Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm Just Wondrin'....

When you use the self-serve feature on the gas pump and you insert your credit card in the slot and it asks you to "Remove Card Quickly"....

How "quickly" is "quickly"?  Will it work if you tease the gas pump and remove it "slowly"?  Is there such a thing as too "quickly"?  Can you shove the card back in for a brief second and then pull it out "quickly"?

I pretty much think all of the above is a metaphor for my sex life.  No WONDER the attendant gives me the evil eye each time I drive up.

I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Please Drive Safely!

Especially in those neighborhoods where the people have no hands, feet, necks, or, apparently, clothes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cheer In the Face of Certain Doom

I get a kick out of that commercial with the little frosted mini-wheats luxuriating in a warm bowl of milk. They actually kid around with the kid who blows on the milk to cool it down. Their calls of "Safety first" and collegial good cheer strike me as odd given that the boy will soon eat them.
Would that we all were so cheerful in the face of certain doom.

Yes, I realize cereal doesn't actually talk.
Now, as for those Pop-Tarts...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Wonderland

   There are rules to be followed when lobbing snow at each other.
    Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, prospective combatants divide into teams and begin erecting their very own snow forts.  If built correctly, these elaborate structures offer impregnable protection from frontal assault.  Which is all well and good until the “enemy” realizes the value of running around the house and pelting you from behind your own personal Maginot Line.
    The snow missiles themselves are of vital importance.  You don’t want them too small; neither do you want them too large as to render them impossible to fling at anyone other than slow-moving little brothers.
    Some kids opt to store up a supply of these jumbo snowballs, though.  Looked on as wintry “weapons of mass destruction,” these behemoths can be used to lay waste to your opponents, sisters, or passing cars.  Their sheer size makes for great “shock and awe.”
    Of course, they then run the risk of being invaded by Donald Rumsfeld.  But, that's another topic for another blog.
    A twist some kids employ is the snowball version of nuclear weapons.  Possessing much more bang for the buck than the average run-of-the-mill snowball, these beauties are made of ice and fiendishly concealed bits of rock.
    These painful little demons will surely carry the day for anyone so reckless as to use them.  However, they also contain the real danger that, once pelted in the kisser, your opponent may just quit.  The result is you won, but, on the downside, game over.
    So most kids, while they make them, just “pray we never have to use them.”
    Following a mutually agreed-upon snowball fight armistice, many opt to make a snowman.  Especially for the older ones, the garden variety “Frosty the Snowman” figure just won’t do.  Standing four feet tall, with a corn cob pipe and a button nose seems pretty blasé to pre-teens.
    Therefore, most sixth-graders will attempt to create the King Kong of snowmen.  Being seen from the street isn’t good enough for them.  No, no, they want their creations visible from orbit.
    Starting with a small snowball, sometimes up to five boys will begin rolling the “Mutant Frosty’s” base.  Adopting a meandering stroll across the yard, they gather freshly-fallen snow (which just HAS to be good “packing” snow or the whole game’s over) into an ever-growing ball.  Their muscles strain as the base finally morphs into a huge boulder.
    Once the base reaches chest-high, they repeat the entire process for the mid-section.  Not so large as the base, the master builders are soon disappointed to discover it’s now so heavy that hoisting it into position is impossible without heavy machinery.
    Shrugging their shoulders in exasperated resignation, they consider all their work for naught.  At this point, though, the twisted genius among them comes up with a brainstorm.  How about building him, he suggests with a devilish smile, so that he’s lying on his back?
    Thus was born the concept of the “snow drunk.”
    Reenergized, the snowy craftsmen place the mid-section next to the base before continuing on to roll together their creation’s head.  Scrounging two dead branches from the woodpile, they jam them into the snowman’s side and position a collection of black rocks on its “face” so that it resembles a blissfully passed-out bar fly.
    Finishing their creation off with an old baseball cap atop its head and an empty can of Budweiser casually tossed next to its right branchy hand, the sculptors step back to proudly admire their masterpiece.
    As they all pat themselves on the back and exchange cheerful high-fives, the original designer peers intently at what they had wrought.  He glares at their impressionistic rendering of the frostbitten inebriated and rubs his chin in deep thought.  Circling the snowy lump, he solemnly pronounces, “Something isn’t right.”
    He continues to ponder and evaluate what's missing.  The prepubescent artist scratches his head through his wool cap when, suddenly, he snaps his fingers and disappears into the house, leaving his fellow artists puzzled.  What’s the problem, they wonder.
    Minutes later, the budding Michelangelo dashes back into the yard, a giant carrot from the refrigerator in his hand.
    Seeing what he held, each member of the team immediately realizes what was missing.  They enthusiastically approve as their friend affixes the bright orange tuber to the giant sprawled in the backyard.
    Done with their labors, they look for other things to do.  The girls looked like they were having fun.  But, as they get closer, they decide that lying flat on their backs and waving their arms and legs to make ridiculous snow angels seemed lame.  Better to head inside to slurp gallons of steaming hot Swiss Miss cocoa in front of a SpongeBob Squarepants cartoon.
    Several hours later, as their father wearily turns into a driveway which had become a frozen landscape from another world, he notices something odd.  What were those lumps of snow?
    Coming to the end of the driveway, his headlights clearly illuminate the strange shape in his yard, positioned next to the remains of two snow forts.  It looked like someone had gone to a lot of trouble to build-and knock over-a snowman.
    He shuts off the engine and gingerly steps over the ice to the edge of the driveway.  With a shake of his head and a wry smirk, he finally realizes what it is:
    An anatomically correct snowman lying on its back. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

