Friday, February 16, 2018

My Second Career

A light bulb went off when I saw Gestalta on the shelf at Ikea.

I'm retired.  I need a new hobby.  I could become and artist and sell my works at cafes and art fairs!

And (gulp) maybe some day to museums!

Really!  No goal is too lofty for me.  I am Lou Clyde.  I just have to aim high and persevere!

So I bought Gestalta as an investment to help me hone and perfect my drawing skills.

It was Dave who told me I had the artistic talents of a Pictionary playing sloth.

Thanks, Dave, for crushing my dreams.

And I wasted $5.99 plus tax on my Gestalta.  I decided to put him on the mantel next to my mannequin leg.

It was Kimmy who told me my Gestalta was creepy.

I took another look at him and I had to agree.  He was naked.  Did I really want porn on my mantel?

He needed clothes, and I was hoping Barbie would lend him something.  It turns out that Gestalta is big-boned compared to Barbie, and, unfortunately, the only thing that fit was her bathing suit.

It was Luke who told me that my bikini clad Gestalta was even creepier than porn star Gestalta.

At this point I was getting really annoyed at the lack of support and respect I was receiving from my family.

But I guess Luke had a point.

So I gave transgender Gestalta a beautiful head of hair.  Except it was uneven.

And the light bulb went off again.

I'm retired.  I need a new hobby. 

I can become a hairdresser!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Interrogation

The fact that it was a victim-less crime did not make it any less horrendous.  This criminal was clever.  Cunning.  No prints at the crime scene.  No DNA.

Solving this case would require an elite team of investigators.

I discovered the crime while looking for Tylenol in the suspects' medicine cabinet.  A piece of chocolate cake molded into a tight ball.  An open invitation to every sugar-craving ant, roach, and cootie within five miles.

I quickly identified two persons of interest.  Each with rap sheets as long as their chubby little arms.

Linda, aged 3, had recently been arrested for fishing poop out of a toilet, inserting it into an unzipped zip-lock sandwich bag, and leaving it, along with its foul fragrance, in the bathroom trash can.

Suspect #2, 9-year-old Kimmy, was a repeat offender, having multiple arrests for leaving "potions" in various locations around the house, including under her bed.  These vile concoctions contained random ingredients such as ketchup, mayonnaise, soda, and suntan lotion.

After securing the crime scene, I placed the suspects on the counter beneath bright interrogation lights.

ME: "Listen up, Girls.  Who put this balled up piece of cake in the medicine cabinet?"
KIMMY: "Not me!"
LINDA: "Not me!"
ME: "Tell the truth.  Which one of you did this?"
KIMMY: "I would never do that!"
ME: "Okay, Linda, did you do this?"
LINDA: "No."
ME: "Then how did it get there?"  And stealing a line from my own mother, "It couldn't have grown feet and walked there by itself!"
KIMMY: "Daddy must've put it there."
ME: "Why would Daddy put a piece of cake in the medicine cabinet in your bathroom?"
LINDA: "I think Bluie did it."

Ugh.  This shameless hooligan disgusted me.  Blaming it on her dog was just plain reprehensible.

ME: "Bluie doesn't have thumbs."

I was getting nowhere.  It was time to call in reinforcements

ME: "Well, let's let Daddy figure it out.  DAVE! WE NEED YOU!"

We could play good cop/bad cop.  

Dave would be the bad cop.

Dave wandered into the bathroom, unprepared for the chaos.

DAVE: "What?"

ME: "Look what I found in the medicine cabinet.  This balled up piece of cake sitting right next to the toothpaste.  And both girls deny putting it there."

Without hesitation, Dave looked at Linda and said, "Linda, why did you do it?"

LINDA: "Because I'm sorry."

I gasped.  It was that easy.  Clearly he was the good cop.

Which made me the bad one.

I looked down at the little felon.  "Linda, you are sentenced to one hour in your jail cell.  No books."

The delinquent paused before entering her bedroom.

"Can Bluie come?"

Friday, January 19, 2018

Preparing for the Test. Again.

I told the doctor that I'd rather starve for 2 weeks than go through another Colonscopy Prep.

It has been over 10 years and I still bear the emotional scars.

The doctor assured me that the process has improved.   

He lied.  

9:30 PM
I drank the 1st  of 2 glasses of the nasty-ass colon cleanser.  And I proceeded directly to the toilet.

Nothing happened.

Instructions said to drink 5 glasses of water between the 1st and 2nd courses.  At my own pace.  I drank a glass of water and returned to the toilet.

Nothing happened.

So I changed into my brand new adorable flannel PJs.  With the cute doggies.  It was going to be a long night.  Might as well be comfortable.

I drank another glass of water and returned to the toilet.

Nothing happened.

I decided to lie down on the bed, which is approximately 6 steps from the bathroom.  Kevin, my dog snuggled up next to me.

Then all hell broke loose.  At the risk of throwing Kevin under the bus, IT WAS ALL HIS FAULT!  

He slowed me down.

I struggled, unsuccessfully, to pull down my adorable PJs.  The blast from my backside was meteoric.  Burst of colon contents blew from my nether-regions.

The prep was working.

So much for my adorable PJs.

Over the next 8 hours I established an intimate relationship with my colon.

COLON: You may as well get comfortable in here.  Grab a book.
ME: Do I have time to grab one from the family room?
COLON: No promises.
ME: There's a Soduku book next to my bed.
COLON: Hurry.  But don't walk too fast.

I completed 13 Soduku puzzles.

11:15 PM
COLON: You can get up now.  I'm done.
ME: You sure?
COLON: Yeah.  Go lie down on the bed.  It's just 6 steps from the toilet.  I'm fine.
ME: If you're sure.
COLON: I'm sure.

I laid down on the bed.

ME: OH MY GOD!!  #@#$% Move, Kevin!

Too late.  There went another pair of PJs.

1:30 AM
I took another dose of the poo prompter potion, followed by a glass of water.  I returned to my throne where I completed 7 more Sodukus.

3:05 AM
KEVIN: Woof. (Translation: Take me outside.)
ME: I can't take you outside, Kevin.
COLON: You can take Kevin out.  I'm done.
ME: That's what you told me last time.
KEVIN: Woof.
COLON: You didn't take Kevin for a walk last night.  I think he needs to poop.
ME: How ironic.
KEVIN: Woof!
COLON: I'm done.  Take him out.
ME: You'd better be done!

I took baby steps down the driveway.  Since it's impossible to walk normally while squeezing your cheeks.  

Kevin pulled at the leash.  

Like I wasn't walking fast enough for him.

ME: Hurry up, Kevin!

Too late.  There went yet another pair of PJs.

I was like a damn infant.

5:00 AM
COLON: Great job, Lou.  It's clean as a whistle in here.  What time is the company coming?
LOU: 1:30.

I don't remember much about my 1:30 Colonoscopy.  I slept right through it.  I do know that I had the most delicious turkey sub on the way home.

2:17 PM
COLON: For crying out loud, Lou!  This place is a complete mess again.  Thanks a lot.
LOU: Don't worry about it.  We'll clean it up again in about 10 years.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Lot X

We heard the din from blocks away.  Cheering.  Hooting.  Screaming.  Singing "Shout".  And "Lets Go Buff-A-Lo".  

Mostly off-key.

As my friend Mike and I rounded the corner, we encountered the sea of red and blue.  Lot X was packed with thousands of crazy-ass Buffalo Bills fans who had waited a long time for the privilege of attending a playoff game. 

A very long time.

The 17-year playoff drought was over.

And these fans were celebrating.  Lot X had been transformed to Orchard Park South.

The excitement was contagious.

These die-hard fans were proud.  And emotional.  And they travelled a long way to attend this Buffalo Bill's playoff game in Jacksonville, Florida.

They had to come.  No choice.  This was the Bills' first playoff game of the century.

The playoffs became a reality on New Year's Eve.  The stars aligned at about 7:45 PM EST.  Buffalo had just beaten Miami and Cincinnati pulled off a dramatic upset of Baltimore, awarding Buffalo the last wild card spot.

Shouts could be heard around the world. 

I'm not exaggerating.  There are Bills fans everywhere.

And fans began making their playoff plans.

JP, a Buffalo transplant now living in DC, packed his Buffalo Bills PJs and drove 800 miles to Jax.  He was not going to miss that game.

Jack, who chose more formal attire for the game, had a less convenient itinerary.  He flew from NYC to Tampa and drove the 200 miles to Jacksonville in a rental car.

Jack was 6 years old the last time the Bills had a playoff berth.

Then there was Stephen from Rochester, who took a train to Philly to catch his flight to Jacksonville.  He had not been expecting the team to make the playoffs.  He was happy enough when they beat Miami, but when Cincinnati scored that touchdown on a 4th and 12 play? 

"I don't cry often," he said.

Josh, Bailey, and Erik had their airline tickets and hotel rooms booked within two hours of that game's finish. 

There was no way they were going to miss the first playoff game since 1999.

Michelle and Jenna were watching last week's game in a house with 28 of their best friends.  "Everyone was screaming. And there were plenty of tears." 

They booked their flights immediately.

Jenna #2 was lucky to make it to the game after her flight was nearly cancelled. 

She flew from Rochester to Tampa and drove to a hotel in Daytona Beach, arriving at 3 am Sunday morning.   


Tyler, originally from Attica, had a short commute from Ft. Meyers.  He brought along his deep fryer and boxcars of chicken wings to share with scores of new friends in Lot X.

Tyler, who was 6 years old the last time the Bills had post-season play, watched the Miami game at his parents' house.  He commented that the second half of the game was "normal Bills' shit" (aka Dolphins coming from behind).  When Cincinnati won, his family "went insane".  

Champagne and palm trees were involved.

In the center of the pandemonium stood Jamile, a confused Jaguars fan who somehow parked his car in Lot X.

He had to admit, "You guys know how to travel."

Marshall and Jackie from North Tonawanda took the scenic route to Jacksonville, driving to Cleveland, flying to Orlando and taking a rental car 145 miles to the game.

They had watched the Miami game at a party with 30 people.  When Cincinnati beat Baltimore, "Shit hit the fan."  Marshall had tears in his eyes as he described the tears in his eyes that night.  

He's been going to Bills games for 42 years.

Karen and Vinnie are best friends who met in Lot X on playoff day.

Karen apparently booked her non-refundable flight to Jacksonville BEFORE THE MIAMI GAME WAS OVER.


Every Bills fan knows that no game is over UNTIL IT IS OVER.

I asked her, "Have you not heard about the Music City Miracle?"   

"Sure," she said. "But I just knew they were going to win.  I had faith."

"She was drunk," said Vinnie.

Mike and I left Lot X after meeting a myriad of amazing fans.  Celebrating as if they had won the Power Ball lottery. 

As we headed into the stadium we noticed Jaguars fans tailgating.

Sipping red wine and eating cheese and crackers.  

How lame charming.

The day would have been perfect had the Bills upset the Jaguars. Unfortunately, the Bills' offense did not show up on the field.

Sill, I suspect that nobody I met in Lot X that day regrets making the trip to Jacksonville for one of the most boring playoff games in the history of the NFL. 

I certainly don't.  

Lot X was as far from boring as you can get and I will never forget my time there.  

With my Bills Mafia peeps. 

After the game Mike and I ran into Raul and Celina, Bills fans living in Kissimmee, Florida.  They were married in 1999, the last time the Bills made it to the playoffs.  In fact, Raul affectionately calls Celine, "the curse."  They were at the Miami game last week and stayed in the stadium, in enemy territory, with other Bills fans to watch the infamous 4th and 12 touchdown.  Raul described the scene: people openly crying.   

"It was the best day of my life," he said.  Then he snuck a look at Celine (the curse), and added, "not counting when my kids were born."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Don't Even Ask

Why did I even ask?

It's not like Dave is one of the Property Brothers.   

He's NEVER had opinions of my home decorating projects.  The only reason he knows I'm redoing the powder room is that he tripped on the ladder.

"Why is there a ladder in the bathroom?" he asked.

I had to remind him that I was stripping the wallpaper.


And I could have totally predicted his answer anyhow, when I attempted to show him the canvas art print I was thinking of buying for the "new" powder room.

"You don't need a picture in the bathroom."

Actually, it reminded me of my late Dad.  After visiting my sister's new home he told me how impressed he was with it.  "You know, Loulie, she's got a picture hanging in her can!"  He chuckled, shook his head and said, "Imagine that.  A picture in the can."

I looked at Dave and flatly told him that I was absolutely hanging a picture in the can bathroom.

He grumbled, "What a waste of money."

I wonder what he would have said had he actually looked at the picture that I attempted to show him.

I think I'm going to go ahead and get it.

He'll never notice it, anyhow.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Bad Loser

Dave called me a bad loser.


I'm, actually, a very good loser.  I'm so experienced at losing that I've gotten quite good at it.

But this time the judges got it wrong.

Okay.  Technically, I did lose.

But the thing is, I really should have won

The judges made an egregious error.  Not unlike the referees at every Bills - Patriots game since 2000.

Perhaps the idiots judges did not understand that they were judging an "Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest."  

Not a Cute Holiday Sweat-shirt Contest.

Please believe me when I tell you that the competition was rather lame.  There were many very Cute Holiday Sweaters, one Cute Holiday Sweat-shirt, and my Ugly Holiday Sweater.

I was not even aware that there was a prize for the ugliest holiday sweater that afternoon, when I randomly carefully attached garland and Christmas ornaments to one of Dave's old sweaters.

(I am quite the seamstress, after all.)

But when I stepped back to examine my masterpiece, I realized that it looked kind of cute.

Like Tiffany's Cute Holiday Sweat-shirt.

So I search the house high and low for some way to make my cute holiday sweater ugly.

When I found my bag of assorted plastic bugs I knew that I'd hit pay dirt.  What could be uglier than a cute holiday sweater with bugs crawling all over it?


(Certainly not a Cute Holiday Sweat-shirt.)

And it was not an easy feat sewing those guys on that sweater.  Especially the ones with all the legs.  Let's just say that there's nothing more frustrating than a tangled mess of insect legs and thread.

(Except, of course, unfairly losing an Ugly Holiday Sweater contest.)

When the drunken blind judges announced that Tiffany was the winner, I stepped back gracefully to let her own the spotlight.

Then I wandered back to Dave, informing him that my sweater was way uglier than Tiffany's Cute Holiday Sweat-shirt.  Which is when he called me a bad loser.

"I want a recount," I whispered to him.

But then I looked at Tiffany.  She looked so happy in her cute holiday sweatshirt, basking in the glory of having unfairly won the Ugly Holiday Sweater contest with her counterfeit ugly sweater.

I remembered that this is the holiday season.  The season of giving.

And those imbeciles judges just gave Tiffany the gift of the Ugly Holiday Sweater award.

Merry Christmas, Tiffany.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Fish Spa

I approached the Phuket Fish Spa with determination, prepared to stick my feet into an aquarium containing throngs of tiny scavenger fish commissioned to nibble and suck away my dead, dry skin.

In preparation for my visit, I had consumed two large Changs. 

I should have had eight.   

The Fish Spa attendant greeted me and I shrewdly negotiated a price of $400 Baht for 10 minutes. 

She took my money and motioned for me to take a seat at the edge of the aquarium.

I dangled my feet above the murky water.  The fish looked up at me, their tiny, greedy mouths watering.

I tentatively moved my feet closer to the water.  One millimeter at a time.

Dave was like, "Stick'm in!  You're wasting money!"

I inched my feet downward.

Closer still.

I was about 7 minutes into my 10-minute Fish Spa treatment, and still about 2" from the water, when the Fish Spa Attendant reached over and SHOVED MY LEGS INTO THE WATER!

I screamed.

And my feet responded like a jack-in-the-box, catapulting several fish into the seedy looking bar across the street.

Meanwhile, daughter Linda and brother-in-law Mark were thoroughly enjoying their fish exfoliations in the adjacent aquariums.

And they began to apply peer pressure.

Calling me a wimp.  And other unfair, unnecessary names.

I tried.  Oh, how I tried.  I really did.  But every time my heels touched that water, and I locked eyes with those flesh eating monsters, I screamed.

A crowd began to form.

I had an audience. 

And I realized that I had to give the performance of my life.

From out of nowhere came an unexpected surge of Adrenalin.  I took a deep breath and lowered my feet into the terrifying tank.

And I successfully achieved my goal.

Just kidding.  

I'll get a Fish Spa next time I'm in Thailand.  

But I'll need a LOT more alcohol.