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Topic Drift

Friday, December 31, 2004

A Nice Cup of Herbal Tea

Normally, I consider herbal tea a waste of time, but tonight I was feeling wasteful, so I threw some empty salsa jars into the garbage instead of the recycling bin; then I made chamomile tea. The tea bag had a string with a thingy on the dry end, and the thingy said "Know that whatever you are doing is the most beautiful thing." So I lit a cigarette and read it again. "I am doing the most beautiful thing," I said aloud, and put my fist through the drywall. "I am doing the most beautiful thing," I said again, and sent the sofa through the picture window. "I am doing the most beautiful thing," I thought, as I rummaged around for my softball bat. I couldn't find my bat, so I settled for my five iron. I walked outside and started smashing windshields, trees, yard santas, Wellstone signs, but mostly cars, cars, cars. "KNOW THAT WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING!" I shrieked as I worked my way up and down Emerson Avenue, demolishing everything in my path. I believe the Taoists refer to such a smash-path as "the middle path."

By the time I was done smashing, my tea was ready to drink. Relaxing, chamomile tea is. Perhaps I spoke hastily when I said herbal tea was a waste of time.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Awake and Frowning

Now that it is morning, I have decided to get out of bed and greet the world with a smile. I'm all by myself this morning, so I forwent the smile. It's important to never smile aimlessly while you're in your house alone; neighbors watching you with their binoculars will think you are crazy. If you are alone in the house and you wish to smile aimlessly, I suggest that you do so while holding an open book of Cathy cartoons. Then they'll assume that you're smiling because you're fantasizing about killing Cathy. "Boy, we've all been there," your watchers will mutter.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

17 Year-Old Marty McFly Got Home Early Last Night.

One thing that bothers me about the blogosphere, besides the word "blogosphere," is all the spying. Everyone's checking their stats to see who's looking at what when who how who. Spying, trying to get my recipes, trying to find out what I did with Hoffa or the Holy Grail, etc. Spies! When I look at my statistics, I look for one thing only: have I been linked to by Rapture Ready yet? When I started Topic Drift I had a few objectives, but they've all been abandoned now. Now I want to be known as "Twelfth Harbinger of the Pre-Rapture, Low-Traffic Blog Sector B."


I have decided to eliminate the strings that hang off the old bath towels. Nobody else has taken the initiative to do this, so I know that the onus lies with me. The others probably think that nobody uses the old bath towels, so why maintain them? I counter that whiney excuse with the following rock-solid fact:

And that settles the matter.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Today when Schaffer casually referred to his wife as "the beautiful and charming Mrs. Schaffer," I had to stop him and ask him if he was serious. "You don't have to lie to me," I told him. Then his wife pulled the car over and asked me to get out.

And Another Thing

Whoever said, “He who loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping” probably never had one of those indestructible silicon oven mitts. In my assessment, those are worth keeping, if only because they cost a great deal more than regular oven mitts.

Good Morning

This morning I had a terrible dream where I was trapped in a barn with nothing but a coconut and an old man with a nose whistle. After much suffering, I was freed from the barn by a strong wind from the east. Later while I was compiling a grocery list, a gang of ruddy putti appeared to inform me that the strong wind was Zeus and that I was pregnant with his child. They also told me that Zeus prefers Coke over Pepsi and that, because we live in a Christian age, my trials and tribulations would not be recorded by any poet, epic or otherwise. That's when I woke up to the sound of the cat vomiting.

Monday, December 27, 2004


When I walk into a room for the first time, I like to pull one stranger aside and say to her, loudly so that everyone can hear, “Who are all these hideous, inbred bumblyfucks?!” I find that this announcement really separates the wheat from the chaff, socially speaking. Those who cleave unto me after I pose this question are my bosom friends for life; after we die, we will gambol in the buttercups of Elysium together. Those who hear my question and write me off as a haughty, insufferable bitch are sooner or later humiliated, ruined, and driven to an early grave with my patented Humiliation Ruination Grave-Filling Device, which now comes in a convenient pocket-pack with optional nightlight and air horn attachment.

Come In If You're Good Lookin'!

I am certainly relieved to see that most of my comment fields remain empty. At the outset, I was concerned that Topic Drift would become one of those blogs wherein the proprietor writes something pithy, like, “All dogs go to heaven! Let’s all shower together!” and 46 comments appear within two hours. Thank heavens this hasn’t happened to Topic Drift.

All dogs go to heaven! Let’s all shower together!

A Better Today

The only thing that would make today better is if a horse clomped into the office, and then I got on to the horse and rode over to Starbucks to buy a gigantic coffee. Then I’d notice that my horse had wings, so we’d fly somewhere, but not very far, because the horse would have to be home between the hours of 2 and 5 in order to have cable installed in his stables. I would probably spill coffee on the winged horse, but the winged horse would just say, “No sweat, that happens all the time. I don’t care.” Then the winged horse would drop me off at home, where I would sit down and worry that I was in trouble because I left work early without a good excuse. Then I would try to think up some practice excuses. Then I would decide to offer no excuse, and if anyone were to ask where I went, I would just tell them that I have a severe peanut allergy. And if they were to say, “You DO? But you eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch every day,” I would simply reply, “I think it’s time for you to shut up.”

Sunday, December 26, 2004


I already had a half-cup of tea on my desk, and just now one of my admirers brought me a cup of coffee. I have separated the two with the crossword puzzle that I am currently solving, because experts say that you should introduce coffee and tea to each other gradually so they don’t go apeshit on each other. If you introduce them too suddenly, you run the risk of sparking permanent personality quirks in your hot drinks, if not a bloody battle royal. If there is one thing that I cannot abide in my hot drink, it is a quirk. Whether they sink or float, hot drink quirks destroy mankind’s peace of mind, micro and macro, blues and soul, Barbie and Skipper. I think you know what I mean.

