Gentle Humor

I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Month: February 2010 (Page 1 of 3)

Olympic Fantasyland

Tonight I’ve been watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics and I’m much more impressed with Canadians than I used to be.

It’s not that I have ever not been impressed with them, I’ve always liked Canadians. They seemed laid back and easy going and good hearted. I just didn’t realize they had so much spunk.

They’ve also got a sense of humor. On opening night, there were four athletes who were supposed to light four pillars leading up to a giant torch. These pillars rose magnificiently from beneath the floor – except for one. So tonight they did a little skit where a clown coaxed the fourth pillar out of the floor and then the 4th athlete came out of the floor and lit the pillar. I like that they owned up to this blight of the opening night and turned it into entertainment. Smart, those Canadians!

I always enjoy the Olympics in the same way I enjoy Disneyland. You pay a huge fee to get in the door, but then you leave reality behind and have smiling giant mice greeting you at every corner. The employees blend into the fantasy, and when you see them, they’re always super nice. People walk around singing and happy. Everything is colorful. No one knocks you to the pavement and steals your purse. I always hate leaving Disneyland and going back into the cold, surly world where Californians blow their horns at you simply because you have Oregon plates and you go a tad slower. Sheesh!

The Olympics give me that Disneyland high because everyone is a good sport – no one is getting into brawls like in regular sports or yelling obscenities that have to be bleeped out. People play fair (except perhaps Chinese gymnasts who like infants in leotards), and greet each other kindly, congratulating each other. This is definitely a fantasyland compared to a lot of the sports I’ve seen, and I like it a lot.

I really enjoyed everything except for one thing. What happened to Bob Costa’s pupils? His eyes are solid blue without any black. Very strange.

The Olympics ending is always sad for me, but thanks to NBC we’ll get three more days of enjoying our Olympic heros, so I’ll be able to look forward to that. Jay Leno, who ousted Conan O’Brien to return to the Late Show because he couldn’t make it in prime time – though I was the one American who actually liked his show – Jay is going to have Lindsay Vonn, Apollo Ohno, and Shaun White on his show to try and woo viewers back.

Oooo – I just had a great idea. Someone needs to open an amusement park and call it “Olympic Fantasyland.” It could be an escape from reality like Disneyland, except have rides that are Olympics inspired for those of us who like our sports dangerous but virtual. Wouldn’t the Bobsled Ride be a thriller? And a rollercoaster fashioned after a downhill course where it lunges toward gates and makes hairpin turns. Then you could have the Halfpipe Ride where you shoot straight up in the air and get rotated around like Shaun White’s McTwist before coming back down and going up the other side. And there could be ski jumping where you could glide down a long ramp and launch out into space. And virtual skeleton rides and snowboard cross. I’m getting really excited about this idea! There could even be curling where people get to sweep frantically with brooms and nothing happens. Well, maybe not.

So I’m going to go to bed tonight, not with a heavy heart from the Olympics ending, but with a head dancing with ideas for my own Olympic Village Amusement Park. By the way, If you are an investor with a lot of money, please email me and let’s get this baby started.

My Funny Dog

This dog of mine has some pretty interesting behaviors. For one, she tries to bury her food, especially if she doesn’t like it. Since there’s no dirt in the house, she pushes imaginary dirt in the direction of her food. Her head goes back and forth, the nose dipping down toward the floor then rising up as she pushes the “dirt” toward her dog bowl. If she doesn’t like what I’ve given her that day, she’ll push the dirt so hard that her nose bangs into the dog bowl and lifts it up off the tiles. It bangs back down just in time for her to raise it up again. This goes on for about a minute. Anywhere I am in the house, I hear this clomp clomp clomp sound and know what she’s up to. The more she hates the food, the longer and louder the bowl clomps. She wants that thing six feet under.

We have floor to ceiling windows in the back of our house, and we live in a wooded area, so there are deer, raccoons, crows, cats, and lots of squirrels tromping through the yard at any given time. The squirrels come down on the concrete patio and sidle right up to the window, teasing the poor dog, whose name is Shelley. She gets this high-pitched, excited bark and starts running around the window, which delights the squirrels. They come closer. When I hear the commotion, I come out of my office and sneak over to the front door so as not to tip off the squirrel, then whisper Shelley’s name. She darts over and I open the door as quietly as I can. She races out the door, around the side of the house, and tears across the patio after the squirrel, looking like a black bullet flying over the ground without legs because they’re moving too fast to be detected by the human eye. The squirrel flicks his tail in the air and heads for the trees, which are close enough that the squirrel always gets away. We have a giant maple tree with a crotch that she jumps into so she can stretch up the trunk and bark at the squirrel, which is flicking its tail just out of range. This happens several times a day. Those squirrels are having the time of their lives!

Another thing Shelley does is hide behind my legs when the kids want to pick her up. If they go to one side, she goes to the other. So they try that side, and she goes back to the other. “Mom, make her be still,” they say. Actually I’m on Shelley’s side, because they’ll just torment her. My son blows in her face to make her snap, and my daughter holds her on her back like a baby and talks to her, which she doesn’t like. So I stay out of it and make them catch her on their own. After a little while Shelley gets tired of going back and forth and starts barking ferociously, which delights my son because the dog is a black, 9 pound dust mop, and when she barks and snarls her white teeth look about as scary as grains of rice. It’s ludicrous that she acts like a tough character. My son will finally catch her, she’ll bite him, he’ll get mad and put her down, and life returns to normal.

Dogs are always leaving their scent everywhere. Luckily Shelley doesn’t do this in the house, but outside she’s like a water pistol, soaking everything in sight. I read once that dogs try to one up each other by making a squirt a little higher on the tree than the last dog. This is a definite disadvantage for small dogs like Shelley. She can’t possibly get a squirt as high as a German shepherd with legs that aren’t even six inches long. So she goes up to a tree and stands on her front legs like she’s doing a handstand and fires her shot off. It’s the silliest thing you’ve ever seen with those back legs up in the air. When she gets done she scratches the ground with all four legs like she’s trying to throw dirt on the other guy’s scent just in case she didn’t get high enough. She does it with such vengeance – really digging in and spraying little tufts of grass behind her several times, making sure she’s got the job done.

This dog is a delight to our home, and we love her. Right now she’s sitting on the chair beside me, patiently hoping that I’ll remember to toss the little yellow tennis ball that’s about the size of a golf ball so she can try to catch it on a bounce. Normal tennis balls are too big. Maybe I’d better go do that right now.

Controlling the Remote

Someone needs to invent a TV with his and her remote controls so that women can change the station when men go to sleep in front of the TV watching boring guy shows.

I don’t think men falling asleep in front of the TV is uncommon, because all the women I know complain about it. The men insist on holding the remote, flicking through station after station before lighting on the same shows they watch every single night. They get that contented look on their faces because they’ve found the perfect show – for them – and then a few minutes later they are sawing zzzzz’s.

My husband loves shows he knows I don’t like. He watches shows like Ice Road Truckers, and Big Machines, and World’s Craziest Foods. He knows I’m not a big fan of these shows because they involve close-up shots of big machines moving around – yawn – or an overweight guy eating grotesque food like chocolate cockroaches. I’m not even sure he likes these shows himself, because he immediately falls asleep when they’re on. So why does he always turn them on? I believe it’s to torment me. It’s a power struggle that he wins because he controls  the remote.

In other words, it’s a passive-aggressive thing. I’m convinced that everything anyone does that doesn’t suit me is passive aggressive. I like having a label for things that drive me nuts.

My friend, Julie, and I were talking tonight about the remote. Her husband is like mine. He insists on holding it, finding the station, then falling asleep. When she goes over and tries to slide the remote out of his hand, he wakes right up and says, “What are you doing? I’m watching that!”

This is exactly what my husband does. He can be sound asleep, talking away, snoring, head bobbing to one side, completely oblivious if the phone rings, the dog barks, or children scream – but if you lay a finger on that remote he springs awake like a watchdog and asks, “What are you doing? Give me that remote!”

