to what do my wondering eyes should appear?
(Spoiler! Was not Santa and tiny reindeer.
Was hideous, creepy, leering, weird animal I do not understand at all.)
For like, days now.
An assortment of sloths.
Why? I have not done anything to bring this upon myself.
I have learned my lesson,
after idiotically alerting mischievous and wicked friends of my loathing,
dread, fear, and rational horror of owls.
All because Facebook ad overlords decided I might enjoy whimsical owl buckets,
I got all offended,
wrote a thing,
and now I am continually owl bombed and owl gifted and owl stalked forevermore.
I do not dare announce - in long diatribe format as that is how I roll - any of my other totally rational phobias.
I am not always a total complete idiot.
But you know who IS a total complete idiot?
Facebook marketer ad stream whoevers.
You can't bait me with sloths, FB.
Sure, I have all sorts of sloth stories, who doesn't?
And the Sloth On The Road (More on that nightmare later) is insanely wrong,
but you cannot terrorize me with sloths.
Want to know why?
That is stealing from my own playbook.
The Sloth In The Road is actually an offensive tool I use in parenting.
I did not learn that in a parenting book because those books stress me out.
Sloth In The Road is like, my four corners delay offense.
If I were playing basketball instead of attempting to wrangle my three girls into civility.
OOH! TANGENT ALERT!
I do not play basketball.
I love basketball, though, and grew up watching it and am a fan.
1.You can see people's faces.
This is important to me for some reason.
It is one of the reasons I do not like football,
I can't see anyone's face.
I cannot tell who is who,
or what they may or may not be thinking,
or invent a total backstory I made up because my brain just does that,
I don't know,
but I can't do that if I can't see faces.
2. Basketball moves quickly, and there is running around,
and limited time-outs so I don't get bored.
3. Basketball has strategy and fast stuff happening at the same time,
that impresses me.
I am sure other, helmeted or masked sports do that too,
but I can't tell,
due to the obfuscation of the helmet or masks.
Are there any masked sports anymore?
Is that a thing still?
Fencing has those masks, right?
So you can't stab your opponent in the eye?
I don't know,
because I can't follow anything if I can't see faces.
4. I also love the way basketball referees look like they are disco dancing when they do the signal for somebody traveling with the ball.
That has always delighted me to no end.
(Note: This is why nobody wants to watch any sports with me ever.
I am the worst.)
But I do not PLAY basketball, because?
1. I was and remain tall.
Current Allison is totally cool with that.
However, Adolescent Allison was hoping in vain for a shrinking potion to be invented,
for many reasons,
but one reason was this:
People kept trying to make me play basketball,
and I did not want to play basketball.
I was the girliest girl that ever girled,
and our middle school gym outfits were hideous,
and I was not interested in wearing one.
And certainly not getting all gross,
and then changing back into my outfit I thought was cute at the time.
Hindsight has proven outfits to be not so cute, but still.
The worst outfit I ever created myself was Parisian Couture compared to the gym outfit,
and so I tried to talk my way out of every gym activity.
It was actually a pretty successful, years-long strategy.
I was scorekeeper,
even for things with no score.
I must have been truly tedious nightmare.
(Retroactively, to all who had to deal with me, sorry about that.)
3. I also did not play basketball because?
Nobody could ever tell me why I HAD to dribble the basketball.
I mean, I knew it was the rule, but?
It seemed inefficient to me.
Couldn't I just go to the other side,
give it to someone, and they shoot?
Or nobody give it to me to start with,
and let me keep score,
so I can secretly write notes to my friends and not wear the ugly outfit?
(Note: My father was a basketball player and coach. I am sure I totally brought complete shame and horror upon my family with my nonsense.)
4. But I think the main reason I was so ornery about playing basketball was because people would say, "Oh, you are tall, do you play basketball?"
ALL THE TIME.
At least, it seemed that way to me.
And my emerging social consciousness manifested itself in outrage that height equaled being good at basketball,
as I knew that not to be true.
I was Exhibit A.
And whoever was asking me if I played basketball may have been making polite chit chat,
not trying to send me spiraling into a hissy fit,
but the end result was hissy fit.
Actually, hissy fit plus my defense argument that dance and forensics team are totally sports too, you know.
dance is a sport and forensics team is a team,
so my bases were covered.
No way on Earth was I playing softball or baseball,
where I grew up there was red clay on the fields,
Also, I did not like things being thrown or hurled at me.
(I wish any and all of the P.E. teachers stuck with me could see that now I pay people to make me do boot camp and other atrocities.
Am sure it is my karmic payback for being Eternal Scorekeeper,
Ew Yuck I'm Not Wearing That Or Doing That.)
But I still don't play basketball.
I do love to watch basketball, though.
And steal strategy for use in dealing with my daughters.
Remember when I was kind of talking about sloths, way back up there?
I didn't forget.
I was critiquing Facebook ad stream's Onslaught Of Sloth.
Because I do not like sloths,
and they creep me out,
and the Sloth On The Road is Just Plain Wrong.
I harness the wrong -
(Ok, that does not sound right, but whatever.
I am not harnessing actual sloths.
Now I am totally grossed out by my own self.)
And employ basketball offensive strategies,
such as delaying or running out the clock while distracting my girls,
so they will stop doing whatever it is I don't want them doing -
by scaring them with the Sloth On The Road.
Totally different thing, Facebook overlords.
Sloths are not the new Owls.
Sloths are just really scary and absurd,
and one in particular is now in regular rotation in my arsenal of parenting tools I cobble together from 1980's ACC basketball strategy, The Art of War, and song lyrics.
The Sloth On The Road!
How We Found An Atrocity And I Now Use It To Scare The Children, by Allison.
So my sister tells me about her kids having to research crawfish on the Internet for school a while ago, and she directed them towards Elvis singing about crawfish in Kid Creole.
Brilliant, as Elvis movies are fab,
AND she is controlling the Google factor.
I am an idiot.
V had a presentation on sloths (she chose the animal, this was before the chronic owl nonsense.
Trust me, every single other animal project ever ever in this house has been about owls,
brought home to me and dropped at my feet like a cat bringing me a bird,
specifically an eyeball-eating monster bird )
So we imaged sloths, and... I scanned for porn or the dude from The Goonies,
and we chose Sloth on the Road.
Sounded kind of like an adventure, or a fun outing.
Imagine wicked face, demon + abominable snowman + weird monkey + raccoon + Grinch,
coming at you to eat your brain.
So this image pops up, and we run screaming.
And then peek and run screaming.
It became a hideous mascot, and the girls always beg to see The Sloth on the Road.
If they are all three acting like savage feral vulture children,
I will summon this terrifying thing,
and they are distracted, and I can escape.
See, offensive strategy!
surprise shock and awe if they are driving me extra insane,
like asking me 100 times to check the weather or to turn down the music or something.
If we haven't seen our sloth tormentor in a while,
and it has been an uncivilized evening,
I leave this remembered image up on the screen for them for the next morning.
Because I am Twisted Mommy.
they check the weather to begin the tense negotiations of wardrobe.
They know I think the weather forecast is voodoo,
and when I did the news for our college radio station,
I would always just make up the weather.
if anyone ever listened,
which they did not.
So, if the girls are extra uncooperative and impossible,
and sometimes just because,
I unleash (figuratively, again, not interested in hanging out with this thing)
The Sloth On The Road.
Music to my ears,
the screeches when the girls try to check the weather in the morning,
and instead find
THE SLOTH ON THE ROAD.
Sloth on The Road goes over like gangbusters, always.
Much screeching and running and then looking at it again and then screeching and running.
And discussion of how I am "bizarre" (V, and that is true),
"weird" (E, also true),
and then M, in her sweet, darling, suck-up glory, says that I am pretty,
and she wins and now gets all of my jewelry when I die.
Which will be a result of having my brain eaten by the Sloth on the Road.
After the owls finish with me.