March 08, 2007

The Other "B" Word

This is the real deal
The one and only
The one whose creator will sue the pants off you
if you even use the name OR sing the song and
no, I'm not kidding
So I was driving along a bendy country road when my car broke down. It was the kind of breakdown where you couldn't even pull all the way to the curb, which was fine, since there were no curbs on this road. There were no curbs ... there was no sidewalk ... there was no sign of human life.

Lebanon - not the country. That was the name of the farm town where, on this hot and humid summer day, my birthday party/balloon delivery was located.

It wasn't enough that the humidity was hovering around eighty-five percent. It wasn't enough that the temperature was swiftly climbing from the crack-of-dawn-eighty-five that woke me up in a pool of sweat. And it still wasn't enough that the air conditioning in my car was not working at all. No. All of this clearly was not enough.

Even under such conditions, I had to blow up ten helium balloons, load them into my car and get into my sickening, furry, crinoline-stuffed, purple dinosaur costume - all for the sake of putting a smile on some little kid's face.

Certain rules needed to be followed when you were pretending to be something you weren't.

Under no circumstances were you to be seen or heard out-of-character. No way, no how, not ever! You put on that costume and you simply became the character until you were at a safe distance from your party people. The most important rule, however, was to keep your head on - come hell or high water - keep your head on unless you were one hundred percent sure there were no children in sight; don't want to traumatize little Stan or Wendy now, do you? I can hear it now, "AAAAAH! They took B**ney's head off! Bastards!"^

You needed to know those rules to fully appreciate the dilemma I found myself in as my car broke down on a desolate, winding road in Lebanon (not the country) in the hellish heat of one afternoon I will never forget.

Here's the clincher. For some ungodly reason, before leaving my home on that evil day, I decided to strip down and go full-body commando* beneath all the net and fur that unbeknownst to me, was to become my personal chamber of horror later on. I had never done this before, but after all, I was tired of baking in my costumes all summer long, while fighting off dogs and children and pathetically smartass adults. Besides, who would ever know?

Aside from the fact that I never made it to my delivery, a large herd of Holsteins started to take a liking to me - in a very frightening way. Lucky for me they have the intelligence of an empty bucket or they might have made their way through the shoddy, wooden fence between us and done unspeakable things to me. I could swear they were whispering amongst themselves - probably making up some Far Side-ish jokes as the big purple girlosaur paced back and forth in her enormous, stuffed feet.

I can't make this crap up, people.

Keeping in mind that the average Joe wasn't packing a cell phone back then, you can read the awful chain of events while I try once again to forget the whole thing:

*Car broke down

*Cursed and swore, very much out of character, at the sun-god, the humidity-god, and the B**ney-god

*Again, out of character, was forced to leave big dino head off (can't drive with head on) while I sought help

*In barefooted stupor, had no choice but to put on exaggerated costume feet and step away from car while looking up and down road in hopes of spotting a house or oncoming vehicle

*Said three Hail Mary's for leaving head off and risked being within eye-shot of any kids who would see B**ney headless

*Decided to remove crinoline-stuffed, furry costume so that I could breathe and stay alive long enough to seek help


*Started walking (and wheezing) in the direction I had been driving as I knew there was no sign of human life at least two miles in direction I came from

*Stopped in tracks - swore loudly - prayed not to be found dead in two-thirds of costume on winding road in Lebanon (not the country) in 90+ degree heat

*Suddenly detected a series of low, rolling "moos" coming from pasture to my right. Looked over to see large herd of cows slowly approaching and -- I could swear, nudging one another and winking

*Headed back to car realizing there's no way I could walk another step in this get-up and in this ghastly heat

*Sat with door open and fake feet off - back zipper pulled down and now pouring warm water bottle over shoulders and head to try to cool down

*Had sudden outburst of uncontrollable laughter as I sat wondering what someone would think if they drove past me looking this way

*Cried hard as someone drove past me, slowed down, noticed flailing, purple, headless furball and kept going

*Eventually breathed sigh of relief as a kindly soul stopped and taking pity, agreed to call my road service and party-store owner for me

When all was said and done that day, I realized I might be getting a bit too old for this kind of gig. The money was nice, but so is sitting on your ass in your air conditioned living room on your day off from your regular job. I was finished ... I would do up the dates that were already booked (which sadly took me into December), but that was the end ... at least, for that particular character.

I'll leave you with a catchy little tune that evolved from my character-acting days. Come on - sing it together now - you all know the song (sung to melody of "I Love You, You Love Me"):

I hate you, you hate me, we're a screwed up family
With a purple butt and a tail so frigging long
Shoot me while I sing this song ....


