Things That Mario Has Taught Me

So as those of you who own a calendar or regularly get out of your house know, today begins July.  If you've been reading this blog for a while then you might know that I find this week to be the most hateful week of the entire year.

Sure, independence and doodle dandies and let freedom ring and all of that, but also, goddamn fireworks.

I've said it before and I'll say it again because it can not be said enough times but I HATE LOATHE ABHOR DETEST fireworks.  They make my eyes water and my nose run and my mouth hiccup and my husband say "For the last time crybaby, the firework did NOT touch you."

And OK yeah, fireworks are probably a ridiculous thing to be frightened of but it could be worse, I mean, I know someone that is afraid of balloons.  And sure that person is also me but I think I have made my point.  I just don't like things that explode.  I don't even like Chocolate Lava Cakes.*  That is how hardcore I am about not liking things that go pop.

*I LOVE them.

So all of that is just to say that this week makes me extremely skittish and overwrought.  I almost feel like I am under danger of being attacked at any moment by heat seeking missiles or children with those horrid little snappy poppy things of which they are so fond.

Seriously yesterday one of these TOUCHED me.

And all of that is just to say that last week, when I started to feel apprehensive about Roman Candles and Unsympathetic Jewish Husbands I got to thinking about what I could successfully employ as a defense mechanism in times of danger in general.  Because let's face it, this world is a dangerous place, just full of ceiling fans and legos and other scary things.

First I considered a sword, which seemed too heavy and all too often stuck inside of a stone only to be released to the true and proper king. 

Next to cross my mind was a shrink ray but then I remembered how I learned from all the Honey! I Shrunk The Kids! movies how easy it is to make a serious blunder with a shrink ray.  And though since seeing that first movie I have always wanted to experience the wonder that would be a giant Oatmeal Cream Pie, I decided to cut my losses.

A magic wand seemed perfect but I can not even tell you how many suspicious looking sticks I have picked up on walks with the dogs that have not done ANY MAGIC AT ALL.  I'm all "Avis Oppugno!" and "Incarcerous!" and Ryan is all "Stop trying to tie me up and attack me with birds using that stick," and "People are staring at you."

Obviously I was having trouble solving this dilemma.  So I decided to go to Ryan for inspiration.  He was upstairs playing a rousing game of Halo which was just perfect for my current conflict so I grabbed a notebook and pen so I could take notes on how to protect myself from danger and settled in on the couch next to him. 

But all he was doing was like - throw grenade, throw grenade, throw grenade.  And then this giant fireball came swooping in right at him so he threw a grenade at it which didn't work and so said fireball  hit him smack in the face and he died.  And he was all "Woopsies! Gosh Darn game!"

Lauren: No need to turn to the devil's words RYAN.  From what I could tell that was entirely your own fault.  

Ryan: What are you talking about?  You have no idea how to even play this game.

Lauren: I certainly would not have gotten fancy and thrown a grenade at a fireball thinking they would like...cancel each other out or something.  I shimmied where a shake would have done.

Ryan: ::sigh::What would you have done then?

Lauren:  Well because I am intrinsically a nonviolent person, as you know, I would have done what Mario does when fireballs come at his face and ducked.

And then Ryan said something else rude just before a pillow hit him smack in the face (he should have ducked) but that is not important because at that moment something clicked.

How could I have not turned to Mario for advice before?  He's taught me so many life lessons.

Like, everything is more fun with a costume:

And how proper princesses always have more than one castle:

And of course:

So today I am practicing my ducking in preparation for the fourth of July and all future dangers, be they apocalyptic or spider-based.  (I've even thrown in a little something I call a "Duck Duck Goose" for melee attacks, whatever those are.)  And absolutely nothing can sidetrack me.  Unless of course today is the day I find a magic wand.  Then of course I will need to find an Oatmeal Cream Pie and be all "Engorgio!"

But I think that goes without saying.


  1. um, i am totally printing & stealing that screenshot with Dunkin Donuts... hilarious!!

    so, not Duck Duck Grey Duck? silly minnesotans :-)

    have a safe 4th, also why are so many people setting off fireworks early? you're supposed to set them off ON the 4th, so i only have to tranquilize my cats once!

    1. Oh steal it all you want! I actually just chose that exact request because I am hoping Ryan stops and gets me donuts on his way home. He said "probably not" but he's unpredictable.

      And I've never heard of Duck Duck Grey Duck, I did not know that was a thing.

      And right back at you! (Also, seriously people cool it with the fireworks for a couple of days.)

  2. You know what never made sense? Those underwater things that spewed fireballs... UNDER WATER! Reason #7856 I won't swim in water containing fish... or fireballs.

    1. I forgot about those! Though I will say that stepping on a jellyfish does feel a bit like a fireball so it's not completely out of the question.

    2. Isn't the rule that if you step on a jellyfish, all you have to do is pee on it? (I learned that from Friends. I watch WAY too much television.)

  3. I am all for your magic wand plan. But I'd like mine to be a pumpkin whoopie pie, please.

    As to fireworks, I don't mind watching the sparkly kind they shoot off at shows (though you can tell RYAN I HAVE been hit by a firework casing while watching the show at Annapolis AFB years ago. My ankle hasn't been right since.)

    However, I hatehatehatehate the ones people in my neighborhood have been shooting off for the last month plus. The loud, m-80 bang-y ones. Hate them. Added non-bonus: they scare the bejeezus out of my dog and he barks every time one goes off. So I'm the "you kids get off my lawn" person who calls the cops if I hear them after 10 PM.

    May I recommend industrial strength ear plugs and old fashioned over-the-ear headphones hooked up to you computer/tablet/other electric device that makes noise?

    Good luck! Keep thinking about those Oatmeal Cream pies!

    How are you feeling?

    1. Oh I LOVE pumpkin but I have a rule where I can only eat it from September to December so that it is all the more special. So if I find my magic wand in November then perhaps a pumpkin whoopie pie it shall be.

      And I KNEW it. I KNEW you could get hit by fireworks. I'm telling Ryan immediately. (I am very very very sorry about your poor ankle.)

      The entire reason I hate fireworks so much is because my dad used to be one of those terrible people that lit the m-80s at all times of the day for the entire week of the fourth. (Though not after like 8pm I'm sure.) Those things were traumatizing. They are SO loud.

      The earplugs are a good idea. I was wondering what to do this year since I can't use a sleeping pill to get me through the night of the fourth.

      And I'm OK for now. I have my bad days and my good days. Today is good. Yesterday was good. Saturday was good. Friday was BAD.

  4. They've been shooting them here since Saturday night. My dogs have about had it. You know what scares me about fireworks? We used to shoot them at EACH OTHER. It's just a miracle we're all still alive and intact.

    1. Ahhhhhh. AT each other. That just scared the bejeezus out of me.

  5. I hate fireworks too Lauren. I mean like really hate them. I'm not afraid of them but when everyone in the neighborhood is letting loose quite a few of them start to sound like gunshots and those yes I am afraid of. I only enjoy the food portion of the first week of July and really that's iffy because there are only so many not properly burnt hotdogs I can tolerate. I'm too short to be Luigi but don't mind hiding with you till it's all over.

    1. Ha, come on over! I do enjoy the 4th of July food as well but I can never get over the feeling that something is going to explode ANY MINUTE.

  6. My husband conviced my mom that I'm afraid of balloons. No matter how many times I tell her that it's not true, she gives me that mom look like,"I know you're just putting on a brave face." Also, I've recently been playing Mario & Luigi: Partner's in Time on my DS and Mario has taught me that when things are out of my reach, I should throw a baby at it. Some of his lessons may be hit or miss in the real world...

    1. The balloon thing kind of makes me giggle even though I actually am deathly afraid of balloons. I don't like the feeling that there is something in the room that could explode into sudden loud noise without my being prepared for it. It's so weird. It's called globophobia and the fact that it has a name makes me feel better because there wouldn't be a name for something only one person had right?

      Also I don't even know any of the people whose job it is to name phobias so they could not have possibly named it just for me right?

      I totally have a DS so I am now looking up that game!

  7. Renee D.7/01/2013

    Glad to see you back writing a bit more regularly. You always make me laugh out loud! I too am not a fan of fireworks but more because they just excite me the way some people get all excited for them. They are ok but I much rather hang at home :)Thankful my daughter is not a fan of the big boom right now since I have a great excuse not to go to them :) Good luck this 4th. :)

    1. I'm working on it! I have my good days and my bad days. The good are starting to outnumber the bad so I am really very grateful for that.

      And those are our plans this 4th as well, stay safely ensconced at home out of the way of errant sparklers and such.

  8. To feed your fireworks fear: I know someone who got her butt cheek BLOWN OFF at a neighborhood fireworks display. Genius fireworks firing person HOT GLUED the fireworks to the board he used. Yeah. It melted eventually and the rockets started shooting into the crowd.The girl did throw her body over a toddler before said butt cheek was blown off. Bad fireworks.

    1. Hooray for the girl protecting the baby! Boo for butt cheeks being blown off. I hate fireworks.


      This is a totally rational fear, RYAN.

  9. To also feed your fireworks fear, my very irresponsible friends, they are hicks really, get drunk and shoot off fireworks every year. There have been many, MANY casualties. This is why us wise, WISE women hide in the pool and when we hear one of the guys say, "OH, SHIT!" We duck under water as quickly as we can and stay down as long as we can in order to escape the rain of fire that is sure to fall down upon us.

    There was the year that the big cannon firework didn't shoot, so Danny thought it was a dud and went and picked it up and shook it. A deck had to be replaced afterwards.

    There was the year that they decided to twist together a bunch of different firecrackers with rockets and funnily enough the rockets did not stay upright. Todd went to the hospital with a hole in his side.

    There was the year that they were playing bottle rocket war and when John ran ourt of rockets, he started throwing rocks at the guys. Ken (my husband) ended up with 6 stitches in his head.

    Then there was the year of the naked sparkler dance. Which was funny and terrifying all at the same time.

  10. I don't think I've ever played Super Mario Brothers, but I did watch the movie they made in the 90's which taught me that Samantha Mathis was descended from dinosaurs ... which makes perfect sense when you really look at her.

  11. "I mean, I know someone that is afraid of balloons. And sure that person is also me but I think I have made my point." -- This got me so hard. Thank you.

  12. That last lesson from Mario is one that I have taken to heart, except for the times I totally went in the ocean. I think the real lesson was don't ever go fully underwater in ANY body of water because those squids will be there, waiting for you. 6-year-old me would agree, as would 33-year-old me.

    As far as fireworks go, I understand the fear but don't have it myself so while I sympathize I am also looking forward to the fireworks celebration we're going to tonight. I hope you have a quiet night, unbothered by loud popping noises.

    Good luck!

  13. Actually, one can of course, as the above people have highlighted, be hurt by fireworks. I am not scared of them but dislike them as they never seem as spectacular as what the fuss is all about, and it's like - Have you people never heard of STARS? Quiet but sparkly burning balls of fire which aren't even in existence by the time you see them THAT IS HOW AWESOME THEY ARE? Not to mention the Aurora Borealis???

    But I digress. People seem to like fireworks, and as a parent and wife I am placed in situations in which they are present. And also, amongst people who maybe should not be trusted with plain normal boring sticks, let alone sticks of fire. Which is how I found myself one night, sitting by a fire, upon which my husbands clever relatives were throwing "dud" fireworks that had not exploded. I, as a nurse, ventured to ask my husband, an electrical engineer, if that was in fact not the best idea and was shushed ... until the fireworks which were duds at exploding on cue, decided NOW was their time to shine and started exploding AT US. Causing me to leap up, and run. I should now mention I was holding my then 3 year old so actually panic lept and twisted to sheild her, then ran over what was actually quite rocky ground so inevitably tripped and fell but braced so not onto her, bashed my knee, had my sweater filled with spark holes, and still had to deal with a terrified toddler.

    So ... yeah. Fireworks. Uggg. Moreso when around stupid drunk people. Which unfortunately seems as inevitable as gin + tonic and rum + coke.

  14. Anonymous7/02/2013

    I was once hit by a firework. (This is going to get long, but I'm going to share because it's actually hilarious. But it still sucked. I could actually share several stories of firework mishaps, but the others only involved house damage, a blackout due to an overly intense smoke bomb, and a forest fire, so I'll share this one.)

    It was the at home type consisting of a box of tubes that fire off every minute or so once you light the first one (not actually legal in our state at the time). My family and I were sitting on the beach in a semi-circle around the fireworks (all reasonably safe distances away, I was actually the furthest away - and safest, so I thought). Things were going fine until one firework exploded out the side of the box and shot over the lake. This tipped the box over and just as everyone started running for dear life, the next firework shot out...and guess who was sitting right in the line of fire and was a little too slow at getting out of the way? Yep, me. It felt like I got hit by a cannonball in the back of my thigh. Strangely, the jeans I was wearing had no marks on them, but my leg had a bulls-eye shaped bruise on it about the size of a grapefruit and the middle had a burn the size of a fifty-cent piece. Coolest bruise I've ever had in my life. Although I've never gone anywhere near "at-home" fireworks again, I don't actually regret being there when that firework exploded...seeing the faces of everyone around me as they started running was well worth it. People were diving into the woods, ducking and covering behind trees...My cousin and his wife were standing next to each other and they went to run in opposite directions, crashed and fell down. hahahaha.

    Also, I've had friends that were hanging around near where the big fireworks are shot off in our town and one was burned when a piece of it came down and landed on her. Essentially, you have a completely rational fear. And you are definitely not alone. :)

    -Megan Clarke

  15. I don't think a fear of burning things filled with gunpowder that make loud booming sounds it unhealthy. I have a friend terrified of rubberbands. Rubberbands. Once they are inert, I think you're pretty much out of the danger zone.

  16. Fireworks scare the poop out of me. If I'm within three miles of someone setting them off I'm without a doubt certain they are going to malfunction and blow my face off. I try to embrace this "holiday" cuz everyone seems to love it so much, but seriously? Sparklers freaking hurt. We spend every other day of the year telling people not to play with matches, but magically, on this one day where everyone's idiocy level reaches an all time high, it's okay to play with fire and unpredictable exploding devices? Um, no.


  17. How do you survive in Disney with all of their magical night shows? Do you not stay for fantasmic?!?

    I love the fantasmic.

    Speaking of the Disney, I wrote a blog yesterday about all of the embarrassing stuff I've done there. I thought if you and hoped you'd read it.

  18. Confession #1: Balloons scare the crap out of me too.

    Confession #2: I thought I was the only one that balloons laughed at.

    Confession #3: I now feel an indestructible connection with you.

    Confession #4: Why, yes. I AM aware of how creepy that just sounded.

  19. Anonymous7/02/2013

    I completely agree. I fail to see how anyone enjoys fireworks. So scary. I turn into a stressed out mess. I was here....hated it since

  20. So I was thinking, maybe you should look into those Thunder Jackets they have for dogs, but you know one that is more human size :)

  21. Brooke7/03/2013

    If you want to get an actual, real-life tanooki suit, find a raccoon dog fur coat. I don't think it gives you the power to fly or turn in to a statue, but you never know...

  22. Anonymous7/05/2013

    They televise the Boston fireworks every year. You should watch them on TV, you could mute it and play your own soundtrack (think of all the possibilities!) and then enjoy the pretty lights with no scary noises or danger! Perfect solution!


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