Oh For the Love of Trolls!

I have a confession to make.

I try to stay “up” with the times for the most part which is why I’m embarrassed to admit this but, it wasn’t until just recently that I understood what a “Troll” was.  I heard people saying they had a troll on their blog or Facebook and I would just say “Oh, I hate those things!” and pretend like I knew exactly what they were talking about, all the while trying to figure out how in the world having some little chubby, crazy haired, scrunchy faced, usually naked, doll from the 60s would be such a nuisance.

How could these cute little chubs make you want to do anything but smile?

Let me start by assuming (aka praying) that at least one of you out there isn’t familiar with trolls.  That’s not completely true, we are ALL familiar with them, we just never knew there was a word for it.

A troll is that person that always has something derogatory to say.   They may respond to every single Facebook status update you post with something condemning or blatantly false.  The reason trolls do this is that they thrive off drama and emotional disturbances.  A troll is constantly trying to invoke a negative emotional response from other parties involved.  It doesn’t matter what you post, where you are, who you are talking to, trolls are everywhere, there’s just no getting away from them.

I can’t blame them really, if you were a 43 year old virgin who still lived at home with your mother, you would probably revert to trolling as well.  As annoying as they are, I think we should really be concerned for these poor individuals as they lead very rough lives.

That is why I have decided to start the National Organization of Troll Respecting Oddballs Living for Liberty or NOTROLL.

Description:

Established in 2012, NOTROLL is an organization that represents Trolls, Troll communities, and their loved ones.  Their outreach program is designed to reach out to Trolls in need and give them the support and attention that they deserve and desire.  We pride ourselves in providing Trolls with the most current, invigorating, and relevant forms of negative attention available today.

Mission Statement:

NOTROLL’s mission is to support Trolls who are weakened or deprived of the negative attention and brutal misgivings that they need in order to survive.  NOTROLL fosters education of non-Trolls who are tasked with living and caring for these special creatures, as well as provides support to the family members and loved ones of Trolls.  It is our duty to ensure that no Troll goes without feeling the benefit of having hatred and negligence in his/her life.

I’m coming to all of you today, my fellow readers, with hope in my heart that you will all happily provide support for this organization.  To donate time or money, please send the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Bank Account Information
  • Mother’s Maiden Name
  • Address
  • Email Address
  • Home Phone
  • Work Phone
  • Cell Phone
  • Parent’s Phone
  • Spouse’s Phone
  • Date of Birth
  • Vaccination Record
  • Work Schedule
  • Resume

We thank you for your support and hope that your next interaction with a troll is a warm and memorable one!

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Dear Lord, Please Let the Debt Collectors Call Tomorrow!

For the past two weeks a creditor has been calling my work phone looking for someone who doesn’t work here.  I’m not going to go into details but I actually do know the person they are looking for but still have no clue how they got this number.

 

The first few times they called, I tried to be as polite as possible.  I know I dislike my job most days but if I had to work collections, I would be beyond miserable.  Every time they would call I would tell them the truth, “There is no one here by that name.”  Absolutely not a lie and I didn’t feel that they needed to know that I knew the party in question.

 

Every day they call, every day I tell them the same thing, every day they tell me they will remove this number from their call list.  Just recently the people I’ve spoke to have asked to be passed to Human Resources to verify employment.  I’m guessing they are thinking I’m lying which, again, I’m honestly not.

 

Human Resources has talked to them twice now and told them that there is no one here by that name, nor has there ever been, that obviously isn’t enough because I just got, yet another, call from them.

 

So after much thought, I’ve decided that if we are going to have a daily conversation, I might as well try to have as much fun as possible with it.

 

Tomorrow when they call, I think this is how the conversation will go:

 

 

 

 

 

Me: Barbara Jean’s House of Inflatable Dolls, what’s your pleasure?

 

Collection Agent: Uhhh, hi, can I speak to Ms. Malone* please?

 

Me: Oh, Ms. Malone isn’t actually a person but she is one of our best sellers.  You are into the “next door neighbor” type huh?  Excellent choice!  Let me put you on hold for a second and make sure we have her in stock.

 

Collection Agent: Wait I….

 

(Cut off by hold music)

 

Me:  Ok sir, you are in luck; we just got a new shipment of Ms. Malone dolls in this morning.  Would you like to purchase a wig for her?  We have a sale on our long blonde wigs, they are simply gorgeous, and we will even style them for free!

 

Collection Agent:  Is this a joke?  I need to speak with Bethany Malone.

 

Me:  Oh, that’s precious; you’ve given her a first name!  I just know this doll is going to have a great home.  In fact, I’m inspired by your optimism, what is your address?  I want to deliver her to you personally.

 

Collection Agent:  Look, is this Ms. Malone?  This is not a joke, I represent the Hideous Collection Agency and I show you owe an outstanding balance of $3.2 billion; I need to know when you will be able to pay that in full.

 

Me:  Oh sweetie, you’ve got a hole in your bag of marbles don’t you?  Well that’s okay; I’ll just go ahead and box up some special goodies to go along with your purchase.  I just need to find out a few things about you first okay?  First things first, do you have any other dolls or do you plan on being strictly exclusive with Ms. Malone.

 

Collection Agent:  Why do you keep talking about dolls?  I don’t have any dolls; the only dolls in my house belong to my 8 year old!

 

Me:  Whoa…please don’t include me in things that may be considered illegal.  I’m just going to pretend like I didn’t hear that last statement, otherwise I would have to call the police and CPS to have them run an investigation on you.

 

Collection Agent:  (Obviously agitated) Okay, I’m done with the jokes, if you want to talk about calling the police, fine!  I’m calling the police and having you arrested for not paying your debt!  What do you think about that?

