Apr 12 2009

Molly Ivins, Memory Lane, Maypearl; what more could you want?

<small>The butt in question. Maypearl enjoys aiming it at both cameras and equine massage therapists.</small>

The butt in question. Maypearl enjoys aiming it at both cameras and equine massage therapists.

Behold the antidote to my two consecutive posts ripping on asshole women: Molly Ivins, vintage 1991, ripping on Camille Paglia. As bloggers who are too lazy to write an actual analysis always say, go read the whole thing.

Far less forgivable is Paglia’s consistent confusion of feminism with yuppies. What does she think she’s doing? Paglia holds feminists responsible for the bizarre blight created by John T. Molloy, author of Dress for Success, which caused a blessedly brief crop of young women, all apparently aspiring to be executive vice-presidents, to appear in the corporate halls wearing those awful sand-colored baggy suits with little floppy bow ties around their necks.

Ha! I’d forgotten about those baggy suits and floppy bow ties. In 1976 you couldn’t swing a dead cat down at corporate without smacking some Little Lord Fauntleroy-lookin’ secretary in the kisser.

And John T. Molloy! Remember his 2003 classic Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others: The Fascinating Research That Can Land You the Husband of Your Dreams? No? That’s probably because you’ve already found your Mr Right, but remember: there are plenty of desperate bachelorettes on the verge of aging out of eligibility who need to know how to “increase [their] chances of marrying by up to 60 percent.” Molloy suggests a “straightforward plan for any marriage-minded woman willing to change her habits.” Stop watching melodramas on Lifetime and get your ass to a sports bar before you’re too old and fat to ever snag a guy who hangs out in sports bars!

You can tell, from his sound matrimonial tips, that John T Molloy is really interested in helping women stop being losers. That’s why he wrote a new, improved version of his 70’s how-to-express-your-loyalty-to-patriarchy-through-gabardine manual. It contains 26 pages on the subject of “the jacket” alone. Apparently if you don’t wear this power garment whenever you appear in public, everyone you encounter will automatically assume you’re a hooker. News you can use!

Meanwhile, there can be no doubt that my horse Maypearl’s impending professional massage — you’ll recall she was suffering from butt pain — has consumed your thoughts for many hours. Your anxious wait is over. The results are in. It turns out that young Mape’s butt isn’t the real problem after all.

As the equine massage therapist explained, digging her thumbs into Mape’s scapula, she has knots in her shoulders, which in turn makes knots in her back, which in turn makes knots in her rump. The head-bone’s connected to the butt-bone, as the poet said. To get it all sorted out, Mape will apparently require weekly professional thumbings for the foreseeable future.

I promised pictures, but preventing the Mape from kicking the shit out of the massage therapist kept me pretty occupied. All the photos came out as blurry streaks of white fur in a swirling vortex of obstreperation.

[Thanks to Belle O’Cosity for the Ivins link]


1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. Comrade PhysioProf

    To get it all sorted out, Mape will apparently require weekly professional thumbings for the foreseeable future.

    Sez the massage therapist who will be charging you for said professional thumbings.

    Maypearl’s tail is very cool!

  2. Twisty

    CPP: Sez the massage therapist who will be charging you for said professional thumbings.

    This detail has not eluded me, I assure you. If the horse is still jammed up after a couple more sessions, I’ll just have her trucked down to Mexico to be repurposed as an entree.

  3. Comrade PhysioProf

    If the horse is still jammed up after a couple more sessions, I’ll just have her trucked down to Mexico to be repurposed as an entree.

    I hear massage therapists taste gamey.

  4. Shopstewardess

    I don’t suppose the massage therapist suggested the cheaper option: give the horse a rest from being ridden for a while, and then try a different saddle on her?

    Although given the cost of a decent saddle, perhaps she did.

  5. Crowfoot

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for linking to that Molly Ivins piece! I am clearly missing out by not having read her stuff before. I cannot stand Camille “it’s the threat of being raped that makes dating so exciting” Paglia and it was a treat to have her assholery and crappy theorizing broken down.

