Tuesday, April 2, 2019
One of the first friends that I made when I started blogging was Joe, otherwise known as Crotchety Old Man Yells At Cars. Back in the day, circa 2008, blogging was a relatively new thing, and humor blogs were extremely hard to find. After an Internet search one day, I stumbled across a website called Humorblogs.com, and if you wrote humor, this was the site you wanted to be a part of.
It took me a few weeks of reading the various other blogs before I left a comment on Crotchety's "Caption This" contest. It was usually an odd picture of some kind and whoever left the best caption won a few Entrecard credits (that used to be the big thing) and the coveted zucchini award (which was very stylish). It was all in good fun.
Crotchety Old Man had another blog, too, and that was Diabetes Destroys. I think that was one of the reasons that we connected so well and that was our shared opinion on Diabetes. It does destroy, and it had wreaked havoc on Joe for many years. At one point he spent almost an entire year in the hospital and still tried to keep up his blog. When he felt well, his posts were frequent, and you always knew when he wasn't feeling up to par because it could be weeks or months before he would post again. But he always came back.
Joe stopped blogging a few years ago, but we stayed in touch. We spoke on the phone a few times a year, and I always called him on his birthday which is April Fool's Day. I thought he was joking with me when he told me that the first time but he wasn't.
I had lost his phone number and did a search online hoping to come across it, but I found something that I wasn't prepared for: his obituary. He had passed away in October 2014.
I hadn't known, and it was very upsetting to me.
A phone number was listed, but I didn't know what to do so I called it anyway. I thought it might be disconnected. A female voice answered, and I asked for Joe. She asked who was calling and I told her, and she told me the terrible news.
Nicole, if you ever read this, I just want you to know that your father was a very funny guy and loved by many in the blogging world. I know he went through a lot but he was always positive, and I'm glad I got to be friends and share a few laughs with him along the way.
He will not be forgotten.
Lastly, and this is for you, Joe: I really believe the Yankees are going to win it all this year. Go Yanks!
Monday, April 1, 2019
"I don't know who that woman is, I've never seen her before today and I'm certainly not paying for her groceries," I replied.
"Well, Ma'am, she said she knew you. You were being very friendly towards her. Are you running some sort of scam? If you are, you could be charged with shoplifting or as an accessory."
"I don't know that woman, and I am not running some sort of scam. Why do you let people walk away without paying for their stuff? You better call security. Where did she go? She's gonna get away with it if we don't go find her. Come on, let's see if she is still in the parking lot."
At that moment, the cashier, the security guard, the manager and myself went running outside to see if the lady was still in the parking lot. As we looked over the parking lot the Walmart employees began to look at me suspiciously. They thought I was a part of this lady's scam. All I had been doing was being nice--lending a sympathetic ear. I had been taught to be polite to my elders, and now, I might end up in jail.
I really didn't want to go to jail. I know they provide three hots and a cot but I got this thing about confined places. They make me a little edgy. I was surveying the parking lot and there putting the last of her bags into the trunk of her 2013 Cadillac SRX was that nice old lady that was trying to stick me with her grocery bill. The nerve of that woman--telling me such a sob story about her finances, her handicapped son and paying a thousand dollar a month for insurance premiums.
I pointed to her car and all of us went running over to where she was parked. "Lady, what are you doing? What are you trying to pull? You almost got me arrested for shoplifting. I've never seen you before today. I didn't want you to think I was being rude, so, I listened while you went on and on about all of your troubles, and here you are driving a Cadillac. Would you kindly tell me and the others here what kind of scam you are trying to pull?"
At that, the lady took one look at the cashier, the manager and the security guard and her shoulders just slumped in surrender. She looked past them and began to shuffle her feet as she fought for the words to explain this situation. "I bet you're wondering what this is all about," she said.
We all nodded our heads in unison and waited patiently for the answer. "All of that stuff I told you in the store...about my finances, raising my kids, losing everything I had because of those high insurance rates...Well, I was just pulling your leg just like I'm pulling yours now.
I told this story last year and I liked it so much, I told it again, with a few updates!
Happy April's Fool Day!