Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A Third Elephant’s Tale

While waiting to board my recent flight, I sat amazed by the number of passenger classifications who were welcomed onto the plane before me.  By the time they got to calling the Basic Economy group, I got a sense of what the Steerage class must have felt like on the “Titanic”.  

“Sapphire Perks Members! Come on down! May we rub special lotion on your dry, back skin?”

“Knights of Serbia, enter!” called the flight crew in unison, holding up the heart-sign with their hands.

“Emotional support animals?  COME!”


The airline kisses up to its elite customers, thanking them way too many times for flying with them.  I watched a flight attendant divide the entrance way into 2 separate lanes, so that the special passengers could walk down a special path and not co-mingle with a line meant only for substandard customers.  Was the carpet puffier on that side of the room?  I’ll never know.

“Who wants to sit on the plane longer than you have to?” I reasoned.  But still, I felt pouty and unappreciated. By the time I got to my seat, the plane would already be yellow from exhales.  Watching dogs, cats and birds walk on ahead of me made me feel like I was standing in mud being forced to bow down to a medieval lord’s pampered pet.  I was on the outside of a crowded, hip restaurant making nose-prints on their window.  I was a third elephant watching Noah bring everyone one else up the ramp two by two.
I had become the animal.

Has the airline’s marketing team somewhere determined that to get “Repeat Elite” business, they need kiss asses?  I don’t think I’ve ever been in the receiving end of a true ass-kissing, but my instincts tell me I wouldn’t like it.

But…that is how we animals get to know each other.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bigamists, Bearded Women and Hairy Beasts: Welcome to My Family Tree

I always knew I was different. 

Thanks to my brother’s research on, I know why. Springing from closets, slithering out of old books and pictures, arising from graveyards across the 7 seas, my relatives have been creeping their way into my life. I’m fascinated—and terrified.

I can be really clumsy. Could that be a gift I inherited from great-grand pappy “Trips in Front of a Train?” How about my crooked lower incisors? Yarns have been spun about Great Aunt Mill’s oral self-care. So objectionable were her rotten teeth, she pulled them out herself with a pair of pliers. I’ve always had untamable eyebrows. It makes perfect sense now that I’ve met Uncle Canis lupin. My large head? Of course, that’s completely logical when you see a picture of Pumpkin-head Ernie.

Of course the odd ones stand out.

My grandma once told me about her Aunt Amelia who was nervous and fuzzy. Today I would have asked her a LOT of questions, but as a youngster, I just sat mute. I have ever since been hyper-vigilant for signs of either trait.

I wonder what they would think of me--the child of their combined…combining.

Would they look me up and down and remark:

  • “Thou art so fleshy! Art thou our Queen?”
  • “(Crosses themselves)—WITCH! No woman is that tall!”
  • “Thou hair color is false. WITCH!”
Although I hope they wouldn’t be all judgy like that.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is they’re in no position to point their boney fingers at me. Great-Grandpa Bigamists 1 and 2-- don’t hide behind those tombstones, I see you! And thanks for all the step cousins with attitudes.

Thinking about this recently, I remembered I do the “Live long and Prosper” Dr. Spock hand-signal. I hope that means I’m part Vulcan—that would be really cool.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Big Girls Don't Pee in Cups

Not well anyway.

Ahead of a recent physical a sadistic nurse handed me a teeny--tiny bathroom cup and asked me to fill it to a very high line. The cup laughed at me. If it were a Dixie Riddle Cup, it would have read:

“What has 2 legs and a wet hand?”

“A big girl getting urine sample.”

Alas, peeing in a tiny vessel is not something I think to practice before the annual performance. Not since my early childhood gym days have I felt as ill-prepared for a physical feat. As I once heard children taunting my feeble attempt to crab-walk, I now feel “nursey” rolling her eyes, daring me, yet expecting me to fail (and to make a mess).

Nurses, medical assistants, drug-screen enforcers! Please don’t hand me a chalice so small it disappears in my undercarriage. One so small, I feel like the Friendly Giant holding it in a comically massive hand. So small, that having to blindly assess where the next burst of pee will occur (and capture it) is a big girl’s worst nightmare (followed closely by narrow restaurant booths).

Naturally, the anticipation of peeing on your own hand doesn’t exactly hasten the flow. Suddenly, I’m a desert and my bladder is playing a cruel game with me--first recoiling up into my spine, then blasting a 3 nanosecond steam that is impossible to meet anywhere but with my wrist. Over and over again, this happens until I’m sweating and wild. Toes are tapping outside and “Are you O.K.?” sails under the door crack.