    With regards to Maypearl and her shoulders/back/butt muscle issues, I can sympathize. My arab also had similar issues, due mostly to abuse at the hands of the equestrian branch of Dude Nation who clearly believed that their very manhood depended on the abject submission of a frightened animal in pain. Administer more pain! Grab and twist those ears! Sack him out! Twitch him! Poor creature ended up with an equine version of PTSD and a terror of men in cowboy hats (literally – walk by his stall without the hat he’s mostly ok, wear the hat and he starts snorting and backing up).

    I had him looked at by an equine massage therapist/chiropractor who “popped” his hips back in place and suggested a daily regime of subtle massages, from poll to dock, to help him learn to relax. Therapist came back after a few months and noted a huge difference. I continued on with the massaging and I do think that it was a helpful part of his healing. He learned that the human touch need not be painful :-(

    And the massages I gave were not very complex. Mostly light touches moving to encouraging the horse to stretch and breathe. Obviously I didn’t have the skill for anything really fancy, but even the little I did helped him a lot. I hope that Maypearl can have similar results without depleting your pocket book!

  6. birkwearingblamer

    Gawd, I miss Molly! She was a Texas treasure, and she’s greatly missed by her fans.

    I had no idea that horses could be so knotty. Take good care of Maypearl. She’s a beautiful horse.

  7. Twisty

    Crowfoot, I feel ya. I rescued Mape from an Arabian puppy mill. She’s a tiny, fine-boned little thing, almost a pony, really, but she was being ridden by a western trainer dude twice her size. Before they shipped her to me they tried to reset her shoes, but she flipped out on the farrier, so the barn manager put her in a shoulder twitch, so she flipped out more. Needless to say, she arrived with foot-long feet. And girth sores. And completely dehydrated from being so freaked. That barn stands a really famous stallion and wins national championships, too. Horse people. I ask you. And Maypearl’s was one of the better barns. You non-horse folks would be shocked at what goes on in some of these training barns.

    The good news is, Mape is coming along fine.

  8. thebewilderness

    Oh Twisty, once again my brain is reduced to chortling ‘orsie, over and over again, in happy infant.
    Thanks. I needed that.

  9. meerkat

    Ugh, sports bars! I’ll stick with my nonexistent guy; at least he doesn’t go to sports bars.

  10. SKM

    Thanks for the dose of Ivins–and an anti-Paglia dose, to boot! Whew–I needed that.

    I’m glad that Maypearl is coming along.

    Most of my immediate family lives in Maypearl, TX. Of all places.

  11. Twisty

    “Most of my immediate family lives in Maypearl, TX. Of all places.”

    My horse is named after that town! I’ve never been there, but I always see the sign on the way from Austin to Dallas on I-35. I swore one day I’d name a critter Maypearl. And so I finally did. I hear the town is a pit, but my informant is my farrier, whose expertise does not necessarily extend beyond hooves to small-town Texas. What’s it like, really?

  12. Lovepug

    That woman who does the mule show on the RFD channel sure seems to swear by equine massage. Then again, she also vacuums her mules.

    My favorite Molly Ivins quote, “The first rule of holes, when you’re in one stop digging.”

    Miss her. She was genius, Dorthoy Parker genius.

  13. krokodil

    Hey vacumming is legit…it’s a lot more faster an efficient than a curry comb!
    I agree that they do some egregious things to horses. My friends are always shocked when I come out against thoroughbred racing…”But they treat the horses like royalty!” they gasp. Yeah, sure, if you are in the habit of traumatizing and breaking “royalty” at a young age, and discarding “royalty” like garbage if they don’t win. And there’s always the option of killing “royalty” for insurance purposes! Yeah, luxe life.
    Btw, Maypearl is a beautiful name. Sort of ethereal–perfect for an Arabian!

  14. Twisty

    “I don’t suppose the massage therapist suggested the cheaper option: give the horse a rest from being ridden for a while, and then try a different saddle on her?”

    Actually, that was the first thing she said. It turns out that Cristina (the trainer, not the therapist) hadn’t been using Maypearl’s custom, crazy-weird saddle I had made just for her on accounta her insanely wide and witherless Arabian back. Cristina is a lovely balanced rider, and has a real knack, but she’s young, and I don’t think she fully appreciated the saddle-fit issues. But in light of the therapist’s recommendations, the horse is getting 2 weeks off, with the weekly myofascial release therapy, carrots, and soccer practice, and we’re all expecting a full recovery. Mape is a genius, as I have mentioned. Before her unfortunate butt-pull, she was executing flying changes in the air over foot-high poles.

