

La Cubana Gringa, a well-seasoned resident, busies herself with positioning the anesthetized patient and getting things going.  She knows Dr. X is on his last nerve.

Dr. X enters, visibly frustrated.  He’s totally pitted out.  This confuses La Cubana Gringa.

La Cubana Gringa voiceover: WTF?  Did he just do a quick Insanity plyometrics cardio uber-abs work out DVD in between the last case and now?*

Dr. X:  What?

LCG:  What?

Dr. X:  You’re looking at me funny.

LCG:  Sorry.  You just look…frustrated.

Dr. X:  I am.  This is bullshit.  Who starts a lap colon at 8 PM?

He exits the room to go scrub before LCG can come up with an obnoxious comment that lives up to her high personal standards.

Twenty-six minutes later, the ports are in and the case is started.  Dr. X mans the camera.  LCG is dissecting out the vascular pedicle like it’s her job.  Well, it is her job…she just happens to be mind-blowingly good at it.*

Dr. X:  You are mind-blowingly good at this.*

LCG ligates the pedicle and proceeds to dissect posterior to the upper part of the rectum.

LCG (playfully brown-nosing): Well, you know… when you have a good teacher!

Dr. X:  Ass kisser.

LCG:  Ass doctor.

Dr. X is, in fact, a colorectal surgeon.  The two surgeons laugh heartily at the well-timed pun.  The mood lifts somewhat.  Perhaps the glands in Dr. X’s axillae have even slowed production.  The case proceeds along smoothly and conversation drifts to more lighthearted topics.

LCG (while operating):  Ok.  So, what’s the grossest thing you’ve ever had squirted in your eye?

Dr. X:  Hmm. Give me a second to think about it.  How about you?

LCG:  I once had the contents of a sebaceous cyst splatter into my left eye.

LCG recalls the incident as if it were permanently squirted onto her left cornea.  The sebaceous cyst was the largest she’d ever seen, at least 4 CM, on the upper back of an emergency room patient several years back.  She was just sterilizing the overlying skin when the tender, almost transparent flesh that separated her from the cheesy, sebaceous matter inside the cyst ruptured.  She was simultaneously dazzled and flabbergasted by the kinetic energy with which the cyst contents exploded onto her hair, face, and left eye.  It smelled not unlike vomited blue cheese.  It was disgusting.  She should have worn eye protection.

Dr. X:  That’s disgusting.  You totally should have worn eye protection.

LCG:  Yeah, well, you know what they say about hindsight.  Your turn.

Dr. X:  Oh, I don’t know…I vaguely remember something gynecologic ending up in my eyes during med school.  Too long ago though.

LCG:  “Something gyneocologic” ends up in your eye at ANY point in your life and you forget it??  Boo.  You’re boring.

Dr. X:  I know.

Unbeknownst to the surgeons, outside, a thick, foreboding cloud cover rolls in.*  Almost like something ironic and bad is going to happen later.

9:23 PM, Emergency Department

While his chief resident, La Cubana Gringa, is the the OR with Dr. X, the surgical consult resident on call evaluates a patient in the emergency department who he thinks might have a peri-anal abscess.

Surgical Consult Resident (eagerly, proud of his diagnostic prowess):  This guy needs a rectal exam under anesthesia and surgical drainage!

He scuttles up to the OR to schedule the case and wonders, passively, if he remembered to wash his hands.  He sniffs his index finger and seems satisfied with the result.*

11:49 PM, OR 3

The colon case is finished and the peri-anal abscess patient is now on the OR table in the lithotomy position.  It’s a commonly used position; completely utilitarian, albeit comically so.  Though, top points for Most Comedic Position, in La Cubana Gringa’s book, still goes to face down with the butt cheeks taped to the side of the bed so that they are spread open.  It’s a good thing patients are asleep before they get put in these positions or they’d feel violated.  Or aroused, depending on the patient.   LCG ponders this as she raises the OR table to level that’s comfortable for her to proceed.

Dr. X walks in and finds himself eye to eye with the anus in question.

Dr. X (tired):  I should have been a florist.

LCG:  Who needs to smell flowers when you have 24-hour access to the human perineum?

Dr. X chuckles.

LCG dons her gown and gloves, positions herself between the patient’s legs and, with a little lube, does a quick rectal exam.

LCG:  Hmm, I don’t feel an abscess in there.

