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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.) 

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