May 27, 2014


        Well, it finally happened.
The refrigerator died.
When we bought it in 2005, the guys at COOL IT (I know, great name for a fridge/freezer store, right?) said it was a “renter’s refrigerator.”
We were renters.  We needed a refrigerator.  Seemed like fate was smiling upon us, so we bought it. 
It was more like bad karma laughing its ass off.
We went to bed that night secure in the knowledge that we would no longer be living on take-out food, since COOL IT would deliver our fridge the next day.
The following morning dawned with sunshine and birdcroak (they don’t sing in Arizona—way too hot).  Stij and I lingered over our coffees and planned what to shop for after the fridge was installed and running.
“Gee, it’s already ten o’clock,” Stij said, glancing at his watch. “Didn’t they say they’d be here by eight?”
“Oh, it is that late already?  Yeah, they did.  Want me to call them?”
“Yep.  I’ve got to get to work.  I’m glazing doors and drawer fronts for Nowlin’s kitchen today, and I’ll need to set up in the driveway.”
I called.
I spoke to an associate.
I hung up.
“It’s here.”
“What is?”
“The fridge.”
“I don’t know—he said they delivered it at six this morning. So I asked him to read me the delivery address and he had the right one.”
“Oh, don’t tell me…”
We dashed to the door and opened it to find the fridge, standing like a sentry, at the end of the driveway.
“Oh for…”
“Honey, remember your blood pressure…”
“I’m remembering it, and you will too, when blood started shooting out my eyes, which is going to happen any minute now!  Phone, please.”
I handed it to him and closed the door behind him to allow privacy while he screamed at the associate.
The transaction was beginning to remind me of my Office Max farrago (see archived Weekly Rants).  I walked to the end of the driveway to check for damage on our ‘new to us’ appliance.  The crazy way it was tilting made me fear that it had been a drive-by delivery, having been edged off the truck as it slowed to 10 mph.
But no, they had just left it leaning precariously on the edge of the curb…and the street facing side was now covered with spray-painted graffiti.  All my life, I’ve wanted a refrigerator that says, ‘FOCK YOU’ in rainbow colors, and now it was mine.
I should mention here that we don’t live in a great neighborhood…or an educated one, for that matter.
Stij returned from his eruption with a little magma still dribbling from the corners of his mouth.
“Should I ask how it went?”
They are coming here now to pick it up. They are bringing a refund check with them.”
“Uh oh.”
“They were foolhardy enough to tell me that they only deliver and do not install—something they failed to mention when we bought it.”
“Uh, there’s been a further development,” I said.
“A what?”
Oh, god.
I took his hand, which was already beginning to clench, and showed him.
He was surprisingly calm.
This is always a bad sign. This happens just before the top of his head shoots off and goes into orbit around Mars.
At that moment, in a absolute miracle of bad timing, the truck from COOL IT arrived.
They disembarked, took one look at the fridge and said, “What the hell did you do this for? It’s defaced. We can’t take it back now. 
I just shook my head and stepped out of the way…two streets out of the way.
By the time the dust settled, the fridge was loaded and Stij had his check in hand, with the promise of a replacement fridge to be delivered and installed the following day, COD. We watched the truck lumber off down the street.
“I was too far away to hear clearly—how did you get them to take it back with all that spray-paint on it?”
“While we were arguing, their truck got a dose of what the fridge did—watch when it turns the corner.”
Well, at least with the fridge as evidence, the ‘UP YER’S’ painted in eight-foot rainbow-colored letters will be easier to explain.

May 19, 2014


The trendy thing these days seems to be dog shaming.  As a matter of fact, I posted a series of such photos  on my very own Facebook timeline this morning.
But then, I thought about it.
Why are dogs so deserving of public shame?  Because of their collective failure to act like humans?  They are dogs.  They are acting like dogs.  They are being what they are. There should be no shame attached to that.
And why are dogs the only animal being shamed with signs hung around their necks, such as “I peed on the Pope during an audience,” or “My farts make people cry,” or maybe “I ate a case of alphabet soup and am now shitting out better speeches than any politician you'd care to name.”
You know why.
Cats would disembowel you if you ever tried that crap with them. At the very least, they have their lawyers on speed-dial and are the major filers of frivolous lawsuits in America today. Yours would be just one more in a long series.  They usually win, by the way.  Their lawyers are motivated, because feline wrath is something nobody wants to expose themselves to--even in a hazmat suit! 
And as if that isn't enough, I discovered today that there is a cat website for shaming humans.  Cats are smart about it, though.  They wait until the human is asleep, then put up sarcastic signs or dress them up  take photos of them, and post them.  And yes, cats CAN work camera phones and computers.  They also understand credit cards. Why do you think FEDEX delivered all that fish from Pike Place Market last week?

For example:
Asleep on the Job
Or how about:
Asleep in office dressed in parrot suit

And when they can’t find a decapitated horse:
Hunter Sleeping with Deer Head

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is:  As humans, we have much more reason to be shamed than any other living creature. Also, don’t mess with cats . . . ever.

May 12, 2014


        You know what really bugs me?  Statistics and the way people manipulate them.  Let’s have some studies that make some kind of sense for a change, shall we?

For example:

   9 out of 10 doctors recommend food as a cure for starvation.

   New study shows that women just want you to leave them the hell alone.

   Testing in Switzerland reveals that dogs are unlikely to rob banks. Cats, however, are.

   Testing in the Ukraine reveals that dogs are illiterate but cats write for the National Enquirer.

   Testing in the USA reveals that 9 out of 10 dogs make it a point to lick their butts just before licking your face. Cats will just spit in your eye.

   People Magazine Readers’ Poll Results:  10 out of 10 readers say, “Shut the hell up about George Clooney, Already!”

   After years of research, M.I.T. discovers that everything’s already been done and there’s really nothing new.

   Psychology Today study: Why don’t people like prison? (Rather than allocate actual funds for this, the psychologist was simply airlifted to Attica and locked up to do his own research and, hopefully, learn to ask more pertinent questions in future studies.)

   Harvard research scientists discover that in every case tested, drowning deaths in rats were caused by water.  Application to humans currently being tested.

   Statistics show that drowning deaths are on the rise in Cambridge, Massachusetts, among both white rats and humans. Harvard officials postulate plague, decline interviews.