Convos with the Kiddos: Part Six

Watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics:

7:  This is starting to look like Super Mario Bros. with those rings and that spinny thing.  Those are all in the game.

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While mom is drinking a cocktail:

7:  Is that an adult drink?

Me:  Yes.

7:  What’s in it?  Is it al . . . alc . . .

Me:  Alcohol, yes.

4:  You’re drinking Octonauts???

Anne Taintor

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4:  Can you eat clams?

Me:  Yes.

4:  Even big mommy clams?

Me:  Yes.

7:  You can eat every kind of clam, except pregnant clams.

Me:  Why not pregnant clams?

7:  Because then you’d have a BABY CLAM in your belly!

Me:  Oh, good point.

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See if you can guess the context of this conversation:

7:  No fair!  You get the side with the big balls!

4:  I like big balls!

Me:  Eat your dinner.*

Anne Taintor

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4:  I want to spin on the floor with one finger, but I can’t because I would hurt my whole body.

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Flipping through radio stations, I pass by a Britney Spears song:

4:  Go back to the Justin Spears song!  She’s my favorite!

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Riding the Ferris Wheel:

4:  This was one of my favorite rides when I was a little kid!

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At the fair, asking him if he wanted to go on a flipping upside down ride:

4:  No no no no no no.  I have a baaaaaad feeling about that.

Anne Taintor

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4:  I wish we had 11 fingers so we could count to 11.

– Obligatory Spinal Tap reference here –

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4:  Mom, is this funny?  Guacamole, you’re the one!  You make bathtime so much fun!

A budding comedian, that one.

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4:  I wish I was a girl.

Me:  Why?

4:  Because girls are pretty.

Me:  But you’re pretty, too.

4:  NO MOM, girls are PRETTIER!!

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Having Chinese food for the first time, prior to even trying it:

4:  I don’t like Chinese food!  I only like England food.

Anne Taintor

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* Shaking Parmesan cheese from the container, and it had gotten clumpy and formed “cheese balls.”  Now get your minds out of the gutter, perverts!

The Night Circus: A Review

The circus arrives without warning……

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If you have not yet read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, you are doing yourself a disservice. I always feel as if I am one of the last people to read best selling novels, as I can’t stand the hardback format, never use my Kindle, and usually wait until the paperback is released. This will, most times, put me a full year behind others who have already discovered the majesty of these amazing novels.

I just finished the novel, and really wished I hadn’t waited so long. It was glorious. It is one of the only books I’ve read of late that I wanted to immediately review on my blog. But then I realized that being an immensely popular best selling novel that has been out in the world for over a year, that it’s pretty much been reviewed to death. What could I possibly add to all of the flowing praise that has been written about this amazing novel already? I am not a book reviewer. In fact, I’ve never reviewed a book in my life.

But I felt strongly about this book. It was such an amazingly magical world, created by an author who understands how to perfectly weave her words to create a novel that transports you to a separate dimension of fantasy and illusion. To allow you to immediately escape your incredibly stressful and craptastic day at work. A day where your ragefull boss bursts into your office, yelling and demanding that you go to court the next day. And when you protest, saying you have an important meeting and also a pile of cases to work on, he then rocks your world by exclaiming that you are “the most selfish person he has ever met” and you “never do anything for anyone else.” Then follows that exclamation with the threat of firing you if you aren’t in court bright and early the next morning.

And when you get home, feeling deflated and gut punched, the need to escape your world is strong. And the ability to pick up this book, start reading, and be immediately transported to a place where tents void of color, but full of magic and fantasy, allow you to escape for a moment. To be enveloped by a different time and place, where you can imagine yourself as a young, beautiful illusionist, bound indefinitely to a handsome magician. Competing with skill and scope in a challenge that has been ongoing since you were a young girl. Your opponent, a man you have not met, but are destined to be entwined with through the years for an indefinite amount of time. Creating fanciful tents full of carousel animals that seem to come to life, walking through tents made of snow created by your opponent. A world that is full of mystery and wonder, but somehow grounds you in a sense of peace and happiness.

