The Laundry Basket From Above.

I live near a lot of fancy suburbs. I do not live *in* any of them. In fitting with my renegade style of life, I live in the unincorporated county, where no one can tell me what to do and I am endlessly confused as to what should technically go on the third line of my mailing address.

But these fancy suburbs provide me endless entertainment.

One such fancy suburb is a rather hilly city, and they found the most glorious way to combine these two characteristics (fancy + hills) into the perfect official city slogan.

“A Life Above.”

That’s right. They actually went there. They want to make sure that I am completely aware that they are currently looking down their perfectly sculpted noses at me who is, clearly, living a life below.

If you can even call it a life. More like An Existence Below.

It goes without saying that when, perchance, I see something that doesn’t quite meet the qualifications of The Above Life going down in their perfect enclave of humanity, I notice.

(And point and laugh. But that’s beside the point.)

One such item was The Laundry Basket Above.

On a particularly rainy Saturday, we were passing through The Life Above to go to Ali’s basketball game. It was dreary. Muddy waterfalls were blighting their roads. The world was ugly no matter how above you lived.

At a busy intersection, the type that’s so busy it requires a triangular cement divider in the middle of the road, I first noticed it.

There was a laundry basket, full of clothes and soaked all the way below its nasty nasty core.

IMG_8076

Clothes were spilling out. There was a brown towel. A green pair of underwear. Very yanky looking sheets.

It was the most un-above thing I’d ever encountered in the wild.

So naturally I took a picture and sent it to all my friends who live The Life Above.

(Thankfully they all have good senses of humor. Or they wouldn’t be my friends.)

I also couldn’t help but wonder.

What would make someone abandon their laundry in the middle of the intersection? Were they on their way to the laundromat (which of course doesn’t exist in A Life Above) and just happen to see their favorite ex sitting at the traffic light? And they squealed, dropped the laundry, and jumped into his (or her) Trans-Am?

The next morning, we were headed to church. We have to go through this particular intersection to get there, so we eagerly craned our necks to check on the fate of The Most Above Laundry Basket That Ever Existed.

It was still there, but now a good deal more strewn, and still quite moist.

IMG_2978

Clearly someone or something had been rooting around in there.

Which is when we began to make up stories.

Perhaps An Opossum Above had taken up residence. Which, considering Opossum track records in busy intersections, was either the smartest or stupidest thing an Opossum had ever done.

Or maybe someone simply needed a fresh pair of green underpants. Although fresh is definitely the wrong adjective…

The next Saturday, we began the Day Count.

The Laundry Basket Above was now on Day Eight.

Whose responsibility is it to clean up discarded laundry baskets? Is it the same guy who has to clean up roadkill? Why hasn’t he been around yet? There aren’t THAT many raccoons lying about…

The Laundry Basket Above made it to Day Ten.

Maybe the Laundry Opossum is an endangered species. I bet they have to build a picket fence around The Laundry Basket Above and leave it there forever. There will definitely be a plaque. He will become The Official Mascot of A Life Above. Everyone will bless the ground that is walked on by whoever discarded their full load of laundry. THEY ARE A POSSUM LIFESAVER.

THE LAUNDRY BASKET ABOVE ON DAY THIRTEEN.

Is mold growing in that laundry basket yet? Will it hurt the Laundry Opossum? I bet flies are laying their maggot babies in it. That thing is going to be An Ecosystem Above of its very own.

And then, it was gone.

Either The Roadkill Scraping Guy finally got around to the bottom of his checklist (right underneath “Small decapitated chipmunk on Altavista” was listed “Burgeoning laundry basket on Columbiana.”), or someone said “SCORE!! FREE TOWELS AND UNDERWEAR!” And happily scooped up the laundry basket and its Opossum home.

But whatever happened, it was no longer there, and I mourned its loss.

That laundry basket and I had become close. I looked forward to our bi-weekly visits. I pined to know its secrets. All of its stories of past, happier days.

Whose back did you dry, brown towel? Whose butt did you cover, green underpants?

But now I would never know.

A week later, as we passed through the intersection and I braced myself for my period of mourning, we saw it.

Right where the laundry basket had been, there was a dead animal.

“Is that a raccoon??”

”It looks like a small fox!!”

“Go around again! We need to know!!”

“It’s a bobcat!?!”

“OH MY GOSH THAT’S A GIANT HOUSE CAT.”

Apparently it was never an Opossum Home. It was a Cat House. And when that cat returned from a chasing unincorporated mice, to cozy up into its comfortable bed of browns and greens, it discovered that its home had been stolen RIGHT OFF THE FOUNDATION, and it immediately died of shock and sadness.

A true Shakespearean tale of tragic woe and fitted sheets.

Why Me.

Dear Instagram, I know you listen to my conversations and feed me ads accordingly. I can even tell that you’re having Google read my emails and feed me ads that fit into that.

But whatever you read or heard that made you think I am the type of person to buy leggings based on how they look when I sit on the toilet – that was bad information. Very bad.

IMG_4597_thumb

And also – I’ve never – not once – emailed or discussed boiling my family for a delicious Spring Stew.

IMG_4EF9BDB3AF33-1The wine glasses are a nice touch. Stew is always better when steeped in wine. But why are there two wine glasses and a beer bottle for one mother and two small children? If in fact this isn’t just a slow cooker advertisement?

I don’t know which is more offensive – the fact that Barnes and Noble wants my baby to get to coding, or that Amazon thinks I care about my Cat’s IQ. And also I’m pretty sure all cat’s IQs are high enough to fake the test altogether so good luck getting the accurate number you so desire.

IMG_4034_thumbIMG_4029_thumb

 

And there’s nothing quite like looking up a recipe and getting an ad for toe mushrooms underneath it.

IMG_5354.png

But let’s move onto other sightings.

I spotted this reusable bag the other day, if someone forgot to bring one.

IMG_4604_thumb_thumb.jpg

Noah’s school books are constantly testing my ability to keep my serious teacher face on and not laugh like a Junior High boy. I’m pretty sure it’s planned that way to test my holiness.

IMG_3954_thumb

In a related section…

IMG_3167_thumb

And then there’s Fran and her impressively sized..wishes.

IMG_3166_thumb

Can we please leave the bear fat-shaming out of the first grade?

IMG_3888_thumb

Noah never catches the same things I do.

But this time, he had his own conclusions of what they were going for. He added a tiny protrusion to the drawing, then informed me that the page was wrong because “pooping” doesn’t begin or end with the ch blend.

IMG_3890_thumb

I get it, Noah. I get it. What kid would assume that bear was supposed to represent crouch.

And finally, we have an issue of local politics we need to discuss.

I don’t know why I follow the city council on Instagram, but I do.

And because of this, I now do indeed know.

IMG_0808

Yelling loudly in public.

Is illegal.

Now. I’m as much against loud noises as the next guy. Probs way more. But what happened to living in a free country?

And if  I see that you’re about to get run over by a car, can I get a one-time permit to be able to yell loudly at you?

And where would I obtain said permit?

Because if it’s at the DMV, you’re definitely dead.

But I will say that this revelation definitely brightened up our family downtown walk on Saturday.

“And this, kids, is the County Jail. It’s where we’ll come visit you if you ever yell loudly in public again.”

Oops, Alabama Did It Again…

Hi y’all. It’s time for your straight-from-the-state-where-it-happened political commentary on Judge Roy Moore. Because I’m here to make sure that you’re informed.

I know, I know – you’re all like,

tenor-5

You’re welcome.

But by the end of this post, you may feel more like this.

200w_d-2

So this all picks up where our dear old Luv Guv left off. If you need a minute to refresh your memory as to that lovely highlight of 2017 Alabama politics, please do, as I provided you this fairytale guide earlier this year.

But here are the people you need to know for today’s story:

Grandpa Gov – our Viagra-flinging ex-governor.
New Gov – Kay Ivey, Grandpa Gov’s replacement, after we all read his vom-worthy texts with his girlfriend.
Strange – why do you need a nickname when your last name is strange? Oh but he does – he prefers to be called “Big Luther.” So let’s go with that.
Sesh – Good Ole’ Jeff Sessions – lest you forgot that all the delightfully crazy politicians came from Alabama.
And…..Ol’ Roy, who we will be discussing today.

Grandpa Gov, in an effort to escape from impeachment due to his nefarious activities related to his affair, promoted the state Attorney General Big Luther into the US Senate seat when Alabama’s Keebler Elf Senator Sesh got promoted to US Attorney General.

When Grandpa Gov resigned anyway (right before his impeachment and right right before his mugshot), New Gov said “You know what? Big Luther smells a bit too much like Grandpa Gov’s grubby boob-grabbing fingers. Let’s redo that whole Senate situation”, and called a special election so that the informed and intelligent voters of Alabama could choose their own senator.

Although I do not in any way think it was New Gov’s intention, this timing could not have been more perfect for Ol’ Roy. Because he had just gotten removed from his position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, for the second time, for defying a higher court ruling, for the second time.

So clearly he was the ideal candidate to represent the fine people of Alabama in Washington DC. Think House of Cards while wearing a cowboy hat (which he wore, while riding a horse, to vote for himself in the primaries.)

1060x600-288c79b15a329eb8dc9c7af1b6ea6efe

With me so far?

Alabama Senate Drama

Good.

Let’s back up a bit and talk about Ol’ Roy’s removals from office.

Ol’ Roy was elected the first time to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama in 2001. He immediately began plans to build a giant ten commandments monument in the rotunda of the courthouse. He’d had a mere wooden plaque in his former days as a Circuit Court (and had gotten sued over that), so a 5,280 pound block made out of tombstone guts seemed like an appropriate upgrade for his new digs.

Ten_Commandments_monument_in_Alabama

Now. I love Jesus, but this monument is cray. It’s like he asked the designer to fit every possible religious or patriotic tag line possible on it, including the National Anthem, the Declaration of Independence, quotes from the founding fathers, and of course, the Ten Commandments.

It’s basically the A.J. McCarron tattoo of monuments.

aj-mccarron-chest-tattoo-new

(Non-Bama peeps: A.J. McCarron was a quarterback at Alabama. He married a supermodel. She obviously makes him keep his shirt on at all times.)

Please take a moment to read the amalgam of words on his chest. You won’t regret it – we can come back to Ol’ Roy when you’re done. Or better yet, read it like a second grader’s poetry assignment.

Bama Boy
Home Team
Ma, Pops
God – MVP – In Control
Gag
McCarron

I feel like I may be misreading one line in there but..I did my best.

Back to Ol’ Roy.

So two years pass with lawsuits, rulings, blah blah, Supreme Court of the United States, blah, appeals, blah, everyone agrees – Roy, you need to put that monument somewhere else. Not where everyone who enters the courthouse has to walk around it.

Basically, “AJ, I’m glad you love God and Ma and them, but for the love of all that is holy please put your shirt on.”

And, as one does, Moore announced his intention to defy the order. Because God. And why should he be a good example of respecting the rule of law to the people. He’s just the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

But his brave stand against the evil courts created rallies and supports and speeches and doors being blockaded (as if someone was going to go in there and simply drag the two-ton monstrosity off.)

Now. Regardless of where you stand on the removal of monuments for various reasons, please remember – this is not some historical monument that has been happily and quietly sitting around for 200 years and is all of a sudden being condemned – this is Ol’ Roy’s very own unilaterally chosen two-and-a-half year old toddler monument.

But this is the hill he will die on – at least with the first of his many lives.

So finally, because he just defied The Supreme Court and the Appeals ruling and all that, they have no choice but to remove him from his seat.

So Ol’ Roy was out of a job.

He ran twice for Governor, both unsuccessfully. After losing in the primaries to Bob Riley, Ol’ Roy told supporters that “God’s will has been done”, but he wouldn’t call Riley to concede and refused to support Riley in the general election. But hey – who among us hasn’t pouted about God’s Will every now and then.

(p.s. – Riley was like the only Governor of Alabama’s that is not currently in jail or mugshotted. So he was like the best.)

After the whole Governor gig didn’t work out for him, Ol’ Roy ran again for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

And we voted him in again.

And it didn’t take him long to find his new Monument to stand on. After the US Supreme Court ruling on Same-Sex Marriage, Ol’ Roy sent letters out to all of the judges of Alabama, ordering them to disregard the ruling and enforce the state’s ban under threat of legal action.

…Which got him his second removal from office. For…

– Disregarding a federal injunction.
– Demonstrated unwillingness to follow clear law.
– Abuse of administrative authority.
– Substituting his judgment for the judgment of the entire Alabama Supreme Court, including failure to abstain from public comment about a pending proceeding in his own court.
– Interference with legal process and remedies in the United States District Court and/or Alabama Supreme Court related to proceedings in which Alabama probate judges were involved.
– Failure to recuse himself from pending proceedings in the Alabama Supreme Court after making public comment and placing his impartiality into question

Minor points, minor points.

He refused to clean out his office, and appealed. And lost.

BUT BACK TO THE PERFECT TIMING!!!

Thanks the New Gov saying “Hey, let’s vote on that Senate thang!”, six days following the court’s ruling removing him from office again, Ol’ Roy resigned from the Alabama Supreme Court and announced he would be running for the United States Senate.

Sarcastic-No-Way-Kristen-Wiig-Reaction-Gif

Because those who can’t follow the law, make the law.

IMG_5182

People vote for different reasons. Some people vote for character, or the party line, or the candidate’s views on issues, or their voting record, or their IMDB catalog, or their last name, or their physical attributes, Twitter history, or any number of other things. The American system allows you to choose not only who you vote for, but why you vote for them, which factors you emphasize or ignore in that reasoning, etc. But theoretically, on some level, as a voter, you are making some sort of informed, rational choice based on something.

Voters haven’t always shown a knack for the subtleties between genuineness and hypocrisy, or between those who believe in their values and those who are manipulating their values to get votes, but regardless, this particular voting opportunity was a lose/lose.

Because in the Republican primary, there was:

– Ol’ Roy.
– Big Luther, who still had the Luv Gov’s film of slime covering him,
Mary Maxwell, a woman who moved from Australia to Alabama to run for Senate. Her qualifications include writing books on mind control, political treason, natural cancer cures and teen etiquette.
– A few other low-level politicians with absolutely no chance of winning.

(Let’s be clear: Mary didn’t have a chance, either, but she’s worth mentioning because Australia? Really? But hey – we appreciate you sending over a reasonable candidate.)

Shockingly, Mary’s knowledge of mind control did not help her win, and Ol’ Roy took the primaries.

And New Gov (who created this mess) was all like,

fbc04d0be6562b99827c21b9af09031b8c01f635d927cf76d4ead613cb411e8a

The special election was set: December 12, Ol’ Roy versus Doug Jones, a democrat (which, in the language of  Alabamian, the definition of Democrat is… (n.) – a person whose political beliefs are so heinous that even if his opponent is sleeping with your wife and also a serial killer of the clergy, the Democrat will always be the most sinful choice.)

(This definition, by the way, is how we ended up with Republicans like Grandpa Gov who say and do whatever they want, because Alabama is like that parent that doesn’t offer any actual consequences for disobedience, but then is flummoxed when their four-year-old acts like a raging demon.)

…And then things got weird.

On November 9, The Washington Post broke the story that also broke the dam.

When Ol’ Roy was the not-so-fresh age of 32 and the Assistant District Attorney, he allegedly targeted a 14-year-old girl whose parents were divorcing, asked for her phone number, manipulated her into “dating” him, and sexually assaulted her.

Three other women also testified to him pursuing them, dating them, and/or buying them alcohol when they were underage and he was in his 30s.

tenor-2

Ol’ Roy quickly played his favorite card – The God Card. He denied it all, calling it spiritual warfare and a political witch hunt, pointing out the suspect timing of these things being brought up.

JUCH0mJ

But as we all know thanks to Bill Clinton, if you deny it and you’re an actual dirty dirty dirtbag, more women will come forward.

(Also learned from Bill: It still may not mean your career is over.)

of-course

What followed was another accuser, who said that he violently assaulted her as a teenager after offering to give her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked. She claimed he threatened her to not tell anyone, and said “You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.”

Jim-Carrey-Disgusted

She also had a yearbook that he allegedly signed (which, honestly, is so weird that a 34-year-old man would have signed a waitress’ year book in December that it is in doubt for its authenticity. But it’s almost so random that why would you choose that to forge?), which Ol’ Roy’s lawyer has demanded access to so he can examine the inconsistency of fonts used, and carbon date the ink to the appropriate SNL cast.

1060x600-67bbde2c12208e5412195cc4b5d935bb

Ol’ Roy denied it, and “didn’t remember” dating teenagers, but conceded that he could have dated teenagers. Whatever happened to morally dubious politicians owning it hard like Alexander Hamilton dropping The Reynolds Pamphlet?

tenor-3

(It’s pertinent to note here that Ol’ Roy married when he was 38 and his wife was 24.)

In the midst of this election, one of his professors and many of his classmates came out and gave us a disturbing window into Moore’s school days, where one professor had to abandon the Socratic method just to get Ol’ Roy to shut up, and another professor nicknamed him “Fruit Salad” because he was so mixed up and made no sense.

source-2

And THEN, all of Gadsden, his hometown and where all of these teenage incidents allegedly occurred, began offering interviews and telling their stories about how Ol’ Roy would troll the newly-built mall every weekend for teenage girls, harass the young store clerks, was known by every mall employee as a SuperCreep, was placed on a mall watch list for being a complete Ick, and eventually was possibly banned from the mall.

ClearRemorsefulAlbacoretuna

Even the National Chapter of Dirty Old Men began to be disgusted.

Louis-C.K.-Disgusted

I totally get why the women who had been assaulted hadn’t come forward. Most of us women have been sexually harassed and/or assaulted at some point, and if we all came forward, the world would dissolve into nothing but women calling out their assaulters.

mary-poppins-spectacle

But as for the whole city of Gadsden keeping the whole mall thing under wraps, I’m with Cameron…

Then a lady came forward who claimed assault in 1992, the first accuser in the era of Ol’ Roy’s post-marriage days, and even more ladies came forward and said that Ol’ Roy had tried to hit on them, pick them up, and/or assault them when they were teens and he was in his 30s. The numbers of accusers, of corroborators, and of common Gadsden knowledge is quite enough to overcome any doubts due to the timing of this avalanche.

After all this, national Republicans ran from him as fast as they could.

eb9

And Ol’ Roy was all like “Seriously Guys I didn’t do it!”

rs_480x270-151218092109-christmas_story_11

All while state republican leaders doubled down and threatened anyone with political murder if anyone dared defy him, run against him, or speak out against him.

tenor-4

Everyone had to get their opinion in.

Rush Limbaugh excused him by saying “Well, he was a democrat when he did all that, so…”

IMG_5183

And his supporters rallied on Facebook in support of him, while the rest of us wondered in our heads, “How many women would it take for you to take a hot minute and consider whether it could possibly be true that Ol’ Roy’s a hypocrite who has been using you and your values?”

source

But the winner of Moore defenders was Jim Zeigler, state auditor, who said,

“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Jim:

IMG_5181

Me and the rest of Alabama:

y3PWaHz

no2

In his analysis, Jim missed:
a) Ol’ Roy’s actions were allegedly nonconsensual. Yeah, that’s illegal.
b) Even if they weren’t nonconsensual (which they were – see point a), age of consent in Alabama is set by the actual Alabama law, not the ages that we guess people were in A.D. 0 when life expectancy was today’s legal drinking age.
c) Mary and Joseph and Jesus and God….I’m not even going to try to explain all that to Jim. But let’s just all agree he got it wronger than Kanye attempting to explain advanced trig, and people like Jim are why Alabamians and Christians and especially Christian Alabamians look like idiots in the national news.

qGhiEIe

So that’s the story of this week’s crazy Alabama.

IMG_4909

…And all of this is because Grandpa Gov’s oozy, icky office romance (and the texts that went with it) continue to ripple consequences in moldy, skeezy concentric circles.

IMG_6124_thumb-2
I don’t think that blessing stuck.