THE
Butterfly plate from 1937.

Specialty Knits

By Leah Wahl & Mark Abraham · Sep 20, 2013

Leah: So I was watching that Joel Osteen interview Oprah did.
He seems so happy.

Mark: …
Did he seem happy? Or did his teeth trick you?

Joel Osteen's teeth.

Those things were divinely created, no question.
Like: divincisors.

Leah: I mean, it’s a calculated happy. I know that.

Mark: Canines and Abel.

Leah: I’m not suddenly like, “hey: there’s some real contentment.”

Mark: “Oh, these? I got them down the street at Yahweh’s Discount Molar Shop.”

Leah: I’m trying to say something serious and deep, here, Mark.

Mark: …okay.
But he’s so…smug. Self-satisfied.
I mean, it’s the nicest smugness I’ve ever seen, but still.
His teeth look like enormous assholes, is my point.

Leah: Fine, sure. But his church looks so fun, though.
And everybody there seems so happy.
I can’t help it! Maybe that could be—

Mark: You couldn’t pretend to believe in god long enough to fit in to that congregation, I’m sorry.
You’re too cynical. And no matter how fun that church looks, what are you going to do? Throw your hands in the air as the music makes you feel god? You won’t even watch the movie Saved!

Leah: Maybe that’s because I can’t stand McCauley Culkin.
I won’t watch Jesus, either, but that’s not because I hate Jesus.
It’s because of—

Mark: Debra Messing, I know.
More importantly—and I’m sorry to have to tell you this—but envy is one of the seven deadly sins.
I’m not sure it’s cool to wish that your life was more like Joel Osteen’s life.

Leah: I wish you were Joel Osteen.
At least then we’d have a lot more money.

Mark: You know very well that god did not bless me with the hair and teeth necessary to serve Him as a famous televangelist.

Leah: I think he didn’t bless me with those things.

Mark: He also made me half-Lebanese, and the whiter side of my family is vocally atheist, so even a good wig and pumping our life savings into an orthodontic regimen probably wouldn’t help. Because Yahweh’s Discount Molar Shop? Doesn’t actually exist.
But, like, glad to know you’re converting for the right reasons!

Leah: Hey! You don’t know! Maybe my new found faith will save us from plagues and locusts!

Mark: Locusts?

Leah: They’re like Bible grasshoppers!

Mark: …I know what locusts are.
But aren’t they like the Bubonic Plague or Small Pox?
I.e. things non-agricultural people who live in the 21st century don’t really have to worry about?
Now grasshoppers, on the other hand.
Those things are ugly.

Leah: I used to catch them when I was a kid!

Mark: Of course you did.
Just another enclosure in your childhood domestic menagerie, I assume.

Leah: I was amazing with all animals!

Mark: What did you do with the grasshoppers?
Did you give them matching turtleneck outfits?
Trained them to be a doo-wop group?
To be high jump competitors?

Leah: …um, I caught them.
I’d wait until they jumped. Then I’d catch them in my hands.

Mark: …oh.

Leah: What were you expecting?

Mark: I dunno. With all your stories about raising animals I though maybe you had a whole farm of grasshoppers.
Like…award-winning grasshoppers.
Like you would take them to the county fair and win awards with them.

Leah: I don’t think county fairs have awards for grasshoppers.
What would that even be? “And the award for Very Best Pests goes to Leah’s grasshoppers. Thanks for eating all of our crops!”
Anyways, it was more of a catch and release program.

Mark: I guess I just assumed you would be a master of grasshopper husbandry.

Leah: I am no grasshopper’s husband, Mark!
…I did actually raise caterpillars, though.
“From Larva to Pupa!”
…at least that was the slogan I wrote on the ice cream containers they lived in.
Also: I giggled every time I wrote or said the word “pupa” as a kid.

Mark: Was your breeding program an epic success?

Leah: I just knew that I was going to get some sweet ass butterflies.

Mark: Did you dream that you could fly twice as high?

Leah: Unfortunately, I never actually got butterflies.
I only ever got those shitty brown moths.
The ones that eat sweaters.

Mark: You should have taken those moths to the wool pavilion at the county fair and been all, “where’s my blue ribbon for Best Sweater-Eatin’ Moths, bitches?”

Leah: That would have caused a ruckus.
There’d be crying old folks everywhere!
“Ah! My afghans! They’re eating my autumnal-themed afghans!”

Mark: “My sports-themed cosies! The vibrant community of Edmonton Eskimos fans who also drink tea are going to be so disappointed in the destruction your moths have wrought!”
Sidebar: why are they still called the “Eskimos”?

Leah: “My Christmas sweaters! I’ve been making those for 40 years and I had only just now perfected their inherent kitschiness.”

Mark: “My doilies!”

I dunno…doilies are just inherently funny, I think.
They’re like land lines and floppy disks.

Leah: “Aw. Now I’m going to have to knit a whole new series of precious doll bathroom tissue covers!”

Princess Toilet Cover.

Maybe the moths just have good taste?

Mark: Did you die inside, just a little bit, every time that a cocoon hatched and it wasn’t a butterfly?

Leah: That’s the story of my life.
The story of my life is called The Non-Butterfly Effect: The Mothman Prophecies.
It stars lots of moths.

Mark: What are the prophecies?

Leah: “Your screen doors will have holes.”

Mark: “Your clothing will unravel.”

Leah: “Your pantry items will suddenly be egg-filled, with little warning.”

Mark: “Your lights will attract unwanted flutterings.”

Leah: “Your days will be consumed with using the wand attachment to clean errant bits of chrysalis from the creases of your ceiling.”

Mark: “Your nights will be consumed with fear of open mouths while sleeping.”

Leah: “You will win made-up awards at made-up county fairs.”

Mark: “Your biography will star Debra Messing, much to your disappointment.”
‘Cause she was apparently in The Mothman Prophecies, see.

Leah: Noooooooo!
How does a movie ever get made these days starring Debra Messing?
Remember that movie where she hires Dermot Mulroney to be a gigolo?

Debra Messing's makeup.

The title of that movie should be The Maybelline Prophecies: Giiirl! Your Makeup Artist Hates You!

Mark: That makeup artist probably won an award at the country fair for Doing The Best With What You Have.

Leah: I think she won the award for Pumpkin Painting.
That’s one of the county fair’s highest honors.
Her acceptance speech: “Painting pumpkins is really no different from painting Debra Messing.
They’re both a little hollow, and they’re both orange vegetables.”

Mark: Speaking of specialty knits, I wonder if you can get a knitted cover for your gourds at the county fair?

Leah: “Also, both pumpkins and Debra Messing think they’re real funny.”

Mark: Like, a series of really nice snowflake sweaters in orange for your muscat centerpieces? Or some striped satchels for your yellow zucchinis and regular zucchinis?

Leah: “Also, pumpkins and Debra Messing are used to scare small children at Halloween.”

Mark: Hey! I’m trying to change the subject to gourds, Leah. It’s the autumn after all!

Leah: Have you ever seen gourd art?

Gourd family.

It’s super-weird. Scary.

Mark: I think that’s what Joel Osteen’s congregation reverts to after his service ends.
He just flips a switch.

Gourd sculpture.

Leah: This one looks like Debra Messing.
…I hope she doesn’t read this.
Normally I wouldn’t worry, but I hear she had a lot of time on her hands.

Discussion
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