 

Me: Okay, okay, calm down now, there’s no need to get so excited.  I can tell that you are new to this.  It’s okay, there is no need to be embarrassed, we all have certain fetishes and fantasies, and no one here is judging you.  In fact, if you are that worried about it, why don’t you come to my house and meet my collection?  I have an amazing assortment of…

 

Collection Agent:  Ms. Malone, I’m hanging up now, I want you to remember that this call is being recorded and we WILL use this against you in the court of law.

 

Me:  (laughing) Well if it’s court you want to talk about, we do have a variety of sexy lawyer dolls that just might…

 

(Collection Agent hangs up)

 

 

 

 

Something tells me that even something like this won’t cause them to refrain from calling daily.  I know there are ways to make them stop, I just don’t feel like making that effort, at least not before I have a little bit of fun with them!

 

 

 

*Name changed to protect the privacy of parties involved.  But you already knew that because what the heck else would an asterisk next to someone’s name mean?

Don’t Butter That Toast!

I took the case off my phone last night because the stupid thing froze on me and I had to take the battery out to reset it.  The particular phone case that I have on my phone is a royal pain to get off in the event that you need to do something like this so, after being insanely annoyed with the phone, I decided not to put it back on.

Why is it that the entire time I’ve had this phone with the case on it, I have not dropped it ONCE, yet just 20 minutes after taking the case off last night I dropped it?  And it’s never on the carpet, no, it’s always the very moment that you walk into your tiled kitchen or bathroom that your phone remembers that it was a skydiver in it’s past life and decides to re-live those moments.  This morning, I honestly forgot about the case and didn’t put it back on.  Since I arrived at work 5 hours ago, I have dropped my phone 4 times.

It’s a conspiracy.  That’s the only reasonable explanation.  Inanimate objects are out to get us.

How many times have you made toast, smothered it in butter and jelly, only to drop it.  We all learned at an early age that there is what is known as the “5 second rule”, this rule states that it is completely acceptable to eat something straight off the floor as long as it sat there no longer than 5 seconds.  I personally see nothing wrong with this rule and find it 100% logical.  The problem with buttered toast however, is that it always falls “buttered side down”.  When something with a “moist” texture hits the ground, the “5 second rule” becomes null en void.

Call it irony, coincidence, whatever you want but the thing is, toast will always fall buttered side down, phones will always become suicidal when they are most vulnerable, and tires will always go flat in the middle of a rainstorm(unless you’re me at which point, tires go flat daily).

I’ve had it with all of these coincidental happenings and I’ve decided it’s time that someone explained them….who better to do that that yours truly?

Demon Toast

I’ve already explained why a phone will always fall after their protective armor comes off but what about the toast?  Is there some law of “butter-ology” that we should all become familiar with?  Perhaps the effect of the butter on the bread causes one side to become heavier than the other causing it to flip over. Perhaps butter provides some sort of cushion for the bread and when falling it, much like a cat, flips itself over to ensure a safe landing.

You knuckleheads!  The answer to this one is so obvious it’s sickening. However, before I continue to explain this I thought I might let you know that there actually is a “real” explanation which you can find http://www.physics.org/facts/toast-toast.asp.

So, the reason that toast always fall butter side down is 😦 drum roll please…)

To understand the answer, you have to accept the existence of divine spirits.  Since butter is essentially fat, your guardian angel is simply watching out for you, every time that your buttered bread falls to the floor, that’s your angel telling you it’s time to get up off your lazy hiney and eat something healthier!

The Micromanaging Hermit

You are generally a hard worker and you rarely take unnecessary breaks or “slack off” while on the job.  But occasionally even the hardest worker has one of those days where he/she is just exhausted or can’t seem to find motivation.  It’s on these days that you are a little more keen to relax. Finally, after a day of working your patootie off,  you take 30 seconds to lean back, put your feet up, and stretch out.  It is at this very moment that your extremely anti-social, never leaves her office, hermit-like, boss decides to take an abnormal stroll right down your aisle and catches you, mid-stretch, relaxing in your chair.

Never fails.

How does your boss know to check up on you at this very moment?  Well this one is quite simple.  She’s spying on you!

Seriously?  You didn’t figure this out for yourself?  What exactly do you think she’s doing in that office all day long?  What could she possibly have going on that is so important?  Nothing!

Take a moment to look around your desk.  See that innocent looking memo taped to the cubicle wall?  Remove it, I guarantee you will find a camera behind it.  You think your computer is JUST a computer?  Oh you poor, poor, misguided little minion.

Don’t worry though, now that you know the truth, all you have to do is break into her office at night and sabotage all of her spy gear, just be sure to watch out for the booby traps!

An Ode to Home and Transportation

Cars have a nasty reputation for breaking down at the worse possible time.  If you are running late to something very important your car will inevitably decide that it is ready for a day off.  If it is 30 below zero during a hail storm with 75 mph winds, your heater will go on strike.  If you get caught in a blinding rainstorm, your tire will go flat.  It’s just a fact of life.

Houses can be equally as temperamental.

From the moment that you find out your elderly Aunt Agatha is coming to stay with you for a week, your house begins its deceptive plan.  Houses are sneaky too; they have a way of hiding these things from you.  Everything will be running perfectly until Aunt Agatha’s car pulls into your driveway.  The moment she walks in the door the TV will turn itself on at the highest possible volume and the ceiling fans will spin so fast that they dislodge themselves and become flying ninja weapons.  After avoiding having her head chopped off, Agatha will go into the kitchen where all of the pipes will burst simultaneously causing the sprayer on the sink to jerk loose, flailing about in the air, drenching Aunt Agatha in the process.  You will convince your dear, sweet, old, relative to take off her wet clothes and let you put her wet ones in the dryer.  Now that Aunt Agatha is alone in the restroom she is extremely vulnerable.  The bathroom medicine cabinet will fling open spewing medicine bottles and Neosporin all over the floor.  This will startle Agatha and she will step on a half empty tube of toothpaste sending her flying square on her backside.

Well, one thing’s for sure – Aunt Agatha will never stay with you again.

Why are cars and houses so irritable?  Simply put, they are evil!

All car’s and houses have a personality of their own.  Our failure to recognize that they have feelings is what causes them to go over the top.  This is the reason that each and every car that I’ve ever owned has had a name; you have to give them some level of respect.

.

There are a ton of ironic happenings that I could continue to talk about, things like “Why does it always rain when you go on vacation?” or “Why does my kid always wait until we are 5000 miles from a restroom before he needs to potty?”  But it would take forever for me to explain them.  Rest assured though, I have an answer for everything…don’t be afraid to ask!

I Want to Live in America!

I have never actually seen “West Side Story” but I was in band in high school and I remember we did a “West Side Story” show.  Until that point, I had never even heard of it so all of the songs we were playing were completely foreign to me.  Because of that, I went out and bought a copy of the soundtrack so I could hear and understand the melodies of the songs we were playing.

 

Why am I telling you this?  Well when the idea for today’s blog post popped into my head, my mind automatically started singing:

 

I like the shores of America!

Comfort is yours in America!

Knobs on the doors in America,

Wall-to-wall floors in America!

 

It’s a super catchy little tune and I’m pretty sure I have it stuck in my head, and most likely yours as well.  You’re welcome!

 

As fun loving as that song is, the premise of my blog today is a little, well….sad/patriotic/angry…well pretty much a lot of emotions and opinions center around this topic.  I debated for a long time on whether or not to write this just because it could be seen as controversial.

 

I lie, I debated for ten seconds then I remembered that I’m an American, I’m proud of my country, and I don’t give a hoot what anyone thinks of my American pride.

 

Let me start by saying that this post is in no way intended to berate, belittle, criticize or slam any other country or race.  I know that there are a couple people who follow this blog who are not American and I absolutely have no issue with that whatsoever.  I am a firm believer that we are all created equal and it doesn’t matter where we live, no one is better than anyone else.

 

The attempt of this blog is, however, an attempt to convey my frustration of how my country has basically sold out to other countries just to get a “better deal.”

 

In my job, I work with a client who has outsourced to another country, I’m not 100% sure what country but my first guess would be India.  Here are the problems that I have with this:

 

1) They speak the English broken very bad and much so (that was my attempt to sound like them, not a very successful one at that)

 

2) I can’t pronounce their damn names!!!!  (Kid you not; one of them is actually named Dikshit…promise I didn’t make that up)

 

3)  They apparently have no capacity to retain any information.  I have been at this job for 5 years now and for 5 years I have told the exact same people the EXACT same thing, word for word, at least once a day.

 

4)  They try way too hard to be nice.  If I have to read “I kindly request you to…” one more time, I’m booking a flight to India

 

5) I can’t understand their accents.  Thankfully 98% of my interactions with them are through email, but on the rare occasion I have to speak to them, it sounds more like I’m talking to the automated phone system you have to talk to when you pay a bill.  You all know what I’m talking about.  That conversation always includes this line of text, “no…No….NO…(insert frustrated sigh)…NO!….NOOOOOO!!!”

 

6) (And most importantly) They are taking away jobs from a country that is already in an economic shit-hole

 

I have to give my client some credit at least.  Many companies don’t want consumers to know that when you call you are actually speaking to someone thousands of miles away.  That’s why you call the credit card company and end up speaking with “Peggy”.  At least my client doesn’t try to trick anyone because I honestly can’t remember when the last time was that I said “Hey, me and Goswami are going to lunch.”

Everyone LOVES talking to Peggy...Right?

 

It just frustrates the crap out of me because I KNOW that if I were dealing with an American or at least someone fluent in English my job would be more efficient.  40% of my time in dealing with these people is spent trying to either figure out what they are asking or make them understand what I am telling them.  Take that language barrier out of the equation and we just might get something done in a reasonable amount of time.  I can’t blame these people, they need jobs just like everyone else in the world, and I’m glad they are at least making an effort but the problem is they only hurt more than they help.  When are the yuppies in the penthouse office going to figure that out?

 

The more and more I think about it, the more I realize that I really DO want to live in America.  Yes, physically I am here but what happened to the American dream?  What happened to being a proud country, abundant in hard working people, a group of people proud to let the world know where they came from?

 

I want to live in America.  I want to live in a country where moral values are the backbone of our society, where everyone has an equal opportunity to find a job, where regardless of your age, sex, race, religion, or any other denominational factor, your neighbor will point to you and say “That’s my friend, and I’m proud to know they are my fellow American.”

 

I can’t help but think that the possibilities of any of this ever happening are so impossible that they are ranked up there with pigs flying and unicorns but, I can always dream and hold on to faith…..or move to Canada.

 

I want to live in America.

Why I Will Never be a Corporate CEO

Why I Will Never be a Corporate CEO

I’ve made it no secret that I absolutely hate working in “Corporate America”.  My days are long and boring, my back hurts constantly, I frequently lose circulation in my legs from sitting in the same position for hours on end…there’s just nothing good about it at all….at least for me.

Despite the physical reasons, there are several other reasons that I hate the corporate world and everything that it stands for.  Most people would classify these reasons as “political” and I guess I can’t really come up with a better word for it so- political it is.

The thing that is really annoying is just how some people get ahead.  Have you ever noticed that the person who works the least, goofs off the most, and screws everything up is the first person in line for the next promotion?

Basically there are 4 types of employee in any given corporate office:

Billy Grunt

Billy is the person who everyone thinks they are, regardless of which rung they stand on in the corporate ladder.  Don’t get me wrong, some of us ARE Billy Grunt and Thank God for that because if there were not Billy Grunt’s in the world, the whole place would fall to pieces (Or at least more so than it has already).

Billy is your typical hard working, comes to work every day, always on time, never complains, just a downright good employee.  Billy works his butt off day after day and gets very little in return for his contributions.  He knows what he is doing and does it right and on the rare occasion that he makes a mistake, he owns up to it and fixes it.  You will never catch Billy taking too many breaks or taking a long lunch.  However, since Billy never causes any trouble and never has to be reprimanded, he usually is overlooked and almost forgotten.  His hard work and determination always go without notice until the day comes that he is literally on his death bed and has to take a day off.  That’s when the company falls apart.

If the whole world was like Billy, poverty would be an archaic term.  Hard work would be something that we all appreciated and were proud of.  We need more Billy Grunts in this world.

 

Annie Adequate

 

Annie is what most of us probably are.  I know that I, personally, fall somewhere between Billy and Annie.  I was a Billy when I first started this career journey but I finally got fed up with the way things were going and stopped caring so much.

Annie is great at her job and for the most part does it without much hesitation.  She does get annoyed at her supervisors from time to time and finds her self constantly shaking her head at the actions of Tina Turbulence and Sid Suckup.  She feels that things could be run better and fails to understand why Tina and Sid are constantly rewarded for their behaviors.  Regardless of this fact, she never complains and simply continues to do her job.

Annie’s biggest issue is that she views her job as a job and not a career.  She feels as though she is wasting away and any efforts to advance are immediately thwarted.  At times she feels as though she should just give up and try to be like Sid or Tina but she still has just enough pride to keep from dropping to that level.  Annie used to take her allotted amount of breaks and lunches, she would occasionally work through a lunch here and there and stay late when she needed too but now she comes in and works her schedule and goes home.

 

 

Sid Suckup

Sid is the guy who always gets lucky.  He is the guy who plays games on the internet all day but has a way of “looking” busy when the boss is around.  He is known as a brown noser yet, for whatever reason; management can’t seem to see through him.  Sid obviously has no clue how to get to work on time and always has a reason to leave early.  He doesn’t have a problem calling in sick and frequently schedules doctor’s appointments that will cause him to take 3 hour lunches, leave early, or come in late.  Sid has no regard for those around him even though he is friendly and considers himself to have a good relationship with his co-workers.

For the most part, Sid is a crappy employee but because of his talent to brown-nose and stay on the boss’s good side he is known as the “Star” employee on the team.  He constantly gets compliments and accolades regarding his work performance and is usually the first in line for a promotion. He has that sly “car salesman” type personality and can talk his way out of any situation.

 

 

Tina Turbulence

There is a fine line between Sid Suckup and Tina Turbulence.  For the most part, they are pretty similar.  The main difference between the two is that Tina uses blackmail instead of brown nosing.

Like Sid, Tina rarely comes in and works a full 8 hours, she is always sick, constantly has drama that she has to leave early to tend to and rarely gets any work done when she is at work.  Tina is usually a smoker and takes 20-30 smoke breaks throughout the day in addition to regular breaks and lunch hour.  On any given day, the most hours that Tina actually sits at her desk is 3.

Unlike with Sid, management is well aware that Tina is a horrible employee and would happily “let her go” except for one thing.  Tina ALWAYS has HR on her side.  She knows how to work the system and get around things and she isn’t afraid what others think of her.  If she needs to leave early because she forgot to record today’s episode of “Judge Judy”, Tina knows that all she has to do is come up with a last minute doctor’s appointment, run it across the HR desk, and be on her happy little way.

Tina is also very quick to turn on her co-workers.  The first sign of anything that she can classify as harassment or slander, she will be in the HR office faster than you can spell “Hallucination”.  This girl knows how to milk the system and doesn’t feel the least bit guilty about doing so.  She constantly is heard saying that management is “out to get” her and thinks that everyone is against her.  She fails to acknowledge that the reason for her co-workers/supervisors displeasure of her has been brought upon her by no one but herself.

Don’t try to deny it, I know that each and every one of you was able to name at least one person at your job for each of your personalities (unless there less than 4 people at your job, at which point I say, I hate you!) regardless of if you are in the corporate world or not.  These people exist everywhere.  Between all the Sids and Tinas in the world, we Billys and Annies just don’t have a chance.

Some day’s I can’t help but think that if I just took some lessons from Sid, I too could be a “Star” employee and eventually be running the company.

I know this will never happen.  Why?  Not because I’m not capable, but because I simply refuse to become a brown noser.  It will not happen.  If I have to be an Adequate Grunt for the rest of my life, so be it, as long as I don’t have to Turbulent Suckup.

Pixy Stix: AKA “My First Cocaine Kit”

So this morning I was pleasantly surprised with the late Valentine below.

 

My boyfriend and I have this thing where we tend to “brag” about the free things we get.  We both tend to get free meals from our job on occasion so we are constantly trying to show the other one up.  I have to admit, his meals usually LOOK better just because they come from fine dining establishments, but mine is usually the stuff that people actually want to eat, not look at.  Because of this habit, when this little beauty came across my desk this morning, I felt compelled to snap a picture and text it to him.  I told him that it would help me stay awake today since I had such a long, rough night last night.  (Which isn’t a lie, if you’ve never stood knee deep in a pasture of mud watching 3 colicking horses to make sure they don’t roll, you have no idea how quick 5am came today and how exhausted it found me.)

 

His response shocked me.  I will save you the entire conversation but it turns out that the boy has NEVER heard of fun dip.

 

Seriously?  Who has never heard of Fun Dip?  Please tell me that I’m not losing my mind!  Surely we all remember at least one time in our lives when we found ourselves trying as hard as possible to not eat the stick before finishing all of the powder.  I had very little self control when I was younger and usually ended up just skipping the powder completely and eating the stick by itself.

 

Anyways, as I was trying to describe to him exactly what he missed out on, (which is really not much because I honestly don’t think it’s the best tasting candy in the world) I couldn’t help but think that my description sounded more like a “DIY homemade cocaine kit”.  In fact, the original title of this post was “Fun Dip: How My Cocaine Addiction Started” but then I thought that might lead people to believe that I really was on crack (which I’m not! Just to make that clear, I know it seems like it sometimes but…) and I also remembered the greatness that are known as Pixy Stix. .

