It’s been a long time in the making, but FINALLY!  A new JUST SAY NO!!!

To recap.  JUST SAY NO! was a post series I started last year geared towards mothers & daughters – or sometimes people in general – trying to warn them of the risks of certain behaviors.  I covered Bratz dolls, booty shorts, treating your pets like children, pregnant men and biking on the sidewalk.

Today, just in time for the warm weather (available everywhere else but Maine), I would like to cover a topic which is lurking all over the world, threatening to tear asunder the very fabric of the universe. and it is called FAKE TAN.

If you have been living under a rock (or in the northern most reaches of Maine), then you may not know what a fake tan is.  Well, friends, BEHOLD!


(UN)HOLY HOUSE OF PAAS!!  That’s NO OOMPA LOOMPA!!  That’s a (gasp) MAN.

As you can see from the above stock photo (many thanks to whomever was brave enough to take it before being eaten by the giant Carrot cake w/out frosting), FAKE TAN is a scary, life-threatening phenomenon.  It’s CATCHY!!  Just LOOK!!  a few days later:



Back in ancient times, people spent time in the sun.  They toiled in the heat growing food, stalking wild beasts, and (occasionally) frolicking.  With sun exposure, their skin darkened and they felt better.  This “good feeling” had nothing to do w/ the cosmetic aspect of their tans, but everything to do with their body’s natural production of Vitamin D.  Perhaps the single most underrated nutrient in the world – Vitamin D is something your body makes FREE OF CHARGE.  just add sunlight.  NO RUB ON CREAMS OR SPRAYS NECESSARY.

But nowadays, who needs the BLOODY SUN?!

For people like me with porcelain (aka, pasty white) skin, getting a tan can be a challenge.  Even minutes-brief exposure at peak times can render us LOBSTAH-FIED.  Doctors and parents drill into us the risks associated w/ sunshine, such as un-glamorous sun poisoning, leather-like dermis, basal and squamous cell carcinomas.  The answer?  ORANGE IN A TUBE!!  Yes, folks – even if God intended you to be white as a sheet for kingdom come. You too can glow like a RADIOACTIVE TURKEY.  No questions asked.

After all, who doesn’t want to be TANNNN???


JUST SAY NO! to Fake Tan.

JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.

Today’s JUST SAY NO! is going to make some people ANGRY. Well then, GOOD. If what I have to say in the following paragraphs strikes a painful chord, then this is long overdue.

It has come to my attention that some of you are suffering from a delusional sickness called doggiemommyitis. Sufferers of this burgeoning disease find themselves incapable of grasping the important distinction between PET and HUMAN CHILD. For the sake of these pitiful souls, let me clarify. Human children look like miniature versions of us. They have (usually) one small person’s head, one trunk, two arms, two legs, ten each of fingers & toes, and they walk (once they learn to do so) upright. PETS on the other hand, do not look like us. They have fur, or feathers, or scales. They typically walk on four legs, or fly on two wings, or swim w/ fins. Some may slither, as in the case of snakes. Indeed, some may even talk – like my crazy ass bird who says “wuuuuuzzzzzzzuppppppp,” but that’s pretty much the extent of it. They DO NOT wear clothing and would NEVER EVER EVERRRRRRRRR want to. EVER.

Animals – as much as we all love them (except for those weirdos who don’t) – are animals. Not humans. AND MOST DEFINITELY NOT human children. On a recent trip to Petsmart, I was shocked and horrified to see this:

For those of you who have never seen one of these, it is a stroller. Yes, of course! Except this one isn’t for a child. No. It is called the Pet Gear™ Blue Happy Trails Pet Stroller. It costs $100 and is one of the “lower-end” pet stroller models. The Jeep Rubicon Jogging Stroller (for Pets) is a whopping $219.99. In the olden days, people used to take walks or run with their dogs. Now they push them like human infants. In a country where childhood obesity is reaching epic proportions, people are now PUSHING THEIR PETS AROUND LIKE KIDS.

A while back I had the misfortune of seeing something like this at a public park:

Only it was a grown MAN wearing his dog, and he looked even slightly more ridiculous. if that is possible. No offense to anyone who totes their dog around on their chest like a small human, but… well. actually I guess I do mean offense. B/c you need HELP. Pets were never intended to be carried around in Baby Bjorns, oversized pocketbooks & arm luggage covered in rhinestones. That’s why they have LEGS. You know, the four appendages dangling off their body that you’ve squeezed into a leotard and tutu? Yep. right there.

Behold this poor creature:

This dog is wearing a wig for pete’s sake. A WIG. If you are subjecting your pet to this, then you need to call your doctor IMMEDIATELY b/c your dosage is WAAAAAAAYYYY TOO HIGH. I know it is cute to see what Lil Poopsie looks like in a doll’s dress, once – maybe twice, but there are things that should never be done to a dog. EVER. Do you think they are doing this over in Africa where people are dying of starvation? Dressing up their pets? NO WAY. They would be eating them if they were lucky enough to have them. This is AMERICA PEOPLE. Where we have enough money to condone this sort of thing as acceptable behavior. Sort of like Botox injections. or Twitter.

Last year when we went on vacation, we boarded our dog. He stayed at a reaaaallllly nice place. At least it must be for what we paid. I was hoping he was getting above-average quality kibble, extra fun play time, that kind of thing. But when we went to pick him up, I was surprised by something they handed over to me, along w/ his leash and the bill. It was a stack of papers. Each one had a sweet doggie graphic and a space for writing. And each sheet was filled out – as if by MAX (our dog) – describing what he’d enjoyed most each day. Playing w/ the ball. Taking his nature walk. Playing tug. Cute, right? Well. Sort of, I suppose. Except that Max can’t write. And never will. And so, understandably, this got my attention. I thought about it a lot. You know I did.

When we pulled away from the boarding kennel I noticed their “Doggie Day Care Center.” And then I really truly understood. The windows of the Doggie Day Care were papered w/ fingerpaintings. Done by dogs. Little paw prints in all the colors of the rainbow. Outside the place stood a tot-sized easel listing the schedule of daily activities. And beside the building was a fenced-in play yard complete w/ Little Tykes playhouse and children’s playground equipment – stuff my daughters would go wild for – but it was FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH DOGS. And I thought to myself WOW. Doggie Day Care. PURE GENIUS. Can this population be exploited more thoroughly?? I THINK NOT.

And so, I beg you all – but especially YOU,

to JUST SAY NO! to treating your pets like children.

JUST SAY NO! to riding your bike on the sidewalk

Today’s JUST SAY NO! is a little different. Rather than address a topic strictly geared towards mothers & daughters, I will instead – for the benefit of mankind – address a topic which affects us all. All of us using sidewalks, that is. Today we will JUST SAY NO! to riding your bike on the sidewalk.

That’s right, I am talking to YOU. You, the 45-year old man, wearing the helmet, timidly riding your cruiser ON THE SIDEWALK of Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The wrong direction. Oh. Yes, we saw you. And do you know why? B/c you nearly ran us over. You poor pathetic creature.

You, my good man, need to GROW A PAIR OF TESTICLES. Take that bike off the sidewalk where people are WALKING and place it in the BIKE LANE. It is right there next to the curb on the yonder side of the street. Now, you take that bike and ride it the right way. In the STREET.

There is no excuse for your behavior. None. You are a grown man. At least in physical body, if not mind. You have a bike, you have a helmet, you obviously are not blind. Do you not see those special lanes on the streets of Philadelphia? Those lanes marked w/ this:

That is not a man rolling donuts. He is RIDING HIS BIKE. IN THE STREET. He has a helmet. He has BALLS.

Several days ago, I saw a young child and her momma riding their bikes on the sidewalk of Baltimore Ave. It was a little annoying, since I had to negotiate around them w/ my two kids and a filled-to-the-brim super freaking heavy push-shopping cart. But at least they have an excuse. A 5 year old learning to ride her bike needs some guidance, and a busy street w/ trolleys is not the best place. Maybe her momma should take her to a parking lot or something, rather than a busy sidewalk. But I am not one to judge. No.

But these MEN. And grown WOMEN. Riding their bikes on the sidewalk when there are clearly defined bike lanes in the street. Well. You people are either cowards or self-absorbed morons. Or both.

If you are too afraid to ride your bike the legal way, then you should sell it and walk. Or take public transportation. Or just stay home. I don’t really care, but I do take issue w/ your callous disregard of other people. Like me, and my 2 kids. Trying to walk. On the sidewalk. Trying to get across town w/out being run over. On the sidewalk.

You should be pulled from your bikes and slapped. Hard. Especially since you nearly ran my 4 year old over. And my husband. All over Philly there are bike lanes. Bike lanes. USE THEM.

JUST SAY NO! to riding your bike on the sidewalk.


For this week’s JUST SAY NO!, I would like to address a commonplace children’s toy which irks me beyond measure.

For those of you w/out daughters or who are otherwise happily living in oblivion, BRATZ are the scourge of wholesome mothers everywhere. These plastic pint-sized dolls, a little like Barbie but even less cerebral, are the certified tramps of the toy aisle. All sass, no class. These “little girl” dolls wear more makeup and less clothing than many of the hookers regularly using my block as a meet-up.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no big fan of ANY of these sexed-up trollop dolls sold to little girls as fantasy material. But at least Mattel’s Baby Doctor Barbie looks vaguely realistic, wearing scrubs instead of a go-go dress.

Behold Cloe (Like CHLOE but w/out the confusing H), one of the Bratz clique.

You can see that Cloe is all dolled up and ready to go, hanging out w/ her cat. I also am an animal lover, so you might think I would like sweet little Cloe and want to buy her for my daughters. But I am not sure about Cloe’s outfit, which brings to mind transvestite street walker – or (let’s not mince words) CHEAP WHORE. I think if I came out of the house in this get-up to feed my cats, my neighbors would stand open-mouthed in shock, wondering whether I’d lost my mind.

It’s great to have your own sense of style. Go crazy. But when you’re spackling on makeup like Bozo the clown and sporting a sequined dress a size too small for a toddler, let’s face facts. You look bad. Not sexy. Not alluring. Just plain floozy. That’s not good. No one should aspire to look like a stripper. Even classy strippers don’t like looking that way. Neither should you. And you reaallllllllllyy reeeaaaaaallllllllllllllyyy shouldn’t be promoting this kind of thing to your minor children. Handing them a BRATZ doll is as good as saying HEY PUMPKIN, SHAKE IT.

We need to inspire our future women to be leaders, to be intelligent and scholarly, creative, inspiring. NOT JUST SULTRY. SURE, you can be sexy. There are PLENTY of attractive, vivacious executives, artists, business tycoons. They have brains AND beauty. The two are not mutually exclusive. Some of these women are also other things. Like Humble. Decent. Modest. Virtues I hope to inculcate in my daughters – things I do NOT SEE IN THE BRATZ CLAN.

It’s the presumptive attitude of entitlement put forth in Bratz that makes me want to retch. The Diva Mentality.  Women do not need to flaunt themselves to be fulfilled. They do not need to be eye candy to Be Someone. When we set this sort of example for our girls, they come to believe that the sexualization of children is not just normal, but indeed acceptable. Much like the Ass Shorts I spoke about recently, these dolls are just plain WRONG.

Makeup is fine. Clothes are great. But our daughters need some real role models. Marie Curie. Mother Theresa. J.K. Rowling. Feed the minds of future women. Inspire them to have substance. Aspire to greatness yourself.

JUST SAY NO! to Bratz.

JUST SAY NO! Part 2.

Last week marked the inaugural debut of a new column here on The Daily Dish called JUST SAY NO!.

JUST SAY NO! is intended to help women (and future women) make better choices for themselves by JUST SAYING NO! to something I have deemed 100% truly awful.

For the Second installment of JUST SAY NO!, I would like to talk about this article. For those who have not heard of this brand new phenomenon, the article is about (prepare yourselves) … A MAN Having a Baby.

WOW. Pregnancy. Once thought to be the exclusive realm of females planet-wide – now being co-opted by none other than… a Man.

My knee-jerk reaction, in order:

and HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES. Definitely something we did not discuss in 8th, 10th nor indeed 12th grade health class. This is something I had never, frankly, even thought about EVER. Except in jokes. But now, folks, it is reality. A bearded man is now indeed pregnant. And I for one am (in semi-equal parts) THRILLED!!!! as well as NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. AT ALL.



No more knocking us up and then hitting the road. SAY SO LONG fellas to cheap tawdry flings. B/c Now you MIGHT JUST HAVE TO PAY. And I ain’t talking about paternity. Yup. Time to break out those pouchy pants, and say hello to stretch marks. Get ready for MOOD SWING CENTRAL, Boys! It’s all about YOU now!!! WOOHOO!

Men. I love them. My dad is great. My husband is MARRRRVELOUS. But. BUT.

BUT WHATTHEHELL??? Men already get a whole heaping helping of perks. They get better pay than us. They get better jobs than us. As Hillary will tell you, The whole world is geared and run by MEN as a sexist elite-est paradise.. Right?

SO. We WOMEN used to have ONE THING WE COULD DO THAT MEN COULDN’T. WE could have babies. WE were the REASON we were all around. RIGHT> Right! If it weren’t for us women, the whole human race would just drop dead, never to be repopulated. Those men. What can they do, really???

Except NOW.

EXCEPT that if you read the fine print, you will find this Man is reaaaaaaaaallllllllyyyy deep down inside, a Woman. With woman parts. You know. A uterus. Fallopian tubes. Vagina. Hmmm.

So. Is this really a MAN having a baby??

If the definition of female is:

1. a person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and normally having a vagina, a uterus and ovaries, and developing at puberty a relatively rounded body and enlarged breasts, and retaining a beardless face; a girl or woman.
2. an organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces egg cells.

wouldn’t this MAN still technically be a woman? Really? Even though he/she has a beard and no breasts??

I am confused. But apparently I am not the only one.

So, for now, I am JUST SAYING NO! To Men Having Babies. Just b/c.