Gentle Humor

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

Month: August 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

I Admit I’m a Bag Lady

I can’t leave my dog in my Prius and lock it. I discovered this when I ran into the post office and a couple of minutes later I heard a car alarm going off. It didn’t stop and I was cursing that idiot driver until I went out to the parking lot and saw it was my car lights flashing.

When I called the dealer about it, he said to bring it in, but apparently the alarm system goes off when the car is locked and something moves inside. I guess there’s a good reason for that, but I can’t figure out what. Suppose you want to leave your teenage daughter in the car because she refused to be seen with you in public, but you wanted her to be safe. She’d have to sit like a sphinx until you got done in the grocery store. Unfortunately, the repairperson didn’t know how to fix it.

For those of you who are tisk-tisking me for leaving my dog in the car in the first place, let me assure you that I am putting her in no danger. I’ve left her in the car with the motor running, unlocked, and the air conditioner on, when I just dash in to get something somewhere. You can’t tell the car is on – it’s so quiet with that hybrid electric motor.

When I have to go into a store for a while, I take the dog in with me. I made this black bag that I put her in. It looks like a worn out, tacky handbag. That dog has gone into restaurants, amusement parks, movies, bars, and church.

She loves it in there. If I put the bag on the floor, she tries to climb in it – even if we’re not going anywhere. It’s got a wood bottom with a cushy pad so she just lies down and enjoys getting toted around. When I go to the bathroom I hang her on the door hook so the top won’t fold down on her.

She’s a smart little pooch, so we taught her to be quiet in the bag by saying, “No barking.” However, there were some glitches. Once when we first started using it, we were on vacation and found a church on Sunday morning. She was quiet as a, ahem, church mouse until we went to communion. We left her in the pew, and when we were walking down the aisle on the way to the altar, we heard her whimpering. The kids started poking me (as if I hadn’t heard!), and giggling into their hands. The whining got louder. I guess she thought we’d left her. We got communion and raced back to the pew, petting the outside of the bag to calm her down. After that no one left her alone while she was in the bag.

As I type this I realize that you may be thinking, “What kind of nut carries a dog around with them in a bag?” Well, I’m that kind of nut – l’ll admit I’ve always been a little crazy. But if you could see how pitiful that dog looks when you’re getting ready to go out the door and she doesn’t get to go, you’d be bagging her up, too.

Today I noticed the bag is getting pretty ratty. She’s poked a couple of holes in it, and the sun has faded some of the fine black mesh. It’s trashy, but I haven’t found a replacement with as much ventilation that looks like a handbag instead of a dog bag, and doesn’t show the dog in it because it’s black and so is she.

One problem is that I can’t take a purse with me, because the bag is supposed to be my purse. So I have to pack a credit card in my pocket for purchases. It looks pretty stupid, but I haven’t been caught yet. Knock on wood.

I Scream for Chocolate

I took a notion for a chocolate dipped ice cream cone tonight, so I went by the Dairy Queen. I told the clerk I wanted just a little one. Last time I was there I think the clerk got distracted when she was filling the cone with soft ice cream. It came out looking like the leaning tower of Pisa. It was so tall, the top of it smeared the roof of my car.

When I ordered a little cone with not much ice cream, she didn’t understand. I could have explained to her that I really just wanted the chocolate shell around the ice cream, but it seemed more trouble than it was worth so I just repeated I only wanted a little cone.

“We have a child’s cone,” she said.

So I ordered that and when it got there, it was still too big. It was a normal adult sized, sensible cone. I forced myself to eat it all rather than litter up my car with sticky drippings.

Speaking of drippings, I love the way the ice cream melts under the chocolate shell and runs like little rivers out from underneath. On a hot day you’ll spend the whole time trying to dam up those flows with your tongue, turning the cone round and round to try and catch them all.

When I was a kid my brother talked the neighborhood kids into helping him distribute free samples of Palmolive liquid soap and a couple of other products by offering to treat us to anything we wanted at Dairy Queen. He got a whole bunch of us together, which ended up being me, my friend Christine, my friend Carol and her five brothers and sisters, plus his friend, Clark Reese.

The samples had to be stuffed into a bag, so he got us in assembly lines, each person stuffing one item and passing the bag to the next person. It was pretty ingenious. We loaded up boxes of these things, and then he drove us around delivering them. I grabbed a handful of bags and ran up one side of the street, and Clark covered the other side.

When it was all done, all the helpers walked down to the Dairy Queen and got anything we wanted. Of course most of us ordered banana splits because those were luxury, deluxe, expensive treats that none of us ever got. I don’t know how much my brother made on the deal, but we were all pretty happy with our pay.

I wish I knew how they made those chocolate dipped cones, though. McDonald’s makes them too, and once I asked the person there for only a little ice cream. She said, “What?” as if to say, “Are you crazy? You gonna pay full price and not get a full cone?” I told her I just wanted the chocolate.

“Then I’ll give you your money’s worth,” she said. She dipped the cone several times until it had a real thick coating on it. It was so thick it stayed warm and was creamy and smooth in my mouth. What a feast. Nobody else has ever done it like that for me since.

Makes me think of that rhyme,

I scream

You scream

We all scream

For ice cream

‘Specially when they dip

Chocolate coating all over it.

How to Survive a Bee Attack

Nothing scares me more than bees except the sound of a bee.

When I was a kid, I got into a yellow jacket’s nest – the jerks of the bee kingdom that can sting you over and over. Those things are vicious. I’ve had yellow jackets attack me for no reason, just for their own entertainment. “Hey guys, watch me make this lady dance.”

When I hear one of those things I used to take off running. It didn’t matter what I was doing. It was a conditioned response.

For years I pulled my car over and jumped out when a bee flew in the window. I’ve run out of my house and looked back in the windows to see where the thing went. Swatting at them just made them mad. “Hey, you swinging at me? YOU SWINGING AT ME!!!!!! I don’t put up with dat from nobody. You hear me, NOBODY.”

But I discovered a secret that I’m going to share with you now because it’s yellow jacket season and they are incredibly nasty during September. Here’s what you do. Grab a newspaper or some kind of weapon – something spread out. Pine boughs work great. Start swatting toward the bee until you make contact with him. I’m not talking about killing him, because I don’t like to kill stuff, but if you just make contact, he’ll fly away every time.

You see, these guys aren’t so tough when you stand up to them. Their strength lies in triggering your fear with their buzzing sound. Bees use it as a form of intimidation. The sound causes humans to freeze up in terror or run like hell. I know a lot of those car wrecks where the driver “lost control of the car” could be traced to a bee flying through the window. I’ve nearly wrecked a car that way on more than one occasion.

Trust me, you stand up to these guys and they’re going to tuck tail and run. But heaven help you if you start flailing around and don’t make contact, because the bee will circle around and attack you in the back. Make sure your weapon is wide enough so you can’t miss.

Of course if the whole family of bees attacks because you’ve stumbled onto their nest, you’re screwed. There are too many of them to swat at. Just run until your lungs give out and hope by then they’ve gotten bored of stinging you over and over.

Oh I have to recommend a movie I’m watching as I write. It’s called “Get Shorty.” This is a movie I’ve watched several times and never get tired of seeing. John Travolta and Rene Russo. Great movie. And no bees!

GPS Means Go Past Streets

I have a GPS system in my car, which I think stands for Go Past Streets. It’s very complicated. The little arrow isn’t pointing the right way. If I come to an intersection and the blue line indicating the route I should take is off to the right, I turn right. Then I see that the arrow (my car) is heading away from the blue line.

This is pretty confusing, and I spend a lot of time making U-turns. I didn’t understand it until today when I was giving someone a ride and he started showing me the features. “The arrow is the direction you’re going right now. See, it’s pointing north.”

“But it feels like I’m going south.”

“Nope, that’s north. See the airport in that green area?”

“Oooooh, I get it. So if it’s pointing north, and the blue line is turning east, then I have to make a left,” I said.

“Well, no, you’d be going west then.”

“Oh, so which way is east?”

“It’s where the “3” would be on the clock if your GPS was a clock.”

“Oooooo, I can remember that. I’ll call it “threast!” I was excited after all these months that I could finally understand at least that part of the GPS.

When I first got the car, there was a lady in the dashboard who told me where to go all the time. “Turn right in 500 feet.” She jabbered constantly. I felt like I had a 7-year-old girl in there. “Whatcha doin? Do you want to watch me? Watch me do this? You aren’t watching. Watch me now.” She’d interrupt my favorite songs to tell me stuff even when I didn’t program a destination. “Go home now?” and “You’re gas is getting low.” It was annoying but I was okay with it until she started getting personal. “Are you wearing THAT today?” and “You need to pluck that wild chin hair.” She took her job a little too seriously.

I had to go with my brother yesterday to drop off his car at a mechanic in Vancouver, a few miles away and neither of us knew how to get there. I told him I’d lead because I had the GPS. We got on the freeway and I guess I got a little ahead in all the traffic, so I was trying to watch my rearview mirror and watch for the exit, too. My GPS showed I was supposed to exit, but there were two ramps, and just as the one I was supposed to take appeared on the screen, the phone rang. To my dismay, the phone screen came on and the map disappeared. Which one should I take?”

It was my brother. “Where are you?” he said.

“I just exited, but I’m on a ramp and I don’t know whether to go right or left because I can’t see the map while I’m on the phone.”

“Oh,” he said. “Then I’ll hang up and call you back.”

I watched the screen anxiously but it stayed on the phone. I guess it wanted to make sure I knew how long I’d talked, to whom I was speaking, and – absolutely essential information – that I had disconnected the call. This last was so important that the disconnect screen stayed up for many minutes. I’m sure glad that pesky GPS didn’t rush back and interrupt the screen showing that I had disconnected from my brother. This was information I NEEDED to know.

As usual I made the wrong choice because the blue line started twisting around like a pretzel. I had to make another U-turn. I could see that I would have to turn right soon because a little side-screen came up to alert me it was coming, but before I could see what street I was supposed to turn on and how far it would be, the phone rang again.

“Where are you?” my brother asked.

“I was about to find out just when you called.”

When he hung up, I made another u-turn and we both finally made it to the mechanic’s shop, though I don’t know how. I wish whoever made these things would know that I don’t need to have a screen showing the whole time I’m using my Bluetooth phone. Believe it or not, I know who I’m talking to – I don’t need to read it on the screen during the whole conversation. Other than that, I love my GPS – even though it does make me Go Past Streets all the time.

Sweet Smelling Dogs

I had to give my dog a bath just now. When I say the word, “bath,” she tucks her tail and heads for the farthest place in the house.

Today after I it, I followed her to the laundry room, her tail tucked, head hung low, resigned to her fate, buying time leading our little parade through the house.

Since she’s so small, I can wash her in the deep sink. She stares up at me with her dark brown eyes and it’s like she’s saying, “Why are you doing this to me, momma? What did I do wrong? Didn’t you tell me I was the best dog in the world? Don’t I always greet you with joy, even when you’ve just gone to the bathroom?”

After the bath she runs through the house and rubs her nose and the side of her body against all the furniture like a cat on speed. She’ll bend her head down and plow her face along the carpet, switching sides. She acts wild and throws a ball in the air or snaps at our heels. It’s all quite entertaining, but I still feel sorry for her while the bathing is in progress.

Wait, I have a pitiful story to tell about her. She’s pretty smart so we have to spell things around her. After awhile she understands the spelled words, too. She picks up tricks quickly, too. One thing I’ve been teaching her lately is to “stay.” She sits for a little but will usually get up and follow me if I go around a corner out of sight.

I have started working full-time and I’ve been taking her to the office with me. She loves it. People talk baby talk to her and give her scratches, so she can’t wait to go in the morning.

Yesterday I had a commitment first thing, so I wasn’t going straight to the office. She had been following me through the house, worried I’d forget to take her with me, and I finally said to her in the living room, “I’m sorry, honey, but you’re going to have to stay here this morning.” She immediately sat down, all pitiful like, because that’s the words I use to tell her she’s not going to get to go somewhere and she understands. Brilliant dog, that one.

She quit following at my heels, and I told her I was sorry again and rushed off to dry my hair. When I came back into the living room about five minutes later, the poor thing was still sitting there, as if to say, “See, momma, I did exactly what you told me to do. Please take me with you.” She’d heard that one word in there, “stay” and was being obedient.

Now you’re probably thinking that I need to see a shrink about talking to my dog, and you’re right. But she understands what I’m saying. Furthermore, she doesn’t argue, talk back, put me down, complain, or ask me for money or my car keys. There’s no one else in this house that does that.

Now I have a nice, clean, sweet-smelling dog curled up at my feet, and life is good – as long as she doesn’t start passing gas. Oh my gosh, her SBD’s live up to their name. Ghastly! (get it, “gas” tley).

Not laughing? My dog thinks it’s funny – she just told me so.

