The Monty Python killer rabbit scene from the Holy Grail film is funny in and of itself, but it achieves a whole new level of humor when you actually keep a pet bunny, or “house rabbit,” as the English say. It’s funny because it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times our own killer has launched herself at one or another of us, furious because we’ve done …something. Her latest trick is to lurk under the dining room table, then aggressively confront anyone who walks through the room. Thankfully, she does not nip in these situations, only threaten.
This is the point at which many pet owners would be dialing the Rabbit Rescue — or boiling water on the stove — but I cannot be distressed by this. In fact, I’m amused. It gives me an opportunity to say, “Behold the cave of Caerbannog!” in a Scottish accent. And I cannot help but respect an animal that doesn’t weigh two pounds but is willing to fight the giants she finds herself living among. And she’s not always bad-tempered. Just now, she jumped up on the couch, accepted some petting and gave me a few licks on the forehead. Rabbits don’t lick for salt, so the book says, so that can be interpreted as a gesture of affection. Like all victims, I choose to see it that way.
Aw, she just rolled over on her back. So cute. Bought herself another week of indulgence.
(Perhaps you’re wondering: Is Nance one of those people who talks to her rabbit as though it were a person, and depicts the rabbit talking back in a funny voice? You know me too well.)
I went over to my local Target to buy wrapping paper yesterday. I know the time to do that is the day after Christmas, but I cannot face another present-wrapping session with the stuff I’ve been trying to use up for a decade now. The mall the Target is part of has fallen on hard times. It has its anchors — Sears, Macy’s, the big bull’s-eye — but the rest of it is all game-over, stores that might as well rename themselves House of Russian Prostitute Style. And there was a shooting there Thanksgiving weekend, so that pretty much iced the cake for the holidays. For more than a year, I’ll occasionally get an e-mail with 16 forwards on it from someone claiming there’s a FORCIBLE RAPE IN THE PARKING LOT EVERY SINGLE DAY, AND THE POLICE ARE COVERING IT ALL UP. I ignore this stuff and shop there anyway, but yesterday, as I made my way in via the rutted back road that I usually take, I had a glimpse of spring. And it nearly broke my axle.
Last week’s snowstorm started in very warm temperatures, and it rain/snowed all day before the temperature plunged 25 degrees overnight, which made all that standing water and slush freeze solid, which means the badly maintained parts of the parking lot are already nursing embryonic potholes the size of graves, and I’m sure the streets in our destitute communities are going to be just as bad. I’m wondering if maybe Coozledad will be willing to share a mule come spring.
Oh, hell. Let’s change the tone. Bloggage awaits:
I know Gwyneth Paltrow is beautiful and fit and perfect and a much better person than me. I also feel a dress like this is a hostile gesture that underlines all of the above, and drives it home with a big F.U. I’m going to assume that after two pregnancies, she’s benefitting from some sort of hidden boob support built into the bodice, but what about the bottom? I guess she has to entirely denude her lady garden to avoid tacky bush assertion, and what if her period arrived unexpectedly? Ew. Just ew. This dress came from the luxury department in the House of Russian Prostitute Style.
What browser do you use? Did you know what you’re charged for goods and services online can depend on this? I wish I were kidding. And I have already found a use for Chrome.
Interesting piece on a Canadian company that has found its market niche as the Comment Police. They cleaned up NPR and saved its comments sections in the bargain. A nice reminder that not everyone’s comments are as fabulous as ours.
The always-interesting Laura Miller on why readers love bad writing. Via Hank.
Jim at Sweet Juniper has found something for his dog Wendell to pull this winter.
Finally, a little “Silent Night” for you, excerpts from the Facebook posting of a friend of a friend, who lived through last week’s blizzard in northwest Indiana:
What an incredible weekend. Wound up stranded because of the blizzard, but we made it to the fire station in Wanatah where about 30 other stranded motorists spend the night. Met some very interesting people and we turned it into a party. Many thanks to the firefighters and Wanatah officials for their hospitality. …It really was an incredible experience. First, space was set aside for the four Muslims stranded so they could spread their prayer rugs to pray. Then there was the family from Romania on their way to Chicago. Their 11-year-old son serenaded us with a violin solo of Christmas carols at 3 a.m. Everyone was still up and talking and the young man received a standing ovation. Never experienced anything like it.
When we want to be, we can be pretty good.
Dorothy said on December 16, 2010 at 10:14 am
What a fun entry today! I can’t stop laughing at the House of Russian Prostitute Style, and you even managed to use the phrase twice.
In the interests of feel-good stories like the one about the airport, allow me to share something. You might recall I had mentioned that the young man (Jeff)who was ring bearer in our wedding 31 years ago has been fighting cancer for about three years now. He is Mike’s cousin’s son. Yesterday we were told about this blog:
Joe Kobiela said on December 16, 2010 at 10:15 am
Got re routed, got called at 7:30 last night and got sent to Denver C.O. Lots of big snowey Mountains out there. Heading back later today.
Julie Robinson said on December 16, 2010 at 10:22 am
May I confess that I think Gwyneth Paltrow is untalented? As well as very full of herself? So I love the House of Russian Prostitute Style reference.
Dorothy, how lovely! And something to cling to as you and Mike face his diganosis. Keep us posted.
coozledad said on December 16, 2010 at 10:23 am
Nance: I’ll loan you Andy, but I’ll warn you ahead of time he’s a morose old crestfallen SOB who will eat himself lame if left to his own devices. He’s another creature entirely when he’s hitched, a good worker, but always with the cavils about my driving; forever looking back, saying “You and I both know you don’t have a clue, douche.”
You’ll need a shoeing stock anchored six feet in the ground with concrete, and a long gun for “contingencies”.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2010 at 10:24 am
Jolene (previous thread) — but inhumane isn’t quite what I wanted to say; can I just write to the OED and petition for unhumane?
Mark P. said on December 16, 2010 at 10:24 am
If you do not speak for the rabbit, then who will?
I speak for my wife’s cat Zoe (aka Spawn of Satan), and it gets to where neither one of us can tell it’s actually me. He’s quite a card.
And GP apparently does not mind if people mentally undress her; in fact so much does she not mind that she actually helps them out.
John C. said on December 16, 2010 at 10:28 am
“That rabbit’s got a mean streak a mile wide!”
derwood said on December 16, 2010 at 10:30 am
That’s why we named our little mini-rex white bunny Killer. He owns one of our bedrooms and I have this hanging in his room.
We also talk to ours. He terrifies our 4 cats. They jump up on furniture if he hops by.
It’s a zoo at our house.
jcburns said on December 16, 2010 at 10:33 am
Here’s the very rabbit mentioned emerging from under the very dining room table.
Dorothy said on December 16, 2010 at 10:38 am
jc – love one of the tags you have on that picture: menace2society
We could never have a bunny in our house due to the dogs. The cat is enough of a terror weapon. Actually she only does that to Augie; Husky is so mellow he barely registers when Lucy is in the room.
basset said on December 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
Pull on that string down the side of GP’s dress and it’ll open up like a sack of birdseed.
No rabbits here, but we do have a calico cat with the classic calico attitude… she’ll walk up and demand petting, then bite when she tires of it.
Meanwhile… rifle deer season reopens down here on Saturday, and I have a new recipe to try out:
Scout said on December 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
Ruby, don’t take your love to town.
Speaking of rabbits and cats and dogs, oh my… this will get you in the holiday spirit – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-0WVfj76bo
Colleen said on December 16, 2010 at 10:46 am
Husband tells me that for years there have been people spreading the rumor that people are disappearing from Glenbrook Mall and their families are being convinced by police to not mention it. Uh huh. “Where’s cousin Brittany?” “hm. I dunno, she was here last week”.
nancy said on December 16, 2010 at 10:52 am
I guess it’s just the age I grew up in, but when I see a woman with long, loose hair in a long, loose white dress, all I can think is, “Bad feminist theater coming right up,” and start mentally preparing for the inevitable drenched-in-menstrual-blood finale. She should have gone for the Pucci print.
And Colleen, that’s hilarious. See what happens to Glenbrook when you don’t have Southtown to kick around anymore?
John G. Wallace said on December 16, 2010 at 11:01 am
I’m cool with the dogs, a cat, a nasty parrot, and my fish. I did add a web filter to my router that blocks sites re: pot bellied pigs. No longer have to listen to the, “honey they only get big if you over feed them,” line. Since when have we not overfed an animal? Our dog barks and drools at passing McDonalds or Wendys. Shes not a BK fan.
coozledad said on December 16, 2010 at 11:22 am
Gwyneth also looks a little like some willowy female vocalist accessory for a touring version of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, if he’d had enough money to replace his sister Sally with a Russian prostitute.
Beth said on December 16, 2010 at 11:26 am
My dad was convinced that if I went to Glenbrook I would be kidnapped and sold into white slavery. That was 30 years ago.
MichaelG said on December 16, 2010 at 11:42 am
Never could stand Gwyneth. Mario and Mark were way patient with her on the Spanish Road trip. However, Claudia Bossols is a goddess.
adrianne said on December 16, 2010 at 11:58 am
Had no idea that you were tolerating a killer rabbit in your midst. Ruby is deceptively sweet-looking! Better make sure she’s taken care of this Christmas, or she’ll turn on you.
Sue said on December 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm
Oh, what a great post today! Denude her lady garden? Damn, good stuff!
Our rabbit Miss Bun (renamed from Hassenpfeffer and Bitch Bunny) was much happier once we discovered two things: yogurt drops and complete cage freedom. The three cats she shares space with know better than to cross her. She uses a little growl/charge action to control them. Yogurt drop = friend forever, by the way.
I will have to drop in on Tom and Lorenzo to get their take on Gwyneth. Lady garden denudation will be the starting-off point, I presume.
Re scary dangerous shopping malls – let’s not forget the ‘cut your ankle tendon and drag you under the car because you can’t run away’ story, by far the best of all, in my opinion. People who believe that really, literally, cannot think from point A to point B. I first heard it about Woodfield Mall in IL and those evil rapists must have moved up to Milwaukee, because it happened all the time at the old Northbrook Mall (moreso as the neighborhood ‘changed’) and now at Mayfair.
LAMary said on December 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm
Wow, I have never lived near one of these nasty malls you speak of. I got flashed by a creepy guy at the Bergen Mall in Paramus NJ in 1967 ( I was 14) but that’s about it.
Jason T. said on December 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Alice: Hi, Killer. I call you “Killer” ’cause you slay me.
Ralph: And I’m callin’ Bellevue, ’cause you’re nuts!
LAMary said on December 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm
What does one give a bunny for Christmas? Is there a bunny gift section at Petco?
Mindy said on December 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm
Here’s some slippers for you, Nance.
brian stouder said on December 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm
Madam Speaker, I rise in defense of Gwyneth Paltrow and Russian prostitutes, everywhere.
Let me re-phrase that.
On second thought, forget it. But I will say that our bunny, who looks very like Ruby, is definitely moody. Butm he and I understand each other, more or less
(edit – Mary, Twilight loves plastic cups and balls)
Sue said on December 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm
‘the killer rabbit’s sharp-toothed mouth bounces up and down as you walk’
Mindy, there is no doubt I would find a way to trip over these while wearing them.
Dorothy said on December 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm
Never mind tripping with them on – my Augie would attack my feet if I wore them! But they’re pretty darn cute anyway.
derwood said on December 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm
We buy a bunch of stuff for Killer here
He talks back to us…OOKing and grunting. favorite place is in front of the floor vent in full flop mode.
ROgirl said on December 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm
Maybe Gwynnie is getting into character for her next role as an Ivy Leaguer who works her way through school as a stripper, or the WASP girlfriend of a mobster, or one of the Real Housewives of Las Vegas.
Bitter Scribe said on December 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm
I’m sorry, but there’s no way anyone can convince me that Gwyneth Paltrow showing as much skin as possible is anything but good.
Julie Robinson said on December 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Gwynnie did full frontal in a movie several years ago. She is way too skinny, and the movie was not enhanced by her nudity. I know Brian may shall we say, leap to her defense, but there were no curves to her curves.
nancy said on December 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm
She also confessed recently she has osteopenia, the prodrome to osteoporosis. Without considering other factors, I wonder if her whack macrobiotic diet might have had anything to do with that.
LAMary said on December 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm
I heard a report about osteopenia a few months ago, I think on NPR and a lot of doctors seriously question whether or not it’s actually a disease. There’s this from the NYT:
Mark P. said on December 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm
What Julie said is relevant to what Nancy said. Too skinny means, on the whole, more likely to develop osteoporosis. I suggest two course of action. First, eat more, especially calcium-rich foods. (ice cream. mmmmmm.) Second, do some weight-bearing exercise, such as weight lifting combined with some type of cardio workout. I like(d) running, which gives the major bones of the body a good, stressful jarring. But I doubt that GP reads this blog (whyever not?) or my comments in particular.
nancy said on December 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm
To be sure, Gwynnie looks a lot better since she started working out as hard as she claims to be doing. I never understood all the oohing and ahhing over her in that pink dress she won the Oscar in — I thought she looked like she was starving, with bones showing beneath her collarbone and her sad little boobs knocking around in that bodice like ghosts in an empty house.
I just wonder why we’ve apparently neglected the whole concept of “vulgar” in our culture. It’s one thing to wear no underpants. It’s another thing to wear a dress that says HEY EVERYBODY! NO UNDERPANTS! WOO! NO! UNDIES!
Deborah said on December 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm
I’m in the minority of females here but I kind of like Gwyneth’s dress. I think she looks like a million bucks in it. If I had a body like hers I’d be flaunting it too. I wonder about undergarments though, I don’t think I’d leave home with none on even if I had a body like that. That is creepy. I wouldn’t put the dress in the Russian Prostitute category. She is married to a rocker isn’t she? Or she was at one time.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm
Julie, it was “Great Expectations” when we were blessed with Ms. Paltrow’s altogether. Wasn’t expecting it, didn’t feel particularly blessed by it, and having my wife next to me in the theater had nothing to do with it (I think). Said spouse kept nudging me and whispering “Is this anything like the Dickens version?” Other than Miss Havisham being nuttier than a fruitcake, no, I disappointedly whispered back.
As I recall from D&D days, isn’t that a Vorpal Rabbit?
Julie Robinson said on December 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm
Thanks, Jeff, I couldn’t remember which one. Great Expectations also starred the equally untalented Ethan Hawke, who has not been good in one single movie. If he has the lead, I skip the movie.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm
But it did have DeNiro leaping up out of the water! The Florida conceit was interesting, and the shift to New Yawk City was inevitable, but as the Lovely Wife uses for her iron rule in TV, movie, or video entertainment: “Is there any sense that I should care about these people?”
Other than Magwitch, the answer was “Meh.” And other than a partial appearance in a bowling ball bag, in what role has she actually made you care about her character? I’m not presuming she never has, I just haven’t seen it.* Her mom, on the other hand — as my beloved can tell you, I had a serious crush on Blythe before we started going out. Not stalker level, but a pretty comprehensive infatuation all the same.
*Yes, I’ve seen “Shakespeare in Love” and “Iron Man” x 2, but while she stayed out of the way adeptly enough, she didn’t actually occupy much space in either (or all three, depending on how you count sequels). They weren’t good because of her, but I’ll concede they didn’t have to excel in spite of her. She’s not bad, just . . . Meh.
Sue said on December 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm
I read today that a sequel to Shakespeare in Love is being planned.
** I saw this in Sports Illustrated today and immediately had to check it out. Here it is, baseball fans:
prospero said on December 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm
Great Expectations is not Tale of Two Cities or Dombey or Pickwick, but anybody that had anything to do with the 1998 film “version” should be sent to a mall where slashers abound. Truly execrable. The performances weren’t terrible, particularly, but the career choices suggest Phillistineism on the part of the actors. It’s possible to rewrite Dickens satisfactorily. Pick up a copy of Jack Maggs by Peter Carey, but this movie is like going to see Richard II and finding Bolingbroke’s trooops in brownshirts.
Speaking of which, opining publicly about the necessity of differentiating betweeen “literary” and “genre” as this Docx character in the Laura Miller piece seems to have done seems to be a symptom of a particular brand of Brit neurasthenia. I bet he’s a pal of Martin Amis and Chris Hitchens (whose books I like, but whose critical essays are tendentious and spectacularly egocentric.)
Considering Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown in a single derogatory category is just sort of silly. I’ve read both, including during forays on public transportation. Heaven knows what my fellow travellers thought of my critical acuity in my choice of reading. One is imaginative and considers development of characters important parts of entertaining novels. The other’s a total hack. This comparison is like lumping John LeCarre with Clive Cussler, entirely invalid.
Genre Fiction is a term that was invented to belittle science fiction writers and, before them, people like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler and John D. MacDonald. Stieg Larsson is not in a clas with those guys as a stylist, but for plotting and characterization, he’ll do.The idea that an author writing in what could be considered a genre cannot produce valid literary fiction is silly and snooty. Walter Moseley purportedly writes detective fiction, and he’s as good (literary) as anybody in the last 20 or 30 years. Is Margaret Atwood more worthy of respect for Cat’s Eye or Alias Grace, or poetry, or her glosses on Classical mythology than for Oryx and Crake or The Handmaid’s Tale? You’ve got to be an artsy pompous jerk to say yes to this proposition. Would Dickens have damaged his reputation with literary critics if he’d finished his final novel? I mean, it’s a Mystery.
Similarities are rife between some of John Grisham’s books and To Kill a Mockingbird, but one is part of the young adult Canon and the other’s genre fiction to be considered superciliously. Maybe there are the right sort of people who fully appreciate Beethoven’s incomparable genius, and rabble like me that think Ludwig meets his match in A Love Supreme.
Dexter said on December 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm
Yeah, nance, GwynP looked like the president of the Karen Carpenter fan club at The Oscars. The middle aged woman who has been on TV since I was a teenager is Sally Field. She says people still ask her daily about “The Flying Nun” and also , going way back to the mid-1960s, “Gidget”. Gidget and MaryAnn from Gilligan’s Island gave a young man something to think about.
It’s great to see her promoting bone health every night, even though it is bone health for women, taking “Once a Month Boniva”.
She appeared on the news with Brian Williams a few months ago and said she was always being asked about the dog she was taped with, sitting on a dock by a lake, and throwing a stick and the dog fetching…and then she broke our hearts; she had never seen that dog before that day, didn’t know its name…it was a studio dog and the handlers took it away immediately. Television. Phony. I bet she really didn’t even fly in that stupid show after Gidget.
Jolene said on December 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm
Say what you will about how cute Nancy’s rabbit is, I like the rug in her dining room.
deb said on December 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm
nance, how do you keep ruby from making messes around the house? i had a rabbit once, had no luck whatsoever “training it,” and its urine ruined the hardwood floors in my bedroom. i still think the only reason i got my entire security deposit back was because the landlord was going through an ugly divorce and simply wasn’t paying attention.
brian stouder said on December 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm
deb, that’s a great question. Our Twilight spends much of his time in his cage. We’ve added some creature comforts for him, but the big rodent doesn’t get lots of house time.
edit – speaking of dumb bunnies, northeastern Indiana’s brand new member of congress, who the “Tea Party” crowd loves, and who missed his very first vote(!) because he turned off his Blackberry(!!), has added to the story.
But by the end of the week, Stutzman had made a boo-boo that nabs every member of Congress sooner or later: He missed a vote because he turned off his BlackBerry. He was meeting with friends from Indianapolis who were in Washington to attend a fundraiser for Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th. The event was hosted by political commentator Oliver North, who was at the center of the 1980s Iran-control political scandal. “My bad,” Stutzman said of being recorded as “not voting” on legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for children who were brought to the U.S. by their parents who were in the country illegally. For the record, Stutzman would have voted against the bill, which the tea party lobbied heavily to kill.
Mike Pence is plenty bad enough, but Ollie &^&#%^% North?!! And, “My bad” – for heaven’s sake??! “My bad”? Really?
Question for the Tea Party folks: in the perfect nirvana of free enterprise and social Darwinism, wouldn’t a guy who JUST GOT HIRED, and then MISSED the one damned thing that’s the most important part of his new job, simply be fired outright?
paddyo' said on December 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm
Thanks for the “vorpal rabbit” citation, JeffTMMO — I now know from reading there (and clicking on a second Wikilink) the name of one of the better-known “brands” of fake Hollywood blood: Kensington Gore.
And this: Kubrick used thousands of gallons of Kensington Gore for the blood-flood elevator scene in “The Shining”! Great detail . . .
From bunny rabbits to fake blood. This is like Christmas today, gang.
Jolene said on December 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm
The key reference in your post, Brian, was not Ollie North but “in Washington to attend a fundraiser”. I’ve been reading for the past couple of weeks about how the newly elected and, in most cases, not even seated yet new legislators are holding fundraisers in which lobbyists compete to see who can be most helpful in retiring campaign debt. It really is utterly nauseating.
James Fallows has been writing about the unseemliness of James Orszag, Obama’s recently departed OMB director, taking a highly paid job at Bank of America, one of the institutions he helped to pull out of the fire, and about the failure of the press to say much of anything about this–a sign that it’s just business at usual. In the most recent comment on this topic, he quotes some senior military retirees, a realm in which revolving doorism is rampant, as well as a current Congressional staffer, who said:
>>What depresses me, working here on the Hill and in govt, is you get paid millions to advocate for corporate interests. Want to advocate on behalf of child abuse victims? Poor immigrants? Getting toxic chemicals out of our water? Cracking down on Wall Street OTC derivatives? In general, doing ANYTHING that benefits the public interest, but doesn’t generate profits? You are screwed into making peanuts. THAT is what is wrong with the free enterprise system.
I am in government to help the people. I don’t expect to earn millions and frankly don’t want to, by lobbying for Goldman or Citibank once I’m out of here. But I know then my salary will forever be limited.
THAT is what is upsetting…. Being here, the public has no idea just how shut out of the debate they are vs. these lobbyists. No wonder our approval rating here is 13%! It’s more corrupt than they even imagine…<<
It just is utterly depressing that this is the way the world is, and I absolutely feel powerless to do anything about it.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Peter Orszag, he said pedantically, not to mention petulantly. Orszag is such a tool. I think that’s a bipartisan kvetch.
Denice said on December 16, 2010 at 10:48 pm
Sunday is Adopt-A-Bunny/kitty/doggy day at the Roseville PetSmart MHS adoption event! I’m sure the Killer Rabbit could use a companion!
basset said on December 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm
The ever-enigmatic Robert Fripp had a rabbit named Beaton Bunnerius Bun… here’s what happened to him:
brian stouder said on December 17, 2010 at 11:19 am
Jolene, that excellent point of yours (and Mr Fallows) was completely and totally lost upon me. As I read your post, I took a deep breath and groaned! Honestly, this rot is so ubiquitous, it didn’t even register. You’re absolutely right, though; forget the missed vote and the dismissive attitude….and even Ollie North! – it’s STILL “follow the money”. Anyway, and sincerely – thank you.
You raised my conciousness
(this blog often does that, although maybe not quite as profoundly)