Gentle Humor

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

Month: November 2011

Stuff I’m Thankful for

We just got through with Thanksgiving and I forgot to mention things I’m thankful for.

First, I’m thankful that I can end sentences with infinitives and no one seems to mind. In college composition classes you would have had to write: “These are the things for which I am thankful,” because it isn’t proper English to say, “These are the things I’m thankful for.” But when you’re writing humor, you can do anything you want, even going so far as to split infinitives – which used to make the nuns at my grade school mad as toothless beavers. Here’s an example of a split infinitive if you don’t know what I’m talking about: “I needed to briskly go to the bathroom or I was going to whiz my britches, and yet there was a line as long as the Baltimore tunnel.”

In this example, briskly is an adverb and it should not come between the infinitive “to” and the verb “go.” You can get away with it in your own blog where there’s not a nun around to slap your hand with a ruler, and for that I am also thankful.

I’m thankful for gas stations that fill you up without making you get out of the car. We just went to Seattle and in Washington you have to pump your own gas. I didn’t mind pumping my own when I lived in Tennessee, but now that I’ve been spoiled, it’s a nuisance – I always get gas on my shoes – at least one drop leaks out of the nozzle before I can whip it back into place. So I’m thankful Oregon charges the same for our gas and I don’t have to get out in the freezing rain to fill ‘er up.

Another thing I’m thankful for is that I put up some of my outside lights last night when it was dry, because right now it’s raining like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock.

I’m thankful for the above saying, which was handed down to me from my dad.

I’m especially thankful that I didn’t gain much more than five pounds during the gorge-fest I had on Thanksgiving Day – and every two hours after the dinner with all the leftovers.

Finally, I’m thankful for you, my faithful readers, who put up with my foolishness and come back for more. You are the best fans I can ever think of, and I’m so grateful that you continue to boldly go down that path of humor with me, even when sometimes I’m about as funny as a cockroach in a Rueben sandwich. Which could have been really ugly except as my mouth was traveling toward that thick sandwich I spied a spindly leg between layers of corned beef. I’m really thankful that I did not take a bite and discover half a cockroach, if you catch my drift.

And now I bet you’re thankful I’m not going to expose you to any more disgusting stories – at least not for now.

Christmas Is Like NASCAR

Christmas reminds me of NASCAR. It passes by and then it comes around again – over and over. Lately it’s been coming around faster than ever.

In fact, it arrived in Portland, OR around Halloween. I remember a few years ago when people griped about the department stores putting Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving. We didn’t know how good we had it. Now they are putting things out before Halloween. It’s disconcerting to see red and green decorations and snowy white angels on shelves next to orange ceramic pumpkins and ugly witches.

Even worse than that is the Christmas programs already starting on TV. Used to be – and I’m talking a couple of years ago – you could at least get through Thanksgiving before Santa and Rudolf started showing their red noses on TV. Already they’re running Santa movies – for the last two weeks – and it’s the day before Thanksgiving.

What’s this world coming to?

Trick or treaters in Santa costumes?

Giving trick or treaters those swirly Christmas candies that get gooey and stick together because they’re for “decoration” and nobody actually eats them?

Sell pumpkins as Christmas ornaments?

Get rid of the turkey and have a Christmas ham for Thanksgiving?

When I was a kid it seemed like Christmas took forever to get here. That’s because it was considered tacky to put anything Christmassy out until after Thanksgiving. People already have Christmas lights on their houses – I drove by one a couple of days ago with lights all over their outside tree and a lighted reindeer in the yard. Years ago we would have shunned them into keeping that stuff in the attic until the proper time. Now you just shake your head and wonder what the heck’s the hurry.

This is why Christmas feels like NASCAR to me – it lasts four months by the time you see things in the stores in October and it’s still in the stores in January on the clearance aisles. There’s not a lot of time in between like there used to be – it just keeps whipping back around. About the time you get all those decorations into the attic in late February when football season is over and you can pry the remote control out of your husband’s hand, you get a short lull and then “Tis the Season” is back again.

I love Christmas, I really do. But there’s an old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” and I’m feeling mighty contemptuous thinking about all those TV commercials I’m going to be watching the next few weeks. They rank up there with mud-slinging political ads for being annoying and repetitive – kindof like the only NASCAR race I’ve attended…

Bathroom Blues

I am here at the beach with my writer’s group – eight ladies total, and there’s a big problem. The bathroom is right off the living area.

After careful planning, all eight women were assigned the food we were supposed to bring, and all eight of us worried that we might run out and starve to death, even though we have six cars here and the store is a quarter mile away. Each of us brought a few extra things, mainly in the potato chip, cookie, candy, and pastry food groups.

These are the exact foods I find it impossible to resist. You add lemon drop martinis and red wine to the equation, and that is one lethal mixture, especially with the chili we had for dinner last night.

