Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zoodikers for Zaftig Zelda

Zaftig Zelda longed for romance,
Zhlubs just got in her way.
Zoster held her in tight,
Zephyr Bar was having Ladies Day.

Zoologist came to greet her,
Zebras zig-zagged on her skirt.
Zibibs flowing at the bar,
Zelda quickly began to flirt.

Zach admired all her tails,
Zingers flying through the air.
Zayde told him he would find her,
Zealously searching in his prayers.

Zip Car drove them to his grandparents,
Zelda couldn't see a thing.
Zach guided her with his flashlight,
Zoodikers could that be a ring?!

Zadie and Bubee started cheering,
Zaftig one was getting dressed for the feast.
Zounds abounds at the graveyard,
Zombies drooled at the zesty beast.

Just as one chapter ends, another begins. Instead of waiting until the official IWSG meeting tomorrow, I thought I'd address my insecurity today. This is my third "Z" poem for  the  A to Z Challenge  and I'm a little anxious about it.

The problem is that I wanted to include words that I hadn't used or even heard of before. This raises the issue of clarity, so I'd like to use this opportunity to provide some definitions in order of appearance.

zaftig - plump, buxom, well-rounded (of a female)

zhlub - an ill-mannered, insensitive person

zoster - a girdle

zibis - an alcoholic drink made from raisins

zayde - grandfather

zoodikers - an exclamation

bubee - grandmother

My grandpa once told me to keep a dictionary at my bedside. That way if I came across a word I didn't know, I could look it up without losing my train of thought. This was sage advice, and the Internet makes it even easier to do so. Consequently, problems may arise as some words have different spellings. For example, zhlub is the Yiddish spelling of schlub. Schlubs are just as annoying as zhlubs, but the "Z" version worked best for the poem.
Perhaps  The Insecure Writer's Support Group  could shed some light on this matter. In the meantime,  I want to thank  Arlee Bird,   Alex J. Cavanaugh,  and the rest of the  A to Z Challenge  co-hosts, and minions for another amazing April. I could go on and on, but I'm oysgematert (exhausted).

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yodeling In My Yaktrax


I'll never forget our first family ski vacation. My husband wanted to start our boys out early by skipping the bunny hills, and heading out to the more challenging runs of Park City, Utah when they were three and six years old. While they were learning the ropes in ski school, he took me on some beginner runs. That was when I first realized he was a liar. The green "beginner" runs out West were much more difficult than the green runs in the Midwest, and I was petrified. 

Rewind to my first ski trip with my best friend, and her brother when I was seventeen.  We had a special weekend package in Michigan that included lessons. My first lesson was an hour long and my instructor ditched me after twenty two minutes. He said that I was too dangerous to ski with. I'm not really sure what bothered him most. Was it when I fell on him getting off of the chair lift causing a domino effect behind us, or was it when I couldn't control my speed forcing others to fall as I miraculously made it down the hill?  Later, I fell down so many times that I looked like the Abominable Snowman. People were terrified to ride on the lift with me. Thanks to my blow dryer, I was virtually unrecognizable as I danced the night away. 

Back in Park City, my kids weren't as excited about skiing as my husband was. My three year old even went sleep skiing in between my husband's legs. We have a video of my older son smoothly skiing off of the chair lift, while I did a graceful belly flop into the snow. My boys were quickly learning, as I was growing more fearful. Though my husband was teaching me how to control my speed by turning; the minute I felt I was losing control I would fall down. I don't know how many times my family skied passed me, while I was stranded with one ski in the middle of a snowdrift. I yelled for help so loudly that I was worried I'd start an avalanche. I also yelled out a few unkind words to my husband.

It probably was no accident that he led me to an abandoned run, but they eventually came back for me. When the boys heard my screams, they asked why I was so upset. I told them that I was just practicing yodeling; while I was making an obscene gesture with my ski pole at my husband.

Note: This is a re-post from my first A to Z Challenge in  2011.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wasted Moments


He didn't waste a moment,
Dreaming of his special girl.
Her face lit up the room,
Her teeth, the color of pearl.

No, no it wasn't right. It was too cliche. He threw the paper into the trash can, and started typing again. He hated being so wasteful, but he just had to do better. He began to type when he heard a knock at the door. It was his wasted roommate. "Sorry man I forgot my key." After he passed out in the corner, he went back to his poem.

He didn't waste a moment,
Dreaming of his special girl.
She brought him all his favorite treats,
Including ice cream with a swirl.

He read it aloud, and thought that even his wasted roommate would have been more creative, and he was passed out. Just then the phone rang. It was the  pretty girl in apartment 5D. She called to see if he wanted company. Though all the guys were after her, she reminded him of a quarterback he used to know. Winnie had broad shoulders, a thick waist, and very slim hips. Besides, his best girl was coming over in an hour, and he had no time to spare.

