Monthly Archives: April 2015

Twist Tie and Shout

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Something’s wrong. I used to think it was just coincidence, but now I suspect it’s something more sinister. More ominous. More supernatural. More evil. It’s the condition known as “twist-tie loss.”

The syndrome is subtle. It may occur during a period of years before the victim even realizes what’s happening. And when awareness finally hits, it may already be too late.

I first noticed twist-tie loss syndrome in my life years ago, but I laughed it off, chalking it up to absent-mindedness, being too busy, or “better things on my mind than keeping track of bread-bag twist ties.” As the years passed, however, I realized that every single little twist tie I’d ever removed from a bread bag was not locatable when I wanted to put the bread away. I became convinced that I was not just misplacing the ties; I wondered if they were moving by themselves when I wasn’t looking. Did they have a wiry intelligence that I couldn’t discern? Did they have teeny invisible centipede legs, and did they scurry away as soon as I turned my head? Were they laughing and mocking me behind my back?

Most of the time those elusive ties reappeared later. Sometimes under a napkin. Other times hidden near a tupperware lid. Once I found one in the refrigerator.

Not only did twist ties move when I wasn’t looking, but plastic bread clips did too. They’d end up on the floor, on an opposite counter, and sometimes even on the sink or stovetop!

It was uncanny. Unnerving. Disturbing. Frightening. Chilling. Haunting. Horrifying. Bothersome, annoying.

Eventually I began asking my friends if they’d ever experienced anything similar to twist-tie loss syndrome. One placed his hand to my forehead to check for fever. Another recommended a good psychiatrist.

Since that time I have kept my twist-tie loss syndrome to myself. Sometimes I tie a knot in the open plastic end of the bread bag because the tie is missing. Lately, if I happen to lose a tie when someone else is in the kitchen, I don’t mention it. I hide my condition in frustration and shame.

I was at the dollar store two weeks ago and I bought 100 extra twist ties in a baggie. For a dollar. I brought them home and lost them.

Yesterday a flying saucer landed on my porch. An alien exited and said, “Take me to your twist ties.”


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Old-Guy Conversations

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My friend placed his plastic tray on the table across from me and sat down. “So, Ed,” I said. “How’re you doing these days anyway?”



“Fine, Blair,” Ed said. “You?”

“Pretty good. Still wake up several times a night, and then I can’t go.”

“Go where?” asked Ed.

“You know.”

“Oh, yeah, I know,” said Ed. “I’ve been sleeping okay at night, which is good, but my big toe is still giving me fits.”

“Oh that’s too bad. How’d your doctor’s appointment go this week?” I asked.

“Not bad, but they still don’t know what’s wrong with me,” Ed replied.

“Yeah, I have the same problem,” I said as I opened my styrofoam breakfast container.

“I didn’t know you had a doctor’s appointment this week,” said Ed.

“I didn’t,” I replied. “But nobody still knows what’s wrong with me!”

“Primarily your wife, right?” Ed grinned.

“Yeah, right, ha ha ha!”

“Yeah, ha ha ha!”

I sipped my dollar coffee, which was large with four creams and one sugar. I looked out the window at the wipers swishing on the cars in the drive-thru lane.

“Well, did you read the newspaper today?” asked Ed.

“Ed, are you kidding me? Reading the newspaper is so hick and backwater nowadays. I’m trying e-mail now.”

“Oh, Blair. That’s really neat. You always did keep up with the times and so forth. I’ll have to give e-mail a try someday.”

“Yeah, you should.”


“E-mail’s good, and it’s so convenient.”

“I’ll bet. I’ve heard. A lot of people I know use it regularly,” said Ed, unwrapping his fork.

We both fell silent for a couple minutes. A mom walked by with her tray and kid.

Finally I spoke. “Ed, do you need any more butter or syrup? I’m going up for a stirrer.”

“Nah. Thanks.”


I walked to the condiment section and picked up a stirrer and a napkin. A recent newspaper was lying next to the lemons, so I grabbed it and brought it back to the table, where I slid back into the booth. Ed took the sports section and I unfolded the news. E-mails could wait. Sharing breakfast with an old friend was more important.

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Punch You in Your Face

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“I’m gonna make an example of you for the whole neighborhood!” said the farmer on his big tractor in front of me.

“Honey, call our lawyer,” I said into my cell phone.

“If you say one more word I’ll jump off this tractor and punch you in your face,” said the farmer.

To the farmer I said, “Well, there is one thing I would like to say in my defense, if I could.”

The farmer began clambering down off his tractor to punch me in my face.

Into my cell phone, I said, “Better yet, honey, call the police.”

My wife, on the other end of the phone, said, “What are you talking about? We don’t have a lawyer. Ha ha ha. Always joking. I’m on the other line. I’ll call you back in a few minutes.”

So how did I manage to get myself into this situation? It only happened because I was interested in ecology. I had a wheelbarrow full of dried leaves and grass clippings from my yard, and I didn’t have anywhere else to put them because my garbage cans were full. So I pushed my wheelbarrow across the road to the farmer’s property and dumped the load into his creek. My load was organic. His field was overgrown and untended. Who would notice, and who would care if there were a few extra leaves in his creek? That’s when the farmer, from about a mile away in his barn, must have seen me through his binoculars and then lit out after me on his tractor.

As a result it appeared that I was about to get my face punched, but fortunately the farmer’s adult son was with the farmer, and the son intervened. “Dad, don’t punch him. Look at him with those big glasses, watery eyes, and knitted green cap. It’s not worth it.” So the farmer relented. It’s a good thing, too, because I know Parisian martial arts.

Forty-five minutes later, after the cops had come and gone, after the farmer and his son had driven his big loud tractor back to his barn, after I had cleaned my leaves out of the farmer’s creek, and after I had explained the situation to the laughing friends and neighbors who had gathered outside their homes to watch the spectacle, I was sitting at my kitchen table sipping tea. My wife was still on the phone with someone.

After finishing my tea, I left her a note:

I went to the store to buy another garbage can.

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My Resume

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I am interested in furthering, and would also like to make the effort to continue furthering, my exceptional skills in people-oriented management and manufacturing of products and other related production and management of projects, et cetera.

Work Profile:

I have done many things and have had many various differing experiences, including lots of things that are considered working jobs. And as far as jobs that relate to finding a job at your particular business, well, I have had some of those experiences, too! For example, I have worked many times. In fact, if you asked me how many days of the year I have worked, I would say most!

Experience and Other:

Hasty Wheels Taxi Company (July 5-July 26):

Drove taxicabs around in Boston for customers and people who wanted a ride who either called ahead or just got into the cab off the street. This was a very interesting and good experience in many ways. I learned a lot at this job, for example, where some of the roads were and where the big hospital was.

Reason for Leaving: I got very sweaty, especially when customers got in, and the streets in Boston are many times one-way and were designed by cows.

Succalot Vacuum Cleaner Company (August 12-August 14):

Took vacuum cleaner parts, plus entire vacuum cleaners, in my car to visit people and try to sell them vacuum cleaners.

Reason for Leaving: Didn’t work out.

Paco’s Polish Baklava Restaurant (September 9-December 6):

Acted as busboy during which time I performed many unusual and some usual busboy duties, such as bussing tables, which means taking away dirty dishes. Also filled water cups and glasses for customers at their tables using a water pitcher that was often quite heavy. Brought people clean forks when they dropped theirs. Also did some other things as required, such as scraping peoples’ bones into bus pans. Once I hooked a syrup canister to the soda dispenser as a special favor to the restaurant owner.

Reason for Leaving: The boss wanted me to stand outside the store dressed as a knish and I twisted my ankle.


John’s Bartending Course (January 12-January 16):

Learned how to make many drinks, such as gimlets and mimosas. Learned that gimlets are the same as martinis except that instead of an olive you put in one of those tiny cocktail onions. Learned the names of many other drinks, too, even though I did not learn how to make them, such as Long Island Iced Teas, and others.

Reason for Leaving: I graduated with a certification of bartending skills and abilities, and I paid good money for this diploma, although I forget how much it cost at the moment.


Joe Bunda: Long-time friend and garbage worker.

Lucy Lonzole: Former supervisor at Patty Cakes Financial Services.

Hobart Jones: Personal accomplice.

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