Dirty-Minded Signage…”If You Know What I Mean”

My PT sadists guys are loving the blog. And since they are getting me to where I can walk again, when they ask for a post I give it! In honor of the helpful crew at California Therapy Solutions, I’m re-running one of my favorite More Cowbell posts of all time. Those of you who missed it the first time deserve your Hump-Day laugh.

If you’ve read about my family’s Almost X-Rated Garage Sales and Gang-Banging Chickens, you’d know we’re just a little bit…off-center. Both sides of my family are filled with peeps who are amazing and hysterically funny. I’m one of those rare souls who LOVES family trips.

The big surprise when I visited Missouri a few years back was all the Dirty-Minded Signage. Only in the Bible Belt could people refer to monikers like this with a straight face.

You’ll see what I mean below.

I’ve gotten used to the Springfield, MO convenience stores that don’t seem to make anyone else pause.

It took me a few visits to take that place in stride.

The first time, I sat in the passenger seat while my husband pumped gas, clutching my sides, pointing at the sign and gasping for air. Maybe it was the little registered trademark symbol they include on the end (like someone’s dying to steal that logo). Maybe it was jetlag.

Then we went to Branson, where the traffic moves SO slow that you have plenty of time to really check the place out.

I was doing  fine until we passed the Rowdy Beaver. (Yeah, for real…and they have MULTIPLE LOCATIONS. The newest is on Dickson Street. I mean, what were they thinking? They couldn’t go a few blocks over to Percy or Main or wherever?)

After that, it was a free for all – we were in hysterics about everything we passed.

The God And Country Theater was across from Billy Bob’s Dairyland. The Ragin’ Rhino Tattoo parlor was just down from the Hillbilly Kitchen. Plus, we started using Leanne Shirtliffe’s (aka The Ironic Mom’s) trick of adding “if you know what I mean on the end of every name.

Note: Be sure to read Leanne’s post when you’re done here…it’s stellar. Plus, we like to use the #IYKWIM hashtag on Twitter.

It didn’t matter if it was funny or not, it was hilarious to us.  I mean, you try passing a billboard that says “Ride The Ducks!…if you know what I mean.” Go ahead. Add IYKWIM to all the businesses in this post. (Two words: Coffee. Snort.) You’ll see.

When my Branson-dwelling cousin got to our lodge that night for a fish fry, I demanded to know what was up with the Rowdy Beaver.

He smiled and said, “Oh, it’s got a great bar. But we don’t call it The ‘Rowdy Beaver.’”

I (of course) wanted to know what he did call it, figuring the locals had classed it up a little. He blushed to the roots of his hair and mumbled that he’d tell me later, rolling his eyes toward his parents and the older folk.

Well, if you read the links I put above, you’ve already seen what the “older folk” in my family will discuss. No topic is sacred.

They dragged the Rowdy Beaver scoop out of him in no time: Rather than call it the Rowdy Beaver, Bransonites refer to the place as “The Angry Vagina.” I doubled over laughing at this, staggering around the kitchen. Possibly I tinkled a little.

“What else do you have,” I wheezed. “There’s got to be more.”

“Well,” he says, “we do go over to The Bearded Clam in Kimberling City sometimes.”

I looked at my uncle. “He’s making that up, right?”

My uncle shook his head and said, “It used to be worse before they closed the bait shop next door.”

When I asked what could possibly be worse than naming an eating establishment “The Bearded Clam,” they said the old bait shop was called, “Master Baiters.” Swear. To. God.

And do you know the super-duper worst part of this story? The Bearded Clam is billed as a family restaurant.

Like I said, only in the Bible Belt would there be minds clean enough to eat there without making scads of juvenile jokes (like I would). I’ll bet they all wear Christian Panties for dinner. Amen.

It’s true that my family members aren’t the ones who own these establishments, but still…

When we visited the Lake of the Ozarks, we saw the absolute winner of the Dirty-Minded Signage Award. I still can’t believe anyone would name their hotel this but I guess it does leave an impression on people.

Do you suppose they get a lot of multiple visitors? Or just one good one each night? (Sorry, HAD to go there.)

The name of the place really is Big Dick’s Halfway Inn (you know you’re clicking that link). If you stay at this resort the next time you’re at the Lake of the Ozarks, please write to me about it! Better yet, send me a picture of you next to the sign.

I tell you, this trip put a whole new spin on the “Show Me” state thing. Since most of my people live there, I’ve concluded that I derive from some pervy stock. Who knew, right?

OK, it’s your turn. Do you have some places with signs and such that crack you up? What about if you add “if you know what I mean” on the end? Enquiring minds can’t wait to hear  what you come up down in the comments section!

~ Jenny
(Who is off to laugh her way through the pain at PT.)

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Embracing the ‘Ho Bag’ Within: Cities Find that Sex Sells

We all knew that sex sells. I mean, duh. They could have just asked the More Cowbell Posse, or anyone who’s ever watched the Super Bowl. Seattle and Tucson have found out that sex sells public transportation REALLY well.

The City of Tucson launched a new streetcar over the weekend that will always and ever be referred to as The C.L.I.T.T., thanks to some brilliant social media marketing by a guy named David Aguirre. (The new transport is actually called the Sun Link, but who’s gonna remember that now?)

His article on the launch:

Aguirre's (brilliant) spoofed article

Aguirre’s (brilliant) spoofed article

A few weeks back, Aguirre put up a spoofed Facebook page to “raise awareness about the new streetcar.” It’s working in spades (more than 4300 Likes vs 2500+ for the real page), and Tucson city officials are taking the entire prank badly.

What I don’t understand is why they’re not rolling with it. While “Keep Tucson CLITTY” might not have been the marketing slogan they were dreaming of, all this disapproval is just going to make people “embrace The C.L.I.T.T.” further. (Yes, I giggled while I typed that.)

My advice (not that they care):

Take a chill pill, Tucson officials. Enjoy the buzz from all of us dirty-minded folks who are laughing our guts out over Aguirre’s observation that, “Ridership was unexpectedly high as Tucson residents, and visitors, got on, then got off.”

The Sun Link is sure to get extra traffic from those who are hoping for some extra stimulation from riding the C.L.I.T.T. if you know what I mean.

Who wouldn't want one of THESE?

Who wouldn’t want one of THESE?

Seattle went through this with the “Ride the S.L.U.T” campaign around their South Lake Union Trolley. They took it in stride, guzzling up the extra publicity like a triple shot latte. The “Ride the S.L.U.T.” campaign was even on Ellen.

Note: Y’all can get one of these snappy t-shirts on Amazon in black, brown, navy, purple or green if you’re really interested in embracing your inner slut.

The product description reads:

The Original Ride the S.L.U.T. shirt from the Cascade neighborhood in Seattle, home of the South Lake Union Trolley.

You may wonder: can a funny t-shirt really make you more beautiful or handsome? This one can!* Join us in celebrating one of Seattle’s most enduring and endearing jokes, makes a great souvenir or gift. (*results may vary)

You can bet I’ll be sending that shirt to a few of my pals. After all, when I went to New Orleans, I brought home t-shirts that said “Suck the Heads and Pinch the Tails.” That city knows how to market their crawfish!

What’s the best slogan or acronym y’all have seen in your travels? Do you agree with the Tucson officials, or feel like they need to relax? What’s your favorite line in that spoofed article? Enquiring minds always love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments

PT Positions Gone Wild: The Dead Bug and the Tabletop

PT Hip Rehab

Reverse the genders and whiten the legs, and there I am!

They’re stepping it up at PT in terms of exercises (and kicking my butt), and yesterday they taught me the “Dead Bug” and the “Tabletop.” Of course the Hubs and I now call that last one the “Table Dancer” because that’s how we roll, but really…

WHO COMES UP WITH THESE NAMES?

They already have me doing two called the “Backloader” and the “Side-lying clamshell” and I’ve been giggling about those for more than a week.

So I asked my PT guys: “What comes next week, the Cockroach and the Stripper Pole?”

Thankfully, they are amused by me. And they don’t mind if I turn around so that my lily-white “cash and prizes” are not facing the door when I wear shorts. In fact, after the introduction of the six new exercises today (Dead Bug among them), I don’t think I’ll be wearing any loose shorts there ever again.

As I said to them, “My husband hasn’t even seen me from that angle. I promise you, no one else wants to either.”

Note: PT stands for Physical Therapy and it’s what they’re doing to me now that my Cruella days are over.

I’ve decided one of my new missions in life is to see if I can name up a cool new PT exercise. At the very least, I’ve been renaming all the ones I do now to stuff that makes me laugh.

For example:

  • The “Suck It In” (involves sucking your tummy in as hard as you can while laying on your back). And they want you to breathe normally. It really makes no sense to me.
  • Side-lying clamshell (feet together, knees opening like a clam) – I just graduated to using a band for this. p.s. That’s a stretchy band, not a bunch of rockstars who crash my PT. By the way, clamshell is the real name – I couldn’t top it. Ditto with “Dead Bug.”
  • The “Backloader” (on your back, knees bent, heel pressed into table – your foot mimics the backloader that slides dirt toward your butt, one foot at a time).
  • The “A$$ Clench” is exactly what it sounds like – you hold them cheeks together. Tight. For a count of ten. They usually call it the “Glute Squeeze.” My version is: “Do y’all want me to squinch up my butt cheeks now?”

Attractive, no? It’s a good thing these PT guys are hot.

Just for a good visual, here’s the Dead Bug, demonstrated by one of the narrowest men I’ve ever seen. And by the way, they started me off with all the arms going – there was no “working up to it.” Bastards.


Do you have any cool exercise names to share with me? (They don’t have to be real.) Also, any good hip stretches? Enquiring minds need to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Bastille Day and the Curse of the Summer Flu

Bastille Day

Bastille Day Fireworks – Eiffel Tower

Today is Bastille Day, or French National Day, which commemorates the official start of the French Revolution.

Such a wonderful day and, you’ll soon find out, I couldn’t pay my husband to lay a French kiss on me today.

The holiday is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale or Le quatorze juillet. (That would be the fourteenth of July for us non-French speakers).

I was all set to chat it up here at the blog about all the fab things the French have given us (and not just the sexy kissing, wine and fries, although I do love all those things).

I have links to cool health-conscious French recipes and interesting facts about Bastille Day. But…

Somehow, the flu is running around Southern California in freaking July and I have it. Don’t ask me how…all I did was go to PT and the grocery store. I’ve been laid out since last Thursday, flat as a pancake, on nearly every flat surface of our house, including the floor since this flu gives you the spins.

I’m starting to be up, and I promise you, I barely breathed on the monitor while I wrote this. :-)  I just wanted to check in and let y’all know why you haven’t heard much out of me this week.

I’m still doing PT and, since they told me to “come on in” despite the flu, I’m treating the place like a preschool full of three year-olds with the cooties (that would be very carefully, with lots of hand washing).

More from me soon, I promise. I’ll probably be doing exercises like the “Side-lying Clamshell” when you read this. *clutches sides laughing*

Do you have any killer French recipes you’d like to share? Do you celebrate Bastille Day at your house? Are you seeing year-round flu seasons in your neck of the woods? And most important…Do you have any cool names of PT exercises that make you giggle like a teenage boy? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Posted in Health, Holidays | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

8 Degrees to Freedom

Jenny Hansen Hip Rehab

Cruella – here at 84 degrees

I am 8 degrees away from Cruella Freedom! It’s both a blessing an a curse.

The Blessing(s):

  • I get out of the house – I have wicked cabin fever.
  • The 4-6 hours a day I’m lashed to Cruella are no more!
  • My thighs will no longer be featured across Facebook.

The Curse(s):

  • I’ve learned to sleep on Cruella so I’m losing “naptime.”
  • PT begins on Wednesday – that list is scarier than Cruella.

However, overall I am delighted. After many days of ups and downs on this bizarre Cruella contraption, I’m finally in the final 10 degrees. 92 degrees, to be exact.

But… It’s funny isn’t it, how the closer you get to a big goal, the more impatient you get. And the more nervous you get about the “next steps?” It seems like every goal works that way.

Since most of my TV watching is with the Little Bean these days, the first example that popped into my head is from Tangled (which is about dreams, by the way). There’s a scene just before the end of Act 2 that perfectly describes the funny, capricious nature of dreams:

[In the boat, Rapunzel sighs, suddenly feeling afraid]
Flynn Rider[noticing the look on Rapunzel's face] You OK?
Rapunzel[whispers] I’m terrified.
Flynn Rider[softly] Why?
Rapunzel: I’ve been looking out a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what it might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything that I dreamed it would be?
Flynn Rider: It will be.
Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then?
Flynn Rider: Well that’s the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream.

Well, I’ve been looking at Cruella for about 18 days, dreaming of what it would be like to walk again, and the first step is to kick her out of my damn house.

