Gentle Humor

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

Month: March 2010 (Page 1 of 4)

Responses to Your Responses

Today I went into one of my blogs and discovered I had a whole bunch of comments from a form response. I’m not sure where they came from – I have a response page but I thought those forms went to my email. It’s all so confusing.

Anyway, with eager delight I started plowing through all the forms. The first one was from someone speaking English with a foreign tongue. How can I tell this? Here’s an exact copy of some of her comments – see for yourself.

“Humor is feel good! feeling great and helps you live longer gives energy to people around you, see your skin happy and glowing ,your blood flow in harmony lots of energy. luck of humor ages so quickly.I meet many people and mostly women’s they commented on me especially during on the coversation. oh! they said you’re only spring young chicken? . my answer to that is of course, Iam only fifty five?”

She goes on to say “send an email share to your friends and everyone i could organized to have a workshops .here is my website and look theres a lot to share and learn from.http://www.veunique.com just remember age is only a number its what it feels that count cheers me! Violeta”

Violeta, you sound wonderful and entertaining. I hope you aren’t a scammer kind of person, because I got a whole mess of messages from people who wanted me to have a page 1 listing on Google, and “All of our processes use the most ethical “white hat” Search Engine Optimization techniques that will not get your website banned or penalized.”

As reassuring as that sounds, I’m not interested in having top billing. I’m writing a daily blog for one year to get into the practice of writing, and no one even knows about it except a few people in my writer’s group. I’m happy Violeta and others find it entertaining, but I’m certainly not ready for prime time – after all, I’m only on day 165. I have a whole nother half a year of practice.

I got a message from Matt Champlin. He’s got a handyman page and wanted my opinion whether women would like handy tips written by a man. In response to one of my articles about having to fix things around the house because my husband won’t, he says: “My mother was a go getter and would shame my father into finishing her projects by having my twins brothers and I painting the garage with her supervising. All the neighborhood would watch as my Dad pulled up in the driveway to see his family doing his work.”

Matt, I think I would like your mom. Matt’s website is www.unhandyguy.com.

The other messages were from people who like my site, although one guy argued with me about a story I told of a woman my boyfriend and I visited three days after she had a baby. My boyfriend at the time was essentially lacking in couth, and when we saw her he blurted out, “I thought you had a baby.” The writer felt my boyfriend was giving her a compliment, as if to say, “You look great, not like someone who just had a baby.”

I should have made this more clear. Delivering a child had done nothing for her figure. Her belly looked like she’d just eaten a whole goat. My boyfriend was definitely being a jerk.

Thanks to all of you who like my blog and website, and for responding – some of you have joined my site. Does that mean you get special privileges? Oh, I hope so. You deserve it!

Lousy Dentists

I do not like dentists. I used to despise going to them because it hurt to get my teeth cleaned. I didn’t like to floss. The hygienist raked that floss between my teeth like she was sawing through a redwood, and I’d be sore and bleeding for days. I also didn’t appreciate the lectures I got about flossing. They were always so hateful about it.

“You haven’t flossed, have you?”

“Yes, I flossed just before I came here.”

“And when was the time before that?”

“Uh, I think you did it that time.”

“Why don’t you take better care of your teeth?”

I felt like a miscreant.

Now I floss all the time. I discovered these little packages of sticks with floss on them that I use constantly in my car. I’m driving down the road, flossing away. It’s a great invention.

These days my loathing of dentists comes from their apparent incompetence. I say apparent to be nice, because the last couple of ones I’ve had have been awful. One ended up doing a crown on a tooth that I thought he was only going to cosmetically improve. I didn’t realize I was getting a crown until was done and got infected and he wrote me a referral to see someone to have a root canal. Fortunately I didn’t go to the appointment and instead found another dentist who gave me penicillin that cleared it up.

Unfortunately, she decided I needed a bite adjustment and ground down my back teeth to the point that my front ones banged together the whole time I was talking, which led to agony and finally getting braces to bring the back teeth up. Two years of that and my teeth are working again. My orthodontist did a good job, but he’s not a dentist.

