Monday, April 8, 2019

The Grabber

When I stepped into the back seat of my neighbor's very large SUV I noticed Shirley seated on the other side of the console.  She reached across, gave my arm a big squeeze, and said, "So good to see you Lou."

I said, "Good to see you, too."  

I was lying.

Shirley and I have little in common.  Sure, we live near each other, sit down to pee, and have 46 chromosomes.

But that's where the similarities end.

Unlike Shirley, I do not feel the need to grab hold of someone's arm when speaking to him or her.

In fact, I can imagine very few scenarios requiring me to latch on to someone's arm.

--One of my daughters is attempting to escape when I'm giving her advice.
--A waiter is about to give my wine to someone at another table.
--A stranger has slipped off a cliff and is screaming for help.

Truth be told, the stranger would probably fall to his death before I could react.  He'd likely be partially digested by crocodiles before I could finish my dramatic gasp.

And, even if I was able to successfully grab his arm, chances are excellent that I would lack the strength to pull him back to safety.  He'd have to weigh less than 25 pounds if he expected me to save his life.  And considering my subpar stamina, the emergency response team would have to arrive within two or three minutes.

So, after stepping into the back seat of the large SUV and being manhandled by Shirley I groaned.  

I remembered too late that Shirley was a grabber.

How could I forget?  She assaulted my arm for seven and a half minutes last summer at that neighborhood picnic.  She'd had me cornered in the kitchen.  By the devilled eggs.

And here we were.  Sharing the back seat of a car.

I should have driven.  Damn.

It is physically impossible for Shirley to utter a word without touching the person to whom she is speaking.  She grabbed hold of my arm no fewer than ten times on that torturous twenty minute trek.

But she shared the love.

Shirley massaged the front seat passenger's shoulder a dozen or so times during the drive.  The only person immune to the assault was the driver, whose shoulder was just beyond Shirley's reach.  She'd desperately extended her hand, fingers wiggling, falling just short of the target.

(Think Tyrannosaurus Rex communicating with Helen Keller.)

The evening was a frustrating, yet somewhat entertaining, social experiment.

A few days later I was having lunch with another neighbor.  I asked her if she had noticed Shirley's propensity to latch onto the arm of everyone and anyone she spoke to.

Laura quickly defended Shirley. 

"Oh, she's very nice.  When you get to know her you'll like her.  She'll be more friendly."

More friendly?

Will she caress my face with her hands?  Stick her tongue in my mouth?

I suppose I'm being too hard on Shirley.  I should be more kind.

So what if she's grabby?

She may come in handy some day.  Like if I ever find myself falling off a cliff.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Prank

It was better than hitting the lottery.

I had just stepped into my car when the garage door opened and Dave pulled his car into the empty space next to mine.

I waved at him but he didn't notice. 

I watched as he turned off his car and tapped on his remote to close the garage door.

Since I had to leave, I tapped on my remote, which stopped the door's descent and reversed its direction.

I then gave Dave another wave.  Which he didn't notice.

I watched with amusement as he tapped his remote to close the garage door.  Again.

That's when I realized that I was experiencing something monumental.

As the garage door began to close, Dave turned to gather his packages.  At which point I tapped on my remote to reopen the garage door.

This was really big.  

A first for me.

I giggled.

Dave looked over his shoulder to see if he had pulled far enough into the garage.   He turned on his car and moved it forward approximately 3.29 inches.

He then turned the car off and tapped his button to close the garage door.

I waited until the garage door was nearly closed before tapping on my remote.

And I nearly peed my pants.  

OMG!  I was doing it!

I watched with great pleasure as Dave got out of the car to locate the phantom obstruction impeding the garage door's progress.

And I began to snort.

Just when he was certain that nothing was blocking the garage door's path, I pushed my button to close it.

And poor Dave didn't know what the hell was going on.

I rolled down my window and said, "Gotcha!"

Dave said, "Oh.  It's you."

I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard.  And I was brimming with pride.

I had succeeded in pulling off a practical joke.

You see, my failed attempts at pranks are legendary.  It's physically impossible for me to keep a straight face in the midst of one.  The more I try to contain my laughter, the more distorted my face becomes.

If you didn't know better, you might think I was in the need of medical assistance.

HEY! I had pulled off a prank.  And Dave fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

I think it's time to pull out the ping pong ball/fake eyeball trick.

Dave's going to be so scared.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Squeezing Blood from a Turnip

I'd been listening to the same "song" (and I use that term loosely) for nearly 20 minutes.  And it wasn't American Pie.  Or In A Gadda Da Vida.

I was on hold waiting to speak to a MoviePass concierge.

And I was prepared to give that concierge a piece of my mind.

That is, if he ever answered my call.

My conversation would go like this:

ME: Every time I attempt to use my MoviePass I get the same message.  It doesn't matter what theater I select.  I get the same message: There are no more screenings at this theater today.

ME (voice growing in intensity): This morning I noticed that there was a 1:00 screening of Green Book.  A movie I wanted to see!  So I made plans to see it.  But, when I went to check in to the movie, the screening was gone.  It had disappeared from my MoviePass app.  Vanished!                 
ME (taking deep breath): The app showed a 7:00 screening of Green Book so I rearranged my schedule so I could go to the 7:00 show.

CONCIERGE: So, what's the problem?

ME (in a growly voice): When I was getting ready to leave for the 7:00 movie I tapped the MoviePass app and got the message, "There are no more screenings at this theater today."  Poof!

At this point, Dave would interrupt my conversation.

DAVE: Tell him who you are.

ME (covering the phone): What?  Go away!

DAVE: Tell him that you're their most unprofitable customer.

ME: Shut up!  I'm trying to talk to the concierge!

DAVE: You drove them to bankruptcy.

ME: I did not.

CONCIERGE: What did he say?

DAVE (grabbing phone): She saw 75 movies in the past year.

CONCIERGE (irritated): So, it's her fault I'm losing my job?

DAVE: Yep.

CONCIERGE (even more irritated): And she's the reason that my 401K has the same value as a piece of wet toilet paper?!!!!

DAVE: Yep.

ME: Tell him that I want to see Green Book today or else I'm cancelling my MoviePass subscription.

DAVE: You already did.

ME: Oh, yeah.

Suddenly my imaginary conversation was interrupted.  

By the MoviePass concierge!!!!

CONCIERGE:  This is Marjorie, your MoviePass concierge.  This conversation will be recorded.  Tell me your name.

ME: Mary Lou Clyde

CONCIERGE:  This is Marjorie, your MoviePass concierge.  This conversation will be recorded.  Tell me your name.

ME (louder and walking closer to wifi router): Mary Lou Clyde.  Can you hear me????

CONCIERGE: This is Marjorie, your MoviePass concierge.  This conversation will be recorded.  Tell me your name.

ME (standing atop the wifi router): Mary Lou Clyde.  Please help me. Please, please, please don't hang up!

CONCIERGE: This is a bad connection.  Please try your call later.

Marjorie hung up.

I screamed.  My low blood pressure hit triple digits.  Kevin began to bark.  

I snatched the land line phone and redialed MoviePass.

MOVIEPASS: We are experiencing high call volume.  Please try your call later.

I reached for the refrigerator door, removed the box of Chardonnay, and poured myself a very well deserved glass of wine.

Dave commented that I should give up on MoviePass.

Are you kidding?

I've got 2 more movies to see before my account goes away on the 14th.  I think Green Book may be playing at Columbiana Grande tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2018

When in France....

For some unknown reason my kids don't like to be made fun of mentioned in my blog.

I'm fine with that.  I'll honor their ridiculous request.  Because that's what good Moms do.


So.  Um.  This post is not about Kimmy and Luke.  It has nothing to do with them.

This is simply a post with advice in case any of my readers travel to France.  

Not all French people are enamored with American tourists.  Many expect them to know their language.

So....if you happen to be visiting France, and wish to go out to dinner at a French restaurant, please consider the following words of wisdom:  

  1. Learn one or two French words before your meal.  Besides baguette and Bordeaux.
  2. Wait until the host seats you before marching into the restaurant and plopping down in a seat near the window.
  3. If there is a candle on the table, and it is flickering, it is likely a real candle. With a flame.
  4. Recognize that menus are flammable.
  5. Do not set your menu on the candle.  It may burn.
  6. If you notice your menu in flames, do not panic.  You may cause a scene.  Simply blow it out.
  7. If you blow too hard you will feed the fire.  You may want to use water to extinguish the flames.
  8. If the menu sustains fire damage, do not set the rest of the menu on fire to hide the evidence.  You may set off the sprinkler system.  
  9. When the waiter asks why you blew out the candle on your table, tell him, "No habla Franceis."  Do not show him the charred remains of the menu.
  10. Even though it is not customary to tip in France, generously tip your waiter if you have destroyed his menu.
I hope you appreciate my advice, Luke and Kimmy readers.  Hopefully it will help prevent any more embarrassing situations in the future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Lesson

I usually find baseball games boring.  They're 3 innings too long.

But this game was exciting.  The Brewers could clinch a playoff spot with a win.  And it was high scoring.  Lots of action.

There was a Millennial couple sitting in front of me at the game.  The girl, let's call her "Chloe", was sitting just below my sightline to the batter.  Chloe's boyfriend, let's call him "Aiden," sat to her right.

Then this happened.

It's not like the phone was blocking my sightline.  But after Chloe's 22nd selfie I started to find her phone more entertaining than the baseball game.

She'd take a few photos, inspect them, adjust her hair and take a few more.  Inspect those, lean closer to Aiden, and then take a few more.  Inspect those, purse her lips, and take a few more.

What was I to do?

I took a photo of them and posted it on Facebook.

After several innings, Chloe was satisfied with her photo and probably posted it on Instagram.  

Because she's way cooler than I am.

Then my friend went to the concession stand, leaving me alone.  

A couple minutes later I heard a voice in my ear.  Attached to another Millennial.  

Let's call her "Ursula".

Ursula: Do you know those people sitting in front of you?
Me: What?
Ursula: Do you know those people sitting in front of you?
Me: No.
Ursula: I noticed you took a picture of them.
Me: Yeah.  She took like 50 selfies.
Ursula: I don't think that was very nice.
Me: What?
Ursula: They weren't hurting you.  She made sure you weren't in any of her pictures.
Ursula: I don't think that was nice at all.
Ursula: I think that was mean.

I had a flashback to 5th grade.  My blue-haired teacher, Mrs. Crouse, scolded me for making too much noise turning pages in my Math book.  "I don't think that's very nice, Mary Louise.  Your loud page turning is disrupting the class."

Me: You're right. I shouldn't have done that.
Ursula:  I know.  It really wasn't nice.
Me: (Face turning very red.)
Ursula: Not nice at all.

I turned my back on Ursula and I let that encounter completely ruin the rest of the game for me.

It wasn't until days later that I realized that she was way meaner than I was.

Thinking back, I wish I had responded differently.  Ursula probably thought she had taught me a big fat lesson.  In fact, she'll probably do it again the next time she thinks somebody over twice her age is misbehaving.

I should have said, "Oh yeah?  Go to H-E-double hockey sticks."

Or held up my profanity pillow.

Or maybe I should have laughed.

And told her how hilarious she was.

But you know what would have been even better?

I should have taken
her picture.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

How to Not Get a Seasonal Job at #%&$

I almost missed the sign in the department store at my local mall.

Interested in picking up extra money for the holidays?  #%&$ is hiring seasonal employees!  

They promised great associate discounts, competitive pay, and flexible schedules.

I considered the fact that Movie Pass has recently restricted the number of movies I can see, which has significantly freed up my schedule. 

When I got home from the mall I mentioned the idea to Dave.  He told me I was nuts, which convinced me to apply for the job.

The online application asked for my previous position and I proudly wrote Director of Customer Insights & Analysis.  When asked how many hours I could work per week I wrote 12.  When asked if I could work evenings I wrote no.  When asked if I could work weekends I wrote no.  

I was confident that I would be the perfect fit for a part-time seasonal position at #%&$!

I was not surprised when I was invited for open auditions interviews.  I checked out my competition.  I was the oldest one in the room (not counting the vending machine.)

Applicants had to fill forms asking for our availability by day.  I wrote:

Monday: 7-4
Tuesday: 7-4
Wednesday: 7-4
Thursday: 7-4
Friday: 7-4
Saturday: -
Sunday: -

The HR person picked up my sheet and looked at me as if I had a unicorn horn protruding from my head.

HER: You are only available weekdays?  No evenings?  No weekends?
ME: Um, yeah.
HER: This is retail.  You have to work evenings and weekends.

But I didn't leave.  I thought once they got to know me they would realize how lucky they'd be to have me as a part-time seasonal employee.

(I could analyze their data for minimum wage if they wanted!)

I had a small group interview with two other applicants.  It went okay until the HR person asked me if I could work on Sundays and I said, "It depends on who the Bills are playing."

It got really quiet then.

She said, "Excuse me?"

I said, "The Buffalo Bills."

Yeah.  They hated me.  And I don't blame them.

They found me to be inflexible and thought that I showed poor judgement.

Who in the world would want to watch the Buffalo Bills play football?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

7 Words You Can't Say in Church

I was initially excited to learn that a women's group wanted us to perform a few vignettes from my play Heck the Dolls with Chardonnay.

HTD is a chick play.  Women love it.

And the three actors who played Sue, Becky, and Rhonda so brilliantly during the initial run were available for the special performance.  One was coming all the way from New York City to perform.

Jim, the Director, consulted with me and we chose three scenes, including the infamous Turkey penis vignette.

Did I mention that the women's group was from a church?

So, Jim was a wee bit concerned about offending the women.  He wondered if the Turkey penis scene would be too much for an audience drinking coffee instead of wine.  In church.

Come on.  Who could possibly be offended by the story of a woman cooking her first turkey who finds it's neck in the turkey's cavity, and thinks that it's his penis?


A few days later I turned on my phone after leaving a movie and it started dinging like a damn pinball machine.  

Apparently, I had missed a few texts.

I scrolled to the beginning of the messages:

Jim: I'd like to change penis to its Thingy.  Ok ladies?  There were 8 penis references in the script.  Who knew?  Anyway I think you guys can have fun trying not to say it.

(Note to self:  Should "thingy" be capitalized?)

Tiffany: Oh, we will have fun alright....

Jim: I know you will.  I cut the damns, too, and changed the hell to heck.

Jim: Are you still having fun?

Tiffany: Umm... that shit is gonna come out.  I've already done that show 2 times.  It'll be muscle memory.

Jim: It is what it will be I guess.

Jessica: Liked "Um... that shit is gonna come out. I've already done that show 2 times.  It'll be muscle memory."

Jessica: I will do my best not to say penis.

Sandy: Penis. Penis. Penis.  There.  I won't say it anymore.

Jim: I shared the script and damn and hell in the Church is freaking them out.  I told her we'd do our best.

Jim: Thank you Sandy ;o)

Jessica: Liked: "I shared the script and damn and hell in the Church is freaking them out.  I told her we'd do our best."

Jim: That was the one word she freaked out about.  Thingy. Thingy. Thingy. Thingy. Thingy. Thingy.

Jim: I love you ladies.  Thank you.

Jessica: Laughed at: "Thingy. Thingy. Thingy. Thingy. Thingy. Thingy."

Tiffany: The one word was damn?  Hell?  Or penis?

Jim: Darn darn darn darn heck heck heck heck.

Lou: I just got out of a movie and read these all at once.  Let's perform the texts.

Jim: That's funny, Lou.  There might be a play in changing a play to not offend anyone.  Got a title.  7 words you can't say in church.

Lou: Don't tell me boob is on that list.

Jim: Penis, hell, damn, ass, porn.

Lou: Shit is ok?

Jim: Penis, hell, damn, ass, porn, shit.

Tiffany: And f*ck.  Hehe.

Jessica: Wow.  One of those is gonna accidentally slip off of me or Tiff.

It was all a moot point.

In the end, the head church lady decided to pull the Turkey penis scene from the performance.

It was probably for the better.

We didn't have to worry about a penis slipping out of someone's mouth in church.