Browsing Archives for August 2010

We went to Yellowstone.

I shit you not.

While we were there three people were mauled by a grizzly bear in the Soda Butte campground which is just outside of Yellowstone National Park.

I shit you not.

One of those people died.

I shit you not.

Three dangerous and desperate escaped convicts were hiding out in the area.

I shit you not.

We were there on the busiest day or the busiest month of the busiest year in Yellowstone for fifteen years.

I shit you not.

We got up at six a.m. to secure a campsite in Yellowstone (we were driving from Grand Teton only thirty miles away) but when we arrived, the campgrounds were already full for the day.

I shit you not.

Thirty miles in Yellowstone is like a hundred and thirty miles everywhere else in the world.

I shit you not.

Once you’ve seen one inactive geyser, mudpot, fumarole, sulphuric hot springs, and travertine terrace – you’ve seen them all.

I shit you not.

A waterfall looks the same from the top as it does from the bottom as it does from either side as it does from a distance as it does close up.  There is really no need to hike up and down mountains just to view it from another angle.  It’s not like it is going to change into evening wear or turn a different color.

I shit you not.

The Tetons are gorgeous.  Go there.  Skip Yellowstone entirely or drive thorough it briskly (even though that is impossible).

I shit you not.

Because Yellowstone is a scary place with bears that will kill you, bison that will gore you, escaped convicts that will terrorize you and geysers that sit there and do nothing no matter how long you wait and try to will them to erupt.

I shit you not.

Also  - Yellowstone sits atop a volcano that could erupt at any time.

I shit you not.

I have a new found love for highly contrived vacation spots that have nothing to do with nature and everything to do with marketing.

I shit you not.

I have officially exorcised the demon called ‘camping’ from my being.  From now on my vacation motto is thus -

“If you can’t afford the hotel room, you can’t afford to go.”

I shit you not.

Day by day, hour by hour, minute by terrifying minute of our Yellowstone vacation on it’s way.  Prepare to be scared shitless.

I shit you not.

And all the people said

Amen.

It’s really hot.  It’s been over 100 degrees for a solid week.  I have been working extra shifts at the Garden Center because one of the Cassies is on vacation.  The Garden Center is not air conditioned.  We spend most of our time just keeping the plants and ourselves alive.  If customers wobble in, we consider them a mirage… or a hallucination… and they are either ignored or spoken to from a trance like state.  Sometimes I find one hovering before me like a glassy pile of gelatin.  

Me – Can I help you?

Customer – How did I get here?

Me – Are you looking for anything in particular?

Customer – Have I died and gone to hell?

Me – A shrub perhaps?  Or maybe a fast growing shade tree?

Customer – I just want to go home.

After work, I drive by Cassie W’s house and water her garden and flowers as I mentioned previously, she is on vacation and then I drive home and collapse on the couch hoping against all hope that my dried out carcass will re-hydrate just one more time.  I look more and more like a piece of beef jerky everyday.  

I can’t bring myself to go back outside and care for my own garden.

It withers.  

It shrivels.  

It blackens to a hardened crisp.  

And the squash bugs nibble at the burnt ends.

When Rechelle gave me this feature on her blog, she mentioned that an entity known as the God Particle carefully examines each post and, in Its infinite wisdom, decides what kind of an ad to place next to that post, with Its chief criterion presumably being the subject matter of the post. Naturally, I wondered what kind of an ad the Particle would place next to a post about what kinds of sex toys Cardinal Richelieu might have used, and I resolved that I would find out by writing such a post once I had vanquished all of the problems of the readers of the blog.

Since the absence of new requests for guidance now tells me I have vanquished all of your problems, I will devote this post to speculation about what kinds of sex toys Cardinal Richelieu might have used. I will try to give sex toys and Cardinal Richelieu approximately equal time in order to generate some suspense about whether the Particle will bless the post with an ad about sex toys or about some sort of Cardinal Richelieu merchandise; of course, I will be the only one feeling the suspense, since the Particle’s choice will be readily apparent to anyone who is reading the published post and is not in the process of writing it prior to publication. I am, in effect, praying to the Particle for either one of two types of ads. Whatever the Particle’s decision, I would appreciate it if you would click on the ad It provides, even if it looks like something that will automatically install a virus on your computer, just in case the Particle keeps track of how many clicks an ad gets and uses that information as part of the basis for Its decision about how much daily income to bestow upon a given blog page (my goal for this year is to push the daily ad revenue generated by this page into the single digits). If your computer is still functioning after you click on the ad and if your click has taken you to an online shop of some sort, it also can’t hurt (me or the blog) if you buy something there. It doesn’t have to be anything big; you need only spend enough so that if you were in an actual physical shop you would be comfortable asking to use their restroom after your purchase.

Anyway, sex toys. Cardinal Richelieu.  What kinds of the former might have been used by the latter? To simplify things, let us restrict this discussion to sex toys Cardinal Richelieu might have used for their intended purpose and disregard sex toys that he might have used solely as doorstops or paperweights or that he might have found in his prepubescent years in the closet of his parents and batted around the room. Unfortunately, even after thus simplifying things, our question seems almost unanswerable, as the historical record (as represented by the Wikipedia page for Cardinal Richelieu) gives us few, if any, useful clues.

It is known that Richelieu was treated for gonorhhea at the age of 20. This strongly suggests that he had gonorhhea at the age of 20, and it’s quite likely that this disease was the result of a sexual encounter of some sort. But did this encounter and/or others like (or unlike) it from the same period involve sex toys? I think probably not, mainly because although there were several types of sex toys in existence during Richelieu’s existence (from 1585 to 1642), such items were presumably hard to come by (by which I mean that they were difficult to procure), and although Richelieu was somewhat privileged in his late teens and early twenties, he had not yet achieved the sort of power whereby he could relatively easily obtain anything he wanted.

By the time Richelieu had achieved such power, he was a Catholic cleric and purported to believe in clerical celebacy and the excellence of the celibate state, but this declared belief would not necessarily have precluded his use of sex toys. In fact, he spent much of his energies endeavoring to hold onto and increase his power and influence in the French monarchy and looking out for the interests of France. It is doubtful that these earthly matters would have been so important to him if his primary focus had been serving the Catholic god, as it would surely have been if he had actually believed in all the Catholic doctrines. Moreover, he used his influence to ally France with Protestant powers (sometimes in opposition to the Pope’s wishes) when he believed it was in the country’s (or his) best interests. Since there is strong evidence that Richelieu did not fully embrace the teachings of the church he represented, I conclude that he may well have used sex toys in this period of his life.

I acknowledge that without consulting more detailed historical sources it is impossible to determine whether Cardinal Richelieu actually did use sex toys or what kinds of sex toys he might have used if he used them at all; however, it takes time to ferret out and consult such sources, and I am anxious to see how the Particle will answer my prayer, so I will wrap this up now. Cardinal Richelieu scholars and sex toy scholars should feel free to use the comments section to contribute any relevant information I may have missed.

And now, if you haven’t already, look to your right near the top of the post and gaze upon the product of the Particle’s pure and glorious wisdom.