There's No Days Like Snow Days

    There’s several inches of global warming in my backyard.
    Apart from the last day of school, trick-or-treating, fireworks, watermelon seed-spitting contests, Easter baskets, summer camp, days at the beach, Valentine cards, trips to the amusement park, lighting farts, and Christmas morning, there’s nothing quite so wondrous for a child than a snow day.
    Sadly, adults don’t look at winter storms in quite the same way as children.  To them, a blizzard is another word for “Highway Bumper Cars,” “Lower Back Pain,” and “Hello, 911?  My husband is face down in the snow.”
    No, instead of leaping in joyous rapture each time a ridiculously grinning weatherman proclaims the imminent arrival of a significant winter weather event, grownups look upon the coming squall with dread.  To them, it’s just extra work with the added perks of frostbite and heart attacks.
    Plus, they don’t get a day off from school.
    For a child to reap the maximum value from a snowstorm, though, it must occur during the week.  A Saturday blizzard does no good and neither does Sunday, unless it’s so severe that nobody could plow the streets for school buses the next morning.
    The primo days are either Friday or Monday.  However, if the storm strikes on Friday, the town has two whole days to clean the mess before classes start the following week.  A Monday storm is perfect because it holds out the possibility of school being closed the following day, too. 
    Never mind that an excessive number of snow days may push the final day of school until the Fourth of July.  Shoot, that’s months away!  Like kids everywhere, all they care about is instant gratification.
    Memorizing which television channels broadcast cancellations the earliest, kids get up well before dawn, intent on hearing their school proclaimed as one of the lucky few.  This, of course, causes woeful parents to lament “they should pay as much attention during math class!”
    Upon hearing the happy news, they go on to plan their day, based on the projected amounts of snowfall.  If, as they fervently hope, the heavens dump more than a foot, the possibilities are endless.  Whether snow forts, snowmen, snow angels, or snowball fights, the day is wide open for all manner of snow fun.
    Ignoring their mother’s vain pleas to “eat a good breakfast,” the older children dash outside just about at the same time their father is trying to breathe life into the balky snow thrower.
    The littlest ones can’t escape their mother’s clutches quite so easily.  In addition to a hot bowl of something to “stick to their ribs” (which is physically impossible and kinda icky, if you really stop and think about it), they must dress as if their very lives depended on staying warm.
    Steadfast in the belief that one must dress in layers, moms manage to outfit their youngest in everything from their closets.  Once that’s done, on go the leggings, sweater, overcoat, wool socks, boots, and those mittens whose strings loop through sleeves.
    Following the inevitable bathroom break, the process begins all over again.       
    Once completed, the youngsters waddle outside like toddler Frankensteins.  Where they are powerless to dodge snowballs from their older, much more mobile, siblings.

Next: Winter Wonderland

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the Past

 All the people in my town are out of their minds that a Sonic Drive-In is coming (well, not ALL. Annie the Cat Lady would just as soon as urinate in the street and talk to telephone poles as order a double cheeseburger with a malted).
  For those of you who do not know, Sonic is an admittedly nice fast food joint. They offer pretty good food for reasonable prices. Plus, they have those funny ads on TV. So, I kinda understand the hysteria taking place.
  But, it has-to me, anyway-a drawback. You have to order your food from a speaker and the waitress or waiter comes to your car to hang your food on a tray off your car window. It's almost like those car hops in "American Graffiti" (without the roller skates, of course). If you'd rather eat inside, you're out of luck because Sonic has no real indoor dining. The best they can offer are some tables outside, which can be pretty daring in the winter. To say nothing of having to deal with those annoying flocks of kamikaze seagulls who love french fries as much as the next guy.  Or bird.
  In my opinion, this is a step backward in fast food dining. As a child growing up, I remember...
Early 60's: Oooh, a McDonalds is coming to town! So what if we have to go to the walk-up and bring our food back to the car? Have you had those fries?
Early 70's: Hey, the new McDonalds has inside dining! So, now we can take our Big Macs in environmentally unsafe styrofoam containers and pound of fries cooked in transfat oils to a table. Screw the car! Eating in your automobile is for Canadians (who knows? I'm just guessing).
Early 80's: There's a Drive-Thru at the McDonalds! That's great because I have no time or patience to eat indoors with all those damn kids running around like Viet Cong with Happy Meals. I'd rather eat my food on the go and slop tomatoes and mayonnaise on my lap while zipping through traffic on I-95. How cool is that?  
Today: Hoopee, doopee! There's a Sonic coming to town! I don't even have to get out of my car! I can eat from a tray hanging off my window! Ain't progress great!?
  Anyway, I'll probably go to Sonic. Sure. But, it's really interesting how we're all excited about being able to do something we were doing 50 years ago (which, in my case, also includes peeing while standing up). I'm just saying.
  Now, if you'll excuse me, I see Annie the Cat Lady eyeing the bushes at the end of my driveway.