When he took the braces off the crown, part of the fake tooth came away, so metal is showing. I went to my regular dentist (the one I started going to after the bad dentist ruined my bite), and he told me he didn’t want to bond over the missing part that tooth needed a crown and I should just have it done at one time.

“But it’s already a crown.”

“No, that’s your regular tooth.”

“Then why is there metal there?”

“I’m not sure that’s metal.”

“It is metal.”

“It can’t be metal, because it’s not a crown.”

“But the dentist who put it on said it was a crown and it got infected and he said I needed a root canal.”

“I don’t know why he’d call it a crown. It’s not a crown.”

It’s hard to argue with logic like that.

I’m not sure how these people got through dental school, but I’ve sure had a lousy string of dentists in the last few years, and it’s leaving a very, very bad taste in my mouth.

Rain Induced ADD

I take it back about the rain. It’s been pouring all day. On my patio, earthworms are holding up white flags. I’ve never seen such rain! It’s thumping and thumping and thumping on the roof like a bill collector pounding at my door.

Speaking of bill collectors, I got my 2010 Census envelope in the mail, and already they’ve sent a notice saying it’s late. I think the notice came before the census. I am not looking forward to filling that out. It’s not like I have anything to hide, it just seems like I did one just recently. Can’t they have a form that says, “Check here if nothing’s changed in 10 years.” Sure we’ve all aged, but that shouldn’t be too hard for them to figure out. Other than that, everything’s stayed pretty much the same. Filling out the census is just one more thing I don’t really want to do.

That list is getting longer. As I get older, it seems like the list of things I do want to do gets smaller. I’ve narrowed down my wants to a few essential things. I want tasty food, less commercials, and a lot more sleep than I’m getting.

They say we don’t get enough sleep in this country. How can we?  The phone rings at all hours. Kids are sick. The dog is sick. Computers and late night TV vie to keep us up. And this freaking rain. It’s like a jackhammer out there.

Now there’s a job. Can you imagine the physical strength it must take to hold a giant vibrator all day long? I bet those guys start out weighing 300 pounds and have to be replaced every few months when their weight drops to 150.

Once I rented a floor buffer. I’d never used one, and I turned it on and it swung me around the room like I was on Dances with the Stars. That’s one powerful machine. I never did have my way with it – I just hung on and hoped it would eventually cover the entire floor at least once. My arms were sore for days.

I’ve been listening to comics on the satellite radio that came as a trial version on my car. Those guys are so funny, but when I tried to analyze what they were doing, all I could observe is that they just surprise you all the time. They say something like, “I got a dog on my birthday. I married her on New Year’s Day.” They take you where you don’t expect to go, and it’s amusing. I can’t wait to get in my car now.

One was talking about Hot Pockets – you know, those frozen fast-food microwavable delicacies for teens and singles? He wondered why they weren’t on menus in restaurants. “I’ll have the chicken cordon bleu with a hot pocket on the side.” It made me think of food names when I heard him. Some names like Wheat Thins tell you pretty much what you’re getting. Others, not so much. If you’d never seen these products, what would you think they were? Skittles? Nestles Quik? Cheetos? They could be anything. Cheetos could be cheetah toes. Skittles could be little skillet things. And Quik could be microwavable fast food.

Oh that rain outside! Who can think? On a night such as this, a person would do well to simply head to bed and hope sleep steals in during a lull in the deluge. Please forgive me for saying “Hooray” for rain.

Rainy Day Hooray

We get a lot of rain in Oregon. Right now it’s pounding on the roof like a million squirrels are doing aerobics up there. I went into the laundry room and found water on the floor. This happens for three reasons: the toilet has overflowed, the trap in the washer is full of rusty coins, or the gutter outside is clogged up.

I don’t know how I became Little Miss Fixit in my house. Well, actually, I do. I have to do it because my husband says, “Aw, screw it.” He doesn’t actually say that, but it rhymed.

What he says is to remind him tomorrow and he’ll fix it. “I’m reminding you right now,” I say. “I’m watching this show right now. It will keep until tomorrow.” When tomorrow comes, I say, “You told me to remind you to clean the gutters out.”

“I said to remind me tomorrow,” he answers.

“But it is tomorrow,” I say.

“It’s actually today,” he says. “It will keep until tomorrow.”

He thinks he’s clever. When I strap on the tool belt he turns the TV up higher so my hammering and drilling won’t disturb his show.

This evening, after I mopped up the water, I got the screwdriver and took the washer apart. I hate checking that trap because it’s got this very complicated clamp that frightens me. I worry I won’t get it back on the hose right and water will spray out like a fire hydrant. The washer was fine.

Then I checked the gutter and sure enough, it was full of pine needles. Thank goodness – that’s easy to fix. Whenever it rains hard, which used to be perpetually, the gutters get clogged and overflow, forming a puddle that finds its way into our laundry room.

I like the rain, though. It’s a good excuse to sit inside and read a book or play on the computer without feeling guilty. We’ve had the most awful run of sunshine in Oregon this winter, though. Usually we can count on steady rain from Halloween to the 4th of July, with the exception of a couple of weeks of sun in January, and maybe a day or two scattered here and there, but that’s it. Nobody uses umbrellas here when it rains, but I’ve seen people carrying them to get some shade.

I guess I’ve got the opposite of the rainy day blues. What would that be, I wonder. Rainy day reds?

I can hear the frogs down at my neighbor’s house croaking their delight. Well, they croak for no reason all through the evening. And they don’t actually croak. They ribbit. There are so many – hundreds of them – that you can hear them over the TV with all the doors and windows shut. Still, they seem to ribbit more when it’s raining. People come over and can’t believe how loud they are. It’s like a frog rock concert. I’m going to go now and let the rain and the frogs lull me to sleep – they almost drown out my husband’s snoring. Almost.

Dumb Studies

I like studies. I especially like it when they prove something that I’ve already been doing and didn’t want to change. A study that says fixing fish sticks and fries once a week isn’t going to kill your kids is a great service to humanity, in my opinion.

However, there are studies I read about that make me think – “Isn’t this obvious already? Why would you need to prove this? And who gives a flying rip?”

I found some studies on the National Post website under the fitting title “Dumb Studies 2008.” I’m going to share them but I have to make the disclaimer that I’ve not researched to see if they are true studies or where they came from, so if all of this information is incorrect, it’s par for the course on this blog.

FYI, the headlines and some of the text in these belong to National Post. To show this, I’ve used this handy punctuation device (“) to show that I lifted this verbatim from their website because they said it a lot funnier than I could. When you see this (“) that means it’s the end of the quote and I’m talking. Also, if I’ve left something out of the quote, I’ll use dot dot dot to indicate the left out part. If this is too confusing, perhaps someone will do a study on ways to improve quotation marks so that people aren’t misled into thinking that the blogger actually wrote the really funny part and not just the regular part. Perhaps I should apply for a grant…

 “Study finds: People who exercise are less fat than people who sit on the couch all day eating chips and watching Oprah. People who added 20 to 40 minutes of walking a day lost a small but steady amount of weight, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. The lead researcher also noted that changing eating habits could help lose even more weight, in what seems a shameless attempt at lining up grant money for a follow-up study on the merits of eating more salad and fewer donuts.”

“Study finds: Young children are a little frightened by clowns.” Researchers found that kids in a children’s hospital didn’t want pictures of clowns on the wall. Did this take a study? Picture of clowns – especially those ones with the huge black, sad looking eyes and the frowns – are not fun to look at. They are downright depressing and have been known to induce nightmares and fear of clowns hiding under the bed.

“Study finds: Women don’t like to be told they look fat.  A national survey found 68% of men have lied when asked by a woman: “Do I look fat in this?” The other 32% of respondents were said to have recently been dumped by their girlfriends or wives.”  I personally don’t condone lying in men, but this is one area where they absolutely must be diplomatic, and by diplomatic I mean lie.

“Study finds: Smoking not so good for you. University of Waterloo scientists conducted a study that established that smoking, which is hazardous absolutely every place it is pursued, including the house, the office, in elevators, crowded rooms, uncrowded rooms, lobbies, bus shelters, bars, restaurants, small caves in southern France, in the upstairs bathroom when you think your parents won’t notice and in every other conceivable location, is also dangerous in cars. The study said second-hand smoke ‘reaches unhealthy levels in cars, even under realistic ventilation conditions,’ which is scientist-speak for ‘with the window open a crack.’”

“Study finds: People who think the government wastes their money might fib a little on their tax returns….But even the honest tax payers were not about to tell their wives they look fat in those jeans.”

“Study finds: People tend to underestimate how much they weigh. McMaster University researchers found that people self-report themselves at a lower weight than they actually are. The most likely to under-report their weight were people who qualify as ‘obese,’ according to their body mass index. They were also most likely to finish those fries if you were done with them.”

“Study finds: Getting fired is disappointing: University of Toronto research found that a pink slip can be disappointing even to people who consider themselves optimistic… Optimists also tended to find it disappointing when they were romantically dumped, a pet died, or they whacked their thumb with a hammer.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed these, courtesy of National Post. There’s a link here if you want to “study” these studies more (yes, I should definitely do standup): http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/12/30/dumb-studies-2008-a-year-of-confirming-the-incredibly-obvious.aspx

Standupize It

I have exciting news. I know you remember how hard I was working last week. I’m certain you recall that I was working on a solar proposal for my company, Mr. Sun Solar, to solarize southwest Portland. Well, if you do recall that, you can read minds and should be in the circus, because I didn’t mention it. I was just grousing in general.

However, specifically right now I’m saying that my company got the bid. To show his appreciation for my part of the effort, designing and editing the 17 page bid and making it pretty, my boss had a plaque made for me, which really touched my heart. He presented it during our company celebration, so I read the inscription out loud.

“For Outstanding Achievement

Solaize SW Portland Proposal”

I stumbled on the word “solaize” and he said, “They misspelled solarize.” To which I said, in a voice like a brotha: “We gonna sola – ize southwest Portland” kindof drawing out the “ize”  into a long whisper-like sound.

Everyone at the office got a laugh out of that, which makes me think I should do standup comedy.

I can’t blame the plaque company, it was probably the first time they’d ever seen the word. It’s a made-up word, after all. Well, I think it’s made up, but I’d better check with Google….. I’m back, and I’m wrong. It’s a real word. Here’s what Google says: “(Physics / General Physics) to treat by exposure to the sun’s rays.” I’m not curious enough to question the difference between Physics and General Physics, but if someone else wants to, have at it.

Anyway, I was going to continue this blog talking about how we make up words to suit us but you’d never find them in the dictionary – words, for instandce, like “solarize” – but now I’m screwed.

Still, there are a bunch of words that appear to be made up. Super-size is one of them. I’ll look that up….. Just as I suspected. No mention of this in a dictionary. McDonald’s gets all the credit for this made-up word.

I have been known to make these words up myself. To appear cute and funny to my kids, if I’m putting a spread of pure yellow fat on a piece of toast I’ll say, “Do you want me to butterize it?” They show their amusement by rolling their eyes. They do that a lot around here, which makes me think I should do standup.

In my head, I’m trying to think of other words I could make up with “ize” and I’ve discovered something very interesting. One syllable words don’t work very well when they’ve been ized. If I want to shovel an organic material around a new plant, saying I’m going to “dirtize” it doesn’t sound right, whereas “fertilize” sounds great. If I’m going to throw a ball really really fast, saying “speedize” it sounds weird, but saying I’m going to “rocketize” it sounds just right. Here’s one more. If I have some grape juice and I want to conduct an experiment by letting it sit out a few days, I could say I’m going to “wine-ize” it, but it will sound better saying “fermentize” it. I’ve actually conducted this exact experiment before, and what ends up happening is that I “fruitflyized” it.

Oh what fun! Don’t you just love playing with words?!! I bet I could do a whole standup routine about this one suffix. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know where and when I’ll be performing.

The Complexities of Good and Evil

Mae West said, “When I’m good, I’m really good, but when I’m bad, I’m even better.” Mae was a saucy gal decades before her time – a woman using such innuendo was uncommon whenever Mae was around a long time ago.

Today’s  bad girls don’t use innuendo at all. They probably don’t even use deodorant. They just come right out and do whatever they want. Like Miley Cyrus, who was a good girl until recently. She did a pole dance at some teen award thing that got everyone up in arms. She went from  sweet little Hannah Montana – the darling of the tweens, to a stripper wannabe. Obviously she was trying to shed her good girl image to attract a new segment of the audience – lechers and pedophiles.

I’ve concluded that we like to put people in our “angels” and “demons” folder, and we want them to stay there. When someone like Miley no longer fits in the “angels” folder, we get confused. We scrtatch our heads, look from side to side with a furrowed brow, scratch our heads again, and burp. The same holds true in the opposite direction. Madonna and Lady Gaga are in the “demons” folder because they strut around on stage in underwear, killing two birds with one stone by singing to a crowd of thousands while acting in a porn movie all at the same time. When one of them does something humanitarian, perhaps to get publicity or not – I generally tend to be suspicious of the motives of people I’ve put in my demons folder – then it throws us off guard.

I use the words “us” and “we” as if you agree with everything I’m saying, which would be the smart thing to do in my humble opinion.

I think people in show business go from angels to demons and visa versa to rope in more market share, which is good for their careers if it works. Robert Downey Jr. used to be a very bad boy and I tended not to like watching him. Now he’s decided to be good and has become a very fine actor, and I’m not just saying that because my eyes get all soft and twinkly when I see him in the movies. I’m being objective. Honest. I tend to admire people in the “angels” folder a lot more.

In fact, when they move over to the “demons” folder, I’m less likely to want anything to do with them. I think this is more a factor of my age than anything else. Younger people love bad people because they identify with the expression of freedom and being rebellious. Rock stars busting guitars on stage used to be quite a thrill. Now I just think, “Who’s going to clean up that mess? Are they going to grab a broom and sweep up those guitar splinters? Hell no. They’re going to make someone else do it. Just like teenagers to have their fun, make a huge mess, then expect their mom to come in and pick up after them. I bet his mom is backstage, hair tied up in a bandana, old printed housedress, fuzzy pink slippers, leaning on a speaker with her arms folded, just standing around waiting to tidy up and make macaroni and cheese and never get a word of thanks. Yeah, go on, have your fun while I cook and clean all day for what? For ungrateful kids who don’t even give me the time of day.”

This is what I personally say to the TV when I witness rebellion these days, but when I was rebelling myself, I’d raise my fist in the air and yell “Whoo-who.”   

So being good or bad is a complex thing. There was an episode of Seinfeld where George figured out that a young woman was attracted to him because he gave the appearance of being naughty. So he played it up, and she couldn’t get enough of him. Of course he couldn’t keep it up, and she drifted away, or something like that, I can’t really remember how it ended, or for that matter, what the point was of bringing it up in the first place. It probably had something to do with being good or bad, but we’ll never know.

As I’ve matured, I find I’m more drawn to angels. I think it’s because I have faith that angels put their dinner plates in the dishwasher without being told, and they pick their dirty clothes off the floor more often than every six months. I like angels. When Lady Gaga comes on, I flip the station.  She’s very interesting in interviews, but I just know she’s sloppy. She doesn’t even put forth the effort to get dressed all the way. I bet Robert Downey, Jr. has a spotless home. I bet he puts the toilet set down, too.

The Pork Chop Story

I’m not a bad cook, it’s just not my favorite thing to do. If I had my way, I’d open the refrigerator and find the perfect meal without having to do anything more than fire up the microwave.

When my husband and I had just started dating, I decided I’d go to his house and cook dinner. Don’t know what got into me, I guess I was trying to prove I was domestic. I bought these big thick pork chops because I’m from the south and I know how to cook a pork chop. You mix up some flour, salt and pepper, a little garlic powder, then wash the chops and dredge them in the flour, then sizzle them in some oil until they’re brown as a speckled heifer on the outside and white as a chicken breast on the inside. I may not know much, but I know chops.

So I went to his house and let myself in, found the frying pan, prepped the chops, but I couldn’t find the oil. I called him and asked, “Where’s the oil?”

“Under the sink.” He was bemused and impressed that I was cooking him dinner. I felt special.

I put about ¾ inch of oil in the pan – just the right amount to fry half a thick chop at a time. As I was waiting for the oil to heat up, II called my friend, Claudia. She was intrigued about this whole cooking adventure since she had never known me to voluntarily cook. She’s very funny. I was laughing as I added the pork chops to the oil, arranging them just so in the pan to keep them from touching for even browning.

Have you ever had one of those really happy moments in life? Like all the planets line up and everything goes exactly how it should. I was cooking my specialty for a guy who I was liking enough to go to the trouble, and a girlfriend on the phone who was entertaining me with her endless stories of people at work. Birds were singing. Flowers were blooming. I couldn’t wait to serve this scrumptious meat and mashed potatoes and green beans meal that I knew would make a good impression.

I happened to look up and noticed a black cloud hanging just above my head in the kitchen. “Claudia, there’s a black cloud in here. It’s like being in an airplane when you are in clear sky and suddenly it’s white. I can see where it starts.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“I don’t know. This is so weird.”

“Is it the pork chops?”

“No, they aren’t burning. They’re just sitting there frying away. There’s no smoke coming from anywhere.”

I’m paranoid about everything. The black cloud made me think immediately of some chemical contamination – some horror movie kind of fog that rolls into town and everyone drops twitching to the sidewalk. “I’m going to hang up. I think it’s a chemical fog. I’m running outside.”

I dashed out the back door to find a clear sky. Hmmm. I went back in. The cloud layer was only in the kitchen. It had to be the pork chops. And then I saw that they weren’t browning on the outside – they were flour-white just sitting in the bubbling oil. And the oil looked like water in a rolling boil – little circles of air breaking the surface everywhere. With dread, I looked under the sink. There were two identical big plastic jugs with handles. When I picked up one, it said oil. The other said dishwashing detergent.

I pulled one of the pork chops out of the oil and ran it under some water in the sink. It bubbled. I could have washed an entire car with the thing.

In the meantime, gravity was acting on the black smoke, and it was falling to earth in little black specks that landed all over the white countertops.

I spent the next hour trying to get the evidence out of the kitchen by wiping everything down and then wiping again and again as more particles fell. When the cloud was gone and the counters were finally clean, I had a great idea. What if I washed the soap out of the pork chops? They had been very expensive. Maybe I could salvage the dinner after all. I ran one under the water, and bubbles flowed out of it like a foamy waterfall.

When my boyfriend got home, I had to tell him that dinner was all washed up. We went out to eat, we ended up getting married, and he’s been doing most of the cooking ever since.

Two-fers

Two-fers. Love the sound of that. Getting two for the price of one.

When my husband and his best friend had a landmark birthday, we sent out an invitation that said, “It’ a Double Whammy!” We love the value we can get by acquiring two things and paying only one price.

I wanted twins. Doesn’t that seem like a great deal – get the pregnancy done all at one time, go through the terrible two’s once. Not that I begrudge having my two separate children, but I always envy twins.

Sales can sucker you in when they say, “Buy one, get one free.” It sounds too good to pass up, so you fill your cart. It’s a great marketing ploy. Why not just give us one at half price? Because they want you to take two lemons off their hands.

You see this all the time in those infomercials. If you order the Ronco Veg-o-Matic, they’ll throw in the potato peeler/screwdriver/toothpick/shoehorn in for free. Who can pass up a deal like that? Or if you buy one 1950’s music CD, you’ll also get a ginsu knife. Remember those things? They’ll cut a tomato into a slender slice or whack off a dog’s tail like it was butter.

Congressman will bury a little stinker of a clause in a mountain of legalese that benefits the people from their state. This is kindof a reverse two-fer. You’d be better off without the extra little rider. Congress approves the whole bill because no one reads them, and the public is worse off for the two-fer.

I thought two-fers would be a great blog topic, but I’m stretching and not really reaching any high comedic heights here. The only other two-fer I can think of is Reese’s Cups. They give you two little cups that don’t add up to another candy bar, and yet I love those things. You finish one so fast in your lust for chocolate you barely taste it, but then you have another one to look forward to and savor.  

I will end with a joke I read today. One beautiful Sunday a priest decides it’s too pretty to say Mass – he wants to go golfing instead. So he gets someone to cover for him and sneaks off with his clubs. He decides to go to a course 50 miles away because he knows he won’t run into any parishioners there.

Meantime St. Peter is talking to God and says, “Are you going to let him get away with that?” and God says, “I guess not, I’ll have to do something.”

The priest arrives at the course, tees up at the first hole and hits a long, soaring shot all the way down the 400 yard fairway, and the ball lands just shy of the cup. It takes a bounce or two and rolls right into the hole.

“Lord, I thought you were going to punish him,” St. Peter says, a little dismayed.

“I did,” God answers. “Who’s he going to tell?”

Income Tax Blues

Oh my gosh – I’ve got a public! Someone emailed me missing my blog post last night!!!! How truly exciting.

I have no excuses except for taxes. I’ve put them off as long as I can, and my husband tied me to my desk last night and said I couldn’t move until they were done. At 2:00 a.m. I remembered I had a switchblade hidden in my shoe (never go anywhere without it), so I was able to get my shoe up to my mouth, untie the laces with my teeth, scrape the shoe off on the desk leg, contort my hand down to the switchblade, saw through the ropes and free myself. After all that struggle, I was in no mood to blog.

Oh, and before I forget, I have some nice swampland in Florida I’ll sell to you at a very good price – a steal really. Please respond directly to this post for more information.

The reason the tax stuff is so daunting (and sucks) is because I own a very small yet very unlucrative business doing anything anyone will pay me to do, which apparently isn’t much, and I do my own bookkeeping. I hate accounting with a passion. More than a passion, even, with a vengeance, and even more than that if I could come up with a more loathsome word. I hate it because I lose receipts, forget to make entries in my checkbook, and make business purchases with the wrong credit cards. I have a business credit card, American Express, that isn’t taken everywhere, so I use one of my own. How do I account for this? Plus if it’s only a buck or two, I pay cash. Am I supposed to keep that receipt somewhere and if so, why and where? Because I can’t even keep the AmEx ones that I know belong with the business.

I have folders, and I’m very well organized with everything but accounting. I can retrieve a picture I took six years ago of a random squirrel on my computer in 3.7 seconds. But there is no way I can find yesterday’s receipt for photocopying.

It’s a combination of dislikes that causes it. Keeping up with accounting means typing in numbers – and there’s the origin of my mental block. My fingers protest at having to reach that far. They never liked it in high school typing class, and they don’t like it now. To show their disapproval, they go to y instead of 6 and o (oh) instead of 0 (zero). Here’s what one of my number’s looks like: y3r.o5. If I’m typing a whole column in Excel and hit Sum without looking at the typing, it just doesn’t add up.

The second reason I hate accounting is because it has to do with the IRS. I despise tax code as much as I fear tax men (and women). I know I’m going to get something wrong, even with the best intentions. Besides, tax code is designed by the wealthy for the wealthy. You know the system is screwed up when Warren Buffet pays less in taxes than his secretary. I advocate an across the board 10% flat rate for everyone above poverty level, but would that ever fly? Not no but hell no. H & R Block, millions of tax attorneys and accountants, and nearly all the IRS men and women would lose their jobs. It’s a self-perpetuating infestation eating away at the core of the American dream.

If I had my druthers, here’s what my tax return would look like:

Annual income: $   r,43y.uq

Tax Rate %:    x                  .1o

Total tax due:    $        r43.yu

Now that’s the kind of taxes I can live with.

Oh, must sign off now. My husband’s coming, and he’s got a rubber hose…*

*(My public – and I love you all – will get this inside joke, or see the Score Some Gore blog).

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Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen