Monday, October 25, 2010

The Right Kind of Camouflage

We recently took our daughter, Krista, on a “Bow Shoot” in the middle of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  I packed the warmest and brightest possible clothes so the animals and the men carrying the pointy sticks could easily see me. Krista had the same idea and packed fluorescent pink…everything.
But when we arrived at the camp everyone was wearing mostly brown "brush" camouflage.  If I had wanted to "blend in" I most definitely would have purchased the dark green and beige splotched variety of camouflage and thus, would have been shot at instantly for looking like "Predator" or an otherwise large, scary, moving bush.
“I'm going to invent “Living Room Couch” camouflage so next time you won't be able to FIND me when these kinds of things come up, ” I offered Fred.  Fred gave each of his friends a different excuse for our embarrassing colored outfits:
 “My wife and daughter are both color blind.”  And the just as believable:
 “There were these two hitchhikers.” to:
“Can ANYONE throw me a beer?”
All in all, I did learn a lot: 
1.       The difference between a real bow and a compound bow.  Krista has a real bow, like Shootsthebuffalo used in “Dances with Wolves.” Compound bows have a technological adaptation on your more primitive weapon that uses pulleys to shoot further.  Native Americans would probably have kept this country for themselves if someone had invented a compound bow sooner.   Second runner-up to Sitting Bull’s chiefdom could very well have beaten Sitting Bull in a sharp-shooter competition and been crowned chief had he been able to use a compound bow with its optional laser “sight” (read: arrow GPS). 
2.        What is, and is not “GAME.” Game is what kind of animal you can shoot.  At Station 14, Krista thought a giant ground hog decoy looked like a monkey (never shoot a monkey).  Our dog, tied to the wrong tree, also isn’t “game.”
3.         Never tie your dog to a tree at a bow shoot.
4.        The NOSE of a fake animal is always 0 points, even when an obnoxiously dressed city woman balks that a nose IS a vital organ.
5.        If this were a real hunt, I would have been duct-taped to the cabin for cheering and applauding.  Enthusiasm, here, is frowned upon.
Finally, I knew before we left that there was no working plumbing at the camp.  I was prepared.  I didn’t even complain.
“Who dropped the purple hand sanitizer?” the host asked holding up a purse-sized bottle.  Everyone turned to look at me.  “Why would you think it’s mine?”  I asked, scratching the giant red bobble on my bright green wool hat. 
“Mom, it IS yours.  Remember I gave it back to you when you said weren’t eating off those plates?”
It was really time to go anyway.
“You were kind of fun,” Fred said to me on the drive home, “Thank you.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In The Arms of Another: Mall Massage Chair and Me

It all began when my husband, Fred (who I blame for the entire incident) was taking H-O-U-R-S going over the particulars for his new cell phone plan with a sales clerk in the mall.  My daughter and I walked around the shopping center to a point at which I finally announced, for the first time ever, I was sick of shopping.  Our quest for a comfortable seat ended at a pair of “Pay-As-You-Go” black vinyl massage chairs. 
 
“Can we try them?” Krista asked. “Why not? It’s only a dollar,” I said.

As soon as Krista’s chair motor started up, she jumped up and out.  “It feels like it’s trying to pinch my spine,” she exclaimed.

“No, it’s just working out the kinks,” I purred.  As she cautiously plunked back in her seat, the mechanism in my seat was luxuriously swirling the backs of my shoulders.  I was starting to relax.

Until the spin cycle started.

 “Mom, are you having a seizure?”
 
 “Nonononno, whwhwhwhy?”  I shuttered, shimmying like I’ve never shimmied before.  The chair was making me do unspeakable things.  Things I definitely did not want to do--especially in public.

My chair faced the entrance to a “Game Stop” store where numerous male 14-year-old Halo players were exposed to my middle-aged body now opening up and shutting, grinding and jerking.  They were too astonished to snicker, too repulsed to move and too affected to ever look at a woman the same way again.  I tried to laugh it off, but the look on my face caused the one with a Mohawk to drop his chain wallet.

The chair began bucking like an overzealous St. Bernard and making an awful whining noise.  Afraid it might start to smoke, I tried pushing another button on the remote control.  However, lacking the ability to adjust my glasses during the “chair quake” to see through the bifocal lower portion, my best guesses as to what the buttons read were:  Shaggy Knead, Body Plumbing and Squeal, none or which sounded better than the current mode-- Dance Puppet.
 
After another minute, it DID pinch my spine, which sent me launching near a couple of teenage girls, who were bold enough to say, “What a loser” so I could definitely hear them.

Fred, meanwhile, was urgently trying to make his new cell phone’s video option come to life. 
 
Thank God for delayed cell phone activation