There are two problems with the bathroom being right next to the living area. The first is that, when you combine alcohol with all the food a perpetually hungry person, such as myself, can shovel in before bedtime, you are looking at scientific chemical reactions that occur all through the night, some of which interfere with sleep itself. In the morning these chemical reactions produce certain byproducts that are explosive in nature. When the bathroom is in the center of the house, people are gonna hear you, even if you’ve got the fan on and in some cases, the sink water running.

If this weren’t bad enough, the number two problem, as it were, is that these scientific chemical reactions, and their explosive byproducts, are unpleasant to additional senses besides hearing. To illustrate what I’m saying, one time someone entered the bathroom after me, a skinny, uneducated, uncouth young man, and rushed out gasping a few seconds later, rubbing his eyes like a child who just woke up from a nap. He exclaimed so everyone could hear, “Whew-whee. It’s not so much the smell as the burning of the eyes.”

If the bathroom is located near the living area, a scented candle of a few sprays of Glade is not going to prevent the entire living area from smelling like a latrine deep in Arkansas backcountry. In a house shared by people you know, you can’t pretend some stranger was in the bathroom before you – some sickly old woman with parasites and diverticulitis who just walked out the door when you were walking in.

You’d think a person like me, prone to these types of problems, would cut down on the eating in order to avoid the embarrassment. But when there is all this food around, I have no control.

So sorry, ladies, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do – I apologize in advance for what’s going to happen tomorrow morning. Now pass me those chili-cheese Fritos.

The Demise of Decoulatage

I am so happy with the new fashions coming out. They don’t show cleavage! I noticed it at church on Sunday – on their way back from Communion, none of the old folks forced me to look at their wrinkly, saggy boobs.

Then today while I was waiting to pick up a solar permit at the Planning Bureau, they had an InStyle magazine and it had pictures of women in scarves and high-necked t-shirts – even Victorian lace all the way up to their chins. It was all I could do to keep from shouting, “HALLELUIA” right there in the waiting area.

I wrote a blog around this time last year about going to a party and having to see all the “fashionable” moms revealing their cleavage – which ended up being about six inches lower on their chests than it was a few years earlier.

When there’s cleavage staring at you, your eyes don’t want to look, you beg them not to look, you turn you head away and talk to the woman out of the side of your face to avoid looking, but eventually it’s just like someone saying, “don’t look now, but….” What do you do immediately? You look.

And then you regret it, because older cleavage is over-suntanned, splotchy and rough looking. This is due to the fact that older “fashionable” women worship the sun, possibly because in their minds they think a tan makes them look athletic and wealthy, when in reality they look ancient and weathered.

Young cleavage is just as disturbing, but for other reasons, mainly because these young girls do not need to be enticing boys or men in any way. The guys are lusting after them already and imagining what they could do with those bodies if they had half the chance. Revealing substantial peeks of the objects of their lust just makes things worse. It’s a mother’s nightmare, I can tell you that.

What’s funny is that I listen to Blue Collar Radio (the one set up by Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and their blue collar cronies), and many of the male comedians actually make fun of cleavage. They talk about old cleavage as if it has the potential to singe their eyeballs. They tell parents not to let their daughters leave the house like that. If these guys are making fun of seeing women’s boobs, then who are the women showing them off to?

So if other women don’t want to see cleavage – not any women I know – and men are making jokes about it, you gotta wonder how this fashion fad came about.

Me personally, I don’t give a flying rip who came up with it, I’m just ecstatic it’s on its way out. Not that I’m thrilled about Victorian foo-foo lace scratching my throat – I’m not going to wear it. Talk about the pendulum swinging in the total opposite direction. All the same, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that cleavage will soon be a thing of the past.

The Miracle of My Dog’s Teeth Cleaning

I got my dog’s teeth cleaned!!!!!!!!!

You may be saying to yourself, “So fricking what?”

I can understand how you might not be as thrilled about this as I am. You may very well live a much more exciting live than I do, and have exotic adventures and lots of important people you meet at wonderful places. Getting a dog’s teeth cleaned may be at the very bottom of your list of interesting ways to spend your time.

However, it may pique your interest to know that I got my dog’s teeth clean without anesthesia.

“So fricking what?” you ask again. Is that all you know how to say? If you’ll quit interrupting, I’ll explain.

Have you ever heard of “bad breath in dogs?” It’s a medical condition brought about because dogs will eat anything – and the more deceased, the better. Woo-wee! But they also get bad breath because they won’t brush their teeth. The are physically lacking a way to hold the toothbrush, but even if they had digits, they would not use them for brushing their teeth, they’d use them to lift other dogs’ tails for easier sniffing. Or to reach up on your dining room table and grab the Thanksgiving turkey by the leg and fly off down the hallway with it to their lair.

Furthermore, they will fight your attempts to brush their teeth for them. They would prefer that you take that doggie toothbrush and shove it up your….. I know this because my dog gives me that “you know where you can put that toothbrush” look every time I’ve tried to brush her teeth.

Over time, the stuff on a dog’s teeth, called tartar, hardens and bonds to its pearly whites to form a brown cement. Here in Portland, Oregon, vets charge you $350 to chisel that stuff off, and they want to put the dog under general anesthesia to do it because that’s the only way a dog will put up with it.

But a few days ago I discovered a place that cleans teeth without putting the dog to sleep. Apparently they accomplish this by laying the dog in their lap as they sit on the floor. Then they put a towel over the dog, which they told me soothes the pooch and keeps it still.

Don’t ask me how it works, but when that dog was done in one hour, she had white teeth and I had an extra $200 in my pocket. I highly recommend this for your dog or cat – Apollo Pet Care did my dog’s teeth – 1-800-285-6204. They are in Washington and Oregon.

This is not a shameless commercial but a recommendation for people who, in my opinion, granted me a miracle. It’s one less thing I have to worry and fret about.

And you’re wrong to assume I have a boring life. I got her teeth done on Friday just before we left town, and it that was the highlight of my very fun weekend, which included going to Seattle and watching the Ducks beat the Huskies at the last game ever to be played in the Huskies old stadium before they tear it down, going out for Sushi at Umi’s, watching U Dub’s crew team glide through misty water under the salmon glow of early morning, eating an amazing lava cake at the Tap House Grill, walking around Bellevue before sunrise with my husband, and staying with our dear friends for two nights at the Oakwood (great deal there, by the way, on a 2 bedroom condo) – none of these things came even CLOSE to how exhilarated I was about finally getting that dog’s teeth cleaned. It’s something I will cherish always.

Rain and Heroes

It is raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock.

That’s one of my dad’s old sayings, and it seems to fit. I can hear the rain rapping on the skylight like a million pygmy fists. This dog of mine won’t go out in it to relieve herself before bedtime, so around 3:45 a.m. she’ll start whining to be let out because she can’t hold it anymore. And then she’ll come back in soaking wet and smelling like wet Fritos and furry musk, and she’ll slurp at her paws in the bed because she doesn’t like her feet wet.

And I’m supposed to go back to sleep after all of that?

Which is just nuts. I mean, licking her wet feet. If the dog’s foot is already wet, how does wiping them with a wet tongue help the situation? That’s like telling a kid, “Shut up that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!”

This is one of the many mysteries I like to ponder during the day. Like how come, after decades upon decades of typing, I still can’t type without a typo every fourth word? If practice makes perfect, then I should be the world’s #1 typist. I actually get double practice, because I have to backspace constantly and retype my mistakes, so I’m typing twice as much as what shows up on the page. And yet the typos are pretty consistent no matter how many hours I live on the computer each day.

That rain is making it hard for me to concentrate. This is the kind of rain my daughter would run out in and stand there with her face looking up at the sky. She’s always liked weather anomalies. Sleet, hail, snow, and crashing rain consistently lure her out to the back patio, like a moth to a bug zapper.

We attended a function tonight presented by Morgan Stanley featuring a Medal of Honor recipient. He was in his seventies and fought in the Vietnam War. I had consented to go out of a sense of duty, and the offering of free food, without hope of being anything but bored. Gosh what a funny man he was.

This guy, who’s name I’ll add later when I get up and look it up in the book they gave us, was so humble and so witty. He got the Medal of Honor – the highest honor in the country, for flying wounded out during a ground attack and delivering ammunition when he came back for more wounded. He did it with another guy – both of them volunteering and getting shot at. He went through four different helicopters – when one got shot up he’d trade it for another. He saved over 70 lives that day.

He said he went to the White House for the Medal ceremony, and he was wearing a hat – some kind of uniform hat – and one of the aids told him it was not appropriate. “This isn’t the first inappropriate thing I’ve done, and it sure won’t be the last.” He kept the hat on, and President Bush said, “Nice hat,” when he hung the Medal on him.

He also got forty-eleven other medals, but the one that made him most proud was the Good Conduct Medal. He pointed at the Medal of Honor and said, “This one I just happened to get after a day’s work – the Good Conduct Medal took me a whole year to earn.”

I came out of that presentation a lot happier than I went in. I don’t know how men do it – go to war and fight and then come home and go about their business as if they hadn’t witnessed horrors you and I can’t even imagine. I’m pretty stoked to have had the honor of meeting this man, whose name is – let me get up, I’ll be right back – here we go, whose name is Bruce Crandall.

The moderator asked him if he got scared while all this was going on – he flew in and out of the battle zone 22 times that day. He said he was too busy to be scared. He just knew if he didn’t help those guys, they didn’t stand a chance.

This funny, fearless man who saved so many lives and stood up for his hat at the White House – he’s now my new hero and inspiration.

Copyright © 2018 by Suzanne Olsen