Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hoity Toity Dining

A little while ago I ended up in a little restaurant in an even littler town called Inverness.  It started with a horseback riding trip with OF (Old Friend of undesirable snackage fame) and two other women, Shey and Jan.  I knew Shey, but I didn't know Jan.  It makes me uncomfortable to go away with someone I don't know.  What if I hate them...or worse, what if they hate me?  At least I didn't have to share a room with them.  And as it turned out, my worries were for nothing.  Jan turned out to be a really nice lady.

When this little adventure was in the planning stages, OF and I thought we'd just take stuff to eat...bread, cheese, wine, M&M's.  The usual stuff.  We were staying at a little B&B that had stables for our horses so breakfast was taken care of and we figured we could just live on snackage.  The day before we leave after a trek to Costco to buy copious amounts of said snackage I get a call from OF.

"Shey called and said she made dinner reservations for Saturday at an Italian restaurant and Sunday at a seafood place."  "She said we don't have to go if we don't want to."

I don't really remember my reply but it probably had a four letter word in it starting with "f" and ending with "k".  We decided it'd be rude not to go since Shey went to the trouble of making plans. Huge mistake.

The Italian restaurant on Saturday night wasn't bad.  We showed up and Shey told the hostess we had a reservation...but it wasn't in the book.  Hostess looks again...nope, not there.  But, never fear...the extremely detail oriented Shey was able to tell the hostess the name of the young man who took her reservation, and that said young man told her their computer was down but he would take her information and when the computer came back up, would make sure to enter the reservation.  I plan on using this line if I ever have reservation problems.  I'm sure it'll come in handy at the McDonalds counter.  Way to go Shey.

I'm not a big pasta eater but I don't hate it.  Although I do kind of resent using the term pasta...when I grew up pasta was called noodles.   I ended up with a bowl of noodles topped with lamb ragout.  It was okay.

The worst part for me was before they brought our food, they brought a basket of sliced bread which usually comes hand in hand with  a bowl of butter...preferably soft butter so I don't rip the bread to shreds trying to spread it.  But instead of the butter, they brought a bowl of plain olive oil and placed it next to the bread like it was some kind of delicacy.  No butter.  Plain old olive balsamic vinegar to mix it with, nothing, nada, zip, zilch.

Okay, I think, maybe this is how the other half I give it a try.  I tear off a little piece of bread & dip it in the olive oil, pop it in my mouth...and in spite of the fact that I wanted to barf, I'm very proud of the fact that I managed enough self control to suppress the nearly overpowering gag reflex that immediately took hold of me.

I can't believe I was stoopid enough to do it...not stoopid enough to suppress the gag reflex, stoopid enough to think bread dipped in olive oil would be anywhere near edible.  A bowl of plain olive oil...a bowl of grease....and I ate it.   Who knew it'd taste so gross.  Like eating Crisco when I was a kid.  Have I learned nothing from my childhood?  Crisco does look good in the can, doesn't it?  Like frosting.  Sure doesn't taste like frosting though, does it?  If there'd been paper napkins on the table I probably would've spit it out, but it just seemed wrong to spit out a mouthful of semi chewed grease dipped bread into a cloth napkin.  Why didn't I just ask for butter?  I mean, it's not like it was a soup kitchen and they were feeding me for free...I was paying.  I paid to eat grease dipped bread.  How stoopid is that?

I have considered the fact that we may have been on some candid camera type show and that the olive oil wasn't for eating at all...just placed innocently on the table to see how many goobers would actually dip chunks of bread into it and shove it into their mouths in a vain attempt to show culinary sophistication.  I think this paranoia stems from the "People of WalMart" emails that show up in my inbox.

The next night after riding, we went to the seafood place...highly recommended by the kid who forgot to make Shey's reservation the night before.  I was looking forward to any kind of adult beverage containing vodka.  I figured it would be okay.  The only kind of fish I really don't like is salmon...unless it's smoked.  I hoped they'd have swordfish 'cause it's my fave.

The place was nice and I immediately focused on the bar along one wall...lots of wine, lots of beer, but  nary a bottle of hard liquor anywhere in sight.  I hate beer and can't tell the difference between good and bad wine.  The gals I was with are big beer and wine drinkers.  Not size wise big or lush wise big (although OF did buy two, count 'em, two giant cases of "special" beer at our last trip to a shopping warehouse...not that that says anything about her drinking habits or anything...just a casual observation), more of a "connoisseur" wise big.  Some might say snob wise, but not me, I would never say that...

Our server brought us a small half sheet of paper which was the menu.  We had no idea what the first three items were...they had unpronounceable names.  When the server came back, she gave us the good news.  All three unpronounceable names were different types of raw oysters.  Now I know there are people everywhere who think raw oysters are fabulous.  I'm just not one of, I look down to the next item...salmon...seriously???   Things aren't looking too bright for me.  I'm almost to the end of the menu which is the size of a large Post It pad...printed daily because the selections change daily don't ya know...very upscale.  Nowhere on the minuscule menu is there a burger, or fries, or grilled cheese sandwich, or even a kids section.  The only other things are sweet potato soup, pork belly with tonnato sauce (which I found out is tuna sauce...), and a Boudin meat pie.  Things were looking kinda dim for OF & I.  The other two liked salmon so they were happy.

While we were trying to decide, OF and I see a waiter carrying a pizza out to the patio.  There was no pizza on the menu.  We ask the server if we can get a pizza.

"Oh, no"  she kid you not...she sets down a plate of bread accompanied by, yet again, a bowl of plain olive oil.   Is this some kind of butter free fucking twilight zone I'm trapped in???  I can't believe my eyes...and then my ear holes start burning from the rest of her little speech... "The chef only makes a cheese pizza for kids, he won't make it for adults...he's very strict about that." Ohhhh well la di fuckin' da......

WTF???  Everything on the menu sounds repulsive.  If I were a kid, I could have something I like...cheese pizza.  Since I'm old I have to eat repulsive food?  What happened to "the customer is always right"?  If Shey hadn't gone out of her way to make reservations, I would've left.  Talk about snobbery...

OF ordered a glass of wine for me since she's the wine connoisseur.   Then she waited until I'd drained half the glass before tasting it, making a scrunchy face, and pronouncing it "terrible" giving me this "how could you drink that stuff" look.  Like I would know...heck, I didn't know wine in a box was less than desirable until just recently...tastes like wine to me!

I was actually hoping the alcohol would dull the desire for some kind of normal food that was conspicuously absent from the teeny weenie menu.  You couldn't even get a steak. What kind of restaurant doesn't have some kind of steak?  I'll tell you what kind. Hoity Toity places that's what kind.  The kind of places that cater to food snobs.  Places with chefs who think they're the Kings of Fabulosity when it comes to food preparation.  Chefs who forget that "some" of their clientele are going to be regular white trash folk like me...unable to appreciate their desire to create culinary masterpieces...unable to appreciate the time spent on perfect plating techniques...and unable to pronounce items on the fucking menu.

I ended up ordering pork belly...which is basically a thick slice of bacon.  Don't get me wrong...I love bacon...but this had a little tuna sauce on top.  Not like the creamed tuna on toast my mom used to make, this was like a puree of canned tuna. Very fishy and not something I would ever think to eat on top of bacon.  I tried to scrape it off but the taste was still there.  So my "deck of cards" sized slab of of pork belly was cut in half by the nasty tuna sauce.

The whole thing was presented very artfully on a bed of fried polenta.  Fried polenta?  Isn't that like Cream of Wheat only made with corn meal?  Who thinks up this shit?  Why would it occur to anyone to fry something like Cream of Wheat? Maybe because we were in the Mecca of  marijuana growing country the chef was some grown up Spicoli with a serious case of the munchies who just thought it would be "far out" to fry a little polenta and stick a little piece of fried pork belly on...and top it with pureed tuna.  All the while smokin' a reefer (do they still say that?) and admiring his handiwork.  I'm guessing he probably got a participation trophy for creativity at the Acme Culinary Institute after dropping out of high school because they just didn't understand him.  I would've given pretty much anything for a Quarter Pounder with cheese.

OF didn't fare much better.  Her Boudin meat pie was slightly, just barely... larger than a golf ball.  I don't know what I thought it would be...I mean, it didn't have to be the giant Marie Callender sized pot pie, but it could have been at least been Swanson sized.  Even Hostess fruit pie size would've been a huge improvement. Lucky for her that she had the foresight to order sweet potato soup.

We left the cute little over priced gourmet restaurant and headed back to the B&B, stopping at the store for a bag of chips.  When I got to our room I broke open the giant Costco bag of Peanut M&M's and inhaled about half a pound...and washed them down with a swig of Diet Pepsi.  Life was white trash good again...

It's the stoopidist thing.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Three Amigos

We called him Earl, OF and I.  OF is my old friend of undesirable snackage fame.  Earl was a rescue.  A big boned gray Quarter of a million old horses who, through unintentional circumstances, had become a bag of bones.  He was twenty-nine and pretty much toothless.  I took him to OF's house and put him in her "medical unit" which is basically a stall with rubber mats and a gate to enclose it to keep the other horses out.

Old Earl wasn't really interested in anything or anybody.   I don't think he'd ever been a "pet".    He turned his nose up at the soaked hay pellets we tried to get him to eat.  I can't say I blame was pretty unappetizing mush.  So we added a little sweet senior feed to the mush and he started eating...and eating...and eating.  After the first week, he started nickering when anyone came in the barn to feed.  The only time he nickered at anyone was for food.  He pretty much got as much as he could eat and in no time went from being a walking skeleton to a hog fat equine senior citizen.  Okay, maybe he got a little too fat...not a lot...just a little.

OF had an oldster Arab named Trigger, so named by OF's ex who didn't want to ride a horse called "The Guy"...which is what OF called him....probably because her other horses were mares.   Trig, who bore no resemblance to his flashy palomino namesake of Roy Rogers fame, had been put out to pasture at OF's sister's house because of a gimpy hind leg and was starting to get thin.  He came back to OF's where he and Earl, who was pleasingly plump by this time, became pasture mates. 

Trig was Mr. Personality...the complete opposite of Earl...more of an "in your pocket" type of guy who loved attention, always walking over and presenting himself for a good scratching.  They were a pretty good fit...two gray haired old men standing head to tail swishing flies off each other when they weren't ambling around the pasture pretending to eat the dry grass but actually subsisting on a steady diet of senior feed.  Life was good.

A couple months go by and OF gets a call from her sister.  Her Arab, Kai, was sick and she was worried about him.  The vet was called, treated Kai for colic, and he seemed better...still not quite right, but better.

OF & her sister went on vacation to Mexico for a week and I was going to take care of the animals while they were gone.  Everyone decided that Kai should come to OF's house in case he got sick again.  I immediately felt the pressure.  All I could think was, Please God, don't let him die while they're gone.

Of course, as luck would have it, Kai got sick almost as soon as they left.  Colic...again.  I called the vet who doused him with mineral oil and some kind of anti spasmodic meds.

On a little side note...Tess, one of OF's dogs, lapped up a bunch of mineral oil from the bucket while the vet was tubing Kai...which she barfed up in OF's garage after he left.  It was disgusting.  I went in the house to find some paper towels to clean it up and when I got back to the garage...there were OF's three dogs, tails wagging...and there was no barf left on the garage was licked clean.   Somebody ate the barf.   I'm hard pressed to decide which is worse...dogs eating barf or dogs eating cat poop...why do they do this?

Kai seemed better after the vet left, but still not right.  I was thankful he didn't die while they were gone.  Instead he ended up living at OF's house with Earl & Trig.  As it turns out a diet of grass was causing his problems and once he started eating senior feed the colic went away.  Funny how something you eat all your life all of a sudden starts making you sick.

So the three old gray horses ended up together.  Three Amigos.  We called them the Old Guys.  They all got along and the pecking order you usually see at feeding time, was pretty much nonexistent.  Earl, the big ol' Quarter Horse was thirty now and still unfriendly except at feeding time.  Kai, twenty-nine, and Trig, twenty-four, whose former gray coats were now almost completely white still had those beautiful Arab heads with great big soft eyes.  I don't care what kind of horse lover you are, there's nothing more beautiful in the horse world than the head of an Arab...I think even the most die hard Quarter Horse fan would be hard pressed to deny it.

When you have oldsters, you know they're not gonna live forever, and you think you're prepared...but you never really are.  I always figured Earl would go first.  Even though he gained all his weight back, he was arthritic and wobbly, and his back end tracked crooked from his front end.  His eyesight was going too.

But it was Trig who went first.  Go figure...the spring chicken of the bunch.  His back end was getting stiffer and one day after rolling in the sand couldn't get back up.  OF managed to help him get up and once he was upright, he went on his merry way like it was no big deal.

The next time Trig went down, hours, and I mean hours, of pushing, prodding, and coaxing with a grain bucket didn't help.  But boy he tried...each time he was asked he tried to get his legs under him.  His heart was in it but his old legs just wouldn't move the way he wanted them to.   It was pitch dark by the time the vet got there and Trig spent his last few hours illuminated by car headlights eating treats and generally basking in all the attention he loved so much.   Everyone cried.
He's buried right in the pasture where he spent his last night.

With Trig gone, Kai and Earl became inseparable.  Wherever Kai went, Earl followed, his nose whiskers touching Kai's hip.  Even though he wasn't completely blind, Kai was like a guide dog for him.

They came to my place for the summer.   I got used to hearing Kai whinny every time I called his name.  Earl still only gave a little nicker at feeding time.  I started feeding Kai separately after I figured out that Earl was wolfing his food down and then helping himself to Kai's food.  Earl wasn't aggressive or anything, he'd just kinda move all his massiveness in on little ol' Kai and nudge him out of the way...all very slow and methodical.  So I'd open the gate and hang Earls feeder on the inside of the fence and Kai would walk through the gate to his tub on the other side.  He always grabbed a mouthful of Earl's food on his way out.  It was kind of a payback ritual.  When Kai got done eating, I'd open the gate and he'd walk back in where his buddy was standing patiently waiting for him.  Life was good.

A few weeks ago I went with OF and a couple of others to the coast to a B&B that had stabling for our horses.  I left early Saturday after feeding the Old Guys and everyone else.  My neighbor, who has horses of her own, was feeding for me while I was gone.  I called her Saturday evening to see if everything was okay and she said Kai wouldn't eat.  He didn't act sick, just wasn't interested in food.   When I called the next day he was the same.

We came home early and I hauled the Old Guys down to OF's place.  We called Ellie, the mobile vet, who barely looks like she's old enough to drive, and she came to check Kai out.  Ellie said Kai had a fever and his heart was beating abnormally but she was more afraid his liver was failing and did a blood test to confirm it. We waited till the next morning and got the good news that Kai didn't have a liver problem but did have some kind of low grade infection.  Everybody was relieved and he was started on daily penicillin injections.  But still wouldn't eat...and he didn't whinny when you called his name.

I went over after work to see him and carried out a pail of dry unsweetened pellets, grabbed a handful and held it out.  He took it...and ate it.  It was nearly dark, and getting hands were slick with horse slobber but I was elated. He ate!!  It was only about four or five handfuls, but at least it was a start.  He wouldn't eat the sweetened stuff but ate the dry unsweetened kind.  Go figure...when he first came to live with the Old Guys he didn't want the dry plain stuff but chowed down on the sweetened stuff.

OF said he whinnied at her when she called his name the next morning.  We were just looking for any sign that he was going to pull through...the tiniest thing would give us hope.

So we got dry senior pellets for Kai...two different kinds....which he immediately turned his nose up at.  We saw him nibble at the hay that was dropped when we fed the other horses so we started putting hay in front of him.  He pushed it around, but it mostly stayed in the feeder.  We tried to convince ourselves he was eating. But he wasn't.  You want to do anything but say goodbye...but you have to.  OF called Ellie.

The day before Ellie came back, we put Earl in one of the pastures with an old horse named Nick, thinking Earl wouldn't be as stressed if he wasn't alone.  Nick, another oldster, lived on the property next to OF.  Earl made it clear he wanted no part of Nick, arching his neck, screaming and striking out with his front foot. Very studly for an old guy.  It was a brief glimpse of what he must have been like as a youngster.  I bet he was really impressive in his day.

We turned them loose and they promptly ignored each other.  Nick stood at the fence bordering his property while Earl paced up and down the other side facing the barn where Kai was, leaving crooked hind end tracks in his wake.  They stayed that way all day until feeding time when Earl grudgingly left his side of the the fence long enough to chow down and the love of food was enough to get Nick away from his fence line.  The next morning when OF fed them she said Earl stared at Nick like he was giving him the Evil Eye and gave another little studly scream when Nick started eating from the feeder next to him where Kai usually ate.  Nick ignored him...maybe because there was a stall panel between them...or maybe because he knew he was way more agile than Earl...or maybe because he just wanted food.  Nick's a pretty mellow dude.

In hindsight, which always seems to be 20/20, Earl probably would have been better off alone that first night.  You have to wonder what they think when all of a sudden their buddy is taken away from them and some interloper is trying to take his place.  All our good intentions probably just traumatized the old guy even more.   We probably double whammied him by taking him away from his buddy AND putting a strange horse in with him.

It was about ten when Ellie got there to check Kai.  She knew why she was there. We knew why she was there.  We knew it was going to happen.  It didn't make it any easier.  OF had even called "the truck" to haul away the body.

Ellie examined Kai and said his gums looked worse.  He wasn't oxygenating properly.  His heartbeat wasn't worse but she could see the pulse in his neck and that wasn't a good sign.  Simply put, his heart was failing.  She went on to say there were various things that could be tried. After she explained things that "could" be tried, she said the magic words to OF...

"You wouldn't be doing these things for'd be doing it for you."

OF went in the house.  She couldn't watch.  I held him while Ellie gave Kai a tranquilizer before the final injection...a giant syringe of pink fluid..."the pink juice" my friend D calls it.

Some of them drop like a ton of bricks, but not Kai.  Ever the dignified Arab he let his legs just curl up underneath him and slowly lowered himself to the ground. Almost like he wanted his last act to be a graceful death.

While we were standing there waiting for the final breath, Ellie making small talk, me fighting tears, Ellie looked over at Earl.  I was so focused on Kai I didn't even see him.  He was laying down in the pasture thrashing around...and he couldn't get up.

OF came out and the three of us tried to get him up.  You could see the panic in his eyes.  I don't know if it was from the three of us pushing on him or just a natural fear from being unable to get up. Either way, it was there.  We were finally able to get him up after a few minutes of pushing.

You never know if you're making the right decision.  Is it time?  What if he goes down again and can't get up and nobody's around.  Can he make it through the winter?  Should I wait and see?

Ellie knew..."What do you want to do?"

I put the halter on him and led Earl out to the lawn where Kai was while Ellie filled more syringes.  He didn't go down as gracefully as Kai.

"I wasn't expecting him to go too" I told Ellie while we stood there waiting for Earls final exhale.

"You know, maybe he just wanted to be with his buddy"  she said bringing fresh tears to my eyes.

A few days later when I was sitting here writing this, The Husband laid this card down on the desk. It came in the mail with no return address.

Inside there was a handwritten note that read...
Dear Mother R,
Thank you for making my last years wonderful.  I was never hungry, cold, or lonely.  You were always kind to me and I thank you for loving me.  I knew my best friend was going to leave me & I chose to go be with him.  I was sad to leave you but knew you would understand.  I miss you already.

I thought it was from it turned out, I was wrong, it was from my friend Smellie.

I had a preacher once tell me that animals don't go to heaven because they don't have souls.  I don't know if he's right or not.  But anyone who has ever known the unconditional love and devotion of a dog, the affected indifference of a big orange cat, or the bond with a favorite horse would have to disagree.  I know I do.

So I hope that when I get to the Pearly Gates, there's Three Amigos standing there waiting for me. The Old Guys...Trig waiting to be scratched, Kai with a big whinny hello...and I hope I get to hear Earl give a little nicker.

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
         R.B Cunninghame Graham

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why The World Doesn't Revolve Around Me

I'm sure nobody in the store guessed that inwardly I was a raging maniac hurling obscenities at the prissy blond woman holding up the line at the checkout counter.

She with the sixties long, straight, blond hair parted in the middle...wearing a fashionably fitted button front blouse tucked into a fashionable knee length A-line skirt...with fashionable flats that matched the fashionable belt wrapping her barely double digit waist.  She with the "I just smelled something bad" look on her fifty something face looking at everyone down her perky little nose. It's one of the few parts that doesn't wrinkle or does, however, grow continuously...albeit slowly...and why do they get so bulbous?

This complete stranger inspired my rage...I wanted to knock her fucking head off.   But I didn't.
Why, you ask?  Because that would be rude...and I've had it drilled into my head from the time I was itty bitty that you always, I mean always, have to be polite.  Plus, it would be a crime I would probably go to jail for...and there were witnesses all around.  I may be stoopid but even I'm not that stoopid.  Even though I'm seething inside a smile stays pasted to my face..."a smile is just a frown turned upside down"...remember that song?  I know it wasn't a "real" smile.  It was one of those half smiles you see on ol' wimmen who look like they have no idea what's going on around them...sort of a La Di Da, every thing's right with the world smile. Totally fake...

Now, call me crazy, but I always thought you were suppose to finish your shopping BEFORE you head to the checkout counter.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that that's the way it's suppose to work.  It's why they give you carts.  So you can wheel around the store putting all the things you want to buy in one place and when you get everything you need, you take all your stuff at once and streamlines the process.  Otherwise you'd spend hours buying things one at a time.

Of course, if I stop and think about it, buying one thing at a time might force me to do more walking...walk from the car to the grocery aisle, get my item...or two if I can carry more than one...walk to the checkout and pay...walk out to the car and put my stuff in...walk back to the store for the next item(s)...and repeat as necessary.  If I walked more, I'd burn more calories...if I burned more calories, maybe I'd lose weight.  I may be on to something here...The SIS (Single Item Shopping) Diet.  It could work.  Once I get the kinks worked out, look out Weight Watchers...

So anyway, back to the object of my rage...PB (Prissy Blond) was at the checkout, followed by a teenage girl and then yours truly.  PB's almost done when she starts telling CC (Chubby Checker...not to be confused with the sixties sensation of the same name...this really was a chubby checker.)  how she couldn't find something she was looking for.  CC assures her that the store has the item she wants...and she sends him to fetch it for her...while the rest of us wait...and wait...and wait.

Nary a word of apology passes her lips as PB glances our way.  No "I'm really sorry to make you wait", no "I'm sorry but my child is sick and really needs this", PB just stands there acting like the world revolves around her...which it apparently does.  So I guess my mom was right...the world doesn't revolve around me because fucking PB had it revolving around her...  I always secretly wanted to be thin and have long straight blonde hair when I was younger.  Maybe I instinctively knew that if I did, the world actually would revolve around me.

Now I realize that when you're standing in line waiting, minutes seem like hours.  I get that.  It doesn't make me like it any better though.  I also get that I'm essentially an Impatient Patty type...and most if not all of my impatience is directed at people.  People tend to annoy me.  Animals rarely annoy me but people...sometimes I just wanna kill 'em.  Figuratively speaking of course...

So I stand silently appearing patient, half smile pasted on my face, shifting my weight from leg to leg...(gimpy back screams from standing still too long) until finally with sweat glistening on his brow, CC comes bustling back to his checkout counter holding a little bag above his head like a flag.  He hands it to PB so happy and proud that he could find it for her... and she tells him it's not the right flavor...and doesn't buy it...and walks out the door like the world revolves around her...which apparently it does.

I'd have been so grateful to the kid for trying that I'd have bought it no matter what it was.  I even wanted to tell him I'd buy it...and I didn't even know what it was.  To this day I don't know if it was a bag of cough drops or gummy bear like vitamins, but that's the kind of bag it was.

I don't know why I let myself get annoyed at strangers who couldn't care less even if they knew they were annoying me...but I can't help's the stoopidist thing.

P.S.  I think I'd like it better if the world actually did revolve around me.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Caught In The Act

You know that feeling you get when you're caught doing something you're not supposed to be doing?  You wish that you could magically disappear and would welcome the ground opening up and swallowing you whole.  Okay, that may be going a little far...if the ground opened up, it would be filled with bugs and creepy things.  Just having a bug crawl across my foot nearly causes me a heart attack.  So I guess I'm really exaggerating when I say I wish the ground would open up and swallow me.  But the feeling of wanting to be anywhere but where you are at a given moment I hope is something everybody least I know my friends get it.  Especially OF (Old Friend of Undesirable Snackage Fame)...who experienced that feeling today...with me...'cause that's what friends are for.  Kinda makes you want to sing along, doesn't it?  Keep smilin', keep shinin', knowin' you can always count on me...for sure...that's what friends are for.  Remember that song?

I digress...So anyway, OF and I were in Costco buying provisions. food, cat litter, apple filled pastries, cashews, mini pizzas.  OF... alcohol, chicken salad, alcohol, spinach, alcohol, yogurt, alcohol...hmmmm that's a lot of alcohol.  

First to hit the basket was a gallon of vodka followed seconds later by a jug of Fireball (cinnamon whiskey...really good).  A few steps further down the aisle was a jug of regular whiskey to be used to make whiskey slush's which are fabulous and last but not lease was a box of Zinfandel.  Yes I said box.  Which surprised me because OF is kind of a wine snob.  Me, I know nothing of good vs bad wine, vodka, whiskey, etc.  I'd be a totally white trash drinker were it not for the fact that I hate beer. Give me a jelly jar full of some sweet alcoholic concoction over ice, and I'm a happy camper.

In an effort to look less lush like (say that three times fast), OF decided she really didn't need the gallon of vodka and was going to put it back.  Since we were now in the wine aisle, I told her she should just set it in the big empty spot on the pallet of wine.  I didn't think there were any employees around to see her commit this whopping shopping faux pas and it would have taken more time to wind our way through the masses to get back to the vodka aisle.  Wrongo bongo...

As soon as she set the giant vodka bottle down on the pallet, and here I admit it looked conspicuously out of place next to the petite wine bottles it was sidling up to, I looked to my left and there was one of the store stockers standing behind a potato bin looking at us.  Even though I was old enough to be the kid's grandma, I suddenly felt like the proverbial kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  I did what I always do when I'm nervous...I started laughing.  I tell OF "that kid's watching us, let's go put it back".  She starts laughing and keeps walking..."we have to put it back" I tell her...beet red and laughing she keeps walking.  We're both mortified and laughing like a couple of ten year old school girls but we keep walking... leaving in our wake, the lone vodka bottle looking like the tall gawky girl towering over her petite red wine classmates in the school pictures.  

Actually, I was torn.  I didn't know whether I should grab the bottle and rush it back to its proper place, or shove it back into the cart.  If I'd thought about it logically, which I'm  rarely prone to do, what was the kid going to do?  Give a couple of old ladies a tongue lashing for putting a bottle on the wrong shelf?  Kick us out of the store?  Not likely since our shared basket was filled with hundreds of dollars in goods.  

I know from seeing other misplaced items on shelves in stores that we aren't the only ones who've done this. Every time you go to the store you can see a lone product stolen away from its family of like products and put in an aisle where it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Sometimes I make the effort to return things to their proper place...not something someone else has moved, but something I decided after putting it in my cart that I really didn't need...unless the store's too crowded.  Then all bets are off.  But I always try to look around to see if any one's watching before I hastily put the previously coveted but now unwanted bottle of ketchup on top of a bag of brown rice.  Then I nonchalantly mosey away...

In an effort to relieve myself of the stoopid guilt I feel when I return items to their unassigned shelves, I've decided to look at it another way.  I'm desegregating the store.  If you stop and think about it, stores really are the last bastion of accepted segregation.  So I'll just proudly do my small part to ensure that products don't remain segregated for their entire shelf life.

P.S.  I probably won't go so far as to place a carton of ice cream on the shelf next to the toilet paper or a head of lettuce in the ice cream freezer.  I'd feel even more guilt for ruining something than I already do for unintentional rearranging.  It's the stoopidist thing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hay Holes

Hay holes...not to be confused with a-holes...although I suppose a-holes can make hay holes...but not vice know what I’m talking about? You go to haul hay and you’re walking across the top of the stack without a care in the world, only to suddenly find one leg buried knee deep between bales leaving you unceremoniously sprawled on your stomach. Yes, you’ve found the first (of many) hay holes, cleverly disguised with loose hay to make it look like you’re walking on a solid surface when in fact you’re not. Hopefully in your fall, you’ve managed to avoid landing on your hay hooks which might result in serious injury instead of a little touch of humiliation from your lack of gracefulness.

It’s funny when someone else hits a hay hole. You can’t help but laugh. It’s not quite as funny when you hit it yourself. I’m actually a little paranoid about hay holes because I’m afraid of falling off the hay stack. I’m not fond of heights...but I love roller coasters...go figure.

Last weekend, I went with OF (Old Friend of undesirable snackage fame) to haul hay. She got a call from a grower she calls Hay Juan (she calls him this because she didn’t know his last name)saying he had some oat/rye three wire bales left and would she like it? Of course my frugal friend wanted some and luckily for me I was included in her windfall.

When we got to Hay Juan’s farm, he was waiting for us on his quad...looking like a little brown raisin in a straw cowboy hat. He leads us to the field...and the stack of not so high quality looking hay. You can see that we’re getting the bottom of the stack because each of the bales has dirt on one side where it’s been sitting on the ground. OF’s had hay from Hay Juan before so I’m trusting her judgement on its quality...because even if she’d eat rotten food herself, I know she wouldn’t ever feed it to her horses.

“Take as much as chew wan...I be back en about half a hour” says Hay Juan as he rides off into the sunset...actually it was morning so I guess it was more of a sunrise...truthfully it was closer to noonish...he just rode off and left us.

I looked at OF, she looked at me, and suddenly this deal didn’t seem so sweet. But really, what were we going to do? Neither of us had gloves...we had one set of hay hooks between us...and two trucks to load. We loaded OF’s truck first.

OF hit the hay hole on her first pass across the top of the stack. She was dragging a bale over to the truck and down she went. I didn’t want to laugh but I couldn’t help it. OF’s got some size to her, she’s really tall...I’m talkin’ Brienne of Tarth tall (I can’t help it...I’m hooked on Game of Thrones.) and when she went down it was like a giant redwood falling.

Why is it so funny when you see people fall? I know it’s wrong to least before you find out if they’re seriously injured...but I just can’t help it.

The Lucy & Ethel show continued through two truck loads of hay loading...dragging bales, rolling them end over end to stack them. I seriously hope nobody was watching us...or God forbid, recording our escapade for future YouTube viewing by the masses.

OF hit the same hay hole and went down at least three times...and I’m ashamed to admit I laughed hysterically each time. By the time we got done, we were hot, sweaty, covered with scratches and itchy from hay chaff....and then we got to tie the loads down. We tie like girls...not bows or anything, but a bunch of little knots everywhere.

When we walk to the side of the field, Hay Juan’s waiting for us “We gonna have some good peaches this year” he tells us. I ask what kind...

“Oh, Elberta and O’Henry” he says “real sweet”.

Fresh peaches are the bomb and Fay Elberta’s are my favorite. We tell Hay Juan that we’ll be back for them and even as the words are coming out of my mouth I’m wondering if I’m going to have to climb the trees and pick them’s the stoopidist thing.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Greg Gutfeld is on a daily talk show called The Five.  He's also on a late night show called Red Eye. I think he's really funny...and smart.  In a Dennis Millerish sort of way.

On The Five, Gutfeld has a little segment called "Banned Phrase/Word" or something close to that. One of the most recent banned was "With all due respect"...because generally if you preface your comment with that phrase, you think the person you're speaking to is a fucking moron, or your boss, or both...but you don't want to say that out loud.

Today I'm going to start my own little ban...the first ban will be the improper use of the word "like". Used properly, you might say "I like apples".  Used improperly, you might say "She came up to me, and I'm like, what do you want?".   Why do people say this?

Who started this?  Is it so hard to use the word "said"?  Because that's what you mean, really, isn't it? It makes everyone sound like Valley Girls.  Fer Shur.

This has become so widespread that everybody does it.  You hear it on TV, you hear it on the's everywhere...(kinda like lesbians... They're Everywhere   ...only annoying)...I'm like, he's like, she's like, you're like, everybody's like using the word like improperly.

I'm like, totally's like, the stoopidist thing...

P.S.  And with a nod to Bill Mahr, New Stoopid Rule... from this day forward the use of "Valentimes" instead of the correct "Valentines" is absolutely forbidden by everyone in the universe.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dinner With The Husband

A couple of weeks ago, The Husband and I went to dinner at a new Chinese restaurant.  The place used to be a different Chinese restaurant that I didn't like very much but I noticed a new name on the sign and since it was close to the grocery store and we needed to eat, it seemed like a good time to try it.  The new name of the restaurant is Lucky Jin.

The first time we went in, there was only one other couple having dinner.  A few people came in and picked up orders to go while we were there but it didn't seem like a good omen that nobody was eating there.  We ordered a dinner for two or as it was repeated back to us "dinnah fo tu".  The food was good and even though we couldn't understand the waitress, we decided we'd go back again.

This weekend we decided to go again to "Lucky Jin".  It wasn't the original plan.  No, this happened after The Husband annoyed me.  He didn't know he'd annoyed me...he never does.  See, we have this agreement that nobody cooks or waits on dinner for the other one during the week.  Since we never know when we'll each get home, it works out well.  But I didn't work on Friday so I waited for The Husband to get home from work to see what he wanted to do for dinner.

I was in the bathroom when The Husband came home and by the time I got out, (no, I wasn't going "big potty") I walked into the kitchen and he had a can of clam chowder soup poured into a bowl and was getting ready to heat it up.  Now, I know this shouldn't have annoyed me...but it did.  The Husband didn't know I'd waited to eat until he got home...but I had...and so I felt I had ample reason to be annoyed.

"Well, I guess I'll go to the store and get something to eat..." I said, each word dripping with sarcasm as I walked out the door to feed the horses.  I don't think he even heard me.  The Husband is more than slightly deaf but refuses to admit it.

When I walked back into the house The Husband said "Do you want to go to town and get something to eat"?  Maybe I was wrong...maybe he had heard me...and maybe, just maybe he noted the annoyed tone in my voice.

"I thought you were eating soup" I said...

"I was, but I ruined it" he I know he didn't notice anything I said before and wasn't trying to be nice...he just fucked up his soup and wanted dinner.

"How can you ruin soup?"  I wondered out loud.

"I made it with buttermilk" said The Husband...and I'm instantly happy, delighted even, that I'd forgotten to go to the store to buy milk.  That'll teach won't really...but at least I had a good laugh and a good laugh can get you over mild annoyance any time.

So that's how we ended up at Lucky Jin a second time.  Again, there was only one other couple at a table when we got there.  The same waitress brought us our drinks and remembered from the previous time that I don't like sweet & sour sauce with mustard in it.  She brought the sweet & sour sauce sans mustard along with our drinks so I know she remembered.  She didn't take our dinner order this time though, instead a man who I assume is her husband, took our orders...he was even harder to understand than she was.

I said "let's just get what we had the last time" to The Husband.  The waiter took our order and asked us something about "soup".  Even I couldn't understand the waiter but I almost laughed at the look The Husband gave me...and I realized he gives me this look all the's the "WTF did they say" look.  Every time we go to a restaurant, I automatically repeat things to him or just order for him.  It's become such a habit, I don't even realize I'm doing it.

I manage to get that the waiter is asking us what kind of soup we want and when I ask him what kind there is I understand the words won ton.  So that's what I picked.  As he walked away, The Husband asked what the waiter said so I told him he wanted to know what soup we wanted.

"Well I couldn't understand him...bla,bla,bla,bla,bla" says The Husband, trying to make his bla, blas, sound Chinese.  I'm horrified when he does this and immediately start nervously laughing as I tell him to shut up.  Deaf people talk louder than they think they do sometimes and I don't want the waiter or waitress to hear him.  Jeez....

We finish eating and I tell The Husband I'm going to get a carton to take the leftovers home.  When I start to turn around to get the attention of the waitress I hear The Husband shout out "Hey Lucky Jin" that's her name.  WTF???  I must have had a WTF look on my face when I looked at him because he kinda looked after he said it he knew it probably wasn't the right thing to say...still he felt the need somehow to dig himself in a little deeper when the waitress brought me a take out carton by asking her...

"Do you speak Chinese?  Or Cantonese?"  and... you guessed it...he said it in old white man fake Chinese accent...and he didn't even know he was doing it.  I wanted to The Husband would even know the difference between Chinese or Cantonese...

Now I'm afraid we can never return to Lucky Jin for fear they'll spit in our food thinking The Husband was intentionally mocking's the stoopidist thing.

The Kindness of a Stranger

We had an Old Chix gathering a couple of weeks ago at Scari's house.  It was just the original four, Scari who's a widow, barren, and has an incurable disease...she likes to mention these things frequently in an attempt to gain attention but it kinda falls on deaf ears since we've all heard it about a million times... me, Prissy, and Elmo who's husband just died.  Elmo was the reason for the gathering at Scari's.  We thought she'd be less self conscious in a small group where we could eat, drink, and be merry in a non-public setting...we usually go for Champagne Brunch at the casino because we all get senior discounts and hence, drink for free.

At some point during our festivities, Elmo mentioned she needed a new BBQ and it just so happened that Priss had one that she and her husband never used so she said Elmo was welcome to it.    

The following weekend, OF (Old Friend of undesirable snackage fame) and I went to Costco so I took my fancy new truck thinking we could load up the BBQ and haul it back to Elmo.  Wrongo  bongo.  These new trucks are sooooo tall, you need a ladder to get into the bed.  There was no way we could lift this fancy ass BBQ into the truck.  I should have known.  Priss never buys anything cheap, and this BBQ was no exception.  I figured it was aluminum, and would be light weight...wrong again...even after we wised up and removed the full propane tank we still couldn't lift it.  I would like to point out here that in spite of our aged status, OF and I really aren't wimps.  We both have horses, haul hay around, throw heavy saddles up on giant horses...okay, they're really not "giant", but sometimes they seem that way...especially when the old back or shoulder is gimpy...the point is, we are capable of lifting a "reasonable" amount of weight.  Just not the Prissy heavy duty BBQ that does everything and then some...we left BBQ-less.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I ask The Husband to hook his little utility trailer up to the truck (it has a ramp) so I can go get the BBQ.  It's a little six foot trailer so I thought it would be a piece of cake backing into Prissy's perfectly landscaped suburban front drive replete with giant cement urns lining the side of said driveway...I back my three horse trailer all the time so why would it be a big deal?  If I'm being totally honest, it now takes me a little longer to get it right with the new truck...I blame this on the new truck being longer than the old one it has fucked up divided mirrors that show close up and far I never really know which one to focus on...  In my heart, I know the problem is mine but I still blame the truck.

On the way down the hill, I try to call OF to see if she'll help me.  She doesn't answer.  OF is a woman who never goes anywhere without her phone...she panics if she doesn't have her phone with her.  But when I call her for help...she doesn't answer.  I secretly think she knew I was going to ask her for something and just didn't answer when she saw who was calling.  

So when I can't get OF, I try Elmo's phone.  Yet another woman who is never without a answer. Story of my fucking life...I can't call Scari because I know she'll still be in bed and I already know Priss & her husband won't be home...but I figure since the trailer has a ramp, I can wheel the BBQ on myself.  I immediately start getting nervous.

I make it to high class suburbia in under thirty minutes.  The street is lined with palatial homes all landscaped to perfection.  I've driven into the real life version of House Beautiful magazine.  Nary a yard car to be found in this neck of the woods...and there's no Big Wheels trikes lining the driveways either.  You'd never know anybody had a kid in this make messes...and there's nothing, not even a blade of grass out of place anywhere.

Unfortunately for me, even though the streets were probably wide enough for four cars, I couldn't get the truck positioned to back straight into the urn lined drive with the magic BBQ sitting at the end like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. first attempt failed miserably as I found out that it's way easier to back a big long horse trailer than it is to back a short, short, utility trailer.  I barely touched the steering wheel and the little trailer nearly jackknifed...okay then...start over.  Now I'm really nervous because I can see a white sedan getting ready to leave its driveway two houses down.  Fuck...I'm blocking the street.  I manage to get the trailer a little ways into the perfect least enough so the white luxury sedan can get by, when much to my surprise once it's past the front of the truck, the door opens and out jumps Mr. GQ.  I try to roll down the drivers window as Mr. GQ approaches because it's obvious he wants to say something to me, only to lower the rear window instead...this is not the first time I've done this in the new truck because I don't know where the fucking buttons are...nervousness just tends to magnify my imbecilic tendencies.  

It must have been the universal "yikes" face I gave him as he drove by that prompted him to stop.
Or the way I sheepishly covered my face...

I was mortified...

"Hey, I'm an expert at you want some help?"  asks GQ.  He really does look like a GQ model on his way to a  photo shoot and I briefly wonder what he can be an expert at because GQ doesn't look like the type who would ever get dirty or place hands on any type of machinery whatsoever...I say briefly because I had these thoughts in the nanosecond it took me to bail out of my truck and turn it over to a complete stranger simply because he told me he could do it.  "That would be wonderful, thank you" I manage as my feet hit the pavement...  

Thank the Lord that I was driving the new truck and not "Old Red".  Old Red is a 93 Ford that's seen better days and is all dented along one side where a deer decided to ram it...the deer won.  If I'd been driving Old Red and wearing my I was...bag lady garb, GQ probably would've called the cops thinking I was there to commit some heinous crime.  (I really did look like an old bag lady.)

True to his word,  GQ backed the truck down the never ending driveway and stopped it right in front of the BBQ.  He didn't even have to stop and pull forward once or twice to regroup like I would have had to do a million or so times.  

"You want me to help you load it?"  GQ asks as he starts to let the ramp down, noticing me fumbling with the trailer latch on the drivers side.  I can't get it to feels like the stoopid pin holding the ramp up is welded shut.  

GQ has the other side open in the hot second it takes me to say "Oh thank you, that would be great" and pulls the pin I've been fumbling with which, when he lays his golden hand on it, suddenly acts like it's just been shot with a heavy dose of WD40.   WTF????

I manage to act like I was helping him wheel the BBQ up the ramp, probably hindering more than helping when he asks how I want it to ride?  Duh...what?  "Well," GQ explains, "if you put it this way, there'll be less drag when you're driving".  I nod like I know what he's talking about when I say "okay".   

GQ says he thinks I'm good to go and heads back to the white Lexus he left parked in the street as I thank him profusely.  It may have been a little much for him when I tried to kiss his feet.  I think I may have scared him.

After using forty feet of the sixty foot rope I brought I finally feel I have the BBQ tied securely to the trailer...I even had to laugh when I looked at how stoopidly I tied it up.  Mrs. Moronsky at work again!  I manage to get to Elmo's house without incident and with the help of her and her daughter we get the whole shebang unloaded and in her back yard.  Elmo's my kind of peep...she has a yard car.

I have no idea what prompted GQ to stop when he saw this big ass new truck driven by an incompetent old woman who probably in his opinion had no business being on the road...maybe he was simply afraid I'd wreck his neighbor's yard if he left me to my own devices...or maybe he was just a nice guy doing something nice.

It's amazing how the kindness of a stranger can touch your life...and make you want to be kind in's the stoopidist thing...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Game Day

The day has arrived.  Preparations for my pending anal violation (AV) are nearing the end.  I still had a half gallon of noxious "prompt a poop" juice in the fridge waiting to be chugged, glass by gag inducing glass.

I spent most of the night worrying about when to start drinking my next batch of "prompt a poop" juice.  So much so that I barely slept.  Every hour I'd wake up...too early...go back to sleep...wake up...still too early...and on, and on...  Most of the night I spent watching the Food Channel and thinking about food.  It's not that I was really hungry, I just wanted to eat.

The directions from the BD's (Butt Doctor) office said to drink the second half four hours prior to check in time.  Now I'm worried that it won't work in time.  I'm supposed to check in at 11:00...but the AV outpatient center is about a forty-five minute drive from my house.  What if the "prompt a poop"' juice doesn't kick in soon enough?  What if I'm still pooping when it's time to leave for the AV center?  Do I call & tell them I'm going to be late?  What if they tell me they'll have to reschedule?  Then I'd have to do the pre-game show all over again.  No fucking way am I going to do that...What if I think I'm done pooping and have to poop in the middle of the drive?  There's NOWHERE to stop along the way.  Just a freeway with flatland pastures on either side.  I'm worried I'm going to end up shitting my pants at some point.  Maybe I should have bought some adult Depends...just in case...but that makes it seem like you're planning to intentionally shit your pants...and that just seems so wrong.

These are all thoughts that are running through my pea brain when I get the "prompt a poop" juice out of the fridge.  I poured the first glass and started to chug away...and was immediately rewarded not only with the urge to vomit but with intense brain freeze because the "prompt a poop" juice was too cold to chug.  You know the freeze pain you get between your eyes when you eat ice cream or drink something too cold...yep, that's what happened.

Now I don't know what to do, because there's no way you can sip this stuff without puking it right back up.  There's no time to let it sit and warm up.  I don't have time.  I need to get this stuff down the gullet and out the other end BEFORE I have to drive to the AV center.    I wonder if I should put it in the microwave but nix that idea because I'm afraid I'd get it too hot and then have to put it in the freezer to cool off at which point I'd leave it too long and be back to the whole brain freeze problem again.  I fill the sink with hot water and set the jug in it.  It worked.

Let the process begin...again.

When I signed up for this, it didn't occur to me that there would be a "preferable" time to be anally violated.  As it turns out, I was wrong.  Early morning is where it's at for AV procedures.  Why?  I'll tell you why.  Because if you stoopidly schedule your AV procedure for 11:00 in the morning, you have to continue the pre-game show on Game Day.  If you schedule the big event for 8:00 in the morning, you only have one day to experience the pre-game show festivities.  When you know you have to get up on Game Day and drink more of the gag inducing beverage it just makes for a long sleepless night.  Trust me on this future AV participants and plan accordingly.

The Husband, bless his heart, took time off work to make sure I actually followed through with the Game Day activities, but the night before the pre-game show, he dropped a little bomb which I'm sure contributed to my Nervous Nellie worries about pooping my pants.

"I made an appointment to get the bed liner sprayed on the pickup" he tells me while we're watching TV.

"Oh, good, when" I say, thinking it's going to be on my regular day off work.

"We drop it off Tuesday morning before your thing" he nonchalantly says.

"What?" I realize I'm screeching..."I can't go driving around before that.  What if I'm still pooping and can't leave in time?"  I know I'm starting to sound panicky.

"You'll be all done by then"  he calmly says, like it's no big deal.  See, when he did the AV procedure, he had it in the early morning, so his pre-game show was over with the night before.

"I have to drink the second half that morning.  What if I'm not done in time?"  my panic increases.

"You do?" He says, like it's the first time he's heard it.  "Well you should still be done."  Never does it occur to him that it may be a little inconvenient for me on this particular day.  The Husband just sees a way to kill two birds with one big him anyway.  The Husband always manages to come up with some convoluted plan when cars need to be shuffled around for various repairs...and he always makes it harder than it needs to be.

"Maybe you should have your brother meet you at the truck place and drive you over to the AV center" I suggest.  Then I think about it.  It probably won't be a big deal...fifteen extra minutes.  I'm trying to be rational when all I really want to do is scream "how could you be so stoopid?".  But...he means I keep my mouth shut. "Well,"  I say "we'll just see how it goes".

I finish the pre-game show morning cleanse beverage without puking my guts up...barely...and figure I need to leave the house by 9:30 at the latest.  It's a little after 6:00 and I'm waiting to start another round of bathroom visits...and waiting...and waiting...until finally the cleansing begins...and continues...and continues...

By 9:30 I'm panicking.  Now I just know I'm never going to make it to the AV center without having to stop and cleanse, aka/poop,  a little more.  It probably doesn't even have anything to do with the cleansing ritual anymore.  I've probably just made myself so nervous that now I have the nervous shits.  You know how when you're in a stressful situation and your nerves are shot?  Suddenly you get that pre-diarrhea feeling in the pit of your stomach giving you warning that soon you'll be shitting your brains out?  You know that feeling?  Everybody knows that feeling, don't they?  I mean, I can't be the only one, can I?

I finally leave the house at 10:00 hoping I've reached the end of the pre-game show ritual.  When I get in cell phone reception area, I call The Husband to tell him I'm running late but I'm on my way and the call goes directly to voice mail.  He calls me back.

"Yeah, I called my brother and he's gonna meet me at the truck place and drive me over to where you are so I'll just meet you there" he doing this was his idea and not something I suggested two days ago...when I could've been spared the nervous shits...God love him...

"Okay"  I play along.

When I get to the AV center, The Husband is walking up through the parking lot.  I have him go park the car and I enter the tiny lobby of the torture chamber.  It's full.  There's only seven chairs and only is empty so I snag it.  Everyone looks at you when you walk in because everyone knows why you're there...because everyone is there for the same be anally violated.  We're all a bunch of oldsters here for the opportunity of a lifetime...having a camera shoved up our asses.

Everyone was told they had to bring someone to drive them after the "procedure".  Next to me, there's a mousy little dark haired woman whose ride must have already left.  Next to her, there's a guy who looks like a retired professor with his wife, and next to them, there's a tough looking blond with her friend who looks like she stepped right out of 1963 complete with an Ann Landers hairdo. Remember Ann Landers?  The advice queen?  She and her sister, Dear Abby, dished out advice nationwide in syndicated newspaper columns.  But I digress...

Everyone's joking about their pre-game show activities.  The professor informs us that this is his second attempt after failing to complete his previous pre-game show activities.  "I couldn't finish drinking that stuff the first time" he says.  He's looking at me, but I don't know how to respond...or if I should?  What do you say to something like that anyway?  Fortunately, everyone laughs and I'm spared the effort of trying to think of an appropriate response, when in walks The Husband.  I'm ridiculously happy to see him but there's nowhere for him to sit.  "You don't have to stay" I tell him "they'll call you when I'm done".

"Oh no" he says for all to hear "I'm gonna make sure you don't try to make a run for it".  Everyone in the room laughs.  That Husband...he's such a chuckle head.

The mousy lady next to me is escorted into the torture chamber behind the door so The Husband takes her seat.  The professor's wife, who has long gray hair that needs to be washed, talks about reading glasses with me and The Husband as one by one the AV participants are lead to their doom. Finally it's my turn...I kiss The Husband goodbye.

Everyone in the torture chamber was really nice.  My nurse, Jane (not her real name), gave me the obligatory backless gown telling me the opening was supposed to be in the back.  No shit????  Do they really have to tell people that?  Jane also said I could keep my socks I did.  I'm sure I looked stunning when I came out of the bathroom in my knee length backless gown with calf high boot socks on...but truthfully, I was trying so hard to keep the back closed so my butt didn't hang out that I really didn't have time to care what it looked like.  When I got to my pre AV digs...a bed curtained off from other beds, Jane said "bare bottom goes on the pad"...those were her exact words. Honestly, if she hadn't said that, I would've been trying to keep the gown closed in the back the whole time I was laying down.

Jane continued her pleasant chatter while explaining what was going to happen before, during, and after the AV.  Then she got to a little part about "having to pass gas" before you could leave to go home.  WTF????  I said as much although not quite so crudely.  "I know...women have the hardest time with that part" she said "but it's odorless because it's just air".  Somehow that didn't make me feel any better.

They wheeled me in to the final chamber where I met the Doc.  He was East Indian, around 40'ish, pleasant, asked me a few questions and then they gave me a shot...when I woke up, I was back in one of the curtained cubicles.

Even though I was sort of rummy I totally remember hearing farting all around me.  I couldn't see my curtained off counterparts, but I'm fairly certain that the professor was in the cubicle to my left as the fart sounds emanating from that area had a distinct "guy" sound to them.  I wanted to laugh...but I had to fart and if I started laughing, I'd have no control.

Please God, I thought, let them be quiet ones as I started farting.  And they least I thought they were.  But everybody else probably thought theirs were quiet too and I could hear all theirs so I don't know what made me think that "mine alone" were going to be quiet farts.  Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I'd ever be in a room full of strangers and we'd all be filling the air with fart sounds.

Still, I'm holding on to the dream that mine were the quiet's the stoopidist thing.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Pre Game Show...

The day after my run in with Man At The Counter started out wonderful.  I didn't have to start the pre-game show until noon so I had time to go ride in the morning.  My horse did good and all was right with the world. Noon came too soon...

In preparation for my colonoscopy, or as I prefer to call it...Anal Violation...AV for short...I made orange jello.  I don't really like orange jello...unless it's mixed with Cool Whip and cottage cheese with a couple cans of pineapple chunks thrown in...then...yummmmm.  But plain orange?  The only kind I like plain is strawberry.  But according to the detailed pre-game show plans I received from the BD's office (Butt Doctor), red jello is the only kind you CAN'T have.  I thought orange would be tolerable, it wasn't...maybe if I'd had the sugar kind instead of sugar free it would've been better.

After reading the directions for the umpteenth time,  I laid out my plan of action.  I had orange jello ready to go and three cans of chicken broth.  I couldn't think of any other clear liquid to have.  I don't like apple juice which was the only other juice okayed by BD's office.  I had Diet Pepsi which is the only soda I drink and BD's office said "any" soda was okay...maybe I should have had an assortment ready for maximum palate stimulation...different sodas for lunch, dinner, and snack time.   But hey, it was my first AV...

At noon I drank a cup of broth which was incredibly unsatisfying.  Then I took the first two of three pills prescribed by the friendly BD...and after about an hour...nothing happened.  Okay, I thought, maybe the pooping doesn't start until the third pill.  At three, I took the last of the three pills...still nothing.   Is there something wrong with me?  Shouldn't something be happening?  I don't know 'cause this is my first AV.  I mixed up the infamous gallon jug of powder with water and added a "pleasantly flavored orange" packet of powder to it.  I actually had a choice of "pleasantly flavored packets", pineapple, lemon lime, or cherry.  It seemed safest to go with orange.  I don't know why... and I don't know if I chose wisely or not but once it was mixed I couldn't go back and change it.

Four o'clock came too soon.  You'd think the first eight ounces would be the worst...but since you don't know what to expect, you're unprepared for the level of disgust this gallon of poop inducing solution would cause.  After the first glass, you know...and you come to dread the sound of the ten minute timer letting you know it's time for yet another glass full of the noxious liquid.

We have a gag reflex for a reason I think.  It's telling you..."bad stuff, must regurgitate" when you try to eat or drink something icky.  Usually you listen to this miracle of the body...and believe me, it's really, really, hard to ignore.  I nearly puked with every glass downed.  Sipping it only prolonged the disgust so I ended up chugging every was like drinking slightly gelled water.  Albeit, "pleasantly flavored orange" slightly gelled water.  Since I've never actually eaten shit, I can't truthfully say I'd rather eat shit than drink this stuff again...but a dried horse apple may be preferable.

The phone rings.  It's the BD's office calling to confirm my appointment.  The voice on the other end of the phone is annoyingly perky.

“Hi, is this Stoopid?” says the voice at the end of the line. “It is” I say.

“This is Patty Perky from the BD’s office. I’m calling to confirm your appointment tomorrow at 11:00 and to see if you have time to answer a few questions so you don’t have to do it tomorrow” she says.

“Sure” I say “go ahead”...I mean, it’s not like I have anything else to do except drink that crappy gel like water designed to make me shit my brains out. Which hasn’t kicked in yet...which is starting to worry me.

She confirms my date of birth, address, emergency contact, yadda, yadda, yadda...and says “Oh, you should be doing your prep’s that going?”

“So far, it’s not” I tell her adding “I’ve taken the pills and been drinking that stuff but so far nothing’s happened”.

“Oh, it will” she assures me.

“Hey can I have popsicles” I ask.  I remember my mom, God rest her soul, telling me they used to give the oldsters at the Old Folks Home popsicles because they didn't want to drink water and it was hard to keep them hydrated.  Couldn't hurt to ask, could it?

“I don’t know, let me ask” as she puts me on hold. She comes back on the line and says “you can as long as they’re not red ones”.

“Oh Yay! thanks” I'm instantly happy to know that I can have something I know I don't hate.  Popsicles wouldn't normally be my choice of frozen snackage, I'd head for the more substantial creamsicle or fudge bar but at least I can have something close.  Unfortunately, since it's not my normal snackage treat, I don't have popsicles hanging out in the freezer.  Lots of creamsicles and fudge bars, but nary a popsicle to be found...I'm unprepared.

I could’ve had popsicles. How come nobody told me this? And why isn’t it on the pre-game show list of stuff I’m allowed to eat. Now all I can think about is popsicles. I call The Husband who’s out of town but going to be driving home.

My call goes immediately to voicemail so I know he’s still working and hasn’t started home. “Call me before you come home” is the message I leave.

The phone rings again a few minutes later. It’s OF (Old Friend of undesirable snackage fame) “Hi” she says through her crackling cell phone “I just wanted to see how you’re doing”.

“Well I drank the stuff and it's not happening” I tell her.

“Don’t worry, it will” she reassures me.  I think she's laughing.   Everyone who's been through an AV seems
to laugh about the pre-game show.

“Did they tell you you could have popsicles” I ask her. The more I think about it the more obsessed I am with getting popsicles.

“No” she said “they never said I could have popsicles. Do you want me to bring you some?” She’s a good friend.

“No, The Husband is driving home tonight” I answer “I’ll have him stop & pick some up”. We hang up after she reassures me that soon I’m going to be spending all my time in the bathroom.

I contemplate making a run for the grocery store. It’s between 5:00 & 6:00 post-meridiem. I still don’t feel anything except bloated from the “prompt a poop” juice. Maybe I still have time.

The phone rings’s The Husband who informs me he’s still working and won’t be home until around 8:00 or 9:00...shit...I should’ve had OF bring me popsicles when she offered.

I grab my keys and purse thinking I'm going to go for it.  I just know I'll die if I don't get popsicles...I must have them.

Suddenly, and I mean right fucking now...I realize my window of opportunity has passed...curses...foiled again.   Remember when they used to say that in old movies?  Only it sounded more like "coises" because of the accent of the hooligan saying it.  I head dejectedly for the bathroom...the first of many trips.  It's the stoopidist thing... be continued...

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Four Way Stop

Is there anything more of a cluster fuck than a four way stop during heavy traffic???  I don't think so. Never are people more indecisive.  Do I go first?  Should I let them go first?  Who goes first?  Who knows?  Nobody knows, that's who.

So what happens?  Everybody tries to go at the same time.  Start, stop.  Start, stop.  Okay, you go.  No, you go.  Okay, I'll go.  No, I'll go.  It's a total cluster.  To be fair, the rules of the road are vague.  Who ever (or is it whom ever?) gets to the intersection first has the right of way...and if more than one vehicle the vehicle on the right goes first.  But if four vehicles get there at the same time who's on the right?  Isn't everyone on the right of someone?  Personally I think someone with a penis must have come up with this rule.

When everyone gets there at the same time, nobody knows what to do...everybody starts hesitating, and the impatient "waving on" begins.  Everyone starts waving the other cars to go ahead...but they all start waving at the same time and the cluster begins anew. brave soul feels the stirring of testicular expansion from rasinette to full fledged grape and barrels through the intersection studiously avoiding eye contact with everyone lest they see a middle finger raised in opposition.

You'd think, with my little road rage problem, that I'd be an aggressive driver...not the case.  Sadly, I am never that brave soul barreling through the intersection.  I want to be...but, truth be told, I'm a wimpy driver.  I may, in fact, be the wimpiest of the wimps.  So wimpy am I that I actually TRY to be the last vehicle at the intersection so I can be sure, deep in my heart, that I am legally bound to go last.  I want no confrontation, no middle fingers raised in my direction, no ugly glares from fellow drivers...I basically just want to get through the intersection physically and emotionally unscathed.   How friggin' wimpy is that???

My friend, Smellie Noellie, is a bold driver.  Years of traveling on L.A. freeways have made her fearless of driving conditions that make me cringe.  Smellie knows no fear and is oblivious to glares and raised middle fingers of fellow motorists.  Any hesitation on the part of others is an opportunity for her to take control...which she does instantly.  I wish I could be like her...although she is a bit of a car snob preferring BMW's to any other vehicle on the planet.  I don't really care what I drive as long as it doesn't break down and the heater and air conditioner work.  I'd like the radio to work too but it's not as vital to me as the other two are.

Since it's a new year, I'm going to try to be more a more assertive driver.  Maybe 2013 will be the year my rasinettes turn to grapes and I finally stop deliberately getting to the intersection last.  Maybe 2013 will be the year my road rage will cease to exist and I'll stop calling fellow drivers "fuckhead", "asswipe", "dickhead", "fuckin' asshole" and/or any combination thereof.  Maybe 2013 will be the year I'll actually try to eat healthful foods.

Even better...maybe...2013 will be the year I win the lottery and can hire Smellie to drive me wherever I need to go.  Then I wouldn't have to worry about silly things like being wimpy, and dreams of testicular's the stoopidist thing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It could've been the popcorn...or the fudge...I think that's the only thing I've eaten, except for a couple of Baby Bella cheeses this morning.  I have no idea what all of a sudden causes gas to fill one's body to near bursting.  I swear if I looked in the mirror I'd see the Michelin Man...or in this case...Michelin Woman, staring back at me with a "WTF" look on her face.

Fortunately, I'm alone...The Husband hasn't gotten home from work so it's just me and the animals. They don't really mind suddenly expelled big deal to them.  If there's any noise involved they look a little surprised, but that's about all.  Except for Briley, The Cartoon Dog,...she has a nose that guides her every move.  I'm forced to give her a pizzle chew to keep her from following me around sniffing.  The pizzle stick is usually the foulest smelling thing in the house...not tonight...tonight I hold that honor...although it shames me to admit it.

It started at work right before quitting time.  I went running to the bathroom...actually I walked...really fast, but not so fast that it looked like I was in a hurry...people tend to notice other people running to the bathroom and I didn't really want to draw attention to myself.  I thought I was going to have to be a Sneak A Pooper so I was actually relieved to just have a giant fart trapped inside me...and thank the Lord, it was a SILENT one.  Who'd a thunk I'd be happy to be farting in the bathroom at work???

At this point, I'm thinking I should probably just go home after work & skip riding.  The bathroom at the barn is old and what if I end up having to be a Sneak A Pooper at the barn and the toilet won't flush?  This is oddly one of my worst nightmares...being somewhere having to Sneak A Poop, and the toilet won't flush.  What can I say?  I know it's stoopid but I can't help it.  Pooping is just "at home duty"...

So far so good...fortunately I don't smoke real cigarettes anymore...I use the fake electric ones.  I'd be afraid to use a lighter anywhere around me...scared I'd catch the air around me on fire.  I used to know guys who'd deliberately light their farts.  I've never done it and I'd hate for them to find my charred body and surroundings burnt to a crisp from  accidentally igniting the methane spewing from my hiney.  I also have to admit I don't know what "burnt to a crisp" means.  Does it refer to the texture of the item?  Or is there some kind of item that's a crisp?  I think I've heard Karl Pilkington talk about crisps on An Idiot Abroad.  I think they were some kind of chips in a bag.  But why not call them chips then?  Why call the bathroom a loo?

Too many whys for me...for now, I have to change my location.  The air around the computer smells really's the stoopidist thing.