Gentle Humor

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

Author: Suzanne Page 1 of 38

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….

Why Green Book deserved the Oscar

This post isn’t funny, but the movie is so that’s how I’m justifying this little dab of serious writing.

I can’t understand why people are having such a hissy fit over Green Book winning as Best Picture. I know the Oscar usually goes to a film that is stylistically different, so different, in fact, that common movie-goers like you and me leave the theater scratching our heads, wondering what the heck the movie was about. 

People denounced Green Book’s win, saying it was nothing more than a buddy movie. Oh, please. Yeah it’s about two guys from totally different backgrounds who, over the course of many amusing and dramatic experiences, come to accept and respect each other. But it’s definitely not “The Hangover.”

You’ve got a white man who chauffeurs a black man around the segregated south in the early 1960’s for three months. Where’s the humor? It’s in the characters – the white man is a street-wise, New York Italian nightclub bouncer, Tony, who talks like a gangsta with his mouth crammed full of Kentucky Fried Chicken, throws the bones out the window, doing and saying things that make us laugh though he’s not trying to be funny. A family man who loves his wife so much that he writes these just awful letters to her. When he’s approached by real mob types who offer him big money to work for them, he says no. So un-stereo-typical that it makes Tony intriguing on a much broader level than stoner, drunken buddies who get in outrageous situations designed for comedy.

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The fine art of ant tracking

Twenty-five years ago we moved into a house that was built on a concrete slab. We updated and remodeled it and put lovely carpet, tile, and cabinets over tiny cracks in the slab that are like freeway ramps for ants to come into our home.

I know they’re in the walls and under the carpet because we find gazillions of them every time a microscopic crumb hits the floor. You should’ve seen them inching their way over the fuzzy carpet after someone spilled a can of pop in our living room during a party, without us knowing. We woke up to a black pond of ants on the carpet, with streams leading back to where they came in.

I could do the easy, sensible, logical thing and put down ant traps or spray them, but I don’t like to kill ‘em. Bless their tiny hearts, they work so hard.

Here’s what I do instead. I blow on them, and they start running. The smart ants run back to where they came from. I follow them, wait until they all go into the tiny crack they’ve found to get in, caulk it and everybody’s happy.

The stupid ants don’t know where they came from. I despise those ants. You can tell the minute you blow on them that they’re stupid, stupid, stupid. They either don’t run at all, or they fan out like somebody dropped a grenade in the middle of them. With these stupid ones I have to gently nudge a few in the bottom and they’re like, “Hmmm, I wonder if I’m in danger since a big thing just poked me in the bottom. Or maybe I just imagined it. I think I’ll mosey around some more looking for…what the hell was I looking for?” Dumb, dumb, dumb ants.  

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Eat, Drink and Be Merry?

I eat way more than I need to – always have. I didn’t gain weight as a kid but now I still have a good appetite. The problem is my stomach. It’s spent decades digesting huge quantities of food, and it’s had enough. I can picture it down there, looking up the pipe that leads to my mouth, shouting, “STOP! – NO MORE!”  It protests loudly, with fierce rumblings. The eventual exhaust from my stomach sometimes causes Portland’s air pollution index to go up.

Old habits are hard to break. When “clean your plate” was our every night dinner chant, and the guilt about the starving kids in China weighed heavily, and the food was so mighty tasty – crispy fried chicken, buttery mashed potatoes, bacon-drenched green beans – I’d eat huge platefuls. I can only remember one food I loathed growing up, and that was eggplant. Vile, vile vegetable. I’ve since made peace with it in eggplant parmigiana, but as a kid I could not leave the table until I’d eaten the whole hideous portion of purple slime. If a human can eat eggplant as a child, they’ll eat anything.

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For $100,000 You, Too, Can Celebrate with the President

Our President is planning to be at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida January 19th to celebrate one year in office by hosting a fundraising re-election dinner (why not plan ahead – he’s already raised over 2 million dollars). You and I can attend if we fork over the $100,000 per couple entry fee. I think that’s reasonable to get to hobnob with a ton of rich folks and listen to a man who has made so many memorable quotes.

My favorite is when he was golfing with some friends in August and reportedly said, “That White House is a real dump!” I guess a person who has always lived like a king (note the website picture below of his Mar-a-Lago Resort) would take umbrage at the humble white house American taxpayers gave him.

I can’t go to the gala – I just found out about it today when I was watching the news about our government’s imminent shutdown (again). No time for my husband to rent a tux or me to lose those extra Christmas pounds so I can fit into my evening gown. Darn! I wish we’d known sooner!

Yeah, and $100,000 is a little spendy, but I’m sure it would be worth it. For $250,000 my husband and I could participate in a roundtable with the President. It breaks my heart not to be able to go!

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My First Square Dance

Square Dancer

When my girlfriend Kerry emailed asking if I wanted to sign up for square dance lessons with her, I thought, “Not no but hell no!” I’d never seen square dancers in person, but the ones on TV are rather, well, square. I pictured them just like you’re probably doing right now, and nowhere did that image fit in my idea of a good time. But I like Kerry and I decided, what the hey? We’ve been going for the last several weeks, having fun tripping over our own feet. Last night was something different, though – a real dance away from our familiar surroundings.

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Beer Bottle Billie Jean

I’d never seen anything like this video, and as I was watching I wondered how these guys came up with using beer bottles to make a song. The following scene unfolded in my head as if I’d been there with them.

Disclaimer: This is all made up. I don’t know these guys or anything about them. I have made all of this up. None of this is true.

It’s a Sunday morning. A bunch of fraternity boys like the ones in Animal House are sprawled like rag dolls on couches and chairs, empty beer bottles everywhere. The one who doesn’t get hangovers is awake. The remote control is too far away, so he starts blowing into an empty bottle to entertain himself.

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Machinery and the Difference Between Men and Women

I recently decided to pressure wash the concrete around my house, but I couldn’t get the pressure washer to start after pulling on the cord a few times,  So I did what every smart American woman does when she can’t get machinery to work, I asked a big, strong, burly neighbor to help me.

Sheila moseyed over and yanked the cord a few times but with no success.

I consulted Google and found a video on YouTube showing a guy repeatedly pulling the cord of an identical pressure washer. I’ve put the video below. Skip the first three minutes – he’s just putting gas in the tank, etc. It’s probably better if you read this whole thing before watching the video.

Another site said to check the air filter. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like, but checking helped because when I put the cover back on I noticed a 1-800 number.

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The Fine Art of Mole Herding

It’s that time of year when, overnight, your lawn sprouts a million dirt tee-pees caused by mole infestation. You want to get rid of the pesky varmints, and you’ve tried poison pellets, lethal gas, impaling them on a pitchfork, but they keep coming back.

Quite by accident, I’ve found a way you probably haven’t tried: mole herding.

Let me explain. I was walking my dog in the park the other day, and a crow flew out of the woods right in front of me. It had a mole in its clutches. The crow landed about twenty feet away and dropped the mole, ready to feast on a nice fuzzy warm breakfast.

On impulse, I shooed the crow becauseI felt pity for the mole. The crow flew a few feet away and stood there squawking at me, and I’m pretty sure it was saying, “You lousy (insert trashy word of your choice), how DARE you steal my mole.”

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Miracle Cure for Restless Leg Syndrome

I have to tell you about my miracle cure for restless leg syndrome. I’d never heard of this malady until I saw the first commercials for drugs to help it, and I thought, “Honestly, how restless could a leg be to make someone take drugs with all those ridiculous side effects?”

And then there I was, sitting in a La-Z-Boy watching “The Big Bang Theory” and for no reason my leg started to jerk. It kind of jerked on it’s own, like when the doctor thumps your knee with that pointy rubber thing and your leg swings out and bonks him in the crotch.

It’s like an eye twitch – just comes on without any warning causes this motion on you eyelid that you have no control over. Except with the leg, there’s this weird sensation before each twitch – not pain, just an odd, disquieting feeling. It keeps on going – once I timed it and my leg jerked every seventeen seconds.

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Copyright © 2018 by Suzanne Olsen