“Yes, I’m fine!” I shout, but the distraction tricks my bladder into releasing its entire contents suddenly. I shift the cup like a race car driver, back and forth, hoping to catch a spoonful so I don’t have to repeat this upsetting ordeal.

I am here to report that I did it, but not without consequence. Doctor’s office bathrooms are ill-equipped to deal with big-girl catastrophes. A chemical shower with a wire brush would not have made me feel clean.

I was an animal.

Next time I’m bringing a urine-catcher I found in a pet store. I think I’ll return the full-cup using the extendable handle proudly.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bringing Zany into Political Debates

I believe that brush-covered pits, hidden spring-loaded trap doors, and Acme “Instant Holes” are severely under-used in politics.    Since our American 2016 candidates seem to create their own rules regarding what to say no matter how offensive or misleading, why not add some “Zany” into an otherwise uncomfortable and frustrating debate experience?  Fear not!  The cartoons of my childhood always included these tricks and gags and no one was ever injured or disheveled.  Wylie Coyote was ok after crashing into fake tunnel openings, right?  Given the present “Non-Debate Debating”, we could make the rules crystal clear …and add some Looney Tunes-esque consequences.  

If you go past your 2 minute rebuttal: 

The moderator will shut off your microphone and a shabby man with a red foam nose will jump up from a non-disclosed location and spray you with seltzer water, and throw a pie at you. No towels to clean off either, just you and your foamy wet face talking about what really matters.

If you use certain inflammatory terms (such as “emails” or “wall”): 

The floor beneath you will collapse into a dunk tank.  This tank will be filled with warm water so Clinton doesn’t get pneumonia again and Trump won’t have to reevaluate the size of his "Johnson" based on shrinkage.  They should be able to continue with the debate--Clinton’s A-line pantsuits are designed in such a clever way as to keep her dry while encircling her with a water ring.  Trump’s custom made dark suits would hide water stains better than Pampers.

If you interrupt the other candidate at any time:

The moderator will stop the debate and attach a piece of duct tape across your mouth. You must answer your next question like this while circus music plays softly in the background.

If you make faces or roll your eyes while the other candidate is speaking:

When it’s your turn to talk, you must inhale a helium balloon first. 

If you sit down on your pillow-chair or recline at any time during the full commercial-free 90 minutes:

Off with your head!

Good luck candidates!  Thhhhhhhat's all, Folks

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Men in Wet Shorts

You can get into big trouble trying to diagnose your own ailments on the computer.  As tempting as it is, there is no substitute for a medical degree, a cold stethoscope and a scale that adds 10 lbs.  However, one night recently, I turned to the dark-side and read up on the residual pain from my gall bladder surgery.  Of all the crazy things it could be, the one I settled in on was:  A plugged, spasming bile sphincter.

Oddly, this diagnosis soothed me and I went to sleep.

Later, the next day, I attended a water aerobics class for the first time in many months.  The two male lifeguards who were on duty that night I knew from years past.  One was a college kid; another man was nearly my age.  They asked how I was doing.

“Much better, but I had some complications after my surgery.”  I said.  I should have said, “Fine”, but I felt compelled to give more details.  It’s what old people do.

“Oh?  What kind of complications?” 

This was an unexpected question.  Men in wet shorts were curious about my health!  In my mind, I was waving my hands around like the Robot on “Lost in Space” repeating, “this does not compute.”   A combination of odd flattery and anxiety clouded my cerebral cortex.  I was standing in the water, they were both on deck.  This is what I actually said:

“I’m having a problem with my sphincter.”

To which both men said in unison:


Two male acquaintances are now under the mistaken impression I was complaining about my asshole.

“Oh, no, not that kind of sphincter…” I sputtered out, but it was way too late for any kind of recovery.  I have never spoken the word “sphincter” before in my ENTIRE life.  And now, it was clear I couldn’t stop saying it. 

“I wasn’t talking about “THAT” sphincter.”  I called to them as they coiled up the swim lanes, their eyes open wide, eyebrows raised.  “I was talking about a spasming sphincter.”


“You do realize you have more than one sphincter, right?”  I called to them, this time plowing through the water to get closer to them.   By the time I got near them again, class had started, and the lifeguard shift changed…
…and so had my social life at the Y.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Huey Lewis and 50 Shades of Grey

Last night we attended a “Huey Lewis and the News” concert.  Let’s just get this out there—if Huey Lewis were interested in fat women with transient chin hairs and hooves, my husband, Fred, might have to release me from my marital vows for one night.  Huey’s still got it: the fantastic voice, the hair, the muscles and the jeans-friendly body.

At the entrance to the event was, in contrast to paragraph 1, my first real glimpse of myself as an old woman.  This occurred when we comingled with our fellow concert-goers-- the cast of “Cocoon”—in line at the door.
“Do we look as old as they do?”  I whispered to Fred.  He smiled and straightened his shoulders.
We stood for a short time to have our tickets scanned, not by a tough bouncer-type man searching for pot or explosive devices, but by an elderly woman they lured from her regular job of rewriting voter names in “old-lady” cursive at the voting poles.
“Things sure have changed a lot since my last pop concert,” I reported to Fred.  My last rock concert was in 1983, in Detroit, MI, and the ticket collector searched my purse and padded me down.
In my seat, I lost myself again, youth recaptured, as Huey entered the stage to the heartbeat at the beginning of “Heart of Rock ‘n Roll.”  With the lights out in the darkened theatre, it was a magical night.  We sang, we hooted, we enjoyed ourselves at the expense of our mortified 12 year-old daughter who glared at me like I’d grown a 3rd eye every time I turned to her with my arms waving.
Then they played “I Want a New Drug” and flashed the spotlights on the audience.  WHOA!!  50 shades of grey!!  I felt like I was standing in a cotton field.  We looked like the matinee audience of the very last “Peter, Paul and Mary” PBS-televised concert...or a retirement planning seminar.  The hairs on our heads shone like 500 silvery christmas bulbs.
And so it went.  Dark theatre-young again; Lights shining on the grey-fluffy dandelions …DOH!—old again.
Young.  Old. 
Young.  Old. 
It was maddening.
At some point half the audience rushed the stage and I was wondering what Huey was thinking.  There was something strange about a bunch of 50-80 year olds standing at your feet.  Was he cringing?  Was he glad he had all his hair?  Their gnarled hands stretched up to him like they were in a Charlton Heston blockbuster and Huey was God.
Maybe it was their time to go and they WERE reaching for God.
Ahh, but what a way to go.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Seven Facts to Blow Your Mind

A blogger friend of mine sent me a Kreative Blogger award.  The rules of acceptance say I must pay-it-forward and nominate 7 others and also write 7 facts about myself.

Opening the door into Heidi’s “Fact safe”…creeeeeaaakkkkk:
1.        I spent a night with Elvis Prestley.
O.k, O.k, I was with a stadium full of people in 1973 (I was 8) at one of his last white-jumpsuit shows.  I was not impressed and spent the entire concert with a scarf over my face (the flashbulbs were blinding) and my fingers in my ears. 

Thank you.  Thank you very much.
2.        A Hamster helped me get through my divorce in 1991.

On one, lonely, miserable night just before my divorce to my then husband was final, I felt especially lonely and uncertain about my decision.   At 4:30 in the morning, I made a list of the Ex’s good and bad points.  Concurrently, our 7-year old, half-dead hamster, Elmer, squeaked his wheel, so I decided to make a pro-con list about HIM and compare it that of the Ex (hey, it was late).  The chart proved that even a smelly rodent who did nothing but sleep and poop had more pros than my ex-husband.
I still have the chart.
3.       I am a morning person, but a night witch
I genuinely get up energetic and happy.  But something happens to me over the day, and by evening time I’ve become a bitter, hungry goblin.  Important self-preservation tip:  Don’t mess with me when I’m tired, or I'll turn in to the "Incredible Hulk."
4.        I would sing the National Anthem naked for a Hershey’s bar with peanut butter.
No. Really.  I hope to be able to aquire them without doing so, but if need be..."Ooooh, say can you see?"
5.        I buy water chestnuts whenever I see them, because I mentally block out the fact that I already bought them the previous week.
I’m certain this has a diagnosis.  I also admit to doing this during the Christmas season with evaporated milk.
6.        I’ve always wondered what it would be like to play the organ
This might have started when I was a child, during my “Fascination with The Addams Family” period. 
7.        I have a harmless, mole (read: beauty mark) on my chin that has been removed thrice-- but it keeps growing back.
Now THAT’s talent.
And the nominees are!  Cut and paste your award below and place in your blog, get it tattooed (I don't need to know):
1.  Sheri Saretsky of “My Life in a Fat Suit”—my soul-sister, who has a gift for relatable humor.
2.  Dawn Weber of “Lighten Up”- a sassy broad with a amazingly funny blog
3.  Mark Cowell of “Bagman and Butler Chronicles” -a heck of a photographer/writer with a couple of alter-egos to tend with.
4.  Jerry Zezima- King of the Puns—writes very clever, funny stuff.
5.  Don Mills is “The Crabby Old Fart”, as a crabby old fart in training--I am a huge fan.
6.  Joanne Lee “Nuts and Bolts of Life” writes humor, sentimental, even gardening tips.
7.  Stacey Hatton is “Nurse Mommy Laughs” clever Nurse-Mommy humor.