Tag Archives: Bad days

That Look

The disgusting man got “The Mom look,” after he did it right next to me.  Seriously grossed me out.

I was standing in front of the gas station late this afternoon watching the sun set, while my car was getting its safety inspection. The sky above the bank across the street was aflame — the colors rivaled some of the tropical sunsets I’ve seen.  You never know where you’ll see something beautiful.  Or not.

A pickup truck pulled up and stopped just to my left. The driver got out, crossed in front of his truck, walking towards the station’s office.  That’s when he did it.

“Hhhaaackkkkkkkkkk-plew…”

There are few things more disgusting than some guy who needs to spit a germmy, phlegmmy glop of goo on the sidewalk.   This delightful gent spat out a huge louie right in front of the door to the gas station.  Right where anybody who needs to go inside must step.  Thanks, pal.

I did not hide my disgust.  “Uck — that’s gross!” I commented as I gave him The Mom Look.   The look that says “You are the grossest human on the planet.”  It is not nice to be on the receiving end of it, let me tell you.

In real life, I only saw it once. But that was plenty.  I still feel rotten about it.  Mostly.  Although, like watching the guy who will get smacked by the ladder, or slip on the banana peel, I still have to laugh when I think of it.  I just can’t help it.

As I may have mentioned a zillion times, my mother was an incredibly sweet woman.   One of those people who made everybody feel like they were special. One who rarely had an unkind word for anybody.

Except probably that day, although I don’t remember any.   All I remember was that that was the day The Mom Look was born.

The house I grew up in had a mirror in the front hall. Mom was a bit vain – with good reason – she did a fair amount of primping in front of that mirror.  My brother Fred and I liked to hang out at the top of the stairs just over Mom, and pretend to drop stuff on her head.  I was six or seven.  Fred was a more mature nine or ten.

Like all of our games, the allure of dropping a ball only to catch it before it could hit Mom quickly lost its allure. And so we started dropping things on either side of her.

Mom not only had 5 kids and so was not easily ruffled, but she was a really good sport. She would stay at the mirror, letting us bomb her with stuff while she fixed her hair, pretending not to notice the ever-increasing pile of toys that suddenly landed to her right. To her left. Behind her.  She’d dawdle there and let us have our fun.

“Now who left these toys here,” she’d say, confiscating them as part of our unspoken game.

Then Fred had an idea.  It had to have been Fred’s idea. I’m sure of it. All our most evil plans came from his diabolical mind. I was merely the faithful sidekick. And it was definitely his recipe – he’s a guy.  Guys instinctively know how to do this.

We were at the top of the stairs, when Fred cleared his throat. Brought up some phlegm. Mixed it with spit. A “Louie.”

He leaned over the railing, looking down at the top of Mom’s head.

He let his louie out of his mouth about an inch. Downwards, towards Mom’s innocent, unsuspecting head, twelve feet below before sucking Louie back up into his mouth.

Fred did it again, letting it go lower, before snapping it back and swallowing it.  Wow — he was good! It was hilariously daring and dangerous and there was no way we could get in trouble.

It was possibly the funniest thing either of us had ever done.  We wiped tears away and rubbed our bellies we’d laughed so hard.

“What are you two giggling about?” Mom said cheerfully from below.

For a bit, I was content to watch Fred. He’d clear his throat, combine just the right ratio of phlegm and spit and down it would go. Dangerously far away from his mouth.

But Fred was a master. He snapped it back up each time, just as it looked about to fall.  He made it look so easy!

Naturally, I insisted that I get a turn.  It’s the trap that all faithful sidekicks fall into sooner or later.   OK, I fell into it all the time.  I’m pretty sure that’s why Fred let me hang around with him so much.

I was not a louie master.

In fact, my first try led to the Mom Look. Because I apparently did not get the ratio of phlegm/spit quite right. It didn’t have the elasticity that Fred’s had had.  Or I didn’t have the suck-up action down quite right.

I can still see it happen as all bad memories do, in slow motion. Me leaning over the railing with Fred next to me. Both of us watched in horror as the inevitable happened.

Uh, Mom? Meet Louie.  Louie, Meet Mom’s head.

At first she assumed dropped a toy on her head. But when I said “I’m sorry Mom” with eyes velvet-painting-sized with guilt, well, somehow Mom Knew.

Moms always know.

That was when she gave me The Mom Look, just that one time.

I have never forgotten it. That poor, sweet woman with a humongous wad of my spit and phlegm on top of her lovely curls. I’m pretty sure I have never felt so bad about doing anything to anybody as I did for spitting on my mother’s head from the upstairs hall.

*     *     *

So guys (and faithful sidekicks), don’t spit in public or you, like the guy at the gas station today, will get The Mom Look. Spitting is just sooooooo gross.

I considered posting a video, but decided against it.  You’re welcome.

 

*     *     *

Oh no.  This is my 400th post.  I’m pretty sure Mom is laughing uproariously at the subject matter.  And she probably has The Mom Look on, just for good measure.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Family, History, Huh?, Humor, Mom, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

The Spoon Theory: Best Explanation EVER! (IMHO)

Elyse:

Most of you know that I have Crohn’s disease. Currently, I am doing fine; but there are times when I don’t have nearly enough spoons.

For anybody who has or knows somebody with health issues, this description my help explain what it’s like.

 

my thanks to Benze of http://benzeknees.wordpress.com for leading me to this post.

Originally posted on The Musings of a Digital Vagabond:

Arty spoon

Okay, so posting this might get me into some trouble, and if it does, I’ll have to take it down. But this is hands down one of the best explanations of disability I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was written by a girl dealing with lupus, but it’s extremely applicable to most other physical conditions of which I am aware. I’m kind of hoping that this lovely young woman will be inspired to write a monologue for me, but since I don’t exactly see that as being in the cards, go to her website here and support what she’s doing. But for now ladies and gentlemen I give you my favorite explanation of living physical disability, spoon theory.

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy…

View original 2,121 more words

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Crohn's Disease, Family, Health and Medicine, Mental Health, Taking Care of Each Other

Does This Mean That The Washington Post Stinks?

One of my tasks as a fake medical expert, is to keep folks in my company apprised of new scientific developments, studies and trends.  So I scour the news first thing and point out interesting, informative articles.

It’s a part of my job that I relish because it often gives me terrific ways to terrorize my relatives with news of horrible diseases that pose a 1:1,583,222,185 chance of killing them and everybody in their town.  Can you say “Ebola”?  Sure, I knew you could.

Some days, though, I hit the jackpot.  Like today, when I read a fascinating piece in the Washington Post.

Why we don’t think our own farts stink

Not only was it way more informative than any political piece penned and published in our nation’s capitol’s hometown paper, but it contained video.

 

After watching this educational video four or five times, I noticed that there was a followup video that I had to watch.Now you have to watch it too.

 

 

Thanks, Washington Post, for shedding light on at least one stinking thing.  Maybe next election cycle, you can uncover the stink in the GOP.

 

63 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Criminal Activity, Crohn's Disease, Disgustology, Dogs, Flatulence, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Science, Stupidity

I can’t get no … revisited

It’s Open Season for choosing health care options at my company, and probably at yours.

Personally, I think that they call it something else, because I’m pretty sure that most people associate “open season” with hunting.  And people who get as frustrated as I have trying to have relatively simple questions answered should not be invited to think of firearms.

It's a simple question! ANSWER IT!!!  (Google image)

It’s a simple question! ANSWER IT!!! (Google image)

Instead of shooting anyone, or permanently damaging my own vocal chords screaming into the phone, I thought I would bring back this post nobody ever read.

*     *     *

Automated telephone answering systems are responsible for the 40% increase in psychotic events over the past 15 years.

That’s my theory, anyway. My hypothesis. I’m not sure how to prove it, but it is true. My secondary hypothesis is that all incidents of domestic terrorism are directly tied to automated telephone systems. The FBI should investigate.

Personally, I become psychotic each and every time I have to press 1 for this and 2 for that. I’ll cut them a break for language, though. I have no problem pressing 1 for English. People need to grumble in their native tongue. Spanish speakers should have that right too.

But in fact, nobody gets to bitch. We just press 1 or 2 respectively and listen to additional options, none of which are what we want. None of the prompts are even close to what really want to do. None of them says “Press 4 to scream at a human.”

I become progressively more apoplectic with each and every telephone prompt. Eventually, with perseverance, I finally get a person. And by the time I do, that person on their end of the telephone is thinking long and hard about their career choice.

It’s not their fault. I always tell them that. I know it is true. But that fact doesn’t alleviate any of my anger at the time I have spent just to get to them. And nine times out of ten, the human I have reached is the wrong human in the wrong department and usually in the wrong country. I must start again. My psychosis soars along with my blood pressure.

