Friday, April 27, 2012

Table for One...or Two

I had to look twice, too.

I was eating lunch at a very popular restaurant today.  (Let's call it "LaTrene's".)

I didn't sit at that table. I was in another dining area.

Well... technically, I did sit there. That is, the seat on the left.

And the entire time I was sitting there, I was thinking, "OMG. Where is my camera when I need it?"

I returned to my table (outside of the bathroom) where I was meeting with a group of women leaders from my company. They all know me as my work persona, and have no idea of my secret life as The Nerdling.

One of the women got up from the table. "Excuse me, I'm going to the ladies room."
"OOOOH!" I said, with a tad too much excitement. "Do you have your cell phone with you?"
"Yes, why?"   She was confused.
"Would you mind taking a picture of the table in the bathroom and emailing it to me?"

I love it when I can make a good impression.

I mean, really!  A table in a bathroom?

I heard of a restaurant in San Francisco that has a table wedged between 2 bathrooms. You are subjected to stereo toilet flushing and body cramps all evening.   But they give you a 50% discount for the ordeal.

I'm sorry, but I'd insist on an even deeper discount at LaTrene's.

So what does the LaTrene hostess say when there are no tables left in either of the dining areas?  

 "We're very busy tonight.  The only table we have left is a table for one. But if you don't mind mismatched chairs, we can fit two.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Turnip Truck

I did not just fall off of a turnip truck.

Clearly, my daughter Linda thinks I did.

How else could you explain the conversation we had on the way to the mall last Saturday?

“ I lost one of my shoes last night," Linda casually announced. She and her friend Katarina had gone Midnight Bowling the prior evening.

She showed me the orphan shoe, for which I had paid $40. I guess, technically I paid $20 for it. The other $20 was apparently MIA at, or around, Anchor Lanes.

"I'm sure you can get it back," I said confidently. "They must have a lost-and-found at the bowling alley.”

Checking Anchor Lane’s lost and found for her missing shoe was obviously something Linda did not want to be involved in. She switched gears.

"I may have left it in Cameron's car."

My left brain kicked into action. If that were the case, Linda would have either walked into the bowling alley wearing just one shoe, or she would have taken it off in his car after bowling.

"Hmmm.  Let's see.  Were you wearing only one shoe when you walked into the bowling alley?" I probed.
"Well, then...  Did you take your shoe off in Cameron’s car after bowling?"
"AHA!" I proclaimed, attempting (without success) to control my enthusiasm.  "Then how could it be in Cameron's car?" I asked smugly.

Linda switched gears again.

 "I think somebody stole it."
"OH COME ON!” I said. “ That's the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. Why would anyone steal one shoe?”
Katarina tried to help. "People steal one shoe all the time."

"I stand corrected. THAT'S the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. What good is one shoe?"

Then I added, in a voice a bit too loud for the car, "I did not just fall off a turnip truck!"

But you know what? I suppose if somebody had just one leg (a left leg), she might find Linda’s shoe to be of value. I mean, it was a very nice shoe (worth $20). And I may be wrong here, but I don’t think two legs are required to bowl. 

So it is possible that a one-legged individual was bowling at Anchor Lanes on Friday night. And since size 8 is a relatively common shoe size, it’s likely that Linda’s shoe would perfectly fit a one-legged bowler’s left foot.

I think I’m being too hard on Linda.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Foot in Mouth Disease

Most people make this mistake just once in their life time. They learn their lesson.

Not me.

I should have known better. I was driving down my street and saw my neighbor reaching into her mail box wearing what appeared to be a maternity top.

I rolled down my window and the 6 words flew out of my mouth, before my brain had the opportunity to restrain them.

“I didn’t know you were pregnant!!!”

As the unfortunate words left my lips, Allison turned to face me. By the time the word “pregnant” had come out of my big, fat, idiotic mouth, I knew she wasn’t.

And her response was unnecessary.

“I’m not”.

Then my lips began to move again and random words flew out: “ … maternity…. top… flowy….”

Allison said flatly, “This is just a t-shirt”.

I mumbled, "It looked exactly like a maternity top," as I stepped on the gas and got the heck out of Dodge.

I felt AWFUL! I probably made her cry. I may have ruined her entire day...month...year!  She probably turned to alcohol or drugs to get over the trauma.

And believe it or not, it wasn’t as bad as the first time I made this mistake. Flash back about 25 years. I was in an elevator. It stopped and a co-worker entered, wearing a maternity top.

I said, “I didn’t know you were pregnant, Nancy!”

She said, “I’m not”

Then my IQ dropped to new lows.  I said, “GET OUTTA HERE!”  After she denied her pregnancy for the second time, I came to my senses and the random words flew out “maternity….top… flowy….”  It I was truly pathetic.

(Note: the picture to the right illustrates another form of elevator embarrassment,  which I have never experienced.  I am far too lady-like for such behavior.)

Getting back to my story... How could I have made that same egregious error twice in my life?  

What if  this is a pattern!  Am I going to do this every 25 years? 

I can just see it!

Fast forward to 2037. I see my neighbor Betty in the bingo room at Murky Moments Retirement Home. Perhaps it’s a fan that causes her blouse to billow, or maybe she’s just eaten too many servings of banana pudding.

"Betty! I didn't know you were pregnant!"

Seriously. I don't know how I can ever face my neighbor again. And Kevin and I walk by her house EVERY DAY on our walks.  

This'll work:
They don't call me a stinkin' genius for nothin'.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Skittle Hair

You may wonder how I got the idea to style my hair like a young Black girl.

I was inspired.

Not by a trip not to the Dollar Store, but to the Two Dollar Beauty Store next door. They sell all sorts of exotic products, most of which cost $2.00. ( Where else can you find a $2.00 toe ring next to $2.00 fake nails down the aisle from $2.00 glitter eye shadow?)

We had just left the fake eyelash section when I saw them: an entire wall of beads. In every shape and size. In every color of the rainbow.

They looked good enough to eat. I began my selection.

Then Linda noticed me.  "Mom, you can't buy those! They're for little girls." She looked over her shoulder and added, in a whisper: "little Black girls."

"But they're so colorful! Won't they'll look good in my hair, too?"

Linda walked away. 

Then I remembered Bo Derek.

Bo Derek wore beads in her hair in the movie Ten and she was a 10 in that movie. I'm no Bo Derek, but I was thinking these beads would raise my score by at least a couple points. (Especially if I didn't run on the beach.)

I picked out a $2.00 set of multi-colored beads that looked like Skittles, and a $2.00 tool for putting them in my hair that looked like a cross between a crochet hook and a fishing pole.

I asked the Asian woman behind the counter if it was easy to bead one's hair. She looked confused, "Whose hair?"

"My hair!" I said enthusiastically. She looked at me with a strange combination of suspicion and pity, and quickly rang up my order, ignoring my question.

Coincidentally, Linda's friend Dynesha had dinner with us that night.   I asked her if she could help me style my hair like a little Black girl's. "MOM!" Linda screamed as she crawled under the table.

But you know what? I didn't need anyone's help. It was pretty self-explanatory. And my skittle hair looked awesome.  I don't know about you, but I think I sort of resemble Bo Derek in this picture.

 I may not be a 10, but I'm at least a pi!

(That's 3.1415 for you non-nerdlings.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dog Breath

You know, I’m beginning to get suspicious.  I think we’ve been had.

By Buddy.

My stinky-breath dog nephew, Buddy.

It kind of reminds me of Linda’s pre-school days.  It took a while for me to realize that I had to get very specific with my questions if I wanted honest answers. 

“Linda, did you brush your teeth?” always got an affirmative answer from her.  It wasn’t until I noticed that her toothbrush was as dry as one of my baked chicken breasts (another story), that I decided to ask the follow-up question.

“Linda, when did you brush your teeth?”
“I don’t remember.  But I brushed them before.”

From that day on I changed my approach, “Linda, did you brush your teeth tonight with water and toothpaste while singing your A-B-Cs in your head?"

Yeah.  This kind of reminds me of sneaky, under-handed  Linda and her toothbrush aversion.

My sister Jan had gotten an estimate from the vet for cleaning 12-year old Buddy’s teeth, which had never been cleaned.  Ever. To say he had dog breath was an understatement.  I got my first got a whiff of it when we turned into Jan’s neighborhood. 

“$500 to $900 to get a dog’s teeth cleaned?” she moaned. "That's outrageous!"

“But it’s a good investment.  You’re home value will probably go up as a result,” I offered helpfully.

That's when I had my scathingly brilliant idea.  If we were to brush Buddy's teeth prior to his dental procedure, we could possibly chip a few hundred dollars off the cost (no pun intended).  Jan agreed.

Little did we know that Buddy was eavesdropping.

Jan and I went out shopping for supplies: a doggie tooth brush,  chicken flavored tooth paste, a surgeon's head light, face masks and goggles.

When we returned home the patient was nowhere to be found. 

Let's just say Buddy was not a brave dog. 

Jan found him cowering behind her bed.  She put on her face mask and goggles and set Buddy on her lap. 

"I don't think Buddy's feeling well,"  Jan said sympathetically.  "I think he's got a fever."   

She aborted the mission.

"He's faking it, Jan!" I said. "Haven't you ever seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off?"

But the next day Jan took Buddy to the vet who informed her that poor Buddy had a sudden onset of some very serious auto-immune disease and that he might not make it through the weekend. 

For the next week Buddy was carried wherever he chose to go.  He lay on a satin pillow, was hand fed baby food, and coddled like a newborn.  Finally the vet said he was out of the woods. 

"And, Jan", he added, "Let's not worry about his teeth."

I don't know how he pulled it off, but I can tell you one thing.  Buddy's a stinkin' genius.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Premeditated Peep Pilfering

I've been told that you should never compare your children. But when you have two like mine, so completely opposite, that's easier said than done.

And at the risk of being labeled a bad mother, one is far superior to the other, in numerous ways.

You see, Sabbie (rest in peace), was a primo least from my perspective (and what other perspective matters?)

Sabbie pooped once a day. He was more reliable than Old Faithful. You could set your clocks to Sabbie's daily constitutional.

As opposed to Kevin. He poops every damn time I take him for a walk. I have no earthly idea where it all comes from  (possibly from food he hasn't yet consumed).

Allow me to brag again about sweet Sabbie, whose poop was hard as a rock. Bowling ball hard. Toe stubbing hard. Thus, easy to pick up (or kick out of the way, with steel toe shoes).

Then there's Kevin. Suffice it to say that Poop Freeze is often in order.

See what I mean?  As different as night and day.

But the real differentiator between the two lies in their character... their moral fiber.

Sabbie would never have considered such a blatant, horrific crime.  Easter Basket Burglary.

But it wasn't just any ordinary Easter Basket Burglary.  It was cold and calculated.  (I can't believe he thought that Dollar Store fake mustache would throw us off.)

Premeditated Peep Pilfering.

I had hidden Linda's Easter Basket behind a chair in the Living Room.

Crawling under the chair to steal a Peep was reprehensible.  But, then, when caught in the act, Kevin pretended to be looking for his yellow ball.


Who in their right mind would confuse a Peep with a yellow ball?

Sure, they're the same color, and about the same size.  But do you see any eyes on that yellow ball?!!

But then again, maybe he was confusing the Peep's eyes for flex of dirt on his yellow ball.  Or the squeak hole.   He is just a puppy, for crying out loud. 

Oh, what the heck.  I'm going to give Kevin Peep Probation.  

He's way too young (and innocent) to go to Puppy Prison.   

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sacrificing Snot

It was the ultimate sacrifice.  For my audience.

Veteran actors are often called upon to make sacrifices in order to convincingly portray their characters. Tom Hanks lost 55 pounds and spent weeks up to his neck in water for his part in the movie Cast Away.

Then there's Hillary Swank, who put on 19 pounds of muscle for her role in Million Dollar Baby.  

Can you imagine?

Like Tom and Hillary, I was required to make an extreme sacrifice in my recent role as Cookie in Rumors.

The sacrifice involved my hair.  And my friend Tiffany  was my torture stylist.

Before each show,  I'd mentally prepare myself for the impending torture transformation. I'd brace myself as Tiffany approached with weapons in hand: hairspray, curling irons, and hairspray.

Did I mention the hairspray?

Her goal was to torture convert me into a combination of Chrissy from Three's Company and Grinch's Cindy Woo-Hoo.

Tiffany began by twisting my hair into very high, (and very tight) pigtails.  She then applied hairspray liberally, curled the pigtails, teased the pigtails into submission, applied more hairspray (liberally), and repeated the last 2 steps until my hair looked like this:

It was all fine and good until I attempted to remove the pigtails following each show. Perhaps it's payback for making fun of Linda’s dreadlock (see September 20, 2011 posting: Oh What a Tangled Web).

Please don’t think me insensitive when I say my post-show pigtail removal processes resembled the collapse of the Twin Towers following the 9-11 attacks.  It was a rather slow, sad descent, leaving beneath a rubble of ratted dreadlocks that could only be removed with several rounds of shampoo, conditioner and prayer.

It's been nearly two weeks since the show closed, and my hair is finally back to normal.

Which may make you wonder why in the world I decided to test the Gorilla Snot hair gel I recently purchased at WalMart!

You see, I’ve always been a fan of There’s Something About Mary, and I wanted to see if I could use Gorilla Snot to replicate the infamous Cameron Diaz doo.

I was a bit nervous as I dabbed the snot into my palm and applied it to my bangs.

But the nervousness was replaced by unabashed pride, as I saw just how sexy I looked sporting the Cameron-Doo.

But damn, that stuff was stiff. I had to wash it out before I went to bed.  

One false move and I could have taken Dave's eye out.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trapped Like a Rat

My days as a stealth agent are over.

My sister Jannie and I were returning to her home about the same time her 4-year-old son Sherlock Shaun was dropping by to pick up his stuffed animal. 

He was on day 2 of his 5-day stay with his dad (Jan's ex), and she was afraid that if Shaun saw me, he might not want to leave again.

Because that's how much fun I am.

We had a plan.  I was supposed to hide from Shaun. He would come into the house, get Wolfy, and leave without a scene, unaware that his extremely exciting and entertaining aunt Lou was hiding behind his aquarium, disguised as a Plecostomus.

Our timing was off.  As we pulled into the driveway, in a car packed to the gills with shopping bags, suitcases, and Diet Coke,  Jan noticed Paul pulling up across the street.  She groaned, "Oh no! They're right behind us! Duck!"

Now, I had just spent upwards of $135 on a 5-star massage in Vail.  And I was sitting on a bucket seat the size of a tablespoon, with a backpack and 2 shopping bags at my feet.

But, I sucked it up.  I could not let Shaun see me and risk ruining his weekend with his boring dad.  

So I turned into an amoeba.  Ouch.

Jan got out of the car, and I watched the top of Shaun's head pass by, as he followed her into the house.

Five minutes passed.   10...15...20.  I lost track of time.

And my $135 massage went down the distributor hose. My shoulders were folded tighter than an Accordian.

Then Paul, the ex-husband, stormed past the car. (He's a few inches taller than Shaun, so I was able to observe his neck bulging in rage as he passed.)  He climbed the stairs to Jan's porch and rang the doorbell.

Then he looked into the car, where I was trying to resemble a seat belt.  CRAP!
I thought about escaping, but feared that the minute I opened the car door they would leave the house and I'd be caught red-handed. So I remained, trapped like a rat.

Finally I saw the little head pass my car, followed by Paul's throbbing neck.   I chanced a glance and saw Paul buckling Shaun into the car seat.  Whew.  Relief was on the horizon.

Or so I thought.

Paul's car was not moving. Crap! I waited another 5 minutes and chanced another glance. Shaun and Jan were in the next door neighbor's yard talking to him!  Paul remained at his truck, his agitation mounting. 

I had my chance.

I stealthily opened the car door to escape. Except my body was so cramped all I could do was lie on the driveway. And Jan and Shaun were returning to Paul's truck!

It took all the power and might I could muster: every ounce of strength, to run towards the garbage can cubby.  I hid behind what was left of a Christmas tree, feeling as if I had just finished the Boston Marathon.  (Except, of course, I had run only 7 feet or so.)

That's when I heard Sherlock Shaun say, "Mom, I saw someone run over there."

Jan tried to play dumb.  "No, I think that was a cat."
"No Mom, a person ran over there.  I'll show you."  

He was coming after me!  And I had no place go go.  I was caught red handed.

By a stinkin' 4-year old. 

And I could have kicked myself.  I should have been prepared with one of my many disguises. 

I would have completely out-smarted him.