The next step is starting PT this Wednesday, and getting off crutches.

The final step will be getting back to Crossfit, hopefully by Thanksgiving.

You know I’ll keep y’all posted. In the meantime, my Facebook pals have been giving me most excellent playlists to rock out to while I Cruella-cize. We picked songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s so far. It’s been a tremendous help on the motivation front.

So lay it on me, More Cowbell posse… What is your favorite song or group from the 90s? Do you get scared while you’re working toward your goals? How do you power through? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Health, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

Here, Hold This: My First Brazilian Adventure

This guest blog by Emmie, a long-time member of the More Cowbell posse, made me die laughing. Plus, the post addressed a most important question: What is the tie-in between a bikini wax and the quest for personal responsibility?

Read on my friends, read on…

Here, Hold This: My First Brazilian Adventure
by Emmie Mears

I’m no stranger to earthy humor. I grew up in a home with two moms, an older step-sister who could belch in your face with enough force to make your cheeks wave in the wind, and an older step-brother who may or may not have collected his own boogers. As I grew older, I was unfazed by fart jokes and tampons, first gyno visits and outhouses alike.

At twenty-nine with my first book coming out, a separation in progress, and the world opening up in front of me again, I realized there was one thing (okay, lots of things) I hadn’t done yet that I’d always been curious about. In this case: getting a Brazilian wax.

Having just gotten my IUD the month before and having been told by my doctor that I didn’t even flinch – I may have strutted out of his office with my puffed up chest all the way up in my face from pride, as he’d tried to dissuade me from getting it because the process was painful – I figured getting the hair on my nether regions yanked out by the root would be nothing.

Yeah, nothing

I scoured Yelp for a good place in my area and found one woman who operated out of her home and had a wealth of five and four star reviews. “That’s the one,” I said to myself. I made an appointment and sat back to wait for the time to pass.

I’d tried waxing my legs once as an adolescent, with my neighbor and comrade-in-arms who was a couple years younger than I. We neither of us waited till the hair was long enough, so we ended up essentially with the equivalent of a mass leg hair pulling session that speckled our legs with little blood blisters and left us bemused, stinging, and disappointed.

When I arrived for my waxing appointment, that was the only memory of wax I had. My aesthetician led me down to her basement, where she had a nice little table set up. “Bottoms off,” she said.

At least she didn’t say up, I thought.

I obeyed and stripped off my bottoms. After three visits to my OB in the past six months, shyness had left me with a curt “Ta” and the thought of baring my hoo-ha to a total and complete stranger oddly didn’t even make me blink.

“This is my first time getting waxed,” I told my aesthetician.

“It will hurt,” she said.

[Aestheticians: more honest than dentists.]

I’d heard they used baby powder to keep the wax from adhering to the skin. She didn’t. On went the wax, over it went a strip of fabric.

It wouldn’t be too bad. Just a quick –

Rrrruuuuup.

OH HOLY SHINY BEJEEBUS.

That first strip felt like she’d flayed me instead of just taken off some hair. My upper lip became suspiciously damp. I took a deep breath. Surely that strip had been like, half the hair. I peeked down as she smeared more wax.

It’d been about an inch wide.

Rrrruuuuup.

I thought back to the IUD in that moment. That was supposed to be akin to the early stages of labor, right? Dilating a body part that is built to push out a baby? WHY DID THIS HURT WORSE?

Rrrruuuuup.

Smear, smear, smush.

Rrrruuuuup.

A few strips and now-dripping beads of sweat later, the aesthetician looked at me. “Hold this,” she said.

By this, she meant a certain part of my anatomy. So she wouldn’t get wax on it.

Agreeing wholeheartedly that I did not want hot wax on that particular girly bit, I obliged, wondering in that moment why I hadn’t skipped this idea and gone straight to having carnitas with my friend Lindsey. Or tequila. LOTS of tequila.

Sometimes it takes being half-naked on a table holding a sensitive bit of your body out of the destructive path of a stranger wielding hot wax to realize that you can take an awful lot from life.

It was on that table that I understood a few things about the coming months of my life, book launch and divorce included.

First, if getting your pubic hair ripped out by the root does not prepare you for literary criticism, I don’t know what does. Second, I could blame no one for my current predicament but myself. It certainly wasn’t anyone else’s idea for me to undergo this Brazilian torture session. The same went for the rest of my life. My life. My job to make it what I wanted it to be.

