An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Ye Olde Skool

In the middle of all the chaos this week, Marlo had to get her one-year vaccinations. Yes, I realize we’re a little late on that. Let’s just say that a mythical bobcat kind of got in the way.

As we were sitting in the waiting room, Jon was on his phone looking for cheap mattresses. His brother and sister-in-law came into town for the funeral, and since what used to be the guest bed is now actually Leta’s! New! Big! Bed! (shut up, she started it, and now we can’t refer to it as anything else or she has no idea what we’re talking about, not even if you scream THAT DAMN THING YOU SLEEP IN) we needed to find some accommodations for guests really quickly, and I’m not about to have an in-law of mine sleep on the regurgitated-graham cracker-covered sofa. Not when my mother-in-law could possibly ever find out. Because then I wouldn’t just look homeless, I would actually be living like I was homeless. She doesn’t need more ammo.

And it was right then that I remembered reading a link off of Kottke’s site about how there’s a theory that cancer can be linked to the coils in mattresses. And Jon is all shut up, dude, you are making this up, and I was like, I’M QUOTING SOMETHING OFF OF KOTTKE.ORG. That’s like saying Abraham Lincoln used to spit on babies and grab his crotch in public just to frighten old ladies.

How could you even suggest such a thing.

I’d only read the excerpt on Jason’s website, not the entire article on Scientific American, but Jon just had to go the source because he’s old school like that. I heard everyone born before the invention of bread does this.

And suddenly he goes off on this tangent about something tech and science related, I couldn’t really tell you what he was saying because it sounded like WAHK WAHK WAHK, and because I didn’t know where he was going with this I stopped him and asked, so this is something you read from a link off of Kottke?


And then twenty minutes later while we were waiting for the nurse to come into the examination room with all six of the vaccinations he turned to me and said, “This is how we justify what is about to happen in here: Marlo has put us through so much bullshit that she owes us a few tears.”

Why that made me feel better about someone else stabbing my child, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe because he was still talking like a gangsta.


(I think every blog post from now on is going to include the previous sentence.)

Turns out that Kottke posted an update slash kind-of-retraction about that whole mattresses cause cancer thing later that day, and suddenly I don’t know what to believe anymore! It’s like I just found out there is no Santa Claus. Or worse! That Abe really was a crotch-grabber. THANKS, JASON.

  • Daddy Scratches

    Just took my daughter for her five-year check-up the other day … during which she had to get two shots.

    Yeah, that was the noise you all heard. Allow me to apologize on her behalf for shattering all of your windows.

    PS: Thanks for the ambiguous cancer-causing-mattress-springs thing. Great information for an obsessive-compulsive hypochondriac like myself.

  • confusedkaty

    My heart goes out to you and yours. I had a similar year seven years ago that left me with a slight twitch.

    Two Words: MEMORY FOAM

    And YES, the wine won’t spill when you jump upon its wonderfulness.

  • girlplease

    Coils causing cancer and you believed it?


  • DesignGirl

    Years ago I heard that shampooing your hair was found to cause cancer in laboratory rats. So now whenever I find a rat around the house I catch it and shampoo it’s hair. I find that for the rat, dying a slow death from cancer sure beats getting it’s head snapped in a rat trap.

  • Jess F

    It’s so strange that historians wouldn’t mention Abe’s crotch-grabbing.
    Lots of love to you and your family during these crazy and difficult times.
    Also, thanks for the baby picture of Chuck. Squeeee!

  • WebSavyMom

    –>Forget the cancer causing mattress coils, what about THE BED BUGS?

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    Now all I see in my head is Abe Lincoln doing some booty-popping old school dance whilst grabbing his crotch.

    Thanks for a good start to the weekend!

  • Laurelee

    Glad to have you back. By the way, how is Marlo’s little tooth?

  • Laurelee


  • TexasKatie

    I have no idea what this post was even about.

    Was it about beds? Cancer-causing coils? Marlo’s shots? Bread? Apparently all of the above – but wow, I totally zoned out about halfway through.

    Thank god it is Friday.

  • cory212

    So how did Marlo handle the shots? We used to have to hold my son down. By “we” I mean me, my husband and whichever nurses happened to be walking by. It was ugly. Hope she did ok!

  • krisity

    I don’t understand this post. I feel dumb, confused, and all I can think about is abe lincoln’s crotch.

    on second thought, is there supposed to be something meta about this post? Like the structure (or lackthereof) of your post and our subsequent bewilderment is supposed to reflect the state of chaos that you have felt for the past weeks and metonymized by this particular baby-stabbing, cancer-coiling, crotch-grabbing event?

    In this case, you have gotten too high-brow for me, Doocest Doocingway.

    Or am I giving you too much credit?

    I am going to sleep now.

  • BecTO

    HUH? I totally did not follow this.

  • missusclark

    If I had to guess, I’d say Heather wrote this post as she felt obligated to write *something* and this is what’s goin’ on.

    This is her life, people. (looks a lot like mine, but with less !!!! and crotch-grabbing…)

  • Agent Scully


  • Tricia

    This post makes me laugh– it’s just such a great reflection of the insanity you’ve been living through these past few weeks/months. You guys need a serious vacation.

  • jenB

    I have heard the coil/cancer and coil/JUST NOT GOOD argument. My new age hippy dad went out and bought a naturally sourced foam bed JUST in case. It is very comfy.

  • Dharma

    Dood – you’re mind is racing around faster than a virgin at a prison rodeo these days….slow down and collect. Have the Tyrant guest post for a couple days on exactly HOW CRAZY you are…..

  • kaethend

    This is EXACTLY how we treat Kottke in our house: like the F’ING encyclopedia.

  • AttyGirlTex

    Well, I “got it,” and I was going to post something about how the proverbial war was about to start about vaccinations (yeah or nay) and all that, but looks like people are skipping right over that — I guess it’s a blessing in disguise!!!

    I can totally see you two sitting in the waiting room having that back-and-forth, etc…

    Take care!

  • bephare

    I don’t know how soon you need the mattresses, but my husbo and I just got a memory foam mattress on Overstock that we LOVE! Not the tempur-pedic brand, but there are plenty of brands to choose from and it’s amazing.

  • katliz

    I saw the cancer/box springs post on kottke and was so relieved when he posted the update regarding the researcher being whackedy-whack. Every day there is new “evidence” from various sources of new things that cause cancer, cure cancer, etc., etc. Drives me mad. I don’t deny that there are valid cancer causing agents afoot (hello, Erin Brockovich), but the need for the media to strike fear in an already paranoid public with catchy headlines is insane.

    Besides, my bed is a platform model from IKEA sans box springs, so whatevs.

  • Becky Cochrane

    If you find later that a cheap mattress doesn’t work out, you can put it in the shed. Mythical bobcats require less consideration than family.

  • d3 voiceworks

    for those of you unclear about the topic of this post:
    bed springs can get you pregnant.

  • DesignGirl

    Seriously? What’s not to get??

    Your post was a true reflection of the insanity that is your life right now. Give it to me, baby, and then give me more! I am soooo on the same plane with you these days. Reading your post made me realize that even more!

  • gitana

    you have just given the applicable 26% percent of the world a valid excuse for their illiteracy with that whole kottoke matress coil/cancer thing….how am I supposed to sleep tonight knowing that my bed may or possibly may not be slowly killing me? Oh…that’s right….I have all those sleeping pills because my seven year old and my three year old twins have successfully managed to drive me so crazy that with out medication I am liable to sit there all night rcking back and forth and mumbling half inteligible sentences to my snoring husband…” no don’t let her get hold of the diaper cream…..” rock rock rock “watch out the diapers gonna blow…”rock rock rock ” you can’t sit on a kitten, even if does look soft and squishy….” rock rock rock….

  • Agent Scully

    Heather it sounds like you need a margarita. Maybe even two!

  • edenland

    “BUT GET THIS” = your next masthead.

    Love to you mate. Also – down here in Australia, a bobcat is slang for a kind of big mechanical excavation digger. I just realised that it’s AN ACTUAL ANIMAL OVER THERE.

    Whoa. No wonder you freaked at that poor little kitty.

