An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

One foot in front of the other

So yesterday. Wow, I can’t even… just… the series of events that unfolded and where everything ended up, it all sort of falls within the boundaries of things I won’t write about, yes those boundaries do exist. Jon referred to it as the third most surreal day of 2009, and I can’t figure out the two days ahead of it on that list. A couple of weeks ago I said, hey everyone, next week? Next week we’re going to take it easy around here, okay? And then I got SHINGLES! And I was all, okay, it can’t get worse than that. Yesterday it got SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT.

Anyway, on to the other side of those boundaries, shall we?

So it’s day eight of Mom’s Got SHINGLES! and so far Marlo shows no signs of developing chicken pox. Of course, now that I’ve written that sentence and put it out into the universe she’s going to wake up tomorrow morning with a connect-the-dot smattering of bumps on her face, and for kicks Coco will have regurgitated her own poop in the middle of our bed. Or Coco could just be sitting there existing, the difference is negligible.

Honestly, Coco is probably at the top of the list of Things That Stress Me Out, whereas living with a newborn is so far down that you’d have to turn the page to find it. Last summer we hired a fantastic trainer who came in and showed us some techniques to calm down the crazy in that dog, but then the pregnancy happened, and all this other stuff, and now we’re back to having our neighbors secretly submitting our names to be a case study on “The Dog Whisperer.” Let’s just put it this way: everyone who lives on our street knows the exact moment someone rings our doorbell.

The new policy with family and friends is everyone must call or text us before approaching the door so that I can stabilize the house for Coco’s reaction. And it’s not an aggressive one, no, it’s CRACKED OUT OH MY GOD I NEVER THOUGHT I’D SEE YOU AGAIN AND LOOK YOU’RE HERE, WHAT’S IT BEEN? A WHOLE DAY? High-pitched pig squealing and jumping three feet into the air. And the house moves a couple of inches to the left every time.

So I’m guessing that if they could scientifically trace the origin of my SHINGLES! the line would go directly back to that dog, but no. Not on your life, I’m not giving up on her. I know the kind of work that needs to be done, and we are going to do it, it’s just there are some loose ends here and there (see first paragraph) that need some tightening before we can all get into the brain space to address her problems. One thing that needs to happen, of course, is I’ve got to get over this case of SHINGLES! And that’s not going to happen if I keep doing google image searches, if ever there were an argument to be made against the existence of the Internet, HELLO IMAGE I CANNOT GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.

Also, people keep sending me horror stories, like someone’s grandfather had SHINGLES! on his face for seventeen years, and someone else had a case of SHINGLES! that ate the family cat. The absolute best thing sent to me concerning my SHINGLES!, however, was this suggestion from Julie at A Little Pregnant:

How could I not film myself doing exactly that? Is that not the most brilliant idea you’ve ever heard? Because one, it would make the pain a little more bearable, and two, in light of the recent accusations that I’m a total loon, A LOONEY LOON LOONBALL! I thought, you know what? I’ll show you a loonball! Let the train wreck continue!

Internet, this is for those of us in the throes of this crappy, itchy, at times paralyzing condition:

(Strong warning, however, if you are prone to seizures or have small children sitting nearby, you might want to close your browser and go hug a bunny.)

Music is µ-ziq Autumn Acid

  • Shannon

    Oh sweet baby jebus that’s funny. I think you and I both know this year’s Halloween costume 🙂 I am Heather B. Armstrong, and these are my SHINGLES!

  • that is terrifying.

  • andria

    You should get coco a shock collar with a remote. I know it sounds mean, but you will be a believer after a few weeks. haha

  • Moi

    Jazz Hands, not just for dancers anymore.

  • Rachel

    That was horrifying!!!! Thanks for the laugh! I hope you feel better very soon.

  • In that video, you look like Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body. Really scary, yet kind of hot. HOW DO YOU DO IT.

  • JanaLea

    That was absolutely fantastic!!! My 15 year old and I have this thing about spontaneously doing jazz hands at the most inappropriate times. I can’t wait to show this to her. I applaud your awesomeness!!

  • Excuse me, but those aren’t jazz hands. Those are sparkle fingers. 🙂

    Hope things get better, Heather!

  • Woman, if you’re crazy, I want me SOMMA DAT!

    Good luck with the SHINGLES!!! *Jazz hands*

  • elegant_phoenix

    And so I didn’t heed the advice and let my four year old child watch the video.

    Mamamamamama! Again! Again! SHINGLES!!!! Again! Again!!!

    Nice. I think I may go hug a bunny just because.

    Hope your surreal day melts away. I’ve had a few of them myself this year.

  • Susie

    After watching that I might have to go buy a bunny for the sole purpose of hugging it and telling myself it will all be okay.

  • that just scared the shit out of me 🙂 and you can send coco to us….we have one like her already and i just ignore him and yell at him to shut the f*** up when i’m answering the door….the people on the other side of the door love that….especially when it’s the jehovah’s witnesses!!

  • And THAT, my darling love, is why you will always be my favorite.


  • That was WAY creepy, but funny none the less. Hope the SHINGLES go away soon, like way sooner than 17 years.

  • Nerissa

    The both frightened me and sent me into hysterics…. If you watch carefully in slow motion, you can see the crazy peeking out from behind your eyes!

  • Um, Heather? Are you sure you aren’t the secret love child Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey conceived while filming Cabaret? It’s Okay to not want to tell anyone. We understand.

  • JSW

    Perfect suggestion, grand execution!