At that odd juncture of hot wax, personal responsibility and laissez-faire stoicism, I felt hope for my future.

And really, for $35 plus tip, I think I got a bargain.

*  *  *  *  *  *

I’m still up in the air on whether the epiphany is equal to the torture, but I loved  this post! (Although Emmie, next time go to Pretty Kitty. I’m just sayin…) Have you had an epiphany like this (including hot wax, or not)? What was your biggest aha moment? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

I hope y’all ring that cowbell loud and hard for Emmie, IYKWIM.

~ Jenny

What else is this gorgeous writer up to? Well today happens to be her Launch Day for her new book, set in Scotland, The Masked Songbird.

The Masked Songbird by Emmie Mears Mildly hapless Edinburgh accountant Gwenllian Maule is surviving. She’s got a boyfriend, a rescued pet bird and a flatmate to share rent. Gwen’s biggest challenges: stretching her last twenty quid until payday and not antagonizing her terrifying boss.

Then Gwen mistakenly drinks a mysterious beverage that gives her heightened senses, accelerated healing powers and astonishing strength. All of which come in handy the night she rescues her activist neighbour from a beat-down by political thugs.

Now Gwen must figure out what else the serum has done to her body, who else is interested and how her boss is involved. Finally—and most mysteriously—she must uncover how this whole debacle is connected to the looming referendum on Scottish independence.

Gwen’s hunt for answers will test her superpowers and endanger her family, her friends—even her country.

To pre-order The Masked Songbird, click here. Released in a box set, you get four great paranormal and urban fantasy books for less than $4!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

About Emmie

EmmieMearsEmmie Mears was born in Austin, Texas, where the Lone Star state promptly spat her out at the tender age of three months. After a childhood spent mostly in Alaska, Oregon, and Montana, she became a proper vagabond and spent most of her time at university devising ways to leave the country.

Except for an ill-fated space opera she attempted at age nine, most of Emmie’s childhood was spent reading books instead of writing them. Growing up she yearned to see girls in books doing awesome things, and struggled to find stories in her beloved fantasy genre that showed female heroes saving people and hunting things. Mid-way through high school, she decided the best way to see those stories was to write them herself. She now scribbles her way through the fantasy genre, most loving to pen stories about flawed characters and gritty situations lightened with the occasional quirky humor.

Emmie now lives in her eighth US state, still yearning for a return to Scotland. She inhabits a cozy domicile outside DC with two felines who think they’re lions and tigers.

Follow Emmie on Twitter @EmmieMears and join her on Facebook. You can also find her at EmmieMears.com or Searching for SuperWomen: Geek Girls Getting Loud.

Posted in Humor, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Ways To Celebrate Beautician’s Day

I just found out that Beautician’s Day happens every year on June 26th, and I’m really falling down on the job this year.

HolidayInsights.com states that Beautician’s Day is your chance to show your appreciation to those who make you look beautiful and stunning.

Houston, we have a problem.

Jenny Hansen Bed HeadMaybe it’s just because I work at home, but most days it’s a major deal for me to BRUSH my hair. And right now, with the hip rehab? I can’t brush my hair unless I put down my crutches (which ain’t happening) or the Hubs brings me the brush in bed, where I can do the blind hair-do, which looks like that stellar photo to the right.

However, in honor of my amazing beautician, Ashleigh, I vow to call on this special day and tell her she rocks. Maybe I’ll even make an appointment to give me something to look forward to as I tackle Cruella.

[Yes, that bitch and I are still tangling (6 hours a day). I'm plateaued at 65, but I plan to shoot for 70 today.]

Since supposedly Beautician’s Day extends to manicurists and such, I’ll have to call Lori and make an appointment with her too to buff up the toes. As you can see below, Lori knows toe splendor.

Jenny Hansen cute toes

At the very least, I’ll go “all out” and brush my hair.

Since today is also Forgiveness Day, the gals have to give me a pass on the bed head and shaggy-looking toes. Tomorrow is Sunglasses Day, so perhaps I’ll put on some sunglasses, learn how to go down steps on my crutches and get those toes even shaggier out in the garden.

Do you celebrate any strange holidays? What about your hair? Do you brush it, or pretty much leave it be? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Life's Challenges, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments