Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Dead Bird Hunt

I had a mission to prepare for.  DHEC needed my help.

My help!

To prevent an outbreak of West Nile Virus.

Amazing!  What a fantastic opportunity.

Truth be told, I've always been envious of my friends and family who work in the Medical profession, whose work is so meaningful.  

They can save people's lives.

I analyze data.  

But now I can save lives, too!  Me!  I can help DHEC prevent the outbreak of West Nile Virus!

All I have to do is submit freshly dead Crows, Blue Jays, House Finches, or House Sparrows.

I can do that.

Let's forget about the fact that I can barely pick up an overripe banana without gagging.  

Yeah.  There's that.

But I'll get over it.  I have to eradicate the West Nile Virus.

I went to the DHEC website for more information about my dead bird hunt.

They don't want birds with missing eyes or maggots.  (Repressing a gag).  I'm good with those rules.

I searched for instructions on how to actually "collect" the specimens.  They suggest you wear gloves.  

But I don't need no stinkin' gloves.  I have my pick-up stick left over from my Rotator Cuff surgery.

I rehearsed with Kevin's toy raccoon and it worked like a charm.  Perfect for my dead bird hunt.  

I, Lou Clyde, will be the Best. Dead. Bird. Collector. EVER.  And I will make the world a better, safer place.

I returned to the web site.  DHEC instructed collectors (like me!) to put the freshly dead bird into a clear plastic bag.

Practice makes perfect.  Worked like a charm.

DHEC said to keep the bagged bird in your refrigerator until you can deliver it to them.

OKAY. (Repressing gag.)

I opened my fridge to pick the freshly dead bird's ultimate resting space.  Maybe the meat drawer?

(No longer able to repress gag.)

Sorry DHEC.  I think I'll just go donate some blood.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Better Left In the Dark

I don't want to know.

It’s really better that way.  

Even if I did crawl all over him in my Ambien induced state, it’s really his own fault.  After all, his elbow was intruding into my seat.  And one of his impossibly long legs was splayed in my 15-inches of real estate.

I have all the luck.  Asian men are supposed to be small.  Not only was I stuck in the middle seat on a 15-hour flight, but I was sitting next to an Asian Amazon.  A normal sized Asian man sat on my left, but his larger than life Asian elbow was also intruding into my space.  

I was irritated.  And I wanted to sleep.

Before taking my Ambien, I thought back to my previous Ambien experiences.  One week earlier, on the flight over, word has it that my feet started making their way up the side of the plane wall.  I have vague memories of Kimmy scolding me when I hit a fellow passenger in the head.  I’m not sure I believe her,  but apparently one foot ultimately made its way between the seats in front of me and came to rest on the tray table in seat 45B.

Did I trust myself to take an Ambien with this guy’s leg right in front of my lap?

I thought back to the time I took Ambien on my flight to New Zealand.  I swore on my life to Kimmy and Luke that the Air New Zealand flight attendants changed into Disney character costumes and put on huge fun wigs when the lights went down.  I seem to recall telling flight attendant Belle that I had played a whisk broom in the Town Theatre production of Beauty and the Beast.
What would I do to leg-man if I took Ambien?

Oh, yeah.  There was also that time when I accidentally took an Ambien instead of my Synthroid while I was in Buffalo and drove my late sister-in-law to her Radiation treatment.  NO!  I did not kill her.  I did drive into a bush, though, before demanding Pop Tarts.

I thought about all of these Ambien experiences as I held the little pill in my hand.  Wine made it worse, of course.  

Then I looked at that leg.  And his elbow.  And the other guy’s elbow.

And I took the Ambien.  With a wine chaser.

When I woke up six hours later, Leg man’s leg was no longer in my space.  He was snuggled up against the window.  Wearing a hood over his face.   

There were no Asian elbows in sight. 

Whatever I had done did the trick.

I'll never know what happened. But it's probably better that way.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Thai Beach Massage

When the Thai Beach Massage Lady, let’s call her “Sasithorn”, reached under my prone body to slip the sports bra over my boobs I was confused.  What was she doing?  

Then she tried to jam my elbow into the bra’s armpit.
It appeared she was intent on “slipping it off.”

No, Sasithorn! This sports bra does not slip off.  It has never slipped off.  And you can’t make it slip off.

Trust me.  I’ve tried taking it off over my head. It rolls up like a sausage, mutating into a boa constrictor the farther north it gets.  
It is only exacerbated when my body is sweaty.  Say, like, when I’m on a beach in Thailand.

I started to giggle.  I had no choice.

Sasithorn was not about to give up, either.  The bottom of the sports bra was now resting above the girls and she was pushing my left elbow into my side in a valiant, yet hopeless attempt to remove that sports bra so she could begin my massage.

Since the only Thai word I knew was Chang, which is the brand of beer I had been drinking, I could not tell her that she was headed in the wrong direction.  The only way to get that sports bra off was to pull it down.  Over my hips.

By this point I was shaking with laughter.

But Sasithorn was steadfast.  She tried my right arm.


I thought about taking the sports bra off for her, but that would have required me to stand up and remove it by stepping out of it.  And considering that the bra was situated above my boobs, I opted to remain face down.    

So I giggled some more.

Sasithorn eventually gave up and began my back and shoulder massage.  And it did not take long for me to realize that a Thai Beach back and shoulder massage on a recently repaired torn Rotator Cuff was a big mistake.  

On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 was no pain at all and 10 was having your toenails removed by a beaver, this was a 10.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating.  Beavers have big teeth.  It was a 9.

At one point, while I was writing my will in my head, Sasithorn casually reached underneath me and pulled my sports bra back in place.  

Which got me giggling all over again.

After what seemed like three days, my one hour massage was finally done.  Sasithorn tapped me on my injured shoulder and motioned for me to flip over.  I sat up and attempted to adjust my sports bra, but it was pretty much glued to my body after all that action.   

I paid Sasitorn, said since I didn’t know how to say, “Thanks for the blog topic,” I simply said “Chang”.  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Chinese Line Torture

It was ten minutes before the scheduled boarding when one Asian passenger got to his feet and made his way to the front of the boarding area.

That’s all it took.

Within 30 seconds the gate area was completely void of Asians.  Only a few confused looking Westerners remained.

The line, which was far from single-file, stretched the length of a football field.

“Are we boarding?” I asked.  My question was quickly answered by the gate agent’s announcement.  “We will start boarding China Eastern Airline’s flight to Shanghai with our First Class passengers.  All others may remain seated.”


Thus began my initiation to Chinese Line Torture.  It didn’t bother me at first.  In fact, I found it kind of Interesting. Because I had no interest in standing in a line to get onto a plane that I would be stuck in the for the next 15 stinkin’ hours.  

But sadly, Chinese Line Torture was unavoidable on my flight home.  

And I became painfully aware of the fact that Asians have no regard for my personal space.

Luke, Kimmy and I were in an insufferably long line to check in for my flight.  There were 15 Asians in front of us, taking up 2 feet.  Behind them stood me, Kimmy and Luke (taking up 10 feet), 3 Asian women jammed into Luke’s back pocket, and the rest of the line.

Clearly the people in the Phuket airport that morning did not embrace the 2007 Beijing campaign to “eradicate undesirable manners.” The Beijing city government had declared the 11th day of every month to be "lining day", part of a campaign to eliminate bad behavior including crowding, line jumping, spitting and littering.

(To be fair, I did not observe littering, but I certainly heard more than my share of snorting.)

Not surprisingly, I was the last person on and off my plane to Shanghai that day.

I didn't have a fighting chance. These guys were pros.

And it was beginning to get on my sleep deprived nerves.

I decided to channel my inner Asian when it was time to board my plane to JFK. I got in line right away when my group was called. I hurried to the end of the line, beating the Asian guy running from the other direction by a nose.

But he didn't get in line behind me. He stood NEXT TO ME.

I gave him my best "step out of my space" look and nudged closer to the Asians in front of me.

And it worked. The guy was no longer standing next to me.

I guess I showed him. You can't take advantage of this American Woman!

I turned around to give the poor guy a smile.

I had been kind of rude with that "step out of my space" look. Wouldn't want to give him the wrong impression. After all, I was representing the United States of America.

But he wasn't there. Where'd he go?

Then I noticed him. Standing 10 people ahead of me.

Damn line jumper.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Breakup

I hate breakups.  

I’ve never been good at them.  On the giving or receiving side.

But it’s time.

I need to break up with Igor.  My Physical Therapist.

Why, you ask?

Well, besides the fact that my shoulder has recovered (thanks to Igor), it’s because he and I have gotten too close and it’s interfering with my marriage.

He knows way more about me than my husband does.  And he’s a much better listener.  

Except when he’s not listening.  

But he’s much better than Dave is at pretending he’s listening.

With that said, Dave has improved his listening skills in the past few hours since I caught him redhanded.

“Hey, Dave. I’m going to take Kevin with me to Food Lion.  I’m getting a Rotisserie Chicken for dinner."

“Okay.  What do you want to do for dinner?”

Igor would never be that bad of a listener.  Or a pretend listener.  Maybe I should break up with Dave.

Of course I’m 30 years older than Igor.  There’s that.  

Plus he’s married.

OMG!  I hope he wouldn’t expect me to have his baby.  I’m too old for that.

Although, there was that 60 year old invitro mother I saw in the news a few years ago.  So a pregnancy is not out of the question.

On second thought, I think I’m going to go ahead and break up with Igor.  I'd never have enough energy to raise a teenager in my '70s.  

Sorry, Igor.  I guess I’m staying with Dave.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Make Way for the Segway

It was actually my idea to take a Segway Tour of Winston-Salem, NC.

Me.  Nearly a senior citizen.  Recovering from Rotator Cuff surgery.  Why the hell not?

Before starting, we had to watch a training video.  I was a bit unnerved to learn that you drive these things by leaning.

Deanna, our tour guide, held my Segway in place as I climbed aboard.  She told me to lean forward.  And away I went!

She told me to lean back and I slowed and eventually came to a stop. 

Next, I leaned to the right and turned in a clockwise circle.  Leaned to the left and turned counter-clockwise.  

I passed the mini-cone obstacle course with flying colors.  

I named my segway "Trigger".

"Let's go, Trigger!" I said as I drove up and down the ramp.  To slow Trigger down I just leaned back.  To speed him up, I leaned forward.

Easy peasy.

And we set off on our tour.  Trigger and I took up the rear behind my sister Linda and Deanna.

All went well until Deanna stopped us in front of an historic home.  

"Woah, Trigger!"  I leaned back.  Then I started going in reverse.  So I leaned forward.  And went forward.  There was no middle ground.


The only way I could find to stay put was to twirl in a circle.

Deanna: And this is the Kibler house which was built in 1848.  Daniel Kibler was....Lou are you okay?

Lou: I'm fine.  How do you stop this thing?

Deanna: Stop leaning to the right.

Lou: Like this?

Deanna: Watch out.  You're going to hit me.

Lou: Sorry.

Deanna: Now you're going backward.

Lou: I think Trigger and I will twirl for a while.

Deanna: Let's move on.

And we continued our tour.  Trigger and I were doing great!  No problem at all.  Until.

Deanna: Let's stop at this house for a minute.


Deanna:  This house was built in 1849 by Ely Reynolds, a slave owner whose wife died while giving birth to his second child.  Notice the slope of the roof.  Lou, are you okay?

Lou: I'm fine.  How do you stop?  I forgot.

Deanna: Just stop leaning to the left.  Stand up straight.  Watch out.  You're going to hit me.  Again.

Lou: Oops. Sorry.

The rest of the tour went great!  We never stopped.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I've got killer Segway skills.  

In fact, I think I'm going to quit my day job and become a mall cop.

And if I ever have to chase a shoplifter?  No problem!

I'll round him right up.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Naval Warmer

Being cold natured, I'm a big fan of "warmer" gear.  Hand Warmers?  Ear Warmers?  Leg Warmers?  Bring'm on.

I even have a Neck Warmer.

But I've never considered getting a Navel Warmer. 

It just never occurred to me that warming my navel would help warm up my entire body.  But according to the Japan Trend Shop it does!

My Mom always told me to wear a hat in the winter because my body heat would escape through my head if it wasn't covered.

The Navel Warmer probably works the same way.

But then again, I rarely leave home with my navel uncovered.  Part of the reason I keep it covered is that I'd freeze my butt off if my navel was uncovered. 

A more significant reason for leaving it covered is that I fear exposing my navel to the world would cause significant civil unrest.

Wait a minute!  I may have this all wrong.

Perhaps leaving my naval exposed in public would actually reduce divisiveness!  People from all races, genders, and political agendas would unite for this cause.

"Gross!  Who does she think she is?  BeyoncĂ©?"
"I wish I could un-see that." 

"Cover that thing up!"

I have my doubts about the new Lady Warmer Hezo Kyu Navel Warmer

They claim it's practical (and safe!) in that you don't need to light anything up.  You just put the Navel Warmer in the microwave for 30 seconds, take it out, and place it on your naval.

That's so much better (and safer!) than lighting a campfire atop your navel.

But then again, the Lady Warmer Hezo Kyi Navel Warmer is not inexpensive ($210 plus shipping and handling).
I think I'll just take my chance with the campfire.

Besides, if the fire spreads, I'll warm up even faster.