Saturday, August 19, 2017

Piqapoo takes on the PooTrap

Those Engineers at PooTrap have got to be sweating bullets.

For years, PooTrap has been the only player in the 'strap on device that catches dog poop before it hits the ground' market.

Not since Apple introduced the iPhone has there been a more dominant industry leader.

And you can see why:
  


The PooTrap has been the perfect solution for dog owners who are averse to picking up poo and don't mind humiliating their dogs by forcing them to wear a such a contraption.

As you can see, The PooTrap apparatus is an engineering marvel.  It's got straps.  And hoops.  And magnets.

The PooTrap  web site is even more impressive with its videos, sizing instructions and even poetry.



For nearly a decade PooTrap has been the dominant player in the dog poop collector market.

However, while they were sitting on their haunches, underdog Piqapoo was stealthily raising funds to introduce their own, much less complex device that catches dog poo before it hits the ground.

And not since deregulation of the Tel-comm industry as there been such cut-throat competition.

One can imagine the meeting at PooTrap International headquarters where the Market Research Analyst meets with the Product Engineer to delicately deliver the bad news: the PooTrap has competition.

"It's called Piqapoo."
"Peek-a-boo?" the Engineer asks.
"PiqaPOO," says the Analyst, and hands the Engineer a photo of a dog sporting the new product.

He carefully inspects the image and looks up.  "No magnets?"
"No magnets."
"No harnesses?"
"No harnesses.  Or straps."

The Engineer opens a Saki, his hands shaking.

"Then how does it work?"

The Research Analyst hand him the technical specifications and says, "It looks like they attach a plastic bag to a pony tail clip."



The Engineer's face reddens as he reviews the document.  He pounds his fist on the table.  "Why didn't we think of this?"

He places his head in his arms and beings to weep.

After an uncomfortable minute, he looks up hopefully.  "But will it work with any texture of feces?"

The Research Analyst rifles through her report, sighs, and reads aloud, "The collector can take in any texture of dog feces."

"What about colors?," he asks.  "The PooTrap comes in blue AND red."

"Piqapoo comes in three colors."

"How much?" he asks, desperation oozing from every cell in his body.
"$29 for the clip and 60 collection bags."
"NO!"  He sobs uncontrollably.  "The PooTrap costs $44 for 10 bags."

The mood in the room is somber as the Research Analyst turns toward the door.  She stops when she hears the Engineer's scream. 

"Wait!!!"

He has jumped to his feet, a smug look on his face.

"But do they have a poem?" he asks, not needing a reply






Friday, August 4, 2017

The M&M

I noticed the red M&M sitting on a glass table during my weekly Market Research team meeting.  

"What is that?" I asked.
"An M&M," Jeff responded.
"Looks deformed," Christine observed.
And we went on with our meeting.

A week later it was still there, but nobody commented.  It remained the next week.  And the next. Then I went on vacation for a week.

"Is that M&M still here?" I asked in today's meeting.  
"Yep," said Jeff.
"I think I'll blog about it."  

I set up a photo shoot soon after the meeting.   Then I moved it to my office.




A little while later our intern, Rob, noticed it on my desk and asked, "What are you going to do with that M&M?"

"I'm going to dissect it.  Tomorrow.  And then eat it."

Based on his reaction you would have sworn it was road kill.  I mean, seriously.  How many germs can possibly be on a deformed red Peanut M&M?

I was assuming it was a peanut M&M.  It was way too big to be a regular M&M. 

But then I realized that it could have been a deformed Peanut Butter M&M!

I overheard Jeff telling Rob that the 5-second rule must not apply to me.  Rather I lived by the 3-month rule. 

Which is entirely untrue.  If, say, a brussel sprout falls to the ground, I will not put that thing in my mouth.  Period.  And if a grape falls on the ground in my kitchen, the 3-second rule would apply.  However, if a Peanut Butter M&M fell on the ground in the Men's room of a Waffle Hut, the 3-month rule would apply.

I returned to my desk and attempted to concentrate on my research analysis.  But that potential Peanut Butter M&M was in my periphery. 

I had planned on inviting Jeff, Christine and Rob to my dissection the next day.  To kind of make a ceremony out of it.  But I couldn't wait.  

I was starving.  And it might be a Peanut Butter M&M.

I went to the break room to find a scalpel knife Samurai sword.



I dissected it.  And it was a damn deformed Peanut M&M. 

I was so disappointed.

But I was also starving. 

So I ate it.  And it tasted like a nasty-ass deformed Peanut M&M.

But I learned a valuable life lesson today.

If it looks like a deformed Peanut M&M, it probably is a deformed Peanut M&M. And it will most definitely taste like a nasty-ass deformed Peanut M&M.   

And the rule for deformed Peanut M&Ms is 1 second.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Getting Screwed by the Dentist

I'm breaking up with my Dentist.  Whom I used to love. 

What’s not to love about a dental practice that offers freshly baked cookies for patients?  You can apply sugar to your clean sparkly teeth before you even leave the place!



It is important to know that I was raised on well water.  I’m so old that fluoride wasn’t invented until I already had more cavities than teeth.  
And by the time I was 40 I had more crowns than Medieval England.
I started seeing my dentist, let call him “Dr. T”, 17 years ago when I first moved to Columbia.  Dr. T is not only an outstanding dentist, he’s an aesthetic dentist.  Which means his office is C*O*V*E*R*E*D with posters of beautiful people with even more beautiful smiles.
Which also means that I’ve been encouraged to get braces for 17 years.
“I’m not getting braces,” I tell Dr. T on every visit.  I remind him that if I was going to invest my money in aesthetics I’d get plastic surgery. 
Plus, I’m OK with the fact that my face will not be plastered on a poster in his waiting room.  Next to the cookies. 
During a routine visit 15 months ago, I told Dr. T’s hygienist that I had been experiencing pain in one of my back teeth.  She and Dr. T. carefully inspected the tooth and saw no visible signs of decay.  They concluded that I did not have a cavity. Rather, I had a "bruised tooth".  Dr. T. assured me that it would get better and to call them if it didn’t.  

Or if I changed my mind about braces.    
Eight months later I returned for another routine appointment, where X-Rays were taken.  As the hygienist examined them, she said, “This looks interesting.”  
(I do not want to have interesting dental X-Rays.  I want boring X-Rays.)

Sadly, Dr. T agreed with the hygienist.  You see, my tooth was completely decayed and needed to be extracted.  And, worse yet, I had to get a DENTAL IMPLANT.   

He added that if I ever wanted to get braces, this was the perfect time.
I soon learned that getting an implant is a very expensive and lengthy process which involves inserting a screw into your bone and ultimately placing a crown atop the screw.  
  
Dr. T referred me to a different dentist to whom I paid more than $3,000 to get screwed.   
I returned to Dr. T yesterday to get my mouth molded for the crown to place atop the screw that has been protruding from my gum for a month. 
After sitting through 4 different mouth molds I was sent to the front office to check out.

The Front Office Manager, let’s call her “Esmeralda”, informed me that the total cost for my new crown would be $2,300.  I gulped and asked for a discount.  

On-accounta-the-fact that IT WAS NOT A BRUISED TOOTH AND IF THEY HAD DONE A DAMN X-RAY 15 MONTHS AGO THEY WOULD HAVE SEEN A TEENY TINY CAVITY THAT COULD HAVE BEEN FILLED.
Esmeralda told me she would discuss it with Dr. T and call me back.
She phoned just an hour later to remind me that I had been offered an X-RAY during my exam the previous year and had refused it.  

Say-what?  Why in the hell would I refuse an X-RAY when I had a tooth ache?
Esmeralda also told me that Dr. T. had also adjusted my bite that day and told me to call if I had any problems and they never heard from me. 
Adjusted my bite?  What the flip does that mean?  I googled it and to find that adjusting my bite involves drilling.  