A little history about Pixy Stix:

 

  • They were created in 1952 by the Sunline Company and were originally meant to be a drink mix.
  • The original product was called Fruzola and came with a spoon (Equally as disturbing as the straw!)
  • Fruzola was later repackaged to have a dipping stick and the name changed to Lik-M-Aid (Later changed to Fun Dip)
  • Eventually after changing hands a few times, Nestle bought Lik-M-Aid and began packaging Fun Dip and Pixy Stix under the Wonka brand
  • Pixy Stix come in 6 flavors: Grape, Orange, Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry, and Maui Punch

 

Okay, so, my knowledge of cocaine is a little fuzzy but I do know that people snort the stuff using straws. Cocaine comes in powder form, the stuff inside Pixy Stix is powder, and it comes in the form of a what?  Oh that’s right….a straw!

 

Now, I will never claim that I was very smart as a child, and I remember I used to dump all of the powder out the Pixy Straw and attempt to inhale it as quickly as possible.  Pretty sure I still have some sugary goop lodge in my lungs till this day.

 

My point is; did anyone ever stop to think that maybe there was a design flaw to certain candies of our childhood?

 

What about Big League Chew?  Remember that stuff?  It was a pouch of shredded bubble gum that resembled smokeless tobacco and came with a picture of a cool baseball player on the front.  Who wouldn’t want to look like their favorite athlete while chewing that stuff? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let’s not forget candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars!

Of course I’m not going down the road of those that complain about everything and think that every little detail about something is ruining the future.  I promise that there are far worse things now-a-days that children are subjected to.  I can’t stand the people that try to claim children have learned to hate and harm each other through the assistance of radio and TV.  I never understood why it was so hard to simply remove those things from a child’s life if the parents thought it was damaging their psyche. Rather than sit around complaining about things like violence in cartoons, why not make the kids get out and ride their bikes?  I was an only child and on top of that the only child in my neighborhood.  I remember my mom would FORCE me to come in every night because it was too dark for me to be in the back yard and when it was raining outside, TV just wasn’t entertaining enough.  I didn’t need a whole neighborhood full of kids, I had an imagination and I’m thankful for that creative spirit that my mom made me obtain.  I think I turned out relatively good…and I grew up on Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks, Fun Dip, and Smarties!

Are these what taught us that it's OKAY to pop pills?

Misery Thy Name Art Rain-X

Living in Texas, you quickly learn that there is no such thing as “normal weather”.  I remember growing up that people would always joke saying “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute.”  And this really is a very true statement.  It can be 90 degrees outside one minute and snowing the next, it’s just the way things are around here and, while you never really get used to it, you learn to accept it.  All that being said, one thing you can count on in Texas is that when it starts raining, it doesn’t mess around; there is no such thing as a “light shower” in Texas.

 

This past weekend was one of those dreary, rainy ones.  Surprisingly for the first time in months, I turned my TV on Friday morning while getting ready for work and listened to the traffic and weather reports.  Because I did this, I was aware of the impending torrential downpour that was bearing down on the metroplex.  Since I knew that my windshield wipers weren’t in the best condition I decided that it might be a good idea to break open the piggy bank and use my lifelong investment of 10 bucks(I’m broke people, quit laughing!) to purchase new wiper blades.

 

Sounded like a good idea at the time….

 

I stopped by Wal-Mart on my way to work to make my purchase.  For those of you who have never been lucky enough to experience Wal-Mart at 530 in the morning, it really is one of the most invigorating experiences one can have.  I almost want to go in there every single morning whether I want something or not just because I’m absolutely convinced that there is nothing in the world that can turn your sleepy, un-motivated, crass mood around like a 0530 Wal-Mart run.  It’s the perfect time of day because you get the mixture of two completely different cultures.

 

On one hand, you have the coffee drinking, always happy to be alive, grandma’s and grandpa’s that started their day an hour ago, not because they have a job, but because they went to bed the night before at 4:30 and feel it is their duty to ensure the future of the world knows that you just can’t “sleep life away”.  I can’t help but think that 50-60 years from now I will be part of this crowd.  I already call myself an old woman because my idea of sleeping in on the weekends is waking up around 630.

 

On the other hand, you have the night owls who are just now thinking about winding down but have the overwhelming urge to buy Kit Kats and beef jerky as a “late night” snack.  These are the characters that most people would probably consider shady.  No doubt you have likely seen pictures of these people on Peopleofwalmart.com.  They come in with their mascara running down their cheeks and half smoked cigarettes tucked behind their ears.

 

The clash between these two cultures is undeniably hilarious.

 

So as I attempted to make my way through the store without becoming a casualty of a Wal-Mart Civil War I couldn’t help but wonder which crowd I belonged to.   I finally made my way to the automotive section, flipped through the windshield wiper size book, found the right size and made my purchase without much incident.

 

Since it’s still dark at that time of day and it was starting to drizzle, I figured I could hold off and peer through the streaky windshield for just a little while longer until I made it to work.  I knew that I was going somewhere at lunch that had covered parking so I would just install the new blade on my lunch break and be on my happy little way.

 

I made it to work safely and when lunch finally came around I found that the rain had taken a break so I decided it would be the perfect time to install my new accessories.

 

Dear Lord….have you ever tried to install a windshield wiper????  I swear this has to be the most difficult, most complex thing I have ever done in my entire life.  I’m pretty sure childbirth would be ten times less painful than trying to figure out how to put together the little pieces that attach the blade to the….movey thingy (Obviously I’m no mechanic!).

 

First of all, just take a look at this picture….will someone PLEASE tell me exactly what this thing is telling me to do?

Ummmm....????

 

I fiddled around with it for a good ten minutes and then couldn’t mess with it anymore as I had some where I needed to be and I only get so much time for a lunch break.  I figured once I got where I was going, surely there would be someone there that would be happy to help.

