Tag Archive | comedy

Make this House a Home

Some of you ladies read my bouquet article and thought to yourselves, Self, this bouquet is literally genius, but my house needs a touch of drama!

Well girls, this one’s for you.

If you find that despite following the gospel of Our Lady Martha Stewart, despite spacing every towel in the linen closet at least two inches apart to allow airflow and despite arranging your living room into perfect clusters of Louis XVI chair-sofa-chair, despite coordinating every pillow, doily and flake of drywall to fit into a professional triadic scheme, your home still reeks of being occupied by organic human bodies, I have just the thing.

What you need is attitude. Passion. Flare. Flame. Inferno.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by choices when coordinating the ideal house fire. You’ll find more than everything you need in the housewares section at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They have kerosene, lighter fluid, gasoline (if you’re a bit old-fashioned). You’ll find flammable rags next to the dinner napkins and wine glasses with the wine glasses to make a chic, classy molotov. Of course, some people find charm in a more Little House on the Prairie look, in which case you can find gingham cloth and mason jars at Joann’s Fabrics. Or the southern states. Or really anywhere you hear someone being referred to as “uncle dad.”

You may find it tempting to section off an area of your home and put some sort of flame retardant substance around to make sure the fire burns only where you want it to, but the most charming thing about a house fire is the absolute lack of control. The unpredictability. Let that fire consume your home. Your doilies, your drapes. Let it jump from chair to sofa to chair and eat the hand-embroidered upholstery the way you wish you could eat bread.

Light those matches, throw those molotovs, sit back, and have yourself a ball while the house decorates itself. I personally guarantee you’ll be on the front page. Not of Architectural Digest, but surely something. 


A Good Catch

People often ask me, “Shelby, how can I catch the perfect man?” Well ladies, that is not an unreasonable question, but it is a loaded one. Here at Cosmocharlatan, I will often throw out different methods to attract – and thus ensnare – a man. Hopefully he will be a sufficient specimen, if not absolutely perfect. But in the following article, I’m going to try to give you a more generalized outline of how to get a “good catch” so we know in which direction we’re headed.

First of all, try to consider just what a perfect man entails. Maybe you plan on having him taxidermied, in which case you must consider whether you want a larger specimen to make a powerful statement in the den or a more modest one to pose merrily and hold your guests’ coats at the door. Perhaps you have a collection of stuffed men dispersed throughout your house, in which case are you looking for the crown jewel of your collection, or just the right piece to finish off a series?


If you are looking to keep him alive (perhaps as a pet), one must again consider the girth of the man. A large one can serve as a mattress for the higher-ranking pets of the house, such as cats, whereas a small one can more comfortably occupy a smaller space on the couch or foot of the bed to better leave your cats undisturbed. And although the larger ones can be groomed to ward off predators – such as other men – you must be aware of the cost of food and regular medical check-ups to keep him in working order.

Now then, how to catch the “perfect man.” Naturally, whether you want to domesticate him or display him in the bathroom, you don’t want too much damage to the hide. It will be expensive to fix and sometimes not fixable at all. This generally rules out useful tools like bear traps and land mines. Immobilizing, yes, but with lasting damage to the pelt. I would suggest using a trap-and-snare technique, which I will touch on a bit for our less experienced single ladies out there.

We’ll start by putting out a personal ad. I recommend using an online dating site that is free and comes in an app form. The more informal the ad, the more men you will attract. Don’t get too choosey with your wording or grammar – the male species is attracted to the scent of desperation that is given off by a hastily-written add slapped together on a phone.

Next, based on your responses, you’ll want to find out what this particular breed is most attracted to – power, money, etc. Lay the trap in the meeting place specified in your ad, and once you have a trap of the appropriate fortitude and the bait laid inside, get yourself out of sight and wait silently. As with any relationship, patience is key. In no time at all, you will likely have men of all shapes and sizes sniffing around the bait. Wait until your desired creature is well within the trap and activate. Once ensnared, have him heavily drugged to avoid those awful outbursts that come with male confusion. I recommend using a blow-dart full of sedatives to give you a decent range (see my Shelby’s Handbag Essentials article for more details).

Now that you have your satisfactory prey ensnared, get creative! See how many things you can teach it or what ways you can pose it for display. And above all, enjoy!