Dr. T did not drill me.
When I told Esmeralda that those stories were fiction she got all bitchy with me and basically said too bad so sad and stop shooting the messenger.   And I'm stuck.
I have one final visit to Dr. T’s office on August 29, when he will again make me royalty by placing a crown atop a screw sticking out of my gum.  I will pay $2,300 for that service.  
But I am taking every last one of those stinkin’ cookies on the way out the door. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More from the Drinking Buddies

Becca was momentarily stunned when she noticed Josh hanging onto my kitchen light for dear life.



"What's wrong?" I asked.

"You've got a guy hanging from your light."

"Oh!" I said.  "That's Josh.  Chad's on the other side.  And Mitch and Chad #2 are climbing up my Eiffel Tower wine cork holder."


Becca should not have been surprised.  She knows me well enough.  You see, my Drinking Buddies have kind of taken over where Barbie left off.  Occasionally making an appearance in a blog post.. But between blogs, I let them hang out wherever they choose.  Like on the lamps in my family room.  Or on my Amazon Banana Slicer. 




"They're cute," Becca observed.  "Yeah," I agreed.  "And you really can't have too many Drinking Buddies."


Especially when your daughter is getting married.  I mean, just think how easy it would be to lose track of your drink at wedding!  But no worries for me.  I have my Drinking Buddies.

Not to mention the fact that they'll fit right in at a Thai Beach wedding in their Speedos.

I have 12 Drinking Buddies, which will be enough for 1 table.  Guests at the other tables will just have to be careful with their drinks.

Our table will be all set.  No mixed up drinks to worry about.


Uh-oh.  I just thought of something.

I have two complete sets of six Drinking Buddies.  Which means I have six pair of Drinking Buddy twins.

What if two people with the same Drinking Buddy get their drinks mixed up?

OMG!


That would be a problem for an ordinary Mother of the Bride. But I'm not an ordinary Mother of the Bride.  I'm Lou Clyde. 


And I have a Sharpie.



And, well, it turns out that half of my Drinking Buddies have chest hair!





I can see it now.  Kimmy and I return to the table after dancing to Love Shack on the beach.  "Mom.  Which Mitch Drinking Buddy is yours?"


I smile confidently and say, "The one who waxed."



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Getting Back on the Horse

I wasn't sure I was ready to dust off my Pogo Stick and jump rope.  After all, I had just had Rotator Cuff surgery in December.


But I listed that skill on my audition sheet for the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  If I get cast it will undoubtedly be because of my Pogo Stick prowess.

Certainly not because of my vocals.

On top of that I had to open my big fat mouth to Keela.  Now, apparently, I'm performing at a United Way talent show at work.

I wasn't even sure I could still do it.  My friend George told me that if I 'used to could' jump rope on a Pogo Stick', I probably could still do it.

That's easy for him to say.

I told Dave about my conundrum and he flat out told me that I was getting too old for such nonsense.

"What?"  I was appalled and insulted.  "I used to be really good at it."

George's voice echoed in my head.  I used to could jump rope on a Pogo Stick.  

What if my jump rope Pogo Sticking days were over?

There was only one way to tell.  I grabbed my Pogo Stick from the closet and headed through the kitchen.  

"What if you get hurt?" Dave asked.

"What could possibly happen?" I responded.  I was really starting to get annoyed with him. I opened the back door, Pogo Stick in hand, ready to take the leap.

Seriously.  How could I get hurt jump roping on a Pogo Stick?  I just had to make sure I maintained sufficient height so the jump rope didn't catch on the bottom of the Pogo Stick.

Because, of course, if that happened, the jump rope would pull the Pogo Stick backward, which would launch me forward.  And cause me to land on my face.  On the driveway.  Re-injuring my shoulder.  Or breaking my wrist.   Or my neck.  And I'd have to call to Dave for help.

"Do you have your button?"  Dave hollered to me.

I reopened the door.  "What????"

"Your I've fallen and I can't get up button....do you have it?"

"You are hysterical.  Not."  I slammed the door.

I looked at my Pogo Stick.  It had never let me down.  Not when I was performing at that Gong show in the '80s.  Not when I did my shtick at Kimmy's Kindergarten class in 1993.  And certainly not in front of sold-out audiences at 15 damn performances of Gypsy seven years ago.

I picked up my jump rope and rested it on my shoulders.  I climbed aboard my trusty Pogo Stick and began to hop.  Higher and higher.  I used my knees to hold the Pogo Stick upright, grabbed the jump rope and began to swing it.

One.  Two.  Three.  Four.  Five.

That's enough.

I dismounted and parked my Pogo Stick, resting the jump rope over the handle. 

I limped into the house screaming, "DAVE!!!!  HELP!  I NEED ICE!  AND BAND AIDS.  LOTS OF THEM."

Dave raised his eyebrow.  

 "And wine."  



I had something to celebrate.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Toilet Paper Origami Groove

I honestly don't recall purchasing the Toilet Paper Origami book.  I had probably intended to "delight my guests with fancy folds."  But based on the folded up piece of toilet paper on page 15, I hadn't gotten very far.


But that was then and this is now.  And I am far more talented and crafty than I was when I purchased the book.  

Whenever the hell that was.

And Kimmy is working at a fancy-ass hotel in Maine this summer.  Maybe when I go visit her next month I can offer my services.

I could either create the origami toilet paper art myself or train her Housekeeping staff. Which ever they prefer.

That's how accommodating I am.

I started by making a rose. 


I have to admit, it was a little rough.  

Hey! I could have lied and said I started with a bunny rabbit who lost his bonnet.  But I didn't.

And did I give up?  Hell no!

Since the hotel is in Maine, I decided to create a sail boat.


That was so easy, I made a lovely maiden.


Then I started to get into my Toilet Paper Origami groove. The maiden needed a flower atop her head.  It was almost perfect.


But something was missing.  One more detail.  

I added Josh, one of my drinking buddies to the mix and achieved TOILET PAPER ORIGAMI PERFECTION.


I was so proud.  And happy.   Knowing just how blown away Kimmy and her Housekeeping staff will be when I offer my services next month.

But I was exhausted.  All that folding was way too much for my poor fingers.   

I thought again about about that fancy-ass Maine hotel. 

All those bathrooms. 

I may need to simplify my design if I have any chance of finishing up in time for Happy Hour.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Intern

Those jokers at the Japan Trend Shop are so funny!  They come up with the best products.  Like the crazy Mousou Bust Under Boobs T-Shirt: Exposed female chest joke clothing.

I mean, who wouldn't want to wear this to Food Lion on a Sunday morning?


What I wouldn't give to hang out with their Marketing people.  Maybe go for a cup of coffee.  Or a sushi.

Because they're always thinking!  Finding ways to extend their product lines. I mean, check out this Cat Tail Baby Romper!   It's genius!  I only wish it was available in my size.  I would love to wear it to work.


There must be an Intern working in the Japan Trend Shop Marketing department this summer.  I think that the Mousou Exposed Butt T-Shirt has missed the mark.  Am I the only one who thinks it looks more like nipple-less boobs than a butt?


At least it's creative.  

It must be hard to be an intern at the Japan Trend Shop.  Surrounded by all those Marketing geniuses.  

You know, I wouldn't completely abandon the idea.  Maybe if it had a tail....





Monday, May 29, 2017

My Secret Weapon

In my defense, my mouth has more food traps than the average street person.  My nightly dental hygiene routine, which begins at 11 PM, takes me through the weather on the evening news.

Regular toothbrush.  Proxy brush.  Sonic Toothbrush.  Dental Floss. Mouthwash.

It's a battle.  But I emerge victoriously.  Only the most shrewd food particles remain unscathed through the Proxy brush assault, and most of the remaining fugitives are captured during the Sonic Toothbrush skirmish.  The few, the proud, the Marine-like morsels that make it past the Sonic Toothbrush are lassoed by the dental floss.  Any and all survivors get swept away in the mouthwash tsunami.

By the time Ben Tanner gives the 5-day extended forecast, my teeth sparkle like a Disney princess.

Or like this.




I have another weapon in my arsenal that I rely on in certain combat conditions.

Remember Rosa Klebb's Flick Knife Shoes?


My secret weapon is even more impressive.  Except it's no longer secret.

Because, unfortunately, Kimmy and Linda have witnessed me wielding my weapon.

And they are completely disgusted.

I have no idea why the sight of me pulling an earring from my earlobe to dislodge a piece of food cowering between 2 molars would upset them.

And they get so annoyingly passionate about the whole thing.

"Mom!  That is SO NASTY!!!"   
"I am going to barf."

Lighten up, guys.  It works.  And it's at my fingertips.

When I earringed a furtive Jelly Belly particle taking cover in a hidden cranny on the bottom left side of my mouth, both girls started in on me.

As if there was a law regulating dental hygiene tools.

Luke pointed out the box of tooth picks  placed conveniently next to the Jelly Belly jar on the table.

But who knows where those toothpicks have been.  I know where my earrings have been.

Plus think of how many trees were cut down to make those toothpicks.  No trees were sacrificed to make my earrings.

And they're reusable.  I dare say they will never wear out.

Truth be told, I am a bit disappointed in my daughters.  They are myopic in their thinking and clearly have not inherited my marketing genius.

Because, I have a scathingly brilliant idea!




Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Greeting Card

I happened upon the soon to be closed Hallmark store by accident.   I would have walk past had I not noticed the "90% off Entire Store" sign in the window.

As you would imagine, the store was 1) a mad house and 2) completely picked over.

In fact, the remaining inventory was extremely targeted.  Cards like:

  • Congrats on coming out!
  • Get well after your brain surgery!
  • Congrats on the birth of your triplet boys!
And, of course, the congrats on your dance recital card:




Was I discouraged?  Of course not.  I persevered in my search for 90% off cards that would some day be relevant to me.

I snatched up a sympathy card for losing your pet hamster.  My nephew had one.  It, surely, would not outlive me.  I passed on the 'Congrats on buying your new unicycle' card and the inspirational, 'You can beat Lime Disease' cards.

There were a few "normal" cards but they were well hidden.  I found an adorable baby card stuck between two 5,000 piece puzzles boxes and a retirement card in the 'Congrats on your Bris' section.

About 6 months later somebody at work had a baby and I went to my 90% off Hallmark card pile and found that baby card.  


Oops.

Alas, I had to drive to Food Lion and spend $4.00 on a baby card.

Fast forward several years and Kimmy texted a picture of the card to me with this note, "Just found this while looking for a blank card to give to Jenn.  Were you planning on giving it to Linda or me?"

And she added the most annoying emoticon.



I responded, "So, Linda didn't tell you?"

Kimmy, who clearly inherited my brains, and not my gullibility texted me, "So you didn't have your reading glasses with you on that shopping trip?"

Oh, well.  I'll get even with her.  I've got the perfect card:  "Sorry to hear that you've been cut out of the will."

Friday, April 28, 2017

My Man Part

The director's email told me that I would have an additional small role in the play.  I would now be playing "The Man", who had two lines in the show.  Seven words.

Not a problem for me.  The more parts the merrier as far as I'm concerned.  But then I got her email.

Director- Did you get my email about your man part?
Me- What man part?
D- You have a man part.
Me- No, I don't.
D- Yes, you do.  Did you get my email?
Me- I don't have a man part.
D- Yes.  I told you about it in my email.
Me- I have a Va-jay-jay.

By this point I was close to peeing my pants.  From my Va-jay-jay.  Not from my man part.

Me- I got your email about my man part.
D- Great.  So you're good with your man part?
Me- I don't have a man part.  I have a Va-jay-jay.
D- LOU!!!  Are you okay with your man part or not?
Me- You do know that this is going to turn into a blog, don't you?
D- What?

It would be one thing if this director was humorless, but she has a great sense of humor.

Me- Never  mind.  Thanks for giving me my man part.  Should I talk to the costumer about getting my jock strap?

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.