I think that the scientists of the world should come up with dual remotes so that women don’t have to go through this whole crazy charade of trying to ease the remote out of the clutches of sleeping men. When the men doze off, which is right after supper, about two minutes after sitting on the couch, we can turn a switch and the control of the remote goes to us so that we can watch something decent like a nice sitcom or chick flick or reality show. The men will continue sleeping until 9:00 or so without interruption, and without knowing the channel has been changed, and then startle awake, clutch the remote, look around like they’ve just been resting their eyes, and say, “I think I’ll hit the sack.” Women say, “Okay, honey, I’ll be along in a few minutes,” and we can continue paying bills or knitting or combing the dog while we watch our favorite shows. I think this is an excellent idea.

Of course you and I both know this won’t happen. The very thought of having a women in charge of the remote is an affront to a man’s virility, even if it’s only while he’s asleep. Men everywhere will revolt against it. But we can dream, ladies, and hope that it will some day become a reality. In the meantime, if you slide the remote very gently on each snore, and let it rest in between, you’ll have a better chance of successfully getting it out of the sleeping guy’s hand. I wish you all the best of luck!

Can’t Do Attitude

I wrote yesterday about those crazy Olympic athletes who risk their lives flying up in the air on skis or racing over the ice, and how their parents should have stopped them from these maniacal pursuits. Then it dawned on me that the parents were probably encouraging their little tikes all along.

These parents must have demonstrated a “Can Do,” attitude to their children. Here’s a normal response to a small child wanting to race down a hill full speed on a couple of boards: “Are you crazy? You’ll kill yourself.”

Here’s the response from Olympic parents: “Not only can you fly down the hill like a blur, I will buy you all the expensive equipment and lift tickets, and drive you two hours to the mountain every weekend.”

That’s a can do attitude, which I think is probably essential to any potential neck-breaking activity. But it’s not just limited to sports. A can do attitude carries over into all walks of life.

Which is why I think it’s so sad that I seem to only have a Can’t Do philosophy. I tried to keep track of how many Can’t Do’s I say in a given day, and it’s about a zillion.

Here’s a sample list:

I can’t see without my glasses

I can’t reach the clock to replace the batteries

I can’t stand waiting in lines at the grocery

I can’t walk that far

I can’t remember the subject of this blog

These are self-imposed limits I put upon myself that keep me from being as rich as Warren Buffet and as talented as Meryl Streep. My can’t do attitude is the only thing keeping me from the successes I know are out there waiting for me to pluck them like low growing fruit.

I’m taking a stand right here and now. I’m not going to play second fiddle anymore – even if I could play the fiddle, because I now realize that I, too, could be great in way more ways than just shuttling kids around and shouting at them to be quiet. Perhaps I could aspire to swim the English Channel, or climb Mt. Everest.

There’s only one problem. What busy adult has enough time to practice at being great? You can’t just walk up to the base of Mt. Everest in your flip flops and start moseying up to the top. There’s equipment to purchase, and hours of hikes and exercises to get ready. You have to have Shirpas! How can I, a woman without visible means, work, have a family, and do all that?

The answer is, I can’t. Oh crap. I didn’t mean to say that. The answer is, I could if I really wanted to, because I’d make time and I’d earn the money, by golly.

But now that I think this through a little more, maybe this is why Olympic athletes are all young. Their parents are their athletic supporters, and they’ve got all the time in the world to practice.

While I, sigh, may not be able to pursue dangerous, death-defying dreams of my own at this juncture in my life, I can still keep a can do attitude about my everyday activities. I can push away that brownie. I can get to appointments on time. I can exercise when I’d rather be sleeping in.

And I can see without my glasses, if I put the zoom up to 300%. I feel like a champion already!

Crazy Olympians

I have been watching the Olympics with awe. I think these athletes should receive all the admiration and accolades we can give, whether or not they walk off with a medal.