Yankee Ingenuity

It has come to my attention that, as of 11:24 this morning, no one has completed or even half-heartedly contributed to the Wikipedia page regarding "Yankee ingenuity." Surely, reader, you are remiss; surely you intended to contribute! Your Yankee ingenuity-related erudition must not lay stricken by the wayside, disregarded, dismissed, tormented in the stinky pit of neglect! Consider the young Irishman, stalwart in his studies, who can name the capital of Wyoming, who can recite entire passages from Everybody Loves Raymond, who has a vague idea of the many meanings of the word “dugout,” and who once read the Tom Sawyer Cliffs Notes; consider his bewilderment upon discovering Wikipedia’s blank discussion of “Yankee ingenuity!” He meets the Silent Void, the Empty Skull, the Gaping Maw of Wiki! And speaking of silent voids, empty skulls and gaping maws, I will now eat an entire piece of quiche with a single fork.

Friday, December 24, 2004

As Always, I Aim to Help

Sometimes I feel that low-income rental housing is not the answer. Something else must be done with these people who cannot afford palatial homes of their own. I often wonder: have these people had a go at the stage? The theatre world is known for welcoming new talent with open arms, and I hear there's nothing like an off-Broadway paycheck to free a man from the financial indiscretions of his past. This naturally leads me to the subject of Social Security; many people ask me where I stand on the issue. Given the political climate these days, I would never dream of standing on an issue, as they are too often pulled out from under me at raucous cocktail parties, causing me to tumble onto the host; this inevitably results in a fistfight between me and the host's wife. At any rate, I am in favor of replacing Social Security with Folger's Crystals, though many wet-blanket lawmakers seem to think that such action amounts to "taking the easy way out."

Many of the same lawmakers have also informed me that the Folger's Crystals reference is "dead" to them and that I need to "learn to reference newer commercial entities, such as Splenda or French Vanilla flavored CoolWhip."

Too Late Now?

I've been questioning my 1988 watershed decision to refrain from ever viewing the groundbreaking films "Grease" and "Grease II." I am afflicted with such wicked remorse that I suffer tinnitus and blurred vision - though these little developments may have more to do with my hourly ether treatments than my remorse. Have I erred? Is it too late? Why do bad things happen to good people? And will my failure to view these films affect my ability to conceive a child, or operate a flowbee with the sort of precision I'm accustomed to? So many questions, so little time.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

My New Loot, or And From Me You Receive Nothing

In the name of all that is holy and proper, I have heretofore accepted one Ikea Bagn, one Ikea Irma in powder bloo, one Ikea Rens, one Hue stocking, one 100% cotton Charms Blow Pop brand undie, and one Madeline "Winter in Paris" ornament. Reciprocally speaking, I have bestowed nothing but confusion upon all peoples, as I am a rancid old bitch who, amongst other things, thinks nothing of shooting guileless beer cans out of a tree but fears approaching a common bank teller. Or is it that I think nothing of shooting bank tellers out of a tree but fear approaching a guileless beer can? Yes, that sounds reasonable.

Stupid Holiday

Some holiday. The refrigerator keeps making a rarrerrarrerrarrer noise. It has always made a rarrerrarrerrarrer noise, so I'm not too concerned about it. I am, however, concerned about the stage door johnnies loitering around the refrigerator, waiting for their favorite chorus girls to exit. They're all smoking and shouting things like "lookie the flat bugs on that bug-eyed betty," and "dry up, I got enough giggle water to get us fried an' then some," and "doll, where does a baby grand like me go to iron his shoelaces round here?" I tried to kick them out, and one of them said, "Poor little half-under bunny, trying to give us the bum's rush," and they all laughed at me! How can I make them believe that my refrigerator is chorus-girl free? And more importantly, how can I elbow past them to get some milk for my tea?

The Music, It Tells Lies

I was just pouring my coffee when it occurred to me: not only is San Francisco an expensive place to visit, but the act of physically removing your heart and stashing it there is likely to adversely affect your health, if not kill you. And may God help you if some street dog finds your heart before you can go back to retrieve it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Fell off the roof again. Must remember to yell "heads up!" on my way down. I'm tired of having caroler's blood on my hands.

Last Week

I recently met a mustachioed man in a pizzeria who claimed he knew Salman Rushdie before he was famous. He said that Rushdie used to be the champion bear-wrestler in Pokenhow county before his wife read his diary. She forbade him from further wrestles, so he stayed in most nights to watch M*A*S*H and help her set up her Department 56 collectables. "Fiddlesticks," I said. "M*A*S*H airs only in the afternoon." "Not in Pokenhow county," the man retorted, and proceeded to pick all the green peppers off his slice.

Naturally, these tidings troubled me, so I poured over Rushdie's work in the hopes of finding some evidence of their veracity. I found nothing, so I ran back to the pizzeria to pump the man for more information. He wasn't there, so I ordered a medium pepperoni and black olive pie to go.


Why does the middle class hate the rich? I, for one, love the rich. I especially love Richie Rich. I find his excesses charming. I'm broaching this topic now because, before he boarded the plane to Haiti, Flavian turned around and shouted, "AND ANOTHER THING! RICHIE RICH DOESN'T EXIST! HE'S JUST A GODDAMNED CARTOON!" I was about to shout back "THAT'S NO REASON TO SWEAR IN THE AIRPORT!" but he was gone. So I sent him a text message that said, "U gt ryt off that plane n talk 2 me bout this!" He replied "I cant a4d a nu plane tkt, Ill cll U frm Port au Prince."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Flavian is flying back to Haiti today. Of course, the toilet tank has sprung a leak, and he's the only plumber I know. I've put a bucket under the fissure. This makes me mad because it's my only bucket. What if I need that bucket for something else?

I went to the parade they had downtown last night. I took my hat off for two minutes and some guy tried to stash his Hardees cup in it. I caught him in the act, and then I noticed that he was Ted Fedd, the orthodontist who was expelled from Canada for writing all those rude letters to Gerard Depardieu.

All Together Now

Sometimes I post something and nobody reads it for 15-20 minutes – or more! I prefer my new posts to garner 5000 frenzied piranha hits the minute those posts fall into the river, though this happens remarkably less often than I would expect. Perhaps some “people” or “piranhas” do not believe that Topic Drift provides the sort of vital, time-sensitive, life-affirming information that requires constant blog vigilance on their part. These people are probably correct, but why chance it? Why not keep Topic Drift open on your screen, ready to be refreshed every twenty seconds? Better yet, why not gather the family around your monitor so that Topic Drift can mean togetherness? And if you have no family, why not pause to consider what it is about you that drives people away? If you’re anything like me, it’s your obsessive fascination with Leopold and Loeb that does the trick.

That's Why

People demand more of me than they do of others, probably because I move about with a stealth and grace that confounds the laws of man and science. For example, sometimes people ask me why they didn’t receive a Christmas card from me. I have a number of responses ready for this question, ranging from “I work like billy-o all day long and I have to come home to burnt pork chops? I don’t eat pork!” to “Not only did I not send you a card, I’ve been stealing the newspaper from your porch for years.”

Monday, December 20, 2004

Great, Another Thing I Messed Up

I really screwed up this time. This post made me want to come clean about the blog payola schemes in which I am currently embroiled. I am slightly-to-moderately ashamed of myself. I have been paid to tout the following Reputable Entities:

Trembly-Foolby brand spats in mouse-gray and nailbed-pink
John Boy Electric Toothbrush
Whoopsie-Daisy Airgun Litigation Kit
Dr. Diggenheimer's Foolproof Gravesite Backhoe
Greg Toole's Tools for Fools Kid's Dehydrated Food Drive
The Matrix 4: Whoa, Who Laid One? starring Lionels Barrymore and Ritchie
Le Creuset

I have failed these Reputable Entities. I promised to talk them up in exchange for a dray horse and two silos of the grain of my choice. I accepted these amazing gifts and I neglected to push the stuff on my readers! I'm worried that they'll want their gifts back! Please, folks. Support my payola masters. I've already used up a lot of that grain (I chose spelt) and I talk to that dray horse every day. We talk so much! Horse talk, you know. We're like sisters, but without all of the screaming and hair-pulling. I don't want to lose my wonderful illegal gifts. Why not buy a nice gravesite backhoe for your ball and chain? 'Tis the season. Your boss would love the John Boy Electric Toothbrush. The toothpaste is in the handle! Please, help me out here!

I Reminisce Again

Back in the olden days, I’d scan a poem for class only to discover that the professor scanned it differently. The differences were minor and he never corrected me, though he did insist that I remove my astronaut helmet while class was in session. I was uncomfortable with this poetic ambiguity. I felt like a complete failure and I took to my bed for weeks at a stretch. This behavior did little to help my grade. Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m thinking that my professor and I were both correct. I’m also thinking that it'll have to be lentil soup for lunch again.

This Morning

When I woke up this morning, I noticed that everything outside was coated with a thin layer of human skin, complete with downy hairs and a few unsightly moles. I could barely believe my eyes. So I put on my glasses and looked again, and boy, was I relieved. It was just ice! Why the ice was hairy and mole-ridden, I’ll never know. I walked to work with the only footwear known to navigate ice with any semblance of safety or dignity: Chuck Norris Converse All-Stars. They didn’t really match my sailor outfit, but I always put safety first. I killed several motorists with my martial arts ice-maneuvering mastery. I also got to work on time. Things are looking up.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I'm Nice to Everybody

Some people use the word “moonbat,” but I never do. I think it’s a hurtful word, and I make a point of never hurting anyone’s feelings. Sometimes I call Jim a “blubbery illiterate ogre, the ugliest man I’ve ever seen,” but he has thick skin, so that doesn’t count. I always tell Maureen that she’s “probably the worst mother in the tri-state area, if not the country,” but I’m careful to tell her this in front of her children, so really, it’s all for the best. I usually call Doreen a “wheezing pig,” but she does have asthma, and everyone knows it. Alicia has a bit of a beard, and I like to point that out when we’re approached by men at the bar. It keeps unsuitable fellows away from her, and she seems to appreciate my efforts on her behalf. Don has overwhelming BO due to his heart medication, and I like to roll my eyes and wave my hand in front of my nose when he walks by. That always cracks everyone up, and it makes me feel good to know that I’ve brought a modicum of joy into the lives of my acquaintances. But I’ll never use the word “moonbat.” It’s just too mean. Everyone knows that bats are incontinent and the moon has acne scars. What if I called some guy a moonbat and it turned out that he wets his pants regularly, or has uneven skin? I shudder at the thought! I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Why Would I Need a Job?

It turns out that you have to note your occupation on your landmine adoption application. Apparently, landmines need the sort of support that only an employed parent can offer. I didn’t know what to write. First, I wrote in “Sexy Mermaid,” but then I scribbled that out, because that’s more of a birth abnormality than a job. Then I wrote in “Opium-Addled Flapper,” but I scribbled that out, too, because that job seems to drain my coffers rather that fill them. Finally, I wrote in “Mysterious Stevedore.” I’m not actually a stevedore, which is why I qualified it with the word “mysterious.” I’m hoping that the landmine orphanage will fail to check my references thoroughly. But ooooooooh! I really want a landmine to call my own! I’ve already cleared a space for it in the backyard. I don’t know if it will be a boy or a girl, so I’ve decorated the dirt crib in pastel yellows and greens.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Let Me Help You, Part III

People often come to me with their troubles; they ask me how they can throw off their chains and experience great joy. I tell them to go home, sit on the sofa and shut up for once. Nobody wants to hear about your troubles, unless your troubles involve Chloe Sevigny or an unusual birthmark. As the NASCAR great, Nathaniel Hawthorne, once said, "Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, will patiently describe your prostate surgery to you in exquisite detail."

It Happened Again

Just this morning while I was scanning my Zohar, I received a knock at the door. You'll never guess who it was! It was that woodland deer I saved from under my car last spring! He came back to thank me. Then he hit me in the face with his hoof and said, "And THAT'S for telling my wife about Cindy!" So I slapped his face and said, "How dare you! Trisha and I have been friends since college! You must have known I'd tell her you were cheating!" A brutal brawl ensued. After I got back from the ER, I took off my red string bracelet. I really don't feel that it's protecting me properly.

Done, and Done

The Chinese proverb states, "He who seeks revenge should remember to dig two graves," so that's what I did. I went out back and dug two big holes. One for Penn, one for Teller. Nobody makes an ass out of me in Vegas. Nobody.

A Lovely Evening

Mother always told me never to laugh at someone who falls down the stairs until you are sure that he is all right. Oh, Mother. It's just not that easy. What if the man is already "not all right" before he falls? How am I to distinguish between a prior equestrian injury and the potential current injury? I can't. So when I laughed as the stables valet fell down those steps, I was really doing him a favor. My laughter said, "Don't let your old horse injury stop you from reaching your potential to make this a magical evening for me and countless others."

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Dead for years?! Oof. I feared as much. I suppose this explains those alarming late-night phone calls from Paul McCartney. "I'm dead! I'm dead!" he shrieks. Damnit, shut up, Paul. I just hate your dead ass.

This may also explain why God keeps exhorting me to "stop blabbing everydamnthing" to Sylvia Browne.

Nothing, As of Today

Years ago, I heard Janet Jackson sing the line "What have you done for me lately?" I had always assumed that the "you" in that particular inquiry referred to her boyfriend. Now I find out that she was referring to me.

Never have I been so embarrassed.

It's Getting To Be That Time of Year Again

Every year I produce a gigantic New Year's Pageant Spectacular for my community. I staff my pageant with children from the community, as they do not require compensation beyond the Carnation Instant Breakfast packets I provide after rehearsals. This year our pageant theme is "We Can Do It."

The pageant opens with a bang, factory style: the Factory Dancers dance at their work stations, and an industrial nylon knitting machine falls on Tipsy MacGregor. She does not die immediately, but breaks out into the Christina Aguilera song about "doin' it." Then, of course, she dies, and the Factory Dancers whisk her broken body off stage to make way for Father Time, who rides in on an enormous Marlboro brand bathtub. He is smoking, though clearly not enjoying it due to the high winds. The Factory Dancers gather round to hear The Story of Time, but Father Time is distracted as his cigarette is blown away. He tries to light another one with matches that have gone through the wash at least once, maybe twice. The Factory Dancers grow bored and disperse. Father Time tries to lie down for a tub nap but the screen door keeps slamming. He gets up to secure it when several armed farmers enter and attempt to murder him. They fail to kill, but two farmers fall in love. A baby wearing a 2005 sash falls from the ceiling onto a mattress with the wrong Sleep Number, and appears to break his arm.

The New Year's pageant will be held in February 16, 2005 at the Xcel Energy Center. Admission $6. All checks must be written out to Esther Wilberforce-Packard. Bring a canned good for 20 cents off admission.

Ive Had It's Up To Hear With Typos

Do you know what chafes my hide time and time again? My constant and grievous typos. And do you know what else? The typos that hurt the most are the ones I don't catch. They they slip by me like teh gravy river in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Or maybe that weas chocolate? Lets not splitt hairs over it, the point is that I can barely sleep at knight for the grievous typos that infest my typing. Remember that lady "Dolores Something" from Stephen King's Dolores Something? She broke that guy's ankles so he cou;dn't leave her house! That's what I'm going to do! Break some poor guys ankles! And that broken-ankle-guy is going to scan my posts for typos before I post them! Super genius. That should at clear up this irritating little problem. When hes not correcting my copy, he will launder all od my delicate hand washables, though not my smalls. Those are prvate! e

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I Lived

I am always surprised at how many times I dodge death in a single day. Today I burned some raisin toast, for example. Normally, burnt raisin toast would send me into a tailspin of self-destruction and acute alcohol poisoning. Not today. Today I stayed calm and ate the burnt atrocity anyway. I knew that the antioxidants floating in my morning tea would destroy the burnt toast free-radicals ravaging my system. I also knew that my violently charismatic anger would not win me any new friends at the time, as I was alone in the house.

I Throw Down the Glove

Topic Drift has been insufficiently intellectual lately, hasn't it? Experts will begin to expunge my name from their laminated toilet-wall lists of Public Intellectuals. Posner has already taken me off the master list. He notified me by way of lavender-scented form letter. Who is next? Cornel West? Will he turn his back on me as well? I haven't heard from old lady Nussbaum in years, and Allan Bloom returns all of my letters unopened. Bunch of phonies. I can see that all of my back-scratching efforts have been for naught. It's a one-way street; I scratch their backs, they offer me the cold shoulder. Well, fine. I have some superb ideas about toxicology, public transportation and nouveau monkey-dirtpit greenbean feminism that will blow the establishment out of the water. Good. We shall see who gets the last laugh. Yes, we shall see.

I'm Ready

It is important to remember that there is nothing new under the sun. However, when the sun finally expands into a red giant or implodes into a flaming pink dwarf, we will witness new things, and I for one will welcome the changes. I'm not saying that we need to take action to hasten the demise of our sun; I am merely noting that earth is oppressively tedious. Everywhere I go, I see the same blue Ford Explorer. And the same 36 righteous pigeons. I'm tired of it. I'm ready for the "Next Stage," as Wells Fargo banking aficionados say. I'm ready for ATM machines that shake your hand and robot dogs that invite you, in the language of Barklish, to the kegger at Kranson's place on that logging road over by the Shell station that closed down in '94 when Johnson had his stroke and his son drove into the lake to save that baby. I shit you not, hombre. I'm also ready for the death of the phrase "I shit you not."

Monday, December 13, 2004


I noticed that there is a Successories store in the Mall of America now. I am thinking of buying the poster that says “Productivity: Why don’t we all die right now and leave our corpses for the janitor?” It depicts a seagull pooping on a young girl’s open-faced roast beef sandwich at a shore picnic. The girl is seated at a picnic table, smiling and watching a beautiful nerd do his Statistics homework at the other end of the table. She harbors a secret crush on this fellow. She doesn’t see the seagull poop dropping into her sandwich yet. But we see it. We know what happens when you have a crush on a nerd at a shore picnic. Oh, the horror.

Surely, You Will Learn to Love Them

People often ask me how they can keep fleas off their dog without resorting to dangerous chemicals and awkward baths. I tell them to think like the flea. For example, why do fleas leap? Fleas leap to escape predators. I suggest introducing a larger insect to the dog’s coat – something that eats fleas, or just scares the crap out of fleas. I would try scarab beetles; “scare” is practically part of their name. If the scarabs fall off your dog (and believe me, they will), you can tell visitors that your scarabs are sacred guests and that you are the 4836th incarnation of Isis. Tell them that your scarabs bring you immortality. Then show them your ankh tattoo.

Sometimes people ask me how to get rid of scarab beetles. I always say “Why? Don’t they keep your home free of fleas? Don’t they bring you the respect of your peers? Has your personal scarab population grown too large? Don’t you like ancient Egypt? And how do you otherwise intend to pump legitimacy into that ludicrous ankh tattoo you’ve had since college?” People tend to assume that, as a scarab breeder, I have some sort of cash-based reason to exaggerate the efficacy and desirability of indoor free-range scarabs. How wrong they are, brother. How wrong they are. I believe in the power of my scarabs. I stand behind my scarabs, not only because that keeps them from sneaking up behind me, but because they are solid as a rock and trained to pick pockets.

Surely, You Will Learn to Love Them

People often ask me how they can keep fleas off their dog without resorting to dangerous chemicals and awkward baths. I tell them to think like the flea. For example, why do fleas leap? Fleas leap to escape predators. I suggest introducing a larger insect to the dog’s coat – something that eats fleas, or just scares the crap out of fleas. I would try scarab beetles; “scare” is practically part of their name. If the scarabs fall off your dog (and believe me, they will), you can tell visitors that your scarabs are sacred guests and that you are the 4836th incarnation of Isis. Tell them that your scarabs bring you immortality. Then show them your ankh tattoo.

Sometimes people ask me how to get rid of scarab beetles. I always say “Why? Don’t they keep your home free of fleas? Don’t they bring you the respect of your peers? Has your personal scarab population grown too large? Don’t you like ancient Egypt? And how do you otherwise intend to pump legitimacy into that ludicrous ankh tattoo you’ve had since college?” People tend to assume that, as a scarab breeder, I have some sort of cash-based reason to exaggerate the efficacy and desirability of indoor free-range scarabs. How wrong they are, brother. How wrong they are. I believe in the power of my scarabs. I stand behind my scarabs, not only because that keeps them from sneaking up behind me, but because they are solid as a rock and trained to pick pockets.

Re: Gifts

I came to consciousness in a supermarket yesterday and I noticed that they carried Louisiana's Finest Beauregard Variety “Colonel Yam” brand yams. I didn’t buy any. I never buy yams. I will occasionally accept a yam as a gift, but only if it is offered with a clear and jolly eleemosynary spirit. I do not accept gift yams offered in fits of veiled guilt or anger. I will occasionally accept yams offered in overt fits of guilt or anger, but only in the name of self-preservation.

Just One Question in Three Parts

Why is everyone angry at Jenny? Is it because she has adult acne? Or is it because she can start fires with her mind?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday, Again

I wasn't going to look at my computer at all today, but then I had to look because I was cold and I was hungry and when I cried out, no one answered me - not even the Lord. I was a little offended that even the Lord neglected to answer when I cried out, so I checked his blog, and wouldn't you know it, the Lord doesn't blog on weekends. What is he, full of himself? Too good to blog on a Saturday? Sunday I can understand. That's his me-time, that's when he works on his microbrews, tries so fix the toaster, etc. No big whoop, I guess. But no blogging on Saturdays? Is that just lazy, or what? I had some ideas about dancehall reggae that I thought he'd be interested in, but I guess that'll have to wait until Monday. I'll probably forget my ideas by then, too. Maybe I'll just jot them on a stickie.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Mr. Pinetree-Grubers handed me a massive stack of papers and barked “Enter these into the personnel databases and stamp each page “ENTERED!!” I tried to tell him that I was not his employee and that I was only there to pick up an envelope marked “URGENT JONES,” but he wouldn’t listen. So I popped those papers into my backpack and brought them home with me. Amazing! You’d be surprised how many people at JP Grubers Corp. have their wages garnished to pay child support. And their Secret Santa program is a shambles.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Marffle Trobber Can You Call a Cab?

All week long I've been meaning to look up some ELO lyrics, but I keep putting it off. I'm beginning to think that I secretly have no interest in their lyrics. If so, why can't I just admit this to myself? Must I maintain this ridiculous charade? I know that the truth will set me free, and yet I avoid the truth. Is it because I hate freedom? And if I hate freedom, what does that say about my steroid use?


Well, it's come down to this: eat breakfast, or go back to bed. I'll probably do neither. My only breakfast food is fishsticks without tartar sauce, and my bed sheets are still drenched with sweat from my night terrors. I think I'll just sit down and take a breather while the police officers do their work. They're parsing out a hunch they have: that I don't actually have night terrors, and that a pale hairless man with a hatchet in each hand had actually entered my home with the help of his hatching hatchets at approximately 3 o'clock this morning. Anything is possible, I suppose. And the back door really wasn't hacked up like that when I went to bed last night. It may be a clue. You wait here - I'll go tell the officers about that door.

So Early

I rose early today with the intention of having good intentions. I feel that I have failed. My intentions this morning are not good, but bad. I keep finding myself chasing roadrunners in the name of foul play. And yet the roadrunner somehow survives my villainy, while I fall to my death - repeatedly! Occasionally, I am crushed by an anvil; I get the sense that this is merely a device to disturb the monotony of my cliff falls. Surely this is without precedent?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Some Call It Clairvoyance; I Call It Business As Usual

My stats are all broken. Now I can't tell if Wild Bill Hickok is reading Topic Drift or not. I love that guy. Shooting stuff from the back of a horse! GET OUT! That is SO GREAT!

Here at Topic Drift, we appreciate our dead readers. And we appreciate our living readers as well - but they'll be dead soon enough, no worries. The dead love Topic Drift, and here's what the dead have to say about it:

"I love it, love it, love it. I love it so much I want to get its seeds, grow more, harvest it, throw it all over the saloon floor and roll in it. Then I want to have sex with it. Then I want to buy it a drink." -Calamity Jane

"Pure." -Sylvia Plath

"Well, I've just died, and I have a ton of paperwork to finish. I haven't really had a chance to read Topic Drift yet. Soon, though." -Donald Justice

"Complete nonsense. And yet something compels me to read it - something... otherworldly. Burn her." -Cotton Mather

"Esther and I have been together for generations. We're soul mates, and we're often reincarnated together. I love her dearly. Nothing she types can rub me ill. I love her dearly." -Ulysses S. Grant

"Esther is proof positive that my policies regarding non-incarceration of the mentally ill work magnificently. Could she type such a terrific blog from a loony-toon dungeon? I doubt it!" -Dorothea Dix

"Good. Gods feet! She types the things we're all thinking." -Elizabeth I

"I don't read it, and I'm not making any excuses about that." -Malcolm X

"I built Esther up, and I can tear her down. But why would I tear her down? Topic Drift is one of the reasons I wake up every morning. Hell, it's the reason we all get up every morning." -Huey Long

"You know, I'm not dead yet. But I sure do enjoy Topic Drift." -Gerald Ford

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Quiet Afternoon

I was just leaning out of my second-floor window to get a good look at a weird dog when a man emerged from the shrubbery and shouted "I'm your Romeo! The one you've dreamed about!" So I shouted "How do I know you're the one?" And he hollered, "Can't talk now! Ice cream truck four houses down!" and he took off. I always knew my Romeo would have ice cream obsessions, I just never knew he would have such enormous side-whiskers. I've set a plate of cookies and a glass of milk on the porch in case he comes back.


Remember high school? Boy, I do. The orderlies, the bitchy nurses, the occasional priest. I was popular without lifting a finger. Frankly, I was worried about what I'd find under that finger. The art students loved me. We each painted the same monochromatic landscape over and over again. It was the thought that counted, and we didn't know our numbers very well. The journalism teacher was crazy about me. I think he wanted to marry me, and as far as I could tell, we were both Catholic; but something kept us apart. Was it my lack of a diploma? If so, why did he think I was there, if not for the diploma? The cheerleaders respected me and granted me all the space I desired. Given their bizarre predilection for Taco Bell and Calvin Klein's Obsession, I needed all the space I could get. The jocks had strait jackets emblazoned with their number. Fortunately, I never lettered in a sport. I always saw sport as unnecessary. Sport won't help you organize your shiny things, and sport will never help you find the comb that fell into your skull in the locker room.


I can't understand why I didn't post anything all morning. Could my prolonged midmorning nap have had anything to do with it? Shhh! What was that noise?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Dinner: All My Friends Told Me to Forget About You

Ah, sfaghetti. I used to hate you, sfaghetti. Then I loved you. You brought out the best in me; I made you laugh. Then I hated you again for a little while because you made me barf. But that's ancient history! I love you again, sfaghetti. People say I pronounce you funny, but those people are jerks. Let's go on a date, sfaghetti. You pay - I spent all my money at the flea market. What? You won't pay? Fine! Then I guess I hate you again! Stupid sfaghetti, it's over! I hope I never eat you again!


I couldn't blog all day because I was at work. Once I heard that you can't blog at work or you'll get a kidney infection. Is that true, or is that just HR trying to scare me into submission?

Trouble in Topic Drift Country

I'm having problems with English for the grammar and syntax for now. It's working not at all even. Not some or any. I try with the English to make it work out in words, and no! The English cries out in anguish, how could you crazy lady with flipped out wig! The English won't work for me. I've tried it out and it hates what I want, no! Oh, no! Stinking English, blow out ass for once! To try again later with the words! Screaming! Get in the out of way for mine! I've got a match! Your face!


I was rifling through my vast coupon storage cabinet when I found a slew of cat litter coupons from July 2003. “What’s this?” I asked, probably aloud. A fly buzzed in my ear. So many flies around lately. Suddenly my brain shuddered, and I ran into the laundry room in a cold-sweat panic. Rats! Haven’t cleaned out the cat box since July 2003! RATS RATS! HAVEN’T SEEN THE CATS SINCE AUGUST!

Monday, December 06, 2004

I Want my Twenny Bucks Back

Do the French make anything that works? I just drank two bottles of Evian and I still look like Ethel Merman.

Wasting Away

Sometimes I’d like to walk outside and uproot a utility pole with my bare hands. The problem is that I have the sort of weak, womanly hands you read about in such magazines as Women’s Day and Parlor Pastimes Quarterly. I also wear several heavy rings. Sometimes my rings are so heavy and my hands so womanly that I can barely lift my arm high enough to brush a wispy feather from my alabaster cheek.

Maybe I wouldn’t be so weak if someone would bring me my meals. I refuse to fix my own meals. My cooking is beastly and my baking is worse. It tastes like texture and salt. And that’s just my signature tiramisu.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

My Thoughts As I Wait at the Airport

What will I tell Flavian if he asks about my Tip O’Neill book? He’s been in Haiti for a long time. Maybe he doesn’t know that Tip O’Neill is dead. I’m not sure I’m the woman to convince him that this is so.

Flavian will probably want some Swedish meatballs when he gets into town. I wonder if he’ll recognize me in my parka.

If Flavian loves the Haitian lifestyle, why is he coming home now? Does he still think we’re engaged, even though he was best man at my wedding? And why did he mail me that jug of Mexican pennies and a sack of farina? What is it that I'm not seeing?

Saturday, December 04, 2004


When someone tells me that he or she is celebrating the solstice, I rarely laugh out loud. But I always want to, because what do they think they're doing? Savages.

I kid, I kid. Please come over for my solstice party. We will stand outside in the asscold freezescape and read a few lines from Aleister Crowley’s work, Hoocarez Ahboutathis. Everyone will praise suntans. Then, we’re off to the Great Indoors to tap the Michelob keg that Dead Todd left behind after the Samhain bash.

The Good Life Is Mine

Now that I have a sailboat named "Sweet Trooper Boopie Swee," I will probably take a vacation. I should probably go somewhere with water. Can I take Sweet Trooper Boopie Swee white-water rafting? What a daredevil I am now that I own a boat. Can I bungee jump onto Sweet Trooper Boopie Swee from the Tallahatchee Bridge? If I want to land on my boat, I'd better not attach the bungee to the bridge. Folk Songwriters, take notice: why not write a song about me bungee jumping off the Tallahatchee Bridge onto Sweet Trooper Boopie Swee? I can already almost hear the tune. No, wait! Make it ragtime-y! Ahhhh, perfect.

I Am Not

Anonymous posits that I am not Esther Wilberforce-Packard, but Cybill Shepherd. Preposterous. Why do you insult me?! What have I ever done to deserve this abuse, Anonymous? I mean besides getting you fired, ruining your credit, and infecting your loved ones with the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? What have I ever done?

You need to ask the Lord’s forgiveness, because you won’t be getting mine, unless you give me the title to your sailboat. I am going to rename your sailboat “Sweet Trooper Boopie Swee,” and I will sail it near and far, as far as the eye can sail.


This morning Fat Old Molly threw a spoon at me and told me to cook my own oats. Why does she suffer these seizures of fury? What does she think I pay her for? Apparently I pay her to
a.) waddle and flop about in the caverns below,
b.) guzzle gin, and
c.) exercise her poison tongue with the hot breath of Hades at her back.
Cook my own oats? And how, pray tell, am I to cook my own oats when I am not allowed into her infernal kitchen? I tried to eat them raw but they just sort of stuck to my tongue. Someday I will buy a new cook - one who doesn't hate me so, and one who doesn't burn every pudding that walks through the door.

Axiom, Maxim, or Just Brilliant?

Well, another day, another dollar, that's what I always say. I just made that up, and everyone's saying it! "Another day, another dollar." I really like how I think. Lesser known phrases I've made up are "Better six feet under than on the phone with me" and "Let's all go to our respective homes to eat dinner, and let's never speak to each other again." I expect those two will catch on any day now.

More About Me

I'll tell you one thing I know for sure: I'm part of the problem. Give me one problem, any problem, and I'm part of it.

One thing I'm never part of is the solution. Sure, I have great ideas. Sure, I'm a stone cold fox. Sure, I'm solvent. But am I part of any solutions? No way, Jose. I don't even recycle.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A Fine How-Do-You-Do

I learned how to knit the other day. I started knitting a red scarf. It's art. That's how good it is so far - it's scarf art. And, in homage to Tracey Emin, I decorated it with the names of all the people I've slept with. I also drank seven Guinness, some pinot noir and a fifth of Skyy and showed up to a TV interview with a black eye. I think. Huh. I can't remember much. Also, I can't seem to find my scarf anywhere.


It's 3 pm and I'm finally making some coffee. I think that it's important to remember that coffee is a privilege, not a right. In fact, there are no rights. Only wrongs. The whole world can be divided into privileges and wrongs. I guess that is why 3 out of 4 dentists recommend monarchies over democracies. I may feel differently about this after I have my coffee, but I doubt it.


I know someone who reminds me of Madeline Albright. Physically, that is. I don't know anything about Madeline Albright's mind, so any comparisons in that arena are DOA. I probably shouldn't walk up to this person and say, "I say, you remind me of Madeline Albright, don't you know. Physically." But I'm going to keep it in the back of my mind, in case she tries to pick a fight with my while I'm drunk. Then, BLAM! YOU LOOK LIKE MADELINE ALBRIGHT!


Well, it's almost "Christmas" again, which means that once again, I will crash my bicycle through a large mirror being transported across the street by two moving men.

Happens every year. I should put my bike away in October.

This Morning

This morning when I woke up, I thought I was dying. So I stayed in bed for a few more hours. That didn't help, so I got out of bed, but I didn't change clothes. That seemed to make things worse, so I changed clothes and ate a yogurt. Then I wrote my blog. Then I looked at my stats, and I KNEW I was dying.

Come on, peoples. This blog isn't going to read itself.


Sometimes I think of my hoary, battered clarinet, just biding its time in my closet, letting its own corks rot off, stinking in its case like a poorly-stashed corpse in July, and I have to conclude that yes, I should have stuck with high school band.

Sometimes I think that I will remove my rotting clarinet from the closet and get it rehabilitated by a Clarinet Rehabilitator. Then I will either relearn how to play or sell it to someone who thinks that it used to belong to Artie Shaw.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Everywahnza Weener!

Well, there's this. Be sure to vote for Topic Drift. I'm not nominated in any category, so I suggest you vote with your feet. I cannot even begin to explain to you how that is done - voting with your feet. I just know that it's my only hope in this particular election. Whatever, vote with whatever body part you want. I'm too tired to argue with you.

I just had a vision: what if I spelled my name "Esther Wilberfoetus-Packard?" Anybody? Anybody? I wouldn't alter the pronunciation, of course. Just the spelling.

Well, How Many Am I Meant To Eat?

It's a terrible thing, a pan of brownies. It's like the pan of brownies is meant to teach you a lesson about Moderation. Fortunately, I am happier dwelling in the far past; Moderation is so very crude, and it's architecture hideous. Post-Moderation? That's even worse.


I thought I'd lie down for a nice nap. If this is the last post I make, you can safely assume that I never made it, that I croaked in my sleep. Whatever you do, do not assume that I died shopping for Swiffer replacement wipes.


All day long I've been waiting for something to happen. I've been sitting on the couch, waiting. I just checked the news, and it looks like some things have happened, but I missed them. Probably because I was just sitting here on the couch.

I Will Not Go

I'm not going to see Alexander, primarily because I hate movies, and almost primarily because I hate Colin Farrell, and primarly because I hate that actress whose name escapes me, and especially because Oliver Stone is a bore, and especially primarily because movies about events that occurred before America was born are a waste of time. I don't want to see a movie that does not acknowledge America's amazing logging industry, her sturdy library system, her mighty Bose noise-cancelling technology, her excellent steakhouses, Wellesley College, Crest Whitestrips, Long John Silver's, or Cheech Marin. When Oliver Stone contacts me next week, I will help him create a cinematic paroxysm the likes of which you have never dreamed of. We will call this film "Krippendorf's Tribe II," but it will have nothing in common with the original. We will use the name "Krippendorf's Tribe" the way a small crab uses a larger crab's cast-off shell. And when Oliver Stone and I are too big for the shell, we will move out, and maybe Judy Dench will move in. I don't know. It's all very up in the air at the moment.

I'm Feeling Better

Do you ever eat some soup, and ten minutes later you're having a heart attack? Dude, that just happened to me! I didn't let it slow me down, though. I drank a glass of water and I felt better.

UPDATE: Turns out it wasn't soup I ate, it was one of those explosive plush gag snakes in a can. Now, that is something, isn't it? I thought it didn't reconstitute well, but I ate it anyway. Sometimes cans of soup stay on the market shelf for years - they're bound to firm up a bit. You know, firm up into a mislabeled explosive plush snake.

Show Your Face, Harriet!

Dear Harriet,

That boy of yours is going to kill us all. He was over here Wednesday with his Easy-Bake Oven, and he was trying to bake Harry's tools. He baked a few Duracells. I'd check out that oven before you let him bake any cakes.

Harry got his bonus early this year, and we're remodeling the tiki bar. He seems to think it's not authentic enough. This coming from a man who's never left the midwest. They even kept him here when he was in the service. Probably because of his big feet.

We're getting a new barbecue grill, too. Harry wants me to learn how to use it. Forget about it, I told him. I cook enough food in the house. Yeah, but there are fewer flies outside, he said. All I get from him is crap and I don't even have to squeeze his head.

Hope the twins aren't killing you. Janice assured me that they were. She said you had your hands full. Likely story, I told her. You're so lazy, you probably have the twins washing dishes and making the beds! Am I right?

Koffee Klatch next Wednesday. Doreen said it's your turn for the bars. Make her those ultra peanut butter bars. Her ass is too small, ha ha!

My best to you and the family.



It finally started snowing here, and I watched it. For a moment, I tried to pretend that the flakes were actually ash, but that was less satisfying than I initially supposed.

Some People Say

Some people say that coffee makes you crazy and rat-racy, and they also manage to say that tea makes you calm and superior. I know that it isn't true, because tea makes you just as crazy as coffee makes you. You have to drink a lot of it, maybe, but how could that be a problem? And don't you hate Mountain Dew? Yellow soda is unnecessary. Soda should be BROWN, and sometimes orange or purple. But never yellow. Yellow is poor form.

One thing I like about this post is that it started off weak, and then got weaker. You can't beat that, suckers!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Where Have You Been, Claude?

I've been watching the street from the Dunkin Donuts window, and you never approach this place anymore! You don't even drive by anymore! Did you get poisoned by your wife? Wives can be so mean! Why do you think she wants you gone? Is it because you can't hold a job, or is it because you wear English Leather cologne? Because that stuff smells terrible! I gave you that bottle in 1979, brother! It's turned! Did you drink it? You should drink it and put us all out of our misery! Stop by and I'll give you a styro of coffee on the house!

Is the Subjunctive Dead or Not?!

In my sentence that began "If I was the betting type," should I have typed "If I were the betting type" instead? Is that sentence in the subjunctive mood or conditional? Is the first variation correct if it IS condtional? Or should I just hop in the tub and slash my wrists?


I want a beautiful old suitcase that doesn't reek. Is that so much to ask? Too many cutsie junk shops use old suitcases to display their junk; if you want to buy the display suitcases, the answer is NO, the suitcases are not for sale, but please buy a few homemade pressed-flower greeting cards. Who do you think you are, you frosted hobby junkmongers? Just sell me a suitcase, for the love of Jenkins! You are SO Chapter 11 anyway! SELL ME THAT SUITCASE!

I don't want the suitcase for extravagant traveling purposes, I just want it for carrying around my porcelain bust of Thomas Jefferson. I find that I do my best thinking when he is near me. Plus, he is hollow and I stuff him full of Charleston Chews.

I Believe This

If I was the betting type, I'd bet you five bucks that John Lennon and I would not have been friends if we had roomed together and then moved apart. We probably would have talked on the telephone once or twice after we moved apart, but really - we would not have kept up a friendship. I blame myself. I don't have any strong feelings about John Lennon. Now that I've said so, I hope he doesn't sneer at me when I get to heaven.

When I get to heaven, I'll probably stand around until someone invites me to sit down. I wouldn't want to act like I owned the place. Gauche, that. I'll gain confidence as I get my bearings. Then I'll eat some toast. Toast is GREAT on earth; it must be AMAZING in heaven. Oof. Cripes, am I still typing?

My Wednesday Truncated Dr. Bronner Soap Wrapper Practice

Absolute penury is cleanliness! How I despise visiting the bank! And yet, how I distrust direct deposit and withdrawal schemes! I cannot trust the invisible hand! One invisible hand does not wash the other! What is the sound of one invisible hand clapping? I tell you, I can't hear it! Like a beagle barking at the trees, the bank's luminous embrace breaks me! Wait, tears! No, that was yesteryear!