This book was not just a wonderfully written piece of fiction. It was the much needed escape hatch to a more wonderful and fanciful place. A place where nobody was demeaning and cruel to you. Where lavish midnight parties and unlikely lovers envelope you in a warm embrace.

Someplace where a circus appears out of nowhere, only to operate in darkness, from dusk to dawn. Where everything is black, white and shades of grey. Where your every sense is heightened and enhanced by Le Cirque de Rêves. The Circus of Dreams. A dream come to life. Taking you away from your current nightmare existence, if only for a moment.

This was not just a well-written work of literature. It was that, but oh, it was so much more to me. Erin Morgenstern created this fanciful world, and allowed me to experience it when it was most needed. I will always be grateful to her for bringing this circus to life. She took me away from my own, while I walked through her tents, sampling caramel popcorn and chocolate mice. The power of the written word is strong, and she used her extensive talents for good.

I would highly recommend this book. It is remarkably gorgeous. Transcendent. A true masterpiece. It is more than a work of literature. It is a beautiful work of art, painted in the most vibrant colors, despite a venue of only black & white. This is Erin Morgenstern’s first novel, but I hope it will not be her last.

Fried and Seek

I have recently attended 3 separate Fairs in the last couple months.  Two County fairs and the State Fair.  And while I ostensibly was there to enable my children to enjoy rides and games and fun . . . let’s be honest.  I was there for the fried foods.  During last year’s fair season, I tried a couple of my first ever fried fair concoctions, namely a fried Twinkie, fried Oreos and fried strawberries.  All at the same fair.  All pretty freaking delicious.  I blogged about it here.

So this year, I was on a mission to once again partake in some new and interesting fried fair foods.  I was at least moderately successful.

Our first fair was the local county fair.  It is relatively small, and focuses on tractors and 4H activities and farm animals.  There are rides and there are games.  What I did not find was anything interesting to sample.  However, being determined not to leave my first fair of the year without having at least some type of artery clogging fried concoction, I searched out and eventually found this:

Unfortunately, I had tried Fried Oreos the previous year, so this was not undiscovered territory.  However, despite these little fried gems being previously travelled terrain, I felt it was mandated that I have something fried, thus fulfilling Fair Etiquette, section 12-102B. 

Here they are in all of their fried glory.  And they were good.  Pretty much like I remembered from last year.  But I won’t say that I wasn’t disappointed that I was one fair down with no new fried treats to experience.  But I was hopeful for the next fair . . .

The State Fair.  That’s right, this was the fair for the entire state, which was very large and was sure to have many interesting and bizarre objects set to be dipped in oil for me to try.  And I was not disappointed.  Upon my first trek to a kiosk to obtain the obligatory lemonade for the family, I came across a somewhat unexpected item that was purported to be fried.  Kool Aid.  Okay?

While I was unsure as to how they accomplished this feat of fry science, there was no way I would be passing up the opportunity to sample such a unique object.  Here’s what they looked like all fried up:

And the taste?  It tasted exactly like cherry Kool Aid.  So bizarre, but sort of good.  I’m assuming they just infused a fry dough batter with a ton of Kool Aid to make it come out pink and taste like I was sipping a sugary flavored concoction from my youth.  My kids even tried it and enjoyed it.  Then again, they are kids.  And it’s Kool Aid (fried though it was).  So, it was not unexpected.

In case you were wondering, there were other oddities of the fried persuasion at this same fair.  But I did not attempt to eat any of them:

Um, no. Just . . . no.

And speaking of fried . . . my entire family almost become fricasseed when on the Ferris Wheel.  As we were getting on the huge metal object towering into the atmosphere, we noted that the sky was beginning to darken and the wind was picking up in intensity.

The kids really wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel and it was going to be our last ride, so we decided to take the chance.  As we were on this large metal lightning rod, we noted that a storm was definitely approaching, as the sky was getting darker and closer and then . . . lightning.  Well, that was it for us, so the next time we travelled down to the bottom, we were ready to get off.  Luckily, they informed us that they were closing the ride and letting everyone off.  Perfect!  Wait . . . why are we going back up then?  We figured they were letting some others off, and we would get off the next time we went down . . . so up up up we went, then back down . . . where we continued past and climbed back up to the sky.  This is when my inner momma hulk started coming out.  While I was trying to stay upbeat so as not to scare the kids, I really wanted them to let us off that thing, and the next time we went to the bottom, I loudly proclaimed, “let us off this thing!”  To no avail.  We went around again.  What the fuckety fuck?? 

The sky was angry that day my friend.

Finally, as we started feeling the first raindrops and the dark stormy sky was directly over our heads, with periodic lightning flashing down, they let us off that death trap.  A full 5 rotations after they told us they were closing it down for safety and a good 10 minutes longer than we should have been up there.  I do not think I have ever run as fast as I did, holding my oldest son’s hand, fleeing from the park and towards the safety of our car.  Luckily we made it, only slightly damp and windblown, and not at all crispy, before the deluge of the storm poured out of the sky.  It was an extremely close one, though.   We almost became one of the Fair’s fried delectable treats!

The third and final fair of my Great Fair Trifecta of 2012 was another county fair in a neighboring county.  This, in my opinion, is the best fair.  It has a plethora of kiddie rides, lots and lots of food kiosks, games, animals, big kid rides, etc.  It even has a concert venue, if that is something you are interested in.  We were not, but I think as fair’s go, it is pretty all-encompassing.  This was the same fair in which I sampled all the previous fried concoctions last year.  So, I had high hopes for the choices I would be presented at this venue.

Ah, fried pickles.  There was quite a bit of controversy on my last fair post regarding fried pickles.  Good?  Bad?  Weird?  There was many the varying opinion on the subject matter.  I had never tried them, so I was not able to weigh in, but based on the many recommendations by my readers, I vowed that I would sample this fried dill specialty this year.

But before I could test them out, the kids needed to be placated with kiddie rides.  The entire time we were at the kiddie rides, I kept smelling this delectable aroma wafting from some mystery place.  It was obviously something fried, and it was tinged with quite a bit of Old Bay or some other delicious spice.  When I sought out what object was tempting my senses so, I discovered . . . the Potato Tornado.

This is a whole potato, cut into one spiral piece of twisty potato and fried up on a stick.  Then you have your choice of seasoning.  I chose the Old Bay because the aroma was intoxicating.  It was very good, and my kids were loving it as well.  It was sort of like thick cut al dente potato chips, with seasoning.  Yum.

After feeding the childrens some real food (not of the greasy fried variety), we walked around to try to find some good fried options.  I beelined to the food cart from which I got all that fried goodness last year, and lo and behold it was exactly where I left it.  And this is where I once again feasted upon many fried delicacies offered at the stand:

That would be fried strawberries (yes, again), fried Reese’s and, of course, fried pickles.  The dip for the pickles was actually really good and very tangy.  I was expecting a sort of dill chip situation, and not a spear, but it was very good.  I approve.  I am henceforth on the side of PRO fried pickles.

And thus ends my tale of the fair circuit of 2012 and my sampling of many delicious and artery clogging fried foods.  I will now rest my poor insides for another year before subjecting them to any more of these yummy but deadly treats.

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What crazy fried items have you tried lately?  What should I put on the list of things to try for next year’s fair circuit?

Pleas and Thank You

First, I want to start off with a great big thanks to everyone who responded and commented on my Weekly Whacked post this past Friday. I plan to respond to each comment individually, but I wanted to give a blanket thanks for the incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking commentary that I received from everyone. While some were of the “rock on, it’s fine” variety, which is always awesome and appreciated, some were much more critical, and gave me a lot to think about regarding how these posts are perceived and how I will proceed in the future with these blog posts. It was exactly what I was looking for and what I needed to hear. I greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to give me their honest response. Thank you.

On to the plea . . . I will be continuing the Weekly Whacked series. And based on that, I will need your help. Recently, I have received some phenomenal and truly whacked pictures from some of my bloggy friends. I plan to do a whacked post featuring these pictures, but I would really love to feature even more. So, my request to you is for you to send me any pictures you may have containing the absurd, bizarre and truly whacked that you have seen and captured on “film.” I am looking for your very own whacked pics. Send any and all to me at mistyslaws at gmail dot com. (Please note the “s” in the middle of the email, or I will not receive them, and I would be very sad if your pics were lost to the interwebz forever). You have until next Wednesday, September 26th to send them to me.  Get on it!

Hide and Seek

Every once in a while, I get bored curious, and I review my search terms.  These are words that people out in the vast interewebz type into a search engine, and then those words somehow lead them to my blog.  Quite a few of them make perfect sense, either my name or some search term relating to a specific blog post.  Then I get more general searches that land at my site because I have talked about that subject.  The most common of those is:  “Leggings as pants.”  I get that one a lot.

But every once in a while, when I review my recent search terms, I will come across some truly bizarre phrases.  Phrases that have nothing to do with my blog, or at least do not seem to logically connect to the phrases or substance of my blog.  Here are some of the strangest ones I’ve seen recently:

sleep step by sister

I don’t even know what this phrase means or what exactly they were looking for.  I especially have no idea how it could have anything to do with my blog.  But there it is.

i’m the crazy aunt everyone warned you about

Now, it is true that I am an aunt.  In fact, I am even a great-aunt.  And it is also true that I might just be a wee bit crazy.  But why would this search term find me?  And why are you out there warning people about me, oh dear searcher?  Don’t you appreciate the element of surprise?  If you warn them, how will I sneak up on them and scare the bejesus out of them, hmm?  Did you think of that, searcher?  No.  No, I don’t think you did.  Try to be more forward thinking next time.  Sheesh.

Why is it illegal to have sex with students over 18

I’m guessing this came about because of my post about that female teacher who had sex with a bunch of underaged students and how the hubs and I had a conversation about whether it is “wrong” or not (recap:  Him = nope / Me = yep).  But this question, and the fact that it is being asked on the interwebz, is just creepy.  I can just imagine some middle aged horny slimeball teacher wondering why it is he can’t have sex with that 19 year old coed in his Health Studies class.  And if you have to ask . . . just step away from the college student, my friend.  And put the peener back in it’s holster.  Creep.

shower leggings

What?  Oh hellz no!!  Please tell me that these things don’t actually exist.  Why on earth would you want to wear leggings in the shower, anyway?  Isn’t the point to basically be naked?

how not to wear cowboy boots and shorts

Um, just don’t?  You’re welcome.

(I do kinda love that my intense disdain for the cowboy boots/shorts look is infamous on the net!).

celebrate with see thru cloth

Please don’t.  I’m begging you.  My poor eyes have seen enough.  Have a drink instead, ok?

blake sheltons fridge

While I have blogged about Blake Shelton before, I really don’t know what he keeps in his fridge.  Unless that’s some euphemism for something else.  If so . . . carry on, searcher.  Get yours.

See thru asian

Is this some sort of super hero?

backhanded compliments examples

Oh sweetie, your haircut is adorable!  Really takes the focus away from the large pores on your face.

Those leggings are so stylish . . . and they really accentuate your dimples.

Your son is just so energetic, which is great because he might actually have a chance to get into college with a sports scholarship.

Like that? 

see through nipples

Is this a thing?  Are there people out there that have completely translucent nipples?  And why on earth was this searched for three times and landed the searcher on my blog?  Weirdness.

a candybar named motherfucker

This one was also searched for three separate times, and somehow brought the searcher to my blog.  I’m not sure what they were after, or if there is actually a motherfucker candy bar being sold, but if so . . . I need one.  I’m not sure it would taste delicious, though.  What does a motherfucker taste like, anyway?  Hmmm, I might need to do some searching now.

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Any strange searches that have led to your blog?  Anyone ever tried a motherfucker candy bar?  Is it good?  Can I try it?

Trix are for Kids

There are certain times, as a parent, that you are forced to lie to your kids.  Times in which you might not be completely forthright with your children for their own sake.  An obvious example would be the Grand Poobah of all fibs, Santa Claus.  Also in this category . . . The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Buddy the Elf.  The administration of these fables are ostensibly to allow them to live in a fantasy world of childhood for as long as possible.  To experience the joy of magic in what they will all too soon discover is a very un-magical grown up world.

But besides that magical realm of mystery and fantasy, there are also practical reasons to obfuscate the truth when dealing with your children.  And those times, at least in my home, are centered around food consumption.

THOSE ARE HERBS

My oldest son is a pretty picky eater.  He doesn’t like a lot of things, and he is very hesitant to try new things.  One of the foods that he has long ago decided that he dislikes is SPINACH.  Not that it is abnormal for a kid to dislike spinach.  I was not a fan of it when I was a kid either.  Then again, the only variety that my family would serve was creamed spinach from a can, which was the most vile and metal tasting thing ever.  Still not a fan.  But in these days of healthy eating and fresh ready made convenience in our foods, buying fresh spinach is not only easy, but the norm in our home.  However, when my son first tried spinach a couple years ago,  fresh and sautéed, he decided that he hated spinach.  It actually became a running joke.  Anytime we would tease him about eating something, we would give him the choice between whatever it was he was “ewwww-ing” at the moment . . . or a big bowl of spinach.

Recently, we have come to realize that one of the few veggies he actually likes is salad.  He will go to the grocery store, where they have a big salad bar, and want to make his own salad.  And what we also realized was that the “lettuce” he was choosing, was actually . . . wait for it . . . spinach!!  I was so happy that he was actually eating it, and enjoying it, that there was no way I was going to tell him that the dreaded and hated vegetable that he despised so much . . . was actually his favorite veggie to eat.

Once I realized he actually liked it, I started to incorporate it in some other dishes I served him.  Of course, when he asked what that green stuff was, I couldn’t very well tell him it was spinach, or he would refuse to eat the meal.  So, I had to come up with something that would fly.  Hence, the creation of the lie.

Those are herbs.

Yep, all that little green stuff sprinkled on top of your pizza?  Herbs.  The green shredded pieces throughout the pasta dish?  Herbs.  All those little green things in the rice?  Yeah, you guessed it.  And you know what he readily eats and enjoys?  Those herbs.

But the spinach in his salads is still “lettuce.”  One day I will tell him.  I just might wait until he’s in college.  At least he’s eating vegetables, right?

ANGRY BIRD DIP

My youngest son is more adventurous when it comes to eating.  He will usually try something if it sounds interesting.  And he actually likes a far greater number of food items than his older brother.  Case in point:  he will eat spinach without the subterfuge.  He actually likes spinach.

We have a Mexican night every few weeks, where the hubs and I prepare a huge mexican fiesta, complete with hard and soft tacos, grilled chicken and beef fillings, quesadillas, mexican rice, salsa & queso and chips.  A few weeks ago, the hubs picked up a packet of guacamole mix and a couple avocados to make some quac.  In order to get the kids to even try this green goopy looking stuff, he decided to rename it.  ANGRY BIRD DIP.

Now, if you are new to my blog, let me explain. My youngest son is obsessed with Angry Birds. Every chance he gets, he is trying to grab his dad’s iPad to play the game.  He has a ton of the Angry Bird plush toys, and a good deal of clothing and other items with those birds all over them. In fact, for his past birthday, the theme of most of his presents was decidedly Angry Birds.

Did I mention obsessed?  Yeah.

So, the hubs’ idea was that if he called the guacamole Angry Bird dip, there would be a higher probability of my son’s sampling of it.  And he was right.  Not only did my son try it, but he liked it. I doubt he would have even considered it otherwise.

These are merely two examples of how the hubs and I use subterfuge to trick our kids into eating things that they otherwise wouldn’t even consider.  Are we wrong to trick them this way?  Does this make us deceitful and evil to hide the truth from our children?  Hmmm, maybe.  But I don’t think it’s doing them any harm.  And they are benefitting from getting nutrients from very healthy foods they otherwise wouldn’t even think to eat.  So, I don’t feel guilty in the slightest.  And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who fools her kids into eating healthy stuff.  I mean, Jessica Seinfeld wrote an entire book about it.  So really, I’m just being trendy, right? 

