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Awww, how could this little punkin cause pain of any kind?
Awww, how could this little punkin cause pain of any kind?

Moms are mad about Motrin ad

Recently, an ad campaign for Motrin suggested that moms who wear their babies on their bodies in slings or other carriers need pain relief medicine. This made a lot of moms irate, and the Internet buzz was so intense and angry, the ad campaign was yanked after a day or two.

I have thought about this for a couple of days, and I wonder why this caused so much commotion. To me, the ad isn't particularly offensive.

I certainly don't love the ad -- it sounds forced instead of conversational -- but what bothers me about the ad isn't that it downplays the importance of babywearing.

Before I go further, know that I "wore" my sons on my body -- sometimes one on my front and one in a backpack -- and indeed, I was often sore at the end of the day. However, it never occurred to me to take Motrin or any other pain reliever. I thought mild shoulder and back discomfort was just part of the job, like sleep deprivation or the inability to eat an entire meal without interruption.

That said, I didn't care for the ad, simply because, to me, it's lame to suggest ingestion of a pain reliever every time you "wear" your kid. After all, for many moms, that would mean taking a pill or two everyday. Didn't we learn from the Rolling Stones song, "Mother's Little Helper?"

Cyber-Molly lives for furniture sales.
Cyber-Molly lives for furniture sales.

My other job

About a year ago, I started receiving e-mails from a furniture company on the East Coast. I quickly realized that somehow my Hotmail address ended up on their employee e-mail list and it was believed that I was a sales person at this company.

For some reason, I started reading the e-mails, and now I’m hooked on them. My sales manager, Mark, updates me every week on the company’s numbers, the hirings and firings and basic info like employee parking, building maintenance and extended hours.

I really cannot believe that whoever is supposed to receive these e-mails, another woman with a similar Hotmail account address I assume, hasn’t realized she isn’t receiving communications from her manager. I also can’t believe they haven’t noticed that my address is on the employee e-mail list. Finally, why do these people have Hotmail e-mail anyway and not company e-mail?

It’s all very perplexing, but I have really enjoyed this faux career in furniture sales. I even, boldly, sent out an e-mail to the staff once, welcoming our newest sales associate, Gary, from the Meadowland store.

And still, no one noticed that I don’t work at this place.

Today, Mark sent the sales staff an e-mail saying the numbers were down and he was forced to let go of one-third of the sales people. I am sitting here, at my real job, hoping I don’t lose my not-job before I have a chance to buy holiday gifts for my fabricated filthy rich husband and absolutely-perfect-in-every-way twin daughters.

Does it make you want to howl? Even just a little bit?
Does it make you want to howl? Even just a little bit?

Does the full moon really affect people?

There's a full moon tonight, and just now, while I was at the grocery store, I heard the usual small-talk conversation between strangers in line about how the full moon explains the nuttiness of the day. But do these people really mean it, or was that conversation no more than the "hot enough for ya?" banter I'll hear in the very same line next summer?

I heard that emergency rooms and police stations fill up during full moons, but no one has ever confirmed that as fact.

For me, however, if I pay attention, I believe the full moon does affect my behavior. I do feel a little more anxiety when the night orb is fat, and I almost always feel like having a strong drink or two this time of the month.

The only way I can make sense of it is if I accept that the moon affects the tides, and humans are mostly made up of water, then wouldn't the moon affect us, too?

Yep, smells like death.
Yep, smells like death.

Mortician confirms corpse flower smells like death

When people flocked to the Milwaukee Public Museum this week to get a whiff of the "corpse flower," they unanimously agreed that the flower emitted a putrid smell. However, few museum visitors could be certain the odor was actually like the smell of rotting flesh.

But Elaine Litzau knows for sure.

Litzau, a local funeral director, smells corpses on a regular basis. During a phone conversation, Litzau said it was "weird" how much the plant's odor actually smelled like that of a human corpse.

"I have experienced the smell of a deceased human body past its prime, and the ‘corpse flower’ does live up to its name," says Litzau.

When the museum’s corpse flower keeled over this weekend, most of the staff thought it was a goner. However, the flower recovered early this week and emitted the gag-inducing odor that, interestingly, many Milwaukeeans were waiting for.

Corpse flowers bloom as infrequently as once every 15 years, and then only for a matter of days, even hours. The plant's giant tuber usually produces a leaf up to 20 feet tall and sends up a large flower that can reach heights of eight feet or more.

The museum got this corpse flower in August 2002,  from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.