October 25, 2012


          I don’t know about you, but it takes me a long time to wake up in the morning.
I totter to the bathroom and run the bathwater.  Then I swear, because the last person using the shower didn’t switch it back to the faucet, and now my head is soaking wet, along with the shoulders of my bathrobe!
I dry my hair while waiting for the water to heat up.  I shed my robe and step into the deliciously hot water running from the tap.  It continues to pour forth hot for about ten more seconds, and then turns colder than Bob Dole’s smile.  I swear again.
Once that ordeal is over, I step out, dry off, and brush my teeth . . . with hair conditioner.  My teeth don’t get clean, but, by God, they sure are manageable!
Next, deodorant.
The container is empty, so I put two bay leaves under each armpit, so that if I do sweat, at least I’ll smell like soup. Hair dry, I massage in styling mousse . . . which turns out to be shaving cream.  I swear a third time and rinse out my hair.  It now smells, according to the can, like a fresh spring morning in Ireland.  Well, at least it isn’t green.
Hairspray next.  Wrong again.  It’s RAID.  So now I have hair that smells like an Irish roach motel, teeth that are touchably soft, and a really bad attitude.
          I get dressed and stomp downstairs, snatch open the freezer and grab some frozen waffles . . . only they aren’t frozen waffles.  They are honeycombed Handi-Wipes that some fool had put in the freezer, and I don’t discover my error until I’ve heated them up, loaded them with syrup, and taken the first bite!

          Well, at least I can have a cup of coffee.  Nope.  It is freshly perked potting soil that I had put in a coffee tin and forgotten all about.
Not feeling safe in my own home any longer, I jump into my car and speed to work.
          Another mistake.

           It’s Sunday.






October 19, 2012


We’ve come a long way in the last 150 years, haven’t we?  Now we can spend more time doing what we want to do as a result of all the labor-saving devices we’ve invented.
Take the vacuum cleaner.  Of course, we didn’t need vacuum cleaners before the advent of throw rugs and carpeting, but we now have vacuum cleaners to keep these justifications for vacuum cleaners clean… unless, of course, the belt breaks or the canister explodes.  Then we have dust, cat hair (even people with no pets at all end up with cat hair in their rugs.  I’ve never been able to figure this out), and unidentifiable brown crumbly things littering the carpet our forefathers had no use for and no labor-saving devices to clean up the amazing mess that the labor-saving device made.
Then we have dishwashers, to save women everywhere from “dishpan hands.”  That is, until it gets clogged and spews hundreds of gallons of scalding water all over the house, creating an effect similar to the Mississippi delta in the area your labor-saving vacuum cleaner threw up ten minutes ago.  And though you don’t have dishpan hands, you do have washerwoman’s knees!
But wait!  We have WETVACS to clean up the water with which your labor-saving dishwasher so thoughtfully created that sunken living room you’ve always wanted . . . until it shorts out and sends 200 amps through the saturated carpet, electrocuting your Chihuahua.
Moving right along, we have the washing machine.  You just drop in the dirty clothes and some laundry soap and, twenty minutes later, you have clean clothes.  Of course, during those twenty minutes, the plastic blade guard shakes loose and what you are left with is a load of clean, but unrecognizable, rags.  You can dry them automatically, too; then you’ll have DRY unrecognizable rags.
Ah, but we have a labor-saving sewing machine to stitch back together the rags created by your labor-saving washing machine.  The sewing goes well until a strange sound from your labor-saving trash compactor momentarily distracts you and you run the needle through several fingers, calling for a trip in your labor-saving car to your labor-saving hospital, where you will get a tetanus shot.  Unfortunately, your labor-saving car is struck by another labor-saving car on the way, so you arrive at your destination by way of a labor-saving ambulance.
So, people, before you pick up that blow dryer, do yourselves a favor--make sure your insurance is paid up.

October 12, 2012

Here’s One More Place I Can Never Go Back To!

       I’ve decided that there is no good time to get groceries.
      No matter when you go; weekends, weekdays, early in the morning, mid-afternoon, or evening, it really doesn’t seem to make much difference.  And I’ve tried them all, so I know whereof I speak.
     My latest foray was early in the evening on Sunday.  My husband, Stij, is an avid (read that “foaming at the mouth”) New York Giants fan, and there was an “important” game on that evening, so he wanted to “just do a quick shop.”
       It is to laugh.
      Walking into our local megamarket, we observed the cheery banner of greeting above the door, which read, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”  We pried a shopping cart out of the row that had been spot welded together, and set off.
     Now understand, Stij is the easiest-going person you’ll ever meet, this side of Mahatma Gandhi, but he won’t trust me to drive his truck since I told him I used to participate in Demolition Derbies.  The fact that it took a great deal of skill on my part to come out of one of those things with only a couple of dented fenders left him unimpressed.  All he had to hear was “Demolition Derby,” and the driver’s seat suddenly became an unattainable goal.
     All this by way of saying that we do the grocery shopping together, since I am sans automobile, at the moment.
     But, as I said, he’s an easy guy to be around, so I don’t mind . . .
     . . . except during football season.
     We’d barely stepped over the threshold of the store, and the first thing he did was check his watch.  He did this twelve more times before we even got to the produce aisle, where I like to start my shopping.
     “What do you want to eat this week?” I asked.
     “Food,” came his helpful reply.
     “For veggies, how about some green beans, carrots, and cauliflower?”
     “Fine, fine, fine.  Just get it and let’s get going,” he muttered, checking his watch again.
     By the time we got half way through the store, the whole endeavor became less like shopping and more like fleeing from aisle to aisle.  I was grabbing and tossing blindly, while he shouted at one innocent bystander after another to “move your bovine carcass out of the way!” 
     OK, so we made it to the bread aisle, which is the last one.  Watch-checking had escalated to every other second.  I was wheezing, soaked in sweat, and dangerously dehydrated.  I grabbed what I I hoped wasn’t some frou-frou artisan bread made with twigs, seeds, and gravel and we rounded the bend on two wheels at 90 mph, only to be stopped dead at . . . ta da . . . the checkout lines. 
     The lines were seventeen deep.  At the end, people were getting married, babies were being born, and old people, who were young when they got into line, were dying.  There was even a house being built at the end of the queue at register three.
     “#$#@#%@#$#@#$!” Stij commented.  “Come on.  We’re not waiting in these lines!”
     “Are you proposing we embark on a life of crime?”
     “No!  Just leave it!”
     “Patience is a virtue.”
     “Yeah, and silence is golden.”  This was accompanied by a look that can open coconuts at twenty paces and close mouths instantly.  “Come on.”
     Sighing, I abandoned our loaded card and followed him out to the truck.
     Did I say, “followed?”  It was more like “sprinted.”  By the time I caught up, he was already driving out of the parking lot and was irked to have to slow down to forty or so, so I could jump in.
     Fortunately, we don’t live too far away from the grocery store; and a good thing, too.  The G-force on that short ride rivaled anything NASA could come up with, and pinned my cheeks back to my ears!
     Into the house we dashed – he for the television, I for the phone, where the plastic surgeon is on speed dial.
     After a brief confab with Dr. Karloff, I hung up with an appointment and yet another admonition to stay out of the truck on football nights.
     I expected to hear the TV blaring when I walked out of the bedroom, but there wasn’t a sound.  Fearing for the bric-a-brac, lest his sports lifeline had inexplicably given up the ghost, I ventured cautiously into the living room.
     He was sitting there.
     In the dark.
     This was not good.
     It was 8:02.  “Wasn’t the game supposed to start at 8:00?” I asked.
     “Yes.  8:00.  Tomorrow night.”
     I shook my head.  Nothing is worse for a New York football fan than Giantus interruptus.
     “Do you mean to tell me that I look like I just spent two hours in the front row of an Aerosmith concert for nothing?”
     “Yeah, but look at the bright side.  We can go back to the grocery store now, and . . .”
     “Excuse me?”
     “Never mind.  Forget I said anything.”
     He spent the entire evening sulking and staring into space, but it gave me a great idea for Valentine’s Day.
     I’m going to skip the lingerie.
     This year, I’m really going hard-core.
     I’m going to buy myself an official New York Giants football jersey!