An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Her tombstone will read WAS SOLD TO BUTCHER

While visiting the Palm Desert last week with my friend Carol I picked up a fancy hat at a local shop to help defend my delicate butterfly skin from the ferocious rays of the sun. No I’m not kidding, my skin is made of some sort of super flimsy pancake batter, and I was out in the sun for less than an hour with SPF 70 lathered over my entire body and I still got sunburned. Where do I go from there? SPF Sweat Suit? SPF Remain Inside and Look Longingly Out My Window?

So I bought a hat to shade my face and neck as we walked along El Paseo and window shopped, and I consider that a sacrifice because I don’t wear hats. Hats are for women who can pull off puffy sleeves and lacy collars, and I wish I was one of those women but let’s be honest. I buy clothes based on how well they match my sports bra. And here I was walking around with this swoopy straw hat jutting four feet off my head feeling VERY. CONSPICUOUS. and every time we passed someone on the street I wanted to stop them and say I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING BUT YOU’RE WRONG. And then lift up my shirt to show them my skin cancer scars and go THESE. THESE MADE ME DO IT.


But then we stopped at a bar and had three margaritas, because we were on vacation and would not be required to make decisions affecting the well being of certain small humans back home, and what do you know? A little tequila can make you reconsider your entire wardrobe. Why didn’t I wear more hats? Hats are awesome! And it’s kind of hot in here, why are we still wearing shirts? ALSO! WHO WANTS TO DANCE? Here, if I jump off this counter will you catch me?

A few hours later after the tequila had worn off I was still convinced that this hat was the best thing that ever happened to fashion, and days later when I was packing all my things for the plane ride home I decided that it was too precious to fold up and shove into the bottom of my suitcase. Instead, I thought, I’ll go through the trouble of carrying it home, and for the next five hours I juggled it, four large magazines and a camera bag that weighed 180 pounds. It was an awkward plane ride made even more uncomfortable by the fact that the aircraft was so small that the only place to put the hat was on my head. And the brim kept knocking into the ear of the strange but patient man who sat to my left. My God, that man showed such restraint, and I would not have pressed charges if he had decided to take out a pencil and stab me in the thigh.

The welcome I received at the airport was incredible, but only because I had promised Leta that I would be bringing her presents. And when she saw me she ran up, wrapped her arms around my neck and the first thing she said was DID YOU GOT STUFF? The second thing was WHAT’S ON YOUR HEAD? And I was all Leta, I might look ridiculous now, but wait until you’ve had a couple martinis and it will totally make sense.

The following morning I lounged in bed a little longer than normal, happy to be back with my super cuddly husband and daughter who was occupied with the STUFF! I’d brought back from Palm Springs. I guess we were feeling cocky, because we normally have Coco on leash at all times so that we can keep track of her and curb her shenanigans, but we let her roam around that morning as we stole a few more minutes of sleep. That’s a famous last word there: BUT. BUT WHAT? THERE ARE NO BUTS WHEN YOU LIVE WITH A PUPPY. You might as well just follow that word with THEN EVERYONE DIED or A HAMMER FELL OUT OF THE SKY AND HIT ME IN THE FACE.

In this particular instance that BUT was followed by this:

And two consecutive days of a dog trying to pass straw out of her ass.

  • Kay

    Oh No! You looked so good in that hat too! Well you should get a new one and hide it from Coco.

  • Hats are for women who can pull off puffy sleeves and lacy collars

    You appear to be wearing slightly puffed sleeves in the picture above. And I’m so glad you opened the comments, because I was tempted to send you an e-mail but was afraid it would end up in one of those Exclamation Point! posts.

    Your fabulous. Your hat is fabulous. I hope you find a new one soon.

  • Your hat? Very Palm Springs.

    Straw coming out of one’s ass? Also, very Palm Springs.

  • Fell right on the floor laughing out loud…where my furry darlings began licking my face and made me get up.

    Good stuff!

  • >^..^< in SLC

    OMG, I just peed a little. That is so funny, Heather. My mother-in-law’s black lab ate his entire chain-link leash, leather handle & all. He had to have surgery to have it removed. Shortly thereafter, he ate her bra. Some dogs are one stick shy of a fence post.