  15. SKM

    I hear the town is a pit, but my informant is my farrier, whose expertise does not necessarily extend beyond hooves to small-town Texas. What’s it like, really?

    Well, the town is in fact a pit. One main drag a few blocks long with a couple of small groceries and hamburger stands. Maypearl’s biggest claim to fame is that the local bank (now defunct) was once robbed by Bonnie and Clyde. However, the nearby bustling metropolis of Waxahachie (12 miles away) has been growing.

    My father is a particle physicist, and my folks bought 60 acres in Maypearl way back when the Superconducting Supercollider was going to be built outside Waxahachie. A lot of scientists moved to the area, and then Bush I killed the project. But my folks held on to the place.

    It’s a nice place to visit, but it ain’t the Hill Country.

  16. SKM

    Wait, I stand corrected: Maypearl has a new claim to fame. Twisty’s named a horse after it! “The Pearl” has hit the Blamer Big Time!

  17. larkspur

    Maybe I should move to Maypearl, Texas. Maybe this is like a sign or portent or what have you.

    I am so glad you rescued Maypearl, T.

  18. Ron Sullivan


    Duck, newly invented bi-lemon relish*, Rabbit Ridge insanely cheap Zin, music in the bedroom from the ugliest CD payer in the world (but free), the mulberries stopped blooming, duck, nice balance of roasted roots and spring asparagus, the fucking mulberries have stopped blooming, sleeping in, sun, more duck, more Zin, oxygen, the California towhees tinking Goodnights at each other outside the window, and now this. My day is complete.

    *Due to a wonderful set of coincidences, we have had a ton of Meyer lemons in the house. We’re using them as fast as possible. Joe salted a bunch (North African Preserved Lemon-style) last fall and I sliced up a more recent bunch and made simple syrup for sodas, which is now steeping. I had a flash just before the duck was done, and took half a salted lemon and the moral equivalent of half a sugared lemon (out of the syrup pot) and just threw them together and minced them in the junior food-processor. I like it. Next time I might add more ingredients; suggestions welcome.

    Speaking of food, I finally found out what to do with Thai giant water bugs. You boil ’em like crawfish.

    Go, Maypearl!

  19. Crowfoot

    A shoulder twitch? God I didn’t even know about that one :-( no wonder the poor thing had knots in her shoulders! And yes to the “Arabian puppy mills,” that is exactly what they are. Add all these people shaking plastic bags at the horses to get them to run around with their tail in the air and eyes wild and snorting. Just as bad as the asshole cowboys. I’ve met far too many Arabians made neurotic by constantly being spooked by these people. Bah! People obsessed with unrealistic children’s stories about horses that the writer actually knew little about (I’m looking at you, Mr. Farley, and your psychotic fictional horse).

    Ok, I grew up on the Black Stallion books and loved them to death, but really, that was not an accurate portrayal of typical stallion behaviour!

  20. Hattie

    Oceans of swill! And Paglia’s still at it!

  21. meerkat

    I also loved the Black Stallion books as a kid. Except the parts about people who were not horses, because they didn’t include horses.

  22. Val

    Well looks like everyone’s already beat me to it:
    A.) Shoulder pain = back pain = saddle fit issues
    B.) yes, Maypearl is in fact a pit!
    But my boy – the illustrious Baraq (nope can’t take credit for namin’ him – besides he’s an ’02 model!) – was also having getalong issues… So I had to return to lots of LSD (long slow distance) work, & all the hills I could find in our area to build up his HQ’s.
    I hear the aquatic treadmill is the best thing on earth to build condition w/out trauma, but the closest ones I know of are either up in Aubrey or down in Tomball…

  23. Twisty

    Ron Sullivan: Speaking of food, I finally found out what to do with Thai giant water bugs. You boil ‘em like crawfish.

    Ron is hunkering down for the Duration.

  24. Twisty

    Speaking of The Black Stallion: when I was a kid I was in the same show circuit as Cass Ole, the Arab stallion who played the horse in the Coppola movie. My horse was always a little wigged at shows, and one time, when crowded at the in-gate waiting for a class, he kicked Cass Ole and broke the ankle of his teenage rider. Old Cass Ole just stood there like a rock. He was a dreamy horse. Just dreamy.

