Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blinded by the Light of a Do-Right Angel

I try to be a good person and I try to do the right thing, but sometimes in my quest to be honest I get kicked in the nuts.

A couple of weeks ago I got kicked in the nuts, and my nuts are still sore.

Let me tell you my tale of woe…

I ordered a three-month supply of daily contact lenses from my eye doctor. Shortly thereafter a package arrived with my three-month supply. I was happy. My eyes were thrilled. I now could wear funky fun and colorful sunglasses.

Then a week later another package arrived with another three-month supply of contacts.

The Devil on my left shoulder kept yelling, “Bingo! Three months free!” whereas the Angel on my right shoulder kept singing in a high pitched falsetto, “A decent man would do the right thing!”

I kept vacillating between right and wrong, and with each vacillation the difference between wrong and right blurred. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

This inner struggle was overwhelming so I reached out to my friends for advice and soon realized all my friends are devils… well, not all my friends…  one friend appealed to my suburban Catholic upbringing and asked, “How were you raised?” Then I thought of my dead mother looking down from Heaven, shaking her head, and saying, “I didn’t raise you to do the wrong thing.”  

I was blinded by the light of a do-right Angel.

I called the eye doctor’s office and confessed I received a second package. I foolishly assumed they would embrace my honesty and send me a pre-paid return receipt.  I was so wrong.  

The woman in the office, who normally was a nice person, gave me bad attitude. She wanted me to hand deliver the package to them even though she knew I’m working 12-hour days and cannot get there. I work in one direction and her office is in the other.

When I suggested she send me a pre-paid return label she refused to pay for the postage.

I calmly reminded her I did not order the second package. It was their error (probably hers) and not mine, but she still refused to pay the postage. Refused!

Back and forth and back and forth we’ve gone and it’s still not resolved. All this over a pre-paid postage label.

This has certainly taught me a harsh life-lesson: No good deed goes unpunished.

I can see clearly now… and what I see is that I need a new eye doctor.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

She’s Pregnant and He’s Dead

Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t say, and stick my size 10 1/2 foot into my rather large mouth. What follows should be regret, but in most instances, I see the humor in what happened and find myself in bed giggling myself to sleep. 

Here’s one of those instances… 

After I graduated from college I was taking a step aerobics class and saw an old friend from high school. I hadn’t seen her since high school graduation, and was quite excited when I saw her in the sea of spandex that surrounded me. 

We ran over to each other. Hugs and hellos. 

I immediately noticed her rather large belly and stepped back to admire her pregnancy glow. In my moment of glee, I congratulated her and asked how soon was her due date. She suddenly tensed, backed away, and her “glad to see me smile” immediately disappeared. “I’m not pregnant!” she screeched.  

What do you do in a moment like that?  I instinctively made an “egad, what the fuck did I just say” face, and stammered a rather wimpy “I’m sorry” and quickly tried to change the subject. She stormed away. 

The few times I did see her since that pregnant/not pregnant interaction she refused to speak to me. 

It was an honest mistake… she gained a lot of weight and I made an unfortunate assumption. My new pregnancy rule is that I won’t congratulate a woman on being pregnant until she’s in labor and I witness the baby crowning. 

And here’s another mouth-in-foot incident… 

A few years after high school graduation I ran into someone from high school who told me a former classmate, who was bullied all through school, had recently committed suicide. I was deeply saddened with the news. I just couldn’t imagine him doing something like that. 

I told everyone I knew, and anyone who’d listen, about this man’s suicide. 

A couple of weeks later, I was at a social gathering and, with a tear in my eye, I told everyone about the bullied man committing suicide. One of the women in the group listened intently. She seemed confused and had me repeat the man’s name. She confirmed she knew him too and, doing her best to conceal a laugh, said, “That’s so strange because I had drinks with him last night.” What? 

I was speechless. I told the world he was dead…

My new death rule is I don’t tell anyone about someone’s death until I have a notarized death certificate in hand, or I see them in their casket. 

So…  To clarify… She’s NOT pregnant and he’s NOT dead. 

Giggle… giggle… good night…

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bad Day? Think Yellow…

Life has its good days and life has its bad days. 

Sometimes it feels more bad than good… Like when you wake up and don’t have any half-and-half in the refrigerator for your coffee, or having your cowlick stand erect no matter how much gel you use, or having to celebrate a co-worker's birthday, or when you get a flat tire and AAA takes more than an hour to come and fix it, or… well, I think you know what I mean. We’ve all be there.

For me, every time I’m experiencing a bad day I quickly remember my “yellow” experience. 

Yellow, oh yellow. That bright glorious color has left an indelible stain in my life. 

Years ago I worked a summer job in a chemical company. I was in the canning department where I spent all day filtering adhesives, paints, and coatings into drums to be shipped to the vendor. 

One afternoon I was given the task of hoisting, via chains, 250 gallons of canary yellow paint about 5 1/2 feet in the air, attach a filter, and filter it into 50 gallon drums.  I’d done it before and knew the procedure precisely. 

I attached the chains and easily hoisted it into the air.  Then I removed the outer valve to attach the filter. What I didn’t realize is that the person who filled the tank with the canary yellow paint neglected to close the security valve.  

Suddenly 250 gallons of canary yellow paint came pouring out of the spout.  The pressure was intense and all I could do was hold on as canary yellow paint covered me from the neck down. 

If I had hoisted that tank another six inches it would’ve hit me in the eyes, nose, and mouth, and I probably would have drowned. My obituary would’ve read, “He Died in a Sea of Yellow.” 

By the time someone came to my rescue I was glowing yellow in a pool of yellow paint.  

For weeks I found canary yellow in the crevices of my skin, from my underarms to my crotch to between my elongated toes. Yellow! Yellow! Yellow! 

My co-workers nicknamed me “Yellow Bird.” 

That was truly a bad day.

So whenever I’m having a bad day, I think yellow, and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad. 

(True story.) 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Drunken Jerk Sues Uber Driver

I love reading about jerks who get caught misbehaving who then apologize profusely with tears running their puffy little cheeks, insisting it wasn’t their fault. It was the liquor that made them do it.

Benjamin Golden is one of those jerks. 

You’re probably wondering who he is and why he’s such a jerk. 

Back in October of 2015 Benjamin Golden was rip-roaring drunk and attacked his Uber driver when the driver ended the ride because Golden was too drunk to give him an address . The driver caught the whole attack on his dashboard camera, called the police, and the drunk Golden was arrested.  

When the video was posted on the Internet it garnered thousands upon thousands of views, and Golden’s employer, Taco Bell, promptly fired him as their Mobile Experience & Innovation Lead. "Given the behavior of the individual, it is clear he can no longer work for us.” (Yeah Taco Bell!)

In an interview Golden said he was sincerely sorry. "I'm ashamed to say I got to that point. I don't normally do that and this is a situation where I did.  I handled it wrong in a wrong way. I crossed the line. It was caught on camera. I have to face it.”

Boo hoo! The only reason he apologized was because he got caught.

You’d think the story would end there. Golden would put on his big boy pants and face his punishment and move on. Instead, Golden has filed a $5 million suit against the Uber driver. 

Why? He claims the Uber driver illegally recorded him, and because it was shown on the Internet, he further claims he’s suffered emotional distress and anxiety. 

Is this guy for real? What about the emotional distress he caused the Uber driver, and the anxiety all Uber drivers feel when someone like Benjamin Golden gets into their car?

A child needs to be punished like a child… Golden needs a “time out” in jail to think about what he’s done, and then ordered to write five million times:

My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk. 
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.

My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk.
My name is Benjamin Golden and I am a jerk. 

Anyone wanna join me for a taco or two at Taco Bell?

I’ll meet you there. 

I’m taking an Uber. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Curious Incident of the Beatch in the Laundry Room

I try to believe good deeds beget other good deeds making everyone grateful and happy and peaceful, but sadly, that is not what I experienced the other day in my building’s laundry room. 

It’s the case of the curious incident of the beatch in the laundry room… or for those not hip in the way of current slang, the case of the curious incident of the bitch in the laundry room. 

Being down to my last pair of boxer briefs I decided I needed to do my laundry. Normally I send it out but because I was home for the afternoon I decided to do my own loads. 

I piled my dirty clothes into my laundry basket, grabbed a stack of quarters and the jug of Tide, and headed downstairs. 

In the laundry room, I noticed one of the two dryers was in use. I figured it would be done by the time my clothes finished their final rinse cycle.

The excitement for clean boxer briefs and clean shirts and clean jeans and clean towels was making me tingle all over. 

Thirty minutes later I returned to put my clothes in the dryers. Sure enough, the dryer that was in use was done but the person who owned the clothes hadn’t empty the dryer. I decided to be neighborly and do the right thing and empty the dryer and fold the clothes.

There were three pairs of pants and four sweaters.  I folded them nicely and placed them on the counter.  I recognized the sweater and knew the person who owned it, a woman I’ve only exchanged pleasantries in the past.

I then proceeded to load both dryers, add my quarters, and press start. 

About forty-five minutes later I returned to empty my dryers. I immediately noticed she had gotten her clothes. I wondered if she wondered who the person was who so kindly folded her clothes for her. (Me!)

Then I noticed… One of the dryers was still running whereas the other dryer, the one she used, was not on. I still had ten minutes per dryer. I opened the dryer door and put my hand in to feel the clothes. They were cold and wet.  WTF?

I am not a conspiracy theorist but I theorized she was pissed I emptied her dryer and decided to seek revenge. She turned off the dryer! How childish! That beatch!

I took the high road and decided not confront her. What good would it do? I put another dollar in the machine. 

Later that night I made a voodoo doll… 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Treasured Christmas Memory

Though the years I’ve enjoyed many Christmas’ with fun Christmas food and fun Christmas caroling and fun Christmas eggnog with fun Christmas adventures. 

I’ve given and received great Christmas gifts, mediocre Christmas gifts, and downright shitty Christmas gifts. Aah, those Christmas memories do light the corners of my mind. 

I remember the time I stripped naked and wrapped myself in red wrapping paper and took a photo and used it as my Christmas card with the caption, “Guess who’s all wrapped up with no place to go? Ho! Ho! Ho!” 

I remember the time I tried making Christmas cannoli. The shells came out delicious but the cream, the supposed easy part of the recipe, I over beat and it turned liquid. I had a kitchen disaster not even Gordon Ramsey could fix. To this day, I cannot eat a cannoli without thinking of The Great Cannoli Debacle of Christmas Past. 

Where's the friggin' cream?

I remember my favorite Christmas joke. The same joke I relentlessly tell every year:

Santa comes down the chimney with gifts. A girl appears and says, “Santa, will you spend the night with me?”

Santa says, “Ho, ho, ho, Santa gotta go. Got lots of toys to deliver, you know.”

The girl removes her top and says, “Santa, will you please spend the night with me?”

Santa says, “Ho, ho, ho, Santa gotta go. Got lots of toys to deliver, you know.”

Finally she removes all her clothes and says, “Santa, will you pleeeeease spend the night with me?”

Santa says, “Ho, ho, ho, Santa gotta stay. Can’t get up chimney with pecker this way”

Aah… but semi-nude photos, cannoli nightmares, and demented Christmas jokes do not light a Christmas candle to the Christmas memory I have when my little niece bought me a Christmas gift with her own money at her grammar school store. 

The gift was wrapped in festive Christmas paper with a bow to match. It was a beautiful looking package, but what was more beautiful was the look in her eyes as she gave it me. That look was bigger and brighter than any star of Bethlehem.

You’re probably wondering what the gift was? It was a level. Yes, a level to make sure things are even and not askew. 

My treasured level!
I love that level.  It has moved with me from place to place and every once in a while I do a level check around my apartment making sure nothing is at an inappropriate angle. 

It’s been years since she gave it to me, and she probably doesn’t remember, but I do, and I always will. 

And that is a favorite Christmas memory. 

My goodness, is that a Christmas tear in my eye?

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Journey of a Dollar

I’ve been thinking lately about the dollar bills passing through my hand and wallet. They have their own personal history of which I willingly and unwillingly participate when I accept them from someone and before I pass them on to someone else. 

I am a link in the chain of the history of a dollar bill. But what is that history? 

Today I sat in my easy chair, with a glass of red wine by my side to keep me company,  and pondered this question for hours…  I looked deeply into my wallet and saw the history of the stained and crinkled dollar bill that stared out at me… 

That dollar bill left the mint and was sent to a bank in New York City where it was accepted by a tourist, a German, who was exchanging euros for dollars.  That German tourist was a bit of a perv and took the dollar to the seedy part of town and stuffed it into the g-string of a lap dancer.  

The lap dancer, at the end of the evening, tugged that dollar out of her g-string and used it to pay a cabbie for a ride home.  

Later that night the cabbie gave that dollar as change to a D-List Reality TV celebrity whom he dropped off at the airport. The D-List Reality TV celebrity, upon landing in Los Angeles, used that dollar as part of her purchase of drugs from a cabbie/drug dealer who took her from the airport to her dilapidated house in the seedy section of Beverly Hills. 

Later that night the cabbie/drug dealer used the dollar to purchase a cup of coffee at an all night diner in Eagle Rock. The poor old waitress was tired, after working a double shift, and spilled coffee on the dollar when she tried sliding the dollar off the table while also grabbing the used coffee mug. 

The next morning I stopped at the diner for a doughnut and a coffee. The same waitress was back at work for another double shift, and gave me the dollar as change when I paid with a twenty. 

The same fingers I used to stuff that dollar in my wallet I used to touch the doughnut. Being the doughnut-holic that I am, I licked the remnants of the doughnut from my fingers for a lasting mmm, mmm good. 

Cough. Cough. Cough. 

Oh no… The germs and specks of DNA from the German tourist, the lap dancer, the NY cabbie, the D-List Reality TV celebrity, the LA cabbie/drug dealer, and the overworked old waitress are now part of me. 

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! 

I have to leave now and make an emergency trip to the drugstore and use that dollar to purchase Purell, mouthwash, and plastic gloves, and then I’m heading to the clinic for a throat culture.