  • Peggy

    When I saw the title of the entry I thought, What the hell did Coco do now? I was right, silly puppy!

  • Priya


    Ok..first I have to tell you how much I am enjoying reading your blog…. and second..thank you for introducing me to twitter.. you rock!

  • Angela

    OH NO!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! That is hil-lair-rius.

  • Ooo, roughage! Our 16-week-old puppy must not have entered the height of his chewing phase yet. As long as he has a bone, he is pretty much content to chew on just that. I did catch him with my sandal a couple of days ago though. I shudder to think what he and our older dog (another Bo) would have done had we not crated them when they weren’t supervised. I sure it would have involved the pooping of vast quantities of LEGO.

  • esmith

    when my dog was a puppy he ate a basket and an entire box of christmas cards! a basket big enough to store magazines. wtf? exactly what was it about a basket that said “must eat”? it couldn’t have smelled like anyone or even BACON! for that matter.

    perhaps you should give coco a sweet potato!

  • Tek

    and that’s what she thinks about you daring to go away on vacation and getting a hat. That’ll teach you.

  • Lyndsey

    This reminds me of the time when I found my husbands chapstick in the dryer with 2 of my new favorite shirts. Totally annihilated. It could have grounds for divorce.

    Ah, El Paseo! I bet you that the majority of the women who saw your hat ran immediately to Saks or Chicos to find one just like it.

    And I am sorry you didn’t see any Joshua Trees during your hike. There are about 50 on the property across the street from me.

  • Anonymous

    WHat happened to the monthly newsletter?! I was promised a monthly newsletter!!

  • Rae

    Oh Dooce, you’re hilarious!

  • Nancy

    I’m sure Chuck made her do it. He saw that wide brim, he knew it wasn’t long before that thing was balanced up on top of his head. Oh, he knew.

  • TOO Funny! I have a large flat-coat puppy (12 months) and I have these moments too.

  • Thank you for making me laugh so hard, pop came out of my nose.


  • May I just say, I thought you looked like a superstar in that hat! It’s like…paparazzi should be chasing you!

  • CoCoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  • daisy

    The hat looked totally hot, Dooce. You should get yourself another (I just bought a black one at Target that looked very similar – here is a tan version):

    They are less floppy and more angled down like the one you were wearing than they seem in that picture.

    Good luck!

  • Jen

    I was happily reading along until I got to the last picture, and I believe my reaction was:

    1) *gasp*

    2) Sad.

  • Oh no your lovely hat!

    Dogs do this all the time. Children do it too. You can’t have anything nice when you have pets or kids. I have both and I know.

    The hat really did suit you (esp with those big sunglasses) and I’ve only had half a glass of red wine.

  • karen

    Voted best hat related story of the summer.

  • Kyle

    I feel your pain. My puppy chewed up my cell phone, shoes, tv remote, baseball cap…

  • Jess

    CRINGE! The hat was cute, made you look like an undercover celebrity.

    P.S. I love your site so much I almost wish you’d put a link on here that you get money for clicks. (Kind of like tipping?) I’d click it 30 times a day minimum.

  • You can totally pull off big floppy hats. That is just so obvious in the picture that you posted. Now we need to see you in a beautiful french felt hat with a four foot brim and a swanky italian evening gown with heels…

    How did Chuck defend himself? Doesn’t he know its his job to keep Coco in line? Oh yeah, Chuch can just barely tolerate having Coco in the same room.

    Too bad about your hat, you looked great wearing it.

  • That is exactly the reason that we don’t have any dogs. I am so not patient enough for that.

    And, yes, you were able to pull of the hat. I just started reading your blog last week and when I saw this picture on Flickr, I thought, wow, she is so much classier than me, which really isn’t saying much.

    Anyway, at least the dog was uncomfortable trying to pass all of that.

  • While I’m sorry for the loss of the hat, that was the perfect ending to the hat story.

    Not “perfect” as in, “I’m glad the hat got torn up,” but more like, “this is EXACTLY how lifes goes.”

  • Love it! The same thing happened to me…I’m not a shoe person, but I found these fabulous high heeled Steve Maddens that I fell in love with, wore once, and thought I was Queen of the World…there was, perhaps, vodka involved. About two days later, I came home to find some suspicious pieces of leather trailing up to my bedroom door that the hub left open because the dogs “looked so comfortable sleeping in bed.”

    Then my head exploded, and that was about that.

  • Dammit! I had just finished my martini and was adoring the hat. Now tell me what I am supposed to do. All liquored up with no hat to adore.

  • OH NO, your hat! damnit I woulda been soooo pisssed.

  • KFJ

    Do I detect a little Julia Roberts with that hat????? Great post!!!

  • Aww! So sad, and yet a lesson has been learned, hasn’t it? Vanity is a wicked beast that can only be destroyed by a smaller, wickeder beast with a goofy head tilt. Too cute.

    Also, I have not been out in the sun for more than twenty minutes for the past two years because I sustained so many sunburns that I just got SICK OF IT. Now I am a ghost. I could blend into your perfectly white walls and you wouldn’t have a clue. That’s a promise.

  • I have that exact same hat for the exact same reasons (ie I could char like a Cajun salmon fillet just looking at a photo of a lightbulb). Love the puppy. Get a cat instead.

  • Denise

    Hopefully you didn’t pay too much for the hat. If it was like $150.00, that would make this story extra-sucky.

  • Linda

    And you’re all walking around now going, “Coco, that was the last straw!”


  • Shelly

    Aww.. Poor Hat! My mom has a collie.. this dog usally picks things up to bring to her, nice things like used Q-Tips and Candy wrappers.. He is usally in his crate when they are gone.. he got out one day.. and he ate nothing but my mom’s Vinal Calender things she was making and took the lid off the big jar of Animal Crackers and helped himself.. I still want to know how he twisted off that cap!

    P.S. Cant wait for another Leta Newsletter!

  • I guess Coco liked the hat.

    Either that or she really hated it.

  • monkeyaker

    Imagine sitting on your deck on a warm sunny spring day, sipping a fresh margarita and playing ball with your dog. Imagine the dog goes into the brush and hunches over to do her “business”. Imagine her squirm and flinch as a condom comes bursting forth in a blaze of diarrhea.

    Now try to finish your drink.

    This is one of the milder pranks my dog has played on me.

  • Tijem

    It’s no corndog stick…but she’s young and will learn from Chuck…

  • I seriously read this, got a really sad look on my face, and very pathetically said “….omg……her hat…..awwww” and all those pregnant pauses were in there, and I really did say “omg”

  • geminijen

    How do they always know the things that are most precious?! Gah, I feel ya!

  • meredith

    A hat? That’s for amatures! The dog my parents had in high school used to eat my panties, then do the doo-doo dance around the front yard as my once beautiful Victoria’s Secret panties slowly crept out of her ass.

  • Its far more interesting than when my now 8 month old dog, which also happens to be our 3rd dog, because I happen to be a complete pushover, ate my $350 Dolce & Gabbana glasses. They were hot. The dog knew that.

  • debbie

    Best story EVER. Perfect puppy punchline.
    Two Aussies at my house — good thing I love them so because that’s an Aussie — especially a baby Aussie.

  • Kim

    But that is the COOLEST hat EVER!

  • A similar thing happened with a gorgeous umbrella my husband bought in Venice.

    He lugged it home on a water taxi, two buses, two international flights and countless metal detectors, only to have it destroyed by my adorably clutzy female-version-of-Leslie-Nielson mother.

    However, we obviously did not have to wait for the destroyed accessory to come out of my mom’s ass.

  • Hontestly, I’m amazed by the number of women who totally fail to match their shirt to their bra. It’s like “Umm, dear? Uh uh.”

    That particular hat reminds me very much of one my aunt wears in the summer, despite the fact that she tans perfectly in any amount of sunlight. Not sure why.

  • Trisha R.

    I seriously needed a laugh today.

    I almost snorted peanut butter out of my nose from laughing out loud.

    Thanks! (:

  • My list of things the puppies have eaten in the last year and a half:

    Two TiVo remotes.
    Three cell phones
    Two cordless phones
    Two sheets
    A pair of pants
    Two pairs of shoes

    Of course, I also use them as my junk-mail shredder, so maybe it’s my fault.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more