    A shoulder twitch is when you grab the skin along the top of the shoulder blade, usually with both hands, and roll it up in your fists. It’s an old cowboy form of restraint. Just torture, though, really.

  25. rootlesscosmo

    @Ron Sullivan:

    Cut Meyer lemons (or other citrus) in half; squeeze and save the juice, scrape out as much pulp and pith as you can, and put the halves of peel in a non-reactive pan with water to cover. Bring to just below boiling, simmer ten minutes. Drain and repeat, twice, for a total of 30 minutes poaching time. Let the halves cool, then scrape out any remaining pith and cut the halves into thin strips. (They’ll be limp and easy to cut by then.) Put them in simple syrup–plenty of it–and cook over low heat (lard help your stove if this boils over) until the syrup reaches 230° F. on a reasonably accurate thermometer. Lift the peel out with a slotted spoon and let the strips cool overnight on a rack, or racks, making sure not to let the pieces touch, because they’re indescribably sticky. Next morning they will be less sticky; toss them in a bowl with granulated sugar and there you are, home made candied peel. Keeps for months in a tightly sealed container in the fridge; dipping one end in melted chocolate and then refrigerating again so the chocolate hardens is one good thing to do. Enjoy. (Courtesy Alice Waters, Fruit.)

  26. birkwearingblamer

    Tomball is a lovely metropolis. Nigel’s grandma lived there. The Tomball ladies were a great crowd but most of them have passed on.

    I must visit Maypearl sometime. Gotta check out that infamous bank.

  27. humanbein

    Ivins! So succinct!

    Because Paglia reasserts ideas so ingrained in our thinking, she has become popular by reaffirming common prejudices.

    Which reminds me that no one has ever gone broke reaffirming popular prejudices.

    Paglia’s obsession with de Sade is beyond my competence, although the glorification of sadomasochism can easily be read as a rationalization of bondage into imagined power, a characteristic process of masochistic transfer.

    Boilerplate response in case this crowd ever comes round, whining about a lack of due respect from feminist quarters. Reams of words can be wasted to say these two simple things, and just look at those sentences shining there, perfectly complete and ready to quote.

  28. larkspur

    Sometimes I house-sit at a place with two lovely small Meyer lemon trees. Alas, I am not allowed to pick the lemons. “No offense”, they say, but I might do it wrong and somehow prevent the trees from ever bearing fruit again. I didn’t tell them I could do that using only my brain, but their house, their rules. So sometimes I watch Meyer lemons grow old and gnarly and then drop, gone to rot.

    But that is a blip. I wish everyone could experience that as hardship and then be able to scamper over and comment about it on a blamin’ site that has horsies and varmints, and sometimes dinner (the first two topics being utterly and completely unrelated to the third). Wouldn’t be a bad life at all, come to think of it.

  29. Ron Sullivan

    Ron is hunkering down for the Duration.

    Damn skippy.

    Also I’ve been ingesting serious steroids for about two weeks now. (cf. damn mulberries. Male-only flowers, wind-pollinated.) I have a raging case of the munchies all day and half the night.

    Poor Nigel gets jumpy when I idly note that He’s Made of Meat.*

    He’s getting that recipe. Should I ask him to post his Shaker Lemon Pie? And larkspur, your clients clearly don’t know doodly about lemon trees. Or your brain.

    *Anyone who hasn’t read everything Terry Bisson ever wrote might want to do so now. Life is short.

  30. rubysecret

    I want a horsey and I want to name her Waxahachie. I would massage her every day.

  31. Jezebella

    I may have to stop using “horse’s ass” as an insult, based on that fetching photo of Maypearl.

  32. RebelRebel

    I know I’m not the first or last to say it, but I miss Molly Ivins. I miss her terribly.

  33. larkspur

    Oh, lord, RebelRebel, I miss her too. And I don’t think I’ve been even close to raising enough hell, and raising hell is what she wanted us to do.

    But meanwhile, back in Maypearl, Texas, I see from Craigslist that there is a “new brick home in child friendly town (Maypearl” for rent, $1,250 per month, 3 bed 2 bath, 2 car garage, 1400sq’. Hmmm. Rent will be going up on my shabby lil apartment soon, probably to higher than $1,250.