That being said, does anyone besides me realize how insane these people are? Look at the halfpipe competition. The snowboarders are going up a wall of ice that is 22 feet straight up, and they’re trying to go as high into the air ABOVE that as they can, AND do flips and twists while they’re up there, then come back down and land on that same sheer wall. Shaun White went 18 feet above the wall to win the gold medal. They kept showing a video of him at an earlier competition coming down and smashing his face against the lip of the wall. His helmet flew off, his head snapped back, and it looked like it wouldn’t be an injury anyone would walk away from, but he did.

I’ve skied in a halfpipe. It’s scary just going straight down the middle. You’re in a tunnel, and we’d make a little ripple over the base of the wall; just enough to go up in the air slightly and then come back down. Scared the crap out of me. I heap an avalanche of praise on all the snowboarders who compete on the halfpipe.

Then there’s downhill skiing. These lunatics go 80 mph and more on ice and in fog as thick as gravy. I’m afraid to go that fast in an automobile.

The people doing luge, bobsled, and skeleton are certifiable. My view of these sports is obscured by my fingers. I watch them like I watch a horror movie – with my hands in front of my face so I won’t see something too awful for too long. I just saw a women’s team doing bobsled where the back teammate was flung out of the sled and went the rest of the course sliding down the track on her back going 35 mph. What possesses people to want to do this?

The ice skating stresses me out when the athletes jump into the air and do triple turns and then land on a blade that looks thinner than a fingernail file. These people must have bruises all over them, because they fall even in competition, so you can imagine what they do in practice. Ice racing is frightening to watch, too, because when a racer goes down, (s)he takes everyone else with them, with those razor blades on their feet going in all directions as they skid across the ice on their backs.

Freestyle skiing, snowboard cross, ski jumping – all of these are so dangerous looking. You’ve got to wonder, who are these athletes’ parents? When that little five year old came up and said they wanted to ski and win the a medal in the Olympics, why didn’t their parents lock them in the closet for a few years until they grew out of it? If my child were one of these crazies, I don’t know how I could sleep. Of course I’d be proud, but I would wear out my welcome with the good Lord praying for my child’s safety night and day.

The only winter sport I’d ever want any child of mine to aspire to would be curling. It is both a safe Olympic sport and an entertaining one – and by entertaining I mean hilarious. Those sweepers with their frenetic brooms intently swishing in front of the stone as it works it’s way toward the target – in a covered building with no hills in sight – are the perfect demonstration of athletic prowess. So what if they are such a powerful contrast to Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White. At the end of the day, they all stand on the podium as equals. As a mother I could brag just as much about my curling athlete going to the Olympics.

I’m so proud of all these athletes, and they are an inspiration to all of us to not spend so much time in front of the TV and get out there and live – after the Olympics are over, of course.

Pursuing 1990’s Trivia

Whatever happened to the nineties, as in the 1990’s? There’s a Trivial Pursuit game with questions just from that decade that I and some relatives played this evening after dinner. Our ages ranged from 5 to 57, and none of us knew any of the answers. We made a couple of lucky guesses, and with a few gimmes we were finally able to end the game, but not without a struggle. It didn’t help that one of the players was from Italy.

The 90’s were a blur to all of us. Of course, to base a whole board game on trivia questions from one decade meant that the questions were somewhat obscure. On each of those little cards, there are six questions, and there must be a hundred cards with the game, or more, so that’s 600 facts about the 90’s. 600 things didn’t even happen in the 90’s, so some of those questions may have been made up. We certainly wouldn’t have known the difference.

 I was buried under small children in the 90’s, so the big news of most of my days was who had hit whom and how it allegedly started and why that was a lie because it really started this way. The only music I had in my car were kids songs with lyrics like, “Riding along, ding dong, I see a cow – you do? Oh wow.” If these songs weren’t on in the car, then the fighting escalated. The soothing sounds of stupid lyrics had a calming effect on my children.

At home the TV had Rugrats on or nothing at all. I couldn’t watch news because of the violence, and I couldn’t watch sitcoms because of the sex. My husband and I had to sneak and watch this stuff in the bedroom – like it was some kind of news porn. I could have read the paper, but when you have young children, all the doom and gloom in the world is frightening. It also makes you feel guilty. How could you bring innocents into the world with wars, scandals, natural disasters, airline crashes, and the Back Street Boys?

