Make the most of the holiday season by reading and reacting to every Angry Santa Elf rant, rambling, and repeated plea for a job transfer on Twitter right here!
The holidays are a time to get away. Some of us will go to relatives. Some will go away on family vacations. And some will get lost in their new PS4, Xbox One, or Intellivision if it’s 1978. But what if you could take a trip inside some of the most popular video games? Would it be a vacation to remember or would you suddenly realize a lot of these places seem to have a pretty open policy when it comes to heavy artillery?From the planet Reach to the floating city of Columbia, see all the mistaken vacation destinations right here.
We’ve all done things we’re not particularly proud of. Maybe due to a youthful indiscretion. Or a choice made at an inopportune moment. Or because you haven’t paid attention to us during one of the 15 non-consecutive minutes each day a cat wants attention, resulting in every item I once heard you refer to as “precious” raining down on the floor like a torrential downpour of Hummel figurines and collectible McDonladland glasses.
Those very reasons, however, may not ever excuse or validate my actions to all. And so I would like to take this time to explain how I came about floating in a black void weeping diamonds while lip-syncing to Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” at the AMA awards Sunday night. First, as a wide-eyed kitten, I have the firm grasp of contractual obligations of a five-year-old who just learned he has inherited Exxon-Mobil. That’s not to say I was misled by the nature and demands of said contract so much as was unable to read it, given that they asked for my signature a good two weeks before my eyes even opened.
Second, I was told that the performance would be billed as a duet with Miley singing as I sat on her lap, then got off her lap, then ran and back across the stage several times for some inexplicable reason, then broke down the song midway with a four-minute hairball hack-up, then suddenly became sworn enemies with Miley’s feet as I just kept swiping at them until I napped for the remainder of the song before waking up right at the end to place my paw directly into the one thing Miley wanted to eat. Alas, I found out this was not to be the case when I arrived at the AMA Awards show, only to show my displeasure by hiding behind the fridge for three hours before almost all of Katy Perry’s geisha dancers were able to coax me out.
Third, I was never given any time to memorize the actual lyrics to “Wrecking Ball.” That’s why throughout the entire song it appears as if I’m not so much backing Miley as trying to pry out a 9 Lives Turkey & Giblet morsel from between my teeth. In fact, what I am singing is actually is “Three Blind Mice,” mostly because it’s a happy, hopeful tune about the odds clearly being in my favor.
Fourth, as for the tears of diamonds, as a cat I am loathe to take my medicine no matter if you put the pill in my food, wrap it up in a treat, try to coax me to eat it with peanut butter, or try to pull open by jaw with great force as you push the pill down my throat only for my tongue to deflect it with expert fencing precision while simultaneously puncturing your index knuckle with my teeth as I tear off every last hair and epidermis flake on your chest through your business shirt with my claws, all the while picturing my revenge when I will sit on your face at 3 am and quietly hear your muffled screams. And so without my medication my diamond tearing condition will persist. It is just something I have learned to live with and occasionally profit from.
And finally, why was I even asked to appear in the performance in the first place? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact the Internet is now 98% cat and so Miley would be ensured multiple web coverage and YouTube viewings. Perhaps Miley really does like kittens, as exemplified by her cat-enhanced wardrobe and that bracelet that I believe was once my water dish. Or perhaps her agents saw me in my video “Kitten Gets Head Stuck in Mayo Jar as Owner Films and Films without Once Thinking of Maybe Extracting the Kitten’s Head from out of a Jar It Is No Doubt Desperately Panicking Inside of” and liked my work.
The only thing I can say with any certainty is that my sticking my tongue out like that at the end was me deflecting yet another attempt to take my pill. I will cry diamonds forever.
That Floaty, Weepy Kitty
How to Make It through Your Family’s Thanksgiving Dinner without Making Enemies, an Ultimatum or a Complete Ass of Yourself
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family. Or cope with your family. Or crush under the emotional and psychological weight of being with your family. But as you can see the word that keeps coming back again and again is “family,” much like a chant that just might summon impending catastrophe.
But fear not. Medium Large is here to ensure you return the following Monday if not in tip-top condition then at least without some sort of nervous rash. Simply take a deep breath and then take heed of the following tips for a tolerable turkey day. I can’t promise you’ll be walking on sunshine by day’s end but I can be reasonably certain you won’t be willingly walking into oncoming traffic either, and that has got to be a step up from last year.
• Sit at the children’s table: The kids’ dinnertime conversations may be less than engaging, their food will constantly be in mid-air and, let’s face it, children are never in a position to float you a crucial sum of cash. But when was the last time a five-year-old turned to you and said, “Well, well, well. Hung over and a vegetarian to boot on what may very well be your grandmother’s last Thanksgiving meal. My, isn’t that so…now.”
• Bring a friend: Many people invite a friend to their family’s Thanksgiving meal with the belief that their parents are far less likely to critique you in front of someone they don’t readily have dirt on. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, cutting comments once phrased directly to you will now be delivered as an series of endless Trivial Pursuit questions to your unsuspecting, uncomfortable guest—“What do you think of a daughter who never calls?” “How come he can’t come on weekends and help his 68-year-old father with the leaves?” “Did you know when he was little he was terrified of the color yellow and would burst into tears upon seeing a lemon?” While such an experience will seem initially mortifying (and ultimately scarring), just keep focusing on the big picture. After all, the next time you find yourself ranting on and on to friends about your meshugenah parents—like the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving—your invited pal will be right behind you the whole time, saying, “Believe me, everything he said is the God’s honest truth.” Of course, the downside is that while you’re looking at all the relatives gathered around the holiday feast thinking, “Jesus, how on earth could I be related to all these nut jobs?” your guest is looking around thinking, “Ah, now it all makes sense.”
• Show up sporting at least one radical cosmetic change: In military jargon this is known as the “draw away the line of fire” approach. Rather than leave yourself open to the usual round of family remarks—knocking your career direction, love life, weight loss or gain, lackluster demeanor, questionable social habits, unique attire, poor posture, political beliefs, religious doubts, nervous habits, choice of car, inability to call, intolerance of racial jokes, inadvertent sighing, indefinite time spent watching the TV rather than talking to family, indefinite time spent in the bathroom rather than talking to family, indefinite time spent puttering around in the garage/yard/crawl space behind the living room wall rather than talking to family, refusal to offer any personal information about yourself, refusal to offer any personal information about your siblings, refusal to offer any personal information about the in-laws, cut or absence of hair, skin condition, acute sensitivity to questions concerning your self-worth, mistaking “guilt trip” for “caring for one’s child”—immediately draw your parents’ attention to one specific, wholly inescapable topic of conversation on your part…and your body. Like a face tattoo. Or pierced lip. Sure a new hair color may raise eyebrows and breast implants may provoke the most awkward stares in the family’s history but if you really want to avoid talking about anything else in your life this Thanksgiving, you’re going to have to go for broke. You may not necessarily want to spend the rest of your life sporting the word “Sex Toy” spelled out in rhinestone studs on the back of your neck, but do you honestly want to talk to your mom about your bowel movements? In short, sometimes the end—no matter how excessive or unresponsive to corrective surgery—does indeed justify the means.
• Go easy on your folks: The truth of the matter is, your parents are just as uncomfortable around you as you are around them. Let’s look at it from a business perspective: Imagine while walking down the street you suddenly bump into your boss from a previous job. After exchanging initial pleasantries and professional updates, you both find yourselves with absolutely nothing to say. Why? Because your relationship was never based on the easy conversational give-and-take of an actual friendship. Rather, it was built upon an understanding of authority that dictated your daily exchanges and interactions. But with no set rules to now guide your conversation, you would have better luck chatting up a lilac bush or Bengal tiger. At least the talking points would be crystal clear (“Nice bloom you got there” and “Don’t puncture the aorta! For the love of God, don’t puncture the aorta!!!”). So it goes with parents and their grown children. With no one the obvious leader and no one the follower, no one knows how to act when they get together. So while you hope this year your parents finally give you a break, make sure to cut them a little slack, too. If your folks want to say grace before dinner, close your eyes, clasp your hands and quietly recall “The Simpsons” episode in which Homer gets out of work by saying he’s celebrating “The Feast of Maximum Occupancy.” If they want to go around the table and have each person say what they are thankful for this holiday season, kindly respond with something innocuous such as “Times like these” (rather than just blurt out “Paxil!”). But remember, just because you’re in a giving mood doesn’t mean you should hand over a blank check for your parents to cash in on any insane request they see fit. To put it another way, don’t feel obliged to close out the Thanksgiving feast by entertaining relatives with your once-annual childhood performance of “Turkey in the Straw.” After all, at age five seeking your folks’ attention and/or approval is perfectly normal. At age 35, it’s textbook pathological. Keep in mind the difference and you’ll do just fine.
• Don’t overstay your welcome: Each one of us has found ourselves on the phone with a friend or business associate only to hear them say, “Well, I better let you go,” knowing full well that what they actually mean is “Well, I’ve had enough of this. Bye.” The same logic applies here. When we say, “Don’t overstay your welcome” what we clearly mean is “Leave before it’s a murder-suicide and you’re the one reloading.” In other words, phrase your desperate escape to freedom as a thoughtful concern regarding your parents’ valuable time. For example, “Mom, Dad, this has been terrific. But surely you two want to spend some time alone together.” However, as with all selfish desires disguised as acts of civility, timing is paramount. Don’t blurt out your farewells the moment it comes time to clear the table. Don’t say it immediately after a quick perusal of the deserts finds the selection wanting. And don’t say your good-byes from the cell phone in the car as the rest of the family is still sitting at the table, wondering why it’s taking you so long you to find a second gravy ladle in the kitchen. Be patient. The right moment will present itself, usually in the form of a question like “So, do you want to spend the night on the couch in the basement or on a cot in the room with Grandma? Either way, remember, we’re all up in half-an-hour to go shopping!” That’s when you take the coat you had draped over your dinner chair the whole time, bid your fond farewells to parents and relatives alike and quickly run to a waiting taxi, making sure to grab a “to go” turkey leg on the way out. It may not be the most thoughtful exit, but what it lacks in sentiment it will more than make up for in conversational fodder for your parents’ next Thanksgiving—and trust us, that’s the best present you could ever hope to give them this holiday season.