The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘50 Shades of Grey’

Murder is Cheap, and Other Ruminations

I just finished reading Murder is Cheap, which was originally called The Scarlet Button. It was published in 1945. I bought the book because it has a dramatic cover and it says in smaller letters above the title “Only suckers pay blackmail!”

Murder is Cheap

Who could resist such a charming read?

I was hoping for a great noir story full of phrases I wish I could use in every day conversation without sounding like a tool.

“Hey Brad, how’s your Thursday?”
“The day is all aces and eights. Not good enough to play. Not bad enough to fold.”
“Uh … Ok.”

Instead, as I was reading the book, which was written by Anthony Gilbert, I couldn’t help but notice blatant sexism everywhere. At first I took it in stride because the book was written in 1945 and life was different then … But the sexism came at parts where it didn’t even make sense.

Mr. Stout thought that if he used that expression again he’d go womanish on him and scream.

I decided to mark some of the sexist lines just to see what they add up to in the end. I sat down today having finished the book, all ready to write a post where I have looked up this Anthony GIlbert character and dive into what made him so sexist when … Oh, it turns out Anthony Gilbert was a pen name and the real author was Lucy Beatrice Malleson. In other words, a lady.

Malleson wrote 51 novels with Arthur Crook in them (a lawyer with dirty hands but a pristine record when it came to his clients).

My claims of sexism then were probably misplaced (gee, ya think). Malleson could have written the sexist lines with a smirk on her face, a Stephen Colbert approach of heavily agreeing with the opposition and seeing how far she could push it to show just how absurd they could be. Thinking about it, the insults to women were given by men while the two female characters were strong, independent, helpful (though one seemed like an overbearing mother figure) and the men in the books relied upon them all the while saying nasty things.

What’s my point? I suppose it’s that I’m too quick to judge, or that authors are crafty devils and (almost) every book deserves a re-read. Imagine now if I went back and read this book knowing this tiny bit about the author. Sometimes when I read what is considered a “great” book I can’t decide if I want to look up hidden meanings, symbolism, themes, etc before so that I can look for it and see it in action while I read … or wait until after I’ve read the book to see if I discovered for myself some hidden meaning(s).

The main thing to know is: No matter how you cut it, no matter how you read it or how much you know about the author, Fifty Shades of Grey was still awful. (Read my review full of amazingly bad quotes from that book! Or my mock version, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4! Self-promotion, yay!)

Attn: Ellen (7/25/12)


Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

Two very popular search terms that lead people to my blog are polar bears and 50 Shades of Grey. This postcard will increase the number of people coming to my blog for information on those things – and leaving upset. Fun stuff.

When I wrote about 50 Shades I posted your “reading” of the book, so … what do you say? I mean, come on!, I probably got you 2 more video views! I think you’re due to invite me on!


Why am I doing this?

Two Shades of Vague, Part IV

Two Shades of Vague


We end up doing it a bunch, and every time it feels super duper. He does this weird controlling thing during sex where we’ll be doing something, and then he’ll say “red light,” and we stop, and then he’ll say “green light” and it kicks off again. I guess you could say he’s two shades of Vague. In fact, I might be tempted to make reference to that many, many times. On to a more pressing topic though, some weird descriptions of just how fantasmo the sexxins can be with him.

It’s like someone stuck a pleasure-grenade in my treasure chest, and exploded it using rainbows made out of love.

Imagine an earthquake, wrapped in a tornado, wrapped in a pancake, wrapped in an orgasm. And that’s what happened. You know. In my va-jay-jay.

Take three cups sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, some boy body parts, and one hefty helping of oh baby oh baby, and mix. THAT’S WHAT’S UP.

While the sex is good, some things concern me. I am inexperienced with relationships, but certain behaviors of his I find off-putting. When a boy buys you a flower, it’s cute, I know that. So when the boy buys you a car that’s just like him buying you one million flowers. My inner goddess does the math and gives me a thumbs up. Although part of me thinks maybe that’s a bit much, my libido says “FEEEED ME.”

I ignore the warnings, and instead take a stroll to bone-town, and it’s awesometacular.

I want to call my best friend Susanna to talk about Shimper, but I’m afraid he’ll be angry at me – and he doesn’t want me talking about us to anyone. This worries me, but whoops, I just had an orgasm, and I’m suddenly less worried about this shockingly frightening red flag. I decide a relationship with cornerstones of fear and sex is ok, as long as I work on lessening the fear. In its place we can just have more sex. My inner goddess looks disapprovingly over her glasses, and I give in and decide to examine the pros and cons of Shimper and I:

He’s rich (I don’t care about that … but yeah I do)
He’s grade A meat
He’s good at taking me to my happy place

He’s quick to anger
Being in control, big time control, is how he gets his jollies
I still have no idea what exactly he does and how he’s so rich
We haven’t had an actual conversation yet
He likes to keep people out
He seems emotionally stunted
He likes the idea of punishing me, by causing me physical pain, and he’s going to get off on that

I am interrupted while making this list with, you guessed it, some bouncy bouncy.

Exhausted by the massive amounts of sex, I go to sleep. I sleep for four days. (How could I not after all that? I mean sheesh.) When I wake up Shimper is finishing a surgery where he’s putting a tracking device under my skin.

“Shimper …” I say, hesitant to criticize him. Ya know, because of the potential for beatings.
“Miss Gasm, you’re awake … and I’m awake …,” he gestures romantically to his family jewels.
“I … I don’t know if this can work.”

I say this and immediately begin moving. If I stay in motion I won’t be able to talk, and if I keep from taking I’ll keep from breaking my resolve. My mind is made up! I can’t have a traditional romance with this man, he’s incapable of it!

“Miss Gasm …” Shimper sounds so hurt. So broken. I am tempted to go to him, hold him, comfort him. No. I can’t do that. My mind is made up.

Yep. My mind is made up. Until about a week later. Then we get back together, honestly, what else would happen? And I bet you’ll never guess what happens when we get back together …

YEP! He takes me to the BONE-ZONE!!


Two Shades of Vague, Part III

Two Shades of Vague


Susanna is shocked, as are others, when I inform them that I’ll be having dinner that night with Shimper. Honestly, who wouldn’t be? First of all, why me? No, seriously. And secondly, I’ve never really dated. But now that I am having dinner with him – I am insulted by anyone implying that it is out of the ordinary for me to have dinner with the world’s richest/youngest/best-lookingest bachelor.

My inner goddess hears people asking questions doubting this dinner, and wonders in her best Samuel L. Jackson voice, ‘do I have to slap a bitch?’

I arrive at the hotel where Shimper is staying in my beat up old car. Sure, it’s a junky car, but it gets the job done. I guess you could say this car is representative of me somewhat, it’s not flashy, but it’s reliable and nice. Homey. Americana. You know, that kind of thing. I bet Shimper drives the flashiest, nicest car out there, to illustrate that he is rich, and therefore attractive. Where was I? Oh, right, just arriving for dinner.

I hand the valet guy my keys and I immediately assume he’ll steal my car. Just kidding! It’s a POS, but I love it. Have I mentioned that?

I go inside and Shimper is at the bar. He’s wearing a plain white, linen shirt, which is an inconsequential detail that I love about him. My inner drill instructor says, “ooh, girl!” at my casual use of the word love being used on something to do with Shimper. I’m shocked, too. Love? Could it be? My train of thought is interrupted when I notice Shimper approaching. I decide to put it aside to think more about later. In fact, I put it aside five times, so that I can over think it.

“Miss Gasm,” Shimper coos.
“Mr. Vague,” I say shyly.
“You look beautiful.”

I blush.

“I wish I knew what you were thinking,” Shimper says.

Fourteen minutes later I finish telling him what I was just thinking. Get it? Cause I have a lot of thoughts going on at once. I’m deep like a river. No, wait, an ocean.

Shimper leads me to a private room where we’ll have dinner. I am ecstatic over the idea of spending time with him, and I realize I’m too excited to even eat one bite. Maybe I can muster up the appetite for some mildly witty banter, I’m always hungry for that.

“It looks delicious,” I say, glancing back and forth between Shimper and the food laid out for us.
“I agree,” Shimper says, staring only at me.
“You didn’t look at the food …,” I whisper. “Oh, I get it.” I blush. Shimper’s eyes widen.
“Sit. Eat.” Shimper commands.
“You are quite bossy, sir,” I say in a confusing mix of complaining about something while acquiescing to it.
“I like it when you call me sir …” Shimper says. His jaw tense. His voice husky. His eyes widen. Yeah, that’s right, the trifecta.
“Oysters, hmm? What’s the big idea …?”
“Well, I want to bone. I didn’t bring you here just for dinner, ya know. Here are some papers about boning. What do you think?”

Operation Give a Dude a Bone

Article I

I’m creepy, don’t worry about it. Look how rich I am.

Article II

I will command aspects of your personal life. And we’ll bone a bunch. All of this you will find incredibly attractive. Oh and if I want to cause you pain, you’ll be into that too.

Article III

Did I mention … boning?

Article IV

Shhhh. Nobody needs to know about this.

The boner: Shimper Vague

The bonee: Olivia Gasm

I read through and am shocked! When I glance up I find that Shimper has been staring at me the whole time. Even though this should be unnerving, I blush and feel it in my koala refuge. You know, down under …

“Mr. Vague …” I say vaguely.
“Miss Gasm …” Shimper says orgasmically.

Then we do it. And it’s totally rad.

Two Shades of Vague, Part II

Two Shades of Vague


The elevator doors open and I walk out. Shimper has resumed his cool and controlled self, except he has some lipstick of mine smeared on his face. Somehow this makes him look even more authoritative.

“Miss Gasm,” Mr. Vague says, his breath hitching as he says it.
“Mr. Vague,” I say, his eyes widening.

For the first time in my life I realize how much I love mentioning breath hitching and eyes widening. At the realization of this I blush. Mr. Vague’s eyes widen again at my blushing.

“What are you thinking, Miss Gasm?” he asks sternly.
“I was trying to think where I parked my car,” I reply. Then I realize I have no idea where I parked my car. That’s ironic.

I manage to find my way to my car and I drive home. This is another opportunity for me to think through things. Here’s a breakdown of my thoughts.

2.5% – This is finals week, and I better work toward that
2.5% – Various friends and family and what they’re up to
5%    – More introduction to myself as a character (honestly, stuff you wouldn’t want to hear about)
45% – Hitching breath
45% – Eyes widening

I get home, and Susanna is waiting for me. Oh no!, she’s going to want to know everything about the interview!

“How’d the interview go!?,” Susanna says.
“Oh, it was fine,” I say, unsure where to start, and knowing I don’t want to mention that … kiss. Oh, that kiss. My inner goddess is making a gun with one hand and pointing at me and making “pew pew pew” noises.
“Fine? What happened? Did he take your breath away with his good looks?” I look at Susanna, shocked, how did she know! Susanna responds as though she’s read my mind, “I saw lots of pictures of him when I was looking up information about him for the interview.”

Oh of course. The internet. Although it is 2011, and I am a senior in college, I am still very unfamiliar with this thing. I thought my grandmother’s stance on the internet was the approach to take – so I have avoided having an email, and I am maintaining my staunch advocacy of obliviousness towards all things net. Lawlz, it’s so silly that I’m like this. o_O you might think, but it’s who I am.

“He answered all your questions, and I have them on the tape recorder I left on the counter in the kitchen … I need to shower for work!” I run off before she has a chance to answer. I know she’ll be curious about the interview, and that tape will keep her occupied for a while. Even better, it’ll give me a chance to process that kiss. Oh, that kiss. My inner goddess does the cabbage patch.

I work at a place in town that’s a mom and pop shop. This reinforces my small town America good girl sweetness. I am close to the owners and the brother of the owner, who wants to bone me. No biggie. Just sayin.’ I find myself unattractive, but some good looking dudes want to bone me – so that means I’m just bashful and unaware of my hotness. Aw, shucks. I think this stuff, but in a much more verbose way.

I get to work and it gives me time to think. This is both a blessing and a curse. Part of me wants to shut off my brain and get rid of all the thoughts of Shimper. Part of me wants to curl up inside my brain and only spend time with my memories of him. Or wait, no I don’t want that. Oh wait, yeah I do. I don’t know. I think I’m in love! No wait, it’s hunger.

I have a snack. The snack is chocolate, it’s sweet, like Shimper’s kiss. Oh, what a kiss! My inner goddess does the running man. She’s really good at it. I wish you guys could see it. Oh dang!, and my inner goddess just did the splits!

I’m lost in thought, looking down, when my boss yells, “Olivia!, you have a customer in front of you!” I look up and – oh my! – it’s HIM! Shimper Vague is here, in this store, hot as the sun, wait, hotter than the sun!, and I’m melting in his presence …

“Miss Gasm,” Shimper says. The way he says my name sends shivers down to my hoo-ha. It’s neat-o mosquito. Suddenly I realize, oh, the effect he has on me is sexual! I get it now! At twenty-two years of age, memories of health class come flooding back to me. More importantly, the most poignant line of Kindergarten Cop comes back to me, “Boys have penises, and girls have vaginas.”

Shimper interrupts my revelry with a statement, “Oh, Miss Gasm, I wish I could know what you’re thinking.”
“Oh, just thinking about birds … and bees,” I realize I’m blushing, and my statement has just made me turn the color of the Communist Manifesto. Get it? Cause it’s written by a bunch of red commie bastards! I’m so clever. For once, Shimper seems at a loss for words. I take this opportunity to seize the upper hand, and coolly say, “what can I help you with, Mr. Vague?”
“Some supplies,” he’s recovered his cool so quickly!, “I need some rope, and a board.”
“Ok, the rope is on aisle four … do you need manilla rope? Or nylon? Or polypro?” Mr. Vague’s eyes simmer with heat, with each type of rope I list his eyes go to a new level of smoldering. If I had to compare it to something, I wouldn’t, because I’m bad at that.
“Lead the way …,” Shimper says huskily, quietly, hotly. I feel like Shimper, because I wish I could know what he was thinking! As though he’s reading my mind, he suddenly stops, grabs my hand (and it’s electric! boogie-woogie-woogie!), and begins to speak, “Miss Gasm … I find your knowledge of ropes very … alluring. I have apparently never encountered anyone with knowledge of ropes even though I run in kinky rope-loving circles, and … I have a proposition for you … Have dinner with me tonight at a fancy hotel?”
“I guess you’ve … roped me into dinner,” I say, as I hand Shimper some rope.
“Oh, Gasm.” He says, and something down there is all whoop-whoop!, time to go to party-town!

Two Shades of Vague, Part I

I read 50 Shades of Grey (some quotes here), and I didn’t enjoy it. About 500 pages of stuff I didn’t enjoy. However, I will give the book credit where it is due – I had a lot of fun making fun of the book. My friend Airplanes and I read the book for book club, and last night we met and talked about it. I decided I wanted to write my own mini-version of 50 Shades for my blog. It will be a four part series. If you don’t like incredibly stupid things, you probably aren’t a regular reader of my blog … if you do, keep on keeping on!

Like I said above, I really enjoyed making fun of this book. When I would make fun of it, I would usually say things like, “and then we went to bone-town USA, population sex, and it was rad.” So, you’re in for that kind of language. Really, this is just an excuse for me to bash the book some more, and because I find it funny to say things like “population sex.” Here we go …

Two Shades of Vague


My name is Olivia Gasm, and God do I ever hate my hips! My roommate, Susanna Strabismus, is knocking on the bathroom door.

“Hurry up Olivia, I’m gorgeous and you need to go soon!” Ugh!, Susanna is so gorgeous! I call her ‘slip and slide,’ because men can hardly stand when they’re near her. Also, she always looks like she’s only partly paying attention to them, which totes mcgotes works for her.

“I’m moving!, I’m moving!,” I say, and then proceed to take ten more minutes. I just can’t get my hair right. Susanna should expect that I would be taking long – I’m getting dressed up nicely for her! Susanna is the editor of our college’s newspaper. She has managed to score an interview with Shimper Vague, the enigmatic owner of Canada. He’s really powerful and rich and that doesn’t matter to me (but it does).

The thing is, Susanna can’t go interview Mr. Vague – something has come up. Her excuse sounds fairly weak and contrived to me, but I am ok with that. When she asked me to interview him for her instead, I was confused. We go to a college with more than 21,000 people pursuing their undergraduate degrees, and as a major player in the student paper, you’d think she could get someone else who is on the paper … for example, I don’t know anything about Mr. Vague. Susanna has prepared some questions though. I’ll just be able to read through those.

Then I drive far away for the interview. I have some thoughts that are, frankly, boring, but they establish me more as a character who, ultimately, you will find lacking. My inner goddess stares at me with wide-eyes, shocked at my honesty.

I go to Mr. Vague’s office, “Olivia Gasm, here on behalf of Susanna Strabismus, to see Mr. Vague.” The secretary I am talking to is a totally hot babe. Me-ow, I think to myself, because I have apparently turned into a twelve year old boy. Everyone at this office is totally hotsville, and I take this opportunity to hate these hips! Oh God I hate these hips!

While waiting to go into Mr. Vague’s office, I label the babes based on hotness. News flash – they are all labeled babe numero uno. Then, babe numero uno says, “Mr. Vague will see you now, go right in.” I see a flash of Mr. Vague, and he is beautiful! Suddenly I find that I’m nervous. I stumble, and he kindly helps me up. I am such a klutz! I regain my feet, and lose my voice.

“Hello, I’m Shimper Vague, it’s nice to meet you, Miss Gasm.” Hearing him say my name sends shivers down my spine. Finally I find my voice, and I manage to say something.

“I love witty banter,” I say to him, almost in a whisper.
“What?” he says. Oh good, the banter has begun. I giggle, and his eyes widen slightly.
“Thank you for doing this interview for my college. I’m sorry Susanna couldn’t make it, she’s sick or whatever.” I am shocked that I am able to put together a coherent sentence because have I mentioned he’s hot like whoa and that is overwhelming for me.
“Please, let’s go into my office.”

I follow Shimper Vague into his office. It is a large office, very utilitarian. I could describe the office, allowing you to get a sense that Mr. Vague is into power, form above function, and organization, or I could talk more about how hot he is, because dizzammmmmn ya’ll have you seen that bod!?