  • tallnoe

    Okay, so @designgirl’s first post and then @d3 voiceworks’ post had me bust out laughing. Good thing I’m not at work. Wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

    I like “But Get This” as your next masthead.
    And cheers to margaritas. If Utah was cool enough. 😀

  • plunkie

    1. Breathe
    2. DO NOT give that many vaccinations at once. Just… don’t.
    3. It’s the flame retardant on the mattresses that’s the issue.

  • Laura Jones

    Ditto what tallnoe said. This was one time I enjoyed the comments more than the original post. I hope life’s insanity relents soon.

  • jan001

    The idea that bedsprings cause cancer reminded me of the old “milk is the original gateway drug” thing. Everyone (pretty much) who ends up addicted to drugs drank milk when they were younger. Everyone who ends up with cancer slept on a bed with springs at some point. Not so much cause-and-effect as coincidence.

    I confess I didn’t know Kottke’s website. The only Kottke I know is Leo and he’s a freaking phenomenal guitar player, so not this same guy. I’ll check it out now, though.

  • theotherlion

    I loved this. I could picture you and Jon going back and forth and it made me happy because you were forgetting the heavy stuff for that short window and allowing yourselves a moment to heal.

  • Absent Minded Housewife

    You can get nice new mattresses at the DI which may not give you cancer but may give you a burning in your bosom.

  • actcreative

    I like that when I go to my Dr for my daughters vaccinations they give you an equal number of nurses to injections; 2 needles + 2 nurses = simultaneous jabbing = a lot less yelling and no anticipation of the second jab … though I think 6 nurses coming at you at one time would be pretty scary all on it’s own … and i don’t imagine that there’s enough thigh on a 1 year old for them all to go in at one time!

  • Gradygroove

    I have two young children (7 & 2) and after a couple of moves in and out of the country I had a really hard time keeping up with what vaccination was due when. (Who knew – other countries don’t follow our immunization schedule. Yeah, I know that makes sense when you say it out loud. But admit it, would *you* have thought about it ahead of time?)

    My bride got really frustrated one day about it, after being mildly scolded by our new pediatrician for not having had some booster or another (polio? HepB? I can’t recall). And said out loud: “there has GOT to be a better way”. This happily coincided with my first week of iPhone ownership. Hey! I’ll make an app for that.

    In the spirit of full disclosure: I work @Novartis. We make flu & meningitis vaccines. So I’m well aware of all the reasons to keep the herd immunity high. I’m also well aware of the myriad of folks who choose to follow an altered immunization schedule, or even opt out of some altogether (although please tell me you’re talking that over with your pediatrician first). The app lets you do that. Also: I made sure before I wrote the app that a) we’d include all of the immunization recommendations the CDC’s pediatric board recommends (not just the ones we made. That would be silly). and b) that it’d be free. Fortunately, I work with some really nice folks, and there was rapid agreement.

    Yeah, I’d love it if you went and played with the app. But you don’t have to. Either way, the science and generations of doctors and medical expertise that encourage immunization is solid, and I’m as passionate as Heather is about protecting our kids, by helping one another out in maintaining the herd immunity. So I’m pretty proud of us for getting this done and out there.

    Oh, and um. Good news on the whole no-coil-cancer thing. 🙂

  • Being Nice Is Free

    What???? There’s no Santa?????????????????

  • HungryGrad

    The violent propensities of mattresses are well known in the scientific community. They will occasionally spontaneously combust in an attempt to kill the people who lie on them, a culturally well-documented occurrence – hence the phrase “going to the mattresses” (see The Godfather). Smoking in bed in particular incites mattresses’ murderous raving lunacy.

  • Truthful Mommy

    Ok, I am going to take my girls fro vaccinations next Monday and I am using the they are assholes to me and owe me a few tears rational!I can’t barely stand when they get shots, It hurts my heart more than their body! UGH!I love that you and Jon go together. My husband and I always do shots together. I can’t handle them on my own, I cry more than the girls! Hope you are starting to breathe a little easier since last week.Happy Mothering!

  • misscapatosta

    You are officially crazy. I didn’t follow your post for more than two sentences, but that is why I officially love you! Hang in there girl.

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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