 

I did, in fact, find a gentleman to help me but he took one look at the illustration on the back of the box, scratched his head, looked at the windshield wiper, scratched his head again and sighed.  He then cocked his head to one side and stared at the picture a little longer.

 

Why do we do that?  Cock our head?  Do we think that looking at something from a 45 degree angle makes things that much more understandable?  Perhaps we are under the assumption that if we turn our head one way or another all of our “brain juice” will swish to one side giving that side of the brain a double dose of smart.  Regardless of why we do it, I have yet to see anyone come up with a logical solution after tilting their head to the side and emphatically sighing “hmmm”.

 

I have to give the guy credit though, he was very nice and even when the rain started he stood out there like a trooper and tried to help me figure it out.  I finally realized that I was running late for work and I even felt a little sorry for the guy so I told him not to worry about it, I would just get someone from work or home to help me out.  I’m sure I hurt his feelings by this, he looked slightly dejected but I couldn’t help it, I didn’t have all day.

 

As it turns out, I really had no intention of asking anyone at work to help.  After changing my own tire in the parking lot more than once, and attempting to change a headlight, I learned a long time ago that men who work in the corporate world are pretty much useless.  Now let me just say to those of you who may be “Corporate America Gentlemen” please don’t take offense to that statement, everyone has to have something that they are strong at and I guarantee you that Jim Bob the mechanic could not create, prepare, and present a 20 slide PowerPoint on “Business Ethics and Analytical Marketing”.  So, while some of you corporate guys may be quite capable of doing car work, for the most part, the corporate male is not.  So based on past experiences, I decided to wait until I got home and enlist the help of someone I knew was capable.

 

Come Saturday morning, I decided that something so simple as a windshield wiper couldn’t possibly be as difficult as I had made it out to be the day before.  So I found myself standing barefoot in my driveway, examining the crude illustration once more.  I finally decided that the best way to determine how to install this perpetual thorn in my side was to remove the old one while paying attention to how it was placed.

 

That left me standing in the driveway with only one windshield wiper on my car and no way of putting a new one on because it seemed that the little mechanical thingy bopper used to connect the blade to the movey thingy was totally different than the one that had been provided to me.

 

No big deal right?  I can just take the old piece off, and put it on the new blade, no worries.

 

Except…

 

I don’t know who designed this little piece of plastic but I don’t understand why we don’t use this guy to design more influential things like airplanes and tanks.  There was absolutely no force of nature that was going to allow me to remove that piece from the old wiper.  I honestly believe that I could have hit the thing with an atom bomb and it would still be un-harmed.  We definitely need to figure out how to put this type of assembly to good use.  Especially before December 21!

 

So by now I had decided that I just needed to put the old blade back on until I could find someone who was far more car savvy than me.  Of course, by this point, I had turned the indestructible piece of plastic around in so many different angles that I now couldn’t remember how it was supposed to go in the first place.

 

At this point I noticed that my neighbor had emerged from his garage and was literally watching me, for amusement purposes I’m sure.  He had propped himself up against the open door of his truck, leaning inside the cab to keep from getting doused by the drizzle that had begun.  I turned and shook my head, knowing that he wouldn’t help me because of my track record of calling the cops on him for beating his wife.

 

Finally I figured out how to put the old wiper back on, which I figured was better than nothing.  It was a pivotal moment for me, almost inspirational.  Once it popped into place I could almost hear people cheering for me.  I expected at any moment for a crowd of people to rush out of nowhere and scoop me up and carry me away, much like at the end of the movie “Rudy”.

 

Yeah….that didn’t happen.

 

Here it is, Monday morning and my poor car is still lugging a new wiper blade around in the back seat while we constantly swish and squeak all the way too and from work and I continue to peer through half an inch of clear windshield.  Thankfully I think the rain is gone for a couple days now so hopefully I can get someone to be so kind and install the darn thing.

 

I’m learning more and more as I get older that there are things in this life that I’m just never going to be able to do.  Things like run a marathon, hike to the top of Mount Everest, and…install a windshield wiper blade.

 

I suppose there are worse things to be bummed out about…I could be flipping burgers at McDonalds.

Regal Awareness Month (I love making up holidays!)

My house is just less than 60 miles from my job.  Growing up in a smaller town than the metroplex I live in now, that was completely unheard of.  I remember, on several occasions, asking my mom if we could go to a certain store or something of that nature, and her response would sometimes be “No, that’s all the way across town”.  “Across Town” literally meant what it sounds like, we lived on the south side of town and wherever I wanted to go was on the north side, probably no more than 20 minutes away.  But that was 20 minutes and we could get the same results somewhere else 5 minutes away; why waste our time going “across town”?

 

I would kill to be able to get to ANYTHING within 20 minutes now.  My drive home yesterday found me sitting in the exact same place for 30 minutes and the same thing happened to me again this morning.  Any day that I am able to get to or from work in less than 90 minutes is considered a blessing to me.  Even a trip to Wal-Mart can be an ordeal.  The closest Wal-Mart or grocery store is located about 15 miles away in either direction.   I’m not complaining about distance though, in fact, I would love to be further out from civilization than I am now, I don’t mind driving as many miles as I do to work, as long as I am moving.  What I can’t stand is traffic.  And what really grates my nerves about traffic is that it just doesn’t make a lick of sense!  How can you be driving 70 miles an hour and then slam on your brakes so that you can go 10 for about three miles only to speed right back up to 70?  Why does traffic just stop for no apparent reason?

 

I get upset about days when it rains or snows and people act like Cerberus (you know, the three headed dog in Greek Mythology) has been set loose and is causing everyone’s minds to dissipate into nothing-ness.  But at least when the roads are gross, there is a reason for people being morons, as if people ever needed a reason to be morons!  I know this sounds terrible but I know I’m not the only morbid soul out there who thinks this every time they find themselves in gridlock hell, you almost find yourself wishing for an accident, and just so you can justify your loss of time.  I just don’t understand what causes traffic.  If we all drive at the same speed and didn’t have to be selfish jerks who won’t let someone merge (because they’ve never had to merge into traffic themselves apparently), we would all be happier. I’ve tried to conceptualize(I have no clue if that’s a word or not, but I made it one) the idea in different mediums to see if I could possibly find a rational explanation but so far, it just hasn’t happened.

 

The more and more I think about it, I can only come up with one logical explanation, and I think most of you will agree with me after you read this.

 

The #1 cause of traffic is…..The Buick Regal.

 

Somehow or another, some harmless owner of the Buick has found his/herself prisoner to their vehicle.  Every action taken by the Regal is fully the responsibility of the car itself, and not the driver.  See, the Buick Regal has some form of mind control device built within its wiring that is activated the moment human flesh touches the steering wheel.  When contact is made, the Buick Regal comes to life and the master plan is underway.  From the first moment, the Buick is in control.  The defenseless driver has no control over where the car goes or how fast (slow!) it is done.

 

It would seem that these luxurious behemoths of the vehicle world are really quite lazy and sluggish creatures.  However, despite the fact that they do not feel the speed limit applies to them, they do feel that they can drive in whatever lane they so choose and they seem to be attracted to the lane all they way over on the left hand side.   They also don’t feel that they need to look before crossing 3 lanes to get to the left hand lane.  They are “Regal” after all; therefore you should always yield to them.

 

Once the Buick has reached its desired location, it is imperative that no one pass it.  Its convoy of loyal followers must never make any attempt to over throw its reign.  Honking and flashing lights at it will only cause the car’s ego to grow and it will slow down so that its admirers may be able to grasp a better view of its magnificence. Anyone who dares to pass, disrespect, harm, slander, or otherwise blaspheme the Regal and its driver, will suffer the consequences of an extra 30 minutes in highway torture.

 

The Regal doesn’t care if you are running 10 minutes late for work or if your wife is in labor, it only care’s that all eyes are on it and it consistently demands attention.  The effect of the mind control within the machine is so strong that the driver loses all hope of ever regaining any common sense and he/she surrenders themselves completely to the car, even taking on the same attitude.  Have you ever seen a granny “throw the bird”?  Chances are, if you did, she was driving to the grocery store and some other low-life car was brazen enough to challenge the Regal’s authority.

 

I think rather than complaining about traffic, we should all start practicing “Regal Awareness”.  Next time you see one of these “Car Kings” on the road; you should simply humble yourself and consider yourself lucky that you are allowed to be in the presence of such an amazing piece of machinery.  Allow it to have its place in the left lane and go as slow as it desires.  Sure, that open highway in front of you is tempting but, at the end of the day, what did you really lose by pissing off the king?

An Unorthodox Love Story

Writers block will NOT leave me alone this week.  I have not been able to come up with anything worth writing so I had to resort to previous articles.

This is actually the first short story I ever wrote, which was in Jr. High, 8th grade I believe.  That being said, I decided not to edit it any, just leave it as is so keep in mind that this was written by a 12-13 year old version of me.  I obviously had a lot of growing to do but this is where I really got my start in writing, short stories and poetry. I also had not developed my sarcastic, snarky, sense of humor so most of the stuff I wrote was a little more….depressing.  I promise I wasn’t suicidal or anything, this was just the easiest stuff at the time to write!

I’m telling you this because I’m not looking for critique or praise in this submission, just thought it would be something fun to share!  so ENJOY!!!

 

I remember lights.  I remember sirens.  I remember blackness and then, silence.

 

************************************************************************

 

I’ll never forget the day that I met Kara. I knew from the first moment that I saw her that she and I were meant to be together.  I instantly noticed her as she walked around the parking lot that day, her emerald green eyes, the way her hair bounced when she walked –  I saw her and immediately fell in love with her.

 

I remember sitting there quietly; ridiculously still, watching, waiting, praying that she would choose me.  Had I known how this story would end, I honestly believe that I would not change a thing about that day; I loved her and desperately wanted to be in her life.

 

I remember her smell as she walked by me the first time.  I caught her stare briefly before her father shuffled her forward to look elsewhere.  I remember the way her eyes lit up when she saw me, the way she turned around and eyed me as her father encouraged her onward.  It was then that I realized Kara was the type of girl that could get anything she wanted.

 

It may sound like I was obsessed, you can call it that if you so choose but I, I know differently, I know that it was fate that brought us together that day, and fate that has brought me here to my resting place.

 

You see, I have nothing else to do in this place but think about old memories.  Remember the happy times that Kara and I spent together.  This cramped, smelly, dirty, place – that I now call my home – holds me a prisoner until someone else decides my fate, and until then, I will reminisce.

 

Kara may have been young but she was wise beyond her years.  I remember thinking to myself how lucky I was to have been chosen by such a mature, loving, young woman.  I used to love waking up early every morning, even though my old parts creaked and moaned in the cold winter mornings and Kara was always in a hurry and drove far too fast.  Our daily trips to and from school helped us bond that much more.

 

I’ll never forget Kara’s first wreck.  I remember hearing her cry and not being able to see her, to comfort her, to tell her it would be ok.  Granted, it wasn’t a bad wreck, it was still terrifying.  You never forget your first accident.  I still think about mine.  It happened long before Kara came around.  I remember after her accident, when we got home, Kara came to me with tears in her eyes; she kissed me, and told me she loved me and that she was sorry.  I forgave her.

 

I remember the first time Kara rebelled against her parents.  They were going out of town for a business trip and had decided that Kara was mature enough to leave at home alone, she was 16 after all, they had to let her branch out and become independent.  Kara and I drove her parents to the airport and dropped them off.  As soon as they were out of sight she turned the radio up and started singing to herself, she didn’t care who heard her or what they thought about it.  That was the first time I ever saw her act like a teenager.  To this day I think about how immature and innocent she was in that moment.  Kara was a level headed girl that had her whole life ahead of her and for the most part, she was a very responsible young lady.  This was the first time I had seen her act like a child and I hated it.

