|"Hi Helen, it's Doug from Automotive Excellence again. I've got your Saab ready to go."
I was sitting in the recliner half asleep when I was awakened by the phone ringing. Before I could reach over to get it the answering machine had kicked on and I wasn't too surprised to hear Doug going into his spiel searching for Helen. I couldn't resist this time so I picked up the phone.
"Helen? Is that you?"
"Hello? Helen? Are you there?" he asked.
"No, this isn't Helen," I said. "You've dialed the wrong number and have been for the last ten years."
"Oh! Well, I'm not looking for Helen, I'm looking for Ellen. Is this 555-555-5555?"
"Yes, it is, but Ellen doesn't live here and I've had this same number for ten years," I replied.
An awkward silence ensued and it seemed like I could hear Doug's brain trying to figure this one out.
"Well, this here is the only number I got for Ellen and if she wants her car back she'll have to call me. Sorry, I been bothering you all these years. There's just one thing before I hang up, I'm a pretty good mechanic, you don't need any work done, do you?"
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
|Since I'm trying to become a little more health conscious these days I thought I would check out the new grilled chicken that KFC has been advertising so much lately.
Simple enough plan, right?
Or so I thought!
The advertising on TV said you could get a bucket of the new stuff for $9.99. In Georgia, you have to pay tax on food purchases so that made the total $10.69 and I was to pull ahead to the second window to receive my order.
I only had 10 bucks on me so I needed to dig in my console to get the correct change. It was taking me forever to find 4 pennies amongst all the other junk I keep in there--one thing about the Mustang it doesn't have many places to keep stuff. Anyhow, it was my turn at the window and I told the guy to hang on because I was digging for another penny. I didn't really look at him because I'm sure he was probably getting annoyed. (I would have been)
Success! I found the last penny that I had been searching for and handed him the money. I smiled and waited expectantly as I watched him count the money into his change drawer and I was surprised when he told me it was going to be a minute.
I saw my order already waiting at the counter so I didn't know what the problem was. I saw him call the manager over and watched as they looked and discussed something that he was holding.
Meanwhile, my chicken is getting cold, and the cat, who I had taken along for the ride was getting restless...plus, my stomach was growling. Just give me my dang chicken!
"I'm sorry, Ma'am," said the clerk, I can't accept this 20 cent piece."
"This coin you gave me, it's a 20 cent token and KFC doesn't accept them."
I asked to see the coin, and sure enough, it turned out to be a Canadian coin that was about the size and shape of a dime. "It's Canadian," I said. "Why can't you take it? Someone had passed it along to me sometime and you can pass it along to the next customer." I thought I was being helpful.
"I can't do that," he said. "Because I don't know what the foreign exchange rate is. It says it worth 20 but I don't know if that is close to, more than, or less than a dime. I know it's only a dime, but I have to pay for any shortages in my drawer."
You know, I knew exactly where that young man was coming from having worked all those years at the Post Office as a window clerk. If you come up short, it's coming out of YOUR pocket. I dug a little deeper into the console and found him a real dime this time, an American dime.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
|...I tried closing my eyes and not looking at my sister to keep from laughing but my shoulders were shaking and tears were streaming down my face. My niece and my sister's best friend who was with us looked at us like we were out of our minds.
In between gasps of air I was able to say this statement: "Old...woman...(gasp)...just farted." Heads bobbed in unison and then the rest of the table began to laugh too.
Meanwhile, our server had arrived with our drinks just in time to witness this jovial outburst. He looked at me with questioning eyes and I managed to blurt "she farted" and motioned to the table behind us. He thought that I had meant my sister and gave her a glance and left us with this parting remark: "You do what you need to do because anything goes here at Red Lobster."
I started to correct him but he was too quick and had headed back into the kitchen where I heard muffled sounds of laughter coming from the kitchen staff. We had begun to settle down some when the waiter came back to take our orders. He gave my sister a wink and said, "You toot all you want too honey. Your secret is safe with me!"
We gave that young man a very good tip!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
|After spending time in the hospital recently my sister decided she wanted to go out for a nice meal as soon as she felt up to it. She likes seafood so we chose Red Lobster as our destination for the evening. There were four of us seated at a small table and my sister and I were seated next to one another. We still had a slight case of the giggles from earlier in the day when we had been making fun of her doctor who had a very bad bedside manner.
We had placed our drink orders and were perusing the menus when I noticed the table next to us standing up getting ready to leave. Normally, I wouldn't have noticed such a minor detail but one of them had bumped into me when they were standing up. I glanced around just in time to see and hear an elderly woman snap off the loudest fart imaginable as she was being helped from her seat.
Well! Slap me, poke me, hit me, nudge me, do whatever you can to make me silly, because my eyebrows shot up and my lower jaw hit the floor. The NERVE! of that woman. We were in a public place!
Meanwhile, my sister who couldn't see but had heard what had just taken place looked at me for confirmation of what she thought she heard. My face said it all! We looked at each other and just lost it.
You know, there are times when no matter what you try you just can't stop laughing...
Thursday, May 21, 2009
|"Hi Helen, it's me Doug," said the voice.
And that's how the call begins each time. Doug has been calling for Helen at least ten years.
I don't know Doug.
I don't know Helen.
I'm not Helen.
I've had the same wrong number calling me for so long that I feel that I should know Doug and Helen. I did call the number that Doug left one time and it turned out to be a garage. I guess Helen likes Doug to work on her automobiles.
Or is it something else?
Is there perhaps something untoward going on? Could Doug and Helen be secretly having an affair. If so, how does Doug ever meet up with Helen when he doesn't even know her correct telephone number?
Could Helen think that Doug handles his tool better than any other grease monkey? Does he make her spark plugs spark?
Maybe she just has a crappy car that is always being fixed by a crappy mechanic?
I don't know, maybe the next time Doug calls I'll pretend I'm Helen and see what his response is. If he starts breathing heavy, I'm hanging up!
(But, I won't change my number!!)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
|My next door elderly neighbor, Ms. Merlethem Shatz, cornered me up at the mailbox the other day and decided to tell me how she had been feeling recently. I normally try to avoid these conversations with her because whatever she tells me usually makes my skin crawl.
This time was no exception. Neck pimples. That's what was ailing her this week; she had a big icky pimple on the back of her neck and she couldn't get it to pop. It was making her whole head hurt like she had a migraine or something. She asked me if I wanted to have a go at it (she's British) and I started to look at it before I caught myself. Sometimes, your curiosity can get the better of you and Merlethem realized that she had piqued my interest and started in on one of her stories. She's kind of like Rose from the Golden Girls and her stories about life back in St Olaf.
"Back when I was a girl I had the worst time with pimples...or I think you call them zits now...blah, blah, blah" Goodness! I had to get out of there, and fast.
"You don't have any Preparation H do you?" she asked.
"What for?" I replied.
"Well, I had a pimple on my bum a few years back and all I had was some Preparation H and I put it on the bump and it went right away."
"No, luckily I haven't had a need for Preparation H. I don't have any hemorrhoids and I don't have pimples on my butt. I think they sell it at the drug store."
"Okay, I better get down there before they close. Damn, my head hurts. You got any Goody Powders?"
"What about Tylenol?"
"I know you got some Doan's pills for your back that is always out when I ask you to carry something for me. Can I have one of them?"
At that point she had followed me down my driveway and onto the new porch. "Merlethem, this is my house," I said. "Yours is over there."
"How'd I get here?" she asked. "I told you that neck pimple was bothering me. I can't even find my own house. Are you sure you don't want to have a go at this thing?"
Rrrrrrriiiinnnggggg. "Gotta go, someone is calling," I said. "Hello?"
"Hi, this is Felicia from Proactive..."
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
|Back in the fall I told you the story about a night sleeping in the Mustang after my mother and I had traveled the ever construction ridden interstates that make up the Atlanta area in a rush taking my brother to a downtown hospital. Only this time, I went north instead of south. It seems that my sister didn't want to be outdone by her older brother in the sickness department and got to spend almost a week in the hospital and five days in the ICU. We do like to have a little excitement in the MA Fat Woman's family.
What is normally a 7.5 hour drive for me took almost 11 hours. When I finally walked into the ICU at nearly midnight with my ass dragging the floor my poor sister took one look at me and attempted to get up out of the bed. "Here you go," she said, "You look like you need this more than me."
It was a harrowing trip and I was glad to have made it in one piece. Best of all, I didn't have to sleep in the car.
My sister and I had each made separate plans for Mother's Day. She had a college graduation and party to go to in Ohio and I had planned a picnic with Mom, Brother, Aunt P and Cousins R, M, S and C in Georgia. They were having T-bones and it wasn't even someones birthday.
Needless to say, it didn't quite work out that way. She got to spend the day with me, her little sister, and I had only one job and that was to make her laugh. My family tells me that I inherited my storytelling from my Dad who could spin a yarn that was hard not to believe because he told them so well.
And laugh we did! You know how there are some days when everything is funny. (If not, you need to laugh more.) We got the giggles, and kept the giggles the whole day. I think what set us off was the doctor that was on call that weekend finally decided to show up at the hospital to do rounds. You talk about someone who has their stethoscope stuck up their butt, this would be her. Wacko Quacko!
Anyhow, after another day in the hospital, Big Red got to come home and I spent a few days ensuring that she didn't have a relapse. All of us kids inherited something from our father that we wish he would have kept.
I may write a story about it in the future or I may not. I'm fickle that way.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
|There's a new restaurant in my town and one of my friends who had come for a visit decided that we should go check it out. As the MA Fat Woman, I'm not known for my ability to skip a meal, so I agreed that we should go.
This new restaurant was located in a building that had had three previous occupants that had all went out of business within a short time. I'm not sure if that bode well for the new owners or not?
Anyhow, once we got inside the place we were met with an Italia theme with checkered tablecloths, candles in wine bottles and "That's Amore'" blasting out on the sound system. It was nice. After perusing the menu we both decided on fettuccine Alfredo and fried mozzarella for an appetizer. All we had to do now was wait...and wait...and wait!
The place wasn't busy at all, only four customers. I didn't know what was taking so long. Finally, our orders were presented at the table with a flourish by an overly attentive waitress and we dug in.
"What's that?" said my friend.
My friend, who is culinarily challenged, and isn't known for her ability to rattle any pots and pans in the kitchen was questioning the dark green substance that was totally covering the fettuccine Alfredo. They say that a little goes a long way, but somewhere along the way, somebody forgot to tell this to the chef. It was way too much parsley! I was having trouble finding a noodle without having to shovel mounds and mounds of parsley out of the way.
I glanced up at my friend and she was having just as many problems as me with her entree. She kept scooping off the green stuff. Finally, with a sigh of resignation and a questioning look, she asked me this question: "Is it broccoli?"
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
|"Kevin, get THAT chicken out of this house now," yelled Mom. "You weren't raised in a barn."
After some careful maneuvering and a little coaxing Brother finally cornered the erratic bird perched on the side of Mom's recliner.
Of course, the rooster left Mom a black smelly present when Brother snatched him up by the legs and carried him outside, squawking the whole way.(Nasty chickens) While I was trying to calm Mom down and clean up the chicken s***, I glanced out the door to see what Brother and the rooster were doing. Somehow, I wasn't surprised to see the chicken riding on the mower with him as he headed down to the garden to calm his nerves a bit. (You know those men, they have to stick together!)
With each passing day the new rooster began to settle in and become less afraid of himself and the hens. According to Brother, the hens were already beginning to lay eggs and he had several orders lined up from the neighbors. (Now, if only he could get those hens to lay a golden egg or two.)
A few days ago when I went up to help Mom with her yard sale (We never learn) I noticed one of the rooster's feathers floating around outside. I didn't think much of it until I asked Brother where the rooster was? It's hard to describe the disappointment that flashed across his face.
"Damn chicken hawk got him, I guess. When he first got here he was scared of everything, but he had gotten so tame that he probably thought it was a new friend or something," said my brother.
I nodded in agreement and we both shook our heads.
"That rooster was really nice, and he wasn't bothering anybody, and now he's dead. You can't have nothin'," said my brother.
My thoughts exactly.
Monday, May 4, 2009
|My brother has almost recovered from his fight with a flesh eating virus that nearly took his leg and his life last fall and has been staying with Mom while he recuperates.
He's gotten a little bored and has decided that he wanted to get in the egg business. Only one thing was missing: A rooster!
After scouring the local farms and the local paper Brother decided on a Dominique (Dominikers) rooster that had gray and black coloring that was 8 weeks old. He shelled out 5 bucks for the prized cock and was now in the egg business.
Or so he thought.
That rooster was afraid of his own shadow. The first time Brother introduced him to the 4 hens that bird freaked out. He started flapping his wings and making the most awful sound imaginable. Mom had the back door open watching the romancing of the hens and before she could shut the screen door that mini Foghorn Leghorn had run straight into the house followed closely by Shadow the Cat, Brother, Betty the hen that thinks she's a rooster and Mom screaming "I'm gonna kill that bird..."
Saturday, May 2, 2009
|...and before you even had a chance to go outside and make the comment, "Now, that's a fire," that house had burnt down plumb to the ground. 'Bout the only thing left was an old washing tub that had belonged to this fellow's grandma.
Anyhow, I'm not sure why the neighbor never rebuilt his house, maybe, he just didn't get enough from the insurance company. He put up a for sale sign and took off, and he left his chickens behind.
Before you knew it, they had taken up residence in Mom's recently vacated chicken house and she wasn't happy about it. "More mouths to feed," she said, "more mouths to feed."
I guess there was about 12 new chickens in the MA Fat Woman's family and over the last two years, between nesting hens, red-tailed hawks and neighborhood dogs, the numbers have fluctuated from a high of 34 chickens to the current number of 4. There was 4 hens and 1 rooster left, but, somehow, the rooster ran afoul of the local chicken hawk and ended up dead.
But, that's not where the story ends...