Shame-ber on Wheels

If you don’t want to use your bathroom as your Shame-ber, there’s always your car:

So my shame-ber is actually my car, which, even prior to my learning about Shame-bers I refer to as my Dorian Gray Shame Car. I call it this because while my house is generally tidy and clean, my car is like my portrait of Dorian Gray, where my secret messy self lives.


I mean, it’s not out of scope with ordinary messy cars, just in comparison to the relatively scrubbed clean house I live in. We’re talking candy wrappers, petrified french fries gum packages, random scraps, jackets flung off and forgotten in the back seat.

Once I had a paper fountain soda cup kind of disintegrate (in my defense, this happened in under 24 hours, so I really think the cup’s poor construction, rather than my laziness, is the issue here), releasing the dregs of the soda into the cup holder. Since it was diet (i.e., contained no organic matter that could attract anything), I just let it evaporate.

Basically I use my car as storage. Same for bulky big items from grocery store, like paper towels or toilet paper or cat litter. Just can’t bring myself to get them out of the car until it is absolutely necessary.

And it’s been a while, but I also have had tendencies to use it as storage for things I plan to donate. For a long time. Months. Why I can’t just drive to the donation place when it’s all already in there is beyond me.

This behavior is all due to some kind of weird thing I have about being in cars, which is that once I am done with driving, I have this urge to just be done with everything to do with the car as quickly as possible and usually exit it as though I am being pursued by hellhounds. The idea of stopping to tidy or bring out trash is, for some weird reason, absolutely unbearable. I am wondering if this is somehow related to my raging ADD and the problem ADD-ers have with transition times. I say this because one of my good friends who also has raging ADD also cannot bear the whole getting-out-of-car process and wants it done as quickly as possible.

But (if I can get serious for a moment), there is one shameful thing I am vowing here to never do again in the Dorian Gray Shame Car. So I am broke and very very busy. And so taking a relaxing vacation is kind of out of the question for me. So what do I do when I feel tense? I go to the convenience store, get a menthol single stick cigarette, a pack of doublemint gum (I have to chew gum while smoking the cigarette because otherwise it’s just gross-tasting), and I drive around listening to aggressive hip hop and smoking my single stick.

Then this Father’s Day, my dad, who smoked his whole life until he quit cold turkey a little over ten years ago, calls me and says, “Oh, so yeah, I’m going into the hospital to have part of my lung taken out.”

So yeah, apparently he has stage one lung cancer, which he was keeping a secret because he didn’t want to bother me until the last minute.

The surgery was this Monday, everything is looking pretty good so far, but we are still waiting on the pathology report for the lymph nodes (they think they will not have cancer in them because they didn’t show up on the scan, so that’s hopeful).

But I think I have been scared straight so I am going to shut down the Single Stick Cigarette wing of my Shame-ber. No guarantees that all the other embarrassing aspects of the Dorian Gray Shame Car will be tidied up any time soon, but this one seems like a good one to jettison.

Leslie, I hope your father is on his way to a full recovery! If you need a substitute addiction, try Altoids! My car is full of empty Altoids tins.



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Pop Quiz!

Which of the following is in Jen Andrews’ Shame-ber:

1. Thinking Robert Pattison is so hot, she scours all the tabloids for the latest photos of him, and considered starting her own magazine devoted entirely to him.


2. Is so smitten over Alison Mosshart, she is trying to be more like her. This involves buying the same sunglasses, wearing multiple black bracelets, and letting her hair hang in her face.


3. Lying to bartenders about being “on the road” and having stayed in multiple hotels over the past week. Then getting caught in the lie when she can only come up with the names of two hotels when the bartender asks for details.


Answer: All of the above!

Jen, you make my day when you share the inner workings of your mind. It makes me feel less alone in my weird brain.

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We interrupt this blog for an important message

Thank you for visiting The Shame-ber! Before you leave a comment, please take this handy quiz:

1. Are you a troll?
2. Do you hate women, and like to find any opportunity to degrade them in a public setting?
3. Do you take life a little too seriously?
5. Do you like to bait people into having pointless political debates?
6. Are you trying to sell me something?
7. Do you use the Cyrillic alphabet?
8. Do you not understand the concept of The Shame-ber?

If you answered “YES!” to any of the questions above, this is not the blog for you. Don’t bother wasting your time by commenting here – your comments will be deleted, will never ever see the light of day, and I will find your mother and tell her all the nasty things you say.

If, however, you have something to add, please do comment! I’m not trying to say that every comment has to be full of unicorns and rainbows, but I do feel strongly that this should be a judgment-free zone. This is the Shame-ber! People submit things that they are ashamed of – sometimes just a little bit, sometimes very deeply. Good-natured teasing is usually fine, but we don’t need the morality police here. And we don’t need whatever it is that those Russian people keep posting comments about either.

Carry on.


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He Has a Shame-ber at Work Too

Luke’s not the only one who uses the bathroom as his Shame-ber:

I have the reputation at work of being the In-Shape Guy, and the Eats Healthy Guy. So whenever anyone offers me some of the fattening feast that they just brought in (which is often), I give them the “Oh no, I don’t eat stuff like that.” Then I sort of look down my nose at the garbage that my colleagues are about to stuff into their faces. Everyone knows that I don’t approve.

But people bring in a lot of food almost every day, so when lunch is over there is always something leftover in the break room which is treated as communal. So sometimes I get up like I need to go #1, but I’m really going to the break room, looking around to make sure no one sees me, then grabbing something off the table and devouring it in the bathroom. When I’m done, I push my trash (evidence) toward the bottom of the bathroom trashcan (making sure it’s covered), make sure there are no crumbs in my beard, and walk out haughty as ever. I write this having consumed approximately half of an Otis Spunkmeyer Cafe au Lait pan brownie earlier in the day.


I’ve never understood the lure of the breakroom snacks, and in fact have often made fun of my co-workers for their inability to resist the various sweets that are brought in – until the day someone brought one of those 5 pound tubs of Red Vines. Then I proceeded to eat approximately 3 pounds of that sweet viney goodness over a period of two days.


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The Wheel Weaves as The Wheel Wills

Mummy says:

I know most people have a favorite book and, like your favorite movie or album, you can sit with it every once in a while – enjoying the story even though you know the ending. Usually these books are classics, having stood the test of time. The literature and argot is beautiful and poetic regardless of the storyline.

This book for me is actually a 10,000 page series of TWELVE books. Its an epic work of Proustian proportion, and the worst kind of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Through it I have learned the name and description of every medieval weapon imaginable. There are hundreds of characters and plot-lines, each more ludicrous than the last. The humor is trite, the romance flat and the dialogue banal. There are monsters, dragons, and magic. You would be hard pressed as a discerning reader to make it through just one of the 700 page books, much less all 12. My shame-ber does not even have room for all the hardcover editions, and it could fit Gravedigger (the awesomest monster truck ever). And yet, my friends, and yet…. I have read the entire series…every single word…no less than 20 times. The real tragedy? In a few weeks, depending on spare time, it will be 21.

Its called the Wheel of Time. I know its shiny, fantastic cover is alluring… but don’t go down that path friend… you’ll never come back.


I did a little research on this series (how could you not – monsters, dragons AND magic??), and found some juicy quotes that will give us all a taste of the wonder:

“Women do not become exhausted, they only exhaust others.”

“May you shelter in the palm of the creators’ hand. May the last embrace of the Mother welcome you home.”

“Life is a dream from which we all must wake before we can dream again.”

“Luck is a horse to ride like no other.”

Indeed, The Wheel weaves as The Wheel wills.


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Let Him Eat Cake

This isn’t exactly Shame-ber material because the person involved didn’t knowingly engage in this behavior, and probably wouldn’t make a habit of it if he had been aware of it – HOWEVER, it was too funny to keep to hidden in the hallowed stacks of The Shame-ber:

It happened at a work birthday party. The big boss (let’s call him Al) was there, casually leaning against the wall eating his cake.

A worker bee (let’s call him John) was also eating cake, sitting at a table near Al. John had just taken a bite of cake when he sneezed. His sneeze propelled a tiny bit of cake onto Al’s pant leg, just above the knee. John was horrified that Al would notice and be horrified too. Well, let me say here that Al was not known for being observant of “the real world around him”. Al happened to look down about a second after John sneezed and, seeing a bit of cake on his leg, snatched it up with his finger and ate it. John almost passed out when he saw this.




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I Just Can’t Stop Listening to You

One of the dangers of listening to radio shows other than TBTL:

I am a complete and total liberal in every way. Every now and then, I like to check in with the right wing radio shows. I play a game to see how long I can listen before I lose it, start screaming at the radio, and have to shut it off. I usually don’t last very long. I enjoy the aggravation that this produces. On Thursday night, I decided to listen to right winger Mark Levin’s radio show. He’s usually good for some aggravation! I found out that Michael Jackson had died from Mark Levin. Ouch! I wasn’t a Michael Jackson fan, and I didn’t feel anything other than surprise at the news, but now Mark Levin is now permanently tied to this event for me.

mj tiger

When my entire family went to see Michael Jackson during his Thriller tour and left me at home with a babysitter, I wore one of my mom’s rubber gloves on one hand all night so I could feel like I was sharing the experience with them in some small way.


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