Mighty Girl
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contact: maggie at mightygirl dot net

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4.29.04 EXCUSE ME
From the back of the bus comes a belch that sends out sound waves you can feel against your skin. The volume and intensity of this belch are unrivaled. Everyone turns, ears ringing, to find the culprit slouched in his seat. He has pulled up the neck of his T-shirt to cover his mouth. "EX-cuuse me. EX-CU-se me," he shouts. His tone is defiant, threatening. He belches again. This second belch reaches multiple climaxes. The other passengers recoil, and the belch stretches down the center aisle. It is deafening; it strains credulity. "EX-cuuse me. EX-CU-se me," he shouts. "EXCUSE me, ladies and gentlemen!" The irritated man in front of him responds.

"You better say excuse me. You almost ripped my ear off, dog."
"That's why I'm covering my mouth with my shirt, man. Chill out, man."
"You the one makin' all the noise. Disgusting."
"I covered my mouth. It's all good."
"No, it ain't."
"It's all good. We're 93 million miles from the sun."
... (The man in front of him stiffens.)
Anyway, I'm gettin' off right here. It's all good anyway. I'm getting the hell away from you. Everything is war, and war is everywhere.

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4.23.04 WORST PICK-UP LINE EVER
I sit down on the bus next to a guy my age. He smiles winningly; I pull out my magazine. "What are you reading?" he asks. I show him the cover. "Oh. GQ?" "No," I reply, "Esquire." I go back to reading. "... Isn't that a men's magazine?" he asks. "Mmmhmm," I say, and continue reading. "Yeah," he says, "I sometimes pick up copies of Cosmo."

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4.21.04 HE SAYS
Two good things from Defective Yeti:
  • "Inguinal" means " Of, relating to, or located in the groin."
  • My barista is jittery and high-strung. I find this comforting, like a barber with well-coifed hair.


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4.20.04 FOR A GOOD TIME
Me: That bar's called The Caucus.
Bryan: Come on in and argue for eight hours. By the end of the evening, we must reach consensus.

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4.20.04 THE MESSAGE
This man is walking along the street in a pair of sweats and a rain slicker. His hair is long and gray, bald in patches, and it seems to be reaching away from his scalp in every direction. He is holding a sign that says DOWN WITH DIKS. He passes someone with a video camera, and the man mugs, turning his sign round and round:

DOWN WITH DIKS
UP WITH CHIKS
DOWN WITH DIKS
UP WITH CHIKS

And so on down the street.

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4.15.04 JOSH A. CAGAN, MULTI-THOUSANDAIRE
Josh Cagan, is a peculiarly good guy. The guy to whom you'd give your spare set of keys, the guy who would be extra-careful with your newborn infant, the guy who worries about you when something has you down.

Josh recently sold his first screenplay for a jillion dollars. He was in LA, and he flew up to celebrate with us. We baked cookies, played Scrabble, and drank too much, while Josh shook his head in disbelief. He flew back down... and sold another damn screenplay. For those of you who are counting, that's two screenplays in two weeks.

This officially makes Josh a rockstar. And, in my book, he is exactly kind of guy to whom that stuff should happen. Thanks, karma.

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4.14.04 THE RECORDING SECRETARY WORE LEATHER
Discipline Possible in Aggressive Sorority Blood Drive

But will it be whips or hot candle wax? Safe word: excellence.

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4.13.04 TOBACCO STAINS
I had a gyno appointment today.

How did that go?

OK. My vagina is perfectly healthy.

That's good news.

Yeah. It was funny, the gynecologist was making small talk while she's examining me. Like, "Oh, you're a writer? My dad's a writer too."

Ha! I had that happen. We were having this conversation and she's checking things out. Then she says, "Do you smoke?" I'm like, "Wha...? Can you tell?"

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4.12.04 CULTURAL ENRICHMENT
Do you ever watch "Newlyweds?" I'm ashamed of how much I love it.

Yeah. I can't look away.

She's so greeeaat.

Yeah, have you seen her latest video?

No.

It's all about her being a super-cutesy inept housewife. You can tell it's not an act because at one point she tries to be all sexy by removing her rubber cleaning gloves with her teeth. I just about hurked. That's a girl who has never scrubbed a toilet in her life.

Ha! Yeah. I love Nick. Like how he can't believe the things she's saying sometimes, but he wants to help, you know?

I don't like him. I think he's kind of mean to her, especially because she tries so hard. She's like, "I married my dad." He's scratching his head, like, "I want to sleep with her, but I also want to tell her what to do."

Aaaaaaaa.

Cannot look away.

Totally.

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4.9.04 BEL CANTO
The best parts of Bel Canto by Ann Patchett:

"The room was filled with the pleasant smell of candles just snuffed, a smoke that was sweet and wholly unthreatening. A smell that meant it was late now, time to go to bed."

"The room was sugared with promise."

"They were early [to the opera], but other people were earlier, as part of the luxury that came with the ticket price was the right to sit quietly in this beautiful place and wait."

"Certainly he knew (though did not completely understand) that opera wasn't for everyone, but for everyone he hoped there was something."

"In his day, Oscar himself had made too many girls forget their better instincts and fine training by biting them with tender persistence at the base of their skull, just where the hairline grew in downy wisps. Girls were like kittens in this way, if got them right at the nape of their neck they went easily limp."

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4.8.04 SOLID
At the bar, Laura leans against a column to reach for her purse. The column falls against the wall with a plastic thud.

L: So that's not attached to anything.
B: No, it's not so much a structural element as a...
M: Big plastic column, made to look like a structural element, that will actually fall over the moment someone touches it.
B: Yeah, every bar needs one of those.
L: Good for drunk people.
M: Keeps 'em guessing.

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4.8.04 IT'S A FACT
I push past the crowd in the kitchen to get some ice for my drink. He's standing next to the refrigerator, and I hear him say:

My cat watches me pee...

Then I return to the living room.

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4.6.04 JOYOUS
The best part of Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton:

"A boy salutes as he has learned in the school, and cries umfundisi. He waits for no response, but turns away and gives the queer tremulous call, to no person at all, but to the air. He turns away and makes the first slow steps of a dance, for no person at all, but for himself."

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4.05.04 MTV AND ME
For the last ten minutes, I have been watching quasi-celebrity commentary on the Williams sisters' asses. In the last ten minutes I have not begun to learn French, started the next great American novel, or told anyone I loved them. I have not done any sit ups, flossed my teeth, or contemplated my future. Most importantly, I have not reached for the television remote, which is mere inches from my right hand. Projecting this data set to its logical conclusion, it's probable that I will drown in a puddle of my own drool a few hours from now during an E! documentary on Scarlett Johansen's lips. Someone pass the Chee-tohs.

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LAST CALL
L: Do motorcycles run on gasoline?
M: Yeah.
L: Where does the gas go?
M: ... In the gas tank.
L: Well, yeah, of course.
M: You asked.
L: But, I mean, where? Like does it fill up into the handlebars or something?
R: That doesn't seem like it would be safe.
M: What did you think it ran on?
S: They should make bikes that run on pee.
L: Like you'd pee into a tube and the bike uses it as fuel?
M: Yuck.
R: I want a car that runs on pee.
M: You're a dreamer, baby.

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4.2.04 FROM RAPACIOUS TO "AGGRESSIVE"
Starbucks Unveils Aggressive Growth Plan
Now the chain stores will simply gestate in human bodies and eat their way through the wall of the stomach when they've reached maturity.

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4.1.04 RIGHTS
Bryan and I pass two men picketing on the sidewalk. The typeface on their signs is too small to read. "Something is unfair," Bryan says. And ain't it the truth.

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4.1.04 CLASS
This businesswoman is waiting for the bus. She wears a slim black suit with kitten heels, and her hair is pulled into a neat bun at the nape of her neck. She removes a dark compact from her pocket and peers at herself in the mirror, then begins picking at a zit on her chin.

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