There is even one telephone prompt voice that makes my blood boil. I call her Sybil. Sybil is everywhere: at my cable company and my power company and a couple of the banks I briefly considered doing business with until I heard her speak. She is young, chatty. She pretends to be my friend. She is not my friend. I do not want to be friends with a telephone prompt. I do not want to talk to her. I do not want to do anything she asks of me. And I really do not want to press her buttons. She is pressing mine. Remotely.

On average, after approximately 5 different prompts I am invariably led to a dead end where I have the same four original choices, none of which remotely fulfilled my need at the start. Or, if somehow one of the choices would work, I am promptly disconnected. I must start again with Sybil.

I am pretty sure the cost savings in terms of personnel is not worth it for businesses. Often by the time I am done with a call about this or that, I am ready to destroy the building. And if all your customers feel that way—and they do–perhaps you should rethink your policy.

One minute with a person early on and my problem would have been solved, amicably, and I would be a satisfied customer. Instead, an hour later, I would give all that I own for a battalion of similarly psychotic customers who would help me storm company headquarters and pin down just one human for us to yell at in turn. But by the time my turn comes, of course, I will have forgotten why I want to yell at them. And then I’ll have to talk to Sybil again.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Gun control, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

A Sunny September Day

“It is September 24! You’ll catch your death.” Mom declared. “You may not go swimming with your friends.”

“Moooommmmmmm.”

I couldn’t believe it. I’d finally, finally, finally been invited to the cool kids beach by Cathy, a seriously cool girl. And Mom was telling me that I couldn’t go. Or that I couldn’t go swimming, which was what people do at the beach.

We compromised. I got to go to the beach with a promise not to swim. A promise I was planning to break just as soon as it was out of my mouth. Mom wouldn’t be there – she’d never know. And she didn’t until much later.

Mom was being ridiculous, I thought – it was a warm September day, in the 80s. A perfect, last beach day of the year.

In spite of growing up on the beach, I was (and am) a rotten swimmer. I never really learned to get very far or very fast. I splash around in the water in something a half notch above a dog paddle.

But I love the water.

Early on I learned to back float forever. When I tire after my first 10 strokes, I turn over, point my head in the direction I want to go, and meander through the water. I watch the gulls overhead, see pictures in the clouds, daydream. It’s wonderful. Relaxing. Peaceful.  Not at all tiring.

In elementary school, Burying Hill Beach was where the cool kids went in the summer. It wasn’t my beach.  I was not generally invited there. But when school started that September, Cathy took a liking to me, and invited me to meet her and some other friends there.

In fact, there were tons of people at the beach that day. It was likely to be the last sunny, warm day for swimming at the beach. Everybody in 7th grade was there. Everybody in our class and all the other classes. The beach was packed.

For some reason I don’t recall, Cathy wanted to swim in the causeway that runs between Burying Hill and Sherwood Island State Park. All the cool kids did it. At least when the life guard wasn’t looking, they did. In fact, it was probably what the lifeguards spent most of their time doing all summer long – chasing people off the jetty and away from the causeway. Of course it was late September; there was no lifeguard. We were free to swim wherever we pleased.   As we stood there considering the other side, we heard half-hearted warnings from behind us, which, naturally, we ignored. We’d crossed to Sherwood Island earlier in the day. What was their problem?

Google Image, Natch.

Google Image, Natch.

“Race you across!” said Cathy. And in she went.

Ingrid and I looked at each other, shrugged, and dove in after Cathy, who quickly outpaced us. Soon, I was left far behind even mediocre swimmer Ingrid.

It had been really easy to swim the causeway just an hour or two ago. Even I managed it.  But of course, the tide had ebbed, and was now going out. And while the water looked completely placid, the tidal current was heading straight out. Fast.  And it took me with it, out towards Long Island, 30 wet miles away.

But don’t worry. Remember, I am a champion floater. Possibly the best back floater ever.  Olympic-quality floating.  (Hey, synchronized swimming is an event.  Don’t judge.)

I wasn’t scared in the least. I turned over on my back, pointed my head towards shore (I had long since passed the end of the jetty) and started kicking my feet and flapping my arms. I was making good progress, getting out of the strong part of the current. I was heading to Long Island a little more slowly. And besides, it was a beautiful day, the water was warm, the sky was blue. It was delightful. And I knew I’d make it back to shore. I only hoped I’d make it before dinner. I was supposed to be home by then.  If I didn’t make it, my mother’d kill me.

I don’t know how long I was floating, enjoying myself, when I was rudely interrupted. Some man just swam up to me and started shouting stuff to me.  At me.

“Put your arms around my neck,” he ordered. “And don’t be afraid. I’ve got you now.”

“Afraid of what?” I asked. “What does this guy want?” I wondered. Fortunately, I kept that thought to myself.

But I did as I was told for the first time that day, and held onto his neck. I must admit, that it was easier to see the crowd that had formed on the shore while my head was above the water.  What’s everybody looking at?

So the man towed me in, chatting all the while.

“You’re very calm. Some people panic,” he said.

Frankly, I was more panicked about having my arms around a strange man, to tell you the truth. That’s why people panic, I thought. It was quite humiliating, in fact.

As soon as we got in, somebody else immediately wrapped me up in a towel and started rubbing my arms and back as if I was suffering from hypothermia.

“I’m OK!” I kept saying over and over again. Why is everybody making such a fuss? I wondered.  What’s the big deal?  I would have made it.

I imagine I thanked him. I’m sure I did. Positive. I mean, I do have manners. I just can’t remember thanking him or anybody else.  I thought they’d overreacted.  (They hadn’t.)

It seemed that Cathy had made it to the other side. Ingrid, like me, had gotten back to dry land on some other unknown man’s back. I vowed to become a better swimmer, because it really is embarrassing to be hauled out of the water like a flounder.

I learned not long afterwards that Jenny L’s father had been the guy who fished me out.

Each of us went home, vowing never to tell our parents the story of that day. Nobody told.  Strangely, nobody else let our parents know, either.  Life was better when nobody was a tattle-tale.

But just like the promise I broke to my mother that day, I broke my pledge of silence.

I told Mom in 1982 when she was staying with me after my operation.

“What?!?!” she shouted. “Somebody saved your life and I didn’t even get to thank him?” She was mortified. Laughing, but mortified.

“You would have killed me yourself if you’d known at the time.”

“You are in such trouble for going swimming when I told you not to.”

“Mom, this happened in 1968.”

“… wait until I tell your Dad.”

 

*     *     *

 

In a couple of weeks I’ll be going to my 40th High School Reunion. I sure hope that Jenny’s there, and that her Dad is still alive. I hope that I can at last pass on my parents’ deepest thanks, and my own, for his unheralded rescue.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Family, Huh?, Humor, Mom, Taking Care of Each Other

It’s a Joke, Son

My husband John makes a point of not laughing at my jokes.  He pretends that I am not the funniest person he knows — even though I often hear him repeating my zingers with a chuckle.  John has helpfully suggested that whenever I am “trying” to be funny, that I should hold up a flag to let the world know.  I counter that he is humor challenged.

As it turns out, I recently learned that there are loads of humor challenged folks.

And they read our blogs!

SHIT!

Now most of you know my good bloggin’ buddy, Peg-O-Leg.  Well, Peg was Freshly Pressed just yesterday!  It was a delayed FP’ing for a post she wrote over a month ago, entitled: Facebook Ruined My Life, Now They Must Pay.  It’s about how she wants to sue Facebook because somebody put up an embarrassing picture of her from her childhood.

It was a joke, son.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T2wYE0W1oo

But the thing is, she got comments from strangers criticizing her for suing Facebook.  I’m not joking, she got nasty comments about the lawsuit she was clearly making up for a humor blog.

Just how many humor challenged folks are there?

***

Peg’s predicament reminded me of one of my very early posts.  I couldn’t resist reposting it, because, well, it was my very first blogging experience with possibly humor challenged folks.

Manitoba Bound

It’s time to export all the stupid people in the United States to another country.  Congress will go along with it as long as we can designate “stupid people” a commodity.  A trade lawyer I consulted suggested that designating them as “spare parts” under the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement would permit widespread exportation of stupid people from all over the country.  It would also ensure that only “real” stupid people and not fake or “counterfeit” stupid people qualify.  US export numbers will skyrocket, the debt limit will take care of itself, and we won’t owe China a penny.  Or a Yuan.  The economy will be saved.  More importantly, I won’t have to deal with them any more.

I decided to send them to Canada – nobody lives there, anyway.  Manitoba, to be exact.  Why?  It’s easier to spell than “Saskatchewan.”  Manitoba is right there in the middle of the continent where the stupid people won’t be able to hurt themselves.  Like one big padded room.   They will be safe, happy, well cared for.  Cable TV.  Internet access — even broadband.  I’m not unkind, you know.  A team of teenagers will be available to help them turn on their TVs, stereos, DVD players, mobile phones.  Friends and family members can visit anytime.

There are a lot of stupid people in the US, you say, so where do we start?   We’re starting with the ones that bug me the most.  It’s only fair.  After all I am the brains here.

I deal with stupid people every day.  I work in medical products litigation.  Stupid people believe the TV lawyers’ mantra “Sue then Retire.”  Each time I walk into my office, I am smacked upside the head by the stupid actions of stupid people who sue for big bucks.  I learn way too much about them, sort of like when you interrupt your 74-year-old uncle in the shower.  You’d be happier without the image.

          I want them outta here.

 Here’s a contender:

 A woman named Mona was sick.   Mona went to her doctor and was given a 30 day prescription for the drug that would treat her.  She took it to the pharmacy where the pharmacist typed up a label and put it onto the bottle that the manufacturer dispensed the tablets in, because conveniently, those pills already came packaged in bottles of 30 pills.  Terrific!  Safe!  Foolproof!  How many times have you gotten medicine this way?  Loads of times, I wager.  Have you gotten it that way lately?  Nope.  Thank Mona.

Now Mona is a very precise woman.  She carefully monitors everything.  She uses a pedometer to count her steps, compares food package labels. Understands the food pyramid.  She doesn’t walk when the “Don’t Walk” sign starts blinking.  She knows the calorie, carbohydrate and vitamin content of everything she swallows. Brushes her hair precisely 100 strokes each night.  Flosses.  Therefore, she read the label that came with the pills from the drugstore, too.  She opened the sealed package, and poured out her first dose.  That’s when Mona’s ticket to Manitoba was punched.

Because when she dumped out that first pill into her hand, she also poured out a tiny crunchy plastic package about a half inch square.  It contained salicylic acid – packages like that are put into many products to help keep the contents dry and to prevent mold.  The little package in her hand said “DO NOT EAT.”  So she didn’t.  At all.  She didn’t eat for 30 days while she took her medicine.

She didn’t call her doctor and scream:

          “You never told me I couldn’t eat!” 

She did not call the pharmacist and say:

          “Can I at least have toast?  Or Jell-O?”  

And when she got very ill from (1) being stupid and (2) not eating for 30 days, did she feel embarrassed?  Did she pack for Manitoba?  No.  She sued the pharmacy and the drug manufacturer for millions of dollars for pain, suffering, and lost wages.  She won.

So Mona goes first.

And the woman who fell into the shopping mall fountain while texting and then sued the shopping mall?  You saw her.  She went onto local and national news shows to tell the story and to complain that no one helped her after she fell.  She said repeatedly that she was embarrassed that everyone she knew had seen her fall into the fountain on YouTube.  She was upset at being called “Fountain Lady.”  She appeared on television voluntarily, where they replayed the video three times for people like me who hadn’t yet enjoyed it.  She made absolutely sure that “Fountain Lady” was unmasked, because this caption appeared at the bottom left of the TV screen:

CATHY CRUZ MARRERO

“FOUNTAIN LADY” FIGHTS BACK

Her ticket is printing now.

 

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Diet tips, Disgustology, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Law, Mental Health, Stupidity, Word Press

Blame Duncan if I Didn’t Respond to Your Comment

Thanks, everybody, for all the nice comments about Duncan.

Sorry if yours was one of the comments I didn’t answer.

You see, I was afraid.  Afraid of what was happening with Duncan.

Yup, things didn’t start smoothly at all.

Twenty-four hours after bringing our new son home, we were at animal emergency, with a dying puppy.

We don’t know what happened or why, but he developed a fever of 106.3 degrees — dogs are normally 99-102.  Our puppy was sick, and possibly dying.

If I am ever reincarnated as a dog, I want to be my dog.  I’m not quite sure how I can work that out, though.

Anyway, Duncan was admitted, treated with antibiotics and IV fluids (at great expense).  We left him last night, certain that he was going to die.

Thankfully he didn’t.  He spent some more time with our own vet, closer to home, this afternoon before we brought him home early this evening (Monday).

So far, Duncan is acting very much like a puppy — he plays, eats, poops and pees.  We are keeping a close watch on him.

I will never let him see this picture of himself during the interval between the ER and our vet.  Because I fear he’d die of embarrassment.

"This is Embarrassing"

“This is Embarrassing”

When I texted this photo to Jacob, he responded:  “When did we switch to Dish Network?”

Everybody was saying sweet things about Duncan — and I just couldn’t answer when I didn’t know if he was going to make it.

We have no idea what caused the problem.  It may be a bacterial infection, a virus.  It could be all kinds of things.  Tests to possibly determine what caused it would have cost $THOUSANDS, and we opted to treat, rather than investigate.

So far he is doing OK.  Keep your fingers crossed.

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other