She arrived like clockwork with that opalescent, pearly grin. He shyly handed her his poem.

While other gals would fuss and moan,
His best times were with her alone.
No matter what he'd do or say,
She always loved him anyway.

She'd always whisper "Haste makes waste."
While mixing up tomato paste.
He'd look over at her tiny waist
Enjoying every single taste.

Her voice kept playing in his head,
He'd dream about her whilst in bed.
Whenever they spent time away,
He loved her more each Mother's Day.

Overcome with joy Mrs. Bates gave her son Norman a giant hug, before they prepared his wasted roommate's body for burial.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Vanity Game

A to Z Challenge [2013]

A heavyset man walks out of the shower at the gym. After he finishes drying off, he throws the towel on the floor, and starts walking toward his locker. Then he bumps into an acquaintance, and proceeds to have a lengthy conversation with him, and two other clothed men.

Forty five minutes later, a young man barges in with a TV crew. He approaches the naked man and says, "You're it." The man looks for a towel, and tries to cover up with a dirty sweat sock from the floor. "Oh, don't worry about that. We'll just shoot you from above the waist. Will somebody bring him a towel? Doesn't mean I need to look at it though." The camera starts rolling, as the conversation continues.

Naked Guy: What's going on?

Host: This is a pilot for a new game show that's a combination of  Candid Camera, Punk'd, and America's Funniest Home Videos.

Naked Guy: (tightening his towel)  I don't feel comfortable being seen without my clothes on.

Host: That's funny 'cause we know you've been talking to your buddies over here wearing nothing but deodorant. And this isn't the first time. We have footage of you for months on end. Some days you just head right to the showers, and don't even pretend to workout.

Naked Guy: How do you know all this? Who sent you here?

(Camera pans to the door as his wife walks in. She's all decked out in designer yoga attire, shiny bling, and a spray tan.)

Vanessa: Hello Victor.

Naked Guy: I knew this was a setup. What do you want from me?

Vanessa: Just keep embarrassing yourself, and when you win the prize I'll give you a divorce.

Host: What are you planning on doing with the prize money Vanessa?

Vanessa: Oh a nip here, a tuck there. Victor says I don't need these things, but what does her know? He's all washed up. (the crew laughs)

Naked Guy: Look at her. She's already beautiful. Her vanity has gotten the best of her.

Vanessa: I'm not vain, I'm practical. And what about you?

Naked Guy: I'm standing here naked in front of millions of viewers. There's not a vain bone in my body.

Host: Well, let's not forget this is cable...

Vanessa: What about all of your manscaping? You could spend hours plucking and trimming your chest, but you let your ear hair run wild.

Naked Guy: After my lousy haircut grows out, you won't even see my ear hair.

Vanessa: But I'll know it's there. And what about all of your facials, as well as your weekly pedicures?

Naked Guy: Well look at me. You know I can barely reach my toes. I just try to look nice for you.

Vanessa: Then why did we join a health club if you won't even use the equipment?

Naked Guy: I knew YOU wanted to join. I tried a few times, but I started huffing and puffing so loudly that I thought I was going to explode. Not to mention how much I was sweating. Even old ladies laughed at me when I had trouble keeping up with them on the treadmill. I just couldn't stand making a spectacle of myself anymore.

(Vanessa moves closer, and takes his hand.)

Host: Okay, we are done here people. (motions to crew) Stop rolling.

Vanessa: So did I win the prize?

Host: You won big time, and it's all wrapped up in that nice, fluffy towel.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ode To Un

Ursula was sipping her uncola,
Unintentionally twirling her hair.
Undecided about what to tell him,
Unusually wrapped up in despair.

Usher was being fitted for his uniform,
Unsung heroes were always fun to play.
Unitard was a bit imposing,
Underwear crept up on him all day.

Unapproachable she went to see him,
Unibrow smiled as she sneered.
Undeterred by her pleas for freedom,
Unsuspecting female thought he cared.

Usher's call to Ursula was unanswered,
Unfathomable images came to mind.
Until he could wait no longer,
Usher quickly started to unwind.

Underworld boss tied her to the train tracks,
Uncontrollable anguish fueled his rage.
Understudy swept Ursula off to safety,
United once again on center stage.

Unbeknownst to the playwright,
Unassuming boy with shoeshine kit emerged.
Ungrateful for stealing all his secrets,
Underdog's story was shut down without a word.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

There's Trouble In Twos

Table for two,
They sat and stared.
Toasted to time gone by,
Too many wounds to repair,
Too hopeless to even try.