    But perusing the map more closely, I doubt that I could live in Maypearl unless I could locate a home on – oh I love it – Pig Pen Road. See, First Street turns into Pig Pen Road, and Pig Pen Road barrels cheerfully cross-country till it runs into Barton and dies.

  34. Occasional Expositor


    Have you seen the short film “Made out of Meat”?

  35. SKM

    I should note that my folks’ Maypearl place is actually 1 mile outside of town. Yeah, there are no 60-acre spreads in Maypearl proper.

    And I miss Molly Ivins too. Reading the Paglia piece is getting me in the mood for some serious hell-raising though, so that’s good.

  36. Clare

    ‘I may have to stop using “horse’s ass” as an insult, based on that fetching photo of Maypearl.’


  37. slythwolf

    Oh my absolute conviction in my disbelief in god! Do my eyes deceive me, or is Maypearl a flea-bitten gray? I have no choice but to declare myself in love.

  38. Barn Owl

    @ Lovepug: There’s an entire show about mules?!?! Why don’t I get the RFD channel? Oh, yeah, because I have to live close to the workplace, in Suburb America. The old ranch family in the midst of the suburb can have mules (and sheep and cattle and chickens), but they are a law unto themselves.

    Horses and riding lessons were financially out of range for me for many years. When I finally managed to obtain my first horse, a friend told me that I should learn to write checks for $200 without flinching. Feed store, veterinarian, farrier, paddock fees, tack, etc. etc. But I won’t give up the equestrian activities until I have to.

  39. Twisty

    The RDF channel is nothing to write home about. Although I may blog about it some day. It’s kind of hilarious, in a horrible-yet-I-can’t-look-away way.

  40. Ron Sullivan

    Occasional expositor,

    Yes, and I got a kick out of it. But I’d read the Bisson short-story a few years earlier. (Nigel did both, too, so he gets the reference when I mutter ominously. He’s cooking madly in self-defense, and fomented a lunch stop at the In-n-Out yesterday.)

    I’m waiting for bears to discover fire, myself.

  41. PhoenixRising

    Twisty, you showed against Cass Ole? As Molly liked to quote Bush the Elder, ‘No doo-doo?’

    I am going to tell the offspring of this, as she asks after his fate every time we watch that movie. The horse who portrayed Soñador in the movie ‘Dreamer’, Sacrifice, had already had a racing career when she achieved acting superstardom opposite Dakota Fanning. IIRC there were some humans in the film as well, but the kid playing a kid and the horse playing a horse teamed up and stole the show.

    On Maypearl’s suffering: Is the equine PT trained in the chiropractic arts? One of the friends we’ve made at the kid’s training barn adjusts all the Arabians and t-breds at least monthly. For some reason the fat Welsh ponies don’t seem to need as much chiro care.

    Of course, the Hill Country may boast such a wide variety of equine chiropractic professionals that one of them approached you when you were getting your trailer lubed.

    Either way, that is one pretty horse’s behind.

  42. Ron Sullivan

    That Molly Ivins piece is the only excuse so far for Paglia’s existence. I read it back in the day and I’m not looking again just now because my diastole’s already high enough today. And I still have the damn munchies.

    For the record, the best seduction scene I have ever seen in a movie is the one between the horse and the kid in The Black Stallion.

    I put Joe’s favorite Shaker lemon pie recipe over on Toad in case anyone wants it.

    Now I think I’ll go rub myself all over with basil. Blame the drugs.

  43. Ron Sullivan

    Oh the shame. I could’ve sworn I’d closed that tag. Apologies to all, and please don’t let the horses get out.

    Meanwhile: Maypearl has such teeny tiny feet! My goodness.

  44. Intransigentia

    I had no idea there was such a thing as a shoulder twitch. The only thing I’d heard of even vaguely similar is a technique where you sort of roll the horse’s skin between your hands so the roll goes up and down or back and forth on their body, and the horse leans into you and makes happy grunting noises. You know who I blame for turning that into a form of torture.

  1. Horse Handler Rant Part I: Of Twitches and Lip Gloss « Gender Goggles

    […] little while ago our fellow lesbian feminist spinster aunt posted a picture of her lovely Arab mare, Maypearl, sending many of us into wistful dreams of […]

Comments have been disabled.