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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Can Not Host/No Touching

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: February 2014

Sometimes the weight of living with people, not just in the same house, but in the same town, zip code or lifetime, seems too heavy to deal with.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to ease the weight. Pop on the Spike Away (mentioned in one of my previous columns), a plastic vest with long spikes that will teach anyone foolish enough to get close to you the lesson George Sr. of Arrested Development fame learned in jail: no touching. Oldies but goodies include making your own deodorant, and using any of the following words/phrases: herstory, stay-cation, adorkable, geek girl and/or chocoholic.

The point is, there are an endless amount of irritating things our fellow humans do every day. If you’re normal, you’ll probably process them like an adult and move on. If you’re Jason Willis from Wisconsin, you go about it a little… differently. Willis (my new hero), has been banned from using the Internet for sending naked strangers to his neighbors house, via Craigslist. Judge Allen Torhorst said, “If you want to drive drunk, you’re not allowed to drive. To me, a public availability of the Internet—to use it the way he did—is unconscionable.”

Unconscionable, maybe. I just want to know what the neighbor did to piss him off. I bet it had something to do with a dog on a fiber-heavy diet and the absence of a leash. I’m lookin’ at YOU neighbor-at-the-end-of-the-street. Don’t think I don’t see your dog shitting that trail of swampy pond water across my grass.

Speaking of terrible pets, my gentleman friend has a cat. Men with cats. There’s probably a Men With Cats script lying around a Hollywood office somewhere. Maybe it’s the long-awaited sequel to Men In Tights. Anyway, men with cats. Amirite? I’m really not a cat person. I much prefer dogs, who give love with no questions asked and don’t look at me sideways when I don’t put on pants for a whole day.

My man friend loves his furry four-legged so much that he built a little ramp from the ground to his window, with a little flap cut into the screen so he can let himself in and out whenever his black little heart desires. I think the fact that he gave his cat more access to the house, i.e. something it wanted (yes, “it”), really only made his dumb feline more power hungry than ever. Lately we’ve been playing this fun game where he scrambles around underneath the bed at 4 am while I try to grab him, and he scratches the ever-loving shit out of me. You know what they say, give a cat an inch, and he’ll try to take your eyeballs from your face.

I told you about my gentleman friend’s cat so I could tell you about how there’s a guy in Goleta, California who just dropped $35,000 renovating his house to be a tunnel, walkway and ledge-laden pad for his cats… but I got distracted. Hey, maybe I should introduce my neighbor’s swamp diarrhea-spewing dog to the cat. Maybe they’ll destroy each other. Maybe I just solved all my problems.

Arielle Mullen