 

That night, several of Kara’s friends came over to her house.  I was a little jealous of some of her friends, especially Evan. Regardless, I behaved myself and sat quietly outside while the kids enjoyed themselves.  I remember watching as the kids came in carrying cases of beer and lighting up cigarettes as they passed by me.  They didn’t even seem to notice me sitting there in fact, later in the night a girl stumbled out the front door and tripped, crashing head first into me.  She never had the decency to apologize or even acknowledge me.

 

The night grew late and eventually the kids made their way out of the house.  I sat, cold and tired, in the driveway and watched as Kara and Evan emerged from the front door, arm in arm, as Evan turned and embraced Kara and pressed his lips to hers.  It pained me to watch but I remained quiet.

 

Kara stayed in the house most of that day, I’m sure she slept most of it and worked diligently to clean up that night before her grandmother stopped by to check on her and make sure that she was doing okay.  I sat outside all day, lonely.

 

Kara’s parents never did find out about that night.  I was the only one sober enough there to know but I would have never told on her.  As much as it pained me, I had to remember that she was a teenager and she had to make her own mistakes.  I loved her too much to see her get in trouble for trying to “find herself”.

 

Things were pretty calm for the next few months aside from the fact that visits from Evan were becoming more and more frequent.  They would go out at least three or four nights a week together and I never got to go along.  It even got to the point where Evan would pick her up in the mornings and bring her to school, we never spent anytime together.  It was hard for me to watch them morning after morning, laughing and carrying on as she hopped up in his truck and sat next to him.

 

One night Kara came home with Evan and two other kids, a boy and girl.  I cringed as I watched them walk towards me, the girl, Emily, cradled a case of beer in her arms and the boy, Trevor, held a long neck between his fingers.  I could smell them as they got closer, even my precious Kara was quite obviously drunk.  She patted me as she walked by and then Evan jumped in the driver seat as the others filed in.

 

The cool autumn air was crisp and almost felt as though it was biting at me as we drove down winding roads with the top down. I was thankful that the streets were empty as we paraded and swerved around the bends.  I could hear laughter over the rushing air that enveloped me and felt the gravel fly as Evan pressed the accelerator as far down as it would go.

 

Just a bunch of kids out having fun, enjoying themselves, not a care in the world…

 

We continued to fly through the night, digging deeper and deeper into a wooded area.  The whooshing sound of the trees was almost overwhelming as they passed out of sight in a cluttered blur.  I found myself drifting out, day dreaming, ignoring the smell of the beer that was now being spilled about carelessly. If I could have just closed my eyes and went to sleep, I would have.

 

The screeching of tires and the honking of a horn shook me from my trance.  I looked up in time to see a pair of lights headed directly towards me.

 

I remember every single detail of the actions that took place next.  I remember hearing the crunch, the sound of metal on metal was so piercing, it was almost more painful that the collision itself.  It was a sickening sound.  It happened so quickly yet seemed to last forever.

 

We had veered onto the other side of the road and crossed paths with an oncoming 18 wheeler.  As we collided, the truck sent us flying through the air, spiraling like a football.  I remember my vision rotating from ground to sky over and over again. On one of the ground views I looked up just in time to see Kara fly through the air, watched her body flop and struggle like a fish flailing around out of water.  I saw the fear in her eyes, heard the screams of the others in the car, watched as her body finally flopped to the ground in a mangled mess, skidding across the pavement as she hit.  This was the last thing I remember seeing before I, myself, came into direct contact with a telephone pole.

 

I remember lights.  I remember sirens.  I remember blackness and then, silence.

 

When I finally came to my senses I remember everything being blurry.  I could see figures swirling around me in a panic.  My side was fiercely painful and it was now that I realized I was impaled on the telephone pole, my entire body literally tangled around the pole.  I could barely see the semi truck in front of me where it had come to lay on its side, its driver sitting on the pavement, his body bathed in blue and red lights.  I could make out four lifeless lumps of plastic.  I knew what was under the plastic but pretended they didn’t exist.

 

“There was nothing I could do, they came out of nowhere!”  The driver of the semi was wailing to an officer that had walked over to speak with him.  The driver cupped his head in his hands and sobbed.

 

The whole scene was unbearable.  I watched helpless as the paramedics tromped past me carrying a bloodied body bag.  As they passed in front of me, one of them tripped and the paramedic and the lifeless body fell to the ground, an arm flung out from beneath the plastic revealing a silver bracelet.  The bracelet Kara’s mom had given her for her birthday, the one that she never took off.  The sight was almost too much to bear.  If I could have moved on my own free will, I would have run to her lifeless body and embraced her.

 

 

 

It’s been almost a year and I’ve been sitting here in this place, no one has made any attempt to help me.  The tow truck came later than night and pried my body away from the telephone pole.  They hoisted me up by my rear end and drug me backwards all the way, allowing me to see the panoramic view of the horrific scene.  It was a short ride but seemed like it lasted forever.

 

Kara’s parents came by a week later to pick up her belongings.  Her mother took one look at me and sobbed and refused to get out of the car despite coaxing from her husband.  Kara’s father walked up to me, somber faced.  He patted my roof and stood next to my door, motionless, for several seconds.  I could hear his stifled breathing as he tried to fight back tears.  Then, in one movement, he wiped his nose, opened the door, popped the trunk and retrieved all of the articles from the back.  He carried the small load towards the car, turning once to cock his head and smile gently.  He stepped towards me again, bent down in front of my grill; half smiled at me and choked “I never wanted her to get this car in the first place.”

 

That was the last I saw of Kara’s parents.  That was the last interaction I had with humans.  They left me here…to rot….and mourn the loss of my love…alone.