How do you get your kids to eat their veggies?  Any tricks you use to hide the true nature of the foods they eat? 

No Autographs, Please!

So, I’m not sure if you realize it, but I’m kind of a big deal.  If you have visited my blog the last couple days, you might have noticed a picture over to the right on that sidebar there ———–> with a link to a certain book attached.  Yeah, so yours truly actually wrote an original essay, and that essay is in that book.  And yes, the book has been published, thank you very much.  You heard me . . . I am a published author.

No, no, please.  Keep the paparazzi back.  I can’t take all this attention and fame and fortune!  I just want to be normal, like all of you little inconsequential non-authorial people!  Why must I be hounded for my brilliance and beauty??  Why???

Ahem.  Wait, what?  What do you mean “the fame is going to my head?”  I still put on my platinum encrusted pants the same as all of you!  One leg at a time and immediately before putting on my diamond encrusted shoes.  Hmph.

Ok, fine.  Let’s get real here for a minute.  I am indeed a contributor for a recently published compilation book.  The book is called All Cracked Up: Funny Stories of Life, Love and Loonies, and has a sampling of essays from multiple bloggers around the blogosphere.  It is currently in e-format and can be purchased from Amazon here.

And seriously?  It is pretty F-ing funny!!  I have one essay in it that is all about my love for Nutella.  But there are so many other funny stories.  Really, it is worth a read.  From non-sexy boob grabs, to exhibitionism, to raging hormonal killer moms and of course a forbidden love of all things chocolate and nutty.  There are some truly gifted and humorous writers involved in this project.  Oh, so you want to know who the other authors are?  Ok then, here they are:

Dogs on Drugs
Mayor Gia
Whoa! Susannah
Ken Inatractor
Leanne Moffat
One Day I’ll Be That Guy
Brett Minor
Rusty Hartup
Working Dan
Six Fingered Monkey
Mike Young 
Incoherent Ramblings of a Moose
Misty’s Laws (That’s ME!!)
Rev Biou
Creative Devolution
Gloria
Pish Posh

That’s all of us up there.  All of us warped, twisted, crazy bloggers that submitted material for this compilation of blogger hilarity.  You may know some of them, and some may be new to you, but I guarantee that you will enjoy all of their essays.  They are creative and irreverent and hilarious.  I truly feel honored and humbled to have even been included in this project with all of these other incredible bloggers, and I really want to thank Pish Posh & Gloria for making this happen.  For some reason, they contacted me and asked if I would contribute something, and when I whipped something up, they actually liked it.  I am so grateful to them for allowing me to be part of this project.  ((Gush over)).

Ok, so you know who’s in it.  You know what’s in it . . . what are you waiting for?  Get over there and buy that thing!!  I mean, it’s only $2.99 for all of that brilliance and humor condensed into one volume of work!  How have you not purchased it yet? 

In fact, why don’t you just mosey on over there, purchase it, read it, and then come on back to the Amazon site and rate it.  It would be so great for people to give it really good ratings so others would be more likely to try it.  You could even be the first!!  And I sure know how commenters like to be the first one to comment on anything.  So, this is your chance.  Get on over there and give it a glowing recommendation!  Do it.  Do it now.

I mean, no pressure or anything (go), only if you really want to (do it), I wouldn’t want to force you to do something you didn’t want to do (it’ll make you feel good), really, it’s totally up to you if you think it’s right (I am holding your family hostage right now and will only release them once you buy it and give it a glowing review!).  Really, don’t let me sway your decision at all.

Oh man, I can see it now.  This thing is gonna be huge!!  Like Jenny Lawson aka “The Bloggess” huge!  In fact, I can just see us nipping at her heels on the New York Times Best Sellers List.  Look out #1 . . . here we come!!

Now, where did my personal assistant put my tiara?  I will need it for when I meet the Queen to impress her with my fancy-ness!

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