^ kindly note South Park references
*(nude, naked, bareassed)


Blogger Walker said...


You must have been quite the sight out there on a dirt road looking like a purple dinosaur.
I bet the people that saw you are still talking about it in conjunction with the crop circles and Big Foot.

Going cammando lol
Doesn't it always happen when you do it for the first time just to make sure you remember never to do it again

Have a nice day

2:09 PM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...

We (my daughter) actually hired BAR*** for a birthday gig once...I believe it cost around $75.00 for an hour. Well the "Dinobutt" showed up and was the most miserable person we had ever met, plus she hated kids. She did not put her head on until after she finished her smoke. Then it was "OK! Lets get this over with." When she walked outside, the kids ran away screaming in fear...The Dino on TV was small and kind..This overgrown mean spirited fur ball just wasn't going to make a hit. But now I know why she may have been so disagreeable. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I also noticed that my cows are afraid of purple..Hmmmmmmmm?

5:17 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

Ha ha, that's a great story! Of course the car breakdown would happen when you only had the costume to wear! I had an incident in a bunny suit once--but it's not as funny as yours, pretty mild, actually.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Alisa said...

Barney is traumatizing enough on a tv screen, without being stuck in his skin in sweltering heat on a roadside.

Who thought up this character and why do kids like him so much?

7:43 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

HILARIOUS! There's a lesson in there somewhere (ha, I said that to someone yesterday). No more commando!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Coll said...

This is just too funny. Your words had me envision it so well. I bet you still don't wear much in the way of purple. :-)

11:46 AM  
Blogger Violet said...

wow. that's pretty traumatic. and i'm just talking about having to wear a purple dinosaur suit in the first place. however have you recovered?

(is smoking cigarettes and doing shots part of barney's character?)

3:19 PM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

This is another one of those "it-could-only-happen-to-Carol" stories that I love! Priceless.

So many comments/thoughts, so little time...

4:41 PM  
Blogger dan said...

hi weary hag

to get your audio clips in, find some free webspace where you can host them and then just lnk to them...easy peasy!

5:25 AM  
Anonymous hellbunny said...

You poor thing Carol.Its bad enough to break down,but on a hot day in a barney suit.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

ooh... darling! You poor thing! That is just so bad but so funny. The closest I've ever come to that was seeing my horse out on the road while half dressed after shoowering. Me half dressed, not the horse. I raced outside with a rope...

(living in the middle of no where I knew the chances of someone driving past were pretty low - which might make you ask well why were you in such a hurry to get the horse back in? which would mean you have more common sense than I did right at that time)

and of course got busted by a couple of blokes driving past, who laughed their heads off at me in my boots and undies holding a horse rope and looking agast.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, honey, you are so back in the saddle! Your life is so sad and yet so funny!! You are my best drug yet.
(I absolutely HATE Barney and fortunately he is banned from my grandson by my daughter as well.)

Signed Tabor

5:52 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

That creature. That purple, annoying creature? Yeah. He's the anti-Christ. I'm pretty sure Revelations says "And the visage of the Beast was revealed and he was largeth and annoyingeth and he talketh in a piercing falsettoeth."

I don't know how you survived this. I would have gone nuts. Although, at least without having a car, if this did happen to me, I'd be stuck with either Beth and Keem and we'd have some good laughs out of it (although you know there would be 5,000 pictures taken of the experience).

10:06 AM  
Blogger PipeTobacco said...

Thank you so very much for posting on my site in response to the essay about the special memory of my mother. It touched me to read of your care. I will be back often to read your blog and if you are willing, I would like to link to it (put it on my blog roll) at my next update.

Thank you again.


1:07 PM  
Anonymous John said...

LOL Carol!!!!!!!!!!!

You poor thing, that was absolute hell for you! How embarrassing...

9:22 AM  
Blogger Frustrated Writer said...

Oh for a video camera on that day... great story and great fun!

6:26 PM  
Blogger tonch said...

LMAO that's some awesome embarrassment you've had in Lebanon (the country!?). Since you don't speak Lebanese and you're not Muslim, it must have made the situation all the more worse.

Chin up though, I'm sure they'll get back to burning real effigies of political figures :)

6:04 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

At least you got a good story out of it. This is an absolute roaring riot! I'll probably never stop seeing these images in my mind!

10:05 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

HEY! Are you out there? When ya' coming back?

8:46 PM  
Blogger Johnny Virgil said...

fantastic! I find it ironic that barney will sue when every song he sings is a ripoff of another song. Great story!

12:33 PM  

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