Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Letter

In retrospect, perhaps my letter was lacking in diplomacy. But I was frustrated!  I was the Residence Hall Director on call for the weekend at Georgia Southern University. I was forced to stay in my hall the entire weekend, just in case trouble arose at one of the 4 dormitories I was covering.

But there was never any trouble in Statesboro, Georgia. Alcohol was not allowed on campus. In fact, the whole damn county was dry!  The only trouble that ever arose was someone getting locked out of a room.  Pretty exciting, right?

Yep. That was the only trouble I ever encountered while on duty. Until I wrote the letter.

At the risk of dating myself, this incident happened before we had cable or satellite TV. My TV picked up only 3 (very bad)  channels out of Savannah.

I wrote the letter at midnight on a Saturday night. The previous night I had suffered through a 3-hour Miss Georgia Beauty pageant and I had been looking forward to watching Saturday Night Live all day.  I was completely deprived of good programming.  I turned on the TV at about 11:15 to catch the sports, hoping to hear the scores from the Stanley Cup semi-final games.

The weekend sportscaster on the Savannah NBC affiliate was about as exciting as a pet rock. He droned on and on and on as he covered every sport from softball to tiddly winks. But he NEVER mentioned the hockey scores. 

“And in Little League action, the Ellabell Armadillos beat the Rincon Roadkill 10-3.” 
He took a slow, deep breath before moving on to his next hard hitting story. 
“And in other action, The Keller United Baptist Church Saviors defeated Blighton Baptist Kingpins in their annual Bowling for Missions fundraiser. Hoss Henry nearly scored a perfect game.”

And my evening got worse. At 11:30, there was an announcement that Saturday Night Live was preempted by a replay of Friday night’s Miss Georgia pageant.

That’s when I wrote the letter.  (I was quite angry, as you can see by this photo taken of me that very evening.)

But I was not rude. I simply asked the Program Manager why they made the choice to show the Miss Georgia pageant (for the second night in a row) instead of S.N.L. I also asked why the sportscaster, Julian Williams, failed to mention the Stanley Cup scores in his broadcast.  And I provided some directional feedback in terms of which way Mr. Williams skewed on the boring spectrum. OK, I may have used the word comatose, or some other synonym for lethargy. And I guess I mentioned that I had recently moved to Georgia from New York.

I must have, because a few days later I got my letter back in the mail with “Yankee Go Home” scrawled across it in big thick letters.

I was appalled. And I reacted in in a very mature, professional manner: I tattled. I thought the Station Director should be made aware of how his Program Manager was responding to letters from the public.

A few days later I got a letter from the Station Director. His first paragraph was very patronizing, explaining their programming choices and how demand for shows like Saturday Night Live was much lower in Georgia than in New York. (Blah, blah, blah)

But the second paragraph stunned me. It included this sentence: “Your racist attack on sportscaster Julian Williams was reprehensible.”

What? All I said was that he was boring! It had absolutely NOTHING to do with his color!

It bothered me for days. How could I possibly respond to the guy, convincing him that I was not racist? It was impossible.

That's when I had my scathingly brilliant idea. I came up with the perfect response.

Dear Mr. X,

Thank you for your letter. I was troubled by your comment accusing me of racism. Being a Black woman, I would never denounce an individual based on his or her race. I find that truly reprehensible.


Smarty Pants Lou
(I didn't really sign it that way.)

Guess what. He never responded.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Enhancing my Booty

A couple days ago my daughter Linda and I went to the mall. And no trip to the mall is complete without a visit to the Sold Only on TV store, with its plethora of unorthodox items usually sold only on TV. I bought myself a pair of Rear View Spy Glasses that proved to be very entertaining!

Of course, Linda was not as entertained as I was as I stood with my back to the counter at Dairy Queen studying their menu through my rear view spy glasses and speaking loudly, " Should I order the Heath Blizzard or the Raspberry Truffle?"

For some reason, she completely vanished. "Linda, where'd you go?" I said, as I wandered backward through the mall looking for her.

She thought I should have bought Butt Enhancer Panties instead of the Rear View Spy Glasses. I considered buying a pair, but after carefully studying them, I determined that I could make my own for far less than $19.95 SOTV was charging. ( In contrast, I was not sure I could replicate the $4.95 pair of Rear View Spy Glasses in my home nerdatory.)

I started my project by conducting research and I discovered an extremely valuable You-Tube video teaching female impersonators how to make booty pads. According to Petrilude, the instructor, all I needed was cushion foam and an electric knife. If I didn't have an electric knife, all I needed was scissors and a bucket full of patience.

Petrilude completely underestimated the number of buckets of patience needed. It was a very difficult project, requiring perseverance, creativity and a level of precision last seen in Michelangelo's David.

My Butt Enhancers required several drafts. When I tried on my first draft and looked in the mirror I was horrified. I looked like I was wearing a pair of Depends.

After several more drafts, cuts and blisters, I was done. And I looked just like J.Lo. See?!!!

In fact, I looked so good that I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. I figured that I could wear my Rear View Spy Glasses so I could watch people checking me out after I passed them.

But somebody hid my Rear View Spy Glasses. And nobody would go with me on my walk. 

Not even Kevin.

Don't worry.   I'll get even with my family for their unwillingness to participate in my... project.   

I have leftover cushion.  And April Fool's day is just around the corner.  

I think I'll make some frosting.

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read my Poker Face posting.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Poker Face

I really wish I had a Poker Face. 

Unfortunately, I am completely transparent. And I find it absolutely impossible to pull off a practical joke. Unless the "prankee" is thoroughly distracted and obtuse, he or she will see right through me.

One of my biggest failures was the fake cake prank.  My friend Rena and I spread chocolate frosting on a 9X12 piece of foam rubber for my boss' birthday. It was a work of art. We couldn’t wait for him to attempt to slice through the vanilla tinted foam. It was going to be downright hysterical if he actually tried to take a bite!

But Rena knew about my handicap and was (legitimately) worried that I was going to blow it. "Whatever you do, Lou, don't laugh!"  I promised her I'd hold it together. 

I giggled all the way to Bill's building, in anticipation of the moment he would realize that he was eating foam rubber. It was going to be so funny!

Rena reached out to knock on his door.
I grabbed her arm. "Give me another minute,” I gasped.
"Come on, Lou. Pull yourself together!"
I took a deep breath, held it, and slowly exhaled. "I'm ready………..Wait! Give me just one more minute." I slapped my cheeks. I thought about Adolph Hitler. I jogged in place, took another deep breath and nodded to Rena.

"I'm ready," I said soberly.
Rena knocked on Bill's door.

We walked in the door and Bill's eyes lit up. "You remembered my birthday! "

Then he looked at me.

In my defense, I was not laughing. Yes,  my cheeks were puffed out like...well, like this cat.  And, yes, my eyes also looked like the cat’s, but that was the only way I could keep the tears (of laughter) from escaping.

Bill looked suspicious. "Wait a minute”, he said. “Is this a joke? Is this cake made out of foam rubber or something?"

Rena was so mad at me.

I can't even keep a poker face with my own children. One time Kimmy went on a field trip to a prison with her 2nd grade class and was telling me about the tour as I drove her home from school. She and her friend Brittany were in the back seat, so I thought I could pull something over on them (given all they could see was the back of my head.)

I asked her how big the cells were and she said about as big as our dining room. “Wow”, I said. “When I was in jail the cells were a lot smaller and we had to share our cells with 3 other prisoners!”

Her friend Brittany almost swallowed her gum.
"You were in jail before, Miss Lou?"
"Yep," I said, my voice going up an octave.
"What for?"
"Armed robbery.  I robbed a liquor store," I said. My voice cracked and my body was shaking so much I nearly drove into a ditch.
Kimmy rolled her eyes and said, "You're lying Mom. Brittany, my Mom is trying to fool us but we're too smart for that.”

See what I mean?  My Poker face is an embarrassment.

But I'm working on my developing my Poker Face and I have just the right prop. It came in the mail today.

I know I can pull it off. I just have to put my bacon band aid on my face, walk into a meeting at work and see if anyone notices. 

So far so good.

Then again, maybe not.

I don't think I'll ever have a Poker Face.

I guess I'll have to settle for a Porker Face.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shane's Letter

My sister-in-law Maureen shared with me a very prolific letter my nephew wrote at school.  The assignment?  Write and type a letter to someone. 

He's my guest blogger!

Dear Uncle Terry,

 Hi what are you doing these days? What place do you work at? My dogs name is Sam. I play basketball its fun! I am 8 years old. I go to Westchester Elementary. My address is 1238 N Geyer. What state were you born in. When is your birthday. What side of your bed do you sleep on. Donuts are best do you like them? I got a new fish last year! What time do you have to be at work? Do you like the pool I do. Do you travel a lot I don’t . What kind of computer do you have I have a black one I forgot where its from. Do you like your trampoline I’m gonna get one some day. What are your neighbors names mine are Randy and Jim. Do you have a hot tub? Whats your address? I wrote this to you because you’re the best uncle ever! What time do you go to bed at I go any time under midnight. What kind of car do you have my Dad has a sweet ride. Whats your favorite movie? How many games do you know?


Is he a future nerdling or what?  I'm so proud! 

P.S. I’m just surprised he didn’t mention the dead squirrel dead squirrel Sam brought into the house.  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Jack and Jill Mystery

They were like Jack and Jill, skipping down the hall with their pail.

I was standing outside Ms. Sanford's 2nd grade class yesterday admiring the artwork posted on the walls when I noticed them. Jack and Jill were holding the bucket between them. They looked like they'd just stepped out of a Disney movie.

I couldn't help smiling.

Until I noticed the contents of their bucket.  

It was puke.

I walked over to Ms. Sanford and said, "Did you see that? It looked like those kids were carrying a bucket of puke down the hallway!"

"Oh, I'm sure it was. That looks just like my puke bucket"
"You have a puke bucket?"
"We all do."
I was stunned.

"Where were they going with the puke bucket?"
"Probably to the nurse."

I shook my head. I am so glad I decided not to be a school nurse when I grew up.

Now I know it's been a long time since I was in 2nd grade, but I know for a fact that we never had a puke bucket in our class. We puked on the floor when we got sick. And the teacher called the janitor, who had some kind of powder that smelled way worse than the puke. He sprinkled the powder over the puke like Parmesan Cheese and it was magically transformed into some sort of puke-play dough which the janitor whisked away.

There have been some incredible technological advances during the 100 or so years since I was in 2nd grade: smart phones, nanotechnology, and fuel cells, to name a few. And of course we cannot forget GPS's, I-Pads, and Wine Rack Sports Bras. Have there been no advances in puke cleanup technology in all those years?

And why in the world would this school take a step backwards from puke powder technology to puke pails (that cave men probably used to carry away their prehistoric vommit)?

It's very suspicious to me.

But I'm a nerdling and I love to solve puzzles, regardless of the level of difficulty.  

I've got it figured out. You may accuse me of watching too many episodes of Desperate Housewives, but I've narrowed it down to one of two possible explanations:

The principal learned that her husband is having an affair with the school nurse.
The principal is having an affair with the janitor.

Or both.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fish Lips

Every now and then my daughter Linda asks if she can get an aquarium.  It makes me shudder.  You see, I was a fish owner once during my residence hall director days at Bowling Green. Never again.

I really wanted a dog, but the only pets allowed in the dorm were fish.  So I bought an aquarium, complete with a filter and a little motor that blew air bubbles into the tank. And I got cute little fish toys for my fish to play with: a fake treasure chest, a mermaid and scuba divers. And, of course, I got some fish.

It didn't take me long to realize that fish make horrible pets. In fact, they are gross. They swim around in circles in their disgusting water with the same vacant looks on their faces. Their little fish lips open-close-open-close-open-close ALL DAY LONG!

And my fish never played with their toys. All they did was eat and swim around in their poopy water.  Brats.

What I hated most about owning fish was cleaning their aquarium. In fact, just thinking about it invokes involuntary irrepressible gagging.

Speaking of kitchens, my apartment came with one. I've never been much of a cook (see post: Cooking a Porcupine- 8/29/09).  That's not to say that my kitchen was never used. One of my R.A.'s loved to cook and I let him use my kitchen whenever he wanted. Of course he paid a nominal kitchen usage fee (I got the leftovers). He also agreed to do any cooking for events where I was required to bring a dish.

One afternoon I came home from a class and found John in my kitchen. "I made your cake for the R.A. appreciation dinner tonight," he said. “Chocolate swirl!”

Before I had a chance to thank him I noticed that he was washing the bowl that I had left in the sink. 

The one that I had used to clean the aquarium earlier that day.

My stomach started to turn. "John, did you use that bowl?"
“Yep. It was just the right size. Why?”
I gave him my best open-close-open-close fish lip imitation. 
He dropped the dish cloth… “Shit”
“Exactly,” I said.

We evaluated our options: John could make another cake.  Or I could run out and buy one.  Or we could put a lot of frosting on the fish cake.

It turned out to be a very entertaining evening. In fact it was probably the best R.A. Appreciation dinner I’d ever attended.

I was terrified that I would lose my composure and confess my faux paux to everyone, so I made John sit on the opposite side of the room. It was safer that way. Had he sat at my table he would have said things like, “Lou this cake tastes great. What's in it?” or “Will you pass the tartar sauce? My cake is missing something."

Even with 5 tables separating us I had a difficult time holding back my giggles. Every time I glanced his way he gave me open-closed-open-closed fish lips. After a few inappropriate snorts I had to  change seats so he was no longer in my line of sight. 

Somehow I made it through the night without leaking the truth- probably because there was no alcohol served.  

And everyone loved the fish cake!  

Unfortunately,  I didn't have room for dessert that night.   

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Tres Amigos

I'm so proud of myself I could, well, blog about it!

As you may know, for the past several years I've been searching everywhere for Passed Out Drunken Mexican Toothpick Holders to add to my collection...of 2. Perhaps it's a testament to the  incredible value of my collection that I've not been able to locate any others.. anywhere!  (And I've looked everywhere.)

Last week I discovered a Fred Ouch toothpick holder for sale on Amazon.com. Being the visionary that I am, I ordered one.   I was admittedly disappointed when I pulled him out of box; he was totally gray and was laying on his back (not passed out on his face like my other two).  Still, he was much closer to a Passed Out Drunken Mexican Toothpick Holder than anything I'd seen in years.

As you can see, he clearly did not "fit into" my collection. In fact, he looked as out of place as Charlie Sheen in a Mensa meeting.

Did I give up?  No.  I drove to WalMart and picked up some paint and clay.  But first things first:  Pedro  needed some hair.   I knew that dryer lint I'd been collecting would come in handy! 

Very handsome, don't you think?
In fact, that dryer lint looked so good on Pedro's head that I decided to add some more....a little to the South. 

My daughter walked by, glanced at Pedro's...dryer lint... and told me it was inappropriate.  She's no fun.

But I removed it anyhow, because he needed some jeans.  I painted him a very nice pair. Next came the shirt. 

He still looked more dead than drunk, so I made him an empty bottle of whiskey and a sombrero to cover his red eyes (and his dryer lint hair).  

What do you think?  He looks like he'd been enjoying some tequila with his 2 buddies, doesn't he?!

Now all I need is a fiesta to show off the three amigos!  I can just see my vast collection of Drunken Mexican Toothpick Holders sitting next to a plate of cheese cubes.  It makes my mouth water.

But wait!  I have an even better idea. 

My friend Becca is getting married in October.  I can lend them to her for the wedding reception!

I know what you're thinking.  My generosity is overwhelming.