Gentle Humor

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

A Pig Stye that Seldom Meets the Eye

When we have people over, I like my house to be cosmetically clean. By that I mean, even though my house may look spotless, I caution you to never open a cabinet or a closet door –cardboard boxes and volleyballs and unopened junk mail will waterfall out and bury you.

Closet stuffed to overflowing

I’m not a clutter person, but I’m both a procrastinator and a sentimental packrat. Some people sort through the junk mail when it comes every day and toss things that are of no interest. The procrastinator in me just grabs everything out of the mailbox and puts it a pile on the kitchen counter. Then I move the pile to the side counter to get it out of eyesight, and there it continues to grow like some horror movie blob. I cleaned out a kitchen drawer to put the mail in, but it’s always stuffed with last month’s junk, so when someone is coming over, I rely on a large paper grocery sack.

My friend can drop in on a Thursday and my house is a pig stye – blanketed in bills, sales flyers, assorted cutlery, clothes, junk mail, water bottles, sewing projects, pet supplies, groceries and the like. When she comes back for a dinner party on Friday night, the house is immaculate (to the undiscerning eye). She says, “Where’d you put the grocery bag?” She knows me. “In the master closet,” I reply. Sometimes she’ll go look for herself because she can’t believe I have corralled all that mess into a measley grocery bag or two. If it’s around Christmas when I’m really busy, there can be three sacks in three different closets, but never under the beds – that real estate is already stuffed to capacity.

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Easter Craziness

This Sunday is Easter, and I observe the usual traditions from my childhood, plus things that other moms were doing that sounded like they were better moms than me. That’s how the Easter Scavenger Hunt got started.

I’ll tell you about that in a second, but first the paddleball competition. I like putting toys in the Easter baskets to disguise the reduced amount of candy in there. One year I found those paddles with a little red ball attached to them with a stretchy string. The kids tried hitting the balls but couldn’t do more than two or three hits in a row. It’s really hard to do – my record is nine. Turns out my brother is a champion paddle-baller, and when he and his family came over for Easter dinner, he stood up and started counting how many times he could hit the ball before missing. He’d start out with maybe eight times, then increase it a little. My kids, not wanting to be outdone by their uncle, kept trying to get more hits. The adults sat around and counted for them. They competed against each other, and over the years they’ve gotten pretty good, but they still try to beat each other, as the video below shows. They’re so competitive! Even though both are grown, I still give them Easter baskets with paddleballs.

The scavenger hunt is a tradition I’ve reluctantly been doing for years, ever since my friend’s kids bragged that their mom hides clues all over the house to lead them to their Easter baskets. Not to be out-mommed, and it did sound like fun, I started the tradition when my kids were pretty small. What a lot of work! I’d have to wait until they were asleep to assemble the baskets (I couldn’t do it earlier because they could sniff out candy like pigs digging for truffles). I’d write the clues, making them difficult enough to provide a challenge but not impossible, then tape the clues behind lamps, under tables, in the back of books, etc.

The scavenger hunt delighted and tormented my children every Easter morning. They’d wake up at an atrocious hour yearning for candy, and find the first clue on the floor outside their rooms. It had the number 1, then “Happy Easter, Little Children!” Then they’d read the clue, something like: “Look in a place where Little Girl likes to sleep.” Little Girl is one of the ninety nicknames we have for our seven-pound dog, a black, long-haired Yorkie Poo, Shelley. Others were Baby Girl, That Thing, Poochie Hound, Little Baker, Poochums Hound – all the silly names we call her. She actually has ninety nicknames – we counted them one time on a road trip.

My kids ran side by side like a yoked team of oxen to all the different places the dog likes to sleep, pulling up rugs to look underneath, tossing sofa throws in the air. Eventually they’d discover Clue #2: “Find the place where Dad likes to read.” Their dad reads all over the house, even in the bathtub, so they’d first run to the bed and thrown back the sheets and blankets, then scurry to the sofa and toss all the cushions and pillows on the floor, next they’d dash to the bathroom and scatter magazines everywhere until finally they’d find the clue taped under the faucet of the bathtub. The house looked like thieves had ransacked it by the time they were through. The clues were designed to take them from one end of the house to the other, back and forth, to burn off some of the energy they’d get from eating all that Easter candy. It was one of the very few times that they quit fighting and worked together. My grown daughter still likes to do the hunt if she’s home, so I have to go through the process, dutiful mother that I am.

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I Miss Old-fashioned Panty Lines

I wish we’d go back to the old-fashioned panty lines, you know, the ones under each cheek. I don’t think they were any worse than these new ones that I see all the time on the rear ends of the women who wear thongs.

Wait, weren’t thongs supposed to eliminate panty lines? No longer just for pole-dancing strippers, they are a way for women to get rid of those hideous, outrageous, horrible indicators that we wear underwear? How come men go around sagging their pants showing their boxers, and we have to wear hiney floss?

A couple of my friends started bought thongs right away and tried to convince me to. “No panty lines!” “You’ll get used to it!” So I got a thong to wear under a slinky dress for a dance. I was miserable. You know that feeling when the elastic in your granny panties starts to wear out and they don’t want to stay at the bottom of your bottom? The thong was worse. It was like stagecoach bandits – they ride up behind you and wipe you out.

Not only do the thong lines show, some women like to reveal their “whale tail” above their pants on purpose. When I see a whale’s tail I have to wonder – are the women doing it to be sexy, to excite guys, because it takes ZERO effort to turn a guy on. Their default state is like a shaken can of Pepsi – they’re always ready to spew.

Don’t believe me? Ray Romano, the comedian, has a whole routine about one of his fantasies while he’s taking a shower. One morning he saw a woman in a grocery store parking lot, and she bent down to pick up something. That’s all it took. A woman in the distance bends over and that evening he’s in the shower popping the top off his Pepsi! If you think you need a whale’s tail to attract a guy, you don’t understand men. It’s more of a challenge to keep them at arms length. Ask any married woman.

For those of you who have gotten used to thongs, don’t fool yourself – you still have panty lines, just in a different place. As for me, I’d rather go commando and not be in pain.

My apologies for planting THAT image in your head.  

Facebook Scares Me

Facebook scares me. I don’t log on very often because there is too much junk to wade through, but Facebook lets me know when someone posts a picture with me in it. I dare not log in when I have things to do because I get sucked in to the black hole of all those millions of posts.

As I scroll through the darling pictures of people’s kids and grandkids, dinners they just had, people having fun in the tropics, there are several posts that will say something like: THANK GOODNESS WE HAVE TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE TO CLEEN UP THE SCUM FROM THE PREVIUS ADMINISTATION. All caps, misspelled words and giant type to make sure they get the message through.

It’s always the same people, and they’ll all against similar things. And their friends are the same ones who comment on each other’s posts, egging them on. They seem like they’re poking hard at their keyboards, like it’s the eyes of the politician they hate at the moment – I picture them like the Three Stooges poking at each other’s eyes when they were mad, with the receiving Stooge trying to block by putting his hand up sideways. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I just went to YouTube to find a clip. There’s a block about 45 seconds in. 

There’s a picture of this scary-looking structure with a caption: “First completed section of President Trump’s wall. It’s beautiful.” And another, “Seems clear to me – Mueller quit digging when all his tunnels led to Obama and Hilary.” These aren’t really that mean, but I can’t bring myself to put those other quotes on here. They’re way beyond politically incorrect – down right hateful.

Tried to find some mean quotes from the left but gave up. Here’s something else scary I found, though: A picture of a muscled, tattooed man with the caption: ‘Love hot #romance? Get your hands on Bear Whiskey for only $1.99 in ebook format for limited time!” I’m not familiar with these books but the guy probably appeals to some – if you like those mountainous, glossy muscles covered in tattoos. Not really my favorite look on a guy. You know what my fantasy man looks like? He’s average size, no six-pack but no gut either, no defined muscles but looks healthy, like he could fight off a mugger if he needed to, absolutely no ink on his skin anywhere, he’s shirtless, wearing only faded cutoffs that are just on his hips, not way low so he has to shave his hairy parts down there, and not way high like a Speedo. Hmmmmmm.

Oops, lost my train of thought. While I was looking for spite from the left, I got a smile out of some of the videos of really cute animals.

I also found this video that I really liked – you may have seen it already because it’s probably made the rounds, but it’s worth watching again.

Now I think I’ve done enough work for this day, I’m going back to YouTube to watch crazy dog and cat videos. My favorite! Enjoy!!

No Wonder We’re Fat – We Eat Like Livestock

Ever been in a restaurant that serves fresh bread, and you eat it all and ask for more? When your belly starts pooching out, do you unbutton your pants? When your food comes, are you still hungry enough to eat it all, and do you control yourself, even though you really really want to lick the plate? Do you unzip your pants all the way down and then feel in the mood for a little something sweet? When your dessert comes, do you hold your fork up to stab any hand that comes in for a sample before you eat every crumb all by yourself? Do you say, multiple times, “I’m stuffed” then, if there’s any bread left, do you reach for it saying, “I really shouldn’t eat this, but?” After you ask the waiter for more butter, do you finish off every piece of bread, even if it’s several slices? 