There there don't you cry,
Their hands nearly touched.
Then they couldn't stay apart,
Today not so much.

There's trouble in twos,
Their folks would say.
Two kids, two cars,
Too many bills to pay.

Two tables down,
They were held in a trance.
The waiter never took their order.
Too focused on romance.

The band played until dawn,
Two by two left feet in disarray.
Too bad it finally hit them,
The married brother and sister were gay.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sonya's Sense of Smell

Sonya's sense of smell,
Sets everyone at ease.
Soiled diapers don't unnerve her,
Simply by using her mouth to breathe.

Sensible satisfying suppers,
Salty foods need not apply.
Sauteed brussels sprouts with tofu,
Somewhat appetizing on the eyes.

Sonya's sense of smell,
Sealed her very first kiss.
Strong signs of halitosis,
Seemingly gone amiss.

Sister Sally sadly snarled,
Secretly yearning for a nasal polyp.
So she wasn't susceptible to swamp butt,
Sweaty jocks sure packed a wallop.

Sonya's sense of smell,
Surprised everyone who knew her.
Significant other was truly blessed,
Sanitation engineer supervised a sewer.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ridiculous Rules of Religion


Recently our sons took us to see The Book Of  Mormon for our anniversary. It's from the creators of the delightfully raunchy South Park; the cartoon that never tires of belittling all beliefs. Though some of the song titles were too filthy to mention, it was all done in the spirit of fun. The audience even gave a standing ovation.

Although the play was a devilish parody on the Mormon religion, I was shocked that the Mormon Organization actually placed three ads in the Playbill. My favorite caption was, "YOU'VE SEEN THE PLAY..NOW READ THE BOOK." It was great that they were able to laugh at themselves.

This made me think about how many religions follow ridiculous rules. For example, my friend just told me some traditions within the more observant sector of our religion that I wasn't familiar with. According to a Jewish Orthodox community on the East Coast, when a young bride and groom marry the groom's family is responsible for a list of items called FLOPS. This stands for Flowers, Liquor, Orchestra, Photographer, and Sheytl (wig(s) for the bride).

 All Jewish Orthodox married women are required to cover their heads with scarves, hats or wigs. As explained in The New Joys of Yiddish, "The rabbis decreed that once married, a woman's hair, her well-known crowning beauty, should not be visible lest it distract men from prayer or study." 

Wigs can be very costly, and it doesn't make sense why the groom's parents should have to pay for them. These rules are so impractical, because in most cases the marriages are arranged at a young age. Thus, these kids could use the FLOPS funds for food, and a place to raise their six to twelve children.

To add to the absurdity, another popular tradition in this community is to buy your future daughter-in-law a diamond tennis bracelet, and a fine watch for your son-in-law. You may not see the bling under her long sleeved blouse, but at least the groom will know when it's time to put his book down and procreate. Sounds like all the makings of the next Broadway hit.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quirky "Quack Pack"

Duck Dynasty Promo.jpg
( source:Wikipedia)
Duck Dynasty is the hit A&E reality show about a family of millionaire duck caller manufacturers from West Monroe, Louisiana. It's the number one non-scripted television series that People Magazine dubbed, "The Quack Pack." Patriarch Phil Robertson created the business forty years ago, and  his son Willie took over the reigns. Phil's brother Si works there along with his two other sons Jase and Jep. He married his wife when she was only sixteen, and his boys' beautiful wives were also their high school sweethearts.
The series is centered around the family business, as well as their eccentric hobbies. The Robertsons would sooner shave off their long and unruly beards than buy their meats, as hunting and fishing is in their blood. In one episode, Uncle Si and Jace created a special turkey caller, and set up a female decoy to lure the turkeys in. Afterward, they brought home two turkeys for a men versus women family cook-off.
Although their business is extremely successful, they can't seem to break old habits. Once Jase  pulled over to pick up some roadkill. The going rate was five bucks a tail, and he didn't want to miss out. In another episode, their mother Miss Kay insisted that her son Willie buy her goats from a petting zoo. When he initially refused she said,"You're not a real woman if you don't have a goat." Not only did Willie drive two goats home for her in his luxury Cadillac Escalade, but he turned his brother Jase's new office into a goat pen. 
They are never at a loss for side splitting quotes. Some website favorites include:
"First it's pretty tires, then it's pretty guns. Next thing you know, you're shaving your legs and wearing capri pants." - Si Robertson
"Where I come from you don't mess with another man's woman or his hat." - Jase Robertson
"There are two kinds of people in this world...the educated and the unducated." - Si Robertson.
Every episode has a message. For example, when their dad Phil was preparing his special frog legs recipe, he discussed his views on the perfect wife. He said that it didn't matter if she was homely, as long as she was a good cook. Fortunately, his attractive wife wasn't in the room at the time; otherwise, she would've dragged him by his beard, and fed him to her goats.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Penny Pinching Publishers


After I graduated from college, I got a job as an advertising/production assistant for a small financial magazine. I worked with a wonderful group of people, and was especially fond of my boss. She was incredibly patient, and always had my back. The production manager taught me so much including how to use a computer, but her greatest lesson was about friendship. She always made time to have lunch with me, and I treasured our lunches together.

