Archive for March, 2009

Dorothy says:

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I like to have a martini, two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.

Bumper Spagetti Crop Expected

Monday, March 30th, 2009

It will be April Fool’s Day in a few days and things are looking bleak. Does anyone (besides me) have fun anymore? When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? Look, I know the country’s going to hell, you’re probably going to lose your job, your kids are going to college on your dime and majoring in “Disappointing Mom & Dad”, Elvis is dead and you’re not feeling all that well yourself – but for crissakes, LIGHTEN UP. Your life today is not a dress rehearsal – this is it! Aren’t you supposed to have a little fun here? Even the Bible says, “Be Merry” (Although women have interpreted this as “Be Married” – Homosexual men as “Be Mary” and Nadya Suleman – Octopussy – as “Be Many”).

The UK has always had a better sense of ‘humour’ than America. On April 1, 1957, the BBC reported a bumper crop of Spaghetti because of a mild winter and better control of the feared ‘pasta weevil’. They even showed footage of peasants happily picking ripe spaghetti from the trees.

The network was shocked at the response. Thousands of Brits jammed its phone lines asking how they could grow their own “Spaghetti Trees”! “Keeping a stiff upper lip” (in other words, not laughing it’s electronic ass off) the BBC diplomatically delivered this answer:

“Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

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Conan says:

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

“Last year, the price of Prozac went up a lot. When they asked Prozac users what they thought of that they said, “Whatever……

Why Can’t We All Just “Search for Tomorrow”?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

There were only two bad things about starting kindergarten when I was five. The first was the requirement of ‘Knows How to Tie Shoes.’ I didn’t – and couldn’t seem to learn. I got a big U (unsatisfactory) for it. Since I got ‘S’s in everything else, it didn’t seem to be a big deal with my parents – although they were usually pretty strict about school. Diversity wasn’t exactly an ideal in my family – but if small eccentricities didn’t embarrass them too much, Mom and Dad let them slip by. However, after the second or third ‘Tie Shoes-U’ report card, they bought me loafers – without talking about it, and that was the end of that.

But the second thing about starting kindergarten was far worse: not being able to sit on the ‘sofa’ with my Mom for 15 minutes every weekday around noon to watch “Search for Tomorrow”. I felt bad about that. I’m sure she did too, but again, it was no big deal

“Search for Tomorrow” was the longest running soap opera on American television. It started airing on Monday, September 3, 1951 and continued until the final episode on Friday, December 26, 1986. That’s over 35-years – 9,130 episodes. And what were the final lines – on the final show – on that day after Christmas, 1986? “Joanne Tate” the show’s star for its entire run, is asked, “What are you searching for, Joanne?” Her reply? “Tomorrow.” (MUSIC UP- FADE TO BLACK ).

It hardly seemed worth the wait. But nothing is only what it seems. I’ll never think about that dumb show without thinking of sitting on our ‘sofa’ with my Mom over a half-century ago.

Cups of Hypocrisy

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

What’s the first thing a diner waitress says when she sees you?

“Coffee?”

Come in with a few friends?

“Coffee? Coffee? Coffee? Right away!”

And you’d better get it ‘right away’, Sugar Lips, because you’ve got a table full of caffeine junkies who are now hurtling through drug withdrawal and trying hard not to snatch up their butter knives and stab the annoying people seated next to them. Most of them don’t talk – they twitch. “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my first two cups” is the sad mantra chanted by these pathetic addicts 150-million times each morning across America.

When the coffee dealer finally distributes her steaming fixes, a whole new attitude surrounds the group. They’re friendlier – they start to chat – and their behavior would horrify members of polite society. They slurp, they blow, they smack, they suck, they rip open little packets of white powder, tear off the covers of tiny containers of liquid poison, and quickly mix up the nearly boiling-brew – before pouring it over some of the most sensitive parts of their bodies. Ouch! It hurts so good – like the needle prick announcement of anticipated joy when a junkie pushes a needle into a vein.  Then there’s the loud, satisfied “ahhh” which is an acceptable table grunt as they nod to each other in a shared understanding of affordable addiction. Coffee is America’s Drug of Choice – by far.

I hate coffee. I hate the taste. I hate the smell. I hate the mindless rituals. I hate those personalized cups which should say, “World’s Greatest Asshole” around a smiley face. But most of all, I hate the hypocrisy.

Caffeine is a drug – a powerful drug. And if you’re a daily coffee drinker, like about 150-million other Americans, you’re a drug addict – plain and simple. You can’t just quit without significant withdrawal symptoms and you can’t just stop at 2-cups a day. National average? About 4.

Caffeine makes you feel good – but is it good for you? Of course it’s not good for you. But I think you should drink all the coffee you want. I don’t care – it’s your body – fill it with whatever or whomever you choose. That’s called freedom.

However, I would care very much if you’re one of those flaming, “respectable” hypocrites who thinks you’re better than the millions of Americans rotting in jail cells because they loved a drug which is different than yours. Your drug is legal and inexpensive. Their drugs are illegal making them very expensive. Still, we’re all just junkies in the grand scheme of the universe – which probably doesn’t care one way or another anyway.

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The WAR in IRAQ is OVER!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009


Overtime. Over budget. Over there. We never hear about it anymore. It must be over.  Did we win?  Win what?

Where’s the Big Hand, Doctor?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

I hate to wait. I know, everyone hates to wait – but I REALLY hate to wait! Once I left a lover in the parking lot of a large grocery store on a hot, August afternoon because she was late. I even saw her in the rearview mirror running in high heels with a bag of groceries in each arm. She almost made it – but she was too late (search: Punctual). I’ll bet she learned a big ‘be on time!’ lesson that day – but I can’t be sure because she left me shortly after that.

Doctors are another story. I’ve always had this ‘mild dislike/hate’ relationship with sawbones. Because they can sometimes do something for me, I’ll give them 15-minutes. If my appointment is at 2:30, they have until 2:45 to get me in or I walk. No explanations, no apologies, no excuses. Just whoosh! – and I’m gone. And my new doctor is from the old “doctor knows best” school. What whines I have to hear! “What do you mean you won’t do that?” “Why didn’t you (fill this prescription?) (go this specialist?) (switch medications?) (join this program?) – JUST DO WHAT I SAY!” Right. I’m pretty sure my medical folder has ‘NON-COMPLIANT’ stamped on every page.

Plus the guy has no sense of humor! In our first interview when he was getting my medical history, he asked, “Do you do recreational drugs?” I said, “Whaddy got?”. No smile – just lots more writing. “Shit!” I thought, “now I won’t even get a Percodan for a broken leg.”

Today I lost all my chips in the Roulette Room. You see, doctors are getting wise to people like me. The nurse called my name about 2-minutes after I checked in and then led me to the Roulette Room – a place where you spin the wheel and take your chances.

After a little ‘input’ malarkey and a blood pressure read, the nurse stands up and says, “The Doctor will see you shortly” walks out, and closes the door. Then you spin the wheel and see how much time ‘shortly’ really is. Once ‘shortly’ was less than 2-minutes! (The last recorded case of that was in South Dakota in 1989). So you sit – and wait.

After 5-minutes, you’ve stepped into gambler quicksand. You say, “Well, I’ve already invested 5-minutes into this hand and I don’t want to just lose it so I’m not going to just leave.” So you spin the wheel again. At the 10-minute mark, you use the same “logic” and throw in, “After THIS long, surely he’ll come SHORTLY.” Another spin and my blood pressure shoots to the ‘stratospheric’ level.

After 15-minutes, I’m rummaging through the Roulette Room’s drawers and cupboards looking to rip-off something which would be of equal value to the valuable time I’ve wasted. There’s never anything good there. I mean – how many friggin’ cotton balls would I have to steal to make up for this aggravation?

After 19-minutes in the Roulette Room, I put on my coat, quickly open the door, and run right into Dr. “My Time is Sooo Much More Valuable Than Yours.”

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Paolo. Another patient had an emergency.” Right.

The first thing he does? Takes my blood pressure.

The first thing he says? “Uh, oh – your blood pressure is a pretty high.”

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Carol says:

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

“I’d like to have kids one day. I want to be called Mommy by someone other than Spanish guys on the street.”

My Lamborghini Isn’t In Yet

Friday, March 20th, 2009

So until it’s delivered, I’ll continue to ride the bus. Actually the novelty has not yet come close to wearing off. The bus is a new adventure every day! When I see ‘#7- Monroe’ approaching in the distance, I smile and think of it as an old friend to whom I don’t have to talk or make future plans. It’s like getting a check in the mail. You know it’s going to come – but it’s still a nice moment when it arrives.

When my bus stops, I know exactly what to do. There’s not a second of social awkwardness. I wait for the door to open, walk up two steps, greet the bus driver (I always do anyway) slip my dollar into the slot, and then find a seat. My favorite is an aisle seat, first row, balcony – just like in a theater. The balcony is the raised last third of the bus and those two extra steps discourage a lot of undesirable seatmates like 2-seaters, bag ladies, old cranks, and drunk bums.

The occasional drunk can be a three-stop show himself if he gets a little loud. The other night a bum saw this kid across the aisle who had a pack of Newports. Of course he asked for one – of course the kid said ‘no’. The drunk asked again, this time louder with a little whine thrown in. The kid said ‘NO’ even louder. The drunk then asked if the kid would trade a smoke for this grubby, old Riccola cough drop he pulled out of his pocket. Even from three rows back in the balcony I could see that the lozenge was nothing on which I would even like to step – much less put in my mouth. The other passengers started to titter, the kid started saying some unkind things, the bum tried to raise the ante to two lozenges, and then the bus driver loudly yelled, “Everybody – Shut Up!” Everybody shut up.

When my friend, Jeddy, sees little life vignettes like this, he always says, “It’s tough to put a dollar value on good times like these.” But on the bus, it isn’t. They only cost a buck.

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Joan says:

Friday, March 20th, 2009

“The sign said ‘Wet Floor’ – so she did.”