Then you’re just like me. I curse myself on the drive home. “You big fat cow,” I scold, “you eat like a pig!” Well you know what? I was right! 

We eat like livestock.

Most big commercial ranchers want their animals to get fat in a hurry, so they feed them spaghetti, corn chips, cakes, cookies, pizza, dinner rolls, crackers, dressing, cereal, popcorn, bagels, and muffins. Well, not exactly in those forms, but with those main ingredients – corn and other cheap grains that quickly fatten up their cows and pigs before they’re sent to the grim reaper. 

“Oink Oink!”

Grains are actually unnatural food for livestock, and unnatural for us – it’s part of why we’re always hungry even when we eat a ton of food. Look at any cow in a field and what are they eating? Just plain old grass. That’s what their bodies were designed to eat. But commercial farmers can’t have millions of cows stinking up long stretches of freeway if they’re spread out in lush green pastures. Many cows spend at least some of their time gorging on grains in feedlots and slurping up medicine because they suffer all kinds of health problems from what they’re given to eat.

Natural foods for human are meat, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Cave people weren’t tempted with all those aisles of grocery shelves jammed with grain-infested snacks and convenience foods. They picked some berries, ate some nuts, killed a wooly mammoth every now and then. Our food today has been engineered with tastes so addicting you live for your next bite. Just like a smoker, once you get hooked on grains, it’s dang near impossible to quit.

Just like cockroaches – grains are everywhere, especially in all our favorite foods. Don’t believe me? Look at the ingredient list of any food you crave and I bet you’ll find wheat, corn, barley, rice, oats, or rye in some form in the ingredients. Not just obvious things like bread, cereal and pasta. Grains cover corn dogs and fried chicken, they’re in gravies, soups and sauces – places you don’t think about.

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So Many Lists, So Little Time

Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by all the things you have to do? Do you ever make a list to get the things on a piece of paper and out of your head, and then lose the list? Do you spend half the day looking for the paper instead of doing the things on the list that really ought to get done?

I do. Right now I’ve finally found my nice long list but instead of doing any of it I’m writing this blog post – which is also on the list but way down. The first item is to go outside, look for ants to see where their coming into my house so I can seal their tiny gateway with caulk. Then I’m supposed to clean toilets (oh boy!) rake debris out of my beds (we are very messy sleepers). Not to mention rake debris out of flower beds, give the dog a bath (stinks to high heaven), clean the fish tank, mop the kitchen floor, design a website for my brother, write a blog post….

There are not enough hours, and I get nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Yet, when I find an old list (while I’m looking for my current, lost list) in the pile of papers I need to sort through in my office, I see that most of the things on the old list did actually get done. Sometimes I’ll go ahead and draw a line though each item, even though the list is two years old, because it gives me inordinate satisfaction knowing that I got all those things accomplished.  

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Beware Email Scammers

“Hello, this account is infected.” This is what my latest email scammer is telling me. He’s hacked my computer and knows that I’ve been watching porn, and he’s going to let all my contacts know about it – unless, of course, I send him $1,000. In Bitcoin, no less. As if I knew how to use Bitcoin.

I know it’s a scam because I haven’t been watching porn, but I’m sure this guy sends his blackmail to millions of people, and some of them are bound to have been indulging in a little afternoon delight with their computer. I can just picture their panic when they see this email. “Oh crap, if my mom finds out, I’m a goner. Where am I going to get $1,000? Don’t they know I’m fifty-five and still live at home? I don’t have that kind of money.”

One of several of these kinds of emails extorting money

This particular scam is scary because it shows your own email address as the person who sent it. Wow, how do they do that? I asked Google, who sent me to the FTC, which said: “This is a criminal extortion attempt to separate people from their money. If you — or someone you know — gets a letter like this, report it immediately to your local police, and the FBI.” Another site explained in techno mumbo-jumbo how scammers mimic your own email address, but they really haven’t hacked your account. Their advice? Change your password and don’t worry. Just ignore it. 

Okay, I won’t worry, but it really makes me want to do something vicious to these hackers, like locking them in an air-tight room with old-west cowboys who’ve eaten nothing but beans for the past six months. Or strapping them into the passenger seat of a car with a driver who uses the gas pedal and brake at the same time – jerk the jerk, as it were. These people deserve to be tormented in very psychologically annoying ways.

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In Trouble with the IRS – Again

That lady called again – the one who sounds like she’s just finished smoking a couple cartons of cigarettes. She said I’m in trouble with the IRS. I didn’t quite get the reason because she won’t leave a complete message. The recording always starts mid-sentence, spoken with her deep, gravely voice: “…with the IRS. You need to call the tax center immediately to avoid additional penalties and possibly jail time. Call 515 837….”

Like every American, I’m terrified of the IRS. They have the power to bankrupt even famous people like Willy Nelson. Once I got a letter from them saying I’d made an error on a tax return I’d filled out three years before. They charged me nearly two hundred dollars in interest and penalties – the math error itself was only about thirty-nine bucks – but I’m not complaining (in case they’re reading this). I’m just happy I only had to pay three years worth of interest for them to get around to noticing the error.  

I don’t mess with the IRS.

But here’s what I can’t understand. If they’re so powerful, and they’re really after me, can’t they at least leave a whole, intact message?

And why doesn’t the IRS have a 1-800 number to call back? They’re going to throw me in jail AND make me pay for the call?

Also, why is their agent always a woman with a low, threatening voice like she’s at some Mafia funeral – like she’s saying, “You better cooperate or you’ll be next on Guido’s list.” Can’t the IRS hire a regular person to terrify me?

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Fighting Hummingbirds

The hummingbirds are fighting at my feeder again. They fight all day long. I’ve discovered that there’s always a bully, and his sole purpose in life is to keep others from taking a drink from his feeder. If another hummingbird zips up and tries to get just a drop of liquid sugar, the bully swoops in, attacks, and chases him back to where he came from, and sometimes chases him all over the place. Selfish little buggers. 

Sometimes while the bully is driving another one off, a third hummingbird zooms in and gulps a sip. Instantaneously the bully knows and darts back to defend his feeder, chasing the third one off. Then they all leave for a few minutes, until it starts over again. Aggressive little brats.

Hummingbirds snatching a drink outside my kitchen window

I have the feeder outside the kitchen window, about six feet from my front door. I can see the bully lying in wait in a bush a few feet away. He’s on the alert, policing his territory. Sometimes when I go outside it feels like he’s attacking me. For something so small, his wings make a lot of disturbing noise, especially when they’re right by my head. The sound is something like a freight train coming straight at me, with the volume turned down slightly. I worry he’ll drive that long, pointed beak right into my temple. I have to crouch when I walk by the front of my house. I know good and well he’s doing it on purpose. Spiteful little creatures.

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My chicken fat thighs

We are going on vacation soon, and our family loves to snorkel, which means I’ll have to wear a swimsuit (groan). The long sleeve rash guard I always wear will hide my sagging crepe chicken fat skin from the waist up, but it leaves the lower half of me exposed to the world – big as life and twice as ugly.  

The first thing when I crawled out of the warm bed this morning, I said, “Hey Google! How do I get rid of old lady cottage cheese on my thighs?” And you already know what Google said. Google came up with some exercise videos so I can watch young lithe girls contort their bodies in impossible exercises, and I know good and well that they don’t have even one lump of chicken fat on their thighs, much less being covered with it like peanuts on a Payday candy bar.

Sample video of the torture we must endure to get rid of cottage cheese thighs

Why is it that every solution to every appearance woe goes right back to changing what you eat and outrageous exercise? I’m lucky that I was brought up at a time when people ate healthy food. A meal was a small portion of meat, one starch (like a potato) a salad, some sliced tomatoes and/or cucumbers, and maybe another side vegetable, usually green beans because my brother loved them and insisted on them practically every meal.

My point is that I’m not fat or skinny, I’m about average, right in the middle of the body mass index for my height.  I don’t have as much cottage cheese as a lot of people, but it’s still there even though I walk a couple miles every day. So I have to ask myself right now. Do I want to give up some of the food I eat to be skinny enough for a tropical vacation? And do I want to contort myself with heartless exercises? 

Of course I do! The question is, WILL I? You know what? I think I will. I think I’ll do it. I think I can. Maybe. I’ll try. We’ll see. It’s a strong, a very strong, possibility. I know one thing, though. I’m getting tired and hungry just thinking about it. I think I’ll ponder it on my La-Z-Boy, and my oh my a nice bowl of buttery popcorn would sure hit the spot right now. Maybe I’ll think about the vacation tomorrow….

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Copyright © 2019 by Suzanne Olsen