    Thanks for the smile, I needed it. The video is made even funnier (and crazier) by the fact that the next one in the vimeo-succession is the incredibly sweet Leta-Marlo one.

    Keep on having fun!

  • holy shit, that was actually totally terrifying….

    really now….

  • I DID have a small child sitting next to me when I hit play thinking it couldn’t be that big of a deal.

    He totally jumped at your first round of jazz hands.

    Hoping you get some relief from all the stressors soon!

  • Shannon

    Hey #101, welcome to the hate page, woop!

  • sam


  • To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!
    –Charlie Chaplin

    Best video ever (though I agree, those were spirit fingers. We’ll be needing another with proper jazz hands, thanks).

  • See now, I think “Spirit Fingers” may have been a better term. Its much more “positive”. And you can use all the positivity out there right about now.


    PS your captcha is speaking Chinese to me. I assure you I am not Asian.

  • Heather

    Shingles sucks dogs for quarters!

  • Lady, that was some kind of freaky funny!

    Thanks for the laugh :o)

  • aryn

    Totally agree with #90 – you definitely have a 1920s silent film thing going on, you know, but with sound. It kind of reminded me of the robot girl in “Metropolis.” Also, AWESOME!

  • You should be SHINGLES! for Halloween, because that was creepy. Love it.

  • Anonymous

    I, too, have had a rough week… well, better make that a rough month. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the laugh. As long as we can laugh (or make crazy SHINGLES vids), we’re all good. Hang in there! Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Monetizing The Hate. Fantastic!!!!

  • Sandy

    My two year old daughter is watching this over and over. Even after I left the page she said I want to watch “Shingas” and did the jazz hands. Help me.

  • (Jazz) Hands down, that made my day. Seriously hope you’re feeling better soon, that Marlo doesn’t get chickenpox, and that CoCo calms the freak down for you.

  • Kim

    See, now when I read her suggestion, I was picturing ragtime-y music and a flapper hat. Or maybe All That Jazz. More corny vaudeville, less scary Shingles Demon.

    But then again, I have never suffered at the hands (jazz or otherwise) of The Dreaded Shingles. Clearly, your shingle dance is truly the embodiment of this more-than-annoying-and-actually-slightly-terrifying affliction.

    Good luck!

  • “Stabilize the house.” That line made me laugh so hard. My house gets so unstable I just don’t even answer the door. My neighbor does one of those “I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE KNOCKS”. Next time I’ll tell her I have a new policy that she must text first. hehe.

  • It almost makes me want to get SHINGLES! myself.

  • Susan


  • If this doesn’t scream “SHINGLES”, not sure what does… Your eyes are totally having cheer sex too.

  • That video is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Well done.

    P.S. – My Captcha word? Unhinged. Now my day is complete!

  • Jaimie

    That scared me a little! I still think you are awesome though 🙂

  • Anonymous

    dude, I never laugh out loud at stuff I’m reading, but the slow-mo made me giggle more than once.

  • Lori

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Did I mention HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!! That is SO much more entertaining than working on my dissertation!

  • Candi

    Okay. So stinking great. I love it. The high-contrast black-and-white made it pretty scary-looking, plus the music.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  • Bex

    Holy crap! I have never laughed so hard at your blog – ever. SHIIIIINGGGGLLLLESSSSS!! Hahahahahaha, oh man. I can’t sleep, get out of bed at 4.30am, see what the internet has to offer and my my my did it deliver. You are one piece of shingle-infected genius.

  • You totally have us all dying to know what happened yesterday, but that video made it all better.

  • Stephanie

    I have to say, when I think “jazz hands” I think of something upbeat!! and happy!! This was more psychotic and scarey. Well done!

  • Libby

    A] I love Julie.

    B] I love Dooce.

    C] I have a FRIGGIN PUG and everyone on our street knows when someone comes to our door, and my 2 year old knows to yell “HUSH!!!! NO BARKIN’!”. And every friday night I get sucked into the dog whisperer, and stare down my dog thinking “I’m coming for you…”, and then by the time I wake up Saturday morning I find myself doing “affection affection affection” and no exercise. Oh Cesar, I fail you in so many ways.

  • KimN

    My four year old was just watching the video over my shoulder and said, “Mama, I would never want that lady to come into my room.” So hilarious.

  • nennifer

    ummm…nice video, but the Beyonce shingles/jazzhand/crazy-mama video was one of the best of all time….no moon-man for you

  • Lori

    Wow… talk about if ever there were an argument to be made against the existence of the Internet, HELLO IMAGE I CANNOT GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • Taryn

    I don’t know much about shingles except that they may cause pain, so I hope that you are doing okay and this all goes away soon. I understand how you might be feeling, last week on tues. I had to have an emergency appendectomy (jazz hands), what a joy that was, thank goodness I had health coverage. Hope you feel better dooce, your posting made me laugh a lot, which then made my incisions hurt. I wont be back to lifting caskets or going to the gym for probably another 2 weeks :(. Take care.

  • Kimmi

    That was awesome!! You looked like a cross between Cruella Deville and the Exorcist. LOVE IT!!

  • I’m not gonna pretend that that video won’t make a cameo in one of my nightmares sometime soon, but I will applaud you for making light of the situation.

    My friend’s boyfriend got shingles on his eye and it cleared up in about a week. Don’t worry, I think you’re at very low risk of your shingles consuming your flesh.

    Your sanity? Maybe. But probably not your flesh.

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.

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