Dr. X hadn’t expected to have to get involved.  He sighs heavily as he pulls on a gown and gloves and gets in between the patient’s legs to LCG’s right.  Four is a bit of a crowd (what with LCG, Dr. X, the patient’s right testicle, and the patient’s left testicle), but LCG stays where she is.  Dr. X does a rectal exam.  Pauses.  Then sticks a speculum in and looks around.

Dr. X:  I agree.  I don’t feel anything either.  But the patient was in excruciating pain.  So he probably has an intersphincteric abscess. In which case you should just make a small incision with a scalpel right here.

He points to a spot in the patient’s anal canal.  LCG feels the spot with her finger and appreciates the space between the internal and external anal sphincters.  She grabs an 11-blade and makes a small incision.  LCG is instantaneously startled by the feeling of something warm and wet splattering onto her forehead just above her right eyebrow.  She instinctively squeezes her right eye shut; she’s wearing her glasses so she doesn’t think anything got into her eye but one can’t be too sure when butt puss is amongst list of possible projectile liquids.

LCG turns her head to the right to look over at Dr. X, her right eye still clenched shut.  Simultaneously, he turns his head to the left to face her, his left eye clenched shut.  They are mirror images of each other.  Dr. X has butt puss showered fancifully along the left side of his face and all over his left eyelid.  It smells of poo mixed with curdled milk and toe jam.

LCG:  So, back to my question from earlier.  What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever had squirted in your eye?

Dr. X:  I hate you.

LCG:  You totally should have worn eye protection.

* These items may be exaggerated and/or somewhat completely fictional.

Screw it, we might as well peel potatoes in the shower now

Never does one truly appreciate how convenient a working drain is more than the point at which the drain ceases to actually drain. Seriously, write that shit down.

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been having plumbing problems. Showers have become more of a wading experience. I’ll wade the shit out of the ocean tide but wading in the AIDS, ebola, herpes, hepatits C, e. coli, prion stew that invariably results from one of my showers after a shift at the hospital and, well…that’s just gross. This coming from a girl whose job description involves incising and draining butt puss. Daily I resist the temptation to culture our bathtub…the results, I think, would be simultaneously horrifying and provocative, and in the very least, publishable. For now, though, I just carry a crucifix with me into the shower and hope for the best. Peace be with you, MRSA!

As Lady Luck would have it, we discovered a cute little clause in our rental agreement that reads a little something like this:

Greetings imbecile future tenants who do not read fine print! As ricockulous as this may seem, ye tenants and ye alone are responsible for ALL of the pipes in this house. Even though this house was built before the gold rush! Crazy but true! So good luck with that! Suckers!

Yeah, so…because of that little clause, we’ve been trying to take care of the plumbing matters ourselves. And by “we” and “ourselves” I mean, “The Brit” and “The Brit”. I don’t plumb. So, the other day, The Brit donned his saggiest pair of butt-crack exposing jeans and jammed a plumber’s snake down the bathtub drain. After some chest beating, grunting, farting and other various displays of manliness, out came a multi-lobulated amalgam of hair (you’re welcome!), toenail clippings (how’d those get there, you ask? Don’t worry, it’s coming up), and zombie balls (probably).

This brings me to one of the main topics of contention in The Brit’s – La Cubana Gringa’s Lexicon of Grievances: Is the bathtub an acceptable location for toenail clippage? I say no. He says yes. I remove the nail clipper from the bathtub. He puts it back in. I say goodbye. He says hello. It’s like The Beatles ARE THE SOUNDTRACK TO OUR LIVES!

Anyway, it chaps my disproportionately large ass that he clips his nails in the tub because hair is one thing. But hair plus toenails = Matrix of Unequivocal Obstruction.

Plumbing if I had it my way:

Approximate frequency of drain blockage: less than once a year

Plumbing if The Brit has it his way:

Approximate frequency of drain blockage: many, many times a year. MANY.

All this talk of toenail clippings and plumbing reminds me of a patient I treated a few times. There was this dude who was incarcerated for Lord Only Knows, and his idea of a ticket out of jail was to find some excuse to get taken to the hospital and then try to escape from the Emergency Department. Good plan, right? Except that his ticket to the hospital involved sticking various objects into his urethra and obstructing his urinary outflow tract. In other words, he was cramming his pee-hole with stuff. Stuff like: toenail clippings, the serrated end of a plastic cafeteria knife, screws, nails, splinters, drink straws (probably the crazy ones).

All two men who read this blog just grabbed their crotches and gagged a little. Sorry about that.

Trust me when I say that anyone who inserts sharp foreign objects into their urethra as a means to get out of jail clearly has a few screws loose. (And not just the ones they’ve shoved up their urethra! Zing!!). Anyway, that guy a) clearly hadn’t thought things through all the way b) didn’t succeed in escaping despite stuffing his penis like a Home Depot Thanksgiving Turkey on three separate occasions and c) probably wasn’t aware that toenail clippings only create a Matrix of Unequivocal Obstruction.

You know, at first I thought this digression was only going to provide a brief interlude of dubiously related and somewhat morbid entertainment, but in the end, it furnished further supporting evidence for my theory that toenail clippings have no place in pipes of any kind.

Science! It’s irrefutable.

So anyway, back to the amalgam that was delivered from our bathtub drain. Did its extraction make things better? If by “better” you mean, “it did nothing for the drainage in the bathtub and, in fact, made it so that now the kitchen and bathroom sinks don’t drain either” then yes. Things were much, much better. Which led me to conclude the following:

So, if you hear about a British/Cuban couple that die in an index case of bathtub-acquired creutzfeldt-jakob disease, don’t mourn us for too long, we totally had it coming.

And that much more certain of how badly the Yellow Pages suck butt

Pardon my absence. I’ve been elbow deep in boxes full of crap lately. And just in case you think I’m exaggerating, I present you with Exhibit A:

There you have it. The contents of this particular box were so crap that they actually merited the label “crap.” There were other boxes…boxes full of Crap Of the Decorative Variety, Crap of the Electronic Variety, Crap of The Wardrobe Variety and so on and so forth. The only useful (aka, non-crap) box in this move? It was labeled “Cheese.” It’s contents were mysteriously lost in the move. In my belly.

So we’ve officially moved from our peaceful, hilltop existence in the affluent Sunset District of San Fransisco for the colorful, vibrant, hispanic Mission District of SF where, we’ve been assured by friends in the neighborhood, the burritos are worth dodging bullets for. (Ha! Just kidding Mom!) We love our new neighborhood as it does indeed come with burritos aplenty (I’ve eaten more than I care to admit in this first week…they’re so portable! So convenient! And there’s cheese in them!) and, this is the kicker, PLATANOS. On every corner1 there’s a produce market and in them one can find enough platanos, malanga, and yucca to live out a blissful carbohydrate-laden existence for the rest of one’s days. I’m going to be cooking up so much Cuban food that before you know it, The Brit will be taking a break from his cut-throat, street-side game of dominos to wave his Cohiba ‘round frantically in the air and rant loudly, in perfectly fluent Spanish, about Castro’s oppressive communist regime.2

We’re also excited about our new “charming 1920’s” apartment…though, we’ve discovered, that “charming” and “1920’s” are really just elegant ways to say “This house is old as a motherfucker and, by the way, there’s no sink disposal. SUCKERS!!” The kitchen is equipped with a mustard yellow rotary wall phone3 that likely dates back to the Paleozoic Era and our bathroom has a specimen of a toilet seat that was surely resurrected from miles below the ice pack in an archeological dig somewhere in the Alaskan Tundra…it still had caveman butt-hair on it. Or was that dinosaur pubic hair? Hard to say. I’ve sent it off to the lab for speciation.

Speaking of being in the Caveman era…we didn’t have an internet connection for an entire week. Being without it for seven days was akin to being shuttled back to the 80’s in Marty McFly’s Dolorean and being handed a 1975 Yellow Pages. It was tough…there were days I didn’t think we’d pull through. But with the therapeutic aid of bubble wrap4 and alcohol, we’ve come out on the other side that much stronger!

1. Well, every corner where there isn’t a taqueria.
2. Not likely. It is safe to say that The Brit does NOT have a knack for languages. We’ve been dating for three and a half years now and he asked me a few days ago how to say “Bye” in Spanish. He believed me when I said, “Adieu.”
3. A phone that would actually be kind of retro-cool if one of the Brady brats hadn’t cracked and broken it in a fit of rage.
4. Do you have any idea how much fun that shit is to pop!?!

Serve it with a cheese-based dipping sauce and we promise to use utensils next time!

