Friday, December 2, 2016

The Flopped Rescue

I was minding my own business in the Wendy’s drive through lane when I noticed some movement in the back of the pick-up truck in front of me.

The driver of the truck was paying for his lunch at the window.  His tailgate was open.

I surveyed the truck bed.  It contained buckets and what looked like an old freezer lying on its side, held in place with yellow rope.   

I saw something moving.  What was it?

Then it flopped.  

OMG. It was a fish.  A flopping fish.

I gasped.  What the flip was a fish doing in the back of a pick up truck in Wendy's drive through?

The fish kept flopping.  As if trying to make a get-away.  What should I do???

“There’s a fish flopping in that truck!” I said loudly to nobody.  

Nobody responded.  The fish kept flopping.

“He’s gonna die!” I roared.

Where did he come from?  The bucket?  He was about 6 inches long so he probably wasn’t bait.  Unless they were fishing for really big fish.

I quickly sized up the situation.  I could step out of my car and tell the driver that there was a fish flopping around on his tailgate.  He would probably laugh at me.

Or I could rescue him!  That’s what I should do.  There was a sidewalk between our vehicles.  I could walk past and casually reach in and grab the little guy.

But he needed water.  Badly.  His flops had become less spirited.  All I had was Diet Coke and I was relatively certain no fish could survive long in Diet Coke.  

I had no choice.  I had to tell the driver about the fish.

Except he drove away.  

“Wait!!!” I screamed.  “There’s a fish flopping on your tailgate!”  

I was sick to my stomach.  The poor guy was dead meat.  Make that dead fish.  

I drove up to the window.  The employee said, “$5.19,” without looking at me.

I handed her my credit card and in a shaky voice said, “There was a fish flopping around the back of that truck.”

“Say what?”

“There was a fish flopping around in the tailgate of that truck.  The one you just served.”

“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t see no fish.”

I did.  And I wish I hadn’t.

My fish sandwich would have tasted way better.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Clash of the Duvet

I was in way over my head.  Literally.

And I thought I was prepared for the challenge. 

I had started training earlier in the day.

By putting towels in pillow cases.  I perfected my process: shove the towel all the way to the back, then grab both ends and shake.  

After hours of practice, my doggie duvet was perfect.

And I was ready for the real thing.

Or so I thought.

I laid Kimmy's duvet cover on the hallway floor and measured the duvet, determining which corners went in first.

"This hallway ain't big enough for the both of us," I said to the duvet.  "You're going IN THERE."

The duvet just laughed.

I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the far end of the duvet corners, and crawled in, kneeling on the near ends to hold them in place.

As I approached the end, I dropped one of the corners.  CRAP!  Where the flip was it?  I felt around for it.  Nothing.  Maybe over there?  Or there?  

Hours later, Kevin came to my rescue.

And my brave dog led me out of duvet hell.

I was 5 pounds lighter.  And that was before I grabbed both ends of the duvet and "shook."

It was an exhausting experience, both mentally and physically.

I told my sister Jan about my duvet workout.  She could hardly get a word in.

"Holy crap!"  I said.  "Assembling a nuclear plant would be easier."

I chugged some wine.  "Next time I do that I'm going to lay down bread crumbs so I can find my way out."

I was on a roll. 

"And pack a lunch.  I could have starved to death."

Jan accused me of being dramatic.

Who me?

"You could do what I do," she added.

"What's that?"

"I use my duvet cover like a bedspread and lay it on top of the duvet."


What fun would that be?

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Race

As I was clipped from behind my car began to spin out of control. 

It was frightening. 

I circled 1,440 degrees.  (That's 4 times, for those of you without calculators.)

To say I was dizzy was an understatement.  My reading glasses only exacerbated the vertigo.

I screamed like a girl and managed, somehow, to straighten the car.  I gently pushed on the gas pedal and accelerated to 35 mph.

As an endless stream of aggressive sports cars passed by me on both sides, I wondered when this stupid NASCAR simulator race would finally end.


I'm lucky my lunch stayed with me.  Actually, the NASCAR Museum is lucky my lunch stayed with me.

After what seemed like an hour, the race finally came to an end.

I removed my reading glasses and struggled to open the door.  Upon exiting the torture chamber, I stumbled clumsily toward the exit. 

All around me I heard excited voices.  "That was great!!"  "Awesome!"  "Where'd you place?"

I was thinking, "Where's the bathroom?"

The race results were posted on a wall in 260 point font.  

Lovely.  Public humiliation.

There were 15 of us competing as part of our "team building  exercise".  For crying out loud.  Why didn't they do a Sudoku competition?  Or a quilting contest?  At least I'd have a fighting chance.

I was certain to be at the bottom of the NASCAR simulation race.

I looked at the race results.  The letters were moving.  I grabbed hold of the wall and focused, looking for my name on the list.

I was 14th.

WTH?  How could I not have been at the bottom?

Was it a clerical error?  I did not pass one car on the track.  In fact, cars pass by me like I was a kidney stone heading south.

Wait. One. Minute.

I beat somebody!   Hooray for me!

Maybe I should do this again.  I could get good at it.  My virgin NASCAR race and I wasn't even last.

If fact, I think I accelerated all the way to 40 by the last lap. 

Okay, maybe it was 39.  

I felt sorry for number 15.  He or she must really suck at NASCAR driving.  I squinted at the standings and saw that it was Ellen who came in last.

Poor, pathetic Ellen.

I decided to comfort her. (That's how empathetic I am.)

This was a delicate situation.  I did not want to embarrass her.  I mean, coming in dead last in a NASCAR simulator race.  How humiliating.

"Hey," I whispered.  "Don't feel badly about coming in last.  Who wants to win a NASCAR simulator race, anyhow?"

"Oh," she said, casually. "I didn't race.  I couldn't get my car started."

Saturday, November 5, 2016

No Use Crying Over Spilled Wine

I swear to God.  I was not drinking when I spilled wine on my laptop.

The wine was to be my reward for finishing the report.

I finished up, attached the document to the email, hit send, and reached for that well-deserved glass of wine.

What happened next was inexplicable.  Somehow the bottom of the wine glass became entangled in the laptop cord.

Did I mention that it was Halloween night and I was staying in a Myrtle Beach hotel?

The police were never able to identify the source of the reported screams.  Witnesses said they were certain a horrendous murder had been committed. 
Others suspected it was a werewolf on the prowl for young blood.

I immediately lunged for a paper towel and attempted to lap up the wine.  Unfortunately, the hotel did not have the quicker picker upper.  Instead a roll of three ply toilet paper masqueraded as paper towels.

I used the "knife in the ditch between keys" methodology and was able to completely contain all of the wine.

At least I thought I had.

The next morning I attempted to log into my laptop.  I typed in the password and was told quite rudely by said laptop that I had the incorrect password.  I tried again, unsuccessfully.


I looked at the screen and typed in the first letter of my password.  Here's what I saw:

Say what?  Two asterisks?  That's odd.  I only typed one letter.  

I entered the second letter of my password and this is what I saw:

Then I had a scathingly brilliant idea.  I started over.  I entered the first letter of the password.  Two asterisks appeared.  And I deleted one.

I was feeling quite proud of myself as I entered the second letter of the password.  When two more asterisks appeared, I deleted the second one.

Smarty Pants Clyde.  That's my name.

I entered the third letter of the password. No letters appeared.


I figured I had two options.  I could get the laptop repaired or I could buy a new one.  Neither option was ideal, and both options were expensive.

Way more expensive than that glass of wine.

Then I had my second scathingly brilliant idea.

Introducing the hottest, most technologically advanced laptop EVER:  the duo-keyboard laptop for those who want more than just 96 keys.

Forget Silicone Valley.  This baby was developed in Irmo, South Carolina.

And if you'd like your very own duo-keyboard laptop, I know where you can get one.  Just in time for the holidays.

And it's very reasonably priced.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What do you need foam for?

"Can I help you?" asked the man at the fabric center.

"Yeah," I said.  "I'm looking for foam."

"Foam?  What kind of foam?"

"Um, foam.  Foam that you use to make pillows,"  I explained.

He told me that they didn't sell foam, but there was a place in nearby Conway that did.  "They'll cut it to the exact size you want."

Then he asked the question I was dreading. 

"What are you going to use it for?"

"You don't want to know," I said.

He gave me a look like, come on Lady.  I work in a damn Fabric Center.  I've seen everything.  You will not surprise me.  You think you're the only woman who's made a futon for her cat?

"You really don't want to know," I repeated.

He raised an eyebrow and started to walk away.

"Okay I'll tell you," I said.  "It's a prop for a play.  I'm making boob prostheses for a woman who just had a mammogram."

He stopped for a minute.  Then continued on his way to the back of the store.

"But they have to be rectangular," I said more loudly.  Because he really needed to hear this.  

"Cuz she just had a mammogram," I sad loudly.

"And both her boobs are squished into rectangles."

He shook his head. 

"That sounds hysterical," said the woman who was standing nearby.  (The one with a sense of humor.)

Who, clearly, had experienced more than her share of Mammograms.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The History of Havelock

I know that this may surprise my readers, but I fancy myself somewhat of a history buff.

Stop laughing.  Especially you guys from Niagara Wheatfield who observed me sleeping though History class.

OK, so maybe I’m not in the same league as Mel Brooks.  But I do love the soundtrack to Hamilton. 

At any rate, here is your first Nerdling History lesson.

The year is 1707.  The founding fathers of the small settlement in Eastern North Carolina are concerned about containing the growth of their community and keeping the commoners out.  

They hold a secret meeting on a plot of land that will someday be home to The Dollar Store.

“We have to find a forgettable name for our community,” said Obadiah.  “One that the riffraff will forget.”

“How about Yearjust?” suggested Absolom.  

Too memorable,” said Obadiah.  “I like Withwere.  Withwere, North Carolina.”

“Better, but we need something more obscure,” said Jedidiah.  “I've got it: Havelock.  Nobody will remember Havelock.”   

They nod in agreement, and snicker in unison.  They name their settlement Havelock, North Carolina.

And more than 300 years later I say to Dave, “Can you book us a hotel in Headlock?”


“You know.  That place where Linda’s stationed.  It’s not Headlock?” 

“No.  Guess again.”


“No." He tries to give me a hint. "Do you have a lock on your head?”  

“What?  I already said Headlock.”  (I was beginning to get irritated.)

He tried again.  “Do you HAVE a lock on your head?”



When we arrived at the Dreadlock Holiday Inn Express I understood why I was having such a hard time remembering the city.  It’s really kind of unmemorable. 

There’s no Target in Landlock.  Only WalMart and a Dollar Store.  And, not surprisingly, there are quite a few gun stores in Padlock.

NO!  It’s Havelock.  

I have a mental block against that stupid word.  I decided to google Havelock.  Maybe if I learned more about it, the name would sink into my brain.

I was shocked to learn that Havelock is named after Sir Henry Havelock.   

I know what you’re thinking.  Who the hell is Sir Henry Havelock?

Apparently Sir Henry Havelock was a British General known for his recapture of Cawnpore from rebels during the Indian Mutiny of 1857.

OK, but what does Sir Henry Havelock have to do with North Carolina?   


I guess I my history lesson wasn’t that far off.   

 “How about Gereral Washington?” suggested Absolom.  

“Too memorable.  I like Lafayette,” said Obadiah.  “Lafayette, North Carolina.”

“Better, but still easy to remember,” said Jedidiah.  “I've got it: Havelock.  Nobody will remember Havelock.”   

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jeepers Creepers

Kimmy wasn't nearly as impressed with my new sunglasses as I was.  

"Where did you get those?" she asked.  '

"At a VERY upscale store in Snowmass Village," I said, a wee bit defensively.

"I hope you didn't pay too much," she said, just as Dave rounded the corner sporting his own pair, purchased from the same rack.

She groaned audibly.

"Dad.  You do know those are women's glasses, don't you?"

Dave shrugged his shoulders and said, "They were the cheapest ones on the rack."

"You look like an Aspen Drag Queen." she observed.  

I laughed.

"But they look better than Mom's,"

What?  Dave's Aspen Drag Queen women's sunglasses look better than my uber-cute big-ass Teal sunglasses? 

I had a flash back.  I was about ten years old and looked like this.

And I saw the cutest pair of sunglasses.  Ever.

I begged my Mom to buy them for me.

"They're silly, Mary Lou," my Mom said.   "Why would you want those?"

I told her they were the coolest sunglasses I had ever seen and I JUST. HAD. TO. HAVE. THEM.

And I begged and begged and begged and begged and begged and somehow I wore her down.

And I looked like this.

Wearing my miniature television screen sunglasses.

I didn't care if anyone else thought they were stupid. 

I loved them!

And I don't care if Kimmy doesn't like my new uber-cute big-ass Teal sunglasses.  I love them.

Perhaps she would prefer my other pair.