Rodents and Shutter Island

I saw the movie Shutter Island late last night with my daughter and her friend. We didn’t get finished with it until almost midnight, and then I could NOT get to sleep. It was pretty creepy and made me think.

I don’t have anything against thinking. I just don’t want to still be doing it at three a.m.

I know better. If I watch a haunting movie just before bedtime, with dark windows all around and low hanging tree branches scratching against the roof, and the kind of music that makes you feel like someone’s going to jump out from behind the couch with a butcher knife, it is not a recipe for relaxation. I’m getting that tingling feeling up my spine right now just thinking about it.

This morning I went to church and then came home and watched the movie again, in the daylight, with my husband, so that I would have plenty of time to think about it all day. I figured I would exhaust all my thinking and be able to sleep like a baby tonight.

Let me assure you that you are going to want to watch it twice. My husband got done with it and said, “I don’t know what’s going on – is it this or is it that?”

I’m not going to tell you what “this” or “that” is, or it will spoil the movie for you. You’ll know what I mean when you get to the end. And if you watch it a second time, you’ll know whether it’s actually this or that.

Speaking of this or that, I love those KIA commercials with those rodents doing that rap song, “Now you can go with this, or you can go with that.” I think they’re very cool dancing rodents. I wish I could dance like that. I dance the same way I did back in high school. I definitely don’t know how to do those rodent moves or I’d be in the street like they are, singing that song and doin’ those moves.

It might appear that I do nothing but watch TV and movies. I am not going to deny that the perfect down time for me is watching a mindless movie on TV and eating chocolate chips. I like ‘em one at a time so they can melt and extend the enjoyment. That way I don’t have to eat so many.

If this post is rambling more than usual, it’s because I’m exhausted, and it’s that movie’s fault. I am going to bed and dream of dancing rodents all night long and wake up feeling like I’ve got some moves. I’ll point at the dishes in the sink and say, “Now you can go with this,” and then point at the dishwasher, “or you can go with that.” Then I’ll point to the oven, “Or you can go with this,” and then at the microwave, “or you can go with that.” My daughter will roll her eyes at me and tell me to stop, but I don’t care. I’ll be cool. And rested.

Laundry Mat Memories

I’m at the laundry mat right now washing some quilts in those big huge machines. I love those things. They spin around and make cool whirring sounds. If you put a plastic action figure in there, you can see the blur of him spinning around through the glass door and imagine how dizzy he’s getting.

I have some good memories of laundry mats – being there with my brother or friends, running around pushing each other in the rolling carts, doing laps around the washing machines in the middle, little hellions taking the corners on two wheels, listening to the old folks grumble about “out-of-control kids these days.”

My brother and I had the responsibility of doing laundry when we were growing up. Like everyone else in our modest neighborhood, our family only had one car, and my dad worked a couple of states away so he came home about once a month, leaving us without a vehicle most of the time. Which was fine since the grocery store, school, church and everything else was within a couple of blocks.

But the laundry mat was about six blocks away, and we had to carry the laundry basket full of clothes, one of us on each side. I kind of liked going to the laundry mat, but my brother was in middle school and it was NOT cool to be walking down the street carrying a basket piled high with clothes, especially with your little sister.

We’d wait until we had nothing clean to wear, so the laundry basket had clothes mounded about two feet above it, held in place by a sheet draped over and tucked firmly into the sides. It looked like we were carrying a fresh grave.

We made the trip under the cover of darkness. In those days kids got to go anywhere, day or night. It was safe in our little East Tennessee town. People didn’t lock their doors, and crime was unheard of.

We both grabbed a handle and headed down the street. Whoever saw car lights would yell, “CAR!” and we’d drop the basket on the sidewalk and dive into the bushes so they wouldn’t see us. I am laughing as I type this because now I can see that basket from a driver’s perspective. What did people think when they saw the abandoned basket sitting on the sidewalk? Did they see us scramble into the bushes and wonder what we were up to?

My brother was pretty popular in school. Girls called him all the time. His reputation would have been absolutely ruined if those cars held kids he knew who would rat him out the next day at school.

When it came time to cross the busy, four-lane street, we lurked in the shadows until it was clear both ways for a good distance, then we’d run like crazy. Since I was almost four years younger, I didn’t run as fast, so the basket would get askew and sometimes tip over. Laundry gushed into the street in a ragged trail. We scrambled to get it back into the basket. My brother would dart his head back and forth, urging me to hurry up before a car came and saw him in the street with his little sister surrounded by dirty underwear.

Once the clothes were washed, we’d make a game of folding the sheets. He’d grab the corners on one end, and I’d get the other ends, then we’d take a couple of giant steps toward each other like we were dancing at some fancy ball, lifting the corners up and down in a silly fanfare. We’d connect the corners and he’d hold them while I picked up the corners at the fold, and we’d step apart, then move back together with the same flouncing moves. It was just foolishness to entertain ourselves, and we giggled like idiots.

Funny how we were so worried about what people thought on the dark streets, but we didn’t care a bit about the opinions of the crowd in the laundry mat.

We loaded those folded clothes and started the trek back home. Usually there was less traffic, but we’d still have to abandon the basket and take cover several times. I wonder why no one ever stopped to check out the laundry basket full of clothes just sitting there. Maybe they thought that basket must have had a darn good reason for being there, and it was none of their business. Those were innocent times. No thugs or gangs or opportunists were cruising around looking to steal people’s clothes.

Somehow we managed to do this chore week after week completely on the sly. Eventually we got a washing machine and our laundry mat days were over, much to our delight.

If you ever decide to investigate a laundry basket full of clothes abandoned on the sidewalk, I bet you’ll find some kids trying to maintain the facade of being cool by taking cover in the bushes close by.

The Photographer’s Plight

I get asked to take pictures at events and because people know I have a decent camera and have sold my photo art. I always say yes, but it is not a particularly fun job. Aren’t you dying to know why?

I’ll tell you. Even though people want pictures to remember events, they don’t want their picture taken. When you hold a camera up and aim it at people, half of them try to duck behind someone else like a child hiding behind its’ mother’s skirt. The elderly, obese, and even crippled will take off running like they’re doing the 50-yard dash if they see me raise my camera. They will risk broken hips and worse in an effort to keep me from taking a picture of them.

On the other hand, there are people who know how to strike a perfect pose. They know which side of their face photographs well, where to put their hands, how to angle their feet, and that looking slightly down will make their eyes look bigger. These people can sense a camera from across the room and always manage to look good. The camera “loves” these people. That’s because they don’t treat the cameraperson like s/he’s got the plague.

I try to get everyone in at least one picture, which is hard when they see me coming and show me their backsides, or hide behind pillars and drink carts. So I’m forced to take “candid” shots. These are a CURSE. The general public is UGLY in a candid shot. The general public is stuffing an entire sausage in their mouth just as the camera clicks the shot. They are raising their arm so that the cottage cheesy divots are accentuated. They have a spiteful look aimed at the person beside them, like they intend to stab them after the event. Some of them are even scratching that itch that can’t be scratched in public.

When they catch you taking a candid shot, some scowl at you. Perhaps they don’t take good pictures and they feel they can compensate by contorting their features, as if saying, “I always turn out ugly in a picture, but if I look like I’m being ugly on purpose, no one will notice that I photograph so poorly” This does not help the poor photographer who simply wants to impress people with her talent for making even the hideous among us attractive. We can accomplish this anyway, in many cases, thanks to the magic of Photoshop.

Photoshop is the photographer’s best friend. It allows us to turn everyday images into art. For instance, if you hire an artist to paint your portrait, and he includes your double chins, pimples, the wart on your jawbone that has a six-inch wiry hair growing out of it, the gunk in the corner of your eye, and so forth, if you’re like me, you’d probably smash the canvas over his head before you smacked him with a dining room chair. He is going to downplay your imperfections if he wants to come out of there alive and with a check in his hand.

A skilled photographer can also “paint” people in a more positive light using Photoshop to make our subjects look their best. I had one guy tell me that a headshot I took of him was the first time he had a decent picture in his whole life. Little did he know that I spent about two hours taking him from a Frankenstein into a less-than-a-Frankenstein. Many of his individual teeth were so tobacco-stained they blended right into his skin, making him appear like there were missing teeth and thus giving the mistaken impression that he came from Mississippi. I smoothed his dents and pocks which helped to make his squinty eyes more becoming.

You, the general public, need not be afraid when approached by a photographer if you will PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A MIRROR. RIGHT NOW. No, not later. NOW! See what’s your best side, and when I come at you with my camera, you can say, “Oh, Suzanne, I’m so HAPPY to see you are here taking my picture.”  Then hurry up and swallow that sausage.

Jonathan Does Rodney

My nephew is here, returning from Alaska where he was working as an entertainer on a cruise ship. He’s learned all kinds of new things, like how to be a ventriloquist.

He started doing Rodney Dangerfield jokes, and he was pretty good. He was grabbing his collar, talking about getting no respect. He was so good, in fact, that I’m going to get some of Rodney’s jokes and post them here. It will serve two purposes. One, it will make you laugh, and two, it will give me extra time to hang out with my nephew, my niece, and my great niece since they are all driving back to California tomorrow at the crack o’ dawn.

Enjoy these.

A girl phoned me the other day and said… Come on over, there’s nobody home. I went over. Nobody was home.

I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.

I found there was only one way to look thin, hang out with fat people.

I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.

I had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.

I have good-looking kids. Thank goodness my wife cheats on me.

I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.

I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.

I met the surgeon general – he offered me a cigarette.

I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

I saved a girl from being attacked last night. I controlled myself.

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous – everyone hasn’t met me yet.

I was so ugly my mother used to feed me with a sling shot.

I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.

It’s tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won’t drink from my glass.

Life is just a bowl of pits.

I have to agree with him on this last one, but when you can laugh at the bowl, then life can come up roses in spite of the thorns.

Or something like that. My nephew would come up with a much better joke, I’m sure, but you’d have to pay to see him. For free – you get me!

Surf Wars

My daughter brought two goldfish home from a school giveaway (BTW, thanks a ton, whoever’s brilliant idea that was to give away “free” goldfish).

The sad part is, I had a goldfish that was several years old and looking like he might not make it much longer when these two new ones arrived. I was SO looking forward to no more tank cleaning, fish feeding, filter buying and dirty fish water siphoning.

Sure enough, Golder died just a few weeks later and I could have been FISH FREE! But no. Some nitwit decides to give away goldfish as a prize, and now I got two brand new ones, both babies so they will live many, many long years.

Some of you are probably saying, “What’s the big deal? Make the kids take care of the fish.” That would be fine if I wanted a fish tank where you couldn’t even see the fish. Around this house, the new wears off real quick. The kids “forget” to feed, water, or clean up after their pets. I do it because I feel sorry for the poor innocent things that are at our complete mercy and will die a pitiful death of neglect without me.

So guess who’s been caring for these two additions for the last five years?

Lately I’ve noticed that one fish is a total bully. He’s twice as big as the other one, but I just thought it was because he had a hearty appetite. I usually sprinkle the food in and walk away, but I decided to observe them for a few minutes. The big goldfish opened his mouth enough to suck in a big flake. While he was “chewing” it, he swam around tormenting the other fish. Then he stopped and sucked in another flake, and then chased the second fish some more.

“You’re a jerk,” I said to the bully. He looked me right in the eye and spit the big flake straight at me. If we had been in the old west, we would have squared off in the middle of the road with our fingers twitching over our pistols.

We stared at each other until I finally looked away. He grabbed a new flake and chewed it like a plug of tobacco while he chased the smaller fish around. These two have names but I can’t remember them. Let’s call the big one A-hole and the little one Sweetie Pie. A-hole came over and started snapping at me. That’s what he does when he wants more food. He goes up to the surface and smacks at the water. It makes enough noise to get you to look. When you do, he starts swimming frantically around and doing these aggressive wiggles back and forth. It’s very intimidating. You can practically hear him shouting, “Get me some food, bitch, or this water won’t be the only thing I’m smackin’!”

But something inside of me snapped when I saw him tormenting poor little Sweetie Pie again. I was madder than a wet hornet, but what was I gonna do about it? How could I bully a bully fish?

I decided I needed to show him what it was like to be pushed around. I put my hand in the water and chased HIM. He didn’t like it, not one single bit. Bullies are always such sissies. He darted here and there trying to execute evasive fish maneuvers. I chased him around a little more until I thought he’d learned his lesson. He seemed pretty humbled, but a few minutes later he was nosing into Sweetie Pie. So I chased him again. The third time was the charm. After that he kept his distance.

I wish I could say this story has a happy ending, but alas it didn’t take A-hole long to revert to his old tricks. I put my hand back in the tank and chased him once more, and he behaved for a little while, but then he went back to being a bully.

You’re probably thinking, “Why not just flush him?” Oh, I couldn’t do that! But I don’t let him intimidate ME anymore. He may push that other fish around, but he’s not going to get away with doing that to me. No sir. When he smacks that water, I don’t come running anymore. Not as fast, anyway.

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Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen