A Few Quick Things, vol. 119

wtsThere’s a frog or toad, or something in the green ‘n’ jumpy family, that comes out at night and sits near our front door. Often it’s directly in front of the door, and seems fearless. I swing open the screen door, which passes a centimeter above its body, and the thing doesn’t move. I step over it nightly, and nothing. Our dog Andy has even sniffed it a few times, and it remains froggy stoic. Andy isn’t too concerned with it, either. Weird.

I have seen it jump a few times, however, and it always makes me shriek like a schoolgirl. When you’re walking into the house at 2:30 am, tired and burned out, and something LEAPS from the porch… mister, your sphincter will be put to the test.

But what does it mean? Is there some significance to a toad by the front door? I checked my big book of southern superstitions, and found nothing. I did see this one, though: If a rooster crows in the kitchen, a tramp is coming. So, I’ve made a note of that. But nothing about a frog by the front door. Any ideas? What does it mean??

I recently saw an article about a short amateur documentary, filmed in the ’90s, concerning a group of so-called “dirty girls” at a school somewhere. Where? I’m not sure, but the girls in question are a little punk rock and out of the mainstream, and receive the treatment you might expect from the other students. There’s a lot of speculation about their hygiene, or lack thereof. Along with various other insults…

It’s pretty good. I was so invested by the end, I did some research, and found this “dirty girls” reunion video. Check ’em out, if you’re so inclined. It’s a compelling little slice of high school hell.

And Jason Headley forwarded me this article about the happiest and unhappiest places in the country. Scranton is number 1, baby! The unhappiest place in America!! Hell to the yes. Also, “non-metropolitan West Virginia” makes the list. I take that to mean rural WV? So, the whole state except maybe Charleston and Huntington? I’m unclear.

If you have any thoughts on this list of misery, please share them in the comments.

I also have a closing Question for you guys: What are some things people PRETEND to like, because of social pressure? You know, stuff you’re supposed to enjoy, but don’t really? I’ll get the ball rolling with a few suggestions: other peoples’ family photos, the outdoors, the beach, party games, and children.

Got anything on this subject, or any of the others I’ve mentioned? Please tell us about it below.

And have a great weekend, my friends!

I’ll be back on Monday.


  1. dogberry says

    Mr. Toad is enjoying all the bugs your porch light is attracting.

  2. Cornbread says

    I’m not sure what the opening picture has to do with your post. Then again, I’m not sure what’s going on in the picture either. Is it like an earlier version of a weekend at Bernie’s? I may have dain bramage.

  3. Brenda Love says

    Jeff, I actually have a book called “A Dictionary of Omens and Superstitions”….here is what it says about frogs:

    “It is widely believed to be unlucky to kill a frog as they are said to possess the soul of a boy or girl who died in childhood – and indeed country people often compare the cry it makes when injured to that of a child. A frog croaking during the day is an omen of rain, while if one of these creatures comes into your house of its own accord then it is a sign of good luck.”

    So I guess pop a beer and leave the door open for him.

    • I’d never hurt the little guy, but don’t want him in the house, either. I’m always afraid he’ll jump in, the moment I open the front door. But as toads go, this one seems pretty lazy and lacking in ambition.

  4. I pretend to like stories about people’s kids. It’s not easy.

  5. Brenda Love says

    People pretend to like U2 due to social pressure. 😉

  6. madz1962 says

    Many a time I’ve had to plaster on the fake enthusiastic smile while some simpleton goes into minute details about their son or daughter’s wedding. If I wasn’t there indulging in the open bar and weenies in a blanket, I don’t give a rat’s testicle about the festivities. Especially if the shindhig included a flower girl and ring bearer.

  7. lori in cbus says

    nice one Jeff! I pretend to give a shit about tv shows I never watch but have to sit thru listening to my coworker give a breakdown of every show and episode.. today I’m going to stop pretending..I’ll let u know if I need bail money.

  8. lori in cbus says

    hi madz!

    • madz1962 says

      Hi Lori! By the way, I had to sit through a whole gaggle of hens going on and on and on about “Dancing With The Stars” and the incredulous looks I got when I told them I never saw the show.

      It wasn’t until I re-named it “Hoofin’ With The Has-Beens” that they finally left me alone.

  9. Knucklehead says

    Kids. I need to start carrying around photos of my dogs for when friends start whipping out photos of the grandkids (jesus, I’m old). I had a friend who used to whip out a photo of her bicycle – genius!

    • madz1962 says

      I’m 52 and childless by choice and once in a blue moon some asshat will tell me “Oh, honey, you still have time!” As if my post menopausal uterus could still spit out offspring.

      • Madz……..
        You must look very young.

      • The Divine Miss E says

        I’m 31 and whenever I say I don’t want kids, people almost always tell me I’ll change my mind. As if the last 30 years of not liking kids at all was just a phase.

        • bikerchick says

          I am now 51. All my life I said I never wanted kids. I had the same response from people..”oh you’ll change your mind.” Or, “you should have at least one. There’s nothing like the feeling of being a mother”. Um…..HELLS NO. In fact, I think I have made a responsible decision. Unlike these women who have several unwanted “surprises” along with several baby daddy’s. No fucking thanks.

  10. Unfortunately, I have a toad tale that I can’t forget.
    When my daughter was about 6 or 7 she had a BFF in the neighborhood, about her age, named Rebecca.
    We were out in the backyard one day and they found a toad hanging around under the kitchen window area.
    I really thought that they understood the frog/prince thing. I said to Rebecca “If you kiss that toad, he will turn into a prince!
    Yes, I turned around to see quiet, shy, little Rebecca kissing the toad on the lips.
    I had to apologize and explain the story, and that I was only kidding, etc…..
    Today, both of these girls are in their late 30s; but the toad story still lives.

    • Brenda Love says

      Gosh they say if you lick a toad you can trip just as hard as some LSD! Hopefully little Rebecca didn’t go home preaching about Flower Power and jamming on some Byrds.

  11. Steve in WV says

    We had a different name for girls like that at my school. I hit high school right around the same time that “grunge” took off. We had several clicks of girls that dressed like they dug their clothes out of a dumpster and didn’t bother washing them before wearing them. We just called them skanks. Some of them grew up and out of that phase while others, last I heard anyway, are still living exactly how they did in high school. Crazy.

  12. Pete in OH says

    Sports. And by that, I don’t mean a Huey Lewis album. I don’t understand why people identify with a sports team, care about sports, wear nothing but sports team clothing, etc.

  13. Things I pretend to like because of social pressure:

    small talk
    sober people

  14. I don’t much bow to peer pressure. If I’m not interested in something, well, I’m not interested and I make no apology.

    A friend sent me a little comic the other day whose caption they felt summed up my philosophy. It said:

    Everyone just wants to be liked and respected.
    Except [Jorge], [Jorge] doesn’t give a shit.

    I’m very clear about not liking the beach (dull, hot), outdoors (none of what’s indoors), parties (generally full of people I have no interest in knowing), beer and wine (don’t like the tatse, but accept I’m in the wrong here), sports (it’s a kids game, who gives a shit), music (it’s either entertaining or it isn’t, and none of it is important), literature (I like to read, but have no interest in all the critically acclaimed or thought of by english departments everywhere as mandatory), reality television (proof God is dead), children (they’re loud, and my kids are the loudest), politics (it’s just a matter of choosing to whom I’ll be sold out), religion (worship or don’t as you will, I don’t want to hear about any of it) and pretty much anything else that doesn’t increase my personal comfort.

    I’ve never been much of a joiner. It’s either because I’m an independent think who makes considered choices based on a situations merits or I’m simply an egomanic and it’s all about me. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. But what’s great is I don’t give a shit either way.

    Also, stay off my damn lawn!

  15. Seanette says

    I’ll second the sports thing, and being a cashier, I’ve had to learn to politely fake interest in that, political/religious ramblings, and a variety of other topics. Well, I do have my own interests that I’m sure bore some of my co-workers. 🙂

    As for your amphibious squatter, sounds like you have a new pet. 😀

  16. Jazzbone Swirly says

    I don’t care where you ski, and am not impressed by the bumper sticker.

  17. Regarding the frog out front, I suppose it means you will be visited by a Frenchman.

  18. Around here, people pretend to like summer. You know, summer – the season of hurricanes, insect infestations, yard work and ball sweat. Even the TV and radio weathermen say the weather will be “better,” meaning “warmer.” But I guess if it’s summer, you can go to the beach and later pretend you enjoyed it.

  19. I pretend some of the stories guys launch into are fascinating.

  20. I don’t pretend to care about coworkers kids and I close the door to my office when their spouses show up with them. I do pretend to care about what my other half thinks about the new Christna Aguilera album or Big Brother… Because there is a reward other than pink eye.

  21. bikerchick says

    There’s a kid at the campground we frequent that catches the. biggest. frogs. I have ever seen. I immediately go into song….”Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaal…” They are so big, a man’s hand cannot completely wrap around they’re bellies. Blecch.

    I gotta go with kids too. And I do not want to hear about all your baby daddys either. Keep your legs crossed for a change. Maybe next time you should swallow.

  22. Ugh I hate frogs, they creep me out big time! I would shoo that thing away ASAP!

    Hanging out with co-workers outside of work. I see enough of you people during the week, I sure as shit don’t want to spend my weekends with you.

  23. Look at the lady in the purple flower shirt..she’s staring right at his junk and loving it!

  24. The Divine Miss E says

    I was walking through the back room at work the other day when a toad suddenly hopped right next to me. I didn’t scream, but I did flap my hands in the air in a panic, looking like a special person. I’m glad no one witnessed it.

    I pretend to like small talk, kids, weddings, and movies. Except when people tell me I’ll change my mind about having kids, then I get pissed and the cat’s out of the bag.

  25. I’m convinced that tons of people pretend to care about any of Bob Dylan’s recent albums. I don’t get it. He’s literally clearing phlegm from his throat, and receiving universal acclaim. And no, the 4-bar chord structures aren’t impressive either. He had his era, and inspired many; now let it go.

  26. At last…we now have proof Tom Arnold is a time traveler. Looks like he’s having trouble figuring out that Mamiya Sekor 1000 DTL.

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