“Please sit down, Miss Gasm.” Shimper says this with grace and elegance, I bet he’s in toastmasters or something.
“Question number one, do you know what the color mauve looks like?” I ask this, and then I’m shocked, because I apparently couldn’t take five minutes to glance at Susanna’s list of questions. I can’t believe Susanna just came right out, fists swinging, and asked about mauve!
“Miss Gasm, I am not gay.” Prove it, my inner goddess says. I high-five her in my mind, because good one!
“If you were a stop light, which color would you be?” I ask this, thinking what a stupid question.
“I would be green … and red,” I gasp at his answer! His voice is so husky! Like one of those dogs, a husky. Two shades of vague … this man is an enigma! He is doing things to my body that I have never experienced before, however unlikely that may seem.
“If you had to grade your ownership of Canada, what grade would you give yourself?” This question also seems contrived, like a set up for a bad joke.
“I’d give it an … ‘A’,” he says this with a smirk. Oh, that smirk! What I wouldn’t give to see that smirk again! “Miss Gasm, you seem really intelligent, how would you like a job here?” I’m shocked at this, because I really haven’t been making much of an impression here, and if he’s so successful you’d think he’d be more into hiring people who DO give good impressions.
“I’m flattered, Mr. Vague, but I don’t think I would fit in here.”

Much quicker than you’d expect, given that it took Susanna tons of effort to get this interview, my questions are all done.

“Thank you very much, Mr. Vague, for your time today. Susanna, my school, and I, are all very appreciative.” I know I need to leave, but part of me wants to stay! What is this?! I don’t understand why part of me wants to stay! Even though crushes are a fairly common and intuitive part of the human experience, I am confused by mine. I blush, embarrassed about my lack of self-awareness. His eyes widen. This causes me to blush more. His eyes go even wider. It’s creepy looking. My blushing stops.

“Miss Vague, let me give you my card, and I’ll ride down the elevator with you.”

We get in the elevator together and suddenly the air between us is charged with energy. My hand accidentally brushes against his, and my secret garden gets a rain shower that allows some flowers to blossom. What the hell does this mean? I don’t know, but I knows what I likes, and I likes this.

Suddenly he grabs me and his mouth is on mine. Smoochy, smoochy, smoochy. Ooohhheeee. He pulls back, letting me go just as violently as he’s grabbed me. I don’t know if I want to kick him in the junk, or jump his bones … my inner goddess wants me to do both! She’s so crazy. And apparently into some weird stuff.

50 Shades of Grey Review

For book club we read 50 Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. If you don’t know anything about it, allow me to allow Ellen DeGeneres (you know, the lady I wrote postcards to once a week in the hopes she’ll take pity and invite me on her show and help me get published?) … anywho, here’s Ellen reading from 50 Shades.

The book is bad. I don’t know how else to tell you that. I’m sure some people will like it, but even people who like it (on boards I looked at) seemed to know that it was still bad writing. If you’re into reading about kinky sex or controlling dudes, I recommend this book. Otherwise, suffice yourself with this series of quotes from the book.

My personal favorites are the ones where she talks to her subconscious, and also her “inner goddess.” Good GOD this book is bad.

50 Shades of Grey

His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something.

“Um.” I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto. Stop talking. Stop talking. NOW.

Paul is cute in a wholesome all-American boy-next-door kind of way, but he’s no literary hero, not by any stretch of the imagination. Is Grey? my subconscious asks me, her eyebrow figuratively raised. I slap her down.

My subconscious is figuratively tutting and glaring at me over her half-moon specs.

Tonight’s the night! After all this time, am I ready for this? My inner goddess glares at me, tapping her small foot impatiently. She’s been ready for this for years, and she’s ready for anything with Christian Grey

He gives me a wicked grin, the effects of which travel all the way down there.

It’s a beautiful May morning, Seattle at my feet. Wow, what a view. Beside me, Christian is fast asleep. Wow, what a view.

My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.

[…] a very small part of me resents that he should find this a surprise. My inner goddess does, too. She makes a very vulgar and unattractive gesture at him with her fingers.

My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheerleading pom-poms shouting yes at me.

My subconscious runs, screaming, and hides behind the couch.

My subconscious peeks out from behind the couch, still registering shock on her harpy face.

I thought I was in charge? My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.

My inner goddess pouts at me, failing miserably to hide her disappointment.


What’s impressive is that I have even more so-amazingly-bad-they’re-good quotes from this book. But that’s all I can muster for now, my inner goddess has a gun.

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