Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gluttons For Punishment

You know how they say too much of a good thing can kill you, they’re right. We couldn’t leave things well enough alone.

Since Mom and I had so much fun at our last yard sale we decided to do it again.

I know what you’re thinking—MA Fat Woman, you must be crazy. I think I am a little.

We weren’t nearly as successful as we were the last time. We did all right on Saturday, so we thought let’s have it on Sunday.


We had four people show up. You heard me, four. That wasn’t even worth getting out of bed or even worth putting on a bra.

I should have gone to church.

I really think the only reason we even decided to continue our yard sale on Sunday was because we didn’t want to clean up all of our leftover junk.

We had been up since the break of dawn; I think we were even up before the roosters began to crow. We had organized, placed stickers on this and that, we went through a case of Diet Soda to keep our engines running. We were revved up. Finally, about 6:00 PM, I told mom that it was time to take down the signs so we could relax for a few hours.

As we sat relaxing in our matching recliners she was reading my local paper. All of a sudden, she shouts at me that there was an auction going on uptown. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we went and bought some items and then turned around and sold them at the yard sale tomorrow?

It sounded like a good idea at the time.

We bought enough junk to fill up the Mustang and I even had to find another table to set things out on. Never in my life would I have ever imagined that only four people would show up to my yard sale.

Here’s the kicker: I now have more junk than when I first started and nowhere to store any of it. As we were putting stuff away I opined to Mom about my current storage problems.

“Well, you know, we could have another sale next weekend,” she said. “It would be a good way of getting rid of some more junk, plus, I think they are having another auction. You wanna go?”

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Giving The Finger

I’ve mentioned before that I was born and raised on a small farm in southern Ohio. I’d like to think that we were considered friendly. After all, it seemed that everywhere that we went someone was always waving at me.

There are different kinds of waves for different situations. I bet you didn’t know that?

The first kind of wave is when every part of your upper body is in motion. Your hands are waving and your chicken wings are flapping in the breeze. This wave is used mostly to greet a very close family member or maybe a long lost friend.

The next wave is basically one-handed. It might be used when you are leaving a gathering of sorts and you stick your hand out the window. Or, it could be used for someone that waves at you and you’re not really sure who they are; you give them the hand out the window anyway just to be friendly.

The wave that I normally give is kind of like giving someone the finger. I like to drive with both hands on the steering wheel in the ten and two position. When someone approaches coming the other way I throw up one finger without removing my hand from the steering wheel. This particular wave is the wave that the farmers used to give everybody when I was growing up. They didn’t put much effort into it; just a little acknowledgement to let you know that they had seen you.

I haven’t had much luck with my wave lately. People are too busy in their cars to notice when someone is waving at them. They are talking on the phone, picking their nose, having a snack, and really just zoning out. I’m really surprised when I get a finger in return.

I conducted an unofficial survey where I decided to wave at every car I passed on a recent trip to the store. I passed approximately 33 cars and got four waves, of which one was the finger, just the wrong one.

I’m holding out that folks will start giving the finger again. Amuse yourself the next time you are driving and wave at every car you pass.

Give them the finger and see how many you get in return.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Out Of Gas

I’m not sure how many of you out there are dealing with this situation, but it’s beginning to get on my nerves. I live in the state of Georgia, and, it seems that we have run out of gas. In a time when we are supposed to be conserving fuel Atlantans are driving all over town looking for gas.

I’m not exaggerating.

Atlanta is famous for its congestion, traffic jams, and miles and miles of interstates. There isn’t a subway system and the rail system hardly goes outside the 285 Perimeter. If you want to get anywhere, you drive your vehicle, and for that, you need gas.

If you are lucky enough to find a station that has gasoline, you better be prepared to pay up. Georgia has the third highest price gas behind Alaska and Hawaii. I’m not sure why because I thought we were part of the lower 48. The prices we are paying are what they normally pay in California.

There’s even been a rumor started around town that they were thinking about canceling the Alabama-Georgia football game. Now, as a member of the SEC, even mentioning something like this constitutes an act of unAmericanism. I know there is bad blood between these two teams, but Geesh, canceling a football game, I hope not.

You know, I had tickets to go see the game and I called my friend that lives in Athens and asked if I could spend the night. We were originally going to meet at the game but he had one small problem. He said I could spend the night if I came and picked him up; he was out of gas.

I think I’ll stay home and watch the game on television.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Riding With My Blinker On

I think it's been well established that I'm a little offbeat, maybe slightly off tune, and maybe, just a little bit weird. I definitely walk to the beat of a different drum. That's okay, my mom has always said that I'm unique and that's why she named me what she did.

Anyhow, I like to think that I am cognizant of most things and that I pay attention to the things around me. I was on my way home from another trip to nowhere in particular and had made a left hand turn like I always do. It's not a sharp enough turn to make the blinker automatically shut itself off; you have to do it by hand. I've done this hundreds of times with no problem.

I traveled the three miles to my house and reached down to turn my blinker on to make a left hand turn. I turned into the driveway and heard this coming from the truck behind me: You just drove three miles with your blinker on; I thought you were an old man or something. Pay attention, why don't you.

Oh my goodness! I have always tried to alert someone when they drive with a blinker on for no reason. Actually, I have left my blinker on just to see if anyone would try and alert me to the same fact. I wonder why the guy in the truck didn't try to alert me somehow--I guess I need to pay better attention.

My Left Nostril

I was on my way to the store yesterday and pulled into the parking spot near the cart return like I always do. I decided to check my appearance in the fold down mirror that most cars have nowadays and was startled to see something looking back at me.

Something had made me pull into that particular spot where the sun shining in the car was just right. It was shimmering at me. It was just the perfect length to make me go WTH. What was it?

Nose hair—that’s right, nose hair.

In my left nostril was a bunch of nose hairs that had gotten out of hand—make that, out of my nose. Well, they had to go, and fast.

Of course, I didn’t have my little manicure scissors with me, so, I would have to make do with what I had. After checking the surrounding vehicles to make sure no one was watching, I stuck my finger up my nose, tried to grab a hair and gave it a yank. The first thing I did was check my hand to see if I had gotten any of the hairs. I had but when I checked the mirror again there were still more gray hairs smiling back at me.

Probe, grasp and pull.

Dig, grab and tug.

Insert finger one last time and go for the gold. Ouch, out it came, the lone survivor, the last silvery-coated nose hair that was causing me to perform minor surgery in the hot confines of my little red sports car.

I checked the pull down mirror one last time to make sure that there wasn’t any little hairs hiding somewhere and happened to glance in the rearview mirror were I caught the glance of a little boy being pulled by the hand towards his car.

“Mommy, Mommy”, he cried. “That lady is picking her nose. You told me that grownups didn’t pick their nose.”

This isn’t one of those stories that people would normally tell; however, after three days, my left nostril is still sore to the touch. Not that I am touching it or anything.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yard Sale Etiquette

It’s been well established that I like to go yard sales. Over the last few days I have even had my own yard sale—made a little money and met some really nice people. However, for those of you that have failed to learn the unspoken rules of yardsaling or have forgotten what they are let me refresh your memory.

Do not show up at a yard sale before dawn; I can guarantee that the folks having the sale do not want you looking through their boxes of stuff that are sitting on the porch before they’ve had their morning coffee.

Do not show up before they have posted their signs advertising said yard sale.

If something is priced at $20.00, don’t ask if they’ll take a dollar for it.

Do not pay for a $4.00 item with a hundred dollar bill.

Don’t pay with a check.

Don’t be judgmental when folks are trying to make a few bucks on the Sabbath.

Don’t ridicule what others are trying to sell.

If you are having a yard sale don’t follow the shoppers around checking to see if they’re trying to steal something.

Don’t raise the price of an item if someone really wants it.

Lastly, whether you’re having a yard sale or going to a yard sale, remember to have some fun.

If you follow these simple rules of yard sale etiquette, your own yard sale adventure should be filled with lots of fun and excitement. And frazzled nerves. And aching backs. And a bunch of leftover junk that you don’t know what to do with. And a yard with tire marks all over it. And a bunch of neighbors who are mad that you didn’t invite them to join in. And after adding all up all of your expenses for time, energy, and things you sold for a loss, you made exactly $32.55 in three days.

Would you do it all over again?

Absolutely!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Having A Yard Sale...Part II

It sure had turned out to be a beautiful day. I worked all day setting things up for the big yard sale. I figured out halfway through the afternoon that if I strap items onto my hand cart they move a whole lot easier. (Duh)

Anyhow, I flirted with the weather all week. Those dang meteorologists sure are fickle. They haven’t been able to make a decision on weather it was going to rain or not—it’s enough to drive the MA Fat Woman insane. I know I was hoping for rain because I was trying to get out of having the yard sale. To tell you the truth, I was just being lazy.

I thought having the sale on a Friday would bring more people in—I was wrong. I think I was averaging one customer every thirty minutes. I did have one elderly gentleman who spent 45 minutes. We were having such a nice conversation that I invited him to sit a spell and view the seens from the porch. I was having a glass of sweet tea and he remarked that the tea sure did look good. So, being the neighborly thing to do, I got him a glass as well.

I like to negotiate the prices at a yard sale. I mark my items a little higher so people will negotiate with me. Some folks will look at the price and drop it like a hot potato if it isn’t marked 25 cents or lower. That’s fine with me; I didn’t want your business anyway.

I am happy to report that I only had one item of clothing and one piece of plastic furniture for sale. If I were out going to yard sales, mine would be the perfect place to stop, I got lots of junk.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Having A Yard Sale

It sounded like a good idea a few weeks ago. I got a sudden burst of energy and started prowling around in my basement and decided that I had enough junk sitting around to have a yard sale.

I’m real peculiar about yard sales. If I decide that I want to put everything together and wrestle all of those items up the hill, then I had better have something to sell.

I hate going to a yard sale when all they have for sale is hard plastic children’s toys or a bunch of clothes.

I consider myself to be a drive-by yardsaler; I’ll drive past several times looking to see if it’s worth getting out of the car for a closer look. Or worse, if my mom is with me, we’ll drive past a sign that says yard sale and I’ll ask her if she wants to stop. She’ll say no she didn’t see anything worth stopping for; however, if she was by herself, she would stop at all of them.

You won’t find any of those items at the middle-aged fat woman’s sale—well, there may be a few items of clothing. I found some things in the basement that I had forgotten I had and I went to an auction a few weeks ago and bought several boxes of tools that I hope to sell. Men like to buy up the tools and I’ll also have a box where everything is a quarter—those quarters can add up.

It’s a couple of days before the big yard sale day and I have worn myself out. I found some old sterling silver items that I detarnished and am going to sell. I painted and reupholstered a patio furniture set that is older than me and have found all of my folding tables. I’m ready to go.

My mom has returned from her second trip of a lifetime and wanted to know what I was doing this weekend. I started to tell her about the yard sale but decided to keep it a secret. Why do I do this? Every time I have a yard sale mom will bring stuff to sell which isn’t a problem. But, if she doesn’t sell it, she’ll leave it at my house for me to get rid of, which is a problem. I barely have enough room for my own junk.

I’m having second thoughts about the yard sale; I could always hope for rain.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cherry Fork Road

Cherry Fork Road was the name of the road that I was raised on. We moved from a rented house in 1971 to the farm that Mom and Dad had purchased in the middle of winter. I was very young, only four years old at the time, but I remember parts of moving day. It was cold and snowy.

I don't remember who I was riding with--probably my mom; but, we were riding behind my papaw who was helping us move, and he was driving a big red truck.

His big red truck was what he hauled the school lunch food in; I don't know how he got that job, but sometimes we would get extra goodies if the lunch ladies counted the inventory wrong. My school lunches growing up were really good so I didn't mind eating school lunch food at home. It sure beat eating deer meat.

Anyhow, we had stuffed a lot of our belongings on the back of this truck and lying across the top of everything was a big rolled up rug that went in the living room. You probably know what kind of rug I am talking about. I believe it's called a corded circular rug--everyone had one back in the day.

I remember going down a hill on the way to Cherry Fork Road and our new lives down on the farm when the rug, which wasn't secured properly, came off the back of the truck. Papaw, who was probably lighting a cigar or talking at the time, didn't notice that his load had become considerably lighter and kept on going. The rug hit the road and bounced up and landed on the hood of mom's car and made us slide over into the ditch.

And there we sat. There weren’t any cell phones in 1971 so we had to wait until Papaw realized that we weren't behind him any longer. I can't remember how long we were stranded because I fell asleep in the backseat. The next thing I remember was waking up in my bed, in a new house, on Cherry Fork Road.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Taken At Face Value

I’m always looking for ways to better myself which means that I spend a lot of time looking at want ads.

Right now, I’m especially hooked on Craigslist. There are hundreds of ways listed to make a million dollars by only working fifteen minutes a day. Or, you can work from home taking surveys or becoming a research panelist.

It’s all a bunch of crap.

Don’t fall for it.

As I was perusing the professional listings, after all, I am college-educated; I was startled to see a job listed for a colon hydrotherapist and the location of the position was at a spa.

Now, I’m not really sure what a colon hydrotherapist does and I really don’t want to go to a spa to have my colon hydrotherapized.

I thought about doing a search to see how Webster might define this position, but, I’m already so repulsed at what I think colon hydrotherapy might be that I might just throw up.

There are some things that I just don’t want to know, so, I’ll take colon hydrotherapy at face value and move on to the next job.

I wonder if they have a colon hydrotherapy union.

Lose weight, feel great, and support your local United Intestinal Enema Givers of America—available at your local health spa.

Stuck Behind A Tractor

I was driving home from the store the other day and was on a narrow road that cuts from the highway into town. I’ve been on this road probably thousands of times over the last fifteen years and have never found myself stuck behind a tractor. I came around a corner and crested the top of a hill and there she was; it was a thing of beauty.

For those of you that have lived in the city your whole life it’s probably hard for you to appreciate the finer aspects of a tractor; but, us country raised folk can tell the difference between a John Deere and an International Harvester from about 1000 yards.

I live in a rural area but only about a mile from the center of town. There are a few farms around but not any planted fields such as corn, soybeans, or wheat. The farms are mostly chicken and beef cattle farms.

Anyhow, the tractor that was ahead of me was a John Deere with an extremely good-looking man at the wheel. He had a John Deere hat perched upon a head with curly blond hair. He was cute. I edged a little bit closer when all of a sudden he turned around and flashed me a grin. He looked up head trying to see if any vehicles were coming the other way. It’s a curvy and hilly road—it’s hard to see in the opposite direction.

We were just cruising along at about 20 mph. I wasn’t in a hurry; I knew I would be home in about 5 minutes. The guy kept turning around looking at me; I bet he was used to cars trying to run him off the road. I wasn’t. I was lost in thought about memories from my youth of being stuck behind tractors. Where I’m from we had combines and big tractors that pulled all sorts of equipment. If you got stuck behind one of those International Harvesters, you weren’t going anywhere until it let you. There were no passing lanes.

We approached a flat area in the road and he did the proper thing. He swung his arm around and began to motion for me to go ahead and pass him. Honestly, I really didn’t want too—I was admiring both him and the tractor. As I drove past he gave me another grin, tipped his cap and mouthed the words, “Nice car.” (Mustang)

I pulled into my driveway and stepped over to the mailbox to get the mail. I looked up when I heard the familiar sound of that John Deere Tractor as it headed my way. He looked at me and gave me a thumps up and said “Nice car” again.

I smiled back and gave my thanks. “Nice tractor,” I said. (I wonder if he would let me drive it.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Silent Reminder

In memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day and for the family and friends that continue to grieve for you, I silence my laughter on this day and fill my heart and soul instead with the prayers and songs of those who remember.

You will never be forgotten and we will never forget.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things I Have Always Wanted To Say

I’m madder than hell and I ain’t gonna take it anymore!
(I don’t like to curse)

Take this job and shove it!
(Wait, I already said that)

Mom, I’m moving back home!
(Surprise)

Hey Dubya, end this war now!
(Before anyone else dies)

No thank you, I don’t care for any dessert.
(Mmmmm, cake)

Can somebody please CHANGE the theme of this year’s election?
(I’ll be glad when it’s over)

Hey McCain, you old goat!
(Insert your own comment here)

Hey Obama, you got a 50/50 shot, why don’t you talk about the other side.
(Ditto)

Hey Palin, what does moose taste like?
(Insert your own comment)

I think I need a smaller size.
(Not gonna happen)

When I grow up, I want to be a writer.
(What, are you a moron)

Do you want fries with that?
(Super size please)

I wonder what kind of curling iron Conan O’Brian uses to make his hair go flop flop?
(Is he really going to replace Leno)

And finally, the top thing that I have always wanted to say: Hey God, it’s me, the MA Fat Woman, we sure could use some help down here, this world is falling apart.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Agitated By The Agitator

This afternoon was just your ordinary average day—I was doing chores around the house: sweeping, mopping, and my favorite, laundry.

I really don’t like doing laundry

You have to separate this, separate that, use this specific laundry detergent at certain temperatures. It can be really confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Fortunately, I know what I’m doing, sort of. I wash all the darks together and the whites go in a load by themselves. It’s not that difficult.

Here’s where I get irritated. It’s after the washer has stopped.

I had washed a load of whites and was getting ready to put them in the dryer—simple enough, right?

Or, so I thought.

I reached into the washer and grabbed hold of a handful of wet towels (my towels are white) and gave it a tug. (Nothing, it didn’t give at all) I pulled harder, grabbed it with my other hand and pulled so hard that once the towel broke loose, it sent me flying backwards and almost made me trip.

I threw that towel into the dryer and reached in the washer again. Another towel—same result. This same routine went on for a total of four towels.

I was over it.

Finally, I looked into the washer to see what was causing the problem. I moved a few socks, a couple pairs of underwear out of the way and reached for the offending garment. I pulled—it pulled back. I pulled—it pulled back. By this time, I was beginning to sweat, I was beginning to swear. The cat looked at me, swooshed his tail and began to lick himself, all the while keeping any eye on me in case I fell his way.

What was it? It seems that one of the MA Fat Woman’s bras had wrapped itself around the thingy in the washer that is supposed to agitate your unmentionables into submission. Well, that boulder holder wasn’t going down without a fight. It had threads from almost every item in the washer wrapped up in a big ball with the hooks sticking out of it. What a mess?

At that moment the phone rang, it was my mom calling to tell me she was in Russia and wanted to know what I was doing.

Fighting with the washer I said.

I told you to buy that front loading washer a few months ago she said. If you would have listened to me then you wouldn’t have this problem now.

Moms are always right, even six thousand miles away.

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Ode To A Cheeto

I thought I would broaden my horizons and try my hand at a little ditty, ‘bout Jack and Diane, two American kids doing the best they can. Wait—I’m having a flashback, I love John Cougar or John Cougar Mellencamp, or maybe, John Mellencamp, whatever he calls himself. I guess it really isn’t a ditty either, maybe, just a short poem. Anyhow, for your snacking pleasure, I present my latest attempt to be the next Emily Dickinson.

Crunchy Cheetos, the perfect snack
The one ounce package
Satisfies the attack
The attack of the munchies
Whence does it come?

Nothing else is quite as good
Cheesy goodness
Cheesy goodness
But if only I could

If only I could
Stop at just one bag
But the MA Fat Woman


Well, that’s it. I’m stumped on the last line. I have hundreds of these little gems written on napkins, coasters and matchbook covers—with one thing missing…

Friday, September 5, 2008

Please Stop The Hugging

I must be weird or something. I like to watch the Late Show and the Tonight Show and I also like to watch the View that comes on at 11:00 AM. That isn’t weird, but I’ll tell you what is; every time a guest comes out on stage, they get a hug and two or three air kisses from the hosts.

Please stop doing that!

I’m all about a firm handshake or maybe just a nod in greeting. Why do they have to waste so much time on the greeting? On the View, if the guest has to greet all of the hosts their 2 minute segment can be cut in half. How about a wave? That would work.

Is hugging supposed to be Hollywood or something?

I don’t see a lot of those greetings around where I live. You’d probably get arrested if you tried to make that move around my friends. We know the sheriff. Maybe, if it is a long-lost relative, I might go for the hug; but, I’d really have to like that person.

I’m not antisocial or anything. I’m not like Howie on Deal or No Deal (Fist bumps). I’m sure a therapist somewhere would say that I’m scared for some reason or I am unfriendly.

I’m neither—I think a hug should be more personal; something reserved for someone who will really mean it when they give one and appreciate it when they get one.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Trip Of A Lifetime

My mom has decided that she likes to travel. I can’t blame her, she worked her whole life, mainly for one company, and was laid off at age 58 ½. (It figures) Well, guess what? She wasn’t ready to retire and went to another company and worked for another 10 years.

She joined the local travel club down at the bank and last year went to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It was a seventeen day adventure filled with plane rides, wacky roommates, sheep farms and aborigines—it was the trip of a lifetime.

Or so we thought!

Late last year, the travel club got the itinerary for 2008. Mom spent several weeks mulling over the different trips and decided she wanted to go on a cruise and see the Baltic capitals. It was the trip of a lifetime she said and I’m going.

And guess what? She left a few days ago. But, here’s the thing—she didn’t go by herself. She had so much fun the first time around that on this trip she took her sister, her brother and sister-in-law and two folks that she graduated with way back in 1956. Watch out Europe, here comes Blue Creek.

Blue Creek is where this fine group of Americans hails from originally, or thereabouts. It’s a small town, population 50, maybe? It depends on who shows up for church every third Sunday.

I do know that every Memorial Day weekend they gather for the yearly alumni function. It’s a festive affair where the conversation tends to lean toward who’s got what and if anybody died the past year. (Forgive me for that one) They also have a slideshow of somebody’s vacation from the last year that puts everyone to sleep.

I watched them all get on the bus to take them to the airport and I noticed that they were going over their camera gear. I heard Mom say to be sure and get good pictures so we can turn them into slides to show at the alumni dinner. I’m tired of being bored for two hours. This is the trip of a lifetime and I want everyone to know it.

And there you have it; my mom is off on the trip of a lifetime—for the second time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm A Techno Failure

This wonderful story is for everyone out there who has ever operated a computer, a recording device, a word processor or any type of application that requires you to save something.

We, as a society, have become too complacent regarding the save button.

Duh? That’s what auto save is for, or so I thought.

This morning, sitting out on the porch with the cat, I began working on my latest tale about New Kids on the Block. I must’ve been possessed or something, the words were just flowing. I get real excited talking about Rock-n-Roll. That’s what they said back in the 50s anyway. I miss Elvis—but, that’s another story. I had a zinger for this and a retort for that. Smokin’, I say.

I had finished my story and was getting ready to copy and paste it into a Word document. I hit the Shift and Down arrow at the same time to highlight the text and it scrolled past the last line on the page and was gone. Just like that, two hours of my poetic prose right down the drain. (Please, don't try this at home.)

I didn’t hit the Delete button.

Where did it go?

I screamed very loud, slammed my laptop shut, spilled my beer, scared the cat and proceeded to pitch (as we like to say in the south) the biggest fit imaginable.

I called my techno friend and explained the situation. Did I save it, I was asked. It has auto save, why should I have to save the dang thing?

My friend asked around the office and all of her coworkers came up with the same question. Did I save it?

No! It had auto save.

It’s gone, she said. I suggest you use Word first then paste it into your site. Didn’t this happen to you before on a very important term paper a few years back? I thought you would have learned your lesson.

Okay, I admit it, I’m lazy. With all of this technology floating around, why should I have to hit the Save button? Why can’t I outsource it, everyone else does.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Kids On The Block...All Growed Up

I can’t believe what’s happening. It seems that everyone is making a comeback these days including that popular Boy Band from the 80’s, New Kids on the Block.

It seems that everything comes back around every generation or so, which I believe is twenty years. Bell bottomed pants returned much to the chagrin of parents who are now taking their children to the emergency room because the kids keep tripping over the pants legs. My waistline is making a return since I gave up my dozen donut a day habit and my brother’s receding hairline is returning since he made a visit to the Men’s Hair Club (Wait, that’s me too) and lastly, New Kids on the Block, who are staggering back onto the stage for one last gasp.

I was surprised to see that the musical guest for the season opener of the View was the pulse-racing, hormone jumping, and tween loving heartthrobs of this once popular band. Weren’t Boy Bands the demise of Rock-n-Roll? New Kids on the Block—ain’t so new and they’ve been around the block a time or two. Wha oh ah oh oh, the Right Stuff?

Wrongo!

New Kids on the Block begat Boyz to Men who begat Vanilla Ice who begat Grunge who begat Country crossover sensation Shania Twain who begat Britney Spears who begat Hannah Montana who begat the Jonas Brothers. (Wait, they’re okay my niece likes them and they do wear tight pants like the rockers of old.)

Give me a hair band, electronic riffs on the guitar or a power ballad. I’ll take Rock-n-Roll any day. I’ll take David Lee doing an aerial cartwheel. Gimme Eddie and his son Wolfgang—VanHalen’s trying to get it together. What about ACDC? They got a new album coming out. Talk about headbanging! What about Guns n Roses? Axl Rose has been promising us The Chinese Democracy (they wish) for about 10 years. Shoot, even Madonna is still putting out the hits at age 50.

But, Boy Bands, ugh!

In all fairness to NKOTB, I listened to their new single as they performed it on the View. It sounds a lot like all the songs of today with a rapping intro that leads into a lead vocal with a nearly 40 year old man trying to sing an octave that he used to barely hit before he went through puberty. Hold your ears—where’s that sound guy when you need him?

Stop the Insanity!

I’m not sure why groups come back around, maybe, they need the money. Maybe, they can’t get a regular job. Maybe, it’s reforming a Boy Band or a 10-year prison sentence. (I’d have to think about that one)

How about thinking they could be like the Rolling Stones? Medicaid recipients and still bringing down the house.

For whatever the reason, someone of you might enjoy this new chapter in a book long thought dead, but, for the rest of us, thank goodness we still have Bon Jovi! Rock on sister!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Activating A Credit Card...Part I

As I staggered back down the driveway from getting the mail the other day I looked down in my hand to see if I had gotten anything worth opening. As a former US postal worker I know the tricks of the trade regarding good mail and junk mail. (But, those stories are for another day.)

It was Thursday and near the first of the month which is when I get a lot of my monthly magazines. As I sorted through the never-ending assortment of advertisements, monthly magazines and the “Have you seen me” postcards, my hand fell upon two business-size envelopes that felt thick in the center.

I looked for the stamp—there wasn’t any; this meant that it wasn’t a personal matter but a business letter.

I looked at the return address—I didn’t recognize it. Hmmm! It might be important.

I tore into the first envelope and was met with this message: Welcome, MA Fat Woman! We would like to welcome you to your new credit card. Your new card will replace your soon-to-expire card ending in account number ****-****-****-0809. Please call 1-800-you-are-getting-on-my-nerves from your home phone to activate this card as soon as you receive it. And thanks once again for charging your life away.

I set the first envelope aside and tore into the second---same message, different company.

It was then that I realized it was September. I go through this every two years. I don’t know why the credit card companies can’t issue you a card for life. I hate making that phone call, because 99% of the time, after you have punched in everything that defines who you are, such as your birth date, the last four digits of your social and your mother’s maiden name, you get this: Please hold as we transfer you to a customer service representative. Your call is important to us and may be monitored for quality control purposes.

“Hello, this is Radji Patel; may I have your account number please?”

Click!

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