My Plan For World Domination

The first thing you must do to take over the world is have a plan.

I’m not talking about the kind of plan the villains always seem to come up with in movies.  You know the kind of plans I’m talking about: steal the world’s supply of gold or change the moon’s orbit or some other such ridiculous pseudo-scientific plot hatched by a crazed super-genius.  Because, of course, the crazed super-genius in that kind of movie always ends up being the stupidest person on the face of the planet by the end of the movie.

No, if I were going to take over the world, I would come up with a plan to deprive the general population of three things: coffee, alcohol, and pornography.  Think about that for a moment.

Without coffee, most of the adults I know would spend our time sitting around complaining about the fact that we have no coffee.  Oh, sure, we can get our caffeine jolt through tea or Mountain Dew or even an ice-cold Diet Coke.  But it’s not the same.  No Starbucks.  Not even the cheaper knock-off lattes and cappuccinos or “Premium” coffee from the neighborhood Speedway.

I’d have to turn my espresso machine into a flowerpot or something ghastly like that.

Without hot coffee, people wouldn’t make it to work in the morning.  We’d all just sit in traffic and scream at each other because we’re tired and headachy and all of those other drivers are just pissing us off . . . .

Then take away our alcohol and see what happens.  No more cold beer on a hot day.  No more wine with dinner. No more drinks with funny and suggestive names like Buttery Nipples . . . Blow Jobs . . . Orgasms.

That reminds me of an adventure back in the eighties when my friend and I discovered that there really was a drink called an orgasm.  We drank a couple of them at the bar, giggling and telling everyone within earshot what we were drinking, basically making giant asses of ourselves.  Later that night, my friend lost her quarter playing a second round of PacMan (hey, I said it was the eighties) and bellowed at the top of her very drunken lungs: “Damn it, I’ve been screwed once, eaten three times, and I’ve only had TWO orgasms!”

I never went back to that bar again.  Also kind of lost my passion for Pac Man, but I digress.

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Without alcohol, how would we all calm down after our day without coffee? No more cheap bottles of $2.99 Boone’s Farm Snow Creek Berry for me!  And all of those pretentious wine snobs who talk about a wine’s “bouquet” or “legs” while sniffing and swishing the stuff around in their mouths?  What would they do with all of that sniffing and swishing expertise they’ve worked so hard to master?

So now we’re looking at a world full of grumpy, grouchy,sober people.  What are they going to do with themselves now? Because, to be delicate about it, they’re going to have to do it with themselves since nobody else will want them in their current condition.

But there’s no porn, because I took that away as part of my plan to rule the world, remember?

So now the entire adult population of the world is cranky, sober, and frustrated. Wars will break out.  People will suffer greatly.  And then I, their benevolent ruler, will give them back their coffee, alcohol and porn in carefully monitored, closely rationed doses, as long as they agree to worship me.

And there you have it:  my plan for world domination.

Or maybe I just need a second cup of coffee this morning.

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This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday, in which writers and bloggers finish a sentence and “link up” their posts. This week’s sentence was “The first thing you must do to take over the world is…”  

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A Mouse Tale

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Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to?  What does it say to you?  Describe the experience.

There is a Lladro figurine named “Tuesday’s Child” that has spoken to me for years.  Since eleventh grade, in fact.

My aunts always collected figurines.  Hummels, Precious Moments, Royal Doultons, Andreas, and Norman Rockwells.  Especially Norman Rockwells. I couldn’t help but learn to recognize an artist’s work at a glance, although none of their figurines really struck me as being anything special.

Then I discovered Lladros.  Tall, with long flowing lines and graceful shapes, always in pastels and with a gentle simplicity that exudes a feeling a peace.  They are beautiful and delicate and they touch my soul in a way that no other piece of art has ever done.

The first one I saw, the one that drew me to the collection, was called “Tuesday’s Child”, and I saw it in the display case at a jewelry store at the mall.

As usual with me, there is a story.

I had a friend back then whose nickname was Mouse.  Mouse was a ballet dancer.  She was also what my aunts referred to as “a Toughie” because of a very rough start in life.  She looked so tiny and innocent, but she could swear like a sailor and she was certainly no stranger to drugs and alcohol at a young age.  She wore her hair spiked and multi-colored, totally embracing the fashion trends of the eighties.

We drifted apart in high school.  I’m ashamed to admit that I got wrapped up in the almost-almost-popular crowd, and Mouse had just gotten a little too offbeat for me.  She and her best friend talked tough and looked rougher, and she made out with her boyfriend in the hallways with so much gusto that some of us dubbed them “Kinko and Slinko.”

I heard that she gave up dancing, which was a shame, because I remember being moved to tears when she danced to her own choreography to “Anatevka” from Fiddler on the Roof.  She moved on the stage like some kind of mythical creature, something beyond human, something that defied gravity.  She took my breath away.

The last time I saw her, she was with her best friend at a festival in South Haven.  They were dressed like biker chicks, and Mouse regaled me with a tale of a recent fight that had left her with a fat lip.  I couldn’t get away from her fast enough.

She was only fifteen when she died a few weeks later in a fall at a party.  Rumors flew about drugs and alcohol and stupidity of the other partygoers who were too fried to call for help.  I never knew which parts of the stories were true or false, but I knew that Mouse was gone and that I had not been a good friend to her.

It was the first time we had lost a peer, and the reminder of our own mortality hit us all hard.  People who had snubbed her and mocked her suddenly portrayed themselves as her best friend, weeping dramatically in the halls.  Parents and teachers pounced on her death as a cautionary tale against drinking, and some of us were just quietly lost.

Then I saw “Tuesday’s Child” at the mall.  She was a delicate little ballerina, bent gracefully over to lace her pointe shoes.  There was something about the pose, and in the part-serious, part-amused expression on her face that just spoke to me of Mouse.  Looking at the beauty of that tiny figurine, I was reminded of Mouse’s grace and beauty in life, and I stopped focusing on the ugliness of her death; I could finally start forgiving myself for failing our friendship.

“Tuesday’s Child” helped me say goodbye to Mouse.

Of course, I have never been able to afford that specific figurine since it has long since been “retired”.   But I have managed to collect three genuine Lladros and a small handful of knockoffs made by NAO.  Someday . . . someday, I hope to own “Tuesday’s Child” but until then, I have my memories of a girl named Mouse.

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