Ahoy! There have been many words in the last few weeks which I have meant to publish here but haven’t had the chance to. Fear not! Little has been missed! For most of these words have been some variation of “God DAMN we have a lot of crap” or “Seriously, do we REALLY need to keep that crap?” or “Man, do you need to go take a crap or something?”1 Yeah, so, we’ve been packing for our move this weekend which has been a little hectic and alot more malodorous than expected. Additionally, I have a lovely cold. Not a serious stay-in-bed-and-moan-over-the-snot-infested-status-of-your-sinuses brand of cold, but a sneezing-in-clusters-of-three-at-the-most-inopportune-times-like- when-you-have-a-hand-full-of-tiny-little-beads-that-you-intended-
to- put-away-for-future-necklace-making-but-didn’t-get-a-chance-
to-because-your- sneeze-propelled-them- all-to-the-far-corners-of-
your-carpeted-bedroom brand of cold. Good times! (Ahh-CHOO!)

We did manage to take a break from all the packing and the sneezing (though, unfortunately, not from the farting) to sit down for a food tasting for our wedding reception dinner. The Brit, Dochechka2, and I went in there fully intending to place our napkins on our laps, take small, polite bites of the food selections, chew our food to completion before swallowing, and not talk with our mouths open. I swear. Every intention. But, our behavior at the dinner last night could more accurately be described as a relay race to see who could stuff the most bacon-wrapped scallops in their mouth straight from the heated chafers, pound a vodka tonic and/or glass of champagne, and then make it back to their seat to stick the landing. I don’t recall who won the race, but I’m pretty sure the catering manager caught onto what was going on and made special notes about us in her file…probably something along the lines of “Note to self: These folks are simple, just wrap everything in swine and pan-fry it.”

1. There’s no way to put this delicately…I think The Brit might have accidentally consumed a skunk or some equally odoriferous gamey animal which is now making it’s way through is GI tract and announcing it’s progress quite frequently by means of rapid-fire flatulence. Stand back!
2. She’s opinionated and she loves food, so we put our money (quite rightly) on the idea that she’d be opinionated about food. She was our tie-breaking vote. And she ate the last friggin’ bacon-wrapped scallop. Bitch!

Hey! It would eliminate the cake-cutting fee!

Now is about the time when it would be good to know a cake maker who owed me a favor.  Preferably a three-tiered, chocolate ganache-covered favor.  Because you know what?  Wedding cakes are FUCKING EXPENSIVE!  I chuckled dismissively when the first cake maker I consulted quoted me a price of $6 per serving.  Surely, she couldn’t be serious?  Turns out, she was serious.  And, also, she’d rather that I didn’t call her Shirley. 

Shirley is not alone.  Apparently, $5 to $9 per serving is the going rate for wedding cakes these days in the bay area.  And that’s not including any additional tacky marzipan flowers or doo-dads you might want on there.  Nor does it include the taxes, the delivery fees, OR the set-up fees.  It DOES, however, include the premium, penthouse suite at the Omni Hotel in which your cake maker plans to take the absurd amount of cash she just ripped from your white-knuckled hands, pile it high onto the king sized bed, and roll around in it.  While laughing maniacally at you behind your back.  And spraying accessory bottles of Dom Perignon around in celebration.  

Just for shits and giggles…let’s do the math:  $7 times 150 guests is…let me see here…zero…carry the three…tack on the ten…A LOT OF FUCKING MONEY!  For cake!  Which…last time I checked, is made of flour.  And eggs.  And sugar.  Did I miss the memo that went around mandating that from here on out, premium, organic California-grown heroin should be a staple cake ingredient?  Because that would sure explain a LOT.  (Particularly the euphoria I get when I eat cake.  And the strong urge to take a nap when I come down from it.  And, also, the itching.)  

I have a mind to buy out Costco’s supply of Jello chocolate pudding cups and serve THOSE at our wedding.  Peel back the foil lid, stick a flower1 in it and…TADAHHHH!  Wedding pudding!  


1.  I don’t know, though, “wedding” flowers aren’t cheap either.


The madness featured here is mine and mine alone. It does not, in any way, reflect the madness of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family, or my colorful friends. The privacy of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family and colorful friends is sacred & deeply respected, so no names. All words Copyright © la cubana gringa, no method, just madness 2006-2010. All comments © their authors. Don't steal; it's not nice. (And my Grandfather knows people.)

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