Unfortunately, the magazine was sold to a large publishing house a few years later, and everything went downhill from there. I went from a cubicle to an office with a door which was nice, but everything else was like going back in time. There were over fifty different trade magazines, and there wasn't a computer in sight. Though they felt the need to employ secretaries who typed on typewriters, I got reprimanded for using stamps. Because we were now located in the heart of the city, I was required to personally deliver media kits on foot weather permitting.

My position had changed to sales representative, and my new employer operated under a whole new set of rules. Once I ran into a problem when I took a local client out to lunch. She suggested an expensive restaurant, and ordered a three course meal plus drinks and dessert. I ordered a small chicken dish, and a coke. I almost fell off my chair when the ninety dollar bill came. That would be equivalent to about two hundred dollars today. Later my helpful co-worker suggested that I submit a bill for three people instead of two. Fortunately, his advice paid off.

The production department was in another state, and there were rumors that the employees were instructed to cut each piece of scotch tape into quarters every time they used it. There wasn't any area too small to cut corners on.

Before there was caller ID, all of their offices had a special system to check how many calls the sales reps were making.They couldn't detect who the calls were going out to, only the quantity of calls per person. This worked well for me, as I was busy planning my wedding and was constantly on the phone. One day the sales manager swung open my door and asked if I was talking business or pleasure. Without hesitating I told him it was a business call, and he was off to torment the next person.

Since I always got my work done and my sales were up, it enabled me to have extra time for breaks. I'll never forget when my dear friend down the hall came through for me. When I picked up the phone she announced, "This is your three o'clock wake up call. The boss is heading toward your office." This gave me just enough time to look alert before he barged in again.

Obstacles in Optics



Last month I decided to do some shopping while I was waiting for a prescription to be filled.  Without warning I felt like I had walked into a giant spider web. Creatures were crawling down my bangs, and I was desperately trying to shoe them away.

It didn't make sense that I was the only one being attacked by killer spiders inside a drugstore in the middle of March, so I decided to look for a mirror. On my way to the cosmetic counter, the pharmacist announced that my prescription was ready. I continued to twist, turn and swat those pesty creatures, as others pretended not to notice.

While the pharmacy assistant was ringing me up, I asked her if anything was crawling around in my hair. She said no and handed me a mirror. There was nothing there. By this time I had the attention of everyone in the pharmacy department. I immediately ruled out the DTs, because I don't drink and then it hit me. I proudly announced, "I have floaters." None of the young employees knew what I was talking about, but they were grateful that I stopped scaring everyone.

The next day I called my eye doctor's office. When I mentioned my symptoms, the receptionist told me to make an appointment. After I was examined, the ophthalmologist said that it would take between six and eight weeks for the floaters to dissipate. I shared my concern about the dangling weblike images being signs of a detached retina, and he assured me that my retina was fine. He explained that what I experienced was caused by a broken blood vessel in my left eye. This was nothing serious, and he added that there was a fifty percent chance that the floaters would reappear in my right eye within two years. The doctor also said that there was nothing you could do to prevent this age related condition.

Though the onset was a bit frightening, within hours the images continued to get smaller. Signs of a more serious condition usually have some pain associated with them, but it's still best not to take any chances, and consult an eye doctor. I returned to the drugstore the following week, and explained the whole story to the young pharmacy assistant. She looked more than happy that her shift was ending, as she almost leaped over the counter before I could finish.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nimble Nervous Nellies


 Just as the Nelly family was beginning their tightrope act, the father asked his son, "Did you remember to check the ropes?" The son nodded yes, but he really wasn't sure.

The daughter rode her unicycle to the edge of the tightrope, and now there were three. She began to wonder if she unplugged her electric hair rollers in the dressing room. When the second Nelly brother swung over from the dangling rings, he began to worry if his wife heard him sneak in late last night. Now there were four on a tightrope without a net in sight.

They continued to perform their act while the band played and the crowd cheered. Suddenly, the rope began to sway. At first they thought it was because the wind had picked up outside the circus tent, but then they saw the culprits. Nico Nelly's wife the fat lady, and his mistress the sword swallower decided to join them. This was more weight than the tightrope could bare.

The ropes were starting to unravel, but before they were about to plunge to their deaths, someone in the crowd yelled, "Fire!" Natalia Nelly was the first to exit, followed by her father, and her little brother Ned. The oldest son Nico remained wedged between his wife and his mistress.

Soon the fire was raging higher toward them, and the little brother called to hurry, but he knew he could only save one. The wife said, "Who do you choose to live Nico?" Without hesitating, Nico pointed to his devoted wife. Ned swung over to catch her on the trapeze, but he couldn't support her girth and she plunged to her death. Next, he swung over to the sexy sword swallower, and carried her to safety. Nico waited for his brother to make a third trip, but that trip never came.

Afterward, the daughter cried to her father that it was her fault for burning down the circus. The lion tamer overheard the conversation, and told her the sword swallower was the last person to use the electric rollers. Then they saw Ned and his brother's mistress in a passionate embrace behind the fire trucks.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mighty Manic Moms


Many multi-tasking moms are motoring around town often wreaking havoc on their children's lives, as well as their own. When our older son was in grammar school one mom was so busy driving back and forth to all three of her children's after school activities, that she even kept a compact porta potty in her mini van.

I remember when both of our boys had conflicting baseball games. It was often difficult deciding which parent would go where. In the end, I was very lucky that my husband and brother helped us cover all the bases. In seventh grade our younger son played travel baseball. It was years before his growth spurt, and he was one of the smallest boys on the team. The coach was new to the park district, and even scheduled smaller practice sessions to provide additional help.

Shortly after, he became fiercely competitive by allowing only the best players up to bat. Though our son was a strong catcher, hitting was his weakness and the coach took his frustrations out on him during practices. When I noticed that some of the other boys were being treated the same way, I made a huge mistake. I sought out the other parents in the hope that we could approach the coach as a group. Hence, I became the team piranha, and it didn't help matters with my son. I could understand if he was playing for his school, but this was a paid  program where everyone deserved to play.

On the day of the last game, my husband took our older son for a college visit, so it was my final chance to clear the air. After everyone had left I sarcastically said to the coach, "Thanks for a great summer." This really set him off,  as he went on a huge tirade. I tried to respond calmly, and  was proud that my boy also stood up for us.

Months later I ran into the mother of one of his teammates. She told me that she heard everything from the parking lot, and her family didn't leave until they knew we were safe. Afterward, my husband wrote a letter to the park district commissioner. It's almost eight years later, and we're still awaiting a response.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lunch on the Lam


On outings with my mom, there never seems to be enough time in the day to stop for lunch. Before she started using her walker, she loved to go on long shopping trips seldom taking more than a quick break for a frozen yogurt or a drink. Now I could still get lost in her walker dust, but I have to think of sneakier ways to get her nourishment on the go.

No matter the time of day, I've gotten into the habit of packing sandwiches and cold drinks with us. This way when my mom acts like she's been stranded in the desert after only ten minutes, I just pull out a refreshing bottle of iced tea from my handy insulated lunch bag.

Sometimes I can't convince her to eat anything until after 3:00 when dinner is served promptly at 5:30. This forces us to have lunch on the lam in some of the strangest settings.

She's eaten in dressing rooms, shoe departments, and even doctor's offices. Once during an eye exam my mom ate half of her sandwich while waiting for her pupils to dilate without ever having left the examining chair. Fortunately, everything was neatly put away before the ophthalmologist returned.  However, my mom does draw the line at eating at the dentist's office. Although she would sip her iced tea if she could.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Klutzy Kleptomaniacs

Rodney Knight, convicted of burglarizing Washington Post columnist Marc Fishers home, in a photo Knight posted on Fishers sons Facebook page. Knight is wearing Fishers winter coat.

According to Buzz Patrol, last May an employee called the police to report a robbery at an Internet cafe in Columbia. Though the cash register was cleaned out, some interesting evidence was left behind. The police discovered that one of the criminals was still logged in on his Facebook account. Thus, they were able to access his address from the cafe's computer, and immediately arrested him at his home.

Marc Fisher from the Washington Post wrote about his own personal experience in 2010. After a nineteen-year-old stole electronic devices, cash and savings bonds from the reporter's home, he stuck around to gloat about it. The burglar decided to share the news on his fifteen-year-old victim's (Marc's son)  Facebook page. He posted a photo of himself wearing Fisher's brand new winter coat, while holding a fist full of cold cash that he had taken from the boy's bedroom. Fortunately, after much needless family anguish the burglar was eventually arrested.

These are both examples of klutzy kleptomaniacs who made a living tearing apart other people's lives, but liked to stay connected on Facebook. The good news for all of the anti-social network members is that even if you don't believe in Facebook, the law does. In other words, it's friends friending friends who are thick as thieves.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jilted in July

Jim's jalopy stalled outside the joint,
Jukebox playing their favorite tune.
Juleps ordered at the bar,
Jumpy as he waited for his June.

Jitterbug contest just announced,
Jessie gestured for Jim to take her hand.
Jovial as he politely declined,
Jealous he refused to be her man.

Jaws dropped as men eyed the sultry stranger,
June ran into his outstretched arms.
Jim felt like time stood still,
Joyful as he drank in all her charms.

Jilted Jessie aimed to pull the trigger,
Jigsaw pieces scattered in the hall.
Janitor swept up what was remaining,
Jury's still out on the final call.

Jaywalking en route to the courthouse,
June awaits the trial's outcome.
Judge tenses as June is handcuffed,
Justice served for buying Jessie's gun.

Inexcusably Insipid Incidents

Soaked: Water rains down on the cast of Shameless in a new poster promoting Season 2 of the Showtime series

While I was researching really stupid things that other people do, I came across some inexcusably insipid incidents involving drug testing. One false method occurred when a juvenile defendant passed out after drinking bleach to mask the drugs in his system. According to Snopes, "Not only is this scheme ineffective, but it's also potentially quite harmful, as drinking bleach can wreak serious damage on the human throat, stomach and digestive tract."

All bleach containers have dangerous warning labels with first aid instructions if accidentally ingested. I get nervous even washing my clothes with bleach, and saw how it destroyed an innocent pair of black pants that I was foolishly wearing at the time.

Years ago, actor Tom Sizemore made headlines for having a little help taking a drug test. He used a prosthetic penis called "The Whizzinator." When the sample came into question because it wasn't within the normal temperature range, he confessed to being on crystal meth. He even showed them the apparatus in the trash can.

The most disgusting method of doctoring a drug test occurred on a recent episode of the Showtime series Shameless. Before the drug addict alcoholic father's (William H. Macy) urine test, he poured his own sample into a plastic drinking cup for storage, and popped a Valium to calm his nerves.

Later he submitted his specimen in the men's room, as a court appointed official viewed him from behind. Due to the miracle of television, he passed with flying colors. Remarkably his ability to hold his breath was nothing to spit at.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Humble Hero


Over spring break we took our older son to one of our favorite local haunts. There you could bite into a hearty hamburger, or take your teeth out for a piece of flavorful fish. Of course our twenty four year old son was the youngest person in the restaurant, and I came in second.

While we were finishing our meal, we heard a large gasp at the table behind us. Apparently the bus boy brought over the man's walker, and his legs buckled as he tried to stand up. Fortunately, the fast acting bus boy caught the elderly man in time.

The whole incident happened so quickly, before anyone else had a chance to react. Though the family was grateful, I was surprised that more fuss wasn't made.

The next family to leave had another man in a walker whose wife wasn't taking any chances. She walked beside her husband holding onto the back of his belt. He didn't even seem to mind that she was giving him a wedgie.

As we were leaving I told the middle-aged bus boy that he was a hero. He humbly replied, "I was just doing my job."

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Geriatric Goldfish


When our youngest son was in kindergarten, we attended a school carnival where he was awarded a tiny goldfish for winning at ring toss. We proudly carried him out in his baggie, and set out to purchase his starter home. Sensing his loneliness, my boy suggested that we find him a roommate. When there were two, they were known as Red Spot and Gold Dot respectively.

By the time they moved into their third residence, Red Spot had passed on and Gold Dot continued to grow bigger and stronger. Once we arrived home from a ten day vacation, and found the automatic fish food feeder had broken, but Gold Dot was still going strong. This miraculous orange fish grew larger than any goldfish we had ever seen.

When my son was a freshman in high school, Gold Dot miscalculated his leap from the tank to the bowl during bath time, and ended up on the kitchen floor. I was wearing my slippery dishwashing gloves, and called my husband for help. He saw the fish wiggling on the floor and simply stated, "It's his time," and walked away.

My son came running into the room in tears, so I yanked off my gloves and swooshed him back into the water. Then he saw something red in the water and yelled, "He's bleeding! He's bleeding!" So I put him into the smaller bowl, applying pressure to his wound by using a napkin as a tourniquet.

Meanwhile, my husband added, "There's nothing you can do. He had a long life." My significant other's comments were especially comforting considering he's in the healthcare business. It really made me reconsider having a living will, "Indigestion, nonsense! It's her time."

Fortunately, Gold Dot survived physically: mentally we're not so sure. As my son tells the story, his dad was the hero who saved his favorite goldfish after his mother carelessly let him jump out of the tank.

Note: This is a re-post from my first A to Z in 2011

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Frequent Flatulence


Frequent Flatulence
Never stood a chance.
Urgently erupting,
Loudly in your pants.

Friendly Fellows,
Meet up at the zoo.
Frolic at the ape house,
Takes the blame off you.

Frequent Flatulence,
Darn digestive tract.
Struggle with momentum,
Before the next attack.
Fancy Footwork,
To the nearest loo.
Carry extra undies,
One pair just won't do.
Friday Function,
At the old age home.
Through aromatic hallways,
Unsuspecting you may roam.

Frequent Flatulence,
Trying to look cool.
What's that floating near you?
Better leave the pool.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Eliminating Exclamation Points

seinfeld photo: seinfeld seinfeld.jpg

In a classic Seinfeld episode,  Elaine gets mad at her boyfriend when he shows her a phone message announcing the birth of her friend's baby. She can't believe that he didn't use an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. He replies, "Maybe I don't use exclamation points as haphazardly as you do." An argument ensues, and he storms off  adding, "Well you can put one at the end of this...I'm leaving!"

Later when Elaine tells Jerry about their fight he says, "I never heard of a relationship being affected by punctuation." Of course it doesn't help matters that Elaine is in the midst of editing her boyfriend's manuscript.

The exclamation points escalate when Elaine's boss Mr. Lippman reads aloud from her final draft: "It was a damp and chilly afternoon, so I decided to put on my sweatshirt (exclamation point)!  Get rid of the exclamation points. I hate exclamation points."

This episode was written twenty years ago, and most men still aren't comfortable around exclamation points. Sure some men will insert the occasional punctuation mark, but only during private conversations with women, or close male friends.

Society is slow to accept changes in punctuation. I know a woman who wouldn't go out with a man who sounded absolutely perfect for her on a dating site. His only crime was adding a smiley face at the end of his email.

Fortunately, the blogging community is an exception to this rule. It's safe for male bloggers to let their hair down while tossing out exclamation points, smiley faces, and lol's. Their willingness to express their feelings while supporting other bloggers shows strength and courage. Now that's certainly worthy of an exclamation point or two!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dallas Darwipple's Dynasty Dynamo Diesel Ranch


I dug up this commercial from a media writing class in college. I remember that I kept drawing a blank for this project. When I realized that it was due the next morning, I called my mom in a state of panic. It was a long distance call which was very expensive at the time, and my mom was in the middle of watching Dynasty on TV. Fortunately, she calmed me down, and helped me come up with the title which made the rest easy. My professor really liked it, and gave me an "A."  Sadly, others must have questioned his generous grading system, and I never saw him again; though my mom still remains my best and worst critic.

Dallas Darwipple's Dynasty Dynamo Diesel Ranch
Are you in the market for a new 1981 automobile? Why not come on down to Dallas Darwipple's Dynasty Dynamo Diesel Ranch? The car dealership that puts class before cash. Where else can you find a corral of colors, a stable of style, and luxury to liven your libido in a new or used car? At Dallas Darwipple's Dynamo Dynasty Diesel Ranch you can choose from a cattle stomping selection of automobiles all priced to fit even the lowest varmint's budget. So lasso your favorite partner, and hurry on down to Dallas Darwipple's Dynasty Dynamo Diesel Ranch this week, and cash in on your dynamic De Kalb dealer's discount deal. Dallas Darwipple's Dynasty Dynamo Diesel Ranch: The western ride without the saddle sore price.

I'm delighted to announce the release of Solomon's Compass by Carol Kilgore. Take it away Carol.
 A missing belt -- her uncle's prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

 Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.
Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.
But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.
SOLOMON’S COMPASS is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle

Carol Kilgore writes a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. Always at least one crime; always a love story. You can find her here:  

 blog . website . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Constipation Corner


Host: Welcome to Constipation Corner. My guest today is Dr. Clyde Colon, I mean Collin. The author of Better Methods or BM's For Dummies. (holds up the book) Tell us about your book Clyde.

Guest:  It offers suggestions for battling constipation which involve drinking plenty of water, and eating a diet rich in fiber.

Host:  Wait a minute. That's not your picture on the back cover. Who are you?

Guest:  Well, Dr. Collin asked me to fill in for him, but I am in chapter 9 of the book.

Host:  (flips through the pages) You're in the chapter about unorthodox remedies?

Guest:  Yes, I have a very long twisted colon, so I have to work harder to release the toxins from my body, Diet isn't always enough, so I jump up and down, stand on my head and squawk like a bird.

Host:  And this helps you?

Guest:  Yes, but the problem is that I never know when it's going to kick in.

Host:  Does this affect your work?

Guest:  Actually, I'm lucky to be in a very conducive work environment.

Host:  What do you do?

Guest:  I'm a men's room attendant at the hotel across the street. That's how I met Two-ply, I mean Dr. Collin. As a matter of fact, he's in stall number three right now. I suggested a mini-cam, but he sent me instead.

Host:  So he suffers from constipation too?

Guest: Doesn't everybody?

Host:  So if he can't even help himself, why should we buy his book, and has this Dr. Collin even written anything else?

Guest:  Yes, but his lawyers said not to mention the other titles. He's doing much better now thanks to   Alex J. Cavanaugh,   and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Whenever we're feeling all tense and bound for failure, Captain Cavanaugh is always there to help us flush out ideas without straining. He really keeps the group running on the first Wednesday of each month. Well, I gotta go.

Host:  Are you heading over to the IWSG meeting?

Guest:  That's later today, but I really gotta go now before something... (he races off)

Host:  Hmm...maybe it's worth a try. (Then she jumps up and down, stands on her head, and squawks like a bird while loud fireworks sound off behind her. She turns bright red and sprints off the stage.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beauty Shop Bullies

For over fifty years, my mom has gone to the beauty shop for a weekly fix.  Most visits include a wash, blow dry, and endless teasing. Unfortunately, as her designated driver much of that teasing is aimed at me.

Recently, I picked her up a few minutes late, and we drove in complete silence. Finally, I told her that a friend called who was falling asleep at the wheel during a long drive. She asked me to keep her company on the phone to prevent her from dozing off. Thus, I ended up leaving ten minutes later relieved to know that my friend made it home safely. I felt satisfied that I would be off the hook until my mom replied, "That's not a good enough reason."

After I helped my mom in with her walker, and replaced her coat with a smock the manicurist gave me the evil eye and said to my mom, "Why didn't you take the bus? You're never late when you come on the senior bus."

Then I noticed one of the "regulars" from across the room. Our friend "Vivian" is a very nice woman in her mid eighties who looks great, and is incredibly sharp. Vivian always has cute photos of her great grandchildren with her, so I thought I would share some pictures of my sons. I could hear the spaghetti western music playing, as we were getting ready to draw our cell phones. Vivian pulled first, and showed me beautiful clear photos on her iPhone, while we had to use a magnifying glass to see the images on my no-frills flip phone. Vivian laughed, and told me that I should get a better phone. She checked her emails, and continued to giggle, as she awaited her hair stylist.

Three hours later, when I was immersed in enough secondhand hairspray to kill a horse, my mom announced she was ready to leave.  While I was helping her with her coat, she saw that a button was loose, and asked her hair stylist if she had a needle and thread. Not only did she find one, but she proceeded to sew the button on my mom's coat, while she was wearing it. If I had the power to knight this saintly woman who is quite a dame I would.

After forty five minutes of saying goodbyes, Vivian came over to apologize for her remarks
about my phone, and all was forgiven. No nails were chipped, no hairs were blown, and Mom made it back home safe and sound: mission accomplished.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Attitude Adjustments At Assisted Living

Looks fade, weight shifts, aches and pains come and go, but most elderly people are able to get away with saying whatever is on their minds. This freedom is cast aside, as the training wheels are being snapped back onto their walkers. They're entering new territory now, and must learn how to survive in the jungle of assisted living.

It's like high school for senior citizens, only with a lot less jocks. The cheerleaders do most of their cheering on the benches, and as resident "mean girls" they still rule the school. They decide who has the honor of joining them at the cool table, and most of the drama takes place in the dining room.

When a new arrival moves in, the head cheerleader and her co-captains invite her to dinner for a thorough inspection. The cheerleaders aren't necessarily the prettiest, but they're the most powerful. They still take pride in their appearance, and only offer a second invitation to those who fit in without threatening the chain of command. The same theories hold true in sororities and prisons; though their walkers are too cumbersome for shower activities.

There's a whole new meaning to girls who are "easy." This applies to women without visual or hearing impairments. If you're able to eat off of your own plate, and don't constantly ask them to repeat themselves you're invited to the next round.

As for the small group of men, one gentleman had to loudly blow his nose at the dinner table after each course, and he was in high demand. Rumor has it that the women even took turns winning him at Canasta.


Today begins the  Blogging From A to Z April Challenge,  and I would like to thank   Arlee Bird  for making this all possible. He created the challenge four years ago, and it continues to grow stronger. Be sure to visit the list of over 1600 creative participants  here.