Friday, July 25, 2014

I Didn't Need To See That

Sometimes life gets in the way of your good intention. One can get distracted by a trip to the store, a visit with family or even a reality show that you really shouldn't give the time of day.

But there you are--glued to the television with the laptop sitting on a table beside you...looking at you...whispering to you.  "Are you ever going to write another blog post?" it says.

During a commercial break after just watching a fairly attractive grown woman throw a tantrum and proceed to hurl  a prosthetic limb at her companions has left you shaking your head and wondering, "I really didn't need to see that."

It might have been entertaining if Carol Burnett or Lucille Ball had tossed it, but a real housewife from nowhere...not so much.

Isn't there a better way to spend my time?

Looking at my neglected laptop, I thought back to my visit to the doctor earlier in the day. Hadn't I seen something that I really didn't need to see there, too? Why not tell the world and do a bit of writing? Remember that? It was something that you used to do on a regular basis.

A lady was patiently waiting on her husband to return from his fourth visit to a room somewhere in the back. Blood tests, x-rays  and a trip to the lavatory had all required a visit to a different room at a different time. The man hadn't even sat down before his wife picked up her over-sized bag and rummaged through it producing something that looked like a Swiss Army Knife on steroids. Turning one blade this way and opening another blade that way she soon pointed a mini pair of scissors at her husband.  "I'm tired of looking at that," she said.

"No, you're not," he said. "Get away from me."

"No!" she exclaimed. "Now hold still."

Now, I'm not sure where this was going but I knew it couldn't be good for any of us...the husband or the other waiting patients.

I was right.

The lady had had enough of looking at her husband's overgrown bushy eyebrows and she attacked them with an Edward Scissorhands type gusto.

I squirmed.

He squirmed.

We all squirmed to be the next patient called back.

"There," she said, after what seemed an eternity. "I don't have to look at that anymore."

"But, honey," he protested. "Here?"

"Palmer? Ms. Palmer. the doctor will see you now."

Thank goodness. I know grooming is an important part of daily life, but there is a time and place for everything. And this was neither the time or place.

Prosthetic limb tossing and public personal grooming--two things that I didn't really need to see.

But, hey, at least it grossed me out enough to open the laptop and share it with you...

Stay tuned...there's more to come!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More Brawls At The Cracker Barrel


Recently, my sister and her family came to town for a visit. When she takes a road trip, one stop is always a requirement and that is a visit to the local Cracker Barrel. Now, I don't know about other parts of the country, but every Cracker Barrel restaurant that I have ever visited has been standing room only...even in the bathroom.

I have strategies whenever I visit a busy restaurant. First, I go at odd times of the day, like before noon for lunch or around 4:00 p.m. for dinner; that way you beat the crowds most days.

Next, if there is a school bus within eye shot of the parking area, I'm going somewhere else; too many pimples and hormones for me. The same goes for tour or charter buses; I try to avoid these as well.

Also, if I arrive in the parking lot at the same time as another patron, I always try to beat them to the door. Nothing personal, but beating them might be the difference between a seat by the window or a seat back by the open kitchen door, or worse, right in front of the bathroom. Sitting there gives a whole new meaning to "What's that smell?"

Those are all good strategies but they don't work at Cracker Barrel. I think the company knows that too. Why else would they have all of those comfy rocking chairs out front and a gift shop that I always get lost in because I can't seem to stay away from the hard stick candy if they didn't know that waiting was part of the allure?

Anyhow, upon arrival at the restaurant, sure enough, there was a tour bus parked out front. It was later in the afternoon, so maybe they had already eaten and were browsing the gift shop was a thought that passed through my head.

As we hurried in the door trying to beat the minivan full of people that had parked near us, it was soon apparent that my thought was correct: They had finished eating and were browsing the gift shop. It was packed!

I needed to use the facilities immediately upon arrival so I headed through the crowd and tried to enter the bathroom. I made it just inside the door when I fully grasped the situation at hand. In front of me, filling every available empty space was a senior citizen. They were washing their hands and fluffing their blue hair; one had her false teeth out and was applying an extra layer of Poli Grip.

One thing I found quite astonishing was that here was a line for the handicapped stall. Three lovely old ladies and their walkers on wheels waiting patiently to get the stall big enough to turn around in as one of them said.

I don't know how many ladies there was in the ladies room, I do know that I smiled politely and moved out of the way for this one and moved over there for that one. I opened the door twice and I pulled off paper towels for another; all the while getting a little bit nervous because I needed to go myself.

Somehow, at the exact same time, every old lady left in the bathroom wanted to get out at the same time. Some were skipping the hand washing, others had finished with their hair and teeth and every one of them made straight for the door, heading right to me. I had backed as far back in the corner as I could and one lady with a walker said, "Honey, you're gonna have to move, so I can get this thing out the door."

I was trying to move. But the other ladies weren't being cooperative. Instead of backing up against one of the stalls, they were all converging towards the door where I was. Another made a comment about them trying to get out, and then another.

It was a standoff! Finally, after some polite laughter and a loud gurgle from my stomach, I said, "Sorry, I'm bigger than all of ya'll put together and you need to move."

And they did. The lady with the walker maneuvered to the right, another backed into an empty stall and two others backed up against the sinks. "Here ya go, honey. Why don't you use the handicapped stall? It's got an extra roll of paper in it!"

Monday, July 7, 2014

Holiday Parades

I missed the Fourth of July parade again this year, but just barely. I wanted to go, but I have this thing about parades. They scare me a little and usually make me cry.

I was in the marching band in high school so I got to march in several parades a year. I don't think they bothered me then because I was in the parade and didn't have to watch. From the tenth grade on I marched in the very front row on the left-hand side. I played a large brass instrument and it was a lot of fun. Maybe, it was from watching all of those Thanksgiving parades on TV that made me nervous around parades. All of those large inflated creatures that if there was just one wrong misstep could send their handlers floating off somewhere over the rainbow.

As I drove into town yesterday, tractor pulled floats with balloons flapping in the breeze, pickup trucks with 'Vote-for-so-and-so' and gleaming red fire trucks passed me coming the other way. When I reached the center of town it looked like someone had set a bomb off (wonder if they had a permit?). Trash everywhere.

Families were still milling around town clinging to their children's hands to keep them from running into the street to salvage any leftover thrown candy. I saw one child dart out into traffic, hit a pile of manure (EEWWW) left by a horse in the parade, pick up a piece of candy and slide across the road into the waiting arms of a very shocked parent. One parade judge was receiving medical attention because one of the parade participants had thrown an exceptionally large piece of hard candy at him and boinked him on the head.(I think they got last place.) I heard a little girl sobbing inconsolably because she hadn't gotten any of the candy thrown in her direction.(See a pattern here?)

As I was waiting to make a left-hand turn in the center of town, I was startled when I heard something beside me go bleep, bleep. I looked at all of my mirrors and couldn't see a thing. Bleep, Bleep, BBBLLLLEEEEEEPP!! All of a sudden, six very large clowns(I'm scared of clowns too!) jumped up out of the smallest motorized vehicle that I have ever seen and yelled, "Chinese Fire Drill".

The light turned green but I stayed put. Clowns were running beside me, around me, one even tried to open my door (good thing I had it locked) all jumping up and waving, one tripped over his feet, one pulled a flower from his sleeve, one honked his nose at me and one handed me a balloon in the shape of a wiener dog. As the light turned back to red, they hopped back into that car, made a right-turn and sped off.

I waited for the light to turn green and was shocked to hear a bleep, bleep once again. I looked up and saw that little car heading my way again and thought, "I don't think so." I didn't care what color the light was, I slammed that Mustang down into first gear, hit that pile of manure, hit the emergency brake, squalled the tires, and laid down a piece of rubber that would've made Old Number 3 right proud. I left those clowns choking and gasping in my dust.

I needed to stop and get gas before I left town and was a little uneasy when a guy in a clown suit pulled up at the next pump. He smiled at me and I just kind of looked away. I heard his cell phone ring and he began to talk to someone. I had finished pumping my gas and looked backed over at the clown. (He wasn't there.) As I did so, I heard a 'honk', I jumped out of my skin, turned back around and there stood the clown. "My friends just called and said you really made their day with that maneuver back at the light," he said. "They want to know if you want to go to the next town and be in the parade with them?" (Sign me up!)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day


The scene--Any small town in a state that doesn't allow fireworks, namely Georgia.

A guy walks into his local courthouse and asks where he can get a permit. The guard sends him down to the permit office. There is a really long line and only one window open. He admits to himself that this permit thing must be a pretty good idea, 'cause everyone here seems to be getting one. After all, on July 4th, he always hears fireworks going off all over town, so, they must have a permit, right?

The man finally reaches the counter after one lunch break, and two smoke breaks and asks the lady about applying for a permit. She pulls out the forms and said that the fee was going to be $500.00. He scratches his head and thought that that sounded like a lot of money. "Ma'am, why does it cost so much to get a permit to let off fireworks," he asked?

"Let off fireworks," she said. "Don't you know that is illegal in this state?"

The man scratched his head once again and then asked, "What are all of these people here for?"

"Sir, this is the tag office," she said.

The man, quite confused by this time, looks up and asks, "Where does the city get its permit to let off fireworks for the community each year?"

The lady, quite at a loss for words looks up and says, "Wait right here, I'm gonna go get my supervisor."

Enjoy your 4th of July wherever you are and remember this: Let the professionals shoot off the fireworks, because they have a permit. Just don't ask to see it.

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