So I missed all the music, all the news, all the actors – the only movies I saw were animated – everything that might have made the 90’s a decade to remember.

I liked the Trivia of the 60’s and 70’s because there was so much going on. The music was outstanding – my daughter and her friends know all the words to so many of the songs from then, which always surprises me. I didn’t know any songs from my parents’ generation, despite their protests that the likes of Lawrence Welk was good listening.

After playing tonight I don’t actually feel that bad. I know if there were a Trivial Pursuit game for moms of the 90’s, I’d beat everyone. I know all about Chucky’s fears on Rugrats, Mufasa’s demise in “The Lion King,” what kinds of animals Milo and Otis were (and their genders), and how Chance, Sassy, and Shadow made it home in “Homeward Bound.” So heads-up, Trivial Pursuit. If you want me to win, throw out some of those questions, such as, “What year did the Back Street Boys break up?” (which I just made up – although this would be a typical question) and ask stuff like, “What was the heroine’s name in Beauty and the Beast?” That kind of trivia would make me feel like a winner rather than some vacant headed bimbo. Shame on you.

And Let the Bickering Begin

Why can’t we all just get along? Whenever family comes visiting, everyone starts bickering.

I know everyone anticipates these visits from relatives – we plan for them, put crisp sheets on the beds, shop for food we hope they’ll enjoy, spruce up the house, and try to make things inviting and wonderful. We greet each other with hugs and exclamations of delight.

 By the second day of the visit we can’t wait until it’s bedtime and there’s a few minutes of peace and quiet. By the end of the fourth day, you wonder if you’re going to survive. And by the sixth day, you’re ready to move into a motel.

I don’t know if this is true with everyone, or it’s just my relatives. No one seems to like anyone else in my family. The women are chomping at the bit to get into a cat fight. Petty jealousies are rampant. We criticize each other’s food, clothing, and shelter.

Perhaps other families don’t do this. You ask someone casually if they enjoyed the visit with their relatives, and they always say, “Oh yes, it was just great seeing everyone and we did so many things together.”

Well, my family does things together, too. Any women together talk about the one who isn’t there. That’s our main topic of conversation, and I hate to admit it. If someone in the family is in trouble in any way, than that one gets to be the topic of conversation, with speculation on how they ended up the way they did, and how you saw it coming a long time ago, and what they should have done if they were smart, which they weren’t. They were stupid.

Quite frankly, I don’t know what else women would talk about, and this may be true for men too, though the men I know don’t seem to want to engage in this sort of thing for long – mostly because they don’t want to engage in any conversation for long. I know the nicest people who still end up slicing people to shreds; they simply do it with less venom and an appearance of deep concern. “I wonder why she drinks so much. She’s such a nice person, and yet when she drinks she gets loud and she gets that look on her face like this, that really just makes her so unattractive and I just want to tell the poor dear to…”

So there have been many testy nerves, some slamming doors, a lot of rolling eyes, a few raised eyebrows, sideways glances, and assorted other signs to tell someone else that we’re not happy with the way the others around us are conducting themselves.

But when it’s time for the company to leave, there will be tears of sorrow, we’ll miss you’s, come back when you can stay longer’s, and begging them not wait so long to visit. Then when the car doors close and they’re driving away, I for one will flop into a chair, let out a huge sigh, and start complaining that I don’t know why they couldn’t have stayed a couple of days longer.

Be Your Own Self

I recently heard on the radio some advice that a psychologist gave to teenagers, and it was profound. I am being sarcastic, because this learned advisor said: “Just be yourself.”

That’s what they told us back in the day, and I still don’t know what it means. There are plenty of people who I wish would NOT be themselves. If a person is naturally selfish, annoying, or gossipy, would you want them to continue being this way?

This “be yourself” advice is flawed from the get-go. Would you advise an axe murderer to “be yourself?” Do they tell people in jail to be themselves?

You go into the self-help section of a bookstore and every one of the titles is about trying to fix what’s wrong with you. There aren’t titles that say, “To Be a Success, Just Be Yourself.” If there were, I would have bought it just to figure out how people figure out what their self is. Curiously, all the books are written by psychologists, and all of them are trying to give you “10 Steps to a Better You.” If I’m supposed to be my self, then why would I want to change for the better? Isn’t being my self my ultimate goal?

My own personal self changes depending on circumstances. With my friends I’m loud, rowdy, and goofy. With a boss I’m quiet and attentive. With my children I’m trying to present a good example. I can’t image which one of these selves I’d  pick to be all the time? And at heart, I’m a bitch. Is that the self they want me to be? It would sure make my life easier not to have to be making nice all the freaking time.

Even the simplest things like wardrobe choices vary depending on which self will be wearing it. If I’m going out partying with friends, I might wear something tight and low cut. If I’m going to dress my church self, I’m going to wear a modest skirt and sweater.

I don’t know anyone who has only one self all the time. My daughter is completely different around me than she is around her girlfriends. And they get really polite with me and don’t cuss, but I’ve overheard them when they didn’t know, and they are potty mouths. My son gets very polite and outgoing around everyone but me – to me he’s impatient and persnickety.

My guess is that they are advising kids not to be posers or fake. However, this is the very essence of being a teenager. We were always faking something. We faked being nice to someone in our group, or we faked being coy to the cute guy we had a crush on, or we faked being sick to get out of PE. We even faked boobs. Before boobs became so high tech, we used toilet paper. We had to wear bras to be socially accepted, and if the bra had nothing to go in it naturally, toilet paper worked just fine. I remember coming out of a bathroom after putting wads of toilet paper in my bra, and apparently I must not have gotten one lodged in there, because a little way down the hall a boob-shaped wad fell out of my dress. I’d felt it slip out and heard it hit the floor like a brick. I scurried forward and pretended I didn’t know anything about it, clutching my three ring binder to my chest until I could adjust my lopsidedness.

But my boobs, as interesting as they are, should not be a source of distraction from this important topic. I’ve come to the conclusion that psychologists keep telling teenagers to be themselves because it’s the only advice they’re willing to give out for free. They probably figure that those people who want to discover the meaning may even pay for some 60-minute couch sessions. It’s probably a marketing scheme. Next time someone says that around me, I’m going to fire back, “How ‘bout you be your own self?” or, if nothing else, I’ll say, “Which one?”

Sadistic Shoes

Women’s shoes are the most irritating things in the world. For something that is essential, why are they so difficult to buy?

First there’s the question of fit. Have you ever seen women’s feet? They come in a million shapes – narrow at the toes and wide at the heels, narrow at the heels and wide at the toes, and narrow at the – in other words, women’s feet are outrageously various. Some of us have a really long second toe – the one beside the big one. As if this toe is trying to show off because it can’t be the “Big” toe, so it has to prove something by being the “long” toe. Unlike the poor 4th toe that has no distinction whatsoever. It’s neither the big toe, the long toe, the middle toe, nor the little toe. There is no nickname for this toe. For this reason, it is obstinate. During a pedicure, the cuticle clings to the nail of the fourth toe like super glue to your finger. It’s a spiteful toe that will often develop a corn, stone bruise, callous, bunion, inflammation, or some other misery to attract your attention. On my foot, this toe leans to the side, making it harder to paint.

But this doesn’t have a lot to do with shoes per se, so I will leave it and get back on topic. Which is, let me go back to the top and read…shoes.

I have a duck foot, so buying shoes is torture. No regular department store shoe is going to fit my foot. The shoe can be perfect in every way, but my toes will be scrunched up in the toe box like those dehydrated sponges you give to kids in the shape of crabs or sea horses. Once they hit the water, they get 10 times their size. My toes get in most shoes and shrink down, lapping over top of each other and screaming obscenities at me. Sometimes I have to wear earplugs.

I’ve gone to wide shoe stores but they have been designed for very old crippled women with odd bones and warts covering their feet. Just try to find something fashionable in there. If you do happen to spot a pair you like, they cost a fortune, as if to say, “With such a fat foot to cover, we’re charging you extra, baby.”

What women end up having to do is buy the least uncomfortable pair of shoes we can find, then go home and try to walk around on them just enough to see if the pain in our feet keeps throbbing or subsides to a dull ache that is bearable. But we can’t wear them too much or they’ll look “worn,” in which case we won’t be able to take them back. I’ve had sales clerks bring out magnifying glasses to see if there is any minute speck of gravel on the sole indicating I’ve worn it – gasp – outside. “It’s okay to walk around with them in the house, but don’t you dare go outside,” the sales clerk always snipes.

I used to wear 3” heels and stand up a good part of the day. That’s before I had children and my feet grew two sizes – from B to D. I refuse to wear old women’s shoes, even though no store carries my size anymore, and shoe stretchers break under the pressure of trying to make a regular store shoe suitable for my foot.

But enough complaining about the fit, let me launch into the style. What lunatic decided that those ugly, clunky shoes from the roaring twenties should be the new fashion rage? Good grief they’re ugly. They were ugly back then, but you only saw them on very thin women in movies. These are definitely not attractive styles on the average American woman today.

Plus there are Ugs, aptly named because you look at them and say, “Ug! Those are ugly!” And little flat shoes that are darling but either fall off your heel or reveal too much toe cleavage. And the big giant heels they have now – 6 inches and rising. They offset the height with 3 inches of sole on the front, so women wearing them look like the bride of Frankenstein.

I wish everyone could wear house slippers around all day like me. With my matching robe, I think I make quite the fashion statement.

Odd Jobs

With this economy, people are out looking for work, and if there aren’t jobs in your area of expertise, you might want to consider some of these non-traditional jobs I found on Google.

Here’s one – a zoo artificial inseminator. Think about that one. No, go ahead, take your time – I’ll wait. Pretty crazy, huh? I’m just wondering how you train for such a position, and how do you apply? What would you list under “Experience?” “I have impregnated my wife four times, and I had extensive practice before I got married, though I haven’t done anything with animals so far.”

Here’s another job – a telephone psychic. What I’d like to know is what the interview would be like:

Interviewer: Let’s test your psychic ability. What is my next question going to be?

Psychic: You’re going to ask if I’ve ever been a phone psychic before?

Interviewer: No, I was going to ask if you’d be available to work on weekends.

Psychic: Oh.

Interviewer: I’m afraid you don’t have the skills needed for this job.

Psychic: Best two out of three?

Another job I found online was a jelly donut filler. Now that’s a job I could get into. But I’m having a hard time picturing it. Does the person stand on an assembly line, clutch a soft donut, insert a jelly gun, and squirt? I’m thinking that, with a little experience, the person who gets this job could probably move up to a zoo inseminator.

I like the sound of this one – a truffle hunter. Truffles are funguses (fungi) that the French hire people and their pigs to dig out of the dirt because someone decided they’re an exquisite delicacy. I wonder who cooked up the first one of these. “Hey, look, a giant fungus under the dirt! Let’s eat one!” This was no doubt a French person, because they live on the premise that you can make the most disgusting thing on earth tasty with the right seasonings. That’s how they got people to eat snails. If I had a trusty pig, I’d be a truffle hunter in a heartbeat.

I’m going to come full circle with my last job – working at a sperm bank. Say you meet someone at a party and they ask what you do. Do you tell them the truth? If someone told me they worked at a sperm bank, I wouldn’t want to shake their hand. Not that they use their hand for anything in particular that I know of, it’s just one of those things I’d be squeamish about. If I had that job I’d say I was a teller.

Other interesting jobs I came across were Magician’s Assistant, Fortune Cookie Writer, Snake Milker, Dog Food Tester, Golf Ball Diver, and Dice Inspector. I hope if you are unemployed, you’ll consider these off-the-beaten-path careers, if for no other reason, it will make you way more interesting at parties.

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Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen