This week’s listmaker: Ann Henry-Callahan. Ann is a triple-threat, multiple-time contributor to Punchnel’s. Her time spent in the shower is unusually productive.
In my head is a drill sergeant who appears each morning to get my wretched leaden keister out of that bed and MOVE, YOU LAZY MAGGOT! and eventually, sometimes, the drill sergeant is replaced by other ideas that bob to the surface of the mental muck, if you just add water:
1. Gene Wilder totally nailed the Willy Wonka thing. I mean, the epileptic-mongoose-in-a-hurricane hairstyle, the secret-loaded twinkle in the eye, the occasional tangent of possible psychosis with just a hint of Santa Claus. You can’t bottle that stuff.
2. My cat has a cold. He keeps sneezing, and then hiding under the bed. He probably thinks he’s dying. I’m sure for a cat it’s a terrifying mystery on the order of vacuum cleaners and this weird rain box I stand in every morning.
3. Johnny Depp’s version was just creepy; and not merely because he looks so very much like Patty Smyth from Scandal and that token female savant from Real Genius. The one that ended up with the kid at the end. Depp took his Willy to an uncomfortably weird place, took it all the way to eleven, and it didn’t need to be there. Willy Wonka = Gene Wilder = Willy Wonka.
4. When was the last time I cleaned this shower? When I painted? I should re-caulk. I can scrape all this off. Take off the doors, if I can remember how they went on. Maybe I could hang this one straight; it’s kind of in there goofy, isn’t it? Not so much if you lift this edge here, like this, but when you let it go. Wouldn’t that be nicer.
5. Today’s not a good day to become a gajillionaire. I’m just not feeling up to it. All that excitement, the media coverage, the security headaches. I’d have to schedule appointments with lawyers and financial managers. Not today, Universe. I shan’t purchase a lottery ticket today.
6. Billy Squier really does kind of rock. I should download some tunes, or at least look for a CD. Or an 8-track, maybe. Of course the sound would be terrible; 8-tracks were basically cassette tapes. How did I misinterpret his lyrics for so long? Of course, no one thought Freddy Mercury or the Village People were gay, either—probably because everyone in the ’70s dressed like it was Pride Week, so it was impossible to tell.
7. Methylchloroisothiazolinone. It’s in the shampoo; it’s in the conditioner; it’s in the body wash. Meth-ill-klorr-oh-i-so-thigh-a-zoe-lin-own. Wonder what that is.
8. Licking wallpaper, even if it tastes like snozzberries, is probably unsanitary. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on the second tour, or the fortieth. I don’t believe I’d care for an everlasting gobstopper at all.
9. If this was 1950, I would never think about losing weight. I’d be such a babe. Hell, if it was the 16th century, I could have been a supermodel. But then I’d also have to contend with marrying some creepy old guy just because he had more goats than anyone else in the village, or beating my drunken tavern patrons with a leg o’ mutton to keep them off the scullery maids. And I wouldn’t be nearly this clean.
mmm-Ethyl-kloro-eye-so-thya-Zola-known. . . lather, rinse, repeat, apply daily, don’t ask don’t tell. We are being conditioned.
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